March 1, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

February 28th, 2016
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 history of the Temple Mount and the modern day conflict between Israel and the Palestinians over it

The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. It is one of the most important religious sites in the Old City of Jerusalem. To the east of the Temple Mount is the Kidron Valley. To the West is the Tyropoeon Valley. According to the rabbinic sages whose debates produced the Talmud, it was from here the world expanded into its present form and where God gathered the dust used to create the first human, Adam. Since at least the first century, the site has been associated in Judaism with the location of Abraham’s binding of Isaac. In the Bible, this event took place on Mount Moriah.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the Temple Mount was originally a threshing-floor owned by Araunah, a Jebusite. David then bought the property from Araunah, for fifty pieces of silver and erected the altar. The God of Israel instructed David to build a sanctuary on the site outside the city walls on the northern edge of the hill. The building was to replace the Tabernacle that Moses build in the wilderness and serve as the Temple of the Israelites in Jerusalem.

King Solomon the son of King David built the first Temple in 957 BCE. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. The second Temple was constructed under the auspices of Zerubbabel in 516 BCE. It was destroyed by the Roman Empire in 70 CE.

In around 19 BCE, Herod the Great extended the Mount’s natural plateau by enclosing the area with four massive retaining walls and filling the voids. This artificial expansion resulted in a large flat expanse which today forms the eastern section of the Old City of Jerusalem. The southern section of the western flank is revealed and contains what is known as the Western Wall. The ambitious project which involved the employment of 10,000 workers more than doubled the size of the Temple Mount to approximately 36 acres. A basilica (the Royal Stoa) was constructed on the southern end of the expanded platform which provided a focus for the city’s commercial and legal transactions and which was provided with separate access to the city below via the Robinson’s Arch overpass.

After the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 CE, the Roman Emperor, Hadrian, rebuilt the city in 130 CE and renamed Jerusalem to be Aelia Capitolina. Aelia came from Hadrian’s nomen gentile, Aelius, while Capitolina meant that the new city was dedicated to Jupiter Capitolinus to whom a Roman temple was built on the site of the Temple Mount in the 2nd century.

In those days, the Roman Emperor Hadrian constructed a giant statue of himself in front of the Temple of Jupiter. In addition, the Temple of Jupiter had a huge statue of the god Jupiter inside of it. Therefore, there were two graven images standing on the Temple Mount. In addition to this, Hadrian issued a decree prohibiting the practice of circumcision. It was the normal practice of the adherents of the Hellenic religion to sacrifice pigs before their deities.  These three factors, the graven images, the sacrifice of pigs before the altar, and the prohibition of circumcision, constituted for non-Hellenized Jews a new abomination of desolation. As a result, the Jewish military leader Bar Kochba launched the Third Jewish Revolt around 135 CE. After the Third Jewish Revolt failed, the Romans decreed that all Jews were forbidden from entering the city or the surrounding territory around the city on the condition of death if the decree was violated.

From the 1st through the 7th centuries Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and Jerusalem became predominantly Christian. Emperor Constantine I decreed Christianity as the official religion of the Roman Empire in 321 CE and Hadrian’s Temple to Jupiter on the Temple Mount was demolished immediately following the First Council of Nicea in 325 CE on orders of Constantine.

Revered as the Noble Sanctuary, Muslim’s believe that the Temple Mount was the location of Muhammad’s journey to Jerusalem and ascent to heaven. In 637, Arabs besieged and captured Jerusalem from the Byzantine Empire. As a result, Rashidun Caliph Umar built a mosque known as the Al-Aqsa Mosque. In 691, an octagonal Islamic building topped by a dome was built by the Caliph Abd al-Malik around the sacred rock located on the Temple Mount. The Dome was completed in 692 CE, making it one of the oldest extant Islamic structures in the world. The Al Aqsa Mosque rests on the far southern side of the Mount facing Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The Dome of the Rock currently sits in the middle, occupying or close to the area where the Holy Temple previously stood. The shrine became known as the Dome of the Rock. As a result, today’s Temple Mount is dominated by three monumental Islamic structures: the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of the Rock and the Dome of the Chain. For Sunni Muslims, the importance of the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque makes Jerusalem the third-holiest city, after Mecca and Medina.

An Islamic Waqf has managed the Temple Mount continuously since the Muslim reconquest of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187. Even today, the mosque and shrine are currently administered by a Waqf (an Islamic trust).

On 7 June 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israeli forces advanced beyond the 1949 Armistice Agreement Line into West Bank territories, taking control of the Old City of Jerusalem inclusive of the Temple Mount. In order to celebrate and remember that day, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate declared a religious holiday on this yearly anniversary, called “Yom Yerushalayim” (Jerusalem Day) to commemorate the reunification of Jerusalem.

At that time, the Chief Rabbi of the Israeli Defense Forces, Shlomo Goren, led the soldiers in religious celebrations on the Temple Mount and at the Western Wall. Many saw the capture of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as a miraculous liberation of biblical-messianic proportions. A few days after the war was over 200,000 Jews flocked to the Western Wall in the first mass Jewish pilgrimage near the Mount since the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE. Islamic authorities did not disturb Goren when he went to pray on the Mount until, on the Ninth Day of Av, he brought 50 followers and introduced both a shofar, and a portable ark to pray, an innovation which alarmed the Waqf authorities and led to a deterioration of relations between the Muslim authorities and the Israeli government.

A few days after the Six-Day War, on June 17, 1967, a meeting was held at al-Aqsa between Moshe Dayan and Muslim religious authorities of Jerusalem regarding the regulation of the Temple Mount. In their agreement, Jews were given the right to visit the Temple Mount unobstructed and free of charge if they respected Muslims’ religious feelings and acted decently. However, Jews were still forbidden to pray on the Temple Mount.  It was decided that the Western Wall was to remain the Jewish place of prayer. The Prime Minister of Israel at that time, Levi Eshkol, gave control of access to the Temple Mount to the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf. Eshkol made the following declaration: “no harm whatsoever shall come to the places sacred to all religions”.

Together with the extension of Israeli jurisdiction and administration over east Jerusalem, the Knesset passed the Preservation of the Holy Places Law ensuring protection of the Holy Places against desecration as well as freedom of access thereto. While ‘Religious sovereignty’ was to be with the Muslims, Israel was in charge of the ‘overall sovereignty’ of the Temple Mount. Today, the Temple Mount can be accessed via eleven gates, ten reserved for Muslims and one for non-Muslims, with guard posts of Israeli police in the vicinity of each.

Although freedom of access to the Temple Mount was enshrined into Israeli law, as a security measure, the Israeli government currently enforces a ban on non-Muslim prayer on the site. Non-Muslims who are observed praying on the site are subject to expulsion by the police.At various times, when there is fear of Arab rioting upon the mount resulting in throwing stones from above towards the Western Wall Plaza, Israel has prevented Muslim men under 45 from praying in the compound, citing these concerns.

Following the June, 1967 agreement, Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount continued to be a source of contention between the Jews and the Palestinians. In response to an appeal in 1976 against police interference with an individual’s personal right to prayer on the site, the President of the High Court of Justice, Aharon Barak, expressed the view that, while Jews had a right to prayer there, it was not absolute but subject to the public interest and the rights of other groups. He wrote:

The basic principle is that every Jew has the right to enter the Temple Mount, to pray there, and to have communion with his maker. This is part of the religious freedom of worship, it is part of the freedom of expression. However, as with every human right, it is not absolute, but a relative right… Indeed, in a case where there is near certainty that injury may be caused to the public interest if a person’s rights of religious worship and freedom of expression would be realized, it is possible to limit the rights of the person in order to uphold the public interest.

Subsequently, several Israeli prime ministers also made attempts to change the status quo regarding prayer on the Temple Mount but failed to do so. In October 1986, an agreement between the Temple Mount Faithful, the Supreme Muslim Council and police, which would allow short visits in small groups, was exercised once and never repeated, after 2,000 Muslims armed with stones and bottles attacked the group and stoned worshipers at the Western Wall. During the 1990s, additional attempts were made for Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount which were stopped by Israeli police. Today, the Temple Mount remains, under the terms of the 1994 Israel–Jordan peace treaty, under Jordanian custodianship.

Since 2010, fear arose among Palestinians that Israel planned to change the status quo and permit Jewish prayers or that the al-Aqsa mosque might be damaged or destroyed by Israel. As a result, Al-Aqsa was used as a base for attacks on visitors and the police from which stones, firebombs and fireworks were thrown.

There is a disagreement between Orthodox Jews whether religious Jews should pray on the Temple Mount. A few hours after the Temple Mount came under Israeli control during the Six-Day War, a message from the Chief Rabbis of Israel, Isser Yehuda Unterman and Yitzhak Nissim was broadcast, warning that Jews were not permitted to enter the site. This warning was reiterated by the Council of the Chief Rabbinate a few days later, which issued an explanation written by Rabbi Bezalel Jolti (Zolti) that “Since the sanctity of the site has never ended, it is forbidden to enter the Temple Mount until the Temple is built.” The signatures of more than 300 prominent rabbis were later obtained. Rabbinical consensus in the post-1967 period, held that it is forbidden for Jews to enter any part of the Temple Mount and in January 2005 a declaration was signed confirming the 1967 decision.

Due to its extreme sanctity of the Temple Mount, many Orthodox Jews will not walk on the Mount itself, to avoid unintentionally entering the area where the Holy of Holies stood during the days of the Temple. Most of the ultra-Orthodox rabbis are of the opinion that the Mount is off limits to Jews and non-Jews alike. Their opinions against entering the Temple Mount are based on the current political climate surrounding the Mount along with the potential danger of entering the hallowed area of the Temple courtyard and the impossibility of fulfilling the ritual requirement of cleansing oneself with the ashes of a red heifer. The boundaries of the areas which are completely forbidden, while having large portions in common, are delineated differently by various rabbinic authorities.

In December 2013, the two Chief Rabbis of Israel, David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef, reiterated the ban on Jews entering the Temple Mount. They wrote, “In light of [those] neglecting [this ruling], we once again warn that nothing has changed and this strict prohibition remains in effect for the entire area [of the Temple Mount]”. In November 2014, the Sephardic chief rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, reiterated the point of view held by many rabbinic authorities that Jews should not visit the Mount. On the occasion of an upsurge in Palestinian knifing attacks on Israelis, associated with fears that Israel was changing the status-quo on the Mount, the ultra-Orthodox newspaper Mishpacha ran a notification in Arabic asking ‘their cousins’, the Palestinians, to stop trying to murder members of their congregation, since they were vehemently opposed to ascending the Mount and consider such visits proscribed by Jewish law.

However, there is a growing body of Modern Orthodox and national religious rabbis who encourage visits to certain parts of the Mount, which they believe are permitted according to most medieval rabbinical authorities. A leading proponent of the rights of Jews to pray on the Temple Mount is Rabbi Yehuda Glick. Glick is the leader of HaLiba, a coalition of groups dedicated to “reaching complete and comprehensive freedom and civil rights for Jews on the Temple Mount.” Glick has led groups of Jews to walk the Temple Mount, and has been repeatedly arrested while praying, walking and filming videos on the Temple Mount. On 4 June, 2015, a Jerusalem district court banned Glick from entering Temple Mount, overturning a lower court decision. The judge ruled that Glick’s presence was inflammatory and that “there is a risk of violence breaking out if the respondent returns to the compound before the end of legal proceedings in his case.”

On 29 October, 2014, Glick survived an assassination attempt by Mutaz Hijazi, a member of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad Movement. In 2015, Glick was awarded the Moskowitz Prize for Zionism for being “Active for human rights and religious freedom on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.” Under current regulations, Muslims may visit and pray on the Temple Mount. Jews may also visit during limited hours, but are prohibited from praying or doing a range of things — kneeling, bowing, even crying — that resemble worship.

The most recent round of violence between Jews and Muslims at the Temple Mount started on September 9 following Israel’s decision to bar an Islamist protest group from entering the Temple Mount. Israel said the group, known as the Murabitat, and its corresponding men’s faction have been yelling at Jewish visitors and throwing stones at them. In announcing the ban, the Israeli government said: “The aforesaid organizations strive to undermine Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount, change the existing reality and arrangements at the site and infringe on freedom of worship.”

On September 12, Israeli police raided the Temple Mount uncovering a stockpile of pipe bombs, firebombs and rocks that they feared would be aimed at Jewish worshippers. On Sept. 18, police barred Muslim men under 40 from the mount in anticipation of unrest following Muslim Friday prayers. Some 200 Palestinians protested the move at the Damascus Gate to Jerusalem’s Old City. Three Israeli policemen and 21 Palestinians were injured in the Friday clashes.

In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also declared “war” on stone throwers. Netanyahu is pushing through a new law that would allow police to fire more quickly on Palestinian stone throwers as well as increase the stone throwers’ prison sentences and fines. Netanyahu said: “We attest to the fact that we decided to change the policy and declare war on those who throw stones and firebombs, shoot and riot. In the State of Israel, people do not throw firebombs, or shoot at trains, or throw stones at will. Those who do so will pay a very heavy price.”

Regarding the clashes on the Temple Mount, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas said: “Israel will not be allowed to continue its steps. The Al-Aqsa mosque is ours. They have no right to dirty it with their filthy feet. We will not allow them to do that.” Jordan’s King Abdullah II criticized Israel’s actions, saying that “any more provocation in Jerusalem will affect the relationship between Jordan and Israel.”

Israel’s action, Netanyahu said has come only to prevent violence at the site. In addition, Israel insists that it is committed to maintaining the status quo on the Temple Mount. Netanyahu said: “Israel have no plans to change the status-quo on the Temple Mount. However, we also have no intention of allowing anyone to cause the deterioration of the arrangements on the Temple Mount by resorting to explosive and widespread violence.” The Israeli status-quo limits Israeli sovereignty over the Mount, leaves the Islamic Waqf responsible for managing the site and bans Jewish prayers there.

In early October, Netanyahu barred all Cabinet ministers and Jewish lawmakers from visiting the Temple Mount. As a result of the recent violence associated with the Temple Mount, US Secretary of State John Kerry reached an agreement with King Abdullah of Jordan and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late October to formalize arrangements governing the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. The terms of the understanding reinforce the status quo and will be backed up with 24-hour monitoring of the Temple Mount. “Israel will continue to enforce its longstanding policy: Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount,” Netanyahu said. “Those who visit or worship on the Temple Mount must be allowed to do so in peace, free from violence, from threats, from intimidation and from provocations. We will continue to ensure access to the Temple Mount for peaceful worshipers and visitors, while maintaining public order and security.”

Based upon a suggestion by Jordan’s King Abdullah, the new agreement will provide “24-hour video coverage of all sites” in the compound. US Secretary of State, John Kerry said: “The 24-hour video coverage will provide comprehensive visibility and transparency and that could really be a game changer in discouraging anybody from disturbing the sanctity of the holy site.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) The Temple Mount
2) Rabbi Yehuda Glick and Jewish Access to the Temple Mount
3) 5 Things About the Violence Spike on the Temple Mount
4) Temple Mount Violence Rooted in Contradictory Views and Cynical Politics
5) Agreement on Temple Mount Formalizes Status Quo But Violence Continues
6) Netanyahu bans Jewish officials from Jerusalem holy site
7) Kerry: Israel okays 24-hour video cameras on Temple Mount

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 23, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

February 22nd, 2016

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 efforts by France to sponsor an international peace conference to support the two-state solution regarding the Israel / Palestinian peace process

France has submitted a document to the 15 Security Council members indicating that it intends to convene an international peace conference in April to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts to support a two-state solution. It would include representatives from the Middle East Quartet — the US, Russian EU and UN — and several Arab states. The goal of the international peace conference is that the Palestinians and Israel would engage in direct negotiations in July.

The Palestinians welcomed the French proposal. Hossam Zomlot, an advisor to PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, said: “We definitely welcome the French initiative, we see it as a major possibility for challenging the status quo.” Zomlot, however, said the Palestinians insisted on their call for a United Nations resolution against Israeli “settlement building” ahead of any renewed peace process. “Nothing will convince us that we should not go to the United Nations Security Council over settlements,” declared Zomlot.

Recently, the Palestinian Authority has been trying to advance a resolution in the UN Security Council that will condemn the settlements in the West Bank and declare them illegal under international law and an obstacle to peace. Senior Palestinian and Israeli officials say that the PA has been in contact with France, Spain and Egypt, all members of the Security Council, to get them to draw up such a resolution and support it.

Several weeks ago Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki visited France, where he met with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and discussed submitting such a resolution. In addition, Maliki visited Egypt and discussed the move with Egyptian Foreign Minister Samech Shoukry. Egypt recently became a member of the Security Council. While in Egypt, Maliki also met with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and updated him on his discussions with Fabius in France. Maliki asked Jubeir to pressure France to advance the resolution in the Security Council. At the same time, PLO Executive Committee secretary Saeb Erakat met with Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby to begin discussing a draft resolution that would get Arab support. In addition, Maliki was in Spain to discuss the resolution with his Spanish counterpart.

Senior Israeli diplomats who recently visited France said that the message they got from senior French Foreign Ministry officials was that no decision has been made on submitting a Security Council resolution – neither on the settlements nor on principles for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Senior Israeli officials also noted that they fear that US President Barack Obama may not veto a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian issue in the Security Council during his final year in office particularly given the increasing U.S. criticism of Israeli settlement policy.

However, Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki explicitly rejected the possibility of renewed direct negotiations with Israel – ever. Malki pledged to never again engage with Israel in direct negotiations towards a final settlement. He said: “We will never go back and sit again in direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.”

France is placing the burden of reaching a settlement on Israel. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that his country would recognize a Palestinian state if its efforts in coming weeks to try to break the deadlock between Israelis and Palestinians fail. “France will engage in the coming weeks in the preparation of an international conference bringing together the parties and their main partners, American, European, Arab, notably to preserve and make happen the solution of two states,” Fabius said.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said France’s ambassador to Israel met a ministry official  to discuss the details of the planned conference. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected France’s diplomatic plan calling for an international conference on Middle East peace with recognition of a Palestinian state if talks fail. Netanyahu called it “mystifying” and counterproductive, arguing that it gives the Palestinians no incentive to compromise. The plan says: ” ‘We shall hold an international conference but, if it doesn’t succeed, we are deciding in advance what the consequence will be – we shall recognize a Palestinian state. This of course ensures in advance that a conference will fail, because if the Palestinians know that their demands will be accepted… they don’t need to do anything,” he said. Netanyahu reiterated Israeli policy that peace will only come as a result of direct bilateral talks between the sides.

The United States has not taken a public position on the French plan. Nonetheless, US Secretary of State John Kerry has warned that Israel is headed towards a “one-state solution” and that the Palestinian Authority (PA) could collapse. Kerry warned that he believes that Israel is headed toward becoming a “unitary state that is an impossible entity to manage” and warned that such a reality would lead to Israel becoming like a “big fortress” and strengthen groups like Hezbollah. Kerry said: “The alternative is you sit there and things just get worse. There will be more Hezbollah. There will be more rockets. And they’ll all be pointed in one direction. And there will be more people on the border. And what happens then? You’re going to be one big fortress? I mean, that’s not a way to live. It seems to me it is far more intelligent and far more strategic – which is an important word here -to have a theory of how you are going to preserve the Jewish state and be a democracy and a beacon to the world that everybody envisioned when Israel was created.”

Asked if he could imagine an end to the State of Israel, Kerry replied, “No, I don’t believe that’s going to happen. It’s just, What is it going to be like, is the question. Will it be a democracy? Will it be a Jewish state? Or will it be a unitary state with two systems, or some draconian treatment of Palestinians, because to let them vote would be to dilute the Jewish state? I don’t know. I have no answer to that. But the problem is, neither do they. Neither do the people who are supposed to be providing answers to this. It is not an answer to simply continue to build in the West Bank and to destroy the homes of the other folks you’re trying to make peace with and pretend that that’s a solution.”

Kerry said that the distrust between the sides has never been more profound and that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas “feels great despair – more than I have ever heard him.” Kerry said that the “two-state solution” must not become a “slogan,” warning that “current trends are leading to a one-state reality. We have to be honest about what a one-state solution looks like,” Kerry said, adding, “The one-state solution is no solution at all for a Jewish, democratic Israel living in peace.” At the same time, Kerry said that violence must stop in order to achieve peace and said that “Israel has the right and the obligation to defend itself. The Palestinian leadership should stop the incitement and condemn terror attacks,” he added.

In response to Kerry’s comments, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The only workable solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “is not a unitary state, but a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.” He added that “the root cause of the conflict with the Palestinians is their refusal to recognize the Jewish state,” and that while “settlements and territory are an issue to be resolved… they are not the core of the conflict.”

Netanyahu said that recent events disproved the claim that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was at the heart of regional turmoil, “that was never true, but now it’s demonstrably false.” He cited a recent statement by PA head Mahmoud Abbas, according to which Israel has been occupying Arab land for 67 years. He asked if Abbas meant by this that Tel Aviv, too, was occupied Arab land. Netanyahu said: “President Abbas refuses to address his people and say – ‘it’s over. No more claims after a peace deal,'” the prime minister said. “The Palestinians have not been willing to cross the emotional and conceptual bridge of a state next to Israel, not one instead of Israel. Not just Hamas, but also the PA. They refuse to accept a Jewish state for the Jewish people.”

Meanwhile, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power and Dan Shapiro, US Ambassador to Israel were in Israel to discuss the peace process. While in Israel, Samantha Power spent time with Israeli UN envoy Danny Danon for a countrywide tour of Israel to understand Israel’s complex security situation. Following a helicopter tour of the country, Power and Danon were briefed by senior IDF officers on the security challenges facing Israel. In doing so, the Ambassadors – joined by US Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro – then headed south for an in-depth briefing by Israeli security officials on the border with Gaza, following which they met with representatives of the border communities to hear about their daily lives under the threat of rocket fire and terrorist attacks from the Gaza Strip.

At their meeting, Rivlin also emphasized that a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cannot be imposed by outside powers. He called for direct negotiations between Israel and Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas. Rivlin said: “The conflict between us – the tragedy between us – can only be solved through direct negotiations,” said Rivlin. “No solution can be imposed on either side and we must negotiate to come to an understanding.”

In any event, the idea of an international conference has not been generating much enthusiasm in the international community. For example, in a meeting with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, German Chancellor Angela Merkel indicated that she would turn down the pressure on Israel to push for a diplomatic process with the Palestinian Authority (PA) saying, “Now is not the time for a significant step forward [in the two-state solution].”

In 2008, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert offered to agree to the creation of an independent PA state including all of Gaza, nearly all of Judea/Samaria, and parts of Israel – a total area equal to 99.5% of the size of Judea and Samaria. In addition, a tunnel would connect Judea/Samaria to Gaza, and the PA state would have its capital in eastern Jerusalem. Not only that: Olmert also agreed to the return of 5,000 Arab refugees from the 1948 War of Independence over five years.

Abbas said that in September of 2008, former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert presented him with a map that delineated the borders of the proposed PA state. Abbas was asked: “In the map that Olmert presented you, Israel would annex 6.3 percent [of Judea/Samaria] and compensate the Palestinians with 5.8 percent [taken from pre-1967 Israel]. What did you propose in return?”Abbas replied, “I did not agree … I rejected it out of hand.” Olmert has said that Abbas said at the time, “I am not in a marketplace or a bazaar. I came to demarcate the borders of Palestine – the June 4, 1967 borders – without detracting a single inch, and without detracting a single stone from Jerusalem, or from the holy Christian and Muslim places. This is why the Palestinian negotiators did not sign.”

US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s special envoy Frank Lowenstein said that Kerry would persist with the Israelis and the Palestinians until the end of his time in office proclaiming, “The window for a two-state solution is closing, though none of us who’ve worked on it will regret that we tried to save it.”

As a result, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is worried that the Obama administration will use its final weeks in office to back UN Security Council decisions and other measures detrimental to Israel. Netanyahu’s concern about possible Obama administration decisions was focused on the period between November 2016, when a new president is chosen, and January 2017, when that president takes office. Given the history of difficult relations between the two countries’ leaderships, this period would constitute a brief window when the Obama administration could advance its agenda without political concerns in the US. In order to try to ensure that the Obama administration does not do this, Israel is trying to take steps which will improve the Palestinian economy.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) France Presents Middle East Peace Initiative to Israel
2) France aims for peace parley in April, direct talks in July
3) PA welcomes French peace initiative
4) France threatens to recognize ‘Palestine’ if peace efforts fail
5) French ultimatum to Israel: Accept PA demands or else
6) PA: No more negotiations with Israel, ever
7) Rivlin to US Ambassador: ‘No solution can be imposed’
8) Netanyahu rejects ‘mystifying’ French ‘peace plan’
9) Merkel admits: Now isn’t the time for ‘two-state solution’
10) Kerry warns: Israel could become a ‘unitary state’
11) Kerry: ‘One-state solution’ isn’t the answer
12) Netanyahu: Does Abbas want Tel Aviv?
13) Abbas admits: ‘I rejected Israeli offer of PA state’
14) Palestinians Seek UN Security Council Resolution Declaring West Bank Settlements Illegal
15) Netanyahu said worried Obama may go against Israel as term expires

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 16, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

February 16th, 2016

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) PART 3: An examination of the history of the relationship between the Obama administration and Israel from the viewpoint of Dennis Ross.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Dennis Ross: Obama, Netanyahu Have a “Backdrop of Distrust”

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 9, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

February 10th, 2016

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) PART 2: An examination of the history of the relationship between the Obama administration and Israel from the viewpoint of Dennis Ross.

 

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Dennis Ross: Obama, Netanyahu Have a “Backdrop of Distrust”

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 2, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

February 1st, 2016

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) An examination of the history of the relationship between the Obama administration and Israel from the viewpoint of Dennis Ross.

Dennis Ross was the U.S. point person for the Middle East peace process during the administrations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and a special adviser to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton during the Obama administration. The following are excerpts from an interview with FRONTLINE.

… How do you view Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu?

He’s someone who has grown up with a view that focuses primarily on the threats to Israel, that Israel faces a hostile world [and that] its margin for error is exceedingly small; that the neighborhood has not accepted Israel. Maybe Egypt has done a peace treaty with Israel, but the neighborhood hasn’t accepted it, … so Israel has to keep its guard up. And if you let your guard down just a little bit, you’re exposed, and you’re put at risk. … In a sense, the sharks are out to get you.

… OK, It’s 2008. [Journalist] Marvin Kalb tells us a great story of being at the King David Hotel and going into the coffee shop or the café and seeing Bibi sitting alone in the corner, reading newspapers. Sits with him and says, “How are you doing?,” and Bibi says: “I’m wondering a lot about this Barack Hussein Obama. Who is this guy with the name Hussein, and what are you thinking about it?” And Marvin said he could tell, almost from the beginning, that there was not only among Bibi and his immediate friends, but on the street, a kind of anxiety about Barack Obama.

I have a different experience with Bibi on this. Bibi has a conversation with me, even in 2007, where he tells me, in 2007, he says, “I think that Obama is going to get the nomination, not Hillary.” And he says to me, “I think he’s a really interesting guy.” Initially he’s not suspicious at all. On the contrary.

… That’s so interesting. What do you think? Because some of the story, too, is that they don’t get along from the very beginning.

Not true, from him, not so. Not so. It happens once Bibi is elected. With the first meeting. Bibi feels like he’s blindsided by the posture that the administration takes on the settlement issue, but not going in.

Literally, first he has this conversation with me in 2007, where he says he thinks Obama is going to win, and I asked him at the time: “Why do you think that?” Because nobody else is predicting it at this point.

He said, “You know, he has a capacity to explain things and create a sense of new possibilities.” He said, “Maybe I’m wrong, but I think he’s really the guy; he’s really the person to watch.” …

… Tell me about Netanyahu, the first time he came to [meet] the Obama administration.

I’m in the State Department. I see the president in the context of Iran. Every time we have an Iran discussion, I’m over there for that. And it is interesting: Almost every time I see him, he asks me a question about Israel. The first time I talked to him about Bibi is, I am asked to come and brief him for his meeting with Bibi.

The first one?

The first one. So [Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George] Mitchell is there to brief him on the peace issue, and I’m there to brief him on Iran, and that’s the first time I have a serious discussion with him about Bibi. Prior to that time, he’ll ask me literally every time I’m over there, even though the subject is Iran-oriented, every time he’ll ask me a question about Israel, every time I’m there.

Like?

Well, for example, we got into a discussion about under what circumstances would the Israelis launch an attack against Iran. And I said — this is kind of following the earlier discussion, but he asked me, “What do you think the odds are that Israel will strike now?” And I said: “Well, you know, they’re sending people over here. I’m having conversations with them already. In my conversations, I’m showing them that we’re pretty serious about doing something.”

Doing something meaning negotiating?

Yeah, but not just negotiating, but building pressure on them so that they have to change their behavior. … But, I said, there’s not an enormous amount of patience.

And then he asked me a question at one point. Then he said, “Do the Israelis ever think strategically?” Interesting question. And I said, “Well, look, like most leaders, they look at what are the near-term problems. And if you look, the military is always planning strategically. But frequently, Israeli leaders,” I said, “they’re not unique in this respect, are looking at what is the near-term problem, what is the near-term threat.”

… And Mitchell is going over to talk about the peace process in a different way.

Right. …

There’s these two tracks that eventually, in that very first meeting with Netanyahu, are going to cause the tension between Obama and Netanyahu.

That’s right.

One of them run by Mitchell is separate from you, and one of them, you’re carrying the bad news about the potential of rockets’ red glare.

Right. So for the first meeting with Bibi, the briefing for the president, Mitchell is there to talk about the peace issue, and I’m there to talk about Iran and how we should approach Iran and what he needs to do with Bibi to prove our seriousness, so that, in fact, Bibi will give us a time to basically do the diplomacy, to see if we can find a diplomatic way to make it work. I’m basically going through what Bibi is going to ask you, what’s the best way to deal with him, so you buy this time. That’s the thrust of what I’m saying to him.

Mitchell’s thrust is different. Mitchell’s thrust is, you need to get him to buy in on a settlement freeze.

… You hear Mitchell say this. So what do you do, bite your tongue?

No, but this tells you a lot about Obama. So I don’t know if I made some kind of facial reaction. Maybe I did. But Obama says, as soon as Mitchell says that, he says, “Dennis, what do you think?” I haven’t been involved in any of the peace-related discussions at this point, but I said: “You are asking Bibi to do what none of his predecessors have done. You’re asking a Likud prime minister to do what none of the Labor prime ministers have done. What’s his explanation supposed to be? On what basis is he going to do something that Rabin didn’t do, that Peres didn’t do, and that Barak didn’t do?”

So the president turns back to Mitchell and says, “George, what’s the answer to that?” And he says, “Well, we’re trying to reopen the liaison offices that Israel had with a number of Arab countries, Morocco and Qatar and so forth. And we’re trying to get over-flight rights for El Al over Saudi Arabia.” So the president turns back to me and says, “What do you think of that?” And I said, “You’re asking Bibi to do what none of his predecessors have done.”

So he turns back to Mitchell and says, “You know, I think you’ve got your work cut out for you.” Now, to be fair to Mitchell, Mitchell said, correctly, “Well, look, if you can satisfy him on Iran, then you can ask for him to do things on this issue.” So the president turned back to me and says, “All right, what does it mean to satisfy him on Iran?” I said: “To really satisfy him on Iran, what you have to say to him is: ‘I’m going to take care of this. I’m going to try to do it diplomatically. But if it doesn’t work diplomatically, I’m telling you now, we’ll act militarily to take care of this.’” I said: “That’s what it takes to satisfy him. And then you can take that, and you can use it to say: ‘If I do something like that, I need to create a climate in the region that makes it more acceptable that we don’t have a terrible fallout if we end up having to use force. And removing the Palestinian issue is one way to transform the climate in the region. So I need you to take unprecedented steps.’”

But that was a bridge too far.

For the president?

He wasn’t about to commit to using military force if diplomacy failed.

In the very first meeting, in the very first, second, third month of his presidency.

Right. It’s three months into his presidency. That was the character of that first meeting.

Wow.

But that’s the first conversation I have with him on Netanyahu.

… So you guys go out and get in the car, you and George and the others. What did you think was going to happen when Bibi Netanyahu walked into that office?

… We didn’t go back to the State Department together. I actually was going back with [then-Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs] Bill Burns, I think, who may have been there at the same time. But I just said to him: “You know, I’m not real hopeful this is going to be a great meeting. If the accent is put on a settlement freeze, you’re asking me, as I said, I just don’t see how you get there. I would put the accent differently. …

But that night, when Bibi comes, he has a meeting with the president. And then he comes over and has a dinner meeting in the State Department with the secretary [Hillary Clinton], of which I was a part, because we discussed everything. She takes him aside at one point and explains why the settlement issue is really important to the president, and he’s pretty much saying, “Look, I can’t go that far.” I think he feels after that first meeting that he’s being put in the corner.

He then begins to react to it. He still gives a speech. He gives his Bar-Ilan speech, which is his way of trying to do something. Now, I had been talking to some of the people around it, and I had told them, before the first meeting: “Look, I don’t do that. I’m not doing the peace issue. I do only the Iran issue. But it seems to me you ought to find a way, in your first meeting, to tell the president that you’re accepting — because you’ve never done it — you’re accepting a two-state outcome. Maybe if you’re doing that, then that may go a long way toward satisfying the president.”

I still think it might have tempered what the president was then pushing for with him and what was said after the meeting, if Bibi had come with something. But he didn’t come with anything. And that also is sort of his style. He has a tendency to not want to look like he’s making pre-emptive concessions, or he made them under pressure. And here is your first meeting with the new president. He would have been much more likely to get off on the right foot had he offered something.

And he could have explained: “This is a hard thing for me to do, with my party. This is something that’s not really been accepted, but I’m taking this step.” And that might have had an effect on Obama. I think they sort of get off on the wrong foot, because in his first meeting, Obama is riveted on the settlement freeze.

… And it fit with Obama’s mind-set about this, because early on, he was inclined to show some distance. … He is focused more, in the early part, in the first year, on outreach to the Arabs, because he’s trying to also transform the image of the United States and the Arab states, and with Muslims more generally, because he’s trying to counteract the image of Bush being at war with Islam. Whether it’s fair or not that Bush was, that’s the perception. He wants to counteract that perception.

Right.

So he sees creating some distance from Israel being a good thing. Now there’s a tension here with, on the one hand, you’re trying to persuade the Israelis on Iran, so creating some distance is not necessarily the smartest thing to do.

Did you tell him that?

Yes. And I think he has a sense that he can square the circle. And the reason he has a sense is because he says, “I’m going to be very strong in Israel’s security needs,” not as a tactic, because he believes it, but also because he sees it as a benefit.

As I look at the timeline and the series of events, the thing I could not understand is, how could Barack Obama go to Cairo, give the speech, and that nobody around him would say, “You know what you ought to do is just stop by Israel and say hi”? It seems like such a rookie mistake, unless there’s a reason to do it.

During the transition, [then-National Security Adviser] Tom Donilon asked me to write a memo on where the speech should be given. So I write a memo. I make the case for Cairo, because there was a discussion about him in doing it in Indonesia, and I think Cairo was the place to do it. I make the case for it. But then I say, “But if he does it, he has to go to Israel, too, because if he doesn’t go to Israel, the Israeli public will see this as an outreach to Muslims coming at Israel’s expense.” And the content, by the way, of the speech, added to that, because while he takes on Holocaust denial in a very important way, he leaves the impression that the only reason Israel exists is because of the Holocaust. … In a sense, what [that] means is, at the very moment he’s appealing to the narrative of Muslims and Arabs, he is dismissing the narrative of the Israelis.

And the reason it doesn’t happen — I asked Donilon later — and he says [Deputy National Security Advisers] Ben Rhodes and Denis McDonough strongly argued against going to Israel because it would look like business as usual, and if he was going to show it was different this time, he had to act in a way that was different this time. He had to break the mold. That was the reason.

Did he —

But he paid a terrible [price]. It is something that sowed the seeds of his problems with the Israelis, meaning the Israeli public, from that point on. …

 … The idea of how much daylight to create between the United States and Israel when you walk into the early days of the administration — take me there, and explain the camps.

I think early in the administration there is really only one camp. There’s a presumption that distancing from Israel is, in fact, a good thing. … I think the president comes in, and there is really nobody around him at that point who is challenging this notion that given what’s going on, given the legacy of the Bush administration with Muslim-majority countries, given the perception, fairly or not, that we’re at war with Islam, the president feels this is an image that he has to correct, and there are different ways of doing it. One is reaching out, but another way is distancing from Israel. And I think that is very much part of the approach in the early going. …

… There’s this first moment where Netanyahu has won, is coming to the White House, coming with a certain expectation that certain conversations are going to happen, perhaps about Iran and about security promises and the early idea of a red line or whatever. He’s coming with that but probably doesn’t know that Rahm [Emanuel] and others on the one-camp idea are saying to the president, who agrees with this, obviously, “I think we are going to try to create a little daylight.” And the president has obviously, given what he says about settlements, the president obviously believes that I’ve got to let this guy know I’m in charge of the relationship. This is not going to be a Clinton filibuster from Netanyahu as it was in that first meeting.

No, I do think that’s right. I think there’s a sense that you can set the table different with Netanyahu and he’ll realize he’s in a different circumstance and he is going to have to adjust his behavior. Now, to some extent, to be fair, he does, because three weeks after he sees the president, he gives the Bar-Ilan speech.

As I’ve said, I feel had Netanyahu come and said to the president, “You know, I can’t do this on settlements, but I’m prepared to come out on a Palestinian state.” Had he done that, that might well have tempered the president’s view toward him from the beginning. He might well have said: “OK, look, I see he’s prepared to cross the threshold. He’s prepared to do something that’s not easy for him given his own political base.” I think that might have changed his view of Netanyahu.

But it didn’t go that way. What did you hear happened in that meeting?

What I heard happened in the meeting was that the president pushes very hard on the settlement issue. Bibi feels the president is asking him to do something he could never do. I mean, not only is it inconsistent with his base, but it’s like, what does he get? It’s all give on his part. … I think Netanyahu comes and is surprised by that and feels that in a sense he’s kind of walked into a trap, and his instinct is to push back when he feels himself being put in a corner. Nonetheless, he realizes, all right, I’ve got to do something, which is why when he goes back to Israel, he lays the basis for him giving the Bar-Ilan speech.

Was that sort of naïve of the president and those guys?

I think in a lot of ways the president and the people around him were caught up with Obama being a transformative figure, and the mere fact that he was a transformative figure means if he asks, others will realize that he’s breaking the mold and therefore they have to respond. I think there was a lot of that. Whether “hubris” is the right term or not, they were caught up in the moment that he represented such a transformation, such a change, and that in itself had a kind of power, and it created a kind of leverage, and I think it created a set of expectations about what they could produce as a result.

When Netanyahu leaves, he’s PO’d.

Yes.

OK. The Arab Spring: The president goes over to the State Department and delivers a speech. Obviously you’re part of all of that?

Yeah.

Take me there. Tell me what was going on. …

One of the things where the president tried to separate himself when he became president was from Bush, the freedom agenda was off the table. When he gives a speech in Cairo, he gets to his fourth point, which is democracy, and he stumbles a little bit in his speech, because he says democracy, and it draws applause, and he’s trying to draw a distinction from Bush where “We’re not going to impose on you. We’re not going to preach to you. Understand, everyone has to find their own path. We think the principles of democracy are best, but we understand they can’t be imposed, and everybody has to find their own path.”

And so until the Arab Awakening, as I put it, the Obama administration is not a big democracy promoter. Suddenly it looks like the forces of history are in the squares, not in the presidential palaces. And now the president wants to be on the right side of history. …

So here’s where there is a kind of internal tension within the administration between those who feel, you know, “Let’s get on the right side of history; let’s not look like we’re trying to stop the forces of history,” versus those who are fearful either about looking like we’re walking away from friends, or, I think the deeper concern being, what replaces this? What are the means to replace this? How do we know we are not just creating a vacuum, and who is going to fill that vacuum?

So what leads him to go over to the State Department and give that speech?

The speech doesn’t come until May 19, … But that speech, the May 19 speech, isn’t remembered for the Arab Awakening part of it. It’s remembered because of the partial parameters. If we were going to do a speech on peace process parameters or permanent status parameters, I wanted that to be standalone. I wanted the Arab Awakening to be a standalone.

You couldn’t stop the ’67 reference in the speech.

I wasn’t trying to stop the ’67 reference.

You would have kept it, but separately.

Yes, I wanted that to be a standalone. …

He articulates the phrase “’67” and says the numbers ’67 some way inside there.

He says, “’67 mutually agreed swaps.”

… So Netanyahu basically flies in, and things don’t go well, or do they? Take me inside that.

… When we begin talking about doing a speech, I suggest that we should share the speech with the Israelis, the draft in advance, because I feel like we can at least get their buy-in. We don’t surprise them. In effect, basically, even if they don’t like it, it will temper the nature of their reaction, and they will be prepared to work with us on it. But I present this. When I present it, it is in one of these meetings in the Sit Room.

The president is there, but Denis McDonough and [National Security Advisor] Susan Rice immediately jump down my throat and say: “We can’t let the Israelis tell us what we are going to say. We can’t give them a veto over what we are going to say. This is our policy.” And that immediately sort of pre-empts the discussion. …

To be fair, this kind of constituency has existed in every administration from Truman to today. It is one of the striking things. There is a constituency that has felt that Israel is either a liability to us or they do things that are designed to complicate our position in the region, so for them there is a kind of competitive impulse. They see Israel through that prism. …

My notion is, again, look, if we bring them in, OK, there is some risk. But if we bring them in, we can manage it. If we don’t bring them in, you are going to see [how] they are going to react. And that is exactly what happened. …

That gets me to what happened in the meeting itself. Before the meeting starts, the president asks me why did Bibi react so negatively to the speech. And I said, “Because he was surprised by it and he felt he was being put in a corner and you were trying to jam him in front of his own constituency before he came here.” And I said, “Had we at least discussed this with him in advance, it would have been different.” When the president asked Bibi the question directly, “Why did you react this way?,” Bibi said, “Because you didn’t coordinate with us.”

The meeting actually goes pretty well. It’s a one-on-one meeting. The president comes out, and he walks over to me when the meeting is over, and he says, “You were right; we should have coordinated with them.” … I feel that had they met the press at that moment or had they met the press before the meeting, you wouldn’t have had this Bibi lecture to the president … within the Oval Office with the press, where it looks like after the president has been gracious in describing their meeting, he looks like he’s lecturing the president. Daley is standing next to me.

Bill Daley.

Bill Daley is standing next to me, and he is going, “Outrageous, outrageous.” It is like he is almost levitating. The president walks Bibi out, and he comes back. At that point I don’t know that he’s happy, but he is not in a bad mood. But immediately everyone pounces on him and says: “Look what he did to you. He lectured you here in your office. It is just outrageous.”

… After the 2011 lecture, whatever you want to call it, it does feel a little bit like, given the political environment in America, presidential re-election run, the president sort of puts the peace process to the side, maybe forever.

At least for the rest of the term.

If you step back to 30,000 feet and you look at the events, 2012 is a very tough year. We are now heading mostly into the Iran worries, having put peace slightly at the side.  Everybody we’ve talked to so far has said there was real tension around the White House and around this issue about would Israel actually go? What did they want? What were they demanding? Talk about the tension that was building.

What was emerging at the time was [Ehud] Barak had this position that the Iranians were approaching what he called the “zone of immunity.” What he meant by the “zone of immunity” was, they’re reaching the point in their nuclear program where the depth and character and redundancy of their nuclear infrastructure is going to be so great that even if we were to act militarily, it would have an immeasurable, a marginal effect. That’s what he meant by “immunity.” Even if we hit them militarily, it doesn’t stop their program. So he was arguing, if we don’t do it soon, we’ve lost the ability militarily to set their program back. So in the spring of 2012 it looks increasingly like Israel feels the need to have to move. …

Now, within the administration, back in 2010, we had an internal debate about what the objective should be, and this is where the president adopts language that “We’re determined to prevent.” We had the debate over whether it was going to be prevention or containment, meaning they get the weapon and we contain it after the fact versus we prevent them from having a weapon. He adopts the position after an internal debate on “determined to prevent.” …

But he never draws a distinction between prevention and containment until the spring of 2012. And I make the case that the reason he does this is because this is designed to tell Bibi, “Look, you don’t have to act militarily, because we will not permit them to have a nuclear weapon.” …

Despite the assurances of the president, it feels like Bibi is taking the occasion of a presidential election year in the United States to, if nothing else, create a bluff or a position that looks like they’re moving. They’re saying things like, six months to a year. We can’t wait; we want a red line from the president. And he’s taking the real step of supporting [presidential candidate Mitt] Romney in public —

Seemingly.

Seemingly supporting him in public. Not really supporting him?

When I would ask them and I would be over there, they would say no; he would say no.

No what?

That he wasn’t supporting Romney. He was not. Look, there is no doubt there was a perception here that that was the case, [but] … in the spring of 2013, in March 2013, when the president goes to Israel, the feeling is a very different one.

Well, yeah. The president has won.

The president has won, and that is right.

Exactly.

So the feel is a very different one, and he’s adjusting. But I do think 2012 is significant, because I do think that the White House and the president comes to believe that Bibi is using an election year to try to leverage him on the Iran issue. And if you’re not going to let us go militarily, then you have to go.

Right.

And trying to put the president in the corner. It’s interesting, because I’m out of the administration by this point because I leave at the end of 2012. But in conversations I have in Israel I will say: “Look, why don’t you use the fact that you’re deferring acting militarily as a position where you are giving the president something, even though you feel it risks your security? But you’re not going to act because it is so important to him that you not act that at least give him a sense that he owes you something.”

But of course that is not Netanyahu’s style at all.

That’s not his style. They don’t do it. He doesn’t do it. …

It seems like ’12 is when the daylight really finally, the dawn cracks, whatever the metaphor wants to be.

I think it is made worse. But after the election and Obama has won, then that’s a reason to scale back again. I think what changes it is what is the different position in the negotiations toward Iran on the nuclear issue. That becomes the real point where you see a divide that becomes harder and harder between the two of them, not institutionally, but between the two of them to bridge. And then it becomes more personal, because Bibi sees the position as — and I see him, you know, it’s the night of Nov. 8, 2013 —

A telephone call. Tell me that story the way you tell it in the book.

I was in Jerusalem because I had been engaging in some informal discussions on the peace issue, so I was meeting there on those discussions … Bibi asked me to come and see him on Friday evening at his prime minister’s residence. It is Shabbat evening, and I get there, and I have to wait close to an hour because he is on the phone with the president. This is the day that the Joint Plan of Action, which was the interim deal, looks to be concluded. …

So when you walk in the room, what is it? Has he just hung the phone up?

Yes.

What does he feel like?

As many times as I have dealt with him, I had never seen him this way. He wasn’t angry. The only way I can put it is that he was feeling alarmed, not angry but alarmed. And the first thing he says to me is: “The president has decided he has no choice but to do a deal with the Iranians. Force is off the table.” And I said, “He didn’t say that to you.” He said, “He did.” I said, “No, he didn’t say that to you.” He said, “He did.” I said, “Maybe he said to you, we have to demonstrate that we’ve done everything we could to resolve this through diplomatic means, because given my public — the option of rushing to war is not an option, but demonstrating that we didn’t just check a box, but we did everything we could to resolve this through peaceful means. And if it doesn’t work out, so be it.” Maybe he said something like that. But there is no way he said to you, “I’m taking the military option off the table.”

And what was interesting was that Bibi was convinced of what he had heard. He wasn’t convinced he said those exact words, but he interpreted what he heard as if the president — you know: “There is too much war-weariness in the States. I don’t have the option of using force. This is the only option I have.” He didn’t say that. I know he didn’t say it. And that’s what I was saying to Bibi. But that’s what Bibi heard. And when I left the meeting — I mean, we went through a discussion on this. Obviously, I wasn’t part of the phone call, but I was certain that the president had not said this.

I actually contacted [Secretary of State John] Kerry, who was then in Geneva, and said: “Look, you have a problem here. It has to be fixed.” Kerry called me, and he said, “That’s not our position.” I said, “I know it is not the position.” He said, “I’ll call them.” I said: “No, it shouldn’t be you. The problem isn’t you. The problem is what Bibi thinks where the president is. This needs to be fixed by the White House.” And it wasn’t.

You mean he didn’t get a call.

He didn’t get a call.

… We talked about advocates at the very beginning of the administration saying, “We’ve got to put some distance; we’ve got to try a new approach; we’ve got to be transformative.” As you look back on it all, what has happened? How has it worked? What is different about our relationship with Israel now than when we started out?

The biggest problem that this administration has with Israel is that it lost the Israeli public. There are a lot of things that I think President Obama could have done on the Iran issue with Israel, on the peace issue with Israel had he not lost the Israeli public. But he lost the Israeli public. And that was the single, biggest problem. Had he not done that, had he been able to lay out certain positions, the Israeli public would have automatically looked and said: “He gets our predicament. He understands the region. When he asks us to do something, it’s because actually it is in our best interests.”

That doesn’t exist today. And for most of the administration it has not existed. That has an effect on what we can get, what we can do with the Israelis. If there is one thing that I would have from the beginning counseled differently, I would have said, “Focus on the Israeli public.” …

[Netanyahu] once asked me, “Does the president think he knows my public better than I do?” It was rhetorical question. But I think he looked at some of the things we were doing and he thought, maybe he does. For someone as smart as President Obama, this was one area where we got off on the wrong foot, and we didn’t act soon enough to correct it.

Is it a permanent problem?

For this president, you’re not going to be able to change it. He can make an effort, but it is not going to work. I think it is not a permanent problem because the nature of the relationship is fundamental. And look at the region. This region is going to go through what is a kind of continuing level of upheaval and turmoil and upheaval and struggle over basic identity, even of what these states are. And who is going to define it? The only state that isn’t going to go through that upheaval is Israel. The one certainty you have is that whatever Israel’s problems are, they will manage them. You can’t say that about any other state in the region right now.

That uncertainty, that turmoil, that instability is going to be a reminder of what we have in common with Israel, not to mention that those who threaten us also threaten Israel. So the next president, whoever it is, I think one of the first things that president will do will be to focus on how to repair and mend the relationship and some of the differences.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Dennis Ross: Obama, Netanyahu Have a “Backdrop of Distrust”

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 26, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

January 21st, 2016

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) An examination of the history of the relationship between the Obama administration and Israel from the viewpoint of former US ambassador to Israel, Martin Indyk

In the early days of his administration, President Barack Obama had a theory about Israel. “It was a wrong theory of the case,” says longtime diplomat Martin Indyk, but a theory nonetheless: If the president could put distance between the United States and Israel, then just maybe he could build up credibility with the Arab world — and ultimately be in a better position to help Israel negotiate for peace.

But here’s where things went wrong, says Indyk, a U.S. ambassador to Israel during the Clinton administration, and from 2013 to 2014 a special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations: “After 16 years of Clinton and Bush, of unalloyed affection, the Israelis really didn’t like that.” The theory cost Obama support among Israelis, which meant he couldn’t move the Israeli public, says Indyk, “and if he couldn’t move the Israelis, then the Arabs had no use for him.”

In the below interview, Indyk says that the fallout today can be seen in everything from the stalled peace process and last year’s negotiations over the Iran nuclear agreement, to the president’s fractious relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who the former ambassador says was “essentially written off” by Obama after his 2012 reelection.

Let’s go to the beginning of the Obama administration. There is, we discovered as we talk to people, a kind of effort in the first ambitious efforts by the president to say, “I’m going to do something different about Israel than anybody else has really tried to do.” The word “distance” starts to be used; the word “daylight” starts to be used. There is talk of if we can reach the Arab world we’re going to have to reach them and not look like we’re pandering or [throwing] arms around Israel, and there are a number of missteps that people we talk to say occur. I’m not assuming you’re inside any of those conversations, but you’re watching and hearing and have some thoughts about it, I’m sure. Share them.

President Obama had a theory of the case, which was that George W. Bush had embraced Ariel Sharon and then Ehud Olmert, and there was no daylight between the United States and Israel, and that hadn’t produced a positive result. In the meantime, the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world was in the toilet, so the president believed that he needed to rebuild the relationship with the Muslim world, hence the Cairo speech, and by doing so, and by putting some daylight between the United States and Israel, currying favor with the Arabs and the Muslims would enable him to actually help Israel. That was his theory of the case that if the United States had more credibility with the Arabs and Muslims that he would be more in a position to help Israel make peace with them.

That was the context in which he went to Saudi Arabia before the Cairo speech, because Netanyahu had said, “Look, I can’t do a settlements freeze, but if you get me Saudi Arabia, then it’s a different story altogether.” So Obama said, “Oh, let’s go to Saudi Arabia.” The Saudis wanted him to come anyway, before he went to Cairo, because the king is the custodian of the two holy mosques and so on. But there was a strong element in Obama’s theory of the case that this was going to help Israel, whereas the previous Bush administration policy hadn’t really done anything for Israel.

It was a wrong theory of the case, as he would come to discover, because by sending a signal to Israel that he was distancing himself from Israel, by not going to Israel after Cairo — don’t forget he went to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Egypt; he didn’t go to Israel — for Israelis, the combination of not visiting and the speech sent them a very strong signal that he didn’t like them. After 16 years of Clinton and Bush, of unalloyed affection, the Israelis really didn’t like that. They turned against him in that moment.

What was wrong with the theory of the case then was that once he lost the Israelis, he couldn’t move the Israelis, because he didn’t have the trust that Clinton and Bush had, and if he couldn’t move the Israelis, then the Arabs had no use for him. The Arabs don’t want him to turn against Israel; they wanted him to deliver Israel. And if he is going to deliver Israel, he’s got to have a close and strong relationship of trust with the Israeli people, if not with the prime minister.

It took him a long time to appreciate that.

… How soon do you know they have erred, and erred grievously?

Immediately after the speech. It was crystal clear, crystal clear. I remember talking to an Israeli journalist, a very senior journalist whom the White House cleverly had invited to Cairo to hear the speech, and he called me from Cairo. He said: “This is a disaster. This is a disaster.” I said: “Tell [Chief of Staff] Rahm [Emanuel]. Tell him, because they need to do something about this. This is really going to lose the Israelis.”

… When Netanyahu comes to that first Oval Office meeting and it goes very badly, because basically Rahm has said to the president, as we hear it, “You’ve got to back this guy into the corner; the only way you’re going to ever get anything out of him is if you back him into the corner, and that means press him hard on the” —

Settlements.

— that was a miscalculation. He came to talk about Iran, and he knew the president himself was a little worried about Iran. I think he wanted, yes or no, he wanted to have a discussion about what are we going to do about this thing, or no?

I’m not sure that it was such a mistake to back him into the corner, because what it actually produced was his Bar-Ilan speech, in which he for the first time embraced the two-state solution. Actually I didn’t talk to him much in those days — he had other things to do, and I wasn’t in office anymore — but I remember we had one meeting just after the Bar-Ilan speech, and he said to me: “All right, I’ve said it. Can we now get on with Iran? Can we now focus on Iran?”

I took away from that that Netanyahu really was obsessed about Iran. This was his main concern. Clearly Obama was worried about the Palestinians, so if he could buy him off with some rhetoric, like he tried to buy Clinton off with a handshake with Arafat, OK, now let’s focus on the real issue here. I think that it was important for the president to make clear that the Palestinian issue was important to him and important to the United States.

The problem was demanding a total settlements freeze and then negotiating with Netanyahu something less, because they went out in public and declared this as an American objective, a total settlements freeze, and Secretary of State [Hillary] Clinton said, “Not one house.” Then George Mitchell, the special envoy, got into a negotiation with Netanyahu, and they ended up with a moratorium in the West Bank which was actually important and worth something. But by that point they had set the bar so high there was no way that Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority] could at that point accept anything less than a full settlements freeze, which is what they actually delivered. So it was a settlement moratorium for 10 months. It took eight months to get Palestinian leader Abu Mazen into the room with Netanyahu.

I think that was the problem. The objective was unattainable, and for some reason they didn’t understand that from the get-go. With an unattainable objective, they ended up with something less, and finally they get the Israelis in place, and they have lost the Palestinians.

Let’s go to the Arab Spring. They write a speech; the president goes to the State Department, delivers it, mentions the ’67 borders. … It’s the day before Netanyahu is coming to the country. They have the office meeting. They have the lecture afterward. As you observed that happening from your perch, what do you see happening, and how does it strike you?

… It was not an attempt to ambush him. It was just that typical situation where when the fights within the U.S. government in Washington get sorted out, nobody has got any energy to remember that they had better tell the affected parties about what they’re going to do, and that happens quite regularly. That’s what happened in this case.

But from Netanyahu’s point of view, he was convinced that this was an attempt to ambush him and embarrass him and put him in a situation where the president was, from Netanyahu’s point of view, weakening Israel’s negotiating position by declaring the stats on the ’67 lines. He was furious about it, and I think that marked a turning point in the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu. It hadn’t been good up to that point, but at that point Netanyahu became convinced that Obama was out to screw him, and he was going to screw him back.

In a separate interview, former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and longtime political adviser to Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Dore Gold said: “You can’t try and railroad Israel into doing things that Israel feels is dangerous.”

In his interview, Dore Gold is asked:

When the president goes to Cairo for the speech, and you heard him speak, what did you think?

Well, everybody that was in my entourage focused on the whole notion that the state of Israel rose as a response to the Holocaust. That was something that was unacceptable.

Why?

Because Israel has an eternity to it that goes far back before the 20th century, the 19th century, and even earlier. All we have to do is know that there was a Jewish majority in Jerusalem already at the time of the American Civil War. All we have to know is that we had a civilization here that was destroyed by the Romans. Our history is all over this city and all over the country. Therefore, an explanation that sees us as a bunch of Europeans who are looking for a refuge from the Nazis is a partial and not terribly accurate understanding of the soul of this country.

Does it surprise you that the president of the United States would make that error?

It surprised me that they have a speechwriter who would be allowed to write that kind of document, because I think Sen. Obama was presented with the four dimensions of Israel, but someone decided to take this partial approach in a presidential speech, and it didn’t earn him confidence with the people of Israel. …

When the Arab Spring happens, the president of the United States three months later gives a speech from the State Department. It not only is ecstatically happy about what they perceive as a potential explosion of democracy all over the region, but it also folds in this idea of let’s return to the ’67 borders.

Lines. They’re not borders — lines.

Lines. … Take me there, and give me your impressions of the events and the meaning of those events to you guys.

I was a private citizen at the time. I was running a think tank called the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. We were having a board meeting to approve my new budget, so my board had all come in, and I’m sitting with them. My secretary comes rushing in, and she goes, “Dore, the prime minister is on the phone.”

I walk into his office where his desk is, and he’s surrounded by his top advisers. He’s on a speakerphone to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. While I won’t go into what was said in detail, I’ll just say roughly, he had been advised that the president’s speech at the State Department was about to occur and that it contained reference to the ’67 lines, and he was not happy.

There was an exchange between the secretary of state and the prime minister, but this was a fundamental change in U.S. policy. … This has been a cornerstone of U.S.-Israeli diplomacy for years, and now all of a sudden talk about the ’67 lines, even with a little land swap, it is a fundamental shift in policy. That’s why it strikes so hard in Jerusalem. …

[When Netanyahu and Obama met on May 20, 2011, it was reported] that the prime minister was lecturing the president of the United States about Israel’s security, and the way we hear it, Bill Daley, the chief of staff of the president, is whispering, “Hey, who does this guy think he is, lecturing the president of the United States?” …

What if a newspaper writes, “Prime Minister Netanyahu Rebukes the President”? They put that in their headline, and then they create an atmosphere. Maybe there’s a newspaper interested in creating that atmosphere, and then you have to live with those results.

So it’s a very complicated visit, especially if you’re at the end of the day keeping in mind that the U.S. and Israel allies are facing a dangerous world and have to work together. If you want to keep that in mind, you’ve got to correct all of the either misimpressions or interpretations that have been given to your candid diplomacy.

Was there bad blood at the end of that?

I think there was a period where both sides needed to go in the corner and breathe, but at the same time everybody knows that the U.S. and Israel have to come back together again. Keep that in mind. Nobody is approaching this relationship or their interactions with the view that that’s it, we’re getting a divorce. That’s not in the cards. …

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Michael Oren: Inside Obama-Netanyahu’s Relationship
2) Martin Indyk: Obama “Has Essentially Written Off Netanyahu”
3) Dore Gold: “You Can’t Try and Railroad Israel”

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 12, 2016: Weekly 5 minute update

January 12th, 2016

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) An examination of the history of the relationship between the Obama administration and Israel

When Michael Oren was named Israel’s ambassador to the United States in 2009, he set out to learn as much as he could about America’s new president, Barack Obama. A historian by training, Oren read Obama’s works, including his memoirs, and concluded that the new leader would pursue a new foreign policy approach, including: direct outreach to the Muslim world; a renewed effort to work with international institutions, such as the United Nations.; and a “recoiling from a dependence on American military power.

Oren presented his conclusions to the Israeli government. “Not all of them were easy to hear,” he recalls. “Not all of them were palatable.” In an interview with FRONTLINE, Oren, who now serves in the Israeli Knesset as a member of the centrist Kulanu Party, speaks about the issues that occupied his time as ambassador including the peace process with the Palestinians and the Israeli settlement policy.

[In your book, you write that] when you get the job, you do research to try to understand as much as you can about who Barack Obama is. … What do you discover, … and what do you tell Netanyahu about it?

I had come into the job as ambassador not as a career diplomat but as a historian, and I used a historian’s tool to try to understand the man who is now the leader of the most powerful nation on earth and Israel’s most important ally. …

It was my job as ambassador, basically to the degree that I could, to get into his head and see the world the way he saw it, so that we could know where he was going and whether we could adapt ourselves to this worldview. …

I had to look at the things that he himself had written, the books. … He had written a book shortly after his graduation from Harvard Law School. This was in the ’90s, before, apparently, he’s contemplating running for national office. The book, Dreams of My Father, is an incredibly candid book. It’s a window into someone’s soul. … I read it many times. I have a dog-eared copy of this book.

What I discovered there was a very interesting individual, a very complex individual, but a person who had a worldview. And I began to piece together that worldview and to make certain assumptions and conclusions, and then present them to the Israeli government. Not all of them were easy to hear. Not all of them were palatable.

One was that yes, Barack Obama was a transformative president, not only the fact that he was the first African American president, but he was there to change many aspects of American foreign policy. The most obvious one, the one that most directly affected Israel, was the outreach to the Muslim world. … The president referred to himself by his full name. He, in virtually every speech, beginning with the first inaugural address, referred to his Muslim family ties. His first trips abroad are to Turkey and to Egypt. His first foreign interview on TV is with Dubai Television. And the message is always the same: I am the bridge. A big part of my family are Muslims. Here is the bridge.

There’s a line in the Cairo speech of June 2009, which is an extraordinary line. He says, “I have known Islam on three continents before coming to the region where it was revealed,” which in itself is an extraordinary statement, citing it.

Why?

Why? Because first of all, it’s the first time, to my knowledge as a historian, that a president of the United States addresses the world adherents of one faith. … It’s the center of the al-Azhar Rectory, one of the great seminaries of the Muslim world, of Islam, over the centuries. And he’s making this address to world Muslims. So it’s an extraordinary event.

The address itself is twice as long as the Second Inaugural Address, very long speech. And there are many aspects of the speech which have direct impact on Israel, the most obvious of which is the condemnation of settlements. Linking Israel’s existence and justification to the Holocaust, which was a problem from Israel — it belies the Israeli narrative that Israel arose not out of the Holocaust, but out of the 3,000-year connection with this land. And [he] recognizes Iran’s right to peaceful nuclear energy, which was a significant departure from American policy. … So that was one aspect of the worldview.

The other aspect was that the United States would work with international institutions much more, a collegial approach to managing foreign policy. America wasn’t going to be the world’s policeman anymore. Some of those institutions, like the U.N., have proven to be quite inimical to Israel over the years. So that in itself was also a problem.

There was a recoiling from a dependence on American military power. The president had one statement which sort of stayed with me over the years. The statement was, “Whether we like it or not, America is the world’s leading military superpower,” which was a line that you probably couldn’t imagine John Kennedy saying, or even Bill Clinton, certainly not Ronald Reagan. That showed that there was a reticence there, a recoiling from that type of military power. It doesn’t mean he wasn’t going to use military power; he used it very effectively with drone warfare.

All of those conclusions had to be presented to the Israeli government. This is who we’re dealing with, to the best of my knowledge.

And the reaction?

I have one more point, if I might. … I was on sabbatical for an entire year in 2008 before becoming ambassador. It’s the first time I actually lived in an American neighborhood, and I was quite shocked. I talk about, in my book, about the Rip Van Winkle effect, of waking up after 25 years and seeing everything change. It was a very different America than the America I had left nearly 40 years ago, which was very much a WASP-dominated society. This was now a country with a non-white majority. There were no Protestants, no WASPs on the Supreme Court. Unwed mothers now outnumbered wed mothers. This was an interesting America, and it was an America that I saw that Obama was as much a symptom as a cause of the transformations in America.

And as early as 2009, shortly after taking office, one of the messages that I gave to the Israeli government is that we have to plan for a two-term president, because the transformations, I believed, were permanent. …

We’ve interviewed many people in the States who were there at the moment of creation of the Obama administration, and they’re in transformative mode. … They’re also very fixated on the peace process. They say to Obama not only the things that you’ve just outlined, that Obama will be different, [but] there will be this thing that will eventually be called the Obama Doctrine, that he’ll unclench the fists, theoretically, of the Arab world, that they’ll step back a little bit from Israel, in symbolic and other ways, and that they’ll push Netanyahu around a little bit to get him involved in the peace process. Are you aware of all of that kind of churn that’s going on inside the earliest days of the Obama administration?

I was. … From an ambassadorial perspective, it was irrelevant who was responsible for the initiatives. I personally thought — and not just personally; I think it was a general Israeli approach — that they were ill conceived; that the notion of publicly pressuring Israel on the settlement issue actually pushed the Palestinians further from the negotiating table than brought them closer to it, because in the Middle East, if you’re getting something for free, why go into a negotiation where you’re going to have to pay for it? That was sort of a constant conversation which I had, which other representatives of Israel had, with the administration. We understand you don’t like settlements. Settlements are controversial in Israel themselves. I have certain strong feelings about settlements. But let’s keep our feelings about settlements separate from the tactical question of how to get the Palestinians to the negotiating table and actually sit with us.

The fact of the matter is that there was a direct correlation between the amount of pressure put publicly on Israel and the settlements and the reluctance of the Palestinians to negotiate. And eventually they just walked away from the table.

When Prime Minister Netanyahu goes for that very first meeting in [May] 2009, you are with him.

I’m with him, but I’m not ambassador yet. I’m ambassador designate. … I attended that meeting. The interesting part about it, in the meeting, there was a separate — of course, there was always a one-on-one in any meeting, … and the one-on-ones between Netanyahu and Obama, without exception, went on at least twice as long as they were scheduled each time. They met, to the best of my recollection, about 12 times. They always went on longer.

And they always emerged, usually with a sense of goodwill, smiles on their faces, lots of pats on their backs. Usually we would read the next day, or in a couple of hours, in the newspaper, how badly it had gone. …

In that first meeting of May 2009, the group session was to talk about Gaza. Keep in mind, Israel had just completed Operation Cast Lead in the previous January, only days before the inauguration, by the way, which was a major consideration for Israel in ending the operation. We didn’t want to be fighting on the day that Barack Obama became the 44th president.

The question was how then to reconstruct Gaza, which had suffered extensive damage. Our problem was that there were 1,000 tunnels under the Egyptian border and that you could bring in concrete to rebuild buildings that had been damaged in the fighting, but Hamas would grab the concrete and use it to build bunkers and tunnels. And this became the discussion. …

But I think that even Netanyahu, from what I came to understand later about the meeting, was taken aback by the departure, by the very strong departure on American foreign policy.

In what sense?

To use an administration term, there was going to be a full-court press on the settlement issue, and the settlement and Jerusalem issue, which are going to be particularly difficult for the head of Likud. This is a party with a platform and a constituency on the two-state solution. Now Netanyahu, a month later, would deliver the Bar-Ilan speech, in which he accepted the two-state solution. But at the time, he was not yet prepared. He had not laid the groundwork yet. And in a different type of environment, in a different type of rapport, you say to the president of the United States: “Listen, I’m going to come out with this, but give me a little wiggle room here; give me a little latitude. Let me lay the groundwork for this. Don’t rush it.” But I don’t think he got that type of latitude. …

My general disposition as ambassador was to say, “Let’s try to be as flexible as possible, certainly on the peace issue, because eventually we’re going to have to dig in our heels on the Iran issue.” … Occasionally I was successful in persuading people back in Israel that this was the approach. But every time the prime minister made a major concession like the Bar-Ilan speech, or like the moratorium on the settlements, which went from November 2009 until September 2010, he didn’t get much credit for it, and this cost him substantially in terms of the support in his own party.

What we needed is what’s known in diplomacy as tailwind. We needed the president to come out and say very unequivocally: “This is a major move. This is a great contribution to the peace process. This took guts on the part of Netanyahu.” Couldn’t get those statements. And ultimately, that type of approach strengthened the hands of those who were against making those kind of concessions. …

… [The diplomat] Dennis Ross told us in an interview that they were extremely naïve about being transformative … and that Cairo, in many ways, is a manifestation of that. The decision not to stop in Israel: You’re over in the neighborhood; you’re not going to stop in Israel? What kind of signals do you want to send?

Not only they didn’t stop in Israel, he went to Buchenwald, which tended to fortify the case that Israel’s justification emerged from the Holocaust. Now I don’t know if this is too much inside ball, but that’s the Arab narrative. The Arab narrative is, Europeans killed European Jews, and they dumped the survivors in Palestine, and the Arabs have to pay for Europe’s crimes against Jews. Why should Arabs pay?

Now, that narrative was problematic. Why would you make peace with an illegitimate refugee state of Europeans? So even that, in terms of tactically the peace process, was a step backward. What you want to say to the Arab world, in which Obama, to his credit, eventually did in his November 2011 speech to the General Assembly of the U.N., he says: “Israel is not about the Holocaust. Israel is about a 3,000-year Jewish claim to the area.”

But at the time, he’s got some bad advice handed to him or something?

I think this was the most centralized American administration certainly since World War II. And I learned early on that the roads of decision making, virtually without exception, led to the Oval Office. And yes, the president might have gotten advice from [White House Chief of Staff] Rahm Emanuel, from [Secretary of State] Hillary Clinton. At the end of the day, the person who really decided was the president himself. And the president’s worldview — and I will keep on harping on that — all of these decisions were very much in keeping with the worldview.

And the worldview is?

The notion of linkage is practically doctrinal in the Obama administration. What does linkage mean? That if you solve the Arab-Israeli conflict, you will solve a whole series of other conflicts in the Middle East. …

So if you believe that the Arab-Israeli conflict is the core conflict, and the core of that conflict is what the administration calls the Israeli occupation and the settlements, then that leads you, obviously, to the conclusion that you have to force Israel to give up the settlements, to talk about a two-state solution, to stop building parts of Jerusalem. …

The Arab Spring happens, and Obama goes to the State Department in May and gives the speech that I think breaks what everybody says is the sort of cardinal rule. He doesn’t let Netanyahu, doesn’t let you know that they’re about to mention the ’67 borders, that it’s going to be a part of that.

On the contrary, I was informed that they would not mention it. I was in the White House the previous day.

So tell me the story.

… The pillars of the U.S.-Israel relationship, two of the pillars had always been no daylight, no surprises. Now, that doesn’t mean that these pillars weren’t at various times dodged. Israel in 1981 attacked the Iraqi nuclear reactor without telling the United States. Israel negotiated with the PLO in September 1993 without telling the United States, rather belatedly. But those examples are few and very far between. For the most part, these two principles held.

What is “no daylight”? No daylight was, we can have our differences, and they can be sometimes very deep differences over settlements over Jerusalem. But to the greatest degree possible, we’re going to try to keep them behind the scenes and work them out between us, which was very different than the Obama administration’s position was, from the first day, to take these disagreements and put them out front. Obama was quoted in a meeting with American Jewish leaders, saying, “I intend to put daylight between Israel and the United States.” It was a decision.

No surprises meant that if the United States was going to give a major policy statement on the Middle East that would impact Israel and its security, then Israel would have a chance to view that statement in advance and to submit its comments. That was the case, in 2002, with Bush and the roadmap. He gave it to Ari Sharon before he [went] public with it.

Israel had no advance warning of the Cairo speech. Complete shock. By that time, I had been almost two years in the office, and I had grown accustomed to the fact that I was not going to get any advance warning. But on the previous day, on May 18, 2011, I was in the White House, and I asked, “OK, what’s in the speech?” There was a lot of excitement around the speech. This was going to be the president’s major address about the Arab Spring, which had broken out five months earlier in Egypt.

I was just very curious. There were rumors floating around. I had long anticipated that the administration may say something about the ’67 borders, but I received assurance that it wasn’t going to be there. And roughly a quarter of the speech of May 19 was about the ’67 borders, and it became the headline. The headline in the New York Times was, “President Obama Endorses the ’67 Borders.” The rest of the speech, about the Arab Spring, went virtually unreported. …

Now, for Israel, this was a major development. I did a lot of press at the time, and it was difficult to explain why this was so earth-shattering. Everyone knew that ’67 borders were going to be the basis of the peace agreement. That’s what the conventional wisdom was.

In diplomacy, you work out a framework for negotiations. It’s called a terms of reference, TOR. And Israel and Secretary Clinton had worked out, laboriously, over many weeks, perhaps months of negotiations, the TOR. Now, I have this TOR more or less emblazoned on my soul, to this day, and it goes something like this: The United States believes that through good-faith negotiations, it can reconcile the Israeli goal of an independent Jewish state within secure and defensible borders and the Palestinian goal of an independent Palestinian state, based on the 1967 borders with mutually agreed swaps. And there sometimes was a little add about taking into account changes on the ground, which was a reference to settlement blocs. So what in the TOR had been a Palestinian goal all of a sudden moved over to an American goal, by the way, for the first time since 1967.

Now, the ’67 borders were very problematic from Israel’s stand of view. Our major highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem runs through the ’67 borders. The ’67 borders includes our holiest site, the Western Wall. It puts the Palestinian state’s borders within mortar range of Israel’s airport. Very problematic. …

So again, it pushed the Palestinians away from the table, but also created great problems for the prime minister, and it was a breach of trust. That was the true problem here, because peace, if you can achieve it, has got to be based on trust. It’s got to be based on mutual trust. We’re talking about the lives of our kids here. You’ve got to be able to be able to put your trust in somebody, and particularly in your best ally.

So it was quite a tense period. And Netanyahu, as it happens, comes the next day, May 20. … He was going to make a major address to AIPAC [American Israel Public Affairs Committee], and he was going to address a joint session of Congress.

… What do you think is going to happen?

I had never seen him like that coming out of the plane. You know, you come out of the plane, usually you land at Dulles or at Andrews Air Force Base, and you smile for the cameras. There was no smile. There was no wave. You can almost imagine the steam coming out of his ears. We proceeded to Blair House, where his team of advisers tried to calm it down, but he had things he wanted to say to the president. …

Does he ride in the car with you from the airport?

Yes.

So what’s he like in the car?

He’s angry. He’s angry. … And I understood it. Moreover, I was the one who had sent the report the previous day that the White House had said that he wasn’t going to be there. So, you know, I become the messenger here. And the events transpired very quickly then.

We have a good meeting in the White House. There is a one-on-one that characteristically goes on more than twice its scheduled time. The two leaders emerge. They have this talk. Netanyahu gives his about-10-minute speech, which he managed to memorize very quickly. He has that capability. And the remarks are addressed to the Palestinians. The Palestinians have to understand that Israel is the Jewish state. They have to understand that Israel has to have a prolonged military presence along the Jordan River to prevent any future Palestinian state from becoming Gaza or South Lebanon.

There are a number of things that the Palestinians have to understand. They understand that Palestinian refugees are going to come back to Palestine and not to Israel. Not particularly controversial. And then afterward, the prime minister and the president stroll on the South Lawn for about 20 minutes. I’m at a respectable ambassadorial distance, but they’re having a perfectly congenial talk. The president slaps the prime minister on the back, shakes his hand, says, “Goodbye, my friend.”

We go back to the Blair House thinking, OK, we’ve gotten by this. It was unpleasant, but we’ve managed to defuse the crisis. No sooner than we’re back that the headlines blare, for the first time in history, a foreign leader has lectured the president of the United States in the Oval Office — lectured — and precisely the type of showdown at least I had hoped, and others had hoped, to their credit, had hoped to avoid.

… So you are with a lot of other guys while they’re in there for a couple of hours talking to each other, the president and Netanyahu, or for an hour and a half?

Yes. … We’re in the Roosevelt Room.

And is [White House Chief of Staff] Bill Daley and all those guys around?

Mm-hmm, they are.

And you guys were all cordial but slightly anxious about what is actually happening behind closed doors?

We actually had a serious discussion about the content of the speech. And Secretary Clinton was there and made the case that major efforts had been made to change the tone of the speech, change the content of the speech. I think she mentioned that the word “Hamas” hadn’t appeared in the speech, and that we should take this with a greater sense of equanimity.

Because you guys had indicated that there was some electric tension in the air.

I had very open channels with people in the White House. Right after the speech, I called and said, “You understand this is going to be problematic, and you understand that this is going to evoke a very strong reaction from Jerusalem.”

And they said?

That it would be a mistake to react angrily to this. …

So there they are, the two guys. And we’ve all seen the stock footage. The prime minister is talking. Obama is doing this and looking like —

He’s actually listening very intently. … He was focused. I didn’t get the sense that he was angry. I didn’t get that sense strolling around the White House lawn afterward.

But Bill Daley was angry.

Bill Daley was very angry.

He was whispering, “Who the hell does this guy think he is?”

… He didn’t say this to me; he said it to somebody else on the staff that, “Is your boss in the habit of coming to people’s houses and lecturing them?” And I only heard that back at Blair House, by which time it was all over the news anyway. But the whole point of our preparation was to avoid that moment. And, you know, diplomacy is supposedly the art of the possible. Sometimes it’s the art of the unattainable, the unachievable. And this was that moment.

Now, it begs the question whether various parties had an interest in making that a crisis moment. Now that I can’t know, but I could never rule out the possibility. The same thing was true about the so-called snub.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Michael Oren: Inside Obama-Netanyahu’s Relationship

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 15, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

December 14th, 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 summary of Hanukkah

In this week’s update, we share with you the history and background of Hanukkah. What applications are there for today? How is it prophetic of the end of days?

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

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 8, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

December 9th, 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) US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s speech at the Saban conference on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process

In this week’s update, we share with you excerpts from US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s recent speech at the Saban conference in Washington D.C. where he discussed the current situation of the Israeli / Palestinian peace process.

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

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 1, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

December 1st, 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 ramifications of Turkey shooting down a Russian military jet near the Turkey / Syria border

On November 24, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane near the Syrian border. Turkey said that the Russian jet had violated its airspace. Footage from a private Turkish TV station showed the warplane going down in flames with a long plume of smoke trailing behind it as it crashed in a wooded part of an area the TV said was known by Turks as “Turkmen Mountain”. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said the warplane crashed in a mountainous area in the northern countryside of the Syrian Latakia province. Footage from Turkey’s Anadolu Agency showed two pilots parachuting out of the jet before it crashed. The incident left one pilot dead; another was rescued. The Russian Ministry of Defense said that the body of the dead pilot has been flown back to Russia.

Turkey downs Russian Jet

Turkey said that the jet had flown more than a mile into Turkey for 17 seconds, despite being warned 10 times in five minutes while approaching to change direction. A senior Turkish official said: “The data we have is very clear. There were two planes approaching our border, we warned them as they were getting too close. Our findings show clearly that Turkish air space was violated multiple times. And they violated it knowingly.” Turkey President Tayyip Erdogan said: “Nobody should doubt that we made our best efforts to avoid this latest incident. But everyone should respect the right of Turkey to defend its borders.”

In contrast, the Russia’s defense ministry said that its Su-24 fighter jet that was downed in Syria was “for the entire duration of the flight exclusively over Syrian territory.” In fact, it released a video showing that its SU-24 fighter jet never entered Turkish airspace. Furthermore, Russian President Vladimir Putin said: “The American side, which leads the coalition that Turkey belongs to, knew about the location and time of our planes’ flights, and we were hit exactly there and at that time.”

However, Turkey’s military released its own audio recording of what it says was its warning to the Russian warplane. In one portion, a voice is heard saying: “This is Turkish Air Force speaking on guard. You are approaching Turkish airspace. Change your heading south immediately. Change your heading south.”

The people known as the Turkmen, a rebel group, sympathetic to Turkey who live near the Turkmen mountain claimed to have killed one of the Russian pilots who was trying to land safely on the ground after parachuting from the evacuated jet. The Turkmen minority who reside in northern Syria have strong ties to the Turkish government who wants to give them military protection. Turkish President Erdogan said: “Anyone who bombs that area attacks our brothers and sisters — the Turkmen.”

In retaliation, Russia began to bombard the mountainous area where the Turkmen live.  Russian warplanes carried out heavy raids in Syria’s northern Latakia province in the Jabal Akrad and Jabal Turkman regions. Furthermore, Syrian government forces, supported by the Russian air campaign, started a military ground operation in an area where there are about 50 Turkmen villages. Syria sent tanks that marched through the area including heavy firing from cannons. Russia provided cover from the air and fired missiles as far away as the Mediteraniean sea.

A Turkmen rebel leader said: “For us it cannot get any worse than this. We are under a very intense, heavy campaign from the Russians and the Syrian government.” As a result, the Russian wrath began to pour out upon the Muslim terrorists who were being aided by American provided Taw Missiles as well as their own tanks they captured from the Syrian government military.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said the Russian plane had been attacked when it was 1 km inside Syria and warned of “serious consequences” for what he termed a stab in the back administered by “the accomplices of terrorists”. He continued: “We will never tolerate such crimes like the one committed today.” Putin said: “We have not heard either an apology from Turkey’s top politicians, or proposals to compensate us for the damage, or a promise to punish the criminals. The impression is that the Turkish leadership is willfully driving the Russian-Turkish relations into a deadlock. We regret it,” he said.

In addition, Russia blamed Turkey for supporting ISIS and accused Turkey of buying oil from the Islamic State jihadist group, whose financing heavily relies on the sale of energy resources. Putin said that there was “no doubt” that oil from “terrorist-controlled” territory in Syria was making its way across the border into Turkey. “We see from the sky where these vehicles [carrying oil] are going,” Putin said. “They are going to Turkey day and night. These barrels are not only carrying oil but also the blood of our citizens because with this money terrorists buy weapons and ammunition and then organize bloody attacks,” he added.

At a joint press conference with Russian President Putin and French President Francois Hollande, Putin revealed that aerial surveillance shows “lines of oil tanker trucks, as far as the eye can see, taking oil across the border from Syria to Turkey.”  Putin went on to reveal “The trucks empty the oil in Turkey then return to Syria to refill.”  He described the line of trucks as “appearing to be a living pipeline” which operates almost 24 hours a day.  This selling of stolen oil results in over one million dollars per day in cash to ISIS, which funds the terror group. As a result, Putin said that ISIS oil smuggling into Turkey should become a high-priority target in order to cripple the terrorist group. Sales of oil from ISIS are in direct violation of international law.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said: “We think it highly cynical when some of the countries speak about their commitment to the corresponding United Nations Security Council resolutions and declare themselves members of anti-terrorist coalitions but in reality are playing a game where terrorists [meaning ISIS] are allocated the role of secret allies [of Turkey],” Lavrov stressed. “We have more and more questions about Turkey real plans and the degree of its readiness to exterminate terrorism, in particular in Syria, and its commitment to the normalization of the situation in Syria.”

As a result, a Russian defense ministry spokesman said: “Russian aviation continues to strike refining facilities in the territories controlled by the ISIS terrorist organization.” In the past few days, Russian aircraft has destroyed oil trucks, refineries, and oil storage facilities in the Syrian provinces of Deir ez-Zor and Raqqa. Finally, Russia said that it soon plans to launch operation ‘Total Destruction’ against ISIS in Syria using  fighter jets, bombers, submarines as well as warships deployed in the Mediterranean Sea.

In order to further harm ISIS, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that Russia is ready to coordinate practical steps to block the Turkish-Syrian border in cooperation with Syria. He said: “We are open for coordination of practical steps, certainly, in interaction with the Syrian government,” he said. “We are convinced that by blocking the border we will in many respects solve the tasks to eradicate terrorism on Syrian soil.”

Russia trying to cut off ISIS access to Turkey

Former NATO Supreme Allied Commander General Wesley Clark went on television and admitted that oil from ISIS is “probably going through Turkey”…

Asked whether he agreed with Vladimir Putin that Turkey was aiding ISIS, Clark responded, “All along there’s always been the idea that Turkey was supporting ISIS in some way,” before going on to accuse Ankara of funneling ISIS terrorists through Turkey and buying ISIS’ stolen oil in the black market.

Someone’s buying that oil that ISIS is selling, it’s going through somewhere, it looks to me like it’s probably going through Turkey,” said Clark, before also going on to accuse Putin of supporting terrorists through his allegiance with Bashar Al-Assad.

US State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau said that the Russian warplane was shot down in Turkey airspace. US President Barack Obama said that Turkey has a right to defend its airspace and blamed Russia for supporting the Assad government in Syria. Obama said: “This points to an ongoing problem with the Russian operations. They are operating very close to a Turkish border and they are going after moderate opposition that are supported by not only Turkey but a wide range of countries.”

Turkey President Erdogan said: “If the same violation occurs today then Turkey would react in the same way. The country which violates another should question itself and take necessary action to prevent a repetition of the incident.” Because Turkey gave no apology for downing the Russian jet, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed into law sweeping economic sanctions against Turkey. The sanctions bill targets Turkey’s tourism industry, cancels visa-free travel between the two countries, bans many Russian companies from hiring Turkish citizens and blocks imports of some Turkish goods. This includes stopping importing vegetables listing Israel as a possible alternative. “Turkish vegetables account for 20 percent of the total Russian imports of vegetables. Import of vegetables, tomatoes in the first place, will be substituted with those from Iran, Morocco, Israel, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan,” a spokesman said.

In addition, the Russian Finance Minister said the sanctions would also freeze some prestige projects between the two countries, including a joint venture to build Turkey’s first nuclear power plant and a Russian-Turkish gas pipeline called Turkstream. Putin signed the gas deal with Turkey in December after the European Union blocked the pipeline. Furthermore, Russia decided to cut all military cooperation with Turkey. A Russian Defense Ministry spokesman said: “Today, in accordance with a previously made decision, all cooperation channels have been cut between the Russian Defense Ministry and the Turkish Armed Forces.”

The Russian Defense Minister said that Russia would deploy S-400 defense missile systems to its Syrian air base near Latakia, on Syria’s Mediterranean coast. The deployment of the highly advanced Russian S-400 anti-air missiles combined with Russia electronic jamming and other electronic warfare equipment has effectively transformed most of Syria into a no-fly zone under Russian control. The S-400 uses multiple missile variants to shoot down stealth aircraft, UAVs, cruise missiles and sub-strategic ballistic missiles. The S-400 can engage up to 36 targets simultaneously. There range covers at least three-quarters of Syrian territory, a huge part of Turkey, all of Lebanon, Cyprus and half of Israel. The missiles have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles). The Turkish border is less than 30 miles away.

Turkey is responding to Russia by initiating a defacto naval blockade solely of Russian Naval Military Vessels between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. In order to travel from one sea to the other, vessels must transit the Strait of Istanbul which has two components: The Dardanelles and the Bosporus.  The Dardanelles is a narrow waterway between the Mediterranean and the Sea of Marmora. The Bosporus is another narrow waterway between the Sea of Marmora and the Black Sea.

Both the Dardanelles and the Bosporus are under the military control of Turkey and the use of those waterways is governed very strictly by a Treaty known as “The 1936 Montreux Convention.” In that Treaty, Turkey must allow merchant (cargo) ships from every nation to pass to and from while engaged in commerce.  Military vessels however, are subject to a slightly different standard.  In the Treaty, military vessels from nations bordering the Black Sea are unrestricted as to size or weight, but non-Black Sea nations are limited in the weight of their vessels.  This has the effect of preventing aircraft carriers from non-Black Sea nations from entering the Black Sea.

Russia says that Turkey is not permitted to block the transit of other nations’ military vessels unless Turkey is “threatened with aggression” or “at war.”  Despite this Treaty restriction, Turkish newspapers have publicly discussing the possibility that Turkey would “close the throat” of Russian naval access to the Dardanelles and to the Bosporus. According to the AIS tracking system for the movement of maritime vessels, only Turkish vessels are moving along the Bosphorus, and in the Dardanelles there is no movement of any shipping at all. At the same time, both from the Black Sea, and from the Mediterranean Sea, there is a small cluster of ships under the Russian flag, just sitting and waiting.

Turkey Blockading Russia in the Black Sea

Because of all of this, Russia is preparing for a greater war with NATO which could be nuclear as Russia announced that by the end of December, it will deploy the latest version of its giant command and control aircraft designated for use during nuclear war or national disasters. The flying command center will be able to coordinate the worldwide operations of its ground, naval, air and missile forces, including nuclear weapons, as well as the country’s satellites. Russian military sources said that the Ilyushin-80 jet would be used when the command infrastructure is disrupted due to a nuclear war, or when ground communication systems are absent. The sources said the plane will be permanently staffed with senior generals, operational commanders and technicians.

Meanwhile, Israel said that will not take action against Russian fighter jets that encroach into its air space. A senior Israeli military figure said: “Russia is not an enemy,” he said. “We are trying to avoid tension with the Russians. This region is made up of common boundaries, and there are a lot of players on the ground and in the air,” the official said. “If a Russian plane crosses the aerial boundary, we will not launch a missile and we won’t down it.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Turkey downs Russian warplane near Syria border, Putin warns of ‘serious consequences’
2) Turkey and Russia trade barbs as tensions mount over downed jet
3) US knew flight path of plane downed by Turkey: Putin
4) Body of downed Russian pilot back in Russia
5) Heavy Russia raids in Syria area where plane downed
6) ‘Commercial scale’ oil smuggling into Turkey becomes priority target of anti-ISIS strikes
7) Russia ready to coordinate steps to block Turkish-Syrian border — FM
8) Russia to Launch ‘Total Destruction’ Operations against ISIL in Syria
9) Putin signs sweeping economic sanctions against Turkey
10) Russia: No Turkish imports, we will import from Israel
11) Russia Cuts All Military Ties With Turkey
12) Obama: Turkey has the right to defend itself and its airspace
13) Russian S-400 missiles turn most of Syria into no-fly zone, halt US air strikes
14) Tensions rise as Russia says it’s deploying anti-aircraft missiles to Syria
15) Turkey Blockading Russia from Dardanelles; Black Sea Fleet completely cut off
16) Turkey Sends Two Submarines to Shadow Russian Missile Cruiser in Mediterranean
17) New generation ‘doomsday’ airborne command post to enter service in Russia
18) Moscow to deploy latest command plane for disasters, nuclear war
19) ‘Israel won’t down a Russian warplane if it enters its air space’

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