31 US Senators Sign Resolution Against Obama’s Call that Israel Return 1967 Borders

Source: JTA, 6-12-11

U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced a resolution calling an Israeli return to 1967 lines “contrary to United States policy and national security.”

The resolution introduced June 9 is co-signed by 29 other senators, including at least two Democrats, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Ben Nelson of Nebraska.

It declares “that it is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in maintaining defensible borders and that it is contrary to United States policy and national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.”

In a major Mideast policy speech  last month, President Obama called for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians to be restarted on the basis of 1967 borders with “mutually agreed upon land swaps.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin has rejected these borders as a starting point, calling them “indefensible.” The Palestinians say they will not return to the negotiating table unless the 1967 borders are used as the basis for discussing borders in the negotiations.

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Congress further opposes Obama Mideast peace plan

Senators Hatch & Lieberman Introduce Resolution Supporting Israel’s Post-1967 Borders

Source: RTT News, 6-4-11

In an effort to counter recent remarks from President Barack Obama, Senators Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., introduced a congressional resolution Thursday reaffirming U.S. support for allowing Israel to maintain control of territory gained during the Six-Day War in 1967.

The resolution states, “It is the policy of the United States to support and facilitate Israel in maintaining, secure, recognized and defensible borders and that it is contrary to United States policy and our national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967.”

The introduction of the resolution comes after Obama delivered a speech last month calling for the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state to be based on the pre-1967 boundaries with mutually agreed land swaps.

Obama’s initial remarks attracted considerable criticism, including from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and the president clarified in later remarks that the mutually agreed-upon swaps mean that the border would be different than the one that existed before the war.

As a result of the 1967 war, Israel took effective control of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, as well as the Sinai Peninsula and the Golan Heights. Control of the Sinai Peninsula has since been returned to Egypt.

Lieberman said, “Israel’s borders as they existed on June 4, 1967 are not an acceptable endpoint for negotiations because they do not allow Israel to defend itself or respect the reality that hundreds of thousands of Israelis now live east of the 1967 borders.”

“This bipartisan resolution reaffirms that simple but important reality, along with the commitment of the United States to the security of our ally Israel,” he added.

Along with Hatch and Lieberman, 29 other Senators cosponsored the resolution, including Democratic Sens. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., and Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

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