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Monday, May 23, 2011

Back to the '67 Borders?

I was a bit surprised when President Barack Obama publicly announced last week that he supports creation of a Palestinian state along 1967 borders. But I don't think I was as surprised as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyaho. "“We don’t have a lot of margin for error,” he told the President in what some called a lecture from within the Ocal Office. “[H]istory will not give the Jewish people another chance.”

Among other problems, the pre-67 lines are "indefensible."

Obama back-tracked a bit on Sunday, in a speech at, of all places, an AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) convention. He's now saying that Israel and Palestine should "negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967."

According to Think Progress, Obama's position is nothing new and mirrors policies during the Bush and Clinton era. I'm not so sure. Foreign Policy, for one, calls it a shift in American policy.

It bothered LV Congressman Charlie Demt, who released this statement: "I am concerned by the President’s unexpected remarks involving Israel and the Palestinian territories. Unlike previous periods of friction in the Middle East, today’s turmoil in Arab nations is not fueled by the Arab people’s opposition to the state of Israel, but is instead rooted in their determination to end years of authoritarian rule. By calling on Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders, the President has chosen to pursue an abrupt shift in American Middle East policy at a time when he must instead focus on supporting potentially transformational democratic movements and eliminating the ever-present threat of terrorism.

“Though I share the President’s goal of developing peace between Israel and all of its neighbors, applying significant pressure on our closest ally in the Middle East to ultimately make territorial concessions to the Palestinian authority, which has yet to recognize Israel’s right to exist and eliminate terrorist elements within its existing borders, is deeply troubling.”


notsocasualobserver said...

If Obama wants Israel to withdraw its borders to the 1967 lines

Then the USA must withdraw its borders to the August 1 1959 borders, and Hawaii will no longer be a state!

Bye Byr BO

Anonymous said...

hey notsocasual,

Why are you republicans so upset that Jews overwhelming vote democrat?

Cicero said...

The Palestinians are a people who are willing to destroy Israel and all the people in it. In fact they woould be only to happy to eliminate all the Jews much as their idol, Hitler, proposed all those years ago. President O did his backtracking thing yet again when he was informed that the '67 borders were not US policy. Let's keep in mind that our one true ally in the Middle East is Israel and the rest of the countries in the region, overwhelmingly Muslim, cannot be trusted and certainly are not our pals and I don't me just Hamas and the other extremist groups in the area.

Jon Geeting said...

Obama: “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”

"Mutually agreed swaps" is an important part. But is Netanyahu, and I guess Dent's, position that Israel should keep all its illegal settlements and continuing building new settlements forever?

That seems to be what Bibi Netanyahu thinks should happen, but that doesn't seem like the sort of negotiating position a good-faith participant in the negotiating process would take if he actually wanted to get to a deal.

Anybody who's been listening to US policymakers for the past two decades knows using the '67 borders have been at the top of the list of concessions the international community expects Israel to make in any peace deal. The fact that Obama said it out loud is news, but nobody should be acting surprised about this.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have deleted 4 comments that address my post, but appear to be ads. That's something new.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Jon Geeting, I guess that's why Foreign Policy magazine has called this a policy shift by the US.

notsocasualobserver said...

ANON 7:32

Becasue we don't like watching them commit suicide!

michael molovinsky said...

jon, the arab demonstrations last week on israel's borders were about the establishment of israel in 1948, which the arabs call the catastrophe. in their demonstrations they shout from the river to the sea which means the destruction of israel. hamas, the plo's new partner, formally calls for the destruction of israel. easy for you and obama to tell israel what risks to take.

Anonymous said...

Netanyahu operates under two unwavering truths.

First, no deal can be made with a government that contains Hamas, a group still sworn to ending the "catastrophe" of 1948 by "driving Israeli Jews into the sea."

Second, no satisfactory deal can be brokered by those currently overseeing US foreign policy. Many of this president's longtime friends and personal associates are outspoken critics of Israel and outspoken apologists for radical Islam.

Better for Israel to sit tight and wait for Obama and his team to leave.

Patrick McHenry said...

Anon 1:38 said:

"Better for Israel to sit tight and wait for Obama and his team to leave."


That seems to be what most of the world is doing, except for Geeting and his buddies.

Anonymous said...

Do all you haters of Obama still have your rifles and canned goods? Given the constant hysteria about taking America back (from whom? the other? the non- American? the black guy?) it prompts one to look around and try and discern what was taken from whom.

America is an ally of Israel no matter who is in the White House. We had 8 years of your brilliant Republican neo-cons leading this country into the hands of the wealthy. Stop already with your whining.

Mark Time said...

Well I guess Israel needs to have some input into our problems as well. Perhaps the prosposal at this link would be met with open arms by our president....Probably not..