Avi Shalim, PhD, Professor of International Relations at St. Antony's College, Oxford, in the 2001 book The Iron Wall, wrote:
"The resolution  was a masterpiece of deliberate British
ambiguity. It was this ambiguity that won for the resolution the
support of the United States, the Soviet Union, Jordan, and Egypt but
not of Syria. Israel had many successes on the long road that led to
its adoption. It defeated a series of Arab and Soviet proposals that
called for withdrawal without peace. Another success was to avoid the
requirement of withdrawing from 'the territories' or 'all the
territories' occupied in the recent war. The final wording was
'withdrawal from territories,' and this gave Israel some room for
Does the 1967 UN Resolution Require Israel to Withdraw to Its Pre-1967 Borders?
Noam Chomsky, PhD, Professor of Linguistics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in a July 27, 2000 ZNet editorial titled "'Peace Process' Prospects," wrote:
"To review the essentials briefly, in November 1967, under U.S.
initiative, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 242 on 'land for
peace.' As explicitly understood by the US and the other signatories,
UN 242 called for a full peace settlement on the pre-June 1967 borders
with at most minor and mutual adjustments, offering nothing to the
Palestinians. When President Sadat of Egypt accepted the official US
position in February 1971, Washington revised UN 242 to mean partial
Israeli withdrawal, as the US and Israel would determine. That
unilateral revision is what is now called 'land for peace,' a
reflection of US power in the domain of doctrine and ideology."
The Palestine Ministry of Information, in an entry on its website titled "Borders" (accessed June 1, 2004), stated the following:
"The Security Council’s injunction is unambiguous: All of the
territories occupied by Israel in 1967 were occupied by war; Israel is
legally prohibited from acquiring (i.e., annexing) any territory
occupied by war; accordingly, Israel must withdraw from all territory
The Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), in a Dec. 2001 commentary titled "The basis for peace: Security Council Resolution 242," wrote:
"It is not true that the plain meaning of the English wording [of U.N.
resolution 242] 'withdrawal from territories occupied in the recent
conflict' does not cover all the territories occupied. If you saw a
notice which said 'Dogs may swim in ponds in the park', would you not
assume that it applied to all ponds in the park, even though the notice
does not say 'all ponds in the park' or 'the ponds in the park'. It is
similar with 'territories occupied in the recent conflict'. A reader is
entitled to assume that all such territories are intended."
Robert Fisk, PhD, journalist for the Independent of London, in a Nov. 20, 2000 Nation editorial titled "Time of the Intifada," wrote:
"That 1967 resolution, so rarely mentioned now by State Department
officials, calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territory
captured in the 1967 Six-Day War in return for the security of all
states (including Israel) in the area. It also insists on the
illegality of the acquisition of land through war. And 242, as far as
the Palestinians are concerned, means a return to the 1967 borders of
Israel. No more occupation of the West Bank or Gaza (or the Golan
Heights) or of East Jerusalem, illegally annexed by Israel."
Dore Gold, PhD, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations (1997-1999), in a 2003 Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs commentary titled "Defensible borders for Israel," wrote:
"According to Resolution 242, Israel was
specifically required to withdraw only from 'territories' (and not
'all' the territories) to 'secure and recognized boundaries' that were
to be different from the vulnerable earlier lines from which it had
Ariel Sharon, former Prime Minister of Israel, in a June 9, 2002 New York Times editorial titled "The Way Forward in the Middle East," wrote:
Nations Security Council determined in a historic decision, Resolution
242, that Israel was entitled to 'secure and recognized boundaries' and
was not expected to withdraw from all the territories that its forces
had entered — and from which it was attacked — in the Six Day War. In
effect, the resolution established that these were disputed territories
where Israel had legitimate rights to defensible borders, besides the
claims of the Arab parties to the conflict."
Eugene W. Rostow, JD, former US Undersecretary of State for political affairs, in an Oct. 21, 1991 New Republic commentary titled "Resolved: are the settlements legal? Israeli West Bank policies," wrote:
242, which as undersecretary of state for political affairs between
1966 and 1969 I helped produce, calls on the parties to make peace and
allows Israel to administer the territories it occupied in 1967 until
'a just and lasting peace in the Middle East' is achieved. When such a
peace is made, Israel is required to withdraw its armed forces 'from
territories' it occupied during the Six-Day War--not from 'the'
territories nor from 'all' the territories, but from some of the
territories, which included the Sinai Desert, the West Bank, the Golan
Heights, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip."
Charles Krauthammer, MD, MA, syndicated columnist for the Washington Post, in an Apr. 31, 2004 editorial titled "A next step for Israel?" wrote:
"The Johnson administration was instrumental in making sure that the governing document for a Middle East settlement -- Security Council Resolution 242 -- called for Israeli withdrawal to 'secure and recognized boundaries,' not 'previous boundaries.' And it called for Israel to withdraw 'from territories occupied' in the 1967 war -- not 'from the territories occupied,' as had been demanded by the Arab states, and not from 'all territories occupied' as had been demanded by the Soviet Union.
Arthur Goldberg (U.S. ambassador to the U.N.), Lord Caradon (British ambassador to the U.N.) and Eugene Rostow (U.S. Undersecretary of State) had negotiated this language with extreme care. They spent the subsequent decades explaining over and over again that the central U.N. resolution on the conflict did not require Israel to withdraw to the 1967 lines."