The ever-vigilant Jen, traveling in Europe, sends me the following reaction to Greg Sargent’s report that “Obama’s top presidential campaign advisers are putting together a plan to go on the offensive against critics of his stance on Israel”
It’s nice to see the White House acknowledge what other reporters, pro-Israel critics of President Obama and the Right Turn have been reporting for weeks: Obama has an Israel problem and hence a potential problem with Jewish American voters and donors. However, he’s going to have to do better at spinning than offering David Axelrod as the voice of authority on the president’s stance on Hamas. Telling, isn’t it, that a political hack would be the one to spoon feed spin that no foreign policy adviser would utter and no foreign policy correspondent would accept at face value?
Moreover, although the White House insists that, by including the words “with land swaps” when speaking about the 1967 borders, that Obama has said nothing extraordinary, the issue has never been whether Obama has told Israel that it must return to the 1967 borders. Rather, the problem is the administration’s unprecedented adoption of the 1967 borders as the basis for negotiations. Obama’s insistence on restarting negotiations by putting Israel in this untenable position makes the Jewish state negotiate for every scrap (e.g. the Western Wall) beyond the indefensible 1967 borders while making no demand whatsoever of the Palestinians. He’s badly undercut Israel’s bargaining position, and informed, honest friends of Israel understand this.