There are voices out there that Obama’s speech was no biggie.
For instance, Charles Johnson of LGF – who has slowly been driving towards Moonbat mountain for a while now – had this to say:
Note: he didn’t say “1967 borders,” he didn’t “side with the Palestinians,” and he absolutely did still insist on mutually agreed swaps and secure borders for both countries. It’s nothing but a re-wording of the same position the US has taken for many years.
But here’s the thing. By saying “The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps”, Obama became the first president of the United States to publicly endorse the 1967 lines (in other words, the 1949 armistice lines), even though negotations in the last decade have included this as a palestinian demand.
Carl articulates it well:
There is certainly something very new in the US endorsement of the ‘Palestinian’ position that the ‘Palestinians’ are presumptively entitled to sovereignty over all Mandatory areas captured by the Arab League in its invasion of Israel in 1948 and held by the Arab states until 1967, and therefore Israel has to compensate them one for one for anything it keeps agreement reached between Israel and the PLO that endorses that position, and there is no previous US endorsement of that position. The Israeli position, which is quite reasonable under the agreed-upon negotiating framework of Resolution 242, is that borders should be “secure and recognized” rather than based upon where the Arabs reached in 1949. The US position used to be that borders had to be agreed upon. No more.
There is a major difference between Israel offering to establish a border on the basis of the 1949 armistice lines and the US claiming that negotiations must be based on that Israeli concession. In fact, one of the major requirements for both Barak and Olmert was that nothing was agreed upon until everything was agreed, i.e., that Israeli concessions regarding the borders could not be pocketed but would only be valid when coupled with various ‘Palestinian’ concessions that Barak and Olmert (foolishly) expected to receive. If Obama is now endorsing the 1949 armistice lines, he is essentially giving the Palestinians the offered Israeli concessions in exchange for nothing.
But that’s not all. Obama also said:
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.
But under the “1967 lines”, there never were contiguous palestinian areas! And such a demand would force Israel to give up territory connecting the West Bank and Gaza, slicing Israel in two.
Not only that,but Obama’s requirement that the palestinian state share a border with Jordan would preclude an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River, something which is an absolute must if Israel is able to defend herself. As Prime Minister Netanyahu stated in reaction to Obama’s speech:
Among other things, those commitments relate to Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines.
Prime Minister Netanyahu will make clear that the defense of Israel requires an Israeli military presence along the Jordan River.
I posit that Obama’s speech was a clear move closer to the palestinian position, which is a huge problem in itself, but made even more inexplicable by our “peace partner’s” recent embrace of Hamas.