Hatch accuses Obama of undermining Israel, offers resolution on borders


Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah.) on Thursday accused President Obama of undermining Israel by calling for a peace deal to be based on the country's 1967 borders. 

Hatch also introduced a resolution designed to reaffirm U.S. support for Israel's borders to be based on the territory it gained in the 1967 war against several Arab states. 

"It is contrary to United States policy and our national security to have the borders of Israel return to the armistice lines that existed on June 4, 1967," the resolution states. 

In comments on the Senate floor, Hatch said the resolution "removes any harmful ambiguity the president’s remarks might have caused." 

ADVERTISEMENT
Obama came under criticism from members of both parties when he said a peace deal should include 1967 borders plus mutual "land swaps" in a major address on the Middle East. The White House argued Obama was not saying anything new and that negotiated land swaps could broaden Israel's territory to include new settlements and land Israel's government contends is vital to its security. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.S. Congress later in the month that such borders would render Israel indefensible.

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and 29 other lawmakers have signed on as co-sponsors, including Democratic Sens. Ron Wyden (Ore.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.).

According to Hatch, the resolution, which has bipartisan support, will reaffirm "our nation’s steadfast and unshakable commitment to the security of Israel, specifically through the establishment of secure, recognized, and defensible borders."

More in Senate

Hatch: Obama not curbing Iran threat

Read more »