NEW YORK (TheStreet) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reaffirmed his rejection of President Obama’s call for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders in an address to the U.S. Congress on Tuesday morning.
In his address, Netanyahu congratulated Obama for capturing Osama bin Laden. “Good riddance,” he said. Then he turned his comments toward the contentious topic of Israel’s borders with Palestine.
|Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on Tuesday.|
“Israel will be generous on the size of the state [of Israel], but very firm on where we put the border with it,” Netanyahu said.
The speech comes after Netanyahu voiced his disapproval of remarks President Barack Obama made that called for Israel to return to its pre-1967 borders.
“We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps,” Obama said last Thursday. He said that the “dream” of a democratic and Jewish state could not be satisfied with permanent occupation.
In response to Obama’s remarks, Netanyahu’s office released a statement that said the 1967 borders were indefensible and could leave Israelis outside the country. He also stressed that a return to pre-1967 lines would make Israel half the width of the Washington Beltway — nine miles.
Netanyahu concluded his speech by stressing the decisive role of the U.S. in advancing peace and defending freedom, and he thanked the U..S. for unwavering support of Israel.
During Netanyahu’s remarks, a woman screamed “Equal rights for Palestinians!” and was escorted out of the chamber by police.
In an impromptu reaction, the Israeli prime minister lauded the moment by saying, “You can’t have these protests in the farcical parliaments in Tehran or in Tripoli.” He called it “real democracy.”