March 10, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

March 8th, 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

Recently, PLO leaders called on the Palestinian Authority to halt all forms of security coordination with Israel. The decision was issued at the end of a meeting of the PLO’s 124-member Central Council, which consists of representatives from the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and several Arab countries. The discussions covered the future of relations between the PA and Israel in light of the Israeli government’s decision to withhold tax revenue because of Palestinian intention to bring war crime accusations against Israel at the United Nations through the International Criminal Court. Under a 1994 economic accord, Israel agreed to transfer tens of millions of dollars each month to the PA in customs duties levied on goods destined for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports. Several PLO representatives demanded that the PA leadership give a very “harsh” response to the Israeli decision such as cutting political, economic and security ties with Israel. Others called for abrogating all agreements signed with Israel.

A statement issued by the council said that the PLO leaders have decided to “halt all forms of security coordination with Israeli occupation in light of its failure to abide by agreements signed between the two sides.” Israel should assume all its responsibilities toward the Palestinians as an “occupation force” and in accordance with international law, the council said. The council also reiterated Palestinian opposition to recognizing Israel as a Jewish state. However, a Palestinian source said that the council’s decision was a recommendation only. Another Palestinian official said that Abbas must issue a presidential order in order to formally end the security cooperation with Israel. Israeli officials said that despite the Palestinian decision ties with the Palestinian Authority remain unchanged and that civil and defense cooperation continue unimpeded.

US Secretary of State John Kerry pleaded with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas not to make any “fateful decisions” regarding Israel before its upcoming election on March 17. It is reported that Kerry pressured Abbas to refrain from making any decision that could negatively impact efforts to revive the peace negotiations after the election. In addition, Kerry expressed his opposition to the Israeli decision to withhold the tax funds and cut off electricity to Palestinian cities because of the PA’s debt to the Israel Electric Corporation. Kerry promised Abbas that the United States would pressure Israel to unfreeze the tax payments. In return, Kerry demanded that the PLO Central Council refrain from making any decision to cancel political, security and economic agreements with Israel.

During his second term as prime minister (2009 – 2013), Benjamin Netanyahu had his senior aide, lawyer Yitzhak Molcho be involved in peace negotiations with the Palestinians. In a document from August 2013 entitled, “Draft Proposal for Statement of Principles Towards a Permanent Arrangement” outlines drastic concessions to the Palestinian leadership on a number of core issues, including land swaps, a potential deal regarding Jerusalem and even a limited right of return for Palestinians. The document was meant to serve as basis for official talks launched at the time between Israel and the Palestinians under the auspices of US Secretary of State John Kerry. The document mentions a return to the pre-1967 borders with agreed land swaps. It says: “… (T)here will be a full Israeli withdrawal implemented gradually of Israeli forces from Palestine’s territory. The last of the Israeli forces will withdraw with the implementation of the agreement’s final stage.”

The document desires that Israel be willing to trade land with the Palestinians, but was willing to offer them full restitution for lands seized by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War, implicitly accepting the Palestinian claim on the entirety of the West Bank as land for a future Palestinian state. It says: “The sides are in agreement that Palestine will be an independent, sovereign and viable state whose size will be in relation to the areas which were under Jordan and Egypt’s control before June 4th 1967 (the eve of the Six Day War) (…) the agreement establishing the formation of Palestine will permanently resolve all claims, including the issue of settlements,” the document read.

As part of the proposed land swap, the document laid out the framework for uprooting a a large number of West Bank settlements and even stipulated leaving some settlers in the West Bank under Palestinian Authority control. It says: “Israelis who will choose to remain in the Palestinian state will live under Palestinian jurisprudence,” the document said.

Regarding Jerusalem which the Palestinians want as their capital, the document’s wording was more careful, but not devoid of significance, offering an implicit recognition of the Palestinians’ claim on East Jerusalem. The document relating to Jerusalem was vaguely worded and appended with a warning: “Any solution must address the historical, social, cultural and effectual ties of both peoples to the city and offer protection to the holy sites.”

Furthermore, the document said the Palestinians were offered a permanent foothold in the Jordan Valley, an area which Israel was reluctant to concede control over during the previous round of peace talks. The document also calls for Israeli leeway regarding the much-debated Palestinian right of return for those displaced on the eve of Israel’s formation in 1948. The document calls for Israel to offer the Palestinian ‘refugees’ the right of return on a personal – as opposed to national – basis.

In releasing the details of this document, it was reported that Netanyahu agreed to the various details of the document. However, in response to the report, Netanyahu’s office said: “At no point did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree to withdraw to 1967-lines, divide Jerusalem or recognize the Palestinian right of return. That was and remains his position.” Israel said that the document was an American proposal to resolve the Israel / Palestinian conflict in which Israel never agreed to the points of discussion. Israel said, “Molcho’s talks were brokered by the Americans and failed to yield any agreements. (The talks) focused on an attempt to create an American proposal to moving negotiations forward with each side  maintaining the right to express reservations from any of the articles which they deem unacceptable.”

Furthermore, giving his own response to the published document, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that he never signed off on the concessions detailed in the document saying, “I have never agreed to divide Jerusalem, never agreed to return to the ’67 lines, never agreed to acknowledge the right of return, never agreed to concede our presences in the Jordan Valley, never,” he said. “This is nonsense. This is an attempt to obtain an American draft that I said from the beginning I would oppose clauses that were not acceptable to me, like these clauses. The reality is that no prime minister insisted as I did on a united Jerusalem, on construction, on settlement.”

Dennis Ross, the American diplomat who mediated the talks between Israeli negotiator Isaac Molho and the Palestinians said that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “never agreed to Israeli withdrawal to 1967 borders, dividing Jerusalem or the right of return.” Furthermore, Ross said: “I always felt the best way to [negotiate] would be in a brainstorming set of discussions that could be informal. To that end, starting before I left the administration and continuing after I left, I worked with two long-time friends of mine, Isaac Molho and Hussein Agha, with the aim of coming up with a U.S. proposal for a framework. The idea was that both sides would agree to negotiate using the U.S. proposal, while making clear that they had reservations about provisions that ran counter to their positions … to my regret the exercise did not succeed,” Ross added.

In 2009, Netanyahu made a speech expressing his support for a demilitarized Palestinian state. Today, he said that this position is “Simply irrelevant” saying, “In the situation created in the Middle East, any territory that will be evacuated will be taken over by radical Islam and terrorist organizations supported by Iran. Therefore, there will not be any withdrawals or concessions. The matter is simply irrelevant,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ron Dermer, who was Netanyahu’s aide at the time of his 2009 speech and now serves as Israel’s ambassador to the US, reportedly promised Quartet leader Tony Blair who represented the EU, UN, Russia and the United States as mediators in the peace process that Israel would agree to a Palestinian state based upon the 1967 borders. The comments were made sometime during Netanyahu’s 2009-2013 term as prime minister and were published by Israel’s Channel 10. Israel’s Channel 10 claimed that Dermer promised Quartet leader Tony Blair, in writing, that Israel would cede territory that would give the Palestinians a state “identical to the areas Israel captured in 1967.” According to the report, Blair was skeptical about Netanyahu’s willingness to cede territory as part of a peace deal, prompting Dermer to commit in writing in a bid to quell his concerns and prove Netanyahu was serious.

In response, Dermer vehemently denied the report, saying that “in complete contradiction to what is being reported, no commitment was given to any type of withdrawal at any point.” According to him, the paper was an “attempt to move forward with negotiations based on the international community’s principles with Israel retaining the right to disavow any article it is uncomfortable with.”

Israel’s former chief negotiator in the peace process, Tzipi Livni called Netanyahu’s response to a document claiming that he agreed in 2013 to establish a Palestinian state based upon the 1967 borders as “cowardly.” She said, “When I see Netanyahu’s cowardly response, I understand why the Palestinians and Americans say they don’t believe him.” Livni also had criticism towards the Palestinian leadership. She said, “Sometimes, your partner is not much, and I have criticism against (Palestinian President) Abbas, who didn’t respond to the American outline.”

Meanwhile, Likud Minister Yuval Steinitz criticized the publication of the document, saying it was a “manipulation,” and “fabricated in the way it was presented,” noting neither Netanyahu nor Molcho agreed to the principles outlined. He said that the publication of this document was politically motivated to harm Netanyahu prior to the March 17 Israeli elections. He said, “The objective is to move votes from the Likud party to the religious Zionist nationalistic Jewish Home party as well as the ultra-Orthodox Shas party in order to help the Zionist camp party headed by Tzipi Livni and Isaac Herzog’s to win the March 17th elections.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration says that U.S. President Barack Obama wants to make a renewed effort to achieve progress in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process following the March 17 Israeli elections. The final decision on how to move forward, what sort of effort to make and when, will only be made after a new Israeli government has been formed. A senior Obama official said, “The United States would like to see the formation of the new government in Israel and its attitude toward the renewing peace talks. But in the year and a half to two years that Obama has left in the White House prior to the November, 2016 US elections, the United States will have to deal with the peace process because time is working against us.”

Further deterioration in ties between the Israeli government and the Palestinian leadership in recent months has senior administration officials very worried. The United States sees the situation as a growing crisis beginning with the blowup of the peace talks in March of last year, the deep diplomatic freeze, the war in Gaza last summer, the resolution that the Palestinians tried (unsuccessfully) to get through the UN Security Council, the Palestinians’ signing of the Rome Statute and joining of the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and the Israeli response of freezing the transfer of Palestinian tax funds. To all of these must be added the Palestinian Authority’s threats to file more complaints against Israel in the International Criminal Court beginning April 1, when its membership in the court becomes official, and the serious economic consequences in the PA as a result of Israel’s freezing of Palestinian tax payments takes a deeper toll on the Palestinian economy.

A senior White House official said the Obama administration is concerned over an economic collapse of the PA, which could happen within a few months if Israel does not release the tax money to the Palestinians. Such a collapse, the Americans believe, could lead to security chaos and even a violent outbreak. The senior official said, “The United States wants to find the right timing to go for another push and try and promote something on the Israeli-Palestinian issue.” The United States decision to take action will depend on the makeup and policy of the new Israeli government. The United States would prefer that there be a renewing of peace negotiations on a permanent status agreement. However, the Obama administration is aware that in view of the seriousness of the crisis in the peace process, this may not be very realistic.

As a result, the United Status is discussing various diplomatic moves to unfreeze the talks. One idea that has come up repeatedly in administration discussions over the past year is to present to the international community an updated American outline for a solution to the conflict. Such an outline could include the principles of the framework agreement that Kerry, Israel and the PA worked on at the end of 2013 and early 2014. The discussed framework agreement included clauses such as negotiations based on the 1967 borders with exchanges of territory, recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, Jerusalem as the capital of both states, security arrangements for Israel in the Jordan Valley and a timetable for the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank.

The original US intention was to publish the agreement and invite the Israeli and Palestinian teams to the United States to negotiate based on the document’s principles. Under this scenario, Abbas and Netanyahu would have had to decide to accept the US invitation to discuss the ideas of a US framework agreement or stay home. After long discussions about this approach, Kerry decided not to publish an outline of a US framework proposal, in the hope that he would be able to persuade Netanyahu and Abbas to extend talks without an American ultimatum. A former member of the American peace team said he believes that today Kerry regrets that decision.

Another possibility for an American initiative after the Israeli elections is to promote a UN Security Council resolution based on the American framework agreement, set principles for resolution of the conflict, and call for a renewal of talks. In this way, even if peace talks do not resume, a new source of international authority will have been determined for resolving the conflict that would not be based on Resolutions 242 and 338, on which talks have been based for the past 40 years.

Last September and October, when the Palestinians and Jordanians as well as the French were promoting two separate resolutions to set principles for resolving the conflict, the Obama administration considered formulating an American resolution. This resolution, in the view of the United States, would have been more balanced and the fact that the United States would have led it would have assured its passage at the US Security Council. In the end, under pressure from then-Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and former President Shimon Peres, who feared that such a move at the end of 2014 would strengthen Netanyahu in upcoming March 17th Israeli elections, the Americans did not propose a resolution. Once again, today both Kerry and Livni are said to regret not doing so.

In conclusion, depending upon the outcome of the March 17th Israeli elections and the formation of the new Israeli government, the United States will decide whether it should propose an outline of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians which could be submitted for approval at the UN Security Council. If this scenario does happen, it could be the fulfillment of the prophecy that the nations will divide the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem through formal recognition of a PLO state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) PLO leaders recommend that Palestinian Authority halt security coordination with Israel
2) Palestinian sources: Kerry pressing Abbas to hold off on anti-Israel measures before election
3) ‘Abbas won’t cut security ties with Israel before elections’
4) Netanyahu’s secret peace offer concessions to Palestinians revealed
5) ‘Netanyahu never agreed to ’67 borders or division of Jerusalem’
6) Netanyahu says his past support for Palestinian state ‘simply irrelevant’
7) Netanyahu says Israel won’t cede land to Palestinians, despite reports, docs claiming otherwise
8) Livni: PM’s response to document shows why US, Palestinians don’t trust him
9) Obama aims for another Mideast peace push by end of term, White House officials say

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

March 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

March 4th, 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 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Speech before the US Congress on March 3

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the US Congress on March 3 explaining Israel’s opposition to a possible nuclear agreement with Iran by the major world powers. There is a link to both the written text and a video of this speech.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) TEXT: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speech before the US Congress
2) VIDEO: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Speech before the US Congress

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

February 24, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 24th, 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 dispute between the US and Israel over a possible nuclear deal with Iran and the controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the US Congress against any possible agreement with Iran which allows them to become a threshold nuclear state

A recent report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) stated that Iran is continuing to withhold key information in two areas from investigators that it stated last August that it would provide. In response, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, found it “astonishing” that Iran nuclear negotiations would continue after the IAEA found that Iran was hiding military components of its nuclear program saying, “Not only are they continuing (the talks), there is an increased effort to reach a nuclear agreement in the coming days and weeks. Therefore, the coming month is critical for the nuclear talks between Iran and the major powers because a framework agreement is liable to be signed that will allow Iran to develop the nuclear capabilities that threatens Israel’s existence.” Netanyahu added, “While the Islamic State butchers the innocent, the Islamic Republic of Iran is relentlessly pursuing nuclear weapons with the express purpose of destroying the State of Israel.” Netanyahu said that the deal being discussed between Iran and the major world powers is “dangerous” for Israel. Netanyahu stated that the proposed nuclear agreement being discussed between Iran and the major world powers gives Iran a “green light” to develop the capability to build a nuclear bomb. In doing so, the deal would “allow Iran to become a nuclear threshold state. As a result, Netanyahu said that he “… will go to the US next week in order to explain to the American Congress, which could influence the fate of the agreement, why this agreement is dangerous for Israel, the region and the entire world,” he said.

Netanyahu further explained why he intends to speak before the US Congress on March 3 by asking the question, “Why am I going to the United States?” He answered by saying, “I’m going to the United States because as Prime Minister of Israel, it’s my obligation to do everything in my power to prevent the conclusion of a bad deal that could threaten the survival of the State of Israel. The current proposal to Iran would endanger Israel. It would enable Iran to break out to its first nuclear device within an unacceptably short time. And it would allow Iran to build an industrial capability to enrich uranium that could provide the fuel for many bombs in the coming years.”

“A regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction would thus have finally the means to realize its genocidal aims. Now mind you, I’m not opposed to any deal with Iran. I’m opposed to a bad deal with Iran. And I believe this is a very bad deal. I’m certainly not opposed to negotiations. On the contrary – no country has a greater interest, a greater stake, in the peaceful resolution of the Iranian nuclear question than does Israel. But the current proposal will not solve the problem. It will perpetuate and aggravate the problem. It would provide a path for Iran to become a nuclear power. And therefore it’s very important that I speak about this before the US Congress.”

Second question: Why am I going to the US Congress? Because Israel has been offered the opportunity to make its case on this crucial issue before the world’s most important parliament; because a speech before Congress allows Israel to present its position to the elected representatives of the American people and to a worldwide audience; because Congress has played a critical role in applying pressure to the Iranian regime – the very pressure that has brought the ayatollahs to the negotiating table in the first place; and because Congress may very well have a say on the parameters of any final deal with Iran. That’s why I’m going to Congress.

I think the real question that should be asked is how could any responsible Israeli prime minister refuse to speak to Congress on a matter so important to Israel’s survival? How could anyone refuse an invitation to speak on a matter that could affect our very existence when such an invitation is offered?

Why go now? The deadline for reaching an agreement with Iran is March 24th. That’s the date that drives the speech. Now is the time for Israel to make its case – now before it’s too late. Would it be better to complain about a deal that threatens the security of Israel after it’s signed? I believe it’s more responsible to speak out now to try to influence the negotiations while they’re still ongoing.

I think the whole point of Zionism is that the Jewish people would no longer be spectators to the decision-making that determines our fate. Remember, we were once powerless. We were once voiceless. We couldn’t even speak on our own behalf. Well, we can and we do now. The greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with the weapons of mass destruction. Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison. Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison’

The answer to all three questions are the same. Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now? Because of the grave dangers posed by the deal that is on the table right now. I don’t see this issue in partisan terms. The survival of Israel is not a partisan issue. It concerns everyone, all the supporters of Israel from every political stripe. The fight against militant Islamic terrorism is not a partisan issue. The battle against the Islamic State, which just beheaded 21 Christians, is not a partisan issue. And the effort to prevent the Islamic Republic from building nuclear weapons, that’s not a partisan issue either.

I think the pursuit of nuclear weapons by Iran is the most urgent security challenge facing the world. I think the greatest danger facing humanity is the possibility that any movement or any regime of militant Islam will arm itself with the weapons of mass destruction. Everything that we see in our region now will pale by comparison. Everything that we see in Europe will pale by comparison.

When a militant Islamic regime that is rampaging through the region right now – that’s what Iran is doing, it’s conducting a rampage through the region – when such a regime has nuclear weapons, the whole world will be in peril. Look at what Iran is doing now without nuclear weapons. States are collapsing. And Iran is plunging forward. It’s already controlling four capitals. It’s trying to envelope Israel with three terrorist tentacles – Lebanon, Hezbollah, Hamas in Gaza and now it’s trying to build with its Hezbollah proxies a third front in the Golan. Such a regime with nuclear weapons would be infinitely more dangerous to everyone, not only to Israel.

Now can I guarantee that my speech in Congress will prevent a dangerous deal with Iran from being signed? Honestly, I don’t know. No one knows. But I do know this – it’s my sacred duty as Prime Minister of Israel to make Israel’s case. On March 3rd, I’ll fulfill that duty, representing all the citizens of Israel before the two houses of Congress. And I will make the best case for Israel that I can, knowing that our case is just, that our case is sound, and that our case offers the best hope to resolve this issue peacefully.

Israel Defense Minister, Moshe Ya’alon called the details of a possible nuclear deal with Iran, “a great danger to the peace of the Western world” and “a danger to the security of the State of Israel.” The Associated Press reported that “several officials spoke of 6,500 centrifuges as a potential point of compromise” and that “the strict controls could be in place for 10 years with a gradual lifting over five years. The easing could bring the number of centrifuges back up to the current 10,000.” Israeli officials have long contended that the final stages of uranium enrichment, necessary for weapons grade fuel, can be done in small and easily concealable spaces, increasing the risk of a covert Iranian advance to full nuclear capacity.

The US admitted that they are purposely trying to keep some of the details of the negotiations away from Israel. US  State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said “not everything you’re hearing from the Israeli government is an accurate depiction of the talks.” For that reason, “classified negotiating details stay behind closed doors.” Obviously, we work to protect sensitive information in the negotiations,” Psaki said. Asked pointedly whether the US is withholding information from inside the talks from the Israelis, she said, “Correct.” Furthermore, European officials have confirmed that the United States asked them to not provide Israel with sensitive information regarding the nuclear negotiations with Iran. One European official said that they were told by the US State Department’s Wendy Sherman, the lead American negotiator with Iran, not to disclose too much information to the Israelis because “the details could be twisted to undermine a deal.”

The United States accused Israel of “selective sharing of information” in their public complaints over the diplomatic effort. Nevertheless, US officials say that they are continuing “routine and frequent” contact with the Israelis. Netanyahu responded by saying, “if the emerging agreement with Iran is a good one, why hide the details? The Iranians, of course, know the details of any nuclear proposal, and Israel does, too,” he said. “So when we say that the current proposal would lead to a bad deal, a dangerous deal, we know what we’re talking about. I’m open to hearing the positions and arguments of those who think differently and I would hope that they would be open to hear the arguments of Israel as well.” One Israeli official responded to the charge that Israel was giving “selective” information, by saying that “we see no way that allowing Iran to have 6,000 or 7,000 centrifuges can be okay, irrespective of other elements in the package.” The official added, “in the past we understood from the major players that the goal of the negotiation was that Iran would be kept years away from a nuclear breakout capacity.” Then, he said, that time period was changed to “more than a year. Now, what we understand is that today they are talking about a year,” he said. Asked how Israel could know the details of the accord if it is not been given all the information, the official said, “We cover Iran very closely.” An Israeli official added, “The details of the last round of negotiations are known in the US, France, England, Russia, China, Germany and Iran. It is perplexing that a decision would be made to try to keep those details a secret from Israel when Israel is threatened by Iran with annihilation and its very survival could be threatened by a bad deal.”

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki questioned Netanyahu’s claim to knowing the details of the deal. “Then the fact is that he knows more than the negotiators, in that there is no deal yet,” she said. “Obviously, if there’s a deal we’ll be explaining the deal and explaining why and how it prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. And if that’s the case and we come to a deal, it’s hard to see how anyone wouldn’t see that’s to the benefit of the international community,” she said. As a result, the fundamental differences in the Israeli and US positions on Iran, has led officials from both sides to indicate that the exchange of information and intelligence might not be as free as it was in the past in order to prevent one side or the other from using that information to further its Iranian agenda.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said: “I can’t state this more firmly, the policy is Iran will not get a nuclear weapon. Anyone running around right now, jumping to say we don’t like the deal, or this or that, doesn’t know what the deal is. There is no deal yet. I caution people to wait and see what these negotiations produce. Since 2013, we have been testing whether or not we can achieve that goal diplomatically. I don’t know yet. But it’s the most effective way to solve the problem and we will prove that over the course of these next weeks and months,” Kerry said. “The P5+1 talks have made inroads since the Joint Plan of Action. We’ve halted the progress of Iran’s nuclear program. We’ve gain unprecedented insight into it and we expect to know soon whether or not Iran is willing to put together an acceptable and verifiable plan,” he added. Iran and the major world powers have set a March 31 deadline for a political framework nuclear agreement.

As for the prospects of an agreement by the March 31 deadline, Kerry said that “significant gaps” remained and warned that the United States was ready to walk away from the talks if Iran doesn’t agree to terms demonstrating that it doesn’t want nuclear weapons. Kerry said that Obama “is fully prepared to stop these talks if he feels that they’re not being met with the kind of productive decision-making necessary to prove that a program is in fact peaceful.”

Arab nations have joined Israel in expressing concern over the emerging details of a possible US-led international nuclear deal with Iran. Leaders of Sunni Islamic states such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia also fear that a bad deal with Iran would allow it, with the removal of sanctions, to become a nuclear threshold state. An Arab officials said, “At this stage, we prefer a collapse of the diplomatic process to a bad deal.”

Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran would resist global sanctions imposed over its disputed nuclear program, saying that Iran might respond to international pressure by cutting back gas exports. “The enemy is using the lever of sanctions to the hilt and their goal is to stop our people’s progress,” Khamenei said. “I believe that if we allow them to dictate to us on the nuclear issue, they will still keep the sanctions in place because what they are against is the very foundation of our revolution. We can withstand the sanctions and neutralize and foil the enemy’s goals. If we don’t, the enemy would proceed and place conditions on our nuclear program and impose sanctions,” Khamenei said. “If sanctions are to be the way, the Iranian nation can also do it. A big collection of the world’s oil and gas is in Iran so Iran if necessary can hold back on the gas that Europe and the world is so dependent on.”

Disagreements between the US and Israel over the negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program has caused several Obama administration officials to say that they will be boycotting Netanyahu’s speech before a joint session of Congress on March 3. US Vice President, Joe Biden, has announced that he will not attend the speech. In addition, , US Secretary of State, John Kerry, will also be not attending the speech. Furthermore, the Obama administration is discussing other ways to show their displeasure over Netanyahu’s speech including, an Obama interview with a prominent journalist known for coverage of the rift between Obama and Netanyahu, multiple Sunday show television appearances by senior national security aides and a pointed snub of America’s leading pro-Israel lobby, AIPAC, which is holding its annual meeting while Netanyahu is in the United States, according to US officials.

However, leading Democratic Jewish Senator Charles Schumer called on his fellow Democrats to attend the Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3 saying that the Israel-US relationship should “transcend” any political differences. “It’s always been a bipartisan policy,” Schumer said of the US-Israel relationship. “Democrats and Republicans have always worked together on it, we ought to keep it that way.” Furthermore, former Jewish Connecticut senator and Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman called on members of Congress to attend Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech about Iran’s nuclear program on March 3. Lieberman said that the 23 House of Representatives Democrats who asked House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to postpone Netanyahu’s address should “go to the joint meeting [of Congress] and hear what the prime minister has to say. Go because this is about determining how best to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons and not just another Washington test of partisan and political loyalty,” Lieberman wrote. “Go because—regardless of what you think of the leaders involved or their actions in this case—you are a strong supporter of America’s alliance with Israel, and you don’t want it to become a partisan matter.”

The strong disagreements between the US and Israel over Iran’s nuclear program is likely to have serious repercussions on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process especially if Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, remains Israel Prime Minister after the March 17 Israeli elections. The US may be more willing to impose a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians through the UN Security Council. One option under active consideration is to make public the framework that US Secretary of State John Kerry developed during the talks to deal with such key issues as Israeli security, the status of Jerusalem and the rights of refugees. This might simply be announced publicly or introduced as a U.N. Security Council resolution outlining the details of a framework peace agreement which recognizes a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) PM slams ongoing Iran nuclear talks after damning IAEA report
2) Netanyahu: P5+1 giving Iran green light to have nuclear bomb-making capabilities
3) Benjamin Netanyahu on Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran: ‘This is a bad agreement’
4) US acknowledges withholding information from Israel on Iran talks
5) EU officials confirm Israel not fully briefed on Iran talks
6) Netanyahu: If emerging nuclear deal with Iran is so good, why hide it?
7) Netanyahu: Israel knows details of proposed U.S.-Iran deal
8) Netanyahu rebuffs report Israel kept in dark on nuke talks
9) US takes swipe at Netanyahu: Sounds like he knows more about Iran deal than negotiators
10) Kerry in apparent jab at Netanyahu: Those bad-mouthing Iran deal don’t know what deal is
11) Netanyahu explains: ‘Why Congress? Why Washington? Why now?’
12) Israel to US: Emerging nuclear deal allows Iran to dominate Middle East
13) Defense minister rips into deal with ‘apocalyptic’ Iran
14) Expert: ‘Bad Iran deal’ neglects weaponization
15) Washington Post: Obama Thinks Netanyahu Authorized Leaks on Iran
16) Looming Iran deal would restrict nuke activity for a decade, then ease off
17) US warns it is ready to walk away from Iran nuclear talks
18) Arab nations said deeply worried by Iran nuke deal
19) Khamenei threatens world gas supply, vows firm Iranian nuclear stand
20) Biden to skip Netanyahu’s speech before Congress
21) State Dept.: Kerry Will be ‘Out of Town’ During Netanyahu Speech
22) White House may snub AIPAC as it seeks to undercut Netanyahu speech
23) Jeb Bush ‘anxious to hear’ PM’s speech on Iran
24) Former Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman Supports Netanyahu’s Congress Speech
25) A perfect storm brews in the Middle East

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

February 17, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 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) A Biography of Benjamin Netanyahu, and how he became the current Prime Minister of Israel

This week’s update is a biography of Benjamin Netanyahu and how he rose in power to become the current Prime Minister of Israel.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) A Biography of Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu

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

February 10, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 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 controversy over Benjamin Netanyahu speaking before the US Congress on the Iranian issue

In the last several years, the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council (US, France, England, China and Russia) along with Germany have been negotiating with Iran with the stated goal to prevent them from obtaining nuclear weapons. However, US Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said that all of the world powers except the USA have stepped back from the negotiations leaving in essence the US alone to negotiate with Iran. “It’s evident that these negotiations are really not P5+1 negotiations any more,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said. “I was in Germany this weekend (for an international security conference) and was very aware that this was becoming more of a one-on-one negotiation,” he said. Corker and the Democrat he replaced as committee chairman, Senator Robert Menendez, left the latest briefing expressing concern about the administration basing negotiations on the need to maintain Iran’s potential nuclear weapons “breakout” time to at least one year. One of my major concerns all along that is becoming more crystal clear to me, is that we are, instead of preventing proliferation, we are managing proliferation,” Menendez said.

There is a March 31 deadline for a framework agreement with Iran. US Secretary of State, John Kerry, ruled out extending this deadline if an agreement is not made. Kerry said: “The only chance I can see of an extension at this point in time would be that you really have the outlines of the agreement.” Kerry said outlining the basics of the agreement was crucial before a possible extension could be considered but reiterated his preference for sticking to the target date. “If we’re not able to make the fundamental decisions that have to be made over the course of the next weeks, literally, I think it would be impossible to extend.” Kerry said.

The United States Congress is discussing imposing new sanctions upon Iran. However, the Obama administration does not want to impose new sanctions upon Iran at this time. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said: “We’re trying to find a constructive way for Congress to play its rightful role in these negotiations. I’m very disappointed that, in essence, what the administration is saying is that we really don’t want Congress to play a role in one of the most important geopolitical agreements that may take place during this administration.” US Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said the administration fears that any steps from Congress could alienate the other international partners in the negotiations. Corker objected to the suggestion, saying he had spoken with many of the negotiating partners and none opposed Congress taking any action in ongoing talks to ensure the deal reached is a good one. US President Barack Obama said he would veto any bill that would impose further sanctions on Iran while negotiations continue and asked Congress to “hold your fire.” Obama said: “It’s my team that’s at the table. We are steeped in this stuff day in and day out. We don’t make these decisions blindly,” Obama said. “Congress needs to show patience.” Obama said that the possibility of reaching a deal is “less than 50/50,” but Congress must not intervene until the negotiationing process is allowed to play out completely. “There are no guarantees that negotiations will succeed, and I will keep all options on the table to prevent a nuclear Iran,” Obama said. “But new sanctions passed by this Congress, at this moment in time, will all but guarantee that diplomacy fails  —  alienating America from its allies and ensuring that Iran starts up its nuclear program again.”

Some members of Congress oppose the nuclear negotiations taking place between Iran and major world powers because they fear the U.S. would sacrifice too much for the sake of reaching a deal. US House Majority Leader, John Boehner said many lawmakers are also wary that Obama will agree to a bad deal with Iran for the sake of reaching one. Boehner said: “[Obama] expects us to stand idly by and do nothing while he cuts a bad deal with Iran. We’re going to do no such thing.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The major powers and Iran are galloping toward an agreement that will enable Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons which will endanger the existence of the State of Israel. We will continue to take action and to lead the international effort against Iran’s arming itself with nuclear weapons.” Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu declared that he was ready to go head to head with US Secretary of State John Kerry in order to stop the deal. “At the end of the week, Kerry and [Iranian Foreign Minister] Zarif announced their intention to complete the framework agreement by the end of March, and that is what gives rise to the urgency in our efforts to try and halt this bad and dangerous agreement,” Netanyahu said. “We will continue to act and to lead the international efforts against the arming of Iran with nuclear weapons and we will act in every way to foil the bad and dangerous agreement that would cast a heavy cloud over the future of Israel.”

The US House Majority leader, John Boehner, wrote a letter to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asking him to speak before a bipartisan joint-session of Congress on February 11. In explaining his reason for doing this, Boehner said: “Prime Minister Netanyahu is a great friend of our country, and this invitation carries with it our unwavering commitment to the security and well-being of his people. In this time of challenge, I am asking the Prime Minister to address Congress on the grave threats radical Islam and Iran pose to our security and way of life.  Americans and Israelis have always stood together in shared cause and common ideals, and now we must rise to the moment again.” This would be Prime Minister Netanyahu’s third appearance before a joint meeting of Congress. His last appearance was May 24, 2011.

Since Netanyahu is coming to the US to speak at the AIPAC  conference in March, he requested that Boehner move the date of his speech to March 3. Boehner’s team had been discussing this invite with Netanyahu “for weeks,” according to a House Republican leadership source who added the reason driving the invitation was the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran. Boehner said he did not consult with Obama about the invitation to Netanyahu, saying “the Congress can make this decision on its own.” However, Boehner did inform Obama that Netanyahu would be speaking to the US Congress. Boehner was asked which he didn’t consult with Obama regarding inviting Netanyahu to speak, Boehner replied “There is a serious threat that exists in the world and Obama kinda of glossed over it in his State of the Union speech.” He added, “the fact is there needs to be a more serious conversation in America about how serious the threat is — from radical Islamic jihadists and from the threat posed by Iran.”

In Netanyahu accepting Boehner’s invitation, the Obama administration said that it was a breach of protocol. “The typical protocol would suggest that the leader of a country would contact the leader of another country when he’s traveling there,” said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “That certainly is how President Obama’s trips are planned when he travels overseas. This particular event seems to be a departure from that protocol.” Earnest said the White House was made aware of the invitation before Boehner’s office released a letter dated Jan. 21 inviting Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress. However, the New York Times said that Netanyahu accepting the invitation from Boehner after Obama was informed of the invitation and not before. Also, Obama apparently didn’t oppose the idea after being informed given that the invitation went ahead as planned.

In any event, Netanyahu’s decision to accept Boehner’s invitation and speak before a joint-session of the US Congress has caused a bitter dispute with US President Barach Obama over the issue. At a White House news conference, Mr. Obama signaled his displeasure with the speech Mr. Netanyahu is scheduled to give in March suggesting that his visit two weeks before the Israeli election risked injecting politics into the relationship between the United States and Israel.

Obama said: “It’s important for us to maintain historical diplomatic protocols because the U.S.-Israeli relationship is not about a particular party. The way to preserve that is to make sure that it doesn’t get clouded with what could be perceived as partisan politics.” Obama said that while he saw no reason to extend the Iran negotiations past a late-March target for a framework agreement, it was important that the talks be allowed to continue before further sanctions were imposed. He said: “It does not make sense to sour the negotiations a month or two before they’re about to be completed, and we should play that out. If no deal can be reached, Obama said that he will work with Congress to apply “even stronger” sanctions.”

Despite being opposed by Obama, Netanyahu said he plans to continue to give the March 3 speech. Acknowledging “a profound disagreement with the United States administration and the rest of the P5+1 over the offer that has been made to Iran,” Netanyahu added, “I intend to speak about this issue before the March 24th congressional vote on new Iranian sanctions and I intend to speak in the US Congress because Congress might have an important role on a nuclear deal with Iran.” The looming military danger from Iran justified the move, Netanyahu said. “Iran is openly committed to Israel’s destruction. Iran would be able, under this deal, to break out to a nuclear weapon in a short time, and within a few years, to have the industrial capability to produce many nuclear bombs for the goal of our destruction.” He added: “The present proposed US offer to Iran threatens Israel’s survival. Israel’s survival is not a partisan issue, not in Israel nor in the United States. This doesn’t mean that from time to time Israeli governments have not had serious disagreements with American administrations over the best way to achieve the security of Israel,” he said. “Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben-Gurion, declared Israel’s independence in the face of strong opposition from US Secretary of State George Marshall,” he said, ticking off a lineup of disputes from Levi Eshkol to Ariel Sharon. “Disagreements over Israel’s security have occurred between prime ministers in Israel from the left and from the right and American presidents from both parties. This is not a personal disagreement between President Obama and me. I deeply appreciate all that he has done for Israel in many fields. Equally, I know that the President appreciates my responsibility, my foremost responsibility, to protect and defend the security of Israel. I am going to the United States not because I seek a confrontation with the President but because I must fulfil my obligation to speak up on a matter that affects the very survival of my country.”

Netanyahu compares the importance of his speech to the US Congress to the appearance to his journey to Paris after last month’s terror attacks against Jews. He said: “I went to Paris not just as the prime minister of Israel but as a representative of the entire Jewish people. Just as I went to Paris, so I will go anyplace I’m invited to convey the Israeli position against those who want to kill us. Those who want to kill us are, first and foremost, any Iranian regime that says outright it plans to destroy us. I will not hesitate to say what’s needed to warn against this danger, and prevent it.”

In response, Obama has decided to not meet with Netanyahu when he visits the US in March. Regarding that decision, Obama said: “I don’t want to be coy — the prime minister and I have a very real difference around Iran’s sanctions.” Furthermore, Obama representatives said “Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency and that there will be a price to pay for making this decision.”

US Vice President Joe Biden is expected to boycott Netanyahu’s speech. Biden’s office said that he will be traveling. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said that there will be those in Congress who won’t have time to listen to Netanyahu’s speech because they have other things more important to do. A few notable Democratic lawmakers said they did not plan to attend Netanyahu’s speech including Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), who said she was “deeply troubled that politics has been injected” into the U.S.-Israel relationship.

While Obama stated that he will not meet with Netanyahu because he doesn’t want to interfere in the Israeli elections, both US Vice President, Joe Biden, and US Secretary of State, John Kerry, met with the Israeli opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, in Germany. Herzog said that the meeting represented a “complete boycott” of Netanyahu. Even if this was not stated, this is the truth.

Back in Israel, opposition parties are against Netanyahu’s speech to the US Congress being seen on Israeli TV claiming that it is illegal to broadcast campaign speeches for 60 days before an election. Netanyahu’s representative called the opposition to the speech “puzzling, ridiculous and even cynical, because of the fact that is clear to all that the initiative to make the speech came from the US Speaker of the House John Boehner and not from Netanyahu.” Furthermore, Netanyahu’s representatives say that his speech is an issue of Israeli public interest saying, “Netanyahu’s speech to the American Congress in such an important matter which has great news value and the public has a right to watch it.”

Finally, there is a strong disagreement among Jews in the United States regarding Netanyahu’s decision to give his speech to the US Congress on March 3. Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti Defamation League said that the political uproar ignited by Netanyahu’s invitation to speak to a joint meeting of Congress makes such a move unhelpful and therefore it should be scrapped. “It’s a tragedy of unintended consequences,” Foxman said. He said that going ahead as planned with the speech would be counter-productive, with all attention given to the political controversy rather than to the issue at stake. “It has been hijacked by politics,” Foxman said. “Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new platform and new timing to take away the distractions.”

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, leader of the Reform Judaism movement called Netanyahu’s speech a “bad idea,” saying it would be “ill advised” for Netanyahu to carry out his planned speech. “I would want him to re-think it. He should find another way to express his voice.” However, the president of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, criticized Foxman and Rabbi Rick Jacobs for their view saying, “Iran is an existential issue for Israel that must be dealt with now – not in a year from now. We must never again be the Jews of appeasement and paralyzing fear… We must publicly state that President Obama is endangering America and Israel by his delaying and delaying on stopping Iran’s nuclear program. By Jews not supporting Netanyahu and the US Congress, we are sending a terrible message to Iran that we are not unified and strong in our resolve against this deadly enemy,” he said. “We dare not act like the Jewish leaders of the 1930’s. The time to act to support the Prime Minister of Israel is now. It is a pro-America, pro-Israel patriotic act.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) US only power still in talks with Iran on nukes — US Senator
2) Obama Admin to Congress on Iran: Butt Out
3) Obama Would Veto Sanctions Bill Against Iran
4) Netanyahu: US, Iran galloping towards deal which threatens Israel
5) Netanyahu vows to scuttle world powers’ Iran deal
6) John Boehner Invitation to Netanyahu to Speak before a Joint Session of Congress
7) Netanyahu coming to Congress in March
8) Speaker Boehner Invites Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to Address Congress
9) Netanyahu Accepts Boehner’s Invitation to Address Congress
10) Obama: Boehner’s Invitation to Netanyahu is Breach of Protocol
11) Did Obama Lie about Netanyahu Congress Invitation?
12) Obama and Netanyahu Clash From Afar Over Israeli’s Planned Speech
13) Staying firm on speech, PM admits ‘profound disagreement’ with US
14) Netanyahu rejects criticism: I am determined to address Congress
15) Netanyahu ‘determined’ to speak before US Congress
16) Benjamin Netanyahu Compares Congress Speech With Trip to Paris After Terror
17) Netanyahu: Congress speech should air on TV, is public interest not election propaganda
18) White House Says Netanyahu Will ‘Pay a Price’ For Congressional Speech Without Obama’s Blessing
19) Biden to Miss Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress Due to Travel
20) After snubbing Netanyahu, Biden meets with Israeli opposition leader Herzog
21) Biden, Kerry Boycott Netanyahu, Meet Israeli Opposition Leader
22) Pelosi: Members Won’t ‘Boycott’ Netanyahu Speech. But They Might Be too Busy to Go
23) Dem boycott of Netanyahu speech grows
24) Abe Foxman Calls on Benjamin Netanyahu To Scrap Speech to GOP Congress
25) Reform’s Rick Jacobs Presses Benjamin Netanyahu To Call Off Speech to Congress
26) American Jews divided over Netanyahu’s Congress speech

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

February 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 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 Preview of the March 17 Israel Elections

Israeli elections are scheduled for March 17. There are 120 members in the Israeli Knesset. You need a coalition of at least 61 members to form a government. According to a recent poll, the political party of Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is leading with 25 seats. The merged Labor-Hatnua parties would get 23 seats. The religious Zionists party, Jewish Home, would get 14 seats. The joint Arab parties would get 12 seats. The secular party, Yesh Atid, would get 9 seats. The new social-economic party, Kulanu, would get 8 seats. The ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi party, United Torah Judaism, would get 8 seats. The ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party, Shas, would get 6 seats. The Russian national party, Yisrael Beitenu, would get 6 seats. The far-left party, Meretz, would get 5 seats. The new combo, Ultra-Orthodox and religious Zionist party, Yachad-Ha’Am Itanu, would get 4 seats.

For this election, the Labor party and the Hatnua party have merged. The Labor party is headed by Isaac Herzog and Hatnua is headed by Israel’s chief negotiator in the peace process, Tzipi Livni. The merged party will be called, “The Zionist Camp.” Herzog said that when he initially became Labor leader, he vowed not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors who had failed to unite the Center-Left parties. He said he realized that uniting was the only way to defeat current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and return Labor to power. Livni said that uniting was necessary to stop rightist politicians with whom she had, until recently, served in the government from continuing to run the country. “Herzog and I spoke at length and realized we have the same vision and mission,” Livni said. “That vision and goal are stronger than any argument you can find between us. We are creating a new Zionist Center against the extreme Right that isolated Israel. No one can complain anymore that there is no chance to win. We have created that chance.” If the “Zionist Camp” party is able to get the most votes in the election and is able to form a government, current Labor leader, Isaac Herzog would be Israel Prime Minister for 2 years. Then, current Hatnua leader, Tzipi Livni will be Israel Prime Minister, the last 2 years. Livni supported her new political partner, saying “Herzog will be a great prime minister” and claimed “these elections are an opportunity for Israel to go back to what it once was. We are working together for the citizens of Israel and against the right-wing extremist parties.”

Regarding the peace process, Herzog supports a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and agreed land swaps. He envisions land swaps leaving “settlement blocs” in Israel hands and giving the vast majority of the West Bank, Israel’s biblical heartland, to the PA. “I see Jerusalem serving as two political capitals: in eastern Jerusalem the capital of the Palestinian state, and the west of the city as the Jewish capital,” Herzog said, adding “the seat of the Palestinian government could be in one of east Jerusalem’s neighborhoods in my opinion, I’m not afraid of that.” When asked if all of Jerusalem would remain Israeli territory under his plan, Herzog said that the “the Kotel (Western Wall) will stay in Israel’s hands, as for the rest we have to be creative.”

Regarding foreign policy, Herzog said, Israel “must move closer to its partners. Israel is stronger when it is united with the world, and not alone. Israel is stronger when it is coordinated with America, and doesn’t act alone.” Herzog blamed current Prime Minister and Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu for the deterioration of US-Israel relations, saying there is “a clear link between international isolation and disturbing way that [the Palestinian Authority] takes Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and the deterioration of our relations with the United States. International isolation is a strategic threat to Israel,” Herzog said. It affects all of us, even if we do not feel it now,” Herzog added. “The unilateral steps that the Palestinians are leading now, they are very serious…the way to combat this is in conjunction with the United States, but for that we must restore our relationship with them. According to Herzog, the damaged relations with the United States will compromise Israel’s national security. He said that Netanyahu failed to realize developments in American politics and neglected his relationship with US President Barack Obama. Herzog said: “Netanyahu neglected his relationship with the US President, Barack Obama and put all trust in relations with the US Congress and the Senate,” Herzog said. “However, throughout the history of the State of Israel, important decisions were made by the US President.”

Should the Likud party of current Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu get the most seats in the election, Tzipi Livni said that the “Zionist Camp” party would never join the government because the current Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refuses to heed the beck and call of US President Barack Obama. Livni said, “Unity is not a technical matter of distribution of files, but a matter of a shared vision. Netanyahu and [Jewish Home Chairman Naftali] Bennett’s plan is a way that leads to the deterioration of the state of Israel in any field – you should understand who they are and what are the blocs in this election – we have here one bloc that includes the far-right Likud and Bennett, and it is very clear that their way is not our way. The question of this election is not who will answer the phone in Jerusalem at three in the morning – but which Prime Minister will answer a phone call from the United States at three in the morning,” Livni said.

Current Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded by saying, “It’s very easy to receive applause from the international community. All you need to do is give in to international pressure and agree to establish a Palestinian state which would be supported by Iran like Livni and Herzog want to do. This is not my way adding that he will “protect Israel’s security and national interests” in his role as prime minister.

Netanyahu also rejected having the new Zionist camp party in being in his future government coalition saying, “The political gaps between the Likud and the Zionist camp party are too big to be contained in one coalition. Labor picked an extreme leftwing and anti-Zionist list. There is a gaping chasm between the Likud, led by me, and Labor,” he stated. “We will not cooperate with them in one government. The responsible and nationalist approach of the Likud, led by me, does not have a meeting point with Tzipi [Livni] and Buji’s [Isaac Herzog’s] left-wing list that now is clearly extremist,” Netanyahu said. “We will not join forces in one coalition with people who say: ‘Israeli women don’t need to send their children to the IDF,’ and ‘Hatikva is a racist song,’” Netanyahu added.

The leader of the religious zionist party, Naftali Bennett, of the Jewish Home political party vowed that he would not give away land for a Palestinian state as he rose to higher positions in the Israeli government as previous Israeli leaders have done. Bennett said, “In recent weeks and because of the elections and the polls, many countries in the world want to know who the Jewish Home party is. So, I have received marathon visits from US, European and Arab diplomats who come to ‘find out about me. But they are not just coming to find out about me, they are also delivering a message. Today, as well, one of these diplomats came to me and said: ‘I understand that for the polls you have to say these things, but in order to become part of the honorable club of peacemakers after the election, you must agree to a Palestinian state.'” “Then I got up, took out the Bible and told him: ‘My moral compass is not the daily poll, but rather the 3000-year-old Torah which will never change, and the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, and if the entry pass to the frequent flyer club is to give away the country, then I will pass on becoming a member of the club.” He added: “A very special time has arrived for the Jewish people. A time in which all of us can hold our heads high without apologizing for saying that we love the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel.”

Three Arab parties in the current Knesset have decided to unite for this election. Despite the united list, the parties maintain unresolved ideological differences, but the move is meant to gain the maximum number of Knesset seats. Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman said the united list openly reveals what was already known and which they sought to cover up: for the Arab parties it does not matter if you are an Islamist, communist, or jihadist – their common goal is one – to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. It is this goal that brings them together, he said.

Israel’s Arab-majority political parties reportedly rejected an offer by Isaac Herzog, head of the Zionist Camp faction — the joint Labor-Hatnua list — to join a potential coalition led by him should the Zionist Camp party win the most seats in the March elections. The Arab party said that they would not join any Herzog government coalition but would consider supporting the government from the opposition in exchange for the allocation of budgets for their constituencies.

Meanwhile, current Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that there is “no chance” that his Yisrael Beytenu party will sit in the same coalition with the leftist Meretz party, thus significantly hurting Yitzhak Herzog’s chances of heading the next government. “[Meretz chairwoman] Zehava Galon is out of the question. There’s no common ground. There is no chance,” Liberman said. “Guidelines are what will compel us. Will there be an eradication of Hamas? You cannot move forward with the peace process without removing [Palestinian Authority chairman] Abbas or eradicating Hamas,” he clarified.

Former leader of the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party, Shas, MK Eli Yishai split and formed a new party called, Yachad-Ha’Am Itanu who merged with the Strong Israel party for the March 17 elections. “Yachad is staying together, haredim and national religious,” Yishai said. “We have an obligation to continue the great thing that we have created here, a covenant of those who observe the commandments for the Torah of Israel, the Land of Israel and the people of Israel. Thank God, that which unites us is greater than any argument. Together, in the name of God, we will succeed.”

The Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox political party, United Torah Judaism, said that government support for the ultra-Orthodox academic institutions is a prerequisite to join any future Knesset coalition government. In the meeting, MK Meir Porush (UTJ) attacked the outgoing coalition government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying, “will the representation in the Knesset be able to change the laws which demand that ultra-Orthodox Jews serve in the Israeli army? Will the MKs of United Torah Judaism be able to change all that? I say to you, believe me, it’s possible to change it, we can change everything to good; just like it’s possible to mess things up in two years, it’s possible to fix in two years, we just need divine help,” said Porush. Later he indicated UTJ would prefer to join a coalition headed by Benjamin Netanyahu rather than a government headed by the Zionist camp party. Porush also attacked the religious zionist political party, Jewish Home, which spearheaded a controversial law requiring ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the Israeli army. He said “those who portray themselves as religious put a chill in us who partnered with the worst political parties to try to destroy ultra-Orthodox Judaism.”

Former Likud cabinet minister Moshe Kahlon started a new political party called, Kulanu — which translates as “All of us.” His party will focus on socioeconomic issues. In order for the political party, Kulanu, to join a future government coalition, Kahlon said that he wants to be head of the Israel Land Administration which owns most of the land in Israel. Kahlon said: “if we are not given the responsibility over the Israel Land Administration, we will not participate in the government. I am going to dismantle the Israel Land Administration.” Kahlon insisted: “In the end, we have to fight the monopolists. The monopolists are strong – they have a lot of money – and it is not easy, at all. We will present a clear plan to break-up the monopolists utilizing efficiency measures and by protecting the workers. Don’t let them fool you – streamlining is not downsizing, but the opening of new manufacturing lines. Such a process is good for the factory, for the workers, and for the 8 million citizens of the State of Israel. The state of Israel cannot continue to allow housing prices to remain high and the cost of living to remain high. The situation is becoming intolerable.”

Regarding the peace process, Kahlon said that his new Kulanu party would support a future peace deal with the Palestinians, but that “right now there is no partner and no one to talk to on the other side.” Kahlon said his conditions for a peace accord were as follows: that all of Jerusalem, including the Arab neighborhoods in the east of the city, remain under Israeli control; that the large settlement blocs be annexed; and that Palestinian not be granted any right of return. “Any agreement that will strengthen Israel — the Kulanu party will be there to support 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) Survey: Likud Pulls Ahead of Labor-Hatnua with 25 Seats
2) Livni, Herzog announce unity deal with rotation for role of prime minister
3) Herzog, Livni to unite against ‘radical right’
4) Labor-Hatnua renames party The Zionist Camp
5) Herzog promises political ‘revolution’ as he launches ‘Zionist Camp’ campaign
6) Herzog: Divide Jerusalem and Make Land Swaps
7) Herzog Vows to Take Power and Appease Obama
8) Livni Hints: We Won’t Sit in Unity Government with Netanyahu
9) Netanyahu rules out unity government with Herzog and Livni
10) PM nixes unity government with Zionist Camp party
11) Bennett: Electoral success won’t make me give away land for a Palestinian state
12) Arab parties reach historic deal, unite for upcoming election
13) Arab parties said to reject Herzog’s coalition invitation
14) Liberman: ‘No Chance’ We’ll Sit with Meretz
15) Veteran Shas MK Yishai splits, forms new party
16) Yachad and Otzma end furious row and unite electoral lists
17) Hareidi Party Lists Prerequisites for Joining Coalition
18) Ex-Likud minister Kahlon to call his new party Kulanu
19) Kahlon demands Israel Land Administration portfolio
20) Moshe Kahlon’s Campaign Chief is Former Kadima Member
21) Kahlon says his party will back peace, but there’s ‘no partner’
22) Kahlon: Netanyahu, Lapid, and Bennett to blame for high living costs

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

January 17, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

January 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 situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

After failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution at the end of December to recognize a PLO state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capitol, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians intend to draft a new resolution calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state to be submitted to the UN Security Council in the near future. Abbas made the announcement at a recent Arab League meeting in Cairo. “Nothing will ever deter us from continuing our march towards obtaining the rights, freedom, and independence of our people,” Abbas said.

The new proposal, like its predecessor which the UN Security Council failed to pass in December, will call for a state along the pre-1967 lines and will be in accordance with the Arab League Peace Initiative, a 2002 proposal brought forward by Saudi Arabia that promises normalizing ties with Israel in exchange for its complete withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a “just settlement” for the Palestinian refugees issue.

The Arab League authorized the Arab League Council to seek international support for resubmitting to the UN Security Council the Palestinian resolution calling for establishing a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. Abbas said that he will listen to the committee, made up of the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Kuwait, and is committed to their decisions regarding the timing of the proposal’s submission.

The decision was taken at the end of a recent emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Egypt. The ministers called for pursuing efforts to seek international support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. They voiced support for Palestinian efforts to join international conventions and treaties, including the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, the Arab League reiterated its “absolute” opposition to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This “racist” demand would have “grave consequences for the Palestinians and the region,” it said. Finally, it rebuked Israel for its decision to withhold over $100 million in tax revenue collected on behalf of the PA in light of the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to turn to the International Criminal Court over alleged Israeli war crimes committed in last summer’s Gaza Strip war.

Palestinian officials said that several Arab countries put pressure on the PA not to turn to the Security Council at this time in order to not strengthen Israeli right-wing parties before the March 17 Israeli elections. Abbas said that the upcoming Israeli election in March was not reason enough to renew negotiations. “The resumption of talks requires an international position especially from the United States,” said Abbas. “The Americans have long talked about ideas for negotiations but so far have not submitted anything,” he said adding that the Palestinians were not going to continue negotiations without a clear strategy in mind.

Meanwhile, France announced plans to draft its own proposal seeking a clear solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. French President Francois Hollande desires that this initiative will eventually include an international conference on the issue.  The French have communicated their idea to the United States and most other European states. In December, France along with Britain and Germany worked on presenting a UN Resolution aimed at reviving the peace process. However, they could not agree on a text before the Palestinians presented their UN Resolution for a vote on December 30.

The French want the new initiative to be a framework for the implementation of previous UN Resolutions 242 and 338 that would enable an international conference to held on the subject. The proposed framework would limit the negotiations for a two-state solution to a period of two years. The French proposal will seek a two-state solution based upon Israel’s 1967 lines that will differ from the current Palestinian plan. The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 will be a key component in such a plan, offering the legitimacy (both in the West Bank and within the Arab world) Abbas needs in order to agree to any future negotiation process. It is also the element that can bring other pragmatic Arab leaders on board, primarily Egypt. The United States does not oppose the French idea. The United States has already given general approval for the European Union to present policy initiatives and reactions against Israel’s settlement policies. The Palestinians are skeptically open to the idea.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated that he was working with US Secretary of State John Kerry in order to develop an agreeable draft proposal separate from that of the Palestinians. Fabius said it was highly unlikely that the new proposal will be unveiled before Israeli national elections in March. France worked for weeks on an alternative to the last Palestinian resolution at the UN Security Council but its more moderate draft was rejected by Abbas.

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is open to discussing a regional peace plan that would include a Palestinian state. “We have to reach a political arrangement here,” said Liberman, “Not because of the Arabs but because of the Jews. We need to reach an arrangement here in the region. First of all, because this is important for our relations with the European Union and the United States. For whoever doesn’t know — and I’m sure most of you do — our largest market is the EU.”

Pointing to EU sanctions on Russia, Liberman argued that it is impossible to maintain good economic relations when the political and diplomatic relationship is under stress: “It does not work. We must internalize this. And we see when there is a deterioration in the diplomatic relations, what happens to the economic. And I can give the example that is closest and most familiar to me — what is happening in Russia. And the more developed a country is, the more sensitive it is to every political decision, or every change in the complex economic relations.”

Still, he said, there is not yet a crisis with Western allies. “It is far from a tsunami… What we have now is a soft breeze. If we do not initiate, we will face a diplomatic tsunami.” The foreign minister said that a regional agreement with Arab states would allow Israel to devote more resources to research, development and technology.

Liberman criticized Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his lack of initiative in finding a solution to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. “There is a status quo…a step forward and a step back. There is no initiative. I stand for initiative. We must initiate. Whoever doesn’t initiate, loses. This approach has failed…I have respect for Netanyahu, but for now, my approach is more appropriate for this time. If you want a veto from the US [in hostile UN proposals] you need to understand that you can’t lash out against it,” Liberman said. “We have to come up with policy recommendations, we cannot be constantly saying no, no, no. Within the context of the crisis on the Middle East, it is imperative that Israel initiate solutions and push them forward. We must adopt a pragmatic approach, because without it, it won’t matter if we’re right,” he said.

A top Russian diplomat said that the United States is preparing a UN resolution that it intends to eventually be submitted to the United Nations Security Council to restart the peace process. “We have the U.S. text at our disposal,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Gennady Gatilov. The American plan, Gatilov said, is a response to the French proposal. That the Americans have proposed their own text is a sure sign they proceed from the understanding that some [Security Council] resolution is necessary.” American officials at the U.N. declined to comment on Gatilov’s remarks. However, US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “There is a perception [that] we have never supported any U.N. action related to Israel, and that is not true. We have supported a range of actions in the past. What we haven’t supported is steps that are unilateral actions that predetermine the outcome of negotiations.” The United States doesn’t want to present any UN Resolution regarding the Israeli / Palestinian conflict before the March 17 Israeli elections.

According to senior European officials,  a peace process initiative which will be proposed by France and Great Britain in coordination with the United States following the establishment of the next Israeli government will include political, security and economic elements. A senior EU diplomat said: “Whatever the current efforts at the UN Security Council, the real architecture of a future peace process will await the establishment of the next Israeli government.” Europe, in his view, will not acquiesce to the status quo anymore. Progress toward Palestinian statehood is a must, not only in regard to the Palestinian plight but also in the context of the European anti-terror campaign. Europe believes that the US administration sees eye to eye with them on this issue.

The peace process “package” that the Europeans have in mind attaches a time line of two years for the negotiations (without the Palestinian demand of a deadline for the end of the occupation). It also consists of a settlement freeze during the talks, security measures against terror in the demilitarized Palestinian state with a temporary Israeli presence and a monitoring role for third parties. The all-important issue of borders will be alluded to by a reference to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for a border demarcating based on the 1967 lines with mutual land swaps and a shared capital in Jerusalem. The same goes for the sensitive issue of Palestinian refugees, which must be resolved in a “just and agreed upon way.”

On the security issue, European policy officials have considered proposing the deployment of Egyptian forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in coordination with the Palestinians and the Israelis. The economic component of this initiative is inadvertently linked to the dividends of a peace process. This would mean tremendous economic benefits for both countries, preferential trade and new opportunities for scientific and technological research and development in cooperation with European institutions.

In case of refusal, the alternative — according to the European source — would be additional punitive measures for Israeli settlement policies, including a more comprehensive boycott of Israeli goods originating east of the Green Line. Such a refusal could also entail donor fatigue for the Palestinians. As a result, the likely outcome following the March 17 Israeli elections will revolve around the link between a viable peace process and the economic benefits of such a process as opposed to diplomatic stalemate and economic isolation and meltdown.

Perhaps in preparation for a potential US-British-French UN Resolution after the March 17 Israeli elections, the Middle East diplomatic Quartet (United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia) will meet on January 26 to discuss the next steps to address the Israeli-Palestinian Arab crisis peace process. “The Quartet envoys will meet at the end of this month to discuss the way ahead,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the UN Security Council. She said that the status quo “unsustainable.”

However, the Palestinians have made it clear that they oppose further direct negotiations with Israel mediated by the US, saying 20 years of such talks have not produced results. Palestinian UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour said: “We are willing to negotiate, but now in a different way, through an international conference or a collective process.”

Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of remaining “committed to the three no’s. He will not negotiate, he will not recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and he will not make peace.” He accused the Palestinian Authority of committing “every form of diplomatic treachery” last year by abandoning peace talks, forming a government with Hamas, honoring “convicted terrorists” and breaking its word by signing up to join dozens of treaties and conventions including the ICC.

Likud Central Committee chairman Danny Danon called on Israel to respond to an eventual expected UN recognition of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the “state of Palestine” by declaring sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. “We must clarify in the clearest terms to the world that every unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will bring Israeli sovereignty,” declared Danon.”If the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, the state of Israel must respond with unilateral steps (as well), including implementing sovereignty,” said Danon.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1. In a statement posted on the UN’s treaty website, the secretary-general said “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015.” In acceptance of the Palestinian application to join the ICC, Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda opened an initial probe to see if war crimes have been committed against Palestinians, including during last year’s summer war between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “Today the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine,” her office said in a statement, adding it may lead to a full-blown investigation.“A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with a (full) investigation,” Bensouda said. Depending on her findings, Bensouda will decide at a later stage whether to launch or quash the investigation, based on the initial probe.  The inquiry will examine “in full independence and impartiality” crimes that may have occurred since June 13 last year. This allows the court to delve into the war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza in July-August 2014.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki welcomed the move. “Everything is going according to plan, no state and nobody can now stop this action we requested,” he said. “In the end, a full investigation will follow the preliminary one.” He said that he was satisfied with the decision, calling it “a positive step in attaining justice and protection for the Palestinian people. We hope that Israel will now understand that international law must be respected,” he said. Nabil Abuznaid, head of the Palestinian delegation at the ICC said: “The case is now in the hands of the court. It is a legal matter now and we have faith in the court system.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also praised the ICC decision as a “step in the right direction.” He called for pursuing all efforts to bring Israeli leaders to trial. Another Hamas official, Izzat al-Risheq, said his movement was prepared to provide the ICC with documents and reports about “Israeli war crimes” against the Gaza Strip. He said that the ICC decision was very important adding that Palestinians have waited for many years for this move.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was “absurd” for the International Criminal Court to decide to begin a probe into possible war crimes committed during the war between Israel and Hamas this past summer in Gaza. “It is absolutely scandalous that just days after terrorists butchered Jews in France, the general prosecutors is beginning an inquiry against the state of the Jews, and this only because we defend our citizens from Hamas, a terrorist organization that is allied with the Palestinian Authority. Hamas war criminals fired thousands of rockets at Israeli citizens,” the prime minister said. “Unfortunately, [this probe] renders [the ICC] part of the problem, and not part of the solution.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman also harshly criticized the ICC announcement, calling it a “scandalous decision whose only goal is to try and harm Israel’s right to defend itself against terror. We will not tolerate it and I will recommend that we don’t cooperate with this so-called probe,” he said. “Israel will act in the international sphere to bring about the dismantling of this court which represents hypocrisy and gives impetus to terror. This same court which after more than 200,000 deaths didn’t see fit to intervene in what was taking place in Syria or in Libya or in other places now finds it worthwhile to ‘examine’ the most moral army in the world,” the foreign minister said. “This decision entirely stems from anti-Israel political considerations. The apparent symmetry created between the two sides is a ruse whose goal is to target Israel since it is clear to everyone that it is impossible to compare the IDF, which does all it can to avoid harming innocent civilians in contrast to terror groups who fire on populated areas in order to hit civilians,” Liberman said.

Finally, US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke  said: “We strongly disagree with the ICC prosecutor’s action today. It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC. As the United States has said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC. The place to resolve the differences between the parties is through direct negotiations, not unilateral actions by either side.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas says he’s planning new UN statehood bid
2) Abbas says Palestinians to submit new statehood bid ‘soon’
3) Arab League backs Palestinian plan to resubmit UN bid
4) France promotes regional framework for Mideast conflict
5) Liberman said to be in Paris for new diplomatic initiative
6) Can America Avoid a U.N. Showdown Over a Palestinian State?
7) Europe, US will offer Israel and Palestine economic benefits
8) ‘If UN Recognizes Palestine, Israel Must Annex in Judea-Samaria’
9) Quartet to Meet to Discuss Israel-PA Peace
10) US, UN, EU, Russia to meet on Mideast in late January
11) UN chief says Palestinians to join ICC on April 1
12) ICC prosecutor opens probe into alleged Israeli war crimes
13) ICC opens inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Israel, Palestinians
14) Netanyahu blasts ICC for ‘absurd decision’ to open war crimes probe
15) Netanyahu denounces ICC, says war crimes probe ‘proves it is part of the problem’ 
16) FM calls to dismantle ICC after launch of ‘war crimes’ probe
17) US pans ICC war crimes probe of Israel as ‘tragic irony’
18) Hamas, PLO hail ICC probe into Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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

January 10, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

January 11th, 2015

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

After failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution at the end of December to recognize a PLO state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capitol, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians will resubmit their statehood resolution. On January 2, the Palestinian leadership decided to refile that request. “We will go back to the Security Council until it recognizes our rights,” Abbas said. “We didn’t fail, the UN Security Council failed us. We’ll go again to the Security Council, why not? We are determined to join international conventions and treaties despite the pressure from others.”

On January 1, five new nations joined the UN Security Council. They were: Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Venezuela and Spain. Collectively, these nations are more sympathetic to recognize a PLO state than the five nations that they replaced on the UN Security Council. Jordan, which submitted the Palestinian UN resolution that was defeated in the Security Council, will remain a member of the Security Council during 2015.

The Arab League foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on January 15 to discuss the Palestinian issue. “The meeting will review a number of issues, the main one being the developments regarding the Palestinian case, especially after failing to pass the UN bid,” Arab League Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Helly said. The meeting will also discuss “future steps to support the Palestinian position,” Helly said.

The Jordanian government is not enthusiastic about the Palestinians wanting to resubmit their UN resolution. Jordans believes that the move is too-hasty and destined to fail again if the Palestinians do not reach an agreement – specifically, with the United States and Great Britain, and the international community – on a clear-cut path for returning to the negotiating table with Israel. Jordan prefers renewing peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians rather than the Palestinians resubmitting a UN Security Council resolution for recognition of a PLO state which will only complicate the current diplomatic situation.

In fact, Jordan’s King Abdullah tried during his December visit to the United States to promote the resumption of negotiations as per a plan supported by the Americans. However, the Palestinians surprised him by unilaterally turning to the Security Council. On the eve of the UN Security Council vote during the last week of December, the Jordanians sought to delay the vote and carry on with discussions regarding the Palestinian resolution – mainly with the United States. But PA President Mahmoud Abbas insisted on continuing with his plan, and wanted the vote to take place even at the risk of a U.S. veto. Abbas argued that since it first placed its statehood proposal on the table of the Security Council, the United States has not presented a single blueprint that will guarantee even the minimal Palestinian demands for a resumption of peace negotiations with Israel.

France warned the Palestinians against escalating a diplomatic battle with Israel after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would resubmit to the UN Security Council a resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: “We are against the logic of letting this spiral (out of control). While we think the Palestinians have the right to move the status quo, at the same time there has to be an effort to find a consensus solution. Once you set this cycle off, you get results that you don’t want one way or another.”

Meanwhile, France had been working prior to the Dec. 30 UN Security Council vote on the Palestinian resolution on a separate resolution with Britain and Germany that aimed to set the parameters and a time frame for new peace talks. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: “We worked on this resolution believing we could achieve a consensus but it wasn’t possible,” indicating that France was likely to back a new Palestinian resolution provided the text remained broadly unchanged. However, Fabius questioned the wisdom of resubmitting the resolution, adding he would discuss the issue with Jordan, Egypt and other regional players. “The real question is to understand what is Palestinian motive behind this move. Is it to get an American veto with a new UN Security Council composition? Is it to reaffirm an attitude towards the Israeli government? We don’t know.”

Meanwhile, Hamas said it was “totally opposed” to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s plans to re-submit to the UN Security Council a resolution on forcing Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. “Hamas is totally opposed to any return to the UN Security Council by the Palestinian Authority,” spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. “Such a step would be political foolishness which plays a dangerous game with the destiny of our nation. Mahmud Abbas and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority should completely stop this political foolishness,” Abu Zuhri said.

On December 31, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed applications for Palestinian membership in 20 international organizations and treaties including the International Criminal Court. Abbas signed the applications at the beginning of an emergency meeting of PLO and Fatah leaders following the Palestinian UN Security Council resolution to recognize a PLO state did not pass. The Palestinian leaders voted unanimously in favor of the decision to join international organizations and treaties. Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that the applications to join the international organizations and treaties would go into effect in 90 days. The signing ceremony was broadcast live on Palestine TV.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1. In a statement posted on the UN’s treaty website, the secretary-general said “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015.” The ICC registrar addressed a letter “to the government of Palestine accepting this declaration and transmitted it to the prosecutor for her consideration.” The president of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, Senegal’s Justice Minister Sidiki Kaba, “welcomed the deposit by the State of Palestine of the instruments of accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” after being notified by Ban that he had officially received the Palestinians’ application. He said he was acting as the “depositary” for the documents of ratification. A statement said that “the deposit of the instruments of accession by the State of Palestine,” effected as of January 2, had brought the number of state parties to the Rome Statute to 123. Kaba added, “Each ratification of the Rome Statute constitutes welcome progress towards its universality. I call on all members of the United Nations to join this permanent and independent system of international justice to fight against impunity and prevent the most serious crimes under international law, which is based on the principle of complementarity with domestic jurisdictions.”

In response, the US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “Palestine is not a state, and therefore does not qualify for membership in the International Criminal Court. The US will oppose the Palestinian Authority’s move to join the body, and several others at the United Nations, as technically flawed.”

The Obama administration believes that the PA’s ICC bid runs contrary to the pursuit of peace, and is a major setback to the diplomatic process. American officials are also examining whether the move violates US appropriations law for the continuation of Palestinian aid. The United States provides roughly $400 million in aid to the PA on an annual basis.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Palestinian moves to apply for membership at the International Criminal Court and to seek statehood unilaterally via the UN had pushed the prospects of peace off the table. He indicated that he wanted an accommodation with the Palestinians in principle but that a two-state solution was impractical for now given the Palestinians’ desire to get unilateral recognition at the UN. Netanyahu said that Palestinian leaders were the ones who should be prosecuted in the ICC over their unification with rival faction Hamas. “It is the Palestinian Authority leaders – who have allied with the war criminals of Hamas – who must be called to account,” he said. “IDF soldiers will continue to protect the State of Israel with determination and strength, and just as they are protecting us we will protect them, with the same determination and strength.”

Asked whether he still supported Palestinian statehood, including the dismantling of settlements, Netanyahu replied: “With the terms that they want, at the moment it’s simply out of the question. Any territory that we would evacuate in the current reality, everybody understands, will be grabbed immediately [by extremist forces].” Netanyahu said the Palestinian strategy had “emptied of all content” and hindered his readiness to work for a two-state solution as set out in a landmark speech he gave at Bar-Ilan University in 2009. “I don’t want a binational country… but the Palestinians have chosen confrontation. They’re not going to negotiations. They’re going to the UN, to the International Criminal Court, to sue Israeli soldiers, commanders as war criminals. I mean, seriously, let’s give them the territory? Close our eyes? We did that. It happened in Gaza. We saw what happened. Hamas won.”

In response to the Palestinians submitting an application to the UN to join the ICC, Israel decided to implement economic sanctions against them. Israel froze the transfer of a half a billion shekels (about $125 million) from tax funds collected on behalf of the PA by Israel and which are normally distributed every month to them. Israel is also looking at ways to prosecute senior Palestinians for war crimes in the United States and elsewhere. Israel would probably press these cases via non-governmental groups and pro-Israel legal organizations capable of filing lawsuits outside of Israel. An Israeli official said that the Palestinian leaders “ought to fear legal steps” after their decision to sign onto the Rome Statute. “(Hamas) … commits war crimes, shooting at civilians from civilian populated areas,” the official said.

The United States said it opposes a move by Israel to freeze the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for its bid to join the International Criminal Court. US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki said: “We’re opposed to any actions that raise tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. And obviously, this is one that raises tensions. What we are trying to avoid here is a back and forth tit-for-tat,” Psaki said.

The European Union (EU) also condemned Israel’s decision to freeze the transfer of taxes collected for the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a penalty for joining the International Criminal Court (ICC). Without directly mentioning the unilateral PA attempt to join the ICC, European Union foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said that “recent steps taken…could aggravate the already tense situation on the ground and bring them further away from a negotiated solution. She criticized Israel for “not meeting obligations regarding the timely and transparent transfer of tax and custom revenues.” The tax freeze “runs counter to Israel’s obligations” agreed in 1994 following the Oslo Accord,” she said. “Both sides should refrain from taking actions which could raise obstacles to the rapid return to the negotiations,” she added. “An effective Palestinian Authority, committed to non-violence and a peaceful resolution of the conflict, is a key element for a two-state solution,” Mogherini said. She further stated that the EU was a major source of financial assistance for the PA.

In response to the Israeli decision to freeze sending monthly tax money to the Palestinians, the Arab League has agreed to provide emergency funds to cover the VAT-taxes frozen by Israel. VAT taxes are earned by the Palestinian Authority and collected by Israel. Timely transfers of the VAT-taxes are essential to keeping economic and social stability in the West Bank. They constitute 70-percent of the Palestinian Authority’s revenue and finance the bulk of salaries and public services in the West Bank such as hospitals and schools. Palestinian leaders say Israel has sent no direct communication to their government regarding the suspension of VAT taxes.

In mid-September when terms for a ceasefire and reconstruction in Gaza were being brokered following the summer war with Israel, the Palestinian Authority held talks with the Arab League to secure a financial commitment with the expectation Israel would withhold transferring revenue as a punitive measure in the near future. In a December meeting with the Arab League, the Palestinians received a commitment of direct support of $100 million a month for each month Israel withheld transferring VAT taxes. All 22 foreign minsters of member countries to the Arab League attended the December meeting. It was held in Cairo three weeks before Jordan submitted a United Nations Security Council Resolution to end Israel’s occupation and days before Palestinian leaders discussed their United Nations plans with Secretary of State John Kerry in London.

“There is an agreement with the Arab countries that they will have a safety net, funds that will be available to us. Funds of around $100 million a month that will help with the Israelis and any other countries that could threaten to withhold funds,” explained Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department spokesperson Ashraf Khatib. Khatib said that the Palestinian plan to make up for the anticipated loss of VAT-tax revenue and the move at the ICC are both parallel long-term strategies. This Arab League safety net will help the Palestinians avoid the expected temporary bankruptcy and allow them to move forward with pressing for war crimes at the ICC. Khatib explained that the Palestinian leadership has spent the past two years in preparation of filing charges against Israel in the ICC and that teams of international law experts have been hired to assemble portfolios for two possible cases against Israel. Khatib said no decision has yet been made on which case will be presented to the court but the possibilities include potential war crimes committed in Gaza in 2014 and violations to the Fourth Geneva Convention in the West Bank.

Palestinian leaders have yet to release a timetable of when they will seek charges against Israel but the general strategy is that submitting a complaint with the ICC will compel the international community to create new parameters for negotiations rooted in the framework of international law. In fact, financial support from the Arab League was a key component, along with joining the ICC, of a long-term strategy to pressure Israel into negotiations. The goal of these negotiations from the Palestinian perspective remains the creation of a Palestinian state based on pre-June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, an end to the Israeli occupation and the right of return for Palestinian refugees based on return and compensation.

Ambassador Dennis Ross, the United States’ chief negotiator for Arab-Israeli issues from 1993 to 2001 and an Obama adviser 2009-11, argued that while it is fair to ask Israel to accept the basic elements facilitating peace — “1967 lines as well as land swaps and settlement building limited to the blocks” — it is also “time to demand the equivalent from the Palestinians on two states for two peoples, and on Israeli security.” Ross noted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s latest efforts to pressure Israel via the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court will do nothing to alter the reality on the ground, and blamed the Palestinians for dooming three previous efforts to resolve the conflict through negotiation. The Palestinians need to “respond to proposals and accept resolutions that address Israeli needs and not just their own,” he argued.

A veteran senior Middle East official in both Republican and Democratic administrations going back to the Carter presidency, Ross recalled that “since 2000, there have been three serious negotiations that culminated in offers to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bill Clinton’s parameters in 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer in 2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts last year.” On each occasion, Ross wrote, “a proposal on all the core issues was made to Palestinian leaders and the answer was either ‘no’ or no response. They determined that the cost of saying ‘yes,’ or even of making a counteroffer that required concessions, was too high.” Unfortunately, Ross elaborated, “Palestinian political culture is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its anti-colonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel as illegitimate. Compromise is portrayed as betrayal and negotiations – which are by definition about mutual concessions – will inevitably force any Palestinian leader to challenge his people by making a politically costly decision.”

Ross continued, “European leaders who fervently support Palestinian statehood must focus on how to raise the cost [for the Palestinians] of saying no or not acting at all when there is an offer on the table. Palestinians care deeply about international support for their cause. If they knew they would be held accountable for being non-responsive or rejecting a fair offer or resolution, it could well change their calculus.” Ross blamed “most Europeans” for being “focused far more on Israeli behavior” than Palestinian intransigence. The European Union (EU) and others in the international community need to stop enabling the Palestinian Arabs to make demands without making concessions.

Ross, who resigned from his post as Middle East adviser in 2011, relates that he met with a European official recently who praised the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s unilateral moves against Israel in international agencies and organizations, specifically the draft resolution PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas submitted to the United Nations (UN) Security Council during December. Ross urged European leaders to “raise the cost of saying ‘no’ or doing nothing at all” for the PA in future negotiations – and, at the very least, to offer a “balanced” proposal for a peace deal which included land swaps, but also allowing “security arrangements that leave Israel able to defend itself by itself” and a resolution recognizing Israel’s own character as a Jewish state. Resolutions are typically about what Israel must do and what Palestinians should get. If saying yes is costly and doing nothing isn’t, why should we expect the Palestinians to change course?”

If the upcoming Israeli elections produce an Israeli leadership that is “prepared to take a peace initiative and build settlements only on land that is likely to be part of Israel and not part of Palestine, there will be no need for a United Nations resolution,” Ross said. But if not, and if the Europeans then opt to return to the UN route, any resolution they back “must be balanced,” he emphasized. “It cannot simply address Palestinian needs by offering borders based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps and a capital in Arab East Jerusalem without offering something equally specific to Israel — namely, security arrangements that leave Israel able to defend itself by itself, phased withdrawal tied to the Palestinian Authority’s performance on security and governance, and a resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue that allows Israel to retain its Jewish character.”  However, any such resolution would likely be rejected by the Palestinians, acknowledged Ross, just as they had rejected the necessary compromises in 2000, 2008 and 2014.” In doing so, Ross said that the Palestinians should bear consequences in terms of international support after so many failed attempts to bring peace.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas: Palestinians will resubmit statehood resolution
2) Arab League to Discuss PA Draft Resolution
3) Report: Amman angered by Palestinians’ UN bid
4) France warns Palestinians over escalating crisis with UN bid
5) Hamas ‘Totally Opposed’ to PA Statehood Bid
6) Abbas signs Rome Statute, paving way for possible war crimes probe against Israel at ICC
7) UN chief says Palestine will join ICC on April 1
8) US: Palestine not a state, does not qualify for ICC membership
9) Following ICC application, Israel freezes $125 million in Palestinian tax funds
10) US opposes tax freeze on Palestinians for ICC bid
11) EU Condemns Israel for Freezing PA Tax Money
12) Despite punitive Israeli tax freeze, Palestinians to pursue war crimes charges with Arab League financial help
13) Peace chances mothballed by Palestinian moves, Netanyahu says
14) Former US Negotiator: Stop Giving PA Free Rein
15) Dennis Ross: Europe must push Abbas to compromise for peace

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

January 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

January 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 situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

On December 17, the Palestinians through the Jordanians with the support of the Arab League submitted a UN Security Council draft resolution for recognition of a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. However, at that time, the US which has veto rights at the UN Security Council rejected supporting the draft resolution because the Palestinians insisted that deadlines be set to end the Palestinian / Israel conflict. US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said: “We don’t think this resolution is constructive and (…) advances the goal of a two-state solution. We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion. Further, we think that the resolution fails to account for Israel’s legitimate security needs, and the satisfaction of those needs, of course, are integral to a sustainable settlement,” Rathke said.

Nevertheless, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas informed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by phone that the Palestinians would press ahead with the initiative. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinian strategy is to change the status quo. “This status quo is not sustainable and will not continue…Either this Palestinian Authority will lead Palestinians from occupation to independence, or Israel — the occupying power — will resume its full responsibilities as an occupying power,” Erekat said.

As a result, the Palestinians requested that the UN Security Council vote on the matter. There are 15 member nations on the UN Security Council. Nine votes are needed to pass.  All 22 Arab countries endorsed the Palestinian draft. Representatives of the Arab countries in the United Nations claimed that they had managed to secure a majority of nine votes at the UN Security Council needed to pass the resolution for the Palestinians. Diplomats said France was seeking negotiations on the latest Palestinian draft resolution in the Security Council but that their idea was rejected by the Arab group. France was working on a more moderately-worded proposal to the Security Council, which it tried to merge with the Palestinian proposal. Their efforts were rejected by the Palestinians. However, despite the rejection of the French proposal to negotiate a compromised Palestinian proposal, Arab representatives persuaded France and Luxemburg to vote in favor of the Palestinian draft resolution. The vote was taken on December 31.  However, the resolution failed. Eight countries voted in favor of the motion – China, France, Russia, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Luxembourg – two opposed – US and Australia – and five abstained – UK, Lithuania, Nigeria, Korea, Rwanda.

Prior to the vote, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu had this to say about the Palestinian draft resolution:”We expect the entire international community, at least its responsible members, to strongly oppose this dictate to the UN and the Security Council. What we need is direct negotiations and not dictated terms,” Netanyahu said. “If the international community does not reject the Palestinian Authority’s proposal, we will do so. Israel will oppose any conditions that endanger its security.” After the Palestinian draft resolution was rejected, an Israel Foreign Ministry official said: “This vote was a clear message from international community to the Palestinians: Do not try to use tricks to replace direct negotiations.”

In explaining the reasons why the US voted NO, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said “Instead of giving voice to the aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis, this text addresses only one side. The United States voted against this resolution not because we are comfortable with the status quo. We voted against it because … peace must come from hard compromises that occur at the negotiating table. The United States every day searches for new ways to take constructive steps to support the parties in making progress toward achieving a negotiated settlement,” she added. “The Security Council resolution put before us today is not one of those constructive steps.” The resolution, continued Power, ” is deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties, including unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”

As a result of the YES vote by France, Israel called the French representative to Israel to protest their vote. Israeli officials were surprised that France would support the Palestinian draft resolution after the Palestinians rejected efforts by France for a compromise proposal. The President of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a key Jewish organization fighting anti-Semitism, Abe Foxman said: “The vote by France in favor of the resolution raises questions about France’s ability to play a constructive role in helping to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One-sided measures such as this resolution will not bring about the reconciliation of Israel and the Palestinians. They reward Palestinian intransigence and delay the arrival of an independent state for the Palestinians. It is time to let President Abbas know that he will not achieve a Palestinian state by evading negotiations with Israel,” concluded Foxman.

The Palestinian representative at the UN, Riyad Mansour, responded to the defeat by accusing the Security Council of being “paralyzed” adding that it was time to end the “abhorrent Israeli occupation and impunity that has brought our people so much suffering.” Mansour said: “The result of today’s vote shows that the Security Council as a whole is clearly not ready and willing to shoulder its responsibilities in a way that would … allow us to open the doors for peace. It is thus most regrettable that the Security Council remains paralyzed,” he charged.

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said “the UN Security Council vote is outrageously shameful.” Referring to the five countries who abstained – Britain, Lithuania, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Korea – she added “those countries that abstained demonstrated a lack of political will to hold Israel accountable and to act in accordance with the global rule of law and international humanitarian law.” She said that it is “ironic that while the UN designated 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, the resolution failed to pass as an indication of a failure of will by some members of the international community.”

Ashrawi claimed that the articles of the Palestinian resolution are consistent with declared American policy, international law, and the requirements of peace. “The extent to which the US has gone to protect Israeli impunity and lawlessness and to enable its criminal behavior is disgraceful and dangerous,” she added. Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said that the Palestinian resolution is “fully in line with international law.” He said that certain countries “continue to ensure impunity to the Israeli occupation and its severe international law violations by not voting in favor of the resolution.”

Abbas’s unity partner Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling in Gaza, slammed him for the UN move, with Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum saying, “this was a unilateral decision taken by Abu Mazen (Abbas) who has taken the Palestinian decision-making process hostage. He is now facing two choices after this failure…he must make good on his threats to end security cooperation with the occupier, and sign the Rome Statute,” said Barhum.

Jordan’s UN Ambassador Dina Kawar, the Arab representative on the Security Council, said after the vote, “The fact that this draft resolution was not adopted will not at all prevent us from proceeding to push the international community, specifically the United Nations, towards an effective involvement to achieving a resolution to this conflict.”

If the Palestinians thought that they had the 9 votes for their resolution to pass, how did they end up not getting the 9 votes so that the resolution did not pass ? Israeli diplomats say that the US played a crucial role in the defeat of the Palestinian resolution. An Israel official from the Foreign Ministry said: “The US had a very significant role. Not only were they willing to veto, they also worked side-by-side with Israeli diplomats in order to prevent support for the decision within the Security Council. It’s not that they just said they would vote against it. They worked. There were phone calls and messages. The American diplomatic effort is noteworthy.”

Apart from the critical help from the United States, the results of the Security Council vote are also a testament of the diplomatic achievements made by Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who marked Africa as a target for Israeli diplomatic efforts. The African nations proved themselves loyal during the moment of truth with the support of Rwanda and Nigeria who abstained. Representing the Netanyahu government, Lieberman set out on a trip that began in September of 2009 in which he visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. In June 2014, Lieberman returned to Africa and visited Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

A key nation in defeating the Palestinian draft was Nigeria. The Palestinians thought that Nigeria would be one of the nine countries who would vote for the Palestinian resolution. However, in the end, it became the nation that swayed from Palestinian support to abstention and by doing so enabled the prevention of the unilateral Palestinian resolution to pass. High-ranking officials within the Israel Foreign Ministry had already come to terms with the fact that Nigeria would give Palestinian the ninth vote majority and that the US would then use its veto to defeat the resolution. However, the events played out differently. “We discovered that the Nigerians did not submit and did not break down and voted according to their conscience. What finally tipped the balance was a phone call made by Netanyahu to the President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan.”

The Nigerian president is a good friend to Israel. In the last year, he visited Israel twice – the most recent visit occurred two months ago when Jonathan arrived in Israel on his private plane in order to lead mass for 3,000 Nigerian pilgrims in Jerusalem and place a note at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Jonathan met with Netanyahu and the two discussed a variety of subjects, including Nigeria’s way of voting in the UN Security Council. Israel attached great importance to the visit. It was clear that Nigeria would be a pivotal country if the Palestinians were to gain the necessary majority.

It should be noted that up until recently, Nigeria had the habit of automatically voting with the Palestinians – marking a historical change in the country’s voting patterns. Part of the change stemmed from the tightening relationship between Israel and Nigeria and from the common interests of the countries in the fight against global terrorism. Israel was one of the first nations in the world to offer the Nigerians help in the struggle against the Boko Haram terrorist group. According to various reports, Israel also sold the Nigerians weaponry to be used in the struggle, while the US had enacted an arms embargo against Nigeria

Every year, 30,000 Nigerians make their way to Israel. During Jonathan’s last visit to Israel, Israel launched an airline agreement with Nigeria that will introduce direct flight between the two countries. Israel not only cooperates with Nigeria in the war on terror but also in the fields of agriculture, construction, communication, intelligence and more. More than 50 Israeli companies operate in Nigeria in the civil engineering, energy, communication, and security industries among others.

Other than Nigeria, Rwanda was also a key African country that helped the Israeli effort to prevent the Palestinian resolution from passing in the UN – although their vote came as no surprise. Israel has very good relations with Rwanda, especially between Lieberman and Rwanda’s foreign minister and between Netanyahu and the Rwandan president. Israel and Rwanda have several business relations and the foreign ministry invests in aid to Rwanda in several different categories. In addition, another country that proved itself a loyal ally to Israel was Lithuania – which also abstained from voting.

PA chairperson Mahmoud Abbas responded to the failure of the resolution by calling a meeting with Palestinian representatives who discussed whether the Palestinians should join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and seek to hold Israel on trial for war crimes. As a result of that meeting, the Palestinians decided to sign the Rome Statute which is the founding treaty of the ICC. Abbas also signed applications for Palestinian membership in 20 other international organizations and treaties. The Palestinian decision was unanimous. The signing ceremony was broadcast live on Palestine TV. Hamas welcomed the Palestinian Authority’s decision to join 20 international organizations and treaties as a “step in the right direction.” Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that the applications to join the international organizations and treaties would go into effect in 90 days.

Referring to the decision to join the ICC, Abbas said, “We want to file a complaint [against Israel.) We are being attacked. Our lands are being attacked every day. Who are we going to complain to? The Security Council has let us down. There’s an international organization and we’re going to it to complain.” Abbas told his party representatives: “Last night we got a veto. This is not the first and last veto. But we will remain steadfast and we will continue until we achieve our rights. They don’t want to give us our rights. Rights are not given; they are extracted.”

The Palestinians still have many obstacles before any Israeli (and not Israel as the ICC only deals with individuals) will be potentially tried at the International Criminal Court. The process is as follows:

1. The ICC Prosecutor must recognize Palestine as a full member and accept its signature to the Rome Statute. This is not guaranteed since the UN Security Council has not done so, but it probably will as foreshadowed by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in a recent related decision.

2. The Palestinians must officially file a complaint against individual Israeli soldiers and leaders. This is also far from guaranteed as it could expose the Palestinians to “mutually assured legal destruction” with the Palestinians facing probably worse war crime cases for indiscriminate rocket fire and Israelis facing complex grayer fog-of-war cases, in the Palestinians’ best scenario.

3. The ICC Prosecutor must decide based on the complaint to order a preliminary examination and then a full criminal investigation. It cannot do this unless it shows that Israel refuses to or is unable to investigate itself. Israel investigating itself does not require a set number of convictions, just reasonable investigations and Israel has already ordered 13 investigations into the Gaza war.

4. The ICC Prosecutor, not Palestine, decides whether or not to indict. To indict, the prosecutor would need to believe there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict that there was essentially intent to murder, whereas many incidents in war are foggy and involve mere negligence or mistake.

5. Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute or the ICC and, like some other countries which have directly or indirectly ignored the ICC, could choose not to give its citizens or evidence over for trials.

6. The Palestinians cannot file complaints relating to any date before November 29, 2012, when the UN General Assembly recognized Palestine, and Israel, if it joined the ICC could not file complaints relating to any date earlier than July 1, 2002, the effective start date of the ICC.

The United States said it “strongly opposes” a request from the Palestinian Authority to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), fearing this will further delay peace talks with Israel. US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said: “The United States is deeply troubled by the Palestinian action to join the ICC. It is an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long hoped to see for their people. Actions like this are not the answer,” Rathke said, calling the latest action “badly damaging” and one of many that “undermine trust and create doubts about their commitment to a negotiated peace. It is counterproductive and would do nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state. It will badly damage the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace. As we’ve said before, the United States continues to strongly oppose actions — by both parties — that undermine trust and create doubts about their commitment to a negotiated peace,” it continued. “Our position has not changed. Such actions only push the parties further apart.”

In response to the Palestinian application to join the ICC, Israel froze $127 million in Palestinian tax revenues which Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians. Previously, Israel had threatened to do if the Palestinians decided to submit an application to join the ICC.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Palestinians submit revised statehood draft to UN
2) Palestinians to submit revised resolution to United Nations for Israel withdrawal
3) Palestinian UN Bid Aims to Force Solution on Israel
4) UN Security Council rejects Palestinian statehood resolution
5) Ambassador Power: PA’s Resolution was Not Constructive
6) U.S.: Palestinian UN bid fails to account for Israel’s security needs
7) Behind the UN vote: How the Palestinian bid was defeated
8) Israel to call in French envoy to protest vote in UN Security Council
9) PLO: Attacks ‘Outrageously Shameful’ Votes Against PA UN Bid
10) ‘UN Security Council Has Reached a New Low with PA Bid’
11) Report: PA to Join International Criminal Court
12) Abbas signs Rome Statute, paving way for possible war crimes probe against Israel at ICC
13) Everything you wanted to know about the ICC
14) US ‘Strongly Opposes’ PA ICC Request
15) US to Palestinian Authority: ‘Actions like this are not the answer’
16) Israel freezes Palestinian funds in response to ICC bid

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

December 23, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

December 24th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

On December 17, the Palestinians submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The major elements of the resolution is as follows:

Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,

Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

Noting with appreciation the efforts of the United States in 2013/14 to facilitate and advance negotiations between the parties aimed at achieving a final peace settlement,

Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a long-term solution to the conflict

1. Affirms the urgent need to attain, no later than 12 months after the adoption of this resolution, a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967 and fulfills the vision of two independent, democratic and prosperous states, Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security within mutually and internationally recognized borders;

2. Decides that the negotiated solution will be based on the following parameters:

– borders based on 4 June 1967 lines with mutually agreed, limited, equivalent land swaps;

– security arrangements, including through a third-party presence, that guarantee and respect the sovereignty of a State of Palestine, including through a full and phased withdrawal of Israeli security forces which will end the occupation that began in 1967 over an agreed transition period in a reasonable timeframe, not to exceed the end of 2017, and that ensure the security of both Israel and Palestine through effective border security and by preventing the resurgence of terrorism and effectively addressing security threats, including emerging and vital threats in the region.

– A just and agreed solution to the Palestine refugee question on the basis of Arab Peace Initiative, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 194 (III);

– Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two States which fulfills the legitimate aspirations of both parties and protects freedom of worship;

– an agreed settlement of other outstanding issues, including water;

3. Recognizes that the final status agreement shall put an end to the occupation and an end to all claims and lead to immediate mutual recognition;

4. Affirms that the definition of a plan and schedule for implementing the security arrangements shall be placed at the center of the negotiations within the framework established by this resolution;

5. Looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full Member State of the United Nations within the timeframe defined in the present resolution;

6. Urges both parties to engage seriously in the work of building trust and to act together in the pursuit of peace by negotiating in good faith and refraining from all acts of incitement and provocative acts or statements, and also calls upon all States and international organizations to support the parties in confidence-building measures and to contribute to an atmosphere conducive to negotiations;

7. Calls upon all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949;

8. Encourages concurrent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region, which would unlock the full potential of neighborly relations in the Middle East and reaffirms in this regard the importance of the full implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative;

9. Calls for a renewed negotiation framework that ensures the close involvement, alongside the parties, of major stakeholders to help the parties reach an agreement within the established timeframe and implement all aspects of the final status, including through the provision of political support as well as tangible support for post-conflict and peace-building arrangements, and welcomes the proposition to hold an international conference that would launch the negotiations;

10. Calls upon both parties to abstain from any unilateral and illegal actions, including settlement activities, that could undermine the viability of a two-State solution on the basis of the parameters defined in this resolution;

11. Calls for immediate efforts to redress the unsustainable situation in the Gaza Strip, including through the provision of expanded humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and other United Nations agencies and through serious efforts to address the underlying issues of the crisis, including consolidation of the ceasefire between the parties;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of this resolution every three months

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he wants to avoid a confrontation with the United States who have said that they would veto the resolution by saying that the Palestinians were open to negotiations on the wording of the text. Abbas said that the resolution “comes in the context of our political battle to liberate the land and end the occupation of the Palestinian state. “We will continue in our consultations with the brothers and friends through deliberations, which will take place in the United Nations,” he said. Diplomats say negotiations on the text before a UN Security Council vote could take days or weeks. Jordan’s UN envoy Dina Kawar said she hoped the council could reach a unanimous decision on the resolution.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour indicated he would not press for a quick vote on the text to allow for more discussion, a move seen as opening the door to possible US engagement at the United Nations on the initiative. “We will continue negotiating with all of them and with the Americans if they are ready and willing so that we perhaps can succeed in having something adopted by the Security Council to open a serious door to peace,” Mansour said.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that he expects a vote on the Palestinian draft resolution before the end of 2014. Erekat said that the PA has made several amendments to the draft submitted last week and that the vote would take place “very soon” at any time before the end of 2014. Erekat’s comments come two days after diplomatic sources estimated that a UN Security Council vote on the Palestinian resolution was likely to be postponed. According to these sources, the PA wants to postpone the vote on the resolution because it realized that its current wording is unacceptable to countries such as France and Luxembourg, two countries that the PA had hoped would support the resolution.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the a UN Security Council vote in favor of the Palestinian resolution would result in Hamas taking over the West Bank. Netanyahu said: “Abbas thinks that by taking unilateral steps at the United Nations that he threatens Israel. He doesn’t understand that this would result in Hamas taking over the West Bank. Israel will never allow this and will never accept unilateral diktats. We will always protect our security.”

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, called on the Palestinian Authority to withdraw the UN resolution, saying it “doesn’t represent consensus of the Palestinian people.” The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) also urged the PA to “immediately withdraw” the draft resolution, saying the Palestinian leadership was presenting a confusing picture of the bid. “They have been presenting it before the political bazaar at the international level for bids, then they claim they are making amendments as if it has been submitted by others,” the group said in a statement. “Both the original version and the amended version, including the French and British remarks, is beyond repair and reform, and should be withdrawn immediately without delay,” following which all Palestinian factions will be invited for a national dialogue about the resolution, the group said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that if the draft resolution is not brought to a vote, the Palestinians “will be obliged to take necessary political and legal decisions.” He threatened that if the Palestinian UN resolution does not pass at the UN Security Council, “we will no more deal with the Israeli government which will then be obliged to assume its responsibilities as an occupier. We are determined to recover the rights of our people, including the right to return and the release of all the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails. We will not succumb to the policy of the Israeli oppression,” Abbas said.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the United States would not support the new Palestinian-proposed UN Security Council draft resolution. US Secretary of State John Kerry has privately told European Union envoys that the US will not permit the passage of any U.N. Security Council resolution on the Middle East peace process until after Israel’s March elections. Speaking at an annual luncheon with the 28 European Union ambassadors, Kerry cautioned that any action by the U.N. Security Council would strengthen the hands of Israeli hardliners who oppose the peace process. Kerry left open the possibility that the United States might ultimately support some sort of U.N. Security Council resolution that didn’t prejudge the outcome of stalled political negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He didn’t offer any details of what that kind of resolution would have to look like. “Kerry has been very, very clear that for the United States it was not an option to discuss whatever text before the end of the Israeli election,” according to a European diplomat.

The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the luncheon was confidential, said that Kerry explained that Israel’s liberal political leaders, Shimon Peres and Tzipi Livni, had expressed concern that a Security Council move to pressure Israel on the eve of election would only strengthen the hands of Israeli hardliners, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett. Kerry said Livni had “told him that such a text imposed by the international community would reinforce Benjamin Netanyahu and the hardliners in Israel,” as well as the hardliners in Palestine, according to the European diplomat. The message, said another European diplomat, was that U.N. action would “give more impetus to more right-wing parties, that there was a risk this could further embolden the more right-wing forces along the Israeli political spectrum.”

According to the magazine, Foreign Policy, while there is little doubt as to the Americans’ wish for a new government in Israel that would be more flexible in negotiations with the Palestinians, the Obama administration is keen to avoid any steps that could be interpreted as meddling in the Israeli election for fear that it would embolden those political parties in Israel who oppose a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The report stated that European diplomats and the Palestinians have tried to ascertain what kind of diplomatic offering the Americans have planned for after the Israeli elections, but so far have been met with “vague” responses from the United States.

The Palestinian UN resolution has caused increased tensions with the US and the Palestinians who have expressed growing skepticism of the ability of the US to broker a political settlement with Israel that guarantees the creation of a future Palestinian state. A US veto of the Palestinian resolution would likely cause European governments to have increased domestic criticism over their inability to help advance the Palestinians quest for its own homeland.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that if the UN Security Council did not pass the Palestinian resolution to recongize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital that the Palestinians would “no longer deal” with Israel. Abbas said: “If the Arab-Palestinian initiative submitted to the Security Council to put an end to (Israeli) occupation doesn’t pass, we will be forced to take the necessary political and legal decisions. If it fails, we will no longer deal with the Israeli government, which will then be forced to assume its responsibilities as an occupier,” he added. “We are determined to regain the rights of our people, including the right of return (for refugees) and the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails,” Abbas said.

Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary- General Nabil Elarabi said he was considering dispatching a delegation to the United States to urge the US administration to refrain from vetoing the Palestinian statehood resolution. He said that Arab League foreign ministers were scheduled to meet on January 15 to discuss ways of mustering worldwide support for the resolution, which calls for setting a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre- 1967 lines. Elarabi said it was important to remind the US of UN Resolution 465, which passed in 1980 and which considers settlements illegal.

Finally, the United States participated in a closed-door meeting in New York on the French alternative to the Palestinian resolution with French, British and Jordanian representatives. Diplomats familiar with those talks say that the United States has been willing to engage in general discussions about the possible role for the Security Council role but that it has been unwilling so far to engage in substantive negotiations over the French text. Those discussions may continue next week and beyond, but there “is no sense of urgency,” according to one diplomat.

The French resolution states the following:

1. Affirms the urgent need to attain, no latter than 24 months after the adoption of this resolution, a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that fulfills the vision of two independent democratic and prosperous states, Israel and a sovereign contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security within mutually and internationally recognized border;

2. Decides that the negotiated solution will be based on the following parameters:

–        borders based on 4 June 1967 with mutually agreed limited equivalent land swaps;

–        security agreements that respect the sovereignty of a non-militarized state of Palestine, including through a full phased withdrawal of Israeli security forces which will end the  occupation that began in 1967 over an agreed transition period in a reasonable timeframe, and that ensure the security of both Israel and Palestine through effectively with security threats including with new and vital threats in the region;

–        an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee question, including a viable mechanism to provide for reparation, resettlement, compensation and other agreed measures for a conclusive resolution;

–        Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two States which fulfills the aspirations of both parties and protects freedom and worship;

–        an agreed settlement of other outstanding issues, including water;

3. Recognizes that the final status agreement shall put an end to all claims to the occupation and lead to immediate mutual recognition;

4. Affirms that the definition of a plan and schedule for implementing the security arrangements shall be placed a the heart of the negotiations within the framework established by this resolution;

5. Looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full member of the United Nations;

6. Urges both parties to engage seriously in the work of building trust and to act together in the pursuit of peace by negotiating in good faith and eschewing provocative acts or statements and also calls upon all states and international organizations to contribute to an atmosphere conductive to negotiations;

7. Encourages concurrent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region, which would unlock the full potential of neighborly relations in the Middle East and reaffirms in this regard, the importance of the full implementation of the Arab Peace initiative;

8. Calls for a renewed negotiation framework that the close involvement, alongside the parties, of major stakeholders, to provide political support as well as concrete support for post-conflict arrangements, to help the parties reach an agreement within the established timeframe and implement all aspects of the final status;

9. Calls upon both parties to abstain from any new actions, including settlement activities, that could undermine the viability of a two state solution on the basis of the parameters defined in this resolution;

In an editorial in the Israeli newspaper, Times of Israel, an analysis of the current situation regarding the Palestinian and French draft proposals is as follows:

The Palestinian bid to attain statehood and a full Israeli withdrawal via the United Nations Security Council is, to put it politely, unpredictable and confusing. Less politely, it is capricious, ill-judged and could prove to be self-defeating.

It remains unclear exactly how and when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is going to proceed. On Monday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki vowed not to wait until after the Israeli election in March 2015 with a Security Council resolution demanding recognition for a Palestinian state and an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said this week the resolution will be ready for a vote “in the next few days,” while Jordan, which represents the Palestinians in the council, said it “will take time” before any draft comes to a vote.

Regardless of the timing, though, it appears that after all is said and done and the resolution is formally submitted and voted on, the Palestinian position on the international stage will not have improved significantly. Nor will the whole brouhaha have done much to pressure Israel into concessions.

Indeed, if the Palestinians go ahead and bring their resolution — which calls for an “end to the Israeli occupation” and the establishment of a “sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine” within one year — to a vote, they risk weakening their position in future diplomatic standoffs with Israel.

“This looks like a classic ‘The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity’ situation,” a European official told The Times of Israel.

Even if the Palestinians wait until the New Year — when the Security Council will be more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than in its present composition —  the draft resolution they have submitted will most likely not pass. True, after Angola, Malaysia and Venezuela replace Rwanda, South Korea and Argentina, respectively, the draft will probably get the nine yes votes required for a UNSC majority. But then it will most likely fall prey to an American veto.

The draft as the Palestinians submitted it last Wednesday, via the Jordanians, is so far from the international consensus on the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the Americans will have no choice but to veto it. The spokesperson of the US State Department, Jen Psaki, made plain last week that Washington will not support the draft as it currently reads. Even the French would not back this text, the European diplomat said.

“The Palestinian text is absurd,” the diplomat opined. “It’s purely a Palestinian wishlist — it doesn’t fly at all.”

France, Germany and Britain — the so-called E3 — offered to work with the Palestinians on a draft that would be acceptable to them and that could have ostensibly garnered American support as well. “The French,” who are leading the E3 effort, “wanted to give the Palestinians something, so they wrote a resolution that everyone could get on board with,” the diplomat said.

But the draft the Palestinians submitted last week is “very different” from the E3’s text, the diplomat noted.

While the Palestinians call for a “just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution” within 12 months, the E3 version speaks of 24 months. The Palestinians demand that a phased Israeli withdrawal be concluded by the end of 2017; the European draft gives no deadline. The E3 version further mentions that Palestine would be a “non-militarized state,” a provision absent from the Palestinian draft.

Most critically, the Palestinian text seeks a solution to the refugee question “on the basis of Arab Peace Initiative, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 194 (III).” This resolution, passed by the UN General Assembly in December 1948, stipulates that all Palestinian refugees “wishing to return to their homes … should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.”

In contrast, the E3 draft envisages “an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee question, including a viable mechanism to provide for reparation, resettlement, compensation and other agreed measures for a conclusive resolution.” The word “realistic” is key here. The Palestinian draft would allow millions of Palestinians to flood Israel — an absolute nonstarter. The E3 version, on the other hand, seems to accept the Israeli demand, shared by the international community, that the majority of refugees not be allowed to return to Israel. (Israel’s general position is that no refugees be given a “right of return.”)

The Palestinians signaled readiness to discuss the wording of their draft, but even some fine-tuning will probably not be able to save it from an American veto. Had the Palestinians chosen to adopt the European text, they would have succeeded in enshrining the call for a speedy Israeli withdrawal and the establishment of a Palestinian state in international law. Since they insisted on their own version, they will end up with nothing.

The Palestinians are well aware of that, Israeli and European officials said, but for internal political deliberations have decided to go ahead anyway. “They’re playing games with themselves; they don’t want to succeed,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They want to show their public that they are fighting for Palestinian principles.” Public opinion polls indicating Abbas’s current low approval rating also play a part in this démarche, the official added.

The Palestinian leadership’s only motivation for going to the Security Council with its draft and being vetoed by the US is the desire for a pretext to turn the International Criminal Court, a different official said.

If the UN bid fails, the Palestinians have repeatedly threatened, they will sign the Rome Statute and apply for membership in the ICC, where they can seek to sue Israel for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A Palestinian application to the ICC is a potent threat that has been hanging over Israel’s head like the sword of Damocles since November 2012, when “Palestine” was granted nonmember state status at the UN General Assembly. Jerusalem would go to some lengths to avoid the headlines and headaches that comes with such a lawsuit.

But officials in Jerusalem are not terribly worried about the “State of Palestine” actually joining the ICC. Being able to sue also means being able to be sued, and the Palestinians know they have a lot to lose if they choose to play this game. Furthermore, few Israeli policymakers fear an actual conviction at The Hague.

From an internal political perspective, it is understandable why Abbas would seek a showdown at the UN: Under pressure from both Hamas and the more moderate Palestinian public, he needs to demonstrate that he is doing something to advance independence and statehood.

But if one looks at it from an international angle, the Palestinians’ move appears self-defeating: their resolution, as it stands now, has virtually zero chance of being passed. And were the Palestinians to join the ICC (a process that is by no means guaranteed because it’s unclear whether the Palestinian “state” qualifies for membership), they would have lost an important threat used to intimidate Israel and gained nothing but the right to sue it.

Aware of the methods employed by Hamas and other terrorist groups which fire rockets indiscriminately at Israel, they may want to think twice before making use of this right. And even if they did proceed at the ICC, the path to an Israeli conviction in The Hague would be protracted and difficult. And it would also do nothing to bring the Palestinians closer to statehood.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Full text of Palestinians’ UN resolution: End the occupation by 2017
2) Erekat: UN to Vote on Resolution ‘Very Soon’
3) Netanyahu: Palestinian move at UN will lead to Hamas takeover in West Bank
4) Hamas rejects Palestinian UN resolution
5) ‘Livni, Peres urged Kerry to stall Palestinian bid for statehood at UN’
6) US will not support new Palestinian resolution at UN
7) Kerry Tells European Envoys U.N. Action on Palestine Can Wait till Israeli Election
8) Kerry: Vote on Palestinian UN bid would strengthen hardliners
9) Abbas: I’ll cut ties with Israel if UN move fails
10) Abbas: If resolution to end ‘occupation’ not passed, we will stop dealing with Israeli government
11) “French draft resolution”: Israeli Palestinian Peace agreement within 2 years
12) Abbas’s UN gambit: Capricious and possibly self-defeating

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