“Let me repeat what I actually said on Thursday,” Mr. Obama said in firm tones at one point, “not what I was reported to have said.”
“I said that the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.”The question that needs to be answered is why Bibi chose to attack Obama's remarks on the disingenuous basis that he did. Obama's remarks Thursday were quite clear. So was Bibi trying to look tough? Was he trying to make trouble for the president? Both? And how pathetic for congressmen in both parties to have played along with Bibi!
The president emphasized the “mutually agreed swaps,” then went into an elaboration of what he believes that means. Mr. Netanyahu, in his critique of Mr. Obama’s remarks, had ignored the “mutually agreed swaps” part of the president’s proposal.
“Since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means,” Mr. Obama said. “By definition, it means that the parties themselves — Israelis and Palestinians — will negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. It is a well known formula to all who have worked on this issue for a generation. It allows the parties themselves to account for the changes that have taken place over the last 44 years.”