After the debate on Saturday night in Iowa, (12/10/11) Fact Check.Org posted the following:
“…False and misleading claims were flying again at the latest Republican presidential candidates’ debate in Iowa. Romney falsely claimed that … that Obama favored pre-1967 borders for Israel.”
But Fact Check misleads its readers. Romney was correct. Obama did call for a return to the 67 borders. Listen for yourself:
And read for yourself: Obama May 19:
“…So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis for those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel…. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 line with mutually agreed swaps so that borders are established for both states.”
Unfortunately for Obama, Bibi Netanyahu, the Prime Minister of Israel also understood that Obama wanted a return to the 1967 borders.
Netanyahu also stated,
“I expect to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama of American commitments made to Israel in 2004 which were overwhelmingly supported by both Houses of Congress.” Those commitments “relate to Israel not having to withdraw to the 1967 lines, which are both indefensible and which would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines.”
Obama receiving that smack down from Netanyahu and seeing that many millions of Americans also thought Obama advocated returning to 1967 borders, the President again tries to spin the topic to his benefit. On May 22, the whiny President complained that that his remarks had been misreported and misrepresented.
He said that what he did was to “say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately.”
He also blamed others as he typically does when caught in a faux pas, saying:
“Since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means. By definition, it means that the parties themselves -– Israelis and Palestinians -– will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. That’s what mutually agreed-upon swaps means. It is a well-known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation.”
Remember when Obama said words matter? In this case they certainly do: “…Different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967” is a totally different sentence and meaning from, “The borders should be based on the 1967 line.” If he had been clear in the first place, the brouhaha wouldn’t have been front page news. He also wouldn’t have had to retrace his words and “splain” them once again as he usually has to as he doesn’t know what he is talking about usually – he just reads the teleprompters and what others have written for him.
Israel has negotiated with the Palestinians before based on the 67 lines, but Obama is the first president to say so publically thereby upsetting everyone involved in the on-going negotiations between Israel and the Arab populations that are in control of the West Bank and Gaza.