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Harry Reid, Rob Bishop criticize President Obama on Israel

Published: Wednesday, May 25 2011 7:36 a.m. MDT

Criticism continues flaring from both sides of the aisle over President Barack Obama's position that a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict begins with pre-1967 borders.

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., drew a standing ovation Monday night for a speech that, according to Politico, "publicly rejected President Barack Obama's decision to use a recent speech to lay out aspects of a potential peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians."

Speaking to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), Reid declared. "The place where negotiating will happen must be at the negotiating table — and nowhere else. … No one should set premature parameters about borders, about building, or about anything else."

Per Politico: "The lights quickly came up on the vast audience and most in the crowd at the Washington Convention Center rose to their feet and applauded."

On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a 45-minute address to a joint session of Congress. Afterwards, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, issued a press release that both commends Netanyahu and critiques Obama.

"I applaud the Prime Minister for his leadership as a champion of democracy and for his commitment to peace and security throughout the region. … I fundamentally disagree with President Obama's suggestion that negotiations between Palestine and Israel begin by re-imposing the borders of 1967. Israel has a right to exist as a state and, like America, a right to maintain defensible borders in order to provide safety and security for its people."

The Hill reported a generally positive reception to Netanyahu's remarks by Congress: "House lawmakers from both parties are siding with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over President Obama in their differing approaches to the Israel-Palestine border dispute."

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