Video: Obama Tells Israel: Go Back to 1967 Borders

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obama1[Video and full remarks below.] President Barack Obama said moving forward with peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians is “more urgent than ever” and that efforts to isolate Israel or seek unilateral action at the United Nations won’t work.

Israel and Palestinians must both act to achieve an agreement, Obama said in an address at the State Department in Washington.

While saying the U.S. commitment to Israel’s security is “unshakeable,” he called on the country to act “boldly to advance a lasting peace” and for all Palestinians to accept the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

“The international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome,” Obama said.

Obama’s address is bracketed by White House meetings with King Abdullah II of Jordan on May 17 and with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tomorrow. Netanyahu said this week that clashes with Arab demonstrators along Israel’s borders with the West Bank, Syria, Lebanon and the Gaza Strip show that changes sweeping the Arab world pose risks for Israel.

Obama will address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the largest pro-Israel lobby in the United States, on May 22 before leaving for Europe.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wrote in an opinion piece published in the New York Times that, in the absence of negotiations, the Palestinians would unilaterally seek United Nations recognition of an independent state within the 1967 borders.

1967 Borders

Obama said such an effort won’t work.

For Israel, “the dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation,” he said. “For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure.”

Obama called for an agreement based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed swaps. He said the status of Jerusalem and agreement on the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to the new nation should be determined once the stalled talks resume.

About 500,000 Jews have moved to the West Bank and Jerusalem since Israel captured the territories in the 1967 Middle East war. The UN says the settlements are illegal, and the International Committee of the Red Cross says they breach the Fourth Geneva Convention governing actions on occupied territory.

Israel says the settlements don’t fall under the convention because the territory wasn’t recognized as belonging to any country before the 1967 war, in which Israel prevailed, and therefore isn’t occupied.

“The fact is, a growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River,” Obama said. “Technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself.”

The following is the full text of Obama’s remarks regarding Israel:

Let me conclude by talking about another cornerstone of our approach to the region, and that relates to the pursuit of peace.

For decades, the conflict between Israelis and Arabs has cast a shadow over the region. For Israelis, it has meant living with the fear that their children could get blown up on a bus or by rockets fired at their homes, as well as the pain of knowing that other children in the region are taught to hate them. For Palestinians, it has meant suffering the humiliation of occupation, and never living in a nation of their own. Moreover, this conflict has come with a larger cost the Middle East, as it impedes partnerships that could bring greater security, prosperity, and empowerment to ordinary people.

My Administration has worked with the parties and the international community for over two years to end this conflict, yet expectations have gone unmet. Israeli settlement activity continues. Palestinians have walked away from talks. The world looks at a conflict that has grinded on for decades, and sees a stalemate. Indeed, there are those who argue that with all the change and uncertainty in the region, it is simply not possible to move forward.
I disagree. At a time when the people of the Middle East and North Africa are casting off the burdens of the past, the drive for a lasting peace that ends the conflict and resolves all claims is more urgent than ever.

For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.

As for Israel, our friendship is rooted deeply in a shared history and shared values. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums. But precisely because of our friendship, it is important that we tell the truth: the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.

The fact is, a growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River. Technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself. A region undergoing profound change will lead to populism in which millions of people – not just a few leaders – must believe peace is possible. The international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome. The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.

Ultimately, it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away. But what America and the international community can do is state frankly what everyone knows: a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.

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.

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.

These principles provide a foundation for negotiations. Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met. I know that these steps alone will not resolve this conflict. Two wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees. But moving forward now on the basis of territory and security provides a foundation to resolve those two issues in a way that is just and fair, and that respects the rights and aspirations of Israelis and Palestinians.

Recognizing that negotiations need to begin with the issues of territory and security does not mean that it will be easy to come back to the table. In particular, the recent announcement of an agreement between Fatah and Hamas raises profound and legitimate questions for Israel – how can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist. In the weeks and months to come, Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question. Meanwhile, the United States, our Quartet partners, and the Arab states will need to continue every effort to get beyond the current impasse.

I recognize how hard this will be. Suspicion and hostility has been passed on for generations, and at times it has hardened. But I’m convinced that the majority of Israelis and Palestinians would rather look to the future than be trapped in the past. We see that spirit in the Israeli father whose son was killed by Hamas, who helped start an organization that brought together Israelis and Palestinians who had lost loved ones. He said, “I gradually realized that the only hope for progress was to recognize the face of the conflict.” And we see it in the actions of a Palestinian who lost three daughters to Israeli shells in Gaza. “I have the right to feel angry,” he said. “So many people were expecting me to hate. My answer to them is I shall not hate…Let us hope,” he said, “for tomorrow.”

That is the choice that must be made – not simply in this conflict, but across the entire region – a choice between hate and hope; between the shackles of the past, and the promise of the future. It’s a choice that must be made by leaders and by people, and it’s a choice that will define the future of a region that served as the cradle of civilization and a crucible of strife.

CLICK BELOW TO WATCH A VIDEO OF THE FULL SPEECH [Text regarding Israel is from 37:15 to 47:10 in the video]:

{Bloomberg/ Newscenter}


  1. Obama has shown the only true Democracy in the Middle East such disdain and hate, that Barack’s judgment does come into serious question. Also, what he did in Egypt and Syria with alternately backing and then then backing away from harsh dictators shows a total lack of leadership and foreign policy judgment.

  2. Obama pushes freedom in the Arab world through what he calls fair and democratic elections.

    This from the Acorn man who wants to silence those who disagree with him and has worked his whole life to rig elections.

  3. Obama also announced the canceling of roughly $1 billion in debt for Egypt. Can you imagine?

    He guaranteed up to $1 billion in borrowing for Egypt through the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.


  4. Does anyone believe any nation besides Israel will do what will eventually be necessary when the Iranian nuclear threat gets to the point of no return? The U.S., under Obama, will not have the stones to engage in what will need to be required: The forceable destruction of Iranian nuclear development.

  5. All of his meaningless rhetoric and Muslim foot-licking will amount to nothing but continued attacks on any position or action taken by Israel concerning anything of import to their survival and progress in a region filled with vipers on all borders. NONE of the outraged surrounding Arab states engage in any helpful activities toward the Palestinians, simply because they don’t want to. The Palestinian issue provides them with a perpetual reason for anger with Israel, and Obama knows this.

  6. All Israel can do now is what it feels is right for Israel.

    And if that means dealing with a meaningless hissy-fit once in a while from Obama and the most anti-semitic administration since Carter, than so be it.

  7. Obama and Biden are idiots. Their “more intelligent” foreign policy is a joke. They have snubbed every traditional ally that we have had. They have tried to cozy up to thug regimes that are no more friendlier to the US than when Bush was still president.

  8. Such stupidity in the White House it is beyond understanding. Is there anyone in the government that actually knows what is going on in the middle east?

  9. “Obama said that while each country in the region is unique, there are shared values in the push for political change that will define the U.S. approach.”

    This man is evil. Evil incarnate.

  10. $400,000,000 to the Hamas-led death cult allied with Iran and Syria? $400,000,000 to the people who celebrated the destruction of the twin towers? $400,000,000 to rain thousands more rockets upon Israeli women and children?

  11. Aizehu Hachochom haroeh ess Hanolad

    Reb Chaim Stein Shli’tah said repeatedly when Barack Hussien Obama was running for president ” Mit Aza Numen ken nisht zien gut”

  12. Time and again Obama proves that he is not interested in what Israel thinks about anything. He will sooner scold Israel for providing needed housing for their citizens (there is no agreement that I am aware of that prevents Israel from building new housing in East Jerusalem) before he will condemn Hamas or Hezbollah for launching mortars and rockets against civilian targets in Israel. When one of these events do happen, usually the first thing the Obama Administration calls for is for the Israelis to practice restraint.

  13. Obama does not naturally see America as a force for good in the world, the only nation that spreads liberty and freedom to oppressed nations.

  14. The Israelis did us all a huge favor in 1983, taking out Saddam’s reactor in the face of world condemnation… and they’ll they’ll take care of business again. Unfortunately, Israel is used to such misguided and ignorant moralizing- same as they’ve dealt with for years.

  15. The latest fight that the Obama administration has picked with a friend of the United States proves eisavn sonei es yaakov avinu.

  16. It is true that Obama has not shown the same respect and favor towards Israel that has been common from past Presidencies. But to say he hates Israel is a huge huge huge leap of logic.

  17. This is what I heard from Obama’s speech: The US taxpayer will be on the hook in support of community organizers around the world regardless of whether or not we agree with them, and we unconditionally support all Palestinian demands of Israel.

  18. Helooooooo!

    This Kenyan President is not as stupid as he seems to be.

    When he was first elected his biggest source of campaign funds was the millions that came through the internet. These funds were solicited in “Obama boiler room” operations located in Gaza and other Arab locations.

    This only goes to prove that $$$$$ is more important than anything else to a lying slimy politician.

    For you idiots who voted for him the 1st time just wait and see what will happen if C”V he gets reelected.

  19. When should I start running out of my home? When they declare a unilateral state in Sept there is going to be war! Obama is gone start running out of America while ya still can

  20. we must get the rabannim to arrange a ralley at the white house let them see what the jewish vote can do to the elections. what chutzpa!!!!!

  21. And why are we allowed to watch a video of Hillary? Nu, hitaklus! In the new world order, accepted by Matzav, you must edit out all women (except Wendy, of course!)!

  22. E-mail I sent to our dear(not) President:

    Honorable President Obama,

    Today you chose to show the world ONCE AGAIN your animosity toward Israel. This seems to have become your “foreign policy”,to abandon the friends of the USA and embrace it’s enemies. Keep on licking up to the Muslim world;see where it will take you. G-D loves Israel and the Jews, and will punish those who seek it’s harm. The Jewish nation has survived thousands of years of persecution. We WILL survive you too! The tiny Jewish nation has outlived countless empires, we will continue to thrive-YOU can be with us or against us! How many times has the Arab world proven over and over that all it seeks is Jewish blood?! Peace is not in their dictionary. How many suicide bombers do you need to prove that to you? How many years of double talk from Arafat,Abbas and their cronies do you need?

    A Jew from Jersey

  23. is he calling for violence in the name of “democratic liberty”. does he in the same frase mention osama as a massmurderer whose onliest view of how he could achieve his purpose was violance against innocent while he praises those who die in the interest of the west ? are they not all murderers ? is his view of peace in eretz israel a middle east without israel ??? this guy is the new pharao. he wants to save his sickness with the blood of jewish children

  24. You pple always focus on the negative. What about all the things he said that you should be happy about? Calling on Palestinians to reject Hamas and noting that nothing will work unless they recognize Israel’s right to exist? Have some integrity- he said things you don’t like, but he said things you should be pleased with also.

  25. It’s not their land and we owe them nothing. Many Arabs left in 1948 with promises from other Arab countries that after wiping us out, they could return and take their property and ours combined. We didn’t oblige by losing to our attackers, and they cried foul and wanted to return. H-shem gave us this land and Arabs can never accept that.
    As for Arab refugees, if their rights are ever considered internationally, then then rights of the hundreds of thousand of Jewish refugees thrown out of Arab lands and their rights (which will be ever so costly) should be jointly discussed.

  26. Mandy, Israel “came and gave… without taking, and [the Palestinians continually] sent [it] away.”

    (Maybe you’re too young to get the lyrics 😉

    But you are right. That is the primary thing I took away from it, and I do think the president needs to be applauded on that. BUT while I have no problem believing Obama was born in the US I do wonder what planet he’s on now. Nothing he said sets the process up for the Palestinians to prove themselves first. It’ll just be forcing Israel to make concession after concession after concession.

    And I loved the examples he gave of the rapprochement: the Israeli who makes Israelis meet the faces of real live Palestinians and the Palestinian dr. who lost so much who can bring himself to forgive Israel. I want LOTS of examples of Palestinians doing some real reaching out. Doctors who service Israelis in PA territory. People who can do real good without having to change their names and identities and worry about death threats.

    Since 1967 they have rarely, if ever, missed the proverbial opportunity to miss an opportunity.

  27. There is no change here from previous policy. Republican partisans will try to obscure the fact that Bush endorsed a Palestinian State in 2001, and set the 1967 borders as the basis for a final settlement with his Road Map in 2003.

  28. long live our king and master obama !! let`s all return back to europe and the arabic countries. give this land to the poor rightful shomrim of it, the palis. Hashem isburrach took it from the cananites(took it from them bec. of their aveires), gave it to us (threw us out of the land because our rebelion against Hashem ) and gave it after us to the palis in order that they may be shomer over it without the land becoming poluted by the avodah zara of esav. they are ment to be shomer over the land until moshiach comes and the beis hamikdosh comes from shamayim. all those who don`t believe in the totality of the geulah with its signs ,with the beis hamikdosh coming from shomayim and the moshiach hiding in the clouds, also negates creation of shamayim and haaretz (bris shamayim we-aretz) by Hashem. how can we claim that we have the right for the land because of shut avoiseinu even though we are bigger roshoyim than the arabs. not just that we don`t trust in Hashem showing no bittachon in the geulah, but also say through our creating this wicked medinah that He is no longer in power but we ourselves. shus avoiseinu is for all doros but just if we are kadosh ,than we are the first produce and His nachala. as long as we don`t give us totally over to Hashem we are not entiteled to this land because we are neglecting our real selves. as it says ner el. neshamas adam hi heleck milemaal. as long as we are not one in Torah which is levush ha-ratzon shel Hashem we are in gollus of our shoresh (the neshame elokis) . no kedusha means not being home ,not being home means gollus ,gullus means we have to be in bavel until Hashem takes us out of being mebulval.

  29. did obama learn in osamas yeshivah and why did he than kill his rosh yeshivah ? keep on the good work hussein ossama. and don`t forget to put on your dinamite gartel when you daven !

  30. 47 comments about a headline that is false.
    How can the commentors be so shallow and not know that he said exactly what GW Bush and Olmert offered Abbas in 2008: 67 borders with adjustments of the large settlement blocks. We know this because GW Bush published this in his book and Olmert publicly stated the offer. It included East Jerusalem.

    Why does the media feel it needs to lie about what occurs in the world.
    Why does Eric Cantor believe he needs to lie by slamming Obama for the GW position, the Olmert position, and the majority position of the Israelis?

    We do not want a Palestinian state but why should we engage in a lack of charachter by lying to ourselves that Obama has gone beyond what GW Olmert and the Israeli voter maintain.

  31. Close but no cigar…

    The Americans, the Israelis, the Palestinians, the Quartet and the EU are close to getting the solution right but the cube is stuck. Some groups are going too far on certain points whilst others are not going far enough. I believe there are some conceptual limitations in the various plans. Current global GDP is approx $60 Trillion. At 4% growth that will reach $275 Trillion by 2050. The current GDP of the areas of Israel, Judea and Samaria/The West Bank, Gaza, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Saudi Arabia is approximately $1.6 trillion. This region can grow by at least 5% p.a. over the coming 38 years. If the right command structure is put in place the Holy Land will be a platform of peace, stability and prosperity. The whole world will benefit from this centre of unfolding potential. This is not blue sky thinking. There are concrete benefits to the correct plan and vision prevailing.

  32. As Yankel mentioned, there is nothing new here. To all the nattering handwringers: please provide A SINGLE QUOTE from the above statement that is in conflict with the stated positions of Presidents Reagan, George Bush Sr., Clinton, or George Bush Jr. If this is proof that Barack Obama hates Israel, then every U.S. administration for at least 30 years has hated Israel.

  33. To Charlie Hall: this is a better place to carry on the discussion than the other thread, probably.
    OK, so we didn’t like it in 2008 either, but what makes it even more untenable is that the Palestinians have done NOTHING to offer us the assurance Israel needs to feel secure, and is continuing their policy of “you show me yours” first. Israel has every right, under any sane principles of political science, to say enough, too late.


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