Seeing the coverage of yesterday's major address by President Barack Obama, it was like there were two speeches; the one he actually gave, and the one that some were reacting to. It's essential to know what he said, and what he didn't.
It's laughable to suggest that President Obama insisted Israel return to 1967 lines, or that he said anything different from the policies of Presidents Bush and Clinton before him.
- President George W. Bush similarly said that prior armistice lines should be used as a basis for talks almost six years ago today -- while standing next to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.
- Indeed, responsible journalists have noted that the Administrations of Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have all referred to the same borders in the same way -- with "mutually agreed swaps," referring to accommodations and changes.
What did the President say? Unprecedented statements of pro-Israel support, and pragmatic solutions.
- A clarion restatement of America's commitment to Israel's security.
- A commitment to "stand against attempts to single it out for criticism in international forums."
- Eloquently and directly addressing Palestinian efforts to delegitimize Israel, isolate Israel at the United Nations, unilaterally declare statehood and deny Israel's right to exist.
- Recognizing yet again Israel's essential Jewish character as a homeland for the Jewish people.
- Insisting that a Palestinian state be non-militarized, and that Israel "must be able to defend itself -- by itself -- against any threat. Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security." Indeed the President focused like a laser on Israel's security needs.
- Noting the "profound and legitimate" questions posed by the alliance of Fatah and Hamas, and recognizing that "Palestinian leaders will have to provide a credible answer to that question" -- putting the onus on the Palestinians.
This speech was truly remarkable in how partial and pro-Israel it was.
You've heard the spin. Do yourself and the truth a favor:
1. Please pause right now and read the relevant text yourself.
2. Forward this email to at least eight friends and family members -- especially anyone who may have had questions about the President's remarks -- so they can get the facts.
David A. Harris
President and CEO
May 22, 2011
NJDC: Condemning the President
at May 22, 2011
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