Archive for the ‘Weekly 5 minute update’ Category

April 12, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Uploaded. 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 status of the Israel / PLO peace process

US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Israel for being the blame in stalled peace talks with the Palestinians because of its failure to release the fourth round of Palestinian terrorists and an announcement to build 700 more houses in East Jerusalem. Under the terms of renewed talks, Israel had promised to release 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners in four groups, while the Palestinians said they would suspend a campaign to sign up the “state of Palestine” for various UN agencies. When Israel did not release the Palestinian terrorists on March 29 because the Palestinians refused to extend peace talks with Israel past April 29, the Palestinians signed letters to join 15 international conventions. Speaking in a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry said: “The prisoners were not released by Israel on the day they were supposed to be released and then another day passed and another day – and then 700 units were approved in Jerusalem and then poof…” Kerry further said that the United States backs Israel’s demand for recognition as a Jewish State: “The government of the United States and the president supports the notion of Israel being defined as a Jewish state. We believe that this should happen. But when it happens, and how it happens, has to be part of the negotiations. It’s not going to happen in the beginning.” In response, Israel Economy Minister Naftali Bennett slammed the comments, saying: “For years there was an attempt to block construction in Jerusalem by blasts and explosions, but it didn’t happen. Construction in Jerusalem is not a ‘poof’, it is Zionism and we will never apologize for it.”

Kerry added that as of now, the dispute is over the process of the negotiations, and “not over the substance of the final status agreement. It’s over how do you get to the discussion of the final status agreement. So our hope is that we can work a way through this but in the end the parties are going to have to make that decision. It’s not our decision. Hinting that American efforts are limited, the Secretary of State said: “you know, we can cajole, we can leverage, we can offer one thing or another to try to be helpful, they have to make the fundamental decision. Israel said that it is “deeply disappointed” by comments made by US Secretary of State John Kerry where he insinuated that Israel was mostly the blame for the crisis in the current peace talks.

A senior Israeli official said that Kerry’s comments “will both hurt the negotiations and harden Palestinian positions.” The official continued by saying “Secretary Kerry knows that it was the Palestinians who said ‘no’ to continued direct talks with Israel in November; who said ‘no’ to his proposed framework for final status talks; who said ‘no’ to even discussing recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people; who said ‘no’ to a meeting with Kerry himself; and who said ‘no’ to an extension of the talks.” Israel is willing to enter negotiations without pre-conditions, including the commitment to halt settlement construction during the talks duration.“ At the same time, in the understandings reached prior to the talks, Israel did not commit to any limitation on construction. Therefore, the Palestinian claim that building in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, was a violation of the understandings is contrary to the facts. Both the American negotiating team and the Palestinians know full well that Israel made no such commitment.” As a result, Israeli officials said that the likelihood that derailed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will get back on track before expiring at the end of April is virtually zero. “There is no chance of the negotiations restarting in the coming weeks.” According to Israel Channel 2, the American-mediated negotiations-about-negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will only restart after Passover. At this time, there is no agreement to extend talks past April 29. There have been discussions to extend peace talks past April 29 based upon Israel willing to release Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails and partially freeze settlement construction and the US would free American-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from federal prison.

A senior Israeli official also blamed Kerry for the breakdown in talks. “Kerry is responsible for the crisis.” This was because Kerry inaccurately told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel would be willing to release Israeli Arabs in the fourth group of prisoners, when Israel had not agreed to do so. There was also a difference between the sides about how many prisoners would go free. The secretary had months to try to resolve the discrepancies but failed to do so, the official said. Eventually, Kerry acknowledged to Israel that he’d “made a mistake here” on the issue of Israeli-Arab terror convicts and discussion began on a complex deal under which the US would free Pollard, Israel would release the Israeli Arab and other prisoners in the final group, as well as hundreds more prisoners, and would also partially freeze settlement construction, and the Palestinians would halt all unilateral moves toward statehood and agree to continue the talks. But that deal was derailed when Abbas applied to join 15 UN and other international treaties last week and days of frenzied contacts in the past has failed to achieve a new agreement. Therefore, Israeli officials said that there was  “zero chance that an agreement will be reached in the coming weeks” that will allow the talks to continue beyond an April 29 deadline.

As a result of a Palestinian decision to join 15 international organizations, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a freeze on the transfer of customs and other deductions to the Palestinian Authority over its unilateral application to UN agencies to bypass negotiations. These moneys amount to about $100 million a month. The Palestinians owe Israeli companies hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity, power and other services. Israel said that it would deduct the Palestinian debt against its monthly transfer of tax money that it collects for the Palestinians. Under the Oslo interim peace accords of 1993 and 1995, Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinians and transfers about $100 million a month. Without it, the Palestinian Authority likely couldn’t pay the salaries of its tens of thousands of employees. Israel did not say how long the money would be withheld. Furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israeli cabinet members, directors-general of government ministries and other senior bureaucrats to no longer be in communication with their Palestinian counterparts but exempted Israel chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni. Livni and defense and security officials would still be permitted to talk to the Palestinians. Also, Israeli officials have prevented Palestinian mobile phone company from transferring equipment to the Gaza Strip. The development of offshore gas fields opposite the Gaza Strip will also be halted.

Reacting to the announcement, Palestinian Labor Minister Ahmad Majdalani called the Israeli decision illegal and a political, rather than economic move. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat  blast Israel’s decision to stop tax money transfers to the PA calling it “piracy”. After being asked about the move, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US has yet hear an official Israeli announcement on the issue, but nonetheless noted that the US “would regard such a development as unfortunate.” Stressing the importance of the economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians, she further said “We believe that the regular transfer of the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues and economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been beneficial and is important to the well-being of the Palestinian economy.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel will agree to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinian Authority on condition that it removes its application to join 15 international treaties and conventions. Liberman said that while he favors negotiations, he will not be “a sucker.” He added: “We won’t agree to the Palestinians acting unilaterally without exacting a price from them.” Liberman blamed PA President Mahmoud Abbas for the breakdown of talks. The foreign minister said that Abbas applied for membership in international treaties just as both sides were on the verge of completing a deal for a prisoner release. Liberman said that while Israel was ready to discuss all the outstanding issues, it was not going to accept a Palestinian demand that the talks be devoted exclusively to the issue of the borders of a future Palestinian state.

The leader of the political party, Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett said that his party would send Israel to new elections if the government decided to free Palestinian prisoners, namely a group of Israeli-Arab terrorists, as part of attempts to salvage peace talks, after the party held a faction meeting. Also, some members of Netanyahu’s Likud political party said that they would quit if such a deal passes.

Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official accused Israel of using the crisis in the negotiations to shore up its list of demands in any peace agreement. The Palestinians are insisting that Israel must release 26 prisoners from its jails as promised when it started last summer. Mohamed Shtayeh, member of the Fatah Central Committee said: “Israel is trying to extend the negotiations beyond the agreed date [April 29],” Shtayeh said. “We say that the extension of the talks is not significant. What is more important is whether Israel is serious and has good intentions in pursuing the negotiations. Israel should release the prisoners, stop settlement construction and accept the 1967 borders as a basis for a two-state solution.” Shtayeh pointed out that the PA leadership has demands of its own, including the release of Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Secretary-General Ahmed Sa’adat. Shtayeh also said that the Palestinians are also opposed to the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He said this demand is baseless, since the PLO and Israel had mutually recognized each other in 1993. “The Palestinian people and their leadership have already made a historic concession by accepting a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, which makes up 22 percent of the size of historic Palestine,” Shtayeh said. “Even if we return to the negotiating table, we won’t accept a Palestinian state on anything less than the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Shtayeh said. “We also can’t make more concessions. Isn’t it enough that we already gave up 78% of our land in favor of Israel? We also won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” Sha’ath said that the PA leadership is planning to pursue its efforts to join more international institutions and treaties.

Furthermore, Palestinian ambassador to Russia Fayed Mustafa called for a complete over-haul of the format of peace talks saying that the effort would be aided by greater involvment from the “quartet” of intermediaries including Russia and the EU. “The settlement mechanism has proven ineffective and has to be revised. We need to include the ‘quartet’ of intermediaries, which has recently been overlooked, and take notice of Russian and European participation as members of the ‘quartet’,” Mustafa stated. The “quartet” of Middle East peace negotiators includes, the US, UN, EU and Russia.

In addition, the Palestinian UN envoy is urging the world to boycott products from “illegal” Israeli settlements as part of a stepped up campaign to help Palestine become independent. Riyad Mansour warned that if the Israelis aren’t prepared to negotiate “in good faith,” the Palestinians will be forced “to move into the next stage of holding them accountable for all of their illegal behavior in all fronts, politically, diplomatically and legally.” Mansour said Palestine will officially become a party to 15 international conventions it has applied to join on May 3 – and is ready with more applications, depending on Israel’s actions. Mansour also said that the Palestinians were prepared to join more international groups if Israel retaliated. As a UN non-member state, Palestinians can join 63 international agencies and accords. Furthermore, Arab League foreign ministers said Israel was “wholly responsible for the dangerous stalemate” in US-brokered peace talks scheduled to end on April 29.

Finally, twenty-five years after making their first bid for membership, the Palestinians can join the Geneva Conventions governing the rules of war and military occupations, the Swiss government said. Both the United Nations and the Swiss government have accepted the Palestinian Authority’s requests to join 14 international treaties and conventions. Israel had opposed the move, arguing that there is no universally recognized Palestinian state and that it would complicate peace talks. Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry, as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions, said that “the state of Palestine” acceded to the conventions effective April 2. The Geneva Conventions and their additional Protocols are the fundamental texts of humanitarian law. Palestinians are attached in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians, which defines the duties of “occupying” power. This Convention, which was introduced on August 12, 1949, is often cited by the Palestinian Authority because of its applicability to the Palestinian territories as “occupied territories,” as well as Jewish colonization.

Among the obligations of an occupying power, specified in Article 49 of the Convention, is the prohibition of forced transfers and deportations of populations or individuals, as well as the destruction of movable or immovable property, unless it is made “absolutely necessary by military operations.” One aspect of the Geneva Conventions that has raised particular concern in Israel is the prohibition on colonizing occupied land. Israel says this should not apply to the West Bank and Gaza because the two territories exist in sovereignty limbo – no longer claimed by Jordan and Egypt, who ruled them before 1967, while the Palestinians have never had a state. Israel has also argued that east Jerusalem should not be considered occupied because it has extended citizenship rights to its Arab residents, although only several thousand of the city’s quarter million Arab residents have taken advantage of this. The international community has not recognized Israel’s annexation.

The Palestine Liberation Organization first asked to join the Geneva Conventions on June 21, 1989. At the time, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said it was not in a position to decide on the bid “due to the uncertainty within the international community as to the existence or non-existence of a State of Palestine.” Also, the United Nations said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accepted Palestinian applications to join 13 other conventions, saying they were “in due and proper form.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Kerry says Israel responsible for peace talks crisis
2) Report: Israel ‘deeply disappointed’ by Kerry’s comments
3) Israel blames Kerry as peace talks hopes fade
4) Israeli Officials: No Chances that Talks Will Resume
5) Israel imposes economic sanctions on Palestinian Authority
6) Official: Israel to withhold Palestinian tax fees
7) Netanyahu orders cutback in contacts with Palestinian Authority
8) US calls Israel’s move to withhold PA funds ‘unfortunate’
9) Israel wants peace, but it won’t be Palestinians’ ‘sucker,’ Liberman says
10) Bayit Yehudi backs Bennett: We’ll quit coalition if Israeli-Arab terrorists freed
11) Palestinians: Israel exploiting peace talks crisis to make further demands
12) Palestinians want Russia, EU to change format of talks
13) Palestinian UN envoy: Boycott ‘illegal’ Israeli settlements
14) Arab League blames Israel for talks stalemate
15) Swiss, UN accept Palestinian requests to join international treaties

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 5, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

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 / PLO peace process

In what appeared to be a possible breakthrough in the Middle East peace talks, Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to the details of a deal which would include the U.S. release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in return for Israeli concessions with the Palestinians to continue the peace talks past April 29. Pollard, an American citizen who was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995, pleaded guilty in 1987 and was convicted of spying for Israel. He has spent more than 25 years in a US jail. He would be released around Passover in exchange for the release of 400 Palestinian prisoners. According to the deal, the peace talks would extend into 2015. Kerry wanted Netanyahu to call a Cabinet meeting to approve the deal. However, a number of government ministers and coalition members announced they would not support a deal to free Palestinian prisoners – even if included convicted US-Israeli spy Jonathon Pollard. Israel  Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that “if the US wants to make a true gesture (of friendship) it should free Pollard without conditions so he will have Passover dinner with his family in Israel. This is how allies behave.” In addition, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman attacked a possible deal between Israel, the US, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to release more Palestinian Arab and Israeli Arab terrorists, saying he “would oppose any arrangement that would include releasing high-security prisoners who are citizens of the State of Israel. We have to manage the conflict as possible,” Liberman stated. “I do not know if this is a real crisis or a fabricated crisis. Whether it is serious or tactical or strategic, we will get the the answer to this in the coming days,” he continued. “The State of Israel did everything and now the ball is in the Palestinians’ court. With every crisis there is also a chance [for success]. We have something waiting on the political horizon, and it does not have to be the Palestinians,” he added. “If they do not want to negotiate we do not need to chase them and not make any ‘gestures,’  if [they] do not want to negotiate it’s [their] decision and [theirs] only. When the Palestinians joined UNESCO, it didn’t give them independence or bring about Middle East peace,” Liberman said. “It’s a mistake for them to go to the UN, but it’s what they want to do and it’s their right. We proved Israel is ready to reach a final-status agreement with the Palestinians,” he said. “But as much as Israel wanted to, it doesn’t look like it’s happening. In the last government, we also made difficult gestures, including a settlement freeze and then too it didn’t get us a millimeter closer to an agreement with the Palestinians.”

The details of the deal involved the following parameters:

1)  Palestinians will agree to extend negotiations into 2015 to avoid unilateral moves at the United Nations;
2)  Israel will release the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners, which will include 14 Israeli Arab prisoners;
3)  Israel will release another 400 Palestinian prisoners “without blood on their hands” who are about to finish their sentences
4) Israel will freeze most of the construction in the settlements with the exception of East Jerusalem.

However, several hours prior to Netanyahu calling a Cabinet meeting to approve the US plan to extend peace talks, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas sent out applications for “the independent Palestinian state” to join 15 UN agencies as members. He indicated that he anticipated that membership would be smoothly granted. The PA’s envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said the requests were “a formality” and that  their membership in the treaties would come into effect “30 days after the Secretary General receives the letter of accession.” In doing so, Abbas turned his back on a commitment he made prior to the start of direct peace talks to not take unilateral step to join UN bodies while peace talks were in progress. Israel Knesset member, Yuli Edelstein, said the “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to sign applications to join international organizations is an outrageous violation of the conditions to renew negotiations, since the Palestinians committed to not taking unilateral steps to receive international recognition during the talks.” As a result of the move, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, canceled plans for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to continue the peace talks past April 29. A Palestinian official said that Palestine had signed applications to join treaties on human, civil, disabled and women’s rights. The first document Abbas signed was the Fourth Geneva Convention, sources in the Palestinian Authority said. A member of Abbas’s Fatah faction of the Palestinians official said that although Abbas didn’t sign applications for the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice, applying for membership there would be the next step. The Palestinians said the public unilateral move to sign the applications was prompted by Israel’s decision to condition the release of a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners held in its jails on an agreement to extend the peace talks beyond their April 29 deadline.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki handed the letters to UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry and said: “These treaties and conventions will help to protect and promote basic rights of the Palestinian people and will enable the State of Palestine to be a responsible actor on the international stage,” said Ashraf Khatib, a communications adviser for the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department. “These treaties are vital to continued Palestinian institutional building, good governance and the upholding of human rights, all of which form the basis for an independent and sovereign State of Palestine. Palestine will pursue this non-violent track, including all possible diplomatic venues, in a way which serves the best interests of its people and the cause of a just peace.”

The Palestinians do not plan to stop at joining these 15 UN entities. The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations says his government may seek to join the International Criminal Court and more UN agencies if there is no progress in peace talks with the Israelis. The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour said that the 15 international conventions the Palestinians are seeking to join were just a first group and more could follow depending on Israel’s actions. “What we did is legal,” he insisted, saying “it is our right” to join UN treaties and agencies, since the Palestinians obtained the status of an observer state in November 2012. “Our inclusion in the Geneva convention will be effective immediately because we are under occupation,” Mansour claimed, adding that these applications are just a first wave, with more coming depending on “the interest of the Palestinian people” as well as “the behavior of Israel.”

Despite the Palestinian intention to join UN organizations, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that the US has every intention of moving the peace process forward. “What is important to say about the Middle East right now is it is completely premature tonight to draw any kind of judgment, certainly any final judgment, about today’s events and where things are,” Kerry said. “This is a moment to be really clear-eyed and sober about this process.  It is difficult, it is emotional, it requires huge decisions, some of them with great political difficulty, all of which need to come together simultaneously.” Kerry refused to place responsibility for the crisis on any of the parties. “Now obviously, the Palestinian prisoners were due to be released on March 29th” Kerry said. “I’m not going to get into the who, why, what, when, where, how of why we’re where we are today.  We’re where we are today – and the important thing is to keep the process moving and find a way to see whether the parties are prepared to move forward.  In the end, this is up to the parties.” However, a senior US official said that the Americans believe Israel and the Palestinians should find a way out of this latest deadlock themselves and that Kerry’s current efforts had been exhausted. US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that the United States opposes all unilateral actions that the Palestinians take to statehood. US lawmakers said they were unhappy about the Palestinian leadership’s decision to sign more than a dozen international conventions and warned it could trigger a cutoff of US aid.

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction has admitted that the PA is “blackmailing” Israel into releasing terrorist prisoners. Spokesman Ahmad Assaf revealed on official PA TV that the PA is using its non-member observer status in the United Nations (UN), given in 2012, as a “weapon” against Israel. Given the UN status, the PA has been “waving around” the threat of going to the International Criminal Court for around two years according to Assaf: “we’ve obtained the release of the prisoners, we blackmailed [Israel], that is, in quotation marks, and we’ve taken important positions because we have a card that we’re waving around.” Senior Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Official Nabil Shaath revealed last November that the PA is only staying in the peace talks to secure the release of the 104 terrorists promised by Israel as a “gesture” to restart peace talks last July.

Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni spoke out strongly against the Palestinian Authority (PA) after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas applied to the UN and other international organizations for legitimacy. “The PA has breached its obligations [in peace talks] by applying to the UN,” Livni stated. “If they want a state they need to understand that it will only be established on the negotiating table [with Israel].” Calling recent events “complicated,” Livni said that her team “will continue representing the interests of the State of Israel” despite the move, and urged the government to return to talks. “Not the Palestinians, nor anyone else can dictate to us whether or not we are fighting for peace,” she continued. “Even when peace seems very far away, and when the other side’s conduct is wrong [. . .] we will return to the negotiating table, we are obligated to return to talks.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have compiled a new list of demands for the continuation of peace talks, ranging from the release of some 1,200 Palestinian prisoners to a written commitment by Israel accepting the Palestinian state along the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The list was presented to the PLO by Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Al-Aalul, a Fatah central committee member, and indicated a hardening of positions by the Palestinians as talks falter.

The list of demands are:

1)   A written commitment by Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu that the borders of the Palestinian state will be along the 1967 ‘green-line’ and that its capital will be East Jerusalem.
2)  The release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners, including political heavyweights Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Saadat and Fuad Shubkhi.
3)  An end to the Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza, and the formulation of dealing allowing the flow of goods into Gaza.
4)  A halt in construction in East Jerusalem.
5)  The IDF will not be allowed to enter Area A – the area of the West Bank under autonomous PA control since the Oslo Accords – to conduct arrests or assassinations
6)  Israel will permit the PA control over Area C – currently under Israel’s control.
7)  The Palestinians known as the Church of Nativity deportees – a group of terrorist who barricaded themselves in the Church of the Nativity on April 2, 2002 and were later deported to European nations and the Gaza Strip – will be allowed to return to the West Bank.
8)  The reopening of a number of Palestinian development agencies Israel shut down.

As a result of the Palestinian intention to apply to 15 UN organizations and refusal to extend negotiations with Israel into 2015, Israel said that will not release the fourth batch of 26 Palestinian terrorists it was to have freed on March 29. According to Israel chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, the Palestinians’ unilateral application to UN conventions and treaties came at a time when they knew full well that Israel was working in a coordinated and genuine fashion to reach an agreement that would have led to the release of the Palestinian prisoners. Since the agreement to release them was dependent on the Palestinians upholding their commitment not to turn to international organizations, “under these conditions Israel cannot release the fourth batch of prisoners,” Livni said. Both sides, she said, now have to consider how to move forward in the negotiations. She called on the Palestinians to retract their move and return to negotiations.

In an effort to bring both sides back to the negotiating table, US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk had meetings with Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian sources described the meeting as “long and heated,” and saying it “ended without any signs of bringing both sides back to the negotiating table.” US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk, who arranged the meeting, struggled “to control heated exchanges between both sides.” Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat said they were negotiating on behalf of the UN-recognized state of “Palestine,” not in the name of the Palestine Authority whose “inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel.” The Israeli team then reportedly responded by threatening “endless” sanctions on the Palestinians, to which Erekat responded that the PLO would go after Israeli officials as “war criminals” in international institutions. In response, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “Unilateral steps on [the Palestinians’] part will be met with unilateral steps on our part. We are ready to continue the talks but not at any price,” Netanyahu told his cabinet. “The Palestinians have much to lose by this unilateral move [the 15 applications]. They will achieve a state only by direct negotiations, not by empty statements and not by unilateral moves. These will only push a peace agreement farther away,” Netanyahu said.

Though neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority formally announced both Israeli and Palestinian officials indicated that the peace negotiations have essentially collapsed. PA President Mahmoud Abbas said, “I would rather become a martyr” than rescind the applications he signed to join 15 UN and other international treaties and conventions. Furthermore, the Palestinians issued a long list of new preconditions for resuming talks — demands that Israeli officials privately dismissed immediately. As a result, US Secretary of State, John Kerry said that the US needed to  “evaluate very carefully” their ongoing engagement in peace efforts, and that the US was “not going to sit there indefinitely.” US President Barack Obama believes that Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace efforts in the Middle East “may be reaching (their) limit.” A senior US official said, “If Kerry goes too far, there’s the risk of looking desperate.” Some of Kerry’s senior staff as well as White House staffers believe that it is time for the secretary of state to say “enough” and “lower the volume” on peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and “see how things unfold. A point will come where he has to go out and own the failure,” a US official said.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki says he does not think the Americans will punish the Palestinians politically or financially for their bid to join 15 United Nations agencies – a move criticized by US President Barack Obama as “disappointing.” Al-Malki said, “I do not expect any consequences coming from the US Congress regarding the possibility of cutting of US aid to the Palestinians. “It has nothing to do with the decision taken by Congress back in the 80’s to punish the Palestinians for becoming members of UN specialized agencies,” Al-Malki said referring to US law that prohibits funding to the PA if it receives UN membership outside the negotiation process. It law states clearly that assistance to the PA will be severed if “the Palestinians obtain the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.” “I don’t think this will harm in any way the possibilities to continue the negotiations or it will deter others from continuing their efforts,” Al Malki said. “We gave a chance for the American administration to use its relationship with the Israelis to convince them to fulfill and implement their obligations. After we were convinced they were not going to do this, we made this move to protect the Palestinians,” he said. Khalil Shaheen, the Director of Research and Policies at the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies said: “No one would dare boycott the Palestinians – not even the Americans,” he said. “Boycotting the Palestinians means isolating the American role they play in the Middle East,” he said. Shaheen says the move boosted the morale of Palestinians, and the public image of President Abbas.

As a result, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected an appeal from US Secretary of State John Kerry to halt applications to join several international organizations. Instead, Abbas requested an emergency meeting with the Arab League foreign ministers to discuss the recent crisis in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The PA president was expected to ask for the Arab League’s support of the Palestinian position both politically and financially. Palestinian official, Nabil Shaath said that talks with Israel will fail unless the US applies more pressure on Israel. “If the US becomes convinced that the same approach will make no progress, then it will be possible to save the situation. Otherwise negotiations can’t go on.” Shaath also claimed that the Palestinians could not make any more concessions after “giving up 78 percent of our land to Israel.” Finally, Palestinian official,  Mohammed Ishtayeh, said that if it becomes apparent by April 29 that Kerry’s efforts have collapsed, the Palestinians are set to resume the recognition campaign, Ishtayeh said, without giving a timeline. The Palestinians can join 63 agencies, treaties and conventions which are being divided into four groups, he said, adding that “the second application to join other UN organizations is ready for signing.” Asked about possible Israeli retaliation, Ishtayeh said he believes the Palestinians can count on continued financial aid from Europe and the Arab world.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Reports: Pollard Deal ‘Nearly Sealed’
2) Abbas dumps another US-led peace effort, Kerry gives up on shuttle, Pollard release recedes
3) Kerry nixes Ramallah trip as Abbas courts unilateral moves
4) Abbas signs Palestine request to join 15 UN bodies
5) Despite Kerry’s claim, Abbas has applied to join UN-related groups
6) UN Confirms it Received PA’s Applications
7) Palestinian envoy threatens Israel with ICC membership
8) Deal to free Pollard could tear coalition apart
9) Liberman Pledges to Oppose Release of Israeli-Arab Terrorists
10) Liberman tells Palestinians UN move is mistake
11) Knesset Speaker: Palestinian Authority ‘outrageously violated agreements’
12) Despite Palestinian move to join world bodies, Kerry vows to push peace talks ahead
13) US taking step back from peace talks, report says
14) US opposes Palestinian moves to statehood
15) US lawmakers: Palestinians could lose US aid over statehood move
16) PA Admits ‘Blackmailing’ Israel To Free Terrorists
17) Livni Says PA ‘Breached its Obligations’, Urges Return to Talks
18) Palestinians publish new list of demands: PM must agree to East Jerusalem as capital
19) Israel cancels fourth prisoner release
20) ‘Palestinians say no breakthrough in last-ditch peace efforts’
21) No formal declarations, but both sides indicate talks over
22) Kerry’s threat to ‘evaluate’ next steps fails to break peace deadlock
23) ‘Obama believes Kerry’s effort may be reaching its limit’
24) Palestinian leadership confident Americans won’t punish UN move
25) Abbas rejects plea by Kerry to halt international treaty applications
26) Abbas calls emergency Arab League meeting to discuss failing peace talks
27) Palestinians ready to widen global recognition bid

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 29, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

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 / PLO peace process

The Arab League announced its support for the Palestinian refusal to meet Israel’s demand to be recognized as a Jewish state by saying: “We express our total rejection of the call to consider Israel as a Jewish state.” Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish character of Israel as a requirement for a peace agreement. At the meeting, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterating his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and said that the Palestinians want an independent state on “all the territories that were occupied in 1967.” The London-based Arabic Al-Hayat newspaper quoted western diplomats as saying that US Secretary of State, John Kerry was trying to overcome the impasse over the recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” by changing the definition to “the homeland of the Jewish people.” In return, the Palestinians would have to agree to a Palestinian capital in a part of East Jerusalem and not all of it. According to the report, the Palestinians have rejected that proposal as well.

In response, a senior Israeli official said that the Palestinians are destroying any chances of reaching a peace agreement. The official said: “President Abbas’s stubborn refusal to discuss mutual recognition between two nation-states stands in stark contrast with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s willingness to recognize a Palestinian state and his agreement that all of the core issues can be raised in the talks.” By clinging to his position, Abbas “could well torpedo the peace process,” the Israeli official said. Israel’s former national security advisor said that the Palestinians “have not moved one inch” in their negotiating positions since 1994 while the Netanyahu government has made dramatic concessions unacknowledged by world opinion. In fact, in certain areas, they even moved backward.” The retired Israeli general highlighted two issues where Israel made a dramatic move towards the Palestinians: accepting a Palestinian state, while former Israeli Prime Minster Yitzchak Rabin only agreed to “less than a state”; and limiting the Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley to the Jordan River, while Rabin envisioned the entire valley under Israeli control. On the latter issue, “The Americans didn’t even notice the difference until we turned their attention to it. In the past, Israel has accepted the principle of land swaps with the Palestinians in the ratio of 1:1 for inhabited areas in the West Bank annexed by Israel, a principle Rabin never envisioned, he said. Tactically, Israel has agreed in the past years to undertake goodwill measures intended to advance negotiations, such as a freeze on settlement construction in 2010 and the release of Palestinian prisoners with blood on their hands. “From a diplomatic point of view, I know of not one Palestinian concession since the start of negotiations until today,” he said. “They [the Palestinians] have a clear line: They want a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. Everything else is secondary. Why? Because they feel as though they’ve made their big concession already by settling for 22 percent of what they regard as historic Palestine. The more I speak to Palestinians, the more I understand that the real issue for them is 1948, not 1967,” he said. “It’s clear to me that if the agreement with the Palestinians does not include recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in an attempt to prevent the negotiating process from falling apart. While Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are busy blaming each other for the failure of the talks, the tireless Kerry is searching for a creative solution to the issue specifically with regard to the possible release of Israeli-Arab prisoners.  UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said that “March 29 [the original date set for the prisoner release] is of immediate concern, much more urgent than April 29, when negotiations are supposed to come to an end. If a solution to this issue is not found in the coming days, it is doubtful that it will be possible to complete the nine months of talks. I hope that, in the end, Kerry will offer a framework consistent with the relevant UN resolutions and the Road Map. In my view, it is important for both sides to continue negotiations on that basis. If the political process succeeds, we need to think how much we can gain. The alternative to two states seems particularly bad.”

Meanwhile, Israel told the Palestinians it will not free the final batch of prisoners initially expected to be released on March 29. Tzipi Livni, the justice minister and the top negotiator with the Palestinians, said that there was never an “automatic commitment to release prisoners unrelated to making progress in negotiations.” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel won’t release additional Palestinian prisoners without receiving something of value in return. The prisoner issue will be resolved within a few days, when it “will be closed or it will blow up,” Netanyahu said. Any deal involving a further prisoner release would be brought to the government for approval, Netanyahu added, and said the deliberations around the prisoners release could go on for several days. In addition, Israel made a proposal to the Palestinians that they hope will lead to an extension of their peace talks beyond an April 29 deadline. According to a Palestinian official, Israel presented Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with a draft agreement to relaunch talks. Abbas was to examine the proposal during the night, he said. Israel offered to release a new group of 400 Palestinian security prisoners, in addition to the fourth and final group of longtime terrorism convicts who were set to go free on March 29, if the Palestinian Authority agrees to extend peace talks for another six months. Israel is said to be holding close to 5,000 Palestinian security prisoners. Some sources claimed Israel was holding off on freeing the prisoners because of rumors that the PA would back out of peace talks once the fourth round of convicts were released. The US is demanding that Israel show flexibility and have raised several options to do so, among them a “gesture” release of prisoners who have been imprisoned for a very long time, or those who are similar to other prisoners previously freed. At present, it is still unclear how many prisoners would be included in such a “gesture.”

Furthermore, imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard may be released from American incarceration as part of a deal being negotiation by the US to release Palestinian prisoners and extend peace talks. According to the report, Pollard could be released by mid-April in return for Israel releasing a final wave of 27 prisoners from its jails. Further, Israel would release an additional batch of detainees and peace talks would be extended past the April 29 deadline agreed to in July. Pollard, a US naval analyst, was imprisoned by the US in 1987 after being caught spying for Israel. Successive Israeli governments have lobbied Washington for his release, with no success. He is due to be paroled late next year.

The Palestinians rejected an Israeli proposal to extend the crumbling peace talks beyond April 29, saying it was akin to “blackmail,” said a Palestinian official. “Israel is practicing a policy of blackmail and linking its agreement to releasing the fourth batch of prisoners with the Palestinians accepting to extend the negotiations,” the official said following a meeting between the two sides and US envoy Martin Indyk. The Israeli proposal included a partial settlement freeze, but not in East Jerusalem or for tenders already launched, the sources said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to discuss the American framework accord for the continuation of peace talks with Israel until the fourth and final group of Palestinian prisoners is released, a Palestinian source said. If the releases of the Palestinian prisoners do not go ahead as scheduled , Palestinian leaders are threatening to renew their diplomatic push at the United Nations. In any event, the Palestinian leadership presented an offer to American mediators – that Israel release 1,000 more prisoners, of the Palestinian Authority’s choosing and in exchange, peace talks would be extended until the end of 2014. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also demanded that Israel freeze settlement construction and transfer some Area C regions to the Palestinian Authority’s control.

The United States cannot stop a Palestinian campaign to the United Nations for statehood should peace talks with Israel fail, American diplomats said. An editorial published in The New York Times warned Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “think carefully” before they pass up this opportunity for peace, because they will have to shoulder the blame should the talks fail. If the two sides can’t reach an agreement on a framework to continue talks, the US should stick to its principles by setting the borders according to the 1967 lines, and recognizing Jerusalem as the joint capital of both states, the Times’ editorial said.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Arab League declares ‘total rejection’ of Jewish state recognition
2) Israel: Abbas refusal to discuss ‘Jewish state’ torpedoing talks
3) Outgoing security adviser: ‘Palestinians haven’t budged’
4) UN special envoy to talks: This is moment of truth
5) As deadline passes, PA says Israel has made clear it will not release prisoners
6) PM: No new prisoner release without something of value in exchange
7) Israel hands Palestinians proposal to extend peace talks
8) ‘Israel offers to free 400 more prisoners if Abbas extends talks’
9) Pollard may be released as part of negotiations deal — report
10) Palestinians reject Israeli proposal as ‘blackmail’
11) Abbas refuses to discuss framework accord before prisoner release
12) PA: Talks can go on if Israel frees 1,000 prisoners
13) US officials: We can’t stop Palestinian UN statehood bid if talks fail

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 22, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Monday, March 24th, 2014

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 / PLO peace process

In January, during his State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama solemnly proclaimed Israel as a “Jewish state” In pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the president said his objective was an “independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the State of Israel — a Jewish state that knows America will always be at their side.” However, in his meeting on March 17 with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the president conspicuously omitted any reference to Israel as a Jewish state.  In one swoop, he erased Jewish identity from Israel — the very basis and rationale for Israel as a Jewish national homeland:  Here is how he puts it now when calling for “two states, side by side, in peace and security — a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.”  Israel’s Jewishness is now gone from the equation.

Despite the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) ongoing rejection of Israeli demands to be recognized as the state of the Jewish people, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has not given up on her hopes that the framework agreement being drawn up by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be implemented. She said “Those who say that there will be no agreement in our generation have given up on the idea of peace. A responsible leadership cannot surrender on the basic interests of the State of Israel which are meant to defend Zionism and on the Jewish and democratic state,” added Livni. Insisting on recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, she said, would “prevent Israel from turning into a binational state.” However, getting the PA to agree will be very difficult, Livni said. The Palestinians said that they will be willing to consider “resolving” the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state when peace talks come an end and a meaningful solution to the conflict is achieved, Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said. “If this issue would have appeared after the central issues would have been solved, and if we would receive the correct answers to practical questions, the issue could be resolved”, he added. Hours later, Shaath denied that he made these comments, saying that the PA’s position is that no discussions be held on the issue of recognition as Israel, as doing so means legitimizing “the theft of Palestine” and endangers the status of the so-called “Palestinian refugees”  – meaning the millions of descendants of Arabs who fled pre-state Israel, whom the PA demands be given the right to “return” to Israel, which could make it a majority-Arab state.

When US President Barack Obama met with Palestinian leader, Mahmood Abbas, on March 17, the US said that no formal proposal had been made to Abbas in their meetings according to a senior State Department official. At the meetings, the Palestinians presented Obama with a map depicting Israeli settlement construction throughout the West Bank. Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat said that the meetings were “difficult” yet “candid.” Erekat added, “Contrary to what people expected, that we will come out of this meeting with an official American proposal document, this has not happened,” he said. “To submit an official document we need more discussion,” Erekat said. Abbas rejected terms within the US framework document for continued peace talks with Israel, and issued “three no’s” on core issues, leaving the negotiations heading for an explosive collapse, an Israeli TV report said. Specifically, the report said, Abbas rejected Netanyahu’s demand that he recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He also refused to abandon the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinians and their descendants — a demand that, if implemented, would drastically alter Israel’s demographic balance and which no conceivable Israeli government would accept. And finally, he refused to commit to an “end of conflict,” under which a peace deal would represent the termination of any further Palestinian demands of Israel. As a result, four left-wing Palestinian factions have called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmouad Abbas to declare the failure of peace talks with Israel. They were the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front to Liberate Palestine, the Peoples’ Party and the Palestinian National Initiative Party. They wrote in a letter, “Accepting (US Secretary of State John) Kerry’s plan to sign the framework peace deal is like committing suicide, and this plan has many dangerous consequences on the Palestinian cause and our people’s legitimate rights,” the factions said.

In analysis, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that he does not view Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as a partner for peace, noting that he does not believe peace will happen in his generation. “I’ve discovered this conflict is about the entire Palestine, they don’t recognize our right to exist here … it is impossible to make an agreement without there being recognition on the other side of our right to exist as the national homeland of the Jewish people,” he said. “Abu Mazen (Abbas) is a partner that receives but not a partner that gives. He’s not a partner for a final accord that ends with the recognition of the State of Israel,” Ya’alon said. He also said that he is “not sure” if US Secretary of State, John Kerry, was a fair mediator. “We’ll see at the end of the process,” he said. Ya’alon said he completely disagreed with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statement that it is a mistake to focus on the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “I supported Oslo; I thought that if we gave up land it would bring us tranquility, but when I discovered that the conflict is not only over land, and land is not only Judea and Samaria, it’s actually ‘all of Palestine,’ as they call it, the whole land of Israel, I became more realistic.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is very concerned that the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks could collapse soon and is working to find a solution that would allow the talks to continue beyond the April 29th deadline. As a result, Kerry is trying to convince Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to continue the talks and move forward with the upcoming release of the fourth batch of long-serving Palestinian terrorists being held in Israeli jails. Israel has threatened to halt the release of the prisoners, which includes Israeli citizens serving time on terror charges, unless Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas agrees to an extension of the talks. Abbas in turn has demanded that the prisoner release go through without any commitment on his part and threatened to end the negotiations. US Special Envoy Martin Indyk and Ambassador Dan Shapiro have met with both the Israelis and the Palestinians to find ways on how to continue the peace talks.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinians are refusing to budge on the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and forfeiting the “right of return.” It was impossible to say there was progress right now in the diplomatic process but “we are continuing to work with the Americans.” As the clock winds down on US Secretary of State John Kerry’s window to secure a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israelis, some Palestinian officials are suggesting that greater involvement by the international community is the key to the success or failure of the Kerry mission. “It is really a decision of the international community that has not done much to see a breakthrough to the Palestinian question and to give Palestinians their basic rights,” Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Al-Malki said. “The US administration should really realize that any kind of pressure put on the Palestinian president is not going to work,” he said. Al-Malki also argued that the international community, which he defined as including the nations of the world except the US, needs to engage itself more in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And if they do not, the PA will be pestering them to do so. “As long as there is no understanding, comprehension, and cooperation from the international community to support our goals, we will continue to make our voice loud” in demanding greater European participation in the peace process.

Israel deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon threatened to oust Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as head of Likud political party if he makes too many concessions to the Palestinians in the current round of peace talks. “This framework would mean the abandonment of the Jordan Valley, a return to the 67 lines and the division of Jerusalem,” Danon stated. “The Likud is a democratic faction and their will be a race for the leadership when we get to that point. However, as someone who knows the hearts of Likud members, we will not support a framework that brings us in line with the positions of [Justice Minister] Tzipi Livni.” Speaking last week, Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said that he was pressuring Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to leave the ongoing negotiations process with Israel. Erekat stressed that Abbas could leave the negotiating table – but that he is waiting for Israel to release more Palestinian Arab terrorists first. “We put pressure on him to leave and he said, ‘I will not do that until Israel finishes releasing prisoners for the fourth time, at the end of March,” Erekat stated. Danon said that Israel should not fall into Abbas’ trap. “The government needs to reconsider its position on the release of terrorists,” Danon said. “Right now, it is clear that the negotiations are not going anywhere.” If Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon does not follow through with his threat and resigns, he will be fired, sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he has agreed to extend peace talks with Israel past April 29 if certain conditions are met which include freezing settlement construction and releasing more prisoners. Israel told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that it might not carry out a final stage of a Palestinian prisoner release unless he commits to prolonging peace talks beyond a US-set April deadline for a deal. “There was never any automatic commitment to release prisoners unrelated to making progress in negotiations,” Israel chief negotiator Tzipi Livni said. An Israeli offical said that Israel wanted assurances that Abbas wouldn’t walk out of the talks once the prisoners went free. “We need to be sure the negotiations will last beyond the release of prisoners, and that they will be substantive, and on solid ground,” the official said. Meanwhile, the US promised the Palestinians that they would pressure Israel to release the last of the 26 long-term Palestinian prisoners. They are scheduled to be released at the end of March. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the US to mediate the release of Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader jailed a decade ago over a spate of suicide bombings. Israel would be committing “political blackmail” if it were to delay the final phase of the Palestinian security prisoner release, a Palestinian official said. “We are awaiting the release of the fourth batch of prisoners, as agreed upon with the Israelis through the United States. We are saying, if they are not released, this is a violation of the agreement and allows us to act however we see fit within the norms of international agreements.” If Israel does not release the 4th batch of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails, the Palestinians have threatened to seek full recognition as a member state of the United Nations as Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said the Palestinians said if the prisoner release is called off, the Palestinians will “immediately” turn to the UN.

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon issued a harsh criticism of the Obama administration declaring that Israel cannot rely on the US to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, accusing the administration of broadcasting weakness throughout the world, and warning that its perceived weakness was inviting further terrorism against US target. Ya’alon said Israel could not afford to rely on the Obama administration to lead an action against Iran’s nuclear program and that Israel could only rely on itself. Israel had believed that “the one who should lead the campaign against Iran is the US,” but instead, “the US at a certain stage began negotiating with them, and unfortunately in the Persian bazaar the Iranians were better,” he said. Therefore, “we (Israelis) have to look out for ourselves.” Ya’alon was adamant that “Iran is fooling the world” about its nuclear program,” but said the West preferred to put off any confrontation — “to next year, or the next term; but it will blow up in the end.” The Iranians had been “on all fours” because of sanctions and diplomatic isolation, but had been allowed to recover, he charged. The interim deal signed in Geneva in November “is very comfortable for the Iranians,” he said, enabling them to establish themselves as a threshold state “and break out to the bomb when they choose to do so.” Ya’alon also stressed several times that the US was radiating weakness in every region worldwide. “The Sunni camp [in the Middle East] expected that the US would support it, and would be as determined as Russia is in its support of the Shiite axis,” he was quoted as saying. “I hear voices of disappointment in the region. I was in Singapore, and I heard disappointment at the strengthening of China and the weakening of the United States. Look what’s happening in the Ukraine; there, to my sorrow, the US is broadcasting weakness.” Ya’alon further warned that if the US continued to show weakness internationally, its own national security would be severely damaged. “If you wait at home, terror will come calling again,” he said. “This is a war of civilizations. If you are perceived to be weak, that certainly does not pay in the world. I hope the US will reassert itself.”

The Obama administration vented its anger at public insults and criticism of US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, calling Ya’alon’s comments “unconstructive” and “confusing”. A senior source within the US administration told Israel’s Channel 10 that the US will request a public apology from Ya’alon. US State Department spokeswomen Jen Psaki said Kerry spoke with Netanyahu over Ya’alon’s comments. Also Secretary Kerry spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu and he protested to him his concerns about these comments. We were shocked by Moshe Ya’alon’s comments, which seriously call into question his commitment to Israel’s relationship with the United States,” a senior US administration official said. “Moreover, this is part of a disturbing pattern in which the Defense Minister disparages the US Administration, and insults its most senior officials.”

Does the US engage in a double standard with Israel ? Is the US permitted to criticize Israel without Israel being able to criticize the US ? A commentary in the Jerusalem Post newspaper stated the following:

The US has told Israel over and over … Friends often have to be brutally honest with one another. US Secretary of State John Kerry often prefaces critical comments of Israeli policies in his speeches or interviews by stressing that he had a flawless voting record on Israel in the Senate for over 29 years, and shouted “Am Yisrael chai!” from Massada on his first visit here in 1986. Being a friend, he implies, means being able to be critical. US President Barack Obama, in his keynote speech to Israel at the Jerusalem International Convention Center during his visit last year at this time, segued from the unabashedly positive part of his speech into the more critical by saying that not everyone in the hall was going to agree with what he had to say about peace. “That’s part of the discourse between our two countries. I recognize that,” Obama said. “But I also believe it’s important to be open and honest, especially with your friends. I also believe that.” The US surely believes that when it comes to being open and honest with Israel. Just take Obama’s recent interview with Bloomberg View’s Jeffrey Goldberg, the one that appeared one day before the president was to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in March in the Oval Office. That interview included some very open and candid criticism of the current government’s policies, and an underlining theme that Netanyahu had so far failed to “seize the day.” Obama painted a bleak future indeed for Israel if its policies did not fundamentally change. Kerry, over the last few months, has given speeches in which he predicted catastrophe – a third intifada, deepening international isolation and boycotts – if the elected government of the State of Israel continued down its current path. That is all well and legitimate, part of what Obama referred to in Jerusalem as the importance of being “open and honest, especially with your friends.”

But how about the other way around? How about when that openness and honesty is not Washington criticizing Israeli policy, but rather Israel passing judgment on US policies? Then, as was evident again this week with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s latest critique of American foreign policy, the US is far less forbearing. For whatever the reason, the US cannot seem to tolerate words of criticism from Israel. Does the US see that it has a right to criticize Israel but Israel doesn’t have a right to criticize the US ? Does the US have a double standard toward Israel ?

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama Retracts Jewish Identity of Israel
2) Livni Supports PA Recognition of Israel
3) Palestinian official: Peace first, then recognition
4) PA Official: Recognizing Israel ‘Hurts the Refugees’
5) U.S.: No Formal Proposals Were Made to Abbas
6) Erekat: Abbas showed Obama ‘very ugly’ settlement map
7) Left-wing Palestinian factions to Abbas: Declare failure of peace talks
8) Ya’alon: Abbas is a partner that receives, not one that gives
9) Washington reportedly fears collapse of peace talks
10) Netanyahu: No sign of progress in diplomatic process
11) Growing call for non-American role in Mideast peace process
12) US diplomats meet with Israeli foreign minister
13) Danon threatens to oust Netanyahu as Likud chief if he accepts Kerry’s framework
14) Danon: PA ‘Has Livni Wrapped Around Their Little Finger’
15) Netanyahu’s Associates: If Danon Doesn’t Quit, He’ll be Fired
16) Abbas agrees to extend peace talks ‘under conditions’
17) Israel says might not carry out Palestinian prisoner release
18) U.S. to pressure Israel to release Palestinian prisoners
19) Abbas asks Obama’s help to free jailed Palestinian leader Barghouti
20) PA: Delaying prisoner release would be ‘blackmail’
21) Abbas: Failure to free prisoners is breach of deal
22) Palestinians threaten to seek statehood at UN if prisoner release canceled
23) Palestinians threaten to resume UN campaign
24) Israel can’t rely on ‘weak’ US to deal with Iran, Ya’alon warns
25) Kerry ‘Protests’ to Prime Minister Over Criticism from Ya’alon
26) Kerry spoke to Netanyahu over Ya’alon’s comments
27) ‘Mystified’ US slams Israeli defense minister Ya’alon’s criticism of Obama
28) Diplomacy: Ya’alon strikes twice

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 15, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Friday, March 14th, 2014

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 / PLO peace process
2) Video: United to Restore: Ephraim and Judah’s desire for restoration and mutual respect

This week, the major issue debated in the Israel / Palestinian peace process is whether Israel should be recognized as a “Jewish state”. Because of this and other issues, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the level of mistrust between Israelis and Palestinians was the highest he had ever seen. Kerry acknowledged there were “gaps …. some of them very significant,” but stressed they should be seen within the context of the negotiations, saying “I still believe it’s possible, but difficult. Certain narrative issues are so powerful and so difficult that neither leader is going to definitively cede on them at an early stage of the negotiation,” Kerry said. He called them “big-ticket items” which required some trading by both sides. “Neither believes the other is really serious. Neither believes that the other is prepared to make some of the big choices that have to be made.”

Furthermore, US Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Israel’s insistence on Palestinian recognition of the “Jewish state,” saying it’s a “mistake” to condition talks on that issue. “I think it’s a mistake for some people to be, you know, raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude towards the possibility of a state and peace, and we’ve obviously made that clear,” Kerry told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs when asked to clarify the official US administration position on the matter. ‘Jewish state’ was resolved in 1947 in Resolution 181 where there are more than 40-30 mentions of ‘Jewish state,’” the secretary of state said.

Meanwhile, The Revolutionary Council of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party unanimously endorsed his rejection of demands to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “President Abbas has reaffirmed his refusal to recognize the Jewishness of the State of Israel and council members stood up to hail this decision,” a senior Fatah official said. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would not sign any deal with the Palestinians, as part of ongoing peace talks, until the Palestinians recognizes Israel as the Jewish state. “They (Palestinians) say they will never recognize a Jewish state and that they will never give up on the right of return. I want to make clear that I will not accept an agreement that does not cancel the (refugees’) right of return and which does not include Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. “These are basic conditions, which are justified and vital to the security of Israel,” he added. Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is making the prospects for peace more distant, Netanyahu said. The Palestinians aren’t showing any sign of willingness to reach a practical and fair deal.”

US President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas will meet at the White House on March 17.

Finally, I would like to share with you a discussion between Ken Rank (an Ephraimite) and Hanoch Young (an Orthodox Jew) regarding the ministry, “United 2 Restore” whose vision is to see the restoration and reunification of Ephraim and Judah based upon the guiding principal of mutual respect.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Kerry: Israel-Palestinian ‘mistrust’ at highest levels
2) Kerry: Mistake to make Jewish state demand a peace deal decider
3) Fatah Backs Abbas’s Refusal to Recognize Israel
4) Netanyahu to Palestinians: No deal until you recognize Jewish state
5) Netanyahu: Palestinian intransigence reduces prospects for peace
6) United To Restore: Ephraim and Judah’s desire for restoration and mutual respect

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 8, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Monday, March 10th, 2014

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 / PLO peace process

US President Barack Obama met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3 in the United States. In an interview prior to their meeting, Obama warned Netanyahu that Israel faces a bleak future — one of international isolation and demographic disaster — if he refuses to endorse a U.S.-drafted framework agreement for peace with the Palestinians and that time is running out for Israel to be a Jewish-majority democracy. In encouraging Netanyahu to accept a US framework peace agreement, Obama quoted the Jewish sage, Rabbi Hillel who said: “If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?” Obama continued by saying that if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.” He added, “It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible. There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions? If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time,” Obama said. “If Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.”

Netanyahu downplayed the significance of Obama’s remarks. “I don’t get disappointed or insulted. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to function and I’m already serving my ninth year [as PM],” he said. Before departing on his trip to the United States, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would resist “pressures” and “stand steadfast on the State of Israel’s vital interests. In recent years the State of Israel has been under various pressures. We have rejected them in the face of the unprecedented storm and unrest in the region and are maintaining stability and security,” he said, referring to the three-year-old Arab Spring. “This is what has been and what will be.” In their meeting, “Obama will press Netanyahu to agree to a framework for a conclusive round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that is being drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry.” Although the document has not yet been made public, it is understood to be a non-binding proposal laying out guidelines for negotiating the central issues of the conflict, such as borders, security, Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Israel Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely from Netanyahu’s Likud political party said that Obama’s pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority “borders on outrageous.” She warned against caving into U.S. pressure, saying, “The more Israel gives in, the more concessions the Palestinians want. There’s an intolerable situation here where the United States is forcing Israel into an agreement that going against the interests of the Israeli public,” she declared, adding, “With all due respect, the international community won’t be at our side when a Hamas state is established on Israel’s eastern border. We need to show political strength,” she urged. Israel’s coalition government is unwilling to accept the deal that American and Palestinian Authority leaders are proposing, she said, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should be made to see that. If necessary, there should be threats to quit [the government],” she said. If necessary, the political right should be willing to break apart the coalition and go to elections, she continued, allowing voters to decide if they want to vote for the Right again.

Obama and Netanyahu met for 3 hours. At the meeting, Netanyahu said: “Israel has been doing its part, and I regret to say that the Palestinians haven’t. The people of Israel know that it’s the case. Israel wants peace — not just a piece of paper,”  he said. Netanyahu called for a “real peace… based on mutual recognition” and chided his Palestinian counterparts for promoting “incessant violence” against the Jewish state. “Israel, the Jewish state, is the realization of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination,” Netanyahu said. “I think it’s about time they recognized a nation state for the Jewish people. In the 20 years since Israel embarked upon the [Oslo] peace treaty,” Netanyahu said, “Israel made great efforts to obtain peace – we evicted cities, we freed prisoners, and when you look at what we got in return – you see thousands of missiles on our cities, and suicide terrorists. Israel is doing its part and the Palestinians are not,” he stated. “And that is the truth, and the Nation of Israel knows it is the truth, because they live it. We’ve only been here for about 4,000 years.” Netanyahu made clear to Obama that for the talks to continue, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas would have to be prepared to make concessions. In return, Obama promised Netanyahu that he would push the Palestinian Authority (PA) to match any Israeli concessions as he seeks to negotiate a framework for peace talks. A US official said: “It’s not as though the Palestinians are going to get a free pass.”

After Netanyahu met with Obama, he gave a speech before the Jewish group, AIPAC. Part of his speech is as follows:

Netanyahu’s speech “sparked a furious reaction” from the Palestinians. In his speech, Netanyahu said Israel and the Palestinians had a lot to gain from peace and called on the Palestinians to “stop denying history” regarding Israel’s historic, biblical connection to the Land. He also challenged the Palestinians to stand on the “right side of the moral divide.” PA senior official Nabil Shaath called it “an official announcement of a unilateral end to negotiations,” saying the Palestinians “totally rejected” Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people. PA spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the same thing. “Netanyahu’s continued demand [to recognize] a Jewish state is a waste of time and [meant] to avoid a just and comprehensive peace agreement,” Rudeineh said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss the Israel-Palestinian peace talks. At the meeting, Kerry said: “It is no mystery what the endgame really looks like. We’re at a point in history that requires the United States, as Israel’s closest friend and the world’s preeminent power, to help end this conflict once and for all.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas believe a two-state solution will require the recognition of  “two states for two peoples,” he said, without explicitly addressing a requirement of the Israeli government that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland. According to a Palestinian daily newspaper, Israeli and Palestinians have received copies of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework peace proposal. However, this has not been confirmed by either side.

In an interview with Israeli television, Netanyahu said that the talk of a peace agreement is premature because the Palestinians are not ready to make concessions toward a final-status agreement. He said: “First let’s see if the Palestinians are even willing to negotiate. From what I see, they are very far from this. They think they can continue with their acts of refusal – to go with demands to the United Nations and to distance themselves from the question of what their concessions are, how will they recognize a Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. Furthermore, in order to reach an agreement, the Palestinians would have to agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he added. Netanyahu said that Israel wanted peace, although it was not clear to him that the Palestinians did, given that they had not adjusted their positions as part of talks. Netanyahu also said that he would not evacuate West Bank settlements even as he acknowledged that some of them would not be within Israel’s permanent borders if a final-status agreement was reached with the Palestinians. Netanyahu said: “It’s obvious that some of the settlements will not be part of an agreement. Everyone knows that. I will ensure that it’s the smallest number possible, if we get to that point. And I will not abandon any Israeli. “I will not leave a single Israeli without Israeli security, without the full security that we can ensure for every Israeli,” he said, adding, “We of course will not abandon any Israeli citizen.” In a  recent poll, 65% of Israelis say Israel should not sign a peace accord with the Palestinians if it does not include recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. 52% of Israeli’s would oppose a settlement freeze as a demand to continue the ongoing peace talks.

Regarding Jersualem, he said that it would remain under Israeli sovereignty. Netanyahu said that Israel was willing to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians provided that certain conditions were met. The main concern is that a peace agreement will meet Israel’s national and security needs. If this was the case, Netanyahu said that “No pressure will be needed because I’ll do it willingly. [But] if they try to force on us an agreement that endangers our security and our vital interests, I won’t pass it. I’ll stand against it.” He added: “I think I showed, in this visit [to the US] and over the past five years, that I can stand against these pressures.” Asked if the politics of Israel’s ruling coalition, which includes parties vocally opposed to any deal that sees an Israeli withdrawal from any part of the West Bank, would be an obstacle to accepting the American framework proposal, Netanyahu rejected the idea.“I don’t think so. People understand that when entering the negotiations, Israel is holding to its positions. [The framework proposal] is a document, not a signed agreement, but will be an American document with American positions. The Americans are saying, ‘Look, this is a platform over which you can start to debate. We don’t have to agree to everything they write. I think (the Kerry document) … is a possible path toward moving the talks forward. It will take us at least a year to exhaust these negotiations but I can’t say that the Palestinians will accept this document and I also have not seen it yet,” he said.

Israel Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzip Livni said that a peace agreement with the Palestinians would allow Israel to keep its “values as a Jewish, democratic state. The best choice is to divide the land and to keep the state of Israel – maybe smaller – but with our values as a Jewish, democratic state living in harmony – a secured state,” Livni said. “I’m sure that [neither] us [nor] the Palestinians are going to be in love with it,” she said. “But I hope that both of us can live with it, move forward, and this is something that can create trust and basis for negotiations.”

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel will not accept any conditions for a continuation of talks with the Palestinians rejecting new Palestinian demands that Israel freeze settlement construction and release more Palestinian prisoners in order to continue negotiations past their April 29 deadline. PLO President Mahmood Abbas met with Israel Knesset member, Zehava Gal-On and placed conditions on continuing talks beyond the April deadline saying, “The only way we would agree to extend the talks would be if Netanyahu declares a settlement freeze and agrees to free more prisoners beyond the next round, including women, young people, and administrative detainees,” he said. Liberman replied by saying, “Giving in to conditions has never helped in the past. It is important to remember history, people try to deny history.”

Elyakim Ha’etzni, a veteran leader of the settlement movement in the West Bank said that “the bitter truth” is that Netanyahu had already decided to give in and accept most of the dictates of the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority. “Netanyahu has agreed to conduct negotiations on the basis of the 1948 armistice lines with some land swaps. There will be a building freeze in the West Bank outside the major settlement blocs. Netanyahu has also surrendered on the issue of an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, except for a few guard posts on the Jordan River,” Ha’etzni said. The media has been exceptionally quiet about what Netanyahu has already admitted agreeing to, Ha’etzni said. “Netanyahu will soon announced that not one resident of the West Bank will have to leave their homes but that announcement will come with one small detail – they will have to live under Palestinian sovereignty.” The Palestinians, in the end, are likely to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Ha’etzni predicted. “In the end, we will be witness to how our country was sold for the price of a ‘stew’ of words, in which the Palestinians mumble that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a recognition that will have no political effect whatsoever.” The big question, Ha’etzni said, is what Israeli politicians plan on doing about the impending deal. “Will MKs on the right play the game, or will they see the deal as the end of the government? And the even bigger question: Will Naftali Bennett make it clear to Netanyahu that a building freeze even in the ‘isolated’ settlements in Binyamin will result in Jewish Home’s withdrawing from the coalition?”

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has recommended that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to abandon the peace talks with Israel. Abbas reportedly told Erekat that he wasn’t willing to quit until the fourth prisoner release takes place at the end of March. Erekat claimed that the main obstacle to the talks was the issue of Israel as a Jewish state. “We’ve talked about the core issues: Jerusalem, borders, refugees, water and prisoners,” he said. The negotiator continued and said that the ‘character’ of Israel, whether its a Jewish state of not, has not been decided upon. “Our demand is that Israel recognize the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders. Then the two countries will live in peace and it will end the conflict between us,” he claimed. Palestinian spokesman, Mohammed Shtayyeh said an extension of talks beyond April 29 is unlikely. He said that the gaps between Israel and PA negotiators have only widened after seven months of talks. “What we have seen in the talks is that the gap is growing, rather than narrowing,” He said that the biggest obstacle for the Palestinians is Netanyahu’s demand to accept Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas cannot “under any circumstances” recognize Israel as a Jewish state because this would restrict the return options of “Palestinian refugees” and potentially pave the way for a gradual expulsion of Israel’s large Arab minority, claimed Shtayyeh. For his part, Abbas said, “They are pressing and saying, ‘No peace without the Jewish state,”‘ he said. “There is no way. We will not accept.” Furthermore, in order to extend talks, Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said that Israel must agree to a freeze on settlement construction.

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama on March 17.  The Palestinians are concerned about US pressure to accept a framework proposal. Palestinian officials said that it would be a “grave mistake” to force Abbas to accept any agreement that does not satisfy a majority of Palestinians. A Palestinian daily newspaper said that although the Palestinians are opposed to the extension of the talks beyond April 30, “they are convinced that they have no real choice but to continue with the negotiations if they want to avoid being blamed for the failure of the peace process,” the paper said.

In reply to the Palestinian position, US State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, ”The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state,” Psaki said. “However, we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.” Psaki said the current focus is on reaching a framework agreement that would allow for the continuation of the peace talks. “The parties have to agree to what will be in a framework and what will be a part of the path forward for negotiations,” she said.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama to Israel — Time Is Running Out
2) Obama’s message for Netanyahu: Israel faces bleak future should talks fail
3) Obama: US won’t be able to defend Israel if peace talks fail
4) Embarking for US, Netanyahu says Israel will reject pressures
5) Hotovely Protests Obama’s ‘Scandalous’ Pressure on Israel
6) Obama gets lecture on peace talks from Netanyahu in White House meeting
7) Netanyahu to Tell Obama: Pressure Abbas, not Us
8.) Obama Promised Netanyahu to Pressure Abbas, Says Official
9) Netanyahu’s AIPAC Speech
10) P.A. ‘Furious’ Over Netanyahu’s AIPAC Speech
11) Kerry lands in Jordan to discuss peace talks with King Abdullah
12) Israel, PA Get Copies of Kerry’s Proposal
13) Netanyahu: Talk of peace deal premature given Palestinian inflexibility
14) Netanyahu: Peace talks require at least another year
15) Netanyahu says any peace deal with Palestinians at least a year away
16) Netanyahu: Some settlements won’t be retained by Israel
17) Netanyahu: Not All Settlements Will be Part of an Agreement
18.) Israel would preserve ‘Jewish, democratic’ values with Palestinian deal, Tzipi Livni tells Amanpour
19) Liberman to Abbas: Israel will not accept more conditions to continue talks
20) Ha’etzni: PM Preparing a Bitter Surprise for Israelis
21) Netanyahu Has The Votes To Break Away From Likud’s Hardliners To Pursue Peace
22) Erekat: I suggested to Abbas to abandon the negotiations with Israel
23) Abbas Aide: Extending Talks is Pointless
24) PLO: No extension of talks without settlement freeze
25) PA: ‘Grave mistake’ for Abbas to accept unsatisfactory deal
26) Abbas: There’s ‘No Way’ We’ll Recognize Israel
27) Ahead of US visit, Abbas refuses to recognize Israel as Jewish state
28.) Palestinian daily claims US isn’t insisting the PA recognize Jewish Israel
29) U.S.: No Need for PA to Recognize Israel
30) US State Department: Recognition of ‘Jewish state’ not a precondition to peace talks

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 1, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Monday, March 3rd, 2014

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 / PLO peace process

US President Barack Obama has decided to take a more “active role” in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. When Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the US on March 3, Obama will make an “urgent appeal” to Netanyahu to accept US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s framework peace plan. Obama is expected to apply the same pressure to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when Abbas comes to the US on March 17. Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Palestinian intelligence chief, Majed Faraj, will travel to the US in the next week to meet American officials in preparation for the Abbas visit to the US on March 17. Erekat and Faraj are expected to meet Secretary of State Kerry and Middle East Envoy Martin Indyk.

According to Palestinian sources, “Obama will intervene forcefully and directly, and will apply pressure to Netanyahu and Abbas so that they agree to a framework agreement.” According to these sources, the framework agreement will determine that the capital of the Palestinian state will be eastern Jerusalem, and in exchange, there will be Palestinian concessions in other matters, including borders and refugees. Senior Palestinian sources said that the way to resolve the crisis of the peace negotiations would be to announce that Jerusalem was the capital of both states, with an indication to Israel’s right to acquire international recognition as a Jewish state which would implicitly also mean the recognition of the state of Palestine. The issues of borders, refugees, settlements and water resources are expected to be included in appendices to the agreement which will be discussed by joint committees. The issue of the Jewish identity of Israel, which Netanyahu’s government insists must be recognized, is categorically rejected by the Palestinians, according to the sources. If “Obama succeeds in convincing Netanyahu and Abbas to agree to concessions on the framework agreement, he will announce a date for signing the agreement in Washington, with himself taking part in person.”

Israeli sources revealed that Obama will ask Netanyahu and Abbas about their future plans in case of the failure of the negotiations, and will give them the option to cooperate with the American plan, or face isolation and live with the difficult reality which awaits them if the US abandoned the peace process. If the US is unable to persuade Israel and the Palestinians to agree to a framework deal, the Obama administration is debating whether they should go forward and publicly present the framework plan. US Secretary of State John Kerry is determined to present a proposal by no later than March 28 – the day when a fourth phase release of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons is scheduled to take place. According to Israeli sources, “There is a serious debate taking place within the White House over whether a framework agreement should be presented now, at any price, or whether to wait.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that there would not be a “final status agreement” between Israel and the Palestinians by April 29. He said: “We’re using the current deadline to help shape this,” he added, noting he  was prepared to continue the talks “for whatever period of time might be appropriate. Right now, he said: “For months we’ve been saying we’re trying to get a framework” by the April 29 deadline. “We’re trying to get the framework, which is a huge deal if we’ve used these seven months thus far to get an understanding of where the parties are and to be able to shape the final negotiations,” said Kerry. However, a senior Palestinian official said that the Palestinians reject US moves to extend an April deadline for nine months of hard-won talks with Israel to culminate in a framework peace deal. “There is no meaning to prolonging the negotiation, even for one more additional hour, if Israel, represented by its current government, continues to disregard international law,” Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said. Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas said that he will not extend negotiations with Israel past April 29 if the framework agreement doesn’t deal with the core issues. The PA leader stressed that the Palestinians will only agree to an extension of the peace talks “if Netanyahu declares a construction freeze in the settlements and a further release of prisoners after the next round,” referring to the third and final wave of prisoners set to be released by Israel – the good-will gesture which brought the Palestinians back to the negotiations table. Otherwise he said that he will terminate the peace process and look to join various UN international organizations.

Meanwhile, it is being reported that the Israeli government has unofficially and quietly frozen settlement construction outside the major blocs for the past few months in an apparent acquiescence to American pressure. Jordan Valley regional council members were asked why construction was being held up in the settlements that he administers, even in projects that had received approval from the defense minister. He was told that the order had come from on high not to advance construction plans in settlements outside the major blocs. “We received instruction from policy makers not to advance plans outside what’s found in the settlement blocs,” they said. “Let’s wait patiently until we return from the United States and then we’ll talk” more about the issue.

DEBKA, an Israeli intelligence and news gathering website reports that Netanyahu has accepted the US framework proposal for continued talks with reservations. However, after an 8 hour meeting with Abbas in Paris, France, the Palestinians have rejected the US plan. Abbas accused Kerry of being biased towards Israel and reiterated his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The head of the PA also raised objections to proposed security arrangements and a recommendation for final borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Abbas also called Kerry to task on the proposed agreement’s vaguely worded fate of Jerusalem. PA chief Mahmoud Abbas called ideas that Kerry presented to him as “madness.” According to reports in PA newspapers, Kerry proposed lopping off Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and placing them under PA sovereignty, enabling the PA to declare Jerusalem its capital. In their meeting, Kerry offered that the Beit Hanina neighborhood be declared as the Palestinian capital instead of the entire east Jerusalem area. He also raised the possibility that the Jordan Valley would remain under Israeli sovereignty. In addition, the PA would annex ten Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and be responsible for their security. Most other communities would remain under Israeli sovereignty, based on land swaps. In response, the report said, a furious Abbas practically threw Kerry out of his office, telling the Secretary of State that if he did not back down on his ideas, Abbas would return to demanding that all descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in 1948 be repatriated in Israel, rolling back the “flexibility” he had promised to show on that demand. Abbas also reiterated that he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Israel Knesset members from the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox political party, Shas, Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox political party, United Torah Judaim, and the left wing parties Meretz, and Labor all signed on to a letter of support sent by Labor Party MK Eitan Cabel to US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. The letter expresses support for the efforts of the U.S. to negotiate a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. However, Israel Knesset members from the Land of Israel Caucus accused the US of being biased toward the Palestinians in negotiations in a meeting with US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro. Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud Beytenu) stressed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was “acting in a political arena. Any framework agreement that talks about 1967 lines or that includes evacuating towns or giving up sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem can bring down the current government.” According to a source in the meeting, which was closed to press, Shapiro rejected claims the US was taking the Palestinians’ side and was hurting Israel. “The US is taking part in the negotiations because Israel is our ally,” he stated. “A good peace treaty will protect Israel’s security and won’t hurt Israel.”

Hatnua Knesset political party member Meir Sheetrit said that he “hoped” that the United States would force Israel to accept the peace deal that Secretary of State John Kerry was putting together. Being backed into a corner and heavily pressured by the U.S., Sheetrit said, was the only way Israel and the Palestinian Authority would “swallow their medicine” and enter into a deal that would benefit them both.

Meanwhile, as Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was getting ready to leave for the US on March 3, the organization, Women In Green and the Sovereignty Forum sent a letter to the Prime Minister, telling him that precisely now was the time to declare Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank. The letter said:

Honored Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,

Today you are your starting out on your complex mission to the United States and may you have Heaven’s support and the support of the Land of Israel. We are at a decisive time in which it is possible to strengthen our position. As you leave Jerusalem, the Women in Green movement and the Forum for Sovereignty are with you and will accompany you with a very large poster that will be placed at the exit from Jerusalem for the coming weeks. It reads: “YES to Sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley”.

In a discussion on the expulsion from Gush Katif and northern Samaria that was held in Ariel a few days ago, public relations expert Eyal Arad claimed that the Right failed because it did not present an alternative. This is not true. There is an alternative! A realistic, Zionist plan does exist – application of Israeli sovereignty. This plan is indeed accompanied by difficulties, but the difficulties associated with sovereignty are preferable to the physical and spiritual destruction entailed in the establishment of a terrorist Palestinian state in the heart of our Land, a stone-throw away from Ben Gurion Airport. And we must think not only in terms of survival, we must aspire to realize our hold on the Land and our sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

In a recent poll, 3/4 Three quarters of Hebrew-speaking Israelis would support a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, and more than half would vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he were to leave the Likud and create a new party. According to the survey, 76 percent of respondents said they are “sure” or “think” that they would be willing to support an agreement after they were told about nine different elements of the deal, all based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, presented to them in a way that made them seem beneficial to Israel. More than 60 percent of respondents said they would likely support a regional peace treaty even before any components of it were discussed. According to the authors of the poll, “The significance of this poll shows that

a) Israelis indeed hold right-wing views
b) they don’t believe the Palestinians
c) they will accept a far-reaching deal based on the Arab Peace Initiative if presented properly to them and
d) that they will support Bibi Netanyahu if he does make such a heroic decision

In a visit to Israel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support for Israel’s security requirements and its demand to be recognized by the Palestinians as a Jewish state. Merkel also stated her opposition to Israeli expansion of West Bank settlements saying they make a positive outcome of the talks less likely. She said that her German government supports “a two-state solution – a Palestinian state and a Jewish state of Israel. We also support Israel’s security requirements to be able to finally live in secure borders. But for a two-state solution we need territorial integrity,” she said. “Thus we treat the settlement question with concern, in which we are not always of one opinion,” she said. “We hope that we can overcome the problems and that the two-state solution can be implemented with an agreement.” Merkel also said that she did not support a boycott or labeling of Israel settlement goods. Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, thanked her for this position saying, such sanctions against the Middle East’s only true democracy are “neither moral nor correct nor productive” but only serve to strengthen Palestinian intransigence, he said. “There can be criticism of Israel — that’s legitimate,” Netanyahu said. “But it’s hard not to notice that those who call for boycott of Israel do not call for boycott of any other state… A boycott on the Jewish people, and the country of the Jewish people?”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Report: Obama to Press PM to Take Kerry Deal
2) ‘Obama to press Netanyahu, Abbas to accept framework’
3) Obama will Pressure Israel ‘Forcefully’ over Framework
4) Germany’s Merkel backs main Israeli stances in peace talks
5) Report: U.S. May Unveil Framework Peace Deal Without Agreement of Israel or Palestinian Authority
6) Kerry allows more time for final Israel-Palestinian deal
7) Palestinian sources say framework agreement to be signed in Washington
8.) MKs Tell Dan Shapiro They’re Behind Kerry Plan
9) MKs to Shapiro: US taking side of Palestinians in peace talks
10) Sheetrit: US Should Force PA, Israel to ‘Swallow their Medicine’
11) Groups: Fantastic Opportunity for Israeli Sovereignty
12) Kerry: Peace Talks will Continue Beyond April
13) Palestinians reject US push for peace talks beyond April
14) Report: Kerry offered Beit Hanina as Palestinian capital
15) Abbas ‘exploded with rage’ at Kerry over ‘insane’ framework proposals
16) PA Report: Abbas Angry at Kerry, Threatened to End Talks
17) Obama to meet with Abbas on March 17 over peace process
18.) Abbas threatens a turn to ‘international organizations’
19) Official said to confirm informal settlement freeze
20) Poll: Three quarters of Israeli Jews would accept peace deal

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 22, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Monday, February 24th, 2014

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 / PLO peace process

A senior Palestinian negotiator said that the Palestinians have received a pledge from the US that by the end of 2014, the Obama administration will issue an official written declaration presenting general highlights for a future Palestinian state. The negotiator said that the goal is to have a general framework for a peace agreement by the end of April. As part of the written declaration, the U.S. is set to officially recognize Palestinian rights in eastern sections of Jerusalem, without defining the exact territories that would be eventually handed to the PA. The U.S. will declare on paper that the Jordan Valley as well as the West Bank is “occupied” by Israel and that Palestinians have rights there, the negotiator said.

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said that the US framework for peace will have “real, significant content in the document. It doesn’t mean that each side will agree with each word and there will still be many subjects to deal with in the negotiations for a final agreement. I think we have a good chance to reach a framework agreement before the end of the nine-month period we allotted before we entered negotiations,” he said. “The framework will allow the talks to continue.” Furthermore, according to Shapiro, the US framework agreement will obligate the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “[The PA] recognizing Israel as Jewish state is a key sign that the conflict is ending,” Shapiro said. “The United States has always believed that Israel is a Jewish state and that it should stay that way.” He said the two sides will have to make significant decisions including the fate of Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank. Shapiro said that “there are several options we can take on the issue.” In order to find out the degree of objection to a framework peace agreement, Shapiro had meetings with Israel Knesset members who oppose a PLO state. The US wishes to know in advance what the reaction from the right side of the political map to Kerry’s proposal will be. As part of this effort, Shapiro has met in the past several weeks with several MKs from the Likud Beytenu and Jewish Home factions, including Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin and coalition chairman Yariv Levin. In two weeks, Shapiro plans to meet with MKs who head the Knesset’s Land of Israel Lobby and are against any Israeli withdrawals from the West Bank as part of a peace agreement.

Regarding recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, a senior PLO official, Nabil Amaro, said that Abbas was prepared to recognize Israel — this time, for real. However, PLO Executive Committee Secretary General Yasser Abed Rabbo said that the Palestinians would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He said that the Palestinian position “on this issue is well-known and firm,” adding that acceding to Israel’s demand “represents a serious threat to the Palestinian cause as a whole.” Any favourable response to the demand for recognition, he warned, would mean recognition of the Greater Israel, including the occupied Palestinian territories, as the national homeland of the Jewish people. He also said Palestinians and Arab world in general are unanimous in their rejection of any demand to recognise Israel as a Jewish state in any peace formula.

In order to show their opposition to any Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank or Jordan Valley, about 3,000 people, including Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar and Coalition Chairman Knesset Member Yariv Levin, took part in a protest march in the Jordan Valley. Minister Sa’ar declared to the participants of the march: “We are here with a simple and clear message – the Jordan Valley is Israeli.” The march was initiated by the chairs of the Land of Israel Lobby in the Knesset. The interior minister added that the marchers have come to support the settlers of the Jordan Valley, who “are on a mission for the entire Israeli people. (Israel) needs to know that the (Jordan) Valley settlement will remain and prosper for ages,” the minister stressed. “The security of Israel required a strategic depth, it is unthinkable for the border to not be in the Jordan Valley.”

In contrast, Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) made a passionate plea for a peace agreement with the Palestinians by saying that his country must do everything in its power to reach an accord with the Palestinians since the current situation posed a “threat to the future of the state of Israel.” Lapid said that if current peace talks collapse it will be “nothing less than devastating” to the welfare of Israeli citizens. But beyond risks to the economy, he said failure to establish a Palestinian state would leave Israel facing a demographic threat that could undermine its Jewish and democratic nature. “Every moment in which we do not separate from the Palestinians is a downright threat to the existence of Israel as a Jewish state,” he said. “This is not a marriage that we seek with the Palestinians. This is a divorce.” If we do not reach peace, “The options we will have is to refuse, and stop being a democracy, or to agree, and stop being a Jewish state,” he warned. “These are two bad options. These are two options that need to be prevented. The state of Israel does not need to a rule another nation or another people. This is against Jewish morals. This is against the core idea of building here an exemplary society.” According to Lapid, “If the Israeli left and the Israeli right keep saying that ‘nothing will come of [the talks],’ then a self-fulfilling prophecy will result and instead of approaching the talks wholeheartedly, both sides will continue to sit and gain points for the blame game that will be conducted after everything collapses,” Lapid predicted. “I will not let anyone ruin the chance of an agreement,” Lapid said. Lapid blamed the PA primarily for the failure in talks but he also stressed the importance of taking responsibility for Israel’s role in how events proceed. “We must make every effort to reach an agreement because the current situation endangers Israel’s future,” he insisted. “It endangers us because Israel is unable to, and cannot, absorb four million Palestinians. If we want to remain a Jewish state, we must separate from them. The agenda of this coalition is very clear,” Lapid said. “The Prime Minister sat down on the first day of the coalition [. . .] and said that we are going to start the peace process according to the two-state solution. Then, he repeated that in the Knesset, he repeated that in the UN, he repeated that in the White House, he actually repeated that almost every time he saw a microphone,” Lapid continued. “Yesh Atid is…an Israeli political party that is protecting this agenda.”

Tzipi Livni, who heads Israel’s negotiating team with the Palestinians, said that just as Israel will need to make compromises, so too will the Palestinians. Furthermore, she said, the Palestinians need “to understand that the only option for creating a state runs through the negotiating room.” Livni was full of praise for US Secretary of State John Kerry. She called him a “game changer” who has listened carefully to both sides and tried to discern from Israel “what is the deal maker, and what is the deal breaker” before presenting his paper that is to form the basis for continued negotiations. “Frankly I don’t think that we are going to be in love with this paper, but I hope that we can live with this paper, and I’m sure this also applies to the Palestinian side,” she said. Livni said Kerry already performed two important tasks. The first was to gain the trust of the international community, and get the Russians, Europeans and the Arab world to stay outside the “tent” and not disturb those negotiating inside. Second, she said, the international community got another important message from Kerry: Keep the Palestinians in the negotiation room, and don’t let them think that if they say no to a deal the world will step in and impose a better deal from their perspective on Israel.

A fellow member of Netanyahu’s Likud political party, Danny Danon, petitioned an Israeli court to allow the Likud central committee to debate Kerry’s framework plan with the intent to block Netanyahu from conceding on issues in the deal. The court’s ruling means Danon can convene Likud’s central committee to hold votes on issues Netanyahu is against. Some of the votes would likely include issues relating to territorial concessions which is at the heart of peace negotiations Kerry is moderating.

Speaking to those entities who have threatened to boycott Israel if Israel fails to agree to a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that those who boycott Israel are anti-Semites. He said that it was time for Israel to “fight back” and “delegitimize the delegitimizers.” There are increasing concerns in Israel over a Palestinian-led movement of boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS). The boycott has been growing recently, mainly in Europe, where some businesses and pension funds have cut investments or trade with Israeli firms they say are connected to West Bank settlements. “In the past anti-Semites boycotted Jewish businesses and today they call for the boycott of the Jewish state, and by the way, only the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. “I think that it is important that the boycotters be exposed for what they are, they are classical anti-Semites in modern garb,” Netanyahu said.

Ahmed Qurei, a member of the PLO’s Executive Committee said that the ambiguous language in the text of an American framework agreement to be presented to Israel and the Palestinians may lead to the collapse of peace talks by saying that the current American positions on a number of core negotiating issues including borders, Jerusalem and the settlements do not satisfy the Palestinian need for clarity. “Trying to put ambiguity in the text will not help the parties. I don’t want to continue discussing what this or that [phrase] means … this would be a waste of time.” He said that the US proposals for a framework agreement are more favorable to Israel than the Palestinians. For example, the US framework calls for “a Palestinian right to a capital in Jerusalem. This we cannot accept,” Qurei said. “We want [explicit mention of] East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.” He said that reference to Jerusalem with no distinction between east and west tacitly acknowledges Israel’s annexation of the eastern part of the city occupied in 1967. With regards to the borders, Kerry proposed a Palestinian state “on the basis of the 1967 borders,” with modifications based on “changes on the ground,” a reference to Israeli settlements, Qurei said. The phrase “changes on the ground” is also too vague for Palestinians, Qurei said. “What changes? This is occupied territory. All changes should be unacceptable, but the parties can discuss [land] swaps. They should be minimal and not affect Palestinians’ lives and territorial contiguity.” With regards to settlements, the US should insert a clause specifically acknowledging their illegality under international law. The United States itself, Qurei noted, has voted in the UN against settlement construction. “If this is not recognized, I think it will be difficult to reach any kind of agreement,” Qurei said. Another discrepancy between the American and Palestinian positions concerns the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees and their descendants. The Americans reject the notion of a Palestinian right of return, while the Palestinians insist on the Arab Peace Initiative’s formula of a “just and agreed upon” solution, based on UN Resolution 194.

The Palestinians said that they would gladly accept the US framework for peace with Israel — but only if it was outlined on the PA’s own terms. “[The PA] will not agree to any agreement, whether it is a framework agreement or a permanent arrangement, if they do not include the Palestinian and Arab positions which are in line with international law,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh. “The strong and consistent position of the Palestinian Authority is the same as the position of President Mahmoud Abbas, that there will not be a (Palestinian) state without East Jerusalem as the capital city, that we will never recognize Israel as a Jewish state, that settlements are illegal, that the Palestinian state will be along 1967 lines, that we must find a just solution to the refugee problem and that Israel must release the prisoners.”

Senior Palestinian official, Hanan Ashrawi, said that ”the way things stand right now, the deal Kerry is going to present to the two sides, as we know it, will most probably fail”. While Kerry’s efforts are ”sincere and praiseworthy” both sides have already said why they might not accept the plan, Ashrawi said. ”The Israelis because of their security issues, which could lead to NATO presence in the Jordan Valley for five years until Israeli troops withdraw. The Palestinians because they want the right of return for refugees, and Jerusalem as the capital of their future State”. Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat said that if US-brokered peace talks fail to result in an accord, then the Palestinian will call for an economic boycott of Israel. “Turning to international tribunals, to UN bodies, and joining a call for economic sanctions – all that will come if Kerry’s initiative fails,” Erekat said. According to Erekat, the Palestinians promised not to attempt to try Israel in international courts, and in return secured the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners. Therefore, he explained, no suits would be filed until the fourth and final round of prisoners are released. Erekat said that the PA is preparing for a “blitz” of lawsuits against Israel in The Hague, claiming the Palestinians have more than 50 petitions signed and ready, should talks fail. Regarding the possibility of extending the nine-month timeframe set for the talks, Erekat said “We will not extend the negotiations for one minute beyond 29th April.”

In response, US government officials expressed concern Saeb Erekat’s comments. “We are of course concerned about the recent comments by Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat,” said State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf. “We’ve said all along that it’s important to create a positive atmosphere around these discussions. The personal attacks, quite frankly, are unhelpful, and the secretary will make clear that these kinds of comments are disappointing, that they are unhelpful, especially coming from someone involved in the negotiations, indeed the lead negotiator,” Harf added.

Meanwhile, there are reports that the US negotiating team has demanded that Israel agree to an “informal” freeze of settlement activity outside the large settlement blocs. The freeze would go into effect immediately after the signing of a framework agreement. As a result, Israel would have to commit not to approve plans for housing, or market housing units, outside the large Jewish population concentrations in the West Bank. In response, Israel Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) sharply criticized the US over these reports by saying, “[A building freeze] is a redundant, deluded idea,” Ariel said. Ariel pointed out that the last building freeze – which Netanyahu declared in 2009 – not only did not advance peace with the Palestinian Authority (PA) in any way but may have worsened the situation.  In addition, 21 Knesset Members, seven of them deputy ministers, wrote a letter to Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying that a building freeze is definitely out of the quesiton. The Knesset members are also members of the Land of Israel Caucus Lobby. The Caucus members – headed by Coalition Chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud-Beytenu) and MK Orit Struk (Jewish Home) stressed that they “streuously oppose a freeze of any kind, including a freeze ‘outside the [large settlement] blocs,’ and we will see an Israeli commitment along these lines as a serious game changer.”

Finally, MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud-Beytenu) ascended to the Temple Mount after 10 months in which security forces refused to let him set foot there. Feiglin reported afterward that he had toured “all corners” of the Temple Mount, including the Ramah – where the Temple building and inner courtyard were located, according to Jewish sages. Feiglin said that he had also prayed on the Mount. Feiglin had toured the Mount every month, for years, but in April of 2013, the Commander of the Israel Police’s David Precinct called him and informed him that he was no longer allowed to enter the site. “I see my ascent this morning as the beginning of the return of full Jewish sovereignty to the Temple Mount, MK Feiglin said. “The Israel Police proved that when they receive the correct orders, they can carry them out in the best possible way.” Feiglin’s visit was preceded by a protracted process of negotiation between him and the police, which was assisted by the Knesset Speaker and unspecified legal elements in the Knesset. Rabbi Chaim Richman, speaking on behalf of the Temple Institute, congratulated MK Feiglin on returning to the Temple Mount “after being banned from the holy site by Prime Minister Netanyahu for the past year. This is a great step forward in the struggle for Jewish sovereignty — which is synonymous with Jewish prayer — on the Temple Mount. Knesset member Feiglin’s ascent to the Temple Mount is a positive step towards the building of the Holy Temple and gives hope to all of Israel,” 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) Obama’s ‘big breakthrough’ coming by end of year
2) US envoy: Framework deal will have ‘real, significant content’
3) US Framework to Demand that PA Recognize Israel as Jewish State
4) Shapiro Meeting with Nationalist MKs About Framework
5) Minister Sa’ar: Jordan Valley will prosper for ages under Israeli sovereignty
6) Lapid warns failure of peace talks poses demographic threat
7) Lapid: ‘We are a Legion of 19 Spears’ Protecting Peace Agenda
8.) Livni: Disengagement from Gaza should not be reason for no more compromise
9) Israeli court’s move could dampen peace prospects with Palestinians
10) Netanyahu: Those who boycott Israel are anti-Semites
11) US framework draft is too vague, says top PLO official
12) PA Official: Abbas Ready for Israel as a Jewish State
13) PLO official: No recognition of Israel as Jewish state
14) Mideast: I’m afraid Kerry peace plan will probably fail, says Ashrawi (PLO)
15) Fatah Insists: Interim Agreement Only On Our Terms
16) Palestinian chief negotiator: If talks fail, PA will collapse
17) US: Saeb Erekat’s comments against Israel harmful to negotiations
18.) Report: US Demands Settlement Freeze
19) ‘US to demand partial Israeli settlement freeze’
20) Minister Hits Out over Reports US Pushing for Building Freeze
21) MKs to Prime Minister: Building Freeze? Forget about It!
22) MK Feiglin Ascends Temple Mount for First Time Since Police Ban

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 15, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Friday, February 14th, 2014

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 / PLO peace process

According to DEBKA, which is an Israeli intelligence and news website, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has informed US Secretary of State, John Kerry, of his acceptance in principle of the US framework document – subject to the reservations he has raised with US Special Envoy Martin Indyk.  A high-ranking US official said: “We all know that the die is cast in Jerusalem and that Netanyahu has accepted Kerry’s guidelines. They are now working on the reservations he needs to submit for his government coalition to survive the expected storm of protest and resistance and for the talks with the Palestinians to carry on. Netanyahu will also try presenting the Kerry paper to the public as an American proposal which is not binding either on Israel or the Palestinians, except for the attached reservations. US officials predict that those reservations will eventually find their way to the dustbin. In 2004, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon appended 16 reservations to President George W. Bush’s letter defining the American position on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. Sharon’s reservations had dropped by the wayside by the time the US Congress came to approve the Bush letter in its original form. Informed sources in the US forecast a similar fate for the Kerry framework document. The prime minister’s office and Israel’s embassy have asked the White House and State Department to delay publication of the Kerry document to mid-April during the Knesset’s Passover recess. This will help Netanyahu to stay clear of the rowdy debates and heated special sessions he expects to erupt over his acceptance of the paper. As a result, Kerry may therefore add a few weeks to the three-way negotiating time table and release his framework accord at the end of April or early May.

According to various sources, Kerry’s framework proposal will call for recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. The Palestinians are expected to reject this element of the framework. The US may present a copy of Kerry’s framework to Netanyahu when Netanyahu visits the US the first week of March. Kerry’s framework will call Israel the “nations state of the Jewish people” and Palestine the “nations state of the Palestinian people”. “When you talk about a Jewish state, you are talking about the end of the end of any solution for Palestinian refugees – do you think any Palestinian can accept this,” Nabil Shaath, a senior Palestinian official. “If Mr Kerry thinks this is the sum of his brilliant intelligence, the document will go nowhere. It’s impossible for the Palestinians to sign such an agreement with Israel.” In addition, Kerry’s framework will propose a peace agreement based upon 1967 borders with land swaps that take into account “demographic changes” on the ground. This is a phrase meant to enable Israel to keep settlement blocs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem – a sector that includes the biblical city’s holy sites – as their capital. Netanyahu is insisting that a Palestinian capital be sited in an unspecified area termed “Greater Jerusalem” – possibly meaning the city’s outer lying suburbs. He also wants reference to the Palestinian demand to be referred to as merely an “aspiration”. Palestinian official, Nabil Abu Rdeineh warned that the framework document should not cross Palestinian “red lines” which is a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and calling Israeli settlements “illegal” instead of “illegitimate.” Kerry is suggesting that the Israeli and Palestinian leaders be permitted to “express reservations” regarding the US plan. However, the US framework proposal will be the basis for the continuation of peace talks. Kerry said that he believed that these conditions provide “the only way for Israel and the Palestinians to politically be able to keep the negotiations moving… For them as leaders to be able to embrace an endgame, they need to have the right to be able to have some objection.” In response, Abu Rdeineh said that the “Use of the word ‘reservations’ bogs down the peace process and the use of this concept in the past has got the process stuck. It is doomed to fail.”

So, the Palestinians have informed US Secretary of State, John Kerry that it will not accept his framework peace proposal as it currently stands. According to Palestinian officials, the central clauses in Kerry’s framework proposal which is being rejected by the Palestinians is as follows:

Borders: The peace agreement is to be based on pre-1967 lines but will take into consideration changes on the ground in the decades since.

Settlements: There will be no massive evacuation of “residents.”

Refugees: Palestinian refugees will be able to return to Palestine or remain where they currently live. In addition, it is possible that a limited number of refugees could be allowed into pre-1967 Israel as a humanitarian gesture and only with Israeli acquiescence. Nowhere is it written that Israel bears responsibility for suffering caused to the refugees.

Capital: The Palestinian capital will be in Jerusalem.

Security: Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself.

The Jordan Valley: The IDF will retain a presence in the Jordan Valley. The length of time the IDF will remain will depend on the abilities of the Palestinian security forces.

Border crossings: Israel will continue to control border crossings into Jordan.

Definition of the countries: Two states will result, “a national state of the Jewish people and a national state of the Palestinian people.”

Senior Palestinian officials say that these clauses are unacceptable to the Palestinians for several reasons:

For a start, the references to the borders and settlements leave too much room for Israeli interpretation. “What does ‘There will be no widespread evacuation of residents’ mean?” asked one official. “This means that Israel will want to keep a bigger percentage of the West Bank and this point is not acceptable to us. What does ‘Taking into consideration changes on the ground since then’ mean? I mean, Israel continues to build settlements.”

The official continued: “The same with the refugee issue; there is no recognition of Palestinian suffering. We want an expression of regret, an Israeli admission of the suffering caused to us. Where did it disappear to? And the humanitarian gesture [for a limited entry of Palestinian refugees into Israel] that depends on Israel’s consent doesn’t leave much to the imagination,” the official said, indicating that Israel would not likely be generous on this issue.

The official added that a still more problematic issue for the PA is Jerusalem. “When the Palestinian capital is defined as ‘in Jerusalem,’ what does it mean? In Shuafat? In Issawiya? We demanded that the Palestinian capital would be al-Quds a-Sharqiya (East Jerusalem). But Netanyahu refused firmly and the US administration accepted his position.

“What about security and the Jordan Valley? What does it mean that Israel has the right to defend itself, by itself? We will not agree to the entry of Israeli troops into the PA territory. And as for the ongoing presence of the army in the Jordan Valley, it’s ridiculous to set the timeline [for the IDF's exit] according to ‘the abilities of the PA security forces.’ Who will determine that ability? And who will say, ‘That’s it, the PA is ready to assume responsibility for the Valley’?”

For its part, Israel would likely have significant objections to the Kerry framework terms if they are drafted according to Palestinian demands. Israel has indicated that the relatively minor alterations to the pre-1967 lines envisaged by the PA are inadequate, and that there will have to be larger land swaps to accommodate most of the settlers. Netanyahu further wants any Jews whose settlements are on the Palestinian side of an agreed border to be given the option of staying on under Palestinian rule — a stance rejected by Abbas. Israel is adamantly opposed to any “return” for any Palestinian refugees to today’s Israel. Netanyahu has reportedly insisted that there be no suggestion of legitimate Palestinian claims to Jerusalem in the framework document. And he has insisted that the IDF secure the West Bank-Jordan border even after Palestinian statehood.

A senior Palestinian administrator said: “We said ‘No’ to Kerry in the past, and we will say it again in the future,” Asked how events would play out if the PA rejects the framework proposal when Kerry presents it, the official said, “All options are open to us, whether contacting international institutions [to seek to advance Palestinian statehood unilaterally] or in other ways. But, he warned, “I have no doubt that the situation on the ground will get worse. For both sides. The stability we have grown used to will start to crack.”

The PA is also having trouble digesting the Israeli insistence on the Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, he noted. “We have no intention of dragging this conflict in a religious direction. Every sensible person in the Middle East is trying to keep religion away from the various conflicts, except for you. What’s in it for you? The conflict between us is not religious. So why do you need our recognition that your state is Jewish? In your ID cards, your nationality is listed as ‘Israeli’ and not as ‘Jewish.’ You never asked such a thing of Egypt or Jordan. What is your concern? We are telling you outright: the peace agreement will bring about the end of the conflict and the end of all claims. So what is all this nonsense you are saying that this proves we won’t accept the state of Israel? The whole world recognizes you. These are not the days of the founding, when the world didn’t accept you. But you’re still stuck in that mindset.”

Israel Foreign Minister Israel Avigdor Lieberman wants to sign a peace deal with the Palestinians but not at the cost of Israel’s security. “There are those who say, ‘Don’t give up any land.’ There are those who say, ‘A deal with the Palestinians at any price.’ I say yes to a deal with the Palestinians but not at any price.” Liberman said. “We’ve already had a deal with more holes than Swiss cheese,” the foreign minister added, a likely reference to the 1993 Oslo Accords which failed to produce a peaceful end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Lieberman’s comments came after praising US Secretary of State John Kerry as a “friend of Israel” which drew criticism from Jewish Home political leader Naftali Bennett who wrote on his Facebook page that “our children’s future is more important than our friends’ compliments.”

EU Ambassador to Israel Lars Faarborg-Andersen said that Israel-European ties depend on outcome of peace talks. “Israel is an important partner of the European Union and the Middle East peace process is one of the EU`s foreign policy priorities and therefore a visit to Israel is almost a must for every European Parliament president,” Faarborg-Andersen said. He said that the EU is “very keen” to strengthen ties with Israel and bring them to the same level as European non-EU countries like Norway or Switzerland but that “because of the vital importance that the international community attaches to [negotiations with the Palestinians], this depends to a large degree on the success of that process.”

Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, reiterated the PA’s refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Erekat said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has made it clear to the US that the Palestinians will not recognize Israel a Jewish state. In addition, Abbas  will not agree that any Israeli civilians or military officials remaining in the future Palestinian state. Furthermore, Erekat said that the Palestinians demand that Israel compensates the so-called “Palestinian refugees” whether they decide to stay in their own countries, move to the Palestinian state, or return to Israel. Finally,  Eraket said that the direct negotiations have stalled and would not be extended beyond April. He described the current state of the talks as being “negotiations between U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, and his team, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and his team, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his team.”

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ said that his red lines in any framework peace agreement with Israel include East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital and an Israeli withdrawal from all Palestinian territories within four years. He said that the Palestinians would categorically not recognize Israel as the Jewish state,on the grounds that the PLO had recognized Israel in a 1993 mutual step. The Palestinians have made their red lines known to US President Barack Obama, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, and the Quartet of Middle East peace negotiators which includes the US, EU, Russia and the UN. The Palestinian principles for a framework agreement is based upon the following items:

1) An end to the conflict be based on the Arab peace initiative and relevant UN resolutions
2) The borders of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines
3) Israel must gradually withdraw from all Palestinian territories within three or four years
4) East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital
5) Resolution to the refugee issue based on “international legitimacy”, the Arab peace plan and UN resolution 194
6) All Palestinian prisoners must be freed by Israel with its final withdrawal from Palestinian territory

“These are the red lines of the Palestinian position, since without these principles there can be no just and comprehensive peace in the region,” Abu Rudeineh said. In any event, senior Fatah official Nabil Shaath was doubtful that negotiations with Israel would continue beyond their original April deadline, due to American support for Israel’s demand to recognize it as a Jewish state and to maintain a long-term military presence in the Jordan Valley. “Negotiations will not be extended [beyond their original nine-month time frame] if these conditions persist,” Shaath said. He warned, however, that Palestinians should be prepared for the eventuality that refusal to accept the American conditions would bring about a “cutting of the foreign aid which the PA relies on to fulfill its needs.”

Finally, Fatah and Hamas have made significant progress in reconciliation talks held in Gaza and are now on the verge of implementing previously signed agreements, according to Palestinian media. “Things are completely ready for ending the divide, and [PA] President [Mahmoud] Abbas is very optimistic that the reconciliation will soon be implemented,” said Nabil Shaath, a senior Fatah member sent by Abbas to Gaza late last week at the head of a delegation from Fatah’s Central Committee to hold talks with Hamas. The two rival movements have been at loggerheads since Hamas’s violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007, a year after winning a landslide victory in national elections. A series of signed reconciliation agreements have not been implemented amid ongoing persecution of opposition members both by Hamas in Gaza and by Fatah in the West Bank.

Speaking to journalists in Gaza, Shaath said that Hamas has agreed to the immediate formation of a “national consensus” government headed by Abbas, followed by legislative and presidential elections in six months. Elections are also to be held for the Palestinian National Council, the legislative body of the PLO, in which Palestinian refugees living in the diaspora will take part. Abbas is expected to send Azzam Al-Ahmad, the Fatah official responsible for talks with Hamas, to Gaza to discuss the implementation of the agreement, Shaath said.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Netanyahu accepts Kerry’s “framework” in principle, seeks publication delayed to Knesset recess
2) John Kerry peace plan “to recognise Israel as a Jewish state”
3) Liberman: I want a Palestinian deal, but not at any price
4) EU envoy: Relations with Israel depend on outcome of peace talks
5) Abbas aide calls Kerry peace formula a recipe for failure
6) Erekat: No to Recognition, No to Israeli Presence in ‘Palestine’
7) PA’s Erekat: Peace Talks Will Not Be Extended, PA Recognition of Jewish State ‘Will Not Happen’
8.) PA tells Kerry no to framework deal in current form
9) Aide: Abbas’ red lines include East Jerusalem, Israeli withdrawal and refugees
10) Abbas’s new red line: Israeli withdrawal within 4 years
11) Fatah-Hamas reconciliation almost final, reports 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

February 8, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

Saturday, February 8th, 2014

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 / PLO peace process

US Secretary of State John Kerry is still working to finalize a framework peace proposal expected to be presented to Israel and the Palestinians in the near future. Because the US framework will require both Israel and the Palestinians to make tough decision and make major compromises from their original positions, Kerry is suggesting that the Israeli and Palestinian leaders be permitted to “express reservations” regarding the US plan. However, the US framework proposal will be the basis for the continuation of peace talks. Kerry said that he believed that these conditions provide “the only way for Israel and the Palestinians to politically be able to keep the negotiations moving… For them as leaders to be able to embrace an endgame, they need to have the right to be able to have some objection.” In any peace deal, Kerry said: “Everybody understands that it’s going to take some period of time for a transition. That’s why it is phased,” he said. “What is critical, I think, is to give people a sense that there can be an end of the conflict and an end of claims and that there is a framework within which it is all contained.”

Because of the challenges to agree on the terms of a peace deal, US officials acknowledged that more time will needed past the original deadline of April 29 to reach a peace agreement. The US now views the April 29 date as “artificial” and suggested that even a framework agreement might need more time given some important gaps still remain. One of these gaps is Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s refusal to recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland. In an interview with the New York Times, Abbas said that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is “out of the question”. Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, also rejected the idea of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. He also rejected the idea of Jordan being an alternative home for Palestinian Arabs. Judeh stressed that Jordan is not absent from the peace negotiations and will not accept any solution that contradicts with the country’s interests and national security. “Jordan will not negotiate on behalf of Palestinians regarding their envisioned state’s borders with Israel,” Judeh added. He reiterated Jordan’s stance which calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. This, he said, is a top Jordanian national interest. However, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the Palestinians is a precondition for a two-state solution. Netanyahu dismissed as “absurd” the notion that Israel would sign an agreement recognizing a nation-state for the Palestinian people without mutual recognition by the Palestinians of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews.

According to various reports, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has offered to give the Palestinian Authority full control over 90% of the West Bank. However, the Palestinians want at least 97%. If Netanyahu’s offer would be accepted, it would mean that between 72,000 and 108,000 Jews would need to be expelled from their homes. When vacating the Gaza Strip in 2005, only 10,000 Jews were expelled from their homes. Under Netanyahu’s proposal, Israel would keep the major “settlement bloc” areas with a majority-Israeli population, including the Ariel bloc, Gush Etzion, Maaleh Adumim, and the towns of Beit El and Karnei Shomron along with surrounding communities. The Palestinians are demanding 97% of the West Bank, full control over eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount, the release of all terrorist prisoners, the ability to arm the PA police, and implementation of the so-called “right of return,” which would give millions of descendants of Arabs who left pre-state Israel during the War of Independence the freedom to “return” to Israel.

At the moment, Kerry is pressuring Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas to submit in writing their views and reservations on the US positions he put before them in private, one-on-one conversations. He proposes to embody their comments in a non-binding paper to be the framework for further negotiations. That paper has two-against-one support in the top Israeli threesome of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Netanyahu accepts it as a basis for negotiations but wants changes with reference to Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and less clarity on the extent of swaps for the settlement blocs remaining on the West Bank in a Palestinian state as well as Jerusalem. These issues should be left vague according to Netanyahu. However, it is also being reported that Netanyahu promised senior officials in the Jewish Home political party that the US framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will not be allowed to become reality. A senior official from the Jewish Home political party said: “We made it clear that we will not stand by this [the US framework] and this was promised to us.” The Jewish Home political party has threatened to leave the government coalition in the event that Netanyahu agrees to accept an interim agreement that would require Israel give away land for a Palestinian state. When the US framework proposal has been revealed, Jewish Home political leader, Naftali Bennett said: “If this thing is not consistent with our principles, we won’t remain in the government. And if it is consistent with our principles, we’ll be [in the coalition] and we’ll strengthen the prime minister.” He said there are many questions with regard to how events will unfold after Kerry’s framework is made public. There is the issue of whether Netanyahu would say “yes to the framework [or] no to the framework,” said Bennett. Then, he asked, do ministers vote “yes to a cabinet decision [or] no to a cabinet decision?” He added the questions, would Netanyahu say “yes to a signature [or] no to a signature?” and “What is written on [the document]?” Only once he has the answer to all these questions, Bennett said, would he know how to proceed. “I have no objective to be in or out,” he said. “I think we are serving Israel exceptionally well in this government. It is a good government. The State of Israel was not created because of the Holocaust. It was created because of the Bible. Our role is to transform it into a real Jewish nation,” Bennett said. “Israel has been paying for decades for US’s policy mistakes in the Middle East – and that Israel should not have to pay any more for them. The US insisted on instituting elections for the Palestinians and they elected Hamas. The US insisted that Israel withdraw from Gaza, and in return we got tens of thousands of rockets on southern Israel, after democratically elected Hamas took over Gaza.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman urges full acceptance of the Kerry framework. He said: “there is a rhetoric battle for who is blunter, who is more litigious. Kerry is a true friend of Israel. I don’t see what is wise about taking friends and turning them into enemies.” Lieberman added: “I support an agreement but not at any price.” According to him, “the unity of the people is more important than the unity of the land.” He further added that “Kerry is leading the process correctly. Israel is conducting talks with the Americans and the Palestinians are also conducting the talks with the Americans. We are now talking about the principles so that we could later directly negotiate with the Palestinians without any mediators.” Lieberman reiterated that he supports a land swap in the framework of a future agreement with the Palestinians. Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon rejects the Kerry plan mostly because of security concerns.

Israel Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon criticized Kerry and the US framework peace plan by saying: “We cannot negotiate with the Palestinians when Secretary Kerry is pressuring Israel, threatening Israel, that we must sign the deal ‘today, now.’ That is not the way to support an ally. That is not the way to support Israel.” Danon further said: “Israel want to negotiate but we will not do it under the pressure coming from Secretary of State Kerry. Israel will not go back to the 1967 lines,” Danon emphasized. “We will not divide Jerusalem. I expect Prime Minister Netanyahu to tell Secretary Kerry – we appreciate your efforts, but we can not do what you expect us to do.” Regarding his efforts to push forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Kerry said:  “I’m not going to be intimidated and back down.”

Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator in peace talks with the Palestinians, rebuked her fellow ministers for comments criticizing US Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to reach an agreement between the two sides. She said that some members of the governing coalition were opposed to any kind of peace agreement and that the recent verbal attacks on Kerry were “shocking.”

Meanwhile, a group of rabbis wrote in an open to letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry that through his current mediation efforts between Israel and Palestinian negotiators he had declared war against God. The rabbis warned that the secretary must cease such activities, to avoid divine punishment. The letter was sent by the Committee to Save the Land and People of Israel – an activist group opposed to any political accords with the Palestinians involving territorial concessions – founded by Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo, who also founded the Our Land of Israel party. The letter reads: “Your incessant efforts to expropriate integral parts of our Holy Land and hand them over to Abbas’s terrorist gang, amount to a declaration of war against the Creator and Ruler of the universe! For G-d awarded the entire Land of Israel to our ancestors, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in order that they bequeath it, as an everlasting inheritance, to their descendants, the Jewish people, until the end of all time.” The rabbis argue that Kerry’s plan endangers Israeli Jews by bringing them within close range of potential rocket and missile fire from the West Bank should it be ceded by Israel to the Palestinians. “If you continue on this destructive path, you will ensure your everlasting disgrace in Jewish history for bringing calamity upon the Jewish people,” continued the rabbis, comparing Kerry to Babylonian ruler Nebuchadnezzar II and Roman commander and future emperor Titus, the two enemies of the ancient Jewish kingdoms who destroyed the temples in Jerusalem and Jewish sovereignty in the Land of Israel along with them. “By the power of our Holy Torah, we admonish you to cease immediately all efforts to achieve these disastrous agreements – in order to avoid severe heavenly punishment for everyone involved,” they threatened. The letter was signed by Rabbi Wolpo, along with four other rabbis including Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, the founder and chairman of the Temple Institute.

Regarding the issue of the Jordan Valley, Abbas said that he would agree to let Israeli troops remain in the Palestinian state for a transitional period of five years to work with Palestinian and Jordanian security forces and reassure the Israeli public that it is not going to get hit with thousands of rockets, as was the case after the “Disengagement” from Gaza. After the five-year transitional period, Abbas said that the Israeli forces could be replaced indefinitely by an American-led NATO force, with troops throughout the territory, at every crossing and within Arab eastern Jerusalem, along with Palestinian Arab police and security units. The NATO forces could stay “for a long time, and wherever they want, not only on the eastern borders but also on the western borders, everywhere … For a long time, for the time they wish. NATO can be everywhere, why not?” said Abbas. Such a force, he said, “can stay to reassure the Israelis, and to protect us. We will be demilitarized. … Do you think we have any illusion that we can have any security if the Israelis do not feel they have security?” Abbas further said that he could not possibly accept a lengthy Israeli military presence in a sovereign Palestinian state, saying, “At the end of five years my country will be clean of occupation. The Israelis do not want the third party,” he said. “[Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud] Olmert, welcomed this idea. However, Netanyahu told me directly, when we were in his house, ‘I cannot rely on anybody to protect my security except my army. …’ He doesn’t want to leave the borders to the Palestinians.

Jewish Home political party leader Naftali Bennett dismissed Abbas’s NATO idea, saying they would prove ineffective in a real crisis. Bennett said that Israel should learn from prior experience with international forces. “When everything’s quiet they’re there. The moment you need them they run away,” he quipped. “International forces will be the last thing to help us sleep in peace. The Israeli army alone will protect our children” he said. “To any other solution we say: No thanks.”

Abbas also emphasized that if talks fail, he would resort to what the Palestinians consider their foremost diplomatic asset: pursuing membership in international agencies and courts. Abbas said that he had been resisting pressure to join the United Nations agencies from the Palestinian street and leadership — including unanimous votes by the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee and the central committee of his own Fatah Party — and that his staff had presented 63 applications ready for his signature.

US Secretary of State John Kerry recently threatened PA President Mahmoud Abbas that he would meet the same fate as his predecessor, Yasser Arafat, if he turned down the US proposal for peace with Israel according to Palestinian sources. Jamal Muhaissen, a senior Fatah official in the West Bank, said that if the report is true, “this shows that Israel assassinated Yasser Arafat after receiving a green light from the US administration. If true, Kerry’s threat paves the way for bringing him before the International Criminal Court for threatening the life of an elected Palestinian president,” Muhaissen said. Kerry’s proposals were met with shock and rejection by Abbas, he said. A Palestinian source said that Kerry’s proposals do not meet the minimum of Palestinian aspirations and Abbas’s promises to his people. “Abbas wants future generations to remember him as a hero who managed to achieve for his people what the largest Arab powers and parties failed to obtain in all their wars with Israel,” the source explained. As for the issue of the refugees, the source said, Kerry wants to establish an international fund for settling Palestinians in Australia and anywhere else they wish. Only a small number of refugees would be permitted to enter Israel in the context of “family reunion.”

In addition, US Secretary of State John Kerry threatened Israel that a failure in the peace talks would lead to global boycotts of Israel. Last November, Kerry threatened that Israel would face a “Third Intifada” – or violent uprising – if talks did not end with a “Palestinian state” in the West Bank. A senior Palestinian negotiator said that Kerry is coordinating with the European Union regarding its boycott of Israeli settlements. Speaking at a security conference in Germany, Kerry seemed to warn that if negotiations to create a Palestinian state fail, Israel could face growing international boycotts. “You see for Israel there is an increasing deligitimization campaign that has been building up. People are very sensitive to it,” said Kerry. “There are talk of boycotts and other kinds of things. Are we all going to be better with all of that? The risks are very high for Israel,” Kerry continued. “People are talking about boycott. That will intensify in the case of failure.” Israeli leaders took issue with Kerry’s statements and his failure to condemn what many here see as an anti-Semitic boycott. Israel Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said Israel will not negotiate with “a gun pointed at its head,” especially regarding “matters which are most critical to our national interests. The things Kerry said are hurtful, they are unfair and they are intolerable,” Steinitz continued. Israeli Industry Minister Naftali Bennett said: “We expect of our friends in the world to stand by our side against the attempts to impose an anti-Semitic boycott on Israel and not to be their mouthpiece.”

In response, the US State Department issued a statement explaining that Kerry’s remarks were taken out of context, clarifying Kerry opposes boycotts against Israel. However, the senior Palestinian negotiator said that the US agreed to a ‘good cop, bad cop’ attitude. The negotiator further claimed that if Israel does not collaborate with Palestinian talks being brokered by Kerry, the EU financial sanctions could become tougher. The threat has been communicated to Israeli officials, according to the Palestinian negotiator. Possible further boycotts being considered, the negotiator stated, include an official statement from EU that settlements are illegal; a full financial boycott; and sanctions on all trade, universities and Jewish entities in the settlements. Another possibility is an EU dictate requiring special visas for settlers. On the other hand, if Israel goes along with Kerry’s peace plan, the EU will reconsider its future settlement boycott, the Palestinian negotiator stated.

In response, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Efforts to boycott Israel are neither moral nor justified.” Furthermore, he said that these efforts will not achieve their aims. “First of all, they cause the Palestinians to become entrenched behind their obstinate positions and push peace farther away, and secondly, no pressure will cause me to give up Israeli vital interests, first and foremost the security of Israeli citizens,” Netanyahu said.

The Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a letter slamming the boycott threats against Israel from US Secretary of State John Kerry. The full text reads:

Dear Mr. Secretary:

We are writing to you at this moment with great respect for the exemplary and devoted efforts you are putting in to try to move peace forward between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

We have all witnessed the suffering and loss on all sides as the conflict continues year after year, decade after decade. We welcome your perseverance and optimism in trying to accomplish something that has eluded others time and again.

It is with this perspective in mind that we regretfully read of your comments this past weekend in Munich. In speaking about the price Israel will pay if the peace talks break down and Israel is blamed, you may have thought you were merely describing reality. But as the key player in the process, the impact of your comments was to create a reality of its own.

Describing the potential for expanded boycotts of Israel makes it more, not less, likely that the talks will not succeed; makes it more, not less, likely that Israel will be blamed if the talks fail; and more, not less, likely that boycotts will ensue. Your comments, irrespective of your intentions, will inevitably be seen by Palestinians and anti-Israel activists as an incentive not to reach an agreement; as an indicator that if things fall apart, Israel will be blamed; and as legitimizing boycott activity.

What is particularly troubling about your comments is the absence of similar tough talk about the consequences for Palestinians should the talks fail. We make this comment not in search of some theoretical balance. Rather, its absence suggests a historical amnesia about why there has been no peace and no solution all these years. Israel always must be willing to compromise for peace and at different times it is not unreasonable to ask Israel to do more.

But the core of the conflict was and remains Palestinian unwillingness to accept Israel’s legitimacy and permanence as a Jewish state. That is why the Palestinians rejected the 1947 partition, that is why they rejected recognizing Israel after the 1967 war, and that is why Israeli offers at Camp David in 2000 and Annapolis in 2008 were rejected or allowed to go unanswered.  It is Palestinians who must hear the message that not only has their rejectionism been the major obstacle to peace, but it has also been the main source of their suffering and misery over the years. It is time for them to make the qualitative leap toward peace and acceptance of the legitimacy of the Jewish state.

It is encouraging that reportedly in the talks you are raising these matters with the Palestinians. Your comments in Munich, however, threaten to undo all this by ignoring the historic compulsion of the Palestinians to look for ever new reasons and incentives to reject the Jewish state. Concerns of the kind you expressed therefore would have been better left unsaid or at most discussed in private conversations with Israeli representatives.

We wish you continued success in moving this process forward. We urge you to understand, however, that those who are most against peace are the ones who will benefit the most from the unintended encouragement in the comments you expressed in Munich.

Abraham D. Foxman, ADL National Director.

In response to sharp Israeli criticism of US Secretary of State suggesting that there could be economic boycotts against Israel if peace talks fail, the US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said: “Secretary Kerry has a proud record of over three decades of steadfast support for Israel’s security and well-being, including staunch opposition to boycotts. Any rhetoric that is inaccurate and critical as this is is unhelpful,” she said. “These kind of attacks are unacceptable. They not only distort his record but they distract from the key issues at hand.”

Pope Francis plans to visit the Middle East in May. Apparently, the Pope plans to use his upcoming visit to Israel as a propaganda move for the Palestine Authority (PA) against Israel. The pope plans to have “mass” prayer services in the PA-controlled city of Bethlehem rather than in Jerusalem. The move is slightly ironic, as most Christians have reportedly been driven out of the city by Muslims, while Abbas has claimed “Jesus was Palestinian.”

In other news regarding the peace process, Israeli planners gave final approval for 558 new apartments in Jerusalem neighborhoods beyond the 1967 borders. A Jerusalem municipal spokesman issued a statement. “The municipality strongly opposes any effort to stifle the legitimate right of every resident to receive building permits and continue building in all neighborhoods of the city according to the master plan for Jew and Arabs as one, regardless of race, religion or gender.” Brachie Sprung, a municipality spokeswoman, said the building projects received initial approval a few years ago. European Union (EU) Foreign Affairs Commissioner Catherine Ashton demanded that Israel take back its plan to build these homes. She said: “These plans endanger the chances of turning Jerusalem into the capital of two countries,” claimed Ashton, referencing the US plan to establish an Arab capital in Jerusalem. “I call on the government of Israel to weigh this step again, and take back its decision.” The US State Department also condemned the announcement to build more homes in Jerusalem by saying: “The US position on Jerusalem is clear. We oppose any unilateral actions by either party that attempt to prejudge final status issues, including the status of Jerusalem,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. “We’ve called on both sides to take steps to create a positive atmosphere for the negotiations.” Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, called the moves a “deliberate provocation of the Palestinians to drive them to leave the negotiations.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) US expects delay on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Kerry framework rollout
2) Kerry: Netanyahu, Abbas can express objections to framework deal
3) So where does the US-Israeli-Palestinian peace process go from here?
4) Report: Netanyahu Willing to Concede 90% of Judea, Samaria
5) Report: Netanyahu Promised to Stop US Framework from Passing
6) Lieberman: Unity of people more important than unity of land
7) Danon: We Won’t Buckle Under Kerry’s Pressure
8.) ‘Kerry has declared a war on God,’ write hard-line rabbis in letter
9) Bennett: We will leave coalition if framework deal inconsistent with our principles
10) Abbas to NYT: NATO troops, not IDF, can remain in West Bank
11) Abbas Suggests NATO Presence in Palestinian State
12) Abbas: IDF can remain in future Palestine for 5 years
13) Jordan’s FM Rejects Recognizing Israel as Jewish State
14) Pope Coming To Israel As ‘Che Guevera of Palestinians’
15) Fatah wants Kerry prosecuted before ICC for ‘threatening’ Abbas
16) John Kerry Threatens Israel With Boycotts if Talks Fail
17) Kerry ‘coordinating boycott blackmail against Israel’
18) Boycott of Israel ‘amoral, unjustified,’ Netanyahu says
19) ADL To Kerry: ‘Your Threats Destroy Peace Talks’
20) Livni blasts Israeli ministers for comments on Kerry
21) Kerry rebuffs criticism over ‘boycott’ comment
22) Kerry: I won’t be intimidated by Israeli attacks against me
23) US: Israeli attacks on Kerry ‘show the heat is on’
24) Israel issues 558 permits for East Jerusalem housing
25) Ashton: ‘For PA Capital Cancel Jerusalem Building’
26) US condemns east Jerusalem building plan as Kerry downplays Israeli critics

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