News / Middle East

Breaking the Mideast Peace Impasse - Possible?

The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev is seen behind a section of Israel's separation barrier, 15 Oct 2010
The East Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev is seen behind a section of Israel's separation barrier, 15 Oct 2010

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Cecily Hilleary

A Mideast peace advocacy group says Jewish settlers have begun building at least 600 homes in the West Bank since an Israeli construction moratorium expired last month.

Peace Now said Thursday the rate of construction is four times faster than before the 10-month settlement freeze was enacted in November 2009.   The group, which says it advocates for a two-state solution in the Israel-Palestinian peace process, has promised to release a full report soon.

Direct peace talks between Palestinian and Israeli officials are on hold because of disputes over settlement construction in territory Palestinians want for a future state, including land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Michael Oren, and the PLO representative to the U.S., Maen Rashid Areikat, recently spoke to VOA about a number of issues, including security, loyalty oaths, right of return of refugees, borders, international involvement in the peace process, and West Bank settlements.

Here is a sampling of those interviews, on the topic of Israeli construction of communities on land that the Palestinians consider to be theirs. For the complete interviews, please listen to the audio files.

Maen Rashid Areikat, PLO Representative to the U.S., speaks with VOA on 14 Oct 2010:

Maen Rashid Areikat, Chief Representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Mission to the United States, interviewed at VOA headquarters, Washington, D.C., 14 Oct 2010
Maen Rashid Areikat, Chief Representative of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Mission to the United States, interviewed at VOA headquarters, Washington, D.C., 14 Oct 2010

HILLEARY: Earlier this month Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he could revive the freeze on settlements if the Palestinians would recognize Israel as a Jewish state.  The Palestinian leadership rejected that.

AREIKAT: The Israelis are portraying these issues as first-time issues that have been discussed with the Palestinians.   On the issue of the settlements, it’s a very, very well-known issue that the Palestinians have always opposed the settlements.   The international community opposed settlements.

Even the United States administration considered settlements illegitimate, illegal and rejected Israeli actions that were aimed at changing facts on the ground.  So our position vis-à-vis settlements is not new.

Michael Oren, Israeli ambassador to the U.S. speaks with VOA on 15 Oct 2010:

Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren (file photo)
Israeli ambassador to the United States Michael Oren (file photo)

HILLEARY: Israel has opened up bidding for the construction of more homes in East Jerusalem.  Are you concerned that this decision will further complicate efforts to get back to the negotiating table with the Palestinians?

OREN: They shouldn’t.  This is not a change in policy for the state of Israel.  This is Israeli policy going back to 1967.  We reached a peace with Egypt with a very similar policy, with Jordan with this policy.  We negotiated with the Palestinians for 17 years with this policy.

The current government has shown immense restraint in building in Jerusalem, but Israeli policy has remained unchanged for 43 years: Every Jew and every Arab has the right to build anywhere in the city just as any American has the right to build anywhere in America.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

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.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid