Introduction - Dore Gold

Executive Summary

Defensible Borders for Peace
- Yuval Steinitz

The Military-Strategic Perspective:
Israel's Requirement for Defensible Borders
- Yaakov Amidror
    Appendix 1 - Military-Strategic Aspects of West Bank Topography for Israel's Defense

The Legal Perspective:
Understanding UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, on the Middle East
- Meir Rosenne

The Diplomatic Perspective:
The U.S. and "Defensible Borders":
How Washington Has Understood UN Security Council Resolution 242 and Israel's Requirements for Withdrawal - Dore Gold
    Appendix 2 - Letter from U.S. President George W. Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, April 14, 2004
    Appendix 3 - U.S. Senate and House of Representatives Approve Commitments to Israel in President Bush's Letter of April 14, 2004
    Appendix 4 - Statement of U.S. President George W. Bush to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, April 11, 2005, in Crawford, Texas

Map 1 - Israel and the Middle East
Map 2 - Israel Within the 1949 Armistice Lines (pre-1967 Borders)
Map 3 - Allon Plan, 1970
Map 4 - Threat to Israeli Population Centers from West Bank Terrain
Map 5 - Vital Israeli Interests Threatened from Strategic Terrain Beyond the Security Fence: Protecting Ben-Gurion Airport and the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem Highway
Map 6 - Israel's Strategic Vulnerability from the West Bank
Map 7 - Topography and Israeli Security: Utilizing the 4,200-Foot Mountain Barrier to Protect Israel's Vulnerable Coastal Plain

About the Authors

About the Defensible Borders Initiative - Dan Diker

About the Defensible Borders Initiative

The Defensible Borders Initiative of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs is the culmination of efforts by some of Israel's leading military strategists, diplomats, international jurists, and parliamentarians to raise the international profile of Israel's longstanding and internationally-sanctioned rights and requirements for secure and recognized boundaries. This monograph is the first step in a much broader international effort that was launched on October 19, 2004, with a conference on Defensible Borders held jointly by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs.

The participants in the Defensible Borders Initiative have long recognized that the far-reaching concessions Israel has been prepared to make for peace have resulted in an unfortunate irony. The majority of the international community has forgotten what had been axiomatic after Israel vanquished six attacking armies in the Six-Day War of 1967. UN Security Council Resolution 242 of November 22, 1967, granted Israel an international legal and moral mandate to retain territory in the disputed West Bank and Gaza Strip in order to establish defensible borders that could protect the country's citizens and vital interests from further external attacks.

Ironically, this consensus was undermined by a sustained campaign of delegitimization of Israel's international rights by the Palestinian leadership and Arab countries during and after the Oslo peace process. The Defensible Borders Initiative is a response to this campaign that led to highly politicized analyses of Israel's international legal rights in many foreign government circles and the mass media. A central aim of this report is to restore more intellectually rigorous analysis to the ongoing discussion over Israel's future borders.

The broader Defensible Borders Initiative will involve briefings, seminars, and additional published reports that will expand upon Israel's defense needs, national security requirements, and legal rights in the ongoing debate over the future of the Arab-Israeli peace process.

While it is still uncertain whether terrorism and tyranny will continue to prevail in the Middle East or whether freedom and democracy will take root, defensible borders will remain a vital safeguard for Israel's future survival.

Dan Diker, Project Director, Defensible Borders Initiative;
Senior Policy Analyst, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs

© 2008   Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs