In the weeks since US President Barack Obama surprised Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a demand to renew peace talks based on the “[pre-]1967 lines with land swaps,” the Obama administration has continued to pressure Israel to accept the new formula as part of an effort to steer the Palestinians away from unilateral action at the United Nations in September. But the effort is faltering as Jerusalem has reasserted its rights to “defensible borders” and warned that support for the Palestinian diversion could wreck the peace process entirely.

Meantime, the diplomatic focus on the pre-1967 lines was accompanied by an orchestrated campaign of actual assaults on Israel’s borders, including the most serious attempted breaches along the perennially quiet Syrian border with the Golan since the end of the Yom Kippur War some 38 years ago.

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