Tags: Israel | dore | gold | israel | speech | obama | radical

Dore Gold: Obama's Plan a 'Radical Shift'

Thursday, 19 May 2011 10:56 PM

One of Israel’s top diplomats and an expert on the Middle East called President Barack Obama’s endorsement of a Palestinian state based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Six-Day.

"This is a radical shift in U.S. policy toward Israel," Dore Gold, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, told Fox News. "Frankly, the 1967 lines are not defensible. ... Israel today is 45 miles wide. You put us back to the '67 lines, we are eight miles wide."

In the U.S., the policy shift could pose a problem for Obama with Jewish voters and donors, Fox reported.

"I think that if the perception is a year from now that the president's game plan was to sort of ram this approach through, then he's going to lose a lot of this support," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean at The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish rights group in Los Angeles. "It'll be interesting to see how Americans Jews respond."

Jewish voters made up just 2 percent of the electorate in 2008, according to exit polls. But they leaned toward Obama. At the time, 78 percent voted for the senator from Illinois, while just 21 percent voted for Republican Sen. John McCain.

Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said it's too early to tell whether the courtship between Obama and American Jews is in peril.

"We should wait and see what he outlines" in the days ahead, Hoenlein said, referring to his upcoming speech at AIPAC. But Hoenlein said he's hearing considerable concern that Obama just made the 1967 borders the "starting point" for negotiations with the Palestinians -- rather than something the two sides might arrive at down the road. He said the Palestinians can now "pocket this" and use it to influence talks.

"It's a sensitive issue," he said.

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