You may view the 5 minute update this week via audio:
In this week’s 5 minute update, we focused on:
1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process
Sweden has become the first major European country to recognize a state of Palestine. Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said: “Today’s recognition is a contribution to a better future for a region that has for too long been characterized by frozen negotiations, destruction and frustration. Some will state this decision comes too soon. I am afraid, rather, that it is too late. Our decision comes at a critical time because over the last year we have seen how the peace talks have stalled, how decisions over new settlements on occupied Palestinian land have complicated a two-state solution and how violence has returned to Gaza,” she said. “Together with other European countries, as well as the United States and other regional and international organizations, the government will now work to support renewed negotiations to reach a final agreement.” Wallstrom said Sweden’s move aimed at supporting moderate Palestinians and making their status more equal with that of Israel in peace negotiations, as well as giving hope to young people on both sides.
Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman denounced the Swedish government’s official recognition of a “Palestinian state” as “deplorable” saying it would undermine efforts to resolve the conflict. He said: ‘The decision of the Swedish government to recognize a Palestinian state is a deplorable decision which only strengthens extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionism.” The Palestinian Authority immediately praised the decision. “President [Mahmoud] Abbas welcomes Sweden’s decision,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said saying the Palestinian leader described the move as “brave and historic.” Abbas called for other countries to follow Sweden’s lead. “All countries of the world that are still hesitant to recognize our right to an independent Palestinian state based on 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital, (should) follow Sweden’s lead,” he said. Seven EU members in eastern European and the Mediterranean have already recognized a Palestinian state – Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta, Poland and Romania. Non-EU member Iceland is the only other western European nation to have done so.
In an interview with a senior Obama administration official, Jeffrey Goldberg, of the Atlantic magazine asked the question regarding what foreign leader makes the US most frustrated. The senior Obama administration official responded by saying that it was Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Then, the official referred to Netanyahu as “chickensh*t”. This comment is representative of the brutal manner in which American and Israeli officials now talk about each other behind closed doors and is yet another sign that relations between the Obama and Netanyahu governments have moved toward a full-blown crisis. The relationship between Israel and the US is now the worst it’s ever been and it may get worse after the US midterm elections on November 4.
There is hints that the US may withdraw their diplomatic cover for Israel at the United Nations in the next couple of months. Obama administration officials are expressing “red-hot anger” at Netanyahu for pursuing settlement policies on the West Bank, and building policies in Jerusalem, that they believe have fatally undermined Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace process. Goldberg believes that the Obama administration may be looking to make Israel pay direct costs for its settlement policies. Next year, the president of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, will quite possibly seek full UN recognition for a state of Palestine. Goldberg believes that the US will still try to block such a move in the UN Security Council but it might do so by helping to support a stridently anti-settlement resolution in its place. Such a resolution would isolate Israel from the international community.
US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the statement made by the senior Obama administration official who called Netanyahu, “chicketsh*t”. The insults were “disgraceful, unacceptable and damaging,” said Kerry. Kerry also vowed to work “quietly and effectively” to restart the failed “peace process” with the Palestinian Authority (PA), saying that the endeavor is “doable, but it takes courage and strength.” Apparently, it seems that the term “chickensh*t” was used in an attempt to condemn Netanyahu for not being “brave enough” to make extraordinary concessions to the PA that would put Israel in existential danger and forfeit critical parts of the Jewish state for “peace.”
In an interview with Israel Radio, columnist Jeffrey Goldberg said that he wasn’t surprised that Kerry would distance himself from the anonymous Obama official who made the comment saying, “That’s a completely normal course of events, someone tells the truth and then because the truth isn’t diplomatic, they have to say they weren’t authorized to speak,” he said. He said Obama believes Netanyahu is a smart, tough negotiator, but that Obama believes that Netanyahu doesn’t “spend his political capital in a particularly risky or brave way.” Goldberg drew these conclusions after his many personal talks with President Obama.
Goldberg said Netanyahu has “written off” Obama, but Obama has not “written off” Netanyahu. He says that Secretary of State John Kerry is the “last man standing” and could still come through with a peace deal. The sense is, Goldberg said, that “Israel needs the US more than the US needs Israel,” and that “there is a feeling, especially when it comes to the defense minister, that they’ve been treated disrespectfully.” The veteran reporter claimed that the situation could still be remedied if Netanyahu was willing to make compromises, especially regarding the settlements. “For it to be reversed, from the American standpoint, they would have to see the Israeli government take some of the steps Obama has been asking for for years.” Goldberg said “provocative moves” are the “core of their [Obama officials] anxiety,” and that the settlements are the “key sources of tension.” He concluded by saying: “Unless Netanyahu is able to take control from some of the right wing members of [his] cabinet, no, I don’t think things will get better.”
A leading figure in Netanyahu’s Likud political pary, MK, Miri Regev, who chairs the Knesset’s Interior Committee, condemned the comments made by the unnamed Obama senior government offical by saying, “With all due respect for Obama, who is he to hand out grades to the prime minister? The utterances are unacceptable and constitute intervention in Israel’s affairs by President Obama. Jews will build homes everywhere in the Land of Israel, including eastern Jerusalem, and the Arabs can also live anywhere in the state of Israel,” she said.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to these comments by saying, “I am being attacked because I’m defending Israel. I respect our relationship with the US but I’m not ready to make concessions that would endanger our country.” With regards to Jeusalem, Netanyahu said, “Our vital interests, first and foremost our security and a unified Jerusalem, are not the uppermost interests of the unnamed officials who attacked our government and me personally. I’m being attacked simply because I defend the State of Israel… Despite all the attacks against me, I will keep defending our country and Israel’s people. Israel’s economic minister and the leader of the Jewish Home political party, Naftali Bennett, rebuked the US for “throwing Israel under the bus.” The Israel Prime Minister is “the leader of the Jewish State and the entire Jewish people. Cursing the prime minister and calling him names is an insult not just to him but to the millions of Israeli citizens and Jews across the globe.”
In an editorial in the Jeruslem Post, it was pointed out that this is just the latest in a series of vindictive acts by the Obama administration because Israel has dared to reject its diktats. Nothing illustrates President Obama’s contemptuous attitude toward Israel more than his directive to withhold arms to Israel during wartime because Israel had rejected Kerry’s initiative to engage Qatar as the mediator to end the Gaza hostilities. The Obama administration adamantly insists that the Israel – Palestine status quo is untenable. Yet it remains silent as Hamas boasts of efforts to restore its tunnel network in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas humiliated the US administration by merging with Hamas without prior consultation. Furthermore, the US failed to criticize this move nor has condemned Abbas for killing any Palestinian found selling land to an Israeli. Netanyahu should be commended for his extraordinary diplomatic balancing act in withstanding the unreasonable pressure from Obama and Kerry, avoiding outright confrontations and in so doing, retaining the support of American public opinion and Congress.
The US administration is planning to present a proposal to resume the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians after the mid-term elections for Congress on November 4. The report came as State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki announced that a Palestinian delegation would arrive in the US on November 3 for high-level talks on ways to move forward with the stalled peace talks and the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip. According to Palestinian sources, the new US proposal consists of three points: ending construction in the West Bank and in east Jerusalem; suspending the Palestinian bid at the UN Security Council for a resolution setting a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines; and resuming the peace talks from the point where they ended last April. The initiative is being prepared by the US State Department and will be officially presented by the end of this year or the start of next year.
Western diplomatic sources said the Americans had received a promise from the Palestinians to postpone a potential draft resolution at the UN Security Council until after the November 4 US congressional elections to help the Obama administration avoid having to use its veto prior to the elections. These sources say that for the first time, the US is considering abstaining from using its veto power to prevent recognition of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its captial at the UN Security Council attributing this possibility to two factors: the first is the Obama administration’s overall dissatisfaction with Netanyahu’s policies and positions; and the second is that the Palestinian draft resolution used mild language appropriate for the Americans.
Palestinian news sources indicated that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will reject the US peace proposal. Instead the Palestinians plan to ask the UN Security Council to vote on recognizing a PLO State with East Jerusalem as its capital in early 2015. The Palestinians are not confident that they have 9 members on the UN Security Council who would agree to bring the proposal to a vote. However, on January 1, there will be 5 new security council members more supportive of the Palestinian cause who will replace 5 countries who are less supportive. The new security council members on January 1 will be: Venezuela, Angola, New Zealand, Spain and Malaysia. They will be replacing Argentina, Australia, Luxembourg, South Korea and Rwanda.
Yehuda Glick, a leading advocate for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, was shot 4 times outside the Begin Heritage center in Jerusalem where he was giving a speech entitled, “Israel returns to the Temple Mount.” In the past, Glick was the Executive Director of the Temple Institute, a Jewish religious organization which is dedicated to the rebuilding of the Temple. Recently, he founded the Initiative for Jewish Freedom on the Temple Mount. Glick was shot after a terrorist pulled up on a motorcycle and asked Glick to identify himself indicating that it was a targeted assassination before leaving the scene. Glick was taken to a local Jerusalem hospital where he was immediately taken to surgery. He is in critical but stable condition. Palestinians in the Old City of Jerusalem set off fireworks in celebration of the shooting. Israel Housing Minister Uri Ariel said that the bullets fired at Glick “were aimed at all Jews who wish to pray on the Temple Mount.” Uriel demanded access to all Jews on the Temple Mount in response to the shooting.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that incitement by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was partly to blame for the shooting of Yehuda Glick. “I said only days ago that we are facing a wave of incitement by radical Islamic elements and by Palestinian Authority head Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas], who said that the ascent of Jews to the Temple Mount needs to be prevented by every means,” Netanyahu said. “I still have not heard one word of condemnation from the international community against this incitement. The international community needs to stop its hypocrisy and act against the inciters, those who are trying to change the status quo,” Netanyahu said.
The terrorist shooter has been identified as, Muataz Hijazi, who a member of the movement, Islamic Jihad. A representative of Islamic Jihad, Daud Shihab, said that the organization supports the struggle for Jerusalem. Shihab said that “the attempt to hurt Rabbi Glick is a natural response of Palestinians who are trying to protect the Temple Mount.” He continued and said his organization supports the Intifada in east Jerusalem. “Just like we were at the heart of the struggle in Gaza, that’s what we’ll do in Jerusalem.”
The shooter lived in East Jerusalem. He had been employed at a restaurant where the Jerusalem’s Begin Center was located. He left work about 1/2 hour before the shooting took place. After the shooting, Israel counter-terrorism Police officers arrived at the suspect’s house and attempted to arrest him when they came under fire. The Israel police returned the fire and killed the shooter as he yelled, “Allah Akbar”. The motorcycle and pistol used in the shooting of Yehuda Glick was found at the shooters house.
He has spent 11 years in Israeli prison over security-related offenses. In 2000, Hijazi was sentenced to 6 years in prison for a series of arson attacks in Jerusalem. His jail time was extended while in prison after he wounded two prison wardens in the face with a razor blade. He was released in 2012, after spending some of his imprisonment in isolation because of his violent behavior.
In an interview following his release from the Israeli prison, Hijazi said: “I’m glad to be back in Jerusalem. I hope to be a thorn in the Zionist plan of Judaizing Jerusalem. What makes me most happy is to return to Jerusalem to be among my family and people.”
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian shooter would go to heaven as a martyr. Abbas said: “With anger, we have received the news of the vicious assassination crime committed by the terrorists of the Israeli occupation army against [your] son Mu’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who will go to heaven as a martyr defending the rights of our people and its holy places.”
Netanyahu condemned the words of Abbas. “While we are trying to calm the tense situation, Abbas sends a condolence letter over the death of someone who tried to commit an abominable murder,” Netanyahu said. Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman criticized Abbas by saying, “these words prove more than anything that Abbas is indeed a partner – a partner for terror, a partner for terrorists, a partner for murderers. This despicable letter by Abbas openly supports terror and encourages more killings. I call on the international community to condemn this man who is leading the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to violent and horrible places,” Lieberman said.
After the shooting, Netanyahu held a special meeting on the shooting and increase in tensions and violence in Jerusalem. In attendance were the defense minister, security minister, the head of the Shin Bet, the police chief, the mayor of Jerusalem and IDF representatives, among other officials. He said, “I have ordered a major increase in presence of forces…so that we can maintain a safe Jerusalem and also keep the status quo in holy sites.” Netanyahu concluded by saying that “the struggle here can be long and drawn out, but here, like all the other struggles, we need to put out the flames. Neither side needs to take the law into their hands, we need to act calmly, responsibly and decisively.”
In order to protect against increased violence in Jerusalem over the issue of having access to and praying on the Temple Mount, Netanyahu ordered the Temple Mount closed to prayers for Jews and Muslims for several days. In response Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that this is a “declaration of war,” not only on the Palestinian people and their sacred sites, but on the entire Arab and Islamic nation.
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) Sweden officially recognizes Palestinian state
2) Liberman Issues Biting Response to Sweden Palestine Recognition
3) After Sweden’s recognition of Palestine, Liberman says ‘issues more complex than Ikea furniture’
4) Jeffrey Goldberg: Obama doesn’t think Netanyahu is a brave leader
5) Leading Likud MK Blasts Obama’s ‘Chutzpah’
6) Netanyahu hits back: I’m being attacked because I defend Israel
7) Netanyahu: Israel Facing an Attack on its Right to Exist
8) Kerry Calls ‘Chickens**t’ Slur ‘Disgraceful and Damaging’
9) Candidly Speaking: Obama is seeking a confrontation with Israel
10) US administration to unveil peace talks proposal
11) Palestinian delegation leaves to Washington to meet Kerry
12) Abbas to present US peace framework to PLO
13) Palestinians will wait until January to seek UN recognition
14) Breaking: Temple Mount Advocate Yehuda Glick Shot in Jerusalem
15) Activist was threatened before assassination attempt, friends say
16) Police brace for violence after right-wing activist shot in Jerusalem
17) Islamic Jihad: Glick incited death of Abu Khdeir; he got what he deserved
18) In past interview, Islamic Jihad shooter ‘wished to be a thorn in the throat of Zionists’
19) Assassin was a serial arsonist, assaulted 3 wardens in prison
20) Suspected shooter of Temple Mount activist killed in gunfight
21) Bennett: Glick Shooting Crossed a ‘Red Line of Blood’
22) PM blames Abbas for inciting shooting of Jewish activist
23) Abbas sent condolence letter to family of Glick’s shooter
24) Abbas says Glick shooter will go to heaven as martyr
25) Netanyahu: Struggle over Jerusalem may be long, but we must act with composure
26) Abbas: Closing of Temple Mount tantamount to declaration of war
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,
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l