Archive for April, 2015

April 28, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Saturday, April 25th, 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 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,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 21, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Monday, April 20th, 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 Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to form a new government

On March 17, Israel had new elections. In the elections, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political party, Likud, won the most seats in the Israeli government.  As a result, Netanyahu is being given the opportunity to form a government coalition. There are 120 members in the Israeli Knesset. A coalition of at least 61 Knesset members is needed to form a government. Based upon the election results, Netanyahu can form a nationalistic right-wing government of 67 members. Alternatively, he can choose to form a government with the primary opposition party, formerly called the Labor party, now called the Zionist Union. The Zionist Union is a merger between the former Labor party and Hatnua, the party established by former Israel chief negotiator in the peace process, Tzipi Livni. The Zionist Union is a center-left political party.

A nationalistic right-wing government of 67 members would consist of the ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism along with the religious Zionist party, Jewish Home, headed by Naftali Bennett, the secular Russian based nationalistic right wing party, Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman and the new socio-economic party, Kulanu, headed by former Likud party member, Moshe Kahlon.

The ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, are close to an agreement to join the government. MK Yariv Levin, a leader of the negotiating team of the Likud, said that the coalition negotiations with Shas and United Torah Judaism are advancing. Levin said, “We are close to signing agreements with Shas and United Torah Judaism. However, there are still some small disagreements and disputes.” Shas representatives said: “The negotiations are very positive. We have progressed in many things,” said a senior negotiator, ” We still have some disagreements and issues which we are working at in collaboration with United Torah Judaism – especially about the religion ministry. But there is no doubt we are progressing well.“ Shas is seeking the Interior and Religious Affairs ministries for party leader Arye Deri and deputy minister posts in the Finance, Education, and Religious Affairs ministries for other members of the party.

In further meetings with Likud,  it is believed that the the head of United Torah Judaism, Yaakov Litzman, will be given the position of Ministry of Health. In addition, UTJ MK Moshe Gafni would head the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee was also sought after by the Kulanu party of Moshe Kahlon in order to carry out the economic reforms they promised their constituents. Moshe Gafni has indicated a willingness to meet with Kahlon in order to work out an arrangement in which Gafni will head the finance committee but Kahlon will be assured of getting what he needs to institute his reforms.

Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he would keep his promise and appoint, Kulanu party leader, Moshe Kahlon, to be finance minister as well as give the party other socio-economic positions. In the March 17 elections, Kulanu ran on the platform to bring down housing prices and improve the Israeli economy. In their meeting, Netanyahu told Kulanu, “Your success is everyone’s success.” In their meetings, Kulanu also requested the Construction Ministry, the Environmental Protection Ministry, and the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee saying, “No economic reforms will be able to happen if we are not given the authority to accomplish them.” In response to demands for the extra positions, Likud officials accused Kahlon of going overboard.

Meanwhile, Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon said he would only join the coalition if Yisrael Beytenu or the Zionist Union were part of the government coalition. Without one of the two parties, Netanyahu’s majority would not rise above 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. This would create an unstable government.

In any event, Netanyahu seems close to reaching an agreement for the ultra-Orthodox parties and Kulanu to join the government. Recently, Likud negotiators drafted a list of the agreements that they have reached with the ultra-Orthodox parties and the Kulanu party. However, Netanyahu is waiting to reach agreements with the rest of the coalition partners before signing an agreement with the ultra-Orthodox parties.

Meanwhile, in order to strengthen their negotiating position with Likud to join a possible government coalition, Jewish Home leader, Naftali Bennett is partnering with Yisrael Beitenu leader, Avigdor Lieberman. According to Israel’s Channel 2, Bennett and Lieberman reached an agreement whereby Bennett would drop his demand to be named foreign minister – Liberman’s current position – in exchange for Lieberman’s assistance in obtaining other key portfolios desired by Jewish Home primarily the Religious Affairs Ministry while agreeing to block any attempt by Netanyahu to form a national unity government with the center-left Zionist Union.

Jewish Home is demanding that they receive the Religious Affairs Ministry. Jewish Home leader, Naftali Bennett threatened to end negotiations with Likud if Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu grants control of the Religious Affairs Ministry to the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party Shas. Jewish Home had the Religious Affairs Ministry in the last government. As a result, Bennett said: “Unilaterally taking the Religious Affairs Ministry away from the religious Zionist movement and handing it to Shas will spell the end of negotiations with Jewish Home.” It has been reported that Netanyahu wants to give the religious affairs portfolio to Shas chief Aryeh Deri as compensation for Deri’s relinquishing the Interior Ministry to Kulanu party head, Moshe Kahlon.

Sources within Jewish Home said that the only compromise the party would accept was a rotation of the Religious Affairs Ministry or for a member of Likud to be appointed as minister. Shas and Jewish Home clashed frequently in the last Knesset over the reforms regarding religion and state. As a result, Jewish Home is trying to prevent Shas from taking control of the issue.

Lieberman indicated his preconditions for Yisrael Beytenu’s entry into a Likud-led government. They include “liquidation” of Hamas and legislation mandating the death penalty for convicted terrorists. Furthermore, Lieberman will insist on maintaining the laws approved in the last government that ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva students serve in the military. Lieberman is adamant on keeping the “Sharing the Burden” law, which calls for the religious to perform some form of national service, as well reforms to the process of converting to Judaism and to the system of marriage registration, which would allow couples to choose the rabbi performing the wedding ceremony.

In contrast, the ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, want all of these laws passed in the last government to be overturned. It is being reported that Netanyahu has promised the ultra-Orthodox that at least some of the religious reforms passed in the last government will be repealed. As a condition for them joining the government, the ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, demand that the laws concerning religious reforms be revoked. Lieberman wants to continue to be Foreign Minister and said repairing diplomatic ties with the United States is a top priority on his agenda. Finally, Lieberman opposes the proposal to add more ministers to the government. In the last Israeli government, it was agreed that the total number of cabinet ministers would be restricted to 18. In addition, Lieberman said that he would not sit in a national unity goverment. “Netanyahu has the right to close a deal with Herzog and Livni [Zionist Union]. However, we wouldn’t be part of such a government. That I can say definitely,” Lieberman said.

In frustration to the demands of Jewish Home and Yisrael Beitenu, the Likud negotiating team is threatening to establish a national unity government with the main opposition party, Zionist Union. Likud party whip, MK Ze’ev Elkin said: “We’ve been saying all along that if the days go by and the parties of the nationalist camp fail to compromise, the prime minister will have no choice but to make a generous offer to the Zionist Union, even though that is not our preferred option.”

However, Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog maintained that he intends to lead the opposition, not join a unity government. He said: “A government of 67 MKs [nationalist right-wing] is about to be established. I said right after the elections that we would be going to the opposition. That’s not a default choice; it’s a preference.” He added that, “From our place in the opposition we will take the place of the Likud government in the future, because Netanyahu will lead the government to hit a wall, in the end.” Furthermore, Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel affirmed that the Zionist Union will not join a national unity government saying: “I do not see the Zionist Union being welcome in Netanyahu’s government. If there is a statement indicating that Likud would consider a national unity government, it only comes from Likud sources who want to lower the price in the coalition negotiations between the parties of the right,” he said.

Initially, Netanyahu has 28 days to try to form a coalition government. If needed, he may request a 2 week extension. With little sign of any imminent coalition agreement by the initial April 22 deadline, Netanyahu asked Israel President Reuven Rivlin for a 2 week extension. The request was granted and now Netanyahu has until May 7 to form a coalition government. In being granted the extension, Netanyahu said: “We’ve moved forward in the process and we’re well on our way to forming a new government but more time is needed to make sure [the government] is a stable one, and to reach agreement on a number of important [issues] that will enable us to tackle the challenges facing the state of Israel.”

After the March 17 elections, it seemed that Netanyahu would be able to easily establish a nationalistic right-wing government. However, after weeks of negotiations with his potential partners, Netanyahu is finding that task more difficult than originally believed.  Whether Netanyahu chooses a national unity government with the main opposition party, Zionist Union, or forms a nationalistic right-wing government will have broad implications. If Netanyahu sides with the right-wing allies that he often calls his “natural” partners, Netanyahu will have a solid parliamentary majority of like-minded parties that could avoid much of the infighting that plagued the outgoing government and provide some welcome internal political stability at home.

But such a coalition — averse to peace moves with the Palestinians and in favor of expanded settlement construction in the West Bank — quickly would find itself on a collision course with the international community at a time when Netanyahu is already feuding with his allies over the direction of the peace process and a nuclear deal with Iran that he strongly opposes. A unity government that includes his leftist rivals would help blunt that looming international isolation.

Throughout the election campaign, Netanyahu ruled out the possibility of joining forces with Isaac Herzog and his center-left Zionist Union and vowed to rule from the right. Election results gave his Likud party 30 seats and secured him a potential 67-seat majority with his traditional allies. In negotiations, however, these allies have made demands to head powerful government ministries.

Under Israeli election rules, if Netanyahu fails to form a coalition at the end of 42 days — the first 28 plus the two-week extension — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin can assign someone else the task of doing so. While this is technically possible, it is unlikely that Zionist Union would have an easier time establishing a government coalition. If no one succeeds in forming a coalition, Rivlin would be left with no choice but to order a new national election. Few expect that this will happen. Most believe that a 67-seat right-wing government seems to be the most likely outcome from the two-week extension. However,  within Netanyahu’s own Likud political party, his aides acknowledge that Netanyahu is concerned about conflict with his allies in the US and western Europe.

Increased settlement construction, a prolonged absence of Palestinian peace talks and nationalist legislation that critics argue undermines Israel’s democratic nature would surely draw a strong rebuke and perhaps even calls for sanctions and boycotts. With his relations with US President Barack Obama at a low point following clashes over Mideast peace and the Iranian nuclear talks, there is a real fear that Israel’s top ally may rescind its automatic protection of Israel at the United Nations and other international bodies.

Netanyahu has partnered with his adversaries in the past to shield himself from similar fallout. In 2009, Netanyahu appointed  then-Labor party leader Ehud Barak to be a part of his government. In 2000, Barak offered a Palestinian state to Yassir Arafat. In his last government, Netanyahu brought in dovish ex-foreign minister Tzipi Livni to be his chief peace negotiator.

Herzog’s Labor party, the main partner of the Zionist Union, has a long history of ousting its defeated leaders, so Herzog also may be tempted to jump at a chance to gain some influence and job security — most likely as Netanyahu’s foreign minister. Herzog is the seventh leader of the party since it last won a national election in 1999. But, so far, Herzog’s party rank-and-file seems to oppose joining Netanyahu and appears eager to watch a hard-line government fail.

Finally, Shas MK Yaakov Margi is very optimistic that things will work out with all of the Likud’s “natural partners,” including his party, Jewish Home, and Yisrael Beytenu. “Anyone who wants a national government will have to compromise, and I think everyone will,” Margi said. “Otherwise they are likely to get a national unity government with Labor leaders Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni.”

So what government will Netanyahu choose? By May 7th, we will all know.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Shas and UTJ Close to Coalition Agreement with Likud
2) Netanyahu Grants Shas and UTJ Their Preferable Ministerial Portfolios
3) In coalition push, Likud to confer with ultra-Orthodox, Kulanu
4) Kulanu expands coalition demands
5) ‘Bennett, Liberman join forces in coalition talks with Netanyahu’
6) Liberman to Place Hamas’s Destruction as Coalition Condition
7) Bennett: We’ll bolt talks if Shas gets religious portfolio; Likud: Don’t threaten us
8) Facing political deadlock, Netanyahu gets more time to build coalition
9) Rivlin grants Netanyahu 2 more weeks for coalition talks
10) Herzog insists he won’t join Netanyahu’s government
11) Lieberman Says He Will Not Sit in Unity Gov’t; Netanyahu Wants Foreign Ministry for Likud
12) Shas MK: Government Will be Formed, Despite Misgivings

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

April 14, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Monday, April 13th, 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 reaction by the US, Israel and Iran to the framework agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program

Israel Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz distributed a document wherein it charged that the framework nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, Britain, France, Russia, China) and Germany does not block Iran’s path to the bomb. It says: “By removing the economic sanctions and lifting the main restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in about a decade, this framework agreement actually paves Iran’s path to a bomb. The result will be a dramatic increase in the risks of nuclear proliferation and an increase in the chances of a terrible war.” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that a “better deal” can and must be reached. The document poses 10 questions to the US-led negotiators with Iran that it said underlined “the extent of the irresponsible concessions given to Iran” and made clear “how dangerous the framework is for Israel, the region and the world.” The document asserted that “great consideration” was given to Iran, “an enemy of the Unites States, whose regime, even during the negotiations, continued to conduct aggression in the Middle East while calling for the destruction of Israel.”

The 10 questions regarding the agreement is as follows:

1. Why are sanctions that took years to put in place being removed immediately (as the Iranians claim)? This would take away the international community’s primary leverage at the outset of the agreement and make Iranian compliance less likely.

2. Given Iran’s track record of concealing illicit nuclear activities, why does the framework not explicitly require Iran to accept inspections of all installations where suspected nuclear weapons development has been conducted? Why can’t inspectors conduct inspections anywhere, anytime?

3. Will Iran ever be forced to come clean about its past nuclear weaponization activity?

4. What will be the fate of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium?

5. Why will Iran be allowed to continue R&D on centrifuges far more advanced than those currently in its possession?

6. Why does the framework not address Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear payloads?

7. Following Iranian violations of the framework, how effective will be the mechanism to reinstitute sanctions?

8. What message does the framework send to states in the region and around the world when it gives such far-reaching concessions to a regime that for years has defied UNSC resolutions? Why would this not encourage nuclear proliferation?

9. The framework agreement appears to have much in common with the nuclear agreement reached with North Korea. How will this deal differ from the North Korean case?

10. Why is the lifting of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in about a decade not linked to a change in Iran’s behavior? According to the framework, Iran could remain the world’s foremost sponsor of terror and still have all the restrictions removed. Instead, the removal of those restrictions should be linked to a cessation of Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, its terrorism around the world and its threats to annihilate Israel.”

Many of the terms of this framework nuclear agreement is a departure from some of the stated goals of President Obama regarding the talks which he mentioned about 18 months ago. Here are a list of five areas where the administration changed policy during the negotiations.

1. Banning uranium enrichment

Before talks began, the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called for Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. The framework agreement, though, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium for domestic civilian use. “Zero enrichment” had been a key demand since 2009, said Michael Singh, a senior fellow and managing director at The Washington Institute. “We basically went from zero to a number that kept going up.” The deal’s critics worry any enrichment could quickly be diverted to military use.

Omri Ceren, senior adviser for strategy at the Israel Project, said the administration started “sliding” on zero enrichment after talks began. But U.S. officials have suggested that halting all enrichment was never a realistic goal, and instead a key bargaining chip to secure other concessions from Iran.“ Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council and a former State Department official, said the U.S. had to budge on this demand for the talks to advance. “It was the icebreaker. It was what allowed these negotiations to take root,” he said. “It’s the single most important point in my opinion, in terms of getting negotiations off the ground,” he said. “Once that position softened, it allowed the Iranian position to soften.”

2. Capping centrifuges at 1,500

The Obama administration initially called for limiting the number of Iranian centrifuges used to enrich uranium to between 500 and 1,500, experts say. But U.S. negotiators walked back those limits, allowing Iran 6,104 centrifuges. Only 5,060 of those centrifuges, at the nuclear facility at Natanz, will be allowed to enrich low-grade uranium. “The number [went] from hundreds, to thousands, to eventually, 6,104, which is where they ended,” said Singh.

But proponents of the deal say it is still a huge two-thirds reduction from Iran’s current 19,000-some centrifuges, and that any enriched uranium would be unusable for a bomb. They also argue the more important criteria is not the number of centrifuges but the time it takes Iran to have enough material for a bomb — the ”break-out” period — which the framework leaves at one year.

3. Shuttering secret nuclear facilities

The U.S. initially called for Iran to completely close down its secret underground nuclear enrichment facility at Fordow and the heavy water reactor at Arak. President Obama said in December 2013 that Iran had no need for either. “They don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordow in order to have a peaceful nuclear program,” he said. “They certainly don’t need a heavy-water reactor at Arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program.”

However, under the framework announced last week, both Fordow and Arak remain in operation. Fordow will have 1,000 centrifuges but be converted into a research facility, while Arak will continue producing plutonium, albeit at a low-grade unusable for a bomb. Fordow will not enrich uranium or keep any fissile material there for at least 15 years, and almost two-thirds of its centrifuges and infrastructure would be removed and placed under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring. Also, Iran has agreed to implement the “Additional Protocol of the IAEA” which would provide inspectors expanded and regular access to Iran’s facilities and nuclear supply chain.

Skeptics, though, say Iran could continue covertly working on a bomb, noting that Fordow is underground and heavily fortified. “There was certainly a sense that we were seeking to sort of shut down or dismantle Iran’s nuclear program in a significant ways,” said Singh. “Under this deal, there’s certainly no dismantling of any kind.”

4. Ending Iran’s ballistic missile program

U.S. negotiators also dropped demands that Iran restrict development of ballistic missiles that could be used to deliver warheads, experts say. The current framework only says a new U.N. resolution would incorporate “important restrictions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles. They have completely given up ballistic missiles,” Ceren said.

The Obama administration says the issue of missiles and other conventional weapons should be treated separately from the nuclear deal. “As we’ve said, we have concerns about Iran’s conventional weapons, including ballistic missiles, separate from the nuclear program, obviously,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “Those concerns don’t go away with the nuclear agreement,” she added.

5. Finalizing a 20-year deal

Initially the U.S. pushed for a deal that would last over 20 years. However, the framework would see the deal’s key terms sunset in 10 to 15 years. Specifically, Iran would have to restrict the number of centrifuges enriching uranium for 10 years. In addition, the level of uranium enrichment would be capped at a lower-quality grade and the amount Iran stockpiles limited for 15 years. In addition, the restrictions on Fordow and Arak also last for 15 years.

Ceren said even though Iran isn’t legally allowed to build a bomb, all “functional” restrictions on Iran’s nuclear capacity would be lifted after 15 years. “For many months, we’ve said we’ve wanted a 25-year sunset clause, then a 20-year sunset clause, now we’re down to a 10-year sunset clause,” Ceren said. “If nothing changes in Iran in 10 years … then you’re looking at after 10 years, a much shorter break-out time,” Singh warned.

Meanwhile, the Iranian defense minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehgan said that international inspectors would not be granted access to Iranian military sites. He said, “No such agreement has been reached and basically, visiting military centers are among the red lines and no visit to these centers will be allowed.” Dehgan said that international media reports that the framework nuclear deal will allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts to inspect military centers across Iran were “lies” and “deceits.” He said, “The determination of the nuclear negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that it will not allow anything be imposed on the Iranian nation.”

Furthermore, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran would not allow any online cameras to be installed at its nuclear facilities because in the past Iranian nuclear scientists have been identified and assassinated. In addition, Iran’s foreign minister told members of the Iranian parliament that Iran will begin using its latest generation of IR-8 centrifuges as soon as its nuclear deal with the world powers goes into effect. Iran has said that its IR-8 centrifuges enrich uranium 20 times faster than the IR-1 centrifuges it currently uses. Zarif said that Iran was capable of producing an atomic bomb at any given moment but will refrain from doing so due to religious Islamic injunctions against such a move.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Israel shares the view that from the beginning of the nuclear deal with Iran that the break out time for Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon will be near zero,” with the “inevitable result of the automatic removal of restrictions something that would enable Iran to gain an industrial-scale production capacity.” Breakout time refers to how long it would take to build a bomb. The framework deal, if honored, expands Iran’s breakout time — currently two to three months — to at least a year. In defense of his nuclear deal, US President Barack Obama said Iran would be kept a year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon for more than a decade but did admit this period to shrink to zero after 13 or more years.

Former US Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George P. Shultz warned of the implications of the framework Iranian nuclear deal saying, “For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests – and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability, albeit short of its full capacity in the first ten years.” they said. Kissinger and Shultz noted that by “mixing shrewd diplomacy with open defiance of U.N. resolutions, Iran has gradually turned the negotiation on its head. Iran’s centrifuges have multiplied from about 100 at the beginning of the negotiation to almost 20,000 today. The threat of war now constrains the West more than Iran.”

“While Iran treated the mere fact of its willingness to negotiate as a concession, the West has felt compelled to break every deadlock with a new proposal. In the process, the Iranian program has reached a point officially described as being within two to three months of building a nuclear weapon,” they added. “Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.”

The two warned that “the gradual expiration of the framework agreement, beginning in a decade, will enable Iran to become a significant nuclear, industrial and military power after that time – in the scope and sophistication of its nuclear program and its latent capacity to weaponize at a time of its choosing. …Iran will be in a position to bolster its advanced nuclear technology during the period of the agreement and rapidly deploy more advanced centrifuges…after the agreement expires or is broken.”

The former secretaries of state noted that “the ultimate significance of the framework will depend on its verifiability and enforceability.” They pointed out there are various versions of the deal floating around and claiming different details meaning “the so-called framework represents a unilateral American interpretation.” They also noted how the US changed its goal to a one-year window for nuclear breakout, after shelving original demands to dismantle significant parts of Iran’s nuclear program altogether. “The new approach complicates verification and makes it more political because of the vagueness of the criteria,” they said.”Under the new approach, Iran permanently gives up none of its equipment, facilities or fissile product to achieve the proposed constraints. It only places them under temporary restriction and safeguard – amounting in many cases to periodic visits by inspectors to declared sites,” they said. “The physical magnitude of the effort is daunting. Is the International Atomic Energy Agency technically, and in terms of human resources, up to so complex and vast an assignment?”

The two assessed that “in a large country with multiple facilities and ample experience in nuclear concealment, violations will be inherently difficult to detect. …The experience of Iran’s work on a heavy-water reactor during the ‘interim agreement’ period – when suspect activity was identified but played down in the interest of a positive negotiating atmosphere – is not encouraging.”

“Compounding the difficulty is the unlikelihood that breakout will be a clear-cut event. More likely it will occur, if it does, via the gradual accumulation of ambiguous evasions,” they noted. “When inevitable disagreements arise over the scope and intrusiveness of inspections, on what criteria are we prepared to insist and up to what point? If evidence is imperfect, who bears the burden of proof?” Kissinger and Shultz pointed out that the threat of renewed sanctions which is “the agreement’s primary enforcement mechanism” will be a murky and difficult process to impleent, and puts Iran at an advantage, because the deal gives Iran permanent sanctions relief “in exchange for temporary restraints on Iranian conduct.”

The two diplomats added that by changing American policy and accepting Iran’s nuclear program, the deal poses another threat for the region and cause a nuclear arms race. They said: “Some of the countries in the Middle East are likely to view the U.S. as willing to concede a nuclear military capability to the country they consider their principal threat,” they said. “Several will insist on at least an equivalent capability. Saudi Arabia has signaled that it will enter the lists; others are likely to follow. In that sense, the implications of the negotiation are irreversible.”

While there has been talk of an American nuclear umbrella for the Gulf states against Iran, the two argued that there are many issues complicating how and when such protection would be deployed. Noting how Iran has been expanding its power in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, they assessed that “Iran occupies positions along all of the Middle East’s strategic waterways and encircles archrival Saudi Arabia, an American ally. Absent the linkage between nuclear and political restraint, America’s traditional allies will conclude that the U.S. has traded temporary nuclear cooperation for a nuclear Iran. As a result, the two diplomats warned that as Sunni states “gear up to resist a new Shiite empire,” the Middle East will be further destabilized.

The Saudi Arabia news media responded to the Iranian nuclear framework agreement by saying: “Gulf states — and especially Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain — have been experiencing the nightmare of an Iranian attack for decades. Now, after the nuclear agreement, there is no doubt that this danger has doubled. People are angry with the Obama administration for selling this region cheaply. Obama left the region to face an evil state. As long as the Americans don’t explicitly state their commitment to defend Saudi Arabia from Iran and Iraq, we will face large-scale regional anarchy as a result of this nuclear deal. The Iranians are claiming that Obama is uninterested in the security of the Gulf and his American allies in the region. This Iranian thinking will lead to more regional wars. People are angry with the Obama administration because it has limited the conflict to the nuclear issue, while Tehran continues to mull further geographic gains. Iran’s wars were actually always against Gulf states; not against Israel.”

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will only agree to a final nuclear accord with the six major powers if all sanctions imposed on the country over its disputed nuclear work are lifted. In addition, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the deal “non-binding” and said the prospect of lifting sanctions in stages was “unacceptable” saying they must be removed on the same day a deal is signed.

In response, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that international sanctions on Iran should remain in place saying that Iran’s “unbridled aggression and its terrorism” have proved why the country could not be trusted. Maintaining his criticism of the US-led framework deal, Netanyahu said that a better agreement would tie the lifting of all sanctions “to an end of Iran’s aggression in the region, its worldwide terrorism and its threats to annihilate Israel.”

The United States said that any sanctions relief will only come once curbs on its uranium enrichment are verified. US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said: “Sanctions will be suspended in a phased manner upon verification that Iran has met specific commitments under a finalized joint comprehensive plan of action. The process of sanctions suspension or relief will only begin after Iran has completed its major nuclear steps and the breakout time has been increased to at least a year,” he said.

Republican Senator John McCain called US Secretary of State, John Kerry “delusional” for not being totally honest and transparent about the Iranian framework nuclear agreement. In defending the US framework agreement with Iran, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, warned the US Congress not to put in place any conditions that would impede implementation of the Iranian deal if a final agreement can be reached by the end of June. The US Congress is trying to advance a bipartisan bill that would give Congress the right to review any final deal with Iran and to have a vote on whether economic sanctions imposed by Congress should be suspended. 

As a result of the framework nuclear agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a ban on supplying Iran with the sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems. Russia signed a 2007 contract to sell Tehran the S-300 system but the weaponry was never delivered amid strong objections by the United States and Israel. Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz denounced the Russian decision as proof of Iran’s new “legitimacy” following nuclear talks. “This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran is receiving from the nuclear deal that is being prepared, and proof that the Iranian economic growth which follows the lifting of sanctions will be exploited for arming itself and not for the benefit of the Iranian people” he said.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States that the Iranian inter-continental ballistic missile system (ICBM) — an issue not addressed in the nuclear framework deal — was more of a threat to the US than to Israel. He said: “The Iranian ICBMs is a weapon to be used against the United States. They are not directed at Israel.” Furthermore, Netanyahu said that any final nuclear deal with Iran must include Iran’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist. He said: “Iran is a regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction and openly and actively works towards that end.” he said. “Recently, an Iranian commander said that ‘the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.’ Well, I want to make clear to all. The survival of Israel is non-negotiable.” Netanyahu said that Israel would not accept an agreement that “allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons, period.” As a result, in any final agreement with Iran, Iran must recognize Israel’s right to exist.

In response, US President Barack Obama disagreed with Netanyahu saying that that policy would be a misjudgment. He said, “The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms,” Obama said. “And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.”

In addition, Obama criticized Netanyahu for opposing the Iranian nuclear framework agreement saying, “The Prime Minister of Israel is deeply opposed to it. I think he’s made that very clear. I have repeatedly asked – what is the alternative that you present that you think makes it less likely for Iran to get a nuclear weapon? And I have yet to obtain a good answer on that.”

In response, Netanyahu said: “I’m not trying to kill any deal. I’m trying to kill a bad deal. Furthermore, I think the alternatives are not either this bad deal or war. I think there’s a third alternative – that is standing firm, ratcheting up the pressure until you get a better deal. And a better deal would roll back Iran’s vast nuclear infrastructure, require Iran to stop its aggression in the region and its terror worldwide, and its calls and actions to annihilate the state of Israel,” he said. “So let me reiterate again the two main components of the alternative to this bad deal: First, instead of allowing Iran to preserve and develop its nuclear capabilities, a better deal would significantly roll back these capabilities – for example, by shutting down the illicit underground facilities that Iran concealed for years from the international community. “Second, instead of lifting the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear facilities and program at a fixed date, a better deal would link the lifting of these restrictions to an end of Iran’s aggression in the region, its worldwide terrorism and its threats to annihilate Israel.

The main opposition party in Israel, the Zionist Union, and its leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni laid out their Iranian policy calling for a “comprehensive, intimate and in-depth strategic discussion with the US” on nuclear talks between world powers and Iran, saying all issues on the table must be clarified with the United States before a final agreement is signed with Iran. Their position paper demanded that the United States “give legitimization ahead of time to any action Israel will need to take to protect its safety.” In essense, the Herzog and Livni’s plan is a call on the Obama administration to commit in advance to approve an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities if Iran violates the framework agreement recently signed and try to produce a nuclear bomb.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Israeli document poses 10 key questions about ‘irresponsible, dangerous’ Iran deal
2) 5 key demands US dropped in Iran talks
3) Iran rules out inspection for military sites
4) Iranian FM reportedly says ‘no cameras’ in nuke sites after deal
5) Iran news report: Tehran will start using fastest centrifuges on day deal takes effect
6) Netanyahu: ‘Iran’s breakout time from start of deal will be near zero’
7) Obama admits: Deal will give Iran ‘near zero’ breakout time in 13 years
8) Kissinger Slams Obama for Conceding to Iranian ‘Nuclear Arsenal’
9) Obama sold the Sunnis down the river, Saudi media say
10) Rouhani: Iran will only sign final nuclear deal if sanctions end on same day
11) Netanyahu: Sanctions on Iran must remain
12) As Iran digs in, US says no to immediate sanctions relief
13) Israel alarmed at news Russia to supply Iran advanced air defense system
14) Netanyahu on US TV: Iran’s missile program aims at you, not us
15) Netanyahu: Any final Iran deal must include recognition of Israel’s right to exist
16) Obama says tying Iran deal to recognition of Israel “misjudgment”
17) Obama: Netanyahu has not offered alternative to Iran deal
18) Netanyahu to US: Still time to reach better nuclear deal with Iran
19) Israeli opposition fleshes out Iran policy, demanding US support for Israeli strike
20) Kerry fires back at critics over Iran deal details

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

April 7, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Thursday, April 2nd, 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) A framework agreement by the major world powers regarding Iran’s nuclear program

The United States along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China announced a framework agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program with the goal of reaching a detailed comprehensive agreement by June 30. The deal will limit Iran’s nuclear program and will provide Iran with relief from economic sanctions that have crippled its economy for the past decade.

US President Barack Obama said: “The United States, together with our allies and partners, has reached an historic understanding with Iran, which if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Obama called the deal “historic” and said that, “if fully implemented” it would prevent Iran attaining the bomb, and would render the US, its allies and the world safer. Obama said: “we have achieved the framework” for a long-term deal, a framework “that would cut off every path” that Iran could take to the bomb, including the toughest inspections “ever negotiated,” he said. He said the terms of the deal, first, closed off Iran’s plutonium route to the bomb. The core of the Arak reactor will be dismantled, he said.

Second, the uranium route would be closed, with two-thirds of Iran’s centrifuges no longer to be used, no enrichment at the Fordow facility, and no use of advanced centrifuges “for at least 10 years.” Most of Iran’s existing stocks of enriched uranium would be “neutralized.” Third, as the best defense against a covert Iranian bid for the bomb, it would be subjected to unprecedented inspection. “If Iran cheats, the world will know it,” Obama said. “If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. It is a good deal.”

If it fully complies with the deal, Iran could “rejoin the family of nations,” the president said, stressing again that the deal had yet to be finalized. Obama reiterated that, “Iran will never be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon.” He said the deal provides for phased sanctions relief, but that if Iran violates the deal, “sanctions can be snapped back into place.” Obama added: “The issues at stake here are bigger than politics. These are matters of war and peace, and they should be evaluated based on the facts.” The president called the agreement “a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.”

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the deal had “no sunset clause.” Some of its components would in force for 10 years, others for 15, and still others for indefinite periods. If implemented, Kerry added, Iran’s current two-month potential breakout time, he said, would be at least a year. In an apparent jab at Netanyahu, Kerry added: “Simply demanding that Iran capitulate makes a nice soundbite, but it’s not a policy.” Kerry continued: “Throughout negotiation, we have made a diligent effort to consult with our allies and partners,” Kerry said, mentioning Israel and the Gulf states specifically.

The secretary of state said the preliminary deal opened the door to a long-term resolution that would ultimately satisfy international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. “There can be no question that the comprehensive plan we are moving toward will more than pass that test,” he said. He said that Iran has agreed to reduce its centrifuges by two thirds — from approximately 19,000 to an allowed 6,104 installed under the deal. Of those, 5,060 will be allowed to enrich uranium for the next 10 years.

Tehran had also agreed to cap its uranium enrichment at 3.67 percent for at least 15 years, and will not build any additional facilities for the purpose of enriching uranium during that time. Iran, whose breakout time for acquiring enough fissile material for one weapon is currently assessed to be 2-3 months, will be extended to at least one year for the next ten years. Kerry said that Iran had agreed not to enrich uranium at its Fordo facility or conduct nuclear research there, and will convert the complex into a science research center. Iran will ship all of its spent fuel from the Arak reactor out of the country, and the facility will also be redesigned to support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production. Kerry said that a final deal reached between the P5+1 powers and Iran would rely on proof — not on promises from Iran’s government, and that sanctions relief would only be implemented if Tehran abided by the outlined commitments.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif followed with the same statement in Farsi. He called the deal a “win-win” agreement. He later said the deal was designed to reassure “anybody who had concerns that our program is []anything but] exclusively peaceful. Still, he stressed, Iran would not be closing “any of our facilities” — something the “proud” Iranian people would not have accepted — would “continue enriching,” and would continue R&D.

Turning to Israel’s concerns over the Iranian nuclear issue, Obama said the framework accord provided the “best option” to ensure that Iran does not achieve nuclear weapons capabilities. Obama added: If “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is looking for the most effective way to ensure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon, this is the best option.” Obama promised that he would speak to Netanyahu about the agreement and openly acknowledged that they “don’t agree” on how to stop Iran, while telling Netanyahu that the new deal was “the most effective” and “best option.”

Israeli officials strongly disagreed. Israel officials slammed the framework agreement as “a capitulation to Iranian dictates.” They called it “a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous agreement. If finalized, it would make the world “far more dangerous.” The agreement constitutes “international legitimization of Iran’s nuclear program” whose “only purpose is to build nuclear weapons.” The official said: “This is a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous deal,” he said. “If an agreement is reached based on the guidelines of this framework, that would be an historic mistake which will transform the world into a much more dangerous place. This deal kowtows to Iranian dictates and it will not lead to a nuclear program for peaceful purposes, but rather to a military nuclear program.”

The Israeli official added: “The framework gives Iran’s nuclear program, the sole purpose of which is to produce nuclear bombs, international legitimacy. Iran will still have extensive nuclear capabilities. It will continue to enrich uranium. It will continue its centrifuge research and development. It will not close even one of its nuclear facilities, including the underground facility at Fordo. This and more.” The official added: “The bottom line is that this deal ensures the full removal of the sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program while assuring that it will keep its nuclear capabilities. There is no demand that Iran stop its aggression in the region, its terrorism around the world or its threats to destroy Israel, which it has repeated again over the past several days,” the official complained. The alternative to a bad deal is not war but rather a different deal,” the official concluded, “one that will significantly dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and will require Iran to stop its aggression and terrorism in the region and around the world.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the agreement and Iran’s intent in taking notice to recent statements by officials in Iran — notably their calls to eliminate Israel — as evidence of Iran’s unwillingness to compromise on its nuclear ambitions and campaign of “terror, subjugation and conquest.” Netanyahu said it was a moral outrage to make an agreement with Iran while Iran continues to call for the destruction of Israel. Netanyahu said: “Yesterday an Iranian general brazenly declared, and I quote, ‘Israel’s destruction is nonnegotiable’ ” while “Giving Iran’s murderous regime a clear path to a nuclear bomb is negotiable,” he said. “This is unconscionable.” Netanyahu argued that Iran’s actions and ongoing “aggression” across the Middle East proved it did not intend to give up its nuclear and regional ambitions.

Netanyahu said: “I agree with those who have said that Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes doesn’t square with Iran’s insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges, and a heavy water reactor. Netanyahu’s reference to “those who have said” marked the second time in two days that he has referred to comments made by President Barack Obama at the Saban Conference in December 2013, without citing Obama by name. Netanyahu added: “Nor does it square with Iran’s insistence on developing ICBMs [Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles], and its refusal to come clean with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its past weaponization efforts. At the same time, Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror, subjugation and conquest throughout the region, most recently in Yemen,” he continued.  “After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East,” Netanyahu said. “While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake the Bab al-Mandab straits, so that they can change the balance of power in shipping oil,” he said.

Furthermore, Netanyahu said that he had spoken with Republican leaders in the US Senate and “conveyed our serious concern regarding the arrangement with Iran at the nuclear talks. This agreement confirms all our fears and exceeds them.

Some Israeli officials dismissed celebration of a nuclear framework deal between major powers and Iran, calling it detached from reality, and vowed to continue lobbying to prevent a “bad” final agreement. Israel Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement after the announcements in Switzerland: “The smiles from this agreement are detached from a wretched reality in which Iran refuses to make any concessions on the nuclear issue and contiues to threaten Israel and all other countries in the Middle East. We will continue with our efforts to explain and persuade the world in hopes of preventing a bad (final) agreement.”

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said: “The Nuclear deal would be ‘nothing less than a tragedy.” He added: “one does not have to be an intelligence agency member to know that Iran is lying without blinking, that today it is the biggest danger to the stability of the Middle East and the entire world.” Ya’alon said that the “Iranian appetite to export the revolution through terrorism will only get bigger, and with the seal of approval it receives as a legitimate state that is a touching distance away from being nuclear – the danger to the West and its allies in the Middle East will be enormous.”

Centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid noted: “On the Iranian nuclear issue there is no opposition and coalition. We are all concerned that the Iranians will circumvent the deal and Israel must protect its own security interests. The ayatollah’s regime has been peddling fraud and deception for years and progressing with its nuclear program. They will try, from day one, to cheat the international community as they have done in the past.” Added Lapid: There is no basis to the determination that today Iran was prevented from attaining a nuclear weapon.

Debka, an Israeli intelligence gathering website, gave the following assessment of the Iranian nuclear agreement:

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry promised that the nuclear deal to be signed with Iran will give the world powers a year’s warning after the Islamic Republic’s breakout up to an operational weapon. Our nuclear experts explain why even that grim arithmetic does not do full justice to the advantages Iran has gained for its push to a nuke:

1.  Because Iran is permitted to continue running up to 6,500 elderly IR-1 centrifuges for enriching uranium to a low 3.5 percent grade, even if it is permitted to keep only 500 kilos of its stock of 7.5-8 –tons, Tehran would still be able to build a bomb in 7-8 months, i.e. a lot faster than Obama and Kerry have promised.

2.  But if Tehran activates secret facilities undetected by US intelligence, it can produce a larger quantity of enriched uranium and so shrink the time between breakout and bomb to three, at most, four months, totally insufficient for the world powers to detect, step in and abort the bomb’s manufacture, in view of the following considerations:

— To obtain proof that Iran is cheating on its accord with the world powers, “environmental” samples would have to be obtained and tested in laboratories outside Iran. Results would be available only after two months, further slashing the time line for stopping Iran building a weapon. But that is not all.

— If Iran is shown by the first round of tests to be in violation of the accord and enriching uranium to a higher grade than 3.5, a second batch of “environmental” samples must be collected to analyze the exact quantities of uranium illicitly enriched and grade of purity.

There goes another month of valuable time for action, cutting it down to 10-12 weeks.

3. And, finally, the US President, Secretary of State and International Atomic Energy leaders have affirmed Iran’s faithful compliance with the first interim nuclear accord – known as the Joint Plan of Action – JPOA – that was signed in Geneva November 2013.

That information is equally false.

It is a fact which is known to intelligence agencies that Iran never complied with its commitment to reduce its UF6 stocks below 7.5 tons and convert added amounts to harmless oxides. Indeed, they estimate that Iran has enlarged its approved amount of stock to 8.5 tons or more, by means of the “creep-out” strategy it has repeatedly pursued in the past to conceal its nefarious nuclear activities.

A final concession which Iran has managed to wring out of the six world powers led by the United States allows Iran to keep an extra 9,000 IR-1 centrifuges Tehran idle – though not dismantled – and permission to continue research and development on high-speed IR-8 or IR-5 centrifuges.

This means that the Islamic Republic will not only keep its nuclear infrastructure under the accord the six powers plan to sign, but add improvements along with the freedom to shorten at will the critical time lapse between breakout and bomb.

The tons of spoken and printed verbiage poured out on the Iranian nuclear issue and ongoing diplomacy year after year have exposed, rather than disguised, President Obama’s willingness to sign a nuclear deal with Iran – however bad and whatever the price.

The inescapable conclusion is that the US president has come around to accepting the reality of a nuclear-armed Iran. As seen from the United States, America never stopped India, Pakistan and North Korea from becoming nuclear powers, and has therefore decided it can live with a fourth – Iran.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama details ‘historic’ nuke deal with Iran, Jerusalem slams ‘dangerous capitulation’
2) Obama: Framework deal on Iran nuclear program ‘best option’ for Israel
3) Kerry: Iran deal will leave world safer, more secure
4) Full text of Iran nuke deal parameters, as set out by State Department
5) Israel: Deal a capitulation, will give Iran ‘a military nuclear program’
6) Netanyahu voices outrage that nuclear talks go on while Iran vows to destroy Israel
7) US surrender on breakout time to a bomb leads to breakthrough on a nuclear deal
8) Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says
9) Steinitz: Iran nuclear framework detached from reality
10) Ya’alon: Nuclear deal would be ‘nothing less than a tragedy’
11) Ya’alon: You don’t have to be in intelligence to know that Iran is lying

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