ArticleDownload Worksheet March 21st, 2013
Obama Visits Israel and West Bank
Published March 21, 2013
President Barack Obama is in Israel this week, marking his first presidential trip to the country since taking office five years ago.
The president did not stop in Israel during his last trip to the Middle East at the beginning of his first term, a move that caused friction between Mr. Obama and America’s strongest ally in the region.
The president also will meet with Palestinian leaders and youth in the West Bank, visit the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem and travel to Amman, Jordan to meet with King Abdullah II.
Syria, Iran and the stalled peace process
On Wednesday, the president met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and the newly reelected Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The leaders reaffirmed their strong mutual support. They also discussed Iran’s suspected nuclear program and at what point the countries would respond to the threat militarily. In addition, they talked about the continued fighting in neighboring Syria.
On Thursday, President Obama went to Ramallah in the West Bank, where he met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. At a joint press conference, they addressed the issue of Israel continuing to build settlements in the West Bank, and the need to move forward on the peace process.
This afternoon, the president plans to deliver a speech in front of an Israeli audience at the Jerusalem Convention Center. You can watch the speech live here:
On Friday, Mr. Obama will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum and the Church of the Nativity before traveling to Amman, Jordan to dine with King Abdullah II.
On Saturday, the president will conclude his trip with a visit to Petra, an ancient city carved out of the side of a mountain.
U.S.-Israeli tensions and the settlement issue
The trip is seen as an opportunity for Mr. Obama to repair frayed ties with Israel.
“The start of the president’s second term and the formation of a new Israeli government offer the opportunity to reaffirm the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu backed Republican candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, but gave President Obama a warm greeting on Wednesday.
Mr. Obama publicly supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, meaning that Palestinian territories would become their own state, separate from Israel.
However, Netanyahu and his right-wing Likud party do not support a plan that would give Palestinians land that Israel occupied during the 1967 war against its Arab neighbors. Despite international protest, Israeli settlers have continued to build and expand settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank.
Palestinian leaders say Israel must stop building settlements in Palestinian territory before they will resume peace negotiations.
While the president is not expected to offer specific peace solutions during his time in the Middle East, his advisers told the New York Times that his visit will show that he is not walking away from the region’s issues.
— Compiled by Allison McCartney for NewsHour Extra
Submit Your Student Voice
Tooltip of RSS content 3
Chicago police officer charged with first-degree murder of black teenager
A seventeen-year-old black teenager was shot 16 times by a white police officer in October of last year for allegedly puncturing a police car’s tire with a folding knife. Continue readingBlack Lives MatterChicagoJusticepolicerace
White House highlights West Virginia SRL report on drug abuse
West Virginia is fighting a war against drug abuse. We all know users, recovering addicts and their families and we all see the everyday struggles and hardships of addiction and losing family and loved ones.Barack Obamadrug addictionstudent reporting labsStudent VoicesWest Virginia
Storytelling helps young English learners grow
Young children from families newly arrived in the United States often do not speak English at home, making it harder for them to learn. Continue readingeducationEnglish language learnerslanguage
‘Hamilton’ the musical tells the immigrant story of a Founding Father
A popular new hip-hop show on Broadway, “Hamilton,” chronicles one of the nation’s founding fathers and his “rags to riches” story. Continue readingAlexander HamiltonBroadwayfounding fathersHamilton the MusicalIn the HeightsLin-Manuel Miranda
Class Activity — The Great Thanksgiving Listen
By Adelyn Baxter “Back when I was a kid…” Some of you may recall hearing…archivinghistoryJournalismStoryCorpsThe great Listen