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

    Native Americans Ask: What About Our Water Supply?

    They say they have been facing a dangerous water contaminant for decades - uranium – but the problem has received far less attention than water contamination by lead in Flint, Michigan

    Pakistan's President Urges Nation Not to Celebrate Valentine's Day

    Mamnoon Hussain criticizes Valentine's Day, which falls on Sunday this year, as a Western import that threatens to undermine the Islamic values of Pakistan

    Mother of IS Supporter: Son Was Peaceful, 'Role Model'

    Somali-American Abdirizak Mohamed Warsame pleaded guilty Thursday to charges of conspiring to provide material support to Islamic State militants

    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.
    Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortagei
    X
    February 12, 2016 7:31 PM
    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.