November 20, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

November 20th, 2016

Uploaded on Nov 21. This week’s update is 25 minutes.

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the Israeli / Palestinian peace process and the prospects that US President Barack Obama will support  a UN Security Council Resolution outlining the parameters of a Palestinian state between November and January

In early November, Pierre Vimont, the French government’s special envoy to the Middle East peace process, visited Israel and spoke with representatives from the Palestinian Authority regarding a French plan to host an international peace conference by the end of December. In doing so, Israel informed France that it will not participate in such a conference. Israeli officials told France, in “a unambiguous and unequivocal fashion” that real progress and a lasting peace agreement could only emerge through direct bilateral negotiations between Israel and the PA, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. “Any other initiatives only distance the region from such a process,” the statement continued. “It was explained to the French envoy that Israel will not participate in any international conference convened in opposition to its position.” The French initiative “greatly harms the possibilities for advancing the peace process,” the statement said, arguing that it would allow PA President Mahmoud Abbas to avoid returning to direct bilateral negotiations without preconditions.

Vimont said that while he understands that Israel is opposed to the French initiative, it would send a positive signal if Netanyahu were to attend nonetheless. He said: “If at the end of the day, the Israeli government would decide to participate in the Paris conference, it will show genuine, sincere commitment to the two-state solution. The time is not right for direct talks. In the interim, he said, work can be done to ensure that such talks are fruitful when they do occur. As a first step, he said, “it is important for all those ready to endorse the two state solution, to say so publicly.”

The goal of a conference would be to push the peace process forward. Should it be approved, the conference’s conclusion could be put forward in the form of a UN Security Council resolution. The conference and the conclusions it would reach would operate in conjunction with other initiatives that are on the table and could even fold them into its large umbrella of options, he said. This includes efforts by Russia, which has called for a meeting between Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Vimont, said that past proposals such as the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative could also be part of the French initiative and would most certainly compliment it. The process is open to all the interested parties, he said. “We are working with the European Union, the Quartet, the Arab League and whomever wants to be involved,” said Vimont.

This also includes, the United States, said Vimont adding that his initiative could have inspired renewed American involvement. US Secretary of State John Kerry “is back on track with some of his ideas for regional initiatives,” Vimont said. He also did not rule out the possibility that other parties could work on a UN resolution separate from the peace conference. “We have no problem if anyone comes forward with a draft resolution, be it on parameters and settlements,” Vimont said. “We [would] look at the value of the draft itself. The idea has never been ‘well, the French initiative is going on, everyone should shut up and stay put and wait to see what happens. This is why, precisely as I speak, we are in very close contact with our colleagues in the outgoing Obama Administration to assure them that if ever they decide, after the 8th of November, to go forward with some initiative, it is working with good coordination with what we are trying to do,” he said. For this reason, Vimont added that he plans to go to the U.S. immediately after the US Presidential elections to coordinate possible steps over the next two months with the outgoing Obama administration. The Israeli government has been nervous about what actions Obama might take regarding the two-state solution prior to his departure from office. Among the possible steps would be US support for a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlement activity or even one that dictates the terms of a peace deal.

After meeting with Vimont, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians were asking France to push ahead with the plan.“We have encouraged France to go ahead with its initiative and supported its efforts to have a conference before the end of the year,” he said in a statement. “Israel should not be given the chance to sabotage such an international initiative.” Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, told a Palestinian newspaper that French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault would soon travel to the region in preparation for the summit, as part of France’s peace initiative. The conference, he added, will take place “whether the Israeli government consents or not.”

Furthermore, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas affirmed his commitment to a French-led international peace conference saying that he plans on sending a delegation to proposed peace talks set to be hosted in France in December.

Regarding the US election results, PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh said: “We will work with any president the American people elect to achieve peace in the Middle East on the basis of the two-state solution along 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Palestine.”

Jason Greenblatt, a close legal advisor to President-elect Donald Trump, described a US Trump policy with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that is 180 degrees different from that of past administrations, either Democrat or Republican. Greenblatt said: “Mr. Trump does not view the settlements as being an obstacle for peace.” He added that Trump does not condemn Jewish building over the pre-1967 lines, nor does he believe in dictating the terms of any peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinian.  Trump’s views, he said, come from the past example of the 2005 Israeli demolition of 21 settlements in Gaza and four in northern Samaria. That withdrawal did not bring peace but rather was a precursor to a Hamas takeover of Gaza and three wars with Israel. Greenbatt said: “Trump is not going to impose any solution on Israel. He thinks that the peace has to come from the parties themselves. Any meaningful contribution he can offer up, he is there to do,  it is not his goal, nor should it be anyone else’s goal, to impose peace on the parties.” With regard to Israel’s larger security issues, Greenblatt said that the newly elected president “thinks that Israel is in a very tough situation and needs to defend itself as it needs to defend itself.” Trump won’t be like his predecessors, Greenblatt said. “He is different for Israel than any recent president has been.”

Meanwhile, the Israeli State Attorney’s Office made a request in the beginning of November to postpone the December 25th evacuation of the court ordered outpost settlement of Amona to allow time to examine alternative solutions for its residents. Two years ago, the High Court of Justice (HCJ) ruled that the outpost must be evacuated and demolished after determining it was built on privately-owned Palestinian lands. In its petition, the state claims it is seeking to carry out the evacuation peacefully and without incident but that it is unable to provide alternative living solutions for residents within the next two months. The state emphasized that if the court rejects the request, it will be prepared to carry out the evacuation by the date set in its ruling—December 25.

The High Court of Justice rejected the request submitted by the Israeli government to extend the December 25th deadline for the evacuation of the Amona outpost. “In this case, as in other cases in the past, we were asked to extend the deadline set in the ruling for the evacuation at the last minute. We can see that any time frame given, as long as it may be, would not be enough,” Supreme Court judge Miriam Naor wrote in the court’s ruling. “We must be careful; otherwise deadlines set by the court will become a recommendation. The state’s request, which is based mostly on considerations that have already been ‘taken into consideration’ in the original ruling, constitutes in effect an attempt to change the decision made. This we cannot accept,” Naor added. Naor noted that she remains unconvinced that “extending the deadline will bring to an agreed resolution of the matter. It appears an approval of the request will only be used as an opening to submit additional extension requests, with the claim ‘we didn’t have enough time.’ Such a result will render the ruling worthless and cannot be accepted. Even though we do not dismiss the consideration of a peaceful resolution, this consideration is not the most important thing.”

In September, 25 of the 30 Knesset members of Netanyahu’s Likud political party, signed a petition against the Amona evacuation calling for the passing of a bill that would give the outpost of Amona legal standing. Such a move would allow the residents of Amona to keep their homes. At the time, the petition was not supported by Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.

The petition reads: “The bill is meant to regulate the homes of residents in a legal manner and prevent a moral, humane, and social distortion that would be created by the evacuation of hundreds and thousands of families who have built their homes with the support and assistance of various Israeli governments. The petition’s signatories have committed to act in pushing this important and moral legislation.” The Knesset “regulation bill” has relevance beyond Amona. It seeks to retroactively legalize any Jewish structures built on privately-owned Palestinian lands—as long as they were built with no intention of breaking the law—while offering generous compensation to those who prove they are the lands’ owners.

In an effort to prevent the evacuation of their outpost, the residents of Amona sent a letter of protest to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urging him to legalize their homes. “Amona has become a symbol of the settlement enterprise. Then again, we have nothing to lose,” they wrote. “Any alternative that is not Amona is out of the question. We won’t be bought with futile promises, budgets or other inducements.” The settlers noted that they intend to mount a “public popular struggle, respectable and difficult, that would unite all of our supporters, both within the outpost and without. This will be the fight of our lives for our home.”

After the ruling by the High Court of Justice, Amona residents called an emergency gathering during which they appealed directly to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the courts rejection of a request submitted by the government to extend the December 25th deadline for the evacuation of the outpost. “We, residents of Amona turn directly and personally to you prime minister. The lives of the residents of Amona, 42 families, (including) young children are in your hands. The hand which will evacuate Amona on the first night of Hanukkah is yours,” said Avichai Boaron, who is heading the struggle against the evacuation, in reference to the date in December on which the evacuation is set to commence.

Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Amona residents and protesters must avoid confrontation with Israeli soldiers when the court-ordered evacuation of the West Bank outpost of Amona takes place. In response, Amona residents said that they would build a tent city housing “thousands” of people to fight the court-ordered evacuation.

The request for eviction postponement by the government comes after a flurry of activity surrounding Amona in recent weeks that was punctuated by a meeting between Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Prime Minister Netanyahu and officials from the modern Orthodox party, Jewish Home. Legislators on the right-wing are pushing a so-called “regulations bill” that would legalize Amona and other disputed outposts in the West Bank.

On November 16, the Israeli Parliament gave preliminary approval to the “regulation bill” which would legalize Jewish outpost settlements. To become law, the proposal must pass three more votes in parliament. The so-called Regulation Bill designed to legalize outposts in the West Bank was recently approved in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation following heated discussions between the ministers present. The bill was brought to a vote mainly by the efforts of the Jewish Home political party leader, Naftali Bennett.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) called Jewish settlers living in disputed outposts in the West Bank “a virus that drags Israel to approve laws (that legalize) theft.” Prime Minister Netanyahu took to social media to express his outrage at Herzog’s comments. “I can’t believe Herzog used the term ‘virus’ in relation to settlers. They are our own flesh and blood, they serve in the IDF, and they contribute to the country. Buji, apologize immediately,” Netanyahu wrote, using Herzog’s nickname. Herzog responded to Netanyahu with his own post on social media, using the prime minister’s nickname: “No, Bibi, this time it won’t work. The ‘regulation bill’ is the virus. A virus that is dangerous to the Israeli democracy and justice system. The settlers are my brothers. My own flesh and blood. And I’ll take care of them more than you lie to them.”

Israel Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit opposes the proposed “regulation bill” saying it is unconstitutional. However, Israel’s Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked from the Jewish Home political party determined that “the attorney general has no power of veto over laws,” asserting that only the public’s elected representatives should make decisions on legislation. The justice minister contended that the attorney general’s role “is to be an advisor, not a decision-maker” like the prime minister, the government and the members of Knesset. “We at the Ministerial Committee for Legislation will make the decision in a professional manner.” Shaked explained that “when it comes to legislation, there is no such thing as veto power, because the Knesset is the authority that should make the decision.”

In response to the initial approval of the “regulation bill”, the US State Department said that it was “deeply concerned” by the possibility of Israeli legislation to legalize outposts in the West Bank. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters that the US was “deeply concerned about the advancement of legislation that would allow for the legalization of illegal Israeli outposts located on private Palestinian land.

“If this law were enacted it would pave the way for the legalization of dozens of illegal outposts deep in the West Bank,” Trudeau said. “This would represent an unprecedented and troubling step that is inconsistent with prior Israeli legal opinion and also break longstanding Israeli policy of not building on private Palestinian land. This legislation would be a dramatic advancement of the settlement enterprise, which is already gravely endangering the prospects for a two-state solution,” she added.

With regard to Trump’s pre-election promise that he would relocate the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Greenblatt said he expected that the pledge would be fulfilled. “I think he said it, he is going to do it. He is a man who keeps his word.” President-elect Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka, a convert to Judaism told a Florida synagogue that her dad would “100 percent” move the US embassy to Jerusalem if he is elected president. Ivanka Trump, who converted to Judaism in 2010 and is married to a Jewish man, called her father, an “unbelievable champion” for the State of Israel and for the Jewish people. “You won’t be dissapointed,”  she told the audience. Congress passed a law in 1995 mandating the move of the embassy to Jerusalem but allowed the president a waiver. Each president since then has routinely exercised the waiver citing the national security interests of the United States.

In response, the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said that the Palestinian Arabs will “make life miserable” for the United States at the United Nations, if US President-elect, Donald Trump, moves the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. He said: “If people attack us by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, which is a violation of Security Council resolutions, it is a violation of resolution 181 of the UN general assembly that was drafted by the U.S. … it means they are showing belligerency towards us … If they do that nobody should blame us for unleashing all of the weapons that we have in the UN to defend ourselves and we have a lot of weapons in the UN.”

Meanwhile, Russia called for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian dialogue on the basis of a two-state solution, stressing its support for the Palestinian cause. Speaking during a visit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said: “This initiative is still on the table,” in reference to peace talks being held in Moscow without preconditions. “Russia has always clung to its consistent position which is that the solution of the Palestinian issue is a priority and a prerequisite for the settlement of a fair and inclusive Middle East based on the resolutions of the Security Council and General Assembly of the United Nations.” During their meeting, Abbas told Medvedev: “We welcomed the invitation of President Putin to hold a tripartite meeting in Moscow but the Israeli side requested a postponement.” Abbas added that they had also discussed the issue of holding peace talks, including one in Moscow and another to be held by year-end in France.

In other news, Walid Phares, a foreign policy advisor to Presidential-elect Donald Trump, said that Trump will work to pass legislation designating the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. Phares said the legislation, which was already approved by the House Judiciary Committee earlier this year and referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was held up due to the Obama administration’s support of the group.

In November of 2015, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced the bill, which identifies three Brotherhood entities in the U.S. including the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). Cruz said: “We have to stop pretending that the Brotherhood are not responsible for the terrorism they advocate and finance … We have to see it for what it is: a key international organization dedicated to waging violent jihad.”

The bill included is an unprecedented opportunity to educate members of Congress about the Muslim Brotherhood’s involvement in terrorism.  It reviews the Brotherhood’s terrorist history and how it is banned by the governments of Egypt, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Syria. Egypt released videos showing the Brotherhood’s involvement in terrorism and the Egyptian government’s website warns about the Brotherhood lobby in the United States. The bill also outlines how the Brotherhood is linked to CAIR, the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT). The U.S. designated the Brotherhood’s Palestinian wing—Hamas— in 1997, a terrorist organization, but the Muslim Brotherhood as a whole is allowed to operate in the U.S.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told West Bank Amona settlers (whom the Israeli High Court of Justice decided need to relocate) that US President Barack Obama still constitutes “an existential danger’’ to the Israeli settlements. In speaking these words, Netanyahu was referring to a possible UN Security Council resolution declaring the settlements illegal and asking Israel to avoid all settlement expansion. Sometime between now and Jan. 20, the US administration might agree for such a proposal to be voted on.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu said he expects US President Barack Obama to continue America’s “longstanding policy” of promoting direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians – and not pursue parameters for Middle East peace through international bodies before he leaves office. He said: “I very much hope that President Obama will continue the policy that he enunciated,” Netanyahu said, referring to comments made by the outgoing president at the beginning of his first term. “The only way you get a workable and enduring peace is to have the parties agree to it. This is what has happened with our peace agreements with Egypt and Jordan. We’ve had convulsions in the Middle East, and yet these peace treaties hold because they were directly agreed to by the parties,” he added. “The reason we’ll object to any such effort is because it will hard the Palestinian position, and because it will harden the Palestinian position, it will push peace back.”

A senior Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs official said on condition of anonymity that Israel fears that Obama will want to leave a practical legacy to his successor in the form of a Security Council resolution rejecting the settlements in the West Bank. He said, “Obama is obsessed by an objection to the settlements and by his criticism of Netanyahu.”

This view was confirmed by a senior US diplomat in Tel Aviv. Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry consider the Israeli settlement policy the main reason for the failure of Kerry’s 2014-15 mission and the main obstacle to a two-state solution. Obama believes that if the Israeli settlement policies are allowed to continue undisturbed until the next administration has a Middle East team and clear Middle East policy in place, the situation on the ground could become irreversible in terms of denying a viable Palestinian state.

This is the reason White House spokesman Josh Earnest has used very strong language lately when criticizing the Netanyahu government on its settlement policy. On Oct. 6, Earnest accused the Israeli government of betraying the administration, saying, “We did receive public assurances from the Israeli government that contradict the announcement [of constructing 300 housing units on land that is] far closer to Jordan than it is to Israel.” Earnest warned that Israel’s decision to relocate — considered by settlers as a necessary compensation for dismantling Amona — jeopardizes the already distant prospect of Middle East peace as well as Israel’s own security.

On Oct. 21, the issue of a Security Council resolution in the months to come was raised at the European Council of Foreign Ministers in Brussels. A senior official close to Federica Mogherini, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy said that the European Union is conveying to Kerry the importance and urgency of a concrete policy move against Israeli settlement expansion. Such a resolution would, according to the EU official, include strong wording on the settlements as an obstacle to a two-state solution (taken from the July 2016 Quartet report), as well as a demand that Israel stop all settlement expansion and a call to the parties to immediately renew negotiations on a two-state solution based on previous Security Council resolutions. France and Egypt would likely advance such a UN Security Council Resolution before the end of 2016. The Palestinian leadership is welcoming this possible development. A senior PLO official said that the Palestinian Authority is in close contact with the French and Egyptian foreign ministers on this issue.

An Obama administration official said that US President Barack Obama is considering a last minute move regarding the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. Several options suggested by his advisors at the National Security Council are being considered. One option would be giving the US’s support to a UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements or on the two-state solution. Alternatively, the outgoing president could settle for only a declarative act, like a speech presenting the main points of his administration’s stance on the conflict. A third option would be to do nothing.

According to the official, the Obama administration is concerned with the situation on the ground. “The two-state solution is dying, this trend is not good. There’s a de facto annexation. We, the Americans, can only rebuke the sides. We’ve searched in the dictionary for a thousand different ways to condemn the settlement construction, and it’s not helping. A condemnation has no bite, and the Israelis know this.” As a result, Obama is feeling the need to do something before he leaves office.

Recently, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, spoke at the annual Zionist Organization of America’s conference, warning foreign diplomats looking to force through one-sided resolutions at the United Nations between now and January 20th when Obama leaves office. He said: “Just recently,” said Danon, “senior diplomats from various countries told me that they plan on taking advantage of the transition period to advance a one-sided resolution against Israel. One thing is clear: Such a resolution will be dangerous for Israel. We will not be pressured to make concessions that will endanger our people.”

So, will Obama take advantage of the transition to the Trump Presidency that began after election day and ends on Jan. 20 to push through a UN Security Council resolution recognizing a Palestinian state? Only time will tell.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1)  Israel won’t attend peace confab, officials inform France
2) Abbas ally: French peace summit will go forward, with or without Israel
3) France: Israel should show commitment to peace by attending December parley
4) Palestinian Authority: We’ll work with any US president to achieve peace
5) Trump advisor: ‘West Bank settlements are not an obstacle to peace’
6) Will Obama push for UN settlement-freeze resolution?
7) Russia calls for resumption of Israel-Palestine peace talks
8) PA: We’ll ‘make life miserable’ for Trump if he moves embassy
9) Trump to Designate Muslim Brotherhood as Terror Org
10) Netanyahu will work with Trump on ‘twin interests of peace and security’
11) Obama mulling support of UN resolution against Israeli settlements
12) State requests to postpone Amona evacuation for 7 months
13) Amona residents appeal directly to Netanyahu
14) 25 Likud MKs sign petition against Amona evacuation
15) Amona settlers urge Netanyahu: Pass bill to legalize our home
16) High Court rejects government’s request to postpone Amona evacuation
17) Justice Minister Shaked: AG has no veto power over laws
18) Regulation Bill approved in ministerial committee
19) Lieberman on Amona Evacuation: Settlers Must Avoid Confrontation With IDF Soldiers
20) US ‘deeply concerned’ by Israeli push to legalize outposts
21) Danon: No one will pressure us into making dangerous concessions

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

October 10, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

October 10th, 2016

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the Israeli / Palestinian peace process and the prospects that US President Barack Obama will support  a UN Security Council Resolution outlining the parameters of a Palestinian state between November and January

Recently, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Several Palestinian officials joined in the meeting, including PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Saeb Erakat, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki and Palestinian ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour, among others. After the meeting, the US State Department spokesman John Kirby said the two men discussed “constructive ideas” to advance a two-state solution with Israel. Kirby said Kerry and Abbas would “work with key partners to advance the prospects for peace while opposing all efforts that would undermine that goal.”

Meanwhile, the international Quartet of Middle East peacemakers consisting of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia, again warned Israel that its Israel’s settlement policy was harming the chances of a peace agreement and urged both sides to show restraint in the face of a renewal of violent Palestinian attacks against Israelis. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry and EU High Representative Federica Mogherini issued the following statement after meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York: “The Quartet emphasizes its strong opposition to ongoing settlement activity, which is an obstacle to peace, and expressed its grave concern that the acceleration of settlement construction and expansion in Area C [parts of the West Bank under Israeli civilian and security control] and East Jerusalem.”

The Quartet were joined for the latter part of their discussion by the foreign ministers of Egypt and France, whose countries have each proposed ideas to restart talks. According to the Quartet, “All agreed on the importance of close and continuing coordination of all efforts to achieve the common goal of the two-state solution.” French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, whose country plans to hold a peace conference by the end of the year, warned that the path to peace was narrowing, but did still exist. He said:  “Our goal is still the same: It’s to organize an international conference before the end of the year with both parties present.”

While in New York, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had harsh words to say about Israeli settlement building in a private meeting of countries representing those who have provided financial assistance to the Palestinian Authority. At the meeting, Kerry took Israel to task and was agitated over its policy in the West Bank. Kerry did criticize the Palestinians for their increased number of Palestinian terror attacks and incitement against Israel. However, the thrust of his remarks constituted criticism of the unprecedented rate of construction in the settlements in particular and Israel’s policies in the West Bank in general. Kerry presented figures indicating that since Obama took office in 2009, the number of Israelis in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has increased by 95,000, and that 15,000 of that increase has come in the past year alone. “How does increasing the number of settlers indicate an attempt to create a Palestinian state?” Kerry asked, raising his voice. “The status quo is not sustainable. So either we mean it and we act on it, or we should shut up.”

In response, a senior member of the Netanyahu government said: “to come and say that settlement activity is the root of this conflict is simply nonsense. We are ready to meet the Palestinian Authority but it must give up the right of return and recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”

While still in New York, Kerry also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry said, “There are things we believe we could achieve in the next months and there are serious concerns that we all have about the security of the region, the need for stability, the need to protect the two-state solution. And our hope is obviously that we can find a way to utilize the friendship of our countries to advance, what we believe is not only in the highest priority for Israel to provide for its long-term security, but also to create a new relationship within the region that can be powerful in reinforcing that long-term security interest.”

Kerry also spoke with anger, cynicism and frustration about the steps Israel was purportedly taking on the ground to ease the lives of the Palestinians. However, many of the measures have not been implemented at all and remain in the nature of declarations or remain simply on paper. He said: “If we really want to get serious about a two-state solution, we need much more than just one-time agreements and improvements. We need to fundamentally change the dynamic by resuming the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority in Area C, which was called for in prior agreements.” Area C is the designation for the areas of the West Bank under full Israeli control.

Kerry concluded by saying that Israelis and Palestinians are at a crossroads. “Either we reverse course and take serious steps on the path to a two-state solution, or the momentum of existing actions will carry us further toward an intractable one-state reality that nobody wants and nobody really thinks can work. The consequences of the current trends reverberate far beyond the immediate damage the destruction and displacement may cause. What’s happening today destroys hope. It empowers extremists,” he added.

The Western diplomats noted that Kerry’s comments presented the despair on both sides, but also the understanding emerging not only on Kerry’s part but also among an increasing number of senior White House officials that they need to seriously consider the possibility of promoting a resolution at the United Nations Security Council or at another international forum. This would be immediately after the U.S. presidential election in November, and would deal with the Israeli-Palestinian issue and preserving the option of a two-state solution in the future.

In an interview with Israel Channel 10, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, hinted at this, noting that the U.S. administration is considering a series of options, including a UN Security Council resolution. Meanwhile, speaking to reporters, U.S. President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, said Obama does not rule out such a process but no specific proposal has been presented to him yet.

Meanwhile, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Israeli media that he hopes U.S. President Barack Obama would not force a one-sided political solution on Israel before he leaves office, and that the next American president will maintain the longstanding policy of vetoing UN Security Council resolutions on Israel. His remarks came amid Israeli concerns that Obama will try and push a Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after the elections in November and before he leaves office on January 20. Netanyahu admitted that the issue was not raised during his meeting with the president, but he said that he hoped Obama’s conduct over the years would continue until the end of his term. “I even quoted him (Obama) at the UN when I said that peace isn’t reached through UN resolutions,” Netanyahu said, referring to Obama’s speech at the General Assembly in 2011. “That’s true. It’s done by hard but vital negotiations between the parties,” he added.

US Presidential hopeful, Donald Trump, met with Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. At the meeting, Netanyahu thanked Trump for his continued support for Israel, his commitment to continued pressuring of Iran and for his opposition to efforts at the United Nations to impose terms of a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Under a Trump presidency, the United States will “finally accept the longstanding congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel,” according to his campaign’s description of the meeting, which was closed to the press. Israeli officials said that Netanyahu thanked Trump for his friendship and support of the Jewish state.

Due to the concern that the international community will support a UN Security Council Resolution outlining the parameters of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to get the opposition party, Zionist Union, to join his government coalition. According to Israel Channel 10, substantial progress has reportedly been made in talks to form a unity government. According to the report, the center-left Zionist Union party will join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud-led government in exchange for eight portfolios including the highly coveted Foreign Ministry.

However, chairman of the opposition and head of the Zionist Union, Isaac Herzog, denied it. In a message sent out to party members, Herzog called the report “baseless,” stating there have been no contacts with Netanyahu’s political party, Likud. as the report claimed. Likud also officially denied the report.

According to a source privy to the talks, Herzog has met with lawmakers and officials from his party recently to try to convince them to join Netanyahu’s government. Herzog told the lawmakers that there is currently an unprecedented opportunity to lead a diplomatic process in the Middle East and it cannot be missed. According to a senior official in the Zionist Union, opposition to the move within the party has weakened, and the new government could form within a month when the Knesset returns from its summer recess.

Sources in the Likud noted that Netanyahu needs the Zionist Union and a diplomatic process to stave off attempts by Palestinians to push through a resolution in the UN Security Council after the elections in the U.S. in November, but before U.S. President Obama leaves office in January 2017. Netanyahu does not want Israel to go into any international summit on peace without Herzog in the government as he fears his right-wing partners will quit, sending Israel to a snap election.

Meanwhile, Palestinian elections originally scheduled for October 8 in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has been postponed until the beginning of 2017. In a dispute over the elections between Fatah and Hamas, the Palestinian Authority’s Supreme Court ruled that local elections will take place but only in the West Bank and not the Gaza Strip. In an earlier decision, the court froze the local elections in the West Bank and Gaza slated for October due to what it described as serious irregularities – chiefly a court ruling in Gaza to remove candidate slates identified with Fatah in Gaza and the exclusion of East Jerusalem from the election process. Hamas, who rules in the Gaza Strip, blasted the decision labeling it an attempt to renege democratic responsibilities and avoid a negative outcome for Fatah.  The Palestinian Authority court said it could not accept the Gaza court’s ruling or a situation in which there were two separate legal systems.

In wake of the ruling, the Palestinian Authority’s Central Election Committee recommended to postpone the elections by six months so a compromise could be found to permit the local elections to go ahead in Gaza. The committee noted that they respect the top court’s ruling, but said that “de facto, in the current environment, it is impossible to hold a vote and to remove Gaza from the equation.” The Palestinian Authority accepted their recommendation and decided to move the vote by four months to February.

In September 2014 after a protracted legal battle, the Israeli Supreme Court ordered the Israeli government to dismantle the unauthorized outpost of Amona by December 2016 because the court said it was built illegally on private Palestinian land and must be returned to its original owners. Established in 1997, Amona is the largest of about 100 unauthorized outposts — built without permission but generally tolerated by the government — that exist in the West Bank. In order to resolve the problem, Israel has approved the construction of 98 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh to compensate homeowners of the nearby outpost of Amona ahead of the December court-ordered evacuation and demolition of Jewish homes. The 40 families that live in the Amona outpost have rejected the Shiloh plan and have called for the Israeli government to authorize their small hilltop community in spite of the High Court of Justice ruling that their homes must be razed by December.

The US State Department issued a stern rebuke of Israel’s decision to relocate the citizens of Amona to Shiloh saying: “We strongly condemn the Israeli government’s recent decision to advance a plan that would create a significant new settlement deep in the West Bank,” State Department spokesman Mark Toner said. “The retroactive authorization of nearby illegal outposts, or redrawing of local settlement boundaries, does not change the fact that this approval contradicts previous public statements by the Government of Israel that it had no intention of creating new settlements,” Toner said. “And this settlement’s location deep in the West Bank, far closer to Jordan than Israel, would link a string of outposts that effectively divide the West Bank and make the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote.” Toner added: “Proceeding with this new settlement, which could include up to 300 units, would further damage the prospects for a two state solution.”

The US State Department called Israel’s decision “deeply troubling…that Israel would take a decision so contrary to its long-term security interest in a peaceful resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians,” particularly as it came “in the wake of Israel and the US concluding an unprecedented agreement on military assistance designed to further strengthen Israel’s security.”

Furthermore, the US State Department openly warned the move would “distance Israel from many of its partners. Israelis must ultimately decide between expanding settlements and preserving the possibility of a peaceful two state solution. Since the recent Quartet report this summer called on both sides to take affirmative steps to reverse current trends and advance the two-state solution on the ground, we have unfortunately seen just the opposite,” the statement said. “Proceeding with this new settlement is another step towards cementing a one-state reality of perpetual occupation that is fundamentally inconsistent with Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state. Such moves will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from many of its partners, and further call into question Israel’s commitment to achieving a negotiated peace.”

The White House joined in the State Department’s criticism of Israel saying: “We did receive public assurances from the Israeli government that contradict this announcement,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. “I guess when we’re talking about how good friends treat one another that’s a source of serious concern as well.”

The European Union also condemned the Shiloh project saying that “continued settlement expansion also calls into question Israel’s commitment towards reaching a negotiated agreement with the Palestinians. This decision continues the accelerating trend of new settlement announcements since the start of 2016, and risks further separating Ramallah from Nablus and thus further undermining the contiguity of a future Palestinian state,” the EU said. “The decision to continue settlement building and expansion goes directly against the recommendations of the Quartet Report, weakens rather than strengthens the prospects for a two-state solution to the Middle East peace process, and makes the possibility of a viable Palestinian state more remote,” it added.

Israel rejected the harsh criticism from the United States for the new construction in the West Bank city of Shiloh saying that the newly authorized construction is not a new settlement. The Israeli Foreign Ministry said: “The 98 housing units approved in Shiloh do not constitute a ‘new settlement’. This housing will be built on state land in the existing settlement of Shiloh and will not change its municipal boundary or geographic footprint.” A Senior Israeli official said that the building plans breached no commitments, did not constitute a new settlement, and would not bring more settlers into the West Bank, since the construction was for new homes for settlers who are to be evicted from the Amona outpost. The Israeli Foreign Ministry also reiterated Israel’s stance that the settlements are not the main cause of the stalled peace process with the Palestinians. “The real obstacle to peace is not the settlements – a final status issue that can and must be resolved in negotiations between the parties — but the persistent Palestinian rejection of a Jewish state in any boundaries,” the statement said.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu contacted US Secretary of State, John Kerry to ease the concern of the new Shiloh construction plans saying: “… the construction [in Shiloh] was to provide an alternative for the Amona residents if no other solution is found.”

US State Department spokesman Mark Toner hinted that the US could take action on the peace process before Obama leaves office saying: “We’re going to carefully consider our future engagement, if and when we reach that point, and determine how to most effectively pursue and advance the objective that we all at least claim to share, which is that of achieving a negotiated two-state solution.”

Israel’s fear is that Obama could now act at the United Nations, after the US elections in November but before the next president is inaugurated in January. This could mean backing a UN Security Council resolution that could seek to impose parameters for negotiations for a two-state solution on Israel and the Palestinians, or a similar UN resolution. A Senior Israel official called the latest dispute with the Obama administration over settlement-building “disproportionate criticism” from the United States over the latest construction plans is “an alibi” to cover plans by President Barack Obama to take anti-Israel actions in the final two months of his presidency. He said: The “disproportionate” US criticism “is an alibi for one-sided actions being planned by Obama even though Obama pledged to Netanyahu that he won’t take any one-sided actions concerning Israel” in the final two months of his presidency.

A recent NY Times editorial suggested Obama do the following: “The best idea under discussion now would be to have the United Nations Security Council, in an official resolution, lay down guidelines for a peace agreement covering such issues as Israel’s security, the future of Jerusalem, the fate of Palestinian refugees and borders for both states. Obama should lead the Security Council to put its authority behind a resolution to support a two-state solution and offer the outlines of what that could be.”

Will Obama support a UN Security Council Resolution after the US elections and prior to when he leaves office on January 20th recognizing a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital? Only time will tell.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1)  Kerry, Abbas meet, agree to push for two-state solution
2) Kerry tells Abbas US is committed to two-state solution
3) Kerry to Netanyahu: We need to protect the two-state solution
4) Kerry: We must ‘act or shut up’ on two-state solution
5) Kerry: Israel and Palestinians Headed for Binational State, World Must Act or Shut Up
6) Netanyahu Urges Obama Not to Impose One-sided Solution on Israel
7) Trump to Netanyahu: I will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s united capital
8) Quartet: Settlements harming chances for two state-solution
9) ‘Settlements are the root of the conflict? Nonsense’
10) Substantial Progress Reported in Talks to Bring Center-left Party Into Netanyahu’s Government
11) Palestinian Government Postpones Elections Until Beginning of 2017
12) Israel okays 98 new West Bank settlement homes for Amona evacuees
13) US invokes Peres legacy in biting condemnation of settlement expansion
14) US hints at linkage between military assistance and settlement building
15) Israel rejects US criticism, says no new settlements planned
16) Israeli official: Obama’s settlement critique ‘an alibi’ for planned anti-Israel moves
17) Netanyahu tries to ease US concerns after harsh settlement condemnation
18) At the Boiling Point With Israel

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

September 22, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

September 21st, 2016

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the Israeli / Palestinian peace process and an analysis of the $ 38 billion dollar military aid agreement which the United States will be giving Israel over the next 10 years. In doing so, we ask the question, ‘Will Obama support a UN Security Council Resolution outlining the parameters of a Palestinian state between November and January ?’

Recently, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video calling it ‘outrageous’ that the international community supports the Palestinian position that there should be ‘no Jews’ living in a potential Palestinian state. Let’s hear Netanyahu in his own words:

The Obama administration was fuming over Netanyahu’s remarks. US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau told reporters the administration is “engaging in direct conversations with the Israeli government” about the video. “We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank. We believe that using that type of terminology is inappropriate and unhelpful. We share the view of every past US administration, and the strong consensus of the international community, that ongoing settlement activity is an obstacle to peace. We continue to call on both sides to demonstrate with actions and policies a genuine commitment to the two-state solution,” Trudeau said. “Let’s be clear,” she added. “The undisputed fact is that already this year, thousands of settlement units have been advanced for Israelis in the West Bank, illegal outposts and unauthorized settlement units have been retroactively legalized, more West Bank land has been seized for exclusive Israeli use, and there has been a dramatic escalation of demolitions resulting in over 700 Palestinian structures destroyed, displacing more than 1,000 Palestinians. As we’ve said many times before, this does raise real questions about Israel’s long-term intentions in the West Bank.”

The PMO, not wanting to get into a tit-for-tat with the US State Department had no response to the sharp reaction by the United States. An Israeli official said that Netanyahu’s video was “one step” in the direction of getting the world to pay attention to the Palestinian demand that there not be any Jews in a Palestinian state. In fact, Palestinian leaders have on a number of occasions stressed that all settlements would have to be completely removed from a future Palestinian state. For instance, in July of 2013, just prior to the start of US-led Palestinian-Israeli negotiations, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told Egyptian journalists in Cairo that “in a final resolution, we would not see the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.” And at a dinner in 2010 with Jewish leaders in the US hosted by the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, he said, “If we want an independent state, I will not accept any single Israeli in our territories. We are not against the Jews. We are against the Israeli occupation.”

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon slammed Netanyahu’s video comments as “unacceptable and outrageous” in which Netanyahu insisted that Palestinians were seeking the “ethnic cleansing” of Jews in the West Bank. Ban Ki-Moon said: “I am disturbed by a recent statement by Israel’s Prime Minister portraying those who oppose settlement expansion as supporters of ethnic cleansing. This is unacceptable and outrageous,” Ban told the UN Security Council. “Let me be absolutely clear: settlements are illegal under international law. The occupation, stifling and oppressive, must end.”

In response, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon responded that Ban had a “distorted view of the situation in Israel.” Danon said: “Instead of directly condemning Hamas for building tunnels and a terrorist infrastructure, instead of investing resources in stopping Palestinian incitement and terrorism, the secretary-general has chosen to regularly condemn Israel,” he added.

Ban Ki-Moon used the opening of the UN General Assembly’s 71st session to criticize Israel saying: “As a friend of both the Israeli and Palestinian peoples, it pains me that this past decade has been ten years lost to peace. Ten years lost to illegal settlement expansion. Ten years lost to intra-Palestinian divide, growing polarization and hopelessness. This is madness.” The UN Secretary General mentioned that “the occupation grinds into its 50th year” and added that “replacing a two-state solution with a one-state construct would spell doom: denying Palestinians their freedom and rightful future, and pushing Israel further from its vision of a Jewish democracy towards greater global isolation.”

Israel Ambassador Danon reacted to the UN chief’s speech and said that “the real madness belongs to the UN. Instead of focusing on Palestinian terror and incitement, and instead of compelling Mahmoud Abbas to return to the negotiating table, the Secretary General chose to criticize Israel once again,” he continued. “This is an obsession with Israel and it must end. At a time when Palestinian terror is on the rise in Israel, the Secretary General chose to criticize us and ignore the direct responsibility of Abbas and the Palestinian leadership who continue to incite towards terror.”

US President Barack Obama spoke at the United Nations General Assembly regarding the Israeli – Palestinian conflict saying that Israel must recognize that it cannot “permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.” Obama said: “Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel. But Israel must recognize that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land. We all have to do better,” the US president said.

At the UN General Assembly meeting in New York, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he plans to soon present the UN Security Council with a resolution against the Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Palestinians will “continue to exert all efforts” for a UN Security Council resolution against Israel, adding that he was “in intensive consultations with Arab countries” regarding the resolution. Abbas said he hoped no country would veto the resolution.

In other news, the United States and Israel signed a military defense aid agreement that promises Israel $38 billion over 10 years. It terms have been being negotiated since November, 2015. Following the agreement, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement thanking U.S. President Barack Obama, his administration, Israel’s friends in Congress and the American people for their bipartisan support of the aid agreement. He noted that the signing of the deal demonstrates the relationship between Israel and the U.S. is strong and stable. “This doesn’t mean we don’t have disagreements from time to time, but those disagreements are within the family,” Netanyahu said. Netanyahu said the disagreements have “no effect whatsoever on the great friendship” between Israel and the U.S., adding that the friendship expressed in the agreement will greatly help Israel continue to fortify its strength over the next decade.  The prime minister said that support for Israel crosses party lines in the U.S., adding that many in the U.S. understand that investment in Israel’s security strengthens stability in the unstable Middle East, serving both Israeli and U.S. security.

One of the most significant disputes during the bilateral negotiations related to the America demand to stop the arrangement that allowed Israel to spend some 40 percent of the American aid to buy equipment from Israeli defense industries and to buy fuel for the IDF.  The highlights of the agreement are as follows:

− Israel will get $3.8 billion dollars annually, $500 million of which will be allocated to developing missile defense systems.

− Israel commits not to approach Congress for additional budgets for missile defense systems. In the event of an emergency, Israel can request additional budgets for missile defense systems but only if the administration agrees to it.

− The agreement does not prevent Israel from asking Congress for additional aid on security issues such as the fight against tunnels or the development of cyber defense systems.

− Once the agreement goes into effect, there will be a gradual phasing out of Israel’s right to use 26 percent of the American aid to buy equipment from Israel defense industries.

− When the agreement goes into effect, Israel will immediately stop using 14 percent of the American aid to buy fuel for the Israel Defense Forces.

The big question is does this agreement give Obama “political cover” to argue that he is a supporter of the security of Israel while possibly supporting a United Nations Security Council Resolution specifying the parameters of a two-state solution and recognize a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital between November and January?

Upon signing the agreement, U.S. President Barack Obama issued a statement about the deal stressing that it demonstrated the U.S.’s commitment to Israel’s security in word and deed. Obama said: “Both Prime Minister Netanyahu and I are confident that the new MOU will make a significant contribution to Israel’s security in what remains a dangerous neighborhood,” Obama said.  “The continued supply of the world’s most advanced weapons technology will ensure that Israel has the ability to defend itself from all manner of threats. It is because of this same commitment to Israel and its long-term security that we will also continue to press for  a two-state solution to the longstanding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, despite the deeply troubling trends on the ground that undermine this goal,” Obama continued. “As I have emphasized previously, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine.  Ultimately, both this MOU and efforts to advance the two-state solution are motivated by the same core U.S. objective of ensuring that Israelis can live alongside their neighbors in peace and security.”

Netanyahu flew to New York to speak at the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. In coming to the United States, Netanyahu met with US President Barack Obama. In meeting with Netanyahu, Obama said that he wants to ensure that efforts for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will be kept alive beyond his presidency.

A senior Israeli official who is familiar with the details of the conversation between the two told journalists at a briefing that the disagreement about the settlement issue came up but was not the main topic of discussion. The senior official noted that Netanyahu did not raise the possibility that Obama might make a move in the UN Security Council on the Israeli-Palestinian issue during the period between the American elections in November and the end of his term on January 20. “The issue didn’t come up and they didn’t talk about it,” the senior official said. “There’s an elephant in the room. Netanyahu knows there’s an elephant and Obama knows there’s an elephant and both know that the other knows that there’s an elephant in the room.”

At the outset of the meeting, Obama told reporters that he will be interested in hearing Netanyahu’s assessment about the conditions in Israel and the West Bank. “There is great danger of terrorism and flair ups of violence and we also have concerns about settlement activity. We want to see how Israel sees the next few years… because we want to make sure that we keep alive this possibility of a stable secure Israel at peace with its neighbors and a Palestinian homeland that meets the aspirations of the Palestinian people,” said Obama.

Obama’s comments reflected the view of the American administration that the two-state solution is in real danger of becoming irrelevant in the near future, mostly because of the construction in the settlements and the diplomatic freeze between Israel and the Palestinians. The Americans think the situation on the West Bank and the present trends are leading to a reality of a single bi-national state.

The U.S. administration has been holding discussions over the past few months about the possibility of advancing a move in the UN Security Council on the Israel-Palestinian issue, after the U.S. presidential elections in November and before Obama leaves office. Political advisors to Obama say he might wait until after the November election to possibly give a speech outlining his ideas for a two-state solution and the parameters for a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinians or even encapsulate these ideas in a resolution before the United Nations Security Council between November and January. However, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said in a press briefing before the meeting that he does not rule out the possibility that Obama will decide to carry out such a step before the end of his term, Rhodes made it clear that for now he has no such plan.

US diplomat, Dennis Ross, who worked on Israeli-Palestinian issues for decades, including a two-year stint as special assistant to Obama and a year as special adviser to Hillary Clinton, said that the current president “would like to do something, leave some kind of legacy.” regarding the Israeli / Palestinian peace process. He said that if Donald Trump won the US Presidential elections that it would make it more likely that Obama would support a UN Security Council Resolution against Israel between November and January. “I suspect that if Trump wins, the president would be more inclined to go for a Security Council resolution to try to do something that binds, creates standards for the future that the next president couldn’t undo,” Dennis Ross said at a conference on the future of Zionism and the US-Israel relationship.

Once the dust has settled following elections on November 8, Obama may use the opportunity as a lame duck to deliver a speech laying out parameters for a peace arrangement between Israel and the Palestinians, or even suggest a Security Council resolution defining those parameters, either to be proposed by the US or another country, Ross speculated. The president’s speech, were he to make one, would very likely be balanced, Ross added, by equally addressing Palestinian concerns — borders and Jerusalem — and Israeli demands regarding security and the question of Palestinian refugees.

But any Security Council resolution introduced by another country would very likely emphasize the Palestinian demands over Israeli concerns, he said. “Then the question becomes: if someone else introduces this as a resolution and it waters down the essence of what the president has offered, which would have been balanced between the two, does the US then veto it? That is going to be heavily influenced by the outcome of the election,” Ross said. “I’m guessing he would be much more inclined to try to be proactive in terms of presenting something that could create standards for the future that the next president couldn’t undo,” he continued.

Because of the concern that US President Barack Obama may support a UN Security Council Resolution outlining the parameters for a Palestinian state between November and January, 88 US senators submitted a bipartisan letter calling for President Barack Obama to uphold US policy that calls for a veto of any one-sided United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The letter quotes Obama’s UN speech to the General Assembly in 2011, in which he said, “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations.”

The letter warned that the international community should “avoid taking action that would harm the prospects for meaningful progress,” noting, “Even well-intentioned initiatives at the United Nations risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiating table and make the compromises necessary for peace. The United States remains an indispensable trusted mediator between the parties, and we must continue to insist that neither we nor any other outside substitute for the parties to the conflict.”

The letter also emphasizes the senators’ hope for a two-state solution, saying, “The only way to resolve the conflicts between the two is through direct negotiations that lead to a sustainable two-state solution with a future sate of Palestine living in peace and security with Israel. This outcome would provide Israel with greater security and strengthen regional stability. We remain optimistic that, under the right circumstances, Israelis and Palestinians can successfully resume productive negotiations toward this goal.”

One US Senator who did not sign the letter was Ted Cruz (R)(TX). He stated his reason as follows: “I support the spirit of the letter to President Obama, which is to urge him to oppose any anti-Israel activities at the United Nations Security Council,” the Texas senator said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the language in the opening paragraph declaring the ‘two-state solution’ as the ‘only’ resolution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians undermines this well-intentioned effort, and makes it impossible for me to sign. This matter is an internal one for Israel to decide, and it is not the place of the United States—or the United Nations—to impose a solution on a sovereign nation.”

As the letter from the 88 US Senators confirms, there is significant bipartisan concern in Washington DC that US President Barack Obama “won’t have Israel’s back” at the United Nations Security Council following the US elections in November.  Clifford D. May, president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank, said a day after 88 US senators sent a letter to Obama urging him to veto any one-sided resolutions regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the remainder of his time in office. The letter, which was organized by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), made “very telling points,” May said. “A one-sided UN Security Council resolution would be damaging not just to Israel, but to any possibility of peace in the near future,” May warned. He further explained, “I think it’s fairly obvious at this point that the UN is egregiously prejudiced against Israel. And what you don’t want to see is something like what the French have been discussing — mandated negotiations, and if those negotiations fail to produce fruit, the Palestinians would be rewarded. That would assure that [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas would not make any concessions.”

In comment to Obama’s speech at the UN General Assembly where he said that “Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel but Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land.” May noted that those words would “probably feed into the concern that exists that after the election Obama will take actions that will tie the hands of the next president. People in this town who are in favor of a productive peace process — those who want to see the Israelis and the Palestinians living side by side in peace — are worried and I think the idea is that if President Obama is contemplating such a move now that needs to be discouraged,” May concluded.

So, will Obama support a UN Security Council Resolution between November and January which outlines the parameters for a mandated solution to the Israeli – Palestinian conflict and endorse support for a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its captital? Only time will tell.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1)  Washington calls Netanyahu’s ethnic cleansing video ‘inappropriate’
2) UN chief slams Netanyahu’s ‘outrageous’ claim on ‘ethnic cleansing’
3) Danon slams Ban Ki-moon for criticism of Israel during UNGA opening speech
4) Obama: Israel cannot ‘permanently occupy, settle Palestinian land’
5) U.S., Israel Sign Historic 10-year, $38-billion Military Aid Deal
6) Trump win could lead Obama to back 2-state move at UN, ex-diplomat predicts
7) Obama, Keen to Push Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Will Meet With Netanyahu
8) In final meeting with PM, Obama says two-state solution must be kept alive
9) Obama to Netanyahu: Settlement Growth Is Threatening the Two-state Solution
10) Abbas at UN: Palestinians Will Present Security Council Resolution Against Israeli Settlements
11) 88 senators press Obama to uphold US policy to veto one-sided UN resolutions
12) Mideast Expert: Many in Washington Concerned Obama ‘Won’t Have Israel’s Back’ at UN After November Election

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

September 5, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

September 5th, 2016

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the Israeli / Palestinian peace process and the announcement by the Temple Institute in Jerusalem of the establishment of a school for Jewish priests to perform the Temple service and the selection of a High Priest by the nascent Sanhedrin

Recently, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had a meeting with a blue-ribbon, bipartisan delegation of high-ranking former national security officials. One of the issues discussed was the possibility of US President Barack Obama supporting the parameters of a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council between November and January. Speculation is high in Israel that Obama will want to leave some kind of legacy regarding the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians before he leaves office on January 20, 2017.  His options include delivering a speech laying down what he believes should be the parameters of any final peace deal, to either supporting or not vetoing a new UN resolution on the Mideast that would supplant UN Security Council Resolution 242 that has underpinned all peace efforts since 1967.

Israel’s concern is that any of these moves might be used to try and impose a solution on the conflict from the outside. In order to discourage this from happening, Israeli government officials have in recent days highlighted Obama’s 2011 speech to the UN General Assembly which at the time was debating the issue of Palestinian statehood.

“Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations – if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now,” Obama said. “Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians – not us – who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem.” One Israeli official said that this speech was Israel’s “reference point” regarding possible Obama moves in the coming months. “That speech was clear and unequivocal, and hopefully there will not be any surprises,” the official said.

The United States and the European Union wants the UN Security Council to endorse some kind of parameters to support a two-state solution and an eventual Palestinian state. This was revealed after the Middle East Quartet consisting of the UN, EU, Russia and the US, who are mediators of the Israel / Palestinian peace process issued a report on July 1 on the current status of the peace process while providing specific recommendations that could contribute to an eventual peace agreement. As expected, the Quartet report was highly critical of Israeli settlement building. However, the report also highlighted Palestinian incitement to violence against Israel. This part of the report infuriated the Palestinian Authority. Nevertheless, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged the UN Security Council to support the Quartet’s findings despite the strong opposition from both Israel and the Palestinians.

Negotiations on a draft presidential statement — a non-binding document issued by the president of the council — began shortly after the report was presented to the UN on July 1, and, according to diplomats, the EU and the US were also exploring the possibility of drafting a full-fledged UN Security Council Resolution calling on the two sides to embrace the report. However, Egypt, which is a non-permanent member of the council, successfully stopped that effort. Palestinian representative to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, explained that Arab diplomats agreed during a meeting to try to block any move by the UN Security Council to adopt a US-drafted statement backing the recommendations contained in the Quartet report. Egypt, which represents the Arab group on the council, was told “not to allow a statement to be adopted welcoming and endorsing the recommendations because of its rebuke of Palestinian incitement and terrorism” Mansour said.

The Palestinian envoy suggested that the recommendations by the Quartet concerning Israeli settlements were watered down in the final draft of the report by a “very powerful” member of the quartet, in a reference to the United States. The Palestinians want the Security Council to “take note” of the report and welcome the current French and Egyptian initiatives to revive peace talks but the UN Security Council must not endorse the recommendations of the report, Mansour said. The French initiative would ensure that there is a collective approach to ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said.

Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon stressed that direct negotiations were the only path to achieve peace. “Plans for international initiative which seeks to impose a solution on the two sides send exactly the wrong message, said Danon. “It tells the Palestinians they can achieve all the goals while continuing to encourage terror and refuse to even talk to Israel.”

Meanwhile, Palestinian Ambassador to Russia Abdel Hafiz Nofal said that Foreign ministers from nearly 30 countries will discuss the Israeli-Palestinian issue on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York in September and announce the date of the French sponsored international conference on the Israeli / Palestinian conflict adding that the participating nations have already initiated preparatory work for the French conference in subcommittees. Nofal said: “By the end of meeting, if all parties agree, France may announce that the final conference is likely to convene during the first week of October or, if there are any complications, in December.” The 71st Regular Session of the UN General Assembly will begin at UN Headquarters on September 13, 2016.

On August 31, Israel’s governing body in the West Bank approved the construction of 466 new housing units. Construction in the settlements was approved by the Civil Administration’s High Planning Committee, which had been convened at the insistence of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, Israel Army Radio reported.

United States spokesman Josh Earnest called the “significant expansion of the settlement activity” a “serious and growing threat to the viability of a two state solution.” He said the US was “particularly troubled by the policy of retroactively approving illegal outposts and unauthorized settlements. These policies have effectively given the government’s green light for the pervasive advancement of settlement activity in a new and potentially unlimited way. As the Quartet report highlights, we are concerned about a systematic process of land seizures, settlement expansions and legalizations,” he said. This, the official warned, “fundamentally undermines the prospects for a two-state solution and risks entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict.”

The European Union issued a statement condemning Israel’s decision calling it “a serious concern.” The EU statement added: “The Quartet’s report published in July identified such action as undermining the prospects for peace and steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution and recommended that any expansion of settlements be frozen. The EU reiterates its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and all actions taken in this context.”

Nickolay Mladenov, the UN coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said that Israeli settlement expansion has surged in the two months since the diplomatic Quartet called for a halt to the construction of Jewish outposts on Palestinian land. Since July 1, Israeli has advanced plans for over 1,000 housing units in occupied east Jerusalem and 735 units in the West Bank, Mladenov said. “The Quartet’s recommendations continues to be ignored, including by a surge in Israeli settlement-related announcements and continuing demolitions,” Mladenov told the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council declared Israeli settlements in occupied territory to be illegal in a resolution adopted in 1979. The UN envoy declared that according to UN Resolution 446 of March, 1979, Israeli settlements in occupied territory have no legal validity and have since then constituted an obstruction to achieving a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace in the Middle East. “No legal acrobatics can change the fact that all outposts, whether ‘legalized’ under Israeli law or not, whether located on state land, absentee land, or private land, just like all settlements in Area C and in East Jerusalem, remain illegal under international law,” Mladenov insisted.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has repeatedly rejected calls for a halt to settlement expansion arguing that the residential projects are not an obstacle to peace saying, “The UN envoy to the Middle East’s remarks to the Security Council distort history and international law and drive peace even further away. Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace,” the prime minister stated. “The obstacle to peace is the unending attempt to deny the Jewish people’s connection to parts of their historic land and the obdurate refusal to recognize that they are not foreigners there. The claim that Jewish construction in Jerusalem is illegal is as absurd as the claim that American construction in Washington or French construction in Paris is illegal,” Netanyahu continued. “The Palestinian demand that a future Palestinian state be ethnically cleansed of Jews is outrageous, and the UN must condemn it instead of adopting it.”

According to Israeli Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon, Mladenov’s remarks hindered the peace process while further validating the UN’s hypocritical attitude towards Israel.

“His words are in complete isolation from the facts on the ground,” said Danon. “Israel will continue to build the eternal capital of Jerusalem, just as the nations of the world will continue to build capitals without checking in with the United Nations. The UN should concentrate on solving the main obstacle in the area, which is the Palestinian refusal to condemn terrorism and to return to the negotiating table,” he concluded. Danon added that Mladenov’s statements are a “prize to the Palestinians,” in fact distance the chances of reaching a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs and illustrate the hypocrisy of the UN regarding Israel.

In other news, the Temple Institute has brought the Third Temple one step closer by establishing a school for Jewish priests (kohanim) to learn how to perform the Temple Service. A group of students, certified as being from the priestly class, stands ready to learn all of the details of these complicated tasks. At the end of March, the Temple Institute established a registry of Kohanim, a list of men who have a clear patriarchal heritage from the priestly class. The Kohanim must fit certain criteria, in addition to having priestly heritage: they must have been born and raised in Israel and have observed the laws of purity incumbent upon priests. This excludes anyone who has come into proximity with the dead, so priests who were born in hospitals, have visited hospitals, or have entered cemeteries are not eligible.

The Temple Institute established The Nezer HaKodesh Institute for Kohanic Studies to instruct Jews from the priestly caste in the Temple service. This comes after four years of extensive pilot programs. In the new program, students will learn the halacha (Torah law) relevant to the Temple service.

THE NEZER HAKODESH INSTITUTE FOR KOHANIC STUDIES

Furthermore, a significant step was recently taken towards reinstating the Temple service when the nascent Sanhedrin selected Rabbi Baruch Kahane as the next Kohen Gadol (high priest). Rabbi Kahane is a prominent scholar, knowledgeable in the complicated laws pertaining to the subject of the Temple Service. He is part of the Halacha Berurah Institute, established by Rabbi Avraham Isaac HaCohen Kook, the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, which deals with the elucidation of Jewish law from its Talmudic sources (Oral Law) and commentaries. He has played a prominent role in all the reenactments of the Temple services performed to date.

The Sanhedrin selection was made as a precaution for Yom Kippur. However, it should be noted that while the Nascent Sanhedrin recommended Rabbi Baruch Kahane as the Kohen Gadol, it did not officially appoint him as he made it clear he would be unwilling to accept such an appointment at this time. The Sanhedrin recommended him for the position of “Rosh Kohanim” (head of the priests), a role with Biblical precedent which is often but not always synonymous with that of the High Priest. The court recognized and blessed Rabbi Kahane’s invaluable efforts in the past to advance the issue of reinstating the Temple Service, which include participating in reenactments and establishing a school for educating kohanim.

Rabbi Baruch Kahane (Courtesy)
Rabbi Baruch Kahane

Rabbi Kahane was reluctant to discuss the Sanhedrin’s decision. “This may not be the time to choose a Kohen Gadol. There are no sacrifices required,” he said. However, he added, “That could change overnight. In any case, it is clear that we need to be prepared, to prepare the priests, to have everything ready.”

When asked how long it would take to begin sacrifices if it suddenly became permissible, he considered carefully before answering. “If the government decided to permit it, it would only take a few weeks to make preparations, even to do the Yom Kippur service,” he said. “The structures can be temporary and prepared almost overnight. The biggest obstacle is educating the kohanim, which we are taking care of already. Once the priests are thoroughly educated, choosing a Kohen Gadol and teaching him what he needs to know for the Yom Kippur service is relatively simple and will take one week. The Temple Service performed by the Kohen Gadol is very demanding, but for an educated kohen, it is not overly difficult to learn to serve as the Kohen Gadol.”

Rabbi Hillel Weiss, spokesman for the nascent Sanhedrin, explained the necessity for choosing a High Priest, even in the absence of a Temple. “We do not need a miraculous occurrence like the sudden appearance of a Temple descending from heaven onto the Temple Mount to make this decision relevant,” explained Rabbi Weiss. “The only obstacle preventing the Temple service today is the political issue. If that should suddenly change, as it very well could, we would be required to begin the Temple service immediately. It is therefore necessary that we have a candidate prepared to fill the role of the High Priest, especially now that we have kohanim prepared to serve in the Temple.”

Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder and and head of the Temple Institute, is a member of the Sanhedrin but did not rule in this decision. He told Breaking Israel News that it was necessary for the Sanhedrin to choose a Kohen Gadol. “This is certainly something we should do now as religious Jews. Choosing a high priest and all of the preparations for the Temple Service  are mitzvot (commandments) that are incumbent upon us according to the Torah,” said Rabbi Ariel.

“It is not a matter of opinion. It is written explicitly in the Torah and, just like any of the other mitzvot written in the Torah, we have to choose a Kohen Gadol, and make all the preparations, regardless of whether there is a Temple standing right now.”

The Temple Institute was founded in 1987 to fulfill the mission of bringing about the Third Temple. It has recreated over 70 vessels that are ready to be used in the Temple, is breeding the Red Heifer in order to purify the Nation of Israel and has produced the special garment the Bible requires the Kohanim to wear while performing the Temple service.

The Institute has also reconstructed the High Priest’s breastplate featuring the twelve precious stones of the tribes of Israel, the half-ton golden menorah that will stand inside the Temple, and the musical instruments of the Levitical choir. In addition, it has made significant advances in preparing the architectural plans for the building of the Temple.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Amid talk of Obama peace push, Israel invokes his vow not to impose solution
2) Egypt Blocked UN Endorsement of Quartet Report on Palestinian-Israeli Conflict
3) Citing ‘pro-Israel bias,’ Arabs seek to block Quartet report at UN
4) Int’l Meeting on Israel-Palestine to Take Place in New York in September
5) Israel’s West Bank governing body okays 466 settlement homes
6) UN sees surge in Israeli settlements after Quartet report
7) Settlement building ‘surged’ in recent months — UN envoy
8) PM Netanyahu: “Jews have been in Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria for thousands of years and their presence there is not an obstacle to peace”
9) EU: ‘Serious concern’ over new settlement construction
10) Danon: Middle East envoy’s remarks ‘disconnected from reality’
11) Temple Institute Opens School for Levite Priests in Preparation for Third Temple
12) The World’s First Institute for Training Third Temple Priests
13) Temple Service Could Be One Week Away as Sanhedrin Appoints High Priest
14) Third Temple Closer Than Ever as Search Begins for Eligible Jewish Priests

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

August 10, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

August 10th, 2016

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The condemnation by the US and the international community of Israel for building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and whether there is a possibility that the US will support a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital at the UN Security Council later this year

In the last week of July, Israel announced plans to build 770 Jewish homes in the East Jerusalem settlement of Gilo. They are part of a larger plan for around 1,200 units approved about three years ago. Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat said: “The plans in question are not new construction and were approved three years ago.” In addition, Israel announced plans to build 323 Jewish homes in four Jewish neighborhoods in East Jerusalem. The Palestinians and many in the international community view the new housing that Israel builds in East Jerusalem as illegal settlements. Most Israelis see the area, where about 200,000 Jews now live, as regular suburbs of a united Jerusalem.

The announcement drew strong condemnation from the Palestinians, the United Nations, the European Union and the United States. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator in the peace process said that the decision “further reflects the failure of the international community to stop Israel’s settlement expansion.” The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, said that he was “increasingly concerned by the near-daily advancement of the illegal settlement enterprise in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.”

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said: “The [Gilo] decision raises legitimate questions about Israel’s long-term intentions. The new housing units contribute to “the establishment of a ring of Israeli settlements around the city, thus further cutting East Jerusalem off from the southern West Bank,” the statement said. “The EU calls on Israel to reverse this decision and to cease its settlement activity,” it added.

Furthermore, the United States strongly rebuked Israel for its announcement to build more Jewish homes in East Jerusalem. In a press release, US State Department spokesman John Kirby said: “We are deeply concerned by reports today that the Government of Israel has published tenders for 323 units in East Jerusalem settlements. This follows the recent announcement of plans for 770 units in the settlement of Gilo. We strongly oppose settlement activity, which is corrosive to the cause of peace. These  steps by Israeli authorities are the latest examples of what appears to be a steady acceleration of settlement activity that is systematically undermining the prospects for a two- state solution … As the recent Quartet Report highlighted, this is part of an ongoing process of land seizures, settlement expansion, legalizations of outposts, and denial of Palestinian development that risk entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict,” Mr. Kirby said in the statement. “We remain troubled that Israel continues this pattern of provocative and counterproductive action, which raises serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful, negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.”

The Quartet refers to the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations. They are regarded as mediators in the peace process. The quartet issued a report on July 1 calling on Israel to halt settlement construction and expansion and to stop designating land for exclusive Israeli use.

Jamal Dajani, director of communications for Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah. said: “We support the State Department’s statement. It is about time we hear this from the U.S. The whole international community is condemning these Israeli actions. They are a violation of the Geneva convention, which specifically prohibits the occupying power from transferring people in the areas it is occupying.”

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Emanuel Nachshon said that the building in Gilo “was done with the full knowledge that the neighborhood of Gilo in Jerusalem will be part of Israel in any conceivable agreement reached through negotiations. The argument that building in Gilo undermines the two-state solution is factually baseless and distracts from the real obstacle to peace — the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, under any borders.” Michael Oren, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States and a member of the current Israeli government said: “By [the United States] condemning building in Gilo, the administration repeats its initial mistake in the peace process. It is creating a demand that no Israeli government can meet and no Palestinian leader can ignore. Nobody in Israel views Gilo as a settlement, but once the US administration demands a freeze in Gilo then no Palestinian leader can demand anything less,” he said. “Gilo is a dealbreaker.”

In the first part of August, Israel demolished five Palestinian buildings in the West Bank constructed without permits  including three paid for by the European Union. These buildings were located in Area C in the West Bank which is under full Israel control. This area in the West Bank was established in the 1993 Oslo Accords. The European Union tries to supply money to build Palestinian structures in Area C without building permits from Israel. The European Union wants to build Palestinians structures in Area C to help create “facts on the ground” prior to a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians as outlined in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

EU ambassador to Israel, Lars Faaborg-Andersen said that around 70 percent of Area C has been taken exclusively for Israeli use and that the remaining land is effectively off limits for Palestinian development. Faaborg-Andersen pointed out that between 2009 and 2013 Israel had provided only 44 building permits to Palestinians in response to about 2,000 requests. “EU assistance is provided in situations where Israel is not fulfilling its duty as the occupying power,” he said. “That is according to the international law, universal norms and the Oslo accords.” The envoy added that “in the first 6 months of 2016 alone, 91 EU-sponsored structures in Area C have been demolished. This is more than all of 2015. Since 2009, approximately 170 EU-backed structures have been demolished.”

In response, US State Department spokeswoman, Elizabeth Trudeau, said that the United States is aware that the government of Israel has demolished several EU-funded Palestinian homes in the West Bank. More than 650 Palestinian structures have been demolished this year, with more Palestinian structures demolished in the West Bank and East Jerusalem thus far than in all of 2015. As a result, the United States remains concerned about the increased demolition of Palestinian structures in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The United States believes that this is part of an ongoing process of land seizures, settlement expansions, legalization of outpost, denial of Palestinian development. We remain troubled that Israel continues this pattern of provocative and counterproductive action, which raises serious questions about Israel’s ultimate commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians.

In addition, the United States has warned it will respond harshly if Israel demolishes the Palestinian village of Sussia in the southern Hebron Hills of the West Bank. Israeli and American officials said that recently U.S. administration officials has informed Israel that a severe American reaction would result if Israel destroys the houses in the village. Israeli officials said similar messages were conveyed by the European Union, the British government and other international bodies. For example, the British government said that it would find it difficult to continue assisting Israel in international forums in the event the Arab village of Sussia were demolished.

The Israeli officials said international pressure over the matter came after the Palestinian Authority turned to the United States and a number of other Western countries, claiming that Israel intends to destroy the village in a few weeks. According to the Israeli officials, the Prime Minister’s office told the Americans and Europeans that at this stage there is no plan to destroy Sussia, and that the Israeli government would act in accordance with rulings by the High Court of Justice which is now hearing a petition on the matter. The petition was submitted by a right-wing Regavim association which claims the village was built illegally and thus should be demolished by the Israel Civil Administration.

The villagers of Sussia, which is in Area C, under full Israeli military and civilian control, are among the poorest people in the West Bank. Over the past 30 years, they have been moved out of their houses a few times. In 1986, Sussia was declared a national park and its residents removed to their adjacent farmland. In 2001, they were once again removed by the army, and the caves and tin shacks they lived in were demolished.

The High Court at one point ordered the cessation of the demolitions and allowed the residents to remain on the site. However, the court did not instruct the Civil Administration to issue construction permits. As a result, all of the houses in the village have been built without permits. In recent years the Civil Administration has proposed to the residents of Sussia that they move to an area bordering on Area A – formally under full Palestinian control – closer to the village of Yatta. However, they declined.

Meanwhile, the inhabitants of the nearby Jewish settlement of Susya and the Regavim association have been pressuring the Civil Administration to carry out the demolition orders. Negotiations between the villagers and the Civil Administration began again early this year to try to regulate the village and issue construction permits for the houses. The parties held three rounds of talks and progress was made. However, they suddenly stopped in June without explanation. According to people involved in the negotiations, the round of talks that had been set for last month was canceled. These developments have led the Palestinian residents to fear that Israel has decided to demolish the village.

The High Court held another hearing on August 1 on the petition to implement the demolition order, with court President Miriam Naor leading the bench. At the end of the hearing, the court ordered Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman to submit his position on the evacuation of Sussia by August 15. Naor also ordered that the 30 houses in immediate danger of demolition were not to be destroyed before that time. The defense minister’s office responded that no directive had been issued by Lieberman regarding Sussia, and that he was still studying the matter.

Regarding the peace process, US Secretary of State, John Kerry met recently with Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas in France. US State Department spokesman, John Kirby said: Kerry spoke with “Abbas about prospects for a two-state solution, and trying to make meaningful progress to create the conditions…where that solution can be more successfully pursued,” Kirby explained. “You’ve seen the travel that he has made to the region. This remains an area of prime focus for him.”

Regarding the talks, Abbas said that any reboot of peace talks with Israel should happen within a clear time frame and under international supervision. Abbas made his comments after meeting with John Kerry. Abbas also held talks with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on the prospects of achieving a two-state solution. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat described the talks with the US and France as “very constructive.” At the meetings, Erekat said that Abbas “reiterated our full support to the French initiative that aims to convene an international conference before the end of the year.” Erekat added that there was “no contradiction” between the French, U.S. and more recently Egyptian efforts to break the deadlock and move the peace talks forward. “All these efforts aim to revive the peace process, to achieve the two-state solution (based) on the 1967 lines. They are complementary,” he said. “We need a timeline for the negotiations, we need a timeline for the implementation, and we need an international framework that will ensure the implementation of any agreement reached.”

Is the harsh language that the US is now using toward the building of Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as well as removing illegal Palestinians structures in Area C of the West Bank an indication that the Obama administration is so angry at Israel that it is willing to support parameters for a PLO state with East Jerusalem as its capital at the UN Security Council by the end of 2016 based upon the recommendations made by those attending an international peace conference sponsored by France anticipated at the end of the year?

The US State Department’s position regarding Israeli settlements has evolved over the years. While previous administrations described them as an “obstacle to peace,” the Obama administration have degraded them to being “illegitimate.” However, to describe the building of Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “corrosive to the cause of peace,” as “systematically undermining the prospects for a two-state solution,” as “entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict” and as “provocative and counterproductive” – is very harsh language and does it suggest a change in US policy toward Israel?

In a recent Newsweek article, it was stated: “The French government is driving an initiative to convene an international conference in 2016—a tent for organizing consensus toward a draft U.N. Security Council resolution to revive peace talks. If the conference can achieve the support of nine out of 15 Security Council members for its suggested draft-resolution, with the U.S. agreeing not to exercise its veto, [the parameters for a] two state solution will be outlined.” Given the strong language used by the US State Department condemning Israel for building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the US “can now leverage the impact of its declaration by joining with Europe and other forces around the globe, including some moderate Arab states, to outline the parameters for a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” as a UN Security Council Resolution.

In March, the Wall Street Journal reported that the Obama administration “is working on plans for reviving long-stalled Middle East negotiations before President Barack Obama leaves office, including a possible United Nations Security Council resolution that would outline steps toward a deal between the Israelis and Palestinians, according to senior U.S. officials. The internal discussions are aimed at offering a blueprint for future Israeli-Palestinian talks in a bid to advance a critical foreign-policy initiative that has made little progress during Mr. Obama’s two terms in the White House, the officials said. The strongest element on the list of options under consideration would be U.S. support for a Security Council resolution calling on both sides to compromise on key issues. The timing of any new move by Obama officials said it would be later in 2016.”

“U.S. officials said the president wants to put the issue on a more promising trajectory before his successor takes office in January, 2017. In one scenario, [the official said that] the U.S. would push Israel to halt construction of settlements in the Palestinian territories and recognize East Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state. The Palestinians would in turn be asked to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and end claims on a right of return for Palestinian refugees. Under that scenario, the administration also would recommend the establishment of two states based on the 1949 armistice line between the armies of Israel and its Arab neighbors. Like proposals in previous rounds of negotiations, the approach would recommend land swaps to account for Israeli settlements built since 1967.”

At the beginning of this year, France has said that if it’s intended efforts this year to outline the parameters of a two-state solution fails that it will unilaterally recognize a PLO state. Therefore, we know that France is in favor of a UN Security Council Resolution that calls for a PLO state with East Jerusalem as its capital. In fact, in December 2014, France supported a UN security council resolution creating a framework for a final resolution of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. Those efforts failed due to opposition from Israel and the US on one hand, and an unwillingness by the Palestinians on the other to compromise on the wording of the decision.

Has the US changed its position from December, 2014? Will Obama now be willing to support a UN Security Council Resolution outlining the parameters of a PLO state with East Jerusalem as its capital by the end of 2016? Does the latest harsh language by the Obama administration against building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem an indication that Obama is so angry at Israel that he is willing to change his policy before he leaves office in January, 2017? What will Obama do regarding the peace process? Only time will tell.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Israel advances plans for 770 settlement homes
2) Israel advances construction for 323 settlement homes in Jerusalem
3) U.S. Rebukes Israel Over New Settlement Activity in East Jerusalem
4) US State Department Press Release: Recent Israeli Settlement Announcements
5) State Dept. criticizes Israeli settlement expansion, demolitions
6) Israel fires back at US over criticism of settlement building
7) EU criticizes Israel for destroying Palestinian homes in West Bank
8) EU questions Israel’s “long-term intentions” as settlement progresses
9) EU Slams Demolition of Palestinian Homes in West Bank’s “Area C”
10) U.S. Warns It Will Respond Harshly If Israel Demolishes Palestinian Village of Sussia
11) Kerry and Abbas to discuss ‘two-state solution’
12) PA insists on timeframe for any peace talks with Israel
13) The curious State Department announcement on Israeli settlements
14) Why New Israeli Settlements Set Back the Day of Peace
15) White House Working on Renewed Mideast Peace Push
16) U.S. Anger at Israel Could Result in a UN Security Council Resolution Establishing a Palestinian State
17) France says it will recognise Palestinian state if new peace effort fails

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

July 31, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

July 24th, 2016

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The July 1 Middle East Quartet Report on the peace process and reaction to it by Israel, the Palestinians and the European Union

On July 1, the Middle East peace Quartet (UN, EU, US and Russia) released a report on the current status of the peace process. A summary of the report is as follows:

The Quartet reiterates that a negotiated two-state outcome is the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, ends the occupation that began in 1967, and resolves all permanent status issues.

The Quartet recalls its previous statements and relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and pledges its active support for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the basis of Security Council resolutions 242 (1967) and 338 (1973).  In this regard, the Quartet reiterates its commitment to continue working in coordination with key stakeholders, including regional countries and the UN Security Council, to restore hope in a political solution.

While the majority of people on both sides and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas express their support for the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security, the Quartet remains seriously concerned that continuing on the current course will make this prospect increasingly remote.  In particular, each of the following trends is severely undermining hopes for peace:

  • Continuing violence, terrorist attacks against civilians, and incitement to violence are greatly exacerbating mistrust and are fundamentally incompatible with a peaceful resolution;
  • The continuing policy of settlement construction and expansion, designation of land for exclusive Israeli use, and denial of Palestinian development is steadily eroding the viability of the two-state solution; and
  • The illicit arms build-up and militant activity, continuing absence of Palestinian unity, and dire humanitarian situation in Gaza feed instability and ultimately impede efforts to achieve a negotiated solution.

The Quartet stresses the urgent need for affirmative steps to reverse each of these trends in order to prevent entrenching a one-state reality of perpetual occupation and conflict that is incompatible with realizing the national aspirations of both peoples.

The Quartet reiterates that unilateral actions by either party cannot prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations and will not be recognized by the international community.

The Quartet stresses that while a permanent status agreement that ends the conflict can only be achieved through direct bilateral negotiations, important progress can be made now towards advancing the two-state solution on the ground.

The Quartet calls on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution.

To that end, the Quartet emphasizes the importance of both parties complying with their basic commitments under existing agreements in order to promote this two-state reality and lay the groundwork for successful negotiations.

Recommendations

The Quartet calls on each side to independently demonstrate, through policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution and refrain from unilateral steps that prejudge the outcome of final status negotiations.  The Quartet emphasizes the importance of both parties complying with their basic commitments in order to advance a peaceful two state reality on the ground and create the conditions for successful final status negotiations.  The Quartet has the following specific recommendations:

  1. Both sides should work to de-escalate tensions by exercising restraint and refraining from provocative actions and rhetoric.
  2. Both sides should take all necessary steps to prevent violence and protect the lives and property of all civilians, including through continuing security coordination and strengthening the capacity, capability and authority of the Palestinian Authority Security Forces.
  3. The Palestinian Authority should act decisively and take all steps within its capacity to cease incitement to violence and strengthen ongoing efforts to combat terrorism, including by clearly condemning all acts of terrorism.
  4. Israel should cease the policy of settlement construction and expansion, designating land for exclusive Israeli use, and denying Palestinian development.
  5. Israel should implement positive and significant policy shifts, including transferring powers and responsibilities in Area C, consistent with the transition to greater Palestinian civil authority contemplated by prior agreements. Progress in the areas of housing, water, energy, communications, agriculture, and natural resources, along with significantly easing Palestinian movement restrictions, can be made while respecting Israel’s legitimate security needs.
  6. The Palestinian leadership should continue their efforts to strengthen institutions, improve governance, and develop a sustainable economy.  Israel should take all necessary steps to enable this process, in line with the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee recommendations.
  7. All sides must continue to respect the ceasefire in Gaza, and the illicit arms buildup and militant activities must be terminated.
  8. Israel should accelerate the lifting of movement and access restrictions to and from Gaza, with due consideration of its need to protect its citizens from terrorist attacks.
  9. Gaza and the West Bank should be reunified under a single, legitimate and democratic Palestinian authority on the basis of the PLO platform and Quartet principles and the rule of law, including control over all armed personnel and weapons in accordance with existing agreements.

10. Both parties should foster a climate of tolerance, including through increasing interaction and cooperation in a variety of fields – economic, professional, educational, cultural – that strengthen the foundations for peace and countering extremism.

The Quartet stresses the urgent need for such affirmative steps to reverse current trends and advance the two-state solution on the ground.

The Quartet stresses the significance of the Arab Peace Initiative (API), with its vision for comprehensive settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict and, in that context, the opportunity for building a regional security framework, and encourages further dialogue on that basis.  In this regard, the Quartet welcomes the call by the Egyptian President to Israeli, Palestinian, and Arab leaders to follow the historic path towards peace taken by Israel and Egypt 37 years ago.

The Quartet also welcomes the Joint Communique issued in Paris on June 3 and its support for a negotiated two-state solution.

The Quartet encourages the international community to accelerate its efforts to address the dire humanitarian, reconstruction, and recovery needs of the people in Gaza, including expediting the disbursement of assistance pledges.

The Quartet invites the parties to engage with it on implementing the recommendations of this report and creating the conditions for the resumption of meaningful negotiations that resolve all final status issues.

The Prime Minister’s office of Israel responded to the Quartet report by saying:

Israel welcomes the Quartet’s recognition of the centrality of Palestinian incitement and violence to the perpetuation of the conflict. This culture of hatred poisons minds and destroys lives and stands as the single greatest obstacle to progress towards peace. The report unfortunately says nothing about the payments made by the Palestinian leadership to terrorists and their families. The graver the violence, the greater the payment. This Palestinian practice must stop.

Israel shares the Quartet’s historical commitment to advancing Israeli-Palestinian peace through direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions. In previous agreements, Israel and the Palestinians committed to discuss every difficult issue exclusively through direct, bilateral negotiations. Nevertheless, the record shows a history of repeated Palestinian rejection of offers to negotiate and compromise from Israeli governments across the political spectrum. Israel cannot negotiate peace with itself.

We regret the failure of the Quartet to address the real core of the conflict: the persistent Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people in any boundaries. The report also perpetuates the myth that Israeli construction in the West Bank is an obstacle to peace. When Israel froze settlements, it did not get peace. When Israel uprooted every settlement in Gaza, it did not get peace. It got war.

Israel will continue to strive for a genuine, negotiated peace based on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s vision of two states for two peoples. While the report includes numerous factual and policy assertions with which we take issue, Israel will discuss with the Quartet envoys ways to explore moving toward this end.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians had hoped that similarly to the June 3 Paris summit declaration, the Quartet report would include terms of reference for the permanent status negotiations. They expected the report to specifically highlight the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative as the main basis for negotiations leading to a state along the 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians had even asked the EU and the United States for a binding timeline for negotiations followed by a UN Security Council resolution.

A senior Palestine Liberation Organization official close to President Mahmoud Abbas said that Abbas is severely critical of US Secretary of State John Kerry for pressuring the EU to not to make the Quartet report a policy platform for future negotiations. The senior official assessed that the United States will publish guidelines for future negotiations as a platform for the next administration possibly via a presidential policy speech. He also expressed concern that the US policy statement will allude to the need to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. According to this source, the Palestinians are committed to working with Egypt and France on a binding UN Security Council resolution on Palestinian statehood referring in detail to settlement expansion, the 1967 lines, East Jerusalem and a two-year timeline. As the official put it, “For us the Quartet report is a non-paper; our sole basis is the Arab Peace Initiative.” US diplomatic sources in Israel affirmed that Kerry convinced the EU to refrain from setting a new basis for future negotiations.

From the viewpoint of the European Union, though the Palestinians and Israel have both made their positions clear to the US, the EU has not lost hope, nor has it retracted its commitment to continuing the path toward a policy platform for a two-state solution and an international conference before the end of 2016.

A senior official close to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini said that in the aftermath of endorsing the French initiative and the publication of the Quartet report, EU officials are preparing a tentative road map for progress in the diplomatic process. The EU’s premise, he explained, is that Europe will have to act independently this year because of the US presidential elections. This road map will include several stages, beginning with talking to the parties about curbing Israeli settlement expansion and Palestinian incitement to violence, together with economic confidence-building measures in Area C for the Palestinian agricultural sector. Thereafter, the European Union, in coordination with the French, will start preparing for a possible international peace conference with the parties before the end of 2016.

European capitals are busy with the organization of an international conference on the two-state solution which would elaborate on the French Middle East Peace Initiative. Israel and the Palestinians were not invited to the preparative conference in Paris June 3. European leaders, including more Israel-leaning countries, such as Germany and the United Kingdom, agree that the next phase would include both. According to a senior European Union official, all EU foreign ministers decided to support the French initiative in order to challenge the parties and bolster the position of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

EU officials believe that not much can come out of a future international conference without the United States playing an active role. Therefore, if the United States remains passive, the conference can be only of preliminary nature, to set a policy platform for future negotiations. And so if the conference eventually takes place before a new US president is sworn in (with a lame-duck administration in Washington) — with the United States effectively playing a passive role — the European Union will probably take the lead to avoid a diplomatic vacuum.

The EU official said: “Europe has decided to play a more independent role regarding the two-state solution process, especially given the election in the United States and the uncertainty about who will be the next president. Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolution is a key strategic interest of most European countries. Hence we would like to formulate the terms of reference and the structure for future negotiations.”

According to this source, EU headquarters’ officials — under the guidance of High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini — are coordinating content and moderation of such a conference mainly vis-a-vis French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is fully in the know.

The conference is planned to take place in Paris toward the end of the year possibly after the US presidential election Nov. 8. The Quartet (United States, EU, United Nations and Russia) would be the one inviting the parties to the international peace conference, which would be based on the Quartet report published July 1. All participants of the Paris conference of June 3 will be invited, including the Arab League, in addition to Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA). The terms of reference of the conference will be the Quartet report. The parties will not be asked to adopt the report but to negotiate on its basis.

The structure of the conference is already taking shape: Quartet representatives at the level of foreign ministers and the UN secretary-general will chair it; the opening plenary session will include speeches by all parties. It will also delineate a structure of negotiations, according to the following guidelines: a plenary session for reporting about and monitoring the negotiations; a bilateral committee of Israel and the PA only, to negotiate on the basis of the Quartet report all permanent status issues; and a multilateral track with Israel, the PA, the Arab League, Egypt, Jordan and Quartet representatives.

Concerning the bilateral Israel-Palestinian committee, it will work on core issues, starting with borders between the two states and security measures, including anti-terror cooperation. The two parties will establish subcommittees of negotiations on the following issues: settlements, Jerusalem, refugees, water and other infrastructure issues, future bilateral relations between the two states and mutual recognition.

With these issues to be discussed bilaterally, the multilateral track will negotiate the normalization of relations between the Arab states and Israel based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative; the construction of economic regional cooperation in the fields of tourism, trade, the environment and water (resembling the multilateral negotiations started by the Madrid conference of 1992; and the launch of regional security cooperation, mainly in the fields of anti-terror and curbing the dissemination of non-conventional arms.

In any event, the EU seems determined to go ahead with such plans despite US hesitance and Israeli opposition.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Report of the Middle East Quartet
2) EU to push Israel-Palestine peace process as Quartet report flops
3) Prime Minister’s Office response to the Quartet report
4) EU to push forward with two-state conference, with or without Washington

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

June 21, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

June 19th, 2016

Uploaded on July 24. This week’s update is 15 minutes.

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current situation with the French peace initiative

On June 3, France held a conference of foreign ministers to discuss the current situation with the Israeli / Palestinian peace process. After the conference, they made the following statement:

The participants met in Paris on June 3, 2016 to reaffirm their support for a just, lasting and comprehensive resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They reaffirmed that a negotiated two-state solution is the only way to achieve an enduring peace, with two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security. They are alarmed that actions on the ground, in particular continued acts of violence and ongoing settlement activity are dangerously imperiling the prospects for a two-state solution.

The participants underscored that the status quo is not sustainable and stressed the importance of both sides demonstrating, with policies and actions, a genuine commitment to the two-state solution in order to rebuild trust and create the conditions for fully ending the Israeli occupation that began in 1967 and resolving all permanent status issues through direct negotiations based on resolutions 242 (1967), 338 (1973), and also recalling relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and highlighting the importance of the implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative.

The participants discussed possible ways in which the international community could help advance the prospects for peace including by providing meaningful incentives to the parties to make peace. The participants also highlighted the potential for regional peace and security as envisioned by the Arab Peace Initiative.

The participants highlighted the key role of the Quartet and key regional stakeholders. They welcomed the interested countries’ offer to contribute to this effort. They also welcomed France’s offer to coordinate it and the prospect of convening before the end of the year an international conference.

In response, Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the multilateral French peace initiative. Instead, Netanyahu offered to hold direct talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Paris. Netanyahu said: “It can still be called the French initiative because you would host this genuine effort for peace. But here’s the difference: I will sit alone, directly, with president Abbas in the French presidential palace or anywhere else that you choose. Every difficult issue will be on the table.”

Netanyahu continued: “Peace just does not get achieved through international conferences, UN-style. It doesn’t get to fruition through international diktats or committees from countries around the world who are sitting and seeking to decide our fate and our security when they have no direct stake in it. The French initiative will not encourage peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he added. “This initiative could harm regional efforts that have the potential to succeed. The State of Israel, and no one else, is the one that worries about its own security,” Netanyahu said.

Israel Foreign Ministry director- general Dore Gold said that “despite the fact that the final statement has been considerably diluted through a number of diplomatic efforts, the whole effort to have a conference without Israel and the Palestinians at the event is a distraction from what should be the main effort, and that is to persuade Mahmood Abbas to sit down with Israel.”

The Israeli Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying that the French summit was a “missed opportunity.” The statement said that instead of urging Abbas to “answer the prime minister’s repeated calls to immediately begin direct negotiations without preconditions,” the international community is enabling him to continue avoiding negotiations. “In the annals of history, the French conference will go down as only having hardened Palestinian positions and made peace more distant,” the statement said.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected an Israeli offer for direct negotiations instead of the French multilateral peace initiative. In any event, the Arab League has backed France’s Middle East peace initiative and all international efforts to outline the parameters of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord.

France has said it intends to push ahead with its peace initiative despite Israel’s objections. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault told Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “I know that I haven’t persuaded you but the train has already left the station.” The message was relayed via diplomatic cable from the French to Israeli foreign ministries after Netanyahu and Ayrault spoke with each other following the June 3 foreign ministers’ meeting in Paris about efforts to sidestep a diplomatic freeze to resolve the Israeli Palestinian conflict.

During that conversation Netanyahu strongly criticized the French initiative and expressed strong objections to all its components. A senior official in Israel said the cable, also based on talks with senior French foreign ministry officials, showed that French Foreign Minister was not impressed by Netanyahu’s comments and intends to carry out further steps to advance the initiative this month.

The cable said that senior French foreign ministry officials told Israeli diplomats they view the statement issued at the end of the Paris meeting and the fact that more than 20 foreign ministers attended as a diplomatic statement that France has an international mandate to advance the peace initiative.

The senior Israeli official said members of the French Foreign Ministry told their Israeli colleagues they are interested in setting up working groups to continue the process launched at the Paris meeting in the coming weeks. The French want these groups to put together a package of confidence building steps for Israelis and Palestinians, a list of economic incentives the international community could offer both sides and regional security arrangements that might support an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. “The French told us they want to organize working groups by the end of the month,” the senior Israeli official said.

In his conversation with the French Foreign Minister, Netanyahu said he opposes setting up working groups especially for dealing with security issues. Recently, the Foreign Ministry received several messages from European capitals about setting up the working groups. The ministry was surprised to discover that two countries that hastened to volunteer in Paris to help organize these groups were Germany and the Czech Republic, seen as Israel’s two closest friends in Europe.

A few days ago, the Israeli Foreign Ministry instructed Israeli ambassadors in Europe to inform their local foreign ministries of Israel’s objections to setting up the working groups. The senior Israeli official said the French want to take two further steps to advance their initiative. Firstly, they want to take advantage of their status as rotating president of the UN Security Council and hold a debate about their peace initiative at a monthly session on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The official added that the French may try during the meeting, which will apparently be held in the last week of June, to put together a presidential statement for the United Nations Security Council that would express support for their initiative.

The second step they are expected to take will be at the monthly meeting of the 28 European Union foreign ministers taking place on June 20. The French want the meeting to pass a resolution expressing support for their initiative.

In parallel, toward the end of June the Quartet’s report about the diplomatic freeze in the peace process is due for publication. The EU’s foreign minister, Federica Mogherini told the UN Security Council that the Quartet’s report would soon be published. She said the report would describe the immediate obstacles to renewing direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and policies both sides are taking that threaten the possibility of achieving a two-state solution. Mogherini said the report would include clear recommendations regarding how to advance and create confidence on both sides that would permit a resumption of peace talks.

The report is likely to provide the basis for any potential American diplomatic process in the coming months, Obama’s last chance to leave a legacy on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The assumption in Israel is that if the Americans do indeed launch such a move, it will only happen after the presidential elections in November. That, at least, is the thinking in the PM’s bureau.

US House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Ed Royce expressed concern that the Obama administration is preparing to support an initiative at the United Nations on the Middle East peace process. Royce (R-California) said he did not believe that parameters for peace outlined at the United Nations– an initiative led by the French government– would include a “demand for security” for Israel. Royce said: “My concern is that the administration might… allow this French initiative to go forward.” The Paris-led initiative would have the Security Council outline parameters of a two-state solution.  The Obama administration said last year it was willing to review its policy toward the Israeli / Palestinian conflict in the United Nations and it has yet to explicitly rule out a UN Security Council Resolution which outlines the parameters for a two-state solution.

As a result, word is going around diplomatic circles that the Obama administration is planning a November surprise for Israel. The view is as follows:

The French peace initiative held on June 3 which Israel and the Palestinians were not even invited will end up exerting enormous pressure on Israel to create a Palestinian state. This renewed pressure will come despite evidence that a Palestinian state in the West Bank will quickly be dominated by genocidal Hamas which is a threat to Israel and a disaster for the Palestinians. This will lead, in all likelihood, to a United Nations Security Council Resolution either condemning Israel for not creating that state or for not withdrawing from Judea and Samaria in the West Bank despite the fact that it would irreversibly compromise Israel’s security.

Israeli officials and Jewish communal leaders are saying that they expect the Obama administration will not veto the resolution at the UN Security Council — that Samantha Power, the US Ambassador to the UN, will not exercise the American veto. This would mean that the resolution/condemnation goes through. President Obama will not worry about how this will affect presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, because the UN resolution will be brought after the November election.

And that’s how the Obama administration will wrap up things with a UN  vote against Israel and the United States, for almost the first time, not vetoing a harmful resolution against Israel. Israel will be powerless to stop it.

What gives credence to this speculation, first and foremost, is the French peace initiative itself. If it were a serious conference about the prospects for peace, why were the Israelis and Palestinians not invited? Israel has insisted on direct, bilateral talks without preconditions. The French talks, therefore, seem to be a complete waste of time, unless their purpose was to lead to a resolution at the UN Security Council regardless of Israeli objections.

What further gives this credence is the fact that last June, in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing, Power would not commit to exercising an American veto at the UN for a resolution condemning Israel. “I really am going to resist making blanket declarations on hypothetical resolutions. Our position, again, I think has been very clear for some time. I have said, again, we would oppose anything that was designed to punish Israel or undermine Israel’s security. But I think, again, it’s perilous. There’s no resolution in front of us.”

Now, if a UN Security Council Resolution authorizing a timetable for the unilateral creation of a Palestinian state is resisted by Israel and not vetoed by the United States, there exists the possibility of economic sanctions being levied against Israel especially by the European Union.

Finally, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly scheduled to meet in the coming week with US Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss ways to revive Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Israel’s Channel 2 said the meeting would take place in a European capital.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Royce concerned Obama will support French peace initiative
2) Arab League endorses French peace initiative
3) Netanyahu, Kerry said set to meet next week in new peace bid
4) French FM to Netanyahu: I Know You’re Against Peace Initiative but Train Has Left the Station
5) Obama’s November Surprise for Israel ?
6) Netanyahu rejects French peace initiative after meeting with Valls
7) Netanyahu to French FM: Paris initiative could harm regional peace efforts
8) Middle East Peace initiative – Joint communiqué

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

June 7, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

June 7th, 2016

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The efforts of Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to expand his coalition government and its relationship to the Israeli / Palestinian peace process

In early May, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, confessed that he has been conducting secret talks to bring the primary opposition party, the Zionist Union, into his coalition government. In doing so, opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, said that in the past year, he has received frequent requests to join Netanyahu’s government. Regarding them, he said: “To all of them I answered: sitting in the government without holding the steering wheel – that doesn’t interest me. I am not a decoration.” In other words, talk of a breakthrough is highly premature. Herzog added: “Until this very moment no appropriate proposal has been placed before us. If there is an appropriate offer we will consider it seriously. Everyone loves the idea of ‘unity.’ But what counts” are the principles which bind the parties together, he asserted.

In stating his conditions for joining the government, Herzog said that he will consider joining Netanyahu’s coalition only if he is given a mandate to pursue a Palestinian state and a two-state solution saying, “If I receive the mandate to stop the next funeral procession and curb the dangers of an international boycott, to return the United States and Europe into being allies, to open negotiations with neighboring states and to separate from the Palestinians in two states in order to halt the constant terrorism – then I will know that my hands are holding the steering wheel,” he said.

However, most of the members of Herzog’s political party, have said they oppose joining the Netayahu government based upon the present situation. Former opposition leader, Shelly Yacimovich and former chief negotiator in the peace process and leader of the Hatnua political party, Tzipi Livni both said they wouldn’t join the government with him, with Livni vowing to pull her political party, Hatnuah, who joined the former Labor party to form the current, Zionist Union party in last elections out of Zionist Union if Herzog brought members of the former Labor party into Netanyahu’s coalition.

Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnua party and number two on the Zionist Union party list led by Isaac Herzog, strongly opposes joining Netanyahu’s government saying: “Our mission is to be in the opposition. I would not do a thing to strengthen Netanyahu, his way [of doing things], or his coalition. Netanyahu’s policies are bad for Israel … He bases his world view — and has reinforced it in the public — on the idea that the whole world is against us [Israel], that we are a nation that walks alone.”

Former opposition leader of the Labor party, Shelly Yachimovich, announced she would oppose the move saying: “Netanyahu called, and Herzog came running on all fours with a bone in his mouth. Entry into the coalition now, under these conditions, would be nothing less than a treacherous act – treacherous to the voters who chose us over the Likud, when we said ‘It’s us or them,’ and against our values, which we believe can bring about true change in Israel. I will not sell out my values for government cabinet positions,” she said. “Bad things will happen if Herzog tries to impose this on us. Of course I want to be a senior minister, and I will be a very good one, but not at any price. This offer should have been rejected outright a long time ago,” she said. “I’ve expressed my position in no uncertain terms in internal conversations, and I want to prevent this mistake from taking place. We are not talking about a unity government. This is a right-wing government that Labor is willing to crawl into just to get portfolios and status. A great big nothing is being devised simply to avoid upsetting the most right-wing party in the coalition, Jewish Home.”

Another former leader of the Labor party who is a present member of the Zionist Union, Knesset member,  Amir Peretz strongly opposed the idea of joining Netanyahu’s coalition government. He said: “What has this government done?” he continued. “It’s absolutely clear that [Prime Minister] Binyamin Netanyahu will not change his career and become a man of peace who is willing to pay the price of peace – not only to make statements on behalf of peace.”

If the Zionist Union political party would join Netanyahu’s coalition government, the Labor Party faction within Zionist Union would have three main objectives for joining the coalition; the first two are taking over the talks with the Palestinians and removing the political party, Jewish Home, from Netanyahu’s government. Jewish Home opposes a Palestinian state. One Labor party official said, “Herzog seeks a wide toolbox for the diplomatic talks … [but] Netanyahu isn’t even willing to declare a construction freeze in the settlements.” Another Labor party official said Netanyahu isn’t willing to remove the political party, Jewish Home, from his existing government coalition because “he doesn’t want to get in trouble with right-wing voters and doesn’t want the leader of the Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett, to be to his right in the opposition.”

In reaction to the possibility of Zionist Union political party leader, Isaac Herzog, joining Netanyahu’s coalition government, Zionist Union party members said that Herzog does not have a mandate from party members to join Netanyahu’s government. Zionist Union Knesset member, Yoel Hasson said, “I and the members of the party have no intention to take part in such a move. We must prepare properly for the upcoming session and ensure that we continue to propose a better alternative to the public, an alternative of real security, a fair economy and mending the rifts in society,” he added. Zionist Union Knesset member, Erel Margalit, sent a letter to Netanyahu saying, “I will not join your extremist government. That will hold true whatever the decision of the members of my party.” Zionist Union Knesset member, Stav Shaffir, blasted the idea of her party entering Netanyahu’s government saying that doing so would be a “betrayal” to voters of the Labor party. She said, “We have been promising for a whole year that it’s either us or him. At no stage did we say ‘it’s us and also him.’ The very discussion about crawling into the government is embarrassing me.”

As a result, many believe that if Zionist Union leader, Isaac Herzog, did decide to join Netanyahu’s coalition government, it would split his party.

While Netanyahu was in discussion with Zionist Union leader, Isaac Herzog, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi promised Israel a warmer diplomatic relationship if it accepts efforts to resume peace talks with the Palestinians through the initiative led by the French government. He said: “I say we will achieve a warmer peace if we resolve the issue of our Palestinian brothers… and give hope to the Palestinians of the establishment of a state. I ask that the Israeli leadership allow this speech to be broadcast in Israel one or two times as this is a genuine opportunity… We are willing to make all efforts to help find a solution to this problem.”

Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded positively to the Egyptian President’s comments saying, “Israel is willing to participate alongside Egypt and the other Arab states in advancing the diplomatic process and stability in the region.” while saying that Sisi’s words were “encouraging.” In addition, Netanyahu said that he embraced the “general idea” of the 2002 Arab / Saudi peace initiative.

The Arab Peace Initiative, originally proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, has many problematic aspects to it, the prime minister said, such as its call for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the return of Palestinian refugees to Israel. “There are positive aspects and negative aspects to it. Israel is willing to negotiate with the Arab states revisions to that initiative so that it reflects the dramatic changes in the region since 2002, but maintains the agreed goal of two states for two peoples. Therefore, the general idea — to try and reach understandings with leading Arab countries — is a good idea.”

In the framework proposed by the initiative, all Arab and Islamic states would establish normal diplomatic relations with Israel after the successful conclusion of the peace process with the Palestinians. The Israeli government has never fully endorsed the plan.

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Sunni Muslim countries are ready to normalize ties with Israel should Israel negotiate a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority on the basis of the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. “Provided the Israeli government is ready to commit to a discussion around the 2002 Arab peace initiative … it would be possible to have some steps of normalization along the way to give confidence to this process,” Blair said. “With the new leadership in the region today that is possible. A lot will depend on the response of the Israeli government to Egyptian President Sissi’s initiative and to the Arab Peace Initiative and to whatever steps the Israelis are ready to take to make it a reality.”

A clause in the scrapped coalition agreement between Netanyahu and the Zionist Union opposition party reportedly stated that the government would “relate positively” to the idea of a regional reconciliation agreement between Israel and several Arab states, as well as to certain elements of the Arab Peace Initiative to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Blair’s comments are significant. A list of international figures led by Tony Blair were behind a failed move designed to legitimize the addition of the Zionist Union to the Israeli ruling coalition, a move practically unprecedented in terms of massive international intervention in Israeli politics. Two sources in the Israeli political system say that Blair, the former British prime minister and representative of the Quartet, while coordinating and updating opposition leader Isaac Herzog, is the one who pushed and encouraged Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi’s speech in which he called on Israeli political parties to agree on the need to advance the framework for peace with the Palestinians.

Until last year, Blair served as an envoy for the Quartet, an alliance of the United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia that seeks Israeli-Palestinian peace. Although Blair is no longer the Quartet representative to the peace process, Blair continued to act independently to restart the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians and Israel and the Arab world. Recently, Blair visited Israel and other countries in the region every two or three weeks, almost always meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as Herzog, updating them on his talks with Arab leaders.

His consistent message in these meetings was that Sunni Arab nations are willing and prepared for a breakthrough in relations with Israel, but it depended on steps Israel took in the West Bank and Gaza to demonstrate advancement of the two-state solution.

Political sources involved in the matter said that in recent weeks, against the backdrop of Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s agreement on passing a two-year budget (instead of one year at a time), Blair realized that the Israeli government would stand firm until 2019. Blair thought the only way to advance a diplomatic move between Israel and the Palestinians, with the involvement of Arab nations, would be to bring the Zionist Union into the coalition.

A few weeks ago, while there was contact between Herzog and Netanyahu, Blair began holding talks with the two, trying to forge a common agenda to advance a regional diplomatic move after the Zionist Union joined the government. Herzog spoke of a “rare regional opportunity” to advance the peace process.

Recently, while visiting Egypt, Blair worked on recruiting senior Egyptian figures to the plan. One political source says Blair is the one who suggested that Sissi make a speech with a message to the Israeli people and their political parties about the need to move forward in the peace process with the Palestinians. According to the source, Blair’s activity vis-à-vis the Egyptian presidential office was fully coordinated with Herzog.

Blair also coordinated with Kerry, informing him of the talks with Herzog and Netanyahu. A political source tells that subsequent to Blair’s actions, Kerry considered putting off publishing the Quartet’s report until he knew whether the Zionist Union would join the coalition. U.S. officials, however, denied this claim. When released, the report is expected to level biting criticism on settlement construction.

After visiting Egypt, Blair came to Israel and met with Netanyahu and Herzog again, also working on helping Herzog garner support inside the Zionist Union for joining the government. Blair tried to schedule a meeting with Zionist Union chairwoman Tzipi Livni, but her office said she was in mourning for her brother. Blair insisted and did meet Livni in the early hours of the morning at her Tel Aviv home, presenting the move he was trying to put together.

Initially, all was going according to Blair’s plan. Sissi gave the speech with the messages Blair had coordinated with Egypt. Herzog hastened to announce that he applauded the speech and said that Israel should not miss the diplomatic opportunity. A few minutes later, Netanyahu also made an announcement welcoming Sissi’s remarks and saying he was willing to cooperate with a diplomatic move led by Egypt. But in the following hours, talks between Netanyahu and Herzog started to fall apart and finally collapsed just after midnight.

Herzog claims the talks failed because Netanyahu refused to provide written versions of the understandings they had reached over settlement construction and negotiations with the Palestinians, the two elements that were supposed to enable the regional move with the Arab nations. Likud sources say Netanyahu realized that Herzog did not have the backing of a majority of his Knesset faction for joining the coalition and didn’t want to take the risk of making such far-reaching diplomatic undertakings.

“Neither Blair, Sissi nor Herzog could understand how Netanyahu wound up going with Lieberman,” said a political source. “Blair thought he could engineer the Netanyahu government and Herzog counted on the international embrace that Blair arranged for getting him into the government. It didn’t work.”

Once talks with the Zionist Union to join the government failed, Netanyahu decided to reach out to the political party, Yisrael Beytenu, (Israel Our Home) headed by Avigdor Liberman to “break away from the opposition.” The effort became necessary because talks with the Zionist Union on forming a unity government stalled due to significant gaps between them. One Likud official explained why Netanyahu wanted for Liberman’s party, Israel Our Home, to join the government saying,  “The need to even approach Zionist Union stems from the fact that [Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor] Lieberman took right-wing votes in the last Israeli election which were meant to facilitate a right-wing government and instead he initially failed to join the government after the elections and then joined the opposition parties to the current government coalition.”

As a result, Yisrael Beytenu (Israel Our Home) decided to join the Netanyahu government with the leader of its party, Avigdor Liberman, becoming Israel’s new Defense Minister. In response, the United States reacted by saying that Israel’s new right-wing government coalition raises, “legitimate questions” about the direction of Israeli policy toward the Israeli / Palestinian peace process but that the United States will ultimately judge the new government based on its actions. US State Department spokesman, Mark Toner said: “We have also seen reports from Israel describing it as the most right-wing coalition in Israel’s history and we also know that many of its ministers have said they oppose a two-state solution. This raises legitimate questions about the direction it may be headed in … and what kind of policies it may adopt.”

What do these things mean? According to a senior political source in Israel, in the remaining months of 2016, Israel could be facing a “diplomatic hurricane” from the United States and the international community. Top Israeli officials are concerned that the recent French peace initiative is a political maneuver that is meant to fail so that the Americans and Europeans can tell themselves, the public and Israel “we tried everything.” Netanyahu’s strategy, which Liberman joining his government has also adopted, is to create a diplomatic ”preventive strike” that will get US President Barack Obama and the Europeans off of Israel’s neck for the next critical five months before the US elections.

Israel is now waiting for the Quartet report (the European Union, the United States, the United Nations and Russia) on the situation in the Middle East that is supposed to be published at the end of June. Under regular circumstances, the report would be received with a shrug and several warning lectures. But these days, its potential is much more deadly. Israel is investing tremendous efforts to weaken the report and cut out its harsh expressions and severe criticisms. Several versions and drafts of the report are circulating between the relevant capital cities (including the United States). One way or the other, the report will ultimately be published and will contain harsh criticism against both the Israeli and Palestinian sides with Israel receiving the most blame for the failed peace process.

But it’s not the Quartet report that most worries Netanyahu and Liberman. Their eyes are on the UN Security Council. Their nightmare scenario is failure of the French peace initiative, a harsh Quartet report and an American-European decision to launch a Security Council resolution that would not be prevented by an American veto. Netanyahu is well aware that such a resolution would constitute a dangerous precedent and could create a snowball effect. That, in turn, could transform Israel, within a relatively small amount of time, into a pariah state, hit by international economic sanctions if it does not act positively toward the possible UN Security Council Resolution.

However, even before this happens, the Israeli government is concerned about new United States initiatives on the peace process including a speech from US President Barack Obama outlining new parameters for the peace process and then bringing up these parameters for a vote in the UN Security Council as a binding resolution which Israel must eventually implement.

Because the international community tried to persuade Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to have the main opposition party, Zionist Union, who supports peace talks and a Palestinian state join his government through the efforts of former Quartet representative of the peace process, Tony Blair, and failed to do so and instead Netanyahu brought a right wing party into his government, will the US and Europe view this as a “betrayal” by Netanyahu of the peace process and therefore try to impose a peace agreement upon Israel through the United Nations Security Council by supporting a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital with the support of US President Barack Obama before he leaves office in January, 2017 ? Only time will tell.

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Herzog outlines his conditions for entering ‘unity government’
2) Herzog: Will Consider Joining Netanyahu’s Coalition Only if Given Mandate to Pursue Two-state Solution
3) Herzog Reportedly Eager to Join Netanyahu’s Government, but Livni Dead Set Against
4) Netanyahu Emasculates Opposition Leader by Confirming Unity Talks
5) MKs to Herzog: We won’t join the coalition, even if you do
6) ‘Likud-Labor talks plagued by considerable differences’
7) MK: Strong Opposition better for the public than unity gov’t
8) Source: Likud to reach out to Liberman to join government
9) Sources: Herzog in Gov’t Means Split in Labor
10) How Tony Blair and Egypt’s Sissi Tried to Push Zionist Union Into Netanyahu’s Coalition
11) Egypt’s Sisi lends backing to Israel-Palestinian peace efforts
12) Lieberman to join government, become defense minister
13) US says Israel’s rightist coalition ‘raises legitimate questions’
14) Netanyahu’s diplomatic nightmare
15) Netanyahu backs ‘general idea’ behind Arab Peace Initiative
16) Blair talks up prospects of Israel-Sunni normalization
17) Following Herzog, Livni vows not to join coalition

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 26, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

April 27th, 2016

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current efforts by France to hold an international conference on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process on May 30 and the rejection by the international community that the Golan Heights should be recognized as part of Israeli territory.

France has announced that it will hold an international conference in Paris on May 30 on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process. The goal of the conference is to establish a framework for peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The basis of the talks will be the 2002 Saudi peace plan. The 2002 Saudi peace initiative — approved by the Arab League but not Israel — calls for Israel to withdraw from Palestinian territory captured in the 1967 Six Day War, including East Jerusalem, in exchange for a normalization of ties with Arab countries. It also outlined the creation of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza and envisions a “just solution” of the refugee issue.

The May conference will include the Middle East Quartet (the United States, Russia, European Union and United Nations), the Arab League, the U.N. Security Council and about 20 countries.  In early May, senior diplomats from all participating countries will hold a preparatory meeting to discuss the way forward for the May 30th conference.

In recent months, French envoy Pierre Vimont has held a series of consultations with Israel, the Palestinians and a host of other countries in the European Union, the Arab world, the United States and Russia to hear their views regarding a possible France peace conference initiative. In February, French diplomats explained to Israel and the Palestinians an outline of a plan to help resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

The proposed plan is as follows: First, France would host an international meeting consisting of permanent members of the UN Security Council, some Arab and European states and international organizations to discuss a framework for future peace talks. This conference has now been scheduled for May 30.

French sources say the French plan is not an alternative to direct talks but seeks to create “a consensus allowing the conditions for the sides to meet.” French officials say governments at the May conference would aim to draw up a list of incentives for the parties as part of a possible deal. These could include the European Union giving special trade and economic concessions to Israel and the Palestinians, and Arab governments agreeing to recognize Israel in exchange for Israel withdrawing from territory it has occupied since the Six-Day War of 1967. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he is inviting foreign ministers from Europe, the U.S., the Middle East and Asia to Paris on May 30 to lay the groundwork for a new round of peace talks. The goal is for major world powers to forge a common strategy for the negotiations without the presence of either Israeli or Palestinian officials, Mr. Ayrault said.

Secondly, the plan is to host an international peace conference between Israel and the Palestinians based upon the agreed framework in the summer or fall.

The French Foreign Minister will arrive in Israel on May 12 and will meet Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the conference. Regarding the conference, the French Foreign Minister said: “In Israel, the government is more and more ambiguous on the issue of a two-state solution and the Palestinians are more and more divided. We have to explain to the Israelis that settlement activity is a dangerous process and that it puts their own security in danger. There is no other solution to the conflict other than a two-state solution, Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem a shared capital. The two sides are more divided than ever. I’m not naive, but am acting in good faith. There is no alternative. The other option is fatalism and I refuse it,” he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said: “Not any one country or one person can resolve this. This is going to require the global community, it will require international support.

Israel and the Palestinians will not be invited to the May 30th meeting and have different views on the merits of the conference.

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the French diplomatic plan “mystifying” and counterproductive arguing that it gives the Palestinians no incentive to compromise. Netanyahu explained that the idea behind the French initiative is as follows: “It says, ‘We shall hold an international conference but, if it doesn’t succeed, we are deciding in advance what the consequence will be – we shall recognize a Palestinian state. This of course ensures in advance that a conference will fail because if the Palestinians know that their demands will be accepted… they don’t need to do anything,” he said. Netanyahu restated his policy that peace will only come as a result of direct bilateral talks between the sides.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told French President Francois Hollande that the Palestinians fully back France’s initiative. Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said: “France plays an important role in efforts to establish a fair, comprehensive and durable peace in accordance with international resolutions.”

Recently, the Palestinians circulated a proposed UN Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlement building. Following pressure from France and other countries, the Palestinians have suspended their efforts to try to get the UN Security Council to vote on the matter and instead have given their support to the French efforts to hold a peace conference on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process. Diplomats said that France, Egypt and Saudi Arabia had discouraged the Palestinians from moving ahead with the proposed measure that would have put pressure on the United States to veto the proposed resolution. The UN Security Council failed in 2011 to adopt a draft resolution condemning Israeli settlements after the United States vetoed it.

The Palestinians welcome the French initiative because they want the international community to impose a peace solution upon Israel. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said “We have agreed that our move at the Security Council should not jeopardize in any way the French initiative. We should really sail smoothly in a way that the French initiative will continue,” he said, adding that the Palestinians would decide on formally presenting the draft text at a later time. Malki said: “We welcome the conference that France will be conducting on May 30. The Palestinians look forward to the meeting on May 30 because we expect that this meeting will provide the right parameters in order to really move forward toward having an the international conference between Israel and the Palestinians based upon the agreed framework from the international community later in the year.”

Another Palestinian official said: “The opportunity to go to the Security Council will always be there and we want to give a chance to the French initiative because, in the end, this is an initiative that serves the Palestinian cause and not one that hurts the Palestinian goals and objectives regarding the peace process.”

In other news regarding Israel disputed territory, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss his “red lines” regarding the security of Israel’s northern borders and stressed that Israel was determined to maintain its control of the Golan Heights.

Netanyahu said: “I have come to Russia to step up coordination with them on security matters, to prevent mistakes, misunderstandings regarding the Syrian conflict. We are not going back to the days when rockets were fired at our communities and our children from the top of the Golan… and so, with an agreement or without, the Golan Heights will remain part of [Israel’s] sovereign territory.” Netanyahu also said that Israel would do “everything” in its power to block Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah from obtaining advanced weapons, and was working to assure that no new “terror front” appeared on the Golan Heights.

Speaking at the start of a special Israeli governmental cabinet session convened in the Golan Heights, Netanyahu said that the Golan Heights will forever remain under Israeli sovereignty. “Whatever happens on the other side of the border, the line is not going to change,” Netanyahu stated at the start of the cabinet meeting. “The time has come after 50 years for the international community to acknowledge that the Golan Heights will permanently remain under Israeli sovereignty.”

The Golan Heights was effectively annexed by Israel in 1981. However, this action was not recognized by the rest of the world. As a result, Netanyahu’s claim has been strongly criticized by members of the international community. The status of the Golan has resurfaced because of the Syrian peace talks being brokered by the United States and Russia. Netanyahu has said that Israel’s view of the Golan Heights needs to be taken into account in these talks.

According to Israel’s Channel 2, the first clause of a Syrian draft peace agreement specifies that the Golan Heights is Syrian territory and must be returned to Syria. Netanyahu called US Secretary of State John Kerry to complain about text declaring the Golan as part of Syria to be included as part of a peace deal being drafted to end the Syrian civil war. He also told Kerry that the time has come for the United States to recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.

In response, the United States objected to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that the Golan Heights will forever remain under Israeli control reiterating that the United States does not recognize Israel’s claims to the Golan Heights. US State Department spokesman John Kirby said that the Obama administration does not consider the Golan Heights to be part of Israel. “The US position on the issue is unchanged,” Kirby said. “Those territories are not part of Israel and the status of those territories should be determined through negotiations.” In November, Netanyahu reportedly asked US President Barack Obama to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the area given the present situation with the Syrian civil war. Obama refused to even reply, according to Israeli media accounts.

Germany said a unilateral decision by Israel to keep the Golan Heights would breach international law. German Foreign Ministry spokesman Martin Schaefer said “it’s a basic principle of international law and the UN charter that no state can claim the right to annex another state’s territory just like that.” Schaefer said Germany isn’t currently demanding the immediate return of the territory due to the security situation in Syria.

EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini stressed that the European Union does not recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. She said: “The EU recognizes Israel within its pre-1967 borders, whatever the government’s claims on other areas, until a final settlement is concluded,” Mogherini said. “And this is a common consolidated position of the European Union and its member states.”

The UN Security Council also rejected Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s assertion that the annexed Golan Heights would “forever” remain under Israeli control and expressed concern over his statements. The 15-member council agreed that the status of the Golan, which Israel captured from Syria in 1967, “remains unchanged,” said the Chinese Ambassador to the United Nations, Liu Jieyi.

Liu recalled a 1981 resolution which states that Israel’s “decision to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights was null and void and without any international legal effect.” Council members “expressed deep concern” over the Israeli statements and “stressed that the status of the Golan remains unchanged,” said Liu.

Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, the secretary general of the pan-Arab bloc headquartered in Egypt, said Netanyahu’s statement “was a new escalation that represents a brazen violation of international law.”

Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, also denounced the UN Security Council for discussing an issue that “completely ignores the reality in the Middle East.” Danon said: “While thousands of people are being massacred in Syria, and millions of citizens have become refugees, the Security Council has chosen to focus on Israel – the only true democracy in the Middle East. It’s unfortunate that interested parties are attempting to use the council for unfair criticism of Israel,” the ambassador added.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry shot back at the Security Council’s statement, saying it was “ignoring the reality” in Syria. “Who is Israel expected to negotiate with on the future of the Golan Heights? Islamic State? Al-Qaeda? Hezbollah? The Iranian and Syrian forces who massacred hundreds of thousands of people?” the statement said. “In the face of the war raging in Syria and the security and stability that Israel has built in the Golan in the past 50 years, the suggestions that Israel withdraw from the Golan is unreasonable.”

An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles are as follows:
1) France to convene Middle East peace conference on May 30
2) France to Convene Foreign Ministers for Mideast Peace Process Summit in Paris on May 30
3) France announces May 30 Israel-PA peace talks
4) Netanyahu rejects ‘mystifying’ French ‘peace plan’
5) France announces global summit on Israel-Palestinian peace process
6) Palestinians to hold off on UN move against Israeli settlements
7) France to Call International Meeting to Revive Israel-Palestinian Peace Talks
8) Israel will never leave Golan, Netanyahu tells Putin
9) US rejects Netanyahu’s pledge to hold onto Golan forever
10) Israeli hold on Golan ‘null and void,’ UN Security Council says
11) EU stresses Golan position after Netanyahu comments
12) Netanyahu: It’s Time the World Recognize Israeli Sovereignty Over Golan Heights

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 12, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

April 12th, 2016

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) An interview by Orthodox Jew Nehemia Gordon with the representative of the renewed Sanhedrin which historically was an Orthodox Jewish Rabbinical Court which functioned in the 1st Century

The Sanhedrin in deliberations on Mount Zion next to David's Tomb on March 30, 2016. The man standing on the far left is Professor Hillel Weiss. Photo by Nehemia Gordon.

The Sanhedrin in deliberations on Mount Zion next to David’s Tomb on March 30, 2016. The man standing on the far left is Professor Hillel Weiss.

 

 

 

 

 

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Nehemia Gordon Interview: The Renewed Sanhedrin

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l