News / USA

Obama to Prod Israelis, Palestinians on Peace Efforts

Obama to Prod Israelis, Palestinians on Peace Effortsi
X
March 14, 2013 4:00 PM
President Barack Obama will use his trip to Israel, the occupied West Bank, and Jordan to address Israelis and Palestinians about reviving peace efforts. Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war are also on the agenda. VOA senior White House correspondent Dan Robinson reports.
— President Barack Obama will use his trip to Israel, the occupied West Bank, and Jordan to address Israelis and Palestinians about reviving peace efforts.  Iran's nuclear program and Syria's civil war are also on the agenda. 

Obama last visited Israel in 2008 as a senator and presidential candidate. Now, he returns as a two-term president, but has been unsuccessful in overcoming obstacles to Middle East peace.

He will carry no new peace initiative, but will deliver a message.

"That peace between the Israelis and Palestinians remains a priority of the president," said White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest. "That's something that he is - that the United States is -  ready to strongly support if that dialogue is ready to take off."

The United States supports two states, Israel and Palestine, living peacefully alongside each other. But Obama's relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been strained, especially over Israeli settlements in the occupied territories. 

Obama will reassure both sides that he supports their rights, and their security, says Neil Kritz of the U.S. Institute for Peace. The stakes are high.

"For this president, one of the key challenges will be at what point does a two-state solution become more difficult to achieve.  He does not want to have as his legacy, being in his term the two-state solution was lost as an option," he said.

Obama was re-elected in November with 69 percent of the Jewish vote, despite Mitt Romney - his opponent - questioning his commitment to Israel.

"This president, as was shown in election after election, has been a true friend of the Jewish people, and American Jewish voters have shown him that," said Aaron Keyak, executive director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, which was invited to a recent discussion with the president.

Eric Fusfield of B’nai Brith International calls Obama's Mideast visit an opportunity to see what is really happening on the ground.

"There is really no substitute for face-to-face contact, people at the grassroots level, seeing and feeling what's happening in Israel today," he said.

Several Arab-American groups also came to the White House, including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. Its president, Warren David, says Arab Americans told Obama they're disappointed in the lack of progress toward a Palestinian state.

"I said point blank, I am hoping that you are going to leave a legacy, and that this is something that you will accomplish as president.  And I would have to tell you that in the beginning I was very, very pessimistic, but I left being a little more optimistic because of what the president said, what his advisers said," he said.

David says Arab Americans told Obama they hope there will finally be peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies 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.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
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 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.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid