By now, it is no secret that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was more than peeved with President Barack Obama's May 18 proposal for Israel to retreat to pre-1967 lines. And while some have commended the move, others have condemned it.
As Alan Dershowitz, an American lawyer and commentator on the Arab-Israeli conflict put it: this could be the one serious mistake that tilts the balance against Israel in any future negotiations.
Without insisting that the Palestinians give up their absurd claim to have millions of supposed refugees 'return' to Israel as a matter of right, he insisted that Israel must surrender all of the areas captured in its defensive war of 1967, subject only to land swaps, Dershowitz wrote for the Hudson Institute.
By demanding that Israel surrender all the territories it captured in the 1967 war without insisting that the Palestinians surrender their right of return, the President has gone further than Palestinian negotiators had during various prior negotiations, he said. This makes it more difficult for the Palestinian leadership to be reasonable in their negotiations with the Israelis.
In his speech focusing on Middle East issues Thursday, Obama said his administration's proposal would create an independent Palestinian state by setting it along Israel's borders as they were before the 1967 Six Day War.
The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine, Obama said. The borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states.
Netanyahu said those borders would leave Israel indefensible, and would leave major Israeli population centers in Judea and Samaria beyond those lines.
Obama and Netanyahu are scheduled to meet at the White House today.