Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) have introduced a resolution that reads:
Declaring that it is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in maintaining defensible borders and that it is contrary to United States policy and national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.
Whereas, throughout its short history, Israel, a liberal democratic ally of the United States, has been repeatedly attacked by authoritarian regimes and terrorist organizations that denied its right to exist;
Whereas the United States Government remains steadfastly committed to the security of Israel, especially its ability to maintain secure, recognized, and defensible borders; Whereas the United States Government is resolutely bound to its policy of preserving and strengthening the capability of Israel to deter enemies and defend itself against any threat;
Whereas United Nations Security Council Resolution 242
(1967) recognized Israel’s ‘‘right to live in peace within
secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or
acts of force’’;
Whereas the United States has long recognized that a return to the 1967 lines would create a strategic military vulnerability for Israel and greatly impede its sovereign right to defend its borders; and
Whereas Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu correctly stated on May 20, 2011, that the 1967 lines were not ‘‘boundaries of peace. They are the boundaries of repeated war’’: Now, therefore, be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), That, (1) it is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in creating and maintaining secure, recognized, and defensible borders; and (2) it is contrary to United States policy and our national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 9 1967.
President Obama’s spinners will certainly argue this is unnecessary and point that he called for 1967 borders with “land swaps.” But the point of the resolution is clear: The United States has a long bipartisan position on the primacy of defensible borders and that the U.S. role is to “facilitate” Israel’s security, not undermine its bargaining position.
Moreover, if this is the Obama position, why have no Democratic senators signed on? And if it’s precisely what Obama meant to say, why not signal his approval? Unless, of course, Obama is playing a double game — signaling to the Palestinians one position and voicing platitudes to quiet critics at home.