20 May 2011
The leadership of the World Jewish Congress (WJC) has expressed profound concern over US President Barack Obama’s endorsement of the borders that existed prior to the 1967 Six Day War and which are widely considered indefensible for Israel. Israel’s narrow waistline would be reduced to a mere nine miles, leaving Israel far more vulnerable to attacks from a future Palestinian state in the West Bank. WJC President Ronald S. Lauder rejected Obama’s call for “the borders of Israel and Palestine [to] be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps.”
Lauder pointed out that “this represents a sharp reversal of four decades of US policy based on UN Security Council Resolution 242 of 1967 in which the UN Security Council unanimously called for Israel to have secure and recognized boundaries that were to be different from the indefensible pre-war 1967 lines.” He noted that Obama was “the first sitting US president to call for a final peace settlement based on the fragile 1967 lines, which fail to provide Israel’s major cities with minimal territorial protection against possible Palestinian terrorist attack.”
The WJC called on the US leader to reaffirm American guarantees for defensible borders and Israel’s retention of major Jewish population centers in any future agreement with the Palestinians in the disputed territories. Those guarantees were provided by the United States in a presidential letter in 2004 and overwhelmingly endorsed by both houses of Congress, including then Senator Hillary Clinton.
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