The Bush Letter, America’s written commitment to Israel.
We all hear from those on the left that what Obama said is no different that any other previous administration.
However, HOW it is said makes a difference.
There was a letter, given to Sharon by Bush. That written word was very clear, and in fact that letter, and what it said was approved by the US Senate and House of Representatives on 23 June and 24 June 2004.
Talking about the 1967 lines as a basis, and then saying that they really won’t be those lines because there will be land swaps is not the same as pointing out that the borders will need to take into consideration “already existing major Israeli populations centers” and that “it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949,”
Talking about 1967 (instead of 1949) at all is confusing because it means something different to some people. Some people though Obama meant post Six Day war 1967, and some thought he meant pre-Six Day war 1967. Saying 1967, and then immediately saying there would be “swaps” is further confusing.
“mutually agreed changes” is not the same as “mutually agreed swaps”.
The words ARE different, and they have different meanings. Obama is making a change to where the US stands in the region. No I am not saying he is standing with the Palestinians, that is silly. However, he is trying to move the US policy to the middle, to be more of a “neutral player” in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
If you want to be in the middle, or think of yourself as neutral that is fine. In fact it plays well to the American sense of fairness. It sounds good to say “we are not taking sides and only want to help both sides.
However America long ago decided that it was not going to be neutral. To many of the Jews it is as simple as “you are either with us or against us” We have seen the effect of neutral in the past, and we didn’t like it.
The main reason for Israel is that forever more there will be at least one government what will never “be neutral”.
When someone tells you “precisely because of our friendship, it is important that we tell the truth” they are telling you that you don’t already know the truth. That you are fooling yourself in some way.
Well, in my opinion, it is NOT Israel that needs to hear Obama’s version of the truth, it is the Palestinian leadership. It is NOT Israel that needs to hear bad news, it is the tyrants and dictators of the Arab and Muslim countries.
Israel does not need to be told what Obama’s ideas of truth is. However if Obama wants to make changes to how the US wants to be perceived in the region, he can. Just don’t make it sound like he isn’t really doing that. If Obama thinks that a “neutral player” will be more effective, then admit that is what he is doing. Don’t try and have it both ways.
Read a great article that details this further here:
Anyone who again says that Obama did not depart from what Bush had committed to, is just plain wrong.