News / Middle East

    Arab Uprisings Could Affect US Strategy Toward Mideast Talks

    Presidents Barack Obama (r) and Shimon Peres meeting at the White House in April, 2011
    Presidents Barack Obama (r) and Shimon Peres meeting at the White House in April, 2011
    Mohamed Elshinnawi

    For decades, Washington has relied on friendly Arab governments to manage the Arab-Israeli conflict without taking Arab public opinion into consideration. But now, with popular uprisings sweeping through the region, U.S. policymakers are looking at other ways Washington can maintain its influence. Policy makers and regional experts say one way Washington can do that is by renewing its efforts to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

    As a wave of uprisings sweeps through much of the Arab world, one aspect of the region has not changed at all - the deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.

    And as Palestinians in the Gaza Strip launch rocket attacks into Israel and Israel expands settlements on captured land, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the situation is becoming dangerous.

    "The status quo between Palestinians and Israelis is no more sustainable than the political systems that have crumbled in recent months," said Hillary Clinton. "Neither Israel’s future as a Jewish democratic state, nor the legitimate aspirations of Palestinians can be secured without a negotiated two-state solution."

    Former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski says it is time for the Obama administration to take a decisive role in promoting Israeli-Palestinian peace.

    "The mood in the region is changing," said Zbigniew Brzezinski. "The prospects of Israel becoming an accepted part of the Middle East are waning and I think it behooves the U.S. to step forward with a generalized framework of what the peace has to be."

    Brzezinski argues that Washington needs to move quickly before the Palestinian Authority asks the U.N. General Assembly in September to recognize an independent Palestinian state based on the borders before the 1967 Middle East war.

    That possibility also worries U.S. Senator John Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.  He says the Washington should get ahead of such an appeal to the U.N. General Assembly, which he argues could complicate the already-stalled peace efforts:

    "I’m not sure it will in fact advance the process. It could even force entrenchment - change some politics in a dangerous way," said Senator Kerry. "So I hope a diplomatic initiative can in fact preclude unintended consequences."

    After his meeting this month at the White House with Israeli President Shimon Peres, President Obama spoke of the urgency of reaching a negotiated peace agreement in the Middle East.

    "With the winds of change blowing through the Arab world it is more urgent than ever that we try to seize the opportunity to create a peaceful solution between the Palestinians and the Israelis," said President Obama.

    Shibley Telhami is a professor of Peace and Development at the University of Maryland. He says successful U.S.-sponsored talks between the Israelis and Palestinians could also help Washington establish good relations with the new governments emerging in the region.

    "It is very difficult for the U.S. to establish healthy relations with the emerging democracies in the Arab world as long as there is no movement toward peace between Israel and the Palestinians," said Professor Telhami.

    U.S. policy seeks a two-state solution to the dispute, with independent Israeli and Palestinian nations living side-by-side in harmony. Regional experts say the time is ripe for a renewed push in that direction.

    Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
    and discuss them on our Facebook page.

    You May Like

    Turkey, West in Standoff Over Syrian Refugees

    Turkish government refuses to admit refugees, the first in a wave of civilians fleeing offensive by Assad regime in northern Aleppo countryside

    Jailed American Testifies About Islamist Involvement in Mumbai Attacks

    David Headley testifies via video link that Pakistan-based Islamic terror group made two failed attempts to mount strikes in Mumbai in months prior to coordinated assault

    These Are the 10 Smartest US States

    A new report breaks down the nation's best and brightest

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.