Archive for June, 2015

June 16, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the Israel / Palestinian peace process

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,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

June 9, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Wednesday, June 10th, 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 US Supreme Court ruling that permits the President of the United States to not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem

The US Supreme Court struck down a US congressional attempt to allow Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on passports. The court was considering a 2002 law that instructed the US State Department to “record the place of birth as Israel” in the passports of American children born in Jerusalem if their parents requested the designation. The case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry was brought by the parents of Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born not long after Congress enacted the law. At the time, President George W. Bush said he would not allow the State Department to honor the request and President Obama has continued the practice. The law was meant to take a symbolic stand on the political status of Jerusalem.

Zivotofsky’s attorneys argued that the case was not about formal recognition of Jerusalem, but merely a matter of how an American is identified on his or her passport. The Court ultimately disagreed. The vote was 6 to 3, with the court’s three Jewish justices — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan voting with the majority to not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem. The president, rather than Congress, must determine national policy on the status of Jerusalem, the majority said.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for five justices, said: “Jerusalem’s political standing has long been, and remains, one of the most sensitive issues in American foreign policy and indeed it is one of the most delicate issues in current international affairs.” Justice Kennedy said the Constitution gave the president exclusive authority to determine the nation’s stance. “Put simply,” he wrote, “the nation must have a single policy regarding which governments are legitimate in the eyes of the United States and which are not.” The nation must speak with one voice, he said, and “that voice must be the president’s.” Justice Kennedy based his opinion on provisions of the Constitution authorizing the president to receive foreign ambassadors, to appoint American ones and to make treaties.

Chief Justice Roberts responded that receiving ambassadors is a presidential duty rather than a power. “The president does have power to make treaties and appoint ambassadors,” the chief justice added. “But those authorities are shared with Congress, so they hardly support an inference that the recognition power is exclusive.”

Furthermore, Chief Justice Roberts said the majority had taken a bold step. “Today’s decision is a first,” he wrote. “Never before has this court accepted a president’s direct defiance of an act of Congress in the field of foreign affairs.” Furthermore, he said that the decision was “based on the mere possibility that observers overseas might misperceive the significance of the birthplace designation.”

Justice Scalia announced his dissent from the bench saying. “A principle that the nation must have a single foreign policy, which elevates efficiency above the text and structure of the Constitution, will systematically favor the president at the expense of Congress,” he said. “But it is certain that, in the long run, it will erode the structure of equal and separated powers that the people established for the protection of their liberty.”

Justice Kennedy wrote that some observers had interpreted passport provision as altering United States policy, leading to “protests across the region.” Chief Justice Roberts responded that giving legal weight to such mistaken reactions “is essentially to subject a duly enacted statute to an international heckler’s veto.”

Justice Kennedy wrote that Congress was not free to contradict the president’s determination about the status of Jerusalem even in a notation in a passport. “This is not to say Congress may not express its disagreement with the president in myriad ways,” Justice Kennedy added. “For example, it may enact an embargo, decline to confirm an ambassador, or even declare war. But none of these acts would alter the president’s recognition decision.”

Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky, the parents of their son Menachem, spent 12 years fighting for their son to be listed as a citizen of “Jerusalem, Israel” instead of merely “Jerusalem,” said, “We expected the courts in the United States to be about more than politics. Perhaps the result shows that this assumption is not correct but we thought that the legal system is unrelated to the political system [there]. A passport is just a symbol of the central problem here, which is very large, due to the United States not recognizing the sovereignty of the State of Israel over any part of Jerusalem.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said: “We welcome the Supreme Court’s important decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, which reaffirms the long-established authority of the president to recognize foreign states, their governments, and their territorial boundaries. The court’s decision upholds the president’s long-standing authority to make these sensitive recognition determinations as part of his conduct of diplomacy and foreign policy.” Presenting its case, the Obama administration argued that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would compromise the United States position as an objective arbiter in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The decision, Earnest concluded, “confirms that the president’s recognition determinations should be accurately reflected in official documents and sensitive diplomatic communications, including passports.”

Historically, Jerusalem was divided into east and west factions following the war in 1949 that broke out after Israel’s creation. Israel has controlled the entire city following the Six Day War in 1967, eventually annexing the eastern part in 1980, in a move unrecognized by either the United States or the U.N. As a result, Jerusalem’s status remains one of the sticking points in final status peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. A peace process that seems that seeks to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable reality of Isael attempting to find a compromise solution and a faction of Arabs who refuse to recognize its Israel’s existence and/or yearn for its annihilation.

Palestinian chief negotiator in the peace proces, Saeb Erekat, praised the decision and said it “sends a clear message to the Israeli government that “Jerusalem is an occupied territory.” Erekat added that the top American court’s ruling highlighted “that the Israeli decision to annex Jerusalem to be settlements is a total violation of international law.” Nabil Abu Rdaineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, hailed the “important decision” that he said runs in accordance with UN resolutions. “This is a clear message that Israel occupies east Jerusalem as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” he charged.

However, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for President Obama to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital saying that it was particularly important “when anti-Semitism is trying to raise its head. Just as Washington is the capital of the United States, London the capital of England and Paris the capital of France so Jerusalem was and always will be the capital of Israel, and the heart and soul of the Jewish people.”

Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, head of lawfare NGO Shurat Hadin, said besides the specific issue just decided by the US Supreme Court, this decision involves a greater issue which involves deciding who in general decides issues of foreign affairs – Congress or the State Department. “This question could come up in other matters, such as American financing for the Palestinian Authority. Congress decided to limit the transfer of funds to the PA from the State Department, so that it may only be transferred if there is certainty that they do not go toward terrorism. The State Department has been ignoring Congress and when the matter reaches the courts, there will again be a debate over who decides foreign policy, the legislators or the State Department.”

As for the court’s decision itself, Darshan-Leitner said that it truly damages every single Israeli person: “This is a disappointment. While it is true that this is a decision that relates to the internal regime in the US, and which delimits the boundaries of the executive branch’s discretion, and who decides foreign policy, one cannot ignore the actual decision, which de facto does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – and this is a real kick in the face of every Israeli citizen.”

Furthermore, a significant consequence of this US Supreme Court decision may occur when the United Nations General Assembly opens its next session on Sept 15.  There has been indications that France plans to submit to the Security Council a resolution to prescribe a Palestinian state in the disputed territories of the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its a capital with a negotiating deadline of 18 months. The US may support this proposes resolution or may allow it to pass with a US abstention. If this happens, it would contradict one of the arguments made by the Obama administration during this US Supreme Court case, when they insisted recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel “would critically compromise the ability of the United States to work with Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region to further the peace process.” In addition, “it would now be very hypocritical for the Obama administration to turn around after the arguments they made in this Supreme Court case to violate it and support a United Nations resolution specifying a Palestinian state that includes East Jerusalem as its capital.”

In addition, a long list of major American Jewish organizations expressed dismay at the US Supreme Court ruling that American citizens born in Jerusalem may only list their birthplace as Jerusalem, rather than as Jerusalem, Israel. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella group representing 51 organizations, issued a statement saying that the organization’s leaders were “deeply concerned” by the ruling. “We do not believe that Jerusalem-born American citizens having Israel on their passport would impinge on future peace negotiations or compromise the role of the United States in this area,” argued Chairman Stephen Greenberg. “Tens of thousands of Americans are affected by this decision.”

Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, described the US government’s approach regarding Jerusalem as “hypocritical.” The ADL had spearheaded an effort signed by 12 Jewish organizations which argued that Americans born in Jerusalem should be able to identify their country of birth on their passport in the same way other American citizens born abroad may do.

“The question for the Supreme Court in this case involved a simple and ministerial act – whether or not US citizens born in Jerusalem should be allowed to list their birth place as Israel,” Foxman wrote after the ruling. “The answer to that should have been an easy yes. And the court did not have to issue a sweeping decision about executive power to reach that conclusion.” Foxman called on the administration to “step up,” asking “how long will the US government continue to have this hypocritical approach?”

“It is sad and unfortunate that Israel – as a sovereign nation – is the only country in the world whose capital comes under such scrutiny and has to defend its right to determine where its capital city exists,” Foxman continued. “It’s time for the Executive Branch to face the reality: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel” he concluded.

Similar expressions of disappointment came from across the Jewish religious spectrum. Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said that his organization was “disappointed” by the decision, which he described as “circumscribing the right of Americans born in Jerusalem to lawfully and accurately identify their birthplace as Israel.”

The Religious Action Center was one of the organizations that signed on to the ADL brief, and Pesner noted that “the Reform Movement has long called for US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that Israel should not be subjected to legal disadvantages under US law that are not applied to other nations.”

America’s largest Orthodox umbrella organization, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, also expressed disappointment with the the US Supreme Court in the Jerusalem passport case. Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union, wrote in a statement that while the organization was “of course, disappointed” by the ruling, “we are more disappointed by the persistent policy of the United States government – carried out by successive presidents – to treat the capital city of Israel with less respect than that accorded to capital cities of virtually every other nation. Jerusalem is unquestionably the capital of Israel,” he added. “Even after this court decision, it is high time for the US administration to acknowledge the reality of Israel’s capital – Jerusalem.”

The Orthodox Union, like the Religious Action Center, was also a signatory on the ADL friend of the court brief that urged the justices to uphold Congressional legislation requiring the State Department to write Jerusalem, Israel, on US-issued passports. Other organizations signing the brief included the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), B’nai B’rith International, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Hadassah, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Council of Young Israel, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism, Women of Reform Judaism, and the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Supreme Court says president’s powers prevail on foreign borders
2) Supreme Court Backs White House on Jerusalem Passport Dispute
3) White House welcomes Jerusalem passport ruling as upholding president’s authority
4) ‘The US Refuses to Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty’
5) Supreme Court ‘Kicked Israelis in the Face’
6) US Jewish groups slam administration’s ‘hypocritical’ view on Jerusalem
7) PA: US court ruling sends ‘clear message’ that Israel occupies east Jerusalem
8) PA: Ruling on Jerusalem Proves Israel is an ‘Occupier’
9) The Consequences of Obama’s Jerusalem Passport Supreme Court Win

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

June 2, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2015

You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:

1) Listen to the audio

In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:

1) The current status of the Israel / Palestinian peace process

France and New Zealand are drafting a UN Security Council Resolution that would set an 18-month deadline for direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians which would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state. In July, New Zealand will take over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council. A New Zealand Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said: “We acknowledge that, ultimately, a lasting two-state settlement is something that will have to be negotiated between the two principal parties. But the UN and its members have a role to play in promoting dialogue to encourage that negotiated settlement. New Zealand therefore supports UN resolutions that advance the two-state solution, upholds international law, including human rights and humanitarian law, or calls for humanitarian assistance.” Details of the draft resolution was disclosed by the French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’. If no agreement is reached within the 18-month timeframe,  France would go ahead and unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.

According to sources familiar with the resolution, it is not likely that it would be presented to the UN Security Council prior to September. The leaking of the contents of the resolution appears to be designed to put pressure on Netanyahu’s new coalition government to return to peace talks. US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the United States has not yet made a decision on what actions it will take regarding a UN resolution being worked on by France that would set a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. She said:  “We’ve made no decisions with respect to action at the UN and certainly not on a hypothetical resolution. We are carefully considering our future engagement at the UN if and when we reach that point to determine how to most effectively advance the objective I think we all share for a negotiated two-state solution. So we’re continuing to work with our partners, including the French. But at this point, again, no decisions have been made with respect to action at the UN.”

However, in an interview with an Israeli television station, US President Barack Obama raised the possibility that the U.S. will allow a United Nations Security Council vote on issues related to the Palestinians if the two sides make no meaningful movement toward peace. Obama noted that his administration has “up until this point” quashed such efforts at the U.N. while insisting that the Israelis and Palestinians must negotiate a resolution. But he said it is a challenge for the U.S. to keep demanding that the Palestinians negotiate in good faith if no one believes the Israelis are doing the same.

“How do we move off what appears right now to be a hopeless situation and move it back towards a hopeful situation?” Obama asked in the interview. “That will require more than just words. That will require some actions. And that’s going to be hard work, though, because right now I think there’s not a lot of confidence in the process.” Obama said that Israel “as a whole loses credibility” on the point. “If, in fact, there’s no prospect of an actual peace process, if nobody believes there’s a peace process, then it becomes more difficult to argue with those who are concerned about settlement construction, those who are concerned about the current situation,” Obama said. “It’s more difficult for me to say to them, ‘Be patient and wait because we have a process here’ — because all they need to do is to point to the statements that have been made saying there is no process.” Obama’s critical tone toward Netanyahu, describing him as someone who is “predisposed” to “think perhaps that peace is naive,” appeared to return to the tough language that marked administration statements earlier this spring. Obama said that Netanyahu’s statements included “so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met anytime in the near future,” Obama said. “The danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility, ” he added. “Already, the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution. The statement the prime minister made compounded this belief.” As a result, Obama said that he does not foresee a “framework agreement” between Israel and the Palestinians being possible in the current climate.

In response, Netanyahu said: I want “to reiterate Israel’s commitment to peace, and my commitment to peace. We want a peace that would end the conflict once and for all,” he said. “My position has not changed: I don’t support a one-state solution – I don’t believe that’s a solution at all. I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.” Israel believes that a potential UN resolution only hardens the Palestinians’ position and therefore makes peace more difficult to achieve.

Former Israel Justice Minister and chief negotiator in the peace process with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni believes that Israel should agree to do what Obama wants Israel to do. She said: “We need to be sensitive to the current situation,” said Livni. “It doesn’t matter if the we like the American president or dislike him. We have to work with him. Too much is at stake.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said, “What we hear is that there is coordination between the French and the [United] States” on the potential UN Security Council resolution. He said if such a resolution was passed – meaning one that defines the final parameters of a deal and sets a timeline – “I’m sure we can go back to negotiations.” The US has promised the Palestinians that it will ramp up efforts for a new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians once negotiations with Iran are concluded. Hamdallah said: “We have had certain assurances from the United States that after the June 30th deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, they will resume negotiations between us and the Israelis. We count on the [United] States and are sure they will deliver.” Declaring that direct negotiations with Israel were a failure, Hamdallah said the Palestinians would only negotiate if the United Nations Security Council set a 2017 deadline for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank. “We need outside intervention from the UN, from the superpowers, from the United States. Once there is a resolution, where the UN asks for an Israeli withdrawal and for the establishment of the state, this has to be guaranteed by the superpowers,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has submitted an official request to the International Criminal Court to set a date to discuss the possibility of two war-crimes lawsuits against Israel, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said. He added: “I have submitted a request to the court to set a date for us to present the files of settlements and Israeli war crimes. We’re now awaiting the court’s response. This could take place in mid-June.” Malki said that, once the ICC sets a date, he would head to the ICC to follow up on the case. He said a special Palestinian committee has been entrusted with preparing the files that would be brought before the ICC. “The procedures have begun and we will work seriously and professionally in accordance with a timeline,” he added.The Palestinians want the ICC to sue Israel for war crimes it claims were committed during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge and for Jewish building over the 1949 Armistice Line in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In 2013, a United Nations Human Rights Council report on Jewish building over the pre-1967 lines found that such activity was prohibited under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. That article views the direct or indirect transfer of a civilian population into occupied territory as a war crime. Israel has long argued that the areas over the pre-1967 lines are not occupied Palestinian territory because they were never under Palestinian sovereignty and, thus. the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable. Israel’s position is that, therefore, the status of the territories is disputed and must be resolved by direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

In response, Netanyahu said: “Tell the Palestinians to stop their campaign to delegitimize Israel. Tell them to get back to the negotiating table. Tell them that we should negotiate without preconditions.” He added that Israel faces an “international campaign to blacken its name.” The aim is to undermine Israel’s existence. Netanyahu said: “We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the state of Israel … it is connected to our very existence.”

According to Netanyahu, that campaign is not connected to Israel’s policies in Gaza or the West Bank but is rather an anti-Semitic attack to deny Israel the right to exist. Netanyahu said: “The last thing that we should do is bow our heads and ask where we erred, where we went wrong. We did not err, we did not do wrong. We are put up to standards that no other democracy is forced to face. We do not need to justify ourselves. We just need to say the truth. It doesn’t matter what we do, but rather what we represent. What has been said about Jews throughout history – that we are the source of evil in the world, that we drink the blood of small children – all this has been said of us. It wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now. They say if only we were nicer, or more generous,” Netanyahu added. “We’ve made many concessions and it hasn’t changed a thing, because this campaign of delegitimization is much deeper, it wishes to strip us our right to live here in the land of Israel.”

European Union Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini has promised European countries that there will soon be special labels on all products coming from the West Bank. The move in Europe to label products from West Bank settlements is gaining momentum. The plan would require supermarkets and other retailers to label products made in West Bank and Golan Heights settlements as well as in East Jerusalem differently from those originating in Israel. Israeli officials believe the measures are meant to pressure Israel into resuming talks with the Palestinians or at least to deter it from Israel for massive construction in settlements.

Prior to Mogherini’s recent visit to Israel, the foreign ministers of 16 of the EU’s 28 member states urged her in a letter to advance the labeling moves. They said the legislative process, which was initiated over two years ago and halted, should be revived out of fairness to European consumers, who are entitled to know where their products they buy come from. This year a EU directive was issued not to recognize Israeli veterinary supervision from occupied areas. Israeli farm exports to Europe have fallen in the recent year. Several Israeli agricultural exporters said recently that the current fall in European orders may be due to retailers’ desire to head off pro-Palestinian groups demonstrations outside their stores. The Palestinian Authority and various pro-Palestinian groups worldwide are urging boycotts against Israel over the stalled peace process. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, for example, is waging a global campaign seeking to increase economic and political pressure on Israel through such measures.

Israeli government officials said that they don’t regard the global boycott, sanctions and divestment movement as a present strategic threat to the Israeli economy. “It has the potential to be a strategic threat in the future, but we’re far from that,” said one source. However, the Israeli government has decided to increase its efforts to prevent academic, consumer, cultural and sports boycotts against Israel, with several ministers taking the lead in what has become a diplomatic priority.

Science, Technology and Space Minister Danny Danon plans to convene the heads of Israel’s universities to discuss the efforts waged to thwart boycotts against Israeli academics, scientists and researchers. Danon said: “We must forge a united front and fight the boycott attempts against Israeli researchers and scientists. Unfortunately, we have to deal with organizations and agencies that have made it their mission to undermine Israel rather than promote research and development,” Danon said.

In addition, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev announced that her ministry will form a special task force to prevent and counter academic and cultural boycotts against Israel. Campaigns calling to expel Israel from the global cultural and sports arenas are based on libelous propaganda, which can be refuted, she explained. “There are some pro-Palestinian groups that want to do only one thing — promote hatred and boycotts against everything Israel represents. They urge economic, academic, cultural and sports boycotts, and to them it is ‘right’ and ‘moral’ to wage a libelous propaganda campaign against Israel’s economy, and the wonderful intellectuals and artists based in Israel and abroad,” Regev said.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also commented on the issue saying, “Israel does have to explain itself — it has to fight for what it believes is right, with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue as well. Let them [pro-Palestinian groups] check who it was that slammed the door in [U.S. President Barack] Obama’s face — it wasn’t Netanyahu, it was [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas,” 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) UN resolution to impose 18-month deadline on Palestinian state talks
2) Diplomatic bantam New Zealand takes on peace process
3) PA prime minister: US promised new talks after Iran deal
4) Palestinian PM: We’ve experienced direct talks, and they were a failure
5) Palestinian Authority advances bid to file lawsuits against Israel at ICC
6) Netanyahu demands Palestinians stop anti-Israel ‘campaign’, return to negotiations ‘without preconditions’
7) ‘Israel Won’t Bow Down to Forces Trying to Deny Right to Exist’
8) State Dept.: No Decision Yet on French UN Initiative
9) Obama raises possibility of allowing U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood
10) Obama: Stalled peace process makes it harder for U.S. to defend Israel at UN
11) Barack Obama says Israel risks losing credibility over Palestinian state stance
12) Obama: Israel losing credibility because world doesn’t think it’s serious about peace
13) Livni: Israel Has No Choice But to ‘Toe Obama’s Line’
14) Israel Under Existential Threat By Palestinian-Led International Campaign
15) EU Foreign Minister: Soon We Will Label Products from Judea-Samaria
16) EU sources: Drive to label Israeli settlement products unstoppable
17) Netanyahu Lashes Out at Criticism of Israel
18) ‘Israel faces an international campaign to blacken its name’
19) Israeli ministers take boycott efforts head on

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