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It appears as though our "young narcissist in charge" was schooled on the actual reasons Israel will never allow the return of prewar boarders.


President Says Nation Wouldn't Cede All Land Gained in '67; 'Swaps' Key. :laughing:

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama, two days after a frosty meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, restated his call for a resumption of negotiations between Israel and Palestinians based on the Jewish state's borders before the 1967 Six Day War, while trying to soften its impact.

The U.S. president, speaking Sunday before Washington's most powerful pro-Israel lobby, combined his call with strong assertions that his administration recognized that Israel won't give up all the lands it gained during the 1967 conflict as part of a final agreement—a point Mr. Netanyahu stressed when meeting the American leader Friday.

Instead, Mr. Obama more clearly stated his belief that "land swaps" between Israel and the Palestinians must be central to any deal.

"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," Mr. Obama told members of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. "That is what mutually agreed swaps means. It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation."

Still, the U.S. president stressed that Israel's leaders needed to recognize that time wasn't on their side in pursuing peace with the Palestinians. He noted that the demographics were shifting in favor of Arab populations and that Hamas and the Lebanese militia Hezbollah were deploying increasingly sophisticated weaponry.

Mr. Obama leaves for a six-day tour of Ireland, Britain, France and Poland Sunday night, where the Mideast turmoil is expected to be an ongoing theme of discussion.

The president created a diplomatic firestorm last Thursday when he stated during a wide-ranging address on the Middle East his support for a resumption of stalled peace talks utilizing the 1967 baseline. Mr. Netanyahu rebuked Mr. Obama's position a day later during their Oval Office meeting. And many pro-Israel lawmakers and organizations voiced fears that Mr. Obama was significantly altering U.S. policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The president's address to the influential Israeli lobbying organization represented an attempt to restate his views in a package more acceptable to Israel and its supporters. In particular, Mr. Obama this time paired his talk about borders with blanket assertions of his commitment to Israeli security.

Mr. Netanyahu opposes any preconditions on talks with the Palestinians—such as a commitment on borders—that are seen as forcing Israel to make concessions at the front-end of a negotiation. Israel's leader also said last week that reverting to the 1967 lines would make his country "indefensible," because of demographic and military changes in the region.

Former U.S. President George W. Bush provided "assurances" to Israel in 2004 that Washington wouldn't require Israel to give up sizable Jewish settlements in the West Bank as part of any final agreement.

Many of Mr. Obama's aides felt the president's position had been misunderstood, particularly his recognition of the need for land swaps to modify the pre-1967 borders. On Sunday, Mr. Obama argued that his position didn't mark a big shift from the positions of presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.

Mr. Obama noted that their administrations developed peace processes that inherently used the 1967 borders as a baseline for talks, though they didn't state the position as clearly.

"There was nothing particularly original in my proposal; (sure as hell not the way he made it sound, is it ?) this basic framework for negotiations has long been the basis for discussions among the parties, including previous U.S. administrations," Mr. Obama said.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...6339292070000576.html?mod=WSJ_hp_mostpop_read
 
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