News / Middle East

Israeli Foreign Minister Defends Peacemaker Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks past American and Israeli flags at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Jan. 6, 2014.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry walks past American and Israeli flags at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, Jan. 6, 2014.
Reuters
Israel's right-wing foreign minister on Friday defended U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry whose Middle East peace drive has seen mounting criticism from within the Israeli government.
 
The conciliatory remarks by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who has previously been a vocal critic of international efforts to set up a Palestinian state on Israeli-occupied territory, could help Kerry cobble together consensus for pursuing the peace negotiations.
 
“I want to make clear - Kerry is a true friend of Israel,” Lieberman told business leaders in Tel Aviv. “What is the point of turning friend into foe?”
 
Lieberman has taken a more circumspect tack since resuming the role of foreign minister after he was cleared of graft charges last year.
 
Kerry launched the latest Israeli-Palestinian peace push last July and has visited the region more than 10 times in the past year. He hopes to complete a “framework” accord by an April deadline and will then try to negotiate a final peace deal by the end of 2014, a U.S. official has said. However, both sides are standing firm on their demands in decades-old disputes.
 
Israeli ultra-nationalists and their representatives in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition government have come out against the prospect - however remote - of removing Jewish settlers, citing historical claims on biblical lands sought by the Palestinians for an independent state.
 
Future of government
 
Kerry has been criticized from within the Israeli government in recent weeks. Israeli media quoted Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon as ridiculing Kerry as “messianic” over U.S. proposals that could increase Palestinian security controls in the West Bank were Israel to withdraw.
 
After Kerry warned last week that Israel's international isolation could deepen along with the diplomatic deadlock, another senior Israeli minister said the Netanyahu government would not negotiate “with a gun to its head”.
 
Lieberman said fellow rightists were “competing to show off rhetorical ability - who can be more crass, more vociferous” against Kerry, adding, “This fulmination does not help. We should relax a little.”
 
Lieberman's Israel is Our Home party formed a joint list with Netanyahu's Likud ahead of the last election. Their coalition government includes the ultranationalist Jewish Home party, which opposes Palestinian statehood and has chafed at Israel's cooperation with Kerry.
 
A Palestinian peace deal was unlikely to break up the government, Lieberman said, playing down the risk of a Jewish Home walkout.

“There's no option of changing the coalition. When there is a dispute between the wholeness of the nation and the wholeness of the land, the wholeness of the nation is more important,” Lieberman said, signaling his support for potential future territorial handovers.
 
He praised Kerry for handling the negotiations “in the proper manner”.
 
Dan Shapiro, the U.S. ambassador in Israel, predicted the parties would agree on a peacemaking “framework” by April.
 
“There is a discussion of the caveats that the two sides might have regarding this framework, that is possible too, but the objective is that this will be a framework affirming that the negotiations will continue,” he told Israel's Army Radio.
 
Israeli censure of Kerry was “absurd and hurtful”, he said.
 
“This negotiation, this process, is not about Secretary of State John Kerry. It is a process about the future of the people of Israel and the Palestinian people and their chances of achieving peace, security and prosperity,” Shapiro said.

You May Like

Video Iran Nuclear Deal Becomes US Campaign Issue

Voters in three crucial battleground states - Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania - overwhelmingly oppose nuclear deal with Iran More

With IS in Coalition Cross-Hairs, al-Qaida's Syria Affiliate Reemerges

Jabhat al-Nusra has rebounded, increasingly casting itself as a critical player in battle for Syria’s future More

Lessons Learned From Katrina, 10 Years Later

FEMA chief Craig Fugate says key changes include better preparation, improved coordination among state, federal assistance agencies More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
February 11, 2014 11:29 PM
MOHAMMED NEVER BEEN TO ISRAEL
From 326-638 CE, The Byzantine was in controlled of Jerusalem. And Mohammed was alive and living in Mecca, and the mosque during his days were in Mecca and Medina. Not Jerusalem. Mohammed has never been to Jerusalem as Sura 17 teaches, there is no historical evidence to proved their claim. At that time Jerusalem was under the controlled of the Byzantine.
Muslims didn't captured Jerusalem until AD 638 by Caliph Omar or Mohammed. Muslims controlled Jerusalem until 1099 AD, and in 1096 AD, Pope Urban called for the crusaders to liberate the holy places. The crusaders army was led by Godfrey,they captured Jerusalem and slaughter the Jews and Muslims, and Godfrey made his brother Baldwin the king of Jerusalem in Bethlehem in AD 1101. So the Fact that the Arabs say Jerusalem,Israel is for them, that is not true, it is a lied we should slain.God Bless Israel, God Bless the Jews

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
February 11, 2014 4:35 AM
When it comes to the middle east, and the Arabs and Israeli conflict, there are Biblical truth that points to the ownership of that land, and there are Koranic truth that points to the ownership of that land, and also there are historical truth and facts that point to the Jews as the rightful owner of that land.
there were lot of Empire that was in control of the of Israel, it did not say palestine.
The Persian period 539-332 BCE
The Hellenistic Period 332-167 BCE
The Hasmonean Period 267-63 BCE
The Roman period 63 BCE-324 CE
and in 132 CE Simon Bar Kochba led a revolt against the Roman
In 135 CE, the Emperor Hadrian rebuild Jerusalem and renamed the city Aelia Capitolina, and also renamed Judea Israel to Palestine,
The Byzantine Period 324-638 AD
the Early Muslim period 638- 1099 AD
The Crusader period 1099-1187 AD
The Ayyubid period 1187-1517 AD
The Ottoman Period period 1517- 1917 AD, then come the British period 1917- 1948, the Balfour declaration and the rebirth of the State of Israel, May 15, 1948, it didn't Palestine, it said Israel.
The Koran itself states that the land is for Israel, Sura 5:20-21,Sura 44:32-33, Sura 45:16, all these Koranic verses proved that the land is for Israel. muslim must respect their Koran. because the Koran has also agreed with us who say that the land is for the Jews. God Bless Israel, and God Bless the Jewish people.

by: Leroy Padmore from: Jersey City
February 11, 2014 1:14 AM
Let us be clear here, Mr Obama and Secretary Kerry has not been a true friend of Israel. Let us stop playing politics and face the fact. Those so call Palestinian doesn't want peace with Israel, they want the Jewish Land. the fact of the matter is, they need to go back to their country. the Late Yassah Arafat was born in Egypt August 24, 1929, He was an Egyptian, those people that call themselves Palestinian are from Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon. In 1948. when the Jews came back to their Biblical home land, those so call Arabs came to Israel to look for bread, because they were suffering in their country. what more land does the Arab need from Israel? The first and foremost is, the Obama administration need to recognized that, the Land is for the Jewish people, and the Security of Israel come first. without this there can be no peace. it is time that America show here true color, or she needs to go back to history. (1) so call Ramallah, Ramah was the birth place of Benjamin, it is the place Rachel weep for her Children, Jer 31:15, it is the home time of the Prophet Samuel, it is the home place of Hannah and your Husband Elkanah, it is the city of the Benjaminites, and the Arabs renamed that place Ramallah. God Bless Israel, and God bless the Jewish People

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
February 08, 2014 7:40 AM
Peacemaker Kerry? What we see is a Kerry that wants peace for Israel at Israel's expense, and to the benefit of his ego and that of his mentor's primary constituency - the ilsamic world. There are also those who want peace for Israel just so that they have reason to be happy about shortchanging Israel. What Britain and its likes want to achieve by that, one does not immediately know, but it is glaring that Britain and its bloc in Europe is working on a pedestal that appears not too favorable to the cause of peace with respect to the so-called occupied lands.

However, defending this peacemaker is about being diplomatic. Kerry should use what the general feeler is on the ground and in the streets of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and not what he thinks is just right for the people, for he is dealing for men and adults not minors. While Israel's security concerns have not been addressed, Kerry wants Israel to continue to swap lands that the Palestinians in Gaza, and the terrorists in South Lebanon - Hezbollah - will use as launch pad to shoot at Israel. But it goes beyond asking Israel to give up lands, for those Israelis now living in such areas that are expected to be given up may not have anywhere else to go. So they should be encouraged to live where they are and be subject to the government that shall be in place over there when the two states solution is been achieved; after all there are also Palestinians and Arabs living right inside Israel and are members of political setup in there. If it's so inside Israel, it can be same inside the Islamic Arab Emirate of Palestine. It's a global village.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs