Putting peace in the crosshairs

Obama’s peace sign has become a target. Republicans and Democrats have latched on to his statement about peace in the region “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” as if it were a call for Israel to retreat to the pre-1967 border between  the Jewish state and a new nation for the Palestinians.

Most echo what Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said today during the White House photo-op with President Obama. “It’s not gonna happen,” he said from his position in the comfy chair.

As Democratic Rep. Steve Rothman (NJ) explained in his reaction to the president’s Thursday speech, “a full return to the 1967 borders will be indefensible for Israel and that talking with terrorists who want to destroy Israel is a non-starter.”

Even Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY), who usually uses his famous wit and passion for the president’s critics, and whose wife works as an adviser to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, tweeted yesterday, “Remind me again, why did the ‘67 borders change? #IsraelAttacked,” Poltico reported, Friday.

Still, President Obama insists, the “swaps” must begin from somewhere, and 1967 is it. “Obviously there are some differences between us in the precise formulations and language — and that’s going to happen between friends,” he told reporters after meeting with the Israeli leader, Friday, according to the Washington Post, “but what we are in complete accord about is that a true peace can only occur if the ultimate resolution allows Israel to defend itself against threats. And that Israel’s security will remain paramount in any U.S. evaluation of a peace deal.”

The question now is, why did Obama even offer that solution for Israel’s peace with the Palestinians, in his speech yesterday? Maybe it would have been better if he would have said something like, “With the changes going on in the region, the passion in the streets of dictatorial regimes, it is time for the Israelis and Palestinians to return to the negotiating table and address a peace that will be mutually beneficial, and stay the wolf of rebellion at Jerusalem’s door.”


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