Uploaded. This week’s update is 42 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 situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process
PA president Mahmoud Abbas said that his government and the Arab Group have prepared a draft Security Council resolution which would “push forward the efforts to achieve peace” and “correct the deficiency of the previous efforts to achieve peace by affirming the goal of ending the Israeli occupation and achieving the two-state solution”. The Palestinians have submitted this draft resolution asking the UN Security Council to set a deadline of November 2016 for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It also calls for “a just resolution” of the status of Jerusalem as the capital of two states, and of the Palestinian refugee problem. The draft also demands an end to all Israeli military operations and settlement activities, the opening of all border crossings in the Gaza Strip, and deployment of “an international presence” throughout the Palestinian territories to protect Palestinian civilians.
Abbas highlighted the potential diplomatic benefits that would accrue to Israel if it accepted the 2002 Saudi Arab Peace Initiative. “The Arab Peace Initiative states that all of the Arabic and Muslim countries are ready to establish normal relations with Israel, immediate normalization of relations with Israel. The Arab and Muslim states, 57 of them, can immediately recognize Israel and in return Israel withdraws from the Arab occupied territories. We are completely determined to move forward to take the rights in favour of our people within the framework of the political process and enlarged international discussions to put an end to the Israeli occupation of territories of the Palestinian state within a precise deadline. The moment has come to stop the policy that wants to create a fait accompli – the policy of Apartheid, established by Israel and equally the colonization and the confiscation of land in the West Bank and including East Jerusalem.”
In response, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyah said that the 2002 Saudi peace initiative of 2002 is no longer relevant in the much-altered Middle East of 2014. “The question is not the Saudi peace initiative,” Netanyahu said, asked if he would accept the proposal now. “If you read it carefully, you’ll see it was set up in another period, before the rise of Hamas; before Hamas took over Gaza; before ISIS [Islamic State] took over chunks of Syria and Iraq, effectively dismantling those countries; before Iran’s accelerated nuclear program,” he said. Obviously referring to the Saudi proposal’s call for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines, including returning the Golan Heights to Syria, Netanyahu noted that this plan was made “before the takeover of Syria by al-Qaida on the Golan Heights.”
Furthermore, French President Francois Holland said that a “solution to the conflict” between the Israelis and Palestinians will be put to the UN Security Council. “We will have a resolution, to be presented to the Security Council, that will say very clearly what we expect from the (peace) process and what the solution to the conflict must be,” Hollande said. The French president said that stop-start negotiations had gone on “too long” and “there is a perception that there will never be a solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, even though we know the outlines” of a possible deal. What we must look for is a durable peace accord,” he said, adding that stalled peace talks “must now reach their end”.
However, the text has not been formally circulated to the full 15-nation Security Council, a move that can only be done by a council member. As a result, it remains unclear when, and if, it will be put to a vote. Speaking to journalists in Ramallah, Abbas said the Palestinians were meeting with representatives of the Security Council states to persuade them to accept the resolution once proposed. We hope to get an answer within a month. Of course we are not sure whether the Security Council will agree on it or whether we will get the right number of countries on our side. But whatever will happen, we have something to say. We put it in writing and this is clear. We don’t need to repeat it again,” he said. Abbas added that once a timetable for Israeli withdrawal was set, he would agree to return to the peace talks with Israel. “As soon as we get that, we are willing to return to the negotiating table,” he said. Abbas said that the PA would reevaluate its security coordination with Israel in the West Bank if its statehood bid to the UN Security Council was rejected, and added that the Palestinians would file for membership to the ICC if the resolution failed to pass, according to Arabic media.
Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor said that by pursuing this draft resolution, “once again, the Palestinians are shooting in all directions, missing the real target. Their habit of bypassing negotiations by taking unilateral action and blaming everyone but themselves will only move the region further away from stability,” Prosor said. “It’s time for the Palestinians to aim higher and find constructive solutions, instead of avoiding a real dialogue. Only when they start taking responsibility, we will be able to move forward.”
The Arab League reiterated its support to the upcoming Palestinian bid at the United Nations Security Council, demanding ending the Israeli occupation, and called on the United States to refrain from using its veto power to topple the move.
Head of the Palestine and Occupied Arab Territories Committee at the Arab League Mohammad Sbeih said that Palestine would be heading to the Security Council with full Arab support, based on a previous resolution approved by the Arab League.
The PLO has a three-step plan for a two-state solution that involves a UN Security Council resolution, and if this fails, an appeal to the International Court of Justice and as a last resort, ending security cooperation with Israel, Palestinian sources said.
Should the resolution pass, the PLO hopes to negotiate with Israel on all core issues, with the understanding that there would be a two-state solution within two years, one Palestinian source said.
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said of the resolution, “We’ve seen the text and have not had an opportunity to study it yet, so I can’t comment on the specifics. As a rule, we don’t typically predict how we’ll vote on any given issue in advance.”
A Palestinian source explained to The Jerusalem Post that should the UNSC bid fail, the PLO plan would move into phase two, which would involve signing international treaties, including the Rome Statute. Acceptance of the Rome Statute could allow it bring Israel before the International Criminal Court, in hopes of forcing it to leave the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Joining the court would allow the Palestinians to pursue war crimes charges against Israelis.
With peace talks going nowhere and Israeli settlements expanding, Riyad Mansour said the Palestinians have turned to the Security Council “to force Israel to negotiate in good faith the end of occupation within a time frame.”
As a last resort the PLO would consider dissolving its security arrangements with Israel, first set in place under the 1993 Oslo Accords, the source said.
In response, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that any Palestinian push to try Israeli officials for war crimes at a United Nations tribunal would end any chance of reaching a peace deal. “If Abu Mazen attempts it, this will have dire consequences,” he added, using another name for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. “He could bring The Hague to do it, bringing us to the destruction of any chance of a sane peace deal.”
The PLO ambassador to the US said that the Palestinians are not looking to clash with the US over their plans to obtain a UN Security Council resolution setting a deadline for an Israeli pullout of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. In an interview, he explained the Palestinian postion.
TML: Are the Palestinians finding resistance from the US regarding its plans to obtain a UN Security Council Resolution setting a timetable for the withdrawal of Israeli forces?
Areikat: When President Abbas met with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Kerry did not tell Abbas not to go through with it. He asked for clarifications and stressed that the US prefers to advance the political process through direct negotiations: the same US position we’re all familiar with.
TML: If the Palestinians know that the US will veto any Security Council resolution for an independent state, why are they going ahead with it?
Areikat: First of all, we hope that the US will not veto such a resolution. That is why we are talking to them and talking to other parties: the United Nations, Europe, Russia and others to make sure that the resolution is submitted to the Security Council. We hope that the US will understand that trying to get such a resolution passed is not contradictory to the American position. We still have hope that the United States will not veto it.
TML: Do you believe the US can be an honest broker in the conflict? What specifically would you like to see the US do?
Areikat: Everybody knows the importance of the United States. Everybody knows that they have always been engaged in efforts to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the larger Middle East conflict since this conflict started. We also know the special relationship between the United States and Israel – which the United States provides to Israel militarily, economically and politically. Having said that, some people argue that it is difficult for the United States to be an honest broker when they are giving so much unlimited support for Israel. I still believe that there is a role for the United States to play. They need to understand that the approach that they have taken over the last 20 years did not produce any results. Therefore, there has to be something wrong with the approach and the process. And a new approach must be considered that could involve the United Nations, the international community, in order to arrive at a formula that would be supported by the entire world. We hope the United States will view the Palestinian efforts at the United Nations as part of a larger effort to get the international community involved in order to expedite the resolution.
TML: You have included timetable (in the Palestinian proposal), although the Americans have not (agreed to one). Are you worried that there will be a clash?
Areikat: No. We said we want to reach out to people to specify a timeframe for the end of the occupation. We would like to do all this in coordination with the Americans. We haven’t reached the point of discussing the number of years, but in principle, we’re specifying a time frame for the end of the occupation. We would like to do all of this in coordination with Americans. There have in the past been media reports that 3-years are needed to phase-out the Israeli occupation. Nothing has been agreed to yet. However, it is important to see a specific time to put an end to this occupation.
TML: If the United States agrees to your position and says “we have agreed to these things and we are not going to use our veto,” then what are the Palestinians willing to agree to?
Areikat: That would be the best case scenario, if we manage to get international support including the United States. What the United States and the entire world should understand is that this is a genuine effort on the part of the Palestinian leadership to once again highlight the importance – the urgency – to solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, of ending the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian people especially given all the changes and developments taking place in the region. I don’t think we have the luxury of wasting any more time. It will be something that we welcome very much if the United States will be on board to support our effort because the end objective is a peaceful resolution to this long conflict with Israel.
Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that after a 50-day summer offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip proved that a withdrawal from the West Bank would be both irrational and outdated. He said, “Immediately after Operation Protective Edge we heard: now is the time for a diplomatic process, In this situation, can one even consider restricting the freedom of action of the defense forces in the West Bank” he asked. “How one can rationally reach this conclusion — it is hard for me to fathom.”
A withdrawal, Ya’alon said, would facilitate the rise “of Hamastan” in the West Bank, followed by mortars, rather than rockets, on Israel’s international airport. The military air bases, in Ramat David in the Galilee and Nevatim in the northern Negev, would come under threat of anti-aircraft weapons. And the territory would be used, as in Gaza, by global jihad organizations. “Who can allow himself this sort of security situation in the West Bank” he said.
According to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, if there is ever to be a Palestinian state, everyone is going to have to adjust their ideas of sovereignty. Netanyahu said that the only way to ensure that territory ceded by Israel does not turn into a “third Iranian enclave around Israel’s border,” is to have a long-term Israeli security presence inside a future Palestinian state. So we have to find a security solution that is real, and I think it’s possible.”
To do this, he said, “I think we have to adjust our conceptions of sovereignty. I don’t know if there’s absolute sovereignty anywhere. I don’t see it in the economic field. We’re all tied to international structures. We’re all tied to limitations. And I think we have to think about having these security arrangements, which over time could be made shared security arrangements, but that’s the way to keep Israel safe, paradoxically to keep the Palestinian Authority intact and ultimately to secure peace.” The Palestinians have made it clear that they are adamantly opposed to any protracted Israeli security presence anywhere in a future Palestinian state, including along the Jordan River.
In a recent meeting with US President Barak Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, among other things which happened in that meeting, was that he had agreed to an American framework proposal whereby Israel would negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of the ’67 cease-fire lines with territorial swaps. He added that in discussions with Secretary of State John Kerry, it was understood that Israel had several reservations about details of the plan which would have to be ironed out. In order to meet with Netanyahu, Obama demanded that Netanyahu declare his commitment to the two-state solution before the meeting or risk another crisis in the relations between Israel and the U.S. It is likely due to this reason that Netanyahu had to clarify before the meeting that he is still committed to the two-state solution in exchange for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the Palestinian Authority (PA).
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Abbas slams Israeli ‘genocide,’ makes new UN statehood bid
2) France: Israel-Palestinian solution to be presented to UNSC
3) France: Solution to Mideast conflict to be brought before UN Security Council
4) Netanyahu to ‘Post’: Saudi peace initiative is for a bygone era
5) Ahead of Netanyahu-Obama meet, Palestinians submit draft statehood bid to UN
6) Palestinians draft U.N. resolution on ending Israel occupation
7) Palestinians: Israeli occupation must end in 2016
8) Arab League Calls On US Not To Veto Palestinian Bid
9) PLO has 3-step plan for two-state solution
10) Palestinians: ICC if no Israeli pullout deadline
11) PM: No chance for peace deal if Israel sued for war crimes
12) PLO ambassador: Not looking for clashes with US at UN
13) Palestinians call for American pressure on Israel
14) Abbas: If US Vetoes, Security Coordination with Israel at Risk
15) Ya’alon rules out notion of West Bank withdrawal
16) PM: For Palestinian state to emerge everyone needs to adjust concepts of sovereignty
17) Netanyahu says he agreed to Obama framework for negotiations
18) Did Netanyahu Cave in to White House Demand?
19) Bennett slams Netanyahu’s commitment to 2-state solution
20) Kerry said to be planning peace talks under Arab auspices
21) 3 of 4 Israelis Distrust Obama on Mideast
22) Poll: Israelis care more about peace process and EU than Iran
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