On the eve of Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to the White House, President Barack Obama demanded that Israel return to its pre-1967 borders and accept the creation of a Palestinian state. Facing a firestorm of criticism created by this undiplomatic strong-arm tactic, the president spoke to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Sunday and insisted he had been misunderstood.
The president’s speech on Sunday was disingenuous and politically motivated. President Obama undeniably called for Israel to accept a settlement with its avowed enemies that would jeopardize its own security. His proposal is a stark departure from past and present policy, and would harm U.S. vital interests in the Middle East.
If Israel agreed to return to the pre-1967 borders as the president insisted, it would not have the secure and defensible borders that President Obama claimed to support in his speech on Sunday. As Prime Minster Netanyahu reiterated in the joint session of Congress today, the pre-1967 borders are “indefensible” and would leave Israel a mere nine miles wide at its narrowest point.
The prime minister also said today that “no one should set premature parameters about borders, about building, or about anything else,” and I urge President Obama to heed his word. We need to consider what the Scripture says: “When God established His covenant with Abraham, the Lord promised blessings to those who bless Israel.” Our president should pursue policies that continue to bless the relationship between the United States and the Jewish homeland.
Rep. Paul C. Broun, M.D. represents Georgia’s 10th Congressional District.