Originally posted at 1:27 p.m.
Obama must be very certain that liberal Jews will enthusiastically support him no matter what. And there is evidence he is right. Josh Block, senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute and a former AIPAC spokesman, e-mailed: “It [the speech] was a strong reformation of the US-Israel relationship, and was an important and positive change from his remarks on Thursday. It reflected an important continuity of US policy going back to President Johnson.” – Obama double downs at AIPAC, By Jennifer Rubin
Now, I’m no fan of Rep. Hoyer’s blue-doggedness, but after his red meat rhetoric Sunday at AIPAC, Pres. Obama came on to the stage like a political prize fighter. The one – two punch rhetorical tag team worked, because Hoyer got standing ovation after ovation and even got what sounded like more applause when he was mentioned by Obama than hawk weenie Eric Cantor did.
Steve Clemons tweeted something the other day that got my attention, but now comes with actual footage.
I get Barack “Rocky Balboa” Obama now He’s letting Netanyahu kick crap out of him round after round & wearing Bibi down. Obama stays in ring – Steve Clemons
Now, it was my reference to the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps that received the lion’s share of the attention. And since my position has been misrepresented several times, let me reaffirm what “1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps” means.
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 forty-four years, including the new demographic realities on the ground and the needs of both sides. The ultimate goal is two states for two peoples. Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people; each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
If there’s a controversy, then, it’s not based in substance. What I did on Thursday was to say publicly what has long been acknowledged privately. I have done so because we cannot afford to wait another decade, or another two decades, or another three decades, to achieve peace. The world is moving too fast. The extraordinary challenges facing Israel would only grow. Delay will undermine Israel’s security and the peace that the Israeli people deserve.
In case you didn’t catch it, that sentence in bold was directed at PM Netanyahu, who earned the diplomatic shout out after he conveniently chose to ignore and press Pres. Obama that something had changed when Obama uttered “1967,” because Netanyahu purposefully ignored with land swaps. Rubin characterized Obama calling out the naked political mischaracterization as “blame-the-media and woe-is-me sentiments that were shameful displays by a U.S. president”.
Coming after Hoyer’s phenomenal sound bite rapid fire that had the audience on its feet continually, Pres. Obama delivered the urgency that all parties must acknowledge, while holding the line against forcing Israel to accept terms through U.N. machinations, which would be disastrous for everyone, but especially U.S. interests.
The Hoyer – Obama team truly was tour de force foreign policy theater. That it came at AIPAC had its own sort of magic.
PHOTO: President Barack Obama talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel as they walk from the Oval Office to the South Lawn Drive of the White House, following their meetings, May 20, 2011. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)