Obama focusing on US-Israel bonds after tense week

May 22, 2011 - 5:13 AM
Obama

FILE - In this May 20, 2011, file photo President Barack Obama meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. Sunday, May 22, Obama is scheduled to speak at the AIPAC Policy conference in Washington. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama addresses some of Israel's fiercest supporters after a week when he endorsed the country's 1967 boundaries as the basis for a neighboring Palestinian state.

In a speech to AIPAC Sunday, Obama will focus on the deep U.S.-Israeli friendship.

But almost everyone present will be watching to see how the president tackles the policy shift he announced Thursday.

Obama said Palestine should be shaped around the border lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem — with land swaps to account for Israeli settlements.

The speech prompted strident criticism from Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu. He repeated his rejection of the terms after meeting Obama Friday at the White House.

Obama leaves later Sunday for Europe. Netanyahu addresses AIPAC on Monday and Congress Tuesday.