Saturday, May 21, 2011

The view from Palestine

"FOR would-be Palestinian negotiators, there was much in Barack Obama's speech on the Middle East to applaud. For the first time an American president has articulated his country's commitment to two states based on the 1967 borders. He also called for a "full and phased withdrawal of military forces"—ruling out a permanent military presence, though leaving open the possibility of a long-term interim one. He said a Palestinian state would border Jordan, thereby quashing any lingering Israeli demands that Israel retain a buffer in the Jordan Valley. To Israel's chagrin he also proposed that the parties first resolve their security arrangements and define their borders, before tackling what he called "wrenching and emotional issues remain: the future of Jerusalem, and the fate of Palestinian refugees"

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