News / Middle East

    Israel Objects to Obama Remarks on Borders

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (file photo)

    Israel says it will ask President Obama to clarify remarks in his speech Thursday in which he said the future borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines.

    President Obama's remarks, during a major address on the Middle East, drew an immediate response from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who issued a statement as he prepared to leave for Washington, where he is to meet Friday with the U.S. leader.

    Mr. Obama appeared to upset Israeli leaders by saying the borders of Israel and a future Palestinian state should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps.   

    The "1967 lines" reference is to pre-war boundaries before Israel captured the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Gaza Strip and Golan Heights in fighting with Jordan, Egypt and Syria.

    Israeli foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor says Mr. Netanyahu will ask President Obama for clarification of the remarks.

    "The 1967 line was never an international border. It was never recognized as such. It was a cease-fire line with many unclear areas that were considered no-man's land and therefore because of their nature, they are considered an indefensible border," he said.

    Palestinian analysts praised Mr. Obama's call for Israel to negotiate a permanent border based on the lines that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

    Hanna Siniora is a member of the Palestine National Council from East Jerusalem. He said that while he believes Mr. Obama made significant concessions to the Israelis by - among other things - reaffirming a U.S. commitment to Israel's security, emphasizing borders was an important point for the Palestinians.

    "We heard all American administrations talk about unshakeable security for Israel. We are not against security for Israel, but we are asking at the same time for security for the Palestinians, and this can only happen if the border between the two states is defined," he said.

    Palestinian negotiators have expressed frustration over what they say has been Israel's reluctance to discuss borders.

    In his speech, Mr. Obama barely touched on other key issues including the status of Jerusalem and refugees.

    Oded Eran, director of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, says President Obama is pressing Mr. Netanyahu to address the borders issue now.  

    "He told him that he will not press him on the other issues. But he told him 'Mr. Netanyahu, you have to move on the territorial issue and you have to answer me on this issue,' Eran said.

    Israeli officials say Mr. Netanyahu hopes to hear a reaffirmation from President Obama that the United States will adhere to a previous U.S. commitment on the borders issue.

    In a 2004 letter, then-President George W. Bush told Israeli leaders it was, in his words, "unrealistic" to expect a return to original armistice lines, given what he said were the new realities on the ground - realities that he said included the existence of Israeli population centers in the West Bank.  That is a reference to settlements Israel has built since capturing the territory.

    You May Like

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games, Despite Woes

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    IS Use of Social Media to Recruit, Radicalize Still a Top Threat to US

    Despite military gains against IS in Iraq and Syria, their internet propaganda still commands an audience; US officials see 'the most complex challenge that the federal government and industry face'

    ‘Time Is Now’ to Save Africa’s Animals From Poachers, Activist Says

    During Zimbabwe visit, African Wildlife Foundation President Kaddu Sebunya says poaching hurts Africa as slave trade once did

    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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora