Tuesday, April 20, 2010

News Talk Online April 20, 2010 Israeli-Palestinian Tensions

The conflict between Israel and Palestine is a serious strategic problem for the United States throughout the Arab and Islamic worlds, including in Afghanistan and Iraq. It makes any progress in negotiations with Iran extremely difficult.

Analysts predict that the Obama administration will release a peace plan for Israel and Palestine that will give the Palestinians the West Bank territories they lost during the 1967 war.

The U.S. is concerned that relations with Israel are growing cold. This became apparent when the Israeli authorities announced plans for new Jewish housing in Jerusalem during a visit from Vice President Biden, despite objections by the United States and the Palestinian Authority. In response, President Obama gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a list of demands, yet emphasized unwavering support for Israel.

Among them, the requirement that Israel compensate Palestinian refugees who lost their homes in the take-over of the West Bank. The plan is also expected to include a system for both Israel and Palestine to share Jerusalem.

Obama says that resolving the conflict is a "vital national interest of the United States," and that such conflicts are "costing us significantly in terms of blood and treasure." But what will it take to bring peace to the Middle East? And will the new housing settlements create renewed conflict? If so, where will the U.S. stand?

Our guest today  on News Talk Online on the Paltalk News Network to try to answer these questions was Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco.

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