August 4, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

August 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) The current status of the nuclear deal agreement between Iran and the P5 + 1 powers

On July 20, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution endorsing the Iran nuclear deal and paving the way to lifting longstanding sanctions on it. The vote was 15-0. As a result of the vote, the international community will remove punishing economic sanctions on Iran in exchange for temporary curbs on its nuclear activity. The agreement will now go before the US Congress for approval. A vote is expected by the end of September.

In Iran accepting this nuclear deal, Iran has only agreed to temporary curbs on its nuclear program but it has not abandoned atomic research and long-term uranium enrichment plans. When various nuclear experts examined the details of the 159-page nuclear deal, they warned that it ignores various key aspects of Irans’s nuclear program and that the lifting of arms sanctions may pave Iran’s path to nuclear-capable missiles. A glaring omission is seen in the absolute lack of any reference to the highly covert Parchin military base located southeast of Iran which is suspected of being the center of Iran’s secret nuclear weapons program according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). IAEA reports in November 2011 pointed to nuclear weapons development previously conducted at the site and a 2012 IAEA report likewise confirmed explosives containment vessels were at the site and likely used to test nuclear detonations. Iran has repeatedly refused IAEA requests to inspect Parchin.

Not only does the deal not directly address military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program but critics warn it contains several loopholes that will greatly limit its effectiveness in stopping Iran’s march to a nuclear weapon. For one, the agreement calls for Iran’s “voluntary” compliance with the terms of the deal in several places instead of implementing mandatory steps Iran must fulfill.

What’s more, a section of the deal may allow Iran to avoid revealing its past nuclear weapons testing stating that Iran “may propose to the IAEA alternative means of resolving the IAEA’s concerns that enable the IAEA to verify the absence of undeclared nuclear materials and activities inconsistent with the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) at the location in question.” The deal also includes removing a large number of sanctions, including those targeting Parchin Chemical Industries (PCI), which operates sites at the Parchin base and is thought to be highly involved in the covert nuclear weapons program.

Aside from Parchin, experts were alarmed to see that the nuclear deal does not directly impose limits on or even reference the Russian-made Bushehr nuclear power plant which they warn can produce enough plutonium for a large number of atomic weapons. Regarding plutonium, after 15 years the deal stipulates that Iran will be able to “engage in producing or acquiring plutonium or uranium metals or their alloys,” and likewise conduct research and development “on plutonium or uranium (or their alloys) metallurgy, or casting, forming, or machining plutonium or uranium metal.”

At the Natanz nuclear facility, a limitation on 5,060 centrifuges in 30 cascade units will cease in ten years, and after 15 years Iran will be able to enrich uranium over 3.67% – a 20% enrichment is needed to build nuclear weapons. In eight years, Iran can start producing up to 200 partial advanced centrifuges each year, and two years later it can construct complete advanced centrifuges.

In addition to the details on Iran’s nuclear program, experts warn there are pitfalls in how the deal approaches – or ignores – Iran’s nuclear-capable missile program. Notably the deal avoids addressing Iran’s ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile) program. It also removes sanctions against Iran’s Al Ghadir missile command based in Tehran which has been leading the development of missiles capable of delivering a nuclear warhead, and is thought to hold operational control of Iran’s missiles.

A UN conventional arms embargo on Iran will end in five years due to the deal, and sanctions against selling ballistic missiles to Iran will likewise expire in eight years. However, it is possible that China and Russia will covertly sell arms to Iran before those dates, as they have done in the past.

US Ambassador Samantha Power said the nuclear deal doesn’t change the United States’ “profound concern about human rights violations committed by the Iranian government or about the instability Iran fuels beyond its nuclear program, from its support for terrorist proxies to repeated threats against Israel to its other destabilizing activities in the region. But denying Iran a nuclear weapon is important not in spite of these other destabilizing actions but rather because of them,” Power said. EU foreign ministers maintained that the deal as it stands is the best option available. “It is a balanced deal that means Iran won’t get an atomic bomb,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, applauded the nuclear agreement between Iran and the six world powers and said that the deal is “an important achievement” that must be implemented at once.

The nuclear deal with Iran was met with a profound worries in the Arab world. Arab countries are skeptical that a deal would stop Iran from building a weapon. Arab countries have deep fears of Iran gaining a nuclear weapon and some have been skeptical that a deal will prevent that from happening. But equally high for key Sunni-dominated Gulf allies of the United States is the worry that a deal gives Iran the means — through an economic windfall — and an implicit green light to push influence in the region where concerns are widespread that the easing of its international isolation could tip the already bloody contest for power in the region toward Shiite-led Iran. The Arab world has been polarized for years in a worsening proxy conflict between Iran and Gulf powers, particularly Saudi Arabia, fueling Sunni-Shiite tensions and stoking wars. In Syria, Iran’s support has ensured the survival of President Bashar Assad against Sunni rebels backed by Gulf nations in a devastating civil war now in its fifth year. Yemen has been torn apart this year as Saudi Arabia, leading a coalition air campaign, has tried to help fend off Shiite rebels supported by Iran. In Iraq, Saudi Arabia has opposed the growing power of Iran even since the 2003 ouster of Saddam Hussein and the rise of a government led by Shiite politicians close to Iran.

A Saudi Arabian source said that “the Obama Administration made an enormous, historic mistake that will lead a great burden upon the next American government, from the perspective of dealing with and rectifying the mistake. The deal will bring about further hostility due to the manner in which it was achieved. In addition, Saudi Arabia issued a pointed warning, saying Iran must use any economic gains from the lifting of sanctions to improve the lives of Iranians, “rather than using them to cause turmoil in the region, a matter that will meet a decisive reaction from the nations of the region.” Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal, warned earlier this year that a deal might fuel a regional arms race. “This agreement, from our point of view, represents an indirect threat to Gulf and Arab interests and peace,” said Tariq Al-Shammari, a Saudi analyst and president of the Council of Gulf International Relations.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu slammed the US Security Council vote as “hypocrisy,” stressing that Tehran “systematically violates UN resolutions and calls for the destruction of Israel — a member of the UN. There is no limit to hypocrisy,” Netanyahu charged. “The best way to combat this hypocrisy is to firmly and uniformly tell the truth.” Netanyahu said many countries in the Middle East see “eye-to-eye with Israel” on the nuclear deal. “History has proven that even when the world is united, it is not necessarily right,” he said.

“They say this agreement pushes war away but in fact it brings war closer. Firstly, because Iran will receive hundreds of billions of dollars and already now states openly that it will use this money to fund its terror proxies. Secondly, [the deal] will start a nuclear arms race in the Middle East,” Netanyahu said.

Furthermore, Netanyahu said “This deal endangers our security, our survival even, and the security of the Middle East and the world,” and US lawmakers to reject the deal. Netanyahu dismissed talk of US military compensation to Israel as futile and ineffective. He said: “Everybody talks about compensating Israel. If this deal is supposed to make Israel and its Arab neighbors safer, why should we need to be compensated with anything? And how can you compensate my country against a terrorist regime that is sworn to our destruction and going to get a path to nuclear bombs?” Netanyahu asked. According to Netanyahu, an ideal agreement would be based on the notion of “dismantle for dismantle” — that Iran dismantle its nuclear infrastructure in exchange for sanctions relief. “That was the original administration position and I think it was the right one,” he said, lamenting that under the current deal “Iran gets to … keep its infrastructure and it gets the full dismantling of sanctions in a very short time.”

Ya’akov Nagel, deputy chief of Israel’s National Security Council (NSC), warned about the dangers in the Iranian nuclear deal saying, “The (version of the) final deal reached Israel just very shortly before the public (announcement of the) deal,” explained Nagel. “Except for a few surprises, most of the deal was already known to us beforehand. The deal is a bad deal – and even a very bad deal compared to what we thought.” The security expert explained that “the bottom line is that Iran was permitted to continue enriching uranium on Iranian soil. What that means is that the centrifuges for enriching uranium will remain in Iran and will not be deconstructed. As of today Iran has ten tons of centrifuges to enrich uranium but the deal speaks about that being limited to 300 kilograms with excess being sold on the free market.” Nagel added that the deal gives Iran a “permit to research and develop advanced centrifuges which will allow Iran to significantly shorten the needed time to breakout to a nuclear weapon. Fifteen years from the deal all the limitations will be lifted on the enrichment of uranium.”

Regarding the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which signed a “road map” deal with Iran to clarify the nuclear aspects of its nuclear program by the end of the year, Nagel said the agency previously “passed to Iran a list of 12 clauses connected to Iran’s military (nuclear) developments. As of today, Iran has not responded to the request or given a response about the status of these clauses, and this topic was not included in the deal. If Iran doesn’t give answers in the next four months, it will cast doubt as to the validity of the deal.”

Nagel emphasized that the deal has numerous loopholes regarding the inspection of Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons programs. “IAEA inspectors can arrive at suspected sites, but that’s only possible after a long period of 24 days,” warned the security expert. “Other than a nuclear (detonation) experiment that can’t be hidden within 24 days, everything else can be hidden.”

The revelation is particularly significant in context of the covert Parchin military base, where Iran has admitted to testing exploding bridge wire nuclear detonators and where the IAEA has reported nuclear weapons experiments were likely centered. Satellite photos have shown Iran has been modifying the site possibly covering up evidence of ongoing nuclear tests. In conclusion, Nagel said, “Iran hasn’t abandoned and won’t abandon its vision of military nuclear (power). Due to the deal, Iran will receive a huge amount of money in a thawing of the sanctions, which will allow Iran to increase its involvement in terror and obtain technological knowledge regarding nuclear (power).”

Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog said he would work with Netanyahu’s ruling coalition to thwart the Iran nuclear deal. Herzog said: “I had a meeting where I learned about the deal and I think it is bad for Israel. [Netanyahu and myself] will certainly cooperate when it comes to the security of Israel. As an Israeli patriot, this deal is dangerous.” MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said:  “The day the agreement was signed, I said that the clear and immediate danger is strengthening Iran’s terror system,” said MK Livni. “The fact that the president of the United States now acknowledges and is aware that Iran will continue to meddle in terrorism despite the agreement and that the agreement was only intended to deal with the nuclear program forces the world to take the next step and act against Iran’s terrorism.” Livni added, “Israel must now demand from the US, without connection to whether or not the deal passes, security and operational steps to reduce the deal’s damage and to allow us to act against the immediate results in the region. This is a legitimate demand and necessary to Israel’s safety.”

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama told Netanyahu that the Iran nuclear deal was in Israel’s national interest and sent his defence secretary, Ash Carter, to travel to Israel to talk with Netanyahu about it. In response, Israeli political party leader of Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid, said Netanyahu was making a mistake by refusing to hear about compensation for the Iranian nuclear deal from American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. He pointed out that the Israeli defense establishment wants compensation. “But the worst mistake is allowing the world, especially the Arabs to see that the US has stopped listening to Israel,” Lapid said. In response to Lapid, the head of the political party, Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett, said: “The Iran nuclear deal is the height of political evil. Instead of trying to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, the world is now helping it to develop one. Instead of completely eviscerating their economy, they are developing it. Instead of taking away their weapons, they are giving them the opportunity to get more. During times like these there is no coalition or opposition,” said Bennett. Turning to Lapid, Bennett said “I would expect politicians to show some responsibility especially at a time like this.”

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said he was also heading to Israel to speak to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and “to convey our message about the Iranian deal directly. I am also confident that Israel has shown, time and again, that it can be pragmatic and that once it has exhausted that avenue of opportunity, that it will seek to engage in a sensible and pragmatic way to deal with the new reality on the ground in the Middle East, to the benefit of everyone.” Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, criticized Israel for opposing the Iranian nuclear deal. The FM said that the deal is responsible and called to Israel to examine the deal scrupulously instead of roughly criticizing the agreement.

The French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has accepted an invitation to visit Iran. France used to have a strong presence in Iran before the sanctions went into effect, with Peugeot and Renault being major players in the Iranian auto industry and energy giant Total heavily involved in the oil sector. Futhermore, Asian refiners are set to buy more crude oil from Iran once they receive word on when sanctions will be lifted expecting Tehran to price its oil competitively as it tries to rebuild market share in an oversupplied market. Iran has said its priority destination for selling its crude is Asia, not surprising since China, India, Japan and South Korea are its largest customers.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) UN Security Council unanimously approves Iran deal
2) European Union Backs Iranian Nuclear Deal
3) Netanyahu: To Combat UN’s Hypocrisy, We Must Tell the Truth
4) In Arab world, worries that deal will boost Iran’s power
5) Saudi Source: Obama Made a Historic Mistake
6) Merkel: Iran Deal an Important Achievement
7) Germany: Israel Should Examine ‘Responsible’ Iran Deal Carefully
8) British foreign minister heads to Israel to explain Iran deal
9) French foreign minister to go to Tehran for trade talks
10) French foreign minister to visit Tehran in sign of post-deal thaw
11) Asia ready to buy more Iranian oil when sanctions lifted
12) Top Security Official: Nothing in Deal Stops Iran Going Nuclear
13) Iran’s long-term nuclear ambitions survive deal
14) Experts Reveal Deal Ignores Iran’s Covert Nuclear Arms Program
15) Iran’s parliament votes to ban access to military sites and scientists
16) Nuclear Deal Silent on Iran’s Parchin Military Plant, Bushehr
17) Netanyahu: Iran deal endangers Israel, US compensation won’t help
18) Opposition head Herzog says he will work with PM against Iran deal
19) Livni to Obama: US Must Help Stop Iranian Terror
20) Lapid: The world sees that the US has stopped listening to Israel
21) Bennett Slams Lapid, Defends Netanyahu on Iran

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

July 21, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

July 19th, 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 Nuclear Deal Agreement between Iran and the P5 + 1 Powers

On July 14, Iran and the United States and its negotiating partners reached an agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The economic benefits for Iran are potentially massive. Iran stands to receive more than $100 billion in assets frozen overseas and an end to a European oil embargo and various financial restrictions on Iranian banks. Not only will Iran get access to its frozen assets, it can now start selling its oil on the world market. As part of the sanctions relief, Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani, who killed US soldiers, and who conducts foreign operations outside Iran’s borders and directs the Islamic regime’s terrorist activities throughout the world will be part of a list of companies and individuals who will have sanctions against them removed. Diplomats struck the deal after the latest 18-day round of intense negotiations in Vienna, Austria.

The agreement is intended to keep Iran from producing enough material for a nuclear weapon for at least 10 years. Diplomats said Iran agreed to the continuation of a United Nations arms embargo on the country for up to five more years though it could end earlier if the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) definitively clears Iran of any current work on nuclear weapons. A similar condition was put on U.N. restrictions on the transfer of ballistic missile technology to Iran which could last for up to eight more years. According to officials, Iran also had agreed to a so-called “snapback” provision under which sanctions could be reinstated if it violates the agreement.

The deal includes a compromise between the United States and Iran that would allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties. However, access at will to any site would not necessarily be granted and even if so, could be delayed, a condition that critics of the deal are sure to seize on as possibly giving Iran time to cover any sign of non-compliance with its commitments. The agreement requires international inspectors to ask Iran’s permission first after which Iran has 14 days to decide whether to grant it. If not, the same group of nations that struck the deal would have another 10 days to make their decision about what to do next. While the international group may have final say, the set-up essentially gives Iran 24 days to drag out the process.

Under the deal, Iran would have the right to challenge the U.N. request and an arbitration board composed of Iran and the six world powers that negotiated with it would have to decide on the issue. Such an arrangement would still be a notable departure from assertions by top Iranian officials, including supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that their country would never allow the IAEA into such sites. Iran has argued that such visits by the IAEA would be a cover for spying on its military secrets.

As part of the agreement, Iran will cut by about two-thirds the number of centrifuges — which can make fuel for nuclear power stations but also the core of a nuclear bomb — from around 19,000 to just over 6,000. The US Congress has 60 days to review the agreement and can vote to approve or reject it. However, should Congress pass a resolution of disapproval, Obama would veto that resolution.

In an interview with Israeli TV, Obama said that there was no military option to stop Iran from getting a nuclear bomb. Obama said: “A military solution will not fix it. Even if the United States participates, it would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program but it will not eliminate it.” Obama said that a “verifiable” agreement with Iran was the best way forward. He said: “I can, I think, demonstrate, not based on any hope but on facts and evidence and analysis, that the best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is a verifiable, tough agreement.”

Speaking from the White House, Obama claimed the deal meets “every single one of the bottom lines” from a tentative agreement struck earlier this year. He said: “Does this deal resolve all of the threats Iran poses to its neighbors and the world? No. Does it do more than anyone has done before to make sure Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon? Yes. Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” Obama said, claiming it provides for extensive inspections. “This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification.” Obama added: “If Iran violates this deal, the sanctions we imposed that have helped cripple the Iranian economy -– the sanctions that helped make this deal possible –- would snap back into place promptly. Still, you’re going to hear a lot of overheated and often dishonest arguments about it in the weeks ahead,” he said.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected Obama’s comments, warning that the emerging deal would “pave the way” for Iran to attain a nuclear arsenal. He said the deal would also see Iran’s economy boosted and thus enable it to engage in further terrorist activity. However, US Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that Israel “will be safer” under the terms of the nuclear deal. Kerry said: “We believe that Israel will be safer with a one-year breakout [to a nuclear weapon] for the ten years [of heightened restrictions stipulated by the deal] than two months,” the time it would take Iran to “break out” to a weapon now, according to many Western intelligence estimates.

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog, Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid and other political leaders have slammed the nuclear agreement with Iran which leaves much of Iran’s enrichment infrastructure and offensive missile programs intact and depends on trusting the Iranian regime to adhere to the agreement despite a long record of breaking previous promises. Israel argues that the US could have negotiated a better deal. In response, Kerry rejected the Israeli criticism that a “better deal” was possible. “Now there’s no alternative being provided by all these other people,” he charged. “They all say, ‘Oh, why don’t you crush them by sanctions?’ I’ll tell you why, because they won’t be crushed by sanctions. That’s been proven. And because we’ll lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions,” he said, referring to UN Security Council members from Europe, Russia and China, among others, who are eager to see the end of Iranian sanctions. Kerry warned that the alternative to the current deal was war.

The United States is drafting a United Nations resolution which supports the agreed upon Iranian nuclear deal. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power will outline the main points in the agreement to council members. The resolution will replace the existing framework of Security Council sanctions with the restrictions agreed during negotiations in Vienna, Power said. The resolution already has the backing of UN veto-wielding members who took part in the Iran talks — Britain, the United States, France, China, and Russia — as well as Germany.

Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, responded for the first time on the country’s nuclear deal and applauded his country’s negotiating team for their efforts towards achieving the deal. Furthermore, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that in spite of the nuclear agreement, Iran’s policies toward the US and the world will not change. He said: “We have repeatedly said we don’t negotiate with the U.S. on regional or international affairs; not even on bilateral issues. There are some exceptions like the nuclear program that we negotiated with the Americans to serve our interests. We will never stop supporting our friends in the region and the people of Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Lebanon,” he continued, referring to the Iranian terror axis in the Middle East. “Even after this deal our policy towards the arrogant U.S. will not change.” After Khamenei spoke his words, the crowd responded by saying, “Death to Israel” and “Death to America.” In response, Khamenei  said that he hoped that God would answer their prayers.

Israel’s security cabinet unanimously rejected the Iran deal and said that Israel reserves the right to take action to protect the state. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the nuclear agreement with Iran will not prevent it from getting a nuclear bomb while granting it sanctions relief to continue its aggressive policies in the region. He called the agreement “a bad mistake of historic proportions” and that it was “filled with absurdities.” For some reason, Netanyahu said, “There is a willingness in the West to accept despotic regimes and seek peace at any price.” Netanyahu added that because of this deal, “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons because many of the restrictions that were supposed to prevent it from getting there will be lifted.” With the removal of economic sanctions, Netanyahu warned, “Iran will get a jackpot, a cash bonanza of hundreds of billions of dollars, which will enable it to continue to pursue its aggression and terror in the region.” As a result, Netanyahu said that “Israel is not bound by this deal with Iran because Iran continues to seek our destruction. Israel will always defend itself” Netanyahu said. “If it weren’t for Israel, Iran would’ve had a nuclear weapon long ago.” In further slamming the nuclear deal with Iran, Netanyahu said that as a result Israel must now “first and foremost” rely on itself to defend itself rather than trusting in the support of the United States.

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett, said: “A terrorist nuclear superpower is born, and it will go down as one of the darkest days in world history.” Israel’s deputy foreign minister Tzipi Hotovely accused Western powers of surrendering to Iran regarding the nuclear deal saying: “This deal is a historic surrender by the West to the axis of evil headed by Iran. As a result, Israel will act with all means to try and stop the agreement from being ratified.”

Israel Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein said, “I regret to say that the agreement signed with Iran expresses a systemic collapse, a hallucination with international sponsorship. Iran is toying with the West and stating openly its intention to continue its murderous plans even against the ones negotiating with it, and that is why this is a dangerous illusion – not just for Israel but for the world’s peace. This agreement is paving the way for Iran to build numerous nuclear bombs while giving tens of billions of dollars to the Iranian terror machine. This agreement is a true collapse of our ‘iron wall’ – in the face of fundamentalist evil. This agreement is the beginning of the collapse of the western wall of resistance to the murderous conquest of the Iranian school of extreme Islam.

In challenging Israel’s disapproval of the nuclear deal with Iran, US Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken said: “Those who would prefer that we simply take military action now against Iran without going the last diplomatic mile: you need to consider that such a response would first destroy the international sanctions coalition,” he said. He added that it would “only set Iran’s nuclear program back by a few years at best, at which point Iran likely would bury a new program deep underground and speed toward an actual nuclear weapon. All of that said, the United States continues to believe – as we have from day one – that no deal is preferable to a bad deal,” he insisted, in direct contradiction to Israel’s own stance on the issue. “We’ve had plenty of opportunities throughout this negotiating process to take a bad deal; we did not, and we will not.” In addressing Israel’s opposition to the Iranian nuclear deal, Blinken said: “I would say to any opponents of the agreement, if we reach it: You’ll have an obligation, too. Here in the United States, you’ll have an obligation to tell the American people exactly what you would do differently, and exactly how you would get it done.”

In response, Netanyahu said: ”the alternative we proposed repeatedly to a failed agreement is to continue strengthening sanctions on Iran and conditioning the removal of the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program only if Iran changes its policies. As long as the Iranian leadership continues to encourage cries of ‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’, there is no reason to make concessions to it,” 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) Iran, world powers agree to nuclear deal
2) Full Text of Iranian Nuclear Deal
3) Iran deal announced, gets over $100 billion in sanctioned assets
4) Deal means ‘permanent prohibition’ on Iranian nukes, insists Obama
5) Obama calls critics of Iran nuclear deal ‘overheated and dishonest’
6) Obama: There is no military option to stop Iran
7) Military strikes won’t end Iran’s nuclear program – Obama
8) ‘Israel is safer’ with Iran nuclear deal, says Kerry
9) U.S. Readies UN Measure Carrying Out Iran Nuclear Deal
10) Khamenei Applauds Negotiating Team on Nuclear Deal
11) Iran’s Supreme Leader: Policy Toward the US Will Not Change
12) Iran’s Khamenei hails his people for demanding death to America and Israel
13) Israel accuses world powers of yielding to Iran for nuclear deal
14) Israel says West has surrendered to Iran with nuclear deal
15) Israeli leaders condemn Iran deal, ‘one of the darkest days in world history’
16) Iran Deal Is ‘Internationally Sponsored Hallucination’
17) PM preempts Obama TV interview pitching Iran deal to Israeli public: We must rely on ourselves
18) Interview: Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu On Iran Nuclear Deal
19) Netanyahu calls Iran nuclear agreement a ‘bad mistake of historic proportions’
20) Netanyahu on Iran deal: The more you read it, the worse it gets
21) PM to Obama: Iran will get nukes, with or without breaking deal
22) Netanyahu to Obama: Deal with Iran funds its terror and war machine
23) Netanyahu: If it weren’t for Israel, Iran would’ve had nukes long ago
24) US Challenges Israel on Iran: What Would You Do Differently?
25) Netanyahu Blasts Open Iranian Defiance After Nuclear Deal

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 30, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

July 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 commentary by Rick Wiles of regarding the prophetic significance of the US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage

Rick Wiles of shares his viewpoint on the prophetic significance of the US Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Rick Wiles:

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 16, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

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

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

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

May 26, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

May 28th, 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

After seeing the new Israeli coalition government of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that was formed on May 7, U.S. President Barack Obama does not have faith in the new Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. Obama said: “I continue to believe that a two-state solution is absolutely vital for not only peace between Israelis and Palestinians but for the long-term security of Israel as a democratic and Jewish state. And I know that a government has been formed that contains some folks who don’t necessarily believe in that premise. But that continues to be my premise. That prospect seems distant now. But I think it’s always important for us to keep in mind what’s right and what’s possible.”

Obama called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “a very difficult challenge.” Obama said his administration had “worked very hard” to achieve a peace deal but “the politics inside of Israel and the politics among the Palestinians, as well, made it very difficult for each side to trust each other enough to make that leap. And what I think at this point, realistically, we can do is to try to rebuild trust — not through a big overarching deal, which I don’t think is probably possible in the next year, given the makeup of the Netanyahu government, given the challenges I think that exist for President Abbas — but if we can start building some trust around, for example, relieving the humanitarian suffering inside of Gaza and helping the ordinary people in Gaza to recover from the devastation that happened last year; if we can do more to create business opportunities and jobs inside the territories, if we can slowly rebuild that kind of trust, then I continue to believe that the logic of a two-state solution will reassert itself.”

Obama said. “And Israel has legitimate security concerns. There’s no doubt about it. And what is also true is I’m deeply committed to a Palestinian state.” Obama said he had told the Israelis “you cannot remain a state that is both a democracy and Jewish if you continue to have this problem unresolved. And with respect to the Palestinians, I’ve said that you cannot expect to have a state of your own and the full dignity and respect that is inherent for all human beings if you also don’t recognize Israel because Israel is not going anywhere. I think that people of good will on both sides understand that. Unfortunately, the politics of fear has been stronger than the politics of hope over recent years, partly because of the chaotic situation in the region overall. And it’s going to take some time to rebuild it.

Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice strongly reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to the two-state solution that leads to a sovereign Palestinian state. She said: “The U.S. remains firmly committed to an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state, living alongside a democratic Jewish state of Israel in peace and security.” Rice said while reassessing the U.S. approach to the Palestinian Israeli conflict, President Obama made it clear that resolving the conflict is in the national security interest of the United States.

The day before the most recent elections in March, Netanyahu said in an interview that the conditions in the region were currently not ripe for a Palestinian state, and agreed with the assertion that one would not be established under his tenure. The Obama administration jumped on those comments as a sign he was no longer committed to a two-state solution, and said that as a result it would “reassess” its position regarding Mideast diplomacy. This was interpreted by the Netanyahu government as a threat to withdraw diplomatic support for Israel in the UN Security Council.

Regarding this issue, Netanyahu said: “Before the elections, I was asked in an interview [about the possibility of a Palestinian state coming into being on my watch], and I replied that I don’t estimate it will happen. I don’t think it will happen,” he said. “After the elections, they jumped on it, so I explained my position.” At no time did he rescind his agreement in principle to the creation of a Palestinian state, as long as it was demilitarized and recognized Israel as the Jewish homeland, Netanyahu asserted. “I did not renounce the idea, but I explained what’s the problem with it,” he said. “If the Palestinians change their positions then it’s a different situation.”

Rice said that she expects a commitment to the two-state solution from the new Israeli government and from the Palestinian Authority. “We look to the next Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to demonstrate — through policies and actions — a genuine commitment to a two-state solution,” she said.

She defined the requirements needed for the long-stalled peace deal.  “There must be robust provisions for Israel’s security, the occupation must end and the Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves in their own sovereign state.” she added. She said the Obama administration opposes the Israeli settlement activities and efforts to change facts on the ground because it makes it harder to negotiate peace in good faith. “Both Israel and an independent Palestinian state need secure and recognized borders based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps.” Rice said. She said the U.S. continues to believe that a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians is “necessary, just and possible.”

In addition, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman called for Netanyahu’s new government to support peace negotiations with the Palestinians. She said: “If the new Israeli government is seen as stepping back from its commitment to a two-state solution – that makes our jobs in the international arena a lot tougher because our ability to push back our efforts to internationalize the resolution of the conflict. Israeli-Palestinian issues has depended on our insistence that the best course in achieving a two-state solution is through direct negotiations between the parties.”

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said that the US is evaluation its position regarding whether it would support a UN Security Council Resolution desired by France to spell out parameters of a two-state solution. DEBKA an Israeli intelligence and news gathering website reports that the Obama administration behind the scenes have given support for France to support a UN Security Council motion proclaiming an independent Palestinian state. In order to show their sincerity for such a proposal, senior US officials sat down with their French counterparts to agree on the general outline of this motion. They discussed the area of the Palestinian state, its borders, security arrangements between Israel and the Palestinians and whether or not to set a hard-and-fast timeline for implementation, or phrase the resolution as  a general declaration of intent. Incorporating a target date in the language would expose Israel to Security Council sanctions for non-compliance. The French have said they are moving forward on wording of a resolution that would present the parameters of a final deal and set a time line for negotiations. In these meetings, the US told France that the Obama administration would prefer to give Netanyahu a lengthy though predetermined time scale to define his new governments Palestinian policy.

Recently, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius presented the Arab League with a detailed plan to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The plan stipulates the formation of a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 lines, with swaps of mutually agreed upon lands similar in size, while taking into account Israel’s security needs. If a two-state solution is not reached by the end of the 18 months of talks, France will announce it is officially recognizing the State of Palestine. The French plan calls for the two-state for two-peoples solution but includes the demand for the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish nature of Israel.

Fabius said that he would travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories in June with the goal of getting an international consensus for a UN Security Council resolution that would set parameters for peace talks. “We are for a two-state solution. We need to ensure Israel’s security that’s obvious. There is no peace and security without justice for the Palestinians but let’s be frank justice hasn’t been given to the Palestinians,” Fabious said. “I will go … to Egypt, the Palestinian territories and Israel to speak to their leaders,” Fabius said. “We want the negotiations to restart between the two sides and that [they are] put within an international framework.”French diplomatic sources said the planned resolution would not go beyond already agreed negotiating points but would set a time period of 18 to 24 months to complete the talks. It would kick off with an international conference.

A senior French diplomat said: “The US method hasn’t worked so we felt the idea was to create the conditions to support this negotiation by creating an international support group which would include Europeans, Arabs, Americans and anyone who thinks they could be of use.” French sources said the target could be to put a resolution forward during the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Israel is opposed to Palestinian efforts to pass a resolution through the Security Council that would call explicitly for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital. US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said: “I won’t say whether we will or not support or vote on a resolution we have not seen. We are trying to find a way to preserve the two-state solution as a realistic solution during a period without negotiations, and to bring the sides back [to the talks] – even at a later period – and to defend Israel against threats of isolation and delegitimization,” he said. “I assume that the new Israeli government will take into account the international situation, and if Israel is committed to two states, we will talk about the best way to move forward toward that goal, even during a period when its impossible to hold direct negotiations,” he said.

The US was pressing France to delay presenting its Security Council proposal until after June 30, the deadline for a final deal between world powers and Iran on its nuclear program. The US wants the French to delay their proposal until after the Obama administration wins congressional support for the Iran deal not wanting to jeopardize that support by pushing forward with another proposal opposed by Israel.

The international community will renew its pressure on Israel over Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after Iran and the six powers sign a final nuclear deal at the end of June, Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said. Brende told Netanyahu that the new Israeli government must come up with its own diplomatic peace initiative. Netanyahu responded by saying: “I hear you loud and clear.”

In response, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas presented three conditions that need to be fulfilled by Israel in order to resume negotiations: Freezing construction in the settlements; releasing all Palestinian prisoners jailed prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, and holding negotiations for no more than 12 months, at the end of which a timetable will be set for ending the occupation no later than the end of 2017. Brende told Netanyahu that he will have to agree to at least one of the three conditions set by Abbas.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) stated it was the Palestinians who abandoned last year’s US-led negotiations. The newly appointed Hotovely told Brende that the Palestinians must cease to undertake unilateral steps against Israel in the international arena, and that the EU must condemn terrorism more forcefully. “We expect you to put pressure on the Palestinian leadership to recognize the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people,” Hotovely said.

Meanwhile, the European Union has threatened to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions against Israel if it does not resume peace talks with the Palestinians. EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said: “The development of relations between the EU and both Israel and the Palestinians is linked to the extent of their commitment to the peace process.” Some diplomatic circles believe that the EU has prepared a list of sanctions to be imposed on Israel based on a request from the EU parliament and Mogherini should Israel not support peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Furthermore, European diplomatic officials said that if Netanyahu wants to convince the Europeans of his commitment to a two-state solution, he should declare a construction freeze outside the main settlement blocs. By doing so, such a measure would “make clear the prime minister is serious about maintaining the two-state option open. It would seriously enhance Israel’s diplomatic credibility.”

One Israeli official familiar with the Netanyahu-Mogherini talks said that Netanyahu told Mogherini that were clearly areas in the West Bank that would remain on the Palestinian side after an agreement, and there were areas that would clearly remain part of Israel after an agreement. He said the goal was to see whether it was was possible to come to understanding on the areas that would remain inside Israel, so that building there could take place.

According to the European official, the idea of delineating the settlement blocs is not new, and Netanyahu has for some time tried to convince individual EU member states to differentiate between condemning settlement construction taking place inside or outside the blocs. Both the Europeans and the United States make no distinction in their condemnations of construction beyond the 1967 borders regardless of where it it taking place.

Efforts to get approval for Israeli construction inside the major settlement blocs are not new. They go back to the understandings former Israel prime minster Ariel Sharon had with then US president George W. Bush about where and how Israel could build in settlements. Those understandings were never adopted, however, by the Obama Administration. Much of Israel’s settlement construction in the last number of years has been inside the major settlement blocs. David Makvosky, a member of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiating team during the talks that failed in 2013-2014, said earlier this month that 98 percent of the government tenders for settlement construction announced while those talks were ongoing – announcements that infuriated the Palestinians and the international community – took place inside the security fence. Of that, 62% of the tenders were for 1.9% of the land that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly agreed during talks with then prime minster Ehud Olmert in 2008 would remain part of Israel.

The PLO’s top negotiator Saeb Erekat issued a statement saying that the idea was “nothing new,” and called it a “request to continue illegal settlement construction with Palestinian consent.” Erekat said that if Netanyahu “wants to have meaningful negotiations ending the occupation that began in 1967, he should recognize a Palestinian State on the 1967 border and honor Israel’s obligations including a halt of settlement construction and the release of the Palestinian prisoners. The settlements in the West Bank are not legal so there is no room to discuss their borders in the first place.”

Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA presidency, said that any negotiations should be based on Israeli recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the basis for establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. “There can be no partition or postponement of the final-status issues,” Abu Rudaineh said. “There should also be a full cessation of settlement construction and the release of prisoners incarcerated before the Oslo Accords in order for any negotiations to be credible.”

In response, Netanyahu told Mogherini, “I want peace. I am not for a one-state solution. I support the vision of two-states. I take this opportunity 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. 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.”

In addition, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Mogherini the new Netanyahu government was committed to pursuing a peace agreement and blamed the Palestinians for the deadlock. She said: “The Palestinians abandoned the negotiating table a year and a half ago, leaving the proposal of [American Secretary of State John] Kerry unanswered. In order for the peace process to go forward, she said that the Palestinians must come back to the negotiating table and not take unilateral measures.”

In discussing possible peace initiatives with the Palestinians, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he welcomed the general idea being the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative which called for a regional agreement between Israel and the moderate Arab states. However, the Arab Peace Initiative, originally proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, has many problematic aspects to it, the prime minister said, such as its call for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the return of Palestinians refuges to Israel. “There are positive aspects and negative aspects to it,” he explained. “This initiative is 13 years old, and the situation in the Middle East has changed since it was first proposed. But the general idea — to try and reach understandings with leading Arab countries — is a good idea.” In the framework proposed by the initiative, all Arab and Islamic states would establish normal diplomatic relations with Israel after the successful conclusion of the peace process with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu said that there are several core problems that stand in the way of a peace treaty with the Palestinians, such as Jerusalem, which he said “will not be resolved – we’ll set this aside.” However, the most important question was security, he said. “One of the key questions will be who guarantees the security of the territories that Israel is ready to vacate?” Under every scenario in which Israel withdraws from parts of the West Bank, only the IDF will be able to guarantee Israel’s safety, the prime minister said. Israeli troops will have to stay in the West Bank “for an extended period of time,” he said.

Regarding Jerusalem, Netanyahu said: “We will forever keep Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. Jerusalem was only ever the capital of the Jewish people not of any other people.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama: Israeli-Palestinian peace deal unlikely in next year
2) Rice: Obama Administration Firm on Two-State Israeli-Palestinian Solution
3) Washington seeks ‘genuine’ Israeli commitment to 2 states
4) Top US Official Issues Veiled Threat to Israel on Withdrawing UN Support
5) Shapiro noncommittal on US veto of UN draft forcing Israeli withdrawal to ’67 lines
6) Exclusive: Obama to back Palestinian state at Security Council – payback for Israel’s right-wing cabinet
7) EU threatens Israel with economic and diplomatic sanctions
8) Norway to Netanyahu: International pressure on Israel will resume after June 30
9) Netanyahu tells EU’s Mogherini he’s committed to two-state solution
10) Netanyahu backs ‘general idea’ behind Arab Peace Initiative
11) UN resolution to impose 18-month deadline on Palestinian state talks
12) French foreign minister to visit Israel, Palestinian territories, in bid to revive peace talks
13) EU: Stop building outside settlements to show world commitment to two-state solution
14) Netanyahu to EU: Don’t condemn construction in defined Israeli blocs
15) Palestinians reject Netanyahu bid to define settlement blocs
16) Silvan Shalom to head up talks with Palestinians
17) Netanyahu Vows “Jerusalem Shall Never Again Be Divided”

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

May 19, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

May 19th, 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 make-up of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government coalition

Meeting a May 7 deadline, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was able to form a new coalition government following the March 17 Israeli elections. Their are 120 members in the Israeli Knesset. A majority of at least 61 is needed to form a government. The political parties, Kulanu, headed by Moshe Kahlon and the Ashkenaz ultra-orthodox party, United Torah Judaism, were the first parties to join Netanyahu’s coalition.

During the elections, Kulanu ran on the political platform to improve the Israeli economy and in particular bring down the cost of housing.  In order to accomplish this objective, Kahlon said that the lengthy coalition negotiation process had focused on securing the proper tools to help implement reforms that would not aim to help one sector of Israeli society but, rather, the whole society. He said the new government would pursue reforms in housing and the banking sector and would act to close economic gaps. “The Israeli economy is in need of reforms, and we in Kulanu, together with the Likud, the prime minister and other ministers, understand how to lead these reforms,” Kahlon said.

The agreements with Kulanu include the three portfolios given to the party: the Finance Ministry, the Environmental Protection Ministry, and the Construction Ministry. Kahlon will be Finance Minister. In doing so, Kulanu managed to get the Interior Ministry’s planning authority, which has power over the housing market, moved to the Finance Ministry. “We got everything we asked for,” a spokesman for the party said, saying that the party will control the governmental organs most relevant to the housing and banking reforms Kahlon promised during the campaign.

Furthermore, the coalition agreement states that a special committee will be formed to advance legislation on housing, which would be headed by a member of Kulanu. Kulanu also received a pledge that the government will work to provide an addition of 700 housing units per year to the number of apartments for which people are eligible through the Construction Ministry and the Immigration and Absorption Ministry.

It was further stated that the Finance Minister will have the authority to expropriate lands for use in large-scale housing projects, in an attempt to encourage construction. Particular emphasis will be given to rehabilitation of neighborhoods in the periphery. Housing tenders will be offered as part of a prior plan to subsidize apartments in periphery areas for young people, and up to 80 percent of them will be allocated to young couples or single people under age 35. The document also said that the number of apartments for public housing and rentals will be expanded.

The agreement also stated that once the new government is formed, Kulanu will support a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referred to as “the Norwegian bill”, that would allow an MK from a party that has less than 12 MKs to resign from the Knesset and serve solely as a minister.

Netanyahu praised Kahlon, saying, “We promised during the election campaign to lower the cost of housing and the cost of living, to implement a number of reforms and to continue to improve Israel’s economy.” Netanyahu said Israel’s economy already stands out from those of its allies in the West that are moving downward, while it continues on a path of financial growth. The prime minister said that both he and Kahlon, as well as everyone else who will sit in the emerging government, have the best interest of the public at heart and hope to better the citizens’ situation by continuing to grow the economy and letting everyone enjoy the fruits of this growth.

The agreement with United Torah Judaism established that the party will be given the roles of deputy minister in the Health Ministry, deputy minister in the Education Ministry, chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, and deputy chairman of the Knesset. UTJ head Ya’acov Litzman thanked Netanyahu and the Likud’s negotiating committee for coming to an agreement, saying that it covered “a lot of social items, such as issues relating to childcare and dental care.” Litzman added: “There are many more things, which included fixing issues that were distorted,” he said, referring to the Ultra-Orthodox Draft Law which required ultra-orthodox yeshiva students to serve in the Israeli military.

Besides the known amendments to the Equal Share of the Burden Law, the removal of criminal sanctions for yeshiva students who don’t serve in the military, and returning child benefits to their original levels, the agreement also said the new government will protect the ultra-Orthodox public’s way of life and will bolster the position of the ultra-Orthodox educational institutions.

The agreement also said the government will pass an amendment involving the Committee for the Appointment of Rabbinic Judges, in which three government ministers, three MKs – two from the coalition and one from the opposition – and a United Torah Judaism member will sit.

According to the agreement, the change to Israel’s conversion laws by the previous government, which gave local municipal rabbis power at the expense of the central rabbinate, will be reversed. The position of rabbinical courts will also be protected, and marriage registration will be possible only at religious councils or the local rabbinate. Additionally, the status quo regarding kosher laws will be maintained, and the government will work to include workers from the ultra-Orthodox community in public service.

Upon signing the deal with UTJ, Netanyahu said: “We worked together in the last government for the greater good of the State of Israel. We did big things. We have an opportunity to return to that now. There is a strong will to make things happen.” Finally, the agreement between Netanyahu and the political parties, Kulanu and UTJ, it includes a clause that could facilitate a national unity government with the opposition party, Zionist Union, at a later date.

Next, while there was only about 48 hours remaining until the deadline to present a new government, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic political party, Shas, signed an agreement to join Netanyahu’s new government coalition. From the agreement, Shas will be in charge of the Ministry of Religious Services. Shas will also control the Ministry of Galilee & Negev Development and the Ministry of the Economy. Shas will also receive another ministry which will be headed by Yitzchak Cohen as well as two deputy ministerial slots and head of the Knesset Education Committee. One of the deputy ministers will oversee the District Planning Committee that moved from the Interior Ministry to the treasury. Shas will also have the power to appoint judges to rabbinical courts.

After signing the agreement, Shas leader Aryeh Deri said that he made good on his promises to voters during elections including the zero value added tax on basic necessities, public housing reform, and increasing minimum wage.

The last party to join Netanyahu’s government was Jewish Home. The agreement include promises to increase funding for soldiers, schools and settlements, as well as an agreement to push through a bill that would limit foreign funding for nonprofit organizations deemed hostile to Israel. Furthermore, Jewish Home will receive the education, justice and agriculture portfolios, the right to name a deputy defense minister from its own ranks, the leadership of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and control over the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division.The agreement also includes an increase of NIS 630 million ($163.4 million) for the education budget, an allocation of NIS 1 billion ($259 million) to raise soldiers’ pay during their third year of service, a budget increase for Ariel University, which is in the West Bank, and support for the so-called NGO bill. It also includes protection for transportation over the Green Line, increased accessibility for special-needs pupils in schools, and more funding for community groups who move to disadvantaged areas.The head of the Jewish Home political party, Naftali Bennett will be education minister. MK Ayelet Shaked will be justice minister and MK Uri Ariel  will be agriculture minister.

According to the coalition agreement, Jewish Home Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit will head a special team that will draft a plan to legalize buildings and neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria that were established with government involvement and under the agreement of the state. The team, which will be established within a month of the new government being sworn in, is to submit its outline within 60 days of being formed. The government will be obligated to act to implement the findings of the team. The talk of legalizing the buildings and communities comes after the NGO Regavim presented MKs with aerial maps showing 2,026 homes in Judea and Samaria are in danger of demolition due to anticipated petitions by radical leftist groups. While Jewish Home’s coalition deal with Likud includes establishing the team to legalize homes, it appears to have made no mention of the Jewish construction freeze, in an apparent abandonment of an earlier demand to lift the freeze. The covert freeze on building has reportedly been in place since late 2013, and has continued since then in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, aside from a handful of building announcements in the capital, even as Jewish Home was in the last coalition government and Ariel served as housing minister.

In making the coalition agreement, Netanyahu thanked the Jewish Home party leader for his “efforts during the negotiations and throughout these last weeks.” He also asserted that Israel would have a “strong, stable government.”

Netanyahu’s government now has the minimum 61 Knesset members. After the elections, it was believed that Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beitenu, would be a member of Netanyahu’s government. If so, the government coalition would be 67 members. However, Lieberman chose to not join the government and resign from his position as foreign minister. Lieberman said that he was opposed to the policies of the new government. He said: “The coalition does not reflect the position of the national camp. This government has no intention of overthrowing the Palestinian Hamas regime who rules in the Gaza Strip.” he said. Furthermore, he said: “I am happy we chose principles and not portfolios. What’s being built is not a national camp, but a government that smacks of opportunism”.

Lieberman lashed out at the disappearance of the nationality bill which sought to legally define Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and determine that the right to national self determination in Israel belongs solely to the Jewish people. Lieberman said: “Someone vetoed the issue and suddenly it’s off the agenda. Furthermore, “The ink on the governance law has yet to dry and they’re already increasing the numbers of government ministers and deputy ministers to unlimited amounts. This is unacceptable,” Lieberman added. The Israeli government will be expanding the cabinet and increase the number of government ministers from 18 to 22.

Lieberman also criticized the coalition deal signed between Likud and United Torah Judaism which will cancel many of the reforms agreed upon in the last Knesset. Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman and coalition negotiator Robert Ilatov stated that if Netanyahu did not go back on the agreements he had made with the religious parties, then Yisrael Beytenu would be in the opposition.

The significance of Lieberman’s decision is that he and Netanyahu have had a long-standing political partnership, which began to fray last year. In October 2012, the two party leaders announced that they would run on a joint ticket in the January 2013 elections, as Likud Beytenu. The election victory saw Netanyahu return as prime minister and gave Lieberman the Foreign Ministry. But Lieberman pulled his party out of the partnership in July last year, and each ran on a separate ticket in the elections earlier this year. In the March 17 elections, Yisrael Beytenu won just six seats, down from 13 in the previous government.

According to political analysts, Netanyahu’s best bet to ensure his new coalition’s survival will be if he can persuade the opposition leader Isaac Herzog to join his government further down the line, perhaps in the role of foreign minister. After announcing his new government, Netanyahu hinted heavily at this prospect. “I said that 61 is a good number and 61 plus is even better,” he said, “Time is short because we have to form a strong and stable government by next week.” According to Israel Channel 2, Netanyahu desires to expand the government after it is formed, although not at the expense of parties already in the coalition.

After signing his coalition agreement with Likud, ultra-Orthodox Sephardic leader from the Shas political party, Shas Chairman Arye Dery called on Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog to join a unity government. In addition, in commenting on the newly formed narrow 61 member government coalition, a senior Likud official said “a coalition of 61 MKs is an impossible coalition. Our mission in seeking to form the government was to first of all close deals with Shas and Jewish Home, stabilize a 61-MK coalition, and only then close with [Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor] Liberman. The assessment was that the odds of Liberman preferring the opposition were slim and that he will enter [a Likud coalition] anyway for the prestigious Foreign Affairs Portfolio,” the Likud official said. Likud’s Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, conceded that a 61-strong coalition would present “a string of problems,” but acknowledged there may be no choice, and said Netanyahu could make “every effort” later on to sign on more partners. As a result, Netanyahu plans to pursue negotiations with Zionist Union leader, Isaac Herzog, in the coming weeks to join his government.

Another Likud official confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was holding the Foreign Ministry portfolio for himself in the hope of later handing the top government position to Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog should he manage to convince the party to join Netanyahu’s government. “I understand that [keeping the Foreign Ministry] is [the prime minister’s] inclination, because he really wants to leave room for the government to expand in the future,” the official said. When asked whether Netanyahu was holding the government portfolio in hopes of wooing Herzog, he responded “yes.”

Netanyahu’s concern in that in the coming months, Israel will face enormous political pressures from both the European Union and the Obama administration. Once Obama is no longer directing all his efforts towards consummating an agreement with Iran by the June 30 deadline, effectively transforming it into a threshold nuclear power, he is likely to focus his efforts more strongly on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process. All indicators suggest that he intends to implement his threat that if Israel fails to toe his line, the US would no longer employ its veto at the United Nations.

His clearly stated policy is that Israel’s borders should be based on the (indefensible) 1949 armistice lines with mutual swaps (which could never be achieved with the intransigent Palestinians), division of Jerusalem, and an indefinite freeze of all settlement construction which, in this context, includes settlement blocs and Jewish east Jerusalem.

However, opposition and Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog reacted to the news of Netanyahu’s new government coalition by insisting that will not be joining Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition saying, “I am not joining this government. It is bad and dangerous for Israel,” Herzog said, “I suggest that Netanyahu and his partners fill all the ministerial portfolios that, according to rumors, are waiting for me. We don’t have to say it every minute on every street corner. I don’t have an intention nor did I have to be a fifth wheel of Netanyahu. I intend to replace Netanyahu,” he said. Herzog added that Netanyahu’s 61-seat government coalition “lacks responsibility, stability and governance.” He also called it a “national disaster of a government. A weak and narrow government, susceptible to blackmail, that will advance nothing and will quickly be replaced by a responsible and hopeful alternative. I think that the best thing Netanyahu can do after he held a clearance sale to assemble his national government of failure is to return the mandate to the president so that he can task someone else with the formation of a government,” he said.

According to Herzog, the new government’s agenda will result in damage to quality of life and the fabric of Israeli society; damage to woman’s rights, gay rights, workers’ rights and the media; incessant threats to the courts and rule of law; continuation of the political deadlock; and further transfer of billions to settlements.

“A government has been formed that has no responsibility, no stability, and no chance whatsoever to govern,” said Herzog. “If this is how he handles negotiations with his natural partners, how will he negotiate with the Palestinians? With world powers? Finally, Herzog said “the countdown to form a government ended. Now, the countdown to its replacement begins.”

Co-leader of the Zionist Union party with Herzog, former chief negotiator in the peace proces, Tzipi Livni also had harsh words for the new government. “I disagree with the worldview, the path, and the objectives [of the new government], so I cannot wish it luck on the issues where there is such a disagreement, but in general, I hope for the best for the nation of Israel,” she said. Livni insists that her party would sit in the opposition “and that’s a commitment. Netanyahu just recently managed to form a new government of 61 MKs and this morning his advisors began to publicly court the Zionist Union,” she said. Livni stressed that she and Herzog have clear agreements and that decisions will be made in tandem. “Herzog agrees with me. This fight must take place in the opposition. I am not in politics for portfolios and honorary roles. I am here to continue our path and fight for it,” she said.

Based upon their comments, it would seem logical to conclude that the only way that Zionist Union would consider joining Netanyahu’s government is if Netanyahu would be willing to agree to Obama’s parameters for the peace process to establish a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as it capital.

Finally, Senior Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat said that the new Israeli government “will be one of war which will be against peace and stability in our region. This government will set its sights on killing and reinforcing settlement activities in the West Bank,” 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) Netanyahu signs coalition deals with Kulanu, UTJ; Kahlon promises reforms
2) Contents of coalition agreements with UTJ, Kulanu revealed
3) Shas signs coalition deal with Likud, urges Herzog to join unity government
4) What Does Shas’ Coalition Agreement Include?
5) Jewish Home makes it official with Likud deal
6) Lieberman: Yisrael Beytenu won’t join new Netanyahu government
7) Coalition deal signed, swearing in expected Wednesday
8) ‘A 61-MK coalition is impossible,’ says Likud official
9) Likud Official: Bennett Will Pay for His Extortion
10) New Government to Legalize Jewish Buildings in Judea-Samaria
11) Shaky Israel coalition spells trouble for Netanyahu and peace process
12) Report: Netanyahu Plans to Expand Government After Formed
13) Candidly Speaking: To survive, Netanyahu must broaden his new government
14) Hoping to woo Herzog, Netanyahu to keep Foreign Ministry in back pocket
15) Herzog: New Netanyahu coalition is prone to extortion, bound to fail
16) Herzog: Bibi Should Give the Mandate Back to the President
17) Herzog: We won’t save Netanyahu from himself
18) PA Upset over Shape of New Israeli Government

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

May 5, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

May 5th, 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) Israel’s response to the Palestinians joining the International Criminal Court and a call by EU Foreign Ministers to label Israel products made in the West Bank

On April 1, the Palestinians officially joined the International Criminal Court. Judge Kuniko Ozaki, acting president of the court, said: “It is a pleasure for me to address this gathering at which we formally welcome the State of Palestine as the 123rd state party to the Rome Statute. By acceding to the Rome Statute, the State of Palestine has entered the growing majority of the world’s nations that have combined their efforts for the purpose of ending impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to humanity.”

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki, who represented the Palestinians at the ceremony, said that “in the face of [the] great injustice our people are enduring and the repeated crimes committed against [them], Palestine has decided to seek justice, not vengeance.” The Palestinians’ decision to join the court “should be viewed in this light,” Malki said. “Our policy reflects a commitment to international law and universal values.” He added: “We now have a weapon which we can use against any Israeli political and military official. This weapon will serve as a deterrent for Israeli officials and prevent them from perpetrating crimes against the Palestinian people in the future.”

Malki reiterated the Palestinians’ pledge to cooperate with ICC prosecutors and judges to promote the principles and objectives of the court and the Rome Statute. “Palestine remains one of the most important tests of the will and ability of the international community,” he said. “It is a test that the world cannot afford to fail.”

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat hailed the accession to the court as a “national and historic day” for the Palestinians. The decision to join, he added, marked a “qualitative transformation in the strategy of the Palestinian struggle.” Erekat stressed that the PA leadership would not backtrack on its decision to join the court. “Those who are afraid of facing justice should stop committing crimes,” he said.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said that the ICC had already begun a preliminary examination of alleged Israeli crimes from the Gaza war last summer. Earlier this year, the Palestinians accepted the court’s jurisdiction dating back to June 2014, to ensure that last summer’s Gaza war between Israel and Hamas will be included in any review. “The legal and technical committees have been extensively working on finalizing the two files,” Erekat said. “We will conduct all practical moves directly after Palestine is officially declared an ICC member.”

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has already launched a preliminary review to determine if there are grounds for an investigation of possible war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Prosecution spokeswoman Florence Olara said there are “no timelines” for how long a preliminary examination can take. Some have taken months, others are continuing after years. Two senior Palestinian officials said the Palestinians will wait for the outcome of that review – which can take months or years – before considering further action. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said: “I don’t want to disappoint our people but the ICC procedures are slow and long and might face lots of obstacles and challenges and might take years to complete.”

In response, Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said “Palestine” had no right to join the International Criminal Court because there was no Palestinian state under international law. This meant , he said, that the ICC’s chief prosecutor had erred earlier this year in accepting the Palestinian request for a preliminary examination into alleged war crimes stemming from last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. “The Palestinian Authority government, which has established a partnership with the murderous Hamas terrorist organization that carries out war crimes like those carried out by Islamic State, is the last one that can threaten to file claims in the international court in The Hague,” Nachshon stated.

Israel said that the Palestinian decision to join the International Criminal Court is “hypocritical.” saying that Palestinian intentions at the ICC contradicted the goals of the court and would lead to a “destructive politicization” that harms the body’s stature. He added that there was no room for the court, which was established to bring to justice people responsible for the worst crimes and atrocities in the world, to cooperate with those who merely sought to abuse its limited resources. Unilateral Palestinian steps – first and foremost, joining the ICC – blatantly violated the basic principles agreed upon between the sides to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said. These steps, he continued, highlighted the Palestinian refusal to conduct peace negotiations with Israel.

When the Palestinians decided to apply for membership in the ICC at the end of December, Israel decided that it would withhold the monthly transfer of taxes that Israel collects for the Palestinians. Under existing agreements, Israel collects taxes and customs on behalf of the Palestinians and then transfers the sums. That revenue accounts for about 70 percent of the Palestinians’ budget. Israel withheld these funds from December through March.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to renew the transfer of the tax revenues on the advice of defense establishment officials who warned of the possible collapse of the PA. Behind the scenes, however, according to sources in Israel, the transfer of the funds was conditioned on the Palestinians maintaining their security coordination with Israel and refraining from filing claims against Israel at the international criminal court. Therefore, Israel released to the PA over NIS 1.37 million in tax revenues. In doing so, withheld NIS 160,000 of the tax revenues to pay for outstanding debts, particularly to the Israel Electric Company to which the PA owes NIS 2 billion.

Initially, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the funds to be returned because money had been deducted to cover debts to Israeli utility companies. Abbas said: “We are returning the money. Either they give it to us in full or we go to arbitration or to the court (ICC). We will not accept anything else.” However, in a compromise agreement, Israel agreed to release the money to the Palestinians in exchange for a partial reduction of the Palestinian $ 500 million debt for electricity and other services.

The United States has been pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to change his position that the funds would be released after Israel deducts the huge amount of money the Palestinian Authority owes the country. Israel reportedly agreed to the compromise for “humanitarian” reasons and with an eye to ensuring regional stability. It was one of a number of humanitarian steps Israel had taken including authorizing the water hook-up for the new Palestinian city of Rawabi and increasing the volume of water it provided to Gaza, officials said

In other news, 16 out of 28 EU foreign ministers wrote a letter calling on the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to advance a proposal to mark products made in West Bank settlements and assure “correct and coherent implementation of EU labeling legislation.” After praising Mogherini for renewing the EU’s commitment to the Middle East peace process, the letter draws the foreign policy chief’s attention to a similar letter in 2013 to her predecessor, insisting the implementation of the union’s legislation was an important component of the Mideast policy.

The letter said: “Following the public commitment made by the Council in May and December 2012 and more recently in November 2014, we remain of the view that this is an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy, in relation to the preservation of the two-state solution.” The foreign ministers emphasized that “European consumers must indeed have confidence in knowing the origin of goods they are purchasing. Green Line Israel and Palestinian producers will benefit from this.”

Currently, only a handful of European Union nations have ordered their supermarkets to mark products made in Israeli settlements. As mentioned in the letter, the demand for a unified European policy on the labeling of West Bank goods had been raised several times in recent years.

Israeli officials fired back at the call by 16 European foreign minister to mark products made in the West Bank’s settlements, evoking a Holocaust-era comparisons and claiming the EU was blaming Israel for the stalemate in peace talks. Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called the plan “hypocritical, sanctimonious and cynical,” noting that the murder and expulsion of Palestinians by Islamic State in Syria was “going by quietly” in Europe. He said: “No European foreign minister has demanded an emergency meeting of EU diplomats, of the EU, of the UN Security Council. Other than a few public statements nothing is being done. I have a suggestion for them on how to label (the products),” he said. “They can…label all products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights with a yellow star. I think that is extremely fitting to the cynical and hypocritical position expressed in this letter. We know that what begins as marking Israeli products, quickly deteriorates into an overall boycott of Israeli goods.”

Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid said:  “This is a de-facto call to boycott Israel,” he said. “According to these guidelines, there is no difference between products which are produced over the 1967 borders and those that are produced within the 1967 borders. This is an irresponsible call that could create havoc on the Israeli economy. This kind of call is a stain on the EU, and the state of Israel has to fight to prevent this kind of initiative,” he said.

Israel’s Energy Minister Silvan Shalom slammed the move as counter-productive, saying they do little to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians. According to him, “such moves began a decade ago and have achieved little.” Shalom said that the move placed on the onus of the stalemate in peace talks on Israel and not the Palestinians.

Israel Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said that “European Union foreign ministers decided to boycott Israeli produce whose ‘source is in the settlements’! Not Syrian produce of (Bashar al-)Assad, not Gaza (produce) of the Hamas murderers, or of any other murderous terror regime in the world. Only Israeli produce.” Katz condemned “European hypocrisy, nourished by a combination of ancient anti-Semitism and new Islamic influence.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Palestinians officially become signatories to International Criminal Court
2) ICC ‘welcomes State of Palestine’ as 123rd member at ceremony
3) Israel blasts Palestinian ICC membership as ‘hypocritical’
4) Palestinians attempting to fast track war crimes suits against Israel at ICC
5) Exclusive: In exchange for freed tax funds, PA won’t pursue Israel over settlements at ICC
6) Abbas rejects Israel’s partial transfer of Palestinian tax revenues
7) Israel Caves in to US and Frees Tax Money for PA without Erasing Debt
8) Israeli officials slam EU bid to mark settlement products
9) Lapid to Mogherini: EU foreign ministers are calling for a de-facto boycott of Israel
10) ‘EU Boycotts Israel, Not Murderers in Syria or Gaza’
11) FM compares labels on settler products to Nazi yellow star

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 28, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

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