After months of documenting what he claims are the Obama administration's evil plans for Israel, Glenn Beck today showed exasperation at the Jewish community for seemingly not believing his ludicrous theory that Israel “is being set up.” Discussing President Obama's recent speeches on the Middle East, in which Obama called for a two-state solution “based on” the 1967 borders “with mutually agreed swaps” to arrive at a “viable Palestine” and a “secure Israel,” Beck stated:
BECK: We just played this audio here where [Obama] says this policy, it's no big deal. It's not really any different than, you know, the -- than all the other presidents. I've never heard a president say the 1967 borders.
Though co-host Pat Gray and producer Stu Burguiere cited a 2002 speech by then-President George W. Bush in which he “alluded to a UN resolution or something” referencing 1967, Beck went on to agree with both that “it wasn't a direct reference to it,” as Gray put it. Burguiere, citing Glenn Kessler's piece in The Washington Post, also said that it's “sort of a reach” to claim Bush was referring to the 1967 borders in his 2002 speech, adding that Bush was “not exactly saying” that.
Beck then stated: “Yet ... the Jewish community seems to be giving him a pass yet again,” asking, “How is that possible?” He then called Obama's reference to 1967 an “absolute betrayal,” echoing remarks by New York Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman.
For months now, Beck -- who has said “there is no one more pro-Israel or more pro-Jew than I am” -- has been alleging that the United States is "no longer an ally" of Israel and that it will eventually "mount a campaign against" that country because of the administration and Obama's supposed anti-Semitism. (This is of course puzzling given Beck's record of pushing anti-Semitic stereotypes and promoting the work of anti-Semitic authors.) Indeed, during the same show, Beck claimed that Obama's borders proposal is aimed at “destabiliz[ing] Israel even more.” Last week, Beck had warned that Obama's policy toward Israel ends with that country's “destruction” and the destruction of the “Western way of life.”
But as we've shown time and again, Beck's persistent claims that Obama is biased against Israel and that he may order an attack on the country are riddled with falsehoods. Moreover, while Beck may “never [have] heard a president say the 1967 borders” before Obama, Obama is not the first U.S. president to do so.
As The Wall Street Journal reported (subscription required) on May 23:
The reaction to President Barack Obama's speech on Thursday has largely focused on one line: “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.” News outlets from across the political spectrum ran headlines highlighting Mr. Obama's demand that Israel return to the “1967 borders,” referring to Israel's boundaries before it took control of the West Bank and Gaza Strip after the 1967 Six Day War.
But Mr. Obama never said Israel should return to the 1967 lines. He said the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps should be the basis for negotiations. As Mr. Obama said yesterday at the annual American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference, “it means that the parties themselves -- Israelis and Palestinans -- negotiate a border that is different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967.” With this flexibility, Israel could incorporate, in internationally recognized borders, the vast majority of some 500,000 Israelis currently living beyond the 1967 lines. In effect, Mr. Obama met the Israeli demand that a future border reflect Israeli demographic and security concerns.
The concept of land swaps has served as the basis for every serious attempt to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the past decade. For every piece of land beyond the 1967 lines that Israel wants to annex, it would give a piece of land to the Palestinians from within Israel proper.
President George W. Bush's 2004 letter to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, which current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is now insisting that Mr. Obama reaffirm, is based on this premise. Mr. Obama's Thursday speech formalizes into official U.S. policy the working assumption of every U.S. president and secretary of state since the 2000 Camp David negotiations, as well as former Israeli Prime Ministers Ehud Olmert and Ehud Barak, Israel's most decorated soldier.
Based on the simplistic media coverage, it's easy to miss the distinction between “return to the 1967 lines” and the president's actual formulation of “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.” The truth is that the president's vision ensures that Israel can remain a Jewish and democratic state, include within internationally recognized borders the vast majority of Israelis currently living beyond the 1967 lines, and keep its citizens safe.
Additionally, prominent Israelis have voiced support for similar proposals and American Jewish organizations, including the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League, and the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, approved of Obama's remarks. How long before Beck implicates those groups in this apparent plot to bring about the fall of Israel?