Obama says Palestine must be based in 1967 borders; wants to relieve Egypt of $1 billion of debt

Text of Obama’s Speech on the Middle East

The Wall Street Journal

Remarks of President Barack Obama – As Prepared for Delivery

“A Moment of Opportunity”

U.S. Department of State

May 19, 2011

As Prepared for Delivery –

…We support a set of universal rights. Those rights include free speech; the freedom of peaceful assembly; freedom of religion; equality for men and women under the rule of law; and the right to choose your own leaders – whether you live in Baghdad or Damascus; Sanaa or Tehran.

And finally, we support political and economic reform in the Middle East and North Africa that can meet the legitimate aspirations of ordinary people throughout the region.

Our support for these principles is not a secondary interest– today I am making it clear that it is a top priority that must be translated into concrete actions, and supported by all of the diplomatic, economic and strategic tools at our disposal.

Let me be specific. First, it will be the policy of the United States to promote reform across the region, and to support transitions to democracy…

…Drawing from what we’ve learned around the world, we think it’s important to focus on trade, not just aid; and investment, not just assistance.  The goal must be a model in which protectionism gives way to openness; the reigns of commerce pass from the few to the many, and the economy generates jobs for the young. America’s support for democracy will therefore be based on ensuring financial stability; promoting reform; and integrating competitive markets with each other and the global economy – starting with Tunisia and Egypt.

First, we have asked the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund to present a plan at next week’s G-8 summit for what needs to be done to stabilize and modernize the economies of Tunisia and Egypt. Together, we must help them recover from the disruption of their democratic upheaval, and support the governments that will be elected later this year.  And we are urging other countries to help Egypt and Tunisia meet its near-term financial needs.

Second, we do not want a democratic Egypt to be saddled by the debts of its past. So we will relieve a democratic Egypt of up to $1 billion in debt, and work with our Egyptian partners to invest these resources to foster growth and entrepreneurship. We will help Egypt regain access to markets by guaranteeing $1 billion in borrowing that is needed to finance infrastructure and job creation. And we will help newly democratic governments recover assets that were stolen.

Third, we are working with Congress to create Enterprise Funds to invest in Tunisia and Egypt…

…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.

As for security, every state has the right to self-defense, and Israel must be able to defend itself – by itself – against any threat.  Provisions must also be robust enough to prevent a resurgence of terrorism; to stop the infiltration of weapons; and to provide effective border security. The full and phased withdrawal of Israeli military forces should be coordinated with the assumption of Palestinian security responsibility in a sovereign, non-militarized state. The duration of this transition period must be agreed, and the effectiveness of security arrangements must be demonstrated.

These principles provide a foundation for negotiations.  Palestinians should know the territorial outlines of their state; Israelis should know that their basic security concerns will be met…

Read the entire text at The Wall Street Journal.

Update: Headline corrected 2:21 pm

Related: Egyptian Marxists Unite and Obama to announce major plan for economic development of Middle East Thursday

Update 2: Obama 2008: Not US Job to Dictate Form a Future Palestinian State Will Look Like. 2011: Israel Must Return to 1967 Borders…  With 2008 video, at Weasel Zippers.

Prime Minister Netanyahu responds. PA’s Abbas calls emergency meeting, “appreciates”  Obama speech.

Update 3: From GatewayPundit,

At NewsReal Blog, Obamas Speech was a Rebuke to J Street and Arab Hardliners

Professor  Jacobson writes at Legal Insurrection:

Israel’s pre-1967 borders had no geographical or military logic. Those borders simply were the armistice lines after the Arabs failed to drive the Jews into the sea.

The border is not defensible, as it leaves the middle of Israel only about 10 miles wide. One of the reasons the 1967 war took place is that Israel could not wait to be attacked, it had to act preemptively. These borders also left Jerusalem divided, with the old Jewish Quarter in Jordanian hands.

Yet these are the borders, with some minor land swaps, to which Obama wants Israel to withdraw, according to Obama’s Middle East speech today…

Update 4: Rush Limbaugh, “I don’t know how anyone could urge Israel to destroy itself.” Video.

Instapundit, Five Questions for Barack Obama to Answer Today.

Outside the Beltway, President Obama Wades Back Into The Middle East Quicksand

Update 5: The Jawa Report, Obama Shows His True Colors: Palestinian State Must be Based on 1967 Borders:

…To be a fly on the wall when he meets with PM Benjamin Netanyahu tomorrow…

…Apparently he doesn’t give a shite that Fatah and Hamas are soon to be one. Now do you see why the LA Times, during the presidential elections, refused to release transcripts of a going away party for anti-Semite, ex-PLO mouthpiece Rashid Khalidi? Then Senator Obama paid a special tribute to his friend “Khalidi”…

Read the whole thing.

H/T Square Mile Wife, …Exit question: Do you think Obama and Rashid Khalidi ever shopped together at Whole Foods?…

HotAir.com, Report: Obama told Netanyahu there’s be no surprises in the speech; Update: Not a surprise?

Was there a surprise in the speech? Bibi certainly seems to think so, but 1967 borders have been endorsed by prominent U.S. officials before — sort of…

Update 6: U.S. Jewish Leader: “The President of the United States Is Asking for Ethnic Cleansing

…“It’s immoral in that basically the president of the United States is asking that 500,000 people who live, work, and raise families around Jerusalem — Jewish families — that they be uprooted, resettled, deported from their homes, have their families broken,” Rabbi Aryeh Spero, founder of Caucus for America, told CNSNews.com.

“The president of the United States is asking for ethnic cleansing,” said Rabbi Spero. “It’s ironic that the president, who speaks in humanitarian tones regarding the Palestinians, doesn’t have any humanitarian concerns toward 500,000 Jewish people and families that will be uprooted and deported from their homes.”…

Osama ambushes Obama: The Arab Spring isn’t inconsistent with radical Islam

A dead terrorist outmaneuvered a living president on Thursday. Osama bin Laden’s final taped message was an eerie refutation of President Obama’s major Middle East policy address. Even in death, bin Laden launched a surprise attack with impeccable timing.

The president’s speech was billed as a game changer, an opportunity to put a favorable spin on what has so far been an ad hoc and chaotic American strategic approach to the spontaneous wave of change in the region. Most importantly, Mr. Obama claimed that the Arab Spring is antithetical to bin Laden’s worldview and represents an important victory over al Qaeda. He said bin Laden believed that violence is “the only path to change.”

Mr. Obama should have listened to the bin Laden tape before speaking…

H/T Weasel Zippers

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