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

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus 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.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid