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
    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

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    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.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora