Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rick Perry lies about Israel (though perhaps he's just stupid)

Here's a quote from Perry's speech today:
...it was wrong for this Administration to suggest the 1967 borders should be the starting point for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. When you consider this suggestion was made on the eve of the Israeli Prime Minister’s visit, we see in this American Administration a willingness to isolate a close ally and to do so in a manner that is insulting and naïve.
Those of you who read the newspaper are aware that this is a naked lie. What Obama actually suggested is no different from what was suggested by his predecessor, George W. Bush

Here is what Obama said on May 19:
"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.."
In 2005, George W. Bush said the same thing, calling for a Palestinian state  based on the 1949 armistice lines, stating that “changes to the 1949 Armistice lines must be mutually agreed to.”  There is no substantive difference between this and what Obama said.

Also, as William Saletan reminds us, Bush wrote a letter to Ariel Sharon in 2004, in which he made the same suggestion Obama did in May.  Here's the key passage:
In light of new realities on the ground, including already existing major Israeli populations centers, it is unrealistic to expect that the outcome of final status negotiations will be a full and complete return to the armistice lines of 1949 … It is realistic to expect that any final status agreement will only be achieved on the basis of mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.
Saletan: "That's not a commitment to support Israel on the settlement blocs. It's a prediction that the 1949-1967 border will be adjusted to include these blocs, through mutually agreed swaps—exactly what Obama said on May 19. Furthermore, as Fareed Zakaria points out, Bush reaffirmed in 2008 that "any peace agreement … will require mutually agreed adjustments to the armistice lines of 1949 to reflect current realities and to ensure that the Palestinian state is viable and contiguous."

So is Rick Perry a liar or an ignoramus? Is he lying about Israel for the sake of his run at the presidency, or is he legitimately clueless about what past presidents have actually said?

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