According to a report in the Washington Times, President Obama is working hard to get the Israeli government to publicly adopt President Obama’s view that Israel’s pre-1967 border should be the basis for future peace talks. And for help, he is going to leaders of American Jewish organizations, who tend to put progressive politics in front of everything else. According to Eli Lake of the Times
The Obama White House appealed to Jewish leaders on Friday that the request of Israel was part of an effort to head off Palestinian plans to declare an independent state at the United Nations in September.
The request of Mr. Netanyahu was made Monday to the prime minister’s top peace negotiator, Yitzhak Molcho, at a meeting with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the National Security Council, according to an Israeli diplomat based in Jerusalem.
…..Steven Simon, the new White House National Security Council senior director for the Middle East and North Africa, told representatives of the Jewish Community Friday during a conference call that the White House was looking to get both the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli government to adopt Mr. Obama’s “principles as a basis for negotiation,” according to a recording of the call played for the Washington Times.
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Mr. Obama’s position is “the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”
Interestingly Obama’s position does not make demands of Palestinians. He is trying to force Israel to negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas. And a government where neither of the ruling parties Hamas or Fatah are willing to recognize Israel as the Jewish State.
According to Jennifer Rubin, Israel supporters in Congress are fuming.
A spokesman for Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) conveyed the senator’s view: “The president’s insistence last month that Israel return to the pre-1967 borders represented a significant departure from past U.S. policy and has been roundly repudiated by members of both parties. Given this lack of support, even from his own party, it is inconceivable why the President would continue to undermine the position of our democratic ally Israel in its negotiations with a hostile neighbor.”
I spoke to Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), who plainly was angry over the continued effort to bully Israel. He said in a phone interview, “President Obama never learns. His real instinct is to weaken Israel. You don’t treat an ally this way.” He said he has never seen this sort of behavior from any U.S. president. After the apparent “rapprochement” following the Arab Spring speech, King says the current posture is “shameful.” Given the strong support in the Congress for Israel, will there be resolutions or a cutoff of funding for the Palestinians? He said firmly that it is time to start “fighting fire with fire.” In other words, as much as Obama seeks to pressure Israel while whispering vague promises to the American Jewish community, the Congress may very well try to recalibrate the balance. We should at least have one branch of government in our ally’s corner, right?
According to Jpost Obama has given Netanyahu an ultimatum:
The United States gave Netanyahu an ultimatum on renewing negotiations with the Palestinians, according to reports cited by Israel Radio Sunday morning.
According to the ultimatum, Netanyahu has to decide within a month whether he agrees to accept US President Barack Obama’s platform and resume talks based on 1967 lines.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu was expected to travel to Italy on Sunday where he will meet his Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi.
Let’s see if the leaders of Jewish organizations join in on criticizing Obama’s anti-Israel stance or, like Abe Foxman of the ADL, will the put progressive politics in front of doing the right thing when it comes to protecting America’s only ally in the Middle East.