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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid