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White House Tries to Clarify 1967 Border Remarks: Only a 'Starting Point


"What the President said yesterday was quite clear..."

After the press filmed a seemingly tense joint-statement session in the Oval Office between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney did his best to pick up the pieces at the daily press briefing. And the overarching message to reporters was this: the controversial comments about Israel returning to its 1967 borders only meant that those borders should be used as a starting point in negotiations:

Former Ambassador to Israel Ned Walker agrees. He trumpeted that position on Fox today:

But is that really what Obama said? For the record, here are his remarks from the actual speech:

So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, and a secure Israel. 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. 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. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state. [Emphasis added]

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