News / Middle East

Israelis, Palestinians Reflect on Peace Talk Crisis

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (R) gestures as he signs a request to join 15 United Nations agencies at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on April 1, 2014.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (R) gestures as he signs a request to join 15 United Nations agencies at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on April 1, 2014.
Robert Berger
Middle East peace negotiations are in crisis a month ahead of a looming April 29 agreement deadline.

Ordinary Israelis and Palestinians have been skeptical about the talks since they resumed in July after a five-year deadlock. And the latest snag comes as no surprise.

At the checkpoint into the West Bank town of Bethlehem, Palestinian computer programmer Saleh Zaharan blamed Secretary of State Kerry for failing to pressure Israel.

“He has the power to force the Israelis to follow the peace process correctly," Zaharan said. "He has the power to do this but we didn’t feel that he is serious to do this.”

Palestinian student Razi Abu Tier said Israel’s failure to release the prisoners shows that it is not negotiating in good faith.

“If Israelis claim that they want peace, I don’t think that the language of ultimatums is the one to be used. I think it’s improper. It’s threatening,” he said.

In Jewish West Jerusalem, accountant Larry Kaufman said the Arab Spring revolutions and the strife in Syria, Iraq and Egypt show that the peace process is a farce.

“How can we really have an arrangement, how can we have an agreement with the Palestinians in this supposed ‘two-state-solution,’ when you turn on your television and see them killing each other?" Kaufman asked. "It’s just an untenable situation.”

Israeli Devorah Eilon is pessimistic.

“I’m not optimistic about peace at all because we don’t have a peace partner," she said. "There’s an element that’s always referred to as our ‘peace partner,’ but we know that they’re not really looking for peace.”

Despite the deep suspicion and skepticism, polls show that many Israelis and Palestinians still support the negotiations. After a long period of calm in Israel and the West Bank, many people concede that talking is better than fighting.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: mark from: south africa
April 02, 2014 4:24 PM
How can I have peace with my neighbour when his wife throws poison on my lawn. What value is peace with fatah even if that were possible when hamas will never accept any deal they do and continue attacking israel

by: don ford from: azle,tx
April 02, 2014 2:43 PM
When you have one country ( Israel) which considers it a grave breach of the peace process for the other party to apply to join legitimate UN agencies it unmasks their deliberate sabotage of the peace process.

by: stevo from: Las Vegas
April 02, 2014 2:42 PM
Come on Israel and the Palestinians. It's time to stop fighting and time to sign agreements. People of both sides, vote for people who are willing to make the peace. Stop blaming outside countries or people. This is between Israel and the Palestinian people.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More