That doesn't stop the hacks on the right from spewing stupid, incendiary hate speech. It is telling that this hysterical reaction was absent when President Bush proposed nearly the same thing in 2004. These knuckleheads don't deal in facts or information but rather use outrage and lies to further their continuing effort to undermine our president.
Here is one of the more glaringly stupid blogs that claims Mr. Obama has "overturned" decades of US/Israeli policy. The blogger is either devastatingly ignorant or a damn liar. My guess is that he's both:
"Obama has overturned decades of US foreign policy today by suggesting that Israel return to her pre-1967 borders. Even with his history of bad judgement, this President leaves me speechless. Obama should have followed my lead and also remained speechless yesterday."
There's no sense reading the bloggers who have lost their heads over President Obama's speech, since they don't know what the hell they're talking about. Ignore their trash.
Below are links to statements from major Jewish groups praising President Obama for his speech. Following the links is a piece from The Christian Science Monitor, putting the speech in perspective. And finally from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, Cynthia Tucker points out the hypocrisy the right is engaging in. Again.
FROM "OUTSIDE THE BELTWAY":
"...several major American Jewish organizations have released statements praising the speech. The people claiming that the President has abandoned Israel are either (1) misunderstanding what he said, or (2) lying. I will let the reader decide which."
Jewish groups respond to Obama’s Mideast speech
By Daniel Treiman · May 19, 2011
"The Anti-Defamation League applauds:
We welcome President Obama's compelling speech on the priorities for American policy in the Middle East. We applaud his strong outlining of the principles which motivate that policy, including supporting the universal rights of free speech, equality and religious freedom, opposing the use of force and political repression, and promoting political and economic reforms. These are a reflection of American values and promote American interests.
We further commend his strong affirmation of the importance of the deep and unshakeable U.S.-Israel relationship, and his clear articulation of the moral and strategic connections between America and Israel. We support the President’s vision of a negotiated Israeli-Palestinian settlement with strong security provisions for Israel, and a non-militarized Palestinian state. We appreciate his direct rejection of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state and his understanding that the Hamas-Fatah agreement poses major problems for Israel."
"Tzipi Livni, leader of Israel’s opposition Kadima party, also backed Mr Obama’s two-state solution and accused Mr Netanyahu of putting Israel at risk in order to save his right-wing coalition.
'The prime minister has violated relations between Israel and the United States,' she said, speaking after Mr Obama’s speech but before the Oval Office meeting. 'He has endangered the security of Israel and its power of deterrence.' ”
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR:
"The hard-line Israeli prime minister and his aides are furious. "There can be only one meaning to this demand: It is an attempt to determine Israel's borders and the ultimate status of the areas in question in advance of negotiations," the Israeli prime minister says. "We shall never agree to such a step." An aide to the prime minister is even more dramatic, calling the old armistice line the "borders of Auschwitz."
Sound like the back and forth today, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashing out at Obama, and Republican presidential aspirant Mitt Romney saying the president had "thrown Israel under the bus"?
Yes, it's almost identical. But this was 1992, with George H. W. Bush's administration and the government of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir. Mr. Netanyahu, an aide to Mr. Shamir at the time, made the "Auschwitz" comment.
This is all less than 20 years ago and far from ancient history. Which is why it's strange that so many quarters reacted to Obama's statement Thursday as if he'd broken new ground or done something to threaten Israel.
What did he say? "The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps." What does that mean? Well, in practice it means the Israelis and the Palestinians would negotiate bits of a future Palestinian state that would not follow the 1967 borders, with some Israeli settlement blocs presumably being swapped for other bits of Israeli land. 1967 is just a starting point.
That's been the general working idea for the last four US presidencies, including two Republican administrations. Yet not only was Romney striking out at Obama as having undermined Israel's "ability to negotiate peace" but others were reacting with outrage. Mike Huckabee complained of Obama's "betrayal" of Israel.
Huckabee also fell into a camp that apparently misunderstood what Obama said. He complained that Obama "made a grievous mistake by suggesting borders of Israel go back to pre-1967 borders." As did Tim Pawlenty, a fellow Republican presidential aspirant ("Obama's insistence on a return to the 1967 borders is a ... very dangerous demand.") As explained earlier, that's not what Obama said.
Netanyahu, who sometimes users bluster as a negotiating tool, practically ordered Obama to change course yesterday. In a statement ahead of his US trip that began today, Netanyahu said a Palestinian state would not be founded "at Israel's expense" and that he "expects to hear from President Obama a reconfirmation of commitments to Israel from 2004." The Jerusalem Post characterized Netanyahu's response as "quick and bitter."
But what is the commitment from 2004? It's a letter written by President George W. Bush that ... suggests more or less the same thing that Obama said yesterday.
"In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli population centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion," President Bush wrote to former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in April of 2004. "It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities."
Now, the language of Bush's comment may be flipped a little, in the sense that he emphasizes that the borders will be different from the 1949-67 borders rather than emphasizing that those should be the starting point, but the overall sense is the same. The real contours of the borders will be determined between the Israelis and Palestinians with "mutually agreed changes" (in Bush's formulation) or "mutually agreed land swaps" (in Obama's). "
Bush, Clinton endorsed pre-1967 borders for Palestinian state
11:15 am May 20, 2011, by ctucker
"The new Republican doctrine demands erasing the old Republican doctrine, even if the old doctrine was acceptable a few years ago. GOP hacks are as busy as apparatchiks in the old Soviet Union who erased out-of-favor Communist VIPs from official photographs.
Anything that President Obama proposes is automatically subjected to bristling condemnation, even if the GOP supported it three years ago. Given that, it’s no great surprise that Mitt Romney is claiming Obama “threw Israel under the bus” in his Mid-East speech yesterday, in which the president called for a Palestinian state based on pre-1967 borders.
But just for the sake of adherence to facts, it’s worthwhile to check out recent history. As Atlantic Monthly’s Jeffrey Goldberg points out:
I’m amazed at the amount of insta-commentary out there suggesting that the President has proposed something radical and new by declaring that Israel’s 1967 borders should define — with land-swaps — the borders of a Palestinian state. I’m feeling a certain Groundhog Day effect here. This has been the basic idea for at least 12 years. This is what Bill Clinton, Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat were talking about at Camp David, and later, at Taba. This is what George W. Bush was talking about with Ariel Sharon and Ehud Olmert. (Emphasis added.) So what’s the huge deal here? Is there any non-delusional Israeli who doesn’t think that the 1967 border won’t serve as the rough outline of the new Palestinian state?"