Chris Matthews jumped into the debate about President Obama publicly declaring that Israel needs to return to pre-1967 borders (with agreed upon land-swaps) as part of any Middle East peace plan negotiations.
What provoked Matthews to explore this issue was the solid Republican support for Israel’s position that any discussion of returning to the 1967 borders was a non-starter for them in any peace negotiations. Realities on the ground have changed the necessary terms of the debate.
Matthews asked his guests Cynthia Tucker of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and Sam Stein of the Huffington Post if it wasn’t unusual to have “a bunch of Republican Senators line up with a foreign leader against the president of the United States”?
Tucker: The only country in which you see that regularly done here in the United States is Israel, and it isn’t just…
Matthews: I’ve never seen this done before.
Tucker: Well they have been doing it ever since Barack Obama has been president. They have been supporting whatever Netanyahu says. And we support Israel, but that doesn’t mean we support everything Israel’s government does. But Republicans line up against the president on this and sometimes so do Democrats.
Pardon me? Did I just hear Tucker drive a hole through Matthews’ argument that it’s only the Republicans who have lined up against the President?
Matthews predictably ignored the last part of Tucker’s comments and went on to discuss a two-state solution in the Middle East, but what she said was correct.
For evidence of this just look to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid who implicitly rebuked Obama when he spoke to AIPAC Monday night and told the audience that “The place where negotiating will happen must be at the negotiating table – and nowhere else,” and that “No one should set premature parameters about borders, about building, or about anything else.”
Similar sentiments have been expressed by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY), who are concerned that President Obama went too far when he referred to the 1967 borders as the basis for a final settlement.
Obviously these facts are of little concern to Matthews who wanted to portray the Republicans as so anti-Obama that they would support another country’s interests above our own as he continues to hammer the GOP ahead of the 2012 election.