Archive for March, 2015

March 31, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

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) Benjamin Netanyahu task to form a new government and the current situation with the Israel / PLO peace process

Given the results of the March 17 elections, Israel President Reuven Rivlin gave the task to incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form the next Israeli government. Rivlin said to Netanyahu: “You are tasked with the grave responsibility of forming a government as stable and as wide as possible, and soon. The incoming government and Knesset are faced with three critical tasks.” he said. “The first is reinforcing the ties between Israel and the US, our biggest and most important ally. The second is to restore stability to the political system and restoring the public’s trust in the system – we must not go back to elections in two years. And the third is healing the painful wounds and rifts opened in recent years, which have grown during this election campaign,” Rivlin said. Rivlin added, “To the citizens of Israel, we’ve gone through a difficult election campaign … Things were said on all sides that should not have been said. Not in a Jewish state, and not in a democratic state. The heat of the flames serves no one. The fire is not just hot, it could burn.”

In reply, Netanyahu said: “I accept the task you gave me of forming the government with a feeling of great responsibility,” Netanyahu told the president. Netanyahu said he viewed himself “as the prime minister of each and every one of you – those who elected me and those who did not. I will act to mend the rifts which have opened up between different segments of society during the election.” Netanyahu urged Israeli citizens to put the elections behind them and focus on what unites them. “I must continue on this path in the next government that is formed – a Jewish and democratic country that gives full equal rights to all of its citizens regardless of religious, race or gender. So it has always been, and so it always will be,” he said. Netanyahu said that he wants to have good relations with the US. However, he said that he would continue to try to prevent a bad nuclear deal from being reached between the six major world powers (US, England, France, Russia, China and Germany) and Iran. “Real peace can be achieved only if Israel remains strong and stable,” Netanyahu said.

After being given the task to form his new coalition government, Netanyahu began coalition talks with the 5 parties most likely to be in his coalition. They are: Jewish Home, Kulanu, Yisrael Beitenu, Shas and United Torah Judaism. If all agree to be in the government, it would give Netanyahu a coalition of 67 Knesset members. Initially, Netanyahu will have until May 7 to form a government.

Zionist Union party leader Isaac Herzog whose political party came in second place behind Netanyahu’s Likud political party ruled out the possibility of forming a unity government with Benjamin Netanyahu, echoing the prime minister’s words by saying the differences between the two were too profound for them to work together. “Netanyahu said there’s a huge chasm between us. He said during the elections that we are anti-Zionists, and he said during the election that I will basically sell the country to the Arabs,” Herzog said. However, the Zionist Union leader also spoke of deepening an alliance with Arab MKs, insisting he would try to bring them into the mainstream of Israeli politics.

Regarding the peace process, after months of freezing tax revenue transfers as punishment for the Palestinian Authority’s application to the Rome Statute which would allow them to become a member of the International Criminal Court, Israel said that it would release the money to the Palestinian Authority. In January, Israel froze the transfer of some NIS 500 million in tax collections to protest the Palestinians application for membership of the International Criminal Court on behalf of the “State of Palestine”. The tax money is used to pay public sector salaries and is critical to running the Palestinian Authority. The decision was made by Israel to help rebuild bridges with the United States due to US criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu when during the Israeli election season Netanyahu said that there would not be a Palestinian state during his term as Prime Minister.

US President Barack Obama gave a cold reception to Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election as Prime Minister of Israel on March 17.  From this time, US-Israel relations have been tense as the Obama administration has made many harsh statements toward Israel and regarding the peace process. According to a senior Israeli official, the multiple condemnations are a form of “revenge” from the Obama Administration against Netanyahu who says that the US is doing these things for three primary reasons: “One, revenge (for Netanyahu’s speech in Congress). Two, frustration. It’s no secret that they were involved in an attempt to bring down the Netanyahu and we know that clearly, and they have failed. Three, the government’s attempt to shift the focus from them and the negotiations with Iran to the Palestinian issue.”

The senior official heavily criticized the Obama administration’s handling of Israel and the issue of peace talks, asking why the issue of “settlements” in the West Bank are suddenly the most important policy issue on the agenda. “Look what we have done so far with the construction in the settlements,” the official said. “We took upon ourselves all of the restrictions from the [Ariel] Sharon – [George W.] Bush era, which allowed natural growth but not the establishment of new settlements.” Recently, US Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough said “an occupation that has lasted for almost 50 years must end.”

Furthermore, Obama said that he has not made any decision regarding if the US would no longer use its veto at the UN Security Council to prevent the establishment and recognition of a PLO state until after Netanyahu forms his new government. Obama said: “We are going to do that evaluation. We’re going to partly wait for an actual Israeli government to form.” After the March 17th Israeli elections, Netanyahu clarified his views on a PLO state saying to US media, “I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable, peaceful two-state solution” while stressing the grave dangers posed to Israel in the region from radical Islam and the PLO’s refusal to negotiation in good faith a two-state solution. However, the Obama administration rejected Netanyahu’s clarification. Obama said, the US could no longer base its peace policy on “something everyone knows is not going to happen … there still does not appear to be a prospect of a meaningful framework established that would lead to a Palestinian state even if there were a whole range of conditions and security requirements that might be phased in over a long period of time, which was always the presumption.” Obama continued, “The issue has never been ‘do you create a Palestinian state overnight.’ The issue is ‘do you create a process and a framework that gives the Palestinians hope, the possibility that down the road they have a secure state of their own standing side by side with a secure and fully recognized Jewish state of Israel,’” he said.  Obama added: “It’s not just my estimation, but it’s hard to envision how that happens based on the prime minister’s statements. Netanyahu is representing his country’s interests the way he thinks he needs to and I’m doing the same … so this can’t be reduced to a matter of somehow let’s all hold hands and sing Kumbaya.”

Meanwhile, the United Nations Middle East envoy, Robert Serry, challenged the United Nations Security Council to present a framework for peace between Israel and the Palestinians saying this this “may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution” while being critical of Jews who live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem by saying that it “may kill the very possibility of reaching peace on the paradigm of two states for two peoples.” In addition, Serry said that if the world believes in a two-state solution, and Israel and the Palestinians are unable to agree on a meaningful framework to resume peace negotiations, “the international community should seriously consider presenting such a framework for negotiations, including parameters, to achieve this.” Serry added, “It remains the primary responsibility of the United Nations Security council to play its role in developing a new peace architecture for resolving the conflict at long last,” he said. “UN Security Council Resolution 242 embodying the key principle of ‘land for peace’ is nearly half-a-century old.” UN Security Council Resolution 242, adopted shortly after the Six Day War in 1967, has long been the cornerstone of diplomatic efforts, calling for negotiations between the sides based on the principle of “land for peace” and secure and recognized borders for Israel.

Serry noted that American attempts to solve the conflict during his seven year tenure have not been met with success, and that the Quartet has largely failed to live up to expectations. The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said that he agrees with Serry’s comments saying, “We hope the Security Council will… take that responsibility very seriously,” Mansour said. He said he wants to see a resolution with a time frame for ending the Israeli occupation and with terms of reference for the peace process.

The last round of peace talks, pressed on Israel by US Secretary of State John Kerry, were torpedoed by the PA last April when it unilaterally joined international treaties in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords, and signed a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization.

In response, Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor said that not only was the international community not demanding anything of the Palestinians but was assisting their efforts to destroy any chance for progress toward a peace agreement. Prosor added that the international community should be paying attention to the PA actions that torpedoed the diplomatic process. These actions, he said, included walking away from negotiations in favor of unilateral activity against Israel in the international arena, giving prizes to terrorists and forming a unity government with Hamas, which calls for Israel’s destruction.

Israel’s position has long been that as long as the Palestinians believe the world will set the parameters of an accord, thereby imposing an agreement, they will not feel any need to compromise with Israel around the negotiating table. “Anyone who believes that there is a substitute for direct negotiations is fooling themselves,” said an Israeli government official. “Peace will not be advanced by passing resolutions in New York, but by Israelis and Palestinians seriously discussing the issues that separate them. Everything else is blah, blah.” The official said there can be no peace without the Palestinians recognizing the legitimacy of the Jewish state and without them finally taking Israel’s legitimate security concerns seriously.

Meanwhile, a European diplomat said that the European Union and Israel are “on a collision course” if Netanyahu forms a center-right government and continues to build Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. A European report outlines 40 possible decisions that the EU could take to pressure Israel into returning to negotiations.  If these things happen, the European diplomat indicated that the items contained in the report could begin to get implemented. However, EU member states have not yet approved the recommendations. ” EU diplomacy will likely remain in a sort of listening mode for a while, looking at what might be Netanyahu’s political and diplomatic signaling strategy. And it will also probably adjust its actions accordingly,” said European Policy Centre analyst Andrea Frontini.

In any event, France plans to start discussions with partners in the “coming weeks” on a United Nations Security Council resolution to lay out parameters for ending the Middle East conflict, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. “We have said that these parameters have to be defined and recognized by the UN Security Council and that obviously Israel and the Palestinians have to discuss these things themselves but the discussion will be accompanied by an international effort,” Fabius said adding “there is no other solution.” Fabious continued: “I hope that the partners who were reluctant will not be reluctant anymore,” referring to the United States, which has traditionally shielded its ally Israel from any recognition of a PLO state at the UN Security Council. Fabious said that France plans to try to get the UN Security Council to agree on a framework for a two-state solution as soon as Israel’s new government is formed.

In response to Fabius’ comments, a US official said: “We’re not going to get ahead of any decisions about what the United States would do with regard to potential action at the UN Security Council.” He said the United States continues to engage with key stakeholders, including France, “to find a way forward that advances the interest we and others share in a two state solution.”

France, along with Britain and Germany, drafted a UN Security Council resolution in November to set parameters for a negotiated settlement to the peace process but the text was put on the side until after the results of the Israeli elections were known. However, based upon the comments by France, it seems that this effort will continue after Netanyahu forms his new government coalition. The deadline for him to do so is May 7.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Rivlin taps Netanyahu to form next government
2) Countdown to coalition begins after Rivlin gives PM mandate
3) Herzog says he won’t be Netanyahu’s ‘bleaching agent’
4) Israel to resume tax revenue transfers to the Palestinian Authority
5) Diplomat: Obama Seeking ‘Revenge’ on Netanyahu
6) Obama: US can’t base policy on ‘dim’ peace hopes under Netanyahu
7) UN Mideast envoy asks Security Council to lead on Israel
8) Serry: Time to replace 242 with new ‘peace architecture’
9) UN Envoy Says Security Council can Force ‘Peace Framework’
10) EU plans to pressure Israel as diplomat warns of ‘collision course’
11) France to begin push for UN action on Israel-Palestinian conflict
12) France: Talks within days on UN resolution on Palestinians
13) TEXT: France UN Draft Resolution on Israel / PLO conflict (November 2014)

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

March 24, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

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 situation with Benjamin Netanyahu being able to form a new government and what Netanyahu’s election victory means for the peace process

Israel President Reuven Rivlin met with the heads of the various political parties who won Knesset seats in the March 17 Israeli elections. The political parties Likud, Jewish Home, Kulanu, Shas, United Torah Judaism and Yisrael Beytenu recommended that Likud party leader, Benjamin Netanyahu, be the next Israeli Prime Minister. These parties represent a majority of 67 Knesset seats. Most likely, these parties will be in Netanyahu’s next government coalition. If formed, these parties would be regarded as a right wing government and would be scorned upon by the United States and Europe. Political sources stated that a national unity government consisting of the Likud political party of Benjamin Netanyahu and the rival Zionist Union headed by Isaac Herzog was out of the question. Both Likud and Zionist Union representatives signaled their intent to be in opposition to each other in the next government despite Israel President Reuven Rivlin’s efforts to bring reconciliation between the two parties. Netanyahu will have until May 7 to form a government coalition.

The political parties, Zionist Union and Meretz recommended that Zionist Union party leader, Isaac Herzog, be the next prime minister. This only represents 29 Knesset seats. The Israel political party, Yesh Atid, and the Joint Arab List did not make a recommendation. A Yesh Atid Knesset representative said, “We have decided to sit in the opposition.”

How would a right wing Israeli government affect the Israel / Palestinian peace process ? A day prior to the March 17 elections during a campaign stop in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa, Netanyahu promised to increase construction there, saying it was “a way of stopping Bethlehem from moving toward Jerusalem.” Furthermore, Netanyahu said that a Zionist Union-led government headed by Isaac Herzog would push for relinquishing more territory to the Palestinians, a move he said was tantamount to “burying its head in the sand.” Netanyahu went on to say the following: “I think that anyone who moves to establish a Palestinian state today, and evacuate areas, is giving radical Islam an area from which to attack the State of Israel. This is the true reality that has been created in past years. Those that ignore it are burying their heads in the sand. The left does this, buries its head in the sand, time and again. Whoever moves to establish a Palestinian state or intends to withdraw from territory is simply yielding territory for radical Islamic terrorist attacks against Israel.” Asked directly whether no Palestinian state would be created under his leadership, the prime minister answered: “Indeed.”

Netanyahu criticized peace talks with the Palestinians in 1999 under then-prime minister Ehud Barak, who endorsed the Zionist Union party in the recent elections. Barak was “willing to give everything away,” Netanyahu said. “As it happened, with God’s help, [then-PA leader Yasser] Arafat’s heart was hardened and he wanted more than was offered,” Netanyahu said, in an allusion to the biblical Pharaoh, whose refusal to set the enslaved Hebrews free brought about his own demise. Netanyahu said that after the election, Israel will face international pressure to pull back to the 1967 lines. In order to prevent this, he said: “We must establish a strong national government headed by Likud in order to fend off these pressures.” Netanyahu said that he was “the last line of defense,” and maintained that the Zionist Union understood that this was the case.

After the election results, Netanyahu clarified his position. He said that he wanted a “sustainable, peaceful two-state solution” but that the current situation does not allow for that to happen. “I haven’t changed my policy. I never retracted my speech in Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state,” he said.

US President Barack Obama did not accept Netanyahu’s clarification. Instead, Obama said that he was going to believe that Netanyahu doesn’t want a two-state solution. Obama told Netanyahu that the US was reconsidering its policies because Netanyahu had changed his position on Palestinian statehood. Netanyahu retorted that he hadn’t changed his position, still supporting a two state solution, but that the Middle East realities had changed in recent years.

Israel Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, said that Netanyahu “didn’t say what the president and others seem to suggest he is saying,” arguing that interpretations of Netanyahu’s pre-election statements in the US did not convey the meaning or intent of his comments. “The prime minister is not against a two-state solution with a demilitarized Palestinian state. He has not retracted his vision that he laid out at Bar-Ilan in 2009,” he emphasized. Dermer argued that Netanyahu had framed his comments in light of recent changes to regional geopolitics that made a peace deal difficult or even impossible under current conditions. He listed the growing instability on Israel’s borders, particularly with the ascent of the Islamic State in parts of Syria “eighteen miles from Israel’s borders,” as well as Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s nearly year-long ostensible unity government with Hamas. “What Israel believes has to happen now is that President Abbas needs to break his alliance with Hamas and come back to serious negotiations with Israel,” Dermer elaborated. The peace process, he said, collapsed not because of Israel, but because Abbas had “joined up with Hamas.”

Because Obama does not accept Netanyahu’s clarification on the matter, Obama told Netanyahu, “Because you oppose a Palestinian state, that is why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region.” Obama said that he told Netanyahu during a bitter 30-minute phone conversation after the elections that “a two-state solution is the only way for a long-term security of Israel if it wants to stay both a Jewish state and democratic,” noting that “given his (Netanyahu’s) statement prior to the election, it is going to be hard to find a path where people are seriously believing negotiations were possible.” According to Israeli television, Obama left Netanyahu with “the impression that he intends to abandon Israel at the UN.”

A senior Obama administration official said: “We are signaling that if the Israeli government’s position is no longer to pursue a Palestinian state, we’re going to have to broaden the spectrum of options we pursue going forward. The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics,” the official said. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said: “The divergent comments of the prime minister legitimately call into question his commitment to this policy principle and his lack of commitment to what has been the foundation of our policy-making in the region,” Earnest said. Netanyahu had prompted questions about his “true view” on the two-state solution, the spokesman added. “Words matter.” But the administration made clear that its reconsideration of Israel-US ties was not only due to Netanyahu’s recent comments, which many have claimed were made for the purpose of garnering support from the far right, but rather for his actions throughout the years, which officials say prove the prime minister’s opposition to a Palestinian state.

In reaction to these things, The New York Times quoted several administration officials as saying that the US could endorse a United Nations Security Council resolution setting down terms for the formation of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed land swaps. Meanwhile, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki implied that although the US still prefers direct negotiations toward an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, she could not promise that the US would continue to defend Israel against unilateral actions in support of Palestinian statehood in either the International Criminal Court or the United Nations. “We are not going to get ahead of any decisions with regard to what the US would do during any vote at the United Nations Security Council,” Psaki said in a press briefing, leaving open the possibility that the US could amend its long-held policy of using its Security Council veto power to block anti-Israel resolutions.

US journalist Jeffrey Goldberg whose close connections to Obama administration officials permits him to write articles which reflect the current views of the administration said in a recent article, “President Obama is not particularly interested in spending political capital on behalf of Netanyahu in order to block a UN resolution recognizing Palestinian statehood. Thus, it is up to Netanyahu, in the coming weeks, to show he is actually committed to preserving the possibility of a two-state solution,” Goldberg wrote. Goldberg added,“if the UN Security Council recognizes Palestine as an independent state, Netanyahu will have no time at all to get his house in order before Israel becomes a true pariah of the international community.”

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough called for the end of Israel’s “50-year occupation” saying “we will look to the next Israeli government to match words with action and to policies that demonstrates a commitment to a two-state solution,” McDonough said. “In the end, we know what a peace agreement should look like. The borders of Israel and an independent Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps. Each state needs secure and recognized borders, and there must be robust provisions that safeguard Israel’s security.”

Israel Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer sounded hesitant when asked about American threats to withdraw its traditional veto of unilateral Palestinian moves at the United Nations. “We hope that won’t happen,” he said. “We know that the US has stood for decades against all these anti-Israel resolutions at the UN.” The passage of a UN resolution to establish a Palestinian state, he said, would “harden Palestinian positions and could prevent peace for decades to come, because no Palestinian leader will move from those positions.” This would then, he argued, limit the opportunity for a negotiated resolution to the conflict, an outcome which has been — and still is — the stated policy of the United States.

The Palestinian representative to the UN, Riyad Mansour, urged the United States to support a UN resolution that would mandate a short time-frame for the establishment of a Palestinian state, and a second resolution that would specifically condemn Israeli construction across the 1967 Green Line. “If we do not move in the direction of a two state solution now and we wait, there will never be a two-state solution,” he warned. He also said that the Palestinians would not withdraw their bid to sue Israel at the International Criminal Court over alleged war crimes.

In addition, Obama told Netanyahu that the continued settlement construction was “not a recipe for stability in the region” and cannot continue in perpetuity. Furthermore,  a new European Union (EU) report says that Jerusalem is at a “boiling point” and recommends sanctions against Israel over the “polarization” of Jerusalem. The report says that Jerusalem has reached a dangerous boiling point of “polarization and violence” not seen since the end of the second intifada in 2005. The report calls for tougher European sanctions against Israel over its “continued settlement construction in the city”, which it claims is exacerbating recent conflict. The report describes the emergence of a “vicious cycle of violence … increasingly threatening the viability of the two-state solution”, which it says has been stoked by the continuation of “systematic” settlement building by Israel in “sensitive areas” of Jerusalem.

According to Dennis Ross, Obama’s former top Middle East adviser, said that the White House pressure toward Israel had other motives as well. Ross said: “There’s an effort to apply leverage to the Israelis to get the prime minister to move on some things when he has a new government formed,” citing a US wish to see Israel release frozen Palestinian tax funds and take other goodwill gestures.

One senior administration official said that another outcome of the friction between Obama and Netanyahu could be a change in how the relationship between Israel and America is managed. Discourse between the two countries, for instance, would no longer be held between the heads of state directly. Instead, Secretary of State John Kerry and defense officials would act as go-betweens for President Barack Obama and Netanyahu. “The president is a pretty pragmatic person and if he felt it would be useful, he will certainly engage,” said the official. “But he’s not going to waste his time.”

In his interview, Obama went on to say his administration will keep cooperating with Israel on military and intelligence regardless of policy disagreements between the two countries.

Although the Obama administration claims that the US reassessment of policy toward Israel at the United Nations was prompted by Netanyahu’s pre-election claim to rejecting the establishment of a Palestinian state, according to Israeli officials, this is not the actual facts.  The United States has actually been considering a reevaluation of ties with Israel, including its automatic support for the Jewish state at the United Nations Security Council, for at least four months.

Israeli television reports that US President Barack Obama will not support an independent Palestinian diplomatic initiative for recognition of a state at the United Nations but instead may try to advance a joint American-European initiative for a two-state solution. European governments incensed by Netanyahu’s campaign comments against Palestinian statehood, could decide to push for a joint American-European UN resolution on Palestinian statehood. The American-European initiative, which is to be presented to the UN Security Council, will provide the “contours” of any future agreement, according to the report, which cited sources in the Obama administration. The plan will not include a timetable but will join Resolutions 242 and 338 as blueprints for a peace deal that the international community favors. The US is also reportedly considering revealing the understandings that Secretary of State John Kerry reached in his talks with Israel and the Palestinian Authority. These will serve as guidelines for future negotiations. Israel is opposed to these ideas.

US President Barack Obama, once famously said, “I will always have Israel’s back.” By considering supporting a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council, is Obama now in the process of betraying Israel ?

US Senator John McCain accused President Barack Obama of putting personal grievances with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of pressing geopolitical concerns in the Middle East. McCain said that the president should “get over” his “temper tantrum” following Netanyahu’s election victory. Responding to signals from the Obama administration that the US could stop using its United Nations Security Council veto power to prevent unilateral resolutions in support of Palestinian statehood, McCain, chairman of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, warned Obama against such a move.

He said that if the US acquiesced to a UN resolution calling for a Palestinian state, and if it were approved at the UN, “the United States Congress would have to examine our funding for the United Nations.” The United States is the single biggest funder of the international body, but current legislation permits defunding of any UN body that recognizes Palestinian statehood. “It would be a violation because of the president’s anger over a statement by the prime minister of Israel,” McCain explained. “It would contradict American policy for the last at least 10 presidents of the United States.”

Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett whose religious Zionist nationalistic party will most likely be members of Netanyahu’s new government said that he would never sit in a government that gives Israeli land to Arabs. Bennett was asked, “Would you resign from the government if, even by mistake, there is the thought of returning territories?”  Bennett said: “Yes, I will overthrow a government that considers providing [the Arabs] even a centimeter of land.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Majority of MKs recommend Netanyahu for PM
2) Netanyahu to form next Israeli government
3) Netanyahu: No Palestinian state on my watch
4) US officials: Washington could back UN resolution on Palestine
5) Obama: We believe Netanyahu doesn’t want a Palestinian state
6) TV report: Obama left PM ‘with impression US will abandon Israel at UN’
7) Jeffrey Goldberg: PM has ‘weeks’ to prove he supports two-state solution
8) Top White House official calls for end to ’50-year occupation’
9) Envoy to Washington defends Netanyahu’s 2-state comments
10) EU Planning Sanctions on Israel for ‘Polarizing Jerusalem’
11) Report: Obama May Reveal Understandings Reached with Israel, PA
12) Netanyahu row casts doubt on Obama pledge to ‘have Israel’s back’
13) McCain: Congress could defund UN if US backs Palestine bid
14) Bennett: I Will Overthrow Gov’t That Gives Even an Inch of Land

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

March 17, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

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 results of the Israeli elections and what it means for the peace process

With over 99% of the votes counted, the Israeli elections results are as follows:

1) Likud ………….. 30 seats
2) Zionist Union …… 24 seats
3) Joint Arab List …. 13 seats
4) Yesh Atid ………. 11 seats
5) Kulanu …………. 10 seats
6) Jewish Home ……… 8 seats
7) Shas ……………. 7 seats
8) United Torah Judaism …. 6 seats
9) Yisrael Beytenu ….. 6 seats
10) Meretz …………. 5 seats

The Israel Knesset consists of 120 members. In order to form a government, you need a coalition of parties of at least 61 members. Benjamin Netanyahu is the leader of the “Likud” political party. Since the “Likud” political party got the most votes in the Israeli election, Netanyahu will be given the opportunity to talk with other parties to form a coalition government. When he does, who is most likely to join his government coalition ?

Prior to the elections, Netanyahu said that he will not form a unity government. A unity government is when two of the largest parties in Israel form a government together. Therefore, Netanyahu said that he will not form a government with the Zionist camp party. The Zionist camp party is headed by Isaac Herzog. He is in partnership with Tzipi Livni in leading the party. In the last Israeli government, Tzipi Livni was in Netanyahu’s government and was the chief negotiator in the peace process with the Palestinians. However because of her independent thinking and criticism of Netanyahu’s policies, Netanyahu fired her along with the leader of the party, Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid who was also in Netanyahu’s government and criticized his policies. As a result, it is highly unlikely that the Zionist camp and Yesh Atid will be in Netanyahu’s new government coalition. The united Arab list party has also indicated that they will not be in Netanyahu’s government.

In past Netanyahu governments, the ultra-Orthodox parties of Shas and United Torah Judaism have been in his coalition. Shas chairman Aryeh Deri said that his party would support Binyamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister saying:  “We are with you Binyamin Netanyahu. Our public and your public are brothers.” Furthermore, Deri has said that there is no possibility that he would sit in a coalition together with Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid. This is because in the last government, Yair Lapid backed a new law that would require the ultra-Orthodox to serve in the Israeli military. If they would not serve in the military, Lapid advocated criminal sanctions against them. The ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judasim, oppose this law.

MK Ya’akov Litzman of the ultra-Orthodox party, United Torah Judaism, also said that his party would not sit in government with Yesh Atid and its leader, Yair Lapid. Litzman said, “I will not sit with Lapid. Plain and simple.” Litzman added that Lapid can repent but that will not change his mind about being a part of the same coalition as Lapid. “If he wants to repent then let him repent. Let him be in the opposition for one term, praise the yeshiva students who study, support them in budgets and child allowances, and then in the next term we may sit with him,” he said. “As far as I know the position of the Council of Torah Sages is the same – that we will absolutely not sit in a government with Lapid” added Litzman.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin said that he opposes criminal sanctions for ultra-Orthodox draft dodgers approved by his government. We are one Israeli people. I think the whole issue of criminal sanctions that were imposed is something that should be done away with. A Jew should not have to go to prison for studying the torah.”

In response, Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said that the Israeli High Court will never allow the cancellation of a law passed last year that stipulates that if the target number of ultra-Orthodox draftees into the Israeli military is not reached by 2017, ultra-Orthodox draft-dodgers will be treated the same as others who refuse to serve in the Israeli army and thus will be subject to criminal sanctions. According to Lapid, “they cannot cancel the Security Service Law – all of military enlistment to the IDF in Israel is based on it. So what do they care to promise something that they know can’t happen. We cannot cancel the equality of the burden. The state of Israel cannot afford to cancel, and I will certainly not sit in a government that will cancel it,” he said. “It is a holy principle that all citizens of the country have the same rights,” Lapid continued. “We will not allow this equality of the burden to be overthrown or shot down. We will not sit in any government that tries to do so.” Finally, Lapid said that he will not sit in government with Benjamin Netanyahu.

The Meretz has also said that it is also opposed to being in government with Benjamin Netanyahu.

The new party to this election, Kulanu, headed by former Likud political party member, Moshe Kahlon, said that he would join any government where he can help bring down Israel housing prices.

In the last elections, Yisrael Beytenu chairman, Avigdor Lieberman ran on a joint election ticket with the Likud political party of Benjamin Netanyahu. In this election, Lieberman said that there was “no chance” that his Yisrael Beytenu will sit in the same coalition with the leftist Meretz party who won 5 seats.

As a result of all these things, it is most likely that Netanyahu will form a religious right government of Likud, Kulanu, Jewish Home, Shas, United Torah Judaism and Yisrael Beytenu. This government would have 67 seats.

US President Barack Obama gave a cold response to the election victory of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by waiting 2 days to congratulate him for winning the Israeli elections. Furthermore, the morning after the elections found US-Israel relations more shaky than ever before. The US State Department made a few things clear. US Secretary of State John Kerry’s call to congratulate Netanyahu on his election victory was very cold. The two did not talk policy at all, said spokeswoman Jen Psaki. In fact, the message that the US is conveying to Israel is that everything other than the most routine cooperation – security, intelligence, and military – is open to question.

The Palestinian responded to the Israeli election results by saying that there was no other choice but to “reexamine” relations with Israel. “Israel must choose: peace with the Palestinian people or the continued occupation of the land of Palestine,” Abbas declared. Saeb Erekat, chief Palestinian negotiator in peace talks with Israel said that Netanyahu’s election victory showed “the success of a campaign based on settlements, racism, apartheid and the denial of the fundamental rights of the Palestinian people”.

The day before the March 17 Israeli elections, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Netanyahu vowed that if reelected he will build thousands of homes in East Jerusalem to prevent future concessions to the Palestinians saying, “I won’t let that happen. My friends and I in Likud will preserve the unity of Jerusalem. We will continue to build in Jerusalem, we will add thousands of housing units, and in the face of all the (international) pressure, we will persist and continue to develop our eternal capital.” Netanyahu further said: “I think that anyone who establishes a Palestinian state and evacuates land is giving radical Islam a staging ground against the state of Israel. This is the reality that was created here over the past few years. Whoever ignores it is burying their heads in the sand. The left is doing this, burying its head in the sand time after time. We are realistic and we understand. The real test is who will build the next government. I am not going to fold. They would not be concentrating efforts against me if they didn’t understand that I am the last line of defense. They understand this. We faced tremendous pressures and we will continue to work.” Furthermore, Netanyahu said that he objects to a Palestinian state saying that Israel faces a series of international initiatives meant to return it to pre-1967 borders and to divide Jerusalem. In an interview, he was asked, “If you are PM there will be no Palestinian state?” He replied, “Indeed.”

The Obama administration reacted to Netanyahu’s words by saying that there will be consequences if Netanyahu no longer supports an independent Palestinian state. A senior Obama administration official said: “We are signaling that if the Israeli government’s position is no longer to pursue a Palestinian state, we’re going to have to broaden the spectrum of options we pursue going forward.” Another official said: “There are policy ramifications for what Netanyahu said.” While the US is indicating that it would not cut back its financial and military support for Israel, it did indicate that it be may less supportive of Israel at the UN Security Council. Senior American officials said that the Obama administration would still be evaluating all its options but strongly suggested that the US could ease its staunch opposition to Palestinians turning to the UN Security Council to create a state. Carefully planted rumors have been circulating around the US for weeks that the US is considering presenting a new peace plan at the UN Security Council that would bypass direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority and attempt to impose a solution to the conflict.  A second official confirmed the US could decide not to veto Security Council action. The officials were not authorized to speak by name about internal deliberations and commented only on condition of anonymity.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the US was still “not going to get ahead of any decisions about what the United States would do with regard to potential action at the UN Security Council.” Asked repeatedly about whether the US would maintain its veto policy, Psaki said simply that “the prime minister’s recent statements call into question his commitment to a two-state solution…but that doesn’t mean that we’ve made a decision about changing our position with respect to the UN.” However, the statement in itself – a refusal to commit to a veto – is itself a changed position. The New York Times reported that according to several administration officials, the Obama administration is now seriously considering agreeing to the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution “embodying the principles of a two-state solution that would include Israel’s 1967 borders with Palestine and mutually agreed swaps of territory.”

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, reaffirmed that the US “committed” to a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict saying, “The position of the United States with respect to our long expressed hope, the Republicans and the Democrats alike (and) many presidents of the last 50 years or more, has always been for peace and President Obama remains committed to a two-state solution,” Kerry said.

After his election victory, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu clarified his position on a Palestinian state saying, “I never retracted my speech in Bar-Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognized the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. “I want a sustainable peaceful two-state solution,” he said. “But for that, circumstances have to change.” Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for being responsible for part of that change, saying that he refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and has made a pact with Hamas that calls for Israel’s destruction. He also said that history has shown that all territory vacated in the Middle East is taken over by Islamist forces. “If you want to get peace, you’ve got to get the Palestinian leadership to abandon their pact with Hamas and engage in genuine negotiations with Israel for an achievable peace,” he said. “We have to also make sure that we don’t have ISIS coming in to that territory. It’s only two dozen miles away from our border.”

The honeymoon period for any new Israeli government will be short, and neither the EU nor the US will have much patience for promises of developing new policies toward the Palestinians, according to Western diplomatic officials. Israel will need an initiative to convince both the EU and US of its seriousness in working toward a two-state solution, the officials said.

The US special envoy to last year’s Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, Martin Indyk, said that if the new Netanyahu government does not launch a diplomatic initiative or opposes a Palestinian state, Israel will likely face a UN Security Council resolution proposed by all permanent members designed to “lay out the principles of a two state solution.” If this happens, Indyk expects that a resolution would be written against Israel’s will. He said: “If there is a government in Israel after these elections that decides to pursue a two state solution then there is a way forward. It begins with coordinating an initiative with the United States. And then, together with the US, looking to Egypt and Jordan and the resurrection of the Arab peace initiative, to find a way to provide the Palestinians both with an Egyptian-Jordanian anchor, and the political cover of the Arab peace initiative.” Indyk said that in this arrangement there would have to be a “freeze for a freeze:” an Israeli freeze of settlement activity, and a freeze of Palestinian international activity against Israel.”

But if there is not an Israeli initiative or support for a two state solution, Indyk warned, there will be “international actions” pursued not by the Palestinians, but rather by the international community “in terms of a security council resolution” to “lay out and preserve the principles of a two-state solution in the future.” By saying this resolution may come from all five members of the UN Security Council, he hinted that this could be an American proposal.

In addition, European Union member states are planning new sanctions against Israel that will be implemented if peace negotiations with Palestinians do not resume following Israeli elections. The proposed plan would include “sanctions against companies that conduct business over the Green Line, support in the legal proceedings of Palestinians in the issue of settlements and also renewing the proposal to create a Palestinian state through the Security Council,” according to an Israeli official who met recently with European leaders. According to one of the Israeli officials briefed by European leaders, the process of imposing sanctions was delayed by elections, but will likely be picked up should peace efforts not restart after Netanyahu forms his new government. “For some of the countries there is the hope that after the elections there is a chance to renew the negotiations with the Palestinians. But now it does not seem like that will happen, and therefore they are planning to shift into a higher gear,” the official said.

European officials also want to hear more positive reaction from Israel regarding the Special Privileged Partnership that the EU offered both Israel and the Palestinians in 2013 if they complete a peace deal. Many in Brussels see the failure of the Netanyahu government to jump at the offer as a “missed opportunity,” even though – according to the officials – the government is more interested in a closer relationship with the EU than it wants to let on. According to the officials, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is saving “for a strategic moment” the implementation of measures based on conclusions of the EU Council in 2012 regarding EU-wide labeling of settlement products. The conclusions, issued after a meeting of EU foreign ministers, said “the European Union expresses its commitment to ensure that – in line with international law – all agreements between the State of Israel and the European Union must unequivocally and explicitly indicate their inapplicability to the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, namely the Golan Heights, the West Bank including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip.” That wording formed the basis of a long, drawn-out fight between Israel and the EU in 2013 over new guidelines for Israel’s acceptance in the EU’s well-financed Horizon 2020 EU R&D program.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) ‘Almost Final’ Results Published by Elections Committee
2) Netanyahu: There Will be No Unity Government
3) Liberman: ‘No Chance’ We’ll Sit with Meretz
4) Litzman Says ‘Yes’ to Meretz but ‘No’ to Lapid
5) Litzman Repeats: No Way We’ll Sit with Lapid
6) Deri: We’ll Support Netanyahu, There’s No Other Scenario
7) Deri says almost impossible for Shas to sit with Yesh Atid in next government
8) Criminal sanctions for haredi draft dodgers should end, says Netanyahu
9) Lapid: I Won’t Sit in Coalition that Repeals Haredi Draft Law
10) Lapid rules out endorsing Netanyahu
11) Obama’s absent congratulations bad omen for bilateral ties
12) Abbas: We Have No Choice but ‘Reexamine’ Ties with Israel
13) Abbas: Israel has no serious intentions to have peace
14) Netanyahu win dashes prospect for a thaw with Obama
15) After Netanyahu win, Obama takes off the gloves
16) Netanyahu: We Are Fighting for the Jewish Future
17) Zionism means not being spectators to decisions that can seal our fate, Netanyahu says
18) From annexation to right of return: What the parties say about the Palestinians
19) Netanyahu: If reelected, I won’t establish a Palestinian state
20) Obama Administration Reaffirms ‘2-State Solution’ Commitment
21) EU said to be planning fresh sanctions against Israel
22) US, EU to test Israel’s sincerity on Palestine after elections’
23) Indyk: Get ready for UNSC resolution proposed not by Palestinians, but int’l community
24) Report: US revisiting Israel policy after PM’s rejection of Palestinian state
25) NY Times: Obama may agree to UN resolution on ’67 borders after Netanyahu campaign rhetoric
26) US officials: Washington could back UN resolution on Palestine
27) Netanyahu backs off opposition to a Palestinian state

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

March 10, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

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 / Palestinian peace process

Recently, PLO leaders called on the Palestinian Authority to halt all forms of security coordination with Israel. The decision was issued at the end of a meeting of the PLO’s 124-member Central Council, which consists of representatives from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and several Arab countries. The discussions covered the future of relations between the PA and Israel in light of the Israeli government’s decision to withhold tax revenue because of Palestinian intention to bring war crime accusations against Israel at the United Nations through the International Criminal Court. Under a 1994 economic accord, Israel agreed to transfer tens of millions of dollars each month to the PA in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports. Several PLO representatives demanded that the PA leadership give a very “harsh” response to the Israeli decision such as cutting political, economic and security ties with Israel. Others called for abrogating all agreements signed with Israel.

A statement issued by the council said that the PLO leaders have decided to “halt all forms of security coordination with Israeli occupation in light of its failure to abide by agreements signed between the two sides.” Israel should assume all its responsibilities toward the Palestinians as an “occupation force” and in accordance with international law, the council said. The council also reiterated Palestinian opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. However, a Palestinian source said that the council’s decision was a recommendation only. Another Palestinian official said that Abbas must issue a presidential order in order to formally end the security cooperation with Israel. Israeli officials said that despite the Palestinian decision ties with the Palestinian Authority remain unchanged and that civil and defense cooperation continue unimpeded.

US Secretary of State John Kerry pleaded with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to make any “fateful decisions” regarding Israel before its upcoming election on March 17. It is reported that Kerry pressured Abbas to refrain from making any decision that could negatively impact efforts to revive the peace negotiations after the election. In addition, Kerry expressed his opposition to the Israeli decision to withhold the tax funds and cut off electricity to Palestinian cities because of the PA’s debt to the Israel Electric Corporation. Kerry promised Abbas that the United States would pressure Israel to unfreeze the tax payments. In return, Kerry demanded that the PLO Central Council refrain from making any decision to cancel political, security and economic agreements with Israel.

During his second term as prime minister (2009 – 2013), Benjamin Netanyahu had his senior aide, lawyer Yitzhak Molcho be involved in peace negotiations with the Palestinians. In a document from August 2013 entitled, “Draft Proposal for Statement of Principles Towards a Permanent Arrangement” outlines drastic concessions to the Palestinian leadership on a number of core issues, including land swaps, a potential deal regarding Jerusalem and even a limited right of return for Palestinians. The document was meant to serve as basis for official talks launched at the time between Israel and the Palestinians under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry. The document mentions a return to the pre-1967 borders with agreed land swaps. It says: “… (T)here will be a full Israeli withdrawal implemented gradually of Israeli forces from Palestine’s territory. The last of the Israeli forces will withdraw with the implementation of the agreement’s final stage.”

The document desires that Israel be willing to trade land with the Palestinians, but was willing to offer them full restitution for lands seized by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, implicitly accepting the Palestinian claim on the entirety of the West Bank as land for a future Palestinian state. It says: “The sides are in agreement that Palestine will be an independent, sovereign and viable state whose size will be in relation to the areas which were under Jordan and Egypt’s control before June 4th 1967 (the eve of the Six Day War) (…) the agreement establishing the formation of Palestine will permanently resolve all claims, including the issue of settlements,” the document read.

As part of the proposed land swap, the document laid out the framework for uprooting a a large number of West Bank settlements and even stipulated leaving some settlers in the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control. It says: “Israelis who will choose to remain in the Palestinian state will live under Palestinian jurisprudence,” the document said.

Regarding Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as their capital, the document’s wording was more careful, but not devoid of significance, offering an implicit recognition of the Palestinians’ claim on East Jerusalem. The document relating to Jerusalem was vaguely worded and appended with a warning: “Any solution must address the historical, social, cultural and effectual ties of both peoples to the city and offer protection to the holy sites.”

Furthermore, the document said the Palestinians were offered a permanent foothold in the Jordan Valley, an area which Israel was reluctant to concede control over during the previous round of peace talks. The document also calls for Israeli leeway regarding the much-debated Palestinian right of return for those displaced on the eve of Israel’s formation in 1948. The document calls for Israel to offer the Palestinian ‘refugees’ the right of return on a personal – as opposed to national – basis.

In releasing the details of this document, it was reported that Netanyahu agreed to the various details of the document. However, in response to the report, Netanyahu’s office said: “At no point did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree to withdraw to 1967-lines, divide Jerusalem or recognize the Palestinian right of return. That was and remains his position.” Israel said that the document was an American proposal to resolve the Israel / Palestinian conflict in which Israel never agreed to the points of discussion. Israel said, “Molcho’s talks were brokered by the Americans and failed to yield any agreements. (The talks) focused on an attempt to create an American proposal to moving negotiations forward with each side  maintaining the right to express reservations from any of the articles which they deem unacceptable.”

Furthermore, giving his own response to the published document, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he never signed off on the concessions detailed in the document saying, “I have never agreed to divide Jerusalem, never agreed to return to the ’67 lines, never agreed to acknowledge the right of return, never agreed to concede our presences in the Jordan Valley, never,” he said. “This is nonsense. This is an attempt to obtain an American draft that I said from the beginning I would oppose clauses that were not acceptable to me, like these clauses. The reality is that no prime minister insisted as I did on a united Jerusalem, on construction, on settlement.”

Dennis Ross, the American diplomat who mediated the talks between Israeli negotiator Isaac Molho and the Palestinians said that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “never agreed to Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders, dividing Jerusalem or the right of return.” Furthermore, Ross said: “I always felt the best way to [negotiate] would be in a brainstorming set of discussions that could be informal. To that end, starting before I left the administration and continuing after I left, I worked with two long-time friends of mine, Isaac Molho and Hussein Agha, with the aim of coming up with a U.S. proposal for a framework. The idea was that both sides would agree to negotiate using the U.S. proposal, while making clear that they had reservations about provisions that ran counter to their positions … to my regret the exercise did not succeed,” Ross added.

In 2009, Netanyahu made a speech expressing his support for a demilitarized Palestinian state. Today, he said that this position is “Simply irrelevant” saying, “In the situation created in the Middle East, any territory that will be evacuated will be taken over by radical Islam and terrorist organizations supported by Iran. Therefore, there will not be any withdrawals or concessions. The matter is simply irrelevant,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ron Dermer, who was Netanyahu’s aide at the time of his 2009 speech and now serves as Israel’s ambassador to the US, reportedly promised Quartet leader Tony Blair who represented the EU, UN, Russia and the United States as mediators in the peace process that Israel would agree to a Palestinian state based upon the 1967 borders. The comments were made sometime during Netanyahu’s 2009-2013 term as prime minister and were published by Israel’s Channel 10. Israel’s Channel 10 claimed that Dermer promised Quartet leader Tony Blair, in writing, that Israel would cede territory that would give the Palestinians a state “identical to the areas Israel captured in 1967.” According to the report, Blair was skeptical about Netanyahu’s willingness to cede territory as part of a peace deal, prompting Dermer to commit in writing in a bid to quell his concerns and prove Netanyahu was serious.

In response, Dermer vehemently denied the report, saying that “in complete contradiction to what is being reported, no commitment was given to any type of withdrawal at any point.” According to him, the paper was an “attempt to move forward with negotiations based on the international community’s principles with Israel retaining the right to disavow any article it is uncomfortable with.”

Israel’s former chief negotiator in the peace process, Tzipi Livni called Netanyahu’s response to a document claiming that he agreed in 2013 to establish a Palestinian state based upon the 1967 borders as “cowardly.” She said, “When I see Netanyahu’s cowardly response, I understand why the Palestinians and Americans say they don’t believe him.” Livni also had criticism towards the Palestinian leadership. She said, “Sometimes, your partner is not much, and I have criticism against (Palestinian President) Abbas, who didn’t respond to the American outline.”

Meanwhile, Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz criticized the publication of the document, saying it was a “manipulation,” and “fabricated in the way it was presented,” noting neither Netanyahu nor Molcho agreed to the principles outlined. He said that the publication of this document was politically motivated to harm Netanyahu prior to the March 17 Israeli elections. He said, “The objective is to move votes from the Likud party to the religious Zionist nationalistic Jewish Home party as well as the ultra-Orthodox Shas party in order to help the Zionist camp party headed by Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog’s to win the March 17th elections.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration says that U.S. President Barack Obama wants to make a renewed effort to achieve progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process following the March 17 Israeli elections. The final decision on how to move forward, what sort of effort to make and when, will only be made after a new Israeli government has been formed. A senior Obama official said, “The United States would like to see the formation of the new government in Israel and its attitude toward the renewing peace talks. But in the year and a half to two years that Obama has left in the White House prior to the November, 2016 US elections, the United States will have to deal with the peace process because time is working against us.”

Further deterioration in ties between the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership in recent months has senior administration officials very worried. The United States sees the situation as a growing crisis beginning with the blowup of the peace talks in March of last year, the deep diplomatic freeze, the war in Gaza last summer, the resolution that the Palestinians tried (unsuccessfully) to get through the UN Security Council, the Palestinians’ signing of the Rome Statute and joining of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and the Israeli response of freezing the transfer of Palestinian tax funds. To all of these must be added the Palestinian Authority’s threats to file more complaints against Israel in the International Criminal Court beginning April 1, when its membership in the court becomes official, and the serious economic consequences in the PA as a result of Israel’s freezing of Palestinian tax payments takes a deeper toll on the Palestinian economy.

A senior White House official said the Obama administration is concerned over an economic collapse of the PA, which could happen within a few months if Israel does not release the tax money to the Palestinians. Such a collapse, the Americans believe, could lead to security chaos and even a violent outbreak. The senior official said, “The United States wants to find the right timing to go for another push and try and promote something on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.” The United States decision to take action will depend on the makeup and policy of the new Israeli government. The United States would prefer that there be a renewing of peace negotiations on a permanent status agreement. However, the Obama administration is aware that in view of the seriousness of the crisis in the peace process, this may not be very realistic.

As a result, the United Status is discussing various diplomatic moves to unfreeze the talks. One idea that has come up repeatedly in administration discussions over the past year is to present to the international community an updated American outline for a solution to the conflict. Such an outline could include the principles of the framework agreement that Kerry, Israel and the PA worked on at the end of 2013 and early 2014. The discussed framework agreement included clauses such as negotiations based on the 1967 borders with exchanges of territory, recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Jerusalem as the capital of both states, security arrangements for Israel in the Jordan Valley and a timetable for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank.

The original US intention was to publish the agreement and invite the Israeli and Palestinian teams to the United States to negotiate based on the document’s principles. Under this scenario, Abbas and Netanyahu would have had to decide to accept the US invitation to discuss the ideas of a US framework agreement or stay home. After long discussions about this approach, Kerry decided not to publish an outline of a US framework proposal, in the hope that he would be able to persuade Netanyahu and Abbas to extend talks without an American ultimatum. A former member of the American peace team said he believes that today Kerry regrets that decision.

Another possibility for an American initiative after the Israeli elections is to promote a UN Security Council resolution based on the American framework agreement, set principles for resolution of the conflict, and call for a renewal of talks. In this way, even if peace talks do not resume, a new source of international authority will have been determined for resolving the conflict that would not be based on Resolutions 242 and 338, on which talks have been based for the past 40 years.

Last September and October, when the Palestinians and Jordanians as well as the French were promoting two separate resolutions to set principles for resolving the conflict, the Obama administration considered formulating an American resolution. This resolution, in the view of the United States, would have been more balanced and the fact that the United States would have led it would have assured its passage at the US Security Council. In the end, under pressure from then-Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and former President Shimon Peres, who feared that such a move at the end of 2014 would strengthen Netanyahu in upcoming March 17th Israeli elections, the Americans did not propose a resolution. Once again, today both Kerry and Livni are said to regret not doing so.

In conclusion, depending upon the outcome of the March 17th Israeli elections and the formation of the new Israeli government, the United States will decide whether it should propose an outline of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians which could be submitted for approval at the UN Security Council. If this scenario does happen, it could be the fulfillment of the prophecy that the nations will divide the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem through formal recognition of a PLO state based upon 1967 borders 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) PLO leaders recommend that Palestinian Authority halt security coordination with Israel
2) Palestinian sources: Kerry pressing Abbas to hold off on anti-Israel measures before election
3) ‘Abbas won’t cut security ties with Israel before elections’
4) Netanyahu’s secret peace offer concessions to Palestinians revealed
5) ‘Netanyahu never agreed to ’67 borders or division of Jerusalem’
6) Netanyahu says his past support for Palestinian state ‘simply irrelevant’
7) Netanyahu says Israel won’t cede land to Palestinians, despite reports, docs claiming otherwise
8) Livni: PM’s response to document shows why US, Palestinians don’t trust him
9) Obama aims for another Mideast peace push by end of term, White House officials 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

March 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

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) Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech before the US Congress on March 3

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the US Congress on March 3 explaining Israel’s opposition to a possible nuclear agreement with Iran by the major world powers. There is a link to both the written text and a video of this speech.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) TEXT: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speech before the US Congress
2) VIDEO: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speech before the US Congress

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