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Monday, May 23, 2011

The Bibimouse

Melanie Phillips lauds the clarifying moment during the joint press availability between Netanyahu and Obama on Friday.
Here’s the thing. Obama spoke correctly when he referred to the ‘1967 lines’ rather than ‘borders’. There are no 1967 borders. Israel actually has no borders. All it has are the 1949 ceasefire lines, which is where Israel was left when it fought off the attempt by five Arab armies to exterminate it at birth. These lines were referred to as the ‘Auschwitz borders’ because within them no country could possibly defend itself against its enemies. They left Israel at its narrowest point a mere nine miles wide -- as Netanyahu said, less than the Washington Beltway. A return to the 1967 lines would mean exposing Israel once more to the likelihood of destruction, and such a proposal runs counter to the spirit and the letter of UN Resolution 242. True Obama added ‘with land swaps’. But no realistic land swaps could make up for this fatal vulnerability.

When Obama was interviewed by a star-struck Andrew Marr on BBC TV this morning, he said the ‘1967 lines’ formula had always been accepted as the basis for a solution. Not true, as Dore Gold and Robert Satloff explain here. Not true, as Glenn Kessler explains in the Washington Post. Successive administrations carefully stepped round this minefield in accordance with Resolution 242. It is the Palestinians who talk about returning to the ‘1967 borders’. The sting in what Obama did was to adopt the Palestinian position as US policy. Wrote Kessler:
He did not articulate the 1967 boundaries as a ‘Palestinian goal’ but as U.S. policy... for a U.S. president, the explicit reference to the 1967 lines represented crossing the Rubicon.
What’s more, he appears to have ambushed Netanyahu with it. So the Bibimouse finally roared.
But will he continue to roar? History on that question is not promising.

Read the whole thing.

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At 1:50 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

The only question is whether Israel is going to stick to its red lines in the wake of enormous world pressure.

You ain't seen nothin' yet.

Stay tuned.


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