Sunday, May 22, 2011

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

The title is perhaps my favorite of all movie quotes. In this instance, I use it to refer to my confusion over Obama's use of the term "1967 lines" and the explosion of criticim it has raised. As I wrote in a post here, my understanding was that the 1967 lines, with modifications, had long been the basis for any sort of "two-state" compromise between Israel and the Palestinians. But in retrospect, it appears my understanding of the "1967 lines" was incorrect. The term is sufficiently ambiguous that I think it worthy of a post to clarify.

The map below shows the borders of Israel as provided by the UN Mandate, and the 1948 borders after the first Arab-Israeli War. Israel was in a precarious position defensively, and Jerusalem was a divided city. Note that these borders remained essentially unchanged until 4 June 1967 and the start of the Six Day War:

So when someone refers to the 1967 lines, are they referring to the above? Clearly, that territory is not defensible, and no peace could be made on such lines. Logically, to my mind, this was not the 1967 line, but the "1948" line.

During the Six Day War, Israel conquered the Sinai, the Golan Heights, the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Jerusalem. At the conclusion of the Six Day War, on 11 June 1967, this is how Israel's borders looked.

That is what I understood to be the "1967 lines." I will take my cue from the Israeli PM that my understanding of Obama's use of the term "1967 lines" was incorrect. And that makes it much easier to understand Netenyahu's angst indeed. If Obama was refering to the 1948 line as the basis for compromise, he is either grossly incompetent or a true enemy of Israel. Or both.

Update: Obama has now clarified his remarks. He in fact did mean the borders / armistice lines as existed prior to the 1967 war. Either he wants to see more war in the Middle East or he is insanely naive as to what will make peace possible. One, Israel must have fully densible borders. Two, Iran, the entity most responsible for flaming the Palestinian Israeli conflict, must experience regime change. Three, those who would attack Israel - i.e., Hamas, must be vilified and attacked at every turn until they are destroyed or beaten into submission. Then perhaps there will be peace. What Obama proposes is war and genocide, regardless of his intentions.


Ex-Dissident said...

The only constant when it comes to Obama, is that his words and actions hurt this country and its allies. So how do you use something like this to an advantage? You stop being an ally of this country. Bizarro world.

MK said...

"Either he wants to see more war in the Middle East or he is insanely naive as to what will make peace possible."

Like every liberal whose own ass isn't on the line, obamas answer to find peace is for you, not him, to bend over and spread cheeks.

He'll waffle about human rights, international law and all that shit when it's someone else who is bearing the brunt, the missiles, rockets and bombs.

However when it's his own ass, he's quite happy to send in a special forces team to execute you. Never mind trials, interrogation for info and that sort of thing.

Liberals are hypocritical bastards to the core.

1389 said...

Ubama's intentions ARE bad, and he knows EXACTLY what he is doing.

Please watch this, and pass it along:

Why Pre-1967 Borders Are Suicidal For Israel

OBloodyHell said...


Okay, not the first poster, but the first one to point out your misquotation, which is a very, very common one:

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

Actually, the line is:

What We Have Here Is 'Failure To Communicate'

Note that the actual quote, the "...A..." has been elided from the misquote. A subtle distinction, but not utterly trivial.


Other than that, your assessment is quite satisfactory...

Felix Decat said...

Pres. Obama is conflicted. On the one hand, it is clear from his cultural and political history and his choice of cohorts, that he holds to the Palestinian Arab narrative, which sees Israel as the oppressor and the aggressor, the main cause of Palestinian Arab suffering and of worldwide Muslim grief and anguish.

On the other hand, his current government position includes responsibilities that conflict with his desired political agenda. For example, the president is expected to support allies and to be cool to enemies. He is expected to do what is good for the US from a strategic point of view, and not to harm the US strategic position.

So he is in a seeming bind. Alas, the power of rationalization is almost limitless, so Obama will, I think, make progress on his desired agenda while appearing to to contradict too much his Presidential responsibilities. We may see this especially in regards to improving relations with the Muslim world, at Israel's expense.