President Barack Obama just delivered a slap in the face to America’s one indisputably reliable ally in the Middle East. By suggesting, perhaps even insisting that any final settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian problem be based on the 1967 borders Obama--and there is really no other way to put it--has sold Israel down the river without even so much as a basket made of reeds.
It hasn’t always been easy. America’s reflexively pro-Israel stance has at times made things difficult but, as the only stable democratic state in the region, the United States has a moral obligation to defend her.
The boundary lines to which Obama wants Israel to recede are, as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Friday, “indefensible.” Moreover, the Palestinian Unity government with which they are to negotiate now includes members of the radical Hamas movement, which refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. As such, they cannot be counted on to negotiate honestly. It is not unreasonable, therefore, to assume that any concessions they make will only be part of a long-term strategy to wipe out the world’s only officially Jewish state.
Israel is surrounded by enemies, especially Iran--whose president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has repeatedly threatened its security in his speeches. Obama’s speech on the Middle East will only serve to encourage Ahmadinejad and his ilk; perhaps even provoking them to act rather than just talk.
What Obama is suggesting would force Israel to negotiate from a position of weakness, marking a pronounced shift in U.S. diplomatic strategy that has been place since the beginning of the Cold War. It’s a muddle-headed policy that is rightly being condemned by Democrats and Republicans alike.