Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu outlined his vision for peace with the Palestinians this afternoon in a rare address to a joint session of Congress, days after President Obama floated a peace proposal in which the borders of Israel and Palestine would be based on a modified version of the boundaries that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Netanyahu claimed he was willing to make "painful compromises" and "give up parts of the ancestral Jewish homeland" to broker a two-state solution but once again said he considers the pre-1967 lines "indefensible" for Israel.
For the people who measure these things this way, the affection for Netanyahu in the chamber was clear: the Israeli prime minister received 29 standing ovations from Congress during his address; at President Obama's last State of the Union he got 25. (In fact, Al Jazeera initially tweeted the speech with the hashtag #AIPAC"--the pro-Israel lobby Netanyahu addressed last night--before changing it to #US Congress. The mistake, we imagine, was inadvertent, but analysts could still have a field day with that one). Al Jazeera's Dima Khatib, for example, writes that Netanyahu would never receive 20 standing ovations in the Israeli parliament, adding that "US congressmen are so excited about Netanyahu's speech that they clap at almost every paragraph, like Arab parliaments do to Arab leaders!"