Former Israeli Amb. Sees Radical Shift in American Policy
Amb. Dore Gold on Obama's push for a return to '67 borders
- Duration 6:24
- Date May 19, 2011
Amb. Dore Gold on Obama's push for a return to '67 borders
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-- this big story of today a major shift in US middle east policy as President Obama endorses.
A one of the Palestinians demands and that its new state be based on borders existing before the six day war with Israel -- incidents.
The United States believes that negotiations.
Should result in two states.
With permanent Palestinian borders -- Israel Jordan and Egypt.
And permanent Israeli borders with Palestine.
We believe the borders of Israel Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines.
Would mutually agreed swaps.
So that's secure and recognized borders are established for both states.
That is the heart of what we're talking about here.
Ambassador dory gold is the former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and the president of the Jerusalem center.
For public affairs ambassador -- welcome good to have you here today.
First question of course is what's your reaction to what the president had to say today.
Well frankly I agree with you this is a radical shift in US policy towards Israel.
You know just a number of years ago in 2004.
The State of Israel received American guarantees.
That at the end of the day Israel would not be forced to withdraw.
To those 1967.
Lines that Israel had a right to defensible borders.
Frankly the 1960.
67 lines are not defensible.
Israel today is 45 miles wide.
You put us back to the 67 lines near eight miles wide the State of Israel can't be defended in those dimensions.
You know day earlier we talked about what the president had to say about is 1967 borders.
And initially you know as we were all sort of sorting through the information in this speech it was taken literally and and that would have sort of meant that some of the religious sites that we talked about would be lost.
To the Israelis like the Wailing Wall for example and the Mount of -- so.
Now we are learning more about how -- -- all work out and really that that it's not defined that clearly in terms of those religious sites and that it would be swapped says he said.
As the president said -- that statement that there would be mutually agreed upon land swaps.
Do you have any understanding can you clarify for us in terms of these holy sites what might be included and what might not be included.
Well first of all strictly speaking the 1967.
Place the entire Old City of Jerusalem.
Outside of Israel that means the western wall.
-- temple mount the church of the holy sepulcher will become Palestinian territory.
Now the president did say that he's not going to deal with Jerusalem at present but with the principal of the 1967.
Lines in their pocket.
The Palestinians are going to drive this home.
They want the Old City of Jerusalem.
But frankly only a free and democratic Israel will protect Jerusalem for all faiths prior to 67.
Christians were discriminated against in Jews could even go to the western wall.
I think every Israeli in his heart of hearts when he hears the 1967.
That brings back terrible memories of 55 synagogues being destroyed in the old city by the Jordanian army.
And by what's going on elsewhere in the Middle East today we're churches.
And -- other religious sites are under attack by Muslim radicals Jerusalem is safe and secure today we're very concerned what would happen.
If indeed the 67 lines were implement.
I mean you know.
This is gonna you obviously provoke a major discussion.
About these holy sites and if you when you talk about mutually agreed swaps of land.
Within that -- you know barrier defense region that you're that you're talking about it's hard to imagine how they would arrive at these mutually agreed swaps of land.
I mean he can you outline for us what kind of negotiation might be possible in terms of in terms of those holy sites in and also can you just clarify as I remembered correct correct my history on this forming.
What was arrows around who went to the Wailing Wall you know in a very sort of bold move at that time in order to cross into that territory and visit that that site.
Well aren't -- of the time visited the temple mount which is.
Holy to the Jewish people -- -- also holy to Muslims and many Christians -- call -- -- -- -- as well he has a right to visit there as he has a right to visit any -- point Israel.
But what really and then ignited what was called Intifada was mr.
Arafat's behavior let's go back to the dimensions of Israel.
I as I said before Israel is today 45 miles wide.
Take away the West Bank we're down to eight miles that is why one area that every Israeli prime ministers insisted upon like it's -- -- big.
Was that Israel stay in the Jordan Valley that's where our troops have to be located along the Jordan River.
And from there we can defend the State of Israel but if you pushes to the 67 lines.
We don't have a presence in the Jordan Valley we don't have our troops there and Israel is basically defenseless.
It isn't here -- understanding it is there any indication that the White House indicated.
Two Benjamin Netanyahu that this was going to be included in this speech that any heads up was given to the Israeli.
Leadership that this would be included a and -- how does this impact the discussions that the president will have with Netanyahu.
You know in the coming days.
Well this morning's New York Times actually has an article by Helene Cooper.
And by there are a reporter in Israel -- and -- In which they say there was a debate in the administration should -- put in the words 67 lines or shouldn't -- and one official Dennis Ross was dead set against it.
But unfortunately those who advocated the president to put in 67 lines.
A one the day and we have the speech but as I said before four Israelis 67 lines means a country that cannot be defended.
And also -- a country that loses in Jerusalem control of the holy sites that have been important for our people for 2000 years.
-- -- a dispute over what exactly was meant by that area.
And the holy sites within that area and what is meant by this idea of land swaps as part of this agreement so this is.
All to still be -- hashed out of course in the process of this story gold ambassador.
Well you very much.
-- to speak with you today.