Obama, Netanyahu Talk Dispute “Between Friends”

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obama-netanyahuPresident Barack Obama is conceding that he has differences with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu on a future state for Palestinians but that such disagreements happen “between friends.”

Obama spoke after a lengthy meeting with Netanyahu today at the White House. Both men greeted reporters with smiles despite the deep tension surrounding their talks.

Netanyahu told Obama that Israel values the U.S. president’s efforts to advance the peace process.

The two leaders spoke after Obama declared in a speech that the United States supports a creation of a Palestinian states based on the border lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War in which Israel forces occupied east Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

Netanyahu said Israel can make some concessions but cannot back to the 1967 lines, which he called “indefensible.”

The president yesterday pledged U.S. support for the democracy protests of the Arab Spring, calling this “a moment of opportunity.” But he had tough words for the years-long search for Middle East peace, saying the world “is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome.”

CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante said today’s encounter pit a president deeply frustrated with a Mideast peace effort in shambles against an Israeli leader who says he cannot do business with the newly-joined Palestinian government.

The president called for a resumption of peace talks, and for the first time put explicit U.S. approval on a key Palestinian demand: “We believe 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 president said.

That would mean Israeli troops would withdrawal to the borders that existed in 1967 – before Israel took over all of Jerusalem and the West Bank.

Prime Minister Netanyahu immediately rejected any deal that would mean giving up territory gained in the 1967 War, even though in the final agreement Israel would likely retain its largest settlements.

And just to drive the point home, the Israelis announced yesterday that they plan to build 1,600 new housing units in East Jerusalem, despite calls by the U.S. for settlement-building to stop.

On CBS’ “The Early Show,” former Assistant Secretary of State Jamie Rubin said the president’s speech invited the harsh tone from the Israelis.

“That’s partly a function of his willingness in the past to put to the Israeli government his differences on issues like settlements, which is now what the Israeli government is complaining about,” Rubin said. “So to the extent that the Israelis respond to President Obama’s urging that they get serious about the negotiations, this could have a positive effect. But right now, it’s turned into a real diplomatic flap.”

Israeli gamesmanship at the fore in W.H. meeting

President Obama’s stance on the 1967 borders was not a major policy change, since the U.S – along with the international community and even past Israeli governments – previously endorsed an agreement building on the 1967 lines.

But it was the first time he’d explicitly endorsed those borders as a starting point, a position Netanyahu rejects.

Mr. Obama said Israel can never be a truly peaceful Jewish state if it insists on “permanent occupation.” But he did say the 1967 borders should be accompanied by land swaps agreed to by both sides, which could accommodate existing Jewish settlements.

The president’s speech came less than a week after demonstrations along Israel’s border in which 15 protesters were killed.

Mr. Obama may hope Palestinians will react to his taking their side by not seeking unilateral statehood at the United Nations this fall. “Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state,” the president said Thursday. “And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.”

Netanyahu’s tough response to Mr. Obama’s speech “expresses disappointment at the absence of central items that Israel had demanded, primarily the (Palestinian) refugees,” a senior Israeli official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters traveling with the prime minister.

The official said Netanyahu was disappointed the speech did not address the Palestinian demand to repatriate to Israel millions of Palestinians, most descendants of people who were driven from or fled homes in the war over the Jewish state’s 1948 creation.

“There is a feeling that Washington does not understand the reality, Washington does not understand what we face,” the official said.

Ahead of his trip to Washington, Netanyahu delivered a speech to his parliament in which he made clear his opposition to talks with a newly constituted Palestinian government that shares power between the mainstream Palestinian Fatah faction led by Mahmoud Abbas and the radical Hamas movement that rules Gaza. He also made a series of demands that the Palestinians – and especially Hamas – are not likely to meet. Among them were dropping their claim to east Jerusalem, their would-be capital, and recognizing Israel as the Jewish homeland.

Palestinians, for their part, refuse to negotiate while Israel continues to expand Jewish enclaves in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which the Palestinians want to be part of an eventual state. Israel refuses to freeze settlement construction, saying the matter should be resolved through negotiations.

{CBSNews.com/Matzav.com Newscenter}

13 COMMENTS

  1. “Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations 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….”
    Guess who said it? I know what youre thinking sounds like Obama its exactly what he said in his speech.
    Except that it was Bush in 2004. Im not saying I agree, i deffinitly dont, but Obamas postition is no differnt than any previous administration’s. We do ourselves a disservice by deluding ourselves and denying what took place a mere few years ago.

  2. Should have added to my last comment, the Ramban in the Parsha mentions that EY does not accept its enemies. Even when we were unfortunately exiled, EY remained mostly sand, unsettled.

    There are so many current stories to support this. (Take the green houses in Gaza. American Jews paid $14,000,000 for them to be left to the arabs. The vegetation they seek to produce, from the same ground, machinery and methods, just ain’t working)

  3. In his speech yesterday, Obama explicitly demanded that Israel agree to a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders as a starting point to negotiations. No President ever stated this explicitly and it was indeed a departure from Bush’s April 14th, 2004 letter to then-PM Sharon in which he wrote, “In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations 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”.

    Obama’s mention of “land swaps” gives Israel no right to demand the strategically vital Jordan Rift, control of airspace over Palestinian areas or to not have to narrow-down to 9 mile wide choke point.

    By repeating the vile lie that Obama is no worse than Bush, you leftists show that you are sick, self-hating people that put their love for him above their love for Israel and its people!

  4. After having angered the Arabs by killing Bin Laden, President Obama will try placating them by delivering Israel to make them happy.

  5. Dear Prime Minister Netanyahu, Please Know you are anointed by God. You have the hardest job in the world but you do it humbly and we pray for you and all Israel to Prospoer and be safe. May the Most High give you the words you need, and may He protect Your Sacred land. I, am ashamed to say I live in the USA. Many of us want to let The Dear Israelis know, we Americans are furious at what this “Obamanation” did. Israel does not even have a quarter of all the land that belongs to you, THE MOST HIGH wrote in HIS HOLY WORD that HIS PEOPLE, THE JEWS were to have a HUGE amount of land, and that ANYONE Who divided that land was dividing HIS LAND TOO.
    We ordinary citizens who are Christian support Israel fully, We pray for you, We believe you to be our BEST ally, and wewish that Israel would be the “MOST FAVORED NATION.” We are in shock at what Obamanation said and wish He could be removed from office in SHAME for his betrayal of God’s Holy People and Holy Land. WATCH WHAT THE MOST HIGH DOES TO Obama. THE LORD will not let this sit without a reply.
    I, my family and many many people , we are Christian Friends of Israel and support your nation through charitable giving. We believe that Obama MUST Answer to God for what He had done ro your wonderful country and loving people. May the obama plans become as dust, so that Israel and Americans can trample these evil ideas. May Israel, Beloved Nation of God be strong and have Wisdom in these insane times.
    Many of us in THE USA are ASHAMED by this man who is EVIL in his HEART, Obama is an Obamation and He does NOT reepresent the People of the USA.I did not vote for him and i and many will do what we can to get him OUT of office. I hope he is voted out by a HUGE majority , Obama made not only a error but a HUGE SIN. He is INEPT & can not think unless he has words written by others in front of him .
    He speaks only in confusion and in idiocy.
    Please Remeber the ISRAEL LOVING CHRISTIAN citizens of America do NOT Support OBAMA. WE PRAY FOR THE PEACE OF YOUR NATION and will continue to pray. We KNOW that Our Heavenly Lord will not just sit by, HE WILL GET JUSTICE FOR YOU.
    Please know many of us here in the USA have NO voice but we will use our Tiny voices in the Voting Booths!!!
    blessings be to you dear Beloved of God!
    from Zadok in the USA

  6. Obama always misses the point. He does not understand that every Jew is connected to Israel, and will always be so. He is either for us or against us. There is no middle ground or comprimise…

  7. President Obama just said in the BBC on May 20th a day after the mideast speech:
    “The basis for negotiations will be looking at that 1967 border recognizing that the conditions on the ground have changed and there are going to need to be swaps to accomadate the interests of both sides, that’s on the one hand. On the other hand, this was a an equally important part of the speech, Israel’s going to to have to feel confident about its security on the West Bank and that security element is going to be important to the Israeli’s. They will not be able to move forward unless they feel that they themselves can defend their territory particularly given what they’ve seen happen in Gaza and the rockets that have been fired by Hezbollah so our argument is let’s get started on a conversation about territory and about security. That doesn’t resolve all the issues you still end up having the problem of Jerusalem and you still end up having the problem of refugees. But if we make progress on what two states would look like, a reality sets in among the parties “ this is how it’s going to end up” then it becomes easier for both sides to make difficult concessions to resolve those two other issues.”

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-13464427

  8. Yanki Comment 5 wrote a comment that is full of statements of fact…THAT ARE FALSE !

    FIRST: Obama DID NOT demand that Israel agree to a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 borders as a starting point to negotiations.
    Why flasift what Obama said? All you need to do is read what he said
    Obama quote: ” Now, ultimately, it is up to the Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them — not by the United States; not by anybody else….
    “So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believe[s]…the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”

    So the people who comment here should not lie about what was said and then say ” no president ever said it”
    Furthermore, the next day, May 20, on the BBC, President Obama told the interviewer Andrew Marr of the BBC quote:“The basis for negotiations will be looking at that 1967 border recognizing that the conditions on the ground have changed and there are going to need to be swaps to accommodate the interests of both sides, that’s on the one hand. On the other hand, this was an equally important part of the speech, Israel’s going to have to feel confident about its security on the WB and that security element is going to be important to the Israeli’s. They will not be able to move forward unless they feel that they themselves can defend their territory particularly given what they’ve seen happen in Gaza and the rockets that have been fired by Hezbollah.
    So our argument is let’s get started on a conversation about territory and about security. That doesn’t resolve all the issues you still end up having the problem of Jerusalem and you still end up having the problem of refugees. But if we make progress on what two states would look like, a reality sets in among the parties that, “ hey,this is how it’s going to end up”- then it becomes easier for both sides to make difficult concessions to resolve those two other issues.”

    And Jay Carney the White House Press Spokesman said also on Friday May 20th, the same day, quote: “There is nothing that the president said yesterday that contradicts the 2004 letters that were exchanged between President Bush and Prime Minister Sharon, or what Prime Minister Netanyahu said today in the Oval Office,”

    So stop lying that Obama said something he didnt, or that he meant something concerning which you would need to be a mind reader. Furthermore he said no one can force Israel to do anything.

    Furthermore, just so you know, we know even more of what Bush thought because he and Olmert actually offered Abbas in 2008 a Palestinian state. Bush writes in his book “Decision Points” and Olmert wrote as well that they offered Abbas the West Bank except for the 3 main settlement blocks with land swaps and offered away the Arab part of East Jerusalem and offered up the holy sites to an international commission.
    The Wikileaks Palestine Papers records that the specific offer was for 93.5% of the West Bank and 5.8% of what is now the State of Israel. That means that George W Bush and Olmert offered up 99.3% of the square mileage of the 1967 borders of the West Bank.

    And this is not the only source: all negoations taking place are about giving up 90- 93.5 % plus land swaps.

    So stop the nonsense and if you want to do something for klal yisroel you should try to keep us all enlightened with the truth and the facts.

  9. Look at King Hussain’s PR team hard at work here on the blogs. Don’t worry PR guys and gals; he’ll be glad to throw you under the bus as well, as soon as your usefullness to him is over. There have been many many O’s in history.

  10. Obama reminds me of Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof:
    “One one hand…”
    “On the other hand….”

    But there comes a time when we – and maybe, eventually, he – are going to have to realize, just like Tevye in the end that –
    “There is no other hand,” and lay down the line.

    For the politicians, that means waking up and facing the fact that the Palestinians are not blowing themselves up and murdering families because they want a bigger slice of cake. The Palestinians know this and so do their leaders. They will not agree to anything less than the entire Eretz Yisroel. That is the basis of their Nakba Day – which, tellingly, is for them the anniversary of the birth of the State of Israel, i.e. pre-1967 borders.

    For those of us privileged to be frum Yidden, it means realizing that “ein lanu al me l”hisha’ein elah al Avinu SheBashamayim” – only HKB”H can solve this mess by sending the geulah shleimah and taking us out of this “tiefe galus”.

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