Smith: Obama’s Push for Pre-1967 Border Undermines Peace
Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), a senior member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and chairman of the panel that oversees global human rights, today released the following statement in response to President Obama’s speech in which he called for Israel to revert to its 1967 borders.
“President Obama’s insistence that Israel revert to its 1967 borders is bad policy born of moral confusion. Pushing Israel back to borders that existed prior to the Six Day War would seriously jeopardize its security in ways that threaten its very existence. The width of the country would be reduced from an already too narrow 45 miles to nine, about the distance from Trenton, New Jersey to nearby Princeton. Hostile armies, invading from two sides, could easily cut the country into two in a matter of minutes.
“The record will show that since 1967, Israel has repeatedly given up land to entities that have sought its destruction. Yet it has enjoyed not a day of what any reasonable person would call 'peace.' The Sinai it returned to Egypt in exchange for Anwar Sadat’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist may once again, under a more radical government than its predecessors, be used as a launching pad for war. Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza, land Egypt did not want back, in 2005. For that gesture of peace, Hamas, its current rulers, rewarded Israel by firing rockets into civilian areas of Israel “proper” (territory Israel controlled before the 1967 war).
“The very idea that Israel would even consider negotiating on the Obama terms and conditions with a Palestinian entity that includes Hamas, which seeks its destruction, is preposterous.
“No one questions the President’s overall desire for a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Yet, he has made that outcome less likely by showing the world that he is willing to reward bad behavior—and in some cases outright terrorism or the tolerance of it—and to turn on an ally that has repeatedly negotiated in good faith. What must they be thinking in Taiwan, South Korea, Singapore, and the new democracies that have emerged out of the ashes of what was once an Evil Empire? The effects of this President's misguided policy will reverberate around the world for years to come.”