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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines 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.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid