Netanyahu Tells Obama 1967 Borders 'Indefensible'

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WASHINGTON - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told President Barack Obama he's willing to make some compromises to achieve peace in his nation, but that returning to Israel's 1967 borders is not an option.

Netanyahu met with Obama in Washington, D.C., Friday, on the heels of the president's public call to return Israel to the borders the state held before the 1967 Six Day War, as a concession for peace with the Palestinians.

Though the leaders assured their relationship remains "friendly," there was still clear tension in the room as they discussed American policy on Israel.

"While Israel is prepared to make generous compromises for peace, it cannot go back to the 1967 lines, because these lines are indefensible," Netanyahu told Obama in front of the press.

Click play to watch Jennifer Wishon's updated report, followed by comments from Jim Carafano, deputy director of the Heritage Foundation's Center for Foreign Policy.

"These were not the boundaries of peace," he continued. "They were the boundaries of repeated wars because the attack on Israel was so attractive."

"So we can't go back to those indefensible lines and we're going to have to have a long-term military presence along the Jordan," he continued.

Watch below for Netanyahu's comments to President Obama May 20 in the Oval Office.

Obama assured Netanyahu that "Israel's security will remain paramount in U.S. evaluations of any prospective peace deal."

The move would require Israel to divide Jerusalem, cede most of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank), and the Golan Heights -- alll0 territory gained by Israel during the Six Day War in 1967.

Major Israeli communities would also be left outside of Israel's borders, making them more vulnerable to attack.

Watch below for comments from CBN News Mideast Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell on what might come of the meeting between Obama and Netanyahu.

Former Israeli Ambassador Yoram Ettinger said President Obama isn't considering the reality of the Middle East.

"Once again the president is detached because calling for Israel's withdrawal from the 1967 lines on one hand and calling for secure boundaries for Israel on the other hand constitutes an oxymoron," Ettinger said.

Another major roadblock for Israel is a recent partnership by the Palestinians' Fatah government with Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks to destroy Israel.  Even Obama admitted the new unity deal poses a problem.

"How can one negotiate with a party that has shown itself unwilling to recognize your right to exist?" Obama asked.

Netanyahu said Israel will not negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas.  He gave Palestinian leaders a choice -- their pact with Hamas or peace with Israel.

In the coming days, both Obama and Netanyahu will address a meeting of the powerful pro-Israel lobby. Monday, Netanyahu will speak to a joint session of Congress.

*Originally broadcast on May 20, 2011.

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Jennifer Wishon

CBN News White House Correspondent

Jennifer Wishon is the White House correspondent for CBN News based in the network’s Washington, D.C. Bureau.  Before taking over the White House beat, Jennifer covered Capitol Hill and other national news, from the economy to the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.  Follow Jennifer on Twitter @JenniferWishon and "like" her at Facebook.com/JennWishon.