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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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    If rockets were raining down on Brownsville Texas fired from Mexico how long do you think we'd put up with it before we obliterated everything within a 10 mile radius of the source? I'd say about 24 hours.

    And if it continued I'd guess it would take about a month for us to establish a buffer south of the border larger than the maximum range of any weapons possessed by the Mexicans.

    The idea that there's something inhumane about what the Israelis have been doing is insane. If anything they've exercised too much restraint.

    Tlaloc = another dime-a-dozen poseur who latched onto a trendy, progressive cause du jour. I find it highly doubtful that Tlaloc has ever set foot in that part of the world or truly gives one thread off a rat's derriere about the plight of his precious Palestinians.

    "Given that the US does have the highest grade military technology and equipment on earth, does that mean we are targeting civilians when they occasionally get killed? "

    If we ended up killing them in those kinds of numbers, you bet your #@! it would.

    "It might be gullible on my part, but I'm going to go ahead and call BS on the whole "higher incidence" line of argument here. As a percentage, it almost has to be false, given that the Palestinians, like all brave freedom fighters throughout history, targets civilians (preferably unarmed) almost exclusively. "

    Cognitive dissonance -> Denial

    "Tlaloc, the reason the Palestinian terrorists have more of their civilians killed is that they routinely commit the war crime of perfidy, defined in the Geneva Conventions as deliberately conducting attacks from within civilian populations, operating in civilian clothing without identifying uniforms, using civilian buildings for military purposes."

    So you're claiming Israelis are just too stupid to use the guidance systems on the weapons we sell? I'm finding that a hard sell frankly. Nor does it explain the repeated instances of Israeli soldiers deliberately firing on targets known to be unarmed and fleeing, including children.

    "If rockets were raining down on Brownsville Texas fired from Mexico how long do you think we'd put up with it before we obliterated everything within a 10 mile radius of the source? I'd say about 24 hours."

    Here's a better example, a foreign power, say China, arbitrarily decides to take half of Kansas and give it to the vietnamese under chinese occupation. The vietnamese upon arrival begin a series of terror campaigns aimed at driving the chinese out which eventually works. The Chinese leave the vietnamese in Kansas and basically say "they're your problem now, US." At that point the Vietnamese allies the russians give the vietnamese a bunch of high tech weapons and the vietnamese. Tensions increase between the native kansans and the vietnamese eventually leading to atrocities on both sides, but as the vietnamese are vastly better armed they grab more and more of Kansas, stealing lands, bulldozing homes, and so forth. The remaining Kansans, with no hope of being able to militarily fight the vietnamese start a dirty guerrilla war that uses a lot of really ugly tactics. The Vietnamese are guilty of genocide against the kansans as they attempt to starve them by stealing more and more of their farm land and access to water while shooting at and boarding relief missions.

    That'd be pretty analogous to the middle east situation today. Remember that Israel was born out of terrorism against the brits by the proto-israelis. It hasn't come far from that beginning.

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