December 2, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

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 the Israel / Palestinian peace process

PA President Mahmoud Abbas attended an Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Egypt on November 29 where a discussion took place wherein the Arab League would support Palestinians efforts to submit a UN Security Council draft resolution for recognition of a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. At the meeting, the Arab League supported Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to seek UN endorsement for a timetable for declaring an independent state while rejecting recognizing Israel as a Jewish nation. It also backed Palestinian plans to seek membership in UN agencies and international courts.

The ministers set up a committee comprised of Kuwait, Mauritania, Jordan and Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby to begin seeking international backing for the UN Security Council Resolution. Jordan, an Arab member in the Security Council, agreed to present the draft resolution to the UN Security Council. Arab states have already given their blessings to the idea of presenting a resolution to the Security Council but had yet to agree on a finalized draft and set a date to present it. Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby appeared to suggest that the final draft would be endorsed and sent to a vote. “It is natural that Palestine is heading to the UN Security Council to issue a resolution setting a deadline for ending the occupation,” he said. “The Palestinian issue has been discussed in the past, but what is new today is that the Arab states and Palestine decided to go to the Security Council, through Jordan, with an Arab draft resolution,” he said.

According to Palestinian officials, seven members of the fifteen member UN Security Council have pledged to support the Palestinian statehood bid. The support of at least nine UN Security Council members is needed in order for any resolution to make it out of committee and be able to be voted upon by all UN Security Council members. As of now, the Palestinians have failed to secure the backing of nine UN Security Council members for possible recognition of a PLO state. The position of the United States, which has repeatedly vetoed UN resolutions seen as pressuring Israel, will be crucial in deciding if this latest effort by the Palestinians will succeed. In fact, US Secretary of State, John Kerry warned PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas against taking any unilateral measures, threatening to impose financial and political sanctions on the PA if they presented their draft paper to the UN Security Council. Kerry said that the most effective way forward would be to resume peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. As a result, some Palestinian sources expressed doubt that Abbas would actually go through with the UN Security Council resolution to recognize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. “There are Arab and U.S. pressures that will make it impossible for Abbas to take a step like submitting the draft resolution by the end of this year”, the sources added. If peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were to resume, the Palestinians have presented a number of preconditions for talks to resume, including a three-month settlement freeze while the borders of the future state are negotiated and an Israeli recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the basis of a Palestinian state.

When the Palestinians revealed their proposed text that was to be submitted by Jordan, it was rejected the United States and other members of the Security Council. As a result, France while agreeing in principle to the proposed Palestinian resolution decided to present an alternative draft. France is working with England and Germany in preparing the separate text. The French-led European initiative will be discussed on December 2 in Brussels when US Secretary of State John Kerry holds talks with European ministers during a NATO meeting.Israel Finance Minister, Yair Lapid said that ties between Israel and the US have reached such a low point that the US’s assistance at the UN Security Council — including using its right to veto anti-Israel resolutions — was no longer assured. “We are at an unprecedented low point in our ties with the US. No one knows what they will do when Abbas presents his draft resolution before the UN Security Council. The US vote is not assured like it has been in the past,” Lapid said.

Palestinian representative to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said: “The French are moving more and more, trying to bring all the European colleagues together, and I think that eventually they will succeed.” He said that “the time has come to find the political will in order to work seriously for achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the independence of the Palestinian state on the bases of the pre-1967 borders.” Mansour said he expected a new draft to be submitted to the council “soon, possibly in the middle of the December,” with a vote to quickly follow. The new resolution would pave the way for an international conference to launch what is widely seen as a final bid for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal with the involvement of all key international players.

French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said: “At the United Nations, we are working with our partners to adopt a Security Council resolution to relaunch and conclude talks. A deadline of two years is the one most often mentioned and the French government can agree with this figure.”  Fabius said that France is prepared to host international talks in a bid to push forward a drive for peace. “An international conference could be organized, France is prepared to take the initiative on this and in these talks, recognition [of the Palestinian state] would be an instrument … for the definitive resolution of the conflict,” he said. Fabius did not specify when this conference might take place, nor did he say who might be invited. Nevertheless, he said France hoped to bring together all the main players in the conflict, citing the European Union, the Arab League and all the permanent members of the UN Security Council. The minister has frequently said that France would recognize a Palestinian state “when the time comes,” arguing that a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict logically implies recognition of a Palestinian state. “If these efforts fail. If this last attempt at a negotiated settlement does not work, then France will have to do its duty and recognize the state of Palestine without delay and we are ready to do that,” stressed Fabius.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be solved by exploiting the automatic anti-Israel majorities in the UN bodies. You can pass anything there. But that is not the way to achieve peace. The only way to peace is through direct negotiations that address all the core issues. Israel is ready for these negotiations; Israel is ready for peace; I am ready for peace. But it must be a genuine peace, a durable peace, and for that, we must have a Palestinian partner who is committed to forging such a genuine peace – a partner who is prepared to confront terrorism and end incitement; a partner who is prepared to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people; a partner who is prepared to address Israel’s legitimate security concerns seriously; a partner who wants a Palestinian state not to continue the conflict with Israel, but to end it once and for all.

Rather than helping to advance peace, many in the international community are setting back the cause of peace by convincing Palestinians that they can have a state without making peace with Israel. Recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding an end to the Palestinian Authority’s pact with Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization is absurd. Recognizing a Palestinian nation-state without demanding that the Palestinians recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people is unjust. Recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding an end to incitement in official Palestinian media and schools is reckless. And recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding robust security arrangements to enable Israel to protect itself and the peace, that is dangerous. If the issue of Palestinian statehood is brought before the UN Security Council outside the context of a peace agreement with Israel, this should be flatly rejected. If any one-sided anti-Israel resolution is brought before that council, it should be vigorously opposed.

Meanwhile, various European state assemblies voted in principal to recognize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”. On October 30, Sweden officially recognized the state of Palestine.

On November 18, Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion calling for the Spanish government to recognize a Palestinian state. It was adopted nearly unanimously in the lower house of parliament, with 319 in favor, two against and one abstention. The text asks the Spanish government to “recognize Palestine as a state, subject to international law,” while adding that the “only solution to the conflict is the co-existence of two states, Israel and Palestine,” reached through negotiation. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said the motion “is not binding, it does not set a timeline for the recognition, and it gives the government the margin to proceed with the recognition when it feels it will be best. If we want to be effective this recognition must be done in coordination with the European Union,” he added.

In response, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said: “When the Palestinians are permitted to understand, albeit mistakenly, that they can achieve anything they want without a return to negotiations and without the required compromises, all that is achieved in practice is the further postponement of the Palestinian return to the negotiating table,” the officials said. “There is a serious mistake here in conflict resolution when you make it more difficult to achieve something rather than contributing to it and promoting a solution,” they added.

On December 2, French lawmakers voted in favor of recognizing ‘Palestine’ as a state. The motion was supported by 339 lawmakers with 151 voting against. However, the vote was symbolic and will not immediately affect France’s diplomatic stance toward the peace process. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stopped short of supporting the parliamentary motion, saying that the government wants to try other pathways to a negotiated settlement, including setting a time-line for a negotiated settlement in a UN Security Council resolution. “At the United Nations, we are working with our partners to try to have a resolution adopted by the Security Council in order to relaunch the negotiations and to bring them to a conclusion,” Fabius said. “A two-year time frame is often mentioned for that purpose. The French government agrees with this duration.” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said  the French parliament would be making a “grave mistake” with recognition. “Do they have nothing better to do at a time of beheadings across the Middle East, including that of a French citizen?” he said. “The State of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, the only state that we have, and the Palestinians demanding a state do not want to recognize the right to have a state for the Jewish people.”

Denmark’s parliament will vote on a resolution calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state in early January 2015. “The parliament directs the government to recognize Palestine as an independent and sovereign state within pre-1967 borders and, by extension, provide the state of Palestine with full diplomatic rights,” the draft text says.

A vote by the European Parliament over whether to recognize a Palestinian state is scheduled for mid-December.  The original vote was postponed . Israeli diplomatic officials said the move was delayed for three reasons: Emerging difficulties between the various parties regarding the language of the resolution; opposition by some members of the parties – especially from Germany – to the resolution; and intensive work by Israeli diplomats in Brussels to postpone the vote, hoping to gain more time to change minds.

In a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Netanyahu said that Israel’s need to be recognized as a Jewish state by the Palestinians, as well as the necessity for “solid security arrangements on the ground, which are so essential for peace,” are “not addressed by the European countries that unilaterally give recognition to a Palestinian state.” European Parliament recognition of a Palestinian state represents a “big mistake for peace. It encourages the Palestinians to harden their positions, not to compromise on mutual recognition, not to compromise on the things that are needed to achieve genuine security. I think these European positions actually push peace away, and I believe that they make reaching a solution much harder. [These calls] don’t tell the Palestinian Authority that they will have to make genuine compromises and take seriously Israel’s legitimate security concerns. They merely award the Palestinians a prize without asking them at all to make the concessions that are necessary for a genuine peace,” said Netanyahu. Negotiated peace is only possible with compromises from both sides.

In October, the Palestinians informally shared a draft resolution with Arab states and some council members, calling for an Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem and the West Bank by November 2016. However, the text was not formally circulated to the full 15-nation Security Council, a move that can only be done by a council member. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas determined that “the American mediation has failed” and demanded US Secretary of State John Kerry “to formulate a resolution draft to the UN Security Council that will press Israel to stop settlement construction.” Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority would “stop the security coordination with Israel if real negotiations don’t take place.” Abbas said he was “willing to recognize the State of Israel, but under no circumstance willing to recognize a Jewish state. Furthermore, Abbas said he will not negotiate over land with Israel, saying, “I won’t give up one inch of pre-1967 with Israel. However, Abbas did say that he was ready to set up a Palestinian State on what he says is 22 percent of the size he says it should be meaning ALL of the present day land of Israel.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) PA denies postponing statehood bid at Security Council
2) Palestinian FM insists UN bid on course, regardless of Iran
3) Arabs to push for UN Security Council resolution on Palestinian state
4) Jordan to present resolution on Palestine in UN soon: Arab League
5) UN Security Council to consider ‘Palestine’ resolution
6) French FM: Last chance for Mideast peace through talks
7) Report: Kerry Threatens Abbas with Sanctions Over UN Bid
8) Lapid: US veto at Security Council no longer assured
9) Abbas: I won’t give up one inch of 1967
10) Abbas says he is ready to set up Palestinian State on ’22 percent of land’
11) Spanish Lawmakers Call for Recognition of ‘Palestine’
12) Foreign Ministry: Spanish Resolution Distances Peace
13) French parliament debates Palestine recognition
14) Denmark’s parliament to vote on Palestine recognition in January
15) Divided EU Parliament postpones vote on Palestine recognition
16) PM: EU calls to recognize Palestine push peace away
17) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks for The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly

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

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