Forty Years without Resolve: Tracing the Influence of Security Council Resolution 242 on the Middle East Peace Process
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This essay offers an assessment of the extent to which UNSC Resolution 242’s procedural and substantive recommendations have facilitated a negotiated settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The historical record of each of the mechanisms of the Middle East peace process demonstrates that the mediation mechanism established in 242 was too feeble for the task assigned to it. The resolution’s ambiguities and omissions further diminished its value as a tool of dispute resolution, creating confusion about what acceptance of 242 signified, encouraging hard bargaining by the parties, and denying leaders the political cover for necessary compromise.
Omar M. Dajani, an associate professor of law at University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, is a former advisor to the PLO and the UN. This paper was part of the IPS panel at the November 2007 Middle East Studies Association conference.