Netanyahu Doesn't Budge

He rejects Obama's backing of 1967 borders in talks
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 20, 2011 3:32 PM CDT
President Obama meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Oval Office Friday.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
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(Newser) – President Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu said reassuring things about US-Israeli relations today, but Netanyahu's list of deal-breakers made clear the two leaders remain far apart on the elements of a peace deal with Palestinians, reports the New York Times. Notably, Netanyahu rejected Obama's suggestion of a return to 1967 borders. “Remember that before 1967, Israel was all of nine miles wide; it’s half the width of the Washington Beltway,” said Netanyahu. “These were not the boundaries of peace. They were the boundaries of repeated wars.”

Nor will Israel negotiate with Hamas or accept Palestinian refugees on its soil. "We share your hope and vision for the spread of democracy in the Mideast," said Netanyahu, but he warned that "peace based on illusions will crash on Mideast reality," reports the Los Angeles Times. Obama did not pull back from his border proposal and said the ultimate goal is a "secure Israel state, a Jewish state, living side by side in peace and security with a contiguous, functioning and effective Palestinian state. Obviously there are some differences between us in the precise formulations and language, and that’s going to happen between friends." (Read more President Obama stories.)

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