You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The current status of the Israel / Palestinian peace process
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius plans to travel to the Middle East to speak with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan to raise support for a French UN Security Council Resolution expected to be presented later this year which lays out the parameters of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. It is unknown whether Fabious will bring a draft of the proposed UN Security Council Resolution with him.
In a recent speech, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated his opposition to such moves but did not mention France by name. He said: “There are those who attempt to impose terms on Israel in the Security Council because there are no talks and some of them pretend that the dangers we face are not real dangers at all,” he said. “I think what that does is drive peace away.” Netanyahu said that efforts to impose peace from the outside will not work for two reasons: Israel will “resist it,” and the “Palestinians will not come to the table” since they know they will get better “starting terms” from a UN resolution than anything they could get from any Israeli government.
In that case, he said, “why should they come to negotiate?” Government officials said that that while Israel has not seen a draft of the proposal, there are concerns in Israel about different ideas being discussed and that “this could go in a negative direction.” One of Israel’s concern is that the US might not veto the proposal, which the French are expected to submit before September’s UN General Assembly meeting. US President Barack Obama has pointedly refused to commit himself to vetoing any such resolution.
Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely attacked France’s proposed UN peace initiative as “counterproductive” in an interview with a French newspaper, saying it “deludes” the Palestinians into believing they can achieve statehood without making concessions. She said that the French peace initiative “will not improve the situation” and will likely “aggravate the situation on the ground.”
“The French initiative is counterproductive because it deludes the Palestinians into thinking they will get something from the international community without having to make concessions,” Hotovely said. “It’s clear to the Israeli public – left and right – that direct negotiations between the two sides is the only way to solve the problem,” Hotovely said. “We see that Palestinian leaders, with the encouragement of certain countries, have tried for several years to internationalize the conflict through a very dangerous process, not just for Israel but for them.”
In response to Netanyahu’s views, Nimr Hammad, a political adviser to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas compared Netanyahu to Nazi Germany’s Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. The adviser accused Netanyahu of using Goebbel’s propaganda strategy in order to persuade the international pubic that the PA is the source of stagnation in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians would only back a proposal that raises all of their demands, indicating the demand for an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and a clear date set for the end of negotiations and implementation of a PLO state. Abbas emphasized that the PA fundamentally opposes recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, reiterating his vehement rejection of the recognition that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu requested in talks. If recognition of the Jewish state is included in the French proposal the PA will not back it said Abbas.
In addition, Abbas said that there are no contacts with Israel as part of “peace talks” at the current juncture in time, and warned of the “destructive” ramifications of the current status quo being allowed to continue. However, it was in fact Abbas who torpedoed the last round of talks last April by unilaterally joining international conventions in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords that established the PA and by signing a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.
The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, refused to say that the US would veto a potential UN Security Council resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Speaking before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, she said: “I really am going to resist making blanket declarations on hypothetical resolutions. Our position, again, I think has been very clear for some time,” Power said, when pressed on the issue. “I have said, again, we would oppose anything that was designed to punish Israel or undermine Israel’s security. However, at the present time, there is no UN Security Council resolution in front of us to consider.” US President Barack Obama said in a recent interview with an Israeli television station the U.S. will have to re-evaluate “how we approach defending Israel on the international stage around the Palestinian issue.”
Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said that Obama has made mistakes in the Israeli-U.S. relationship “deliberately” and that he was responsible for abandoning two core principles of the alliance: no public disagreements and no surprises. He said: “The past six years have seen successive crises in U.S.-Israeli relations, and there is a need to set the record straight. But the greater need is to ensure a future of minimal mistakes and prevent further erosion of our vital alliance. Israel has no alternative to America as a source of security aid, diplomatic backing and overwhelming popular support. The U.S. has no substitute for the state that, though small, remains democratic, militarily and technologically robust, strategically located and unreservedly pro-American.”
Last month, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Pope Francis. At that meeting, the Palestinian flag was officially raised in the Vatican for the first time. The meeting between Abbas and the Pope, and the highly symbolic display of the flag, occurred a few days after the Vatican referred to the “state of Palestine” in an official document. The Vatican has functionally dealt with Palestine as a state, welcoming its ambassador, since the 2012 United Nations General Assembly vote. Francis made a grand gesture in that direction last spring when he flew directly to the West Bank from Amman, Jordan, rather than first landing in Israel, as his predecessors had. But the treaty, which had been under negotiation for a year and used “Palestine Liberation Organization” rather than “State of Palestine” in earlier drafts, formalizes the recognition.
At their meeting, Pope Francis encouraged the PA president to be an “angel of peace.” The leaders also discussed the future of relations between the Palestinian Authority and the Vatican and exchanged gifts. The Vatican announced that it would sign its first treaty with the “state of Palestine.” While the agreement primarily related to the status of the Catholic Church and its activities in the Palestinian territories, it also included an official recognition of Palestine as an independent state. Monseigneur Antoine Camilleri, the Holy See’s current undersecretary for relations with states, commented that the agreement expressed the Vatican’s hope for “the attainment of a solution to the Palestinian issue and the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians in the context of two states.”
Israel’s foreign ministry expressed its disappointment over the agreement’s usage of the phrase, “state of Palestine,” saying such recognition outside of the framework of bilateral negotiations between the two sides hindered progress toward genuine peace. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was “disappointed” by the Vatican’s decision and that the recognition would “not advance the peace process.”
In other news, senior Western officials have revealed that once a nuclear deal agreement is reached with Iran, the European Union and the United Nations are planning a diplomatic offensive meant to force Israel into returning to yet more peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and making dangerous concessions in the process – and reportedly the EU already has a list of sanctions ready to force Israel to bend. A senior Western diplomat said that “a diplomatic attack against Israel is expected soon that will surprise even the pessimists in Israel.” It appears that the waiting period will likely expire in September, at which time a UN General Assembly will open in tandem with the first shots of the diplomatic barrage against Israel.
Diplomatic sources familiar with Western European positions vis-a-vis Israel said the EU already has a list ready, itemizing sanctions against Israel in the fields of trade, agriculture, science and culture. That list is to be translated into an economic assault – unless Israel presents a new set of concessions it is willing to make for a new round of peace talks, after the last set of talks was torpedoed by the PA signing a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization. One western diplomat said that “Senior officials in Israel are aware of the existence of sanctions documents at EU headquarters, some of which have even fallen into their hands. The coming months will be difficult for Israel. This time Israel will pay a heavy price for continued stagnation. This time, it is also uncertain if the United States will succeed in saving Israel and maybe this time they don’t want to do so.”
Finally, Israel would be required to label products that are made in West Bank settlements and exported to Europe, according to guidelines being prepared by the European Union. An EU official said that EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told European foreign ministers that work is underway and that a set of guidelines will be “finalized in the near future.” An EU free trade agreement with Israel already excludes settlement goods, even if they say they were made in Israel. Likewise, Israel is barred from spending money it receives under a landmark technology-sharing pact in the West Bank or east Jerusalem. Several European countries have approved voluntary labeling guidelines for settlement products.
However, the new guidelines would take things further by requiring Israeli exporters to explicitly label products as being made in the settlements – a potential stigma that could deter consumers from buying them. The EU began work on labeling guidelines in 2012 but appears to have decided to revive that effort following the formation of Israel’s new coalition government. The EU official said it would likely be months before the guidelines are complete. A second official said much would depend on the policies of the new government. If peace talks with the Palestinians are restarted, the effort could once again be shelved. But if talks remain frozen and Israel steps up settlement construction, the EU will move forward, he said.
Europe also is Israel’s largest trade market, importing about $14.7 billion in goods last year, according to EU figures. Products from the settlements, including wines, honey, cosmetics and agricultural produce, make up just 1.5 percent of that total, according to Israel’s Finance Ministry. While the economic impact of a labeling campaign might be minimal, it would be a symbolic setback to Israel. “If Europe begins labeling settlement products, then this will mean that they have put their political position into effect in the sense that there will be a real and true boycott of settlement goods,” said Mohammed Shtayyeh, the Palestinian Cabinet minister in charge of economic development.
Israeli officials reject the European labeling plan, saying it would amount to a type of boycott and help discourage Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from returning to negotiations. Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Israel fears that consumers will not differentiate between settlement products and Israeli products. “It will be a de facto boycott against Israel,” he said. Nahshon said Israel is in “close contact and dialogue” with the EU on the matter. “We have been conveying our positions, and we hope they will be accepted by the EU,” he said.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Fabius to meet with Netanyahu in Israel over plans to push Security Council resolution
2) Hotovely: French UN peace proposal ‘deludes’ Palestinians
3) Abbas Warns French UN Proposal Must Not Include ‘Jewish State’
4) Samantha Power: US Won’t Commit to Veto of Palestinian State Resolution
5) PA official: Netanyahu implements Nazi strategy to blame PA for stagnation in negotiations
6) For the First Time: The Vatican Flies the Palestinian Flag to Greet PA Chairman Abbas
7) Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty
8) US Diplomats Reveal EU Sanctions Assault After Iran Deal
9) EU edges closer to labeling of West Bank products
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