A historical document dragged back out into the light by Israel National News reveals that, unlike today, in the wake of the 1967 Six Day War, the American government was of the opinion that Israel should retain control of the “West Bank.”
Following the war, then US Secretary of State Robert McNamara asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon for their expert opinion on how Washington should approach the issue of Israel’s land gains.
Israel National News curiously claimed that the resulting document had been exclusively declassified for their report. In reality, the June 19, 1967 “Memorandum for the Secretary of Defense” (JCSM–373–67) was declassified in 1979, and first reported on by the Wall Street Journal in 1983.
“Without regard to political factors” and taking a “strictly military point of view,” the Joint Chiefs concluded that “Israel would require the retention of some captured territory in order to provide militarily defensible borders.”
In particular, the generals felt Israel should retain control over the central high ground in Judea and Samaria. They also recommended keeping the Gaza Strip, which, “configured as it is…serves as a salient for introduction of Arab subversion and terrorism…its retention would be to Israel’s military advantage.”
It is clear from this document that America did not deem it as wise for Israel to surrender 100 percent of the lands captured in 1967 for the sake of a peace deal, as the Arabs are now demanding.
In fact, the subsequent UN Resolution 242, which the Palestinians claim as backing their demands, refrained from defining the scope of an Israeli withdrawal.
US Ambassador to the UN Arthur Goldberg later explained that the omission was deliberate. “The notable omissions-which were not accidental-in regard to withdrawal are the words ‘the’ or ‘all’ and ‘the June 5, 1967 lines’….the resolution speaks of withdrawal from occupied territories without defining the extent of withdrawal,” said Goldberg.
Today, the Palestinian Authority, which back in 1967 was still being shunned as one of the world’s most notorious terrorist organizations, insists that it will never sign a peace deal that does not include Israel’s total surrender of Judea and Samaria, including the eastern half of Jerusalem.
Anxious to finally oversee an agreement after so many decades of conflict, America, and most of the rest of the West, has abandoned its previous, more sensible positions and instead adopted those of the intransigent Arab leadership.