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.I suppose it depends on which lines we're talking about. Are we talking the entire West Bank, and, say, the Golan Heights, too? Or something less, or something else entirely?
To me, the key part of the statement is defining, precisely, what is a "viable Palestine." The experience of Gaza isn't especially encouraging on that score. Instead of getting on with the business of building something, Gaza has become a place of greater despair than it was prior to the last major peace effort in the 1990s. Hamas isn't going to change what it is and it's hardly surprising that the Israelis would want no part of negotiating with a group that is dedicated to driving Israelis into the Mediterranean.
I also bring up the Golan Heights because it is so important to Israel's ability to defend itself. Syria is unremittingly hostile to Israel and if it regained the Golan Heights, that would mean unremitting war on Israel's northern border. It's a nonstarter.
As is this related notion from the Obama speech:
The Syrian people have shown their courage in demanding a transition to democracy. President Assad now has a choice: he can lead that transition, or get out of the way. The Syrian government must stop shooting demonstrators and allow peaceful protests; release political prisoners and stop unjust arrests; allow human rights monitors to have access to cities like Dara'a; and start a serious dialogue to advance a democratic transition. Otherwise, President Assad and his regime will continue to be challenged from within and isolated abroad.Assad made his choice a long a time ago. He's not going to be a transitional or transformational figure, any more than Gaddafi can be in Libya. It's time to stop pretending otherwise.