News / Middle East

Your Thoughts: Obama Visits the Middle East

President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York, Sept. 22, 2009.
President Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in New York, Sept. 22, 2009.
Barack Obama makes his first presidential trip to Israel, the West Bank and Jordan starting March 20. In our in-depth TV special, "Obama in the Middle East," we'll look at the U.S. relationship with Israel, including Obama's sometimes contentious personal relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the prospects for reviving Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and the expectations from Arab nations.

Join us March 15 at 10:30am EDT on VOA TV and voanews.com for this special program, presented in partnership with the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN).

But first we want to hear from you:

  • Are you hopeful that Israeli/Palestinian peace talks can be revived while Obama is president?
  • What is the top issue Obama should be focusing on during this trip? Israeli/Palestinian peace? Conflict in Syria? Negotiations over Iran's nuclear program?
  • If you were U.S. president, what message would you be delivering to Israelis? To Palestinians?

Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments and we'll use some of them in our March 15 broadcast.

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by: Joe Levesque from: Toronto, Canada
March 13, 2013 1:36 PM
At this point, I believe talks are just that - talk.

Being near St. Patrick's day, I think they should all just shut up for once and get loaded - maybe a drunken brawl too.

THAT would be history in the making, and it actually might put some perspective into how stupid they all act to each other.

by: Ben
March 13, 2013 10:23 AM
Presidency of Barak Hussein Obama coinside with the "Arab spring" that left Israel the most quiet place in the ME.Though the demands to "deside the Palestinian problem" as the focus of the World tension looks bizzare today, the tradition remains.Tradition to blame and demand Israel to solve the problem,which is the created problem of the Arab and Muslim World. Funny?

by: ali baba from: new york
March 12, 2013 9:02 PM
Obama administration supported Muslim brotherhood in Egypt ,Libya and Tunisia and it was a bad mistake that turn the violent in middle east .many people suffered as a result of this bad policy especially the Christian in Egypt .the christen in Egypt live in a nightmare because Obama administration made this silly mistake

by: Anonymous
March 12, 2013 7:19 PM
never forget that israels is ơur best and full supported by us. Don't afraid of some craxy islamists on your walks.We are big brothers. Show up our fists.

by: NVO from: USA
March 12, 2013 6:57 PM
Fathom the hypocrisy of a man that claims to be a "Christian" yet wants to give Jerusalem to the Palestinians. Here is a man that also says "there are many ways to heaven". Obama, your New Age, Oprah views, are DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED to what sound Christian doctrine teaches. The Bible says there is only ONE way to heaven and that is through the LORD JESUS CHRIST. PERIOD. Do not tell the world you are "Christian" when your ideologies are completely at odds with Scripture!!!

by: Robert Rosser from: United States
March 12, 2013 6:43 PM
President Obama should insist on enforcing existing laws, treaties, resolutions, and accords--which would require Israel to restore Palestinian territory as determined in the 1947 UN Partition Plan. The two-state solution will be implemented only when Israel abides by international law. The USA is complicit in Israel's aggressive and illegal pursuit of apartheid against the Palestinian peoples. Will Obama urge Israel to acknowledge the rights of Palestinians? No. Will he note the lack of proportionality in Israel's brutal and inhumane response to puny Palestinian rockets? No. Will he recognize Hamas as a duly elected governance in Palestine? No. I see nothing to be accomplished by Obama's Middle East visit. On the contrary, I see only another piece of political theatre--which, by nature, places human rights on the back burner, international law in limbo, and the Palestinian people in an enduring purgatory. I hold out some hope for justice, but not until the 22nd century.

by: Yaakov Ben-Avraham from: Vancouver, Canada
March 12, 2013 5:13 PM
I think President Obama ccould make a nice goodwill gesture by releasing Jonathan Pollard. He is serving a life sentence for passing information about chemical and biological weapons targetting civilians in Israel. His life sentence is the longest received by an American for passing secrets to an ally, and after 9/11, I wonder if it is still appropriate? Please consider that Mr. Pollard has been incarcerated over 25 years and is in declining health.

by: Fotios Padazopulos from: Athens, Greece
March 12, 2013 2:44 PM
Had I known it I would be visiting for the Middle East will be the safest place on earth.
Hopeful? No. It will go on as long as people choose violence over reasoning.
My message? Both sides will have to give in and give up. Best wishes though to the President.
And a chilly thought: without wars the earth's population would have grown to capacity.
In Response

by: mchael grant from: spirit lake
March 14, 2013 1:00 PM
You all are missing the point
A the land of Israel Jordan and the so called west bank were given to the Jews in 1917 by League of Nations
B the land was devoid of people according to travelers and research missions
C the so called Palestinians cannot trace a Palestinian population more than 150 years when Arabs from all over the Mideast came for work created by Jews!
D sending rockets into cities is not a sign of willing for peace
In Response

by: James from: Nebraska
March 14, 2013 6:31 PM
Close, but wrong.
A: Was part of the Ottoman Empire until it was defeated in WWI. Afterward it was given to the United Kingdom, not people of the Jewish religion. Its proper name was Mandatory Palestine (see Wikipedia if you need help with XX Century history here).
B: Which research missions were these? The Ottomans ran the area for centuries.
C: See B. While there was a Jewish population in Palestine prior to the end of WWI, afterward the League of Nations created the British Mandate, to enable the area to stand up as a nation on its own (separate from Turkey). Revolt started as the United Kingdom set up a council (intended to be representative of the religious character of the peoples there), which overtly disenfranchised the Muslims (88% of the population of Palestine at the time but less than half the seats).
D: Neither is dropping cluster munitions on residential areas nor blockading civilian ports nor prohibiting the free movement of people and goods. An occupying power has a duty to ensure the fair treatment of civilians.
And our country never joined the League of Nations anyway. Nor does it much teach history (except the revisionist sort).
There is one thing that atheism would do for the area: there would be no wars in the name of religion.
In Response

by: michael grant from: sprit lake
March 15, 2013 11:17 AM
if you call me I can send you a list and info your coment d is a midia hipe I lived in Israel served in 3 wars so I know first hand and do not give a hoot about media I have seen its work first hand to see how they stage things we wre not far from each other geograficaly I am in Iowa
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