Obama Sticks to ‘1967 Lines’ Doctrine in AIPAC Speech
The President spoke to supporters of AIPAC, a pro-Israel political action group. Obama’s remarks were surprisingly greeted with rousing cheers from the crowd despite Obama’s recent unreasonable demand that Israel return to the pre-1967 indefensible borders.
The full text of his speech can be found here, but the important part of the speech came more than halfway through it.
I said that 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.
This is a re-iteration of Obama’s attempt to change American foreign policy with respect to the Isreali-Palestinian conflict. Why should Israel agree to start the debate at the pre-1967 lines? Why not start the negotiation from a position of strength – from the position of the current borders. Mutually-agreed swaps, based on conditions today can take part just as honestly and agreeably using today’s borders. The push to start the discussion from a pre-1967 position is to revise history so that the last four decades and 1967 in particular never happened. That is neither honest nor logical.
The President then tried to explain his pro-Palestinian policy in a poorly-styled walk-back of his new middle-East doctrine:
By definition, it means that the parties themselves – Israelis and Palestinians – will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides.
The specificity about June, 1967 is intentional. June 5th was the beginning of the Six Days War that lasted until June 10th and ended with Israel having held off unprovoked, coordinated attacks from the Arab nations of Jordan, Syria and Egypt.
By June 10, Israel had completed its final offensive in the Golan Heights, and a ceasefire was signed the day after. Israel had seized the Gaza Strip, the Sinai Peninsula, the West Bank of the Jordan River (including East Jerusalem), and the Golan Heights. Overall, Israel’s territory grew by a factor of three, including about one million Arabs placed under Israel’s direct control in the newly captured territories. Israel’s strategic depth grew to at least 300 kilometers in the south, 60 kilometers in the east and 20 kilometers of extremely rugged terrain in the north.
Obama’s pressure to return to the pre-1967 lines as a starting point also ignore the Yom Kippur war where the post-1967 lines helped Israel defend herself in a second round of unprovoked set of attacks from an Egyptian and Syrian-led coalition.
What’s even more important is that the Arab attacks on Israel were in response to Israel’s refusal to return to the pre-1967 lines in exchange for a non-belligerency agreement. Obama is re-offering the Arab peace pact from 1973? Yes, he wants Israel to accept the pre-1967 lines in return Israel gets a peace agreement. One that will be broken in short order and Israel would be left in a weakend defensive position.
Whether Obama is ignorant of history or simply complicit in attempts to weaken the Jewish state is unknown. Either way, his Middle-East doctrine is dangerous for the Jewish people and their homeland.
 Six-Day War – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six-Day_War