This statement by Obama has the odor of Munich about it. Just as the Sudetenland was sacrificed to Hitler “for peace in our time,” the contention that Israel return to the ’67 borders may have the same toxic effect. An Israel with a width of nine miles would not be in a position of defending itself. Pre-emption would be its only option. A Hamas terrorist with a Stinger over his shoulder can shoot down any commercial aircraft landing at the Tel Aviv airport.
President Netanyahu responded by noting, “Israel believes that for peace to endure between Israel and Palestinians, the viability of a Palestinian state cannot come at the expense of the viability of the one and only Jewish state.” Alas, the echo of the 1930s fills the corridors of contemporary history.
It is difficult to know if President Obama is serious about his proposal. Afterall, he did engage in subsequent backpedaling at the AIPAC meeting. But even so, it seems as though he either doesn’t understand what Israel is up against or doesn’t care.
There is an Orwellian quality to the speech since freedom is embraced on the one hand and crushing imposition on the other hand. Obama has found his voice on the freedom agenda, but there is the nagging Chamberlain apparition that haunts his perspective.
London, of course, doesn't mention that Obama's endorsement of the pre-1967 borders as a start for negotiations with Palestinians is pretty much the same policy the U.S. has always had.