You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The current efforts in the UN Security Council to discuss a UN Security Council resolution to recognize a PLO state
The Palestinian Authorities initiated a UN Security Council Resolution in December for the UN Security Council to consider a two state solution with Israel based upon the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The measure did not pass. The United States opposed the Palestinian draft saying that Palestinian statehood can only be achieved through negotiations with Israel and not by an imposed timetable. It has been a long standing US policy that the resolution of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict would be based upon agreement by both sides through direct negotiations. In the past, the United States has vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution to recognize a PLO state. With Israel expected to form a new government by May 7, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas is speaking with key members of the UN Security Council to support another effort to eventually recognize a PLO state.
Recently, the UN’s outgoing top Mideast envoy, Robert Serry, challenged the UN Security Council to lead the way on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it should present a framework for talks that “may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution.” In response, Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour said that the Palestinians are “ready and willing” to see if the UN Security Council has “the political will” to adopt a UN resolution with a deadline for ending Israel’s presence in the West Bank and establishing a Palestinian state. Mansour said that the adoption of a resolution with a timetable would be “one of the most effective measures to combat extremism in our region, because extremists receive their fuel from the injustice of the Palestinian people.” Mansour added “If there is a just solution to this conflict … in a short period of time, then you’ll take away from them the main source of recruitment and mobilization,” he said, adding that it would also contribute to resolving perhaps 70 percent of the “burning issues in the Middle East.” In addition, the Palestinians also want an international conference on the issue that would include the five members of the UN Security Council which have veto power — the US, Russia, China, Britain and France — and “concerned” Arab parties, Mansour said.
Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas said that the success of a renewed effort to establish a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council would be complicated and has its obstacles. Abbas said: “This [renewed effort] will be very difficult because the US can use its veto rights [in the UN Security Council]. In any case, he said that the ball is now in US and Israel’s court.
Recently, the Arab League foreign ministers decided to support a new Palestinian UN Security Council resolution which would also call for setting a timeline for an Israel withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that an agreement was reached wherein the Arab ministers asked a team of experts to start working on preparing a plan to assist the Palestinians in their effort to seek a resolution calling for establishing a timeline concerning an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders.
Abbas made a trip to Russia to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the matter and to get advice on how Russia can support an effort to recognize a PLO state at the UN Security Council. In response, Putin said that Russia will support the Palestinian effort. Speaking at the Arab League Summit,
Putin said that the “Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and viable state with a capital in east Jerusalem.”
A Chinese envoy to the UN called on the Palestinians and Israel to “move towards each other” and restart their peace talks as soon as possible. China’s representative to the United Nations, Wang Min, said: “The recent situation in the Middle East remains volatile. Solving the question of Palestine and Israel is becoming more important and more urgent. The creation of an independent state of Palestine through peace talks and the peaceful coexistence of the two countries is the only way out,” he said, adding “we hope that Israel will demonstrate good will and sincerity, stop the construction of settlements and lift completely the blockade on Gaza.” He added that any solution to the conflict should consider Israel’s legitimate security concerns. China firmly supports the people of Palestine in its just cause for the restoration of their legitimate national rights, said Wang. China has always “supported Palestine and Israel living in peace and security. We are open to all initiatives that will contribute to the restart of peace talks. China will continue its effort to find a solution to the question of Palestine” he said.
France urged the United Nations Security Council to set a framework to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians as council member New Zealand said it had started working on a draft resolution to kick-start the peace process. New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Jim McLay said: “We have been working on a text that might serve the purpose of getting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians started again.” French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said: “It’s the responsibility of this council to adopt a consensual and balanced resolution that sets the parameters of a final status and a timeline for the negotiations.” France and New Zealand indicated that now was the right time for the UN Security Council to consider the matter since Israel held its election last month and before the US presidential campaign gets started in early 2016. McLay said that New Zealand was prepared to see how the French-led push for a UN resolution played out first saying, “We have not seen the latest French text, but if it has a chance of succeeding, New Zealand stands ready to engage and to be helpful.”
The French ambassador to the United Nations said that the establishment of a Palestinian state is in the interest of Middle Eastern stability, stressing that without a Palestinian state, there will never be peace in the region. He said: “We are convinced more than ever that there is no alternative to the establishment of a Palestinian state which is in the interest of everyone and in the interest of peace, so it is essential that the Security Council shoulders its responsibilities towards this end.” The French Ambassador said that the Israeli settlements are illegal and undermine the possibility of a Palestinian state existing on the ground. He stressed the need for all parties “to commit to the two-state solution and to proceed from here to create a new political perspective that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel,” and to face the continued unilateral strategies which only increase the lack of trust between the parties. Finally, he said that “We cannot surrender and we cannot accept the current situation which will inevitably lead to a disaster.”
France wants to have a leading role in promoting a UN Security Council resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood. France discussed the possibility of presenting its own resolution at the end of 2014. A possible French resolution will probably include a demand for a border based on the 1967 line with mutual land swaps. Additional parameters will be security arrangements on the borders, including the presence of international forces, Jerusalem as a shared capital for the two states and a just and agreed-upon solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.
The French hoped to convince the Obama administration to not cast a veto on such a resolution. A French foreign ministry source was cautiously optimistic that the United States may abstain from such a vote. France believes that it needs to coordinate its policy with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. As a result, France wants to make the 2002 Saudi peace initiative the basis for its peace efforts.
The Saudi peace initiative calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, including east Jerusalem, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in exchange for recognition of, and normalization of ties with, Israel by the Arab nations. Israel rejected the initiative outright at the time it was proposed, particularly because of the clause which calls for “a just solution for refugees,” and in essence supports the Palestinian right of return. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expressed at the time of its release full support for the Saudi initiative.
According to diplomatic sources at the United Nations, the United States may support the Saudi peace initiative as a solution to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These sources indicate that the US would not initiate the move itself but would “make sure” that another western state would introduce the move. The purported US plans do not indicate that the United States supports all of the clauses of the Saudi initiative or agrees to its diplomatic goals. However, the United States sees a benefit to supporting the 2002 Saudi peace initiative for two reasons.
1) It will appease the Saudis who opposes the emerging nuclear deal that the United States negotiated with Iran
2) It would send a message to the new government in Israel that it does not have a lot of time to ponder a renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians.
France is hoping to avoid a U.S. veto at the U.N. Because of increasing American frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a French official described a possible “backdoor” for negotiations now, and said “all countries including the United States now realizes that all other ways to achieve a peace agreement has been explored without success.” The French are optimistic that the United States might reconsider its position because after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election win on March 17 where he made tough campaign comments against Palestinian statehood, the United States said it would re-evaluate its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The French official praised the “pretty clear message sent by the Americans.”
French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius said: “If we want to have a viable two-state solution, the UN Security Council must agree on a solution. Therefore, I hope that the partners who were reluctant in the past [meaning the United Statues] will not be so reluctant in the future.” US President Barack Obama has said he will reassess US policy toward Israel following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment before last month’s election that he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state during his administration. This could be a possible sign that the United States will no longer veto a UN Security Council resolution to recognize a PLO state at the UN.
The French proposal includes a requirement for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state.” In the past, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected this demand. The discussed French plan would consist of three steps:
1) French diplomats will present a draft resolution to the UN Security Council. This requires that the United States will not veto such resolution.
2) An international peace conference will be held
3) France, along with other European allies, will recognize an independent Palestinian state based upon the pre-1967 borders.
Nabil Shaath, a senior official of the Fatah Central Committee said “France is working with the US to gain backing for the new peace effort. France is also seeking support from European and Arab partners”. He said that the weight of a United Nations Security Council resolution, which is legally binding, would add to international pressure against Israel. He declined “to provide more details on the possible sticking points in the negotiations.”
Britain’s UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said that Britain saw merit in a new UN Security Council resolution that sets “the parameters for a peaceful and negotiated solution.” However, in order for this to succeed, he said that this will require proper consultation on the issue with key UN Security Council members to achieve the full backing of the 15 member security council.
Senior officials in the Obama administration are initiating steps to be taken immediately after the swearing in of the new Israeli government aimed at renewing Israeli and Palestinian peace talks. Furthermore, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power said that the United States would not rule out advancing resolutions targeting Israel. She noted that the United States had as recently as last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas contemplated advancing a UN Security Council resolution on the conflict.
Rep. Nita Lowey, D-NY told Power that she was troubled by reports “suggesting a reevaluation of our long-standing policy of defending Israel at the UN” and said “supporting or remaining agnostic” on UN resolutions targeting Israel would violate the 1993 Oslo peace accords.
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas said that she was disturbed by reports that the United States may allow a UN Security Council resolution to recognize a PLO state to go forward. Granger said: “I am also very concerned about recent statements from administration officials that suggest the United States is reevaluating its approach to the peace process and reports that the US may support a UN Security Council resolution laying out conditions and establishing deadlines.”
Furthermore, a bipartisan group of US senators warned President Barack Obama in a letter that “using the United Nations to push Israel and the Palestinians to accept terms defined by others will only ensure that the parties themselves are not committed to observing these provisions.”
Democratic Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mark Warner (D-VA) joined with Republican Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) in signing the missive, which stated their opposition to “efforts to bypass direct negotiations and impose peace terms on Israel at the UN and other international bodies. For decades, both Democratic and Republican administrations have stood by Israel in opposing anti-Israel or one-sided resolutions at the UN Security Council and other UN agencies,” the senators noted, telling the president that “we must remain firm in opposing actions that are designed to circumvent direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”
Such actions, the senators warned, “will set back the opportunities for peace in the long term. We must make clear our willingness to use our veto power to block such efforts at the UN Security Council and our continuing defense of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council and other agencies where Israel is under constant assault,” the senators emphasized. The senators quoted Obama’s own 2011 address to the UN General Assembly in which he told the international body that “ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us — who much reach agreement on the issues that divide them.”
US Speaker of the House John Boehner described the Obama administration’s historical treatment of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “reprehensible.” In defending Netanyahu, Boehner said: “Netanyahu doesn’t have a peace partner. How do you have a two-state solution when you don’t have a partner in that solution, when you don’t have a partner for peace, when the other state has vowed to wipe you off the face of the Earth,” Boehner said. “So until there’s a willing partner, willing to sit down and have peace talks, I think it’s irrelevant whether we’re talking about a two-state solution.”
Israel opposes UN Security Council resolutions to try to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians because it believes the United Nations is biased against it and that only direct negotiations can resolve the conflict. Israeli leaders also say an international resolution that essentially endorses the Palestinian negotiating position will make the Palestinians more intransigent in future talks. Israel also remains opposed to returning to the 1967 borders and insists that any peace process should include recognition of a Jewish state.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Abbas Seeks International Allies to Found Palestine as Legitimate Country
2) Palestinians ready to test UN on pullout timetable again — envoy
3) ‘Arab League to submit timetable for an end to Israel’s occupation’
4) Putin to Arab League: Palestinians have right to state with capital in east Jerusalem
5) Chinese envoy calls for restart of peace talks between Palestine, Israel
6) Britain, France urge UN action on Middle East
7) France: Establishment of Palestinian State vital for peace in the Middle East
8) France steps up involvement on Iran, Palestine
9) France Calls for Peace Talks Based on Two-State Solution
10) France using US-Israel tensions to push for UN resolution on Mideast peace effort
11) France to Push for New UN Resolution on Israel-PA Peace
12) France to Submit UN Resolution on Israel-PA Talks in 12 Days
13) France set to propose new Palestinian state resolution at UN
14) EU not reassessing relationship to Israel… yet, envoy says
15) US may push renewed discussion of the Saudi peace initiative
16) White House: US ‘to Reevaluate’ Backing for Israel at UN
17) Power: US won’t dismiss anti-Israel UN resolutions
18) Senators warn Obama against rescinding UN veto
19) Boehner: Obama administration’s ‘animosity’ toward Netanyahu ‘reprehensible”
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