Headlines March 22, 2013
Obama Urges Palestinians to Drop Demand for Israeli Settlement Freeze
President Obama: "What I shared with President Abbas, and I will share with the Palestinian people, is that if the expectation is, is that we can only have direct negotiations when everything is settled ahead of time, then there’s no point for negotiations. So I think it’s important for us to work through this process, even if there are irritants on both sides."Obama had previously backed the Palestinian demand for a settlement freeze at the start of his first term. On Thursday, Obama said the Israeli settlements are not "constructive" or "appropriate," but he stopped short of calling them illegal, a point stressed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
President Mahmoud Abbas: "Regarding the issue of settlements, it is not only our perception that settlements are illegal, but it is a global perspective. Everybody considers settlements not only a hurdle, but even more than a hurdle, towards the two-state solution."
Protester Heckles Obama over Israeli Killings, Rachel Corrie Death
Obama Acknowledges Plight of Palestinians in Jerusalem Speech
President Obama: "Put yourself in their [Palestinians’] shoes. Look at the world through their eyes. It is not fair that a Palestinian child cannot grow up in a state of their own, living their entire lives with the presence of a foreign army that controls the movements not just of those young people but their parents, their grandparents, every single day."President Obama also invoked the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran during his speech, repeating his past statement that "all options are on the table."