News / Middle East

Israelis, Palestinians Skeptical Over Success of Obama Visit

Israelis, Palestinians Skeptical Over Success of Obama Visiti
X
March 14, 2013 1:14 PM
President Barack Obama's trip to the Middle East next week (March 20-22) is generating interest in Israel and the Palestinian territories because, as President, he has never visited them. Still, expectations are low that the trip will bring any changes to the dormant Mideast peace process that is a source of frustration for both peoples. VOA's Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Scott Bobb
President Barack Obama's trip to the Middle East next week (March 20-22) is generating interest in Israel and the Palestinian territories because, as president, he has never visited them. Still, expectations are low that the trip will bring any changes to the dormant Mideast peace process that is a source of frustration for both peoples.

In Arab East Jerusalem, Mohamed Abu Ghadan operates this parking lot owned by his family for 70 years.  He is looking forward to President Obama's visit.  But like many people here, he says he does not expect a breakthrough in the stalled peace talks.

"In my opinion this is just a waste of time. It's not for the benefit of the Palestinian cause. It for the benefit of our cousins [the Jews]," he said.

Obama is to meet with political leaders in Israel and the occupied West Bank. But photographer Mahfouz Abu Turk says Palestinians believe the U.S. government has favored Israel so much that it can no longer be a mediator.

"I don't think the visit of Obama will do anything for the Palestinian people because until now he has shown that he doesn't have the political will to make dramatic changes in the region," he said. "We are not on Obama's agenda at least right now," he said.

Palestinians are asking if a U.S.-backed two-state solution is still possible, with a Palestinian state and Israel co-existing peacefully.

"If you can answer this question, Mr. Obama, of course, you are very much needed here. Of course, your influence is very important and, of course, let's look for practical steps to reach that goal. If not let's be creative enough to think differently," said Mahdi Abdul Hadi, who heads a Palestinian research group in East Jerusalem.

A kilometer away in Jewish West Jerusalem, Israelis express the same despair. 

"I don't think there will be a big change because this region is so complicated and so full of problems that it can be changed," said homemaker Jacqueline Dewek.

Tensions over Iran's nuclear program, the political upheavals in Arab countries, and Syria's civil war will figure in the trip, says Israeli analyst Danny Rubinstein. But Obama's three-day focus on Israel and the Palestinian territories shows he wants to be involved in the peace process.

"My hope is that he will talk with us and with the Palestinians about how to renew the peace process and not only renew it. We don't need the peace process for the process. We need it to solve the problem," said Rubinstein.

Daniel Madmon agrees.  He recently finished his mandatory service in the Israeli army.

"Obama, I think, will find Israel is much more prepared for peace than he thinks," he said.

His message to the U.S. president: bring us peace.

You May Like

South Korea Divided on Response to North’s Cyber Attack

In past five years, officials in Seoul have accused Pyongyang of hacking into banks, government websites, causing chaos and inflicting millions of dollars in damages More

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Bentiu

Residents have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy, but planning for the future remains uncertain as fear of attacks looms More

2015 Could Be Watershed for Syria Conflict

Republican control of US Senate in January could lead to more aggressive policy against IS militants in Syria - and against regime of Bashar al-Assad 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.
Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil Wari
X
Adam Bailes
December 22, 2014 3:45 PM
In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Calm Amid Fear in Daily Life in S. Sudan’s Town of Bentiu

Six months ago, Bentiu was a ghost town. The capital of northern Unity State, near South Sudan’s important oil fields, had changed hands several times in fighting between government forces and rebels. Calm returned in November and since then, residents of Bentiu have been trying to regain some sense of normalcy. Bentiu’s market has reopened there are plans to start school again. But fears of new attacks hang heavy, as Benno Muchler reports from Bentiu.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.

All About America

AppleAndroid