President Obama's criteria for restarting peace negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians is a "disaster waiting to happen," likely GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty said Thursday.
Pawlenty took issue with Obama's call for a border between Israel and a Palestinian state to be based on lines drawn before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, saying it will force Israel to make undesirable concessions, including dividing Jerusalem.
"President Obama’s insistence on a return to the 1967 borders is a mistaken and very dangerous demand," Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, said in a statement.
Pawlenty followed up on criticism of Obama's speech from other top Republicans, including former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R), another presidential contender.
The former Minnesota governor said the U.S. should unequivocally support Israel instead of asking it to make concessions.
"To send a signal to the Palestinians that America will increase its demands on our ally Israel, on the heels of the Palestinian Authority’s agreement with the Hamas terrorist organization, is a disaster waiting to happen," said Pawlenty. "At this time of upheaval in the Middle East, it's never been more important for America to stand strong for Israel and for a united Jerusalem."
Republican criticism of Obama's speech came one day before the president is set to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was also upset with the speech.