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

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology 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.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More