Obama’s Israel Statements – Nothing New!


Former Mideast Envoy George Mitchell: Obama’s Israel Statements Not New

The media’s meme is false

George Mitchell, who recently resigned as President Obama’s envoy to the Middle East, said today that Obama’s statements on the “1967 lines” were not a major shift in policy.

The question is, why have the mainstream media been working so hard to hype this as a huge departure from previous policies, when it’s very clearly nothing of the sort?

Former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell, who resigned this month as President Obama’s envoy to the Middle East after serving two years, said that while President Obama’s comments on the 1967 borders were “a significant statement,” they do not signal a major shift in policy, especially when land swaps are taken into consideration.

“The president didn’t say that Israel has to go back to the ‘67 lines. He said with agreed swaps,” Mitchell told Amanpour. “Swaps means an exchange of land intended to accommodate major Israeli population centers to be incorporated into Israel and Israel’s security needs. Agreed means through negotiations. Both parties must agree.”

“That’s not going to be a border unless Israel agrees to it and we know they won’t agree unless their security needs are satisfied, as it should be,” Mitchell added of the 1967 borders.

Mitchell noted that Obama’s Thursday statement on borders were identical to a proposal made by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, who served until 2009.

“In a later interview, let me read to you what he said: ‘I presented Abbas with a comprehensive plan. It was based on the following principles. One, there would be a territorial solution to the conflict on the basis of the 1967 borders, with minor modifications on both sides,’” Mitchell said of Olmert’s previous comments.

Netanyahu, who will address the pro-Israel lobby Monday and Congress on Tuesday, played down the rift.

“The disagreements have been blown way out of proportion,” he told The Associated Press on Saturday. “It’s true we have some differences of opinion, but these are among friends.”

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