If there were any lingering doubts regarding President Obama’s hostility toward Israel, he removed them today. In a speech at the State Department, shortly after claiming the U.S. commitment to Israel was “unshakable”, he demonstrated either jaw-dropping ignorance or outright disregard for Israel’s security situation (or both) by eschewing long-standing U.S. policy of concern for Israel’s security and backing Palestinian demands that Israel return to 1967 borders. Via the AP:
President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.
In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.
Until Thursday, the U.S. position had been that the Palestinian goal of a state based on the 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, should be reconciled with Israel’s desire for a secure Jewish state through negotiations.
This is how our President treats one of our closest and most important allies? With friends like this, Israel doesn’t need enemies, which is the point Israeli MK Danny Danon made after Obama’s speech when he compared Obama to Yasser Arafat. Danon, with whom Governor Palin toured the West Wall in March, also called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to reject Obama’s ill-conceived call for unilateral withdrawal by Israel. Netanyahu agreed:
Israel’s prime minister has rejected a key aspect of President Barack Obama’s policy speech, saying that a return to his country’s 1967 borders would spell disaster for the Jewish state.
In a statement released late Thursday, Benjamin Netanyahu called the 1967 lines “indefensible.”
Netanyahu said such a withdrawal would jeopardize Israel’s security and leave major West Bank settlements outside Israeli borders.
Indeed it would. William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection discusses just how precarious Israel’s security would be if they were foolish enough to heed Obama’s call:
The border is not defensible, as it leaves the middle of Israel only about 10 miles wide. One of the reasons the 1967 war took place is that Israel could not wait to be attacked, it had to act preemptively. These borders also left Jerusalem divided, with the old Jewish Quarter in Jordanian hands.
This was a good day for the Palestinians because the President of the United States has sided with their territorial demands without the Palestinians having to give anything in return.
Jacobson also notes that by making this demand, Obama has placed his administration in an untenable position vis-a-vis the upcoming UN resolution on Palestinian statehood that the U.S. has reportedly indicated to Israel they would block:
How does the U.S. now not endorse the U.N. resolution expected in September recognizing a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders? Given this speech, what possible opposition do we have? And how will the Europeans join us in a hypocritical opposition?
Good questions but, apparently, questions our “brilliant” community organizer-in-chief failed to consider. Jacobson has an eye-opening map in his post which makes clear how strategically vulnerable Israel is. It’s worth a look. I’ll end this with John Bolton’s brief assessment of Obama’s speech today via Robert Costa at National Review:
“Despite criticism of the Palestinians, the speech is also implicitly threatening to Israel,” Bolton says. “Remarks such as the references to the 1967 borders show Obama’s continuing lack of real appreciation for Israel’s security.”
As indicated earlier, Governor Palin will be interviewed tonight by Greta Van Susteren, ostensibly to discuss the state of the Republican Party. I wouldn’t be at all surprised, though, if Obama’s blatant disregard for Israel’s security comes up.
Update: (h/t Jack) Don Surber on Obama’s speech:
President Obama reverses the policy of Harry Truman, Ike Eisenhower, Jack Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jerry Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
Such a foolish, foolish man Barack Obama is.
America has stood by Israel for the first 63 years of its existence.
Now we have a president who sides with the Muslim terrorists of Palestine — who want to wipe out Israel completely.
I cannot decide whether Barack Obama is an idiot or if he is an anti-Semite like his religious mentor, Jeremiah Wright.
Update II: Allen West was also not amused by Obama’s speech today, via Newsmax:
Conservatives led by Florida Republican Allen West Thursday were quick to blast President Barack Obama’s game-changing recognition of a Palestinian state existing along Israel’s pre-1967 borders — a decision that many described as an existential threat for the Jewish state.
“Today’s endorsement by President Barack Obama of the creation of a Hamas-led Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 borders, signals the most egregious foreign policy decision his administration has made to date, and could be the beginning of the end as we know it for the Jewish state,” said West, R-Fla., one of the leading Tea Party thinkers in the House Republican freshman class,” West said in a prepared statement.
“From the moment the modern day state of Israel declared statehood in 1948, to the end of the 1967 Six Day War, Jews were forbidden access to their holiest site, the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, controlled by Jordan’s Arab army.
“The pre-1967 borders endorsed by President Obama would deny millions of the world’s Jews access to their holiest site and force Israel to return the strategically important Golan Heights to Syria, a known state-sponsor of terrorism,” said West, a career military veteran of the war in Iraq.
“Resorting to the pre-1967 borders would mean a full withdrawal by the Israelis from the West Bank and the Jewish neighborhoods of East Jerusalem. Make no mistake, there has always been a Nation of Israel and Jerusalem has been and must always be recognized as its rightful capital.
Much more here.
Update III: Governor Palin has a message for the president via Twitter
Dear Mr. President, please allow our ally, PM Netanyahu, to respectfully arrive through the front door this time. Thanks,Concerned Americans
Update IV: Pamela Geller, at Atlas Shrugs, pulls no punches (emphasis added):
Obama’s foreign policy mimics that of the suicide bomber.
The idea that Israel must take the gas pipe, be reduced to tiny size by this tiny man, while the Muslims have given nothing, negotiated nothing, but instead, waged war and consolidated power between Fatah and Hamas (whose charter calls for the annihilation of Israel), is Obama’s final solution.
I pray Netanyahu tells him to kish meir en tuchas.
Update V: In a manner of speaking, Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to have heeded Pamela Geller’s advice, via Israel National News:
“Israel appreciates President Obama’s commitment to peace,” the response began, curtly. “Israel believes that for peace to endure between Israelis and Palestinians, the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of the viability of the one and only Jewish state.”
“That is why Prime Minister Netanyahu expects to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.”
“Among other things,” Netanyahu reminded Obama, “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.”
“Those commitments also ensure Israel’s well-being as a Jewish state by making clear that Palestinian refugees will settle in a future Palestinian state rather than in Israel.”
“Without a solution to the Palestinian refugee problem outside the borders of Israel, no territorial concession will bring peace.”