In advance of his White House meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Friday, President Barack Obama laid bare his peace plan proposal between Israel and Palestine.
And Netanyahu didn't like it; prompting the belief that today's meeting is bound to be a tense one. According to the New York Times, the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu has never been a close one. Now it is likely to be even more marked.
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.
Some in the Mideast, including Netanyahu, said Obama went too far; some pro-U.S. lawmakers agreed.
President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus, said Mitt Romney, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate. He has disrespected Israel and undermined its ability to negotiate peace. He has also violated a first principle of American foreign policy, which is to stand firm by our friends.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said that Obama's plan undermines our special relationship with Israel and weakens our ally's ability to defend itself.
A senior Israeli official speaking on condition of anonymity told reporters that Netanyahu and senior officials have taken Obama's speech as proof that Washington does not understand what we face.