Friday, May 27, 2011

Obama Didn’t Shift U.S. Policy On Israel


There has been so much uproar in the last week over President Obama's statements about Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations beginning around 1967 borders - along with land swaps -- that TPM wanted to lay out the record on whether this policy really amounted to a shift - if even ever so slightly - from the policies of previous administrations.

Prime Minister Netanyahu flat-out rejected any return to 1967 boundaries a week ago Friday during a tense meeting at the White House, saying that such a plan was "indefensible." Days later, to rapturous applause at a joint session of Congress, he once again turned down any suggestion that Israel withdraw to its 1967 borders, although by then he and Obama appeared to have mended some fences after Obama gave a speech to the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee reiterating his commitment to Israel as close friend and ally.

But does Obama's position constitute a tangible shift in U.S. policy towards the peace process, or is it merely an affirmation of a long-recognized understanding?

There are times when previous administrations seem to have spoken Obama's argument nearly verbatim and times when they parsed their words a little more carefully. But the basic point was the same -- that a future peace plan must be based upon the 1967 lines with adjustments or "land swaps" as needed. Perhaps the only difference was a subtle shift in emphasis and the fact that Obama's statement was the first time he, as President, explicitly referred to the 1967 boundaries, a long-running flash-point...................

No comments: