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If Push Comes to Shove

Binyamin Rose

The main risk to Israel from President Obama’s recently articulated positions may not come from the move to weaken Israel by pushing it back to the 1967 borders as much as it will from empowering Arab regimes and Israel’s left wing.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

One important point to keep in mind when measuring change in US policy in the Middle East is that ever since the engines went silent on Israeli aircraft and tanks at the conclusion of the June 1967 Six Day War, no US government has ever supported Israel’s retention of the land it captured in that miraculous battle.

Certainly, no US government has ever supported Israelis moving into those lands, as some 500,000 Jews have done, if you include the Jerusalem neighborhoods annexed to the city since 1967.

So in a sense, President Obama’s newly outlined Middle East policy, where he called for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians based on the pre-1967 borders, with mutually agreed to land swaps is not much different from policies put forward by previous administrations. The first of those was the Rogers Plan under the Nixon administration in 1969. Obama’s plan also bears close resemblance to ones that at least two previous Israeli governments have offered to the Palestinian Authority. Just as all of those plans have died a slow death in the last 40-plus years, there is no guarantee that Obamacare for the Middle East will fare any better.


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