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International Affairs   
Israel at the UN: Progress Amid A History of Bias
Resolutions 242 and 338
September 2010

Early Biases
Resolutions 242 and 338
The Oslo Years: A Warming Atmosphere
1995-2000: Bias Resurfaces
2000–2004: U.N. Anti-Israel Bias and Anti-Semitism
2005–Present: Positive Developments, But Old Patterns Continue
Human Rights Council
U.N. on Holocaust Denial and Anti-Semitism

In the 1960s and 1970s, two resolutions were passed by the U.N. which have become the cornerstone of Middle East diplomatic efforts. On November 22, 1967, following the Six Day War, the Security Council passed Resolution 242 with the stated intention of providing a solution for the conflict in the Middle East. This resolution called for the withdrawal of Israeli armed forces from territories occupied during the Six Day War, in exchange for the termination of all claims or states of belligerency and respect for and acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every State in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force.

Similarly, Resolution 338, passed on October 22, 1973, in the midst of the Yom Kippur War, called for the termination of the ongoing armed battle and for negotiations to begin between Israel and her Arab neighbors on the land-for-peace premise of Resolution 242. In calling upon the Arab states to end their war against Israel, and to engage in direct peace talks, the U.N. created a framework for future peace negotiations.

Resolutions 242 and 338 call for Israel's withdrawal from territories as part of a peace agreement. This provision is understood primarily by Israel, the United States and the drafters of the resolution that, as part of a peace agreement, Israel’s withdrawal from territories would be consistent with its security needs. However, the Palestinians and other U.N. member states continue to use these resolutions to claim that Israel should withdraw from all West Bank and Gaza territories.

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