Case 178 - The Making of United Nations Security Council Resolution 242: Centerpiece of Arab-Israeli Negotiations
Korn, David A.
For more than a decade after its passage on November 22, 1967, United Nations. Security Council Resolution 242 was at the center of every effort at Arab-Israeli peacemaking. Delegates to every negotiation spent many long hours debating the meaning of the central clauses of the resolution; in particular, those concerning the requirement for Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories and for the establishment of a just and lasting peace. In the 1980s and 1990s the issue of how to translate the principles set forth in UNSCR 242 into practice continued to be a subject of sharp disagreement between Arabs and Israelis. This case study instructs the student in the background and genesis of this most basic of all texts for the study of the diplomacy of the Arab-Israeli conflict. It also offers insights into the critical role played by individual actors in determining the outcome of a given negotiation; the ways ambiguity can be used to bridge seemingly irreconcilable positions, and an explanation of how miscalculation can redirect international affairs in wholly unexpected ways.