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Obama's speech a 'historic shift' on Israel and Palestine? No.

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That an eventual settlement would be based around borders from before the 1967 war, with land "swaps" of some kind to reflect the growth of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, has been a central assumption behind the peace process kicked off under President Bill Clinton in the early 1990s and pursued with subtle variations by presidents George W. Bush and Obama after him. Last year, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters, amid a push to restart peace talks that failed, that a solution could be found that "reconciles the Palestinian goal of an independent and viable state based on the 1967 lines, with agreed swaps, and the Israeli goal of a Jewish state with secure and recognized borders."

Sound familiar?

What wasn't in Obama's speech was anything new on how you get from here (complete dysfunction - it's a "process" by convention only at this point) to there (peace). He made no mention of the settlement freeze his administration had pushed for – and failed to get – in return for restored talks with the Palestinian leadership. He also sought to shoot down Palestinian efforts to win recognition for an independent state at the United Nations, something the Palestinian Authority has been gearing up for in September.

"For the Palestinians, efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September won’t create an independent state," Obama said, in a speech in which he repeatedly praised nonviolent protest in other parts of the region in pursuit of national "self-determination."

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