Israel’s political elite have welcomed US President Barack Obama’s retreat from his call for the establishment of a Palestinian state along the June 4th 1967 borders. In an address at the AIPAC conference, Obama clarified that permanent border for a Palestinian State won’t necessarily imply an Israeli withdrawal to pre-1967 borders.
The Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, expressed his appreciation for the American stance announced by Obama in his speech at the conference held by the pro-Israel lobby organization, AIPAC, in Washington DC on May 22nd. Obama’s remarks to AIPAC constituted an “implicit retreat” from what Obama had said only 2 days earlier in his Middle East speech in which he called for setting “the borders of Israel and Palestine … based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps”; a position which was rejected by Tel Aviv.
The Israeli minister, Mitan Vilnai, considered that Obama’s AIPAC speech was an “important step forward” and said that Obama keenly understood the hardships Israel faces.
The US President was subject to much criticism and allegations from Israelis as a result of his Middle East Speech in which he called for an Israeli withdrawal to pre1967-borders. Following the speech, which Obama gave on May 19th, Israel accused him of hindering the political process and taking it backward in light of his lack of understanding of the reality and his negligence toward Israel’s ‘mortal’ concerns.