March 31, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

March 28th, 2015

Uploaded on March 28. This week’s update is 40 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) Benjamin Netanyahu task to form a new government and the current situation with the Israel / PLO peace process

Given the results of the March 17 elections, Israel President Reuven Rivlin gave the task to incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next Israeli government. Rivlin said to Netanyahu: “You are tasked with the grave responsibility of forming a government as stable and as wide as possible, and soon. The incoming government and Knesset are faced with three critical tasks.” he said. “The first is reinforcing the ties between Israel and the US, our biggest and most important ally. The second is to restore stability to the political system and restoring the public’s trust in the system – we must not go back to elections in two years. And the third is healing the painful wounds and rifts opened in recent years, which have grown during this election campaign,” Rivlin said. Rivlin added, “To the citizens of Israel, we’ve gone through a difficult election campaign … Things were said on all sides that should not have been said. Not in a Jewish state, and not in a democratic state. The heat of the flames serves no one. The fire is not just hot, it could burn.”

In reply, Netanyahu said: “I accept the task you gave me of forming the government with a feeling of great responsibility,” Netanyahu told the president. Netanyahu said he viewed himself “as the prime minister of each and every one of you – those who elected me and those who did not. I will act to mend the rifts which have opened up between different segments of society during the election.” Netanyahu urged Israeli citizens to put the elections behind them and focus on what unites them. “I must continue on this path in the next government that is formed – a Jewish and democratic country that gives full equal rights to all of its citizens regardless of religious, race or gender. So it has always been, and so it always will be,” he said. Netanyahu said that he wants to have good relations with the US. However, he said that he would continue to try to prevent a bad nuclear deal from being reached between the six major world powers (US, England, France, Russia, China and Germany) and Iran. “Real peace can be achieved only if Israel remains strong and stable,” Netanyahu said.

After being given the task to form his new coalition government, Netanyahu began coalition talks with the 5 parties most likely to be in his coalition. They are: Jewish Home, Kulanu, Yisrael Beitenu, Shas and United Torah Judaism. If all agree to be in the government, it would give Netanyahu a coalition of 67 Knesset members. Initially, Netanyahu will have until May 7 to form a government.

Zionist Union party leader Isaac Herzog whose political party came in second place behind Netanyahu’s Likud political party ruled out the possibility of forming a unity government with Benjamin Netanyahu, echoing the prime minister’s words by saying the differences between the two were too profound for them to work together. “Netanyahu said there’s a huge chasm between us. He said during the elections that we are anti-Zionists, and he said during the election that I will basically sell the country to the Arabs,” Herzog said. However, the Zionist Union leader also spoke of deepening an alliance with Arab MKs, insisting he would try to bring them into the mainstream of Israeli politics.

Regarding the peace process, after months of freezing tax revenue transfers as punishment for the Palestinian Authority’s application to the Rome Statute which would allow them to become a member of the International Criminal Court, Israel said that it would release the money to the Palestinian Authority. In January, Israel froze the transfer of some NIS 500 million in tax collections to protest the Palestinians application for membership of the International Criminal Court on behalf of the “State of Palestine”. The tax money is used to pay public sector salaries and is critical to running the Palestinian Authority. The decision was made by Israel to help rebuild bridges with the United States due to US criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu when during the Israeli election season Netanyahu said that there would not be a Palestinian state during his term as Prime Minister.

US President Barack Obama gave a cold reception to Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election as Prime Minister of Israel on March 17.  From this time, US-Israel relations have been tense as the Obama administration has made many harsh statements toward Israel and regarding the peace process. According to a senior Israeli official, the multiple condemnations are a form of “revenge” from the Obama Administration against Netanyahu who says that the US is doing these things for three primary reasons: “One, revenge (for Netanyahu’s speech in Congress). Two, frustration. It’s no secret that they were involved in an attempt to bring down the Netanyahu and we know that clearly, and they have failed. Three, the government’s attempt to shift the focus from them and the negotiations with Iran to the Palestinian issue.”

The senior official heavily criticized the Obama administration’s handling of Israel and the issue of peace talks, asking why the issue of “settlements” in the West Bank are suddenly the most important policy issue on the agenda. “Look what we have done so far with the construction in the settlements,” the official said. “We took upon ourselves all of the restrictions from the [Ariel] Sharon – [George W.] Bush era, which allowed natural growth but not the establishment of new settlements.” Recently, US Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough said “an occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.”

Furthermore, Obama said that he has not made any decision regarding if the US would no longer use its veto at the UN Security Council to prevent the establishment and recognition of a PLO state until after Netanyahu forms his new government. Obama said: “We are going to do that evaluation. We’re going to partly wait for an actual Israeli government to form.” After the March 17th Israeli elections, Netanyahu clarified his views on a PLO state saying to US media, “I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution” while stressing the grave dangers posed to Israel in the region from radical Islam and the PLO’s refusal to negotiation in good faith a two-state solution. However, the Obama administration rejected Netanyahu’s clarification. Obama said, the US could no longer base its peace policy on “something everyone knows is not going to happen … there still does not appear to be a prospect of a meaningful framework established that would lead to a Palestinian state even if there were a whole range of conditions and security requirements that might be phased in over a long period of time, which was always the presumption.” Obama continued, “The issue has never been ‘do you create a Palestinian state overnight.’ The issue is ‘do you create a process and a framework that gives the Palestinians hope, the possibility that down the road they have a secure state of their own standing side by side with a secure and fully recognized Jewish state of Israel,’” he said.  Obama added: “It’s not just my estimation, but it’s hard to envision how that happens based on the prime minister’s statements. Netanyahu is representing his country’s interests the way he thinks he needs to and I’m doing the same … so this can’t be reduced to a matter of somehow let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations Middle East envoy, Robert Serry, challenged the United Nations Security Council to present a framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians saying this this “may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution” while being critical of Jews who live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem by saying that it “may kill the very possibility of reaching peace on the paradigm of two states for two peoples.” In addition, Serry said that if the world believes in a two-state solution, and Israel and the Palestinians are unable to agree on a meaningful framework to resume peace negotiations, “the international community should seriously consider presenting such a framework for negotiations, including parameters, to achieve this.” Serry added, “It remains the primary responsibility of the United Nations Security council to play its role in developing a new peace architecture for resolving the conflict at long last,” he said. “UN Security Council Resolution 242 embodying the key principle of ‘land for peace’ is nearly half-a-century old.” UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted shortly after the Six Day War in 1967, has long been the cornerstone of diplomatic efforts, calling for negotiations between the sides based on the principle of “land for peace” and secure and recognized borders for Israel.

Serry noted that American attempts to solve the conflict during his seven year tenure have not been met with success, and that the Quartet has largely failed to live up to expectations. The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that he agrees with Serry’s comments saying, “We hope the Security Council will… take that responsibility very seriously,” Mansour said. He said he wants to see a resolution with a time frame for ending the Israeli occupation and with terms of reference for the peace process.

The last round of peace talks, pressed on Israel by US Secretary of State John Kerry, were torpedoed by the PA last April when it unilaterally joined international treaties in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords, and signed a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization.

In response, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said that not only was the international community not demanding anything of the Palestinians but was assisting their efforts to destroy any chance for progress toward a peace agreement. Prosor added that the international community should be paying attention to the PA actions that torpedoed the diplomatic process. These actions, he said, included walking away from negotiations in favor of unilateral activity against Israel in the international arena, giving prizes to terrorists and forming a unity government with Hamas, which calls for Israel’s destruction.

Israel’s position has long been that as long as the Palestinians believe the world will set the parameters of an accord, thereby imposing an agreement, they will not feel any need to compromise with Israel around the negotiating table. “Anyone who believes that there is a substitute for direct negotiations is fooling themselves,” said an Israeli government official. “Peace will not be advanced by passing resolutions in New York, but by Israelis and Palestinians seriously discussing the issues that separate them. Everything else is blah, blah.” The official said there can be no peace without the Palestinians recognizing the legitimacy of the Jewish state and without them finally taking Israel’s legitimate security concerns seriously.

Meanwhile, a European diplomat said that the European Union and Israel are “on a collision course” if Netanyahu forms a center-right government and continues to build Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A European report outlines 40 possible decisions that the EU could take to pressure Israel into returning to negotiations.  If these things happen, the European diplomat indicated that the items contained in the report could begin to get implemented. However, EU member states have not yet approved the recommendations. ” EU diplomacy will likely remain in a sort of listening mode for a while, looking at what might be Netanyahu’s political and diplomatic signaling strategy. And it will also probably adjust its actions accordingly,” said European Policy Centre analyst Andrea Frontini.

In any event, France plans to start discussions with partners in the “coming weeks” on a United Nations Security Council resolution to lay out parameters for ending the Middle East conflict, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. “We have said that these parameters have to be defined and recognized by the UN Security Council and that obviously Israel and the Palestinians have to discuss these things themselves but the discussion will be accompanied by an international effort,” Fabius said adding “there is no other solution.” Fabious continued: “I hope that the partners who were reluctant will not be reluctant anymore,” referring to the United States, which has traditionally shielded its ally Israel from any recognition of a PLO state at the UN Security Council. Fabious said that France plans to try to get the UN Security Council to agree on a framework for a two-state solution as soon as Israel’s new government is formed.

In response to Fabius’ comments, a US official said: “We’re not going to get ahead of any decisions about what the United States would do with regard to potential action at the UN Security Council.” He said the United States continues to engage with key stakeholders, including France, “to find a way forward that advances the interest we and others share in a two state solution.”

France, along with Britain and Germany, drafted a UN Security Council resolution in November to set parameters for a negotiated settlement to the peace process but the text was put on the side until after the results of the Israeli elections were known. However, based upon the comments by France, it seems that this effort will continue after Netanyahu forms his new government coalition. The deadline for him to do so is May 7.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Rivlin taps Netanyahu to form next government
2) Countdown to coalition begins after Rivlin gives PM mandate
3) Herzog says he won’t be Netanyahu’s ‘bleaching agent’
4) Israel to resume tax revenue transfers to the Palestinian Authority
5) Diplomat: Obama Seeking ‘Revenge’ on Netanyahu
6) Obama: US can’t base policy on ‘dim’ peace hopes under Netanyahu
7) UN Mideast envoy asks Security Council to lead on Israel
8) Serry: Time to replace 242 with new ‘peace architecture’
9) UN Envoy Says Security Council can Force ‘Peace Framework’
10) EU plans to pressure Israel as diplomat warns of ‘collision course’
11) France to begin push for UN action on Israel-Palestinian conflict
12) France: Talks within days on UN resolution on Palestinians
13) TEXT: France UN Draft Resolution on Israel / PLO conflict (November 2014)

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

March 24, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

March 23rd, 2015

Uploaded on March 24. This week’s update is 42 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 Benjamin Netanyahu being able to form a new government and what Netanyahu’s election victory means for the peace process

Israel President Reuven Rivlin met with the heads of the various political parties who won Knesset seats in the March 17 Israeli elections. The political parties Likud, Jewish Home, Kulanu, Shas, United Torah Judaism and Yisrael Beytenu recommended that Likud party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, be the next Israeli Prime Minister. These parties represent a majority of 67 Knesset seats. Most likely, these parties will be in Netanyahu’s next government coalition. If formed, these parties would be regarded as a right wing government and would be scorned upon by the United States and Europe. Political sources stated that a national unity government consisting of the Likud political party of Benjamin Netanyahu and the rival Zionist Union headed by Isaac Herzog was out of the question. Both Likud and Zionist Union representatives signaled their intent to be in opposition to each other in the next government despite Israel President Reuven Rivlin’s efforts to bring reconciliation between the two parties. Netanyahu will have until May 7 to form a government coalition.

The political parties, Zionist Union and Meretz recommended that Zionist Union party leader, Isaac Herzog, be the next prime minister. This only represents 29 Knesset seats. The Israel political party, Yesh Atid, and the Joint Arab List did not make a recommendation. A Yesh Atid Knesset representative said, “We have decided to sit in the opposition.”

How would a right wing Israeli government affect the Israel / Palestinian peace process ? A day prior to the March 17 elections during a campaign stop in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, Netanyahu promised to increase construction there, saying it was “a way of stopping Bethlehem from moving toward Jerusalem.” Furthermore, Netanyahu said that a Zionist Union-led government headed by Isaac Herzog would push for relinquishing more territory to the Palestinians, a move he said was tantamount to “burying its head in the sand.” Netanyahu went on to say the following: “I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state today, and evacuate areas, is giving radical Islam an area from which to attack the State of Israel. This is the true reality that has been created in past years. Those that ignore it are burying their heads in the sand. The left does this, buries its head in the sand, time and again. Whoever moves to establish a Palestinian state or intends to withdraw from territory is simply yielding territory for radical Islamic terrorist attacks against Israel.” Asked directly whether no Palestinian state would be created under his leadership, the prime minister answered: “Indeed.”

Netanyahu criticized peace talks with the Palestinians in 1999 under then-prime minister Ehud Barak, who endorsed the Zionist Union party in the recent elections. Barak was “willing to give everything away,” Netanyahu said. “As it happened, with God’s help, [then-PA leader Yasser] Arafat’s heart was hardened and he wanted more than was offered,” Netanyahu said, in an allusion to the biblical Pharaoh, whose refusal to set the enslaved Hebrews free brought about his own demise. Netanyahu said that after the election, Israel will face international pressure to pull back to the 1967 lines. In order to prevent this, he said: “We must establish a strong national government headed by Likud in order to fend off these pressures.” Netanyahu said that he was “the last line of defense,” and maintained that the Zionist Union understood that this was the case.

After the election results, Netanyahu clarified his position. He said that he wanted a “sustainable, peaceful two-state solution” but that the current situation does not allow for that to happen. “I haven’t changed my policy. I never retracted my speech in Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he said.

US President Barack Obama did not accept Netanyahu’s clarification. Instead, Obama said that he was going to believe that Netanyahu doesn’t want a two-state solution. Obama told Netanyahu that the US was reconsidering its policies because Netanyahu had changed his position on Palestinian statehood. Netanyahu retorted that he hadn’t changed his position, still supporting a two state solution, but that the Middle East realities had changed in recent years.

Israel Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said that Netanyahu “didn’t say what the president and others seem to suggest he is saying,” arguing that interpretations of Netanyahu’s pre-election statements in the US did not convey the meaning or intent of his comments. “The prime minister is not against a two-state solution with a demilitarized Palestinian state. He has not retracted his vision that he laid out at Bar-Ilan in 2009,” he emphasized. Dermer argued that Netanyahu had framed his comments in light of recent changes to regional geopolitics that made a peace deal difficult or even impossible under current conditions. He listed the growing instability on Israel’s borders, particularly with the ascent of the Islamic State in parts of Syria “eighteen miles from Israel’s borders,” as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s nearly year-long ostensible unity government with Hamas. “What Israel believes has to happen now is that President Abbas needs to break his alliance with Hamas and come back to serious negotiations with Israel,” Dermer elaborated. The peace process, he said, collapsed not because of Israel, but because Abbas had “joined up with Hamas.”

Because Obama does not accept Netanyahu’s clarification on the matter, Obama told Netanyahu, “Because you oppose a Palestinian state, that is why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.” Obama said that he told Netanyahu during a bitter 30-minute phone conversation after the elections that “a two-state solution is the only way for a long-term security of Israel if it wants to stay both a Jewish state and democratic,” noting that “given his (Netanyahu’s) statement prior to the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing negotiations were possible.” According to Israeli television, Obama left Netanyahu with “the impression that he intends to abandon Israel at the UN.”

A senior Obama administration official said: “We are signaling that if the Israeli government’s position is no longer to pursue a Palestinian state, we’re going to have to broaden the spectrum of options we pursue going forward. The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics,” the official said. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said: “The divergent comments of the prime minister legitimately call into question his commitment to this policy principle and his lack of commitment to what has been the foundation of our policy-making in the region,” Earnest said. Netanyahu had prompted questions about his “true view” on the two-state solution, the spokesman added. “Words matter.” But the administration made clear that its reconsideration of Israel-US ties was not only due to Netanyahu’s recent comments, which many have claimed were made for the purpose of garnering support from the far right, but rather for his actions throughout the years, which officials say prove the prime minister’s opposition to a Palestinian state.

In reaction to these things, The New York Times quoted several administration officials as saying that the US could endorse a United Nations Security Council resolution setting down terms for the formation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed land swaps. Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki implied that although the US still prefers direct negotiations toward an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, she could not promise that the US would continue to defend Israel against unilateral actions in support of Palestinian statehood in either the International Criminal Court or the United Nations. “We are not going to get ahead of any decisions with regard to what the US would do during any vote at the United Nations Security Council,” Psaki said in a press briefing, leaving open the possibility that the US could amend its long-held policy of using its Security Council veto power to block anti-Israel resolutions.

US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg whose close connections to Obama administration officials permits him to write articles which reflect the current views of the administration said in a recent article, “President Obama is not particularly interested in spending political capital on behalf of Netanyahu in order to block a UN resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood. Thus, it is up to Netanyahu, in the coming weeks, to show he is actually committed to preserving the possibility of a two-state solution,” Goldberg wrote. Goldberg added,“if the UN Security Council recognizes Palestine as an independent state, Netanyahu will have no time at all to get his house in order before Israel becomes a true pariah of the international community.”

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough called for the end of Israel’s “50-year occupation” saying “we will look to the next Israeli government to match words with action and to policies that demonstrates a commitment to a two-state solution,” McDonough said. “In the end, we know what a peace agreement should look like. The borders of Israel and an independent Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps. Each state needs secure and recognized borders, and there must be robust provisions that safeguard Israel’s security.”

Israel Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer sounded hesitant when asked about American threats to withdraw its traditional veto of unilateral Palestinian moves at the United Nations. “We hope that won’t happen,” he said. “We know that the US has stood for decades against all these anti-Israel resolutions at the UN.” The passage of a UN resolution to establish a Palestinian state, he said, would “harden Palestinian positions and could prevent peace for decades to come, because no Palestinian leader will move from those positions.” This would then, he argued, limit the opportunity for a negotiated resolution to the conflict, an outcome which has been — and still is — the stated policy of the United States.

The Palestinian representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, urged the United States to support a UN resolution that would mandate a short time-frame for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and a second resolution that would specifically condemn Israeli construction across the 1967 Green Line. “If we do not move in the direction of a two state solution now and we wait, there will never be a two-state solution,” he warned. He also said that the Palestinians would not withdraw their bid to sue Israel at the International Criminal Court over alleged war crimes.

In addition, Obama told Netanyahu that the continued settlement construction was “not a recipe for stability in the region” and cannot continue in perpetuity. Furthermore,  a new European Union (EU) report says that Jerusalem is at a “boiling point” and recommends sanctions against Israel over the “polarization” of Jerusalem. The report says that Jerusalem has reached a dangerous boiling point of “polarization and violence” not seen since the end of the second intifada in 2005. The report calls for tougher European sanctions against Israel over its “continued settlement construction in the city”, which it claims is exacerbating recent conflict. The report describes the emergence of a “vicious cycle of violence … increasingly threatening the viability of the two-state solution”, which it says has been stoked by the continuation of “systematic” settlement building by Israel in “sensitive areas” of Jerusalem.

According to Dennis Ross, Obama’s former top Middle East adviser, said that the White House pressure toward Israel had other motives as well. Ross said: “There’s an effort to apply leverage to the Israelis to get the prime minister to move on some things when he has a new government formed,” citing a US wish to see Israel release frozen Palestinian tax funds and take other goodwill gestures.

One senior administration official said that another outcome of the friction between Obama and Netanyahu could be a change in how the relationship between Israel and America is managed. Discourse between the two countries, for instance, would no longer be held between the heads of state directly. Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry and defense officials would act as go-betweens for President Barack Obama and Netanyahu. “The president is a pretty pragmatic person and if he felt it would be useful, he will certainly engage,” said the official. “But he’s not going to waste his time.”

In his interview, Obama went on to say his administration will keep cooperating with Israel on military and intelligence regardless of policy disagreements between the two countries.

Although the Obama administration claims that the US reassessment of policy toward Israel at the United Nations was prompted by Netanyahu’s pre-election claim to rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state, according to Israeli officials, this is not the actual facts.  The United States has actually been considering a reevaluation of ties with Israel, including its automatic support for the Jewish state at the United Nations Security Council, for at least four months.

Israeli television reports that US President Barack Obama will not support an independent Palestinian diplomatic initiative for recognition of a state at the United Nations but instead may try to advance a joint American-European initiative for a two-state solution. European governments incensed by Netanyahu’s campaign comments against Palestinian statehood, could decide to push for a joint American-European UN resolution on Palestinian statehood. The American-European initiative, which is to be presented to the UN Security Council, will provide the “contours” of any future agreement, according to the report, which cited sources in the Obama administration. The plan will not include a timetable but will join Resolutions 242 and 338 as blueprints for a peace deal that the international community favors. The US is also reportedly considering revealing the understandings that Secretary of State John Kerry reached in his talks with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. These will serve as guidelines for future negotiations. Israel is opposed to these ideas.

US President Barack Obama, once famously said, “I will always have Israel’s back.” By considering supporting a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council, is Obama now in the process of betraying Israel ?

US Senator John McCain accused President Barack Obama of putting personal grievances with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of pressing geopolitical concerns in the Middle East. McCain said that the president should “get over” his “temper tantrum” following Netanyahu’s election victory. Responding to signals from the Obama administration that the US could stop using its United Nations Security Council veto power to prevent unilateral resolutions in support of Palestinian statehood, McCain, chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, warned Obama against such a move.

He said that if the US acquiesced to a UN resolution calling for a Palestinian state, and if it were approved at the UN, “the United States Congress would have to examine our funding for the United Nations.” The United States is the single biggest funder of the international body, but current legislation permits defunding of any UN body that recognizes Palestinian statehood. “It would be a violation because of the president’s anger over a statement by the prime minister of Israel,” McCain explained. “It would contradict American policy for the last at least 10 presidents of the United States.”

Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett whose religious Zionist nationalistic party will most likely be members of Netanyahu’s new government said that he would never sit in a government that gives Israeli land to Arabs. Bennett was asked, “Would you resign from the government if, even by mistake, there is the thought of returning territories?”  Bennett said: “Yes, I will overthrow a government that considers providing [the Arabs] even a centimeter of land.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Majority of MKs recommend Netanyahu for PM
2) Netanyahu to form next Israeli government
3) Netanyahu: No Palestinian state on my watch
4) US officials: Washington could back UN resolution on Palestine
5) Obama: We believe Netanyahu doesn’t want a Palestinian state
6) TV report: Obama left PM ‘with impression US will abandon Israel at UN’
7) Jeffrey Goldberg: PM has ‘weeks’ to prove he supports two-state solution
8) Top White House official calls for end to ’50-year occupation’
9) Envoy to Washington defends Netanyahu’s 2-state comments
10) EU Planning Sanctions on Israel for ‘Polarizing Jerusalem’
11) Report: Obama May Reveal Understandings Reached with Israel, PA
12) Netanyahu row casts doubt on Obama pledge to ‘have Israel’s back’
13) McCain: Congress could defund UN if US backs Palestine bid
14) Bennett: I Will Overthrow Gov’t That Gives Even an Inch of Land

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

March 17, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

March 19th, 2015

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 results of the Israeli elections and what it means for the peace process

With over 99% of the votes counted, the Israeli elections results are as follows:

1) Likud ………….. 30 seats
2) Zionist Union …… 24 seats
3) Joint Arab List …. 13 seats
4) Yesh Atid ………. 11 seats
5) Kulanu …………. 10 seats
6) Jewish Home ……… 8 seats
7) Shas ……………. 7 seats
8) United Torah Judaism …. 6 seats
9) Yisrael Beytenu ….. 6 seats
10) Meretz …………. 5 seats

The Israel Knesset consists of 120 members. In order to form a government, you need a coalition of parties of at least 61 members. Benjamin Netanyahu is the leader of the “Likud” political party. Since the “Likud” political party got the most votes in the Israeli election, Netanyahu will be given the opportunity to talk with other parties to form a coalition government. When he does, who is most likely to join his government coalition ?

Prior to the elections, Netanyahu said that he will not form a unity government. A unity government is when two of the largest parties in Israel form a government together. Therefore, Netanyahu said that he will not form a government with the Zionist camp party. The Zionist camp party is headed by Isaac Herzog. He is in partnership with Tzipi Livni in leading the party. In the last Israeli government, Tzipi Livni was in Netanyahu’s government and was the chief negotiator in the peace process with the Palestinians. However because of her independent thinking and criticism of Netanyahu’s policies, Netanyahu fired her along with the leader of the party, Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid who was also in Netanyahu’s government and criticized his policies. As a result, it is highly unlikely that the Zionist camp and Yesh Atid will be in Netanyahu’s new government coalition. The united Arab list party has also indicated that they will not be in Netanyahu’s government.

In past Netanyahu governments, the ultra-Orthodox parties of Shas and United Torah Judaism have been in his coalition. Shas chairman Aryeh Deri said that his party would support Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister saying:  “We are with you Binyamin Netanyahu. Our public and your public are brothers.” Furthermore, Deri has said that there is no possibility that he would sit in a coalition together with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid. This is because in the last government, Yair Lapid backed a new law that would require the ultra-Orthodox to serve in the Israeli military. If they would not serve in the military, Lapid advocated criminal sanctions against them. The ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judasim, oppose this law.

MK Ya’akov Litzman of the ultra-Orthodox party, United Torah Judaism, also said that his party would not sit in government with Yesh Atid and its leader, Yair Lapid. Litzman said, “I will not sit with Lapid. Plain and simple.” Litzman added that Lapid can repent but that will not change his mind about being a part of the same coalition as Lapid. “If he wants to repent then let him repent. Let him be in the opposition for one term, praise the yeshiva students who study, support them in budgets and child allowances, and then in the next term we may sit with him,” he said. “As far as I know the position of the Council of Torah Sages is the same – that we will absolutely not sit in a government with Lapid” added Litzman.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin said that he opposes criminal sanctions for ultra-Orthodox draft dodgers approved by his government. We are one Israeli people. I think the whole issue of criminal sanctions that were imposed is something that should be done away with. A Jew should not have to go to prison for studying the torah.”

In response, Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said that the Israeli High Court will never allow the cancellation of a law passed last year that stipulates that if the target number of ultra-Orthodox draftees into the Israeli military is not reached by 2017, ultra-Orthodox draft-dodgers will be treated the same as others who refuse to serve in the Israeli army and thus will be subject to criminal sanctions. According to Lapid, “they cannot cancel the Security Service Law – all of military enlistment to the IDF in Israel is based on it. So what do they care to promise something that they know can’t happen. We cannot cancel the equality of the burden. The state of Israel cannot afford to cancel, and I will certainly not sit in a government that will cancel it,” he said. “It is a holy principle that all citizens of the country have the same rights,” Lapid continued. “We will not allow this equality of the burden to be overthrown or shot down. We will not sit in any government that tries to do so.” Finally, Lapid said that he will not sit in government with Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Meretz has also said that it is also opposed to being in government with Benjamin Netanyahu.

The new party to this election, Kulanu, headed by former Likud political party member, Moshe Kahlon, said that he would join any government where he can help bring down Israel housing prices.

In the last elections, Yisrael Beytenu chairman, Avigdor Lieberman ran on a joint election ticket with the Likud political party of Benjamin Netanyahu. In this election, Lieberman said that there was “no chance” that his Yisrael Beytenu will sit in the same coalition with the leftist Meretz party who won 5 seats.

As a result of all these things, it is most likely that Netanyahu will form a religious right government of Likud, Kulanu, Jewish Home, Shas, United Torah Judaism and Yisrael Beytenu. This government would have 67 seats.

US President Barack Obama gave a cold response to the election victory of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by waiting 2 days to congratulate him for winning the Israeli elections. Furthermore, the morning after the elections found US-Israel relations more shaky than ever before. The US State Department made a few things clear. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s call to congratulate Netanyahu on his election victory was very cold. The two did not talk policy at all, said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. In fact, the message that the US is conveying to Israel is that everything other than the most routine cooperation – security, intelligence, and military – is open to question.

The Palestinian responded to the Israeli election results by saying that there was no other choice but to “reexamine” relations with Israel. “Israel must choose: peace with the Palestinian people or the continued occupation of the land of Palestine,” Abbas declared. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator in peace talks with Israel said that Netanyahu’s election victory showed “the success of a campaign based on settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people”.

The day before the March 17 Israeli elections, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Netanyahu vowed that if reelected he will build thousands of homes in East Jerusalem to prevent future concessions to the Palestinians saying, “I won’t let that happen. My friends and I in Likud will preserve the unity of Jerusalem. We will continue to build in Jerusalem, we will add thousands of housing units, and in the face of all the (international) pressure, we will persist and continue to develop our eternal capital.” Netanyahu further said: “I think that anyone who establishes a Palestinian state and evacuates land is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the state of Israel. This is the reality that was created here over the past few years. Whoever ignores it is burying their heads in the sand. The left is doing this, burying its head in the sand time after time. We are realistic and we understand. The real test is who will build the next government. I am not going to fold. They would not be concentrating efforts against me if they didn’t understand that I am the last line of defense. They understand this. We faced tremendous pressures and we will continue to work.” Furthermore, Netanyahu said that he objects to a Palestinian state saying that Israel faces a series of international initiatives meant to return it to pre-1967 borders and to divide Jerusalem. In an interview, he was asked, “If you are PM there will be no Palestinian state?” He replied, “Indeed.”

The Obama administration reacted to Netanyahu’s words by saying that there will be consequences if Netanyahu no longer supports an independent Palestinian state. A senior Obama administration official said: “We are signaling that if the Israeli government’s position is no longer to pursue a Palestinian state, we’re going to have to broaden the spectrum of options we pursue going forward.” Another official said: “There are policy ramifications for what Netanyahu said.” While the US is indicating that it would not cut back its financial and military support for Israel, it did indicate that it be may less supportive of Israel at the UN Security Council. Senior American officials said that the Obama administration would still be evaluating all its options but strongly suggested that the US could ease its staunch opposition to Palestinians turning to the UN Security Council to create a state. Carefully planted rumors have been circulating around the US for weeks that the US is considering presenting a new peace plan at the UN Security Council that would bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and attempt to impose a solution to the conflict.  A second official confirmed the US could decide not to veto Security Council action. The officials were not authorized to speak by name about internal deliberations and commented only on condition of anonymity.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the US was still “not going to get ahead of any decisions about what the United States would do with regard to potential action at the UN Security Council.” Asked repeatedly about whether the US would maintain its veto policy, Psaki said simply that “the prime minister’s recent statements call into question his commitment to a two-state solution…but that doesn’t mean that we’ve made a decision about changing our position with respect to the UN.” However, the statement in itself – a refusal to commit to a veto – is itself a changed position. The New York Times reported that according to several administration officials, the Obama administration is now seriously considering agreeing to the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution “embodying the principles of a two-state solution that would include Israel’s 1967 borders with Palestine and mutually agreed swaps of territory.”

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, reaffirmed that the US “committed” to a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict saying, “The position of the United States with respect to our long expressed hope, the Republicans and the Democrats alike (and) many presidents of the last 50 years or more, has always been for peace and President Obama remains committed to a two-state solution,” Kerry said.

After his election victory, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified his position on a Palestinian state saying, “I never retracted my speech in Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognized the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. “I want a sustainable peaceful two-state solution,” he said. “But for that, circumstances have to change.” Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for being responsible for part of that change, saying that he refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and has made a pact with Hamas that calls for Israel’s destruction. He also said that history has shown that all territory vacated in the Middle East is taken over by Islamist forces. “If you want to get peace, you’ve got to get the Palestinian leadership to abandon their pact with Hamas and engage in genuine negotiations with Israel for an achievable peace,” he said. “We have to also make sure that we don’t have ISIS coming in to that territory. It’s only two dozen miles away from our border.”

The honeymoon period for any new Israeli government will be short, and neither the EU nor the US will have much patience for promises of developing new policies toward the Palestinians, according to Western diplomatic officials. Israel will need an initiative to convince both the EU and US of its seriousness in working toward a two-state solution, the officials said.

The US special envoy to last year’s Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Martin Indyk, said that if the new Netanyahu government does not launch a diplomatic initiative or opposes a Palestinian state, Israel will likely face a UN Security Council resolution proposed by all permanent members designed to “lay out the principles of a two state solution.” If this happens, Indyk expects that a resolution would be written against Israel’s will. He said: “If there is a government in Israel after these elections that decides to pursue a two state solution then there is a way forward. It begins with coordinating an initiative with the United States. And then, together with the US, looking to Egypt and Jordan and the resurrection of the Arab peace initiative, to find a way to provide the Palestinians both with an Egyptian-Jordanian anchor, and the political cover of the Arab peace initiative.” Indyk said that in this arrangement there would have to be a “freeze for a freeze:” an Israeli freeze of settlement activity, and a freeze of Palestinian international activity against Israel.”

But if there is not an Israeli initiative or support for a two state solution, Indyk warned, there will be “international actions” pursued not by the Palestinians, but rather by the international community “in terms of a security council resolution” to “lay out and preserve the principles of a two-state solution in the future.” By saying this resolution may come from all five members of the UN Security Council, he hinted that this could be an American proposal.

In addition, European Union member states are planning new sanctions against Israel that will be implemented if peace negotiations with Palestinians do not resume following Israeli elections. The proposed plan would include “sanctions against companies that conduct business over the Green Line, support in the legal proceedings of Palestinians in the issue of settlements and also renewing the proposal to create a Palestinian state through the Security Council,” according to an Israeli official who met recently with European leaders. According to one of the Israeli officials briefed by European leaders, the process of imposing sanctions was delayed by elections, but will likely be picked up should peace efforts not restart after Netanyahu forms his new government. “For some of the countries there is the hope that after the elections there is a chance to renew the negotiations with the Palestinians. But now it does not seem like that will happen, and therefore they are planning to shift into a higher gear,” the official said.

European officials also want to hear more positive reaction from Israel regarding the Special Privileged Partnership that the EU offered both Israel and the Palestinians in 2013 if they complete a peace deal. Many in Brussels see the failure of the Netanyahu government to jump at the offer as a “missed opportunity,” even though – according to the officials – the government is more interested in a closer relationship with the EU than it wants to let on. According to the officials, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is saving “for a strategic moment” the implementation of measures based on conclusions of the EU Council in 2012 regarding EU-wide labeling of settlement products. The conclusions, issued after a meeting of EU foreign ministers, said “the European Union expresses its commitment to ensure that – in line with international law – all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” That wording formed the basis of a long, drawn-out fight between Israel and the EU in 2013 over new guidelines for Israel’s acceptance in the EU’s well-financed Horizon 2020 EU R&D program.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) ‘Almost Final’ Results Published by Elections Committee
2) Netanyahu: There Will be No Unity Government
3) Liberman: ‘No Chance’ We’ll Sit with Meretz
4) Litzman Says ‘Yes’ to Meretz but ‘No’ to Lapid
5) Litzman Repeats: No Way We’ll Sit with Lapid
6) Deri: We’ll Support Netanyahu, There’s No Other Scenario
7) Deri says almost impossible for Shas to sit with Yesh Atid in next government
8) Criminal sanctions for haredi draft dodgers should end, says Netanyahu
9) Lapid: I Won’t Sit in Coalition that Repeals Haredi Draft Law
10) Lapid rules out endorsing Netanyahu
11) Obama’s absent congratulations bad omen for bilateral ties
12) Abbas: We Have No Choice but ‘Reexamine’ Ties with Israel
13) Abbas: Israel has no serious intentions to have peace
14) Netanyahu win dashes prospect for a thaw with Obama
15) After Netanyahu win, Obama takes off the gloves
16) Netanyahu: We Are Fighting for the Jewish Future
17) Zionism means not being spectators to decisions that can seal our fate, Netanyahu says
18) From annexation to right of return: What the parties say about the Palestinians
19) Netanyahu: If reelected, I won’t establish a Palestinian state
20) Obama Administration Reaffirms ‘2-State Solution’ Commitment
21) EU said to be planning fresh sanctions against Israel
22) US, EU to test Israel’s sincerity on Palestine after elections’
23) Indyk: Get ready for UNSC resolution proposed not by Palestinians, but int’l community
24) Report: US revisiting Israel policy after PM’s rejection of Palestinian state
25) NY Times: Obama may agree to UN resolution on ’67 borders after Netanyahu campaign rhetoric
26) US officials: Washington could back UN resolution on Palestine
27) Netanyahu backs off opposition to a Palestinian state

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

March 10, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

March 8th, 2015

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 Israel / Palestinian peace process

Recently, PLO leaders called on the Palestinian Authority to halt all forms of security coordination with Israel. The decision was issued at the end of a meeting of the PLO’s 124-member Central Council, which consists of representatives from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and several Arab countries. The discussions covered the future of relations between the PA and Israel in light of the Israeli government’s decision to withhold tax revenue because of Palestinian intention to bring war crime accusations against Israel at the United Nations through the International Criminal Court. Under a 1994 economic accord, Israel agreed to transfer tens of millions of dollars each month to the PA in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports. Several PLO representatives demanded that the PA leadership give a very “harsh” response to the Israeli decision such as cutting political, economic and security ties with Israel. Others called for abrogating all agreements signed with Israel.

A statement issued by the council said that the PLO leaders have decided to “halt all forms of security coordination with Israeli occupation in light of its failure to abide by agreements signed between the two sides.” Israel should assume all its responsibilities toward the Palestinians as an “occupation force” and in accordance with international law, the council said. The council also reiterated Palestinian opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. However, a Palestinian source said that the council’s decision was a recommendation only. Another Palestinian official said that Abbas must issue a presidential order in order to formally end the security cooperation with Israel. Israeli officials said that despite the Palestinian decision ties with the Palestinian Authority remain unchanged and that civil and defense cooperation continue unimpeded.

US Secretary of State John Kerry pleaded with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to make any “fateful decisions” regarding Israel before its upcoming election on March 17. It is reported that Kerry pressured Abbas to refrain from making any decision that could negatively impact efforts to revive the peace negotiations after the election. In addition, Kerry expressed his opposition to the Israeli decision to withhold the tax funds and cut off electricity to Palestinian cities because of the PA’s debt to the Israel Electric Corporation. Kerry promised Abbas that the United States would pressure Israel to unfreeze the tax payments. In return, Kerry demanded that the PLO Central Council refrain from making any decision to cancel political, security and economic agreements with Israel.

During his second term as prime minister (2009 – 2013), Benjamin Netanyahu had his senior aide, lawyer Yitzhak Molcho be involved in peace negotiations with the Palestinians. In a document from August 2013 entitled, “Draft Proposal for Statement of Principles Towards a Permanent Arrangement” outlines drastic concessions to the Palestinian leadership on a number of core issues, including land swaps, a potential deal regarding Jerusalem and even a limited right of return for Palestinians. The document was meant to serve as basis for official talks launched at the time between Israel and the Palestinians under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry. The document mentions a return to the pre-1967 borders with agreed land swaps. It says: “… (T)here will be a full Israeli withdrawal implemented gradually of Israeli forces from Palestine’s territory. The last of the Israeli forces will withdraw with the implementation of the agreement’s final stage.”

The document desires that Israel be willing to trade land with the Palestinians, but was willing to offer them full restitution for lands seized by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, implicitly accepting the Palestinian claim on the entirety of the West Bank as land for a future Palestinian state. It says: “The sides are in agreement that Palestine will be an independent, sovereign and viable state whose size will be in relation to the areas which were under Jordan and Egypt’s control before June 4th 1967 (the eve of the Six Day War) (…) the agreement establishing the formation of Palestine will permanently resolve all claims, including the issue of settlements,” the document read.

As part of the proposed land swap, the document laid out the framework for uprooting a a large number of West Bank settlements and even stipulated leaving some settlers in the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control. It says: “Israelis who will choose to remain in the Palestinian state will live under Palestinian jurisprudence,” the document said.

Regarding Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as their capital, the document’s wording was more careful, but not devoid of significance, offering an implicit recognition of the Palestinians’ claim on East Jerusalem. The document relating to Jerusalem was vaguely worded and appended with a warning: “Any solution must address the historical, social, cultural and effectual ties of both peoples to the city and offer protection to the holy sites.”

Furthermore, the document said the Palestinians were offered a permanent foothold in the Jordan Valley, an area which Israel was reluctant to concede control over during the previous round of peace talks. The document also calls for Israeli leeway regarding the much-debated Palestinian right of return for those displaced on the eve of Israel’s formation in 1948. The document calls for Israel to offer the Palestinian ‘refugees’ the right of return on a personal – as opposed to national – basis.

In releasing the details of this document, it was reported that Netanyahu agreed to the various details of the document. However, in response to the report, Netanyahu’s office said: “At no point did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree to withdraw to 1967-lines, divide Jerusalem or recognize the Palestinian right of return. That was and remains his position.” Israel said that the document was an American proposal to resolve the Israel / Palestinian conflict in which Israel never agreed to the points of discussion. Israel said, “Molcho’s talks were brokered by the Americans and failed to yield any agreements. (The talks) focused on an attempt to create an American proposal to moving negotiations forward with each side  maintaining the right to express reservations from any of the articles which they deem unacceptable.”

Furthermore, giving his own response to the published document, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he never signed off on the concessions detailed in the document saying, “I have never agreed to divide Jerusalem, never agreed to return to the ’67 lines, never agreed to acknowledge the right of return, never agreed to concede our presences in the Jordan Valley, never,” he said. “This is nonsense. This is an attempt to obtain an American draft that I said from the beginning I would oppose clauses that were not acceptable to me, like these clauses. The reality is that no prime minister insisted as I did on a united Jerusalem, on construction, on settlement.”

Dennis Ross, the American diplomat who mediated the talks between Israeli negotiator Isaac Molho and the Palestinians said that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “never agreed to Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders, dividing Jerusalem or the right of return.” Furthermore, Ross said: “I always felt the best way to [negotiate] would be in a brainstorming set of discussions that could be informal. To that end, starting before I left the administration and continuing after I left, I worked with two long-time friends of mine, Isaac Molho and Hussein Agha, with the aim of coming up with a U.S. proposal for a framework. The idea was that both sides would agree to negotiate using the U.S. proposal, while making clear that they had reservations about provisions that ran counter to their positions … to my regret the exercise did not succeed,” Ross added.

In 2009, Netanyahu made a speech expressing his support for a demilitarized Palestinian state. Today, he said that this position is “Simply irrelevant” saying, “In the situation created in the Middle East, any territory that will be evacuated will be taken over by radical Islam and terrorist organizations supported by Iran. Therefore, there will not be any withdrawals or concessions. The matter is simply irrelevant,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ron Dermer, who was Netanyahu’s aide at the time of his 2009 speech and now serves as Israel’s ambassador to the US, reportedly promised Quartet leader Tony Blair who represented the EU, UN, Russia and the United States as mediators in the peace process that Israel would agree to a Palestinian state based upon the 1967 borders. The comments were made sometime during Netanyahu’s 2009-2013 term as prime minister and were published by Israel’s Channel 10. Israel’s Channel 10 claimed that Dermer promised Quartet leader Tony Blair, in writing, that Israel would cede territory that would give the Palestinians a state “identical to the areas Israel captured in 1967.” According to the report, Blair was skeptical about Netanyahu’s willingness to cede territory as part of a peace deal, prompting Dermer to commit in writing in a bid to quell his concerns and prove Netanyahu was serious.

In response, Dermer vehemently denied the report, saying that “in complete contradiction to what is being reported, no commitment was given to any type of withdrawal at any point.” According to him, the paper was an “attempt to move forward with negotiations based on the international community’s principles with Israel retaining the right to disavow any article it is uncomfortable with.”

Israel’s former chief negotiator in the peace process, Tzipi Livni called Netanyahu’s response to a document claiming that he agreed in 2013 to establish a Palestinian state based upon the 1967 borders as “cowardly.” She said, “When I see Netanyahu’s cowardly response, I understand why the Palestinians and Americans say they don’t believe him.” Livni also had criticism towards the Palestinian leadership. She said, “Sometimes, your partner is not much, and I have criticism against (Palestinian President) Abbas, who didn’t respond to the American outline.”

Meanwhile, Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz criticized the publication of the document, saying it was a “manipulation,” and “fabricated in the way it was presented,” noting neither Netanyahu nor Molcho agreed to the principles outlined. He said that the publication of this document was politically motivated to harm Netanyahu prior to the March 17 Israeli elections. He said, “The objective is to move votes from the Likud party to the religious Zionist nationalistic Jewish Home party as well as the ultra-Orthodox Shas party in order to help the Zionist camp party headed by Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog’s to win the March 17th elections.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration says that U.S. President Barack Obama wants to make a renewed effort to achieve progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process following the March 17 Israeli elections. The final decision on how to move forward, what sort of effort to make and when, will only be made after a new Israeli government has been formed. A senior Obama official said, “The United States would like to see the formation of the new government in Israel and its attitude toward the renewing peace talks. But in the year and a half to two years that Obama has left in the White House prior to the November, 2016 US elections, the United States will have to deal with the peace process because time is working against us.”

Further deterioration in ties between the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership in recent months has senior administration officials very worried. The United States sees the situation as a growing crisis beginning with the blowup of the peace talks in March of last year, the deep diplomatic freeze, the war in Gaza last summer, the resolution that the Palestinians tried (unsuccessfully) to get through the UN Security Council, the Palestinians’ signing of the Rome Statute and joining of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and the Israeli response of freezing the transfer of Palestinian tax funds. To all of these must be added the Palestinian Authority’s threats to file more complaints against Israel in the International Criminal Court beginning April 1, when its membership in the court becomes official, and the serious economic consequences in the PA as a result of Israel’s freezing of Palestinian tax payments takes a deeper toll on the Palestinian economy.

A senior White House official said the Obama administration is concerned over an economic collapse of the PA, which could happen within a few months if Israel does not release the tax money to the Palestinians. Such a collapse, the Americans believe, could lead to security chaos and even a violent outbreak. The senior official said, “The United States wants to find the right timing to go for another push and try and promote something on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.” The United States decision to take action will depend on the makeup and policy of the new Israeli government. The United States would prefer that there be a renewing of peace negotiations on a permanent status agreement. However, the Obama administration is aware that in view of the seriousness of the crisis in the peace process, this may not be very realistic.

As a result, the United Status is discussing various diplomatic moves to unfreeze the talks. One idea that has come up repeatedly in administration discussions over the past year is to present to the international community an updated American outline for a solution to the conflict. Such an outline could include the principles of the framework agreement that Kerry, Israel and the PA worked on at the end of 2013 and early 2014. The discussed framework agreement included clauses such as negotiations based on the 1967 borders with exchanges of territory, recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Jerusalem as the capital of both states, security arrangements for Israel in the Jordan Valley and a timetable for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank.

The original US intention was to publish the agreement and invite the Israeli and Palestinian teams to the United States to negotiate based on the document’s principles. Under this scenario, Abbas and Netanyahu would have had to decide to accept the US invitation to discuss the ideas of a US framework agreement or stay home. After long discussions about this approach, Kerry decided not to publish an outline of a US framework proposal, in the hope that he would be able to persuade Netanyahu and Abbas to extend talks without an American ultimatum. A former member of the American peace team said he believes that today Kerry regrets that decision.

Another possibility for an American initiative after the Israeli elections is to promote a UN Security Council resolution based on the American framework agreement, set principles for resolution of the conflict, and call for a renewal of talks. In this way, even if peace talks do not resume, a new source of international authority will have been determined for resolving the conflict that would not be based on Resolutions 242 and 338, on which talks have been based for the past 40 years.

Last September and October, when the Palestinians and Jordanians as well as the French were promoting two separate resolutions to set principles for resolving the conflict, the Obama administration considered formulating an American resolution. This resolution, in the view of the United States, would have been more balanced and the fact that the United States would have led it would have assured its passage at the US Security Council. In the end, under pressure from then-Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and former President Shimon Peres, who feared that such a move at the end of 2014 would strengthen Netanyahu in upcoming March 17th Israeli elections, the Americans did not propose a resolution. Once again, today both Kerry and Livni are said to regret not doing so.

In conclusion, depending upon the outcome of the March 17th Israeli elections and the formation of the new Israeli government, the United States will decide whether it should propose an outline of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians which could be submitted for approval at the UN Security Council. If this scenario does happen, it could be the fulfillment of the prophecy that the nations will divide the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem through formal recognition of a PLO state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) PLO leaders recommend that Palestinian Authority halt security coordination with Israel
2) Palestinian sources: Kerry pressing Abbas to hold off on anti-Israel measures before election
3) ‘Abbas won’t cut security ties with Israel before elections’
4) Netanyahu’s secret peace offer concessions to Palestinians revealed
5) ‘Netanyahu never agreed to ’67 borders or division of Jerusalem’
6) Netanyahu says his past support for Palestinian state ‘simply irrelevant’
7) Netanyahu says Israel won’t cede land to Palestinians, despite reports, docs claiming otherwise
8) Livni: PM’s response to document shows why US, Palestinians don’t trust him
9) Obama aims for another Mideast peace push by end of term, White House officials say

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

March 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

March 4th, 2015

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) Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech before the US Congress on March 3

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the US Congress on March 3 explaining Israel’s opposition to a possible nuclear agreement with Iran by the major world powers. There is a link to both the written text and a video of this speech.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) TEXT: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speech before the US Congress
2) VIDEO: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speech before the US Congress

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

February 24, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 24th, 2015

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 dispute between the US and Israel over a possible nuclear deal with Iran and the controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the US Congress against any possible agreement with Iran which allows them to become a threshold nuclear state

A recent report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that Iran is continuing to withhold key information in two areas from investigators that it stated last August that it would provide. In response, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, found it “astonishing” that Iran nuclear negotiations would continue after the IAEA found that Iran was hiding military components of its nuclear program saying, “Not only are they continuing (the talks), there is an increased effort to reach a nuclear agreement in the coming days and weeks. Therefore, the coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threatens Israel’s existence.” Netanyahu added, “While the Islamic State butchers the innocent, the Islamic Republic of Iran is relentlessly pursuing nuclear weapons with the express purpose of destroying the State of Israel.” Netanyahu said that the deal being discussed between Iran and the major world powers is “dangerous” for Israel. Netanyahu stated that the proposed nuclear agreement being discussed between Iran and the major world powers gives Iran a “green light” to develop the capability to build a nuclear bomb. In doing so, the deal would “allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. As a result, Netanyahu said that he “… will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world,” he said.

Netanyahu further explained why he intends to speak before the US Congress on March 3 by asking the question, “Why am I going to the United States?” He answered by saying, “I’m going to the United States because as Prime Minister of Israel, it’s my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel. The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to break out to its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.”

“A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims. Now mind you, I’m not opposed to any deal with Iran. I’m opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal. I’m certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary – no country has a greater interest, a greater stake, in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel. But the current proposal will not solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And therefore it’s very important that I speak about this before the US Congress.”

Second question: Why am I going to the US Congress? Because Israel has been offered the opportunity to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime – the very pressure that has brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place; and because Congress may very well have a say on the parameters of any final deal with Iran. That’s why I’m going to Congress.

I think the real question that should be asked is how could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel’s survival? How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24th. That’s the date that drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case – now before it’s too late. Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after it’s signed? I believe it’s more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while they’re still ongoing.

I think the whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. Remember, we were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldn’t even speak on our own behalf. Well, we can and we do now. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with the weapons of mass destruction. Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison. Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison’

The answer to all three questions are the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal that is on the table right now. I don’t see this issue in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all the supporters of Israel from every political stripe. The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not a partisan issue. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, that’s not a partisan issue either.

I think the pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. I think the greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with the weapons of mass destruction. Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison. Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now – that’s what Iran is doing, it’s conducting a rampage through the region – when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril. Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing. And Iran is plunging forward. It’s already controlling four capitals. It’s trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles – Lebanon, Hezbollah, Hamas in Gaza and now it’s trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan. Such a regime with nuclear weapons would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Now can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I don’t know. No one knows. But I do know this – it’s my sacred duty as Prime Minister of Israel to make Israel’s case. On March 3rd, I’ll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress. And I will make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound, and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.

Israel Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon called the details of a possible nuclear deal with Iran, “a great danger to the peace of the Western world” and “a danger to the security of the State of Israel.” The Associated Press reported that “several officials spoke of 6,500 centrifuges as a potential point of compromise” and that “the strict controls could be in place for 10 years with a gradual lifting over five years. The easing could bring the number of centrifuges back up to the current 10,000.” Israeli officials have long contended that the final stages of uranium enrichment, necessary for weapons grade fuel, can be done in small and easily concealable spaces, increasing the risk of a covert Iranian advance to full nuclear capacity.

The US admitted that they are purposely trying to keep some of the details of the negotiations away from Israel. US  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said “not everything you’re hearing from the Israeli government is an accurate depiction of the talks.” For that reason, “classified negotiating details stay behind closed doors.” Obviously, we work to protect sensitive information in the negotiations,” Psaki said. Asked pointedly whether the US is withholding information from inside the talks from the Israelis, she said, “Correct.” Furthermore, European officials have confirmed that the United States asked them to not provide Israel with sensitive information regarding the nuclear negotiations with Iran. One European official said that they were told by the US State Department’s Wendy Sherman, the lead American negotiator with Iran, not to disclose too much information to the Israelis because “the details could be twisted to undermine a deal.”

The United States accused Israel of “selective sharing of information” in their public complaints over the diplomatic effort. Nevertheless, US officials say that they are continuing “routine and frequent” contact with the Israelis. Netanyahu responded by saying, “if the emerging agreement with Iran is a good one, why hide the details? The Iranians, of course, know the details of any nuclear proposal, and Israel does, too,” he said. “So when we say that the current proposal would lead to a bad deal, a dangerous deal, we know what we’re talking about. I’m open to hearing the positions and arguments of those who think differently and I would hope that they would be open to hear the arguments of Israel as well.” One Israeli official responded to the charge that Israel was giving “selective” information, by saying that “we see no way that allowing Iran to have 6,000 or 7,000 centrifuges can be okay, irrespective of other elements in the package.” The official added, “in the past we understood from the major players that the goal of the negotiation was that Iran would be kept years away from a nuclear breakout capacity.” Then, he said, that time period was changed to “more than a year. Now, what we understand is that today they are talking about a year,” he said. Asked how Israel could know the details of the accord if it is not been given all the information, the official said, “We cover Iran very closely.” An Israeli official added, “The details of the last round of negotiations are known in the US, France, England, Russia, China, Germany and Iran. It is perplexing that a decision would be made to try to keep those details a secret from Israel when Israel is threatened by Iran with annihilation and its very survival could be threatened by a bad deal.”

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki questioned Netanyahu’s claim to knowing the details of the deal. “Then the fact is that he knows more than the negotiators, in that there is no deal yet,” she said. “Obviously, if there’s a deal we’ll be explaining the deal and explaining why and how it prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And if that’s the case and we come to a deal, it’s hard to see how anyone wouldn’t see that’s to the benefit of the international community,” she said. As a result, the fundamental differences in the Israeli and US positions on Iran, has led officials from both sides to indicate that the exchange of information and intelligence might not be as free as it was in the past in order to prevent one side or the other from using that information to further its Iranian agenda.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said: “I can’t state this more firmly, the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. Anyone running around right now, jumping to say we don’t like the deal, or this or that, doesn’t know what the deal is. There is no deal yet. I caution people to wait and see what these negotiations produce. Since 2013, we have been testing whether or not we can achieve that goal diplomatically. I don’t know yet. But it’s the most effective way to solve the problem and we will prove that over the course of these next weeks and months,” Kerry said. “The P5+1 talks have made inroads since the Joint Plan of Action. We’ve halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. We’ve gain unprecedented insight into it and we expect to know soon whether or not Iran is willing to put together an acceptable and verifiable plan,” he added. Iran and the major world powers have set a March 31 deadline for a political framework nuclear agreement.

As for the prospects of an agreement by the March 31 deadline, Kerry said that “significant gaps” remained and warned that the United States was ready to walk away from the talks if Iran doesn’t agree to terms demonstrating that it doesn’t want nuclear weapons. Kerry said that Obama “is fully prepared to stop these talks if he feels that they’re not being met with the kind of productive decision-making necessary to prove that a program is in fact peaceful.”

Arab nations have joined Israel in expressing concern over the emerging details of a possible US-led international nuclear deal with Iran. Leaders of Sunni Islamic states such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia also fear that a bad deal with Iran would allow it, with the removal of sanctions, to become a nuclear threshold state. An Arab officials said, “At this stage, we prefer a collapse of the diplomatic process to a bad deal.”

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran would resist global sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear program, saying that Iran might respond to international pressure by cutting back gas exports. “The enemy is using the lever of sanctions to the hilt and their goal is to stop our people’s progress,” Khamenei said. “I believe that if we allow them to dictate to us on the nuclear issue, they will still keep the sanctions in place because what they are against is the very foundation of our revolution. We can withstand the sanctions and neutralize and foil the enemy’s goals. If we don’t, the enemy would proceed and place conditions on our nuclear program and impose sanctions,” Khamenei said. “If sanctions are to be the way, the Iranian nation can also do it. A big collection of the world’s oil and gas is in Iran so Iran if necessary can hold back on the gas that Europe and the world is so dependent on.”

Disagreements between the US and Israel over the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program has caused several Obama administration officials to say that they will be boycotting Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress on March 3. US Vice President, Joe Biden, has announced that he will not attend the speech. In addition, , US Secretary of State, John Kerry, will also be not attending the speech. Furthermore, the Obama administration is discussing other ways to show their displeasure over Netanyahu’s speech including, an Obama interview with a prominent journalist known for coverage of the rift between Obama and Netanyahu, multiple Sunday show television appearances by senior national security aides and a pointed snub of America’s leading pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, which is holding its annual meeting while Netanyahu is in the United States, according to US officials.

However, leading Democratic Jewish Senator Charles Schumer called on his fellow Democrats to attend the Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3 saying that the Israel-US relationship should “transcend” any political differences. “It’s always been a bipartisan policy,” Schumer said of the US-Israel relationship. “Democrats and Republicans have always worked together on it, we ought to keep it that way.” Furthermore, former Jewish Connecticut senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman called on members of Congress to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech about Iran’s nuclear program on March 3. Lieberman said that the 23 House of Representatives Democrats who asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to postpone Netanyahu’s address should “go to the joint meeting [of Congress] and hear what the prime minister has to say. Go because this is about determining how best to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and not just another Washington test of partisan and political loyalty,” Lieberman wrote. “Go because—regardless of what you think of the leaders involved or their actions in this case—you are a strong supporter of America’s alliance with Israel, and you don’t want it to become a partisan matter.”

The strong disagreements between the US and Israel over Iran’s nuclear program is likely to have serious repercussions on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process especially if Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, remains Israel Prime Minister after the March 17 Israeli elections. The US may be more willing to impose a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians through the UN Security Council. One option under active consideration is to make public the framework that US Secretary of State John Kerry developed during the talks to deal with such key issues as Israeli security, the status of Jerusalem and the rights of refugees. This might simply be announced publicly or introduced as a U.N. Security Council resolution outlining the details of a framework peace agreement which recognizes a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) PM slams ongoing Iran nuclear talks after damning IAEA report
2) Netanyahu: P5+1 giving Iran green light to have nuclear bomb-making capabilities
3) Benjamin Netanyahu on Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran: ‘This is a bad agreement’
4) US acknowledges withholding information from Israel on Iran talks
5) EU officials confirm Israel not fully briefed on Iran talks
6) Netanyahu: If emerging nuclear deal with Iran is so good, why hide it?
7) Netanyahu: Israel knows details of proposed U.S.-Iran deal
8) Netanyahu rebuffs report Israel kept in dark on nuke talks
9) US takes swipe at Netanyahu: Sounds like he knows more about Iran deal than negotiators
10) Kerry in apparent jab at Netanyahu: Those bad-mouthing Iran deal don’t know what deal is
11) Netanyahu explains: ‘Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now?’
12) Israel to US: Emerging nuclear deal allows Iran to dominate Middle East
13) Defense minister rips into deal with ‘apocalyptic’ Iran
14) Expert: ‘Bad Iran deal’ neglects weaponization
15) Washington Post: Obama Thinks Netanyahu Authorized Leaks on Iran
16) Looming Iran deal would restrict nuke activity for a decade, then ease off
17) US warns it is ready to walk away from Iran nuclear talks
18) Arab nations said deeply worried by Iran nuke deal
19) Khamenei threatens world gas supply, vows firm Iranian nuclear stand
20) Biden to skip Netanyahu’s speech before Congress
21) State Dept.: Kerry Will be ‘Out of Town’ During Netanyahu Speech
22) White House may snub AIPAC as it seeks to undercut Netanyahu speech
23) Jeb Bush ‘anxious to hear’ PM’s speech on Iran
24) Former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman Supports Netanyahu’s Congress Speech
25) A perfect storm brews in the Middle East

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

February 17, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 17th, 2015

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) A Biography of Benjamin Netanyahu, and how he became the current Prime Minister of Israel

This week’s update is a biography of Benjamin Netanyahu and how he rose in power to become the current Prime Minister of Israel.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) A Biography of Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

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

February 10, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 10th, 2015

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 controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the US Congress on the Iranian issue

In the last several years, the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, France, England, China and Russia) along with Germany have been negotiating with Iran with the stated goal to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons. However, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said that all of the world powers except the USA have stepped back from the negotiations leaving in essence the US alone to negotiate with Iran. “It’s evident that these negotiations are really not P5+1 negotiations any more,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said. “I was in Germany this weekend (for an international security conference) and was very aware that this was becoming more of a one-on-one negotiation,” he said. Corker and the Democrat he replaced as committee chairman, Senator Robert Menendez, left the latest briefing expressing concern about the administration basing negotiations on the need to maintain Iran’s potential nuclear weapons “breakout” time to at least one year. One of my major concerns all along that is becoming more crystal clear to me, is that we are, instead of preventing proliferation, we are managing proliferation,” Menendez said.

There is a March 31 deadline for a framework agreement with Iran. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, ruled out extending this deadline if an agreement is not made. Kerry said: “The only chance I can see of an extension at this point in time would be that you really have the outlines of the agreement.” Kerry said outlining the basics of the agreement was crucial before a possible extension could be considered but reiterated his preference for sticking to the target date. “If we’re not able to make the fundamental decisions that have to be made over the course of the next weeks, literally, I think it would be impossible to extend.” Kerry said.

The United States Congress is discussing imposing new sanctions upon Iran. However, the Obama administration does not want to impose new sanctions upon Iran at this time. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said: “We’re trying to find a constructive way for Congress to play its rightful role in these negotiations. I’m very disappointed that, in essence, what the administration is saying is that we really don’t want Congress to play a role in one of the most important geopolitical agreements that may take place during this administration.” US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the administration fears that any steps from Congress could alienate the other international partners in the negotiations. Corker objected to the suggestion, saying he had spoken with many of the negotiating partners and none opposed Congress taking any action in ongoing talks to ensure the deal reached is a good one. US President Barack Obama said he would veto any bill that would impose further sanctions on Iran while negotiations continue and asked Congress to “hold your fire.” Obama said: “It’s my team that’s at the table. We are steeped in this stuff day in and day out. We don’t make these decisions blindly,” Obama said. “Congress needs to show patience.” Obama said that the possibility of reaching a deal is “less than 50/50,” but Congress must not intervene until the negotiationing process is allowed to play out completely. “There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I will keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran,” Obama said. “But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails  —  alienating America from its allies and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.”

Some members of Congress oppose the nuclear negotiations taking place between Iran and major world powers because they fear the U.S. would sacrifice too much for the sake of reaching a deal. US House Majority Leader, John Boehner said many lawmakers are also wary that Obama will agree to a bad deal with Iran for the sake of reaching one. Boehner said: “[Obama] expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. We’re going to do no such thing.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The major powers and Iran are galloping toward an agreement that will enable Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons which will endanger the existence of the State of Israel. We will continue to take action and to lead the international effort against Iran’s arming itself with nuclear weapons.” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu declared that he was ready to go head to head with US Secretary of State John Kerry in order to stop the deal. “At the end of the week, Kerry and [Iranian Foreign Minister] Zarif announced their intention to complete the framework agreement by the end of March, and that is what gives rise to the urgency in our efforts to try and halt this bad and dangerous agreement,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to act and to lead the international efforts against the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons and we will act in every way to foil the bad and dangerous agreement that would cast a heavy cloud over the future of Israel.”

The US House Majority leader, John Boehner, wrote a letter to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to speak before a bipartisan joint-session of Congress on February 11. In explaining his reason for doing this, Boehner said: “Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people. In this time of challenge, I am asking the Prime Minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.  Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again.” This would be Prime Minister Netanyahu’s third appearance before a joint meeting of Congress. His last appearance was May 24, 2011.

Since Netanyahu is coming to the US to speak at the AIPAC  conference in March, he requested that Boehner move the date of his speech to March 3. Boehner’s team had been discussing this invite with Netanyahu “for weeks,” according to a House Republican leadership source who added the reason driving the invitation was the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran. Boehner said he did not consult with Obama about the invitation to Netanyahu, saying “the Congress can make this decision on its own.” However, Boehner did inform Obama that Netanyahu would be speaking to the US Congress. Boehner was asked which he didn’t consult with Obama regarding inviting Netanyahu to speak, Boehner replied “There is a serious threat that exists in the world and Obama kinda of glossed over it in his State of the Union speech.” He added, “the fact is there needs to be a more serious conversation in America about how serious the threat is — from radical Islamic jihadists and from the threat posed by Iran.”

In Netanyahu accepting Boehner’s invitation, the Obama administration said that it was a breach of protocol. “The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he’s traveling there,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “That certainly is how President Obama’s trips are planned when he travels overseas. This particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol.” Earnest said the White House was made aware of the invitation before Boehner’s office released a letter dated Jan. 21 inviting Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress. However, the New York Times said that Netanyahu accepting the invitation from Boehner after Obama was informed of the invitation and not before. Also, Obama apparently didn’t oppose the idea after being informed given that the invitation went ahead as planned.

In any event, Netanyahu’s decision to accept Boehner’s invitation and speak before a joint-session of the US Congress has caused a bitter dispute with US President Barach Obama over the issue. At a White House news conference, Mr. Obama signaled his displeasure with the speech Mr. Netanyahu is scheduled to give in March suggesting that his visit two weeks before the Israeli election risked injecting politics into the relationship between the United States and Israel.

Obama said: “It’s important for us to maintain historical diplomatic protocols because the U.S.-Israeli relationship is not about a particular party. The way to preserve that is to make sure that it doesn’t get clouded with what could be perceived as partisan politics.” Obama said that while he saw no reason to extend the Iran negotiations past a late-March target for a framework agreement, it was important that the talks be allowed to continue before further sanctions were imposed. He said: “It does not make sense to sour the negotiations a month or two before they’re about to be completed, and we should play that out. If no deal can be reached, Obama said that he will work with Congress to apply “even stronger” sanctions.”

Despite being opposed by Obama, Netanyahu said he plans to continue to give the March 3 speech. Acknowledging “a profound disagreement with the United States administration and the rest of the P5+1 over the offer that has been made to Iran,” Netanyahu added, “I intend to speak about this issue before the March 24th congressional vote on new Iranian sanctions and I intend to speak in the US Congress because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran.” The looming military danger from Iran justified the move, Netanyahu said. “Iran is openly committed to Israel’s destruction. Iran would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction.” He added: “The present proposed US offer to Iran threatens Israel’s survival. Israel’s survival is not a partisan issue, not in Israel nor in the United States. This doesn’t mean that from time to time Israeli governments have not had serious disagreements with American administrations over the best way to achieve the security of Israel,” he said. “Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared Israel’s independence in the face of strong opposition from US Secretary of State George Marshall,” he said, ticking off a lineup of disputes from Levi Eshkol to Ariel Sharon. “Disagreements over Israel’s security have occurred between prime ministers in Israel from the left and from the right and American presidents from both parties. This is not a personal disagreement between President Obama and me. I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields. Equally, I know that the President appreciates my responsibility, my foremost responsibility, to protect and defend the security of Israel. I am going to the United States not because I seek a confrontation with the President but because I must fulfil my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country.”

Netanyahu compares the importance of his speech to the US Congress to the appearance to his journey to Paris after last month’s terror attacks against Jews. He said: “I went to Paris not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people. Just as I went to Paris, so I will go anyplace I’m invited to convey the Israeli position against those who want to kill us. Those who want to kill us are, first and foremost, any Iranian regime that says outright it plans to destroy us. I will not hesitate to say what’s needed to warn against this danger, and prevent it.”

In response, Obama has decided to not meet with Netanyahu when he visits the US in March. Regarding that decision, Obama said: “I don’t want to be coy — the prime minister and I have a very real difference around Iran’s sanctions.” Furthermore, Obama representatives said “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency and that there will be a price to pay for making this decision.”

US Vice President Joe Biden is expected to boycott Netanyahu’s speech. Biden’s office said that he will be traveling. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that there will be those in Congress who won’t have time to listen to Netanyahu’s speech because they have other things more important to do. A few notable Democratic lawmakers said they did not plan to attend Netanyahu’s speech including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who said she was “deeply troubled that politics has been injected” into the U.S.-Israel relationship.

While Obama stated that he will not meet with Netanyahu because he doesn’t want to interfere in the Israeli elections, both US Vice President, Joe Biden, and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, met with the Israeli opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, in Germany. Herzog said that the meeting represented a “complete boycott” of Netanyahu. Even if this was not stated, this is the truth.

Back in Israel, opposition parties are against Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress being seen on Israeli TV claiming that it is illegal to broadcast campaign speeches for 60 days before an election. Netanyahu’s representative called the opposition to the speech “puzzling, ridiculous and even cynical, because of the fact that is clear to all that the initiative to make the speech came from the US Speaker of the House John Boehner and not from Netanyahu.” Furthermore, Netanyahu’s representatives say that his speech is an issue of Israeli public interest saying, “Netanyahu’s speech to the American Congress in such an important matter which has great news value and the public has a right to watch it.”

Finally, there is a strong disagreement among Jews in the United States regarding Netanyahu’s decision to give his speech to the US Congress on March 3. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti Defamation League said that the political uproar ignited by Netanyahu’s invitation to speak to a joint meeting of Congress makes such a move unhelpful and therefore it should be scrapped. “It’s a tragedy of unintended consequences,” Foxman said. He said that going ahead as planned with the speech would be counter-productive, with all attention given to the political controversy rather than to the issue at stake. “It has been hijacked by politics,” Foxman said. “Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new platform and new timing to take away the distractions.”

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, leader of the Reform Judaism movement called Netanyahu’s speech a “bad idea,” saying it would be “ill advised” for Netanyahu to carry out his planned speech. “I would want him to re-think it. He should find another way to express his voice.” However, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, criticized Foxman and Rabbi Rick Jacobs for their view saying, “Iran is an existential issue for Israel that must be dealt with now – not in a year from now. We must never again be the Jews of appeasement and paralyzing fear… We must publicly state that President Obama is endangering America and Israel by his delaying and delaying on stopping Iran’s nuclear program. By Jews not supporting Netanyahu and the US Congress, we are sending a terrible message to Iran that we are not unified and strong in our resolve against this deadly enemy,” he said. “We dare not act like the Jewish leaders of the 1930’s. The time to act to support the Prime Minister of Israel is now. It is a pro-America, pro-Israel patriotic act.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) US only power still in talks with Iran on nukes — US Senator
2) Obama Admin to Congress on Iran: Butt Out
3) Obama Would Veto Sanctions Bill Against Iran
4) Netanyahu: US, Iran galloping towards deal which threatens Israel
5) Netanyahu vows to scuttle world powers’ Iran deal
6) John Boehner Invitation to Netanyahu to Speak before a Joint Session of Congress
7) Netanyahu coming to Congress in March
8) Speaker Boehner Invites Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Address Congress
9) Netanyahu Accepts Boehner’s Invitation to Address Congress
10) Obama: Boehner’s Invitation to Netanyahu is Breach of Protocol
11) Did Obama Lie about Netanyahu Congress Invitation?
12) Obama and Netanyahu Clash From Afar Over Israeli’s Planned Speech
13) Staying firm on speech, PM admits ‘profound disagreement’ with US
14) Netanyahu rejects criticism: I am determined to address Congress
15) Netanyahu ‘determined’ to speak before US Congress
16) Benjamin Netanyahu Compares Congress Speech With Trip to Paris After Terror
17) Netanyahu: Congress speech should air on TV, is public interest not election propaganda
18) White House Says Netanyahu Will ‘Pay a Price’ For Congressional Speech Without Obama’s Blessing
19) Biden to Miss Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress Due to Travel
20) After snubbing Netanyahu, Biden meets with Israeli opposition leader Herzog
21) Biden, Kerry Boycott Netanyahu, Meet Israeli Opposition Leader
22) Pelosi: Members Won’t ‘Boycott’ Netanyahu Speech. But They Might Be too Busy to Go
23) Dem boycott of Netanyahu speech grows
24) Abe Foxman Calls on Benjamin Netanyahu To Scrap Speech to GOP Congress
25) Reform’s Rick Jacobs Presses Benjamin Netanyahu To Call Off Speech to Congress
26) American Jews divided over Netanyahu’s Congress speech

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

February 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 2nd, 2015

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) A Preview of the March 17 Israel Elections

Israeli elections are scheduled for March 17. There are 120 members in the Israeli Knesset. You need a coalition of at least 61 members to form a government. According to a recent poll, the political party of Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is leading with 25 seats. The merged Labor-Hatnua parties would get 23 seats. The religious Zionists party, Jewish Home, would get 14 seats. The joint Arab parties would get 12 seats. The secular party, Yesh Atid, would get 9 seats. The new social-economic party, Kulanu, would get 8 seats. The ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi party, United Torah Judaism, would get 8 seats. The ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party, Shas, would get 6 seats. The Russian national party, Yisrael Beitenu, would get 6 seats. The far-left party, Meretz, would get 5 seats. The new combo, Ultra-Orthodox and religious Zionist party, Yachad-Ha’Am Itanu, would get 4 seats.

For this election, the Labor party and the Hatnua party have merged. The Labor party is headed by Isaac Herzog and Hatnua is headed by Israel’s chief negotiator in the peace process, Tzipi Livni. The merged party will be called, “The Zionist Camp.” Herzog said that when he initially became Labor leader, he vowed not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors who had failed to unite the Center-Left parties. He said he realized that uniting was the only way to defeat current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and return Labor to power. Livni said that uniting was necessary to stop rightist politicians with whom she had, until recently, served in the government from continuing to run the country. “Herzog and I spoke at length and realized we have the same vision and mission,” Livni said. “That vision and goal are stronger than any argument you can find between us. We are creating a new Zionist Center against the extreme Right that isolated Israel. No one can complain anymore that there is no chance to win. We have created that chance.” If the “Zionist Camp” party is able to get the most votes in the election and is able to form a government, current Labor leader, Isaac Herzog would be Israel Prime Minister for 2 years. Then, current Hatnua leader, Tzipi Livni will be Israel Prime Minister, the last 2 years. Livni supported her new political partner, saying “Herzog will be a great prime minister” and claimed “these elections are an opportunity for Israel to go back to what it once was. We are working together for the citizens of Israel and against the right-wing extremist parties.”

Regarding the peace process, Herzog supports a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and agreed land swaps. He envisions land swaps leaving “settlement blocs” in Israel hands and giving the vast majority of the West Bank, Israel’s biblical heartland, to the PA. “I see Jerusalem serving as two political capitals: in eastern Jerusalem the capital of the Palestinian state, and the west of the city as the Jewish capital,” Herzog said, adding “the seat of the Palestinian government could be in one of east Jerusalem’s neighborhoods in my opinion, I’m not afraid of that.” When asked if all of Jerusalem would remain Israeli territory under his plan, Herzog said that the “the Kotel (Western Wall) will stay in Israel’s hands, as for the rest we have to be creative.”

Regarding foreign policy, Herzog said, Israel “must move closer to its partners. Israel is stronger when it is united with the world, and not alone. Israel is stronger when it is coordinated with America, and doesn’t act alone.” Herzog blamed current Prime Minister and Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu for the deterioration of US-Israel relations, saying there is “a clear link between international isolation and disturbing way that [the Palestinian Authority] takes Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and the deterioration of our relations with the United States. International isolation is a strategic threat to Israel,” Herzog said. It affects all of us, even if we do not feel it now,” Herzog added. “The unilateral steps that the Palestinians are leading now, they are very serious…the way to combat this is in conjunction with the United States, but for that we must restore our relationship with them. According to Herzog, the damaged relations with the United States will compromise Israel’s national security. He said that Netanyahu failed to realize developments in American politics and neglected his relationship with US President Barack Obama. Herzog said: “Netanyahu neglected his relationship with the US President, Barack Obama and put all trust in relations with the US Congress and the Senate,” Herzog said. “However, throughout the history of the State of Israel, important decisions were made by the US President.”

Should the Likud party of current Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu get the most seats in the election, Tzipi Livni said that the “Zionist Camp” party would never join the government because the current Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refuses to heed the beck and call of US President Barack Obama. Livni said, “Unity is not a technical matter of distribution of files, but a matter of a shared vision. Netanyahu and [Jewish Home Chairman Naftali] Bennett’s plan is a way that leads to the deterioration of the state of Israel in any field – you should understand who they are and what are the blocs in this election – we have here one bloc that includes the far-right Likud and Bennett, and it is very clear that their way is not our way. The question of this election is not who will answer the phone in Jerusalem at three in the morning – but which Prime Minister will answer a phone call from the United States at three in the morning,” Livni said.

Current Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded by saying, “It’s very easy to receive applause from the international community. All you need to do is give in to international pressure and agree to establish a Palestinian state which would be supported by Iran like Livni and Herzog want to do. This is not my way adding that he will “protect Israel’s security and national interests” in his role as prime minister.

Netanyahu also rejected having the new Zionist camp party in being in his future government coalition saying, “The political gaps between the Likud and the Zionist camp party are too big to be contained in one coalition. Labor picked an extreme leftwing and anti-Zionist list. There is a gaping chasm between the Likud, led by me, and Labor,” he stated. “We will not cooperate with them in one government. The responsible and nationalist approach of the Likud, led by me, does not have a meeting point with Tzipi [Livni] and Buji’s [Isaac Herzog’s] left-wing list that now is clearly extremist,” Netanyahu said. “We will not join forces in one coalition with people who say: ‘Israeli women don’t need to send their children to the IDF,’ and ‘Hatikva is a racist song,’” Netanyahu added.

The leader of the religious zionist party, Naftali Bennett, of the Jewish Home political party vowed that he would not give away land for a Palestinian state as he rose to higher positions in the Israeli government as previous Israeli leaders have done. Bennett said, “In recent weeks and because of the elections and the polls, many countries in the world want to know who the Jewish Home party is. So, I have received marathon visits from US, European and Arab diplomats who come to ‘find out about me. But they are not just coming to find out about me, they are also delivering a message. Today, as well, one of these diplomats came to me and said: ‘I understand that for the polls you have to say these things, but in order to become part of the honorable club of peacemakers after the election, you must agree to a Palestinian state.'” “Then I got up, took out the Bible and told him: ‘My moral compass is not the daily poll, but rather the 3000-year-old Torah which will never change, and the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, and if the entry pass to the frequent flyer club is to give away the country, then I will pass on becoming a member of the club.” He added: “A very special time has arrived for the Jewish people. A time in which all of us can hold our heads high without apologizing for saying that we love the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel.”

Three Arab parties in the current Knesset have decided to unite for this election. Despite the united list, the parties maintain unresolved ideological differences, but the move is meant to gain the maximum number of Knesset seats. Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman said the united list openly reveals what was already known and which they sought to cover up: for the Arab parties it does not matter if you are an Islamist, communist, or jihadist – their common goal is one – to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. It is this goal that brings them together, he said.

Israel’s Arab-majority political parties reportedly rejected an offer by Isaac Herzog, head of the Zionist Camp faction — the joint Labor-Hatnua list — to join a potential coalition led by him should the Zionist Camp party win the most seats in the March elections. The Arab party said that they would not join any Herzog government coalition but would consider supporting the government from the opposition in exchange for the allocation of budgets for their constituencies.

Meanwhile, current Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that there is “no chance” that his Yisrael Beytenu party will sit in the same coalition with the leftist Meretz party, thus significantly hurting Yitzhak Herzog’s chances of heading the next government. “[Meretz chairwoman] Zehava Galon is out of the question. There’s no common ground. There is no chance,” Liberman said. “Guidelines are what will compel us. Will there be an eradication of Hamas? You cannot move forward with the peace process without removing [Palestinian Authority chairman] Abbas or eradicating Hamas,” he clarified.

Former leader of the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party, Shas, MK Eli Yishai split and formed a new party called, Yachad-Ha’Am Itanu who merged with the Strong Israel party for the March 17 elections. “Yachad is staying together, haredim and national religious,” Yishai said. “We have an obligation to continue the great thing that we have created here, a covenant of those who observe the commandments for the Torah of Israel, the Land of Israel and the people of Israel. Thank God, that which unites us is greater than any argument. Together, in the name of God, we will succeed.”

The Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox political party, United Torah Judaism, said that government support for the ultra-Orthodox academic institutions is a prerequisite to join any future Knesset coalition government. In the meeting, MK Meir Porush (UTJ) attacked the outgoing coalition government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying, “will the representation in the Knesset be able to change the laws which demand that ultra-Orthodox Jews serve in the Israeli army? Will the MKs of United Torah Judaism be able to change all that? I say to you, believe me, it’s possible to change it, we can change everything to good; just like it’s possible to mess things up in two years, it’s possible to fix in two years, we just need divine help,” said Porush. Later he indicated UTJ would prefer to join a coalition headed by Benjamin Netanyahu rather than a government headed by the Zionist camp party. Porush also attacked the religious zionist political party, Jewish Home, which spearheaded a controversial law requiring ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the Israeli army. He said “those who portray themselves as religious put a chill in us who partnered with the worst political parties to try to destroy ultra-Orthodox Judaism.”

Former Likud cabinet minister Moshe Kahlon started a new political party called, Kulanu — which translates as “All of us.” His party will focus on socioeconomic issues. In order for the political party, Kulanu, to join a future government coalition, Kahlon said that he wants to be head of the Israel Land Administration which owns most of the land in Israel. Kahlon said: “if we are not given the responsibility over the Israel Land Administration, we will not participate in the government. I am going to dismantle the Israel Land Administration.” Kahlon insisted: “In the end, we have to fight the monopolists. The monopolists are strong – they have a lot of money – and it is not easy, at all. We will present a clear plan to break-up the monopolists utilizing efficiency measures and by protecting the workers. Don’t let them fool you – streamlining is not downsizing, but the opening of new manufacturing lines. Such a process is good for the factory, for the workers, and for the 8 million citizens of the State of Israel. The state of Israel cannot continue to allow housing prices to remain high and the cost of living to remain high. The situation is becoming intolerable.”

Regarding the peace process, Kahlon said that his new Kulanu party would support a future peace deal with the Palestinians, but that “right now there is no partner and no one to talk to on the other side.” Kahlon said his conditions for a peace accord were as follows: that all of Jerusalem, including the Arab neighborhoods in the east of the city, remain under Israeli control; that the large settlement blocs be annexed; and that Palestinian not be granted any right of return. “Any agreement that will strengthen Israel — the Kulanu party will be there to support it,” he said

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Survey: Likud Pulls Ahead of Labor-Hatnua with 25 Seats
2) Livni, Herzog announce unity deal with rotation for role of prime minister
3) Herzog, Livni to unite against ‘radical right’
4) Labor-Hatnua renames party The Zionist Camp
5) Herzog promises political ‘revolution’ as he launches ‘Zionist Camp’ campaign
6) Herzog: Divide Jerusalem and Make Land Swaps
7) Herzog Vows to Take Power and Appease Obama
8) Livni Hints: We Won’t Sit in Unity Government with Netanyahu
9) Netanyahu rules out unity government with Herzog and Livni
10) PM nixes unity government with Zionist Camp party
11) Bennett: Electoral success won’t make me give away land for a Palestinian state
12) Arab parties reach historic deal, unite for upcoming election
13) Arab parties said to reject Herzog’s coalition invitation
14) Liberman: ‘No Chance’ We’ll Sit with Meretz
15) Veteran Shas MK Yishai splits, forms new party
16) Yachad and Otzma end furious row and unite electoral lists
17) Hareidi Party Lists Prerequisites for Joining Coalition
18) Ex-Likud minister Kahlon to call his new party Kulanu
19) Kahlon demands Israel Land Administration portfolio
20) Moshe Kahlon’s Campaign Chief is Former Kadima Member
21) Kahlon says his party will back peace, but there’s ‘no partner’
22) Kahlon: Netanyahu, Lapid, and Bennett to blame for high living costs

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

January 17, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

January 17th, 2015

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 Israel / Palestinian peace process

After failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution at the end of December to recognize a PLO state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capitol, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians intend to draft a new resolution calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state to be submitted to the UN Security Council in the near future. Abbas made the announcement at a recent Arab League meeting in Cairo. “Nothing will ever deter us from continuing our march towards obtaining the rights, freedom, and independence of our people,” Abbas said.

The new proposal, like its predecessor which the UN Security Council failed to pass in December, will call for a state along the pre-1967 lines and will be in accordance with the Arab League Peace Initiative, a 2002 proposal brought forward by Saudi Arabia that promises normalizing ties with Israel in exchange for its complete withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a “just settlement” for the Palestinian refugees issue.

The Arab League authorized the Arab League Council to seek international support for resubmitting to the UN Security Council the Palestinian resolution calling for establishing a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. Abbas said that he will listen to the committee, made up of the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Kuwait, and is committed to their decisions regarding the timing of the proposal’s submission.

The decision was taken at the end of a recent emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Egypt. The ministers called for pursuing efforts to seek international support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. They voiced support for Palestinian efforts to join international conventions and treaties, including the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, the Arab League reiterated its “absolute” opposition to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This “racist” demand would have “grave consequences for the Palestinians and the region,” it said. Finally, it rebuked Israel for its decision to withhold over $100 million in tax revenue collected on behalf of the PA in light of the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to turn to the International Criminal Court over alleged Israeli war crimes committed in last summer’s Gaza Strip war.

Palestinian officials said that several Arab countries put pressure on the PA not to turn to the Security Council at this time in order to not strengthen Israeli right-wing parties before the March 17 Israeli elections. Abbas said that the upcoming Israeli election in March was not reason enough to renew negotiations. “The resumption of talks requires an international position especially from the United States,” said Abbas. “The Americans have long talked about ideas for negotiations but so far have not submitted anything,” he said adding that the Palestinians were not going to continue negotiations without a clear strategy in mind.

Meanwhile, France announced plans to draft its own proposal seeking a clear solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. French President Francois Hollande desires that this initiative will eventually include an international conference on the issue.  The French have communicated their idea to the United States and most other European states. In December, France along with Britain and Germany worked on presenting a UN Resolution aimed at reviving the peace process. However, they could not agree on a text before the Palestinians presented their UN Resolution for a vote on December 30.

The French want the new initiative to be a framework for the implementation of previous UN Resolutions 242 and 338 that would enable an international conference to held on the subject. The proposed framework would limit the negotiations for a two-state solution to a period of two years. The French proposal will seek a two-state solution based upon Israel’s 1967 lines that will differ from the current Palestinian plan. The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 will be a key component in such a plan, offering the legitimacy (both in the West Bank and within the Arab world) Abbas needs in order to agree to any future negotiation process. It is also the element that can bring other pragmatic Arab leaders on board, primarily Egypt. The United States does not oppose the French idea. The United States has already given general approval for the European Union to present policy initiatives and reactions against Israel’s settlement policies. The Palestinians are skeptically open to the idea.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated that he was working with US Secretary of State John Kerry in order to develop an agreeable draft proposal separate from that of the Palestinians. Fabius said it was highly unlikely that the new proposal will be unveiled before Israeli national elections in March. France worked for weeks on an alternative to the last Palestinian resolution at the UN Security Council but its more moderate draft was rejected by Abbas.

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is open to discussing a regional peace plan that would include a Palestinian state. “We have to reach a political arrangement here,” said Liberman, “Not because of the Arabs but because of the Jews. We need to reach an arrangement here in the region. First of all, because this is important for our relations with the European Union and the United States. For whoever doesn’t know — and I’m sure most of you do — our largest market is the EU.”

Pointing to EU sanctions on Russia, Liberman argued that it is impossible to maintain good economic relations when the political and diplomatic relationship is under stress: “It does not work. We must internalize this. And we see when there is a deterioration in the diplomatic relations, what happens to the economic. And I can give the example that is closest and most familiar to me — what is happening in Russia. And the more developed a country is, the more sensitive it is to every political decision, or every change in the complex economic relations.”

Still, he said, there is not yet a crisis with Western allies. “It is far from a tsunami… What we have now is a soft breeze. If we do not initiate, we will face a diplomatic tsunami.” The foreign minister said that a regional agreement with Arab states would allow Israel to devote more resources to research, development and technology.

Liberman criticized Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his lack of initiative in finding a solution to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. “There is a status quo…a step forward and a step back. There is no initiative. I stand for initiative. We must initiate. Whoever doesn’t initiate, loses. This approach has failed…I have respect for Netanyahu, but for now, my approach is more appropriate for this time. If you want a veto from the US [in hostile UN proposals] you need to understand that you can’t lash out against it,” Liberman said. “We have to come up with policy recommendations, we cannot be constantly saying no, no, no. Within the context of the crisis on the Middle East, it is imperative that Israel initiate solutions and push them forward. We must adopt a pragmatic approach, because without it, it won’t matter if we’re right,” he said.

A top Russian diplomat said that the United States is preparing a UN resolution that it intends to eventually be submitted to the United Nations Security Council to restart the peace process. “We have the U.S. text at our disposal,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Gennady Gatilov. The American plan, Gatilov said, is a response to the French proposal. That the Americans have proposed their own text is a sure sign they proceed from the understanding that some [Security Council] resolution is necessary.” American officials at the U.N. declined to comment on Gatilov’s remarks. However, US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “There is a perception [that] we have never supported any U.N. action related to Israel, and that is not true. We have supported a range of actions in the past. What we haven’t supported is steps that are unilateral actions that predetermine the outcome of negotiations.” The United States doesn’t want to present any UN Resolution regarding the Israeli / Palestinian conflict before the March 17 Israeli elections.

According to senior European officials,  a peace process initiative which will be proposed by France and Great Britain in coordination with the United States following the establishment of the next Israeli government will include political, security and economic elements. A senior EU diplomat said: “Whatever the current efforts at the UN Security Council, the real architecture of a future peace process will await the establishment of the next Israeli government.” Europe, in his view, will not acquiesce to the status quo anymore. Progress toward Palestinian statehood is a must, not only in regard to the Palestinian plight but also in the context of the European anti-terror campaign. Europe believes that the US administration sees eye to eye with them on this issue.

The peace process “package” that the Europeans have in mind attaches a time line of two years for the negotiations (without the Palestinian demand of a deadline for the end of the occupation). It also consists of a settlement freeze during the talks, security measures against terror in the demilitarized Palestinian state with a temporary Israeli presence and a monitoring role for third parties. The all-important issue of borders will be alluded to by a reference to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for a border demarcating based on the 1967 lines with mutual land swaps and a shared capital in Jerusalem. The same goes for the sensitive issue of Palestinian refugees, which must be resolved in a “just and agreed upon way.”

On the security issue, European policy officials have considered proposing the deployment of Egyptian forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in coordination with the Palestinians and the Israelis. The economic component of this initiative is inadvertently linked to the dividends of a peace process. This would mean tremendous economic benefits for both countries, preferential trade and new opportunities for scientific and technological research and development in cooperation with European institutions.

In case of refusal, the alternative — according to the European source — would be additional punitive measures for Israeli settlement policies, including a more comprehensive boycott of Israeli goods originating east of the Green Line. Such a refusal could also entail donor fatigue for the Palestinians. As a result, the likely outcome following the March 17 Israeli elections will revolve around the link between a viable peace process and the economic benefits of such a process as opposed to diplomatic stalemate and economic isolation and meltdown.

Perhaps in preparation for a potential US-British-French UN Resolution after the March 17 Israeli elections, the Middle East diplomatic Quartet (United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia) will meet on January 26 to discuss the next steps to address the Israeli-Palestinian Arab crisis peace process. “The Quartet envoys will meet at the end of this month to discuss the way ahead,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the UN Security Council. She said that the status quo “unsustainable.”

However, the Palestinians have made it clear that they oppose further direct negotiations with Israel mediated by the US, saying 20 years of such talks have not produced results. Palestinian UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour said: “We are willing to negotiate, but now in a different way, through an international conference or a collective process.”

Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of remaining “committed to the three no’s. He will not negotiate, he will not recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and he will not make peace.” He accused the Palestinian Authority of committing “every form of diplomatic treachery” last year by abandoning peace talks, forming a government with Hamas, honoring “convicted terrorists” and breaking its word by signing up to join dozens of treaties and conventions including the ICC.

Likud Central Committee chairman Danny Danon called on Israel to respond to an eventual expected UN recognition of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the “state of Palestine” by declaring sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. “We must clarify in the clearest terms to the world that every unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will bring Israeli sovereignty,” declared Danon.”If the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, the state of Israel must respond with unilateral steps (as well), including implementing sovereignty,” said Danon.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1. In a statement posted on the UN’s treaty website, the secretary-general said “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015.” In acceptance of the Palestinian application to join the ICC, Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda opened an initial probe to see if war crimes have been committed against Palestinians, including during last year’s summer war between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “Today the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine,” her office said in a statement, adding it may lead to a full-blown investigation.“A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with a (full) investigation,” Bensouda said. Depending on her findings, Bensouda will decide at a later stage whether to launch or quash the investigation, based on the initial probe.  The inquiry will examine “in full independence and impartiality” crimes that may have occurred since June 13 last year. This allows the court to delve into the war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza in July-August 2014.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki welcomed the move. “Everything is going according to plan, no state and nobody can now stop this action we requested,” he said. “In the end, a full investigation will follow the preliminary one.” He said that he was satisfied with the decision, calling it “a positive step in attaining justice and protection for the Palestinian people. We hope that Israel will now understand that international law must be respected,” he said. Nabil Abuznaid, head of the Palestinian delegation at the ICC said: “The case is now in the hands of the court. It is a legal matter now and we have faith in the court system.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also praised the ICC decision as a “step in the right direction.” He called for pursuing all efforts to bring Israeli leaders to trial. Another Hamas official, Izzat al-Risheq, said his movement was prepared to provide the ICC with documents and reports about “Israeli war crimes” against the Gaza Strip. He said that the ICC decision was very important adding that Palestinians have waited for many years for this move.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was “absurd” for the International Criminal Court to decide to begin a probe into possible war crimes committed during the war between Israel and Hamas this past summer in Gaza. “It is absolutely scandalous that just days after terrorists butchered Jews in France, the general prosecutors is beginning an inquiry against the state of the Jews, and this only because we defend our citizens from Hamas, a terrorist organization that is allied with the Palestinian Authority. Hamas war criminals fired thousands of rockets at Israeli citizens,” the prime minister said. “Unfortunately, [this probe] renders [the ICC] part of the problem, and not part of the solution.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman also harshly criticized the ICC announcement, calling it a “scandalous decision whose only goal is to try and harm Israel’s right to defend itself against terror. We will not tolerate it and I will recommend that we don’t cooperate with this so-called probe,” he said. “Israel will act in the international sphere to bring about the dismantling of this court which represents hypocrisy and gives impetus to terror. This same court which after more than 200,000 deaths didn’t see fit to intervene in what was taking place in Syria or in Libya or in other places now finds it worthwhile to ‘examine’ the most moral army in the world,” the foreign minister said. “This decision entirely stems from anti-Israel political considerations. The apparent symmetry created between the two sides is a ruse whose goal is to target Israel since it is clear to everyone that it is impossible to compare the IDF, which does all it can to avoid harming innocent civilians in contrast to terror groups who fire on populated areas in order to hit civilians,” Liberman said.

Finally, US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke  said: “We strongly disagree with the ICC prosecutor’s action today. It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC. As the United States has said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC. The place to resolve the differences between the parties is through direct negotiations, not unilateral actions by either side.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas says he’s planning new UN statehood bid
2) Abbas says Palestinians to submit new statehood bid ‘soon’
3) Arab League backs Palestinian plan to resubmit UN bid
4) France promotes regional framework for Mideast conflict
5) Liberman said to be in Paris for new diplomatic initiative
6) Can America Avoid a U.N. Showdown Over a Palestinian State?
7) Europe, US will offer Israel and Palestine economic benefits
8) ‘If UN Recognizes Palestine, Israel Must Annex in Judea-Samaria’
9) Quartet to Meet to Discuss Israel-PA Peace
10) US, UN, EU, Russia to meet on Mideast in late January
11) UN chief says Palestinians to join ICC on April 1
12) ICC prosecutor opens probe into alleged Israeli war crimes
13) ICC opens inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Israel, Palestinians
14) Netanyahu blasts ICC for ‘absurd decision’ to open war crimes probe
15) Netanyahu denounces ICC, says war crimes probe ‘proves it is part of the problem’ 
16) FM calls to dismantle ICC after launch of ‘war crimes’ probe
17) US pans ICC war crimes probe of Israel as ‘tragic irony’
18) Hamas, PLO hail ICC probe into Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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