Archive for February, 2014

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

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

Monday, February 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 Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to present his framework peace proposal in the near future. According to various sources, his proposal is expected to include land swaps based on the 1967 lines, security arrangements in the Jordan Valley and no “right of return” to Israel for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.It will include an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank except for certain settlement blocs. Israel would compensate the Palestinians for the land upon which are the settlement blocs for land within Israel proper. In addition, it will include Jerusalem being the shared capital of both Israel and the Palestinians and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is a key demand of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the negotiations.

Kerry expects and hopes that both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will declare that despite their reservations about one or another element in the U.S. framework, they will use it as the basis of further negotiations.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said a full and final Israeli military withdrawal from Palestinian territory should take place within a three-year period under any final Middle East peace deal. “We say that in a reasonable time frame, no longer than three years, Israel can withdraw gradually,” he said. “We have no problem with there being a third party present after or during the withdrawal, to reassure Israel and to reassure us that the process will be completed,” Abbas said.

“We think NATO is the appropriate party to undertake this mission. “The Palestinian borders must, in the end, be held (controlled) by Palestinians and not by the Israeli army,” he added. Abbas reiterated Palestinian demands that a two-state solution be based on the lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank in 1967, and stressed the importance of having annexed East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.

U.S. and Israeli officials in close contact with Netanyahu describe him as being torn between realizing that some kind of two-state solution is necessary for Israel’s integrity as a Jewish democratic state and to eliminate the threat of an economic boycott from Europe and skeptical about Palestinian intentions. Netanyahu said: “I do not want a binational state. But we also don’t want another state that will start attacking us.”

Which is why — although Netanyahu has started to prepare the ground here for the U.S. plan — if he proceeds on its basis, even with reservations, his coalition will likely collapse. He will lose a major part of his own Likud Party and all his other right-wing allies. In short, for Netanyahu to move forward, he will have to build a new political base around centrist parties. To do that, Netanyahu would have to become, to some degree, a new leader — overcoming his own innate ambivalence about any deal with the Palestinians to become Israel’s most vocal and enthusiastic salesman for a two-state deal, otherwise it would never pass.

Netanyahu described what he believes to be the core issues of the conflict with the Palestinians. He said: “We stand on two basic principles [that we require of the Palestinians]. The first is recognition of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. This is the root of the conflict. The conflict is not about the settlements, its not about the settlers, and it’s not about a Palestinian state. The Zionist movement agreed to recognize a Palestinian state. “The conflict is over the Jewish state… We are asked to recognize a national Palestinian state, so can we not also demand [that they] recognize a national Jewish state?” he said.

The second principle, Netanyahu said, was demilitarization. Elaborating, he said, constant incitement against Israel among the Palestinians had created a climate in which Israel required a substantial “security presence” in order to protect itself. That included a “long-term” presence in the Jordan Valley and other areas.

Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that the Kerry framework proposal reflecte “American positions.” He said: “I would like to emphasize that they are not Israeli positions but rather American ones. Israel does not have to agree to anything the Americans present.” However, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said that the Kerry framework peace proposal is not solely composed of American ideas but is drawn from ideas which the Israelis and Palestinians themselves have presented. He said: “As we continue our work at this stage to shape a framework proposal, it is very much drawn from ideas the parties have put on the table themselves.” Very little of it will be purely American authorship; there will certainly be a role for America to try and bridge some gaps but much of what will emerge from that emerges from discussions between Israel and the Palestinians.” Shapiro said that this framework, if it is going to be successful in giving more time to negotiate a full agreement, “is going to need to contain real decisions on all the core issues.”

Rabbi Chaim Druckman, head of the network of Bnei Akiva yeshivas, had harsh words for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent suggestion that Israel concede most of Judea and Samaria (Shomron) to the Palestinian Authority.Speaking in advance of a planned prayer rally at the Kotel (Western Wall), Rabbi Druckman said, “I don’t believe my ears. Who is it they want to give parts of our land to? “One does not give one’s homeland even to friends, let alone to mortal enemies,” he told Israel radio. “We’ve lost our senses,” he lamented.

Rabbi Druckman said he does not oppose the creation of a state of “Palestine” – as long as it is not in Israel’s heartland. “The land of Israel is the land of the people of Israel,” he said. “I am completely against any agreement like this,” he continued. “We will not give any part of our land to foreign rule. No normal nation would do such a thing.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested the idea that those settlers who live outside the large settlement blocs could choose to live inside a Palestinian state. Israel Government officials made clear that Netanyahu never talked about physically uprooting settlements and their inhabitants from the West Bank, as was done in Gaza in 2005. Rather, he has spoken of the possibility of Jews wanting to live in those settlements being able to do so if they wish. This idea caused a great deal of outcry from the Jewish Home political party and members of Netanyahu’s own Likud political party.

Jewish Home political party leader, Naftali Bennett, called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to rule out letting Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) come under Palestinian control. “The idea of Jewish settlements under Palestinian sovereignty, as was suggested by someone in the Prime Minister’s Office, is very dangerous and reflects a loss of marbles and values,” Bennett said. “We did not return to the Land of Israel, after 2,000 years to live under the government of [President] Mahmoud Abbas.

The Prime Minister’s office responded to Bennett by saying: “Bennett is irresponsibly harming national interests and diplomatic procedures intended to expose the true face of the Palestinian Authority in exchange for media coverage.” These sources went on to say that Bennett is undermining Netanyahu’s efforts in proving to the international community that it is the Palestinian Authority who pose an obstacle to peace.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon vowed not to abandon the Jews who live over the Green Line to Israel’s enemies. “I would not wish for my worst enemy to live under Palestinian sovereignty,” Danon said. “Whoever thinks Jews can live under Palestinian control should visit the Gaza Strip. There cannot be security for Jews in areas that are not under IDF control.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin said that “only someone deluded enough to believe the lion is ready to lie with the lamb could abandon hundreds of thousands of people to the mercy of those who enabled the lynching in Ramallah.”

Sources in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office shot back at comments made by Likud MKs, criticizing Netanyahu’s proposal to have Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria live under the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Likud opponents to Netanyahu’s plan include Deputy Minister of Transportation Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, and Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis. The source in Netanyahu’s office remarked that “no one is forcing Deputy Ministers Danon, Hotovely, Elkin and Akunis to stay in their posts, they can leave them any time they want.” According to the same source, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, who was slammed for similarly criticizing the proposal, also has the “alternative to leave the government.”

The clash highlights a growing schism in the Likud, as several MKs including those mentioned by the source are reportedly planning a “rebellion” in the party over Netanyahu’s willingness to make irresponsible concessions to the PA. Netanyahu’s proposal, which was phrased earlier in a positive light as “not uprooting any settlements anywhere,” was opposed by Hotovely, who said that “a diplomatic plan that relegates the Jewish settlement enterprise to Palestinian sovereignty will not receive political backing in Likud.” Bennett called the proposal “a very grave matter” that “reflects a panicked loss of values.” Akunis said that the proposal to leave Israelis under the PA “can be defined in one word: hallucinatory.” Elkin slammed the proposals as well, saying they “are diametrically opposed to the Zionist concept. Whoever is pulling the prime minister in such delusional directions wants to cause a schism between him and Likud, and the entire national camp.”

In a speech associated with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that Israel’s future is linked with reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians. She said: “Israel was not established because of the Holocaust but rather because of Zionism, the Jewish people’s connection to the land and its desire to establish itself as a Jewish nation. Israel today is a strong and independent nation,” Livni said. “We should not only think about the Jewish people in the past, but of the direction our nation is taking in the future [. . .] a Jewish and Democratic state – and for that we need to give away part of our land.”

“I have heard several different officials say in the past several days that the Jews did not dream of returning to their land over the past 2000 years just to give away part of it,” Livni continued. “But they also did not envision a land which exerted control over another nation.” Livni also threatened both sides with consequences if an agreement falls through, stating that both will “have a price to pay” if negotiations fail. “Both sides have to understand that,” she explained. “It’s the decision of both leaders, not only one, to make – and both we and the Palestinian people will have to pay if peace is not reached.”

Labor political party leader Shelly Yacimovich said that she had discussed the possibility of Jewish settlers who did not wish to leave their West Bank communities staying in a Palestinian state as citizens with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who had had accepted the proposal in a meeting between herself and Abbas in May, 2013. However, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that not a single settler would be permitted to stay in the future state of Palestine. He said: “Anyone who says he wants to keep the settlers in a Palestinian state is really saying he does not want a Palestinian state,” Erekat declared. “No settler will be permitted to stay in a Palestinian state, not one, because the settlements are illegal and the presence of settlers on occupied lands is illegal.”

Israel responded by saying that “Nothing reveals more the Palestinian Authority’s unwillingness to reach an agreement with the State of Israel than its radical and reckless reaction to refusing to allow Jewish settlers to become citizens of a Palestinian state. They added: “An agreement will only be reached when the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and only when Israel’s vital security needs are guaranteed.”

According to Dani Dayan, the chief foreign envoy for the Yesha Council – a Judea and Samaria leadership forum – MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) rejected Netanyahu’s suggested solution – explaining that Jewish settlers who live inside “Palestine” will not be loyal citizens in the new Arab state. Dayan calls Zahalka’s statement “the definition of hypocrisy.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) ‘Kerry Plan’ said to include shared Jerusalem, Jewish state recognition
2) Why Kerry Is Scary
3) Rabbi’s Shock at PM’s Proposal: ‘Have We Lost Our Senses?’
4) Ambassador Shapiro clarifies: Kerry paper drawn from Israeli, Palestinian proposals
5) Brief cabinet crisis averted by pro-settlement minister’s apology for criticizing Netanyahu
6) Netanyahu: Israel not obligated by US peace plan
7) Yacimovich: Abbas agreed to Jewish settlers in a future Palestinian state
8.) Sources in PMO slam PA for saying no settlers can stay in ‘Palestine’
9) Livni: ‘Negotiations Not to Expose Faults of Other Side’
10) ‘Likud MKs Critical of Netanyahu Can Leave Govt.’
11) Abbas allows for 3-year IDF presence in Palestinian state
12) Arab MK Warns: ‘Palestine’ Jews ‘Won’t be Loyal Citizens’
13) Sources in Prime Minister’s Office slam Bennett for ‘harming national interests’
14) The idea of Jewish settlements under Palestinian rule is ‘dangerous,’ says Bennett
15) Will Jews be able to live in future Palestine?

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