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    Hey, Israel, Those Territorial Assurances Were From Bush Not Me

    Hey, Israel, Those Territorial Assurances Were From Bush Not Me

    That’s pretty much the upshot of Obama coming down firmly on the side of the pre-1967 borders being the end result of a peace agreement, plus some land swapping.

    While some have contended this merely states prior policy, there is an important shift.  Prior policy emphasized the 1967 borders as the starting point, not the end point, and did not condition Israel keeping land in what is now the West Bank on Israel giving up other land.

    Rather, in 2004 George W. Bush assured Israel (h/t Jake Tapper) that Israel would not be forced back to the pre-1967 border (emphasis mine):

    As part of a final peace settlement, Israel must have secure and recognized borders, which should emerge from negotiations between the parties in accordance with UNSC Resolutions 242 and 338. In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949, and all previous efforts to negotiate a two-state solution have reached the same conclusion. It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.

    So this represents a major coup for the Palestinians. 

    Without Palestinians having to make any concessions on the so-called “right of return” or Jerusalem or reparations or anything, Obama has handed the Palestinians a major territorial victory which violates promises made just seven years ago by a President of the United States. 

    The destructive nature of the speech is made even worse because it rewards bad behavior, including the recent Fatah coalition with Hamas and the breach of Israel’s borders organized by Syria and Hezbollah.

    Obama first should have done no harm.  Instead, first he did harm to the peace process.  Intransigence works.

    Update:  I should have mentioned in the text that the 2004 letter from Bush linked above was in connection with Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza, which as we now know resulted in an Iranian proxy on Israel’s southern border.  So to go back on those pledges is particularly onerous because it shows Israel that land for peace not only is a joke as far as the Palestinians are concerned, but also that U.S. assurances as inducements for territorial withdrawal cannot be relied on.

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    Can you sing and dance in unison with like-minded people?

    This is probably all cognitive dissonancey on my part, but did the Vietnamese live in Kansas for 4,000 years? Did God give it to them?

    "Toto … I have a feeling we're not in the Gaza Strip anymore."

    –An understandably frightened Dorothy, whisked away by ferocious winds (fanned by the Jews) from her Shangri-la home and violently dumped down in Tlaloc, Kansas.

    Iron Chef Kosher: "Israel started compensating anyone who had land right after they *left*; no one else is left to compensate!"

    This is news to me or a very well keep secret. IF this is the case then Israel has done a very poor PR job in refuting the "Right of Return". To me, that more than any other issue was THEE problem not the silly idea of a racially pure self governing area for the Arabs within Israel. IF again it is the case that Israel settled accounts with the land owners, then they have wasted their time and effort in bargaining with the Arabs because after 50 years they demonstrated time and again they will never like a Jew as long as he/she lives. Listening to the Arab celebrated version of the May 15 holiday, it becomes clear that the only peace in Israel for a Jew is the peace of the grave. This conflict therefore can never be rationally resolved when the sole motive for peace is killing off the group you don't like for whatever the insane reason given.

    "Nor does it explain the repeated instances of Israeli soldiers deliberately firing on targets known to be unarmed and fleeing, including children. "

    That is a lie, and you are a liar.

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