'This Week' Transcript: George Mitchell and King Abdullah II

AMANPOUR: What he's talking about is this. These were the borders of Israel before the 1967 Six-Day War. The decisive Israeli victory then put the West Bank and Gaza, with its large Palestinian population, under its control.

Since then, Israel has annexed large parts of Jerusalem and the West Bank and built thousands of settlements, where nearly 300,000 Israelis live among more than 2 million Palestinians, beyond the '67 borders.

Late Thursday, after the president's speech and as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was heading to Washington, he endorsed plans for another 1,500 new settlement houses.

The United States going all the way back to President Nixon initially called settlement activity illegal. The Reagan administration softened that a bit, saying settlements were not constructive. Bill Clinton allowed for natural growth. And in 2004, President Bush added the U.S. now recognized the new realities on the ground.

At a tense meeting at the White House Friday, Netanyahu demanded that the White House return to the Bush position and flatly rejected a return to the '67 borders.

NETANYAHU: These lines are indefensible because they don't take into account certain changes that have taken place on the ground, demographic changes that have taken place over the last 44 years. Remember that before 1967 Israel was all of nine miles wide. It was half the width of the Washington beltway.

GOLDBERG: What we saw on Friday was an Israeli prime minister lecturing the president in public about the course of Middle East history, the course of Jewish history. Barack Obama knows this material. And I have to imagine, just looking at the body language, that he probably had places he'd rather have been.

AMANPOUR: Obama visited Israel before his election, but has not returned since becoming president. According to polls there, the number of Israelis who believe President Obama favors the Palestinians has been steadily growing since his speech in Cairo, where he talked about a more even-handed approach to Middle East diplomacy.

OBAMA: If we so this conflict only from one side or the other, then we will be blind to the truth.

AMANPOUR: In his speech Thursday, he was tough on the Palestinians, as well, assailing the recent unity government between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which is considered a terrorist organization. And he warned the Palestinians not to unilaterally pursue recognition at the United Nations.

OBAMA: For the Palestinians' efforts to delegitimize Israel will end in failure. Palestinian leaders will not achieve peace or prosperity if Hamas insists on a path of terror and rejections. And Palestinians will never realize their independence by denying the right of Israel to exist.

AMANPOUR: In an interview with the BBC after his speech, President Obama tried to smooth some ruffled feathers and emphasized his unshakeable commitment to Israel's security.

OBAMA: You're going to have two states. And the basis for negotiations will involve looking at that 1967 border, recognizing that conditions on the ground have changed and there are going to need to be swaps to accommodate the interests of both sides. That's on the one hand. On the other hand -- and this was an equally important part of the speech -- Israel is going to have to feel confident about its security on the West Bank.


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