2011-05-20

Ron Radosh » President Obama’s Speech to the State Department Means New Dangers for Israel

President Obama has just finished his speech at the State Department. Much of it, particularly the sections regarding democratization and the Arab dictators whose regimes have begun to fail, echoes in many ways the very policies of the Bush administration — which the Democrats and Obama supporters disparaged and ridiculed when George W. Bush was in power. Indeed, it seems in some ways to be a rejection of his own Cairo speech, in so much as he said that for many of the Arab states, attacking Israel was the only way that Arab rulers could allow their populations to express themselves.

Yet, the bombshell in the speech is the following:

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. 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. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.

What the president has said is essentially that rather than borders and boundaries being established as an end result of negotiations, the two states that will be created should be based on the 1967 lines, a conclusion that gives the Palestinian Authority its own desired boundaries — and takes away from Israel the necessary buffer zone it gained after the 1967 war, and from which it has been able to prevent attacks on its own people.