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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Obama admin officials admit president's "tough" '67 borders speech on Israel a charade; (how could it be otherwise in Israel-first Washington?)

In meeting with Obama, Netanyahu rules out Israeli withdrawal to 1967 boundaries

(Washington Post) -- by Scott Wilson --

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu suggested Friday that President Obama holds an unrealistic view of how to achieve peace in the Middle East, saying that Israel would never pull back to the boundaries that the American president said a day earlier must be the basis for negotiations.

The unusual Oval Office exchange, following a nearly two-hour meeting, laid bare the fundamental differences between Obama and the hawkish leader of the chief U.S. ally in the Middle East. Republicans on Capitol Hill, meanwhile, injected partisan politics into the debate by vowing to formally condemn Obama’s position toward Israel in a resolution next week...

Netanyahu, in a lecturing tone, then ruled out an Israeli withdrawal to the nation’s boundaries on the eve of the June 1967 Arab-Israeli war, which ended with the West Bank, Gaza Strip and other territories under Israel’s control.

Administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private meeting, said that Obama, like Bush before him, knows Israel will almost certainly not return to the 1967 lines in a final peace agreement. But the officials said Obama chose to stress a different starting point for talks, even though the negotiated outcome might be the same, to introduce a new element into what has been a stalled process.

“The positions are consistent,” one official said, referring to Obama’s and Bush’s policies toward negotiations. “We certainly know what the president’s position doesn’t mean — a return to the 1967 lines.”...MORE...LINK

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