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

March 22, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

March 24th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

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

In January, during his State of the Union address, US President Barack Obama solemnly proclaimed Israel as a “Jewish state” In pushing for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, the president said his objective was an “independent state for Palestinians, and lasting peace and security for the State of Israel — a Jewish state that knows America will always be at their side.” However, in his meeting on March 17 with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, the president conspicuously omitted any reference to Israel as a Jewish state.  In one swoop, he erased Jewish identity from Israel — the very basis and rationale for Israel as a Jewish national homeland:  Here is how he puts it now when calling for “two states, side by side, in peace and security — a state that allows for the dignity and sovereignty of the Palestinian people and a state that allows for Israelis to feel secure and at peace with their neighbors.”  Israel’s Jewishness is now gone from the equation.

Despite the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) ongoing rejection of Israeli demands to be recognized as the state of the Jewish people, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni has not given up on her hopes that the framework agreement being drawn up by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will be implemented. She said “Those who say that there will be no agreement in our generation have given up on the idea of peace. A responsible leadership cannot surrender on the basic interests of the State of Israel which are meant to defend Zionism and on the Jewish and democratic state,” added Livni. Insisting on recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, she said, would “prevent Israel from turning into a binational state.” However, getting the PA to agree will be very difficult, Livni said. The Palestinians said that they will be willing to consider “resolving” the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state when peace talks come an end and a meaningful solution to the conflict is achieved, Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said. “If this issue would have appeared after the central issues would have been solved, and if we would receive the correct answers to practical questions, the issue could be resolved”, he added. Hours later, Shaath denied that he made these comments, saying that the PA’s position is that no discussions be held on the issue of recognition as Israel, as doing so means legitimizing “the theft of Palestine” and endangers the status of the so-called “Palestinian refugees”  – meaning the millions of descendants of Arabs who fled pre-state Israel, whom the PA demands be given the right to “return” to Israel, which could make it a majority-Arab state.

When US President Barack Obama met with Palestinian leader, Mahmood Abbas, on March 17, the US said that no formal proposal had been made to Abbas in their meetings according to a senior State Department official. At the meetings, the Palestinians presented Obama with a map depicting Israeli settlement construction throughout the West Bank. Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat said that the meetings were “difficult” yet “candid.” Erekat added, “Contrary to what people expected, that we will come out of this meeting with an official American proposal document, this has not happened,” he said. “To submit an official document we need more discussion,” Erekat said. Abbas rejected terms within the US framework document for continued peace talks with Israel, and issued “three no’s” on core issues, leaving the negotiations heading for an explosive collapse, an Israeli TV report said. Specifically, the report said, Abbas rejected Netanyahu’s demand that he recognize Israel as a Jewish state. He also refused to abandon the Palestinian demand for a “right of return” for millions of Palestinians and their descendants — a demand that, if implemented, would drastically alter Israel’s demographic balance and which no conceivable Israeli government would accept. And finally, he refused to commit to an “end of conflict,” under which a peace deal would represent the termination of any further Palestinian demands of Israel. As a result, four left-wing Palestinian factions have called on Palestinian Authority President Mahmouad Abbas to declare the failure of peace talks with Israel. They were the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, the Democratic Front to Liberate Palestine, the Peoples’ Party and the Palestinian National Initiative Party. They wrote in a letter, “Accepting (US Secretary of State John) Kerry’s plan to sign the framework peace deal is like committing suicide, and this plan has many dangerous consequences on the Palestinian cause and our people’s legitimate rights,” the factions said.

In analysis, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that he does not view Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as a partner for peace, noting that he does not believe peace will happen in his generation. “I’ve discovered this conflict is about the entire Palestine, they don’t recognize our right to exist here … it is impossible to make an agreement without there being recognition on the other side of our right to exist as the national homeland of the Jewish people,” he said. “Abu Mazen (Abbas) is a partner that receives but not a partner that gives. He’s not a partner for a final accord that ends with the recognition of the State of Israel,” Ya’alon said. He also said that he is “not sure” if US Secretary of State, John Kerry, was a fair mediator. “We’ll see at the end of the process,” he said. Ya’alon said he completely disagreed with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent statement that it is a mistake to focus on the demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “I supported Oslo; I thought that if we gave up land it would bring us tranquility, but when I discovered that the conflict is not only over land, and land is not only Judea and Samaria, it’s actually ‘all of Palestine,’ as they call it, the whole land of Israel, I became more realistic.”

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is very concerned that the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks could collapse soon and is working to find a solution that would allow the talks to continue beyond the April 29th deadline. As a result, Kerry is trying to convince Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to continue the talks and move forward with the upcoming release of the fourth batch of long-serving Palestinian terrorists being held in Israeli jails. Israel has threatened to halt the release of the prisoners, which includes Israeli citizens serving time on terror charges, unless Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas agrees to an extension of the talks. Abbas in turn has demanded that the prisoner release go through without any commitment on his part and threatened to end the negotiations. US Special Envoy Martin Indyk and Ambassador Dan Shapiro have met with both the Israelis and the Palestinians to find ways on how to continue the peace talks.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinians are refusing to budge on the issue of recognizing Israel as a Jewish state and forfeiting the “right of return.” It was impossible to say there was progress right now in the diplomatic process but “we are continuing to work with the Americans.” As the clock winds down on US Secretary of State John Kerry’s window to secure a peace deal between the Palestinians and Israelis, some Palestinian officials are suggesting that greater involvement by the international community is the key to the success or failure of the Kerry mission. “It is really a decision of the international community that has not done much to see a breakthrough to the Palestinian question and to give Palestinians their basic rights,” Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riad Al-Malki said. “The US administration should really realize that any kind of pressure put on the Palestinian president is not going to work,” he said. Al-Malki also argued that the international community, which he defined as including the nations of the world except the US, needs to engage itself more in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And if they do not, the PA will be pestering them to do so. “As long as there is no understanding, comprehension, and cooperation from the international community to support our goals, we will continue to make our voice loud” in demanding greater European participation in the peace process.

Israel deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon threatened to oust Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as head of Likud political party if he makes too many concessions to the Palestinians in the current round of peace talks. “This framework would mean the abandonment of the Jordan Valley, a return to the 67 lines and the division of Jerusalem,” Danon stated. “The Likud is a democratic faction and their will be a race for the leadership when we get to that point. However, as someone who knows the hearts of Likud members, we will not support a framework that brings us in line with the positions of [Justice Minister] Tzipi Livni.” Speaking last week, Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat said that he was pressuring Chairman Mahmoud Abbas to leave the ongoing negotiations process with Israel. Erekat stressed that Abbas could leave the negotiating table – but that he is waiting for Israel to release more Palestinian Arab terrorists first. “We put pressure on him to leave and he said, ‘I will not do that until Israel finishes releasing prisoners for the fourth time, at the end of March,” Erekat stated. Danon said that Israel should not fall into Abbas’ trap. “The government needs to reconsider its position on the release of terrorists,” Danon said. “Right now, it is clear that the negotiations are not going anywhere.” If Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon does not follow through with his threat and resigns, he will be fired, sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that he has agreed to extend peace talks with Israel past April 29 if certain conditions are met which include freezing settlement construction and releasing more prisoners. Israel told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that it might not carry out a final stage of a Palestinian prisoner release unless he commits to prolonging peace talks beyond a US-set April deadline for a deal. “There was never any automatic commitment to release prisoners unrelated to making progress in negotiations,” Israel chief negotiator Tzipi Livni said. An Israeli offical said that Israel wanted assurances that Abbas wouldn’t walk out of the talks once the prisoners went free. “We need to be sure the negotiations will last beyond the release of prisoners, and that they will be substantive, and on solid ground,” the official said. Meanwhile, the US promised the Palestinians that they would pressure Israel to release the last of the 26 long-term Palestinian prisoners. They are scheduled to be released at the end of March. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has asked the US to mediate the release of Marwan Barghouti, a Palestinian leader jailed a decade ago over a spate of suicide bombings. Israel would be committing “political blackmail” if it were to delay the final phase of the Palestinian security prisoner release, a Palestinian official said. “We are awaiting the release of the fourth batch of prisoners, as agreed upon with the Israelis through the United States. We are saying, if they are not released, this is a violation of the agreement and allows us to act however we see fit within the norms of international agreements.” If Israel does not release the 4th batch of Palestinian terrorists in Israeli jails, the Palestinians have threatened to seek full recognition as a member state of the United Nations as Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said the Palestinians said if the prisoner release is called off, the Palestinians will “immediately” turn to the UN.

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon issued a harsh criticism of the Obama administration declaring that Israel cannot rely on the US to thwart Iran’s nuclear program, accusing the administration of broadcasting weakness throughout the world, and warning that its perceived weakness was inviting further terrorism against US target. Ya’alon said Israel could not afford to rely on the Obama administration to lead an action against Iran’s nuclear program and that Israel could only rely on itself. Israel had believed that “the one who should lead the campaign against Iran is the US,” but instead, “the US at a certain stage began negotiating with them, and unfortunately in the Persian bazaar the Iranians were better,” he said. Therefore, “we (Israelis) have to look out for ourselves.” Ya’alon was adamant that “Iran is fooling the world” about its nuclear program,” but said the West preferred to put off any confrontation — “to next year, or the next term; but it will blow up in the end.” The Iranians had been “on all fours” because of sanctions and diplomatic isolation, but had been allowed to recover, he charged. The interim deal signed in Geneva in November “is very comfortable for the Iranians,” he said, enabling them to establish themselves as a threshold state “and break out to the bomb when they choose to do so.” Ya’alon also stressed several times that the US was radiating weakness in every region worldwide. “The Sunni camp [in the Middle East] expected that the US would support it, and would be as determined as Russia is in its support of the Shiite axis,” he was quoted as saying. “I hear voices of disappointment in the region. I was in Singapore, and I heard disappointment at the strengthening of China and the weakening of the United States. Look what’s happening in the Ukraine; there, to my sorrow, the US is broadcasting weakness.” Ya’alon further warned that if the US continued to show weakness internationally, its own national security would be severely damaged. “If you wait at home, terror will come calling again,” he said. “This is a war of civilizations. If you are perceived to be weak, that certainly does not pay in the world. I hope the US will reassert itself.”

The Obama administration vented its anger at public insults and criticism of US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, calling Ya’alon’s comments “unconstructive” and “confusing”. A senior source within the US administration told Israel’s Channel 10 that the US will request a public apology from Ya’alon. US State Department spokeswomen Jen Psaki said Kerry spoke with Netanyahu over Ya’alon’s comments. Also Secretary Kerry spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu and he protested to him his concerns about these comments. We were shocked by Moshe Ya’alon’s comments, which seriously call into question his commitment to Israel’s relationship with the United States,” a senior US administration official said. “Moreover, this is part of a disturbing pattern in which the Defense Minister disparages the US Administration, and insults its most senior officials.”

Does the US engage in a double standard with Israel ? Is the US permitted to criticize Israel without Israel being able to criticize the US ? A commentary in the Jerusalem Post newspaper stated the following:

The US has told Israel over and over … Friends often have to be brutally honest with one another. US Secretary of State John Kerry often prefaces critical comments of Israeli policies in his speeches or interviews by stressing that he had a flawless voting record on Israel in the Senate for over 29 years, and shouted “Am Yisrael chai!” from Massada on his first visit here in 1986. Being a friend, he implies, means being able to be critical. US President Barack Obama, in his keynote speech to Israel at the Jerusalem International Convention Center during his visit last year at this time, segued from the unabashedly positive part of his speech into the more critical by saying that not everyone in the hall was going to agree with what he had to say about peace. “That’s part of the discourse between our two countries. I recognize that,” Obama said. “But I also believe it’s important to be open and honest, especially with your friends. I also believe that.” The US surely believes that when it comes to being open and honest with Israel. Just take Obama’s recent interview with Bloomberg View’s Jeffrey Goldberg, the one that appeared one day before the president was to meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in March in the Oval Office. That interview included some very open and candid criticism of the current government’s policies, and an underlining theme that Netanyahu had so far failed to “seize the day.” Obama painted a bleak future indeed for Israel if its policies did not fundamentally change. Kerry, over the last few months, has given speeches in which he predicted catastrophe – a third intifada, deepening international isolation and boycotts – if the elected government of the State of Israel continued down its current path. That is all well and legitimate, part of what Obama referred to in Jerusalem as the importance of being “open and honest, especially with your friends.”

But how about the other way around? How about when that openness and honesty is not Washington criticizing Israeli policy, but rather Israel passing judgment on US policies? Then, as was evident again this week with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s latest critique of American foreign policy, the US is far less forbearing. For whatever the reason, the US cannot seem to tolerate words of criticism from Israel. Does the US see that it has a right to criticize Israel but Israel doesn’t have a right to criticize the US ? Does the US have a double standard toward Israel ?

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama Retracts Jewish Identity of Israel
2) Livni Supports PA Recognition of Israel
3) Palestinian official: Peace first, then recognition
4) PA Official: Recognizing Israel ‘Hurts the Refugees’
5) U.S.: No Formal Proposals Were Made to Abbas
6) Erekat: Abbas showed Obama ‘very ugly’ settlement map
7) Left-wing Palestinian factions to Abbas: Declare failure of peace talks
8) Ya’alon: Abbas is a partner that receives, not one that gives
9) Washington reportedly fears collapse of peace talks
10) Netanyahu: No sign of progress in diplomatic process
11) Growing call for non-American role in Mideast peace process
12) US diplomats meet with Israeli foreign minister
13) Danon threatens to oust Netanyahu as Likud chief if he accepts Kerry’s framework
14) Danon: PA ‘Has Livni Wrapped Around Their Little Finger’
15) Netanyahu’s Associates: If Danon Doesn’t Quit, He’ll be Fired
16) Abbas agrees to extend peace talks ‘under conditions’
17) Israel says might not carry out Palestinian prisoner release
18) U.S. to pressure Israel to release Palestinian prisoners
19) Abbas asks Obama’s help to free jailed Palestinian leader Barghouti
20) PA: Delaying prisoner release would be ‘blackmail’
21) Abbas: Failure to free prisoners is breach of deal
22) Palestinians threaten to seek statehood at UN if prisoner release canceled
23) Palestinians threaten to resume UN campaign
24) Israel can’t rely on ‘weak’ US to deal with Iran, Ya’alon warns
25) Kerry ‘Protests’ to Prime Minister Over Criticism from Ya’alon
26) Kerry spoke to Netanyahu over Ya’alon’s comments
27) ‘Mystified’ US slams Israeli defense minister Ya’alon’s criticism of Obama
28) Diplomacy: Ya’alon strikes twice

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 15, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

March 14th, 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
2) Video: United to Restore: Ephraim and Judah’s desire for restoration and mutual respect

This week, the major issue debated in the Israel / Palestinian peace process is whether Israel should be recognized as a “Jewish state”. Because of this and other issues, US Secretary of State John Kerry said that the level of mistrust between Israelis and Palestinians was the highest he had ever seen. Kerry acknowledged there were “gaps …. some of them very significant,” but stressed they should be seen within the context of the negotiations, saying “I still believe it’s possible, but difficult. Certain narrative issues are so powerful and so difficult that neither leader is going to definitively cede on them at an early stage of the negotiation,” Kerry said. He called them “big-ticket items” which required some trading by both sides. “Neither believes the other is really serious. Neither believes that the other is prepared to make some of the big choices that have to be made.”

Furthermore, US Secretary of State John Kerry criticized Israel’s insistence on Palestinian recognition of the “Jewish state,” saying it’s a “mistake” to condition talks on that issue. “I think it’s a mistake for some people to be, you know, raising it again and again as the critical decider of their attitude towards the possibility of a state and peace, and we’ve obviously made that clear,” Kerry told the House Committee on Foreign Affairs when asked to clarify the official US administration position on the matter. ‘Jewish state’ was resolved in 1947 in Resolution 181 where there are more than 40-30 mentions of ‘Jewish state,'” the secretary of state said.

Meanwhile, The Revolutionary Council of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party unanimously endorsed his rejection of demands to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. “President Abbas has reaffirmed his refusal to recognize the Jewishness of the State of Israel and council members stood up to hail this decision,” a senior Fatah official said. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel would not sign any deal with the Palestinians, as part of ongoing peace talks, until the Palestinians recognizes Israel as the Jewish state. “They (Palestinians) say they will never recognize a Jewish state and that they will never give up on the right of return. I want to make clear that I will not accept an agreement that does not cancel the (refugees’) right of return and which does not include Palestinian recognition of the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. “These are basic conditions, which are justified and vital to the security of Israel,” he added. Palestinian refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state is making the prospects for peace more distant, Netanyahu said. The Palestinians aren’t showing any sign of willingness to reach a practical and fair deal.”

US President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas will meet at the White House on March 17.

Finally, I would like to share with you a discussion between Ken Rank (an Ephraimite) and Hanoch Young (an Orthodox Jew) regarding the ministry, “United 2 Restore” whose vision is to see the restoration and reunification of Ephraim and Judah based upon the guiding principal of mutual respect.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Kerry: Israel-Palestinian ‘mistrust’ at highest levels
2) Kerry: Mistake to make Jewish state demand a peace deal decider
3) Fatah Backs Abbas’s Refusal to Recognize Israel
4) Netanyahu to Palestinians: No deal until you recognize Jewish state
5) Netanyahu: Palestinian intransigence reduces prospects for peace
6) United To Restore: Ephraim and Judah’s desire for restoration and mutual respect

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 8, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

March 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

US President Barack Obama met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on March 3 in the United States. In an interview prior to their meeting, Obama warned Netanyahu that Israel faces a bleak future — one of international isolation and demographic disaster — if he refuses to endorse a U.S.-drafted framework agreement for peace with the Palestinians and that time is running out for Israel to be a Jewish-majority democracy. In encouraging Netanyahu to accept a US framework peace agreement, Obama quoted the Jewish sage, Rabbi Hillel who said: “If not now, when? And if not you, Mr. Prime Minister, then who?” Obama continued by saying that if Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.” He added, “It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible. There comes a point where you can’t manage this anymore, and then you start having to make very difficult choices,” Obama said. “Do you resign yourself to what amounts to a permanent occupation of the West Bank? Is that the character of Israel as a state for a long period of time? Do you perpetuate, over the course of a decade or two decades, more and more restrictive policies in terms of Palestinian movement? Do you place restrictions on Arab-Israelis in ways that run counter to Israel’s traditions? If you see no peace deal and continued aggressive settlement construction — and we have seen more aggressive settlement construction over the last couple years than we’ve seen in a very long time,” Obama said. “If Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited.”

Netanyahu downplayed the significance of Obama’s remarks. “I don’t get disappointed or insulted. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to function and I’m already serving my ninth year [as PM],” he said. Before departing on his trip to the United States, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he would resist “pressures” and “stand steadfast on the State of Israel’s vital interests. In recent years the State of Israel has been under various pressures. We have rejected them in the face of the unprecedented storm and unrest in the region and are maintaining stability and security,” he said, referring to the three-year-old Arab Spring. “This is what has been and what will be.” In their meeting, “Obama will press Netanyahu to agree to a framework for a conclusive round of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations that is being drafted by Secretary of State John Kerry.” Although the document has not yet been made public, it is understood to be a non-binding proposal laying out guidelines for negotiating the central issues of the conflict, such as borders, security, Jerusalem, Israeli settlements and the right of return for Palestinian refugees. Israel Deputy Minister Tzipi Hotovely from Netanyahu’s Likud political party said that Obama’s pressure on Israel to make concessions to the Palestinian Authority “borders on outrageous.” She warned against caving into U.S. pressure, saying, “The more Israel gives in, the more concessions the Palestinians want. There’s an intolerable situation here where the United States is forcing Israel into an agreement that going against the interests of the Israeli public,” she declared, adding, “With all due respect, the international community won’t be at our side when a Hamas state is established on Israel’s eastern border. We need to show political strength,” she urged. Israel’s coalition government is unwilling to accept the deal that American and Palestinian Authority leaders are proposing, she said, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu should be made to see that. If necessary, there should be threats to quit [the government],” she said. If necessary, the political right should be willing to break apart the coalition and go to elections, she continued, allowing voters to decide if they want to vote for the Right again.

Obama and Netanyahu met for 3 hours. At the meeting, Netanyahu said: “Israel has been doing its part, and I regret to say that the Palestinians haven’t. The people of Israel know that it’s the case. Israel wants peace — not just a piece of paper,”  he said. Netanyahu called for a “real peace… based on mutual recognition” and chided his Palestinian counterparts for promoting “incessant violence” against the Jewish state. “Israel, the Jewish state, is the realization of the Jewish people’s right to self-determination,” Netanyahu said. “I think it’s about time they recognized a nation state for the Jewish people. In the 20 years since Israel embarked upon the [Oslo] peace treaty,” Netanyahu said, “Israel made great efforts to obtain peace – we evicted cities, we freed prisoners, and when you look at what we got in return – you see thousands of missiles on our cities, and suicide terrorists. Israel is doing its part and the Palestinians are not,” he stated. “And that is the truth, and the Nation of Israel knows it is the truth, because they live it. We’ve only been here for about 4,000 years.” Netanyahu made clear to Obama that for the talks to continue, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas would have to be prepared to make concessions. In return, Obama promised Netanyahu that he would push the Palestinian Authority (PA) to match any Israeli concessions as he seeks to negotiate a framework for peace talks. A US official said: “It’s not as though the Palestinians are going to get a free pass.”

After Netanyahu met with Obama, he gave a speech before the Jewish group, AIPAC. Part of his speech is as follows:

Netanyahu’s speech “sparked a furious reaction” from the Palestinians. In his speech, Netanyahu said Israel and the Palestinians had a lot to gain from peace and called on the Palestinians to “stop denying history” regarding Israel’s historic, biblical connection to the Land. He also challenged the Palestinians to stand on the “right side of the moral divide.” PA senior official Nabil Shaath called it “an official announcement of a unilateral end to negotiations,” saying the Palestinians “totally rejected” Israel’s right to exist as the nation-state of the Jewish people. PA spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said the same thing. “Netanyahu’s continued demand [to recognize] a Jewish state is a waste of time and [meant] to avoid a just and comprehensive peace agreement,” Rudeineh said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss the Israel-Palestinian peace talks. At the meeting, Kerry said: “It is no mystery what the endgame really looks like. We’re at a point in history that requires the United States, as Israel’s closest friend and the world’s preeminent power, to help end this conflict once and for all.” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas believe a two-state solution will require the recognition of  “two states for two peoples,” he said, without explicitly addressing a requirement of the Israeli government that Palestinians recognize Israel as the Jewish homeland. According to a Palestinian daily newspaper, Israeli and Palestinians have received copies of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework peace proposal. However, this has not been confirmed by either side.

In an interview with Israeli television, Netanyahu said that the talk of a peace agreement is premature because the Palestinians are not ready to make concessions toward a final-status agreement. He said: “First let’s see if the Palestinians are even willing to negotiate. From what I see, they are very far from this. They think they can continue with their acts of refusal – to go with demands to the United Nations and to distance themselves from the question of what their concessions are, how will they recognize a Jewish state,” Netanyahu said. Furthermore, in order to reach an agreement, the Palestinians would have to agree to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, he added. Netanyahu said that Israel wanted peace, although it was not clear to him that the Palestinians did, given that they had not adjusted their positions as part of talks. Netanyahu also said that he would not evacuate West Bank settlements even as he acknowledged that some of them would not be within Israel’s permanent borders if a final-status agreement was reached with the Palestinians. Netanyahu said: “It’s obvious that some of the settlements will not be part of an agreement. Everyone knows that. I will ensure that it’s the smallest number possible, if we get to that point. And I will not abandon any Israeli. “I will not leave a single Israeli without Israeli security, without the full security that we can ensure for every Israeli,” he said, adding, “We of course will not abandon any Israeli citizen.” In a  recent poll, 65% of Israelis say Israel should not sign a peace accord with the Palestinians if it does not include recognition of Israel as a Jewish State. 52% of Israeli’s would oppose a settlement freeze as a demand to continue the ongoing peace talks.

Regarding Jersualem, he said that it would remain under Israeli sovereignty. Netanyahu said that Israel was willing to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians provided that certain conditions were met. The main concern is that a peace agreement will meet Israel’s national and security needs. If this was the case, Netanyahu said that “No pressure will be needed because I’ll do it willingly. [But] if they try to force on us an agreement that endangers our security and our vital interests, I won’t pass it. I’ll stand against it.” He added: “I think I showed, in this visit [to the US] and over the past five years, that I can stand against these pressures.” Asked if the politics of Israel’s ruling coalition, which includes parties vocally opposed to any deal that sees an Israeli withdrawal from any part of the West Bank, would be an obstacle to accepting the American framework proposal, Netanyahu rejected the idea.“I don’t think so. People understand that when entering the negotiations, Israel is holding to its positions. [The framework proposal] is a document, not a signed agreement, but will be an American document with American positions. The Americans are saying, ‘Look, this is a platform over which you can start to debate. We don’t have to agree to everything they write. I think (the Kerry document) … is a possible path toward moving the talks forward. It will take us at least a year to exhaust these negotiations but I can’t say that the Palestinians will accept this document and I also have not seen it yet,” he said.

Israel Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzip Livni said that a peace agreement with the Palestinians would allow Israel to keep its “values as a Jewish, democratic state. The best choice is to divide the land and to keep the state of Israel – maybe smaller – but with our values as a Jewish, democratic state living in harmony – a secured state,” Livni said. “I’m sure that [neither] us [nor] the Palestinians are going to be in love with it,” she said. “But I hope that both of us can live with it, move forward, and this is something that can create trust and basis for negotiations.”

Meanwhile, Israel Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said that Israel will not accept any conditions for a continuation of talks with the Palestinians rejecting new Palestinian demands that Israel freeze settlement construction and release more Palestinian prisoners in order to continue negotiations past their April 29 deadline. PLO President Mahmood Abbas met with Israel Knesset member, Zehava Gal-On and placed conditions on continuing talks beyond the April deadline saying, “The only way we would agree to extend the talks would be if Netanyahu declares a settlement freeze and agrees to free more prisoners beyond the next round, including women, young people, and administrative detainees,” he said. Liberman replied by saying, “Giving in to conditions has never helped in the past. It is important to remember history, people try to deny history.”

Elyakim Ha’etzni, a veteran leader of the settlement movement in the West Bank said that “the bitter truth” is that Netanyahu had already decided to give in and accept most of the dictates of the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority. “Netanyahu has agreed to conduct negotiations on the basis of the 1948 armistice lines with some land swaps. There will be a building freeze in the West Bank outside the major settlement blocs. Netanyahu has also surrendered on the issue of an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley, except for a few guard posts on the Jordan River,” Ha’etzni said. The media has been exceptionally quiet about what Netanyahu has already admitted agreeing to, Ha’etzni said. “Netanyahu will soon announced that not one resident of the West Bank will have to leave their homes but that announcement will come with one small detail – they will have to live under Palestinian sovereignty.” The Palestinians, in the end, are likely to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Ha’etzni predicted. “In the end, we will be witness to how our country was sold for the price of a ‘stew’ of words, in which the Palestinians mumble that they recognize Israel as a Jewish state, a recognition that will have no political effect whatsoever.” The big question, Ha’etzni said, is what Israeli politicians plan on doing about the impending deal. “Will MKs on the right play the game, or will they see the deal as the end of the government? And the even bigger question: Will Naftali Bennett make it clear to Netanyahu that a building freeze even in the ‘isolated’ settlements in Binyamin will result in Jewish Home’s withdrawing from the coalition?”

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat has recommended that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to abandon the peace talks with Israel. Abbas reportedly told Erekat that he wasn’t willing to quit until the fourth prisoner release takes place at the end of March. Erekat claimed that the main obstacle to the talks was the issue of Israel as a Jewish state. “We’ve talked about the core issues: Jerusalem, borders, refugees, water and prisoners,” he said. The negotiator continued and said that the ‘character’ of Israel, whether its a Jewish state of not, has not been decided upon. “Our demand is that Israel recognize the state of Palestine within the 1967 borders. Then the two countries will live in peace and it will end the conflict between us,” he claimed. Palestinian spokesman, Mohammed Shtayyeh said an extension of talks beyond April 29 is unlikely. He said that the gaps between Israel and PA negotiators have only widened after seven months of talks. “What we have seen in the talks is that the gap is growing, rather than narrowing,” He said that the biggest obstacle for the Palestinians is Netanyahu’s demand to accept Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas cannot “under any circumstances” recognize Israel as a Jewish state because this would restrict the return options of “Palestinian refugees” and potentially pave the way for a gradual expulsion of Israel’s large Arab minority, claimed Shtayyeh. For his part, Abbas said, “They are pressing and saying, ‘No peace without the Jewish state,”‘ he said. “There is no way. We will not accept.” Furthermore, in order to extend talks, Palestinian official Nabil Shaath said that Israel must agree to a freeze on settlement construction.

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas is scheduled to meet with US President Barack Obama on March 17.  The Palestinians are concerned about US pressure to accept a framework proposal. Palestinian officials said that it would be a “grave mistake” to force Abbas to accept any agreement that does not satisfy a majority of Palestinians. A Palestinian daily newspaper said that although the Palestinians are opposed to the extension of the talks beyond April 30, “they are convinced that they have no real choice but to continue with the negotiations if they want to avoid being blamed for the failure of the peace process,” the paper said.

In reply to the Palestinian position, US State department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “The American position is clear, Israel is a Jewish state,” Psaki said. “However, we do not see a need that both sides recognize this position as part of the final agreement.” Psaki said the current focus is on reaching a framework agreement that would allow for the continuation of the peace talks. “The parties have to agree to what will be in a framework and what will be a part of the path forward for negotiations,” she said.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama to Israel — Time Is Running Out
2) Obama’s message for Netanyahu: Israel faces bleak future should talks fail
3) Obama: US won’t be able to defend Israel if peace talks fail
4) Embarking for US, Netanyahu says Israel will reject pressures
5) Hotovely Protests Obama’s ‘Scandalous’ Pressure on Israel
6) Obama gets lecture on peace talks from Netanyahu in White House meeting
7) Netanyahu to Tell Obama: Pressure Abbas, not Us
8.) Obama Promised Netanyahu to Pressure Abbas, Says Official
9) Netanyahu’s AIPAC Speech
10) P.A. ‘Furious’ Over Netanyahu’s AIPAC Speech
11) Kerry lands in Jordan to discuss peace talks with King Abdullah
12) Israel, PA Get Copies of Kerry’s Proposal
13) Netanyahu: Talk of peace deal premature given Palestinian inflexibility
14) Netanyahu: Peace talks require at least another year
15) Netanyahu says any peace deal with Palestinians at least a year away
16) Netanyahu: Some settlements won’t be retained by Israel
17) Netanyahu: Not All Settlements Will be Part of an Agreement
18.) Israel would preserve ‘Jewish, democratic’ values with Palestinian deal, Tzipi Livni tells Amanpour
19) Liberman to Abbas: Israel will not accept more conditions to continue talks
20) Ha’etzni: PM Preparing a Bitter Surprise for Israelis
21) Netanyahu Has The Votes To Break Away From Likud’s Hardliners To Pursue Peace
22) Erekat: I suggested to Abbas to abandon the negotiations with Israel
23) Abbas Aide: Extending Talks is Pointless
24) PLO: No extension of talks without settlement freeze
25) PA: ‘Grave mistake’ for Abbas to accept unsatisfactory deal
26) Abbas: There’s ‘No Way’ We’ll Recognize Israel
27) Ahead of US visit, Abbas refuses to recognize Israel as Jewish state
28.) Palestinian daily claims US isn’t insisting the PA recognize Jewish Israel
29) U.S.: No Need for PA to Recognize Israel
30) US State Department: Recognition of ‘Jewish state’ not a precondition to peace talks

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 1, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

March 3rd, 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 President Barack Obama has decided to take a more “active role” in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. When Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the US on March 3, Obama will make an “urgent appeal” to Netanyahu to accept US Secretary of State, John Kerry’s framework peace plan. Obama is expected to apply the same pressure to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when Abbas comes to the US on March 17. Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Palestinian intelligence chief, Majed Faraj, will travel to the US in the next week to meet American officials in preparation for the Abbas visit to the US on March 17. Erekat and Faraj are expected to meet Secretary of State Kerry and Middle East Envoy Martin Indyk.

According to Palestinian sources, “Obama will intervene forcefully and directly, and will apply pressure to Netanyahu and Abbas so that they agree to a framework agreement.” According to these sources, the framework agreement will determine that the capital of the Palestinian state will be eastern Jerusalem, and in exchange, there will be Palestinian concessions in other matters, including borders and refugees. Senior Palestinian sources said that the way to resolve the crisis of the peace negotiations would be to announce that Jerusalem was the capital of both states, with an indication to Israel’s right to acquire international recognition as a Jewish state which would implicitly also mean the recognition of the state of Palestine. The issues of borders, refugees, settlements and water resources are expected to be included in appendices to the agreement which will be discussed by joint committees. The issue of the Jewish identity of Israel, which Netanyahu’s government insists must be recognized, is categorically rejected by the Palestinians, according to the sources. If “Obama succeeds in convincing Netanyahu and Abbas to agree to concessions on the framework agreement, he will announce a date for signing the agreement in Washington, with himself taking part in person.”

Israeli sources revealed that Obama will ask Netanyahu and Abbas about their future plans in case of the failure of the negotiations, and will give them the option to cooperate with the American plan, or face isolation and live with the difficult reality which awaits them if the US abandoned the peace process. If the US is unable to persuade Israel and the Palestinians to agree to a framework deal, the Obama administration is debating whether they should go forward and publicly present the framework plan. US Secretary of State John Kerry is determined to present a proposal by no later than March 28 – the day when a fourth phase release of Palestinian terrorists from Israeli prisons is scheduled to take place. According to Israeli sources, “There is a serious debate taking place within the White House over whether a framework agreement should be presented now, at any price, or whether to wait.”

US Secretary of State John Kerry admitted that there would not be a “final status agreement” between Israel and the Palestinians by April 29. He said: “We’re using the current deadline to help shape this,” he added, noting he  was prepared to continue the talks “for whatever period of time might be appropriate. Right now, he said: “For months we’ve been saying we’re trying to get a framework” by the April 29 deadline. “We’re trying to get the framework, which is a huge deal if we’ve used these seven months thus far to get an understanding of where the parties are and to be able to shape the final negotiations,” said Kerry. However, a senior Palestinian official said that the Palestinians reject US moves to extend an April deadline for nine months of hard-won talks with Israel to culminate in a framework peace deal. “There is no meaning to prolonging the negotiation, even for one more additional hour, if Israel, represented by its current government, continues to disregard international law,” Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said. Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas said that he will not extend negotiations with Israel past April 29 if the framework agreement doesn’t deal with the core issues. The PA leader stressed that the Palestinians will only agree to an extension of the peace talks “if Netanyahu declares a construction freeze in the settlements and a further release of prisoners after the next round,” referring to the third and final wave of prisoners set to be released by Israel – the good-will gesture which brought the Palestinians back to the negotiations table. Otherwise he said that he will terminate the peace process and look to join various UN international organizations.

Meanwhile, it is being reported that the Israeli government has unofficially and quietly frozen settlement construction outside the major blocs for the past few months in an apparent acquiescence to American pressure. Jordan Valley regional council members were asked why construction was being held up in the settlements that he administers, even in projects that had received approval from the defense minister. He was told that the order had come from on high not to advance construction plans in settlements outside the major blocs. “We received instruction from policy makers not to advance plans outside what’s found in the settlement blocs,” they said. “Let’s wait patiently until we return from the United States and then we’ll talk” more about the issue.

DEBKA, an Israeli intelligence and news gathering website reports that Netanyahu has accepted the US framework proposal for continued talks with reservations. However, after an 8 hour meeting with Abbas in Paris, France, the Palestinians have rejected the US plan. Abbas accused Kerry of being biased towards Israel and reiterated his refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. The head of the PA also raised objections to proposed security arrangements and a recommendation for final borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Abbas also called Kerry to task on the proposed agreement’s vaguely worded fate of Jerusalem. PA chief Mahmoud Abbas called ideas that Kerry presented to him as “madness.” According to reports in PA newspapers, Kerry proposed lopping off Arab neighborhoods of Jerusalem and placing them under PA sovereignty, enabling the PA to declare Jerusalem its capital. In their meeting, Kerry offered that the Beit Hanina neighborhood be declared as the Palestinian capital instead of the entire east Jerusalem area. He also raised the possibility that the Jordan Valley would remain under Israeli sovereignty. In addition, the PA would annex ten Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, and be responsible for their security. Most other communities would remain under Israeli sovereignty, based on land swaps. In response, the report said, a furious Abbas practically threw Kerry out of his office, telling the Secretary of State that if he did not back down on his ideas, Abbas would return to demanding that all descendants of Arabs who fled Israel in 1948 be repatriated in Israel, rolling back the “flexibility” he had promised to show on that demand. Abbas also reiterated that he would not recognize Israel as a Jewish state.

Israel Knesset members from the Sephardic ultra-Orthodox political party, Shas, Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox political party, United Torah Judaim, and the left wing parties Meretz, and Labor all signed on to a letter of support sent by Labor Party MK Eitan Cabel to US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. The letter expresses support for the efforts of the U.S. to negotiate a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. However, Israel Knesset members from the Land of Israel Caucus accused the US of being biased toward the Palestinians in negotiations in a meeting with US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro. Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud Beytenu) stressed that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was “acting in a political arena. Any framework agreement that talks about 1967 lines or that includes evacuating towns or giving up sovereignty in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem can bring down the current government.” According to a source in the meeting, which was closed to press, Shapiro rejected claims the US was taking the Palestinians’ side and was hurting Israel. “The US is taking part in the negotiations because Israel is our ally,” he stated. “A good peace treaty will protect Israel’s security and won’t hurt Israel.”

Hatnua Knesset political party member Meir Sheetrit said that he “hoped” that the United States would force Israel to accept the peace deal that Secretary of State John Kerry was putting together. Being backed into a corner and heavily pressured by the U.S., Sheetrit said, was the only way Israel and the Palestinian Authority would “swallow their medicine” and enter into a deal that would benefit them both.

Meanwhile, as Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was getting ready to leave for the US on March 3, the organization, Women In Green and the Sovereignty Forum sent a letter to the Prime Minister, telling him that precisely now was the time to declare Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank. The letter said:

Honored Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,

Today you are your starting out on your complex mission to the United States and may you have Heaven’s support and the support of the Land of Israel. We are at a decisive time in which it is possible to strengthen our position. As you leave Jerusalem, the Women in Green movement and the Forum for Sovereignty are with you and will accompany you with a very large poster that will be placed at the exit from Jerusalem for the coming weeks. It reads: “YES to Sovereignty over Judea, Samaria and the Jordan Valley”.

In a discussion on the expulsion from Gush Katif and northern Samaria that was held in Ariel a few days ago, public relations expert Eyal Arad claimed that the Right failed because it did not present an alternative. This is not true. There is an alternative! A realistic, Zionist plan does exist – application of Israeli sovereignty. This plan is indeed accompanied by difficulties, but the difficulties associated with sovereignty are preferable to the physical and spiritual destruction entailed in the establishment of a terrorist Palestinian state in the heart of our Land, a stone-throw away from Ben Gurion Airport. And we must think not only in terms of survival, we must aspire to realize our hold on the Land and our sovereignty in the Land of Israel.

In a recent poll, 3/4 Three quarters of Hebrew-speaking Israelis would support a peace agreement with the Palestinians based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, and more than half would vote for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he were to leave the Likud and create a new party. According to the survey, 76 percent of respondents said they are “sure” or “think” that they would be willing to support an agreement after they were told about nine different elements of the deal, all based on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, presented to them in a way that made them seem beneficial to Israel. More than 60 percent of respondents said they would likely support a regional peace treaty even before any components of it were discussed. According to the authors of the poll, “The significance of this poll shows that

a) Israelis indeed hold right-wing views
b) they don’t believe the Palestinians
c) they will accept a far-reaching deal based on the Arab Peace Initiative if presented properly to them and
d) that they will support Bibi Netanyahu if he does make such a heroic decision

In a visit to Israel, German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed support for Israel’s security requirements and its demand to be recognized by the Palestinians as a Jewish state. Merkel also stated her opposition to Israeli expansion of West Bank settlements saying they make a positive outcome of the talks less likely. She said that her German government supports “a two-state solution – a Palestinian state and a Jewish state of Israel. We also support Israel’s security requirements to be able to finally live in secure borders. But for a two-state solution we need territorial integrity,” she said. “Thus we treat the settlement question with concern, in which we are not always of one opinion,” she said. “We hope that we can overcome the problems and that the two-state solution can be implemented with an agreement.” Merkel also said that she did not support a boycott or labeling of Israel settlement goods. Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, thanked her for this position saying, such sanctions against the Middle East’s only true democracy are “neither moral nor correct nor productive” but only serve to strengthen Palestinian intransigence, he said. “There can be criticism of Israel — that’s legitimate,” Netanyahu said. “But it’s hard not to notice that those who call for boycott of Israel do not call for boycott of any other state… A boycott on the Jewish people, and the country of the Jewish people?”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Report: Obama to Press PM to Take Kerry Deal
2) ‘Obama to press Netanyahu, Abbas to accept framework’
3) Obama will Pressure Israel ‘Forcefully’ over Framework
4) Germany’s Merkel backs main Israeli stances in peace talks
5) Report: U.S. May Unveil Framework Peace Deal Without Agreement of Israel or Palestinian Authority
6) Kerry allows more time for final Israel-Palestinian deal
7) Palestinian sources say framework agreement to be signed in Washington
8.) MKs Tell Dan Shapiro They’re Behind Kerry Plan
9) MKs to Shapiro: US taking side of Palestinians in peace talks
10) Sheetrit: US Should Force PA, Israel to ‘Swallow their Medicine’
11) Groups: Fantastic Opportunity for Israeli Sovereignty
12) Kerry: Peace Talks will Continue Beyond April
13) Palestinians reject US push for peace talks beyond April
14) Report: Kerry offered Beit Hanina as Palestinian capital
15) Abbas ‘exploded with rage’ at Kerry over ‘insane’ framework proposals
16) PA Report: Abbas Angry at Kerry, Threatened to End Talks
17) Obama to meet with Abbas on March 17 over peace process
18.) Abbas threatens a turn to ‘international organizations’
19) Official said to confirm informal settlement freeze
20) Poll: Three quarters of Israeli Jews would accept peace deal

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