November 9, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

November 8th, 2013

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) The current status of the situation with Iran

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators met for a sixteenth round of talks. However,  the talks quickly deteriorated into a shouting match with no discussion of the issues at hand. Palestinian Authority negotiators were reportedly furious over what they called Israeli “lies” to the public about an agreement with the Palestinians to continue building in the settlements in exchange for the release of 104 Palestinian prisoners jailed since before the Oslo accords. The Israeli side took offense and the meeting broke down.

The Ministry of Housing and the Israel Lands Authority announced that about 700 new homes will be built in Jerusalem. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu rejected the Palestinian Authority (PA) contention that recent decisions on construction in Jerusalem and the West Bank contravene agreements reached at the outset of negotiations between Israel and the PA, three months ago. He said that the Palestinians knew full well when the talks began that Israel accepts no limitations on construction beyond the “Green Line,” which demarcates Israel’s 1949 armistice borders. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni confirmed Netanyahu’s contention stating that “to say that Israel has abrogated a commitment would be an untrue statement.” The construction in Jerusalem, and the West Bank “bothers the Palestinians and hurts our status in the world,” she said, “but there is no violation of our commitments in it.” “On the eve of negotiations,“ she said, “each of the sides made decisions, and there are things that each side has to swallow, that are unpleasant.” Livni said that the Israeli government had to choose between releasing terrorist prisoners and freezing construction in the areas contested by the PA, and that this was not a simple choice because the release of terrorists “was very difficult for all of us.”

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State, John Kerry denied rumors that there was an understanding that Israel would announce new settlement construction in exchange for releasing long-serving prisoners: ”That is not the agreement. The agreement, specifically, was that there would be a release of the pre-Oslo prisoners — 104 [of them] — who’ve been in prison now for many many years, who would be released in exchange for the PA not proceeding to the UN during that period of time.“ “Now, the Palestinian leadership made it absolutely clear: they believe the settlements are illegal. They object to the settlements, and they are in no way condoning the settlements, but they knew that Israel would make some announcements. They knew it. But they don’t agree with it. And they don’t support it. They disagreed with it. In fact, they said, ‘We don’t agree. We do not think you should be doing settlements.’ “We, the United States, say the same thing,” Kerry continued. “We do not believe the settlements are legitimate. We think they’re illegitimate. And we believe that the entire peace process would in fact be easier if these settlements were not taking place. Now that’s our position… But we knew that there was not going to be a freeze. We didn’t negotiate a freeze.” Still, he said, Netanyahu had promised no settlement building that would change the “peace map” — presumably meaning no major expansion of settlements outside the major settlement blocs.

In an interview with Israel Channel 2, Kerry went on to say: “Let me ask you something. How, if you say you’re working for peace and you want peace, and a Palestine that is a whole Palestine that belongs to the people who live there, how can you say we’re planning to build in a place that will eventually be Palestine? So it sends a message that perhaps you’re not really serious. If you announce planning, I believe it is disruptive to the process. But, the good side of it is, during the time we are negotiating, the planning will not translate into building and construction. “If we do not resolve the question of settlements,” he added, “and the question of who lives where and how and what rights they have; if we don’t end the presence of Israeli soldiers perpetually within the West Bank, then there will be an increasing feeling that if we cannot get peace with a leadership that is committed to non-violence, you may wind up with leadership that is committed to violence.”

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, called the plans “destructive to the peace process.” As a result, the Palestinians threatened to not continue peace talks as long as Israel continues building in the settlements. Chief Palestinian negotiator, Saeb Erekat, threatened to resign over the issue of Israel settlement building. A Palestinian official said that “The news about the resignation of Erekat is designed to show the Americans that the Palestinians are very angry with recent Israeli decisions to build in settlements and east Jerusalem.” Israeli officials, meanwhile, took the reports in stride. “To be frank,” the official said, “this has for too long been the standard operating procedure for the Palestinians: ‘Unless we get what we want, we will jump off the cliff, dismantle the PA, renounce the Oslo Accords, resign.’ This is the way they conduct brinkmanship negotiations.” Instead of “playing games,” the official said, “they should negotiate seriously.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said there has been no progress in peace talks with Israel despite months of negotiations and warned that “the situation is likely to explode soon.”

In cabinet meeting, Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reiterated the importance of international recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in helping bring peace to the Middle East, as part of remarks commemorating the 96th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration which established the goal of working to create a Jewish homeland. “The declaration championed the rights for the Jewish nation to have a national home in the Land of Israel,” Netanyahu stated. “There is no doubt that the international recognition of the right to a Jewish homeland and its historical significance is fundamental. The refusal to do so by the Palestinians is the “root of the conflict” in the Middle East. Netanyahu stated his vision of a peace ageement by saying, “peace between us and our neighbors, the Palestinians, you must recognize the right of the Jewish people to live in their own State, in their own national and historical homeland. What this means is that they must recognize this arrangement as a permanent one, and to lift Palestinian national demands – for a Right of Return or for the formation of any other state.” The Prime Minister also added a second condition: security for the Jewish people and a Jewish State. “Security arrangements are important to us, and they obviously cover a wide range of needs, but the first among them is to ensure that Israel’s [Eastern] border remains along the banks of the Jordan river.”

In a meeting with US Secretary of State, John Kerry, Netanyahu said bluntly that he was “concerned” about the negotiations with the Palestinians. “I’m concerned about their progress, because I see the Palestinians continuing with incitement, continuing to create artificial crisis, continuing to avoid historic decisions that are needed to make a genuine peace,” he said. “I hope your visit can steer them back to a place where we can achieve the historic peace we seek and that our people deserve.” Netanyahu said that Israel, the Palestinians and the US agreed to certain terms three months ago that led to a resumption of the negotiations. “We stand by those terms,” he said. “We abide scrupulously by the terms of the agreements and the understandings by which we launched the negotiations.” In addition, Netanyahu said, “Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas should show the seriousness of his intentions to make peace with Israel by making his own Bar-Ilan speech, calling for a two state solution.”I’d like him to stand, as I did in front of my constituencies, and say ‘two states for two peoples. A Jewish state alongside a Palestinian state.’ I’ve yet to hear him say that.” Finally, Netanyahu said: “I don’t see that there’s been any change in the Palestinian position since 1993.”

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (Hatnua) challenged the Labor political party to “work up the courage” to join the government coalition in order to help advance the peace process with the Palestinians. “If in the past there was no chance [for peace] and there was no point in entering the government. Now, there is an opportunity that we are liable to miss because of the make-up of the coalition,” Livni wrote on her Facebook page. Livni stated that Finance Minister Yair Lapid [Yesh Atid] had “forced” the current make-up of the coalition by insisting that he would not join the government without Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home). Livni called upon Labor to join the government coalition after the November 21 Labor party primary which pits Yacimovich against MK Issac Herzog. Israel government opposition leader Shelly Yacimovich (Labor)  reiterated her willingness to join the government to serve as a “safety net” for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in the event Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) decides to quit the coalition in light of “a [serious] diplomatic accord.” She stressed, though, that Labor will remain in the opposition unless a serious peace agreement does emerge, and that she “won’t repeat the bitter political and moral mistake” she made in the past when she “crawled into Netanyahu’s government and served as a fig leaf to a social and economic policy that abuses the public, and to diplomatic stagnation.”

In the past week, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel. In doing so, Kerry urged Israel to limit settlement building. Furthermore, Kerry said: “Let me emphasize at this point the position of the United States of America on the settlements is that we consider them… to be illegitimate.” While being in Israel, Kerry conducted an interview with Israel Channel 2. In the interview, he not only called the settlements “illegitimate” but also warned that if current peace talks fail, Israel could face a third intifada and growing international isolation. Kerry “warned of “chaos” and a “third intifada” if Israel’s “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority (PA) fail. If we do not resolve the issues between Palestinians and Israelis, if we do not find a way to find peace, there will be an increasing isolation of Israel, there will be an increasing campaign of delegitimization of Israel that’s been taking place on an international basis,” Kerry warned. A senior Israeli official responded to Kerry’s warning by saying, “Israel will not succumb to fear tactics.” Kerry concluded his threats against Israel by saying the following:  The people in Israel seem to have the attitude, ‘Oh we feel safe today. We have the wall, we’re not in a day-to-day conflict, we’re doing pretty well economically.’ “Well, I’ve got news for you,” he said, referring to the Israeli public. “Today’s status quo will not be tomorrow’s or next year’s. Because if we don’t resolve this issue, the Arab world, the Palestinians, neighbors, others, are going to begin again to push in a different way.”

In response to Kerry’s interview comments, Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that while Israel is interested in peace talks, “were probably not going to solve it [the conflict] based on what we thought.” Responding to Kerry’s pressuring of Israel, the Defense Minister said “we shall conduct things wisely, without worrying about threats of whether or not there will be a third intifada.” Ya’alon notes that while some claim the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is territorial, having begun in 1967 and needing to end in the “1967 borders” (the 1949 Armistice lines), no Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership, including that of Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, has been ready to consider territorial compromise and recognize Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people. Ya’alon remarked that Arab claims include all sections of Israel. We left Gaza and they continue to attack us. They educate the younger generation that Haifa and Acre are Palestinian ports, and more. There’s no sign of compromise.”

Minister of Internal Affairs Gideon Sa’ar stated in a Likud party meeting that he does not believe that the Palestinian Authority has entered into negotiations with Israel in good faith. Sa’ar clarified the importance for the State of Israel to declare now that it will not accept external pressure, and that attempts to internationalize the conflict and bypass negotiations are doomed to fail. Minister of Economics and Trade Naftali Bennett, who heads the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party reacted to US Secretary of State John Kerry’s warning that Israel will face a “third intifada” if the “peace talks” with the Palestinian Authority (PA) fail by saying,  “A united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty is a safeguard for peace and will not be an excuse for threats on the state of Israel,” Bennett said. “What is more, we have already learned the hard way that it is precisely the act of ceding parts of our homeland that bring terrorism and loss of legitimacy, and only standing firm brings quiet and security.”

In response to Kerry’s threats against Israel in his interview on Israeli television by saying that if peace talks fail that Israel will face growing international isolationism, a possible third intifada, a possible disruption of daily life in Israel and that the US regards settlement building in the West Bank as “illegitimate” and no Israeli troops should remain in the Jordan Valley, an Israel opinion article said the following: “For the first time since he managed to restart the talks in July, Kerry dropped his statesman-like public impartiality, and clearly spoke from the heart — and what emerged were a series of accusations that amounted to a forceful slap in the face for Netanyahu. It was a rhetorical onslaught that the prime minister cannot have expected and one he will not quickly forget. In an extremely unusual joint interview with Israel’s Channel 2 and the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation, a very frustrated Kerry basically blamed the Israeli government for stealing the Palestinians’ land and the Israeli public for living in bubble that prevents them from caring much about it. If that wasn’t enough, he railed against the untenability of the Israel Defense Forces staying “perpetually” in the West Bank. In warning that a violent Palestinian leadership might supplant Mahmoud Abbas if there was not sufficient progress at the peace table, he appeared to come perilously close to empathizing with potential Palestinian aggression against Israel. Kerry seemed to place the blame for the failure to make rapid and major progress in negotiations overwhelmingly on Israel, with no acknowledgment — in his statements as broadcast Thursday — of two intifadas, relentless anti-Israel incitement in the Palestinian territories, the Hamas takeover of Gaza and the constant rocket fire from the Strip. In lamenting the IDF’s presence in the West Bank, Kerry positioned himself directly opposite Netanyahu, for whom an ongoing Israeli security presence in the Jordan Valley is a stated crucial condition for an agreement. Perhaps more surprisingly, he showed no evident concern over the danger of a Hamas takeover in the West Bank were the IDF to withdraw, disregarding a widely held concern — borne of the rapid ease with which Hamas swept Abbas’s forces aside in Gaza in 2007 — that the official Palestinian Authority forces alone would not be able to hold sway.

Next, the head of the left-wing Meretz party, Zahava Gal-On, said that the Obama administration is determined to achieve a major diplomatic breakthrough next year in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, including arrangements for a final status agreement. “There will be a new diplomatic program, based on the pre-1967 lines with agreed land swaps,” Gal-On said in a statement after meeting with Palestinian and American officials. She said that the US has made a subtle but significant switch from a “third-party trying to bring the two sides together, to a role of direct involvement in the process.” Israel Army radio reported that if the current direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians fail then the US will propose its own solution in January that will include the US position on every issue in dispute between Israel and the Palestinians. In effect, the US will attempt to force both Israel and the Palestinians to agree on the dictated solution proposed by the US. Palestinian sources also confirmed that January is when the US intends to impose it own peace plan. The US decision to present a proposed agreement was reportedly communicated by several senior officials, including the Special Representative to the talks, Martin Indyk. Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly briefed Netanyahu on the matter when they last met recently in Rome, Italy. At that meeting, Netanyahu rejected a US proposal to station American forces in the Jordan Valley or to allow other international troops to maintain the security along the eastern border. During the seven-hour meeting, Kerry attempted to finish outlining the borders for the future Palestinian state. The prime minister drew the outline first. In Netanyahu’s map, the Palestinian state is farther away from the Jordan Valley, is surrounded on all sides by areas under Israeli sovereignty, is demilitarized, and preserves for Israel the greater Jerusalem area and the Jewish settlement blocs. The Palestinians, for their part, are thought to be unwilling to give up a state that does not stretch to the Jordan River, nor will they agree to not control the northern Dead Sea area. The US peace plan expected to be released in January, is expected to be something similar to the Clinton outline, offered by President Bill Clinton in late 2000, which is based on an Israeli retreat to 1949 Armistice lines and some swaps of territory. The US plan is spread out over a gradual timetable, calls for the investment of billions of dollars in the Palestinian economy, and will include suggestion for a broader regional peace treaty based on the Arab Peace Initiative. The initiative, first proposed by the Arab League in 2002, calls for a comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians together with normalization of ties between Israel and the Arab world. Central to the initiative was the complete withdrawal of Israel to its pre-1967 lines and the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

In the three months between now and January, the parties, with the help of U.S. envoy Martin Indyk, will conduct negotiations in an effort to bridge the gaps. The assessment is, however, that each side will remain entrenched in their basic positions. Therefore, during the final stage of this period, in January, the United States will apparently present a plan with its own proposals for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Until now, the talks were based on the idea that the two sides negotiate directly with the US only acting as a mediator. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told members of his own political party that Israel would examine any proposal presented during the negotiations with the Palestinians “but we won’t accept any external dictates and no pressure will help.”

Palestinian Authority officials maintain that any American peace plan anchored in two principles:

1) that it be a permanent, not interim, agreement, and
2) that it include a pre-determined timetable for implementation of all stages, including the core issues.

PLO senior officials say as long as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not agree to the 1967 borders and continues to talk about maintaining Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem, there cannot be a breakthrough. PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said that to her knowledge, the Americans have not tabled any suggestions or a draft peace treaty, and she stressed that any offer which lacks a timetable and isn’t termed a permanent solution cannot be accepted by the Palestinians.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Palestinian official: No talks while settlement construction continues
2) Abbas: Peace talks stalled, may terminate early
3) PA officials: Palestinian peace envoys haven’t quit over Israeli settlement building
4) Netanyahu: Refusal to Recognize Jewish State is Root of Conflict
5) Netanyahu: PA Creating ‘Artificial Crisis’
6) Netanyahu tells Kerry he is ‘concerned’ about talks with Palestinians
7) Netanyahu: I want Abbas to give his own Bar-Ilan speech
8.) Livni calls on Labor to ‘work up courage’ to join coalition for sake of peace process
9) Yacimovich: Labor will join government only if serious peace agreement emerges
10) Kerry: US considers Israeli settlements to be ‘illegitimate’
11)  Kerry: Why do you want to build in what will eventually be Palestine?
12) Kerry Threatens Israel with ‘Third Intifada’
13) Ya’alon to Kerry: Don’t Threaten Intifada
14) Sa’ar: Israel Will Not Buckle Under External Pressure
15) Bennett Responds to Kerry’s ‘Threats’
16) Frustrated Kerry’s peace critique a heavy slap in Netanyahu’s face
17) Meretz chief: Obama wants major Israeli-Palestinian breakthrough in 2014
18) US ‘Will Force’ Israel-PA Deal
19) US to suggest peace deal in January, Meretz MK says
20) U.S. to propose Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in January, senior MK tells Haaretz
21) ‘America will intervene with own peace plan by January if talks fail’
22) Palestinians insist U.S. peace solution be permanent
23) Kerry: No separate U.S. plan
24) Netanyahu: Israel will examine any peace proposal but will accept no dictates

John Kerry, William Hague and foreign ministers from France and Germany all made unplanned flights to Geneva, Switzerland in an attempt to seal a nuclear deal with Iran and end a decade-long impasse with the country. There were also reports that the Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, was flying also for the meetings. Talks between the P5 + 1 powers and Iran were expected to resume on Saturday. The focus of the talks shifted from formal sessions at Geneva’s Palace of Nations to impromptu meetings at the European mission hosted by the EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton. Kerry, Hague, the French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, and his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle, gathered there. After night fell, Ashton and Kerry met the Iranian foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, for three-way discussions that western officials described as the key session of the talks so far. The officials said Kerry’s arrival did not signal that a deal was ready to be signed but rather that the issues dividing the sides had risen to a level that only foreign ministers, in consultation with their heads of government, could resolve. The aim of the talks is to agree a joint statement laying out a roadmap towards a peaceful resolution of the nuclear standoff. Iranian officials said a draft of the statement had been completed by the time Ashton, Kerry and Zarif met at the EU mission.

According to Zarif and western officials, it was to include details of an interim deal that would slow down Iranian uranium enrichment and relax some sanctions, providing time to work out a more comprehensive, long-term agreement. The outline of that goal would also be sketched out in the joint statement based upon Iranian insistence. Majid Takht-Ravanchi, an Iranian deputy foreign minister, confirmed in the afternoon that a draft agreement had been drawn up and would be discussed at the crucial meeting involving Ashton, Kerry and Zarif. “The text is ready and the initial negotiations about this text will be made in this trilateral meeting,” said Takht-Ravanchi. The proposed agreement, which was drafted by the US, offers Iran a six-month freeze of its nuclear program – including plutonium production at a water plant based in Iraq – in exchange for renewed negotiations between the two countries and the limited lifting of sanctions. The news is especially troubling given that Iran is close to producing enough weapons-grade uranium to produce a weapon within a relatively short period – some predictions are as little as a few weeks.

President Obama broke the news of a possible agreement with Iran on US television by saying, “There is a possibility of a phased agreement, the first part of which would stop Iran from further expanding its nuclear program. We are offering modest relief from the sanctions, but keeping the core sanctions in place, so that if it turned out during the course of the six months when we’re trying to resolve some bigger issues that they’re backing out of the deal or… not giving us assurances that they’re not developing a nuclear weapon, we can crank that dial back up,” the US president said.

In response to the possible agreement, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel utterly rejects a mooted world powers deal with Iran aimed at ending a long-running dispute over its nuclear ambitions and will not be bound by the terms of the agreement. Netanyahu called for sanctions against Iran to remain in place until Iran has dismantled its entire enrichment program. Iran had in fact already achieved all the makings of a nuclear bomb and is holding them in place ready for assembly. Uranium enrichment will furthermore continue although at a low grade. At any moment, Tehran may decide to assemble those components and produce a bomb and has the capacity to do so before the US or Israel catch on to what is happening.

The consequences of a US peace deal with Iran is as follows:

1. Israel has abandoned its trust in Barack Obama ever complying with his pledge to its security and will henceforth act on its own.

2. Israel’s only remaining course now is to exercise its military option against Iran’s nuclear capability – whether openly or covertly.

The link to these articles is as follows:

1) Iran nuclear deal hopes rise as foreign ministers fly into Geneva
2) Amid intensifying talk of a deal, Geneva nuclear session to resume Saturday
3) Netanyahu: Israel rejects nuclear deal with Iran
4) Kerry, PM Hold Final Meeting; PM: ‘Israel utterly rejects’ Deal
5) Geneva fallout: Iran becomes a nuclear power, followed by Saudis. Israel loses trust in Obama

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

November 2, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

November 1st, 2013

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) The current status of the situation with Iran

So far there have been 15 meetings between the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams. Despite the ramped-up rate of talks, there has been no breakthrough. In any event, Israel released the second installment of 26 Palestinian prisoners this week as part of the agreement with the Palestinians to restart direct peace talks. Regarding the release of these prisoners, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “The decision to release Palestinian prisoners is one of the toughest decisions that I’ve taken as prime minister. I am certain that all the prime ministers who made this decision before me agonized over it as well due to the injustice of villains being released before they serve the full term of their sentences. My heart is with the bereaved families and it pains me. This decision is a necessity given the reality in which we live. We are forced to navigate an international arena that is complicated; it is not simple, it is complicated, it is full of challenges, and it requires us to take into consideration a number of factors for the good of the State of Israel.”

As a result, Israel is planning to advance four building projects in east Jerusalem as “compensation” for the release of these 26 Palestinian prisoners approving the construction of 1,500 additional housing units in the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Ramat Shlomo.

Nabil Abu Rudeina, the spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reacted harshly saying that the annoucement “destroys the peace process and sends the international community the message that Israel does not respect international law.” UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also condemned the announcement saying that Israel building in East Jerusalem is ‘contrary to international law’ and “an obstacle to peace”. Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s high representative for foreign affairs and security policy, says the EU “deplores” the Israeli plan and said that it is illegal and violates international law calling on Israel to stop construction even to accommodate “natural growth”. She said: “The EU deplores the recent settlement announcements. Any actions that could hamper or undermine the ongoing negotiations must be avoided. The EU has repeatedly stated that settlements are illegal under international law. It has also called on Israel to end all settlement activity, including natural growth, and to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001.” The Obama administration spokesperson Jen Psaki said, “We do not consider continued settlement activity or East Jerusalem construction to be steps that create a positive environment for the negotiations.”

Israeli officials said that US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, were aware of the settlement expansion plans before peace talks resumed in August by saying that the US and the Palestinians knew in advance that the release of convicted Palestinian terrorists would be accompanied by announcements of settlement construction plans. While the US and the Palestinians did not know about all the details of what new settlement plans would be announced, they knew of the intention to announce new plans, as well as the timing, the official said. According to an Israeli TV station, on July 19, the day that Israel approved US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework for restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Netanyahu agreed with Kerry that every time the prisoners would be released, there would be an announcement of new settlement construction plans to make the bitter pill easier to swallow for some of his coalition partners.

PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo said that the Palestinians reject an interim agreements. He also said that there would be no solution or peace with Israel without the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital on the pre-1967 lines. He described the Israeli position presented at the peace talks as “the worst in 20 years.” He also said that “Israel wants the Palestinian state’s borders to be determined by its security needs and this could undermine the chances of a sovereign Palestinian state.” PLO Executive Committee member Wasel Abu Yusef said that the peace talks have thus far failed to produce any result. He said the PA leadership was considering declaring the failure of the negotiations. Although the talks are being held in secret, the sparse information that has emerged so far does little to indicate that the ambitious goal of a peace deal by April, 2014, will be realized and instead paints a picture of wide gaps between the two sides.

Meanwhile, Israeli sources report that Palestinian negotiators submitted a document representing the Palestinian stances regarding talks on final status core issues. The document states that the Palestinians desire the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, in addition to water resources, borders, and land swap. Palestinian negotiators are demanding that Israel accepts granting a choice to the displaced Palestinian refugees. The refugees would be allowed to choose between “returning to Palestinian controlled areas, to leave the refugee camps abroad to live in a third state, to accept financial compensation or stay as citizens of the countries they live in. The Palestinians also demanded Israel to provide a safe passage linking between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and that the Palestinians have full control over borders, over parts of the Dead Sea, and over water resources. The Palestinians are also insisting any future Palestinian state be able to sign agreements with other states without Israeli intervention and releasing all Palestinian prisoners it holds. The Israeli source said that the Palestinians are demanding focusing direct Israeli-Palestinian talks on core issues, instead of pushing them until final-status talks, the way on and off negotiations have been held since the early 1990’s. The Palestinian document reiterates the Palestinian demand that the agreement should include all territories captured by Israel in 1967, including occupied East Jerusalem, and all related international resolutions. The source added that the Palestinians expressed willingness to conduct a land swap that would allow Israel to keep its large settlement blocks in the occupied West Bank, in exchange for granting the Palestinians areas in the Negev. The offer allegedly states that the land-swap should not exceed %1.9 of the West Bank and Jerusalem as the Palestinians claim that Israel’s large settlement blocs occupy only 1.2% of the West Bank. Finally, the Palestinians are demanding a clear time-frame that would secure a full Israeli withdrawal from the occupied territories in no more than 3.5 years and a peace deal would be signed only six months after such cessation

Israel expressed acceptance of establishing a contiguous Palestinian State but insists on maintaining military presence along the Jordan River for an agreed upon time-frame. Israel will likely offer compensation to the Palestinians in order to keep its large settlement blocs in the West Bank and accepted a certain land swap. The unity of Jerusalem is important and Palestinians can not have a right of return into Israel in any final status agreement for a two-state solution, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told his cabinet that Israel needs to maintain the unity of Jerusalem and to cancel the Palestinian right of return. He further said: “Israel wants to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. In this agreement, we will insist on the vital interests of the State of Israel, first of all security, of course, and including our ability to continue defending our eastern border.” In addition, in any final-status agreement the Palestinians would need to renounce all national claims and recognize the State of Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people.

The UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process said that there is “no real prospect for peace” between Israelis and Palestinians unless the status of Jerusalem is resolved. “Without resolving Jerusalem, there will be no real peace solution. The [UN] secretary general believes that a way has to be found for Jerusalem to emerge as a capital for two states.”

Saudi Arabia is upset with US Foreign Policy as it relates to Syria, Iran and the Israel / Palestinian peace process. Michael Doran, a Brookings Institute Middle East scholar and former White House National Security Council official said: “I’ve never seen such a willingness on the part of the Saudis to publicly express their frustrations… it looks to the Saudis as if the US is throwing Sunni allies under the bus by trying to cut a deal with Iran and its allies.” Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah has reportedly shared his frustration with Jordan’s King Abdullah and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates. Abdullah reportedly told his fellow Sunni Arab guests that he is “convinced the US is unreliable.” In frustration, the Saudi’s may attempt to try to disrupt the Israel / Palestinian peace talks. According to a source close the Palestinian leadership, the Saudis told visiting Palestinian Authority senior officials during the Muslim Haj pilgrimage that the Saudis expect the Palestinians to distance themselves from the US in support of the Saudi rift with Washington.

Finally, US Secretary of State John Kerry will be traveling to the Middle East to have talks with Israel and the Palestinians regarding the peace process. Only two weeks after his meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will visit Jerusalem and Ramallah next week, expected to address Iran’s nuclear program and the unproductive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Netanyahu: Prisoner release one of ‘toughest’ decisions as PM
2) Netanyahu to advance east Jerusalem construction as ‘compensation’ for prisoner release
3) Palestinian Authority: Netanyahu’s West Bank settlement construction announcement ‘destroys peace process’
4) EU condemns new Israel settlements plan
5) EU demands Israel stop settlement activity, ‘including natural growth’
6) US knew of settlement construction plans
7) Abbas said to soften stance on interim peace agreement
8.) Abbas denies considering interim peace agreement
9) Palestinian Negotiators Provide Document Of Stances Regarding Core Issues
10) Palestinians make stiff land demands for peace deal
11) PLO official: Israel’s position in negotiations worst since Oslo
12) Netanyahu rejects Palestinian right of return to Israel
13) UN envoy: Status of Jerusalem must be resolved
14) The world from here: Will the Saudis now derail Palestinian Israeli peace talks?
15) Kerry due in Mideast next week to discuss Iran, Israel-Palestinian talks

Israel has decided to increase the money allocated to its defense budget. Why was this decision made? According to DEBKA which is an Israeli news and intelligence website, Israel is working on the assumption that a US-Iranian agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program is near its final stage and Obama plans to announce before Christmas that only a partial agreement has been made and that negotiations will continue.  Obama will be cagey in public – partly because not all parts of the accord have been finalized, although the pace of US-Iranian negotiations have been accelerated, and partly to avoid coming clean on the full scope of the deal with Tehran.

The US-Iranian talks are being held at three levels:

1. American and Iranian diplomats and nuclear experts are discussing the technical aspects of the accord in Vienna. Some of these meetings – but not all – take place at International Atomic Energy Agency headquarters in the city.

2. Secretary of State John Kerry and Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman, who is the senior US negotiator, are handling the second level of direct negotiations opposite Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif and his deputy Abbas Araqchi.

3. The third level deals with sanctions. It is run by officials of the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which oversees the sanctions regime, and senior staff from President Hassan Rouhani’s bureau. They are working to determine which sanctions will be lifted and at which stage of the negotiations.

The link to these articles is as follows:

1) Cabinet increases defense budget by NIS 2.75B
2) Braced for imminent nuclear accord with Iran, US pulls away from military option, IDF stays on the ready

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

October 26, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

October 24th, 2013

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

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

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that there has been no substancial progress made in direct peace talks with Israel because both sides started the process from scratch at the insistence of Netanyahu. Abbas said that both sides were facing their last chance to arrive at a peace agreement. Abbas threatened the collapse of direct peace talks with Israel over its demand to keep military forces in the Jordan Valley. Israel has long stated that it seeks to retain a long-term military presence along the Jordan Valley in order to ensure its continued security. The Palestinians, on the other hand, flatly objects to any Israeli military on land that could become the eastern front of a future Palestinian state. “They don’t have the right to stay in our territories after we signed a peace treaty,” Abbas said while stressing that he accepts a future demilitarized Palestinian state. In addition, an Israeli newspaper reported that talks almost collapsed in September over the possible borders of a potential Palestinian state.

Abbas has also been traveling around Europe in the past week to lobby governments to divest from doing business with Jewish organizations in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. “I call on European companies and foreign companies doing business in the [Jewish] settlements to put an end to their activities,” Abbas said after meeting with the E.U.’s Herman van Rompuy in Brussels. “Such activities are a violation of international law.” Furthermore, Abbas urged the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, to implement EU regulations against the Jewish settlements. In July, the EU issued guidelines that clarified its policy against providing grants, prizes or loans to Israeli entities, including nonprofit and educational institutions located over the pre-1967 lines. The restrictions are scheduled to go into effect on January 1. Meanwhile, European Union rotating president from Lithuania called for Israel to stop building settlements in the occupied West Bank saying they were impeding the peace process while insisting that “the European Union does not recognize settlements as part of Israel.”

Regarding the peace talks, Abbas said: “The negotiations are difficult but they haven’t reached a dead end. They are still in the initial stage and we have enough time to further deal with the main issues that turn out to be difficult. However, we have not reached a dead end.” Per an agreement with the United States, Abbas said that he couldn’t reveal any details of the current state of the negotiations but did say that the 1967 borders are the basis for talks.

Arab League spokesman Nasif Hata said that the Arab League isn’t optimistic about renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. Upon returning from a meeting in Paris in the past week with US Secretary of State John Kerry, Hata claimed there were “no positive indications of progress.” In order for negotiations to yield results, he added, the US would have to play an active role in ending the impasse. “The US vowed to take action starting from early January if there is no progress,” Hata said. “Washington promised it would present viable suggestions for ways to end the thaw.”

Israel’s top negotiator, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, speaking at a World Jewish Congress meeting in Jerusalem said that in her view the establishment of a Palestinian state is inevitable and that it is in Israel’s interest to negotiate more favorable terms in peace talks or risk the establishment of a Palestinian state with international backing on terms unfavorable to Israel. Livni said: “Stalemate can lead to a Palestinian state that would be forced on us – not as the outcome of negotiations that represent the Israeli interest,” She added that she sees the peace process “not as a favor to Europe or to the United States of America. It is an Israeli interest. Security is guaranteed by more than just militaries. Our security is also guaranteed by our relationship with the United States.”

British Consul-General to Israel Sir Vincent Fean said that “a permanent agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority will be reached by the spring of 2014,” and that this agreement will include joint Israeli-Palestinian sovereignty over Jerusalem. He also said that the spring of 2014 is going to be “crucial to the inception of a Palestinian state on the basis of a political solution,” adding that “Jerusalem will serve as the shared capital of Israel and the future Palestinian state and the agreement will also include land swaps.”

US Secretary of State, John Kerry is pleased that the pace of the direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have increased in recent weeks. Since negotiations began on July 29, 13 meetings have been held, of which three took place just in the last five days. Furthermore, American envoy Martin Indyk has recently gotten much more involved in the talks. In contrast to his practice during the first two months, Indyk now participates in most of the negotiating sessions. “The pace has intensified, all the core issues are on the table,” Kerry said.

It is being reported by DEBKA, an Israeli intelligence and news gathering service, that Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has decided to derail talks with Israel directly after the release of the second batch of jailed Palestinian prisoners. In response to this potential crisis, US Secretary of State John Kerry met with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for 7 hours in Rome. In 4 of the 7 hours, Kerry and Netanyahu were scheduled to meet alone. There were senior US and Israeli officials present at the meeting. So far, both Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas have dug in their heels and refused to display any flexibility in the negotiations. Kerry has therefore concluded that he must start pushing both men to the decision point now rather than waiting until the nine months allotted for the talks are almost over.

In the 7 hour meeting with Netanyahu in Rome, Kerry urged Netanyahu to “advance the peace talks” especially on the core issues of borders, settlements and the Jordan Valley. Israeli sources said that Netanyahu will not “jeopardize its security” and will not change its stances regarding security arrangements under any agreement with the Palestinians. Senior Israeli officials, who asked to remain anonymous, said in their private meeting in Rome that Kerry is expected to start quizzing Netanyahu on how far talks with the Palestinians have gotten and what his positions are on various final-status issues – and above all, where he thinks the borders of the Palestinian state should lie. Kerry is expected to press Netanyahu to explain how he envisions the talks’ endgame and what he thinks the final agreement will look like. DEBKA reports that Kerry intends to convince Netanyahu to offer a large chunk of Dead Sea coastal area and water which equals about 1/3 of the territory owned by Israel in the region as a concession to continue peace talks with the Palestinians. DEBKA is also reporting that Abbas is also planning at that time to discontinue security cooperation with Israel in the West Bank for containing Palestinian terrorism.  According to DEBKA, in their private meeting, Kerry and Netanyahu did not discuss Iran. In fact, Kerry started the conversation by saying to Netanyahu: “Don’t tell me what you want. Tell me what you need and we’ll think about ways we can achieve it together.”

The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted to support a bill that would require the approval of 80 MKs in order for the government to even begin negotiations on dividing or relinquishing any part of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. The committee voted 5-4 to support the bill, sponsored by MK Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), with ministers from Yesh Atid and Hatnua voting against and ministers from Likud-Beytenu and Jewish Home supporting it. Likud ministers abstained. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads the committee and is lead negotiator in the current peace talks, said that she would appeal the decision with the cabinet, which could shut down the bill if it accepts her reservations. Livni said: “we are in a period when the Arab world, and the rest of the world as well, are looking at us. Jerusalem is a very sensitive subject. With negotiations going on with the Palestinians, this is no time for such laws.”Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) opposes the bill but refused Livni’s request to join the appeal. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also opposes the bill and is expected to support Livni’s appeal.

If the bill were voted into law by the Knesset, it could hamper peace talks. The matter of negotiations would have to go back to the Knesset for a vote, while the Knesset, the cabinet and the Jerusalem municipality would be exempt from implementing any agreement reached in negotiations that began without the requisite approval. The law was authored by MK Yaakov Litzman (UTJ). Litzman said the aim of the bill was to hold Netanyahu to his promise not to divide Jerusalem. “I’m happy for the right to keep and defend Jerusalem,” he said. “Netanyahu promised more than once not to negotiate on Jerusalem. This bill is intended to hold him to that promise and to keep [Jerusalem] united. The message of the bill is clear:  Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and is outside of any negotiations.”

Finally, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has invited Pope Francis to visit the Holy Land while meeting with him recently in Rome. Press reports have indicated Francis may visit the region in March 2014, although the Vatican has yet to confirm the dates. At his meeting with the pope, Abbas gave the pontiff a ceramic plate, adorned with a view of Bethlehem, and a Bible; in exchange, he received a decorative pen, which he said he would use to sign a peace agreement with Israel. “Soon, soon,” the pope said.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas: No to Israeli Presence in the Jordan Valley
2) Abbas Lobbies Europe to Divest from Israel
3) Abbas urges EU’s Ashton: Activate regulations against Jewish West Bank settlements
4) EU head Lithuania: Israel must end settlements
5) Abbas: I’ll meet Netanyahu anytime to push forward peace
6) Abbas: Reports are wrong — peace talks not at a dead end
7) Arab League ‘not optimistic’ about peace talks
8.) Tzipi Livni: Negotiations with the PA are in Israel’s Interests
9) ‘Permanent peace deal will be achieved in spring 2014′
10) Abbas set to slam door on talks with Israel, resuscitates “revolving door” for terrorists
11) Kerry Asks Netanyahu To “Advance Talks”
12) In seven-hour Rome meeting, Kerry to press Netanyahu for answers on peace talks
13) Kerry-Netanyahu’s 7-hour talk did not touch on Iran
14) Ministers back Jerusalem bill that could hamper peace talks
15) Law Would Require 80 MKs for Jerusalem Withdrawals
16) In Vatican meeting, Abbas invites pope to region

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

October 19, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

October 17th, 2013

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) Orthodox Jew Embraces Ephraim as his brother and call him to come home to Israel

 

                                           SPECIAL ALERT !!!

ORTHODOX JEW EMBRACES EPHRAIM AS HIS BROTHER AND CALLS HIM TO COME HOME

1) Summary (youtube): Orthodox Jew Embraces Ephraim as his brother and calls him to come home to Israel (6 minutes)
2) Full Length (youtube): Orthodox Jew Embraces Ephraim as his brother and calls him to come home to Israel (49 minutes)
3) AUDIO: Orthodox Jew Embraces Ephraim as his brother and calls him to come home to Israel (15 minutes)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said there is no compromise that a PLO state should be based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital in any peace deal with Israel. He said that the Palestinians agreed to postpone Palestine’s accession to international bodies for nine months in exchange for the release of 104 prisoners detained before the 1993 Oslo agreement. He said 26 prisoners will be released by Israel every three months. Regarding the Israeli release of long-held Palestinian prisoners, Abbas said that it had nothing to do with the negotiations rather it was granted in return for the Palestinians pulling their appeals to the United Nations.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Palestinians must recognize Israel as a Jewish state in any peace agreement.  “How is it that when the Palestinians demand that we recognize their nationhood that they refuse to recognize ours,” Netanyahu asked. “The Jewish people have been in existence for 4,000 years. Why do we not deserve recognition? We are working very hard to end the conflict with the Palestinians,” the Prime Minister said. “I am not fooling myself into believing that this will be easy, but I am determined to come to an agreement that will not sacrifice Israel’s national interests in order to get a nice headline in the newspaper, or to receive international applause.” Mahmood Abbas criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying that Israel’s insistence that the Palestinians recognize Israel as a Jewish state saying: “Netanyahu’s refusal to recognize a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders, his insistence that a united Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital and his demand that we recognize the State of Israel as a Jewish state indicate that he isn’t interested in continuing with the negotiations.”

Furthermore, Netanyahu added that in any peace agreement with the Palestinians that it requires a security border in the Jordan Valley. Israel rejected a US proposal to put in the Jordan Valley international troops. In the current peace talks, Israeli negotiators offered to transfer sovereignty of the Jordan Valley to the Palestinian Authority which would in turn lease it back to Israel. The Palestinians promptly rejected this proposal.  In speaking to the Israeli Knesset, Netanyahu said that Israeli negotiators “will have to convince the Palestinians to adjust their demands to the circumstances around us.” In response to the Israeli proposal Palestinian National Council member Hanan Ashrawi told an Israeli newspaper, “No Israeli soldier will be in the Jordan Valley. We will not agree [to let Israel] control or lease lands. We will not take part in redefining the Israeli occupation.” She further stated: “Netanyahu wants to control the Palestinian state, its borders and its airspace and refuses to discuss the option of placing international forces in the Jordan Valley. We cannot agree to that. From our view, it’s just the occupation by another name, which wants to rule over us again and control our lives. We won’t accept that in any form.” So far,  “All the discussions focus on Israel’s security,” Ashrawi charged. “Israel is entrenched in its positions and continues to build in the settlements. As a result, negotiations have not amounted to anything so far.”

In the past month, there have been several terror attacks by Palestinians who killed Jews in the West Bank. As a result, some Israeli politicians are calling for Israel to suspend peace talks with the Palestinians and the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails. Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinians from Israeli jails in several stages as part of the agreement to restart direct peace talks. In response, a Palestinian official said: “[Abbas] and the Palestinian leadership hear the opinions in Israel that are talking about the possibility of freezing the talks with the Palestinians because of the death of several Jews by Palestinians in the West Bank. Therefore, the Palestinians are preparing an alternative plan which is to appeal to United Nations institutions and organizations with the goal of winning international recognition for a Palestinian state.

Frustrated in the progress of the peace talks, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas plans to travel to Germany, Italy and Belgium where he will meet with heads of state for the purpose of pressuring Israel to impose a building freeze in the West Bank and to rethink the possibility of suspending the prisoner releases.  Fatah official Jibril Rajoub said that if Israel doesn’t reach a  peace agreement with the Palestinians that Israel should be “removed” from the region. He added: “Peace is not a Palestinian interest, it’s an international interest, and the interest of the world is to put an end to this struggle. I think it’s also an Israeli interest – Israelis should decide whether they are part of the Middle East or an alien body. If Israel is an alien body it should be removed,” he said.

An Israeli official told an Israeli newspaper that a land transfer proposal is being discussed in current peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. In the proposal, Israel would transfer land near Shechem to the Palestinians and Israel would annex parts of Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank. Israel fears that at the end of the nine-months of peace talks that the US will publicize a document accusing Israel of failure in the peace talks. In order to prevent the publication of this document, the report said, efforts were being made to discuss the possibilities of land swaps. During a speech in the US, Israel Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, said Israel must come to terms with the fact that it will have to uproot thousands of Jews from their homes to facilitate the creation of a Palestinian state. “We need to have a final map,” said Lapid. “We cannot escape the need to map the final borders of a future Palestinian state…including an organized plan for the evacuation of tens of thousands of [Jewish] settlers.” At the same time, Lapid said Israel needs to know that acceptable security arrangements will be made to bring an end to ongoing Palestinian terrorism. “We need to know how the story will end, because if we know that, we can be more understanding and responsive to the needs of the other party,” he continued. Therefore, “we need to go all out, draw maps, write agreements, and then set a time frame for implementation.”  In his meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden, Lapid reiterated the Israeli government’s commitment to achieving a final status peace deal.

Leader of the Jewish Home political party, Naftali Bennett, threatened that his party would withdraw from Netanyahu’s government coalition should Israel “grant any concession to the Palestinians in peace talks” because they would pose “a serious threat to Israel” and that his party “will not allow that to happen”. Bennett also stated that his party will not only withdraw from the government, but will lead “a political battle at the Knesset to stop any agreement and any concession provided by the government, starting with foiling the Poll Law that the Knesset intends to vote on”. Meanwhile, Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni who leads peace talks with the Palestinians said that the Labor political party should join the government coalition of Benjamin Netanyahu. “Israel’s opposition leader [Shelly Yacimovich (Labor)] says she’ll only join the government once there’s an agreement or she thinks [talks are] serious enough. Well, it’s not enough to give a speech about peace, even if it’s a good speech; it’s important to implement it,”Livni said. “In my opinion, Labor should have been part of this coalition, and it’s unfortunate that they refused to enter,” she added. At a Labor faction meeting, Yacimovich said “Labor will be a safety net for peace talks, but not if they’re fake.” The Labor leader said she feels that the government is trying to dissolve talks and is only negotiating for show, and she will not support that.

In an upcoming trip to Italy, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to visit with Pope Francis. Netanyahu also will meet US Secretary of State John Kerry on the same trip. In addition, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas invited Pope Francis to visit the Holy Land in 2014. After the private part of the meeting, the pope gave Abbas a pen, telling him “surely, you have a lot of things you have to sign.” Abbas responded: “I hope to sign a peace treaty with Israel with this pen.” Pope Francis plans to visit Israel in March.

Next, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is considering an appeal to the United Nations Security Council over what he termed “serious Israeli violations” in East Jerusalem, specifically on the Temple Mount. “Israel has no right to split up the Al-Aqsa Mosque, neither physically nor in terms of prayer times,” Abbas said, and stressed that “all East Jerusalem is Palestinian.” Meanwhile, Hamas Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal called for Arabs and Muslims worldwide to come up with a strategy for countering what he called the “Judaization” of Jerusalem and the danger to the Al-Aqsa Mosque at the hands of Israel. The Muslim world must prepare for a struggle with “the enemy” to “free” the city, he said. He added that without a Palestinian East Jerusalem and without the recognition of the 1967 borders with minor corrections, a peace treaty is unattainable.

Finally, Hanoch Young, an Orthodox Jew from the United States who now lives in Israel gave a message at the “Alliance of Redeemed Israel” conference where he embraced Ephraim as his brother and welcomed him to “come home” to Israel. His message is included as part of this week’s report. You can also listen to his message on youtube.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) No compromise on Jerusalem as Palestinian capital: Abbas
2) Netanyahu Reiterates: PA Must Recognize Israel as a Jewish State
3) Netanyahu: Border must remain in Jordan Valley – like Rabin said
4) PA rejects Israeli ‘leasing’ proposal for Jordan Valley
5) Talks on rocks, Abbas heads to Europe to push for settlement freeze
6) Fatah Official: Israel Should be ‘Removed’ From Region if Peace Agreement Not Reached
7) Report: Livni and Erekat Weighing Land Transfer Proposal
8.) Israeli Minister: We’ll Have to Uproot Thousands of Jews
9) Bennett: “We Will Leave Coalition Should Government Grant Concessions to Palestinians”
10) Livni to Labor: Join Netanyahu government for sake of peace
11) Netanyahu to meet Pope next week
12) Abbas meets Pope Francis, invites him to visit Holy Land
13) Abbas considers appeal to UN over ‘Temple Mount violations’
14) Palestinians mull appeal to UNSC over ‘serious Israeli violations in Temple Mount

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

October 12, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

October 10th, 2013

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

A group of former top European officials called on the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, not to ease or delay the implementation of guidelines that would bar the organization from funding Israeli institutions located in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The group consists of senior officials from various EU countries, including former NATO secretary-general Javier Solana; former French foreign minister Hubert Védrine; former German state secretary Wolfgang Ischinger; and Benita Ferrero-Waldner, a former Austrian foreign minister and European Commissioner. Published in July, the EU guidelines mandate a denial of European funding to, and cooperation with, Israeli institutions based or operating in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a requirement that all future agreements between Israel and the EU include a clause in which Israel accepts the position that none of the territory in the West Bank and East Jerusalem belongs to Israel.

“With great concern we have taken note of recent calls to delay, modify or even suspend the European Commission guidelines on funding of Israeli entities in the territories occupied by Israel since June 1967,” read a letter sent to Catherine Ashton by a lineup of 15 so-called European Eminent Persons. “We urge you to uphold this commitment by supporting the guidelines and their full application by EU institutions, notably in regard to the ongoing negotiations about Israel’s participation in Horizon 2020,” the letter stated. “Their strict application serves to reiterate that the EU does not recognize and will not support settlements and other illegal facts on the ground…. It is these facts on the ground, not the guidelines, which threaten to make a negotiated solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict impossible.” In a speech at the United Nations in late September, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas endorsed European restrictions on assistance to Israeli organizations located in the West Bank and East Jerusalem saying in a United Nations address that the European Union approach is a model for others to follow. Israel fiercely rejected the directive, saying it refuses to sign any further agreements with the EU that include such clauses.

The authors of the letter warned that a possible deferment of the guidelines, which are set to take effect in January 2014, could harm the ongoing peace process. “If the EU were to delay or suspend the guidelines, or not fully apply them to the agreement with Israel on Horizon 2020 [a scientific cooperation program], this could further undermine the Palestinians’ trust in the negotiation process and their ability to continue the talks,” the letter stated. “In other words, delaying or suspending the guidelines is likely to undermine negotiations, not help them.”

Israel and the Palestinians have had 8 rounds of peace talks since they started in July. The US-brokered peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have reached an impasse due over the issues of borders of a Palestinian state and Israel’s security. The sources claimed that Israel has insisted over the past two months on talking only about security-related issues. “But in the face of Palestinian insistence, some meetings dealt with the border,” the sources said, referring to the secret talks held in Jerusalem and Jericho. According to an unnamed, senior foreign diplomat with knowledge of the discussions, during the latest round of talks, the Israeli team of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu adviser Yitzhak Molcho made it clear to the Palestinians that Israel intends to retain some of the settlement blocs as part of a final agreement but refused to name which areas or discuss possible compensation to the Palestinians for the territory to be annexed. The Israeli team also reportedly “refused in principle” the idea of a land-swap deal with a 1:1 ratio. According to this idea, Israel would transfer to the Palestinians land adjacent to the West Bank, equivalent in size to the settlements that will become part of Israel in a final status agreement. According to the source, the talks will falter unless a face-to-face meeting by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and PA President Mahmoud Abbas is brokered by the US administration. “The prospects of achieving progress in the current talks are zero,” the report quoted Palestinian sources as saying. The Palestinians fear that Israel may use the meetings between Netanyahu and Abbas to “promote an imaginary peace process and avoid international pressure, the sources said. An anonymous senior Palestinian official said that the talks were in a state of “quiet crisis,” and were liable to explode if Israel didn’t modify its positions.

As a result, the Palestinians are seriously considering declaring the failure of the peace talks with Israel, a senior PLO official said. Hanna Amireh, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said that this was one of the scenarios that were discussed during the last meeting of the Palestinian leadership. Amireh accused Israel of seeking to “win time” and blame the Palestinians for the failure of the US-sponsored talks. “All the previous sessions of negotiations have not produced anything,” he said. “We are now seriously discussing the nature of our steps in the aftermath of the collapse of the negotiations.” Amireh pointed out that one of the options facing the Palestinians calls for seeking full membership of the United Nations and its agencies.

The Palestinians want the United States to take a more active role in the peace talks. In a meeting with Abbas in London last month, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said that Abbas received assurances on this matter from US Secretary of State, John Kerry that the United States would take a more active role in the peace talks if they showed signs of failure. Later, an Israeli official said that this was so. “We’ve agreed now to intensify these talks, and we’ve agreed that the American participation should be increased somewhat in order to try to help facilitate them,” Kerry said. Speaking at a high-level meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in late September, Kerry said the idea up until now was “to have the Palestinians and Israelis meet together, work this through, build trust, build relationship. But at the same time, we are there to facilitate, to help if there needs to be a bridging proposal to work on the way forward.”

Kerry said the talks were taking place on two separate tracks. The first, formal track was the meetings between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s special envoy, Yitzhak Molcho, and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni with Palestinian negotiators Saeb Erekat and Muhammad Shtayyeh. According to Kerry, that track was working at “discerning the gaps” and defining the issues and “the parameters that they need to work through.” He said there was a second track that included Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Barack Obama. “And as needed, as we think appropriate, as we need to move the process, we will be consulting among each other and working to move this process forward.” Kerry said that all the final-status issues were on the table: territory, security, refugees and Jerusalem. And, he stressed, the sides were not seeking an interim agreement but rather a final-status accord.

In an interview with Eitan Haber, a close aid to Israel former Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin who signed the 1993 Oslo Accords which started the negotiations for a final status peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, he was asked the following if there is an opportunity for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He said: I think Kerry understands today, better than any of us, that if it will be dependent on the Israelis, nothing is going to happen, and if it is dependent on the Palestinians, nothing will happen. And so, in my opinion, I believe that in the next few months, US Secretary of State John Kerry will say the following:  ‘Gentlemen, we, the Americans, say this and that and the other.’ He will set out what he thinks needs to be done, ‘take it or leave it’ … and that if Kerry does so, both sides would be “better off taking it and not leaving it.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the root of the Israel / Palestinian conflict is not the “so-called territories” or West Bank settlements. Since the first Arab attack on a home housing Jewish immigrants in Jaffa in 1921, the root of the conflict has not been the “occupation,” the “territories” or the settlements, but rather an Arab refusal to recognize the Jews’ right to a sovereign state in their historic homeland, he said. Palestinian Arabs attacked Jews in Jaffa in 1921 and massacred Jews in Hebron, destroying an ancient community. It wasn’t a territorial conflict then; Jews didn’t have any territory. Then the prime minister hammered the point home, by noting that the Grand Mufti Haj Amin al-Husseini was a partner and consultant to Hitler and Eichmann; the latter even called the leader of Arabs in Mandatory Palestine a friend. The mufti offered up Muslims as SS soldiers and broadcast Nazi propaganda. Jews still didn’t have a state then. There were no West Bank settlements.

Therefore, the root of the conflict, Netanyahu clarified, is that the Palestinians don’t want Jews to be in Israel. The Palestinian Authority says it recognizes Israel, but that isn’t enough. They need to recognize Israel as the Jewish state and homeland of the Jewish people, and until that happens, there cannot be peace. Netanyahu said: “A necessary condition to getting a true solution [to the Israeli-Palestinian] conflict was and remains clear as the sun: ending the refusal to recognize the right of the Jews to a homeland of their own in the land of their fathers,” he said. “That is the most important key to solving the conflict.” Furthermore, Netanyahu said that the Palestinians need to give up their claim to the right of return. Recognizing a Jewish state but wanting to flood it with Palestinians is disingenuous and contradictory, and cannot be part of any peace agreement Israel signs with the Palestinians.

The political faction of the PLO headed by Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas, Fatah, has rejected the position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who linked the possibility of making peace to Fatah’s recognition of Israel as a state for the Jewish people. Fatah repeated that it refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish homeland. “This is the language of acquiescence and we won’t recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” said Fatah spokesman Ahmed Assaf. “Let Israel go to the United Nations and demand changing its name into the Jewish state.” If the objective behind Netanyahu’s speech is to ask the Palestinians to give up their rights, he added, “then we all refuse to give up our rights.”

A senior Likud lawmaker Tzachi Hanegbi who is a member of Netanyahu’s political party said that Israel will accept a peace agreement that includes handing over Arab parts of Jerusalem. He said: “I think we will be able to give a good answer, a win-win answer, to almost every issue including the Jerusalem issue, including the settlement issue, every issue has a compromise that can be relevant to both sides.” In comments at a news conference following the panel discussion, Hanegbi described how he could convince more conservative members of his party that a two-state solution would be acceptable. He would argue the following: “Look, you’re afraid that Jerusalem will be divided? No, it’s going to be some creative idea that will allow them to have their own sovereignty in their neighborhoods and to declare whatever they want to declare about it, and we will have sovereignty over other parts,” Hanegbi, who is considered a confidant of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told reporters. “All these things will be worked out,” Hanegbi concluded. “The devil is, as you know, in the details.”

Regarding the details of a peace agreement, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the future border between a Palestinian state and Jordan will extend from the Dead Sea through the Jordan Valley and all the way up to Beit She’an. “This is a Palestinian-Jordanian border, and that’s how it will remain,” he said. “Frankly Israel won’t be present between us and Jordan.” However, Abbas did not rule out the possibility that international troops would be deployed to supervise any agreement with Israel in a final deal.

According to a senior Palestinian negotiator, the Obama administration is pressing hard for Israel to give up the strategic Jordan Valley in a deal with the Palestinians. The Jordan Valley cuts through the heart of Israel. It runs from the Tiberias River in the north to the Dead Sea in the center to the city of Aqaba at the south of the country, stretching through the biblical Arabah desert. Obama’s proposal calls for international forces to maintain security control along with unarmed Palestinian police forces, the PA negotiator said. Israel will retain security posts in some strategic areas of the Jordan Valley, according to the U.S. plan. When it comes to the West Bank, which borders Jerusalem and is within rocket range of Israel’s main population centers, Israel is expected to evacuate about 90 percent of its Jewish communities currently located in the territory, as outlined in Kerry’s plan. Meanwhile, regarding Jerusalem, Kerry’s plan is to rehash what is known as the Clinton parameters. The formula, pushed by President Bill Clinton during the Camp David talks in 2000, called for Jewish areas of Jerusalem to remain Israeli while the Palestinians would get sovereignty over neighborhoods that are largely Arab. Most Arab sections are located in eastern Jerusalem. Regarding the Temple Mount, the Obama administration plan calls for the Palestinian Authority and Jordan to receive sovereignty over the Temple Mount while Israel will retain the land below the Western Wall. The plan remains in effect as the basis for negotiations. Israel has not agreed to the U.S. plan for the Temple Mount, with details still open for discussion, stated the PA negotiator. The PA negotiator further said Israel rejected a Palestinian request that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu agree not to place the final peace plan up for referendum in the Knesset.

Palestinian representatives said Israel wants its army to retain a presence along the Jordan River for many years while the Palestinians insist that no Israeli soldiers can be allowed to remain on the Palestinian-Jordanian border. One Israeli government official, who refused to go into the content of the negotiations, responded to Abbas’s comments about the Jordan Valley by saying that “if there is going to be a peace agreement, the Palestinians will have to engage seriously on Israel’s security concerns.” According to the official, “the whole idea that Israel will pull out and hope for the best is not a serious option. If the Palestinians want to see an independent state, they have to be able to deal seriously with Israel’s security concerns. If they run away from this issue, they will be pushing away the chance of the deal and the creation of an independent Palestinian state.” Israel Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who heads the Israeli negotiating team with the Palestinian Authority, is willing to pull out the Israeli army from the Jordan Valley which guards Israel’s long eastern border, and let an international force take its place. Netanyahu vigorously opposes this, citing the region’s crucial strategic importance. In addition, Livni has agreed to divide Jerusalem between Israel and a future state of “Palestine” in Judea and Samaria, as well as a large scale eviction of Jews from communities in Judea and Samaria – whereas Netanyahu believes that communities need to remain under Palestinian sovereignty, with proper security arrangements.

Fearing a peace agreement with the Palestinians, Knesset members from Netanyahu’s own party, Likud, as well as the “Religious Zionist” party, Jewish Home, who oppose a Palestinian state are pressuring Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to minimize the concessions he authorizes in the diplomatic negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. As a result, a total of 17 Knesset members wrote a letter to him saying, “Twenty years after the wretched Oslo Accords, we call on the prime minister to present our clear position to the US secretary of state: Israel will not return to the Oslo outline, and will not hand further parts of the homeland to the Palestinian Authority.”

Israel’s deputy ministry of defense, Danny Danon, said he and his co-signers were not afraid that the current peace talks would actually lead to a final-status agreement and the creation of a Palestinian state, “but we want to make sure we won’t be surprised. We know the positions of Minister Livni and of Erekat and Martin Indyk [a former US diplomat tasked with facilitating the talks] — so we want to make sure that our ideas too are being heard and represented during these negotiations.”

Finally, Israel Knesset member Moshe Feiglin, a long-time Temple Mount prayer rights advocate, sent a letter to the Israel Police asking for clarifications regarding the legal authority of the Arabs to control the Temple Mount challenging the reply of an Israeli government decision taken after the Six-Day War of 1967 authorized Arab authorities to control the Temple Mount. He then quoted the comments of then Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira from a committee meeting in June 1968 as saying “We never announced that the entirety of the Temple Mount belongs to the Arabs. We never announced that it is forbidden for Jews to pray there, we never announced that it is forbidden for Jews to establish a synagogue there.” Feiglin wrote that in the absence of such a decision, “all directives which discriminate between Muslims and non-Muslims regarding entrance to the [Temple] Mount should be immediately rescinded, and free entrance from all gates to the Mount be enabled, in accordance with the law.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Israel, Palestine to start new round of talks
2) Former European leaders call on EU to enact settlement ban
3) At U.N., Palestinian leader Abbas criticizes Israel, but pledges good faith in peace talks
4) Israeli-Palestinian talks said to be stuck over land swaps
5) Report: Israel has caused peace talks to reach a dead-end
6) PLO official: Palestinians ‘seriously considering’ to declare failure of peace talks
7) Netanyahu lowers expectations for Israeli-Palestinian peace
8.) Netanyahu: For peace, Palestinians must recognize Jewish homeland
9) Fatah repeats that it does not recognise Israel as a Jewish state
10) Palestine seeks more US role in peace talks
11) Kerry promises Abbas more active U.S. role if peace talks continue to stall
12) Kerry says Israel, Palestinian talks to intensify with increased US role
13) Kerry: Israelis, Palestinians to intensify talks toward final agreement
14) Obama said to urge Netanyahu to accelerate talks with PA
15) ‘When they become PM, they realize how utterly dependent Israel is on the US’
16) Jerusalem negotiable, Palestinian right of return not, Likud MK tells J Street
17.) PA President Abbas: Israel won’t be present between us and Jordan
18) Obama pushing Israel to vacate Jordan Valley
19) Livni ‘Willing to Cede Control of Jordan Valley’
20) Livni vows to end Mideast conflict with final-status accord
21) Right-wing MKs begin pressuring Netanyahu against giving up land to Palestinians
22) 17 coalition MKs warn PM: We oppose a Palestinian state
23) Likud officials pledge to prevent Israeli-Palestinian agreements
24) Feiglin to question legal authority, legitimacy of Temple Mount Waqf

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

October 5, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

October 6th, 2013

The past several weeks I have been in Oklahoma for Sukkot. The next update will be October 12.

Thank you for understanding that no updates were recorded the last 3 weekends due to the holiday season.

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

September 14, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

September 14th, 2013

Uploaded. This week’s update is 26 minutes.

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) An annoucement that the Temple Institute will begin training Priests to perform the daily sacrifice of the Temple

In July, the European Commission drafted new guidelines that stated that the EU will no longer be associated to any economic, social or academic ventures involving Israeli institutions based in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), eastern Jerusalem or the Golan Heights. The new guidelines stipulate that any agreement between Israel and the EU should explicitly state that it is not applicable to the territories captured in 1967. EU foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, said that the guidelines are simply “putting down on paper what is currently the EU’s current position on the issue.” This policy is scheduled to be implemented on January 1, 2014. However, the United States is trying to persuade the Europeans to delay the implementation of their new guidelines in order to not complicate direct peace talks taking place between Israel and the Palestinians. PLO negotiator Nabil Shaath revealed that the EU issuing these guidelines were part of an agreement with the Palestinians for them to restart direct peace talks with Israel. He said, “The Europeans encouraged us to enter U.S.-brokered talks by publishing their new directions against settlement activities.” He added: “If Europe doesn’t implement what it had decided regarding the settlements, it will be impossible for the negotiations to make any progress.” Furthermore, Shaath revealed that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry “guaranteed in writing” that Israeli-Palestinian peace talks would start with the 1967 lines saying that the Palestinians agreed to restart the peace talks as a direct result of the guarantee. However, the US denied the existence of such a document according to The New York Times. PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi repeated that the European guidelines were an important element in the Palestinian decision to resume talks with Israel. She also confirmed that US Secretary of State John Kerry was pressuring the EU to revoke, postpone, or “water down” a decision taken in July to outlaw all cooperation with Israeli entities over the pre-1967 lines. “The US should stop being Israel’s lobbyist,” Ashrawi said. These EU guidelines contradict Israeli domestic law. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 and the Golan Heights in 1981. These annexations are not recognized by international community.

PA Foreign Minister Riyad Malki said that the United States and President Barack Obama personally may get more involved in the Palestinian-Israeli peace negotiations in order for the talks to achieve their goal by their target date. Arab foreign ministers from Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, and Malki, met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris in the past week to discuss progress in the peace talks. Malki, who described on Voice of Palestine the meeting with Kerry as held in “positive and frank atmosphere,” said the next meeting with Kerry will take place in October. ‘At some stage, the US president will directly follow up these negotiations,’ said Malki.

Meanwhile, the Negotiations Department of the PLO distributed to members of the executive committee an official document in which senior official Saeb Erekat lays out his reasons for renewed negotiations. In the document, Erekat claimed that some countries have promised to recognize the State of Palestine and support Palestinian institutions and joining of international treaties if negotiations with Israel fail. In a visit to the United Kingdom, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas urged Britain to recognize the state of Palestine. Addressing members of the British parliament, Abbas said that 138 states voted last year on November 29 at the UN General Assembly to upgrade the status of Palestine at the United Nations from being an observer to a non-member state and urged “Great Britain to follow suit by recognizing the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital on the 1967 borders.”

In domestic Israeli politics, the Jewish Home party has initiated the “Jewish Identity project”. The leader of the political party, Yesh Atid (which means ‘There is a Future’) Yair Lapid believes that the project should include the Reform and Conservative branches of Judaism in an Israeli government initiative for “Jewish identity.” Lapid succeeded in adding a phrase stating that the project would be “for all parts of Judaism,” a phrase which he explained includes non-orthodox Jewish movements. Orthodox Judaism believes that the Torah is divine and unchanging, and that proper observance of mitzvot (commandments) must be determined in accordance with Jewish tradition. The Reform movement teaches that mitzvot are optional, while the Conservative movement teaches that mitzvot are obligatory in theory, but has made changes to Jewish observance that Orthodox leaders view as invalid, such as allowing cars to be driven on the Sabbath and permitting gay marriage. The Reform and Conservative movements are popular in the United States and parts of Europe, but are extremely small in Israel, where Orthodox Judaism has been used as the standard for Jewish tradition regarding marriage, burial and other life cycle events. Lapid has announced that he plans to change the monopoly that Orthodox Judaism has in Israeli society by putting non-Orthodox movements on an equal footing with the Orthodox.

About 2% of Americans are Jewish. In a 1990 US survey of Jews living in the United States 38% of American Jews are reform Jews, 35% are conservative, 6% are Orthodox and 10% consider themselves as “just Jewish.” In a 2012 survey, reform Jews remained steady at 34%, conservatives dropped to 26%, Orthodox Jews slightly increased to 8% but those who regard themselves as “Just Jewish” skyrocketed to 25%.  But what does being “Just Jewish” mean? In actuality, the term applies to those who did not identify with any particular branch of Judaism and do not attend a synagogue.

The Temple Institute, an organization dedicated to making preparations to eventually rebuild the Jewish Temple announced that on August 20 that 20 Kohanim (Jewish men of priestly descent) will begin to be instructed on how to perform that ‘daily sacrifice’ or ‘Tamid offering’ of the Temple. The detailed laws of the Divine service in the Holy Temple have always been accessible in the volumes of Jewish tradition. But now, for the first time in two millennia, an organized academy has been inaugurated to prepare for the renewal of Temple service. The grand opening of the academy began with a semi-dress rehearsal/dry run of the entire daily service from start to finish, reenacted step by step.

For the purpose of this unique educational endeavor, special educational tools and props were used, representing the necessary vessels. A figure of the lamb offered up in the daily service, and a small scale altar, were also created exclusively for study purpose. The evening was not open to the public. Some twenty men, young and old alike, of Kohanic descent (direct lineal descendants of Aharon, the first High Priest), participated in the rehearsal. Some of these men donned actual priestly garments manufactured for them by the Temple Institute. The garments are constantly being prepared, and as there were not enough garments available, others sufficed with white shirts and pants for this dry run. All of the Kohanim were barefoot, as they are forbidden from wearing shoes while attending to their sacred tasks within the confines of the Holy Temple. The numerous priestly tasks which make up the daily Tamid service, as well as the holiday and Shabbat services in the Holy Temple require a complete command of every detail of the task at hand to perform them properly.

The reenactment was overseen by Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, founder of the Temple Institute, who drilled the Kohanim in the particular instructions for each of the individual actions that make up the daily service. Leading the Kohanim was Rabbi Baruch Kahana, who conducted each of the four daily lotteries and distributed the specific assignments to various Kohanim. All these activities as described in the Mishna and other sources of Torah understanding. This is the first time that the daily sacrifice has been practiced since the destruction of the Holy Temple in the year 70 A.D.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Senior Palestinian official: EU guidelines part of a deal that led the PA resume talks with Israel
2) Palestinians urge EU to stick with settlement boycott
3) Palestinian official: Kerry guaranteed 1967 lines for peace talks
4) PA Foreign Minister Says US May Get More Involved in Talks
5) Erekat: Some countries will recognize Palestine if negotiations fail
6) Abbas urges UK to recognize Palestine
7) Lapid Adds Reform Judaism to ‘Jewish Identity’ Initiative
8.) Reform leader: Orthodoxy in Israel jeopardizes Judaism
9) The Temple Institute begins training priests on performing the daily Tamid offering on the Temple Mount

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

September 7, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

September 6th, 2013

Uploaded Sept 10. This week’s update is 22 minutes.

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

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

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that before the resumption of direct peace talks with Israel, the United States demanded that the Palestinians avoid lobbying for recognition in various United Nations organizations including the International Criminal Court. Initially, the Palestinians refused. However, Abbas said that the Palestinians agreed to enter direct peace talks with Israel only because the United States promised that they would support the Palestinian demands that Israel withdraw to the pre-1967 borders as the basis for any final status agreement with Israel. Without it, he said, the PA would not have agreed to participate in the talks. Furthermore, Israel agreed to release 104 Palestinian prisoners in four stages. Abbas said he agreed to delay seeking full United Nations membership of a Palestinian state in return for the release of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. “I consider the issue of the UN to be very important, but the case of the prisoners is worthy of sacrifice,” he added. “We have prepared 63 requests to join 63 UN agencies and conventions, but I said the issue of the prisoners is now more significant.” The first 26 prisoners have already been released.  The second group of Palestinian prisoners is expected to be released by the end of September. Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Karaka said that the third round of Palestinian prisoners’ release will take place on October 29. According to Karaka, the next group of prisoners will be released regardless of diplomatic progress of the talks, adding that the prisoners will only be released to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank. The minister added that the fourth and final group of prisoners will be released on March 28.

According to Reyad al-Malki, the Palestinian minister of foreign affairs, the Palestinians agreed to resume direct peace talks with Israel because the United States submitted written guarantees to the Palestinian leadership backing the establishment of a Palestinian state while declaring Israeli settlements illegal. As a result, al-Malki said: “The American Administration, which presented the written guarantees to the Palestinian leadership, is fully responsible for Israel’s attempts to fail the direct peace negotiations and continue settlement construction which violates the two-state solution.” He explained that the Palestinians agreed to resume the talks not only due to the Israeli approval to release prisoners, “but because the United States had submitted to the Palestinian side written assurances that it considers settlement activities illegal and backs a Palestinian state.”

Regarding Palestinian goals for the peace talks, Mahmood Abbas reassured his fellow Fatah leaders that he would not make any concessions during the negotiations with Israel. “Our positions are the same as previous ones,” he explained. “This means Jerusalem is at the top of our list of priorities. A Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as its capital. Without that there will be no solution. There will be no state without Jerusalem, which is a red line for us. If there is any development and an agreement, it is known that we will go to a referendum,” Abbas clarified. “It won’t be enough to have the approval of the Fatah Central Committee or the PLO Executive Council for an agreement. Rather, we would go to a referendum everywhere because the agreement represents Palestinians everywhere.” Nabil Sha’ath, member of the Fatah Central Committee said. Sha’ath said that despite the lack of progress the Palestinian Authority was determined to continue with the peace talks while not ruling out the possibility of going to international agencies and forums if the negotiations fail.

Regarding the current status of peace talks, Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met recently for the 5th round of talks since they started in July. In the latest meeting, both sides presented their view on final status issues but no agreement between them has been reached.  Mahmood Abbas said that all that has taken place so far has been a review by both sides of each other’s negotiating position. A Palestinian official said that formal talks between Israel and the Palestinians has not yet started. US Secretary of State John Kerry plans to will meet with Arab League representative and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in London next week to discuss the current status of the Israel / Palestinian peace talks. The Palestinians want a meeting with Kerry to express their disappointment in the progress of the peace talks so far. The Palestinians are unhappy over what they say are Israel’s repeated attempts to dictate the talks’ agenda which have been focused on Israel’s security. Abbas and his aides are also displeased with what they perceive as US mediator Martin Indyk’s lack of insufficient participation in the talks.

In presenting its view of a final status agreement, Israel has focused on issues of security.  As a result, Israel wants to retain control of the West Bank, keep early-warning stations on hilltops, and retain military bases near the Jordanian border. The current proposals suggest that Israel would like to keep control of about 40% of the West Bank. Furthermore, Israel discussed the idea of a Palestinian state with provisional border.  According to a Palestinian official, Israel said: ” ‘Let’s discuss a state with provisional borders.’ In return, the Palestinians said, ‘Let’s agree on a state based on the 1967 borders first, and then we can agree on having this state in phases.” The idea of a Palestinian state with temporary borders would give the PA independence, while leaving the issues such as the fate of Jerusalem and the “right of return” to later negotiations.

According to a Palestinian official, Israel has proposed a Palestinian state on temporary borders on about 60% of the West Bank. Under this plan, Israel would keep dozens of Jewish settlements and military bases in the West Bank. This plan has been rejected by the Palestinians. Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top aide to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas  urged the US to put pressure on Israel. Otherwise, he said, “there will be no progress.” A Palestinian official said, “Agreeing with Israeli ideas on the issue of security will give Israel control over all the routes and major centers in the West Bank. The Palestinians refused all Israeli proposals and demanded sovereignty throughout the West Bank. However, we did agree to the presence of NATO troops to patrol the border. In a Rosh HaShanah statement to the Jewish public, Netanyahu said that he hoped that peace talks with the Palestinians would succeed. “We seek to advance peace with the Palestinians while maintaining our security and ensuring that the peace will be real and genuine peace. This peace must be anchored in recognition of Israel as a Jewish state and in our security. This is what ultimately is needed.” Furthermore, Israel’s Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that  Israel is not willing to vacate the major Jewish settlement blocs in the West Bank.

Expressing concern of the talk of a Palestinian state with provisional borders, several members of Netanyahu’s own political party, the Likud, are joining forces to oppose any peace agreement with the Palestinians. This would include Israel Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.  Danon said that he is “very disturbed” by the current diplomatic efforts. “I look at the diplomatic negotiations team and I ask myself, who represents the interests of the state of Israel in the negotiations? Who represents the national camp [those that oppose a Palestinian state] ? I respect Israel chief negotiator Tzipi Livni but she does not represent the national camp. She does not represent the settlers and their numerous supporters. I am very concerned by the fact that the team of US Representative Martin Indyk, Tzipi Livni and [PA negotiator Saeb] Erekat is leading us to the days of [Ehud] Olmert and the dividing of Jerusalem, to an agreement that speaks of a retreat from most of the territory in the West Bank. There is no doubt that if negotiations cause an agreement to be made then the Likud political party will be put to the test. They will have to decide whether they will remain loyal to the founding principles of the Likud party which opposes a Palestinian state or choose to be support a peace agreement headed by Benjamin Netanyahu and Tzipi Livni. However, it is my understanding that we are not yet discussing a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians and I hope that we will never have to face this situation. Nevertheless, if a peace agreement is reached, we must tell fellow Likud members who may support such an agreement that ‘you do not belong in Likud.’”

Likud Knesset Member, Moshe Feiglin said that the time to stop the Netanyahu government from negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians is now.  Netanyahu’s government cannot be called “nationalist,” so there is no reason for its existence. It endorses the policies of transferring Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount to the Jordanians and releasing terrorists. I am not calling on anyone to resign. On the contrary, it is imperative to use all the political power that we have to forge a new direction and to compel the “nationalist” government to carry out the policies that it was elected to do.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) U.S. backs Palestinian state, considers Israeli settlement illegal: Palestinian official
2) Abbas: US Promised Us Full Withdrawal as Basis of Talks
3) Abbas reveals deal PA made to restart peace talks
4) Israelis and Palestinians meet for fresh round of talks
5) PA Official: Israel Proposed Evicting Communities
6) Ya’alon: Settlement evacuations is not part of new talks with Palestinians
7) Israel wants to hold 40% of West Bank in peace deal’
8.) Danon Warns Netanyahu over ‘Peace’ Deal
9) The Time to Stop Netanyahu Is Now
10) Peace talks with Israel going nowhere, says Abbas’ top aide
11) Kerry to discuss peace talks with Abbas in London next week
12) Abbas says peace with Israel will be brought to a referendum for Palestinians ‘everywhere’
13) PA minister: Next prisoners’ release in October

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

August 31, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

August 30th, 2013

Uploaded. This week’s update is 53 minutes.

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) The current status of the situation with Syria
3) The current status of the situation with Iran

According to Reyad al-Malki, the minister of foreign affairs in the Palestinian National Authority, the Palestinians agreed to resume direct peace talks with Israel because the United States submitted written guarantees to the Palestinian leadership backing the establishment of a Palestinian state while declaring Israeli settlements illegal. As a result, al-Malki said: “The American Administration, which presented the written guarantees to the Palestinian leadership, is fully responsible for Israel’s attempts to fail the direct peace negotiations and continue settlement construction which violates the two-state solution.” He explained that the Palestinians agreed to resume the talks not only due to the Israeli approval to release prisoners, “but because the United States had submitted to the Palestinian side written assurances that it considers settlement activities illegal and backs a Palestinian state.” “It is still too early to speak about evaluating the rounds of talks that were held during the last four weeks,” al-Malki said, adding “all that I can say is that the ongoing Israeli settlement activities overshadowed the meetings which were conducted under the U.S. sponsorship.” “The Palestinian side is expecting more U.S. pressure on Israel to halt settlement construction, because no one else is able to do so,” said al-Malki, who revealed that the Palestinians are contacting the U.S. administration and other international parties to intensify pressure on Israel. “We had repeatedly informed the Americans and the international community that they are fully responsible for the situation … Everyone, including the Palestinians, consider the talks a last opportunity for peace,” said al-Malki.

Regarding formation of sub-negotiation committees on permanent status issues of Jerusalem, settlement, refugees, water, security, borders and release of prisoners, the official said it is still too early to speak about such groups. When asked about the options the Palestinians have in case the peace talks fail, al-Malki said “even if we have other options, we won’t unveil them now,” noting that “we bear in mind the nine- month ultimatum to finalize the talks and we hope we will succeed and reach our goals.” Regarding the direct peace talks, fighting broke out between Palestinians and the Israeli soldiers in the West Bank  following a funeral for three Palestinians who were killed in a confrontation with Israeli Border Police earlier in the day. As a result, it was initially reported that peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians that were scheduled that day were cancelled. However, a Palestinian official said that the Israeli and Palestinian negotiating teams met in the house of chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Jericho.

The Palestinians continue to insist that they will not give up on the “right of return”.  Palestinian spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said in a statement that “the main goal of the negotiations with Israel is to establish an independent Palestinian state within the [pre-]1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital with a return of Palestinian refugees in accordance with resolutions by international institutions and the Arab Peace Initiative.” He reiterated that Jewish settlements “is an obstacle to reaching a just peace based on the rights of the Palestinian people that cannot be canceled.”

Meanwhile, there are rumors that Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is planning a second “Bar Ilan Speech,” in October in which he will lay out Israel’s “red lines” and reiterate his willingness to allow the establishment of a Palestinian Authority-run state in the West Bank. A report in an Israeli newspaper said that Netanyahu was planning to offer the Palestinian Authority a temporary deal, in which Israel would surrender more land to the PA. The offer would be Israel’s response to PA demands that Israel withdraw from all of the West Bank and most of Jerusalem. Netanyahu is likely to offer the PA nearly all the land outside the large settlement blocs, withdrawing IDF troops from many areas where Jews live, especially in the Binyamin area of the West Bank. The religious Zionist party, Jewish Home, opposes the possible speech saying, “During these times, when the Middle East is being rocked by war, the deaths of children with chemical weapons, and dictators that are being deposed, Israel must finally understand and accept that a Palestinian state will do nothing but bring more terror and mourning to Israelis,” Jewish Home said, adding “we will continue to be the only party in the government that opposes withdrawals and sees the Zionist future as one of building, development, and settlement. We hope there will be no additional Bar Ilan-type speeches.”

As a result, members of the Jewish Home party as well as several members within Benjamin Netanyahu’s own party, Likud, have announced that they are preparing in case of new developments in Israel-PA talks. Among them being, Likud MKs Zev Elkin, Ofir Akunis, Danny Danon, Tzipi Hotovely and Yariv Levin.  Likud Party MK and Israeli Deputy Transport Minister Tzipi Hotovely has suggested that the solution to the Israel-Palestine problem is the annexation of the West Bank and creation of a Palestinian State in the Gaza Strip. Arab citizens of Israel, would she claims, be granted equal rights in the extended state. The aim of annexation, added the deputy minister, would be to boost the number of Jews migrating to Israel, which would “solve the demographic problem” for Israel as a supposedly “Jewish state”.  Furthermore, Likud Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar said  that Israel will not accept a Palestinian demand to return to the 1967 lines as part of renewed peace talks. Sa’ar also addressed the issue of potential settlement evacuation and said, “We do not believe in uprooting Jewish communities and do not believe that this will lead to peace.” Sa’ar further stated, “We shall insist on keeping a united and undivided Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” He added that Israel cannot refuse to enter into negotiations because of national responsibility and a need to safeguard all of Israel’s interests.

At least five European nations have recently began warning companies and businessmen against engaging in business activity in Israeli settlements as they risk breaking local and international law, according to reports received by Israel’s Foreign Ministry. The countries mentioned by Israeli ambassadors include Britain, Germany, Denmark, Holland and Sweden. According to one report, one country’s foreign office told a company involved in trade beyond the 1967 borders that its actions are in violation of local law and international law which stipulates that settlements are illegal. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said  the EU settlement guidelines which put into writing EU policy restricting any EU financial cooperation with Israeli entities beyond the 1967 borders and calling for Israel to sign a territorial clause limiting the scope of any future agreement with the EU to the pre-1967 lines, was not a change from EU policies and was meant to signal that there were ramifications for continued settlement policy, he indicated.

After meeting Netanyahu, the French Foreign Minister Fabius said that the Palestinian / Israel conflict was the root cause of Mideast instability. Netanyahu disagreed with him saying, “The Palestinian / Israeli conflict is not the root cause of instability in the Middle East. Instead, it is one of the results. If Israel makes peace with the Palestinians, the centrifuges will not stop spinning in Iran, the turmoil will not stop in Syria, the instability in North Africa will not cease, the attacks on the West will not cease,” he said.

It is being reported by an Israeli newspaper that Benjamin Netanyahu is losing trust  in the performance of Tzipi Livni, Israel’s chief negotiator, in peace talks with the Palestinians, amid suggestions that she is offering too many concessions. Netanyahu is said to be unhappy that Livni has “strayed from the official line” during the first two sessions of the recently revived talks. His discontent has been increased by reports that she has offered compromises and territorial concessions in informal talks with Palestinian and U.S. mediators that have taken place away from the main negotiation sessions. Gaps have also emerged between Livni, the most dovish member of the Israeli cabinet who also serves as justice minister, and Netanyahu’s lawyer, Yitzhak Molcho. While Livni favours “large working teams” that would seek to reach a historic “final-status agreement” at the end of the nine months allotted to the talks, Molcho – representing the views of his boss – believes that to be unrealistic. He favors an “agreement in principle” on the core issues that can be consolidated into a formal pact at a later stage. However, the two seem to be more divided by more fundamental issues. “The problem Molcho has with Livni is far deeper and pertains to the question of how much trust Netanyahu has in Livni as the head of the Israeli negotiating team with the Palestinians,” says the Israeli newspaper. Netanyahu is reported to be upset Livni offered to compromise on Jerusalem, which both Israel and the Palestinians claim as their capital. She has also spoken of withdrawing from the West Bank, where around 350,000 Israeli settlers live, and dismantling settlements.

So who is Tzipi Livni. What is her family and political background. What life events shape her world view? In the last part of our update on the current status of the Israeli / Palestinian peace process, we will share with you some of this information.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) U.S. backs Palestinian state, considers Israeli settlement illegal: Palestinian official
2) Peace talks on the rocks amid clashes in Qalandiya
3) Report: Israeli, Palestinian negotiators met in Jericho
4) Bayit Yehudi: No Need for a Second ‘Bar-Ilan Speech’
5) Likud’s Nationalist Camp Prepares for ‘Developments’
6) Likud solution is to annex West Bank and establish Palestinian state in Gaza
7) Minister Sa’ar: Israel won’t return to 1967 lines
8.) European nations: Don’t do business in settlements
9) French FM questions details of EU settlement guidelines
10) Israel ‘to continue settlement building during peace talks’
11) Netanyahu disputes Fabius diagnosis that Israeli-Palestinian issue is region’s central concern
12) Fatah Stresses: We’re Not Giving Up ‘Right of Return’
13) Netanyahu having doubts over peace negotiator
14) The Believer: Tzipi Livni still thinks that peace is possible

On August 21, Western countries including the United States claims that Syrian President Bashar Assad used chemical weapons in the Syrian civil war. As a result, US Secretary of State John Kerry made a speech where he stated the following, “In the past week, President Obama and his entire national security team have been reviewing the situation in Syria. As a result, I want to provide an update on our efforts as we consider our response to the use of chemical weapons. What we saw in Syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. It defies any code of morality. Let me be clear. The indiscriminate slaughter of civilians, the killing of women and children and innocent bystanders by chemical weapons is a moral obscenity. By any standard, it is inexcusable. And despite the excuses and equivocations that some have manufactured, it is undeniable. So I also want to underscore that while investigators are gathering additional evidence on the ground, our understanding of what has already happened in Syria is grounded in facts, informed by conscience and guided by common sense. We have additional information about this attack, and that information is being compiled and reviewed together with our partners, and we will provide that information in the days ahead.”

Then, on Thursday, the Obama administration gave American lawmakers what it called fresh evidence that Syria’s government was behind a chemical weapons attack. US officials told members of Congress there was “no doubt” that chemical weapons were used in Syria last week. Obama aides cited intercepted communications of Syrian officials and evidence of movements by Syria’s military around Damascus before the attack that killed more than 300 people, said US Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. The administration’s 90-minute briefing on Syria for senior members of Congress was conducted by US Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and other high-ranking US officials.

Meanwhile, Syrian official Halef al-Muftah said that Syria views Israel as “behind the aggression and therefore it will come under fire” should Syria be attacked by the United States. He said, “We have strategic weapons and we can retaliate. Essentially, the strategic weapons are aimed at Israel.” Al-Muftah stressed that the US’s threats will not influence the Syrain regime and added that “If the US or Israel err through aggression and exploit the chemical issue, the region will go up in endless flames, affecting not only the area’s security, but the world’s.”

Meanwhile, Russia warned Western powers against any military intervention in Syria, saying the use of force without a UN mandate would be a grave violation of international law. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow had no plans to be drawn into a military conflict over the civil war in Syria and that the US and its allies would be repeating “past mistakes” if they intervened in Syria. He said, “If anybody thinks that bombing and destroying the Syrian military infrastructure, and leaving the battlefield for the opponents of the regime to win, would end everything – that is an illusion”.

In a UN Security Council meeting held on the Syrian issue on August 28, Russian and Chinese officials walked out of the meeting after US Representative Samantha Power called for immediate action in Syria. Meanwhile, , Russia has sent at least 12 warships to patrol waters near its naval base in Tartous, Syria. This move by Russia represents one of its largest sustained naval deployments since the Cold War.

On August 28, a US official said that the United States has ruled out unilateral military action against Syria and is conferring with allies on potential punitive strikes that could last for more than a day. However, an ally of the United States and military intervention in Syria, Great Britain backed out of being military involvement when the British parliament voted against military intervention in Syria. French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Bashar Assad’s government for an apparent chemical weapons attack on civilians. Despite the vote, French President Francois Hollande said a British parliamentary vote against taking military action in Syria would not affect France’s will to act to punish Syria. Asked if France could take action without Britain, Hollande replied: “Yes. Each country is sovereign to participate or not in an operation. That is valid for Britain as it is for France.”

Hollande told the daily Le Monde in an interview that he still supported taking “firm” punitive action over an attack he said had caused “irreparable” harm to the Syrian people and said he would work closely with France’s allies. However, Germany’s foreign minister said that Germany would not participate in a military strike in Syria. ruling out his country’s participation in a military strike in Syria. Meanwhile because of the British vote, the US has changed its mind and has stated that it is now willing to unilaterally strike Syria. Obama, officials said, is basing his case for action against Syria to safeguarde international standards against the use of chemical weapons and on the threat to America’s national interests posed by Syria’s use of those weapons. US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said: “The ongoing deliberations in Washington are not around the question of whether chemical weapons were used or whether the regime was responsible. The deliberations are about what the appropriate response will be and there will be a response.” The United States said that their response to Syria will be “very discrete and limited” and not open-ended. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “When the president reaches a determination about the appropriate response … and a legal justification is required to substantiate or to back up that decision, we will respond.”

Fearing an attack by the US upon Syria, UN inspectors looking for chemical weapons use left Syria for Lebanon on Friday, August 30. The team of experts was ordered out of the country by UN chief Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon.

A senior official in the Syrian army warned the United States and its partners that waging a full-scale war on Syria would be reciprocated with an immediate attack on Tel Aviv. “If Damascus comes under attack, Tel Aviv will be targeted too and a full-scale war against Syria will actually issue a license for attacking Israel,” the Syrian army source told the Iranian Fars news agency. “Rest assured that if Syria is attacked, Israel will also be set on fire and such an attack will, in turn, engage Syria’s neighbors,” he added.  According to various reports, Syria has its Scud, M-600 and other missiles targeted on Israel and the Syrian military has already been instructed to launch “an intensive response” to any U.S. strike. It is being reported that Syria has 500 Scud missiles targeted at Israel. Furthermore, Hezbollah also threatened to strike Israel should Syria come under attack. Lebanese media quoted a senior, unnamed official in the Shiite terror group as saying that Hezbollah operatives had been placed on high alert and that the organization was gearing up for a possible armed conflict with Israel. “Hezbollah will not be able to sit idly by and see how aggressive attempts are made to topple Syria’s legitimate government,” the official said.

Israel responded by saying that if it is attacked by Syria that it will respond fiercely.  Netanyahu said: “We are not involved in the civil war in Syria. But I would like to reiterate, if anyone tries to harm Israel’s citizens, the IDF will respond with great strength.”

A war with Syria where Damascus is destroyed (Isaiah 17) is a tribulation event.

The link to these articles is as follows:

1) Text of Kerry’s Statement on Chemical Weapons in Syria
2) White House gives Congress new evidence of chemical arms use in Syria
3) Syrian official: Israel ‘will come under fire’ if Syria attacked
4) Russia, China walk out of UN Security Council meeting after US call for immediate action in Syria
5) Russia sends at least 12 warships to Syria
6) US rules out unilateral military action in Syria: official
7) British parliament votes against military intervention in Syria
8.) France: UK vote does not change will to act on Syria
9) UN inspectors leave Syria amid fears of US attack
10) Aides: Obama willing to pursue solo Syria strikes
11) US ambassador: There will be a US response to gas attack
12) White House: Syria Intervention Will be Limited
13) Syrian Official: If Damascus is Attacked, Tel Aviv Will Burn
14) ‘Syria has missiles trained on strategic facilities in Israel’
15) 500 Syrian Scud Missiles Have Been Aimed At Israel
16) Netanyahu, Gantz pound home Syria message: Israel not involved, but will respond severely if drawn in

Iran has installed about 1,000 advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges and is set to test them says a report from the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency. The report also said that Iran has started making fuel assemblies for a reactor which the West fears could yield nuclear bomb material. Iran and the UN nuclear agency have agreed to restart talks on September 27. The goal of the IAEA is to get Iran to agree to allow them to gain access to a section of a military site. It will be the first time that Iran and the IAEA has met since the most recent Iranian elections. Before talks between Iran and the IAEA was suspended earlier this year, they met 10 times over 18 months without any concrete results.

The link to these articles is as follows:

1) Iran expands advanced uranium enrichment capacity – IAEA
2) UN, Iran agree to restart talks in September

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

August 24, 2013: Weekly 5 minute update (Audio Only)

August 24th, 2013

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

Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met on August 20 completely out of the media’s spotlight as one meeting was held in Jerusalem during the day with a second meeting held in the evening. It was attended by PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat and Muhammad Shtayyeh and the Israel representatives consisted of Israel chief negotiator Tzipi Livni and Netanyahu lawyer Yitzhak Molcho. Given the agreement that Israel and the Palestinians made with US Secretary of State John Kerry’s to keep the content of the discussions secret from the public, there was no pre-announcement of the meetings, or any statement following them. Israel chief negotiator Tzipi Livni said that “there will be dramatic decisions” by Israel at the end of the negotiations but the sides had agreed not to disclose details about their deliberations in order to build trust between them. “We are arguing but we are arguing inside the room,” she said.

Accodring to a senior Palestinian spokesperson, “There has been no breakthrough and no agreement in the talks. So far, discussions have not been on specific details.” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated his commitment to a two-state solution that would see the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 lines with Jerusalem as its capital. In an interview with an Arab radio station, PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erekat revealed that the Palestinians would not have returned to the negotiating table with Israel had it not received a letter of assurance from the United States, guaranteeing its main negotiating preconditions. Erekat said in the interview that the U.S. had assured the PA in writing that talks would recognize the pre-1967 borders as the basis of a Palestinian state, would deal with all core issues (Jerusalem, refugees, borders, security and water), would take place within six  to nine months and would not allow for any interim solutions before a final status agreement is signed. Erekat also said that the European Union’s new guidelines which boycott Israeli entities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem was done by the EU as part of a deal reached with Europe so that the PA would resume negotiations. He said that the PA was currently talking with Latin American countries, China, Russia, Japan and the African Union to adopt similar sanctions toward Jewish communities in the West Bank. “This is an accomplishment,” Erekat said. “We would not have returned to the negotiating table without a written document confirming these points.” Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority wants to sue Israel through international bodies if it continues building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem warning that this would put an end to talks unless the building of Jewish homes stopped.

Yesh Atid (meaning “There is a Future”) faction leader Ofer Shelah said that East Jerusalem is likely to be the capital of a Palestinian state. Speaking at a Peace Now conference, Shelah said: “I don’t see a possible agreement with the Palestinians in which they will not be able to call east Jerusalem their capital, just like I don’t see a possible agreement that isn’t based on ‘67 borders. Yesh Atid party leader, Yair Lapid, who is the current Finance Minister called for a united Jerusalem under Israel control during the recent election campaign saying: “The Palestinians will have to understand that we have iron principles that we will not break,” Lapid said. “The heart of Jerusalem is also the heart of the State of Israel.” Furthermore, the election platform of Yesh Atid said: “Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and its unity is a national symbol of the utmost importance.”

Israel chief negotiator Tzipi Livni called for the religious Zionist party, Jewish Home, to be replaced by the left wing political party, Labor, in order to help her efforts to achieve a peace agreement with the Palestinians. “Jewish Home opposes the two-state solution, and this is very problematic within the context of negotiations,” Livni said. Meanwhile, Labor leader Shelly Yacimovich said that in order for Labor to join the government told there must be an American “blueprint” for a final-status agreement, a decision on beginning the evacuation of isolated settlements and the departure of Jewish Home from the coalition. Labor faction chairman Isaac Herzog said he especially did not like Yacimovich’s invitation to the Americans to impose a plan on the Israelis and Palestinians. “Let’s first give a chance for the two sides to agree before we invite an international plan,” Herzog said. “It is premature to deal with entering the government and setting preconditions is incorrect. We hope there’ll be a breakthrough in the peace talks. If there is then we will decide how we will proceed as a party. However, in case there is a movement in peace talks, it would be wrong to topple the Netanyahu government at this time.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Israeli and Palestinian negotiators hold unannounced Jerusalem meetings
2) Erekat: The U.S. Guaranteed All Our Preconditions Will be Met
3) PA Threatens to Sue Israel Over Building Tenders
4) Shelah defies Yesh Atid platform: Jerusalem will be Palestinian capital
5) Livni: Bayit Yehudi’s presence in coalition hinders peace
6) Yacimovich’s preconditions for joining coalition irk her Labor rivals

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