Obama’s Cairo II speech: Cheering democratization … in general; Update: No, Obama didn’t demand pre-1967 borders for Israel; Update: Netanyahu calls 1967 lines “indefensible”

posted at 1:08 pm on May 19, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama showed up a half-hour late, and once again used the self-promoted White House occasion to say nothing specific, and nothing new.  Even in the most specific part of the speech, regarding the American position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Obama offered nothing new.  The entire speech could easily have been delivered by George W. Bush in its commendable but hardly inspirational cheering of democratization, which foundered on Obama’s decision to task Bashar Assad with leading democratic reform in Syria.

The first clue as to the wan nature of the speech was a lack of early, embargoed release of the speech.  Usually, major addresses get released to the media so that the transcripts go up at about the same time the speech starts.  In this case, whether deliberately or through lack of coordination, the first transcript at National Journal appeared more than halfway through the speech.  If that is a minor point, then the reaction of the audience at the State Department was not.  Obama paused for applause after defending the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and got silence.  Apart from a few weak rounds of applause, the audience didn’t react at all, not even for Obama’s defense of Israel’s existence near the end.

Perhaps that springs from the routine statement of principles on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict:

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.

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.  Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.

These principles provide a foundation for negotiations.  Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I know that these steps alone will not resolve this conflict. Two wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians.

Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table. In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas 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. Meanwhile, the United States, our Quartet partners, and the Arab states will need to continue every effort to get beyond the current impasse.

There’s nothing wrong with this statement; it’s a fairly clear description of the position of the US for decades, if less than specific.  It’s not new at all, and it barely touches on the biggest problems in the conflict, which is the right of return demanded by Palestinians and the status of Jerusalem.  Framing the solution along the 1967 line is one of the recurring themes from the US since at least the Clinton administration, and is hardly unique to the US, either.

Despite speaking in generalities on democratization, Obama’s position on its actual implementation seems rather confused.  In one passage, he demanded that Yemen’s Saleh step down from power immediately in the earlier proposed deal, but then gave Bashar Assad the mission to democratize Syria:

Our opposition to Iran’s intolerance – as well as its illicit nuclear program, and its sponsorship of terror – is well known. But if America is to be credible, we must acknowledge that our friends in the region have not all reacted to the demands for change consistent with the principles that I have outlined today. That is true in Yemen, where President Saleh needs to follow through on his commitment to transfer power.  …

The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: he can lead that transition, or get out of the way. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests; release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests; allow human rights monitors to have access to cities like Dara’a; and start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition. Otherwise, President Assad and his regime will continue to be challenged from within and isolated abroad.

Saleh worked with the US, at least to some degree, to help fight al-Qaeda in Yemen, just as Hosni Mubarak worked with Israel at the behest of Washington.  Assad has plotted against Israel, sponsored terrorism with Hamas and Hezbollah, and has treated Syrians at least as brutally as Salah has treated Yemenis, and arguably worse.  And yet Obama wants Saleh out now, but with 850 protestors murdered in Syria, wants to continue engaging with Assad.  Why not ask Saleh to lead a democratization effort too?  Yemen may be an autocracy, but they’re farther along those lines than Syria.

Unfortunately, that’s nothing new, either.

The biggest problem for this speech isn’t Obama’s continuing confusion on working with antagonists and antagonizing allies, or the regurgitation of general principles for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  It’s that the White House once again inflated expectations for a major address just to deliver routine white-paper positions and lip service on democratization.  The speech was nothing special at all, one that a deputy secretary at the State Department could have just as easily covered.

Update: I’m not sure how the AP came up with this:

President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.

Er … no, he didn’t.  He said that the settlement should “be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”  That’s been the US position for quite a while.

Update II: Seriously, how the Associated Press could make this kind of a mistake is beyond me. Not only is this point clear in the text, Obama delivered it accurately as well. Here’s the video, via Greg Hengler:

He did not say “pre-1967.” Obama gave the standard US position.

Update III: Plenty of pushback on the 1967 comment hitting the news, the most significant of which is Netanyahu’s blast at Obama over getting specific:

Israel’s prime minister has rejected a key aspect of President Barack Obama’s policy speech, saying that a return to his country’s 1967 borders would spell disaster for the Jewish state.

In a statement released late Thursday, Benjamin Netanyahu called the 1967 lines “indefensible.”

The issue, according to the AP, is the major West Bank settlements — which have always been the issue.  Obama called for territory swaps, presumably to cover this issue, but it’s obviously not going down well in Jerusalem.  While US plans for peace settlements have long been based on the 1967 lines, the US has until now not been specifically committed to those lines — so this does represent a significant change, at least in public commitments.


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Pre-1967 borders? That’ll go over well in Israel.

astuddis on May 19, 2011 at 1:11 PM

Netanyahu must be really looking forward to his upcoming meeting with Barack The Magnificent.

astuddis on May 19, 2011 at 1:12 PM

How does this square with AP’s report that Obama just endorsed the Palestinian position of an independent state with the pre-1967 borders?

Nessuno on May 19, 2011 at 1:13 PM

nice analysis Ed….

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 1:13 PM

just heard basically the same thing from richard engle on msdnc (just wanted to hear what the lsm had to say)…very thin, no specifics.

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 1:14 PM

If I were Israel, I’d be worried how Obama defines “unshakeable”.

Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums.

cartooner on May 19, 2011 at 1:15 PM

The strategic importance of the Golan Heights can not be underestimated. If the palestinians get the Golan, Israel will be bombed daily.

astuddis on May 19, 2011 at 1:15 PM

Obama’s Cairo II speech: Cheering democratization

He can’t be talking about the Middle East, eh?

littleguy on May 19, 2011 at 1:16 PM

What astuddis said!

Obama has PO’ed a valuable ally and live fire test bed for the US Arsenal of Democracy. Not to mention throwing away about 70% of the Jewish vote and its pro Dem funding in the US.

Smooth move, Jack Wagon!

Can’t wait for Netanyahu to slap the crap out of T3h One.

Jack Deth on May 19, 2011 at 1:17 PM

The Palestinian people must have the right to govern the mselves Jews, and reach their potential targets in Israel, in from a sovereign and contiguous state.

FIFY

MassVictim on May 19, 2011 at 1:17 PM

So with this logic, we should give real estate back to Mexico from the 1800s?

tx2654 on May 19, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Has there ever been a US President that was consistently late to SCHEDULED events as this guy?

Sponge on May 19, 2011 at 1:18 PM

The speech was long, boring, said nothing new, and could have been given by Dubya back in 2004. In other words, it was an enormous waste of time. Obama could have phoned it in from the links.

simkeith on May 19, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Barack Obama ….once again used the self-promoted White House occasion to say nothing specific, and nothing new.

Meaning the lunatic line-up on MSNBC will spend all Thursday evening gushing over in awe and wonder over B.O.’s sheer genius and gifted oratory skills.

pilamaye on May 19, 2011 at 1:20 PM

Obama’s “Moat and Alligator” border speech to demagogue opponents and Cairo II speech to self promotion will be the one two punch of his hope for re-election.

/at least I can hope

Sir Napsalot on May 19, 2011 at 1:20 PM

He is trying to sell out Israel and suck up to the Arabs, again. Fortunately he does not have a Congress right now that will help him destroy Israel and I suspect Israel will wait till next November to see if we regained our sanity and dump Obama.

JIMV on May 19, 2011 at 1:20 PM

The strategic importance of the Golan Heights can not be underestimated. If the palestinians get the Golan, Israel will be bombed daily.

astuddis on May 19, 2011 at 1:15 PM

That isn’t true. Technology has made holding the Golan less strategic and more of a liability given the population that came with the real estate. It is not hard to find senior IDF leaders and Israeli politicians who advocate returning the land as part of a wider settlement with Syria.

lexhamfox on May 19, 2011 at 1:21 PM

Said nothing, nada, nechevo, zilch…just uttered a great many words of a condescending rendition of a man trying hard to appear intelligent.

It’d have been different, perhaps, had he any credibility in the region…but Obama forfeit that when he allowed the Iranian Revolutionary Guard to slaughter countless Iranians after his Cairo speech and hadn’t fumbled the ball in Libya, among other places….and had he been paying attention instead of just doing his global campaigning for re-election….and, if he had actually said anything of worth that hasn’t been said hundreds of dozens of times before by others, far more capable.

No wonder more nations in the region are heading to Beijing, Moscow and even Tehran these days.

coldwarrior on May 19, 2011 at 1:22 PM

I don’t think we heard the same speech, Ed.

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Obama’s following the RFK path:

“Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not.”

I’m fine with dreaming. As long as it has something to do with what is right, fair, just, true. Obama wants to transform the world based on his own liberal vision. He’s imagining an impossible world. He’s the leader of the free world, and he’s talking like Don Quixote.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 1:22 PM

pilamaye on May 19, 2011 at 1:20 PM

yepper

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 1:23 PM

Did I just hear Rush say that there are rumors that Bibi will go along with the 1967 borders? I have a hard time believing Bibi would do this.
L

letget on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

So with this logic, we should give real estate back to Mexico from the 1800s?

tx2654 on May 19, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Good Lord, man. Don’t give him any ideas!

turfmann on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

To find the Palestinians “reaching their full potential”, just follow the ambulances.

Chuck Schick on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Obama paused for applause after defending the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and got silence. Apart from a few weak rounds of applause, the audience didn’t react at all, not even for Obama’s defense of Israel’s existence near the end.

In other words, the Arabs present didn’t think applauding Obama’s taqqiya was necessary.

Lourdes on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Why not the borders before 1453 ?
Or before 622 ?

MassVictim on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

@tx2654

We already have…been down around the border lately?

/sarc

JohnnyMojo on May 19, 2011 at 1:25 PM

Rush is making my point — Obama is leaving the “right of return” (of Palestinians to Israel) up in the air. And that’s a non starter.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 1:25 PM

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…! What’d I miss? Oh….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz….

ronsfi on May 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM

So with this logic, we should give real estate back to Mexico from the 1800s?

tx2654 on May 19, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Good Lord, man. Don’t give him any ideas!

turfmann on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

On behalf of the Clovis People and the Norse, I demand that North America be returned to their descendants. No more “Indian Reservations” cause that’s our land. No more La Raza raging because, as they claim, Mexico is part of North America, and that makes it ours.

Lourdes on May 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM

So, where’s the surprise?

davidk on May 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM

Technology has made holding the Golan less strategic and more of a liability given the population that came with the real estate. It is not hard to find senior IDF leaders and Israeli politicians who advocate returning the land as part of a wider settlement with Syria.

Didn’t know that… What technology?

astuddis on May 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Why not the borders before 1453 ?
Or before 622 ?

MassVictim on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Heck, YAH! I say we determine the borders from, say, 10,000 years or earlier. Why waste centuries?

Lourdes on May 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Add Change to future drinking games…

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 1:28 PM

That’s not weak sauce; that’s tepid water.

hillbillyjim on May 19, 2011 at 1:28 PM

Apparently, the Secret Service must have tuned into FoxNews for “better blather” ?

J_Crater on May 19, 2011 at 1:29 PM

I have a feeling Obama knew that Bibi would agree to the 1967 borders. When he does Obama once again saves the World… Time for another spike of that football….

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 1:31 PM

Woops, looks like the Clovis were here later than the original Americans.

13,000 years ago for the Clovis arrivees, but there were earlier, original Americans…

Lourdes on May 19, 2011 at 1:32 PM

I am glad to see Obama taking the Iranian threat so seriously….he really came down hard on a the terrorist sponsoring regime that is responsible for killing so many American troops…..
………killing so many of it’s own people…..
……………on the path to a nuclear weapon….
…….. and he!! bent on the destruction of Isreal ////

Baxter Greene on May 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Why not the borders before 1453 ?
Or before 622 ?

MassVictim on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

for that matter, why don’t we just go back to the Abrahamic covenant lines. Of course that would mean, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and part of Egypt, would go to Israel

ConservativePartyNow on May 19, 2011 at 1:33 PM

Well I’m sure that this time the Pallies really will agree to statehood without a “right of return” (which of course is a good way for Israel to commit national suicide).

/s

MJBrutus on May 19, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Why not the borders before 1453 ?
Or before 622 ?

MassVictim on May 19, 2011 at 1:24 PM

Opps. didn’t mean to strike it.

for that matter, why don’t we just go back to the Abrahamic covenant lines. Of course that would mean, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and part of Egypt, would go to Israel

ConservativePartyNow on May 19, 2011 at 1:34 PM

Just as with everything else Obama says… this speech can mean anything you project it to mean.

faraway on May 19, 2011 at 1:35 PM

Technology has made holding the Golan less strategic and more of a liability given the population that came with the real estate. It is not hard to find senior IDF leaders and Israeli politicians who advocate returning the land as part of a wider settlement with Syria.

Didn’t know that… What technology?

astuddis on May 19, 2011 at 1:27 PM

Satellites. Weapon accuracy independent of LOS.

lexhamfox on May 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

…you all are missing the main point, though; BHO DID say this just now: The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

How can the West Bank and the Gaza Strip be “contiguous”, ever, if not without some type of geographical land bridge between the two, which would by definition, make Israel, “non-contiguous” then!

Can someone explain??

Dale in Atlanta on May 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

So, where’s the surprise?

davidk on May 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM

You’ll have to wait until October 2012 for the ‘surprise‘.

FlatFoot on May 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

So AP cluster farked the spin for Obama , heh.

the_nile on May 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Update II: Seriously, how the Associated Press could make this kind of a mistake is beyond me. Not only is this point clear in the text, Obama delivered it accurately as well. Here’s the video, via Greg Hengler:

It was an AP Freudina slip. They wish it to be.

Still, it c/b what Obama also wishes. Israel should not trust him for 1mm.

Arafat missed his platinum chance with Bill Clinton. That moment came and went and will never be again.

Some things will never be resolved. This is one of them.

Get ready for a much bigger war in that region.

I triple dare any of you to name one people who are free, due to Obama.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I say we start calling Obama’s speeches Seinfeldian–

Speeches about Nothing.

Nethicus on May 19, 2011 at 1:39 PM

“Some men see things as they are and say why.
I dream things that never were and say why not.”

Like, free healthcare. Unicorns. A workers paradise. A country where black men can deny other blacks the right to vote, on camera, and not be punished for it..social justice I believe its called.

BobMbx on May 19, 2011 at 1:39 PM

Why are ALL news sources reporting the 1967 border policy?

mjbrooks3 on May 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Late for his own damn speech again.

Does he realize it’s not only rude, but it shows a lack of respect for the audience, an acknowledgement that their time is important too?

JeffWeimer on May 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

So, where’s the surprise?

davidk on May 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM

That Obama didn’t lie more than he did.

Muslims mad at him…

Isrealis mad at him…

Jewish donors mad as hell at him…

Bibi Netanyahu should apply a metal protector around his ars, before his visit with O tomorrow.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Remarks of President Barack Obama–As Prepared for Delivery–”A Moment of Opportunity”

Odd thing is it was filed under the statements and remarks section and not the speeches section.

CommentGuy on May 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

I triple dare any of you to name one people who are free, due to Obama.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 1:38 PM

I’m assuming you’re not including a couple of thugs from Philly.

hillbillyjim on May 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

The AP and the network radio newscasts are alike reporting that The Puppet President says that the two-state solution should be “based on the 1967 borders.”

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110519/ap_on_re_us/us_obama_mideast_palestinians_1

Here’s the rest of the AP story:

In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.

Until Thursday, the U.S. position had been that the Palestinian goal of a state based on the 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, should be reconciled with Israel’s desire for a secure Jewish state through negotiations.

Ed, sounds like the AP writer is interpreting longstanding American policy differently from you. The last paragraph says that it’s the Palestinians who want “agreed land swaps.”

If he’s right, then the Puppet President and his masters are giving away the store.

/Mr Lynn

MrLynn on May 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Seriously, how the Associated Press could make this kind of a mistake is beyond me. Not only is this point clear in the text, Obama delivered it accurately as well.

Hmmmmm….maybe the AP didn’t get the last version of the text? An earlier version, maybe?

BobMbx on May 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Mohammed was the last Prophet. He said Islam should be spread across the world. So it is written. Manifest Destiny. Israel has to go. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.

Paul-Cincy on May 19, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Ed, when one talks about the 1967 borders, they are talking about the borders that existed BEFORE the war.

See: http://www.haaretz.com/print-edition/opinion/netanyahu-must-move-forward-and-accept-1967-borders-1.362674

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Ed, the AP said “based on”, which anyone who understands the English language means that Obama is not saying the exact ’67 borders should be honored, but that they should serve as a starting for negotiations for the final borders.

There’s nothing wrong with what the AP said.

Tom_Shipley on May 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Why are ALL news sources reporting the 1967 border policy?

mjbrooks3 on May 19, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Because that’s what they want to hear. Obama should not have said that anyway. He should have saved that in his private meetings with Bibi. I’m sure Bibi was told in advance what would be said. I think he is going to agree somewhat with this idea. We all know it will never take place because the Pali’s never think it is enough and back out. Only the total annihilation of Israel will placate them.

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 1:43 PM

Just goes to show, if you have nothing to say, it’s better to say nothing.

Knott Buyinit on May 19, 2011 at 1:44 PM

“As Americans have been seared by hostage taking, violent rhetoric, and terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of our citizens – a failure to change our approach [in the Middle East] threatens a deepening spiral of division between the United States and Muslim communities,” Mr Obama added.

In other words, support monetarily, and make friends with the Palestinians and screw Israel, and the Arabs will all love us. Haven’t we heard this somewhere before?

Susanboo on May 19, 2011 at 1:46 PM

“As Americans have been seared by hostage taking, violent rhetoric, and terrorist attacks that have killed thousands of our citizens – a failure to change our approach [in the Middle East] threatens a deepening spiral of division between the United States and Muslim communities,” Mr Obama added.

So…we should REWARD terrorism?

The division between the United States and Muslim communities will forever exist unless we submit. It’s in the Koran.

hillbillyjim on May 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

From NYT:

“Seeking to harness the seismic political change still unfolding in the Arab world, President Obama for the first time on Thursday publicly called for a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that would create a non-militarized Palestinian state on the basis of Israel’s borders before 1967. ”

“Until the end, for example, his aides debated how Mr. Obama would address the conflict that has fueled Arab anger for decades: the division between Israelis and Palestinians. A senior administration official said that Mr. Obama’s advisers remained deeply divided over whether he should formally endorse Israel’s pre-1967 borders as the starting point for negotiations over a Palestinian state.

That he did so sent a strong signal that the United States expected Israel — as well as the Palestinians — to make concessions to restart peace talks that have been stalled since September. “

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

“What is the Administration’s position on Israel’s borders in any final status agreement? Ambiguity on this matter has provoked a wave of rumors and anxiety. Can it be true that America is no longer committed to a final status agreement that provides defensible borders for Israel? Is a new course being charted that would leave Israel with the indefensible borders that invited invasion prior to 1967?” — 4/15/2010 Open letter to President Obama from the WJC

This question finally answered today.

littleguy on May 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM

Who the hell is Obama to be demanding anything from another country? He needs to worry about his own affairs and stay out of the business of other states.

stacman on May 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM

In other words, support monetarily, and make friends with the Palestinians and screw Israel, and the Arabs will all love us. Haven’t we heard this somewhere before?

Susanboo on May 19, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Yep. Heard it two years ago.

Tim Zank on May 19, 2011 at 1:52 PM

lexhamfox…

Updating my info,

Thank you.

astuddis on May 19, 2011 at 1:53 PM

“1967 borders” means pre-June 1967.

“Todays borders” means post-1967.

Why the weird spin from Ed?

faraway on May 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Sorry, Ed. I know you are trying to be pragmatic here, but it looks like you are wrong.

cdog0613 on May 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

So all the lsm is misquoting dear leader and it will be taken as gospel by all those who listen to them….
If the AL says it, it must be true
/

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 1:55 PM

“Former President Obama”

Try it…it feels good. Just say it a few times, write it down, use it in casual conversation.

Now if I could just find those ruby slippers….

BobMbx on May 19, 2011 at 1:55 PM

This is what happens when everyone has high expectations about an Obama speech. They just know something profound has to be in it so they stretch to find it even if he failed to deliver for the umpteenth time.

Mark1971 on May 19, 2011 at 1:55 PM

“1967 borders” means pre-June 1967.

“Todays borders” means post-1967.

This!

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Pardon but, because BHO said “1967″ rather than “pre-1967″ you turn on the Update alarm?

1967 has no relevance but for the change in territory and the ’67 war. It’s no mystery what reference to 1967 lines, borders, pre or post means. Otherwise, you could use 1966 lines or 1968 lines.

If you’re suggesting that BHO’s citation of 1967 is meaningless and merely a restatement of existing policy, I suggest you’re off base. But, hey, it is what it is and we’ll soon find out because the Israeli PM will tell us. Maybe he can decipher what, in fact, the President “meant” to say.

IndieDogg on May 19, 2011 at 1:56 PM

If any other president said the 1967 borders I might understand what he meant but not this clown. He is so devious that he could have meant the borders before the war of 1967 started and unless the war started on January 1st 1967 he has wiggle room. Most people refer to the ’67 war borders meaning after the war. Who knows what Oboy means.

inspectorudy on May 19, 2011 at 1:56 PM

I’m assuming you’re not including a couple of thugs from Philly.

hillbillyjim on May 19, 2011 at 1:41 PM

Correct assumption…no need to name the teachers’ unions either.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 1:56 PM

Seriously, how the Associated Press could make this kind of a mistake is beyond me.

Fact checkers still busy in Alaska?

MassVictim on May 19, 2011 at 1:57 PM

No need to name the ObmaCare exemptions either.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Did Obama give another speech in Arabic?

faraway on May 19, 2011 at 1:58 PM

“That he did so sent a strong signal that the United States expected Israel — as well as the Palestinians — to make concessions to restart peace talks that have been stalled since September. “

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 1:51 PM

Such a “strong signal” that the analysts who listened to his speech aren’t even clear about what it was he meant about the 1967 borders?

Way to go, Barry. Leading from behind, as usual.

AZCoyote on May 19, 2011 at 1:59 PM

He endorsed the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war — a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.

Well, if MSNBC says its “pre-1967 borders”, then that has to be what he meant.

BobMbx on May 19, 2011 at 2:00 PM

Obama’s urging that a Palestinian state be based on 1967 borders — those that existed before the Six Day War in which Israel occupied East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza — was a significant shift in U.S. policy and seemed certain to anger Israel.

AP.

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 2:01 PM

Technology has made holding the Golan less strategic and more of a liability given

That is absolute nonsense.

Satellites. Weapon accuracy independent of LOS.

lexhamfox on May 19, 2011 at 1:36 PM

Those worked so well in Lebanon didn’t they?

If the Israeli’s hold the Golan the Syrians cannot attack directly into Israel which gives Israel a huge defensive advantage.

sharrukin on May 19, 2011 at 2:02 PM

I’d like to be a fly on the wall for the upcoming meeting between Obama and Bibi.

teke184 on May 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Looking forward to “Update III” on this blog….

cdog0613 on May 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

“Obama paused for applause after defending the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, and got silence.”

BBBBBBWWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH…!!!

Looks like his “Spiking the Football” tour left a sour taste in everyone’s mouth…

… It’s either that, or the Obowma Navy SEAL action figure totally jumped the shark.

Seven Percent Solution on May 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Ann compton just said borders BEFORE 1967….
Abcnews

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Nothing succeeds like a good example. America should remove to its 1836 border with Mexico so that La Raza can exercise their right to return…..oh wait!

BL@KBIRD on May 19, 2011 at 2:03 PM

Bob, ABC is saying the same thing

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 2:04 PM

1967 borders …
Prewar, or postVICTORY ??

So, which is it, Carney ???

pambi on May 19, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Israel should agree to this under one condition. In the event that rockets are fired into Israel from Palestinian territory, Israel has the right to expel the Palestinians and sieze their territory. Let Syria or Iran give them shelter the same way they gave them arms.

John Deaux on May 19, 2011 at 2:06 PM

“1967 borders” means pre-June 1967.
“Todays borders” means post-1967.
Why the weird spin from Ed?
faraway on May 19, 2011 at 1:54 PM

Two reasons:
1)Ed’s just showing that he is “impartial and fair” (i.e. Be reasonable, now! Drop forward and grab your ankles for Obama, people!!)
2) Ed’s a “Minnesota Republican” – which means since the Democrats caucus room was full, he just ambled across the hall to the “Republican” one and signed up there. Minnesota Republicans are every bit as bad & shaky as Massachusetts Republicans. Seriously.
Consistent conservatives (e.g. Bachmann) are few and far between – at least in the public eye.

whatcat on May 19, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Did Obama give another speech in Arabic?

faraway on May 19, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Applause.

myrenovations on May 19, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Israel under the bus.

Hey Jewish Obama voters, how do you like him now?

AZCoyote on May 19, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Sovereign and contiguous state.

That may be the money quote.

There is no way for Gaza and the West Bank to be connected with cutting Israel in half.

What does he mean by that?

sharrukin on May 19, 2011 at 2:08 PM

…you all are missing the main point, though; BHO DID say this just now: The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

How can the West Bank and the Gaza Strip be “contiguous”, ever, if not without some type of geographical land bridge between the two, which would by definition, make Israel, “non-contiguous” then!

Can someone explain??

Dale in Atlanta on May 19, 2011 at 1:37 PM

That’s the part of the speech that caught my attention- just how the heck does Obama expect to accomplish this?

Jay Mac on May 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I haven’t figured out how Gaza and the West Bank (along with East Jerusalem as Palestine’s capital) can become one Palestinian state unless they are linked to each other by more land from Israel. One or more of such links would cut Israel in half, making it a divided nation. So Palestine would be one country, and Israel would be two.

I don’t get it. Please explain how that could possibly work. (I know, I know, Israel’s enemies don’t want it to work.)

Speaking of the Golan Heights, as some comments have done, one enemy of Israel with a high-powered rifle could pick off Jewish fishermen (and tourists from all over) from the slopes of the G.H. Like a lot of other Hot Air folks, I’ve been over there and seen how short the distances are.

A contiguous Palestine would be a disaster for Israel. Things are bad enough as they are, without that.

KyMouse on May 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM

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