You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The dispute between the US and Israel over a possible nuclear deal with Iran and the controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the US Congress against any possible agreement with Iran which allows them to become a threshold nuclear state
A recent report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that Iran is continuing to withhold key information in two areas from investigators that it stated last August that it would provide. In response, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, found it “astonishing” that Iran nuclear negotiations would continue after the IAEA found that Iran was hiding military components of its nuclear program saying, “Not only are they continuing (the talks), there is an increased effort to reach a nuclear agreement in the coming days and weeks. Therefore, the coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threatens Israel’s existence.” Netanyahu added, “While the Islamic State butchers the innocent, the Islamic Republic of Iran is relentlessly pursuing nuclear weapons with the express purpose of destroying the State of Israel.” Netanyahu said that the deal being discussed between Iran and the major world powers is “dangerous” for Israel. Netanyahu stated that the proposed nuclear agreement being discussed between Iran and the major world powers gives Iran a “green light” to develop the capability to build a nuclear bomb. In doing so, the deal would “allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. As a result, Netanyahu said that he “… will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world,” he said.
Netanyahu further explained why he intends to speak before the US Congress on March 3 by asking the question, “Why am I going to the United States?” He answered by saying, “I’m going to the United States because as Prime Minister of Israel, it’s my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel. The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to break out to its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.”
“A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims. Now mind you, I’m not opposed to any deal with Iran. I’m opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal. I’m certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary – no country has a greater interest, a greater stake, in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel. But the current proposal will not solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And therefore it’s very important that I speak about this before the US Congress.”
Second question: Why am I going to the US Congress? Because Israel has been offered the opportunity to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime – the very pressure that has brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place; and because Congress may very well have a say on the parameters of any final deal with Iran. That’s why I’m going to Congress.
I think the real question that should be asked is how could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel’s survival? How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?
Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24th. That’s the date that drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case – now before it’s too late. Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after it’s signed? I believe it’s more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while they’re still ongoing.
I think the whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. Remember, we were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldn’t even speak on our own behalf. Well, we can and we do now. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with the weapons of mass destruction. Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison. Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison’
The answer to all three questions are the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal that is on the table right now. I don’t see this issue in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all the supporters of Israel from every political stripe. The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not a partisan issue. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, that’s not a partisan issue either.
I think the pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. I think the greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with the weapons of mass destruction. Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison. Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.
When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now – that’s what Iran is doing, it’s conducting a rampage through the region – when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril. Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing. And Iran is plunging forward. It’s already controlling four capitals. It’s trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles – Lebanon, Hezbollah, Hamas in Gaza and now it’s trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan. Such a regime with nuclear weapons would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.
Now can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I don’t know. No one knows. But I do know this – it’s my sacred duty as Prime Minister of Israel to make Israel’s case. On March 3rd, I’ll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress. And I will make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound, and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.
Israel Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon called the details of a possible nuclear deal with Iran, “a great danger to the peace of the Western world” and “a danger to the security of the State of Israel.” The Associated Press reported that “several officials spoke of 6,500 centrifuges as a potential point of compromise” and that “the strict controls could be in place for 10 years with a gradual lifting over five years. The easing could bring the number of centrifuges back up to the current 10,000.” Israeli officials have long contended that the final stages of uranium enrichment, necessary for weapons grade fuel, can be done in small and easily concealable spaces, increasing the risk of a covert Iranian advance to full nuclear capacity.
The United States accused Israel of “selective sharing of information” in their public complaints over the diplomatic effort. Nevertheless, US officials say that they are continuing “routine and frequent” contact with the Israelis. Netanyahu responded by saying, “if the emerging agreement with Iran is a good one, why hide the details? The Iranians, of course, know the details of any nuclear proposal, and Israel does, too,” he said. “So when we say that the current proposal would lead to a bad deal, a dangerous deal, we know what we’re talking about. I’m open to hearing the positions and arguments of those who think differently and I would hope that they would be open to hear the arguments of Israel as well.” One Israeli official responded to the charge that Israel was giving “selective” information, by saying that “we see no way that allowing Iran to have 6,000 or 7,000 centrifuges can be okay, irrespective of other elements in the package.” The official added, “in the past we understood from the major players that the goal of the negotiation was that Iran would be kept years away from a nuclear breakout capacity.” Then, he said, that time period was changed to “more than a year. Now, what we understand is that today they are talking about a year,” he said. Asked how Israel could know the details of the accord if it is not been given all the information, the official said, “We cover Iran very closely.” An Israeli official added, “The details of the last round of negotiations are known in the US, France, England, Russia, China, Germany and Iran. It is perplexing that a decision would be made to try to keep those details a secret from Israel when Israel is threatened by Iran with annihilation and its very survival could be threatened by a bad deal.”
US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki questioned Netanyahu’s claim to knowing the details of the deal. “Then the fact is that he knows more than the negotiators, in that there is no deal yet,” she said. “Obviously, if there’s a deal we’ll be explaining the deal and explaining why and how it prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And if that’s the case and we come to a deal, it’s hard to see how anyone wouldn’t see that’s to the benefit of the international community,” she said. As a result, the fundamental differences in the Israeli and US positions on Iran, has led officials from both sides to indicate that the exchange of information and intelligence might not be as free as it was in the past in order to prevent one side or the other from using that information to further its Iranian agenda.
US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said: “I can’t state this more firmly, the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. Anyone running around right now, jumping to say we don’t like the deal, or this or that, doesn’t know what the deal is. There is no deal yet. I caution people to wait and see what these negotiations produce. Since 2013, we have been testing whether or not we can achieve that goal diplomatically. I don’t know yet. But it’s the most effective way to solve the problem and we will prove that over the course of these next weeks and months,” Kerry said. “The P5+1 talks have made inroads since the Joint Plan of Action. We’ve halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. We’ve gain unprecedented insight into it and we expect to know soon whether or not Iran is willing to put together an acceptable and verifiable plan,” he added. Iran and the major world powers have set a March 31 deadline for a political framework nuclear agreement.
As for the prospects of an agreement by the March 31 deadline, Kerry said that “significant gaps” remained and warned that the United States was ready to walk away from the talks if Iran doesn’t agree to terms demonstrating that it doesn’t want nuclear weapons. Kerry said that Obama “is fully prepared to stop these talks if he feels that they’re not being met with the kind of productive decision-making necessary to prove that a program is in fact peaceful.”
Arab nations have joined Israel in expressing concern over the emerging details of a possible US-led international nuclear deal with Iran. Leaders of Sunni Islamic states such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia also fear that a bad deal with Iran would allow it, with the removal of sanctions, to become a nuclear threshold state. An Arab officials said, “At this stage, we prefer a collapse of the diplomatic process to a bad deal.”
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran would resist global sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear program, saying that Iran might respond to international pressure by cutting back gas exports. “The enemy is using the lever of sanctions to the hilt and their goal is to stop our people’s progress,” Khamenei said. “I believe that if we allow them to dictate to us on the nuclear issue, they will still keep the sanctions in place because what they are against is the very foundation of our revolution. We can withstand the sanctions and neutralize and foil the enemy’s goals. If we don’t, the enemy would proceed and place conditions on our nuclear program and impose sanctions,” Khamenei said. “If sanctions are to be the way, the Iranian nation can also do it. A big collection of the world’s oil and gas is in Iran so Iran if necessary can hold back on the gas that Europe and the world is so dependent on.”
However, leading Democratic Jewish Senator Charles Schumer called on his fellow Democrats to attend the Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3 saying that the Israel-US relationship should “transcend” any political differences. “It’s always been a bipartisan policy,” Schumer said of the US-Israel relationship. “Democrats and Republicans have always worked together on it, we ought to keep it that way.” Furthermore, former Jewish Connecticut senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman called on members of Congress to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech about Iran’s nuclear program on March 3. Lieberman said that the 23 House of Representatives Democrats who asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to postpone Netanyahu’s address should “go to the joint meeting [of Congress] and hear what the prime minister has to say. Go because this is about determining how best to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and not just another Washington test of partisan and political loyalty,” Lieberman wrote. “Go because—regardless of what you think of the leaders involved or their actions in this case—you are a strong supporter of America’s alliance with Israel, and you don’t want it to become a partisan matter.”
The strong disagreements between the US and Israel over Iran’s nuclear program is likely to have serious repercussions on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process especially if Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, remains Israel Prime Minister after the March 17 Israeli elections. The US may be more willing to impose a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians through the UN Security Council. One option under active consideration is to make public the framework that US Secretary of State John Kerry developed during the talks to deal with such key issues as Israeli security, the status of Jerusalem and the rights of refugees. This might simply be announced publicly or introduced as a U.N. Security Council resolution outlining the details of a framework peace agreement which recognizes a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) PM slams ongoing Iran nuclear talks after damning IAEA report
2) Netanyahu: P5+1 giving Iran green light to have nuclear bomb-making capabilities
3) Benjamin Netanyahu on Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran: ‘This is a bad agreement’
4) US acknowledges withholding information from Israel on Iran talks
5) EU officials confirm Israel not fully briefed on Iran talks
6) Netanyahu: If emerging nuclear deal with Iran is so good, why hide it?
7) Netanyahu: Israel knows details of proposed U.S.-Iran deal
8) Netanyahu rebuffs report Israel kept in dark on nuke talks
9) US takes swipe at Netanyahu: Sounds like he knows more about Iran deal than negotiators
10) Kerry in apparent jab at Netanyahu: Those bad-mouthing Iran deal don’t know what deal is
11) Netanyahu explains: ‘Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now?’
12) Israel to US: Emerging nuclear deal allows Iran to dominate Middle East
13) Defense minister rips into deal with ‘apocalyptic’ Iran
14) Expert: ‘Bad Iran deal’ neglects weaponization
15) Washington Post: Obama Thinks Netanyahu Authorized Leaks on Iran
16) Looming Iran deal would restrict nuke activity for a decade, then ease off
17) US warns it is ready to walk away from Iran nuclear talks
18) Arab nations said deeply worried by Iran nuke deal
19) Khamenei threatens world gas supply, vows firm Iranian nuclear stand
20) Biden to skip Netanyahu’s speech before Congress
21) State Dept.: Kerry Will be ‘Out of Town’ During Netanyahu Speech
22) White House may snub AIPAC as it seeks to undercut Netanyahu speech
23) Jeb Bush ‘anxious to hear’ PM’s speech on Iran
24) Former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman Supports Netanyahu’s Congress Speech
25) A perfect storm brews in the Middle East
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