This essay examines the consequences of the near-canonical status acquired over the years by UN Security Council Resolution 242. After tracing the evolution of the vision of peace seen to flow from 242, the essay explores the various ways in which the resolution has been read. In particular, the interpretation of Israel (backed by the United States) is examined, along with the balance of power factor. The essay concludes by suggesting that clinging to 242 as ““canonical”” inhibits clear-sighted thinking on new approaches that take cognizance of the greatly altered circumstances.

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