That's from the Fox News website--where they explain what is supposed to be different in proposed Middle East peace talks this time around:
President Obama, delivering his first major address tackling the uprisings in the Middle East, on Thursday endorsed Palestinians' demand for their own state based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war.One question is how Obama intends for the Palestinian Arabs to have "a sovereign and contiguous state". Fox implies that previously the proposed state has to be reconciled with Israeli security interests--does that mean now Israel should just rely on US assurances?. How does that jive with the requirement of a contiguous state?
Though the move is likely to aggravate the Israelis, Obama said the United States' commitment to Israeli security is "unshakable." He also rejected attempts by the Palestinians to gain recognition for their own state before the United Nations.
Until Thursday, the U.S. position had been that the Palestinian goal of a state based on the 1967 borders, with agreed land swaps, should be reconciled with Israel's desire for a secure Jewish state through negotiations.
Meanwhile, Obama will have to explain to the Palestinian Arabs exactly how he "endorsed Palestinians' demand for their own state based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war" while at the same time he "rejected attempts by the Palestinians to gain recognition for their own state before the United Nations."
Of course, he'll say the answer is negotiations--and that of course will bring us around again to the demand that Israel make one more unilateral concession before even sitting down at the table.
What would really be encouraging--and mind-blowing as well--would be for Abbas to actually make a concession of some sort. But then again, how is Abbas supposed to come to the peace table when he is joined at the hip with Hamas?
Now we will have to see how much of this is part of a new bold initiative--and how much is just intended to warm up his audience when he returns to Cairo.
Read about the text of Netanyahu's response and some implications
More at Memeorandum
Technorati Tag: Israel and Obama and Hamas and Fatah.