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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid