I think just about everyone commenting on the 1967 borders issue in Obama's "Cairo II" speech today has it wrong. Some pro-Israel advocates are treating Obama mentioning the 1967 boundaries as a fundamental change in American policy, and an abrogation of private American understandings with Israel. Other pro-Israel advocates, and many pro-Palestinian and Obama administration supporters, are claiming that the 1967 boundaries have always constituted the basis for negotiations, and are therefore longstanding US policy. Both groups are wrong.
The 1949 armistice lines, commonly referred to as the "Green Line", constituted Israel's internationally recognized territorial boundaries prior to the second Arab attempt to mass murder the Jews of Israel, known as the Six Day War of 1967. After the war, and Israel's capture of, among other territories, Gaza and the West Bank, Israel's eastern territorial boundary became the Jordan river. By urging that negotiations begin from the baseline of Israel's 1967 boundaries, as opposed to its 1949 armistice lines, Obama has necessarily accepted the West Bank and Gaza as Israeli possessions. In other words, the American President has just thrown his lot in with the pro-settlement, anti-Palestine, "Greater Israel" coalition, making the basis for negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians the Jewish State's full and exclusive sovereignty over the West Bank and Gaza.
If we are going to bicker over rhetorical semantics, then we should make them semantics that work for us, and not against us. In that spirit, I strongly urge the pro-Israel blogosphere to celebrate this stunning turn of events and quickly accept President Obama's demand that Israeli-Palestinian negotiations begin with a universal acknowledgement of total Israeli sovereignty in all territories desired by the Palestinians for their state.