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What's up with Obama's call for Israel to return to 1967 borders?

vastleft's picture
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This is a decidedly different public position for the guy who said, on the campaign trail:

Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel -- and it must remain undivided.

What's behind this change?

Does it signal that Israel is now (despite pro forma protests from officials) desirous of framing the discussion according to that theoretical outcome? And if, so, what's behind that change?

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Eureka Springs's picture
Submitted by Eureka Springs on

believe a thing this president says? If anything his words are a harbinger of opposite world to come/remain the same.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

... believe he intends or would achieve such an outcome, but I agree with him that words matter, and the decision to espouse a position has meaning, whatever that meaning might be.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

(and I know you can), here's my take on it.
http://crayfisher.wordpress.com/2011/05/...

If you read the comments, 3Wickets links to post by Jackson Diehl (WaPo) which says the 1967 borders line was added by BO last minute against advice of "senior advisers."
BO doesn't like Netanyahu, and I would say it is typical of BO to use a speech as an opportunity to take a punch at a political antagonist. I don't think BO realized that doing so would overshadow the rest of his "historic" speech.

Submitted by Hugh on

I agree with DCBlogger. This is really another case of more of the same being sold as change. Shocking that Obama would do such a thing, I know. This looks like repackaged Dennis Ross and Camp David. The key is not in the 1967 borders rhetoric. It's in the land swaps, basically arable land and settlements in the West Bank for desert in Israel, leaving a non-viable Palestinian entity totally dependent upon and subservient to, Israel.

As I have said a million times, the two state solution died in 1995 with the assassination of Rabin (by a Jewish extremist). Dead means dead. Subsequently, the Oslo process was eviscerated and ultimately dismantled by Netanyahu, you know the current Israeli Prime Minister.

When American politicians and policymakers invoke the two state solution, you know that whatever "new" policy they are pushing is a guaranteed non-starter. Such is the case here.

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

He's saying that Israel should go back to 1967 borders, in exchange for....nothing, again. And does he have any coherent plan which goes with the 1967 borders proposal? crickets...

For a smart guy, he's really an ignoramus. He never learns from his past mistakes and failures - probably because he's always looking forward, not back.

Or maybe his 11ty dimensional plan is to piss off everyone in the Middle East - divide and conquer.

vastleft's picture
Submitted by vastleft on

that he has a desired policy outcome and is working semi-ineptly at achieving it.

What outcome does he demonstrably want?

lizpolaris's picture
Submitted by lizpolaris on

among various issues, giving speeches as if they are major pronouncements, trying to look presidential. If he's got any sort of policy other than minor tweaks to the status quo, we've not seen it. Agenda? Fuggedahboudit. I think this is why he negotiates with himself - to avoid making any real policy-changing proposals. He can water them down before they can really make any difference. Then he appears to be doing something while achieving the goal of doing nothing.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

Imo the goal of his speech was to make nice with the AQ sympathizers the Chicago Way.
“Look, I took out your old man, but what had he done for you lately anyway? Here, I’ll give you blood money and declare open season on your favorite hate object. We good now?”

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

Look, OBL could not have found refuge in Pakistan without a significant sympathetic percentage there. One of the consequences of the OBL assassination is that within Pakistan & within other countries in the ME where nationalism is running high right now, that regardless of OBL's sins, the USA crossed the line and totally disrespected Pakistan's sovereignty. So, the thinking is "see how the USA doesn't respect the sovereignty of it's own Muslim ally, why can any of it's less significant neighbors expect to be treated better?" Therefore the USA is trying to address that by saying "yes, we took out OBL, but he is not a martyr. We are friends of democracy, we will reward countries that seek democracy with money." Then BO, against the advice of the State Dept, threw in Israel as a bonus.
The Arab spring has nothing to do with Israel, why bother to bring it up except as pandering. Because if there is one thing the Arab world is united in, regardless of how repressive their own govts are, it's a desire to see Israel gone.
The elephants in the room, not mentioned by BO in the speech yet very much part of the Arab spring, is Saudi, UAE, & Jordan. Look at this article in NYT today where it looks like King Abdullah is asking for the head of Dennis Ross. My conclusion is that Israel was put in the speech to please those three countries. It was also supposed to be a set-down to Netanyahu who was scheduled to talk to BO the next day.
Of course now it's blown up in BO's face because Netanyahu publicly and to his face had the gall to disagree with him.

votermom's picture
Submitted by votermom on

sometimes the truth is ugly on all sides

Edit to add: I want to say I see a huge difference between "AQ sympathizers" & "AQ fans". OBL has a mystique in the ME now -- the man who walked away from wealth to fight against those (he viewed) who oppressed his faith and endured poverty, exile & death.
But as to the original point of why BO brought up Israel in the speech - it was meant to be a "look, over there, it's Israel!" distraction.