Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid Breaks With Obama Over 1967 Lines As Borders For Israel

The backlash after Obama's keynote speech on the Middle East has Democratic Party operatives scrambling to mollify the Jewish community as the president prepares to seek a second term in the White House.
Jerusalem Post, Jewish Americans ponder support for Obama, May 22, 2011

If Netanyahu's comments on Friday were a problem for Obama, what will he think about the comments Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made Monday at AIPAC, where he openly broke with Obama who said that negotiations between Israel and the Arabs must start with the 1967 lines.

Reid made a point of alluding to Obama's speech--and disagreeing with it:

"The parties that should lead those negotiations must be the parties at the center of this conflict – and no one else," Reid told thousands of pro-Israel activists gathered in Washington for the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC).

"The place where negotiating will happen must be the negotiating table – and nowhere else. Those negotiations will not happen – and their terms will not be set – through speeches, or in the streets, or in the media.

"No one should set premature parameters about borders, about building or about anything else," Reid added, bringing the audience to its feet for the first time during the speech.
I recall reading somewhere that when Netanyahu speaks to Congress on Tuesday, Democrats will be torn as to how to respond--if they applaud too loudly for Netanyahu, it could be seen as slap in the face to Obama; if they are less than enthusiastic in their applause, they could put themselves in conflict with their own constituency.

Senate Majority Leader Reid may be setting the stage for Congressional Democrats to be able to openly welcome and applaud Netanyahu.

All that remains to be seen is how that effects public perception of Obama and his Thursday speech.
Less than a week after Obama gave what was supposed to be an important speech, it is difficult to tell who is backtracking faster--Obama or his fellow Democrats.

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