News / Middle East

Israel Objects to Obama Remarks on Borders

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)
TEXT SIZE - +

Israel says it will ask President Obama to clarify remarks in his speech Thursday in which he said the future borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines.

President Obama's remarks, during a major address on the Middle East, drew an immediate response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who issued a statement as he prepared to leave for Washington, where he is to meet Friday with the U.S. leader.

Mr. Obama appeared to upset Israeli leaders by saying the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps.   

The "1967 lines" reference is to pre-war boundaries before Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights in fighting with Jordan, Egypt and Syria.

Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says Mr. Netanyahu will ask President Obama for clarification of the remarks.

"The 1967 line was never an international border. It was never recognized as such. It was a cease-fire line with many unclear areas that were considered no-man's land and therefore because of their nature, they are considered an indefensible border," he said.

Palestinian analysts praised Mr. Obama's call for Israel to negotiate a permanent border based on the lines that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Hanna Siniora is a member of the Palestine National Council from East Jerusalem. He said that while he believes Mr. Obama made significant concessions to the Israelis by - among other things - reaffirming a U.S. commitment to Israel's security, emphasizing borders was an important point for the Palestinians.

"We heard all American administrations talk about unshakeable security for Israel. We are not against security for Israel, but we are asking at the same time for security for the Palestinians, and this can only happen if the border between the two states is defined," he said.

Palestinian negotiators have expressed frustration over what they say has been Israel's reluctance to discuss borders.

In his speech, Mr. Obama barely touched on other key issues including the status of Jerusalem and refugees.

Oded Eran, director of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, says President Obama is pressing Mr. Netanyahu to address the borders issue now.  

"He told him that he will not press him on the other issues. But he told him 'Mr. Netanyahu, you have to move on the territorial issue and you have to answer me on this issue,' Eran said.

Israeli officials say Mr. Netanyahu hopes to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama that the United States will adhere to a previous U.S. commitment on the borders issue.

In a 2004 letter, then-President George W. Bush told Israeli leaders it was, in his words, "unrealistic" to expect a return to original armistice lines, given what he said were the new realities on the ground - realities that he said included the existence of Israeli population centers in the West Bank.  That is a reference to settlements Israel has built since capturing the territory.

You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid