WJC: Obama speech signals dangerous new reality for Israel

The World Jewish Congress’ Dan Diker tells 20 Questions his reactions on Obama’s address to the state department; speech hails new era for diplomatic relations between US and Israel.

20 questions 58 (photo credit: courtsey)
20 questions 58
(photo credit: courtsey)
This weeks 20 Questions hosts Dan Diker, the secretary-general designate of the World Jewish Congress.
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Dikerhighlighted some of the more positive aspects of US President BarackObama’s Thursday speech on the Middle East, including the latter’scommitment to support the wave of democratic reform in the region, bothfrom a political and economic perspective.
Diker called the latter part of the speech, which focused on theIsraeli-Arab conflict, a “watershed moment” in which the presidentexposed Israel to a new and very dangerous diplomatic reality. Thepresident’s call for Israel to return to 1967 lines, Diker avers, willmake it impossible for Israel to defend itself against attack.
Diker continues that successive American administrations haveunderstood this and supported Israel’s entitlement to defensibleborders. Furthermore, the UN Security Council’s unanimously approvedResolution 242 provides for Israel to have secure and recognizedboundaries.
In addition, Diker asserts that by establishing 1967 lines as a basisfor negotiations, the president ultimately delegitimized the issue ofsettlements and large population centers in Judea and Samaria.
Neglecting to take a principled stand on the Palestinian right ofreturn, which in Diker’s words is a non starter, was anotherdemonstration of Obama’s fundamental shift away from previousadministrations.
However, Diker postulates that Obama’s intention might have been toderail PA President Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts in getting an internationalendorsement for statehood in the UN come September. If this is thecase, the president may have felt he had no choice but to offer thePalestinians something to value.
To see the full interview click here.
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