News

    Palestinians Express Anger on 60th Anniversary of Israel's Creation

    Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip on Thursday marked the 60th anniversary of the 1948 war that followed Israel's independence, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled into exile.  VOA's Jim Teeple reports the observances took place as President Bush spoke to the Israeli Knesset, or parliament, saying he envisioned a future Palestinian state living side-by-side with Israel in peace.

    Thousands of Palestinian schoolchildren gathered at Manara Square in downtown Ramallah to release black balloons over the city to commemorate what Palestinians call the Nakba, or the catastrophe, when Israel was founded 60 years ago.

    Many Palestinians like Maha, who declined to give her last name, said they were angry with President Bush for not visiting the Palestinian territories as he did in January during his last visit to the region.

    "Yes it means a lot.  How come he celebrates the establishment or the 60th anniversary of Israel and does not look at the other side of the coin, the other face of the coin?" Maha asked.

    In his annual Nakba speech moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for reconciliation and unity among Palestinians - divided since last year's violent takeover of the Gaza Strip by Hamas militants.  Tensions were high in Gaza after Hamas security forces stopped Fatah allies of President Abbas from holding a Nakba rally.  

    In his Nakba speech to Palestinians President Mahmoud Abbas said he would continue peace talks with Israel, aimed at reaching some sort of framework peace agreement by the end of this year.  Mr. Abbas will meet with Mr. Bush this Saturday in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. 

    Issam Arruri who directs the Jerusalem Legal Aid Center in Ramallah says many Palestinians are skeptical that Mr. Abbas can achieve anything in the talks. 

    "I think the whole issue has become a sort of PR (Public Relations) game," Arruri said. "Most Palestinians are not confident that this process lead to any progress in the peace process.  They see it just being used for political reasons, and there will not be real progress on the ground."

    The mood in Ramallah was in stark contrast to the mood in Israel just a few kilometers away.   During the past week, Israelis have been holding gala celebrations and conferences commemorating their 60th anniversary.  For many Palestinians the memory of their lost homes in what is now Israel is a 60-year source of frustration. 

    Longtime PLO activist Dr. Alfred Tobasi who spent the first 20 years of his life in the port city of Jaffa says he remembers Jaffa every day.

    "It is very difficult to forget the memories," Tobasi said. "I cannot stop thinking about my 20 years in Jaffa, I cannot stop thinking."

    Dr. Tobasi says like many upper-middle class Palestinians most of his family is now scattered around the world.  He says he hopes they will not have to wait another 60 years to live together again, in an independent Palestinian state of their own.  


     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora