We’ve already written oodles about Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to a joint meeting of Congress today, but I wanted to get in this little bit of color.
There were more than two dozen standing ovations, but not all standing ovations are the same.
Most of the ovations brought the entire House to its feet, immediately.
A few, though, operated like waves: One party would rise and applaud and hoot and holler, and the other party would have a "might as well" reaction and — a little more slowly — also rise and applaud.
(Republicans, from Netanyahu’s perspective, were on the left side of the chamber and Democrats were on the right.)
Here’s an example of a line that prompted a GOP-to-Democrat wave (i.e., the Republicans were more enthusiastic):
And you have to understand this: In Judea and Samaria, the Jewish people are not foreign occupiers.
And here’s an example of a Democrat-to-GOP wave:
The Palestinians share this small land with us. We seek a peace in which they’ll be neither Israel’s subjects nor its citizens. They should enjoy a national life of dignity as a free, viable and independent people living in their own state.
There was one line Netanyahu extemporized from his prepared remarks that makes all the difference in the world — and may need further explanation.
Here’s the line in the prepared remarks:
The precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. We will be very generous on the size of a future Palestinian state. But as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4, 1967. Israel will not return to the indefensible lines of 1967.
And here it is as delivered:
Now the precise delineation of those borders must be negotiated. We’ll be generous about the size of the future Palestinian state. But as President Obama said, the border will be different than the one that existed on June 4th, 1967. (Applause.) Israel will not return to the indefensible boundaries of 1967. (Cheers, applause.)
So I want to be very clear on this point. Israel will be generous on the size of a Palestinian state but will be very firm on where we put the border with it. This is an important principle, shouldn’t be lost.
"Israel will be generous on the size of a Palestinian state but will be very firm on where we put the border with it."
That sounds unilateral, no?