Nationalist Israeli lawmakers were taken aback by US President Barack Obama's "new chapter in American diplomacy" outlined Thursday during his much expected Mideast policy address at the State Department.
Obama ambushed Netanyahu, who had outlined Israel's conditions for peace earlier this week, and demanded a "full and phased withdrawal" by Israel from "occupied lands" citing the "1967 border." Before his address, Obama had assured Israeli officials he would not address specifics of the Arab-Israeli conflict.
"President Barack Hussein Obama adopted the phased plan of Yasser Arafat," MK Danny Danon (Likud) told Israel National News - noting Arafat's plan was not for peace, but for the gradual destruction of Israel, piece by piece.
"He is demanding [of] Netanyahu a withdrawal from all of Judea and Samaria without even ending the conflict. He left the Prime Minister only one option, which is to tell him to 'forget about it,'" Danon said.
Danon also lauded Prime Minister Netanyahu's strong response to Obama's position, which included the demand that the US honor commitments made to the Jewish state in 2004 by former President George W. Bush.
"I commend the prime minister for issuing a clear response that this policy is unacceptable," Danon said.
Aryeh Eldad (National Union) said Obama's position was nothing knew – and definitively insane.
"I wonder why all the pundits were so excited about Obama saying '1967 borders' as if he invented something knew. We tend to forget these were the Clinton guidelines, that Barak negotiated with Arafat based on them. Ehud Olmert also negotiated on these terms with Abu Mazen - and they all failed," Eldad said.
"It is a wonder the American president forgot Einstein's definition of insanity," Eldad said with characteristic dry humor. "That 'Insanity [is] doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.'"
Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to address the US Congress on May 24.