May 25th, 2011
01:33 AM ET

5 areas of Israeli-Palestinian disagreement

By Elise Labott, CNN's Senior State Department Producer

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his speech to Congress today, Foreign Policy’s Josh Rogin and I sat down for a conversation with Netanyahu’s spokesman, Mark Regev. He elaborated on the Prime Minister’s speech.

After talking to Regev, I interviewed Maen Areikat, the Chief Palestinian Representative to the United States.

There are five areas where the two sides are at odds, which could complicate efforts to forge a final peace deal: (1) borders and land swaps, (2) Hamas and recognition of Israel, (3) Jordan Valley, (4) Jerusalem and (5) consequences of the Arab Spring.

1. Borders and land swaps

For the first time Prime Minister Netanyahu publicly said that if the Israelis and Palestinians did reach a final peace deal, “some settlements will end up beyond Israel's borders.”

Israeli spokesman Mark Regev insists that Israel is expanding only in territories they expect to keep. We tried to press him whether Israel would would commit to not building in the areas it expects to give up as a sign of seriousness about negotiations, but he said that Israel will “play its cards in the process of negotiations" on all the core issues.

He added that Israel can’t agree on a final position of a border without certain “guarantees” from the Palestinians in negotiations that they won't be attacked from territory they are pulling out of.

Maen Areikat told us the settlements that Israel wants to keep as part of the land swaps are problematic. Additionally, he said, Israel’s desire to keep roads leading in and around the settlements for future expansion constitute a lot of land to be swapped, which could affect the character of the Palestinians state.

Hamas and recognition of Israel

In his speech, Netanyahu urged President Abbas to dissolve his Fatah party’s agreement with Hamas, saying that Israel could never negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by “the Palestinian version of al-Qaeda,” which refuses to accept Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state.

Netanyahu said if the Palestinians were to separate from Hamas, Israel would be prepared to talk about all issues, but until then "The ball is clearly in the Palestinian court." As Regev put it, Israel needs to hear its Jewish aspirations are legitimate.

As the Palestinians see it, they stay out of Israel’s domestic politics and Israel should not interfere with their internal politics. Arikat argued that Palestinians must be united in order for a negotiated settlement with Israel to have legs.

The agreement that the PLO made with Hamas, he said, paves the way for democratic elections where he expects Palestinians will vote for a peaceful resolution to the conflict with Israel.

Jordan Valley

Israel and the United States have called for a “non-militarized” Palestinian state - meaning the future state of Palestine would have no army. Furthermore, Netanyahu called for a continued Israel military presence in the Jordan Valley.

Regev cited many examples of sovereign states with foreign forces on their territory, such as Japan and Korea, both of which consented to the troops in treaties.

Arikat called troops in the Jordan Valley a non-starter that would give Israel a third of the West Bank, which he considers a major portion of a future Palestinian state. Additionally, he said, any designs Netanyahu has on controlling international crossing points, Palestinian airspace and water are an affront to Palestinian sovereignty and are therefore unacceptable.


Prime Minister Netanyahu unequivocally stated that Jerusalem must remain the u capital of Israel, while the Palestinians have called for East Jerusalem to be the capital of a future Palestine. Several proposals have been floated for Jerusalem to have international status, but this still proves to be one of the thorniest issues of the peace process.

Arab spring

This week President Obama warned that rapid change in the Middle East might not work to Israel’s benefit if it didn’t move to make peace with the Palestinians.

Not only did Obama restate the fact that the number of Palestinians living in Israel is growing rapidly and threatening Israel’s Jewish identity, he warned that the new generation of Arabs reshaping the region will demand rights for the Palestinians as well. He suggested that longtime dictators like Hosni Mubarak are no longer around to guarantee the peace process.

Netanyahu acknowledged the “epic battle” against tyranny in the Middle East and said it “holds the promise of a new dawn of freedom and opportunity."

Josh Rogin and I tried to push Regev on the point that the new democratically elected leaders of the region may not be supportive a peace deal with Israel, but Regev insisted that Israel has nothing to fear from democracy in the Arab world.

Arikat said it was ironic that Netanyahu should talk about liberty and freedom without acknowledging that close to 4 million Palestinians are under occupation. The Arab world, he insisted, would not abandon the Palestinian cause and the region’s “winds of change” would ultimately affect the struggle of the Palestinians and help them achieve statehood.

That's a quick summary of my Tuesday interviews.  What do you think about Obama and Netanyahu's speeches and the core issues above?

soundoff (500 Responses)
  1. דירות מקבלנים

    Hey there, You've performed an incredible job. I will certainly digg it and in my opinion suggest to my friends. I am confident they'll be benefited from this web site.

    May 1, 2012 at 11:25 am | Reply
  2. promy do skandynawii|bilety promowe|rejsy do do skandynawii|prom do Danii|prom do Szwecji

    It's perfect time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I have learn this publish and if I may just I wish to suggest you few fascinating issues or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles relating to this article. I desire to read even more issues approximately it!

    July 2, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
  3. promy do skandynawii|bilety promowe|rejsy do do skandynawii|prom do Danii|prom do Szwecji

    I am really impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout to your blog. Is this a paid subject matter or did you customize it your self? Anyway stay up the nice high quality writing, it is uncommon to peer a nice weblog like this one today..

    July 4, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Reply
  4. promy do skandynawii|bilety promowe|rejsy do do skandynawii|prom do Danii|prom do Szwecji

    Fantastic submit, very informative. I ponder why the opposite specialists of this sector don't notice this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you've a great readers' base already!|What's Going down i'm new to this, I stumbled upon this I have discovered It absolutely useful and it has aided me out loads. I'm hoping to contribute & aid other users like its helped me. Great job.

    July 4, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Reply
  5. promy do skandynawii|bilety promowe|rejsy do do skandynawii|prom do Danii|prom do Szwecji

    I have fun with, cause I discovered exactly what I used to be taking a look for. You've ended my four day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

    July 4, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Reply
  6. Reser

    Thanks for every other informative site. Where else may I am getting that kind of information written in such a perfect means? I've a venture that I am simply now working on, and I have been on the look out for such information.

    June 6, 2013 at 4:47 am | Reply
  7. cof

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was once entirely right. This publish truly made my day. You cann't consider simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

    June 9, 2013 at 2:07 am | Reply
  8. Marion Segalla

    This is the best search engine in the world

    April 15, 2017 at 6:19 am | Reply
  9. Charlesetta Wilfinger

    This is the best search system in the planet

    April 20, 2017 at 3:20 am | Reply
  10. MerlinApoRe

    Nike Air Force Blancas Y Negras
    Don't underestimate the strength of an easy thanks take note following a job interview. It doesn't have to be flowery or lengthy. A basic 'thank you to your some time and consideration' will do. This take note will show that you just appreciate the individuals who interviewed you, as well as proving you are willing to make time to do points carefully.


    An additional good way to make your pearly whites looking great is usually to start off ingesting all your essential fluids by way of a straw. This minimizes exposure to your pearly whites, that helps to reduce the slight discoloration of your own tooth due to enjoying shaded fluids. It is really an great way to steer clear of discoloration.
    Nike Air Presto Flyknit


    April 28, 2017 at 7:48 am | Reply
  11. MichaelDum

    wh0cd287628 tadalafil tablets amoxicillin 875 mg

    August 29, 2017 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  12. Gaylene Anderberg

    HiWhat's upHi thereHello, alwaysfor all timeall the timeconstantlyevery time i used to check blogweblogwebpagewebsiteweb site posts here earlyin the early hours in the morningdawnbreak of daydaylight, becausesinceasfor the reason that i likeloveenjoy to learngain knowledge offind out more and more.

    May 27, 2020 at 1:48 am | Reply
  13. Crista Plotrowski

    My brother suggestedrecommended I might like this blogwebsiteweb site. He was totallyentirely right. This post actuallytruly made my day. You cann'tcan not imagine justsimply how much time I had spent for this informationinfo! Thanks!

    August 1, 2020 at 3:39 am | Reply
  14. Charles Loewen

    ArticlePostPiece of writingParagraph writing is also a funexcitement, if you knowbe acquainted withbe familiar with thenafter thatafterward you can write otherwiseor elseif not it is complexdifficultcomplicated to write.

    September 1, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Reply
  15. Marcell Hinson

    Right nowCurrentlyAt this time it seemssoundslooksappears like BlogEngineMovable TypeDrupalExpression EngineWordpress is the besttoppreferred blogging platform out thereavailable right now. (from what I've read) Is that what you'reyou are using on your blog?

    September 20, 2020 at 12:33 am | Reply
  16. Darnell Brittin

    Hmm it seemsappearslooks like your sitewebsiteblog ate my first comment (it was extremelysuper long) so I guess I'll just sum it up what I submittedhad writtenwrote and say, I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog. I as welltoo am an aspiring blog bloggerwriter but I'm still new to the whole thingeverything. Do you have any helpful hintsrecommendationstips and hintspointssuggestionstips for inexperiencedfirst-timerookienovicebeginnernewbie blog writers? I'd certainlydefinitelygenuinelyreally appreciate it.

    November 25, 2020 at 12:14 pm | Reply
  17. Orval Hoag

    Woah! I'm really lovingenjoyingdigging the template/theme of this sitewebsiteblog. It's simple, yet effective. A lot of times it's very hardvery difficultchallengingtoughdifficulthard to get that "perfect balance" between superb usabilityuser friendlinessusability and visual appearancevisual appealappearance. I must say that you'veyou haveyou've done a awesomeamazingvery goodsuperbfantasticexcellentgreat job with this. In additionAdditionallyAlso, the blog loads veryextremelysuper fastquick for me on SafariInternet explorerChromeOperaFirefox. SuperbExceptionalOutstandingExcellent Blog!

    November 27, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.