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.

You May Like

Video Anti-Muslim Sponsor of Texas Cartoon Contest Draws Ire

Pamela Geller's supporters say she speaks truth about sensitive topic, while critics say she preaches 'that Islam is inherently evil' More

East Meets West in Exhibition Showing Chinese Influence on Fashion

Metropolitan Museum of Art exhibition juxtaposes influence of art, imagery and culture, from Imperial China to the present day, on Western fashion and design More

South Africa Begins New Love Affair With Vinyl Records

Enthusiasts say the 'rebirth' of vinyl is resulting in a rebirth of music in South Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
 Previous    
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
Comments page of 2
 Previous    

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailandi
X
May 05, 2015 5:50 PM
Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Mass Grave Exposes Entrenched Trafficking in Thailand

Police in southern Thailand have found two more camps believed to have held human trafficking victims -- one containing a buried skeleton. This comes just days after officials announced arrests in connection with the grisly discovery of 26 bodies in a mass grave at another location. Officials suspect as many as 400 mostly ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were being held for ransom at the remote camp near the Malaysian border. Steve Sandford reports on developments in the case.
Video

Video Russia's 'Victory Day' Glory Over Nazis Overshadowed by Ukraine

ussia is preparing to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, known since the Soviet era as “The Great Patriotic War,” with a massive parade on May 9th of military hardware and millions of medals handed out to veterans or their relatives. But critics say the Soviet-style display of power and nationalism overshadows tragic scars during and after the war that still influence politics and foreign policy, especially in the current Ukraine crisis.
Video

Video WWII Anniversary Brings Old Friends and New Worries

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II has special significance, with Russia becoming more assertive in Ukraine and sending its military planes to the edges of western countries’ airspace. Changes in the geostrategic balance and the transatlantic relationship are felt across the continent, not least in German towns that have hosted U.S. military bases since the defeat of Nazi Germany. VOA’s Al Pessin visited Schweinfurt, Germany, where a large base closed last year.
Video

Video Abraham Lincoln Funeral Re-created for 150th Civil War Anniversary

Over the last four years, commemorative events to mark the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Civil War have brought thousands of visitors to battlefields and historic landmarks across the country. As VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports from the Midwest state of Illinois, the final event in the Civil War's sesquicentennial honors the final journey home of the slain American President, Abraham Lincoln.
Video

Video Campaign Raises Money to 'Uncuff' Journalists

Beginning Sunday – World Press Freedom Day – the Committee to Protect Journalists, a private U.S. group, is launching a campaign to bring attention to their plight and encourage efforts to free them. Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Volunteers Pull Together to Aid Baltimore Riot Victims

Calm has returned to Baltimore, Maryland, after authorities lifted an overnight curfew imposed almost a week ago to stem the rioting that followed the funeral of Freddie Gray - the 25-year-old black man who died of spinal injuries suffered while in police custody. Six police officers, three of them African-American, have been charged in connection with his death. Baltimore is now trying to get back to normal, in part with the help of volunteers who responded to calls to help those in the city'
Video

Video From Aleppo To Berlin: Band of Brothers Escapes Civil War

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled the civil war in their country and journeyed to Europe by boat across the Mediterranean. It is a terrifying ordeal with dangers at every turn. A group of Syrian brothers and their friends describe their ordeal as they try to reach Germany. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports. ...
Video

Video Rural Nepal Suffers Brunt of Quake’s Devastation

Nepal is still coming to grips with the full extent of the devastation and misery caused by last Saturday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake. Some of the hardest-hit communities have been cut off by landslides making it difficult to assess the precise toll. A VOA News crew has been among the first to reach a few of the smaller, remote communities. Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Sindhupolchak district, east of Kathmandu, which suffered greatly in Nepal’s worst quake in more than 80 years.
Video

Video Obama Praises Work of 3 Immigrant Journalists

President Barack Obama met with three immigrant journalists at the White House Friday to praise them for their work ahead of World Press Freedom Day, May 3. In attendance: Dieu Cay (his pen name) a blogger from Vietnam recently released from prison; Lily Mengesha from Ethiopia who was harassed and detained for exposing the marrying off of young girls as child brides, and Fatima Tlisova, an ethnic Circassian from the North Caucasus region of Russia, who works for VOA's Russian Service.
Video

Video Middle East Atheist Channel Defies Taboo

In Egypt, a deeply religious country in a deeply religious region, atheism is not only taboo, it is dangerous. It is sometimes even criminal to publicly declare nonbelief. Despite the danger, one group of activists is pushing back with a new online channel that defends the right not to believe. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Nepal Quake Survivors Tell Their Stories

Against all hope, rescuers have found a few more survivors of the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal last Saturday. Mountain climbers and hikers trapped in remote places also have been airlifted to safety, and aid is finally reaching people in the areas closest to the quake's epicenter. Survivors and rescuers are now recounting their experience. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Lessons for Germany, Europe Remain on Anniversary of WWII's End

The 70th anniversary of the end of World War II will be marked May 8-9 in all European countries except Germany, which lost the war. How is the war viewed there, and what impact is it still having? From Berlin, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Nepal Town Destroyed By Quake Counts Itself Lucky

Foreign search teams on Wednesday began reaching some of the communities outside Kathmandu that suffered worse damage than Nepal’s capital from last Saturday’s massive earthquake. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman is in Sankhu - a town of about 10,000 people - where there is relief the death toll is not higher despite widespread destruction.
Video

Video Somali Hotel Chain Owner Strives to Make a Difference

Many in the Somali diaspora are returning home to make a new life despite the continuing risks. Since 2011 when a military campaign against Al-Shabab militants began making progress, members of the diaspora community have come back to open hospitals, schools, hotels, restaurants and other businesses. Abdulaziz Billow in Mogadishu profiles the owner of a chain of hotels and restaurants who is helping to bring change to the once-deadly Somali capital.
Video

Video Child Migrants Cross Mediterranean Alone, Face Unknown Future

Among the thousands of migrants making the deadly journey by boat to Europe, there are unaccompanied girls and boys. Some have been sent by relatives to earn money; others are orphaned or fleeing war. From a shelter for young migrants in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.

Poll: Baltimore Police Charged

Poll archive

VOA Blogs