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

AZCoyote on May 19, 2011 at 2:07 PM

They probably support him taking a hard line on Israel.

I’m particularly thinking of the leftist tw*t in Wisconsin who, when asked if she supported Israel, said “Yes, when they’re not being *ssholes!”

teke184 on May 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM

There is no way for Gaza and the West Bank to be connected with without cutting Israel in half.

What does he mean by that?

sharrukin on May 19, 2011 at 2:08 PM

FIFM

sharrukin on May 19, 2011 at 2:09 PM

If Ed’s interpretation is correct, Obama needs to release a statement RIGHT NOW that says “oh…wait guys, you all reported it incorrectly! I mean POST 1967 borders. LOL OOPS!”

Do you see that happening?

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Ed, you may be right, but Obama is not trusted by the Israels. He is going to lose a significant portion of the Jewish vote this time around. While that will not affect New York or California, it will hurt him in Florida and, possibly, New Jersey.

RedSoxNation on May 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Actually, there is no such thing as “1967 borders” They are the 1949 truce lines. If Israel retreats to them, the Arabs would be able to repeat the Gush Etzion massacre as well as destroying land that even the Arabs admit belongs to the State of Israel.

The term “1967 borswers” is used to mean the 1949 truce lines that existed just before the beginning of the 1967 war. As a result, it does mean “pre-1967″. Otherwise it would mean the truce lines after the 1967 war which would mean that Israel gets all the land to the Jordan river and the Sinai desert.

sabbahillel on May 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

Looks like another staff glitch. Someone forgot to print up APPLAUSE signs.

GarandFan on May 19, 2011 at 2:10 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

Reverting to 1945 borders, most likely.

teke184 on May 19, 2011 at 2:10 PM

The Golan provides a third of Israel’s water supply.

Israel would be crazy to give that up.

astuddis on May 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

Apparently we need an Obonics translator.

txhsmom on May 19, 2011 at 2:11 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.

Oh, guess I missed his point. But, as others have said, yeah it seems that “those in the know” read ’67 borders as being pre-war borders.

Tom_Shipley on May 19, 2011 at 2:12 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

Perhaps there’s a secret smuggling tunnel that our money has helped to build.

littleguy on May 19, 2011 at 2:15 PM

Some enterprising member of our effete elite White House Press Corpse should pin Ojesus or his mouthpiece down on the “contiguous” sentence.

Taken at face value it is insanity.

hillbillyjim on May 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

I listened to the speech on the radio. It sure sounded like he was insisting on 1967 boundaries.

hawkdriver on May 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Am watching MSNBC so you don’t have to.

Bibi just sent message that Obama’s plan is a non starter.

marybel on May 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Fox News just reported that Prime Minister Netanyahu has “rejected” Obama’s border call. That sounds like the “1967 lines” do mean the pre-war lines.

federalistpatriot on May 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

How different are the borders now and late 1967?

anuts on May 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

No way no how vera….he’ll let the lsm keep doing what they are doing

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – - that’s all.”

“1967 borders.”
“spending reductions in the tax code.”
“just a guy from my neighborhood”

batterup on May 19, 2011 at 2:18 PM

Go bibi

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 2:19 PM

By cheerleading the Egyptian revolution Obama really opens himself up if the MB cones to power and they funnel weapons to Hamas or go to war wig Israel. He pretty much owns what happens there since he was so quick to kick Mubarak to the curb.

The point that Ed made about this being a speech W could have given about democracy, liberty, etc is something Obama does routinely. He often brings up arguments that have been used before but acts like he just discovered them. He did this with his Nobel prize speech, as if he had just discovered the concept of “just war”. When Bush was giving these same speeches Obama and his ilk mocked him. But now he has discovered the glories of democratization and it’s all so profound.

JohnInCA on May 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Actually, there is no such thing as “1967 borders” They are the 1949 truce lines. If Israel retreats to them, the Arabs would be able to repeat the Gush Etzion massacre as well as destroying land that even the Arabs admit belongs to the State of Israel.

The term “1967 borswers” is used to mean the 1949 truce lines that existed just before the beginning of the 1967 war. As a result, it does mean “pre-1967″. Otherwise it would mean the truce lines after the 1967 war which would mean that Israel gets all the land to the Jordan river and the Sinai desert.

Thanks for this explanation, sabbahillel.

federalistpatriot on May 19, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Apparently we need an Obonics translator.

txhsmom on May 19, 2011 at 2:11 PM

I think Ed is trying his best here with his “what Obama really meant was…” nuance-y, “what is-is” version. Pretty bizarre, since everyone else – including even the media – got it correct and clear.

whatcat on May 19, 2011 at 2:21 PM

What does Tina think about this?

faraway on May 19, 2011 at 2:22 PM

So, where’s the surprise?

davidk on May 19, 2011 at 1:26 PM

A long time ago children got a kids meal at a restaurant that advertised a “surprise” in the meal. My kids looked in their boxes and none of them got a surprise, not a toy, not a trinket, nothing. My oldest, undeterred said, “Well, sometimes finding nothing is a surprise.”

An Obama speech is much like that kids meal box. Anticipation is usually met with finding nothing…

Though, Obama needs to clear up what he said about 1967. We have no right to determine the size or borders of Israel.

Fallon on May 19, 2011 at 2:23 PM

The “Arab Spring” just may morph into “nuclear winter” if our oh-so-articulate President can’t keep his foot out of his mouth.

hillbillyjim on May 19, 2011 at 2:23 PM

So, yet another speech by M. T. Suit, and we’ll have to wait for his handlers to issue press releases telling us what he really meant to say.

Brilliant.

Weeks in the planning, carefully loaded into a teleprompter, hours upon hours of rehearsing (when he isn’t focused like a laser on jobs, or something), and :fizzle:.

reaganaut on May 19, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Bibi is very upset about speech

ConservativePartyNow on May 19, 2011 at 2:26 PM

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.

Fantastic. But, open your eyes and see what is happening in the middle east right now, and you put his words on top of that..not to mention you have people like Samantha Powers pulling the strings.

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM

In a major speech that sought to reframe U.S. policy in the Mideast, President Barack Obama endorsed a key Palestinian demand Thursday for the borders of its future state and prodded Israel to accept that it can never have a truly peaceful nation that is based on “permanent occupation.”

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 — marked a significant shift in U.S. policy and seemed certain to anger Israel.

Even MSNBC is reporting that Obama means the 1967 borders “before the Six-Day War.” Ed is right that Obama did not say “pre-1967 War,” but it appears that is what it means.

federalistpatriot on May 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM

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.

You noticed Obama’s pregnant pause, waiting for approval, too, Ed? Perhaps a State Department venue is not the place for applause and whistles, but he was waiting for the kind of reaction that his campaign speeches engender among his select audience.

onlineanalyst on May 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM

Well Obama said little to nothing about the Israeli settlements and it seems a little ambiguous as to what he meant about the borders.

Hardly surprising that the Israeli’s aren’t too thrilled.

sharrukin on May 19, 2011 at 2:28 PM

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.

This statement of O’s bothered me, as well. Is he saying that the US will not stand up for Israel as an ally? That Israel does not have the right to form alliances for its survival?

The remark was a weasel-attempt to “sound” like a statesman but actually fell far short of statesmanship and integrity.

onlineanalyst on May 19, 2011 at 2:30 PM

The point is, something significant…no, drastic happened in 1967 concerning her borders. A call for the return of defined borders after this point of drastic significance is akin to calling for the borders of 1988. Meaningless.

Unless…

The call is for significant difference.

anuts on May 19, 2011 at 2:31 PM

Bibi’s response should begin with the words, “Let me be clear”.

txhsmom on May 19, 2011 at 2:31 PM

txhsmom on May 19, 2011 at 2:31 PM

He should say that he will not negotiate until there is change in leadership in DC

ConservativePartyNow on May 19, 2011 at 2:34 PM

Am watching MSNBC so you don’t have to.

Bibi just sent message that Obama’s plan is a non starter.

marybel on May 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM

Thank you!

tkinTX on May 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

The only morally acceptable response is in no uncertain terms to reply, “Stick it!”

Then prepare for what’s to come, God forbid.

anuts on May 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Obama backs Palestinian DEMAND for 1967 borders…the problem with Palestinians is that you give them an inch….they will NEVER be happy..they will not be happy until the Jews are either all dead or chased out of their land…and an American president turning his back on an ally to side with these savages speaks volumes.
Nobama 2012.

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Just checked facebook to see if Sarah Palin had issued a response to the boy king’s speech. She hasn’t, but she will be on with Greta Van Sustren tonight. Must-see TV.

Naturally Curly on May 19, 2011 at 2:38 PM

Per the Update:

Israeli PM Netanyahu Rejects Obama’s Calls to Pull Back, Calls ’67 Borders ‘Indefensible’

That is a red headline at Fox News.

carbon_footprint on May 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

It seems that Israel Knesset has said that bho is an arafat!

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=221383
L

letget on May 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Oh yeah, and hopefully the liberal American Jews will wake up now and smell the Borsht.

carbon_footprint on May 19, 2011 at 2:40 PM

It’s almost like he’s trying to start WW3.

txhsmom on May 19, 2011 at 2:41 PM

It seems that Israel Knesset has said that bho is an arafat!

http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=221383
L

letget on May 19, 2011 at 2:39 PM

What more does he have to do to finally lose the support of U.S. Jews?

flyfisher on May 19, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Nobama 2012.

HornetSting on May 19, 2011 at 2:36 PM

My Left Shoe 2012, with Right Shoe as VP.

BobMbx on May 19, 2011 at 2:42 PM

This is Obama’s featured solo in the muslim musical “Arab Spring Awakening”.

Pray for Israel.

Fallon on May 19, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Confused which is it? And was that the much touted surprise?

jakev on May 19, 2011 at 2:43 PM

Ed -

I hate to break this to you, but you are virtually the only one with your interpretation of Obama’s speech.

bw222 on May 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM

5 will get you 10 that right about now the WH is in damage control mode trying to come up with a non-clarifying clarification about how Obama didn’t mean to say what he just said.

Should be interesting. If it’s like the Bin Laden kill PR-aftermath info-debacle, we can expect at least “72 versions”.

whatcat on May 19, 2011 at 2:47 PM

Anymore updates?

Is Ed’s interpretation correct or is the rest of the world’s interpretation correct?

chief on May 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM

re: Update/UpdateII

Watch just how far Ed plays Obama’s apologist, as if there’s never been a change of details regardless of what it is Obama says or what his press report on his behalf thereafter. “Connect the dots” of Obama’s words, just words undergoing revisions. It isn’t as if the (AP) didn’t have audience with Obama’s spokesman and perhaps even Obama’s text in advance and after the speech.

Regardless of what Obama says, his role and messaging are presented to create divisive arguments, of course with the best intentions.

Early on, Obama denounced America’s War in Iraq, regardless of good intentions. Then nearing the end, Obama uses Iraq’s current government as a MODEL of tolerance for various religious sects for others to emulate. Pff

maverick muse on May 19, 2011 at 2:51 PM

Ed -

I hate to break this to you, but you are virtually the only one with your interpretation of Obama’s speech.

bw222 on May 19, 2011 at 2:44 PM

This. I was out-of-pocket during the speech, so I’ve been playing catch-up. After hearing a bit of Limbaugh and then reading that John Bolton said Obama’speech was “implicitly threatening to Israel,” I expected something totally different from Ed.

flyfisher on May 19, 2011 at 2:51 PM

First it was the settlement give-away and now this. Bibi should meet with Congressional leaders and skip the WH meeting altogether. No sense beating a dead horse.

littleguy on May 19, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Anymore updates?

Is Ed’s interpretation correct or is the rest of the world’s interpretation correct?

chief on May 19, 2011 at 2:49 PM

The question is what Mr. Netanyahu thinks. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him cancel the visit tomorrow.

/Mr Lynn

MrLynn on May 19, 2011 at 2:55 PM

And yet Obama wants Saleh out now, but with 850 protestors murdered in Syria, wants to continue engaging with Assad.

Maybe, like Hillary said, they’re still trying to give Assad the Reformer an “alternative vision of himself and Syria’s future.”

SukieTawdry on May 19, 2011 at 2:57 PM

littleguy on May 19, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Better yet, fly directly to Wasilla and meet with the one US leader that is behind Israel 100%

ConservativePartyNow on May 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Ed, you need to reconsider your “update”. This could turn out to be a critical moment in the history of HotAir.

faraway on May 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

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.

Another thing to note is that Obama said the Palestinian state should be Sovereign AND Contiguous. We have never insisted on such a thing before. Not for an entire state including both the West bank and Gaza. The West Bank was to be made contiguous and sovereignty would for both the West Bank and Gaza but not the territory which would be used to make them connected.

Rocks on May 19, 2011 at 3:01 PM

littleguy on May 19, 2011 at 2:52 PM

Just this morning, I was thinking it odd that Netanyahu would actually schedule another White House conference with Barry given Obama’s lack of courtesy dismissing him out the back door last time, or some such insult.

Now, again all the more weird that the Israeli PM would keep the appointment with Obama. But then, Netanyahu is seen as a squish disregarding sovereignty in favor of his own personal globalist role.

You make a good point, that the Israeli PM would do better meeting with sympathetic US Congressional leaders prior to any Barry appointment–whether or not meeting with Obama has a point other than to face down Obama behind closed doors on US turf (not in Netanyahu’s character).

maverick muse on May 19, 2011 at 3:02 PM

Bibi says “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 tweets state. “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. Among other things, those commitments relate to Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines. Those commitments also ensure Israel’s well-being as a Jewish state by making clear that Palestinian refugees will settle in a future Palestinian state rather than in Israel. Without a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem outside the borders of Israel, no territorial concession will bring peace. Equally, the Palestinians, and not just the United States, must recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and any peace agreement with them must end all claims against Israel. Prime Minister Netanyahu will make clear that the defense of Israel requires an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River.”

And Ed, THIS IS NOT A REHASH OF AMERICA’S POSITION!

Here’s what Bush had to say in ’04 “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.”

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 3:03 PM

Rocks on May 19, 2011 at 3:01 PM

That’s what I was thinking after listening to what Obama announced.

maverick muse on May 19, 2011 at 3:05 PM

Bolton: ‘Implicitly Threatening to Israel’

John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, tells National Review Online that he has concerns about President Obama’s speech this afternoon on the Middle East.

“Despite criticism of the Palestinians, the speech is also implicitly threatening to Israel,” Bolton says. “Remarks such as the references to the 1967 borders show Obama’s continuing lack of real appreciation for Israel’s security.”

INC on May 19, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Can we please stop pretending that the Palestinians will ever give up their demand for a right to return or formally recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state? Such makes any and every other Israeli concession moot.

Palestine seems to have arrived at the conclusion that there will be no negotiated two-state solution, only one that’s imposed on the region. And they seem to think the UNSC can do just that.

SukieTawdry on May 19, 2011 at 3:09 PM

Obumbles working his usual smokin mirrors scam, diverting eyes from our own internal issues !Now Israel is his new punch bag !

The country will now focus on (yawn) another speech while the unemployment and our own economy fall into ruin. No worries, sadly the Jewish population of Amerika will still fawn all over the man.

The Mark Levin show should be very interesting tonight !

Sandybourne on May 19, 2011 at 3:10 PM

Vera

Given that the US has no business interests to protect in Libya, yet we are leading the charge financing and fighting the war against Gaddafi on behalf of Italy/France (who don’t even own our national debt), when Obama announced his plan to MAKE a Palestinian State from Israel, there seemed an apparent reason for Obama to destabilize Gaddafi whose stance on that point is diametrically opposed to Obama’s “new” position.

maverick muse on May 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Congressman Allen West Response to President Barack Obama’s Call for a Two State Solution in Israel

(WASHINGTON) — Congressman Allen West (FL-22) released this statement today:

“Today’s endorsement by President Barack Obama of the creation of a Hamas-led Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, signals the most egregious foreign policy decision his administration has made to date, and could be the beginning of the end as we know it for the Jewish state.

From the moment the modern day state of Israel declared statehood in 1948, to the end of the 1967 Six Day War, Jews were forbidden access to their holiest site, the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, controlled by Jordan’s Arab army.

The pre-1967 borders endorsed by President Obama would deny millions of the world’s Jews access to their holiest site and force Israel to return the strategically important Golan Heights to Syria, a known state-sponsor of terrorism.

Resorting to the pre-1967 borders would mean a full withdrawal by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Make no mistake, there has always been a Nation of Israel and Jerusalem has been and must always be recognized as its rightful capital.

In short, the Hamas-run Palestinian state envisioned by President Obama would be devastating to Israel and the world’s 13.3 million Jews. It would be a Pavlovian style reward to a declared Islamic terrorist organization, and an unacceptable policy initiative.

America should never negotiate with the Palestinian Authority- which has aligned itself with Hamas. Palestine is a region, not a people or a modern state. Based upon Roman Emperor Hadrian’s declaration in 73 AD, the original Palestinian people are the Jewish people.

It’s time for the American people to stand by our strongest ally, the Jewish State of Israel, and reject this foreign policy blunder of epic proportions.

While the winds of democracy may blow strong in the Middle East, history has demonstrated that gaps in leadership can lead to despotic regimes. I have questions for President Obama: ‘Who will now lead in Egypt?’ and ‘Why should American taxpayers provide foreign aid to a nation where the next chapter in their history may be the emergence of another radical Islamic state?’

President Obama has not stood for Israel or the Jewish people and has made it clear where the United States will stand when Palestine attempts to gain recognition of statehood by the United Nations. The President should focus on the real obstacle to security- the Palestinian leadership and its ultimate goal to eliminate Israel and the Jewish people.”

heroyalwhyness on May 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Ed Morrissey, so you got one thing wrong that I remember the entire time you have been here at Hot Air. Hope people will fail to focus on the one weed instead of viewing the vast lawn of lush green.

carbon_footprint on May 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

Ed, you need to reconsider your “update”. This could turn out to be a critical moment in the history of HotAir.
faraway on May 19, 2011 at 2:58 PM

The only other option is to keep on Gingriching with an egg covered face. A quick “ooops, sorry, my bad” obviously makes more sense(as Newt also should’ve learned by now).

whatcat on May 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

The Mark Levin show should be very interesting tonight !

I’ll be sure to tune in.

maverick muse on May 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

whatcat on May 19, 2011 at 3:12 PM

That isn’t egg hitting the fan.

maverick muse on May 19, 2011 at 3:14 PM

heroyalwhyness on May 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM

Excellent statement by West.

He gets it.

AZCoyote on May 19, 2011 at 3:16 PM

Love me some Allen West!

sandee on May 19, 2011 at 3:17 PM

heroyalwhyness on May 19, 2011 at 3:11 PM

I love that guy!

txhsmom on May 19, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Maverick Muse, I’m not so sure that this decision was based on any sort of cohesive foreign policy. I think the thought process went something like this. Republicans support Israel. Everything that Republicans support is wrong. Therefore, I will support “Palestine.”

Obama doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing in Libya, but he’s hoping that everyone just forgets that we’re there to begin with.

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 3:19 PM

What, no new linky to Abbas’ response to Obama’s gift?

Sir Napsalot on May 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM

The pre-1967 borders endorsed by President Obama would deny millions of the world’s Jews access to their holiest site and force Israel to return the strategically important Golan Heights to Syria, a known state-sponsor of terrorism.

Resorting to the pre-1967 borders would mean a full withdrawal by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Make no mistake, there has always been a Nation of Israel and Jerusalem has been and must always be recognized as its rightful capital.

In short, the Hamas-run Palestinian state envisioned by President Obama would be devastating to Israel and the world’s 13.3 million Jews. It would be a Pavlovian style reward to a declared Islamic terrorist organization, and an unacceptable policy initiative.

Allen West nailed Obama. Jewish donors, take note – this is your Obama.

So, Syria gets rewarded with the return of the Golan Heights for all their terrorism? Teh-heh, this admin. is the ‘smartest in history, ever’.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps

OK, but are we talking about the first or second half of 1967?

WarEagle01 on May 19, 2011 at 3:23 PM

Israel is 45 miles wide. 1967 borders would mean 37 of those 45 miles would be lost to Israel and would give them just 8 miles of land to defend themselves. And that’s just the beginning…

roxi618 on May 19, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Abbas responds:

President Abbas affirms his appreciation for President Obama’s declaration regarding people’s right to self-determination, freedom and dignity, as well as ensuring freedom of worship,” Erekat added. “The Palestinians need more than any other people such issues to get rid of occupation.”

http://www.jpost.com/MiddleEast/Article.aspx?id=221390

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 3:26 PM

Leaving Israel indefensible!

Bambi on May 19, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Mark my words: this IS Obama’s Waterloo moment.

carbon_footprint on May 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

More Israeli response:

Barack Hussein Obama adopted the staged plan for Israel’s destruction of Yasser Arafat, and he is trying to force it on our prime minister,” said Likud MK Danny Danon. “All that was new in the speech was that he called for Israel to return to 1967 borders without solving the crisis. Netanyahu has only one option: To tell Obama forget about it.”

National Union MK Michael Ben-Ari also slammed Obama’s speech, calling it “a landmine with pretty wrapping.”

Vera on May 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Mark my words: this IS Obama’s Waterloo moment.

carbon_footprint on May 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

I’d say it helps confirm most of the policy charges made against him in 2008, going along with high-spending liberal policies, socialized medicine, and unaccountable appointees who ignore the law to get the results they want.

teke184 on May 19, 2011 at 3:32 PM

in a day or two they will obfuscate and explain what they really meant leaving everyone unsatisfied.

rob verdi on May 19, 2011 at 3:33 PM

Netanyahu will speak to Congress.

Perfect timing! Jewish funds for Obama…song from Jeopardy.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Netanyahu will speak to Congress.

Perfect timing! Jewish funds for Obama…song from Jeopardy.

Schadenfreude on May 19, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Seriously?

txhsmom on May 19, 2011 at 3:36 PM

The $6 billion a year in U.S. aid to Israel probably doesn’t mean that much to them now…they should just tell O’Bozo to go Fuc* himself.

Jaibones on May 19, 2011 at 3:40 PM

The issue, according to the AP, is the major West Bank settlements

Why “settlements”?

Sounds so temporary.

Why not towns or cities?

I’ve never heard one town in Europe or the US called a settlement, unless it was in a movie about vikings or cowboys.

Akzed on May 19, 2011 at 3:41 PM

Mark my words: this IS Obama’s Waterloo moment.

carbon_footprint on May 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM

The cynics in me is thinking Obama wants to exploit this new crisis in ME. How else is there to ignite the ME powder keg?

Nah, couldn’t be, or could it?

Sir Napsalot on May 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Nah, couldn’t be, or could it?
Sir Napsalot on May 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Maybe… or, maybe not.

Akzed on May 19, 2011 at 3:43 PM

Aipac to boo dear leader?

cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Barry would most likely support the 1940 borders….remove the Jews back to Europe. Remember rooseveldt turned away from our shores ships filled with Jewish refugees. The bastard sent them back to Europe and most ended up in death camps. Hitler used this act as a propoganda tool to great advantage. Why do democrats hate the Jews? Why do US Jews vote democrat?

chicken thief on May 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Aipac to boo dear leader? cmsinaz on May 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Slings…

Akzed on May 19, 2011 at 3:45 PM

Barry would most likely support the 1940 borders….remove the Jews back to Europe. Remember rooseveldt turned away from our shores ships filled with Jewish refugees. The bastard sent them back to Europe and most ended up in death camps. Hitler used this act as a propoganda tool to great advantage. Why do democrats hate the Jews? Why do US Jews vote democrat?

chicken thief on May 19, 2011 at 3:44 PM

Helen Thomas approves.

teke184 on May 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

I nevet imagined the Dems could lose the senior vote. Now Obama is putting the Jewish vote into play. And Hillary is still there as a de facto accomplice?

Terrie on May 19, 2011 at 3:47 PM

Thanks for the latest update, Ed.

Clearly this is a new policy which creates a disastrous future for Israel if supported by us, the State Dept. and the U.N.

I can only pray that the State Dept. audience was silent as they are not on board.

This all makes sense if you consider: the Soros cabal which includes an actual muslim, Zero, along with muslim supporter, Hillary, has a master global new world order plan which does Not include the existence of Israel.

All of the left’s fomenting of “democracy revolutions” are designed to establish extremist islamic lands surrounding Israel, all dedicated to her annihilation. And all of Zero’s and Hillary’s moves have been designed to achieve precisely that result.

May America wake up and realize that not only is the camel’s nose in the tent, but Zero, Soros and crew are fully occupying the tent.

Prayers for the U.S. and Israel. May Sarah come out swinging as emphatically as did West and Bibi.

Opinionator on May 19, 2011 at 3:48 PM

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