You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process
According to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, if there is ever to be a Palestinian state, everyone is going to have to adjust their ideas of sovereignty. Netanyahu said that the only way to ensure that territory ceded by Israel does not turn into a “third Iranian enclave around Israel’s border,” is to have a long-term Israeli security presence inside a future Palestinian state. So we have to find a security solution that is real, and I think it’s possible.”
To do this, he said, “I think we have to adjust our conceptions of sovereignty. I don’t know if there’s absolute sovereignty anywhere. I don’t see it in the economic field. We’re all tied to international structures. We’re all tied to limitations. And I think we have to think about having these security arrangements, which over time could be made shared security arrangements, but that’s the way to keep Israel safe, paradoxically to keep the Palestinian Authority intact and ultimately to secure peace.” The Palestinians have made it clear that they are adamantly opposed to any protracted Israeli security presence anywhere in a future Palestinian state, including along the Jordan River.
In a recent meeting with US President Barak Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that, among other things which happened in that meeting, was that he had agreed to an American framework proposal whereby Israel would negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of the ’67 cease-fire lines with territorial swaps. He added that in discussions with Secretary of State John Kerry, it was understood that Israel had several reservations about details of the plan which would have to be ironed out. In order to meet with Netanyahu, Obama demanded that Netanyahu declare his commitment to the two-state solution before the meeting or risk another crisis in the relations between Israel and the U.S. It is likely due to this reason that Netanyahu had to clarify before the meeting that he is still committed to the two-state solution in exchange for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state by the Palestinian Authority (PA). The United States was dissatisfied with Netanyahu’s speech at the UN in late September where he did not specifically mention the two-state solution.
Israel TV reported that US Secretary of State John Kerry is seeking to hold direct, intensive talks between Israel and the Palestinians under the auspices of regional Arab powers. Kerry wants negotiations to last two months and involve nations such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In addition, US President Barack Obama is expected to request of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to publicly express a positive attitude towards the 2002 Saudi-drafted Arab Peace Initiative — if not by endorsing it wholesale, at least welcoming its general intent — in order to help enlist Arab nations to the new initiative.
In his meeting with Obama in the United States, Netanyahu said: “Something was “changing in the Middle East” offering a new “commonality of interest between Israel and leading Arab states, and I think that we should work very hard together to seize on those common interests and build a positive program to advance a more secure, a more prosperous and a more peaceful Middle East. I remain committed to a vision of peace of two states for two peoples based on mutual recognition and rock solid security arrangements on the ground,” he said. The US and Israel should “think outside the box” and “see how we can recruit the Arab countries to advance this very hopeful agenda.”
The Swedish new government indicated that it wants to be the first member of the European Union to recognize the state of Palestine. During his inaugural speech, Sweden’s Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said “the conflict between Israel and Palestine can only be solved with a two-state solution, negotiated in accordance with international law. The two-state solution requires mutual recognition and a will to co-exist peacefully. Sweden will therefore recognize the state of Palestine,” he said. Several European countries including Hungary, Slovakia and Romania have given their recognition of Palestine as a state but did so before they became members of the EU.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki welcomed Lofven’s announcement and called on other European Union countries to follow suit. “In the name of the Palestinian people and the Palestinian leadership, we thank and salute the Swedish position,” Malki said.
Sweden’s ambassador to Israel has been summoned for a reprimand meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem after Lofven made the announcement. Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that Lofven’s announcement was unfortunate as he “likely has yet to have enough time to delve into matters and understand that the side which has been a spoiler for the past 20 years to advancing an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians – is the Palestinians.” Lieberman said that the “Swedish Prime Minister Lofven needs to understand that no declaration and no step by an outside player can replace the direct negotiations between the sides and a solution that will be part of a comprehensive agreement between Israel and the entire Arab world.”
The United States called the decision by the new Swedish government “premature” and expressed its disapproval of the decision. US State Department spokesman Jen Psaki said: “The United States believes that the peace process is one that has to be worked out through the parties to agree on the terms of how they’ll live in the future of two states living side-by-side,” said State Department spokesman Jen Psaki.
As a result, the Swedish Embassy in Israel has softened its position regarding the recognition of Palestinian statehood, saying it favors peace negotiation to unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state, Sweden said that it will recognize a Palestinian state at the end of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.
Meanwhile, the British parliament voted on October 13th to recognise the state of Palestine. The vote was 274-12. However, the vote has no practical significance since it does not oblige the British government to change its current policy of recognizing Palestine only after a peace deal is reached between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestine Liberation Organization Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said the vote was “both a principled decision and a significant step towards justice and peace. Our right to self-determination has never been up to negotiations,” she said in a statement released by the PLO. “The recognition of Palestine is not contingent upon on the outcome of negotiations with Israel and certainly not something we will trade for; this claim is not only unfair, but immoral. This vote sends the right message to the British government and the rest of Europe— it will enhance the European voices calling for the recognition of Palestine and will create the right environment for the international community to grant the Palestinian people legal parity and rights.”
Israel said the British motion “undermines the chances to reach a real peace. The route to Palestinian statehood runs through the negotiation room,” a statement from the Israeli Embassy in London said. “Premature international recognition sends a troubling message to the Palestinian leadership that they can evade the tough choices that both sides have to make, and actually undermines the chances to reach a real peace,” the statement went on to say. “Recognition of a Palestinian state should be the result of a successful conclusion of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” the statement concluded.
France’s foreign minister said that the French policy should recognize a Palestinian state only if doing so would help achieve peace, not as a symbolic gesture. However, if negotiations between the Palestinians and Israel fail, France “would not shirk its responsibilities” but would recognize the Palestinian state, the minister, Laurent Fabius, said. It has said that when the time comes it will recognize a Palestinian state. “Until now the prevailing idea was that recognition should be linked to the negotiations,” Fabius said. “But if negotiations were to prove impossible or have no conclusion, then France will naturally have to assume its responsibilities.”
Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the Palestinians will launch a diplomatic push in November to gain international recognition for an independent state in spite of Israeli and US warnings against it. Erekat said that if Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “believes that he can sustain the status quo and [that] we’ll do that for him, forget him. This will not last beyond November… we will not take it any more, business as usual no more,” said Erekat. In addition, Palestinian leader, Nabil Shaath said that a political war”will begin if there is a negative response to Abbas’s steps to gain recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council. “This is the last chance for the world to accept the resolution that is currently being prepared for at the Security Council,” Shaath said.
If the U.S. vetoes the resolution, Erekat said the Palestinians would respond by applying for membership in some 522 organizations, protocols, and treaties, a move aimed at gaining further recognition for a Palestinian state. The Palestinians would then demand that Israel fulfill all its obligations as an occupying power. Erekat said that the PLO would remain the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Elections would also be held for the Palestinian presidency and National Council but during the interim period the PLO would effectively seize power. “Before the elections there will be elections for the PLO’s executive committee with the participation of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, and the executive committee will become the temporary government for the occupied Palestinian state and the National Council will be considered the parliament of the Palestinian people,” he said.
Under pressure from the United State, the Palestinians have agreed to delay by two months its plan to seek a Security Council resolution calling for recognition of a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council. This will give US Secretary of State, John Kerry, two months to present his own plan and to pressure Israel. The Palestinians are conditioning a resumption of talks with Israel on Israel presenting a map with its borders and a full cessation of settlement construction during the talks. The Palestinians said that they are willing to return to negotiations with Israel but not according to the “old mechanisms.”
Finally, according to a former US envoy to Israel, the personal relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama is so poor that it could seriously hurt otherwise strong bilateral ties. “The relationship between the two leaders is worse than I’ve ever seen a relationship between a president and a prime minister,” said Daniel Kurtzer. “There’s no trust between them. There’s a growing lack of respect. There’s a sense of — I’d even say betrayal.”
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) PM: For Palestinian state to emerge everyone needs to adjust concepts of sovereignty
2) Netanyahu says he agreed to Obama framework for negotiations
3) Did Netanyahu Cave in to White House Demand?
4) Bennett slams Netanyahu’s commitment to 2-state solution
5) Kerry said to be planning peace talks under Arab auspices
6) Sweden to be first EU country to recognize Palestine
7) Swedes backtrack Palestinian statehood recognition
8) US: Sweden’s recognition of Palestine is ‘premature’
9) UK set to vote on recognition of Palestinian state
10) U.K. parliament passes non-binding motion to recognize Palestinian state
11) Israel decries UK vote on Palestinian state; PLO rejoices
12) Israel: Palestinian statehood can only come from negotiations
13) France says will recognize Palestinian state if negotiations fail
14) PA negotiator vows to press for statehood
15) Abbas Threatens Israel with ‘Political War’
16) PA official warns of consequences if US vetoes UN bid
17) Report: Palestinians accept US request to delay Security Council bid for statehood
18) Report: PA Agrees to Delay UN Securtiy Council ‘Palestine’ Vote
19) Former US envoy: ‘Sense of betrayal’ in Obama-Netanyahu relationship
From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).
We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).
Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l