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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    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.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora