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ThePlumLIneGS whorunsgov plumline
Posted at 10:32 AM ET, 08/02/2011

Is Bibi anti-Israel?

Forgive me for asking the question. You see, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu just agreed to negotiate with the Palestinians using the 1967 borders as a framework:

Israel will resume peace talks based on its 1967 borders if the Palestinian Authority stops seeking U.N. Palestinian state recognition, Israel’s leader said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said his organization would abandon its efforts for a statehood vote if Israel agrees to the 1967 borders and the right of Palestinian refugees to return to the new Palestinian state. Israel will agree to both of these terms, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said late Monday.

Several months ago, President Barack Obama declared that the negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians should take place along the lines of the 1967 borders with “agreed upon land swaps.” Netanyahu responded with fury, calling the 1967 borders “indefensible,” even though by definition “land swaps” meant not returning to the exact 1967 borders. Republicans and Democrats piled on, accusing Obama of abandoning Israel.

The idea of using the 1967 lines with swaps as a framework for negotiations was nothing new, of course, but that didn’t stop opportunists from distorting the president’s position, and Republicans from launching another round of “the Jews are abandoning Obama” stories and accusing the president of being too sympathetic to the Palestinians. Some even claimed that it’s hard to distinguish the administration’s stance from that of the Palestinians. Well now it’s Netanyahu’s position too. Perhaps he’s also a dreaded Palestinian sympathizer?

Of course, the 1967 lines have been the framework for negotiations for years. Obama’s proposal couldn’t have been news to Netanyahu, who had released a statement with Hillary Clinton last November calling for negotiations “based on the 1967 lines with agreed swaps.” So the best part about Netanyahu’s latest overture, from his perspective, is that it’s barely a concession at all.

I look forward to the harsh condemnations of Netanyahu from American members of Congress.

By Adam Serwer  |  10:32 AM ET, 08/02/2011

 
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