Monday, September 6, 2010

Current Event for September 10th

Middle East Peace Talks- search for an optimist

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.  Their goal was to restart discussions about peace between their countries, facilitated by the U.S..  These negotiations between Israel and Palestine were the first since talks ended 20 months ago.  U.S. President Obama has told each side that their goal is a permanent settlement that ends the Israeli occupation of Palestine territory captured in 1967, and an independent, democratic Palestinian state existing peacefully next to Israel.

Many critics of these talks say that talks have happened before, with no peaceful results.  At the beginning of the talks on Friday, September 3rd, Clinton acknowledged these critics' pessimism, but said that "The core issues at the center of these negotiations - territory, security, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements and others - will get no easier if we wait, nor will they resolve themselves."

For this weeks blog, read the BBC article "The Search for a Middle East Optimist" by Wyre Davies.  An optimist is someone who always looks for the good side of every situation.

Article:  "The Search for a Middle East Optimist."

After writing your summary, reflection, questions and prediction:

1. Explain why Elie Wiesel is optimistic about the Peace Talks. 
2. Do you agree with Wiesel's optimism?  Why or why not?


Map of Israel and Palestinian territories
The division of the former British mandate of Palestine and the creation of the state of Israel in the years after the end of World War II have been at the heart of Middle Eastern conflicts for the past half century.

The creation of Israel was the culmination of the Zionist movement, whose aim was a homeland for Jews scattered all over the world following the Diaspora. After the Nazi Holocaust, pressure grew for the international recognition of a Jewish state, and in 1948 Israel came into being.

For more information on the Conflict read: