One more extract from his Mideast speech today:
For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejection. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.
As for Israel, our friendship is rooted deeply in a shared history and shared values. Our commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. And we will stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums. But precisely because of our friendship, it is important that we tell the truth: the status quo is unsustainable, and Israel too must act boldly to advance a lasting peace.
The fact is, a growing number of Palestinians live west of the Jordan River. Technology will make it harder for Israel to defend itself. A region undergoing profound change will lead to populism in which millions of people — not just a few leaders — must believe peace is possible. The international community is tired of an endless process that never produces an outcome. The dream of a Jewish and democratic state cannot be fulfilled with permanent occupation.
Ultimately, it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to take action. No peace can be imposed upon them, nor can endless delay make the problem go away. But what America and the international community can do is state frankly what everyone knows: a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.
First, note the contradiction. He says that “And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.” But then he calls for a Palestinian state. Yet neither Hamas nor Fatah have acknowledged Israel’s right to exist, and Obama did not make that acknowledgment a condition of the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Note also that he says that “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines” — based on those borders, but not those borders themselves. Israel’s 1967 borders were indefensible, and he is calling for Israel to be reduced even further so that a contiguous Palestinian state can be established that borders on both Jordan and Egypt. Apparently Israel in Obama’s vision will border on neither — only on “Palestine.”
This would involve a truncated, reduced, bisected, non-contiguous Israel that would be substantially weakened in the face of new jihad attacks. And those attacks would come — from “Palestine.” A Palestinian state will not make for peace any more than the withdrawal from Gaza did. In those days the learned analysts were predicting that a withdrawal from Gaza would pacify the Palestinians and normalize their sick society. I said, in contrast, that it would just be another jihad base for more attacks on Israel. That’s what it became. And that’s what a Palestinian state would be also.