July 26, 1967
Yigal Allon, a politician and Israel Defense Forces general, was born in 1918 in Kfar Tabor, Palestine. He served in the Haganah, and commanded the Palmach from 1945-1948. Elected to the Knesset in 1954, he remained a member until his death in 1980. During his political career, he served as Minister of Labor, Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Minister of Culture and Foreign Affairs, Deputy Prime Minister, and, for a three-week period in 1969, Interim Prime Minister.
The Allon Plan was a strategic proposal for Israel’s retention of the Jordan Valley in the West Bank. It was to serve multiple purposes. Primarily, it was to include a series of Jewish settlements and military installations along the Jordan Valley to act as a buffer against potential Arab attack from the east.
The other components of the plan were:
1. Basic peace with the Arab states and the Palestinians is possible and essential. Neither a lack of an agreement nor continued hostilities are beneficial to either side.
2. The geo-strategic integrity of Eretz Israel will be preserved, and will allow the marking of borders that will ensure Israel’s security and prevent future wars.
3. A Jewish demographic majority will be maintained, allowing Israel to exist as a democratic Jewish State, based on Zionist principles.
4. The Palestinian people will be given the opportunity to realize an independent national life without threatening the security of the State of Israel. The Palestinian nation will be able to establish political relations with Jordan and with the State of Israel.
The Allon Plan was never officially endorsed by the Israeli government. However, the ideas in the plan were presented to King Hussein of Jordan in 1968 as part of a secret offer for stabilizing Israel’s relationship with its eastern neighbor. Hussein rejected them because they infringed on what he believed to be Jordan’s sovereign right over the West Bank. In contrast, the Allon Plan’s point of view came to be embraced by most Israelis: for security considerations alone, it was believed, Israel must retain portions of the West Bank and keep control of the strategic Jordan River Valley.
The photo shows a map of the Allon Plan as it appeared in Time Magazine on February 2, 1969.