Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, called President Obama’s call for a return to the 1967 Israeli-Palestinian borders a “mistake.”
“Anytime our president singles out an issue, it makes it more difficult, in my view, to have a comprehensive negotiation, so I quite frankly think it was a mistake,” Graham told reporters Thursday afternoon.
Graham said Obama is not paying sufficient heed to other elements of the peace negotiations by focusing on the borders.
“I think what is a mistake is for us to talk about the borders and land swaps,” Graham said.
“What about should Israel be able to have security forces along the Jordanian border? Should we be able to have buffer zones between the Sinai, where is Egypt in this? Will the Egyptian government still be as committed to stopping the flow of weapons into Gaza under the tunnels?” he added. “So when you talk about borders and you don’t talk about the other moving parts, then I think you’re doing the whole process a disservice.
“Mr. President, don’t focus on the borders alone,” Graham said.
In a speech at the State Department Thursday, Obama said Middle East peace talks should resume with a goal of placing the borders of Israel and Palestine on lines set before the 1967 war and mutually agreed-upon territory swaps.