Did Israel agree to pre-1967 borders in peace deal?

posted at 8:01 am on July 18, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

At first blush, this would be huge — if true.  Israel has always maintained that the issue of final borders belongs in the negotiations for peace, and not a prerequisite.  If Reuters’ anonymous source, noted as “an Israeli official,” was right, this would be the biggest concession Israel could make short of conceding a part of Jerusalem:

Israel has agreed to a proposed formula for new peace talks with the Palestinians under which the border of their future state would be along lines that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, but with agreed land swaps, an Israeli official said on Thursday.

The official said that, were the Palestinians to accept the formula, it would be announced by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who would also describe the future Palestine as existing alongside a “Jewish state” ofIsrael. A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to comment.

Speculation has been rife that Kerry, now in the region for his sixth time since March in an effort to revive peace talks that deadlocked in 2010, may be close to a breakthrough.

Well, Netanyahu’s office didn’t decline to comment for long.  Shortly after this report came out, spokesmam Mark Regev called the report “untrue”:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied on Tuesday an official’s remarks that Israel had agreed to resume peace talks based on the borders of a Palestinian state being drawn along lines from before a 1967 Middle East war, and agreed land swaps.

Mark Regev, a spokesman for Netanyahu, said “the report is untrue,” calling Reuters with the statement after initially declining to comment on what the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

This kind of concession is almost unbelievable.  From a practical perspective, few in Israel believe the pre-1967 borders to be defensible — which is why it will take a lot of concessions in return during negotiations to get the Israelis to agree to it, especially from neighboring Arab states.  With Syria in the middle of a civil war with al-Qaeda on one side and Hezbollah on the other, now isn’t exactly a propitious time for Israel to blithely surrender its defenses and one of its biggest chits before anyone gets to the negotiating table.

This appears more like a clumsy attempt to push Israel into action by an outside party looking desperately to change the calculus in the standoff.


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“This appears more like a clumsy attempt to push Israel into action by an outside party looking desperately to change the calculus in the standoff.”

Has there been a better description of John Kerry?

Zaggs on July 18, 2013 at 8:05 AM

All people like Lurch know is manipulation and lies. What an embarrassment this admin is on every single level…

Alinsky on July 18, 2013 at 8:08 AM

When did Netanyahu turn stupid??

Sounds tremendously unbelievable that Israel would do such a thing…today…what with Syria and Egypt and the rest of the Middle East in upheaval….all having nothing to do with what Israel is doing.

It does sound possible that Kerry and several select news outlets might be trying to sandbag Israel…issue a statement then condemn Israel for backing down…causing the stupid members of the Knesset to immediately do the unthinkable so they won’t look like the bad guy in all of this…

Kerry? (spit)

coldwarrior on July 18, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Obama must talk in his sleep..

Electrongod on July 18, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Has there been a better description of John Kerry?

Zaggs on July 18, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Yes, but it wouldn’t get past the HA filters.

But seriously, Kerry has been the one showing flexiblity on negotiating about the 1967 borders.

Happy Nomad on July 18, 2013 at 8:13 AM

This kind of concession is almost unbelievable.

Because it is.

This appears more like a clumsy attempt to push Israel into action by an outside party looking desperately to change the calculus in the standoff.

Given the way the press likes to manipulate the narrative…this seems more likely and a reasonable conclusion.

workingclass artist on July 18, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Obama must talk in his sleep..

Electrongod on July 18, 2013 at 8:11 AM

If he does, I am sure Moochelle is not thrilled by the constant “Oh, Valerie, Valerie…” or worse, the semi-passionate “Oh, Reggie, you delightfully dreadful boy…” when Obama does talk in his sleep.

As for state secrets, in his sleep? Obama is not cleared for those…he does what Valerie, Sam and Susan tell him…or TOTUS, when they are otherwise occupied.

coldwarrior on July 18, 2013 at 8:17 AM

Reuters is going on a pile Obama stepped in a while back and got b-slapped for by Netanyahu. I swear, you’d think Al Gore hadn’t invented the internet yet or something.

smellthecoffee on July 18, 2013 at 8:18 AM

John Kerry…trying to compete with pantsuit in The Liars Hall of Fame.

*blech*

workingclass artist on July 18, 2013 at 8:20 AM

“This appears more like a clumsy attempt to push Israel into action by an outside party looking desperately to change the calculus in the standoff.”

Clumsy? Now who could be involved having that MO?

Dusty on July 18, 2013 at 8:23 AM

It’s a big big deal and not one Bibi can make by himself. I say, No.

Blake on July 18, 2013 at 8:24 AM

There is no way this is true. It sounds like ridiculous wishcasting by Kerry and his ilk.

Throat Wobbler Mangrove on July 18, 2013 at 8:34 AM

This is like announcing a Beatles reunion is possible – we just need two bullets.

Rixon on July 18, 2013 at 8:36 AM

Kerry couldn’t figure out the safety lid of an aspirin bottle, why would anyone expect him to be able to manage something as complex as the Israeli/Palesavage situation.

This administration, jeebus, what a clownshow.

Bishop on July 18, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Negotiating in the Chicago Style.

Jabberwock on July 18, 2013 at 8:48 AM

The Palestinians are never going to engage in give and take negotiations so long as America continues to pressure Israel to make unilateral concessions. Why should they?

tommyboy on July 18, 2013 at 9:09 AM

Back in June 2009, Obama said it is the policy of the United States that we do not meddle…

Now, we are trying to meddle?

Guess Kerry was a good choice after all…he was for it before he was against it comes in handy from time to time.

coldwarrior on July 18, 2013 at 9:39 AM

Silly, Bebe, he doesn’t understand that libs are the Masters of Reality. They will tell you what you did and did not say, what you did and did not mean, and what you did and did not sign up to.

Any attempt to disagree with them is “dishonest” and reneges on a promise or is simply a CYA.

Axeman on July 18, 2013 at 10:00 AM

With Syria in the middle of a civil war with al-Qaeda on one side and Hezbollah on the other, now isn’t exactly a propitious time for Israel to blithely surrender its defenses and one of its biggest chits before anyone gets to the negotiating table.

Who in Syria do you even negotiate the Golan Heights with? Israel was attacked and won that land fair and square in my book. Besides, “Syria” is going to become a series of fiefdoms, somewhat fitting for a people that look with fondness on the Middle Ages.

rbj on July 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM

If the media says it enough it becomes the truth. Just ask Mitt Romney. There are ways to make lies the truth. And the left knows how to do it well… and they get the right to help them along.

In two years many of us here will believe Netanyahu agreed to just that and went back on his word. That is how the left works.

petunia on July 18, 2013 at 10:42 AM

From a practical perspective, few in Israel believe the pre-1967 borders to be defensible — which is why it will take a lot of concessions in return during negotiations to get the Israelis to agree to it, especially from neighboring Arab states. With Syria in the middle of a civil war with al-Qaeda on one side and Hezbollah on the other, now isn’t exactly a propitious time for Israel to blithely surrender its defenses and one of its biggest chits before anyone gets to the negotiating table.

They are absolutely defensible and even more so today. Israel’s military superiority over its former and current enemies has never been as huge as it is today. The Saudi plan has been out there for sometime. It’s about time Israel gave it serious thought.

lexhamfox on July 18, 2013 at 10:42 AM

Reuters? Can anything it reports be taken at face value?

J Baustian on July 18, 2013 at 10:48 AM

When did Netanyahu turn stupid??

coldwarrior on July 18, 2013 at 8:09 AM

1995

You folks in the US have no comprehension that Netanyahu is more left than Rabin was.

Shy Guy on July 18, 2013 at 10:53 AM

Who in Syria do you even negotiate the Golan Heights with? Israel was attacked and won that land fair and square in my book. Besides, “Syria” is going to become a series of fiefdoms, somewhat fitting for a people that look with fondness on the Middle Ages.

rbj on July 18, 2013 at 10:01 AM

One can’t ‘negotiate’ with islamists. They all believe in and practice hudna and taqqiya. The sooner we learn this the better our chance of survival.

slickwillie2001 on July 18, 2013 at 11:05 AM

This appears more like a clumsy attempt to push Israel into action by an outside party looking desperately to change the calculus in the standoff.

Not the first time this has happeneed with the foreign policy of the current admin…

Unfortunately, they seem to think that life is like baseball. You get a couple of tries/strikes before you actually have to hit the ball.

/s

cs89 on July 18, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Israel did NOT agree. In fact they stated that if there were any pre-conditions required before negotiations continued they could count Israel out.

easyt65 on July 18, 2013 at 2:40 PM

So Lurch leaks his delusional pipe dream in the hopes he can pressure Netanyahu to make an impossible concession?

Smart power, baby. Smart power.

novaculus on July 18, 2013 at 4:32 PM