Netanyahu Says No to Obama on ’67 Lines’, Warns Against Illusions

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with United States President Barack Obama on Friday, one day after Obama gave a speech on the Middle East in which he called for a new Arab state in Judea and Samaria “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps.” Netanyahu openly stated his own views on the Israeli-Arab conflict, and warned, ““A peace based on illusions will crash eventually on the rocks of Middle Eastern reality.”

Netanyahu, Obama meet Friday

Netanyahu, Obama meet Friday

During the meeting Netanyahu flatly rejected the possibility of basing the borders of a Palestinian Authority-led Arab state on the “1967 lines,” or 1949 armistice line.

“While Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines,” he said. “These lines are indefensible, because they don’t take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes.”

Netanyahu also brought up the problem of Hamas, reiterating that Israel has no intention of negotiating with the terrorist group. The PA is currently under joint Fatah-Hamas leadership; the Hamas charter calls to destroy Israel and force Islamic law upon Israel and ultimately, the world.

Obama had said Thursday, “How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist? … Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question.” However, he did not rule out talks with the PA even after its embrace of Hamas leaders.

Netanyahu emphasized a point Obama had ignored in his speech – the issue of where millions of Arabs who define themselves as “Palestinian refugees” will live if a PA state is created.

“The Arab attack in 1948 on Israel resulted in two refugee problems, Palestinian refugee problem and Jewish refugees, roughly the same number, who were expelled from Arab lands. Now tiny Israel absorbed the Jewish refugees, but the vast Arab world refused to absorb the Palestinian refugees.”

“Now, 63 years later, the Palestinians come to us and they say to Israel: accept the grandchildren, really, and the great-grandchildren of these refugees, thereby wiping out Israel’s future as a Jewish state. So that’s not going to happen. Everybody knows it’s not going to happen. And I think it’s time to tell the Palestinians forthrightly it’s not going to happen.”

The refugee problem “will be resolved if the Palestinians choose to do so in the Palestinian state… But it’s not going to be resolved within the Jewish state,” he stated.

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One Comment

  1. Obama Said “1967 lines” Not “Borders” – And It Matters

    CAMERA points out no border existed between Israel and the West Bank before the 1967 war. The lines, established April 3, 1949 by Article III of the Israel-Jordan Armistice Agreement, are not borders but armistice lines, temporary boundaries to be replaced in the future by a negotiated, internationally recognized border.

    The second and third paragraph of the AP article also refer incorrectly to the “1967 border.” [Thus each paragraph of the brief story, plus the headline, uses the incorrect terminology. -Ed]

    As for President Obama, CAMERA notes what he actually said was: “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 distinction is a critical one because armistice lines lines are immaterial in international law in terms of land rights and final status agreements, whereas borders often can be legally decisive.

    While CAMERA used the AP article as an egregarious and illustrative example of the error – numerous media outlets made the same mistake.

    Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) is a media-monitoring, research and membership organization devoted to promoting accurate and balanced coverage of Israel and the Middle East.

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