News / Middle East

Anticipation High in Israel for Obama Visit

President Barack Obama waves as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, March 19, 2013.
President Barack Obama waves as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, March 19, 2013.
U.S. President Barack Obama has arrived in Israel, the fifth visit of a U.S. president since Israel's founding.  There is an atmosphere of anticipation, but also realism among Israelis and Palestinians about what may be accomplished.

President Obama's Mideast Trip

Israel
-Will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
-Plans to visit Israel's Holocaust memorial and the grave of Yitzhak Rabin
-Will deliver speech to Israeli students
West Bank
-Will meet in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad
-Plans to visit Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity
Jordan
-Will meet with King Abdullah
-Plans to visit Petra
Israel is ready for Obama. Thousands of American and Israeli flags adorn lampposts in Jerusalem.  About 5,000 Israeli police are involved in ensuring security during each day of the presidential visit.

At Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport, the president will get a full ceremonial welcome and will deliver remarks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres.

Obama also will inspect anti-missile systems and associated radar technology developed with hundreds of millions of dollars in U.S. support.

It's then on to Jerusalem, where the three leaders will hold talks and Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu will make statements.

Obama's visit comes amid continuing skepticism among Israelis about his commitment to Israel's security, especially in the face of threats from Iran, and despite his numerous pledges that he "has Israel's back."

Stops President Barack Obama is making on his trip to the middle east, March 20-22.Stops President Barack Obama is making on his trip to the middle east, March 20-22.
x
Stops President Barack Obama is making on his trip to the middle east, March 20-22.
Stops President Barack Obama is making on his trip to the middle east, March 20-22.
A poll conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute and Tel Aviv University found 36 percent of Israeli Jews view him as friendly toward Israel, a several percentage point increase from a year ago.

Obama addressed such skepticism during a news conference in 2012.

"The measure of my commitment to Israel is seen in the actions that I have taken as president of the United States, and it is indisputable that I have had Israel's back over the last three years," said President Obama.

The president's talks with Israeli leaders will focus on a range of issues, but notably the threat Israel faces from Iran's nuclear program, and the situation in Syria.

The Assad government in Syria and rebels exchanged accusations Tuesday about alleged chemical weapons use, something Obama has said would cross a so-called U.S. red line.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the matter is certain to be high on the agenda throughout Obama's Mideast trip.

"I have no doubt that Prime Minister Netanyahu and the president will discuss it, President Shimon Peres and the president will discuss it as well, and it will be a topic, I’m sure, in discussions with other leaders - the king of Jordan, as well as the Palestinian leader," said Carney.

On the Israel-Palestinian conflict, White House officials say  Obama will listen to both sides and assess possible steps that could be taken to re-start direct talks.
 
Obama meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The same Israel Democracy Institute Poll found 62 percent of Jewish Israelis believe Obama will be unable to achieve any breakthrough on the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid