Obama’s Reference To Israel’s 1967 Borders Creates Faux Controversy
It’s been barely four hours since the President’s Middle East policy speech at the State Department and already the fake controversy has developed:
Buried in his blithering, blathering, self-congratulatory, hectoring speech on the Middle East today, Barack Hussein Obama dropped this diplomatic nuclear bomb:
So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.
COME AGAIN?!?!?!?!? WHAT?!?!?!?!?!
In other words, Obama is now ready to advocate the next step of his plan to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth.
The Simon Weisenthal Center has already denounced what they call a return to Israel’s “Auschwitz Borders,” and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has already said the President’s proposal is unacceptable, and Mitt Romney accused the President of throwing Israel under the bus.
However, as Jeffery Goldberg notes at The Atlantic, nothing Obama said today is different from the basic U.S. negotiating position for the past twelve years:
I’m amazed at the amount of insta-commentary out there suggesting that the President has proposed something radical and new by declaring that Israel’s 1967 borders should define — with land-swaps — the borders of a Palestinian state. I’m feeling a certain Groundhog Day effect here. This has been the basic idea for at least 12 years. This is what Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat were talking about at Camp David, and later, at Taba. This is what George W. Bush was talking about with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. So what’s the huge deal here? Is there any non-delusional Israeli who doesn’t think that the 1967 border won’t serve as the rough outline of the new Palestinian state?
As Goldberg notes, Hillary Clinton said pretty much the same thing Obama did today back in 2009, and its interesting that none of the critics are recognizing the fact that the President handed the Israelis a strong assurance on an issue that has been of concern for months now:
A much bigger deal: Obama’s forthright denunciation of the unilateral Palestinian plan to seek the General Assembly’s endorsement this September of statehood. Also a big deal: The President’s statement that the Hamas-Fatah pact “raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel — how can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question.” This doesn’t sound like a radical departure from long-term American policy. Or even a mild departure.
That’s because it isn’t, and perhaps that’s why several major American Jewish organizations have released statements praising the speech. The people claiming that the President has abandoned Israel are either (1) misunderstanding what he said, or (2) lying. I will let the reader decide which.