News / Middle East

    Israelis, Palestinians Argue Their Case

    A section of the controversial Israeli barrier is seen from Jerusalem and shows the Shuafat refugee camp (R) in the West Bank near Jerusalem, and Pisgat Zeev (L) in an area Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war (File P
    A section of the controversial Israeli barrier is seen from Jerusalem and shows the Shuafat refugee camp (R) in the West Bank near Jerusalem, and Pisgat Zeev (L) in an area Israel annexed to Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Middle East war (File P
    Michael Bowman

    On the eve of a U.N. Security Council meeting expected to consider a Palestinian petition for statehood, Israeli and Palestinian officials remain deadlocked over whether and under what terms negotiations should resume.

    Israelis and Palestinians took their arguments to the American people on Sunday in a bid to explain their respective positions. At a minimum, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ actions at the United Nations last week dramatically refocused the world’s attention on the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seizing the spotlight at the General Assembly meeting and sparking a flurry of activity among the Middle East Quartet, comprising the U.S., U.N., European Union, and Russia.

    Returning to the West Bank from New York, Abbas told jubilant crowds that a “Palestinian Spring” has begun with the bid for statehood. The United States has threatened to use its veto power in the Security Council to block the Palestinian request for U.N. membership.

    Appearing on U.S. television, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to blast the Palestinians' U.N. bid.

    “The Palestinians want a state, but they have to give peace in return," he said. "What they are trying to do in the United Nations is to get a state without giving Israel peace and security, and I think that is wrong. That should not succeed.”

    Hanan Ashrawi (File)
    Hanan Ashrawi (File)

    Netanyahu spoke on NBC’s Meet the Press program. He repeated his call for immediate peace talks. Palestinians say negotiations are futile. Palestinian legislator Hanan Ashrawi appeared on ABC’s This Week television program.

    “For the last 20 years, we have been negotiating, ad nauseam, with a process that has no relationship to reality," she said.

    Ashrawi said Palestinians will not negotiate while Israel continues to build Jewish settlements and refuses to honor borders that existed before Israel gained control of Palestinian territories in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

    But Prime Minister Netanyahu insists fruitful negotiations are possible.

    “It is possible that you insist on the things that make life possible for the Jewish state, and make peace possible," he said. "The core of the conflict is the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel in any boundary. A peace that is based on lies will crash. I am responsible for the fate of the one and only Jewish state. And I am not going to recklessly feed more territory to the insatiable crocodile of militant Islam.

    Hanan Ashrawi says it is Israeli intransigence that has long stood in the way of peace.

    “Israel has placed so many pre-conditions. It wants to annex Jerusalem. It wants to remove the [Palestinian] refugees from the agenda. It wants to keep its troops in the Jordan valley. It wants everything, and then says ‘Let’s talk’.  No, these are unacceptable pre-conditions," she said. "Either you negotiate in good faith and act accordingly in order to achieve the two-state solution, or this option will no longer be available, particularly given the Arab Spring. This is a new phase, a new ballgame.”

    Security Council veto threats do not appear to have dampened Palestinian enthusiasm or anticipation surrounding the bid for U.N. statehood recognition, nor led Palestinian officials to embrace Middle East Quartet calls for a resumption of Israeli-Palestinian talks.

    For Monday, the Security Council’s official agenda lists several morning meetings and consultations regarding Libya. Consultations on admission of new members will come in the afternoon, New York time.

    You May Like

    US, Allies Discuss Next Steps in Islamic State Fight

    Meeting comes a day after US Navy SEAL was killed while fighting Islamic State forces in northern Iraq

    In China, Traditional Banks Fight Challenge From Internet Firms

    Internet companies lent more than $150 billion to customers in 2015, which is an extremely small amount compared to the much larger lending by commercial banks last year

    Trump Faces Tough Presidential Odds Against Clinton

    Numerous national election surveys show former secretary of state defeating presumptive Republican nominee with tough talk to halt illegal immigration and temporarily block Muslims from entering country

    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora