Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Quotable Words

After meeting for several hours at the White House on Friday, each delivered a full-throated restatement of positions that are at odds both on the terms for Palestinian statehood and the tactics for making it happen. Netanyahu objects not only to Obama’s formula for basing a Palestinian state on Israel’s 1967 border lines but also to the strategy of pressuring Israel to make concessions on territory before addressing Palestinian demands for a “right of return” to Israel for refugees.

Netanyahu believes there must be a tradeoff between territory, refugees and Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state — especially as Israel has little to concede other than land. Remarkably, however, in three public statements over five days, Obama never reconfirmed the U.S. position under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, which is that most or all refugees must be resettled in the new Palestinian state.

Jackson Diehl

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