Caroline Glick
In the aftermath of US President Barack Obama’s May 19 speech on the Middle East, his supporters argued that the policy toward Israel and the Palestinians that Obama outlined in that speech was not anti-Israel. As they presented it, Obama’s assertion that peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians must be based on the 1967 lines with agreed swaps does not mark a substantive departure from the positions adopted by his predecessors in the Oval Office.

But this claim is exposed as a lie by previous administration statements. On November 25, 2009, in response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s acceptance of Obama’s demand for a 10-month moratorium on Jewish property rights in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, the State Department issued the following statement: “Today’s announcement by the Government of Israel helps move forward toward resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

We believe that through good-faith negotiations the parties can mutually agree on an outcome which ends the conflict and reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders that reflect subsequent developments and meet Israeli security requirements.”

In his speech, Obama stated: “The United States believes... 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.”

That is, he took “the Palestinian goal” and made it the US’s goal. It is hard to imagine a more radically anti-Israel policy shift than that.

And that wasn’t Obama’s only radically anti-Israel policy shift. Until his May 19 speech, the US agreed with Israel that the issue of borders is only one of many – including the Palestinians’ rejection of Israel’s right to exist, their demand to inundate Israel with millions of foreign Arab immigrants, their demand for control over Israel’s water supply and Jerusalem – that have to be sorted out in negotiations. The joint US-Israeli position was that until all of these issues were resolved, none of them were resolved.

The Palestinians, on the other hand, claim that before they will discuss any of these other issues, Israel has to first agree to accept the indefensible 1967 boundaries as its permanent borders. This position allows the Palestinians to essentially maintain their policy of demanding that Israel make unreciprocated concessions that then serve as the starting point for further unreciprocated concessions.


Caroline Glick

Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.

Be the first to read Caroline Glick's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.