Uploaded. This week’s update is 39 minutes.
You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process
2) The current status of the situation with Syria
3) The current status of the situation with Iran
Former US president Jimmy Carter has called on the European Union to start labeling Israeli products from the West Bank saying “With the Middle East peace process making no significant progress, we call on Europe to play a stronger and more independent role in revitalizing peace efforts, with a fresh approach. The EU has repeatedly condemned settlement expansion in the West Bank. It could therefore introduce a clear labeling of products made in Israeli settlements, which are illegal under international law.”
It appears as if Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered a construction freeze in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Israel’s housing minister, Uri Ariel, said that he was summoned by Netanyahu who handed him a freeze order for all construction beyond the Green Line which is the land captured by Israel in the June, 1967 war. On orders from Netanyahu, the construction of 1,500 apartments in an East Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo is being held up by the Interior Ministry because the project is too sensitive. The construction of the apartments was announced in May 2010 during a visit to Israel by US Vice President Joe Biden.
The Fatah Central Committee whose members consists of the Palestinian sect of Mahmood Abbas has accepted the Arab League’s recent proposal authorizing land swaps with Israel. Fatah’s leaders stressed after their meeting, however, that they perceive the idea as meaning that there would be “minor and mutual adjustments” to the future border between Israel and a Palestinian state. Accepting the idea does not mean “legitimizing settlement blocs” in the West Bank. “Settlements in all the Palestinian lands are illegal. There can be no land swaps without an Israeli recognition of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the 1967 borders,” they said. Azzam al-Ahmed, a senior Fatah official, said the Palestinians were awaiting a “full diplomatic process to revive the peace talks.” He said US Secretary of State, John Kerry was expected to announce the results of his current efforts to resume peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians on June 7. “This is the date we have agreed upon,” Ahmed said.
Rival Palestinian political factions Fatah and Hamas met in Cairo, Egypt and agreed to form a national unity government within three months. Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmed said both sides agreed on a timetable that begins with creating laws to govern elections. The two parties signed a reconciliation deal in 2011 but it has yet to be implemented.
Israel and the Palestinian Authority tried to conduct backchannel negotiations, or at least initiate them, in late 2010 and early 2011 in a series of secret meetings between the prime minister’s envoy, attorney Yitzhak Molcho, and the head of PLO Executive Committee, Yasser Abed Rabbo. Abed Rabbo said he and Netanyahu met for two-and-a-half hours in mid-February 2011, and mentioned — but did not negotiate over — various final status issues, including borders, Jerusalem and refugees. Abed Rabbo had a meeting with Netanyahu at the house of Yitzhak Molcho where Netanyahu seemed ready to renew negotiations within the framework of two states based upon the June 4, 1967 lines. However, there has been no further contact since that meeting Abed Rabbo said. There were a series of meetings beforehand — I’d say 10 — between me and Molcho. The meetings were held in Jerusalem. We discussed all the issues. I sat and demanded in those meetings that Israel present its map for a two-state solution and publicly declare its willingness to speak about the 1967 lines as the framework for the meetings. Molcho was not prepared to present a map. They were kept secret until now. The only ones who knew about them on the Palestinian side were Abu Mazen (the chairman of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas) and Salam Fayyad (the Palestinian prime minister). (Saeb) Erekat (the head of the Palestinian negotiating team) was not in the know.
“Instead of a map,” Abed Rabbo went on, “Molcho was willing to include a military official in the meetings, a map expert who would present Israel’s security demands to me. Molcho emphasized in the meetings the importance of the Jordan Valley, settlement blocs, and early-warning stations on West Bank mountains. I ruled this option out. He claimed that he wanted to show me these considerations on a map, but I told him that Israel’s security concerns are not a starting point — it’s a non-starter and under the pretense of ‘security,’ you can claim anything. I made it clear that, first of all, we need to agree to speak about 1967 lines, and then start debating security issues, or even both in parallel.
“These meetings were not documented. At a certain point I said to Molcho that if they agree to the 1967 framework, we can talk about limited land swaps and security arrangements. From our standpoint, it was possible to discuss borders and security issues, but it cannot be that ‘security considerations’ would determine the borders. In the background, the Arab Spring began to gain momentum, and we also spoke about it quite a bit. In one of the last meetings, Molcho said to me, ‘I can’t give you an answer on the approach you presented (first recognition of the framework, then discussions of security considerations). I will propose to the prime minister that you meet, and if you manage to reach an understanding, then that is something else entirely. Only the prime minister can take it from here.’
“And the meeting with Bibi did indeed take place. It stretched on for about two and a half hours. He spoke about 3,000 years of Jewish history. “I said to him that speaking about 3,000 years of Jewish history will not get us anywhere. I care about what is now and what was 60 years ago. Netanyahu spoke about how vital the Jordan Valley was for Israeli security, and noted the possibility that Iranian tanks could cross the Jordan. I explained that this won’t get us anywhere. In the meeting he didn’t mention the ‘Israel as the Jewish national state’ issue. I said to him that I was in the secret talks with [prime minister Ehud] Olmert and he showed us the map. ‘We were ready for land swaps of 1.9 percent and Olmert demanded 6.4%. That’s what we arrived at. We can start the conversations from here.’ I spoke to him about Jerusalem and about the refugees. In the end I said to him, ‘If you want to start something serious, if you agree to the 1967 borders as a basis, including Jerusalem, then we can talk about the other things.’
“He asked if we were ready to start negotiations immediately. I said yes. He asked who would be in the Palestinian delegation for the negotiations, and I told him that if he agrees to the principle I presented him, I would need a five-minute telephone call and I would return to him with the names. “He turned to Molcho and said to him, ‘You lead the Israeli delegation, along with two others — you know who.’ He asked me if these were all our demands and I said yes. He agreed that we needed a convenient place to speak, a secluded place where talks would be conducted that could last between two weeks and two months. He asked me to prepare the Palestinian delegation and I asked him if he agreed with what I had proposed. He said to me, ‘Give me two days and I’ll get back to you.’ We said goodbye. He asked me to send his regards to Abu Mazen. And from that point on, I didn’t hear from Bibi or Molcho.
US Secretary of State John Kerry will be in Israel and the Palestinian territories on May 23-24 to try to restart direct peace talks.
Finally, the Temple Institute presented for the first time blueprints to rebuild the Temple. It included the Sanhedrin Assembly Hall, the Chamber of Hewn Stone, and part of the Holy Temple complex itself. These plans were drawn up by a top Israeli architectural firm hired by the Temple Institute. The plans represent the first stage in the drawing up of comprehensive architectural plans for the entire Holy Temple complex.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Jimmy Carter calls on EU to label settlement goods
2) Netanyahu said to freeze ‘sensitive’ Jerusalem construction
3) Partition plan for Jerusalem
4) Fatah accepts Arab League land swap proposal
5) Fatah, Hamas agree to form unity government within 3 months
6) Revealed: Netanyahu’s secret talks with the Palestinians
7) Kerry to visit Israel, Palestinian territories next week
8) Blueprints revealed for the Third Jewish Temple
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Iran must take part in a proposed international conference to end Syria’s civil war but that Western states wanted to limit the participants and possibly predetermine the outcome of the talks. He said, “Among some of our Western colleagues, there is a desire to narrow the circle of external participants and begin the process from a very small group of countries in a framework which, in essence, would predetermine the negotiating teams, agenda, and maybe even the outcome of talks. One must not exclude a country like Iran from this process because of geopolitical preferences. It is a very important external player. But there is no agreement on this yet.”
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin to try to prevent him from selling a supply of advanced Russian anti-air S-300 missile systems to Syria. Netanyahu told Putin that if the S-300 was sold to Syria that it was likely to cause a response by Israel which could send the region into war. The S-300 is designed to shoot down planes and missiles at 200-km ranges. They could be used to down Israeli Air Force planes trying to strike military targets in Syria and Lebanon. Putin is therefore placing a severe constraint on Israel’s operational freedom by spreading an anti-air missile cover over the Syrian, Hizballah and the Iranian Basij forces fighting for Bashar Assad. Russia is also trying to discourage Western military intervention in Syria.
In a move considered aggressive by US and European officials, Russia has sent at least 12 warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Tartous, Syria. Russia’s increased presence in the region represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War as it regarded as a “show of forece” and “muscle flexing.” Furthermore, Russian Navy Admiral Viktor Chirkov said that the process is underway for creating a permanent staff to run Russian fleet operations in the Mediterranean Sea. He said a staff of 20 officers was already in place. The Russian Mediterranean deployment would comprise five to six warships and their service vessels as well possibly as nuclear submarines which may be armed with nuclear ballistic missiles.
Russia sold advanced antiship cruise missiles to Syrian President Bashar Assad. These missiles are outfitted with an advanced guidance system that makes them more effective than the older version of the missile Russia sold to Syria. These missiles will allow Syria to thwart any attempt by international forces to reinforce Syrian rebels by imposing a naval embargo or no fly zone. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that arms deals with Syria do not violate international agreements.
A war with Syria where Damascus is destroyed (Isaiah 17) is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles is as follows:
1) Russia: Iran must participate in Syria conference
2) Russia staffs Mediterranean fleet. Turkey weighs payback for Syrian bombings
3) Report: Russia sends Assad ‘ship killing missile’
4) Russia sends at least 12 warships to Syria
5) Putin again warns Netanyahu hands off Syria
6) Netanyahu to Putin: ‘Your missile sales to Assad could trigger war’
7) Unmoved by Israel, Russia will send top air-defense system to Assad
Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili said that Iran does not recognize Israel as a state or the “red line” determined by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when he spoke before the United Nations in the fall of 2012. He said that Iran will continue to resist the demands of the international community to halt production of 20% enriched uranium, and insisted the Islamic Republic only wants to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes, under the rights granted in the Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Meanwhile, the United Nations’ nuclear agency failed to persuade Iran to let it resume an investigation into suspected atomic bomb research leaving the issue in a deadlock. “We had intensive discussions today but did not finalize the structured approach document that has been under negotiation for a year and a half now,” IAEA Deputy Director General Herman Nackaerts said after the eight-hour meeting. “Our commitment to continue dialogue is unwavering. However, we must recognize that our best efforts have not been successful so far. So we will continue to try and complete this process. At some point, the director general of the IAEA will have to return to the Security Council and say: ‘I can go no further. There has been no response. You have to take further action.” Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman told lawmakers in Washington. That could happen in June or in September, she said. No date has been set for future talks.
The link to these articles is as follows:
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,
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l