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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

It's Obama's fault!

If you want to know why the Amman talks have failed (yes, I know, they are to continue until March, but the reality is that they have already failed), you need look no further than US President Barack Hussein Obama writes Jonathan Tobin at Commentary.
By stating that a Middle East peace deal should be negotiated on the basis of the 1967 lines, Obama strengthened the Palestinians’ belief that their demands for a complete Israeli retreat and the eviction of every Jew living in the West Bank and parts of Jerusalem had America’s tacit backing. Though Obama quickly followed up with a reassurance that he backed the idea of territorial swaps that would allow Israel to try to keep some settlements, the Palestinians viewed that as inconsequential, as the president had buttressed their position that a return to the status quo of June 4, 1967 was an imperative.

The Palestinians approach the West Bank–an area to which no sovereign nation had a claim that the world recognized in 1967–as theirs without any need to negotiate. Indeed, they are even incredulous at the notion that Israel has any claim or rights. Israel’s position is the West Bank is disputed territory, not Palestinian. By speaking of 1967 as the starting point, Obama tacitly endorsed the Palestinian position that the West Bank was “stolen” from them, even though they never owned it in the first place.


The irony is that although the Obama administration has always wanted to further peace talks, its every effort to achieve that goal has made it more difficult. Just as the president’s unprecedented demands for an Israeli building freeze even in Jerusalem made it impossible for the Palestinians to negotiate for anything less, so, too has Obama’s borders blunder given the PA an excuse to avoid talking about creating a viable border between Israel and a putative Palestinian state.

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