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Obama's speech: why the fuss?

Barack ObamaJust a day after assuring Israelis that his speech wouldn’t call for a Palestinian state, Obama did just that in a speech to the US Congress. But the speech contained nothing new. Indeed, it marked a US policy defeat.

Obama called for an independent Palestinian state—which even Likud agrees to—but also insisted that such a state must be demilitarized, which the Palestinians would never accept as a matter of national pride. Obama also spoke about a state ‘based on’ the 1967 borders—which is a common formula—with ‘agreed border adjustments,’ which Israelis and Arabs have failed to agree on for the past two decades. By calling Israel a Jewish state, Obama rejected the right of return, which is unacceptable to the Palestinians.

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