You may view the 5 minute update this week via 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 is expected to present his framework peace proposal in the near future. According to various sources, his proposal is expected to include land swaps based on the 1967 lines, security arrangements in the Jordan Valley and no “right of return” to Israel for Palestinian refugees and their descendants.It will include an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank except for certain settlement blocs. Israel would compensate the Palestinians for the land upon which are the settlement blocs for land within Israel proper. In addition, it will include Jerusalem being the shared capital of both Israel and the Palestinians and recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. Recognition of Israel as a Jewish state is a key demand of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the negotiations.
Kerry expects and hopes that both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will declare that despite their reservations about one or another element in the U.S. framework, they will use it as the basis of further negotiations.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said a full and final Israeli military withdrawal from Palestinian territory should take place within a three-year period under any final Middle East peace deal. “We say that in a reasonable time frame, no longer than three years, Israel can withdraw gradually,” he said. “We have no problem with there being a third party present after or during the withdrawal, to reassure Israel and to reassure us that the process will be completed,” Abbas said.
“We think NATO is the appropriate party to undertake this mission. “The Palestinian borders must, in the end, be held (controlled) by Palestinians and not by the Israeli army,” he added. Abbas reiterated Palestinian demands that a two-state solution be based on the lines that existed before Israel captured the West Bank in 1967, and stressed the importance of having annexed East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
U.S. and Israeli officials in close contact with Netanyahu describe him as being torn between realizing that some kind of two-state solution is necessary for Israel’s integrity as a Jewish democratic state and to eliminate the threat of an economic boycott from Europe and skeptical about Palestinian intentions. Netanyahu said: “I do not want a binational state. But we also don’t want another state that will start attacking us.”
Which is why — although Netanyahu has started to prepare the ground here for the U.S. plan — if he proceeds on its basis, even with reservations, his coalition will likely collapse. He will lose a major part of his own Likud Party and all his other right-wing allies. In short, for Netanyahu to move forward, he will have to build a new political base around centrist parties. To do that, Netanyahu would have to become, to some degree, a new leader — overcoming his own innate ambivalence about any deal with the Palestinians to become Israel’s most vocal and enthusiastic salesman for a two-state deal, otherwise it would never pass.
Netanyahu described what he believes to be the core issues of the conflict with the Palestinians. He said: “We stand on two basic principles [that we require of the Palestinians]. The first is recognition of the State of Israel as the national state of the Jewish people. This is the root of the conflict. The conflict is not about the settlements, its not about the settlers, and it’s not about a Palestinian state. The Zionist movement agreed to recognize a Palestinian state. “The conflict is over the Jewish state… We are asked to recognize a national Palestinian state, so can we not also demand [that they] recognize a national Jewish state?” he said.
The second principle, Netanyahu said, was demilitarization. Elaborating, he said, constant incitement against Israel among the Palestinians had created a climate in which Israel required a substantial “security presence” in order to protect itself. That included a “long-term” presence in the Jordan Valley and other areas.
Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that the Kerry framework proposal reflecte “American positions.” He said: “I would like to emphasize that they are not Israeli positions but rather American ones. Israel does not have to agree to anything the Americans present.” However, US Ambassador Dan Shapiro said that the Kerry framework peace proposal is not solely composed of American ideas but is drawn from ideas which the Israelis and Palestinians themselves have presented. He said: “As we continue our work at this stage to shape a framework proposal, it is very much drawn from ideas the parties have put on the table themselves.” Very little of it will be purely American authorship; there will certainly be a role for America to try and bridge some gaps but much of what will emerge from that emerges from discussions between Israel and the Palestinians.” Shapiro said that this framework, if it is going to be successful in giving more time to negotiate a full agreement, “is going to need to contain real decisions on all the core issues.”
Rabbi Chaim Druckman, head of the network of Bnei Akiva yeshivas, had harsh words for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s recent suggestion that Israel concede most of Judea and Samaria (Shomron) to the Palestinian Authority.Speaking in advance of a planned prayer rally at the Kotel (Western Wall), Rabbi Druckman said, “I don’t believe my ears. Who is it they want to give parts of our land to? “One does not give one’s homeland even to friends, let alone to mortal enemies,” he told Israel radio. “We’ve lost our senses,” he lamented.
Rabbi Druckman said he does not oppose the creation of a state of “Palestine” – as long as it is not in Israel’s heartland. “The land of Israel is the land of the people of Israel,” he said. “I am completely against any agreement like this,” he continued. “We will not give any part of our land to foreign rule. No normal nation would do such a thing.”
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested the idea that those settlers who live outside the large settlement blocs could choose to live inside a Palestinian state. Israel Government officials made clear that Netanyahu never talked about physically uprooting settlements and their inhabitants from the West Bank, as was done in Gaza in 2005. Rather, he has spoken of the possibility of Jews wanting to live in those settlements being able to do so if they wish. This idea caused a great deal of outcry from the Jewish Home political party and members of Netanyahu’s own Likud political party.
Jewish Home political party leader, Naftali Bennett, called upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to rule out letting Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) come under Palestinian control. “The idea of Jewish settlements under Palestinian sovereignty, as was suggested by someone in the Prime Minister’s Office, is very dangerous and reflects a loss of marbles and values,” Bennett said. “We did not return to the Land of Israel, after 2,000 years to live under the government of [President] Mahmoud Abbas.
The Prime Minister’s office responded to Bennett by saying: “Bennett is irresponsibly harming national interests and diplomatic procedures intended to expose the true face of the Palestinian Authority in exchange for media coverage.” These sources went on to say that Bennett is undermining Netanyahu’s efforts in proving to the international community that it is the Palestinian Authority who pose an obstacle to peace.
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon vowed not to abandon the Jews who live over the Green Line to Israel’s enemies. “I would not wish for my worst enemy to live under Palestinian sovereignty,” Danon said. “Whoever thinks Jews can live under Palestinian control should visit the Gaza Strip. There cannot be security for Jews in areas that are not under IDF control.”
Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin said that “only someone deluded enough to believe the lion is ready to lie with the lamb could abandon hundreds of thousands of people to the mercy of those who enabled the lynching in Ramallah.”
Sources in Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s office shot back at comments made by Likud MKs, criticizing Netanyahu’s proposal to have Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria live under the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Likud opponents to Netanyahu’s plan include Deputy Minister of Transportation Tzipi Hotovely, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, and Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis. The source in Netanyahu’s office remarked that “no one is forcing Deputy Ministers Danon, Hotovely, Elkin and Akunis to stay in their posts, they can leave them any time they want.” According to the same source, Economics Minister Naftali Bennett, who was slammed for similarly criticizing the proposal, also has the “alternative to leave the government.”
The clash highlights a growing schism in the Likud, as several MKs including those mentioned by the source are reportedly planning a “rebellion” in the party over Netanyahu’s willingness to make irresponsible concessions to the PA. Netanyahu’s proposal, which was phrased earlier in a positive light as “not uprooting any settlements anywhere,” was opposed by Hotovely, who said that “a diplomatic plan that relegates the Jewish settlement enterprise to Palestinian sovereignty will not receive political backing in Likud.” Bennett called the proposal “a very grave matter” that “reflects a panicked loss of values.” Akunis said that the proposal to leave Israelis under the PA “can be defined in one word: hallucinatory.” Elkin slammed the proposals as well, saying they “are diametrically opposed to the Zionist concept. Whoever is pulling the prime minister in such delusional directions wants to cause a schism between him and Likud, and the entire national camp.”
In a speech associated with International Holocaust Remembrance Day, Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said that Israel’s future is linked with reaching a peace agreement with the Palestinians. She said: “Israel was not established because of the Holocaust but rather because of Zionism, the Jewish people’s connection to the land and its desire to establish itself as a Jewish nation. Israel today is a strong and independent nation,” Livni said. “We should not only think about the Jewish people in the past, but of the direction our nation is taking in the future [. . .] a Jewish and Democratic state – and for that we need to give away part of our land.”
“I have heard several different officials say in the past several days that the Jews did not dream of returning to their land over the past 2000 years just to give away part of it,” Livni continued. “But they also did not envision a land which exerted control over another nation.” Livni also threatened both sides with consequences if an agreement falls through, stating that both will “have a price to pay” if negotiations fail. “Both sides have to understand that,” she explained. “It’s the decision of both leaders, not only one, to make – and both we and the Palestinian people will have to pay if peace is not reached.”
Labor political party leader Shelly Yacimovich said that she had discussed the possibility of Jewish settlers who did not wish to leave their West Bank communities staying in a Palestinian state as citizens with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas who had had accepted the proposal in a meeting between herself and Abbas in May, 2013. However, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that not a single settler would be permitted to stay in the future state of Palestine. He said: “Anyone who says he wants to keep the settlers in a Palestinian state is really saying he does not want a Palestinian state,” Erekat declared. “No settler will be permitted to stay in a Palestinian state, not one, because the settlements are illegal and the presence of settlers on occupied lands is illegal.”
Israel responded by saying that “Nothing reveals more the Palestinian Authority’s unwillingness to reach an agreement with the State of Israel than its radical and reckless reaction to refusing to allow Jewish settlers to become citizens of a Palestinian state. They added: “An agreement will only be reached when the Palestinians recognize the Jewish state and only when Israel’s vital security needs are guaranteed.”
According to Dani Dayan, the chief foreign envoy for the Yesha Council – a Judea and Samaria leadership forum – MK Jamal Zahalka (Balad) rejected Netanyahu’s suggested solution – explaining that Jewish settlers who live inside “Palestine” will not be loyal citizens in the new Arab state. Dayan calls Zahalka’s statement “the definition of hypocrisy.”
An agreement to divide Jerusalem and establish a PLO state is a tribulation event.
The link to these articles are as follows:
1) ‘Kerry Plan’ said to include shared Jerusalem, Jewish state recognition
2) Why Kerry Is Scary
3) Rabbi’s Shock at PM’s Proposal: ‘Have We Lost Our Senses?’
4) Ambassador Shapiro clarifies: Kerry paper drawn from Israeli, Palestinian proposals
5) Brief cabinet crisis averted by pro-settlement minister’s apology for criticizing Netanyahu
6) Netanyahu: Israel not obligated by US peace plan
7) Yacimovich: Abbas agreed to Jewish settlers in a future Palestinian state
8.) Sources in PMO slam PA for saying no settlers can stay in ‘Palestine’
9) Livni: ‘Negotiations Not to Expose Faults of Other Side’
10) ‘Likud MKs Critical of Netanyahu Can Leave Govt.’
11) Abbas allows for 3-year IDF presence in Palestinian state
12) Arab MK Warns: ‘Palestine’ Jews ‘Won’t be Loyal Citizens’
13) Sources in Prime Minister’s Office slam Bennett for ‘harming national interests’
14) The idea of Jewish settlements under Palestinian rule is ‘dangerous,’ says Bennett
15) Will Jews be able to live in future 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,
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l