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 Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    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.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora