News / Middle East

Israel Objects to Obama Remarks on Borders

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

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

British Fighters On Frontline of ISIS Information War

It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for Islamic State alongside other foreign Jihadists More

Audio Hit Song Delivers Ebola Message in Liberia

'Ebola in Town' has danceable beat, while also delivering serious message about avoiding infection More

Video New Technology Gives Surgeons Unprecedented Views of Patients’ Bodies

Technology offers real-time, interactive, medical visualization and is multi-dimensional 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.
Native Bees May Help Save Cropsi
X
Deborah Block
August 22, 2014 12:23 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video Native Bees May Help Save Crops

U.S. President Barack Obama has called for a federal strategy to promote the health of bees that have been declining. The honeybee has been waning due to parasites, disease and pesticides. Wild bees may be used to take over their role as crop pollinators. Scientists first need to learn a lot more about wild bees, says biologist Sam Droege, who is pioneering the first national inventory on native bees. VOA’s Deborah Block went to his research laboratory in Beltsville, Maryland, to bring you more.
Video

Video US Defense Officials Plan for Long-Term Strategy to Contain Islamic State

U.S. defense officials say American air strikes in Iraq have helped deter Islamic State militants for the time being, but that a broad international effort is needed to defeat the extremists permanently. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Thursday that the group formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL, is better organized, and financially and militarily stronger than any other known terrorist group. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug-Resistant Malaria Spreads in Southeast Asia

On Thailand’s border with Myanmar, also known as Burma, a malaria research and treatment clinic is stepping up efforts to eliminate a drug-resistant form of the parasite - before it spreads abroad. Steve Sandford reports from Mae Sot, Thailand.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid