June 7, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

June 10th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

Recently, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of the Fatah party swore in a unity government consisting of his own Fatah party and the arch-rival Hamas who rules in the Gaza Strip. Ministers in the new administration, whom Abbas has said would be politically unaffiliated, took the oath of office in a televised ceremony in Ramallah. Abbas says the new Cabinet is made up of apolitical technocrats who have no ties to Hamas. Hamas, which remains sworn to Israel’s destruction, has agreed to support the government from the outside. The swearing in of the unity government appeared to mark a significant step in repairing ties between the rival Palestinian factions which have been at odds since 2007 when Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip from Fatah. The signing ceremony came after Hamas and Fatah signed a reconciliation deal in April to form the transitional government which is now slated to pave the way for general elections in late 2014 or early 2015. “Today, after announcing the government of national unity we declare the end of division that caused catastrophic harm to our cause,” Abbas said. At the inauguration ceremony, Abbas said the new government would abide by commitments made by previous Palestinian administrations and by agreements ratified by the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organization, a reference to the 1993 Oslo accords signed with Israel. Abbas has insisted that any ‘unity’ government would be based on what he called “the four Palestinian principles”:  recognizing Israel, recognizing the terms of international agreements, and the explicit rejection of violence and terrorism. However, Hamas continues to be adamant over its full control of a “unity” government, expressing over and over again that it would remain in control of both Gaza and the PA after elections and insisting that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh would rule the government.

Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, the outgoing Palestinian prime minister in Gaza, said in a speech in the enclave that it was “a historical day” that closed a “chapter of seven years of division” between Hamas and Fatah. But in his address, Haniyeh spoke of pursuing “resistance by all forms”, an apparent reference to actions that include armed conflict with Israel, and he said the unity deal meant that Hamas’s militia, the Qassam Brigades, “became an army today.”

Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded by saying that “Abbas today said yes to terror and no to peace. Even if we return to ’67 borders and dismantle all the settlements, the conflict with the Palestinians will not end, because the root of the conflict is in their unwillingness to recognize the Jewish nation-state,” Netanyahu said. Upon the announcement of the Palestinian unity agreement, Netanyahu called an emergency cabinet meeting. During the cabinet meeting, the ministers agreed to completely halt negotiations with the Palestinian Authority as long as it remains united with terror organization Hamas and to lower the amount of  money transferred to the PA. The cabinet said it will hold the new Palestinian government responsible for actions that harm Israel’s security including rockets aimed at Israeli residents in the south launched from the Gaza Strip. The cabinet also agreed to give Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu authority to impose sanctions against the Palestinian government.

Meanwhile, the international community embraced the Palestinian unity government. A United Nations spokesman said that he welcomed the new Palestinian unity government and said it was ready to lend its full support to efforts to reunite the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The European Union said that it will work with the new Palestinian unity government also. We welcome … the declaration by President Abbas that this new government is committed to the principle of the two state solution based on the 1967 borders, to the recognition of Israel’s legitimate right to exist,” the EU said in a statement. British Foreign Secretary William Hague welcomed the Palestinian unity agreement by saying, reuniting the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under a government committed to peace was “a necessary condition for resolving the Israel-Palestinian conflict.” China also said it welcomed the new Palestinian unity government. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said “China welcomes the Palestinians forming a unity government. Realizing internal reconciliation is conducive to Palestinian internal solidarity, and is also conducive to the Palestinians pushing forward peace talks with Israel.”

Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded by warning Europe against making the “mistake” of granting legitimacy to the newly united Fatah-Hamas government. Netanyahu appealed to French President Francois Hollande in a phone call, saying the Palestinian unity government demonstrated “a Palestinian step against peace and in favor of terrorism.” As Israel views Hamas as a terrorist organization intent on the destruction of the Jewish state, Netanyahu added that no European country would be prepared to accept a terrorist organization as part of its government and therefore should not acknowledged a Palestinian government backed by Hamas.

The United States said that it will work with the Palestinian Arab unity government and maintain aid, while “watching closely” to ensure it respects the principle of non-violence. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US believes Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has “formed an interim technocratic government… that does not include members affiliated with Hamas. With what we know now, we will work with this government,” Psaki said. She said the Obama administration has no intention of cutting off financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, which amounts to roughly $500 million a year – pivotal funding for the cash-strapped organization. The ministers in the interim Palestinian government “appear to be technocratic,” she said, adding that the US “will be judging this government by its actions” Psaki said. “We will continue to evaluate the composition and policies of the new government, and if needed, we will recalibrate our approach.” Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah called US recognition of a new Palestinian unity government “encouraging.”

Israel’s intelligence minister, Yuval Steinitz, said the notion that the new cabinet was made up of technocrats rather than politicians – something that made it diplomatically easier for the West to deal with it – was bogus. “You cannot present it internally as a Hamas government and present it on the outside as a technocrats’ government,” Steinitz said. Israel Deputy Minister of Defense, Danny Danon said that Congress should cut aid to the Palestinians upon the formation of a unity government with Hamas. Danon said the US government’s decision to recognize such a government was a moral dilemma. “You cannot play a game with this, the same way you cannot hide the fact that Hamas is a terrorist organization,” Danon said. “You look at the wording of the US law, it says it’s not a Hamas appointment but the involvement of Hamas. And it’s a moral decision today that the administration has to make, whether they believe the unity government is bad and whether they will follow the US law. Very clearly,” Danon added, appropriations law from the US Congress stipulates that, “if there is a unity government with Hamas, no funding shall be transferred to the PA.”

Head of the Fatah reconciliation team, Azam al-Ahmad said, “The US administration has renounced its previous disapproval of the national unity government and will now support the new government.” In addition, a senior Palestinian Authority official reportedly announced that the US has invited the new Palestinian unity government’s prime minister, Rami Hamdallah, to an official visit in Washington sometime in June where he will meet with Obama and visit the US Congress.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he is “deeply troubled” by the United States’ decision to maintain relations with the new Palestinian unity government urging the United States to tell the Palestinian president that his alliance with the Hamas militant group is unacceptable. “I’m deeply troubled by the announcement that the United States will work with the Palestinian government backed by Hamas,” Netanyahu said saying Hamas has murdered “countless innocent civilians.  All those who genuinely seek peace must reject President Abbas’ embrace of Hamas, and most especially, I think the United States must make it absolutely clear to the Palestinian president that his pact with Hamas, a terrorist organization that seeks Israel’s liquidation, is simply unacceptable,” he said.

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that he was skeptical of the recent Hamas-Fatah Palestinian unity government, stating that the new unity government would not contribute to the cause of peace, as some have suggested. He said that there is “zero percent chance that Hamas will accept the quartet conditions,” which includes the recognition of Israel. He predicted that the likely result of the unity deal is not that the Palestinian Authority will gain control of Gaza, but rather that Hamas will gain control of the West Bank, turning it into a security threat similar to that of the Gaza. Ya’alon argued more generally that the “land for peace” paradigm for solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been a mistake which has brought Israel only “terror and rockets” in exchange for territorial concessions. Ya’alon said that history has proven that the root of the conflict is not Israel’s presence over the pre-1967 lines, but rather the refusal of the Palestinians to recognize Israel’s right to exist. He noted that in every attempt to solve the conflict including the recent failed negotiations, the Palestinians had refused to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, had refused to give up the right of return and had refused to agree that a peace deal would put an end to all future Palestinian claims.

Israel’s Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer condemned the US State Department for its decision to continue to uphold ties with the Palestinian Authority following the swearing in of the Fatah-Hamas unity government. “Hamas hasn’t changed. It remains as committed to Israel’s destruction today as it was yesterday” Dermer said. He charged that the technocratic heads of the new Palestinian unity government were just posing to front the body backed by terrorists, and the government should be recognized as such. “With suits in the front office and terrorists in the back office, it should not be business as usual,” he said. By accepting the Palestinian unity government, other Israeli officials said that the United States had sanctioned terrorism. “If the US administration wants to advance peace, it should be calling on [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas to end his pact with Hamas and return to peace talks with Israel. Instead it is enabling Abbas to believe that it is acceptable to form a government with a terrorist organization,” Israeli officials said in a sharply worded statement to the media. “If these people are identified with Hamas, or are people with whom Hamas identifies and were appointed by Hamas then these are Hamas representatives.”

In a Jerusalem Post editorial, the following observation and analysis was made regarding the US acceptance of a Palestinian unity government with Fatah and Hamas. The gloves are off. The fight is on. The United States has now unequivocally designated Israel as the scapegoat and is meting out punishment for the disastrous outcome of the peace negotiations it initiated. The process began in March when President Barack Obama publicly lambasted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a brutal and offensive manner the day before their scheduled meeting in the United States. It climaxed last week when the United States reneged on its commitment to Israel, announcing that it would continue business as usual with the new PA government after the merger with the genocidal Hamas, the terrorist organization which remains utterly committed to the destruction of Israel. Prior to this, administration spokesmen had been campaigning behind the scenes to undermine the standing of Israel with the American public. That Israel had frozen settlement construction for nine months and conceded to an abhorrent release of Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands were facts they simply ignored. Conversely, the Palestinian refusal to make a single concession or agree under any circumstances to an end of conflict was rarely mentioned.

Even following the announcement of the PA-Hamas union, Secretary of State John Kerry continued blaming Israel, making bizarre predictions about it becoming an “apartheid state,” which followed his earlier warnings of an impending “third intifada” and “international boycotts” – all of which he subsequently retracted. Kerry’s views were echoed by his envoy, Martin Indyk, whose hatred of Netanyahu should have disqualified him from assuming any mediating role. When Netanyahu agreed to the wretched terrorist release, he made it clear to both the US and the PA that construction in the settlements would resume. Yet, in a series of “background” and open briefings, Indyk laid the primary blame for the collapse of the peace negotiations on Israel for having announced building tenders for 700 homes, not in some obscure or isolated settlement, but in Gilo, a suburb existing for over 40 years in the heart of Jewish east Jerusalem. And so it was that this “provocative action,” the “poof” which scuttled negotiations, became the basis for the US administration’s condemnation of Israel.

To make matters worse, unsubstantiated allegations were circulated that Israel was engaging in massive espionage activity against the United States. Despite angry disclaimers from Netanyahu and leading government officials, the administration failed to refute the charges, which were even used to justify denying Israel eligibility for the US Visa Waiver Program. However, with Obama’s current catastrophic ratings and the impending congressional elections, it was assumed – mistakenly – that at least in the short term, the United States would avoid a frontal confrontation and merely give the Europeans the wink to intensify the pressure on Israel. But the administration shocked Israel by accepting the new PA-Hamas government even before the consummation of the union. This was in flagrant breach of former undertakings, a betrayal of its long-standing ally by announcing disingenuously that it would work with the new PA- Hamas government, as long as it “abides by the principles mandated by the US.” Yet, far from renouncing terror, Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal boasted that “the reconciliation will actually consolidate the resistance… from one of intifada to another until the liberation of Palestine.” The US initiative was clearly designed to pave the way for Israel’s further global isolation. It was immediately endorsed by the European Union, the United Nations, the UK and France and of course China, Russia and India all of whom praised the union as an important step toward “Palestinian reconciliation.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas swears in Palestinian unity gov’t despite last minute difficulties
2) Netanyahu: Abbas said yes to terror and no to peace
3) UN chief welcomes new Palestinian government
4) US Vows to ‘Work With’ Palestinian Arab ‘Unity’ Government
5) Report claims Palestinian unity gov’t formed, acknowledged by Washington
6) Israeli envoy to US slams State Department for upholding ties with PA after unity gov’t
7) Israel: US sanctioning terrorism by okaying ties with Palestinian unity government
8) Danon calls US recognition of PA government ‘moral choice’
9) EU says open to working with Palestinian unity government
10) British foreign secretary joins European Union in praising Fatah-Hamas unity accord
11) Netanyahu warns Europe against legitimizing Palestinian unity government
12) Netanyahu: Those who accept peace must reject Hamas
13) Israeli Defense Minister: ‘Zero Percent Chance’ of Hamas Recognizing Israel
14) Candidly Speaking: Further ugly vibes from the Obama administration

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

May 24, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

May 26th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that he promised Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni during their controversial meeting in London on May 15 that the government would work within his own – not Hamas’s – guidelines. He stressed that he himself may not head the government, but that another Fatah official may, e.g. PA “prime minister” Rami Hamdallah. He also indicated that the government will be comprised entirely of “independent” Palestinian Arab politicians, and that it would be based on four international principles: recognizing Israel, recognizing the terms of international agreements, and the explicit rejection of violence and terrorism. He said the idea of the reconciliation process was to go toward Palestinian elections, “but if something goes wrong along the way, we’ll re-examine matters.”

In addition, Abbas said that the Palestinian leadership does not intend to seek membership in or help from additional UN and other international organizations in the near future. Abbas said that two days before he applied for membership in 15 international organizations at the start of April — one of the steps that led to the collapse of the talks — he sent a formal letter to Netanyahu’s peace emissary, Yitzhak Molcho, and to the American special envoy, Martin Indyk, in which he warned that if Israel did not free a fourth and final batch of long-term prisoners as promised, he would apply to join the 15 groups. He said he delayed the implementation of what had been a decision by the Palestinian leadership to join the organizations for two days to see if the Israeli government would change its position but this did not happen. Israel had balked at releasing the fourth group of prisoners because Abbas sought the freeing of Israeli Arabs as part of the group and because he had not committed to extending the peace talks beyond the end of April deadline.

Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was on the verge of firing Israel chief negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni after her recent meeting with Palestinian Authority Chief Mahmoud Abbas in London on May 15– but restrained himself. In her meeting with Abbas, Livni expressed Israel’s dissatisfaction with the unity pact he reached with Hamas.The meeting was the first between Abbas and a senior Israeli official since Israel pulled out of the peace talks in response to the Hamas-Fatah unity pact. According to reports, Livni had informed Netanyahu that she was to meet with Abbas. When Netanyahu heard about the meeting, he criticized the move. Previously, Netanyahu had not been aware of the meeting. When Netanyahu found out what Livni was planning, he specifically told her not to meet with Abbas – a directive she subsequently ignored. Netanyahu was prepared to fire Livni, but changed his mind at the last moment, after sources close to Finance Minister Yair Lapid indicated that her firing would trigger a “coalition crisis.” Livni defended her actions by saying, “In order to understand what Abbas wants, we need to talk to him. I believe in direct negotiations. There are no formal negotiations now, but I was in London and he was in London and therefore the meeting took place.” She added, “Suspending the negotiations does not mean boycotting the other side. Boycotting is silly when we are here and the conflict remains.”

Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud party who is close to the prime minister, said that if Israel’s chief peace negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni meets again with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas against the wishes of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that she will be fired. Netanyahu had thus far treated Livni “with a certain amount of mercy,” said Steinitz but if she defied the prime minister again, “she will no longer be a minister.” All ministers must respect government policy, said Steinitz. The decision-making inner cabinet voted last month to suspend all negotiations with the Palestinians after Abbas approved a unity pact between his Fatah faction of the PLO and the Islamist extremist Hamas, which calls to destroy Israel. Livni voted in favor of the decision.

Livni rejected calls by colleagues in the opposition to quit the coalition, saying that she could be more effective from within the government –particularly, according to her, in preventing Economy Minister Naftali Bennett and others from taking the country in an “irresponsible direction.” Bennett would be delighted for her to leave the coalition, she said, and thus to clear the field for his agenda, including unilateral annexation of parts of the West Bank. She was using “all the political power that I have” to thwart the extreme right, she said, noting sadly that her faction was smaller than it was in previous Knessets. “It’s important to be the gatekeeper against dangerous ideas.”

Meanwhile, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinian leadership is unwilling to make compromises for peace, calling into the question the wisdom of diplomatic negotiations. Netanyahu laid blame for the collapse of peace talks on Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and hinted that Israel may have to consider taking unilateral steps to leave the West Bank.

“Negotiations are always preferable. But six prime ministers since Oslo have failed in their pursuit of a negotiated settlement,” he said. “They’ve always thought we were on the verge of success, and then [Yasser] Arafat backed off, Mahmoud Abbas backed off, because they can’t conclude these negotiations. We don’t have a Palestinian leadership that is willing to do that. The minimal set of conditions that any Israeli government would need cannot be met by the Palestinians.”

Asked about the possibility of a unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank, Netanyahu acknowledged that the idea was gaining traction across the political spectrum, but warned that Israel could not risk another Gaza, which was taken over by Hamas after Israeli unilaterally disengaged. “Many Israelis are asking themselves if there are certain unilateral steps that could theoretically make sense. But people also recognize that the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza didn’t improve the situation or advance peace,” he said. While Netanyahu backed efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry to bring the sides to the table, he blamed Abbas for not taking the Americans seriously. “What has Abbas done? Nothing. He’s refused to entertain Kerry’s efforts to try and lock horns on the core issues. He internationalized the conflict,” he said, referring to the Palestinian leader’s decision to apply to 15 international treaties, which Jerusalem said broke a Palestinian commitment not to apply for statehood to the UN. Israel remains committed to face-to-face talks with the Palestinians as the best path forward to two states for two peoples, Netanyahu said, but it refuses to negotiate with Fatah as long as it honors its unity deal with Hamas. The broad-based options that members of the government have put forward fall into three basic categories: an economic plan, withdrawal from isolated settlements, or annexation of territory in the West Bank.

There are some points of consensus in Israel around the peace process with the Palestinians and the nation’s future, he said. “The first point of consensus is that we don’t want a binational state. Another point of consensus is that we don’t want an Iranian proxy in territories we vacate. We want a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the nation-state of the Jews. How do you get that if you can’t get it through negotiations? “The Palestinians don’t agree to recognizing Israel as the Jewish nation-state, and it’s not clear to me that they’ll agree to elements of demilitarization that are required in any conceivable plan that works,” Netanyahu said. The problem with a negotiated solution he said, is that at present there is no ground for consensus with the Palestinians. No matter what the spin is about blaming Israel, do we actually expect Abbas, who seems to be embracing Hamas, to give a negotiated deal? In all likelihood, no. I hope he does, but I’m not sure he’s going to do it,” Netanyahu said. “There is an emerging consensus that we don’t have a partner who can challenge constituencies, do something unpopular, do something that is difficult. Abbas has not done anything to challenge the prevailing Palestinian consensus. In fact, he’s doing the opposite: the Hamas reconciliation, internationalizing the conflict, not giving one iota on the right of return, not giving an iota on the Jewish state. He wouldn’t deal with Kerry’s framework,” Netanyahu said.

Israel Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that he would present a bill to redraw the lines of the Jerusalem municipality to include a number of West Bank settlements in a single “Greater Jerusalem” polity. The settlements to be amalgamated into Jerusalem under the bill include the city of Ma’ale Adumim, Givat Ze’ev, the Gush Etzion bloc, and Beitar Illit, containing in total a population of over 150,000 Israelis. “This week we will celebrate ‘Jerusalem Day’ to mark 47 years of the unification of the city,” Katz said. “This is the time to advance an initiative that will strengthen Jerusalem, expand its borders, and preserve its Jewish national character.” Katz’s proposed legislation could constitute an alternative, or a step toward, annexation of the areas into Israeli territory — a move that has been repeatedly advocated by Economics Minister Naftali Bennett. Earlier that day, Communications Minister Gilad Erdan called on the Israeli government “to start preparing for the annexation of Area C.” Wherever “there is a Jewish population [in the West Bank] that should remain in place; we can start to prepare to annex [that area] if there is no Palestinian partner and the situation seems unlikely to change,” Erdan said.

In any peace agreement with the Palestinians, Israel must keep the Jordan Valley said Israel Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz. “Anyone who comes here can understand that Israel cannot give up the Jordan Valley,” he said. “If we pull out from the Jordan Valley, we will really risk Israel’s security and its very existence,” he said. “The Jordan Valley is the only possible reasonable defense line in the east, vis-a-vis Iran and its proxies,” said Steinitz. This includes al-Qaida and Hezbollah, he said. “If someone thinks we can afford moving the line [the border] from here 50 kilometers to the west, this will be a disaster,” he said. Only the Israeli army can perform the vital mission of securing the valley, Steinitz said. This task can’t be left to an international security force, he said and added that it could not be done by Palestinians or Europeans. The Palestinians have insisted that Israel withdraw from the valley so that it can be folded into the future borders of their state. Israel’s insistence that the valley must remain in its hands for security reasons was one of the deep disagreements that marked the nine-month negotiating period which ended on April 29.

Israel Economics Minister Naftali Bennett said that he supports the possibility that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering taking “unilateral steps” to establish “a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.” Bennett said: “I hear talk of ‘Israel’s unilateral actions.’ I support that. We are pushing for applying Israeli law unilaterally over Gush Etzion, Ariel, the Jordan Valley, Ma’aleh Adumim, Ofra, Alfe Menashe, the Ben Gurion Airport envelope, Samaria, Judea, and the rest of the Jewish settlement enterprise,” Bennett stated. “I will continue to push for it with all my might, until it happens. And it will happen. The Arabs have decided that they will no longer come to the table,” he continued. “The era of negotiations has ended. They are acting unilaterally (United Nations, incitement, etc.). Now it is our turn.” Bennett said that he would give “Palestinians complete freedom of movement, which requires removing all roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank. In particular, Israel should dismantle the security barrier erected throughout the last decade to defend against Palestinian terror attacks during the Second Intifada.” Bennett further proposed Arab autonomy in Areas A and B, and the offering of full Israeli citizenship to Arab residents of Area C.

Israel chief negotiator Tzipi Livni blasted Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett’s plan for Israel to annex Area C of Judea and Samaria, where there is a Jewish majority. “There is a group, part of which is represented in the coalition, which does not want a diplomatic settlement and does everything to sabotage it. This group and its leaders should tell the truth to the citizens of this country: they are leading to a binational state,” Livni said. Annexing Area C, she claimed, will lead to the end of Zionism. “Bennett is suggesting to annex Area C, destroy the fence and turn us into one state. He says give [the Palestinian Arabs] autonomy. But if you destroy the fence, at the end of the day two and a half million Palestinians will become citizens of this one country, and it will not be the Israel we love, it will be another country – the end of Zionism,” said Livni. “A unilateral move to annex Area C will not happen as long as I’m in the government,” she said. She went on to attack Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who said that he intends to advance legislation to expand Jerusalem’s borders to include so-called “settlement blocs” like Maale Adumim and Gush Etzion. “Bennett and Katz know their suggestions will not happen. They just want to win points with those who do not want an agreement, who do not understand the significance of these proposals and the tragic consequences they will have on Israel as we want to keep it – a Jewish and democratic state which is connected to the world with a thriving economy,” said Livni.

The United States told Israel that it opposes unilateral actions. State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf said that “no one should take any steps that undermine trust, including unilateral. We would like to resume peace negotiations, and we think that both sides should take steps to make that possible.

Finally, Pope Francis visited Israel. The Pope advocated the “Palestinian people’s right to have a homeland, sovereign and independent.” The Pope also supports “Israel’s right to exist in peace and security within internationally recognized boundaries. The Vatican recognized the “State of Palestine” in 2012 amid the United Nations (UN) vote to confer “Palestine” non-member observer state status, a status until then only held by the Vatican.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas: ‘Unity’ Government to Recognize Israel, Denounce Terror
2) Abbas says he won’t join more international groups for now
3) Report: Netanyahu Was ‘This Close’ to Dumping Livni Over Meeting
4) Livni will be fired if she meets Abbas again, says top minister
5) Netanyahu: There is nobody to negotiate with in Ramallah
6) Netanyahu open to exploring alternatives if direct talks prove impossible
7) Netanyahu could be open to exploring annexation plans if peace process fails
8) ‘Greater Jerusalem’ bill aims to incorporate settlements
9) Steinitz: Jordan Valley is critical to Israel’s survival
10) ‘It’s Israel’s Turn to Take Unilateral Steps’
11) Livni Blasts Bennett Over Annexation Suggestion
12) Livni: Bennett’s plan for annexation of Area C won’t be realized as long as I’m around
13) US to Netanyahu: ‘We oppose unilateral steps’
14) Vatican Says Pope Will Demand ‘Sovereign Palestine’

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

May 17, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

May 21st, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

For the first time since the talks halted, U.S. President Barack Obama has directly blamed Israel for the failure of negotiations. According to a White House official, “Each time we arrived at a crossroads, another new settlement construction announcement was made. It was like putting a stick on the wheels.” The official also said Obama still believes that another round of talks is possible during his term but that for the time being the president prefers to sit back and let the sides ask themselves for an American mediation. Reports indicate that it was US President Barack Obama who was the “unnamed source” quoted in an interview with an Israeli newspaper on May 2 who blamed Israel’s building in settlements for the collapse of the peace talks. In the interview, the unnamed source said, “The Jewish people are supposed to be smart; it is true that they’re also considered a stubborn nation. You’re supposed to know how to read the map: In the 21st century, the world will not keep tolerating the Israeli occupation. The occupation threatens Israel’s status in the world and threatens Israel as a Jewish state.” A senior administration official said that the White House cleared the interview and the critical remarks faithfully reflect the president’s own views.

In a possible agreement to extend peace talks past April 29, Israel reportedly was willing to implement a partial settlement freeze. Israel Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon said that there is a “silent freeze” on planning for further Jewish settlement expansion. While construction work is currently taking place on already approved projects, no new developments are planned and no tenders and bids are being issued, he said. “I don’t know of a formal policy to limit building. But when you look, de facto, what’s happening on the ground, yes, you feel there is a silent freeze in terms of planning and in terms of government construction,” Danon said. “And that’s something that bothers me.” This “freeze” is being enforced everywhere — within and outside the so-called settlement blocs, he said.

Danon said he wasn’t sure why the government would agree to quietly freeze settlement expansion, suggesting that pressure from the United States might be behind it. “Building in the West Bank is a major issue among the Americans,” he said. The US is putting “a lot of pressure on us.” Dani Dayan, of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in the West Bank backed Danon’s claim of a “silent” settlement freeze. “For the last three months, the planning committee of the Civil Administration in charge of building has not convened even once,” he said. “Plans for new buildings were not advanced one inch, let alone approved. There are no new tenders at all,” he said. “As far as we know, this is because of a direct order from the Prime Minister’s Office,” Dayan charged, adding that he assumes that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “intimidated” by “threats” from the White House or the US State Department.

A new “Palestinian consensus government” to be named by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas is to be finalized within days, a senior Hamas official said. Bassem Naim, an adviser to Hamas’s premier in Gaza, Ismail Haniyeh, said a senior member of Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement would meet with Hamas officials in Gaza this week to conclude negotiations. “We expect the government to be announced by (Abbas) early the following week,” he said. Moussa Abu Marzouk, head of the Hamas negotiating team, said the talks would be finalized next week and a unity government would be announced shortly afterwards. All candidates proposed for the Palestinian unity government will be politically “impartial,” Fatah official Fayez Abu Atiyeh said. The formation of a proposed unity cabinet is nearly complete, according to Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri. Speaking in Gaza’s Al-Omri Mosque, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh announced that in the coming days the temporary leadership of the PLO will meet in the Egyptian capital of Cairo. Haniyeh said that according to the deal Hamas, along with Islamic Jihad, would be integrated in the PLO’s leadership and take part in elections for PLO institutions. Islamic Jihad has never renounced violence against Israel. According to the Hamas-Fatah unity agreement which was announced at the end of April, Abbas will announce the dates for elections, and Fatah and Hamas will form a unity government.

If Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas tears up his pact with Hamas, “then it will open the way for somehow resuming the peace negotiations” with Israel, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said. Netanyahu said that while Palestinian “national unity for peace is good, a pact with Hamas, which openly calls for our destruction and practices terror against our people – that’s bad.” The prime minister said that he was asked by US Secretary of State, John Kerry whether he would make a peace agreement with a Palestinian Authority that doesn’t govern all the Palestinian people, adding that “I said ‘yes,’ because I will make peace with that part of the Palestinian people that is prepared to live in peace with the State of Israel.” If Abbas “establishes a government of national unity, and [if] Hamas continues to fire rockets to Israel, then we’ll have to hold President Abbas responsible. It just doesn’t make sense for him to [forge] this pact if he wants peace.”

Asked what would happen if Hamas accepted the quartet’s conditions for engagement and renounced terrorism, recognized Israel and accepted previous agreements, Netanyahu said “that would obviously be an entirely different situation, but unfortunately I don’t see it happening. They’re very ideological, very militant and very extreme, and they show no signs of such change.” Meanwhile, Abbas was hoping to persuade the US administration to accept a Palestinian unity government that would be established in accordance with last month’s reconciliation deal between Fatah and Hamas. Abbas planned to make it clear to Kerry that the proposed government would recognize Israel and reject violence, a senior Palestinian official said.

Noting that this was the first meeting between Kerry and Abbas since the breakdown of the US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, the official said that the new government would report directly to the PA president and would not deal with issues related to the peace process. “There’s no reason why the Americans should oppose the unity government, because it would consist of independent figures and technocrats,” the official said. “The government would serve for a limited period of six months and its responsibilities would be restricted to day-to-day affairs of the Palestinian public. President Abbas and the PLO are the only ones entitled to conduct peace talks with Israel,” he added. Another Palestinian official said that he was “optimistic” that the US administration would not stand against the Hamas-Fatah deal. The official said that the PA leadership has “succeeded” in convincing some top members of the US administration that the rapprochement between Hamas and Fatah would not have a negative impact on the peace process. Fatah spokesman Fayez Abu Aytah told reporters the government would consist of independent figures with no political affiliations so as not to give Israel or the US an “excuse” to boycott the PA.

In a sign of cooperation between Fatah and Hamas, only two weeks after signing a reconciliation deal, the Hamas daily newspaper was distributed in the West Bank and East Jerusalem for the first time in seven years. The Palestinian Authority government approved the distribution of Felesteen as part of efforts to promote unity between the two Palestinian factions.The move followed a decision by the Hamas government in Gaza to allow three newspapers published in the Palestinian Authority to be distributed in the coastal territory.

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said that, despite his group’s reconciliation with Fatah, Hamas was still committed to “resistance” against Israel. “We have turned the page on this division… Hamas has already made sacrifices and this was necessary to be closer with our brothers, but with the invader we will not make any compromises,” said Mashaal. “I’m aware that many real challenges lay ahead. We can overcome them,” he added, referring to the April 23 pact which calls for a unity government to be formed. “The reconciliation does not mean an end to our resistance against the invaders, resistance will continue as long as the occupation exists,” insisted Mashaal.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas thinks that Hamas does not need to recognize Israel or renounce terrorism, even after the unity pact with his Fatah movement. Recently, Abbas had a conversation with U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice. During the conversation, Abbas told Rice that Hamas will not be a part of the new unity government, nor will that government include representatives of other Palestinian Arab organizations. Rather, the official said, it will be made up of independent professionals who are politically unaffiliated. Abbas also reportedly told Rice that he will head the new unity government and that this government will adopt his political platform which renounces violence. Rice told Abbas during their meeting that “any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties.”

Meanwhile, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu declared that the Palestinian Authority (PA) will be held responsible for violence from Gaza in light of the unity deal. “Hamas is committed to our destruction. We remain committed to advancing the peace, preferably a negotiated peace. But we can only negotiate with a government whose constituent parts are committed to peace,” said Netanyahu. He added that as long as PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas remains committed to the unity deal with Hamas, “a terrorist organization that regularly fires rockets into Israel, then we’ll have to hold him accountable for every rocket that is fired from Gaza, to Israel.”

European Union (EU) Ambassador to Israel Lars Faaborg-Andersen said that he didn’t feel peace talks should have been stopped last month over the unity deal between Fatah and the terrorist group Hamas. “I don’t see a reason for the peace talks stopping in order to send a message that there’s a difference between Fatah and Hamas,” said Faaborg-Andersen. Ironically, Hamas is on the EU’s official list of terrorist organizations.

Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who is in charge of the negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), met privately in London with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. In the meeting, Livni expressed to Abbas Israel’s dissatisfaction with the unity pact he reached with Hamas. The meeting was the first between Abbas and a senior Israeli official since Israel pulled out of the peace talks in response to the Hamas-Fatah unity pact. Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was informed in advance about the meeting and was unhappy about it. He said that Livni was only representing herself and not the Israeli government. Netanyahu reiterated that the position of the government, as passed unanimously by the security cabinet, is not to negotiate with a Palestinian government that includes Hamas, which he restated is “a terrorist organization that declares its intentions to destroy the state of Israel.”

Livni defended her decision to meet Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas saying, “I would like to remind everyone that the conflict isn’t over. We’re still here and the Palestinians are still here. Our interest is to resolve the conflict, and ignoring reality is not an option. Ignoring the other side, not listening or talking, is irresponsible,” Livni insisted. “A resolution is best achieved through direct negotiations, but we can’t ignore the agreement between Hamas and Fatah. To all those politicians up in arms, I want to be clear: we’ll continue doing what we believe in, and that’s what I did last week by meeting [Abbas],” Livni said.

Finally, Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the impasse in peace talks with the Palestinians was likely to continue. “As of now, the impasse in negotiations with the Palestinians is expected to continue,” Lieberman said. He accused Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas of having “no interest to reach a deal with Israel, no matter what Israel offers him,” noting past proposals of Israeli land concessions Abbas had turned down. He reiterated the Israeli stance of no negotiations with the Palestinian unity government, “so long Hamas does not accept the Quartet conditions” of recognizing Israel, rejecting violence and abiding by existing agreements.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) US Official: President Obama ‘Blames’ Israel’s ‘Stubbornness’ For Kerry’s Peace Process Failure
2) Danon: Government has frozen settlement expansion plans
3) Hamas Says ‘Unity Government’ Coming Within Days
4) Kerry tells Abbas: ‘Door remains open’ to peace talks with Israel
5) Hamas and Islamic Jihad Say They’re Joining PLO Leadership
6) Abbas hopes to convince US to accept Fatah-Hamas Palestinian unity government
7) Palestinian Authority lifts ban on Hamas daily
8) Hamas Leader: Unity Or Not, Resistance Will Continue
9) Abbas: Hamas Doesn’t Need to Recognize Israel
10) Netanyahu Holds PA Accountable for ‘Every Gaza Rocket’
11) EU Envoy Says ‘No Reason’ to Stop Talks Over Fatah-Hamas Unity
12) Livni Meets Abbas in London
13) As Livni Meets Abbas, Bibi Says She Represents Only Herself
14) Livni Unrepentant Over Unofficial Abbas Meeting
15) Peace talks with Palestinians unlikely to resume: Lieberman

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

May 10, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

May 9th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

With the collapse of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, the “blame game” begins. US envoy to the peace process, Martin Indyk gave the US view why the peace process failed. According to Indyk, after six months of productive direct negotiations, Palestinian leaders “shut down” and Indyk singled out Israel settlement activity as a major — but not the sole — factor. Assessing the conditions that led to the stalled talks, Indyk cited a lack of a sense of urgency among Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas “are committed to achieving a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through peaceful means,” Indyk explained, but added that “one problem that revealed itself in these past nine months is that the parties, although both showing flexibility in the negotiations, do not feel the pressing need to make the gut-wrenching compromises necessary to achieve peace. It is easier for the Palestinians to sign conventions and appeal to international bodies in their supposed pursuit of ‘justice’ and their ‘rights,’ a process which by definition requires no compromise,” Indyk criticized. “It is easier for Israeli politicians to avoid tension in the governing coalition and for the Israeli people to maintain the current comfortable status quo. “It is safe to say that if we the US are the only party that has a sense of urgency, these negotiations will not succeed,” he added.

The US ambassador criticized steps taken by both sides as contributing to the breakdown of talks. “The fact is both the Israelis and Palestinians missed opportunities, and took steps that undermined the process,” Indyk complained. “We have spoken publicly about unhelpful Israeli steps that combined to undermine the negotiations. But it is important to be clear: We view steps the Palestinians took during the negotiations as unhelpful too. Signing accession letters to 15 international treaties at the very moment when we were attempting to secure the release of the fourth tranche of prisoners was particularly counterproductive. And the final step that led to the suspension of the negotiations at the end of April was the announcement of a Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement while we were working intensively on an effort to extend the negotiations.” Indyk also called Israel out for its continued “settlement activity. The settlement movement on the other hand may well drive Israel into an irreversible binational reality,” Indyk warned. Indyk expanded on his argument, saying that settlement activity had “sabotaged negotiations” and now represented “a roadblock to resumption of negotiations. “The expansion of settlements on land that the Palestinians believe is supposed to be part of their state and the prevention of their ability to build on the same land is a very problematic situation in the resolution of this conflict,” he added.

In addition, Indyk argued that public sentiment on both sides of the conflict presented a serious obstacle to negotiations. He said that the Americans had tried to get Palestinian and Israeli leaders to “engage in synchronized positive messaging to their publics,” but to no avail. The veteran ambassador revealed that for the first six months after both sides agreed to resume negotiations, Israelis and Palestinians had engaged in direct bilateral talks, with the Americans largely serving as “silent observers. During those six months all of the core issues were discussed and it was possible to delineate where the gaps were at all of those core issues,” Indyk recounted. At that point, he said, “it became natural” for the US to meet with each side individually to work out arrangements. For two months, the Americans met with the Israelis for “very intensive negotiations” in which top officials including Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry held dozens of conversations over secure calls, video conferences and direct meetings.

According to Indyk, “it was visibly difficult” for Netanyahu but “he moved, he showed flexibility. I think we had him in the zone,” Indyk recalled. At the same time, he said, “The Palestinians were content to sit back and watch the show as a spectator sport. It was clear that there was a good deal of tension between the US and Israel and they were content during that time.” But during that same period, Indyk said, “Abu Mazen shut down.” Although Indyk acknowledged that “settlements were a big factor,” the ambassador also noted that rivalries over the successor to the 79-year-old Palestinian president were also a big factor. “I think he came to the conclusion that he didn’t have a reliable partner for the kind of two state solution he was looking for,” Indyk assessed. “He shifted toward looking at his legacy and his succession.”

Another gap that Indyk described as “very wide” was the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “Netanyahu says it’s foundational and Abbas says he will not discuss it,” Indyk revealed, while adding that America has been consistent in its support for Israel as a Jewish state. Nevertheless, Indyk thinks that there is hope to revive the process in the future. “We have passed the nine-month marker for these negotiations, and for the time being the talks have been suspended,” Indyk said, however, peace process is not over.

In response to Indyk’s comments, a senior Israeli official familiar with Israeli-Palestinian peace talks lashed out at US special envoy Martin Indyk over his ‘hypocrisy’ for singling out settlement construction as a major factor for the talks’ collapse. He said that the US envoy was informed of all construction plans, down to the number of homes. “Furthermore, [Indyk] knew that it was on this basis that Israel agreed to enter the talks,” the Israeli official said. “So it’s not clear why now that should be criticized.” The senior Israeli official fired back saying, “Indyk comes and blames others without speaking about his own responsibility for the current impasse.  [It is] difficult to point to any significant contribution that [Indyk] had made to the process,” he added, noting that the top US negotiator “demanded to be present at all of the meetings, despite the fact that the process was meant to be primarily bilateral.” Indyk’s presence at some of the meetings had harmed progress, the official hinted without elaborating: “In certain meetings, his absence would, indeed, have been advantageous.” Israel Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis (Likud) was also critical of Indyk’s views by saying that settlements in the West Bank were not the main reason for the collapse of the peace talks. “It is unfortunate that a Palestinian lie also affects our friends,” Akunis stated. “There are not two truths here, only one: the Palestinians torpedoed the negotiations by choosing to reconcile with Hamas and take unilateral steps to apply to UN agencies.”  Akunis also noted the flaws in Indyk’s logic that construction over the 1949 Armistice lines destroyed chances for peace. “There were no ‘settlements’ until 1967,” he said. “Why didn’t the Palestinians extend a hand in peace before that?”

However, Israel chief negotiator, Tzip Livni shared a different view by saying, “Settlement construction hurt Israel, it hurts the Palestinians and it hurt the negotiations,” she said. Livni added that she could defend Israel against delegitimization efforts around the world, but could not “explain or defend settlement construction and expansion. There are people in the government who don’t want peace,” Livni said just days before negotiations broke down. “[Economics and Trade Minister and Jewish Home party leader Naftali] Bennett and Uri Ariel represent those who want to prevent a peace process,” she accused.

Other US officials that while the Netanyahu government’s settlement program is the original sin committed in the peace process, the US is also highly upset with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas for, in essence, checking out of the peace process as early as February. One key moment in this drama came in March, when Abbas, at his own request, met U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House and heard Obama present a set of fairly dramatic American-inspired proposals (some of which had to do, apparently, with the future borders of the Palestinian state). Obama told Abbas in a direct way that he would be awaiting his response to the proposals. “I want you to get back to me soon,” Obama said, according to officials. The US likened this behavior to the decision made 14 years ago by Abbas’s predecessor, Yasser Arafat, to leave the 2000 Camp David peace talks without even countering an Israeli proposal for Palestinian statehood.

Israel says that is has evidence that the Palestinians were responsible for the collapse of the peace talks. In a letter reportedly sent by Israel’s national security chief to the US, the EU and numerous ambassadors blames the Palestinians for the collapse of peace talks, and claims to include hard proof that PA officials were devising measures to thwart the process even before Israel refused to release a fourth round of Palestinian prisoners at the end of March. In the April 22 letter, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, revealed that chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat wrote a policy paper in March in preparation for a Palestinian rejection of American mediation efforts and Israeli overtures — nearly a month before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas made a unilateral move to sign 15 international conventions, ostensibly in response to Israel’s refusal to honor its commitment to release the final round of prisoners.

In fact, Cohen said, Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat lanned the maneuver weeks before Israel announced its refusal to release the prisoners — timing that, according to Cohen, demonstrates that the Palestinian leadership never intended to follow the peace talks through. Cohen attached Erekat’s policy paper to his letter, copies of which were reportedly sent to his US counterpart Susan Rice, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, all Israel-based EU ambassadors, and ambassadors from China, Russia and other countries. He appealed to the recipients to peruse the Erekat document and “draw conclusions” as to the Palestinians’ “bad faith” and responsibility for the failure of the latest round of peace talks.

According to Cohen, the 65-page Erekat document, which contained a “highly selective” account of the peace talks held since July and a “series of recommendations” for unilateral Palestinian actions, was presented by Erekat to Abbas on March 9, prior to Abbas’s visit to the United States and his meeting at the White House with US President Barack Obama on March 17. The paper, Cohen said, serves as proof that Palestinian policymakers had recommended a strategy of unilateral moves “outside of the agreed negotiation framework” to Abbas as early as March, nearly two months before the April 29 deadline for the completion of the talks. Thus when Obama tried at their White House meeting to persuade Abbas to make progress at the negotiations, Cohen indicated, the PA president was already bent on torpedoing the talks and following a unilateral course. In the document, Erekat recommended that the Palestinian Authority apply to international treaties such as the Geneva Convention.

He also recommended reconciliation with Hamas, revealing that the push for a unity government with the terrorist organization, which does not recognize Israel, began long before negotiations with Israel reached a stalemate. This, Cohen said, proved that the Palestinians’ unilateral moves, ostensibly direct responses to perceived Israeli intransigence, were actually “premeditated” and “calculated” steps aimed at sinking the peace process and hindering American mediation efforts.

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for adopting a negotiation strategy of trying to wear one’s opponent down without committing to anything. Lieberman said that he wanted to tear off Abbas’ mask and “say clearly that he consistently rejects peace,” and that the Palestinian behavior shows that “there is absolutely no desire on the part of the Palestinians to reach an agreement with Israel.” Lieberman said that the Palestinian decision last month to apply for acceptance into 15 treaties and conventions, coupled with the Fatah-Hams unity agreement, repeats a “long standing and familiar pattern of behavior by Abbas and the Palestinians. Whenever there is progress and a step forward in negotiations, the Palestinians take two steps back.” Liberman said that Abbas’s application to the international treaties and conventions came just two hours before “everything was ready for the signing of a document that would lead to the continuation of negotiations between us and the Palestinians.” Settlements in the West Bank are not the “real problem,” Lieberman stated. The real problem is the “reluctance of the Palestinians time after time to pursue peace.”

Furthermore, there are those in the European Community who “do not want to admit this.” The foreign minister said that even after Abbas signed an agreement with Hamas, “an organization which openly seeks the destruction of the very state where we are celebrating independence, some, especially in Europe, continue to blame Israel for the deadlock in negotiations.” While rejecting peace, Lieberman said Abbas “enjoys his status as the leader of a national liberation movement and travels around the world.” Lieberman said Israel expected the international community to stand by its commitments and demand that Hamas renounce violence, recognize Israel and accept previously singed agreements before engaging with it. He predicted that Hamas would win Palestinian elections wherever they are held, and as a result Abbas – who “brought Hamas to power in Gaza – will also bring them to power in the West Bank.

However, Lieberman said, Israel is determined to prevent the “West Bank from becoming the new Gaza.” Lieberman also said that there could be no compromise on two other issues: the need for the Palestinians to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and the abandonment of the “so-called Palestinian ‘right of return’.” Lieberman said that while Abbas is demanding a “100 homogenous” Palestinian state — a Palestinian state that will be “Judenrein, without a single Jew” – he seeks a bi-national state in Israel. Regarding a Palestinian “right of return,” Lieberman said Israel “will not agree to even the return of one person to Israel. Those who talk about a “right of return”, knowingly or not, are talking about the destruction of the State of Israel de-facto. If we allow one refugee to come to Israel, a million will follow after him.” Israel seeks peace, Lieberman assured the gathered diplomats. “Israel wants an agreement, but we will not be fools.”

Furthermore, Israel officials insist that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was genuinely considering all the issues raised by the negotiators, weighing earnestly the pros and cons of every idea brought to his desk. While always putting Israel’s security interests first in his mind, these officials insist, he wholeheartedly asked himself how things could be sorted things out in a way that would allow Israel to sign a final-status deal with the Palestinians. Netanyahu spent several hours every day pouring over the matters raised in the negotiating room, asking himself which positions Israel could allow itself to adopt in order to advance toward an agreement.

Netanyahu has stated many times in the past that he is interested in a peace agreement with the Palestinians. Last May, he said:  “The purpose of the future agreement with the Palestinians is to prevent the eventuality of a binational state and to guarantee stability and security.” While unwilling to compromise on his core convictions — especially regarding security arrangements and Jewish state recognition — Netanyahu understands that a two-state solution is required if Israel wants to remain a Jewish and democratic state. Nonetheless Netanyahu insisted if we’re talking about two nation-states for two people, it needs to be guaranteed that Israel is recognized by the Palestinians as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Israel said that such recognition is the main blame for lack of progress in the peace talks. US officials said, “We can’t understand why this bothers him so much. For us, the Americans, the Jewish identity of Israel is obvious. We wanted to believe that for the Palestinians this was a tactical move — they wanted to get something (in return) and that’s why they were saying ‘no.’

In efforts to form a unity government between Hamas and Fatah, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah stated that Hamas has not been asked to recognize Israel and will not be part of a transitional government that is to be built soon. Abbas also repeated his intention to construct an interim government which will, allegedly, recognize Israel and condemn violence and terror. However, Hamas continues to be adamant over its full control of a “unity” government, expressing over and over again that it would remain in control of both Gaza and the PA after elections and insisting that Hamas leader, Ismail Haniyeh, would rule the government. Under the terms of the Hamas-Fatah unity deal, signed on April 23, the two sides would work together to form an “independent government” of technocrats, to be headed by Abbas, that would pave the way for long-delayed elections.

Reconciliation between Hamas and Fatah is apparently going well.Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said in an interview with a Palestine newspaper that Fatah had agreed to release all Hamas terrorists from prison – regardless of their crimes or current political affiliation. Meanwhile, Hamas has allegedly jumped on board as well – allowing journalists from Fatah-backed papers Al-Quds and Al-Ayyam to enter Gaza and releasing Fatah prisoners held in Gaza over their own political affiliations.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) US envoy Indyk insists peace process not dead
2) Senior Israeli official slams Indyk’s ‘hypocrisy’
3) Minister Slams Indyk’s ‘Lies’
4) Tzipi Livni: Settlement activity hurt negotiations
5) U.S. Officials: Blame Palestinians, Too
6) Top Netanyahu aide: Here’s proof Abbas deliberately destroyed peace talks
7) Liberman on Independence Day: Abbas must decide if he wants peace, and with whom
8) Liberman: ‘We extend our hands in peace – but we will cut off every hand that threatens us’
9) Countering US narrative, some Israeli sources insist PM negotiated sincerely
10) PA Insists: Hamas Will Not Be Part of ‘Unity’ Government
11) Fatah Agrees to Release All Hamas Prisoners
12) Israel’s insistence on full Iranian nuclear rollback risks new rift with US

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

May 3, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

May 4th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

Israel and the Palestinians failed to agree to extend their direct peace talks past April 29. Why did the talks fail? An Israeli government official familiar with the negotiations said: “We would have liked to see a successful outcome to the negotiations. But what we saw was a Palestinian side that didn’t engage in good faith when the Americans put on the table principles for final status. In dealing with the core issues, the Palestinians ran away.”

However, the American version of why the current round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians failed is fundamentally different to the one presented by Israeli officials. The list of those to blame for this failure is also very different. From the US perspective, the issue of the settlements was largely to blame. Senior American officials involved in Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace push shared their take on the talks’ failure. The American team will be disbanded in the coming days – most of it, or all of it. Kerry has yet to decide what he is going to do – whether he will wait several months and then try to renew his effort, or release the principles of an agreement formulated by the Americans. By releasing the American principles, Kerry would force the two sides to play offense – each side in its own internal battleground – but in doing so, he also risks exposing himself to criticism.

Using advanced software, the Americans drew a border outline in the West Bank that gives Israel sovereignty over some 80 percent of the settlers that live there today. The remaining 20 percent were meant to evacuate. In Jerusalem, the proposed border is based on Bill Clinton’s plan – Jewish neighborhoods to Israel, Arab neighborhoods to the Palestinians. The Israeli government made no response to the American plan, and avoided drawing its own border outline.

US officials explained that “the negotiations had to start with a decision to freeze settlement construction. We thought that we couldn’t achieve that because of the current makeup of the Israeli government, so we gave up. We didn’t realize Netanyahu was using the announcements of tenders for settlement construction as a way to ensure the survival of his own government. We didn’t realize continuing construction allowed ministers in his government to very effectively sabotage the success of the talks. “There are a lot of reasons for the peace effort’s failure, but people in Israel shouldn’t ignore the bitter truth – the primary sabotage came from the settlements. The Palestinians don’t believe that Israel really intends to let them found a state when, at the same time, it is building settlements on the territory meant for that state. We’re talking about the announcement of 14,000 housing units, no less. “At this point, it’s very hard to see how the negotiations could be renewed, let alone lead to an agreement. Towards the end, Abbas demanded a three-month freeze on settlement construction. His working assumption was that if an accord is reached, Israel could build along the new border as it pleases. But the Israelis said no.”

“President Obama supported Kerry throughout the duration of the talks. The clearest example of that was his willingness to prepare for Jonathan Pollard’s release. Such a move wouldn’t have helped his popularity in the American security system. “It is true that the president was doubtful. That was obvious from the start. He questioned the willingness of leaders on both sides to take the necessary risks. In the end, he realized he was right.”

Kerry talked on the phone with Netanyahu three times a week and sometimes three times a day. There were video conference calls and close to 70 meetings. The relationship of trust between Kerry and Netanyahu was crucial to ensure that Netanyahu tempered his positions and moved forward. During the negotiations, Israel presented its security needs in the West Bank: it demanded complete control over the territories. This told the Palestinians that nothing was going to change on the security front. Israel was not willing to agree to time frames – its control of the West Bank would continue forever. “Abbas reached the conclusion that there was nothing for him in such an agreement. He’s 79 years old. In February, Abbas arrived at a Paris hotel for a meeting with Kerry. He had a lingering serious cold. ‘I’m under a lot of pressure,’ he complained. ‘I’m sick of this.’ He rejected all of Kerry’s ideas. A month later, in March, he was invited to the White House. Obama presented the American-formulated principles verbally – not in writing. Abbas refused.

Abbas demanded the outlining the borders would be the first topic under discussion. It would be agreed upon within three months. A timeframe would be set for the evacuation of Israelis from sovereign Palestinian territories (Israel had agreed to complete the evacuation of Sinai within three years). Israel will agree to have East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. The Israelis would not agree to any of the three demands. We couldn’t confront the two sides with the painful solutions that were required of them. The Israelis didn’t have to face the possibility of splitting Jerusalem into two capitals; they didn’t have to deal with the meaning of a full withdrawal and the end of the occupation.” Abbas refused to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “We couldn’t understand why it bothered him so much. For us, the Americans, the Jewish identity of Israel is obvious. We wanted to believe that for the Palestinians this was a tactical move – they wanted to get something (in return) and that’s why they were saying ‘no.’ “The more Israel hardened its demands, the more the Palestinian refusal deepened. Israel made this into a huge deal – a position that wouldn’t change under any circumstances. The Palestinians came to the conclusion that Israel was pulling a nasty trick on them. They suspected there was an effort to get from them approval of the Zionist narrative.” As of now, nothing is stopping the Palestinians from turning to the international community. The Palestinians are tired of the status quo. They will get their state in the end – whether through violence or by turning to international organizations. The boycott and the Palestinian application to international organizations are medium-range problems. America will help, but there’s no guarantee its support will be enough.

The United States is taking a time-out to think and reevaluate. We mean to draw our own conclusions. Kerry’s willingness to return and make an effort depends on the sides’ willingness to show seriousness. Abbas’ conditions were rejected out of hand by Israel. Perhaps someone in Israel will reconsider their positions? Why is a three-month settlement construction freeze such a big deal? Why not draw a map? You have a great interest in an accord reached by mutual consent, rather than one reached as a result of external pressures. Drawing a map should’ve been stage one.” As for what the US will do next, Kerry hasn’t fully decided.

Israel’s deputy defense minister, Danny Danon, expressed displeasure over U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry views and comments regarding the failure of the peace process. Most recently, Kerry indicated in a private event that the failure of the peace talks would quickly lead toward Israel becoming an “apartheid state.” While Israel accepts the secretary’s latest expression of regret for comparing the democratic state of Israel with one of the darkest regimes in modern history, the fact is that this was not a solitary incident. Time and again, Secretary Kerry’s erroneous declarations have come dangerously close to suggesting moral equivalency between Israel and its adversaries. They call into question his administration’s ability to act as an honest broker in our region.

Last July, just three months after the negotiations began, Kerry gave a joint interview to Israeli and Palestinian television channels with the aim of increasing public support for his efforts. When asked by the Israeli reporter why these talks are so vital, the secretary failed to detail what the fruits of a real peace might be for the Israeli people. Nor did he recount the numerous efforts and overtures successive Israeli governments have made toward this end over the years. Instead he bleakly replied with a question of his own, asking, “Does Israel want a third intifada?” By insinuating that if we do not give in to every Palestinian demand to ensure a successful end to the talks, we would return to the era of suicide bombers murdering hundreds of civilians in Israeli city centers, the secretary basically asked the state of Israel to negotiate with a loaded gun to our heads.

Then, in February, while addressing a conference in Germany, Kerry issued another veiled threat at Israel. This time he informed his audience, “the risks are very high for Israel. People are talking about boycott. That will intensify in the case of failure.” Once again, instead of laying out a clear vision for why the talks he has invested so much time and effort in are in Israel’s interest, Kerry attempted to scare the Israeli public into capitulation. His attempts were viewed here in Israel as a not-so-cryptic message that the United States would no longer retain its steadfast rejection of any boycotts against Israel if our government did not ensure that the talks would end to the U.S. administration’s liking. But a recent warning from Secretary Kerry was especially troubling. Speaking to an audience in the United States, he informed them that a failure to establish a 23rd Arab state alongside the world’s only Jewish state would result in “an apartheid state with second-class citizens.” This comment, made behind closed doors, was made public as we in Israel were marking the solemn day when we remember the more than six million victims of our people murdered in the Holocaust last century in Europe. To suggest that the Jewish people would ever establish an apartheid regime was particularly hurtful.

As a result of failed peace talks, the Palestinian factions, Hamas and Fatah, announced that they have reached a “historic” agreement to end their differences and form a Palestinian unity government. Fatah is the sect of Palestinian Authority President, Mahmood Abbas. Hamas is a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood and they control the Gaza Strip. The agreement calls for the establishment of a Palestinian unity government within five weeks. Six months later, the Palestinians would hold presidential and parliamentary elections. The agreement also calls for “activating and developing” the PLO so as to allow Hamas and other Palestinian groups to join the organization’s institutions. In addition, the accord calls for reviving the Palestinian legislative Council, which has been paralyzed since Hamas drove the Palestinian Authority out of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Similar reconciliation agreements were reached in principle in the past but never implemented. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh  praised the agreement, saying “national reconciliation, ending the division and mending the rift has become a national responsibility.” The deal, Haniyeh said, comes “at a time of an assault on the Palestinian cause, assault on the al-Aqsa mosque and a time when the entirety of Jerusalem is being painted Jewish. Today we can say that we agreed about all what we have discussed,” said senior Fatah official Azzan al-Ahmed, adding “so we will forget what happened in the past. The result of the efforts that we have made is clear today, as we agreed on all the points that we discussed.” A Palestinian official said there had been an “agreement in principle” on forming a “government of experts,” a term for a cabinet staffed by technocrats rather than politicians. In making the agreement, Hamas said they would not recognize Israel, although they indicated that they would not obstruct negotiations between the PLO and Israel. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Hamas movement said: “We acknowledge that Abbas’s recognition of the occupation is his traditional position, nothing new. The [Hamas] movement position is unwavering in not recognizing the occupation in any form. In any event, negotiations are the task of the PLO; the government has no part in them,” Abu Zuhri said. “The question of recognition is non-debatable as long as [Israel] occupies our land.” He asserted that the PLO was in charge of negotiations and Palestinian foreign policy, adding that “Hamas is not responsible for the PLO relations with Israel.”

A top Hamas official boasted that the organization’s forces would not be bound to follow instructions from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and dismissed claims that a planned unity government would recognize Israel. Mahmoud Al-Zahar said that no militiamen in Gaza would be under Abbas’s control after a planned interim technocrat government is installed. “The reconciliation deal won’t change the current situation, and the new government’s ministers are to have no authority over diplomacy since it is an interim government,” he said. “The reconciliation deal will not change Hamas at all, and will not bring the organization to recognize Israel’s right to exist.” Activists in the Hamas military wing Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades will continue to operate independent of the unity government under Abbas, as will the armed elements of the Hamas security forces, Zahar clarified. Meanwhile,  the Islamic Jihad terrorist group is trying to join in on the Hamas-Fatah reconciliation agreement. Their leaders will consider the ways Islamic Jihad could be involved in the unity government.

Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal affirmed that Hamas will not recognize Israel. “Our path is resistance and the rifle, and our choice is jihad,” he said. Mashaal said that in wake of the failure of the peace talks with Israel, the Palestinians were in need of a unified political decision and a joint strategy that would lead to the “liberation of our lands and holy sites and the return of the Palestinian refugees to their homes.” Another Hamas leader, Mahmoud Zahar, said the unity pact with Fatah would not change his movement’s position toward Israel. Recognizing Israel is one of the key conditions laid out in the 2003 peacemaking roadmap of the Middle East Quartet, which brings together the United Nations, the European Union, the United States and Russia. The other two key demands are a renunciation of violence and acceptance of all prior agreements with Israel. Hamas’s deputy leader, Mussa Abu Marzuq,  said Hamas would never accept the Quartet’s conditions. “Hamas rejects the Quartet’s conditions because it denies some of our people’s rights,” he said.

An Israel government official responded to Mashaal’s remarks by saying that they “speak for themselves and expose the myth that Hamas has somehow changed or moderated its positions.” Hamas “remains an extremist jihadist organization committed to the destruction of Israel,” the official said. “It is clear that Palestinian leaders cannot come to Israel and say they want peace if they forge an alliance with these killers,” he said, referring to Abbas. Nevertheless, Israel’s message to the international community is that if Abbas reneges on the pact with Hamas, or if it falls through, the direct talks that fell apart last week could be restarted. However, he said, if the Palestinian unity accord is “consummated” and a Palestinian unity government backed by Hamas is established, “we will look at what the alternatives are.”

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that the Fatah-Hamas unity deal was unexpected. That deal, he noted, “came as a complete and total unannounced event, without any heads-up, so to speak, at the moment of important negotiations.” U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called on Secretary of State John Kerry to publicly state that there will be an immediate cut-off of relevant U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority (PA) should its new unity government fail to comply with the detailed requirements set forth by the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006. In a letter to Kerry, Kirk and Rubio said: “As you know, the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act of 2006 sets detailed requirements for the continuation of U.S. assistance should Hamas be brought into the Palestinian Authority government. The law is very clear,” they wrote in the letter. “If Hamas comes to have a role in governance, there must be public acknowledgment of the Jewish state of Israel’s right to exist as well as acceptance of all previous agreements the Palestinians have made with Israel, the United States, and the international community,” the senators wrote. “The law also requires that demonstrable progress be made toward dismantling of Hamas’ terrorist infrastructure and purging of individuals with ties to terrorism. Moreover, Hamas would need to halt its anti-American and anti-Israel incitement. The bar is high because the stakes are high and we must make sure to stand firmly by what we have said. Failing to do so will diminish the credibility of the United States,” added Kirk and Rubio. “Unfortunately, we have already seen reports that influential voices within Hamas say a unity deal would not compel Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist,” they added. “It seems clear, therefore, that the current plans for the Palestinian Authority continue to disregard the assurances needed to support Israel’s security and move the Palestinian people further away from the day when they can live in peace. Under the unity deal as we understand it, no effort whatsoever will be made to disarm Hamas or even request that it renounce terrorism before joining the PA. Having an armed terrorist group, which is still committed to violence against Israel, as part of the PA government should make that government ineligible for American aid,” they continued. “We urge you to state publicly that there will be an immediate cut-off of relevant U.S. assistance unless there is full compliance with the letter and spirit of all provisions in the Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act.” Hamas has been blacklisted by the US since 1993 as a terrorist organization.

Other issues in the peace negotiations was the Israeli demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Israeli negotiators were willing to work with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his team on the wording of the desired declaration, towards a formula that would have described the Jewish people’s and the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination in precisely equivalent terms, and would have also included phrases to guarantee the rights of Israel’s Arab minority. The Palestinians, however, were adamant in refusing to consider the idea.

In the negotiations, the Israelis proposed a formulation that would acknowledge that both the Jewish people and the Palestinian people mutually recognize each other’s rights to sovereignty in the framework of an agreement that would end all remaining claims. Israel offered to formulate the declaration in terms that would explicitly state that a recognition of the Jewish state does not in any way impact on the status of non-Jewish Israelis, and does not coerce the Palestinians into accepting Israel’s historical narrative. “The goal of the process was to receive mutual recognition for two nation states, and that both the Jewish people and the Palestinian people have national rights,” a senior Israeli government official said. The phrasing proposed by Israeli negotiators was “based on total parity,” this official said. “We were prepared to be creative with the language, but not the concept,” the official added, asserting that Israel was exceedingly flexible regarding the wording of the intended formulation. The Palestinians, however, resolutely refused to accept the very concept of such recognition, he said, even if it was entirely mutual and included explicit clauses to alleviate their concerns.

Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has stressed, however, that asking the Palestinians to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is not aimed at endorsing a particular historical narrative but seeks to guarantee mutual acceptance of Israeli and Palestinian legitimacy. The approach proposed by Israel in the negotiation room was designed to address all Palestinian concerns. Since the mutual recognition would be contingent on the successful resolution of all other core issues of an agreement, the right of return of Palestinian refugees would no longer be an issue. Furthermore, the rights of Israel’s non-Jewish minority would be guaranteed and Israel was ready to include a sentence stating that the Palestinians would not be forced to co-opt any historical narrative. The Palestinians refused adamantly to consider Israel’s proposal, and were backed by the Arab League, which at a summit in Kuwait in March expressed “total rejection” of Israel’s demand for recognition as a Jewish state.

As a result of Palestinian rejection of Israel as a “Jewish state”, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, intends “to submit a basic law to the Knesset that would provide a constitutional anchor for Israel’s status as the national state of the Jewish people,” Netanyahu said at the Tel Aviv site where  Israel’s Declaration of Independence was signed on May 14, 1948. “The Declaration of Independence sets, as the cornerstone in the life of the state, the national Jewish identity of the state of Israel,” he said. “To my great regret, as we have seen recently, there are those who do not recognize this natural right. They seek to undermine the historic, moral and legal justification for the existence of the state of Israel as the national state of our people.”

A new Basic Law declaring Israel a Jewish state would largely be symbolic, an Israeli official said. “It is declaration to show that this is part of our national ethos.” While Netanyahu assured that while he intends to cement Israel’s status as a “Jewish state” in legislation, it will not harm the country’s non-Jewish citizens. “The State of Israel will always preserve the full equality, in personal and civil rights, of all its citizens, Jewish and non-Jewish alike, in a Jewish and democratic country. And indeed, in Israel, individual and civil rights are assured for everyone, which sets us apart in the large expanse of the Middle East and even beyond.”

However, Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who is Israel’s chief negotiator in the peace process said that she would oppose any attempt to disrupt the delicate balance of Israel’s Jewish and democratic values, regardless of who is behind it. Responding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to advance a new Basic Law which would enshrine the state’s Jewish status, Livni pledged “to continue to defend Israel’s values as a Jewish and democratic state, and by no means will we allow for the weakening of democratic values and their subjugation to the Jewish ones. This is the essence of the Declaration of Independence and this is the basis of our existence,” Livni said. “Just as I have rejected initiatives like this in the past, I will do it [again], no matter who is suggesting them,” she added.

In response, Netanyahu said: “It is strange for me is that it is those who call on Israel to make concessions in Judea and Samaria because of their obvious wishes to avoid a bi-national state, that are the very same people who object to recognize Israel as the national state of the Jewish people, while at the same time can support the idea of a Palestinian national state.”

In addition, the Palestinians officially became signatories in five UN human rights conventions to which they appealed on April 1. Member of Fatah Central Committee Nabil Shaʻath stated that Palestinian leadership would re-take political actions on the international level after peace negotiations with Israel failed. The International Criminal Court is one of the 63 international agencies and treaties the Palestine Liberation Organization will seek to join. “We will proceed with the [United Nations] treaties and gradually join different agencies and the last will be the International Criminal Court, ” said Mustafa Barghouti, a member of the PLO’s central council. Such a move would allow the Palestinians to bring cases against Israel of alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, Azzam Al Ahmad, one of the Fatah leaders that is behind the tie-up with Hamas played down the prospects of pursuing ICC membership. “To avoid annoying and confusing the United States, we decided to put joining the ICC issue away,” he said. “We don’t want to look like the one that put up an obstacle.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s aides said that he would again try to get the sides back to the negotiating table after a pause of several months. Instead of admitting failure, aides said Kerry would continue his Mideast negotiations push after a hiatus of several months. After an initial domestic political boost, the aide predicted, Israeli and Palestinian officials would be forced back to the table by the long-term need for a two-state solution. “It’s a matter of time before they all come back,” the aide predicted, “and want to have negotiations.” “Both parties still indicate that they feel it’s important to negotiate and want to find a way to negotiate,” Kerry said. “So we believe the best thing to do right now is pause, take a hard look at these things and find out what is possible and what is not possible in the days ahead. I personally remain convinced that as each (side) sort of works through the reasons that things began to become more difficult in the final hours, there may be quiet ways within which to begin to work on next steps,” Kerry said. “What has not been laid out publicly and what I will do at some appropriate moment of time is make clear to everybody the progress that was made,” Kerry said. “These eight months – eight months plus – were not without significant progress in certain areas. And I don’t think anybody wants to lose that progress.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Hamas, Abbas’s PLO announce reconciliation agreement
2) Haniyeh: Palestinian unity government within five weeks
3) Kerry: Hamas-Fatah Pact Was Unexpected
4) Palestinians become signatories in 5 UN human rights conventions
5) Shaʻath Calls for Popular and International Action after Israel foiled Peace Talks
6) Palestinians may seek to join International Court
7) Hamas: Our Gaza forces won’t take orders from Abbas
8) Islamic Jihad Seeks to Join Hamas-Fatah Pact
9) Mashaal: Hamas remains committed to jihad against Israel
10) Hamas Reiterates: We Will Never Recognize Israel
11) Senators to Kerry: Aid to PA Should be Conditioned
12) Palestinians risk US aid freeze if Hamas joins government
13) ‘Kerry will resume push for Israeli-Palestinian talks after pause of several months’
14) Kerry says he’ll pause, reassess after Israeli-Palestinian peace bid
15) Inside the talks’ failure: US officials open up
16) Israel Will Not Be Threatened
17) Abbas rebuffed bid to find mutually acceptable wording on ‘Jewish state’
18) Netanyahu to promote Jewish state legislation
19) Livni bashes PM’s plan to codify Israel’s Jewish status
20) ‘It is Impossible to Have a Bi-National State’

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 26, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

April 28th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

As the April 29 deadline approached to extend direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas threatened to dismantle the Palestinian Authority. The Palestinian Authority was created from the 1993 Oslo Accords signed between Israel and the Palestinians whose aim was to create a Palestinian state through negotiations. The Palestinian Authority was given responsibility to negotiate with Israel. “A new generation arrives and asks us: ‘What have you done?’ I am now 79 years old, I cannot escape from passing off the flag,” said Abbas. The settlements endanger the peace process, and the new generation sees the two-state solution is becoming less and less likely, and that there is no escape from the one-state solution.” Behind the scenes, the PA has concocted a plan to gravely complicate matters for Israel – a declaration that the Palestinians are an “occupied government.” Such a move would annul the 1993 Oslo Accords and revoke the status of the PA as a sovereign authority, leaving Israel with full responsibility of the Palestinian population in the West Bank. According to Palestinian sources, Abbas and top PA officials are considering the drastic move, which would involve cancelling the 1993 Oslo Accords and announcing that the Palestinian Authority is a “government under occupation” without full sovereignty, which would technically move full responsibility for the Palestinians, in the West Bank to Israel. PLO Executive Committee member Hanna Amira said that there were “scenarios … that could lead to the disbandment of the PA. The future of the PA has become unclear because when it was established, it was meant as a temporary stage leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state,” Amira said. “Thus, if the PA doesn’t lead to statehood, things should be reviewed.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman slammed the Palestinians for threatening to dismantle the Palestinian Authority. “You can’t show up every day with new threats. This is not how you run negotiations,” he said. As a result, Israel will not interfere should the Palestinians choose to dismantle the Palestinian Authority. “It’s their business; we don’t intend to get involved, in either direction,” Lieberman said. “They’re grown ups, and whatever they decide — we’re ready for every scenario. We’re also ready for negotiations. We’re willing to negotiate in Jerusalem, in Ramallah, New York, London, or Vienna. But we need readiness from the other party. It not possible to come with new threats every day — that’s not how you negotiate. Therefore we’re open to every development, to any options, and much depends on the other side.” The leader of the political party, Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett said that Israel should let Abbas dismantle the Palestinian Authority. “Abbas encourages terror against Israel as the head of the Palestinian Authority, and then threatens that he’ll quit his job,” said Bennett, but “the people of Israel do not negotiate with the barrel of a gun pointed at their head.”

In response, the US warned the Palestinian leadership not to proceed with a proposal to dismantle the Palestinian Authority – or risk damaging their ties with the US. “Those kinds of extreme measures would have grave implications,” said State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki. Psaki said the US was aware of the reports, but that “dissolving the Palestinian Authority is not in the interest of the Palestinians.” The State Department spokeswoman explained that “a great effort has been made in the last few years to build Palestinian institutions including with US financial aid” but that Abbas’ proposal would “have implications on our relationship and our assistance.”

However, rather than dismantling the Palestinian Authority, the sect of Mahmood Abbas, Fatah, announced they they have reached a “historic” agreement to end their differences with Hamas, a branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, who controls the Gaza Strip and form a new Palestinian unity government. The agreement calls for the establishment of a Palestinian unity government within five weeks. Six months later, the Palestinians would hold presidential and parliamentary elections. The agreement also calls for “activating and developing” the PLO so as to allow Hamas and other Palestinian groups to join the organization’s institutions. In addition, the accord calls for reviving the Palestinian legislative Council, which has been paralyzed since Hamas drove the Palestinian Authority out of the Gaza Strip in 2007. Similar reconciliation agreements were reached in principle in the past but never implemented. Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh  praised the agreement, saying “national reconciliation, ending the division and mending the rift has become a national responsibility.” The deal, Haniyeh said, comes “at a time of an assault on the Palestinian cause, assault on the al-Aqsa mosque and a time when the entirety of Jerusalem is being painted Jewish. Today we can say that we agreed about all what we have discussed,” said senior Fatah official Azzan al-Ahmed, adding “so we will forget what happened in the past. The result of the efforts that we have made is clear today, as we agreed on all the points that we discussed.” A Palestinian official said there had been an “agreement in principle” on forming a “government of experts,” a term for a cabinet staffed by technocrats rather than politicians. In making the agreement, Hamas said they would not recognize Israel, although they indicated that they would not obstruct negotiations between the PLO and Israel. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for the Hamas movement said: “We acknowledge that Abbas’s recognition of the occupation is his traditional position, nothing new. The [Hamas] movement position is unwavering in not recognizing the occupation in any form. In any event, negotiations are the task of the PLO; the government has no part in them,” Abu Zuhri said. “The question of recognition is non-debatable as long as [Israel] occupies our land.” He asserted that the PLO was in charge of negotiations and Palestinian foreign policy, adding that “Hamas is not responsible for the PLO relations with Israel.”

In response, the Israeli security cabinet decided to suspend peace talks with the Palestinians. According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office, the cabinet also decided to take unspecified steps against unilateral moves by the Palestinians. The decision was unanimous. Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that “Instead of choosing peace, Abu Mazen [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas] formed an alliance with a murderous terrorist organization that calls for Israel’s destruction. Abu Mazen formed an alliance with an organization whose covenant calls for Muslims to wage Jihad against Jews.” Netanyahu said that Hamas has fired more than 10,000 missiles and rockets on Israel, and has never stopped “for a minute” its terrorist actions against Israel.

Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that Hamas is not a terror organization and never will be. Erekat has long been in favor of the unification agreement between Fatah and Hamas. “Hamas is a political faction.  The highest form of terrorism is the Israeli occupation.” he said. Furthermore, Erekat said that Hamas is not required to recognize Israel since there are parties in Israel which don’t recognize the state of Palestine. “Has [Israel’s Prime Minister] Netanyahu asked the Jewish Home party [an Orthodox-nationalist coalition partner] to recognize the state of Palestine?” Erekat asked. “Has Netanyahu himself recognized the state of Palestine? [Yair] Lapid [head of the centrist Yesh Atid coalition party] has not recognized the state of Palestine,” he said. Thus “Hamas is not required to recognize Israel.” Erekat said that the PLO (Fatah) was responsible for negotiations with Israel. “Israel needs to understand that authority over negotiations belongs to the PLO, and all Palestinian governments so far, including the one of Ismail Haniyeh, have agreed that the authority over negotiations belongs to the PLO and to the government.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu condemned Hamas as Holocaust deniers who still seek the destruction of the Jewish state. Abbas “cannot embrace Hamas and say he wants peace with Israel,” Netanyahu said. He said Abbas’ statement was an appeal to American and world public opinion in an effort to “smooth over the fact that he made a terrible step away from peace.” He said Abbas should “tear up that pact with Hamas and go back to the negotiations. He said Israel will never negotiate with a government backed by Hamas as long as he is prime minister. “You can say nice things … or even significant things about the Holocaust, but you can’t embrace those who deny the Holocaust,” he said.  “Abu Mazen (Abbas) could have chosen peace with Israel instead of peace with a murderous terror organization.”

Israel’s chief peace negotiator, Tzipi Livni, said that Israel had no choice but to suspend talks with the Palestinian Authority after PA President Mahmoud Abbas agreed a unity pact with Hamas. As a result, Israel decided to suspend peace negotiations with the Palestinians. Israel chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni said: “First of all, the decision to suspend the talks is a correct decision. It may be that for Abu Mazen [Abbas], Hamas is [a] political [entity],” she said. “For us, and for the entire world, it is a designated terror organization that does not recognize our existence, and acts against civilians through terror [activities].” Israel “cannot act like all is business as usual, when it is not,” she said, given the new alliance announced between Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas. But Livni stressed that “we didn’t close the door” on an eventual resumption of talks. “As long as the Palestinians are here, and as long as the State of Israel is in a state of conflict with them, I will act to open the doors — the doors did not close today — in order, if possible, to conduct negotiations. And I hope we can return to the negotiations, and the moment it happens I will be in the government to manage it,” she said. Livni emphasized that the economic sanctions Israel is set to impose were not aimed at causing the collapse of the PA. “It is a temperate decision,” she added, noting that the government had not announced new settlement building plans, as it had when taking punitive action against the PA in the past. She said Abbas had “refused to go along” with a US-drafted agreement last month that would have resolved a crisis over Palestinian prisoner releases and seen talks extended until the end of the year. Similarly, “two days ago, when we thought we could get the talks going again,” Abbas failed to take advantage of the opportunity and instead signed a unity pact with Hamas. “To my sorrow,” Abbas had taken a series of “bad decisions at sensitive moments” and “avoided the right decisions…. That’s why the US is also so dismayed,” she said. “I shall not conduct negotiations — direct or indirect — with Hamas,” Livni said.

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas for his part claimed the deal did not contradict the talks: “There is no incompatibility between reconciliation and negotiations, especially as we are committed to a just peace based on a two-state solution in accordance with resolutions of international law,” Abbas said in an official statement distributed by his office. “In the interest of the Palestinian people, it is necessary to preserve the unity of land and people,” Abbas said, claiming it “help to strengthen the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital. This approach, supported on the Arab and international levels, strengthen the capacity of Palestinian negotiators to achieve the two-state solution.” Abbas said he was still ready to extend stalled peace talks with Israel beyond the April 29 deadline, but stressed he would never recognize Israel as a “Jewish state.” Abbas conditioned the extension of talks on the release of Palestinian prisoners, a freeze in Jewish settlement construction, and Israel committing to discuss the borders of a future Palestinian state. “How can we restart the talks? There’s no obstacle to us restarting the talks, but the 30 prisoners need to be released,” Abbas said. “On the table we will present our map, for 3 months we’ll discuss our map. In that period, until the map is agreed upon, all settlement activity must cease completely.” Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, held a meeting of the Central Committee of his Fatah Movement. They decided that direct peace talks with Israel could only be extended if the  at the clear aim of establishing an independent Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital. They added that peace talks should guarantee the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, based on resolution #194, and should also be based on the Arab Peace Initiative. Abbas added that any unity government with the Islamic militant group Hamas would follow his political program, and work “under my orders and my policy”, an apparent attempt to reassure the West. But Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ruled out talks with such a government. “That’s the oldest trick in the book. It’s called the front office-back office gambit,” he said, in which “shady organizations” put forward “smooth-talking frontmen – the men in suits,” Netanyahu said. “We will not sit and negotiate with a Palestinian government that is backed by Hamas in which Hamas has effective share of power,” Netanyahu said.

Despite the Fatah and Hamas unity agreement, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is still keeping open the possibility for peace talks to resume in the future by saying that he will “be there in the future if we have a partner that is committed to peace.” However, Netanyahu said if a negotiated peace proves impossible because of the makeup of the Palestinian government, “then we will seek other ways. I am not going to accept a stalemate. I won’t accept another Palestinian state that is an Iranian offshoot of Iran, firing missiles in our cities… But I do seek a two states for two peoples solution. If I can’t have it right away with this Palestinian government, then we will seek other ways.”

The European Union welcomed the unity accord between Fatah and Hamas but said the priority remains peace talks with Israel. “The EU has consistently called for intra-Palestinian reconciliation behind” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, spokesman Michael Mann said in a statement. Such an understanding was “an important element for the unity of a future Palestinian state and for reaching a two-state solution [with Israel],” Mann added. Meanwhile, UN Middle East envoy, Robert Serry, also welcomed the Palestinian reconciliation agreement by saying that this is “the only way to reunite the West Bank and Gaza under one legitimate Palestinian Authority.” However, the United States said it was disappointed by a unity pact agreed between the Gaza-based Islamist group Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah and said it could seriously complicate peace efforts. “The timing was troubling and we were certainly disappointed in the announcement,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. “This could seriously complicate our efforts. Not just our efforts but the efforts of the parties to extend their negotiations.” Psaki said US officials had expressed their concerns to the Palestinians. “It’s hard to see how Israel can be expected to negotiate with a government that does not believe in its right to exist,” she said.

As the April 29 deadline to extend talks approached, the US mediator Martin Indyk left Israel to return to the US. It seems to indicate that the peace talks have failed. As a result, US President Barack Obama said a pause in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians might be in needed so both sides can consider the alternative to negotiating and claimed the recent halt in talks underscores how neither side has shown the political will to make tough decisions that would sustain the talks. “So far we have seen some movement on both sides to acknowledge that this is a crisis long-running that needs to be solved,” Obama said. “What we haven’t seen is frankly the kind of political will to actually make tough decisions. And that’s been true on both sides.” Obama described the reconciliation agreement between the Palestinian Authority and the militant group Hamas as “unhelpful” and said it was “just one of a series of choices that both the Israelis and Palestinians have made that are not conductive to trying to resolve this crisis. Do I expect that they will walk through that door next week, next month or even in the course of the next six months? No.” While he said the US would continue to offer the parties “constructive approaches,” he also conceded that “there may come a point at which there just needs to be a pause and both sides need to look at the alternatives.” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki refused to declare the negotiations over and said the US is “still making the effort.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry warned that in the absence of a two-state solution, Israel risks becoming an apartheid state. He apparently placed the blame on both sides for the crumbling of peace talks, slammed Israeli settlement construction, and suggested that a change in either the Israeli or the Palestinian government could increase the possibility of achieving peace.“A two-state solution will be clearly underscored as the only real alternative. Because a unitary state winds up either being an apartheid state with second class citizens—or it ends up being a state that destroys the capacity of Israel to be a Jewish state,” Kerry said. Leaders of pro-Israel organizations called Kerry’s reference to “apartheid” was appalling and inappropriately alarmist because of its racial connotations and historical context. “While we’ve heard Secretary Kerry express his understandable fears about alternative prospects for Israel to a two-state deal and we understand the stakes involved in reaching that deal, the use of the word ‘apartheid’ is not helpful at all. It takes the discussion to an entirely different dimension,” said David Harris, executive director of the American Jewish Committee, an organization that has been supportive of Kerry’s peace process initiative. “In trying to make his point, Kerry reaches into diplomatic vocabulary to raise the stakes, but in doing so he invokes notions that have no place in the discussion,” he added.

Finally, the PLO’s central council decided to pursue attempts to join 60 United Nations bodies and international agreements. Palestine People’s Party Secretary-General Bassam al-Salhi said that the council  “affirms the need for the Palestinian leadership to continue membership of UN agencies and international conventions, under the Palestinian plan that was adopted.” The Central Council also announced that the PLO will submit a formal request to the UN to boycott companies and institutions which support the West Bank and the “Judaization” of Jerusalem.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas threatens to dismantle Palestinian Authority
2) Official: PLO may disband the Palestinian Authority
3) If talks fail, Abbas said to be weighing dissolution of Oslo, PA
4) Lieberman on threat to dismantle PA: You can’t make new threats every day
5) Lieberman: Israel won’t stop PA if it opts to dismantle self
6) Bennett: Let Abbas go home
7) US to Abbas: Shuttering PA ‘would have grave implications’
8) Hamas, Abbas’s PLO announce reconciliation agreement
9) Haniyeh: Palestinian unity government within five weeks
10) Abbas, Haniyeh talk of a speedy reconciliation
11) Hamas to recognize Israel under deal, Abbas reportedly says
12) Hamas: We will never recognize Israel
13) In wake of Hamas-Fatah unity, Israel calls off talks with Palestinians
14) Netanyahu: Israel Will Not Talk with Hamas-backed Palestinian Govt
15) Netanyahu: Abbas chose Hamas over peace with Israel
16) Erekat: Israeli Occupation the ‘True Terror,’ Not Hamas
17) Israel: Abbas gave the ‘coup de grace’ to the peace process
18) Livni: Israel had to suspend talks after Abbas-Hamas deal
19) Netanyahu keeps door open to future negotiations after talks suspended due to Hamas-Fatah pact
20) We’ll seek other roads to peace, excluding Hamas, PM says
21) EU hails Fatah-Hamas deal, says peace talks priority
22) US: ‘Disappointed’ by Palestinian unity deal
23) Ashton to Israel: Reverse recent steps regarding West Bank, east Jerusalem
24) Foreign Minister Lashes Out at Ashton, EU
25) Abbas still willing to seek talks extension, but will never recognize ‘Jewish state’
26) Palestinians will never recognize Israel as ‘Jewish state': Abbas
27) Abbas: Borders outline, settlement freeze or talks will end
28) Fatah Movement: “No Peace Talks Unless Based On International Legitimacy”
29) Indyk returning to Washington empty-handed
30) Obama: ‘Pause’ in peace talks might be in order
31) US unwilling to give up Mideast peace process yet
32) ‘Kerry warns if peace talks fail, Israel may become apartheid state’
33) ‘PLO to pursue efforts to join 60 international bodies’
34) Palestinian Authority to Ask UN to Boycott 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

April 19, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

April 22nd, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The USA in Bible Prophecy

In this week’s update, we are sharing on the subject, “The USA in Bible Prophecy”. It includes a teaching based upon Isaiah 13, 21:1-10, 47, Jeremiah 50 and 51 and Revelation 18 showing that these verses are prophetic of the USA in the end of days. It will also include a prophetic dream about the destruction of the USA by Maurice Sklar who is a Messianic Jew and  a world famous violinist.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Maurice Sklar Prophetic Dream Interview

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 12, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

April 11th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

US Secretary of State John Kerry accused Israel for being the blame in stalled peace talks with the Palestinians because of its failure to release the fourth round of Palestinian terrorists and an announcement to build 700 more houses in East Jerusalem. Under the terms of renewed talks, Israel had promised to release 104 long-held Palestinian prisoners in four groups, while the Palestinians said they would suspend a campaign to sign up the “state of Palestine” for various UN agencies. When Israel did not release the Palestinian terrorists on March 29 because the Palestinians refused to extend peace talks with Israel past April 29, the Palestinians signed letters to join 15 international conventions. Speaking in a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry said: “The prisoners were not released by Israel on the day they were supposed to be released and then another day passed and another day – and then 700 units were approved in Jerusalem and then poof…” Kerry further said that the United States backs Israel’s demand for recognition as a Jewish State: “The government of the United States and the president supports the notion of Israel being defined as a Jewish state. We believe that this should happen. But when it happens, and how it happens, has to be part of the negotiations. It’s not going to happen in the beginning.” In response, Israel Economy Minister Naftali Bennett slammed the comments, saying: “For years there was an attempt to block construction in Jerusalem by blasts and explosions, but it didn’t happen. Construction in Jerusalem is not a ‘poof’, it is Zionism and we will never apologize for it.”

Kerry added that as of now, the dispute is over the process of the negotiations, and “not over the substance of the final status agreement. It’s over how do you get to the discussion of the final status agreement. So our hope is that we can work a way through this but in the end the parties are going to have to make that decision. It’s not our decision. Hinting that American efforts are limited, the Secretary of State said: “you know, we can cajole, we can leverage, we can offer one thing or another to try to be helpful, they have to make the fundamental decision. Israel said that it is “deeply disappointed” by comments made by US Secretary of State John Kerry where he insinuated that Israel was mostly the blame for the crisis in the current peace talks.

A senior Israeli official said that Kerry’s comments “will both hurt the negotiations and harden Palestinian positions.” The official continued by saying “Secretary Kerry knows that it was the Palestinians who said ‘no’ to continued direct talks with Israel in November; who said ‘no’ to his proposed framework for final status talks; who said ‘no’ to even discussing recognition of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people; who said ‘no’ to a meeting with Kerry himself; and who said ‘no’ to an extension of the talks.” Israel is willing to enter negotiations without pre-conditions, including the commitment to halt settlement construction during the talks duration.“ At the same time, in the understandings reached prior to the talks, Israel did not commit to any limitation on construction. Therefore, the Palestinian claim that building in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital, was a violation of the understandings is contrary to the facts. Both the American negotiating team and the Palestinians know full well that Israel made no such commitment.” As a result, Israeli officials said that the likelihood that derailed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks will get back on track before expiring at the end of April is virtually zero. “There is no chance of the negotiations restarting in the coming weeks.” According to Israel Channel 2, the American-mediated negotiations-about-negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians will only restart after Passover. At this time, there is no agreement to extend talks past April 29. There have been discussions to extend peace talks past April 29 based upon Israel willing to release Palestinian terrorists from Israeli jails and partially freeze settlement construction and the US would free American-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard from federal prison.

A senior Israeli official also blamed Kerry for the breakdown in talks. “Kerry is responsible for the crisis.” This was because Kerry inaccurately told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that Israel would be willing to release Israeli Arabs in the fourth group of prisoners, when Israel had not agreed to do so. There was also a difference between the sides about how many prisoners would go free. The secretary had months to try to resolve the discrepancies but failed to do so, the official said. Eventually, Kerry acknowledged to Israel that he’d “made a mistake here” on the issue of Israeli-Arab terror convicts and discussion began on a complex deal under which the US would free Pollard, Israel would release the Israeli Arab and other prisoners in the final group, as well as hundreds more prisoners, and would also partially freeze settlement construction, and the Palestinians would halt all unilateral moves toward statehood and agree to continue the talks. But that deal was derailed when Abbas applied to join 15 UN and other international treaties last week and days of frenzied contacts in the past has failed to achieve a new agreement. Therefore, Israeli officials said that there was  “zero chance that an agreement will be reached in the coming weeks” that will allow the talks to continue beyond an April 29 deadline.

As a result of a Palestinian decision to join 15 international organizations, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered a freeze on the transfer of customs and other deductions to the Palestinian Authority over its unilateral application to UN agencies to bypass negotiations. These moneys amount to about $100 million a month. The Palestinians owe Israeli companies hundreds of millions of dollars for electricity, power and other services. Israel said that it would deduct the Palestinian debt against its monthly transfer of tax money that it collects for the Palestinians. Under the Oslo interim peace accords of 1993 and 1995, Israel collects taxes on behalf of the Palestinians and transfers about $100 million a month. Without it, the Palestinian Authority likely couldn’t pay the salaries of its tens of thousands of employees. Israel did not say how long the money would be withheld. Furthermore, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered Israeli cabinet members, directors-general of government ministries and other senior bureaucrats to no longer be in communication with their Palestinian counterparts but exempted Israel chief peace negotiator Tzipi Livni. Livni and defense and security officials would still be permitted to talk to the Palestinians. Also, Israeli officials have prevented Palestinian mobile phone company from transferring equipment to the Gaza Strip. The development of offshore gas fields opposite the Gaza Strip will also be halted.

Reacting to the announcement, Palestinian Labor Minister Ahmad Majdalani called the Israeli decision illegal and a political, rather than economic move. Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat  blast Israel’s decision to stop tax money transfers to the PA calling it “piracy”. After being asked about the move, State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US has yet hear an official Israeli announcement on the issue, but nonetheless noted that the US “would regard such a development as unfortunate.” Stressing the importance of the economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinians, she further said “We believe that the regular transfer of the Palestinian Authority’s tax revenues and economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been beneficial and is important to the well-being of the Palestinian economy.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel will agree to return to the negotiating table with the Palestinian Authority on condition that it removes its application to join 15 international treaties and conventions. Liberman said that while he favors negotiations, he will not be “a sucker.” He added: “We won’t agree to the Palestinians acting unilaterally without exacting a price from them.” Liberman blamed PA President Mahmoud Abbas for the breakdown of talks. The foreign minister said that Abbas applied for membership in international treaties just as both sides were on the verge of completing a deal for a prisoner release. Liberman said that while Israel was ready to discuss all the outstanding issues, it was not going to accept a Palestinian demand that the talks be devoted exclusively to the issue of the borders of a future Palestinian state.

The leader of the political party, Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett said that his party would send Israel to new elections if the government decided to free Palestinian prisoners, namely a group of Israeli-Arab terrorists, as part of attempts to salvage peace talks, after the party held a faction meeting. Also, some members of Netanyahu’s Likud political party said that they would quit if such a deal passes.

Meanwhile, a senior Palestinian official accused Israel of using the crisis in the negotiations to shore up its list of demands in any peace agreement. The Palestinians are insisting that Israel must release 26 prisoners from its jails as promised when it started last summer. Mohamed Shtayeh, member of the Fatah Central Committee said: “Israel is trying to extend the negotiations beyond the agreed date [April 29],” Shtayeh said. “We say that the extension of the talks is not significant. What is more important is whether Israel is serious and has good intentions in pursuing the negotiations. Israel should release the prisoners, stop settlement construction and accept the 1967 borders as a basis for a two-state solution.” Shtayeh pointed out that the PA leadership has demands of its own, including the release of Fatah leader Marwan Barghouti and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine Secretary-General Ahmed Sa’adat. Shtayeh also said that the Palestinians are also opposed to the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He said this demand is baseless, since the PLO and Israel had mutually recognized each other in 1993. “The Palestinian people and their leadership have already made a historic concession by accepting a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines, which makes up 22 percent of the size of historic Palestine,” Shtayeh said. “Even if we return to the negotiating table, we won’t accept a Palestinian state on anything less than the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital,” Shtayeh said. “We also can’t make more concessions. Isn’t it enough that we already gave up 78% of our land in favor of Israel? We also won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state.” Sha’ath said that the PA leadership is planning to pursue its efforts to join more international institutions and treaties.

Furthermore, Palestinian ambassador to Russia Fayed Mustafa called for a complete over-haul of the format of peace talks saying that the effort would be aided by greater involvment from the “quartet” of intermediaries including Russia and the EU. “The settlement mechanism has proven ineffective and has to be revised. We need to include the ‘quartet’ of intermediaries, which has recently been overlooked, and take notice of Russian and European participation as members of the ‘quartet’,” Mustafa stated. The “quartet” of Middle East peace negotiators includes, the US, UN, EU and Russia.

In addition, the Palestinian UN envoy is urging the world to boycott products from “illegal” Israeli settlements as part of a stepped up campaign to help Palestine become independent. Riyad Mansour warned that if the Israelis aren’t prepared to negotiate “in good faith,” the Palestinians will be forced “to move into the next stage of holding them accountable for all of their illegal behavior in all fronts, politically, diplomatically and legally.” Mansour said Palestine will officially become a party to 15 international conventions it has applied to join on May 3 – and is ready with more applications, depending on Israel’s actions. Mansour also said that the Palestinians were prepared to join more international groups if Israel retaliated. As a UN non-member state, Palestinians can join 63 international agencies and accords. Furthermore, Arab League foreign ministers said Israel was “wholly responsible for the dangerous stalemate” in US-brokered peace talks scheduled to end on April 29.

Finally, twenty-five years after making their first bid for membership, the Palestinians can join the Geneva Conventions governing the rules of war and military occupations, the Swiss government said. Both the United Nations and the Swiss government have accepted the Palestinian Authority’s requests to join 14 international treaties and conventions. Israel had opposed the move, arguing that there is no universally recognized Palestinian state and that it would complicate peace talks. Switzerland’s Foreign Ministry, as the depositary of the Geneva Conventions, said that “the state of Palestine” acceded to the conventions effective April 2. The Geneva Conventions and their additional Protocols are the fundamental texts of humanitarian law. Palestinians are attached in particular the Fourth Geneva Convention on the protection of civilians, which defines the duties of “occupying” power. This Convention, which was introduced on August 12, 1949, is often cited by the Palestinian Authority because of its applicability to the Palestinian territories as “occupied territories,” as well as Jewish colonization.

Among the obligations of an occupying power, specified in Article 49 of the Convention, is the prohibition of forced transfers and deportations of populations or individuals, as well as the destruction of movable or immovable property, unless it is made “absolutely necessary by military operations.” One aspect of the Geneva Conventions that has raised particular concern in Israel is the prohibition on colonizing occupied land. Israel says this should not apply to the West Bank and Gaza because the two territories exist in sovereignty limbo – no longer claimed by Jordan and Egypt, who ruled them before 1967, while the Palestinians have never had a state. Israel has also argued that east Jerusalem should not be considered occupied because it has extended citizenship rights to its Arab residents, although only several thousand of the city’s quarter million Arab residents have taken advantage of this. The international community has not recognized Israel’s annexation.

The Palestine Liberation Organization first asked to join the Geneva Conventions on June 21, 1989. At the time, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said it was not in a position to decide on the bid “due to the uncertainty within the international community as to the existence or non-existence of a State of Palestine.” Also, the United Nations said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon accepted Palestinian applications to join 13 other conventions, saying they were “in due and proper form.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Kerry says Israel responsible for peace talks crisis
2) Report: Israel ‘deeply disappointed’ by Kerry’s comments
3) Israel blames Kerry as peace talks hopes fade
4) Israeli Officials: No Chances that Talks Will Resume
5) Israel imposes economic sanctions on Palestinian Authority
6) Official: Israel to withhold Palestinian tax fees
7) Netanyahu orders cutback in contacts with Palestinian Authority
8) US calls Israel’s move to withhold PA funds ‘unfortunate’
9) Israel wants peace, but it won’t be Palestinians’ ‘sucker,’ Liberman says
10) Bayit Yehudi backs Bennett: We’ll quit coalition if Israeli-Arab terrorists freed
11) Palestinians: Israel exploiting peace talks crisis to make further demands
12) Palestinians want Russia, EU to change format of talks
13) Palestinian UN envoy: Boycott ‘illegal’ Israeli settlements
14) Arab League blames Israel for talks stalemate
15) Swiss, UN accept Palestinian requests to join international treaties

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 5, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

April 8th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

In what appeared to be a possible breakthrough in the Middle East peace talks, Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agreed to the details of a deal which would include the U.S. release of convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard in return for Israeli concessions with the Palestinians to continue the peace talks past April 29. Pollard, an American citizen who was granted Israeli citizenship in 1995, pleaded guilty in 1987 and was convicted of spying for Israel. He has spent more than 25 years in a US jail. He would be released around Passover in exchange for the release of 400 Palestinian prisoners. According to the deal, the peace talks would extend into 2015. Kerry wanted Netanyahu to call a Cabinet meeting to approve the deal. However, a number of government ministers and coalition members announced they would not support a deal to free Palestinian prisoners – even if included convicted US-Israeli spy Jonathon Pollard. Israel  Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said that “if the US wants to make a true gesture (of friendship) it should free Pollard without conditions so he will have Passover dinner with his family in Israel. This is how allies behave.” In addition, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman attacked a possible deal between Israel, the US, and the Palestinian Authority (PA) to release more Palestinian Arab and Israeli Arab terrorists, saying he “would oppose any arrangement that would include releasing high-security prisoners who are citizens of the State of Israel. We have to manage the conflict as possible,” Liberman stated. “I do not know if this is a real crisis or a fabricated crisis. Whether it is serious or tactical or strategic, we will get the the answer to this in the coming days,” he continued. “The State of Israel did everything and now the ball is in the Palestinians’ court. With every crisis there is also a chance [for success]. We have something waiting on the political horizon, and it does not have to be the Palestinians,” he added. “If they do not want to negotiate we do not need to chase them and not make any ‘gestures,’  if [they] do not want to negotiate it’s [their] decision and [theirs] only. When the Palestinians joined UNESCO, it didn’t give them independence or bring about Middle East peace,” Liberman said. “It’s a mistake for them to go to the UN, but it’s what they want to do and it’s their right. We proved Israel is ready to reach a final-status agreement with the Palestinians,” he said. “But as much as Israel wanted to, it doesn’t look like it’s happening. In the last government, we also made difficult gestures, including a settlement freeze and then too it didn’t get us a millimeter closer to an agreement with the Palestinians.”

The details of the deal involved the following parameters:

1)  Palestinians will agree to extend negotiations into 2015 to avoid unilateral moves at the United Nations;
2)  Israel will release the fourth group of Palestinian prisoners, which will include 14 Israeli Arab prisoners;
3)  Israel will release another 400 Palestinian prisoners “without blood on their hands” who are about to finish their sentences
4) Israel will freeze most of the construction in the settlements with the exception of East Jerusalem.

However, several hours prior to Netanyahu calling a Cabinet meeting to approve the US plan to extend peace talks, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas sent out applications for “the independent Palestinian state” to join 15 UN agencies as members. He indicated that he anticipated that membership would be smoothly granted. The PA’s envoy to the UN, Riyad Mansour, said the requests were “a formality” and that  their membership in the treaties would come into effect “30 days after the Secretary General receives the letter of accession.” In doing so, Abbas turned his back on a commitment he made prior to the start of direct peace talks to not take unilateral step to join UN bodies while peace talks were in progress. Israel Knesset member, Yuli Edelstein, said the “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ decision to sign applications to join international organizations is an outrageous violation of the conditions to renew negotiations, since the Palestinians committed to not taking unilateral steps to receive international recognition during the talks.” As a result of the move, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, canceled plans for a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to continue the peace talks past April 29. A Palestinian official said that Palestine had signed applications to join treaties on human, civil, disabled and women’s rights. The first document Abbas signed was the Fourth Geneva Convention, sources in the Palestinian Authority said. A member of Abbas’s Fatah faction of the Palestinians official said that although Abbas didn’t sign applications for the International Criminal Court and the International Court of Justice, applying for membership there would be the next step. The Palestinians said the public unilateral move to sign the applications was prompted by Israel’s decision to condition the release of a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners held in its jails on an agreement to extend the peace talks beyond their April 29 deadline.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki handed the letters to UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry and said: “These treaties and conventions will help to protect and promote basic rights of the Palestinian people and will enable the State of Palestine to be a responsible actor on the international stage,” said Ashraf Khatib, a communications adviser for the PLO’s Negotiations Affairs Department. “These treaties are vital to continued Palestinian institutional building, good governance and the upholding of human rights, all of which form the basis for an independent and sovereign State of Palestine. Palestine will pursue this non-violent track, including all possible diplomatic venues, in a way which serves the best interests of its people and the cause of a just peace.”

The Palestinians do not plan to stop at joining these 15 UN entities. The Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations says his government may seek to join the International Criminal Court and more UN agencies if there is no progress in peace talks with the Israelis. The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour said that the 15 international conventions the Palestinians are seeking to join were just a first group and more could follow depending on Israel’s actions. “What we did is legal,” he insisted, saying “it is our right” to join UN treaties and agencies, since the Palestinians obtained the status of an observer state in November 2012. “Our inclusion in the Geneva convention will be effective immediately because we are under occupation,” Mansour claimed, adding that these applications are just a first wave, with more coming depending on “the interest of the Palestinian people” as well as “the behavior of Israel.”

Despite the Palestinian intention to join UN organizations, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, said that the US has every intention of moving the peace process forward. “What is important to say about the Middle East right now is it is completely premature tonight to draw any kind of judgment, certainly any final judgment, about today’s events and where things are,” Kerry said. “This is a moment to be really clear-eyed and sober about this process.  It is difficult, it is emotional, it requires huge decisions, some of them with great political difficulty, all of which need to come together simultaneously.” Kerry refused to place responsibility for the crisis on any of the parties. “Now obviously, the Palestinian prisoners were due to be released on March 29th” Kerry said. “I’m not going to get into the who, why, what, when, where, how of why we’re where we are today.  We’re where we are today – and the important thing is to keep the process moving and find a way to see whether the parties are prepared to move forward.  In the end, this is up to the parties.” However, a senior US official said that the Americans believe Israel and the Palestinians should find a way out of this latest deadlock themselves and that Kerry’s current efforts had been exhausted. US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said that the United States opposes all unilateral actions that the Palestinians take to statehood. US lawmakers said they were unhappy about the Palestinian leadership’s decision to sign more than a dozen international conventions and warned it could trigger a cutoff of US aid.

A spokesman for Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction has admitted that the PA is “blackmailing” Israel into releasing terrorist prisoners. Spokesman Ahmad Assaf revealed on official PA TV that the PA is using its non-member observer status in the United Nations (UN), given in 2012, as a “weapon” against Israel. Given the UN status, the PA has been “waving around” the threat of going to the International Criminal Court for around two years according to Assaf: “we’ve obtained the release of the prisoners, we blackmailed [Israel], that is, in quotation marks, and we’ve taken important positions because we have a card that we’re waving around.” Senior Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Official Nabil Shaath revealed last November that the PA is only staying in the peace talks to secure the release of the 104 terrorists promised by Israel as a “gesture” to restart peace talks last July.

Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni spoke out strongly against the Palestinian Authority (PA) after PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas applied to the UN and other international organizations for legitimacy. “The PA has breached its obligations [in peace talks] by applying to the UN,” Livni stated. “If they want a state they need to understand that it will only be established on the negotiating table [with Israel].” Calling recent events “complicated,” Livni said that her team “will continue representing the interests of the State of Israel” despite the move, and urged the government to return to talks. “Not the Palestinians, nor anyone else can dictate to us whether or not we are fighting for peace,” she continued. “Even when peace seems very far away, and when the other side’s conduct is wrong [. . .] we will return to the negotiating table, we are obligated to return to talks.”

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have compiled a new list of demands for the continuation of peace talks, ranging from the release of some 1,200 Palestinian prisoners to a written commitment by Israel accepting the Palestinian state along the 1967 border with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The list was presented to the PLO by Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Al-Aalul, a Fatah central committee member, and indicated a hardening of positions by the Palestinians as talks falter.

The list of demands are:

1)   A written commitment by Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu that the borders of the Palestinian state will be along the 1967 ‘green-line’ and that its capital will be East Jerusalem.
2)  The release of 1,200 Palestinian prisoners, including political heavyweights Marwan Barghouti, Ahmed Saadat and Fuad Shubkhi.
3)  An end to the Egyptian-Israeli blockade on Gaza, and the formulation of dealing allowing the flow of goods into Gaza.
4)  A halt in construction in East Jerusalem.
5)  The IDF will not be allowed to enter Area A – the area of the West Bank under autonomous PA control since the Oslo Accords – to conduct arrests or assassinations
6)  Israel will permit the PA control over Area C – currently under Israel’s control.
7)  The Palestinians known as the Church of Nativity deportees – a group of terrorist who barricaded themselves in the Church of the Nativity on April 2, 2002 and were later deported to European nations and the Gaza Strip – will be allowed to return to the West Bank.
8)  The reopening of a number of Palestinian development agencies Israel shut down.

As a result of the Palestinian intention to apply to 15 UN organizations and refusal to extend negotiations with Israel into 2015, Israel said that will not release the fourth batch of 26 Palestinian terrorists it was to have freed on March 29. According to Israel chief negotiator, Tzipi Livni, the Palestinians’ unilateral application to UN conventions and treaties came at a time when they knew full well that Israel was working in a coordinated and genuine fashion to reach an agreement that would have led to the release of the Palestinian prisoners. Since the agreement to release them was dependent on the Palestinians upholding their commitment not to turn to international organizations, “under these conditions Israel cannot release the fourth batch of prisoners,” Livni said. Both sides, she said, now have to consider how to move forward in the negotiations. She called on the Palestinians to retract their move and return to negotiations.

In an effort to bring both sides back to the negotiating table, US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk had meetings with Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinian sources described the meeting as “long and heated,” and saying it “ended without any signs of bringing both sides back to the negotiating table.” US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk, who arranged the meeting, struggled “to control heated exchanges between both sides.” Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat said they were negotiating on behalf of the UN-recognized state of “Palestine,” not in the name of the Palestine Authority whose “inputs and outputs are controlled by Israel.” The Israeli team then reportedly responded by threatening “endless” sanctions on the Palestinians, to which Erekat responded that the PLO would go after Israeli officials as “war criminals” in international institutions. In response, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “Unilateral steps on [the Palestinians’] part will be met with unilateral steps on our part. We are ready to continue the talks but not at any price,” Netanyahu told his cabinet. “The Palestinians have much to lose by this unilateral move [the 15 applications]. They will achieve a state only by direct negotiations, not by empty statements and not by unilateral moves. These will only push a peace agreement farther away,” Netanyahu said.

Though neither Israel nor the Palestinian Authority formally announced both Israeli and Palestinian officials indicated that the peace negotiations have essentially collapsed. PA President Mahmoud Abbas said, “I would rather become a martyr” than rescind the applications he signed to join 15 UN and other international treaties and conventions. Furthermore, the Palestinians issued a long list of new preconditions for resuming talks — demands that Israeli officials privately dismissed immediately. As a result, US Secretary of State, John Kerry said that the US needed to  “evaluate very carefully” their ongoing engagement in peace efforts, and that the US was “not going to sit there indefinitely.” US President Barack Obama believes that Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace efforts in the Middle East “may be reaching (their) limit.” A senior US official said, “If Kerry goes too far, there’s the risk of looking desperate.” Some of Kerry’s senior staff as well as White House staffers believe that it is time for the secretary of state to say “enough” and “lower the volume” on peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians and “see how things unfold. A point will come where he has to go out and own the failure,” a US official said.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Al-Malki says he does not think the Americans will punish the Palestinians politically or financially for their bid to join 15 United Nations agencies – a move criticized by US President Barack Obama as “disappointing.” Al-Malki said, “I do not expect any consequences coming from the US Congress regarding the possibility of cutting of US aid to the Palestinians. “It has nothing to do with the decision taken by Congress back in the 80’s to punish the Palestinians for becoming members of UN specialized agencies,” Al-Malki said referring to US law that prohibits funding to the PA if it receives UN membership outside the negotiation process. It law states clearly that assistance to the PA will be severed if “the Palestinians obtain the same standing as member states or full membership as a state in the United Nations or any specialized agency thereof outside an agreement negotiated between Israel and the Palestinians.” “I don’t think this will harm in any way the possibilities to continue the negotiations or it will deter others from continuing their efforts,” Al Malki said. “We gave a chance for the American administration to use its relationship with the Israelis to convince them to fulfill and implement their obligations. After we were convinced they were not going to do this, we made this move to protect the Palestinians,” he said. Khalil Shaheen, the Director of Research and Policies at the Palestinian Center for Policy Research and Strategic Studies said: “No one would dare boycott the Palestinians – not even the Americans,” he said. “Boycotting the Palestinians means isolating the American role they play in the Middle East,” he said. Shaheen says the move boosted the morale of Palestinians, and the public image of President Abbas.

As a result, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected an appeal from US Secretary of State John Kerry to halt applications to join several international organizations. Instead, Abbas requested an emergency meeting with the Arab League foreign ministers to discuss the recent crisis in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The PA president was expected to ask for the Arab League’s support of the Palestinian position both politically and financially. Palestinian official, Nabil Shaath said that talks with Israel will fail unless the US applies more pressure on Israel. “If the US becomes convinced that the same approach will make no progress, then it will be possible to save the situation. Otherwise negotiations can’t go on.” Shaath also claimed that the Palestinians could not make any more concessions after “giving up 78 percent of our land to Israel.” Finally, Palestinian official,  Mohammed Ishtayeh, said that if it becomes apparent by April 29 that Kerry’s efforts have collapsed, the Palestinians are set to resume the recognition campaign, Ishtayeh said, without giving a timeline. The Palestinians can join 63 agencies, treaties and conventions which are being divided into four groups, he said, adding that “the second application to join other UN organizations is ready for signing.” Asked about possible Israeli retaliation, Ishtayeh said he believes the Palestinians can count on continued financial aid from Europe and the Arab world.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Reports: Pollard Deal ‘Nearly Sealed’
2) Abbas dumps another US-led peace effort, Kerry gives up on shuttle, Pollard release recedes
3) Kerry nixes Ramallah trip as Abbas courts unilateral moves
4) Abbas signs Palestine request to join 15 UN bodies
5) Despite Kerry’s claim, Abbas has applied to join UN-related groups
6) UN Confirms it Received PA’s Applications
7) Palestinian envoy threatens Israel with ICC membership
8) Deal to free Pollard could tear coalition apart
9) Liberman Pledges to Oppose Release of Israeli-Arab Terrorists
10) Liberman tells Palestinians UN move is mistake
11) Knesset Speaker: Palestinian Authority ‘outrageously violated agreements’
12) Despite Palestinian move to join world bodies, Kerry vows to push peace talks ahead
13) US taking step back from peace talks, report says
14) US opposes Palestinian moves to statehood
15) US lawmakers: Palestinians could lose US aid over statehood move
16) PA Admits ‘Blackmailing’ Israel To Free Terrorists
17) Livni Says PA ‘Breached its Obligations’, Urges Return to Talks
18) Palestinians publish new list of demands: PM must agree to East Jerusalem as capital
19) Israel cancels fourth prisoner release
20) ‘Palestinians say no breakthrough in last-ditch peace efforts’
21) No formal declarations, but both sides indicate talks over
22) Kerry’s threat to ‘evaluate’ next steps fails to break peace deadlock
23) ‘Obama believes Kerry’s effort may be reaching its limit’
24) Palestinian leadership confident Americans won’t punish UN move
25) Abbas rejects plea by Kerry to halt international treaty applications
26) Abbas calls emergency Arab League meeting to discuss failing peace talks
27) Palestinians ready to widen global recognition bid

From a Biblical prophetic perspective, the reason why the God of Israel would allow these events to happen is because it will result in the end of the exile of the house of Jacob and the reunification of the 12 tribes of Israel (Ephraim and Judah).

We will to be “watchmen on the walls of Jerusalem” and we will not rest until the God of Israel makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth (Isaiah 62).

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

March 29, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

April 1st, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current status of the Israel / PLO peace process

The Arab League announced its support for the Palestinian refusal to meet Israel’s demand to be recognized as a Jewish state by saying: “We express our total rejection of the call to consider Israel as a Jewish state.” Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has called for the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish character of Israel as a requirement for a peace agreement. At the meeting, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas reiterating his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state and said that the Palestinians want an independent state on “all the territories that were occupied in 1967.” The London-based Arabic Al-Hayat newspaper quoted western diplomats as saying that US Secretary of State, John Kerry was trying to overcome the impasse over the recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state” by changing the definition to “the homeland of the Jewish people.” In return, the Palestinians would have to agree to a Palestinian capital in a part of East Jerusalem and not all of it. According to the report, the Palestinians have rejected that proposal as well.

In response, a senior Israeli official said that the Palestinians are destroying any chances of reaching a peace agreement. The official said: “President Abbas’s stubborn refusal to discuss mutual recognition between two nation-states stands in stark contrast with Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s willingness to recognize a Palestinian state and his agreement that all of the core issues can be raised in the talks.” By clinging to his position, Abbas “could well torpedo the peace process,” the Israeli official said. Israel’s former national security advisor said that the Palestinians “have not moved one inch” in their negotiating positions since 1994 while the Netanyahu government has made dramatic concessions unacknowledged by world opinion. In fact, in certain areas, they even moved backward.” The retired Israeli general highlighted two issues where Israel made a dramatic move towards the Palestinians: accepting a Palestinian state, while former Israeli Prime Minster Yitzchak Rabin only agreed to “less than a state”; and limiting the Israeli military presence in the Jordan Valley to the Jordan River, while Rabin envisioned the entire valley under Israeli control. On the latter issue, “The Americans didn’t even notice the difference until we turned their attention to it. In the past, Israel has accepted the principle of land swaps with the Palestinians in the ratio of 1:1 for inhabited areas in the West Bank annexed by Israel, a principle Rabin never envisioned, he said. Tactically, Israel has agreed in the past years to undertake goodwill measures intended to advance negotiations, such as a freeze on settlement construction in 2010 and the release of Palestinian prisoners with blood on their hands. “From a diplomatic point of view, I know of not one Palestinian concession since the start of negotiations until today,” he said. “They [the Palestinians] have a clear line: They want a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital. Everything else is secondary. Why? Because they feel as though they’ve made their big concession already by settling for 22 percent of what they regard as historic Palestine. The more I speak to Palestinians, the more I understand that the real issue for them is 1948, not 1967,” he said. “It’s clear to me that if the agreement with the Palestinians does not include recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, it’s not worth the paper it’s written on.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in an attempt to prevent the negotiating process from falling apart. While Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are busy blaming each other for the failure of the talks, the tireless Kerry is searching for a creative solution to the issue specifically with regard to the possible release of Israeli-Arab prisoners.  UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said that “March 29 [the original date set for the prisoner release] is of immediate concern, much more urgent than April 29, when negotiations are supposed to come to an end. If a solution to this issue is not found in the coming days, it is doubtful that it will be possible to complete the nine months of talks. I hope that, in the end, Kerry will offer a framework consistent with the relevant UN resolutions and the Road Map. In my view, it is important for both sides to continue negotiations on that basis. If the political process succeeds, we need to think how much we can gain. The alternative to two states seems particularly bad.”

Meanwhile, Israel told the Palestinians it will not free the final batch of prisoners initially expected to be released on March 29. Tzipi Livni, the justice minister and the top negotiator with the Palestinians, said that there was never an “automatic commitment to release prisoners unrelated to making progress in negotiations.” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel won’t release additional Palestinian prisoners without receiving something of value in return. The prisoner issue will be resolved within a few days, when it “will be closed or it will blow up,” Netanyahu said. Any deal involving a further prisoner release would be brought to the government for approval, Netanyahu added, and said the deliberations around the prisoners release could go on for several days. In addition, Israel made a proposal to the Palestinians that they hope will lead to an extension of their peace talks beyond an April 29 deadline. According to a Palestinian official, Israel presented Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with a draft agreement to relaunch talks. Abbas was to examine the proposal during the night, he said. Israel offered to release a new group of 400 Palestinian security prisoners, in addition to the fourth and final group of longtime terrorism convicts who were set to go free on March 29, if the Palestinian Authority agrees to extend peace talks for another six months. Israel is said to be holding close to 5,000 Palestinian security prisoners. Some sources claimed Israel was holding off on freeing the prisoners because of rumors that the PA would back out of peace talks once the fourth round of convicts were released. The US is demanding that Israel show flexibility and have raised several options to do so, among them a “gesture” release of prisoners who have been imprisoned for a very long time, or those who are similar to other prisoners previously freed. At present, it is still unclear how many prisoners would be included in such a “gesture.”

Furthermore, imprisoned Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard may be released from American incarceration as part of a deal being negotiation by the US to release Palestinian prisoners and extend peace talks. According to the report, Pollard could be released by mid-April in return for Israel releasing a final wave of 27 prisoners from its jails. Further, Israel would release an additional batch of detainees and peace talks would be extended past the April 29 deadline agreed to in July. Pollard, a US naval analyst, was imprisoned by the US in 1987 after being caught spying for Israel. Successive Israeli governments have lobbied Washington for his release, with no success. He is due to be paroled late next year.

The Palestinians rejected an Israeli proposal to extend the crumbling peace talks beyond April 29, saying it was akin to “blackmail,” said a Palestinian official. “Israel is practicing a policy of blackmail and linking its agreement to releasing the fourth batch of prisoners with the Palestinians accepting to extend the negotiations,” the official said following a meeting between the two sides and US envoy Martin Indyk. The Israeli proposal included a partial settlement freeze, but not in East Jerusalem or for tenders already launched, the sources said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refuses to discuss the American framework accord for the continuation of peace talks with Israel until the fourth and final group of Palestinian prisoners is released, a Palestinian source said. If the releases of the Palestinian prisoners do not go ahead as scheduled , Palestinian leaders are threatening to renew their diplomatic push at the United Nations. In any event, the Palestinian leadership presented an offer to American mediators – that Israel release 1,000 more prisoners, of the Palestinian Authority’s choosing and in exchange, peace talks would be extended until the end of 2014. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas also demanded that Israel freeze settlement construction and transfer some Area C regions to the Palestinian Authority’s control.

The United States cannot stop a Palestinian campaign to the United Nations for statehood should peace talks with Israel fail, American diplomats said. An editorial published in The New York Times warned Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “think carefully” before they pass up this opportunity for peace, because they will have to shoulder the blame should the talks fail. If the two sides can’t reach an agreement on a framework to continue talks, the US should stick to its principles by setting the borders according to the 1967 lines, and recognizing Jerusalem as the joint capital of both states, the Times’ editorial said.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Arab League declares ‘total rejection’ of Jewish state recognition
2) Israel: Abbas refusal to discuss ‘Jewish state’ torpedoing talks
3) Outgoing security adviser: ‘Palestinians haven’t budged’
4) UN special envoy to talks: This is moment of truth
5) As deadline passes, PA says Israel has made clear it will not release prisoners
6) PM: No new prisoner release without something of value in exchange
7) Israel hands Palestinians proposal to extend peace talks
8) ‘Israel offers to free 400 more prisoners if Abbas extends talks’
9) Pollard may be released as part of negotiations deal — report
10) Palestinians reject Israeli proposal as ‘blackmail’
11) Abbas refuses to discuss framework accord before prisoner release
12) PA: Talks can go on if Israel frees 1,000 prisoners
13) US officials: We can’t stop Palestinian UN statehood bid if talks fail

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