The PJ Tatler

Netanyahu swiftly rejects Obama's call for Israel to retreat to 1967 borders

That didn’t take long.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu swiftly rejected President Obama’s call Thursday for Israel to pull back to the borders that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War, calling those lines militarily “indefensible.”

Obama, in a sweeping address tackling the uprisings in the Middle East and the stalled peace process, stunned Washington and Jerusalem by endorsing Palestinians’ demand for their own state based on the pre-1967 borders. The break with longstanding U.S. policy appeared to immediately aggravate the Israelis, who want the borders of any future Palestinian state determined through negotiations.

In a statement released late Thursday, Netanyahu said such a withdrawal would jeopardize Israel’s security and leave major West Bank settlements outside Israeli borders.

Update: Was today’s speech a surprise to the Israelis, or not? I can’t see how it was, since the 1967 turn was in the Israeli press earlier in the week. If I knew about it enough to blog it from the other side of the world, surely Bibi knew about it. But I think Allah’s on to something in suggesting that the Israelis tried talking that point out of the speech, and are enraged that they couldn’t.