News / Middle East

    Will Gaza Crisis Force Israelis, Palestinians Back to Lasting Peace Talks?

    Mohamed Elshinnawi

    As Gaza truce talks unfold in Cairo, the Obama administration again is pushing for a broader approach to the Palestinian-Israeli stalemate.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Israelis and Palestinians to take advantage of the Egyptian-sponsored Gaza truce and adopt a far-reaching goal that would provide security for Israel and a better life and greater freedoms for the Palestinians.
     
     "I believe that the situation now that has evolved will concentrate people's minds on the need to get back to the negotiations and try and resolve the issues of the two states," Kerry said in an interview Thursday with the BBC.
     
    Israel and the Palestinians have sent delegations to Cairo to directly negotiate the possibility of a long-term truce following a four-week war in Gaza that claimed more than 1,900 lives on both sides.

    Peacemaking plan

    Ori Nir, a spokesperson for Americans for Peace Now, said that the U.S. should lead the way toward credible peacemaking to bring the Palestinian Authority back into final-status negotiations with Israel.
     
    "Having signed a reconciliation agreement with Hamas earlier this year, the PLO is well-positioned to negotiate on behalf of all the Palestinians, to make hard decisions around the negotiating table, and to deliver when time comes to implement a peace agreement," said Nir.
     
    Nir said that while the conflict inflicted a heavy human toll, Palestinians are seeing, once again, that violence will not defeat Israel and cannot improve the quality of their lives or deliver a peace agreement.
     
    On the other hand, Nir said, "Israelis have seen, once again, that military power cannot bring about the capitulation of the Palestinian people or force them to abandon their aspirations for freedom and self-determination in a state of their own."
     
    Nir said he believes that leaders on both sides find the massive civilian death toll and extensive destruction of Gaza unsettling and feel pressure to think differently and move from the mode of conflict to one of solution.
     
    "I think the U.S. has now an opportunity to apply pressure and may be able to convince Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept some security arrangements that could give life to the two-state solution," Nir added.

    Cross purposes
     
    In the past, former Israeli Foreign Minister Abba Eban said the Palestinians "never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity."
     
    According to former U.S. envoy to the Middle East, Martin Indyk, the current leadership in Israel, though, also has been willing to miss the boat.
     
    "Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had already articulated a position that Israel will have to keep its defense forces and security services in the West Bank for a long time, which makes an end to the occupation questionable," he said.
     
    Indyk said that position make a two-state solution less likely.
     
    However, he said he sees a glimmer of hope if the U.S. supports the reconciliation deal between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
     
    "The agreement allows the PA to take control of Gaza and there would be one government, one law, and one gun that can be only with the PA, which could convince Israel to fully open Gaza passages in return for disarmament," Indyk told a panel at the Brookings Institution.

    Key hurdles

    But Khaled Elgendy, a Brookings fellow, said he doubts the U.S. would support the agreement.
     
    "Perhaps the greatest challenge lies in convincing the American and especially Israeli leaders of the need to overcome their resistance to Hamas' involvement in Palestinian politics," said Elgendy.

    "Both countries should recognize that the status quo of divided leadership has only made violent conflict more likely and more frequent, at the same time, they will need to get serious about ending the Israeli occupation once and for all," he added.
     
    Elgendy believes the U.S. has lost much of its credibility as a peace broker and needs to adopt mechanisms to prevent future conflicts.
     
    Matthew Duss, president of the Washington-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, is more skeptical about prospects of peace after the Gaza war.
     
    "There is very little that can be done with the current Israeli government that believes in continued occupation of the West Bank, as long as the Obama Administration is not willing to take up the political fight and use its leverage to adopt the terms of reference articulated in Obama's address in May 2011, as 1967 borders with agreed upon swapping of territories," he said.

     

     

    You May Like

    Leaving Scalia Replacement to 2017 Would Mean Unusually Long Vacancy

    History of high court shows Obama not in unique situation during final year of presidency

    US Fact Checkers Debunk Some Republican Candidate Claims 

    Slim evidence for several claims made by Republican presidential candidates at their last debate ahead of next Saturday's key nominating election in South Carolina

    Uganda Presidential Debate a Small Victory for Democracy

    In homes and bars across country, Ugandans were fixated on their screens as eight political candidates running for president took part in national debate

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: jawed akhtar from: kolkata.. india
    August 13, 2014 3:19 PM
    Israel's return to pre-1967 position is a must for lasting peace in the region.

    by: RParuda from: Brazil
    August 10, 2014 11:53 AM
    As long the Palestinians'(Hamas) desire to exterminate the Jews and desmanteling of Israel superseeds their their desire for prosperity and protection of their own people, real peace is unatainable.


    by: John Prewett from: Thailand
    August 08, 2014 6:29 AM
    No, it's gonna result in Israel leveling Gaza.

    by: Gary Sears from: Thornhill, BC, Canada
    August 08, 2014 4:11 AM
    Palistinians must accept the the state of Isreal, not required as the will of god, but as the will, at minimum, of man. Isreal must accept the existence of the independant state of Palistine, regardless of the risks, and trust in god. Anything less is, at minimum, a lack of faith.

    by: Frank from: Pahrump, NV
    August 08, 2014 12:41 AM
    Israel doesn't want peace, never has and never will. Forget it. Waste of time. Israel is a joke.

    by: GoatGuy from: Berkeley, CA USA
    August 07, 2014 6:10 PM
    Only ONE thing is clear: the rhetoric of theft (from the Muslim world) and divine promise (from the Jewish world) need to cease. The problem is no deeper really than a question of sovereignty. The harms of the past are so convoluted, so many generations have been born since, that the fact on the ground cannot be more simply stated: Palestinians are not Israelis, and Israelis must separate the Palestinians from being dependents.

    Israel maintains wanting exactly three things:

    * Recognition as a country
    * Admission of right-to-exist
    * Lasting and Contractual Peace with its Neighbors.

    The Palestinians (to be fair) want:

    * All the land once ceded to them by the United Nations
    * To get rid of all Jews living in their borders
    * Recompense for damage done; reparations.

    The not-too-subtle Islamic World wants:

    * Israel to be defeated
    * Jews to be exiled
    * Palestine returned to the Ummah.

    Seems to me - once you throw out all the vitriol - that the one thing left is to admit history, and project its consequence in the future. Israel has one EVERY conflict with the surrounding Arab world. Every one. In some it has taken, and in a few cases annexed land from its neighbors. In all, it has won. Decisively.

    Further, it is the most militarily and economically independent nation in the region. It is industrially potent, and has been growing more so in the last 5 decades. Israel literally has no peer amongst the surrounding Arab / Muslim nations.

    Since therefore, ANY and ALL military challenges to Israeli sovereignty and military defense will be met with yet more resounding defeats of the aggressors, it would do well to give the "little things" that Israel wants. Admission that it is a valid nation. Acceptance of its RIGHT to exist. Doctrine and Treaty that contractually binds the signatories to Peace, both now, and in the future.

    This will work, and all sides can then move on. The past is the past, the harms are complex and deep. Let's get on with a separate and sovereign Palestine. It'll work.

    GoatGuy

    by: John from: Texas
    August 07, 2014 5:59 PM
    "following a four-week war in Gaza that claimed more than 1,900 lives on both sides"....

    More than 1,900 lives on "both sides" is not that way to describe it when 98% of the lives lost was all on one side....terrible reporting.

    by: Joe Jones from: México
    August 07, 2014 5:42 PM
    Why doesn't the US simply stop giving Israel the money to do what they're doing? That would end Zionist aggression in its tracks.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Ugandai
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    February 12, 2016 9:29 PM
    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video New Technology Aims to Bring Election Transparency to Uganda

    A team of recent graduates from Uganda’s Makerere University has created a mobile application designed to help monitor elections and expose possible rigging. The developers say the app, called E-Poll, will make Uganda's democratic process fairer. From Kampala, VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
    Video

    Video Refugees in Kenya Vie to Compete in Rio Olympics

    In Kenya, refugees from other African nations are training at a special camp and competing for a limited number of slots in this year's Rio Olympics under the flag of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Ngong, this is a first in Olympic history.
    Video

    Video Gateway to Mecca: Historical Old Jeddah

    Local leader Sami Nawar's family has been in the Old City of Jeddah for hundreds of years and takes us on a tour of this ancient route to Mecca, also believed to be the final resting place of Adam's wife, Eve.
    Video

    Video Two-thirds of World Faces Water Shortage

    Four billion people — or two out of every three on the planet — do not have enough water to meet their basic needs. That is far greater than previously thought, according to a new study that presents a more accurate picture of the problem. As VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports, the findings will help policymakers and the public craft solutions to address the threat.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video Russia Bristles at NATO Expansion in E. Europe

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is meeting Friday with the head of NATO after the Western military alliance and the United States announced plans for the biggest military build-up in Europe since the Cold War. Russia has called NATO's moves a threat to stability in Europe. But NATO says the troop rotations and equipment are aimed at reassuring allies concerned about Russia as VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.