Obama’s Israel Vision Angers Holy Land
President Barack Obama on Thursday made a bold suggestion—and one that has drawn the ire of Israel. Obama wants the borders of Israel and Palestine to be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps.
Neither Israel—nor Israel supporters—are buying into the vision for a moment.
In a series of rapid-fire tweets from the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s media office, Israel made it very clear that it doesn’t intend to go along with Obama’s plan.
“Israel appreciates President Obama’s commitment to peace. Israel believes that for peace to endure between Israelis and Palestinians, the viability of a Palestinian state … cannot come at the expense of the viability of the one and only Jewish state,” the prime minister’s office tweeted. “That is why Prime Minister Netanyahu expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.”
The U.S. made commitments to Israel in 2004 that include, among other things, Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines. Israel remains steadfast in its view that no territorial concession will bring peace and called for Palestinians to recognize Israel as a nation state of Jewish people.
Meanwhile, American Center for Law and Justice Counsel Jay Sekulow says it’s extremely troubling that Obama would side with the Palestinian Authority in an effort to jump-start peace talks in the Middle East. He stressed that Obama is not the negotiator-in-chief for the Middle East and to make sweeping demands and characterizations not only hurts the peace process, but damages U.S.-Israeli relations.
"It's troubling that the president called Israel's legitimate West Bank settlements an 'occupation,' and by calling for a return to the 1967 borders, he is calling for a divided Jerusalem,” Sekulow says. “By endorsing the 'unity government' of the Palestinian Authority, he has rewarded Hamas—a terrorist organization that calls for the elimination of the Jews. For decades, Israel has been our most important ally in the region. Sadly, with the president's remarks and decision to side with Palestinian Authority, it appears he no longer believes that is the case."