It is fine to talk about “new realities,” such as patterns of settlement, but this new U.S. policy also, and primarily, comes to terms at long last with an old reality. It is that 242 also recognized the right of every state in the region to “secure and recognized boundaries,” which Israel’s 1967 borders were not.
But wait. Palestinian spokesmen, denouncing the new U.S. position, speak not of the 1949 armistice lines but “the 1967 borders.” It is not in the interest of the Palestinian Authority to have the world reminded — being willfully forgetful, it needs much reminding — that Israel’s 1967 borders were accidents of the military facts on the ground 18 years before that.
Bush, by emphasizing 1949 rather than 1967, reminds those who forever say “Israel is being provocative” that for 56 years — since Israel’s founding in May 1948 — the problem has been that, to Israel’s enemies, Israel’s being is provocative. Hostility to Israel predated 1967 and would not be cured by a return to 1967 realities.
Read the whole thing, natch.