February 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

February 2nd, 2015

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) A Preview of the March 17 Israel Elections

Israeli elections are scheduled for March 17. There are 120 members in the Israeli Knesset. You need a coalition of at least 61 members to form a government. According to a recent poll, the political party of Israel’s current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is leading with 25 seats. The merged Labor-Hatnua parties would get 23 seats. The religious Zionists party, Jewish Home, would get 14 seats. The joint Arab parties would get 12 seats. The secular party, Yesh Atid, would get 9 seats. The new social-economic party, Kulanu, would get 8 seats. The ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazi party, United Torah Judaism, would get 8 seats. The ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party, Shas, would get 6 seats. The Russian national party, Yisrael Beitenu, would get 6 seats. The far-left party, Meretz, would get 5 seats. The new combo, Ultra-Orthodox and religious Zionist party, Yachad-Ha’Am Itanu, would get 4 seats.

For this election, the Labor party and the Hatnua party have merged. The Labor party is headed by Isaac Herzog and Hatnua is headed by Israel’s chief negotiator in the peace process, Tzipi Livni. The merged party will be called, “The Zionist Camp.” Herzog said that when he initially became Labor leader, he vowed not to repeat the mistakes of his predecessors who had failed to unite the Center-Left parties. He said he realized that uniting was the only way to defeat current Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and return Labor to power. Livni said that uniting was necessary to stop rightist politicians with whom she had, until recently, served in the government from continuing to run the country. “Herzog and I spoke at length and realized we have the same vision and mission,” Livni said. “That vision and goal are stronger than any argument you can find between us. We are creating a new Zionist Center against the extreme Right that isolated Israel. No one can complain anymore that there is no chance to win. We have created that chance.” If the “Zionist Camp” party is able to get the most votes in the election and is able to form a government, current Labor leader, Isaac Herzog would be Israel Prime Minister for 2 years. Then, current Hatnua leader, Tzipi Livni will be Israel Prime Minister, the last 2 years. Livni supported her new political partner, saying “Herzog will be a great prime minister” and claimed “these elections are an opportunity for Israel to go back to what it once was. We are working together for the citizens of Israel and against the right-wing extremist parties.”

Regarding the peace process, Herzog supports a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital and agreed land swaps. He envisions land swaps leaving “settlement blocs” in Israel hands and giving the vast majority of the West Bank, Israel’s biblical heartland, to the PA. “I see Jerusalem serving as two political capitals: in eastern Jerusalem the capital of the Palestinian state, and the west of the city as the Jewish capital,” Herzog said, adding “the seat of the Palestinian government could be in one of east Jerusalem’s neighborhoods in my opinion, I’m not afraid of that.” When asked if all of Jerusalem would remain Israeli territory under his plan, Herzog said that the “the Kotel (Western Wall) will stay in Israel’s hands, as for the rest we have to be creative.”

Regarding foreign policy, Herzog said, Israel “must move closer to its partners. Israel is stronger when it is united with the world, and not alone. Israel is stronger when it is coordinated with America, and doesn’t act alone.” Herzog blamed current Prime Minister and Likud Chairman Binyamin Netanyahu for the deterioration of US-Israel relations, saying there is “a clear link between international isolation and disturbing way that [the Palestinian Authority] takes Israel to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, and the deterioration of our relations with the United States. International isolation is a strategic threat to Israel,” Herzog said. It affects all of us, even if we do not feel it now,” Herzog added. “The unilateral steps that the Palestinians are leading now, they are very serious…the way to combat this is in conjunction with the United States, but for that we must restore our relationship with them. According to Herzog, the damaged relations with the United States will compromise Israel’s national security. He said that Netanyahu failed to realize developments in American politics and neglected his relationship with US President Barack Obama. Herzog said: “Netanyahu neglected his relationship with the US President, Barack Obama and put all trust in relations with the US Congress and the Senate,” Herzog said. “However, throughout the history of the State of Israel, important decisions were made by the US President.”

Should the Likud party of current Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu get the most seats in the election, Tzipi Livni said that the “Zionist Camp” party would never join the government because the current Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refuses to heed the beck and call of US President Barack Obama. Livni said, “Unity is not a technical matter of distribution of files, but a matter of a shared vision. Netanyahu and [Jewish Home Chairman Naftali] Bennett’s plan is a way that leads to the deterioration of the state of Israel in any field – you should understand who they are and what are the blocs in this election – we have here one bloc that includes the far-right Likud and Bennett, and it is very clear that their way is not our way. The question of this election is not who will answer the phone in Jerusalem at three in the morning – but which Prime Minister will answer a phone call from the United States at three in the morning,” Livni said.

Current Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, responded by saying, “It’s very easy to receive applause from the international community. All you need to do is give in to international pressure and agree to establish a Palestinian state which would be supported by Iran like Livni and Herzog want to do. This is not my way adding that he will “protect Israel’s security and national interests” in his role as prime minister.

Netanyahu also rejected having the new Zionist camp party in being in his future government coalition saying, “The political gaps between the Likud and the Zionist camp party are too big to be contained in one coalition. Labor picked an extreme leftwing and anti-Zionist list. There is a gaping chasm between the Likud, led by me, and Labor,” he stated. “We will not cooperate with them in one government. The responsible and nationalist approach of the Likud, led by me, does not have a meeting point with Tzipi [Livni] and Buji’s [Isaac Herzog’s] left-wing list that now is clearly extremist,” Netanyahu said. “We will not join forces in one coalition with people who say: ‘Israeli women don’t need to send their children to the IDF,’ and ‘Hatikva is a racist song,’” Netanyahu added.

The leader of the religious zionist party, Naftali Bennett, of the Jewish Home political party vowed that he would not give away land for a Palestinian state as he rose to higher positions in the Israeli government as previous Israeli leaders have done. Bennett said, “In recent weeks and because of the elections and the polls, many countries in the world want to know who the Jewish Home party is. So, I have received marathon visits from US, European and Arab diplomats who come to ‘find out about me. But they are not just coming to find out about me, they are also delivering a message. Today, as well, one of these diplomats came to me and said: ‘I understand that for the polls you have to say these things, but in order to become part of the honorable club of peacemakers after the election, you must agree to a Palestinian state.'” “Then I got up, took out the Bible and told him: ‘My moral compass is not the daily poll, but rather the 3000-year-old Torah which will never change, and the Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people, and if the entry pass to the frequent flyer club is to give away the country, then I will pass on becoming a member of the club.” He added: “A very special time has arrived for the Jewish people. A time in which all of us can hold our heads high without apologizing for saying that we love the Jewish people, the Land of Israel and the Torah of Israel.”

Three Arab parties in the current Knesset have decided to unite for this election. Despite the united list, the parties maintain unresolved ideological differences, but the move is meant to gain the maximum number of Knesset seats. Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman said the united list openly reveals what was already known and which they sought to cover up: for the Arab parties it does not matter if you are an Islamist, communist, or jihadist – their common goal is one – to destroy Israel as a Jewish state. It is this goal that brings them together, he said.

Israel’s Arab-majority political parties reportedly rejected an offer by Isaac Herzog, head of the Zionist Camp faction — the joint Labor-Hatnua list — to join a potential coalition led by him should the Zionist Camp party win the most seats in the March elections. The Arab party said that they would not join any Herzog government coalition but would consider supporting the government from the opposition in exchange for the allocation of budgets for their constituencies.

Meanwhile, current Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that there is “no chance” that his Yisrael Beytenu party will sit in the same coalition with the leftist Meretz party, thus significantly hurting Yitzhak Herzog’s chances of heading the next government. “[Meretz chairwoman] Zehava Galon is out of the question. There’s no common ground. There is no chance,” Liberman said. “Guidelines are what will compel us. Will there be an eradication of Hamas? You cannot move forward with the peace process without removing [Palestinian Authority chairman] Abbas or eradicating Hamas,” he clarified.

Former leader of the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party, Shas, MK Eli Yishai split and formed a new party called, Yachad-Ha’Am Itanu who merged with the Strong Israel party for the March 17 elections. “Yachad is staying together, haredim and national religious,” Yishai said. “We have an obligation to continue the great thing that we have created here, a covenant of those who observe the commandments for the Torah of Israel, the Land of Israel and the people of Israel. Thank God, that which unites us is greater than any argument. Together, in the name of God, we will succeed.”

The Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox political party, United Torah Judaism, said that government support for the ultra-Orthodox academic institutions is a prerequisite to join any future Knesset coalition government. In the meeting, MK Meir Porush (UTJ) attacked the outgoing coalition government headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu saying, “will the representation in the Knesset be able to change the laws which demand that ultra-Orthodox Jews serve in the Israeli army? Will the MKs of United Torah Judaism be able to change all that? I say to you, believe me, it’s possible to change it, we can change everything to good; just like it’s possible to mess things up in two years, it’s possible to fix in two years, we just need divine help,” said Porush. Later he indicated UTJ would prefer to join a coalition headed by Benjamin Netanyahu rather than a government headed by the Zionist camp party. Porush also attacked the religious zionist political party, Jewish Home, which spearheaded a controversial law requiring ultra-Orthodox Jews to serve in the Israeli army. He said “those who portray themselves as religious put a chill in us who partnered with the worst political parties to try to destroy ultra-Orthodox Judaism.”

Former Likud cabinet minister Moshe Kahlon started a new political party called, Kulanu — which translates as “All of us.” His party will focus on socioeconomic issues. In order for the political party, Kulanu, to join a future government coalition, Kahlon said that he wants to be head of the Israel Land Administration which owns most of the land in Israel. Kahlon said: “if we are not given the responsibility over the Israel Land Administration, we will not participate in the government. I am going to dismantle the Israel Land Administration.” Kahlon insisted: “In the end, we have to fight the monopolists. The monopolists are strong – they have a lot of money – and it is not easy, at all. We will present a clear plan to break-up the monopolists utilizing efficiency measures and by protecting the workers. Don’t let them fool you – streamlining is not downsizing, but the opening of new manufacturing lines. Such a process is good for the factory, for the workers, and for the 8 million citizens of the State of Israel. The state of Israel cannot continue to allow housing prices to remain high and the cost of living to remain high. The situation is becoming intolerable.”

Regarding the peace process, Kahlon said that his new Kulanu party would support a future peace deal with the Palestinians, but that “right now there is no partner and no one to talk to on the other side.” Kahlon said his conditions for a peace accord were as follows: that all of Jerusalem, including the Arab neighborhoods in the east of the city, remain under Israeli control; that the large settlement blocs be annexed; and that Palestinian not be granted any right of return. “Any agreement that will strengthen Israel — the Kulanu party will be there to support it,” he said

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Survey: Likud Pulls Ahead of Labor-Hatnua with 25 Seats
2) Livni, Herzog announce unity deal with rotation for role of prime minister
3) Herzog, Livni to unite against ‘radical right’
4) Labor-Hatnua renames party The Zionist Camp
5) Herzog promises political ‘revolution’ as he launches ‘Zionist Camp’ campaign
6) Herzog: Divide Jerusalem and Make Land Swaps
7) Herzog Vows to Take Power and Appease Obama
8) Livni Hints: We Won’t Sit in Unity Government with Netanyahu
9) Netanyahu rules out unity government with Herzog and Livni
10) PM nixes unity government with Zionist Camp party
11) Bennett: Electoral success won’t make me give away land for a Palestinian state
12) Arab parties reach historic deal, unite for upcoming election
13) Arab parties said to reject Herzog’s coalition invitation
14) Liberman: ‘No Chance’ We’ll Sit with Meretz
15) Veteran Shas MK Yishai splits, forms new party
16) Yachad and Otzma end furious row and unite electoral lists
17) Hareidi Party Lists Prerequisites for Joining Coalition
18) Ex-Likud minister Kahlon to call his new party Kulanu
19) Kahlon demands Israel Land Administration portfolio
20) Moshe Kahlon’s Campaign Chief is Former Kadima Member
21) Kahlon says his party will back peace, but there’s ‘no partner’
22) Kahlon: Netanyahu, Lapid, and Bennett to blame for high living costs

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

January 17, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

January 17th, 2015

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 situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

After failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution at the end of December to recognize a PLO state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capitol, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians intend to draft a new resolution calling for the recognition of a Palestinian state to be submitted to the UN Security Council in the near future. Abbas made the announcement at a recent Arab League meeting in Cairo. “Nothing will ever deter us from continuing our march towards obtaining the rights, freedom, and independence of our people,” Abbas said.

The new proposal, like its predecessor which the UN Security Council failed to pass in December, will call for a state along the pre-1967 lines and will be in accordance with the Arab League Peace Initiative, a 2002 proposal brought forward by Saudi Arabia that promises normalizing ties with Israel in exchange for its complete withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and a “just settlement” for the Palestinian refugees issue.

The Arab League authorized the Arab League Council to seek international support for resubmitting to the UN Security Council the Palestinian resolution calling for establishing a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. Abbas said that he will listen to the committee, made up of the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco and Kuwait, and is committed to their decisions regarding the timing of the proposal’s submission.

The decision was taken at the end of a recent emergency meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Egypt. The ministers called for pursuing efforts to seek international support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative. They voiced support for Palestinian efforts to join international conventions and treaties, including the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, the Arab League reiterated its “absolute” opposition to recognize Israel as a Jewish state. This “racist” demand would have “grave consequences for the Palestinians and the region,” it said. Finally, it rebuked Israel for its decision to withhold over $100 million in tax revenue collected on behalf of the PA in light of the Palestinian Authority’s attempt to turn to the International Criminal Court over alleged Israeli war crimes committed in last summer’s Gaza Strip war.

Palestinian officials said that several Arab countries put pressure on the PA not to turn to the Security Council at this time in order to not strengthen Israeli right-wing parties before the March 17 Israeli elections. Abbas said that the upcoming Israeli election in March was not reason enough to renew negotiations. “The resumption of talks requires an international position especially from the United States,” said Abbas. “The Americans have long talked about ideas for negotiations but so far have not submitted anything,” he said adding that the Palestinians were not going to continue negotiations without a clear strategy in mind.

Meanwhile, France announced plans to draft its own proposal seeking a clear solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. French President Francois Hollande desires that this initiative will eventually include an international conference on the issue.  The French have communicated their idea to the United States and most other European states. In December, France along with Britain and Germany worked on presenting a UN Resolution aimed at reviving the peace process. However, they could not agree on a text before the Palestinians presented their UN Resolution for a vote on December 30.

The French want the new initiative to be a framework for the implementation of previous UN Resolutions 242 and 338 that would enable an international conference to held on the subject. The proposed framework would limit the negotiations for a two-state solution to a period of two years. The French proposal will seek a two-state solution based upon Israel’s 1967 lines that will differ from the current Palestinian plan. The Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 will be a key component in such a plan, offering the legitimacy (both in the West Bank and within the Arab world) Abbas needs in order to agree to any future negotiation process. It is also the element that can bring other pragmatic Arab leaders on board, primarily Egypt. The United States does not oppose the French idea. The United States has already given general approval for the European Union to present policy initiatives and reactions against Israel’s settlement policies. The Palestinians are skeptically open to the idea.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stated that he was working with US Secretary of State John Kerry in order to develop an agreeable draft proposal separate from that of the Palestinians. Fabius said it was highly unlikely that the new proposal will be unveiled before Israeli national elections in March. France worked for weeks on an alternative to the last Palestinian resolution at the UN Security Council but its more moderate draft was rejected by Abbas.

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is open to discussing a regional peace plan that would include a Palestinian state. “We have to reach a political arrangement here,” said Liberman, “Not because of the Arabs but because of the Jews. We need to reach an arrangement here in the region. First of all, because this is important for our relations with the European Union and the United States. For whoever doesn’t know — and I’m sure most of you do — our largest market is the EU.”

Pointing to EU sanctions on Russia, Liberman argued that it is impossible to maintain good economic relations when the political and diplomatic relationship is under stress: “It does not work. We must internalize this. And we see when there is a deterioration in the diplomatic relations, what happens to the economic. And I can give the example that is closest and most familiar to me — what is happening in Russia. And the more developed a country is, the more sensitive it is to every political decision, or every change in the complex economic relations.”

Still, he said, there is not yet a crisis with Western allies. “It is far from a tsunami… What we have now is a soft breeze. If we do not initiate, we will face a diplomatic tsunami.” The foreign minister said that a regional agreement with Arab states would allow Israel to devote more resources to research, development and technology.

Liberman criticized Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his lack of initiative in finding a solution to Israel’s conflict with the Palestinians. “There is a status quo…a step forward and a step back. There is no initiative. I stand for initiative. We must initiate. Whoever doesn’t initiate, loses. This approach has failed…I have respect for Netanyahu, but for now, my approach is more appropriate for this time. If you want a veto from the US [in hostile UN proposals] you need to understand that you can’t lash out against it,” Liberman said. “We have to come up with policy recommendations, we cannot be constantly saying no, no, no. Within the context of the crisis on the Middle East, it is imperative that Israel initiate solutions and push them forward. We must adopt a pragmatic approach, because without it, it won’t matter if we’re right,” he said.

A top Russian diplomat said that the United States is preparing a UN resolution that it intends to eventually be submitted to the United Nations Security Council to restart the peace process. “We have the U.S. text at our disposal,” said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, Gennady Gatilov. The American plan, Gatilov said, is a response to the French proposal. That the Americans have proposed their own text is a sure sign they proceed from the understanding that some [Security Council] resolution is necessary.” American officials at the U.N. declined to comment on Gatilov’s remarks. However, US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “There is a perception [that] we have never supported any U.N. action related to Israel, and that is not true. We have supported a range of actions in the past. What we haven’t supported is steps that are unilateral actions that predetermine the outcome of negotiations.” The United States doesn’t want to present any UN Resolution regarding the Israeli / Palestinian conflict before the March 17 Israeli elections.

According to senior European officials,  a peace process initiative which will be proposed by France and Great Britain in coordination with the United States following the establishment of the next Israeli government will include political, security and economic elements. A senior EU diplomat said: “Whatever the current efforts at the UN Security Council, the real architecture of a future peace process will await the establishment of the next Israeli government.” Europe, in his view, will not acquiesce to the status quo anymore. Progress toward Palestinian statehood is a must, not only in regard to the Palestinian plight but also in the context of the European anti-terror campaign. Europe believes that the US administration sees eye to eye with them on this issue.

The peace process “package” that the Europeans have in mind attaches a time line of two years for the negotiations (without the Palestinian demand of a deadline for the end of the occupation). It also consists of a settlement freeze during the talks, security measures against terror in the demilitarized Palestinian state with a temporary Israeli presence and a monitoring role for third parties. The all-important issue of borders will be alluded to by a reference to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which calls for a border demarcating based on the 1967 lines with mutual land swaps and a shared capital in Jerusalem. The same goes for the sensitive issue of Palestinian refugees, which must be resolved in a “just and agreed upon way.”

On the security issue, European policy officials have considered proposing the deployment of Egyptian forces in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in coordination with the Palestinians and the Israelis. The economic component of this initiative is inadvertently linked to the dividends of a peace process. This would mean tremendous economic benefits for both countries, preferential trade and new opportunities for scientific and technological research and development in cooperation with European institutions.

In case of refusal, the alternative — according to the European source — would be additional punitive measures for Israeli settlement policies, including a more comprehensive boycott of Israeli goods originating east of the Green Line. Such a refusal could also entail donor fatigue for the Palestinians. As a result, the likely outcome following the March 17 Israeli elections will revolve around the link between a viable peace process and the economic benefits of such a process as opposed to diplomatic stalemate and economic isolation and meltdown.

Perhaps in preparation for a potential US-British-French UN Resolution after the March 17 Israeli elections, the Middle East diplomatic Quartet (United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia) will meet on January 26 to discuss the next steps to address the Israeli-Palestinian Arab crisis peace process. “The Quartet envoys will meet at the end of this month to discuss the way ahead,” U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the UN Security Council. She said that the status quo “unsustainable.”

However, the Palestinians have made it clear that they oppose further direct negotiations with Israel mediated by the US, saying 20 years of such talks have not produced results. Palestinian UN ambassador, Riyad Mansour said: “We are willing to negotiate, but now in a different way, through an international conference or a collective process.”

Israel’s UN Ambassador Ron Prosor accused Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas of remaining “committed to the three no’s. He will not negotiate, he will not recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people and he will not make peace.” He accused the Palestinian Authority of committing “every form of diplomatic treachery” last year by abandoning peace talks, forming a government with Hamas, honoring “convicted terrorists” and breaking its word by signing up to join dozens of treaties and conventions including the ICC.

Likud Central Committee chairman Danny Danon called on Israel to respond to an eventual expected UN recognition of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as the “state of Palestine” by declaring sovereignty in Judea and Samaria. “We must clarify in the clearest terms to the world that every unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state will bring Israeli sovereignty,” declared Danon.”If the UN recognizes a Palestinian state, the state of Israel must respond with unilateral steps (as well), including implementing sovereignty,” said Danon.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1. In a statement posted on the UN’s treaty website, the secretary-general said “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015.” In acceptance of the Palestinian application to join the ICC, Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda opened an initial probe to see if war crimes have been committed against Palestinians, including during last year’s summer war between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. “Today the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court Fatou Bensouda opened a preliminary examination into the situation in Palestine,” her office said in a statement, adding it may lead to a full-blown investigation.“A preliminary examination is not an investigation but a process of examining the information available in order to reach a fully informed determination on whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with a (full) investigation,” Bensouda said. Depending on her findings, Bensouda will decide at a later stage whether to launch or quash the investigation, based on the initial probe.  The inquiry will examine “in full independence and impartiality” crimes that may have occurred since June 13 last year. This allows the court to delve into the war between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza in July-August 2014.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki welcomed the move. “Everything is going according to plan, no state and nobody can now stop this action we requested,” he said. “In the end, a full investigation will follow the preliminary one.” He said that he was satisfied with the decision, calling it “a positive step in attaining justice and protection for the Palestinian people. We hope that Israel will now understand that international law must be respected,” he said. Nabil Abuznaid, head of the Palestinian delegation at the ICC said: “The case is now in the hands of the court. It is a legal matter now and we have faith in the court system.”

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri also praised the ICC decision as a “step in the right direction.” He called for pursuing all efforts to bring Israeli leaders to trial. Another Hamas official, Izzat al-Risheq, said his movement was prepared to provide the ICC with documents and reports about “Israeli war crimes” against the Gaza Strip. He said that the ICC decision was very important adding that Palestinians have waited for many years for this move.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was “absurd” for the International Criminal Court to decide to begin a probe into possible war crimes committed during the war between Israel and Hamas this past summer in Gaza. “It is absolutely scandalous that just days after terrorists butchered Jews in France, the general prosecutors is beginning an inquiry against the state of the Jews, and this only because we defend our citizens from Hamas, a terrorist organization that is allied with the Palestinian Authority. Hamas war criminals fired thousands of rockets at Israeli citizens,” the prime minister said. “Unfortunately, [this probe] renders [the ICC] part of the problem, and not part of the solution.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman also harshly criticized the ICC announcement, calling it a “scandalous decision whose only goal is to try and harm Israel’s right to defend itself against terror. We will not tolerate it and I will recommend that we don’t cooperate with this so-called probe,” he said. “Israel will act in the international sphere to bring about the dismantling of this court which represents hypocrisy and gives impetus to terror. This same court which after more than 200,000 deaths didn’t see fit to intervene in what was taking place in Syria or in Libya or in other places now finds it worthwhile to ‘examine’ the most moral army in the world,” the foreign minister said. “This decision entirely stems from anti-Israel political considerations. The apparent symmetry created between the two sides is a ruse whose goal is to target Israel since it is clear to everyone that it is impossible to compare the IDF, which does all it can to avoid harming innocent civilians in contrast to terror groups who fire on populated areas in order to hit civilians,” Liberman said.

Finally, US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke  said: “We strongly disagree with the ICC prosecutor’s action today. It is a tragic irony that Israel, which has withstood thousands of terrorist rockets fired at its civilians and its neighborhoods, is now being scrutinized by the ICC. As the United States has said repeatedly, we do not believe that Palestine is a state and therefore we do not believe that it is eligible to join the ICC. The place to resolve the differences between the parties is through direct negotiations, not unilateral actions by either side.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas says he’s planning new UN statehood bid
2) Abbas says Palestinians to submit new statehood bid ‘soon’
3) Arab League backs Palestinian plan to resubmit UN bid
4) France promotes regional framework for Mideast conflict
5) Liberman said to be in Paris for new diplomatic initiative
6) Can America Avoid a U.N. Showdown Over a Palestinian State?
7) Europe, US will offer Israel and Palestine economic benefits
8) ‘If UN Recognizes Palestine, Israel Must Annex in Judea-Samaria’
9) Quartet to Meet to Discuss Israel-PA Peace
10) US, UN, EU, Russia to meet on Mideast in late January
11) UN chief says Palestinians to join ICC on April 1
12) ICC prosecutor opens probe into alleged Israeli war crimes
13) ICC opens inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Israel, Palestinians
14) Netanyahu blasts ICC for ‘absurd decision’ to open war crimes probe
15) Netanyahu denounces ICC, says war crimes probe ‘proves it is part of the problem’ 
16) FM calls to dismantle ICC after launch of ‘war crimes’ probe
17) US pans ICC war crimes probe of Israel as ‘tragic irony’
18) Hamas, PLO hail ICC probe into Israeli-Palestinian conflict

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

January 10, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

January 11th, 2015

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 situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

After failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution at the end of December to recognize a PLO state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capitol, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians will resubmit their statehood resolution. On January 2, the Palestinian leadership decided to refile that request. “We will go back to the Security Council until it recognizes our rights,” Abbas said. “We didn’t fail, the UN Security Council failed us. We’ll go again to the Security Council, why not? We are determined to join international conventions and treaties despite the pressure from others.”

On January 1, five new nations joined the UN Security Council. They were: Angola, Malaysia, New Zealand, Venezuela and Spain. Collectively, these nations are more sympathetic to recognize a PLO state than the five nations that they replaced on the UN Security Council. Jordan, which submitted the Palestinian UN resolution that was defeated in the Security Council, will remain a member of the Security Council during 2015.

The Arab League foreign ministers are scheduled to meet on January 15 to discuss the Palestinian issue. “The meeting will review a number of issues, the main one being the developments regarding the Palestinian case, especially after failing to pass the UN bid,” Arab League Deputy Secretary General Ahmed Helly said. The meeting will also discuss “future steps to support the Palestinian position,” Helly said.

The Jordanian government is not enthusiastic about the Palestinians wanting to resubmit their UN resolution. Jordans believes that the move is too-hasty and destined to fail again if the Palestinians do not reach an agreement – specifically, with the United States and Great Britain, and the international community – on a clear-cut path for returning to the negotiating table with Israel. Jordan prefers renewing peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians rather than the Palestinians resubmitting a UN Security Council resolution for recognition of a PLO state which will only complicate the current diplomatic situation.

In fact, Jordan’s King Abdullah tried during his December visit to the United States to promote the resumption of negotiations as per a plan supported by the Americans. However, the Palestinians surprised him by unilaterally turning to the Security Council. On the eve of the UN Security Council vote during the last week of December, the Jordanians sought to delay the vote and carry on with discussions regarding the Palestinian resolution – mainly with the United States. But PA President Mahmoud Abbas insisted on continuing with his plan, and wanted the vote to take place even at the risk of a U.S. veto. Abbas argued that since it first placed its statehood proposal on the table of the Security Council, the United States has not presented a single blueprint that will guarantee even the minimal Palestinian demands for a resumption of peace negotiations with Israel.

France warned the Palestinians against escalating a diplomatic battle with Israel after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would resubmit to the UN Security Council a resolution calling for the creation of a Palestinian state. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: “We are against the logic of letting this spiral (out of control). While we think the Palestinians have the right to move the status quo, at the same time there has to be an effort to find a consensus solution. Once you set this cycle off, you get results that you don’t want one way or another.”

Meanwhile, France had been working prior to the Dec. 30 UN Security Council vote on the Palestinian resolution on a separate resolution with Britain and Germany that aimed to set the parameters and a time frame for new peace talks. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said: “We worked on this resolution believing we could achieve a consensus but it wasn’t possible,” indicating that France was likely to back a new Palestinian resolution provided the text remained broadly unchanged. However, Fabius questioned the wisdom of resubmitting the resolution, adding he would discuss the issue with Jordan, Egypt and other regional players. “The real question is to understand what is Palestinian motive behind this move. Is it to get an American veto with a new UN Security Council composition? Is it to reaffirm an attitude towards the Israeli government? We don’t know.”

Meanwhile, Hamas said it was “totally opposed” to Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s plans to re-submit to the UN Security Council a resolution on forcing Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. “Hamas is totally opposed to any return to the UN Security Council by the Palestinian Authority,” spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. “Such a step would be political foolishness which plays a dangerous game with the destiny of our nation. Mahmud Abbas and the leadership of the Palestinian Authority should completely stop this political foolishness,” Abu Zuhri said.

On December 31, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas signed applications for Palestinian membership in 20 international organizations and treaties including the International Criminal Court. Abbas signed the applications at the beginning of an emergency meeting of PLO and Fatah leaders following the Palestinian UN Security Council resolution to recognize a PLO state did not pass. The Palestinian leaders voted unanimously in favor of the decision to join international organizations and treaties. Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that the applications to join the international organizations and treaties would go into effect in 90 days. The signing ceremony was broadcast live on Palestine TV.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1. In a statement posted on the UN’s treaty website, the secretary-general said “the statute will enter into force for the State of Palestine on April 1, 2015.” The ICC registrar addressed a letter “to the government of Palestine accepting this declaration and transmitted it to the prosecutor for her consideration.” The president of the Assembly of States Parties to the Rome Statute, Senegal’s Justice Minister Sidiki Kaba, “welcomed the deposit by the State of Palestine of the instruments of accession to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,” after being notified by Ban that he had officially received the Palestinians’ application. He said he was acting as the “depositary” for the documents of ratification. A statement said that “the deposit of the instruments of accession by the State of Palestine,” effected as of January 2, had brought the number of state parties to the Rome Statute to 123. Kaba added, “Each ratification of the Rome Statute constitutes welcome progress towards its universality. I call on all members of the United Nations to join this permanent and independent system of international justice to fight against impunity and prevent the most serious crimes under international law, which is based on the principle of complementarity with domestic jurisdictions.”

In response, the US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said, “Palestine is not a state, and therefore does not qualify for membership in the International Criminal Court. The US will oppose the Palestinian Authority’s move to join the body, and several others at the United Nations, as technically flawed.”

The Obama administration believes that the PA’s ICC bid runs contrary to the pursuit of peace, and is a major setback to the diplomatic process. American officials are also examining whether the move violates US appropriations law for the continuation of Palestinian aid. The United States provides roughly $400 million in aid to the PA on an annual basis.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Palestinian moves to apply for membership at the International Criminal Court and to seek statehood unilaterally via the UN had pushed the prospects of peace off the table. He indicated that he wanted an accommodation with the Palestinians in principle but that a two-state solution was impractical for now given the Palestinians’ desire to get unilateral recognition at the UN. Netanyahu said that Palestinian leaders were the ones who should be prosecuted in the ICC over their unification with rival faction Hamas. “It is the Palestinian Authority leaders – who have allied with the war criminals of Hamas – who must be called to account,” he said. “IDF soldiers will continue to protect the State of Israel with determination and strength, and just as they are protecting us we will protect them, with the same determination and strength.”

Asked whether he still supported Palestinian statehood, including the dismantling of settlements, Netanyahu replied: “With the terms that they want, at the moment it’s simply out of the question. Any territory that we would evacuate in the current reality, everybody understands, will be grabbed immediately [by extremist forces].” Netanyahu said the Palestinian strategy had “emptied of all content” and hindered his readiness to work for a two-state solution as set out in a landmark speech he gave at Bar-Ilan University in 2009. “I don’t want a binational country… but the Palestinians have chosen confrontation. They’re not going to negotiations. They’re going to the UN, to the International Criminal Court, to sue Israeli soldiers, commanders as war criminals. I mean, seriously, let’s give them the territory? Close our eyes? We did that. It happened in Gaza. We saw what happened. Hamas won.”

In response to the Palestinians submitting an application to the UN to join the ICC, Israel decided to implement economic sanctions against them. Israel froze the transfer of a half a billion shekels (about $125 million) from tax funds collected on behalf of the PA by Israel and which are normally distributed every month to them. Israel is also looking at ways to prosecute senior Palestinians for war crimes in the United States and elsewhere. Israel would probably press these cases via non-governmental groups and pro-Israel legal organizations capable of filing lawsuits outside of Israel. An Israeli official said that the Palestinian leaders “ought to fear legal steps” after their decision to sign onto the Rome Statute. “(Hamas) … commits war crimes, shooting at civilians from civilian populated areas,” the official said.

The United States said it opposes a move by Israel to freeze the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority in retaliation for its bid to join the International Criminal Court. US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki said: “We’re opposed to any actions that raise tensions between Israel and the Palestinians. And obviously, this is one that raises tensions. What we are trying to avoid here is a back and forth tit-for-tat,” Psaki said.

The European Union (EU) also condemned Israel’s decision to freeze the transfer of taxes collected for the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a penalty for joining the International Criminal Court (ICC). Without directly mentioning the unilateral PA attempt to join the ICC, European Union foreign affairs head Federica Mogherini said that “recent steps taken…could aggravate the already tense situation on the ground and bring them further away from a negotiated solution. She criticized Israel for “not meeting obligations regarding the timely and transparent transfer of tax and custom revenues.” The tax freeze “runs counter to Israel’s obligations” agreed in 1994 following the Oslo Accord,” she said. “Both sides should refrain from taking actions which could raise obstacles to the rapid return to the negotiations,” she added. “An effective Palestinian Authority, committed to non-violence and a peaceful resolution of the conflict, is a key element for a two-state solution,” Mogherini said. She further stated that the EU was a major source of financial assistance for the PA.

In response to the Israeli decision to freeze sending monthly tax money to the Palestinians, the Arab League has agreed to provide emergency funds to cover the VAT-taxes frozen by Israel. VAT taxes are earned by the Palestinian Authority and collected by Israel. Timely transfers of the VAT-taxes are essential to keeping economic and social stability in the West Bank. They constitute 70-percent of the Palestinian Authority’s revenue and finance the bulk of salaries and public services in the West Bank such as hospitals and schools. Palestinian leaders say Israel has sent no direct communication to their government regarding the suspension of VAT taxes.

In mid-September when terms for a ceasefire and reconstruction in Gaza were being brokered following the summer war with Israel, the Palestinian Authority held talks with the Arab League to secure a financial commitment with the expectation Israel would withhold transferring revenue as a punitive measure in the near future. In a December meeting with the Arab League, the Palestinians received a commitment of direct support of $100 million a month for each month Israel withheld transferring VAT taxes. All 22 foreign minsters of member countries to the Arab League attended the December meeting. It was held in Cairo three weeks before Jordan submitted a United Nations Security Council Resolution to end Israel’s occupation and days before Palestinian leaders discussed their United Nations plans with Secretary of State John Kerry in London.

“There is an agreement with the Arab countries that they will have a safety net, funds that will be available to us. Funds of around $100 million a month that will help with the Israelis and any other countries that could threaten to withhold funds,” explained Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Negotiations Affairs Department spokesperson Ashraf Khatib. Khatib said that the Palestinian plan to make up for the anticipated loss of VAT-tax revenue and the move at the ICC are both parallel long-term strategies. This Arab League safety net will help the Palestinians avoid the expected temporary bankruptcy and allow them to move forward with pressing for war crimes at the ICC. Khatib explained that the Palestinian leadership has spent the past two years in preparation of filing charges against Israel in the ICC and that teams of international law experts have been hired to assemble portfolios for two possible cases against Israel. Khatib said no decision has yet been made on which case will be presented to the court but the possibilities include potential war crimes committed in Gaza in 2014 and violations to the Fourth Geneva Convention in the West Bank.

Palestinian leaders have yet to release a timetable of when they will seek charges against Israel but the general strategy is that submitting a complaint with the ICC will compel the international community to create new parameters for negotiations rooted in the framework of international law. In fact, financial support from the Arab League was a key component, along with joining the ICC, of a long-term strategy to pressure Israel into negotiations. The goal of these negotiations from the Palestinian perspective remains the creation of a Palestinian state based on pre-June 1967 lines with East Jerusalem as its capital, an end to the Israeli occupation and the right of return for Palestinian refugees based on return and compensation.

Ambassador Dennis Ross, the United States’ chief negotiator for Arab-Israeli issues from 1993 to 2001 and an Obama adviser 2009-11, argued that while it is fair to ask Israel to accept the basic elements facilitating peace — “1967 lines as well as land swaps and settlement building limited to the blocks” — it is also “time to demand the equivalent from the Palestinians on two states for two peoples, and on Israeli security.” Ross noted that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s latest efforts to pressure Israel via the UN Security Council and the International Criminal Court will do nothing to alter the reality on the ground, and blamed the Palestinians for dooming three previous efforts to resolve the conflict through negotiation. The Palestinians need to “respond to proposals and accept resolutions that address Israeli needs and not just their own,” he argued.

A veteran senior Middle East official in both Republican and Democratic administrations going back to the Carter presidency, Ross recalled that “since 2000, there have been three serious negotiations that culminated in offers to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict: Bill Clinton’s parameters in 2000, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s offer in 2008, and Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts last year.” On each occasion, Ross wrote, “a proposal on all the core issues was made to Palestinian leaders and the answer was either ‘no’ or no response. They determined that the cost of saying ‘yes,’ or even of making a counteroffer that required concessions, was too high.” Unfortunately, Ross elaborated, “Palestinian political culture is rooted in a narrative of injustice; its anti-colonialist bent and its deep sense of grievance treats concessions to Israel as illegitimate. Compromise is portrayed as betrayal and negotiations – which are by definition about mutual concessions – will inevitably force any Palestinian leader to challenge his people by making a politically costly decision.”

Ross continued, “European leaders who fervently support Palestinian statehood must focus on how to raise the cost [for the Palestinians] of saying no or not acting at all when there is an offer on the table. Palestinians care deeply about international support for their cause. If they knew they would be held accountable for being non-responsive or rejecting a fair offer or resolution, it could well change their calculus.” Ross blamed “most Europeans” for being “focused far more on Israeli behavior” than Palestinian intransigence. The European Union (EU) and others in the international community need to stop enabling the Palestinian Arabs to make demands without making concessions.

Ross, who resigned from his post as Middle East adviser in 2011, relates that he met with a European official recently who praised the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s unilateral moves against Israel in international agencies and organizations, specifically the draft resolution PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas submitted to the United Nations (UN) Security Council during December. Ross urged European leaders to “raise the cost of saying ‘no’ or doing nothing at all” for the PA in future negotiations – and, at the very least, to offer a “balanced” proposal for a peace deal which included land swaps, but also allowing “security arrangements that leave Israel able to defend itself by itself” and a resolution recognizing Israel’s own character as a Jewish state. Resolutions are typically about what Israel must do and what Palestinians should get. If saying yes is costly and doing nothing isn’t, why should we expect the Palestinians to change course?”

If the upcoming Israeli elections produce an Israeli leadership that is “prepared to take a peace initiative and build settlements only on land that is likely to be part of Israel and not part of Palestine, there will be no need for a United Nations resolution,” Ross said. But if not, and if the Europeans then opt to return to the UN route, any resolution they back “must be balanced,” he emphasized. “It cannot simply address Palestinian needs by offering borders based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps and a capital in Arab East Jerusalem without offering something equally specific to Israel — namely, security arrangements that leave Israel able to defend itself by itself, phased withdrawal tied to the Palestinian Authority’s performance on security and governance, and a resolution of the Palestinian refugee issue that allows Israel to retain its Jewish character.”  However, any such resolution would likely be rejected by the Palestinians, acknowledged Ross, just as they had rejected the necessary compromises in 2000, 2008 and 2014.” In doing so, Ross said that the Palestinians should bear consequences in terms of international support after so many failed attempts to bring peace.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas: Palestinians will resubmit statehood resolution
2) Arab League to Discuss PA Draft Resolution
3) Report: Amman angered by Palestinians’ UN bid
4) France warns Palestinians over escalating crisis with UN bid
5) Hamas ‘Totally Opposed’ to PA Statehood Bid
6) Abbas signs Rome Statute, paving way for possible war crimes probe against Israel at ICC
7) UN chief says Palestine will join ICC on April 1
8) US: Palestine not a state, does not qualify for ICC membership
9) Following ICC application, Israel freezes $125 million in Palestinian tax funds
10) US opposes tax freeze on Palestinians for ICC bid
11) EU Condemns Israel for Freezing PA Tax Money
12) Despite punitive Israeli tax freeze, Palestinians to pursue war crimes charges with Arab League financial help
13) Peace chances mothballed by Palestinian moves, Netanyahu says
14) Former US Negotiator: Stop Giving PA Free Rein
15) Dennis Ross: Europe must push Abbas to compromise for peace

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

January 3, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

January 3rd, 2015

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 situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

On December 17, the Palestinians through the Jordanians with the support of the Arab League submitted a UN Security Council draft resolution for recognition of a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. However, at that time, the US which has veto rights at the UN Security Council rejected supporting the draft resolution because the Palestinians insisted that deadlines be set to end the Palestinian / Israel conflict. US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said: “We don’t think this resolution is constructive and (…) advances the goal of a two-state solution. We think it sets arbitrary deadlines for reaching a peace agreement and for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank, and those are more likely to curtail useful negotiations than to bring them to a successful conclusion. Further, we think that the resolution fails to account for Israel’s legitimate security needs, and the satisfaction of those needs, of course, are integral to a sustainable settlement,” Rathke said.

Nevertheless, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas informed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry by phone that the Palestinians would press ahead with the initiative. Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the Palestinian strategy is to change the status quo. “This status quo is not sustainable and will not continue…Either this Palestinian Authority will lead Palestinians from occupation to independence, or Israel — the occupying power — will resume its full responsibilities as an occupying power,” Erekat said.

As a result, the Palestinians requested that the UN Security Council vote on the matter. There are 15 member nations on the UN Security Council. Nine votes are needed to pass.  All 22 Arab countries endorsed the Palestinian draft. Representatives of the Arab countries in the United Nations claimed that they had managed to secure a majority of nine votes at the UN Security Council needed to pass the resolution for the Palestinians. Diplomats said France was seeking negotiations on the latest Palestinian draft resolution in the Security Council but that their idea was rejected by the Arab group. France was working on a more moderately-worded proposal to the Security Council, which it tried to merge with the Palestinian proposal. Their efforts were rejected by the Palestinians. However, despite the rejection of the French proposal to negotiate a compromised Palestinian proposal, Arab representatives persuaded France and Luxemburg to vote in favor of the Palestinian draft resolution. The vote was taken on December 31.  However, the resolution failed. Eight countries voted in favor of the motion – China, France, Russia, Argentina, Chad, Chile, Jordan, Luxembourg – two opposed – US and Australia – and five abstained – UK, Lithuania, Nigeria, Korea, Rwanda.

Prior to the vote, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu had this to say about the Palestinian draft resolution:”We expect the entire international community, at least its responsible members, to strongly oppose this dictate to the UN and the Security Council. What we need is direct negotiations and not dictated terms,” Netanyahu said. “If the international community does not reject the Palestinian Authority’s proposal, we will do so. Israel will oppose any conditions that endanger its security.” After the Palestinian draft resolution was rejected, an Israel Foreign Ministry official said: “This vote was a clear message from international community to the Palestinians: Do not try to use tricks to replace direct negotiations.”

In explaining the reasons why the US voted NO, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said “Instead of giving voice to the aspirations of both Palestinians and Israelis, this text addresses only one side. The United States voted against this resolution not because we are comfortable with the status quo. We voted against it because … peace must come from hard compromises that occur at the negotiating table. The United States every day searches for new ways to take constructive steps to support the parties in making progress toward achieving a negotiated settlement,” she added. “The Security Council resolution put before us today is not one of those constructive steps.” The resolution, continued Power, ” is deeply imbalanced and contains many elements that are not conducive to negotiations between the parties, including unconstructive deadlines that take no account of Israel’s legitimate security concerns.”

As a result of the YES vote by France, Israel called the French representative to Israel to protest their vote. Israeli officials were surprised that France would support the Palestinian draft resolution after the Palestinians rejected efforts by France for a compromise proposal. The President of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), a key Jewish organization fighting anti-Semitism, Abe Foxman said: “The vote by France in favor of the resolution raises questions about France’s ability to play a constructive role in helping to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One-sided measures such as this resolution will not bring about the reconciliation of Israel and the Palestinians. They reward Palestinian intransigence and delay the arrival of an independent state for the Palestinians. It is time to let President Abbas know that he will not achieve a Palestinian state by evading negotiations with Israel,” concluded Foxman.

The Palestinian representative at the UN, Riyad Mansour, responded to the defeat by accusing the Security Council of being “paralyzed” adding that it was time to end the “abhorrent Israeli occupation and impunity that has brought our people so much suffering.” Mansour said: “The result of today’s vote shows that the Security Council as a whole is clearly not ready and willing to shoulder its responsibilities in a way that would … allow us to open the doors for peace. It is thus most regrettable that the Security Council remains paralyzed,” he charged.

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi said “the UN Security Council vote is outrageously shameful.” Referring to the five countries who abstained – Britain, Lithuania, Nigeria, Rwanda and South Korea – she added “those countries that abstained demonstrated a lack of political will to hold Israel accountable and to act in accordance with the global rule of law and international humanitarian law.” She said that it is “ironic that while the UN designated 2014 as the International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian people, the resolution failed to pass as an indication of a failure of will by some members of the international community.”

Ashrawi claimed that the articles of the Palestinian resolution are consistent with declared American policy, international law, and the requirements of peace. “The extent to which the US has gone to protect Israeli impunity and lawlessness and to enable its criminal behavior is disgraceful and dangerous,” she added. Palestinian chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said that the Palestinian resolution is “fully in line with international law.” He said that certain countries “continue to ensure impunity to the Israeli occupation and its severe international law violations by not voting in favor of the resolution.”

Abbas’s unity partner Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling in Gaza, slammed him for the UN move, with Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhum saying, “this was a unilateral decision taken by Abu Mazen (Abbas) who has taken the Palestinian decision-making process hostage. He is now facing two choices after this failure…he must make good on his threats to end security cooperation with the occupier, and sign the Rome Statute,” said Barhum.

Jordan’s UN Ambassador Dina Kawar, the Arab representative on the Security Council, said after the vote, “The fact that this draft resolution was not adopted will not at all prevent us from proceeding to push the international community, specifically the United Nations, towards an effective involvement to achieving a resolution to this conflict.”

If the Palestinians thought that they had the 9 votes for their resolution to pass, how did they end up not getting the 9 votes so that the resolution did not pass ? Israeli diplomats say that the US played a crucial role in the defeat of the Palestinian resolution. An Israel official from the Foreign Ministry said: “The US had a very significant role. Not only were they willing to veto, they also worked side-by-side with Israeli diplomats in order to prevent support for the decision within the Security Council. It’s not that they just said they would vote against it. They worked. There were phone calls and messages. The American diplomatic effort is noteworthy.”

Apart from the critical help from the United States, the results of the Security Council vote are also a testament of the diplomatic achievements made by Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who marked Africa as a target for Israeli diplomatic efforts. The African nations proved themselves loyal during the moment of truth with the support of Rwanda and Nigeria who abstained. Representing the Netanyahu government, Lieberman set out on a trip that began in September of 2009 in which he visited Ethiopia, Kenya, Ghana, Nigeria and Uganda. In June 2014, Lieberman returned to Africa and visited Rwanda, the Ivory Coast, Ghana, Ethiopia, and Kenya.

A key nation in defeating the Palestinian draft was Nigeria. The Palestinians thought that Nigeria would be one of the nine countries who would vote for the Palestinian resolution. However, in the end, it became the nation that swayed from Palestinian support to abstention and by doing so enabled the prevention of the unilateral Palestinian resolution to pass. High-ranking officials within the Israel Foreign Ministry had already come to terms with the fact that Nigeria would give Palestinian the ninth vote majority and that the US would then use its veto to defeat the resolution. However, the events played out differently. “We discovered that the Nigerians did not submit and did not break down and voted according to their conscience. What finally tipped the balance was a phone call made by Netanyahu to the President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan.”

The Nigerian president is a good friend to Israel. In the last year, he visited Israel twice – the most recent visit occurred two months ago when Jonathan arrived in Israel on his private plane in order to lead mass for 3,000 Nigerian pilgrims in Jerusalem and place a note at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. Jonathan met with Netanyahu and the two discussed a variety of subjects, including Nigeria’s way of voting in the UN Security Council. Israel attached great importance to the visit. It was clear that Nigeria would be a pivotal country if the Palestinians were to gain the necessary majority.

It should be noted that up until recently, Nigeria had the habit of automatically voting with the Palestinians – marking a historical change in the country’s voting patterns. Part of the change stemmed from the tightening relationship between Israel and Nigeria and from the common interests of the countries in the fight against global terrorism. Israel was one of the first nations in the world to offer the Nigerians help in the struggle against the Boko Haram terrorist group. According to various reports, Israel also sold the Nigerians weaponry to be used in the struggle, while the US had enacted an arms embargo against Nigeria

Every year, 30,000 Nigerians make their way to Israel. During Jonathan’s last visit to Israel, Israel launched an airline agreement with Nigeria that will introduce direct flight between the two countries. Israel not only cooperates with Nigeria in the war on terror but also in the fields of agriculture, construction, communication, intelligence and more. More than 50 Israeli companies operate in Nigeria in the civil engineering, energy, communication, and security industries among others.

Other than Nigeria, Rwanda was also a key African country that helped the Israeli effort to prevent the Palestinian resolution from passing in the UN – although their vote came as no surprise. Israel has very good relations with Rwanda, especially between Lieberman and Rwanda’s foreign minister and between Netanyahu and the Rwandan president. Israel and Rwanda have several business relations and the foreign ministry invests in aid to Rwanda in several different categories. In addition, another country that proved itself a loyal ally to Israel was Lithuania – which also abstained from voting.

PA chairperson Mahmoud Abbas responded to the failure of the resolution by calling a meeting with Palestinian representatives who discussed whether the Palestinians should join the International Criminal Court (ICC) and seek to hold Israel on trial for war crimes. As a result of that meeting, the Palestinians decided to sign the Rome Statute which is the founding treaty of the ICC. Abbas also signed applications for Palestinian membership in 20 other international organizations and treaties. The Palestinian decision was unanimous. The signing ceremony was broadcast live on Palestine TV. Hamas welcomed the Palestinian Authority’s decision to join 20 international organizations and treaties as a “step in the right direction.” Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat announced that the applications to join the international organizations and treaties would go into effect in 90 days.

Referring to the decision to join the ICC, Abbas said, “We want to file a complaint [against Israel.) We are being attacked. Our lands are being attacked every day. Who are we going to complain to? The Security Council has let us down. There’s an international organization and we’re going to it to complain.” Abbas told his party representatives: “Last night we got a veto. This is not the first and last veto. But we will remain steadfast and we will continue until we achieve our rights. They don’t want to give us our rights. Rights are not given; they are extracted.”

The Palestinians still have many obstacles before any Israeli (and not Israel as the ICC only deals with individuals) will be potentially tried at the International Criminal Court. The process is as follows:

1. The ICC Prosecutor must recognize Palestine as a full member and accept its signature to the Rome Statute. This is not guaranteed since the UN Security Council has not done so, but it probably will as foreshadowed by ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda in a recent related decision.

2. The Palestinians must officially file a complaint against individual Israeli soldiers and leaders. This is also far from guaranteed as it could expose the Palestinians to “mutually assured legal destruction” with the Palestinians facing probably worse war crime cases for indiscriminate rocket fire and Israelis facing complex grayer fog-of-war cases, in the Palestinians’ best scenario.

3. The ICC Prosecutor must decide based on the complaint to order a preliminary examination and then a full criminal investigation. It cannot do this unless it shows that Israel refuses to or is unable to investigate itself. Israel investigating itself does not require a set number of convictions, just reasonable investigations and Israel has already ordered 13 investigations into the Gaza war.

4. The ICC Prosecutor, not Palestine, decides whether or not to indict. To indict, the prosecutor would need to believe there is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt to convict that there was essentially intent to murder, whereas many incidents in war are foggy and involve mere negligence or mistake.

5. Israel is not a party to the Rome Statute or the ICC and, like some other countries which have directly or indirectly ignored the ICC, could choose not to give its citizens or evidence over for trials.

6. The Palestinians cannot file complaints relating to any date before November 29, 2012, when the UN General Assembly recognized Palestine, and Israel, if it joined the ICC could not file complaints relating to any date earlier than July 1, 2002, the effective start date of the ICC.

The United States said it “strongly opposes” a request from the Palestinian Authority to join the International Criminal Court (ICC), fearing this will further delay peace talks with Israel. US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said: “The United States is deeply troubled by the Palestinian action to join the ICC. It is an escalatory step that will not achieve any of the outcomes most Palestinians have long hoped to see for their people. Actions like this are not the answer,” Rathke said, calling the latest action “badly damaging” and one of many that “undermine trust and create doubts about their commitment to a negotiated peace. It is counterproductive and would do nothing to further the aspirations of the Palestinian people for a sovereign and independent state. It will badly damage the atmosphere with the very people with whom they ultimately need to make peace. As we’ve said before, the United States continues to strongly oppose actions — by both parties — that undermine trust and create doubts about their commitment to a negotiated peace,” it continued. “Our position has not changed. Such actions only push the parties further apart.”

In response to the Palestinian application to join the ICC, Israel froze $127 million in Palestinian tax revenues which Israel collects on behalf of the Palestinians. Previously, Israel had threatened to do if the Palestinians decided to submit an application to join the ICC.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Palestinians submit revised statehood draft to UN
2) Palestinians to submit revised resolution to United Nations for Israel withdrawal
3) Palestinian UN Bid Aims to Force Solution on Israel
4) UN Security Council rejects Palestinian statehood resolution
5) Ambassador Power: PA’s Resolution was Not Constructive
6) U.S.: Palestinian UN bid fails to account for Israel’s security needs
7) Behind the UN vote: How the Palestinian bid was defeated
8) Israel to call in French envoy to protest vote in UN Security Council
9) PLO: Attacks ‘Outrageously Shameful’ Votes Against PA UN Bid
10) ‘UN Security Council Has Reached a New Low with PA Bid’
11) Report: PA to Join International Criminal Court
12) Abbas signs Rome Statute, paving way for possible war crimes probe against Israel at ICC
13) Everything you wanted to know about the ICC
14) US ‘Strongly Opposes’ PA ICC Request
15) US to Palestinian Authority: ‘Actions like this are not the answer’
16) Israel freezes Palestinian funds in response to ICC bid

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

December 23, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

December 24th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

On December 17, the Palestinians submitted a resolution to the UN Security Council to recognize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The major elements of the resolution is as follows:

Reiterating its vision of a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace within secure and recognized borders,

Reaffirming the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination

Noting with appreciation the efforts of the United States in 2013/14 to facilitate and advance negotiations between the parties aimed at achieving a final peace settlement,

Aware of its responsibilities to help secure a long-term solution to the conflict

1. Affirms the urgent need to attain, no later than 12 months after the adoption of this resolution, a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that brings an end to the Israeli occupation since 1967 and fulfills the vision of two independent, democratic and prosperous states, Israel and a sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security within mutually and internationally recognized borders;

2. Decides that the negotiated solution will be based on the following parameters:

– borders based on 4 June 1967 lines with mutually agreed, limited, equivalent land swaps;

– security arrangements, including through a third-party presence, that guarantee and respect the sovereignty of a State of Palestine, including through a full and phased withdrawal of Israeli security forces which will end the occupation that began in 1967 over an agreed transition period in a reasonable timeframe, not to exceed the end of 2017, and that ensure the security of both Israel and Palestine through effective border security and by preventing the resurgence of terrorism and effectively addressing security threats, including emerging and vital threats in the region.

– A just and agreed solution to the Palestine refugee question on the basis of Arab Peace Initiative, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 194 (III);

– Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two States which fulfills the legitimate aspirations of both parties and protects freedom of worship;

– an agreed settlement of other outstanding issues, including water;

3. Recognizes that the final status agreement shall put an end to the occupation and an end to all claims and lead to immediate mutual recognition;

4. Affirms that the definition of a plan and schedule for implementing the security arrangements shall be placed at the center of the negotiations within the framework established by this resolution;

5. Looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full Member State of the United Nations within the timeframe defined in the present resolution;

6. Urges both parties to engage seriously in the work of building trust and to act together in the pursuit of peace by negotiating in good faith and refraining from all acts of incitement and provocative acts or statements, and also calls upon all States and international organizations to support the parties in confidence-building measures and to contribute to an atmosphere conducive to negotiations;

7. Calls upon all parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law, including the Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 12 August 1949;

8. Encourages concurrent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region, which would unlock the full potential of neighborly relations in the Middle East and reaffirms in this regard the importance of the full implementation of the Arab Peace Initiative;

9. Calls for a renewed negotiation framework that ensures the close involvement, alongside the parties, of major stakeholders to help the parties reach an agreement within the established timeframe and implement all aspects of the final status, including through the provision of political support as well as tangible support for post-conflict and peace-building arrangements, and welcomes the proposition to hold an international conference that would launch the negotiations;

10. Calls upon both parties to abstain from any unilateral and illegal actions, including settlement activities, that could undermine the viability of a two-State solution on the basis of the parameters defined in this resolution;

11. Calls for immediate efforts to redress the unsustainable situation in the Gaza Strip, including through the provision of expanded humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population via the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East and other United Nations agencies and through serious efforts to address the underlying issues of the crisis, including consolidation of the ceasefire between the parties;

12. Requests the Secretary-General to report on the implementation of this resolution every three months

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he wants to avoid a confrontation with the United States who have said that they would veto the resolution by saying that the Palestinians were open to negotiations on the wording of the text. Abbas said that the resolution “comes in the context of our political battle to liberate the land and end the occupation of the Palestinian state. “We will continue in our consultations with the brothers and friends through deliberations, which will take place in the United Nations,” he said. Diplomats say negotiations on the text before a UN Security Council vote could take days or weeks. Jordan’s UN envoy Dina Kawar said she hoped the council could reach a unanimous decision on the resolution.

Palestinian envoy Riyad Mansour indicated he would not press for a quick vote on the text to allow for more discussion, a move seen as opening the door to possible US engagement at the United Nations on the initiative. “We will continue negotiating with all of them and with the Americans if they are ready and willing so that we perhaps can succeed in having something adopted by the Security Council to open a serious door to peace,” Mansour said.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that he expects a vote on the Palestinian draft resolution before the end of 2014. Erekat said that the PA has made several amendments to the draft submitted last week and that the vote would take place “very soon” at any time before the end of 2014. Erekat’s comments come two days after diplomatic sources estimated that a UN Security Council vote on the Palestinian resolution was likely to be postponed. According to these sources, the PA wants to postpone the vote on the resolution because it realized that its current wording is unacceptable to countries such as France and Luxembourg, two countries that the PA had hoped would support the resolution.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the a UN Security Council vote in favor of the Palestinian resolution would result in Hamas taking over the West Bank. Netanyahu said: “Abbas thinks that by taking unilateral steps at the United Nations that he threatens Israel. He doesn’t understand that this would result in Hamas taking over the West Bank. Israel will never allow this and will never accept unilateral diktats. We will always protect our security.”

Meanwhile, Hamas spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, called on the Palestinian Authority to withdraw the UN resolution, saying it “doesn’t represent consensus of the Palestinian people.” The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) also urged the PA to “immediately withdraw” the draft resolution, saying the Palestinian leadership was presenting a confusing picture of the bid. “They have been presenting it before the political bazaar at the international level for bids, then they claim they are making amendments as if it has been submitted by others,” the group said in a statement. “Both the original version and the amended version, including the French and British remarks, is beyond repair and reform, and should be withdrawn immediately without delay,” following which all Palestinian factions will be invited for a national dialogue about the resolution, the group said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that if the draft resolution is not brought to a vote, the Palestinians “will be obliged to take necessary political and legal decisions.” He threatened that if the Palestinian UN resolution does not pass at the UN Security Council, “we will no more deal with the Israeli government which will then be obliged to assume its responsibilities as an occupier. We are determined to recover the rights of our people, including the right to return and the release of all the Palestinian prisoners in the Israeli jails. We will not succumb to the policy of the Israeli oppression,” Abbas said.

US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the United States would not support the new Palestinian-proposed UN Security Council draft resolution. US Secretary of State John Kerry has privately told European Union envoys that the US will not permit the passage of any U.N. Security Council resolution on the Middle East peace process until after Israel’s March elections. Speaking at an annual luncheon with the 28 European Union ambassadors, Kerry cautioned that any action by the U.N. Security Council would strengthen the hands of Israeli hardliners who oppose the peace process. Kerry left open the possibility that the United States might ultimately support some sort of U.N. Security Council resolution that didn’t prejudge the outcome of stalled political negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. He didn’t offer any details of what that kind of resolution would have to look like. “Kerry has been very, very clear that for the United States it was not an option to discuss whatever text before the end of the Israeli election,” according to a European diplomat.

The diplomat, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the luncheon was confidential, said that Kerry explained that Israel’s liberal political leaders, Shimon Peres and Tzipi Livni, had expressed concern that a Security Council move to pressure Israel on the eve of election would only strengthen the hands of Israeli hardliners, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and leader of the right-wing Jewish Home party, Naftali Bennett. Kerry said Livni had “told him that such a text imposed by the international community would reinforce Benjamin Netanyahu and the hardliners in Israel,” as well as the hardliners in Palestine, according to the European diplomat. The message, said another European diplomat, was that U.N. action would “give more impetus to more right-wing parties, that there was a risk this could further embolden the more right-wing forces along the Israeli political spectrum.”

According to the magazine, Foreign Policy, while there is little doubt as to the Americans’ wish for a new government in Israel that would be more flexible in negotiations with the Palestinians, the Obama administration is keen to avoid any steps that could be interpreted as meddling in the Israeli election for fear that it would embolden those political parties in Israel who oppose a peace agreement with the Palestinians. The report stated that European diplomats and the Palestinians have tried to ascertain what kind of diplomatic offering the Americans have planned for after the Israeli elections, but so far have been met with “vague” responses from the United States.

The Palestinian UN resolution has caused increased tensions with the US and the Palestinians who have expressed growing skepticism of the ability of the US to broker a political settlement with Israel that guarantees the creation of a future Palestinian state. A US veto of the Palestinian resolution would likely cause European governments to have increased domestic criticism over their inability to help advance the Palestinians quest for its own homeland.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that if the UN Security Council did not pass the Palestinian resolution to recongize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital that the Palestinians would “no longer deal” with Israel. Abbas said: “If the Arab-Palestinian initiative submitted to the Security Council to put an end to (Israeli) occupation doesn’t pass, we will be forced to take the necessary political and legal decisions. If it fails, we will no longer deal with the Israeli government, which will then be forced to assume its responsibilities as an occupier,” he added. “We are determined to regain the rights of our people, including the right of return (for refugees) and the freedom of all Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails,” Abbas said.

Meanwhile, Arab League Secretary- General Nabil Elarabi said he was considering dispatching a delegation to the United States to urge the US administration to refrain from vetoing the Palestinian statehood resolution. He said that Arab League foreign ministers were scheduled to meet on January 15 to discuss ways of mustering worldwide support for the resolution, which calls for setting a timeline for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre- 1967 lines. Elarabi said it was important to remind the US of UN Resolution 465, which passed in 1980 and which considers settlements illegal.

Finally, the United States participated in a closed-door meeting in New York on the French alternative to the Palestinian resolution with French, British and Jordanian representatives. Diplomats familiar with those talks say that the United States has been willing to engage in general discussions about the possible role for the Security Council role but that it has been unwilling so far to engage in substantive negotiations over the French text. Those discussions may continue next week and beyond, but there “is no sense of urgency,” according to one diplomat.

The French resolution states the following:

1. Affirms the urgent need to attain, no latter than 24 months after the adoption of this resolution, a just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution that fulfills the vision of two independent democratic and prosperous states, Israel and a sovereign contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security within mutually and internationally recognized border;

2. Decides that the negotiated solution will be based on the following parameters:

–        borders based on 4 June 1967 with mutually agreed limited equivalent land swaps;

–        security agreements that respect the sovereignty of a non-militarized state of Palestine, including through a full phased withdrawal of Israeli security forces which will end the  occupation that began in 1967 over an agreed transition period in a reasonable timeframe, and that ensure the security of both Israel and Palestine through effectively with security threats including with new and vital threats in the region;

–        an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee question, including a viable mechanism to provide for reparation, resettlement, compensation and other agreed measures for a conclusive resolution;

–        Jerusalem as the shared capital of the two States which fulfills the aspirations of both parties and protects freedom and worship;

–        an agreed settlement of other outstanding issues, including water;

3. Recognizes that the final status agreement shall put an end to all claims to the occupation and lead to immediate mutual recognition;

4. Affirms that the definition of a plan and schedule for implementing the security arrangements shall be placed a the heart of the negotiations within the framework established by this resolution;

5. Looks forward to welcoming Palestine as a full member of the United Nations;

6. Urges both parties to engage seriously in the work of building trust and to act together in the pursuit of peace by negotiating in good faith and eschewing provocative acts or statements and also calls upon all states and international organizations to contribute to an atmosphere conductive to negotiations;

7. Encourages concurrent efforts to achieve a comprehensive peace in the region, which would unlock the full potential of neighborly relations in the Middle East and reaffirms in this regard, the importance of the full implementation of the Arab Peace initiative;

8. Calls for a renewed negotiation framework that the close involvement, alongside the parties, of major stakeholders, to provide political support as well as concrete support for post-conflict arrangements, to help the parties reach an agreement within the established timeframe and implement all aspects of the final status;

9. Calls upon both parties to abstain from any new actions, including settlement activities, that could undermine the viability of a two state solution on the basis of the parameters defined in this resolution;

In an editorial in the Israeli newspaper, Times of Israel, an analysis of the current situation regarding the Palestinian and French draft proposals is as follows:

The Palestinian bid to attain statehood and a full Israeli withdrawal via the United Nations Security Council is, to put it politely, unpredictable and confusing. Less politely, it is capricious, ill-judged and could prove to be self-defeating.

It remains unclear exactly how and when Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is going to proceed. On Monday, PA Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki vowed not to wait until after the Israeli election in March 2015 with a Security Council resolution demanding recognition for a Palestinian state and an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines. Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said this week the resolution will be ready for a vote “in the next few days,” while Jordan, which represents the Palestinians in the council, said it “will take time” before any draft comes to a vote.

Regardless of the timing, though, it appears that after all is said and done and the resolution is formally submitted and voted on, the Palestinian position on the international stage will not have improved significantly. Nor will the whole brouhaha have done much to pressure Israel into concessions.

Indeed, if the Palestinians go ahead and bring their resolution — which calls for an “end to the Israeli occupation” and the establishment of a “sovereign, contiguous and viable State of Palestine” within one year — to a vote, they risk weakening their position in future diplomatic standoffs with Israel.

“This looks like a classic ‘The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity’ situation,” a European official told The Times of Israel.

Even if the Palestinians wait until the New Year — when the Security Council will be more sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than in its present composition —  the draft resolution they have submitted will most likely not pass. True, after Angola, Malaysia and Venezuela replace Rwanda, South Korea and Argentina, respectively, the draft will probably get the nine yes votes required for a UNSC majority. But then it will most likely fall prey to an American veto.

The draft as the Palestinians submitted it last Wednesday, via the Jordanians, is so far from the international consensus on the core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that the Americans will have no choice but to veto it. The spokesperson of the US State Department, Jen Psaki, made plain last week that Washington will not support the draft as it currently reads. Even the French would not back this text, the European diplomat said.

“The Palestinian text is absurd,” the diplomat opined. “It’s purely a Palestinian wishlist — it doesn’t fly at all.”

France, Germany and Britain — the so-called E3 — offered to work with the Palestinians on a draft that would be acceptable to them and that could have ostensibly garnered American support as well. “The French,” who are leading the E3 effort, “wanted to give the Palestinians something, so they wrote a resolution that everyone could get on board with,” the diplomat said.

But the draft the Palestinians submitted last week is “very different” from the E3’s text, the diplomat noted.

While the Palestinians call for a “just, lasting and comprehensive peaceful solution” within 12 months, the E3 version speaks of 24 months. The Palestinians demand that a phased Israeli withdrawal be concluded by the end of 2017; the European draft gives no deadline. The E3 version further mentions that Palestine would be a “non-militarized state,” a provision absent from the Palestinian draft.

Most critically, the Palestinian text seeks a solution to the refugee question “on the basis of Arab Peace Initiative, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions, including resolution 194 (III).” This resolution, passed by the UN General Assembly in December 1948, stipulates that all Palestinian refugees “wishing to return to their homes … should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date.”

In contrast, the E3 draft envisages “an agreed, just, fair, and realistic solution to the refugee question, including a viable mechanism to provide for reparation, resettlement, compensation and other agreed measures for a conclusive resolution.” The word “realistic” is key here. The Palestinian draft would allow millions of Palestinians to flood Israel — an absolute nonstarter. The E3 version, on the other hand, seems to accept the Israeli demand, shared by the international community, that the majority of refugees not be allowed to return to Israel. (Israel’s general position is that no refugees be given a “right of return.”)

The Palestinians signaled readiness to discuss the wording of their draft, but even some fine-tuning will probably not be able to save it from an American veto. Had the Palestinians chosen to adopt the European text, they would have succeeded in enshrining the call for a speedy Israeli withdrawal and the establishment of a Palestinian state in international law. Since they insisted on their own version, they will end up with nothing.

The Palestinians are well aware of that, Israeli and European officials said, but for internal political deliberations have decided to go ahead anyway. “They’re playing games with themselves; they don’t want to succeed,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. “They want to show their public that they are fighting for Palestinian principles.” Public opinion polls indicating Abbas’s current low approval rating also play a part in this démarche, the official added.

The Palestinian leadership’s only motivation for going to the Security Council with its draft and being vetoed by the US is the desire for a pretext to turn the International Criminal Court, a different official said.

If the UN bid fails, the Palestinians have repeatedly threatened, they will sign the Rome Statute and apply for membership in the ICC, where they can seek to sue Israel for alleged war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A Palestinian application to the ICC is a potent threat that has been hanging over Israel’s head like the sword of Damocles since November 2012, when “Palestine” was granted nonmember state status at the UN General Assembly. Jerusalem would go to some lengths to avoid the headlines and headaches that comes with such a lawsuit.

But officials in Jerusalem are not terribly worried about the “State of Palestine” actually joining the ICC. Being able to sue also means being able to be sued, and the Palestinians know they have a lot to lose if they choose to play this game. Furthermore, few Israeli policymakers fear an actual conviction at The Hague.

From an internal political perspective, it is understandable why Abbas would seek a showdown at the UN: Under pressure from both Hamas and the more moderate Palestinian public, he needs to demonstrate that he is doing something to advance independence and statehood.

But if one looks at it from an international angle, the Palestinians’ move appears self-defeating: their resolution, as it stands now, has virtually zero chance of being passed. And were the Palestinians to join the ICC (a process that is by no means guaranteed because it’s unclear whether the Palestinian “state” qualifies for membership), they would have lost an important threat used to intimidate Israel and gained nothing but the right to sue it.

Aware of the methods employed by Hamas and other terrorist groups which fire rockets indiscriminately at Israel, they may want to think twice before making use of this right. And even if they did proceed at the ICC, the path to an Israeli conviction in The Hague would be protracted and difficult. And it would also do nothing to bring the Palestinians closer to statehood.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Full text of Palestinians’ UN resolution: End the occupation by 2017
2) Erekat: UN to Vote on Resolution ‘Very Soon’
3) Netanyahu: Palestinian move at UN will lead to Hamas takeover in West Bank
4) Hamas rejects Palestinian UN resolution
5) ‘Livni, Peres urged Kerry to stall Palestinian bid for statehood at UN’
6) US will not support new Palestinian resolution at UN
7) Kerry Tells European Envoys U.N. Action on Palestine Can Wait till Israeli Election
8) Kerry: Vote on Palestinian UN bid would strengthen hardliners
9) Abbas: I’ll cut ties with Israel if UN move fails
10) Abbas: If resolution to end ‘occupation’ not passed, we will stop dealing with Israeli government
11) “French draft resolution”: Israeli Palestinian Peace agreement within 2 years
12) Abbas’s UN gambit: Capricious and possibly self-defeating

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

December 16, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

December 17th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

Recently, the Arab League voted to support efforts by the Palestinians to have a draft resolution presented to the UN Security Council that would recognize a PLO state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Being a current representative of the 15 member UN Security Council, Jordan has agreed to submit a draft resolution for the Palestinians.  PA’s chief negotiator Saeb Erakat said: “The Palestinians want a UN Security Council resolution that will preserve the two-state solution. We want a specific time frame to end the occupation. We are hoping to achieve this resolution before Christmas.” Jordan’s UN Ambassador Dina Kawar said that Jordan plans to submit the draft resolution by Christmas. If not, it will be in January. France, Britain and Germany are in the process of drafting an alternative resolution outlining the principles of an Israeli-Palestinian final-status deal and setting a two-year timetable for completing negotiations on such an agreement. Other parameters for ending the Israeli / Palestinian conflict would also be set, European diplomats said. Senior Israeli diplomats said the Europeans have also briefed the United States on their proposal. Israeli diplomats said that the European initiative was initially led by France.

The EU draft is meant to serve as a counterweight to an extreme, one-sided resolution drafted by the Palestinians. The Palestinian draft calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank within two years and the immediate acceptance of Palestine as a full UN member. Also, it does not mention agreed land swaps between Israel and the Palestinians and does not mention anything regarding Israel’s security. Some Western council diplomats described the Palestinian / Jordanian text as “unbalanced.” The French, British and Germans want to present a more balanced resolution that could serve as a basis for renewed Israeli-Palestinian talks and win American backing. While France still hasn’t formally introduced its proposal, it is expected to call for the establishment of the 1967 borders as the basis for dividing the land, but it doesn’t include key Israeli — and US — conditions such as Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been briefed on the European initiative but that the United States aren’t yet actively involved in the negotiations over its wording. A senior Western diplomat said the Europeans were aiming for a consensus resolution devising a binding, unspecified, time frame and felt the Americans were now open to that possibility.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with French President Francois Hollande and asked him to stop the French initiative to support a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council. Netanyahu said: “I told Hollande that I think this move is a negative one and will backfire. Such a move is contrary to a peace agreement, it will thwart all future negotiations and bring about an escalation,” Netanyahu said. “Hollande listened, and I don’t want to say what he said, but I said things very clearly.” Furthermore, Netanyahu accused European governments of siding with the Palestinians over their latest UN bid for statehood, saying their demands would endanger Israel. “I say that the attempts of the Palestinians and of several European countries to force conditions on Israel will only lead to a deterioration in the regional situation and will endanger Israel,” Netanyahu said. “Therefore, we will strongly oppose this.”

Israeli diplomats said that the US position on the European proposal is unclear, and it seems they haven’t yet made a decision. The United States wants to avoid casting a veto on any resolution relating to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict due to their efforts to forge a coalition of Arab states against the Islamic State. Israeli diplomats noted that the European resolution would be even harder for the Americans to veto than the Palestinian one. Thus, for instance, the European draft doesn’t call for immediately recognizing Palestine as a full UN member. Moreover, it allots two years for final-status negotiations and envisions an Israeli withdrawal beginning only after that. But Britain, France and Germany still haven’t agreed among themselves on all the issues. There’s a consensus on calling for a Palestinian state based on the 1967 lines, with territorial swaps. But there’s an argument over whether the resolution should address the issue of Israel being the nation-state of the Jewish people – a clause Germany is pushing to include.

As a result, there were discussions between Britain, France and Germany regarding making a reference to Israel as a Jewish state. Palestinian recognition of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people is a key demand of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for any peace agreement with the Palestinians. The Palestinians are adamant in their refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state or as the nation state of the Jewish people. According to several European diplomats, Britain, France, Germany and the United States are working on a European draft proposal that would include some kind of reference to Israel’s Jewish character but it has not been decided how exactly it would be phrased. Some would like the resolution to state that Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people. Others prefer a reference to Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.” A third version that has been discussed would not make explicit mention of Israel’s Jewish character but refer to UN General Assembly Resolution 181 of 1947 — the so-called Partition Plan — which mentioned the words “Jewish state” 30 times. No final text has yet been agreed upon, and it remains unclear how explicit the reference would be. But all states working on the draft resolution are in favor of mentioning, in some way or another, Israel’s Jewish character.

Some European officials believe that there is only a narrow window of opportunity to push a Palestinian resolution at the UN Security Council. Furthermore, there is a growing US recognition too of European impatience with the current status-quo, as several European parliaments in recent weeks have called on their governments to recognize a state of Palestine. For example, European parliaments in Britain, France, Spain, Ireland and Portugal have already asked their governments to recognize Palestinian statehood — a move that would bypass negotiations all together.

Israeli diplomats said their impression is that the Palestinians want to advance their extreme draft in order to isolate the United States and force U.S. President Barack Obama to veto it. But senior Palestinian official involved in the talks with the Europeans rejected the claim that PA President Mahmoud Abbas opposes any European initiative or wants a confrontation with the United States. A Palestinian official said: “Our insistence stems from one simple reason, which is that in every conversation we’ve had with the Americans and Europeans so far, we haven’t heard a proposal that could meet the Palestinians’ minimum demands.”

US officials said that the US administration had not yet decided whether to back or veto either the Palestinian / Jordanian or European UN resolution proposal. As a result, in an effort to bring together the various sides to form a consensus on the issue, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, had meetings with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome, European foreign ministers from Britian, France and Germany in Paris and with the Palestinians and Arab League officials in London. US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that Kerry’s meetings will include discussions on the various proposals at the United Nations to create a Palestinian state. “There are a growing number of countries that are pushing for action on this issue at the U.N.,” Psaki said. “This warrants discussions with Israel, the Palestinians and key members of the international community.” As a result, Jordan’s UN ambassador said she was awaiting the outcome of meetings that US Secretary of State John Kerry is having with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and European governments in order to make a decision on how to proceed with the Palestinian / Jordanian UN Security Council proposal.

The United States opposes supporting unilateral proposals to recognize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital by the Palestinians. The United States vetoed a Palestinian proposal to do so in 2011. However, US officials said that they are drawing a distinction between unilateral steps taken by the Palestinians compared to a multilateral resolution at the UN Security Council which would have the backing of many nations. “It’s important to understand that our overall US goal in Kerry’s meetings is to hear from and engage with other stakeholders… to hear their views and to the best of our ability work towards a common path forward,” a State Department official said. The original French draft by no means represents a consensus European position,” the official said.

Prior to meeting with Kerry, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the consideration of Israel being forced to withdraw from Jerusalem and the West Bank within two years. Netanyahu said: “We… stand against the possibility of a diplomatic assault, that is an attempt to compel us by means of UN decisions to withdraw to the 1967 lines within two years,” Netanyahu said. “We will not allow this. We will strongly and responsibly rebuff this. We will stand firm in the face of any diktat.” In his meeting with Kerry, Netanyahu sought assurances from Kerry that the United States would block efforts by Palestinians and Europeans on Palestinian statehood. “Our expectation is that the United States will stand by its position for the past 47 years that a solution to the conflict will be achieved through negotiations, and I do not see a reason for this policy to change,” Netanyahu said. Netanyahu declined to comment on whether Kerry gave Netanyahu those assurances.

Likud MK Danny Danon warned that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is “playing with fire” by going to the UN Security Council to seek recognition of a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. Danon said: Israel will respond to any unilateral moves by the PA. “Any unilateral recognition of an imaginary country will lead to serious turbulence in the Middle East. Abbas and his friends in the Palestinian Authority must know that any unilateral move will be answered with a unilateral move by the State of Israel,” he said.

In meeting with key European foreign ministers in Paris, Kerry told the various European foreign ministers that the United States opposed the Palestinian / Jordanian draft resolution approved by the Arab League. At the conclusion of the meeting, US officials said there was no consensus among the Europeans on the best way to move forward to support a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council.

After Kerry’s meeting with the Palestinians in London, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat described the meeting as “difficult.” During the meeting, Kerry asked the Palestinian delegation not to rush ahead with the two-year timetable, and, according to the source, refused to refrain from vetoing the Palestinian / Jordanian draft proposal at the UN Security Council. Erekat said that Kerry opposed the Palestinian / Jordanian draft proposal that was approved earlier this month by the Arab League. Fatah central committee member Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the US refusal to support the Palestinian / Jordanian draft was making it hard to get support from at least 9 UN Security Council members. A majority of nine out of the 15 Security Council members is needed to pass any resolution in committee which would require a full vote by all 15 UN Security Council members. However, each of the five permanent members (US, Russia, China, Britain and France) has the right to veto any decision taken by the majority. However, there will be 5 new rotating UN Security Council members after January 1 who would be more supportive of a Palestinian based UN Security Council resolution. Therefore, if the vote is held after January 1 on a potential Palestinian based UN Security Council resolution, it’s likely the Palestinians can get 9 votes from the Security Council to have a full vote which would put the United States in a dilemma whether or not to veto the Palestinian proposal. It is possible that the Palestinians would still favor a potential US veto in order to lay the rationale for them to turn to the United Nations International Criminal Court where they could file a suit against Israel for its settlement construction in the West Bank.

After evaluating their various options, the Palestinian leadership decided that they wanted to present their Jordanian sponsored draft resolution on December 17. However, the Palestinians said that they were willing to accept the French led European proposal if they could reach an agreement on the wording of the draft proposal. Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki said that the Palestinians would be open to adopting a softened European draft resolution with some Palestinian modifications to it. Maliki said that he would meet with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius to discuss his suggested revisions to the European proposal and said that the Palestinians would adopt the European initiative if the changes were accepted. Jordan’s UN Ambassador Dina Kawar said: “We will be sitting together and seeing … the possibilities of working with everybody to get as close as possible to a unified text that will be for the interests of everybody. We really want to get everybody on board and that’s our intention.”

As a result, Palestinian foreign minister, Riyad al-Maliki said the Palestinians agreed with France on a merged text that removes recognition of Israel as a Jewish state but gave no further details of its content. Senior Palestinian official Mohammed Shtayyeh said France “agreed” to the PA version, saying “we have merged. We don’t have two texts now. There is one single text. We have happily accepted the French text when the modifications that we have suggested have been made.” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said that the Europeans were looking for “a resolution which everyone can get behind.” It is the merged French based European draft and the Palestinian / Jordanian draft that will be presented to the UN Security Council as a blueprint in the near future.

Amid a lack of clarity over the final text to be submitted on behalf of the Palestinians, the US has not stated definitively whether it will use its veto. Furthermore, the US State Department said it did not automatically consider a UN Security Council proposal to be a unilateral measure, and said it was not true that the US vetoed all Security Council resolutions related to Israel in the past. UN State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said that the United States examines each UN Security Council resolution based upon its merit.  Psaki noted the US had supported resolutions that were not “one-sided.” Psaki said: “There are certain things we would never support.” For example, the US said that a time table for the removal of Israel security forces constitutes a unilateral action and they will oppose it. When asked what kind of resolution the US would consider supporting at the UN, Kerry said the administration has “made no determinations…about language, approaches, specific resolutions, any of that.” Kerry did say that a solution to the conflict could not be imposed from the outside, but must be agreed upon through negotiation. However, a US veto risks running contrary to US policy which calls for the establishment of a PLO state and would anger key Arab allies – many of whom are much-needed partners in the US-led coalition against Islamic State militants.

While the Obama administration claims to be undecided on a French initiative to impose a two-year timeline on the creation of a Palestinian state, a senior Palestinian negotiator told WND that the proposal is being directly coordinated with the United States. The Palestinian negotiator did not say the U.S. would support the U.N. plan. However, he said the Obama administration sees the French proposal as an acceptable alternative to the Palestinian / Jordanian proposal seeking direct unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state at the Security Council. The negotiator said he believes the U.S. wants to “see Israel sweat” and desires to use the French plan to extract concessions from Netanyahu before presenting the official Obama administration response to France’s U.N. initiative.

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said: “All these moves are part of a planned, organized and designed effort to force Israel to ‘face facts,'” he continued. “This is a political attack we must deal with it in a smart and determined manner. The State of Israel will not agree to be dictated to by the Palestinians,” Liberman declared. “Any attempt by the Palestinians, assisted by international bodies, to impose on us their desired solution, will only deteriorate the situation in the region even more and be liable to fail. To European countries that cooperate with the Palestinians, these moves are like those who bring the burning match to someone holding a powder keg in his hand,” he continued. “They do not help anyone but are just operating from their own internal social and political interests.” Nevertheless Liberman said: “I wish pragmatism dominated the political discourse in Israeli society. We are torn between autism, pragmatism and fanaticism,” Liberman said. “If you want a veto from the US (in hostile UN proposals) you need to understand that you can’t criticize the United States” Liberman said. “Israel needs to come up with policy recommendations to solve the Israel / Palestinian conflict. We cannot be constantly saying no, no, no. Within the context of the crisis on the Middle East, it is imperative that Israel initiate solutions and push them forward. We must adopt a pragmatic approach, because without it, it won’t matter if we’re right.”

If the Security Council rejects the resolution, then on that same day Palestinians will join the International Criminal Court by signing the Rome Statute and other relevant documents, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said. Palestinian UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour Mansour accused Israel of committing war crimes during the 51-day Gaza war last summer and by building settlements on “occupied Palestinian territory.” Recently, the Palestinians attended a meeting of the ICC as an observer. Alluding to US and Israel opposition to the Palestinians joining the ICC, Mansour said: “Anyone claiming that joining the ICC is a red line that should not be crossed is in essence opposing your collective position of what the ICC stands for.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Three EU powers draft Security Council resolution on Israeli-Palestinian deal
2) Jordan hopes for December vote on a UN Palestinian resolution
3) PA Wants UN Resolution on Israeli Withdrawal by End of the Month
4) Kerry to hold emergency meeting with Netanyahu ahead of Palestinian push at UN
5) Netanyahu, Kerry to meet Monday on Palestinian statehood
6) Kerry, Israel’s Netanyahu to meet in Rome for Middle East talks
7) Kerry arrives in Rome for Palestinian statehood talks
8) Palestinians push UN bid as Kerry begins European talks
9) Palestinians may push statehood bid at UN on Wednesday
10) Palestinians to submit draft resolution to UN later this week
11) Jordan: No plan to push for quick UN vote on Palestine
12) French-Palestinian UN bid said to drop Jewish state reference
13) French ‘coercion’ plan against Israel ‘coordinated with Obama’
14) PM warns against Palestinian UN bid ahead of Kerry meet
15) US to veto Palestinian resolution ‘to end occupation’
16) Kerry Reportedly Vows UN Veto, PA Pushes UN Bid Anyway
17) Danon: The PA is ‘Playing with Fire’
18) Netanyahu asks French president to halt UN initiative on Palestinian state
19) PA to consider revised European statehood bid
20) European UN draft likely to reference Israel’s Jewish nature
21) Pressure remains on Israel as Kerry declines veto guarantee at UN
22) Netanyahu: European support for Palestinians ‘endangers Israel’
23) Liberman: Israel Will Not Be Dictated to by the PA
24) Liberman: Israel needs to adopt pragmatic approach
25) Palestinians tell ICC they want to join the court

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

December 9, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

December 9th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The reason for new elections in Israel scheduled for March 17, 2015.

On December 8, the Israeli Knesset voted to have new elections. They will be held on March 17. The vote was 93 to 0. In part, new elections came about from a disagreement among members of Netanyahu’s government coalition over a bill to recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish state’ that is democratic. The ‘Jewish state’ bill passed in the Israeli cabinet 15 to 6. Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explained the purpose of the ‘Jewish state’ bill by saying that the Jewish nature of Israel is increasingly being challenged.

“The Palestinians refuse to recognize this, and there is also opposition from within – there are those groups who want to have autonomy in the Galilee and the Negev areas of Israel, and who deny our national rights,” he explained. “It cannot be that Arabs can live in all communities and Jews can not live in Arab communities. What is evolving here is a state within a state. The state of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people in which it realizes its aspiration for self determination in accordance with its cultural and historic heritage,” states the bill. “The right to realization of national self determination in Israel is exclusive to the Jewish people.” Netanyahu said Israel is the nation where there are equal rights for every citizen. “But there are national rights only for the Jewish people; a flag, anthem, the right of every Jew to immigrate to Israel, and other national symbols,” he said.

The prime minister has promised to amend these last passages, however, to make the law more “moderate.” In his version, Israel’s character as the Jewish national state, and its democratic nature, receive equal stress. In the current version, Israel’s Jewish character is placed before its democratic nature. However, the current version also states clearly that Israel is a democracy and that it respects the rights of all its citizens.

“People ask who needs this bill; we have managed 66 years without it,” Netanyahu said in the presence of reporters ahead of the meeting. Israel is a Jewish democratic state. There are those who want democracy to take precedence over Judaism, and those who want Judaism to take precedence over democracy. In the draft law that I am bringing, both principles are equal and must be given equal consideration. Israel has always been a Jewish state, but all citizens have equal rights under law, regardless of race, gender or religion. However, only the Jewish people have national rights in Israel and that needs to be anchored in law. I also don’t understand those who call for two states for two peoples, but at the same time oppose anchoring that in law. They are quick to recognize a Palestinian national home, but adamantly oppose a Jewish national home.”

Both laws state that Jewish law will serve as a source of inspiration for Israel’s lawmakers and courts. Should a judge fail to find a solution for a juridical issue, it says, “he should decide it in accordance with the principles of freedom, justice, honesty and peace of the heritage of Israel.”

However,  two senior ministers in Netanyahu’s government opposed the ‘Jewish state’ bill. They were Israel Justice Minister and chief negotiator in the peace process with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni, and Israel Finance Minister, Yair Lapid. They pledged to not vote for the law when it was presented before the Israeli Knesset. Livni said: “I will not support this bill. give a hand to this bill. Yair Lapid also pledged that he would vote against the bill. Lapid said: “The bill submitted today puts the Jewish state before democracy. Neither I, nor the Yesh Atid party, will vote for the law.” Netanyahu addressed threats and ultimatums by his coalition partners to break up the government over this and other issues, saying “the country cannot be run in this manner.”

Leader of the religious Zionist party, Jewish Home, Naftali Bennett said “If the bill doesn’t pass, we don’t have a coalition; everything will fall apart. We all signed a [coalition] agreement. I expect everyone to keep their commitments.”

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the proposed “Jewish state bill” “places obstacles in the way to achieving peace.” The PLO strongly condemned the bill, claiming it is aimed at destroying the two-state solution. A statement issued by the PLO Executive Committee said the bill is designed to “implement the Greater Israel plan and the Jewishness of the state on the land of historic Palestine. The so-called historic homeland of the Jewish people is a racist and ideologically exclusionary attempt to forget the Palestinian historic narrative and abolish Palestinian existence.”

Because of the disagreement within Netanyahu’s government coalition regarding the ‘Jewish law’ bill, Tzipi Livni said “the government of Israel has reached a crossroads. We need to stop the violence, the racism, the incitement and fight against difficult bills, or go to the voter and let them choose between two paths, between two worldviews,” said Livni. “Our path is clear. We simply need to stop the extremists, some of whom are in the Knesset, some in the government.”  This government needs to be replaced because it doesn’t know how to fight terror while “upholding freedom and Zionism.” Livni said that she was going to meet with Netanahu over the ‘Jewish state’ law issue but that she will “refuse to compromise on any of the values that have guided me.”

Because of the rebellion against his policies within his own government coalition, Netanyahu said: “In the diplomatic arena, for example, certain ministers regularly attack the policy I have directed and for which I was elected. They have made a controversial issue even out of construction in Jerusalem, thereby strengthening the international criticism of Israel. Those ministers who attack the government and its leader are trying to replace the makeup and prime minister of the government in which they sit, they violate explicit agreements reached, such as a real increase to the defense budget and the transfer of IDF bases to the south. I demand that these ministers stop the subversion and the attacks,” Netanyahu said. “If they agree, we can continue; if they refuse, we will come to our own conclusions and go to the electorate. A government cannot function when its ministers constantly work against its policies and attack the government of which they are a part from almost every direction and on every issue. I have not received even the most basic obligation — the loyalty and responsibility of ministers to the government in which they serve,” Netanyahu said.

As a result, Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu met with his Finance Minister, Yair Lapid, and presented him with five conditions for maintaining the current coalition:

1) Stop undermining the government, especially over construction in Jerusalem and ties with the US.
2) Transfer, as promised, NIS 6 billion to the defense budget for training and procurements, including Iron Dome and heavy APCs.
3) Free up funds for the IDF’s planned relocation to southern Israel.
4) Support the ‘Jewish nationhood’ bill as formulated on the principles presented by the prime minister.
5) Freeze the 0% VAT proposal, instead using the NIS 3 billion previously allocated to produce real housing solutions to reduce prices.

Minutes after Netanyahu published his list of demands, Lapid said that the prime minister was “dragging Israel to unnecessary elections” with demands that were impossible to accept. Israel. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, said, “It is wrong to advance racist legislation and allowing extremists, some of whom are in the coalition, to have their way.”

Because of their rebellion, Netanyahu decided to fire Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid from their government positions. As a result of firing Yesh Atid’s leader, Yair Lapid, all Yesh Atid’s government ministers quit their jobs. Netanyahu instructed his Cabinet Secretary to issue termination letters to the two senior ministers, citing constant criticism aimed at him and his government from both Livni and Lapid. In firing them, Netanayahu said: In recent weeks, including the last 24 hours, Ministers Lapid and Livni harshly attacked the government under my leadership. I won’t tolerate any more opposition within the government, I won’t tolerate ministers attacking from within the government the government’s policies and its leader.”

Regarding Lapid, Netanyahu said that he undermined Israel’s “aggressive policy against Iran’s nuclear program” by criticizing the prime minister’s decision to boycott Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s speech at the UN General Assembly. Lapid undermined the government’s policy to demand the Palestinian to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people when he said in an interview he didn’t think it was necessary to make that demand, Netanyahu said. Both Lapid and Livni, the prime minister added, criticized plans to build some 1,000 housing units in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem located beyond the Green Line, with Livni saying the move was “irresponsible.”

“Well, Livni is the last one who can preach to anyone about responsibility,” Netanyhu said. “In May of this year she met with Mahmoud Abbas in complete contrast to the cabinet’s decision not meet with him at the time, as well as against my explicit order not to hold the meeting. Later she went on to say, while serving as the justice minister, ‘Netanyahu’s boycott of Abbas is stupid.’ And today she once against attacked the government under my leadership.” He also accused both Livni and Lapid of trying to “seduce the ultra-orthodox parties to remove the prime from power.”

Netanyahu said: “In recent weeks both Livni and Lapid have joined forces to lure the ultra-Orthodox parties to remove me as the prime minister while sitting in my government. By the way, these are the same ultra-Orthodox parties that Lapid frequently claims that he refuses to sit with them [in the government]… it is a violent overthrow of a government. It is impossible to run a government in this state.”

Ultra-Orthodox MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) said that Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid indeed approached the ultra-Orthodox parties trying to organize an effort to remove Netanyahu from power. However, Ze’ev said, Lapid did not directly approach Shas but rather sent “messengers” to the party’s members in order to find out whether they were willing to form an alternative government.

Before calling for early elections, Netanyahu held a meeting with Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman in an effort to convince him to form an alternative government coalition with the ultra-Orthodox parties and avoid early elections. However,  Liberman has long been opposed to joining up with the ultra-Orthodox parties and declined Netanyahu’s offer to have an alternative government with the ultra-Orthodox parties. “Liberman is a man of his word, and if Liberman said that it’s either this coalition or elections, then there is no chance that there will be something else,” a representative said.

Netanyahu also talked with the two ultra-Orthodox parties about being in his government. However, in order for the two ultra-Orthodox parties to join the Netanyahu government, Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman would have to soften his position on the issues of the ultra-Orthodox serving in the Israeli army and change his position on the conversion law. Liberman refuses to do this. Therefore, Netanyahu’s efforts to convince Liberman and the ultra-Orthodox parties to form an alternative government did not succeed.

As a result, Netayahu said that he was going to call for early elections. Netanyahu urged the people of Israel to provide him with a safe majority from which he could lead. Netanyahu said: “I turn to you, the citizens of Israel, this evening because under the current situation, from within the current government, it is impossible to lead a state. My responsibility as prime minister is to do that. To preserve security, to develop the economy, to lower the cost of living – to take care of you, the citizens of Israel. Unlike its predecessor, the current government, from the day of its inception, was a contrarian government,” he said. “It was forced on me because the results of the election – a simple reason – meant that a ruling government under my leadership did not receive enough seats. Maybe because of other reasons, this government had friction and directional differences. It behaved under threats and ultimatums.”

Netanyahu blamed the Palestinians for stymieing nine months of peace talks. “For nine months we negotiated with the Palestinians, but they consistently refused to engage us on our legitimate security concerns, just as they refused to discuss recognizing Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, while at the same time insisting that Israel recognize a nation-state of the Palestinian people,” the prime minister said. They must truly confront violence and fanaticism within the Palestinian community, he said. The Palestinian leaders fuel extremism rather than confronting it, Netanyahu charged. “Sticking our head in the sand does not promote real peace,” Netanyahu said.

Israel opposition leader, MK Isaac Herzog of the Labor party called for Israel’s centrist and left-leaning parties to rally around him and form a political bloc to defeat Likud Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in upcoming elections. Herzog called for Tzipi Livni as well as the Kadima political party leader, Shaul Mofaz and the political party, Meretz, to align themselves with the Labor party to defeat Netanyahu. Herzog said: “I am capable of replacing Netanyahu. I will do everything in order to establish a bloc before the elections,” he said.

In recent weeks, Herzog has been attempting in discussions with party heads to summarize three key principles for the formation:

1. Commitment to the peace process
2. Commitment to social justice
3. An anyone but Netanyahu alliance

Tzipi Livni has agreed to form a political bloc to defeat Netanyahu. Livni said: “We need to remove Netanyahu from power and make the combinations necessary to do so. We need to see which [combined] list brings more votes than the sum of its parts running separately. It could be two parties running together or three.” Livni said the public need not be concerned over the possibility that she and Herzog, who is also the opposition leader, were engaged in a political power struggle, as the two party leaders were deeply committed to forming a unified front against the current prime minister. “[But] there will be a joint list, because it is necessary and offers a better result compared to a situation in which we each run separately. We must join forces and create a situation where there is energy and there is hope. Once there is hope that we can replace Netanyahu, it will happen.” Livni has been offered the number 2 position in the Labor party list if she would join with the Labor party in the next election.

In addition, Kadima party leader, Shaul Mofaz had met with Labor leader, Isaac Herzog, who promised him a place in the top five spots on the Labor Party’s list. Mofaz is a former IDF chief of staff, who previously served as a defense minister in the Likud party of Benjamin Netanyahu.

If Tzipi Livni did formally agree to join forces with Labor leader Isaac Herzog to defeat Netanyahu, a recent poll indicates that they would become the largest political party in Israel with 23 seats. Netanyahu’s party, Likud, would get 21 seats. The party of Naftali Bennett, Jewish Home, would get 18 seats. The party of Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Israel Our Home, would get 9 seats. The party of Yair Lapid, Yesh Atid, would get 9 seats. A new political party headed by former Likud member, Moshe Kahlon, would get 9 seats. The ultra-Orthodox parties would get a combined 15 seats, and the left wing party, Meretz would get 6 seats. The Arab parties would get 10 seats.

The Likud party of Benjamin Netanyahu and Jewish Home have made a “surplus vote agreement”. This agreement says that additional votes from the two parties – votes which do not amount to a Knesset seat for either party if counted separately – could be combined to form one additional seat for either of the parties, and would award an additional seat to the party which needs it the most.

Avigdor Liberman’s, political party, “Israel Our Home” signed a surplus vote agreement with Moshe Kahlon’s as-yet unnamed party. Meanwhile, the Labor political party signed a surplus vote agreement with the left wing party, Meretz.

The current three Arab political parties in Israel are planning to unite as a single party. This is because a new election law was passed in Israel whereby any political party needs at least 3.25 percent of the vote to be in the Israeli Knesset.

Netanyahu and decided to form an alliance with Jewish Home in the upcoming election. According to the current polls, Likud and Jewish Home would win about 40 Knesset seats. Jewish Home opposes a Palestinian state and supports the annexation of at least some of the West Bank. In the 2013 election, Jewish Home formed a partnership with the political party of Yesh Atid led by Yair Lapid. In making an alliance with Netanyahu, Jewish Home leader, Naftali Bennett disavowed the alliance forged between his party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid after the previous elections in January 2013. Bennett said that his alliance with Lapid, which forced Netanyahu to form a coalition with both Jewish Home and Yesh Atid, leaving the ultra-Orthodox parties out in the cold, was “a grave error that I wouldn’t repeat today and shall not repeat in the future.”

In forming this alliance, Netanyahu and Jewish Home agreed to not attack one another during the upcoming election campaign. Bennett opposes a Palestinian state in the West Bank, saying that he had learned lessons from the results of the 2005 Gaza withdrawal. Hamas took over and attacked Israel, he pointed out, and the most damaging incidents for Israel internationally — the 2008-9 Operation Cast Lead in the Strip, the Mavi Marmara raid, and Operation Protective Edge last summer — were all the result of Israel leaving the coastal strip. Furthermore, Bennett said: “By no means will I ever agree to divide Jerusalem.”

Netanyahu is also trying to form an alliance with the ultra-Orthodox parties after the next election. Netanyahu’s current government voted into  law that the ultra-Orthodox would have to serve in the military and be punished if they refused. In appeasing the ultra-Orthodox so that they could join his potential future government, Netanyahu said that he disagreed with the criminal sanctions clause of the law for the ultra-Orthodox to serve in the military. Netanyahu said: “I do not think that yeshiva students studying Torah should go to prison. This was not to my liking.” Repeal of the criminal sanctions clause will be high on the list of ultra-Orthodox demands to join a future Netanyahu government.

According to polls, 62% of Israelis do not want to see the ultra-Orthodox in the next Israeli government. 74% of Israelis oppose the ultra-Orthodox to get increased funding for the Torah schools of study. Furthermore, 57% of Netanyahu’s party voters oppose a coalition with the ultra-Orthodox parties. In order for Netanyahu to form his next government, either Liberman’s, “Israel Our Home” party or the new political party of Moshe Kahlon would have to be willing to be in government with Netanyahu, Jewish Home and the ultra-Orthodox parties. Liberman has already stated that he is not interested in being in government with the ultra-Orthodox parties as he supported the law that the ultra-Orthodox need to serve in the Israeli army.

There are rumors that Liberman’s party, “Israel Our Home” along with the new political party of Moshe Kahlon are considering being in government with a left-wing bloc following the new elections. Based upon the current poll results, this would cause their to be a left wing bloc of about 55 seats and a right wing bloc of about 55 seats. In order to form a government in Israel, you need at least 61 seats. This means that in order for the left to form a government, they would need the support of the ultra-Orthodox parties or the Arab parties. Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid have already stated that they won’t be in government with the ultra-Orthodox parties. Therefore, in order to form a government, the left would need the support of the Arab parties. The Arab parties would be willing to join an Israeli government to advance a Palestinian state.

In looking to make a peace agreement with the Palestinians to divide the land of Israel and the city of Jerusalem, Yair Lapid said:  Israel’s security is dependent on our ability to take the initiative in the peace process, not to wait until there is no choice. That is the legacy of Begin, of Rabin, of Sharon,” Lapid said. Lapid called for Israel to work with the Arab League for a two-state solution. “Our shared fight against radical Islam allows us to join the coalition of moderate Arab states – Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and to reach a comprehensive peace agreement with them and the Palestinians,” he said.

Regarding any peace agreement with the Palestinians, head of the new political party projected to get 9 seats in next elections, Moshe Kahlon said: “We will not waste an opportunity for peace with the Palestinians and will not hesitate to vacate territory.”  This marks a drastic shift leftward from Kahlon’s previous positions which he held when he was still a member of Netanyahu’s Likud political party. In April of 2011, Kahlon responded to threats of unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood by saying that if the threat materializes, Israel should announce annexation of all of “the territories” that same day, and that PA funding should also be stopped.

According to DEBKA, US President Barack Obama and his White House National Security team headed by Susan Rice are trying to decide on a tactic to interfere in the Israeli elections and to prevent Benjamin Netanyahu from becoming Israel Prime Minister again. The US is still working on a detailed plan of action. The Obama administration wasted no time in setting up appointments for Obama to receive heads of the parties sworn to overthrow Netanyahu – among others, ex-minister Lapid, opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog of Labor and Tzipi Livni (The Movement), who was fired this week as Justice Minister along with Lapid.

They will be given attractive photo-ops with Obama and send messages designed to signify to the Israeli voter that the US president would favor their election to the future government and the country as a whole would gain tangibly from a different government to the incumbent one. This White House campaign would be accompanied by leaks from Washington for putting Netanyahu and his policies in a derogatory light. Messages to this effect were transmitted to a number of serving political figures to not support Netanyahu in the next elections. Obviously, this refers to current Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman to not join the next Netanyahu government.

Finally, the US administration has begun hinting that it may emulate the Europeans by calling for sanctions against Israel as punishment for the prime minister’s signature policy of developing West Bank and Jerusalem development construction. The Israel sanctions discussions are said to have begun after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the US in October and clashed with Obama over the construction of a new housing development in that part of the city. The administration warned Israel that the project would raise questions about Israel’s commitment to peace with the Palestinians. Netanyahu replied that Israel does not accept restrictions on where Jews can live, and that Arabs and Jews in the Israeli capital should be allowed to purchase homes wherever they choose.

For now the circles around the US president are “highly optimistic” about their chances of forcing Netanyahu’s exit, comparing them to the former success of the first President George Bush in forcing the ouster of the late Yitzhak Shamir as Israeli prime minister in the 90s.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) With election date set, Knesset votes to dissolve itself
2) ‘Jewish State’ Law Passes Cabinet Vote
3) Lapid, Livni resolved to fight ‘Jewish State’ bill
4) Coalition in turmoil after cabinet approves controversial ‘Jewish state bill’ 
5) Bennett: No ‘Jewish State bill,’ no coalition
6) Abbas: Jewish state law an obstacle to peace
7) Abbas backs Israeli MKS who oppose ‘Jewish state’ bill
8) Livni Warns Government has ‘Reached a Crossroads’
9) Livni: New elections are to replace extremist, provocative, paranoid government
10) Netanyahu: I will go to the polls if I have to
11) Is Israel heading for elections? Netanyahu and Lapid clash in late night meeting
12) Election likely after Netanyahu-Lapid meeting ends in stalemate
13) Harsh Netanyahu-Lapid meeting heralds likely elections
14) Netanyahu announces elections after firing key ministers
15) Lapid’s Yesh Atid Ministers Quit Coalition
16) Netanyahu said to seek deal to head off elections
17) Report: Bibi Tried to Talk Liberman into Putting Off Elections
18) Last Ditch Effort to Avoid Elections by ‘Enlisting’ Hareidim
19) Election definite after PM nixes last-minute coalition fix
20) Netanyahu calls for new elections, accuses Livni and Lapid of plotting ‘putsch’
21) Shas MK: Lapid Sent ‘Messengers’ for His Putsch
22) Poll: Herzog-Livni union would beat Netanyahu
23) Poll: Joint Herzog-Livni list would get 23 mandates to Likud’s 21
24) Jewish Home, Likud Sign Surplus Vote Agreement
25) Kahlon, Yisrael Beytenu Sign Surplus Vote Agreement
26) Meretz and Labor sign vote-sharing agreement
27) Israeli Arab parties seek unity for upcoming elections
28) Netanyahu: Israel needs a new government, capable of making tough decisions
29) Bennett, Netanyahu said to forge new alliance
30) Bennett: Netanyahu and I agreed not to attack one another
31) Eyeing coalition with haredim, Netanyahu says he opposes criminal sanctions for IDF draft dodgers
32) Poll Shows 62% Don’t Want Hareidi Coalition
33) Opposition leader calls for center-left bloc to defeat PM
34) Efforts to form ‘anyone but Bibi’ coalition gain steam
35) Labor, Hatnua parties consider union ahead of elections
36) Livni confirms Hatnua-Labor close to pre-election merger
37) Mofaz to join Labor Party, reports say
38) Lapid, Herzog butt heads over who will lead ‘center bloc’
39) Yesh Atid, Israel Beiteinu and Kahlon may cooperate against Netanyahu
40) Kahlon Really Moved to the Left, Says Ally
41) Obama set on obstructing Netanyahu’s re-election
42) Report: Obama Eyes Sanctions on Israel While Giving Iran a Pass

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

December 2, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

December 2nd, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

PA President Mahmoud Abbas attended an Arab League foreign ministers meeting in Egypt on November 29 where a discussion took place wherein the Arab League would support Palestinians efforts to submit a UN Security Council draft resolution for recognition of a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. At the meeting, the Arab League supported Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas’s plan to seek UN endorsement for a timetable for declaring an independent state while rejecting recognizing Israel as a Jewish nation. It also backed Palestinian plans to seek membership in UN agencies and international courts.

The ministers set up a committee comprised of Kuwait, Mauritania, Jordan and Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby to begin seeking international backing for the UN Security Council Resolution. Jordan, an Arab member in the Security Council, agreed to present the draft resolution to the UN Security Council. Arab states have already given their blessings to the idea of presenting a resolution to the Security Council but had yet to agree on a finalized draft and set a date to present it. Arab League chief Nabil al-Araby appeared to suggest that the final draft would be endorsed and sent to a vote. “It is natural that Palestine is heading to the UN Security Council to issue a resolution setting a deadline for ending the occupation,” he said. “The Palestinian issue has been discussed in the past, but what is new today is that the Arab states and Palestine decided to go to the Security Council, through Jordan, with an Arab draft resolution,” he said.

According to Palestinian officials, seven members of the fifteen member UN Security Council have pledged to support the Palestinian statehood bid. The support of at least nine UN Security Council members is needed in order for any resolution to make it out of committee and be able to be voted upon by all UN Security Council members. As of now, the Palestinians have failed to secure the backing of nine UN Security Council members for possible recognition of a PLO state. The position of the United States, which has repeatedly vetoed UN resolutions seen as pressuring Israel, will be crucial in deciding if this latest effort by the Palestinians will succeed. In fact, US Secretary of State, John Kerry warned PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas against taking any unilateral measures, threatening to impose financial and political sanctions on the PA if they presented their draft paper to the UN Security Council. Kerry said that the most effective way forward would be to resume peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. As a result, some Palestinian sources expressed doubt that Abbas would actually go through with the UN Security Council resolution to recognize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. “There are Arab and U.S. pressures that will make it impossible for Abbas to take a step like submitting the draft resolution by the end of this year”, the sources added. If peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were to resume, the Palestinians have presented a number of preconditions for talks to resume, including a three-month settlement freeze while the borders of the future state are negotiated and an Israeli recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the basis of a Palestinian state.

When the Palestinians revealed their proposed text that was to be submitted by Jordan, it was rejected the United States and other members of the Security Council. As a result, France while agreeing in principle to the proposed Palestinian resolution decided to present an alternative draft. France is working with England and Germany in preparing the separate text. The French-led European initiative will be discussed on December 2 in Brussels when US Secretary of State John Kerry holds talks with European ministers during a NATO meeting.Israel Finance Minister, Yair Lapid said that ties between Israel and the US have reached such a low point that the US’s assistance at the UN Security Council — including using its right to veto anti-Israel resolutions — was no longer assured. “We are at an unprecedented low point in our ties with the US. No one knows what they will do when Abbas presents his draft resolution before the UN Security Council. The US vote is not assured like it has been in the past,” Lapid said.

Palestinian representative to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, said: “The French are moving more and more, trying to bring all the European colleagues together, and I think that eventually they will succeed.” He said that “the time has come to find the political will in order to work seriously for achieving the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, including the independence of the Palestinian state on the bases of the pre-1967 borders.” Mansour said he expected a new draft to be submitted to the council “soon, possibly in the middle of the December,” with a vote to quickly follow. The new resolution would pave the way for an international conference to launch what is widely seen as a final bid for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal with the involvement of all key international players.

French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, said: “At the United Nations, we are working with our partners to adopt a Security Council resolution to relaunch and conclude talks. A deadline of two years is the one most often mentioned and the French government can agree with this figure.”  Fabius said that France is prepared to host international talks in a bid to push forward a drive for peace. “An international conference could be organized, France is prepared to take the initiative on this and in these talks, recognition [of the Palestinian state] would be an instrument … for the definitive resolution of the conflict,” he said. Fabius did not specify when this conference might take place, nor did he say who might be invited. Nevertheless, he said France hoped to bring together all the main players in the conflict, citing the European Union, the Arab League and all the permanent members of the UN Security Council. The minister has frequently said that France would recognize a Palestinian state “when the time comes,” arguing that a two-state solution to the Middle East conflict logically implies recognition of a Palestinian state. “If these efforts fail. If this last attempt at a negotiated settlement does not work, then France will have to do its duty and recognize the state of Palestine without delay and we are ready to do that,” stressed Fabius.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict will not be solved by exploiting the automatic anti-Israel majorities in the UN bodies. You can pass anything there. But that is not the way to achieve peace. The only way to peace is through direct negotiations that address all the core issues. Israel is ready for these negotiations; Israel is ready for peace; I am ready for peace. But it must be a genuine peace, a durable peace, and for that, we must have a Palestinian partner who is committed to forging such a genuine peace – a partner who is prepared to confront terrorism and end incitement; a partner who is prepared to recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people; a partner who is prepared to address Israel’s legitimate security concerns seriously; a partner who wants a Palestinian state not to continue the conflict with Israel, but to end it once and for all.

Rather than helping to advance peace, many in the international community are setting back the cause of peace by convincing Palestinians that they can have a state without making peace with Israel. Recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding an end to the Palestinian Authority’s pact with Hamas, an internationally recognized terrorist organization is absurd. Recognizing a Palestinian nation-state without demanding that the Palestinians recognize the nation-state of the Jewish people is unjust. Recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding an end to incitement in official Palestinian media and schools is reckless. And recognizing a Palestinian state without demanding robust security arrangements to enable Israel to protect itself and the peace, that is dangerous. If the issue of Palestinian statehood is brought before the UN Security Council outside the context of a peace agreement with Israel, this should be flatly rejected. If any one-sided anti-Israel resolution is brought before that council, it should be vigorously opposed.

Meanwhile, various European state assemblies voted in principal to recognize a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. British lawmakers voted overwhelmingly on October 13 in favor of a non-binding motion to “recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel as a contribution to securing a negotiated two-state solution”. On October 30, Sweden officially recognized the state of Palestine.

On November 18, Spanish lawmakers adopted a motion calling for the Spanish government to recognize a Palestinian state. It was adopted nearly unanimously in the lower house of parliament, with 319 in favor, two against and one abstention. The text asks the Spanish government to “recognize Palestine as a state, subject to international law,” while adding that the “only solution to the conflict is the co-existence of two states, Israel and Palestine,” reached through negotiation. Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said the motion “is not binding, it does not set a timeline for the recognition, and it gives the government the margin to proceed with the recognition when it feels it will be best. If we want to be effective this recognition must be done in coordination with the European Union,” he added.

In response, the Israeli Foreign Ministry said: “When the Palestinians are permitted to understand, albeit mistakenly, that they can achieve anything they want without a return to negotiations and without the required compromises, all that is achieved in practice is the further postponement of the Palestinian return to the negotiating table,” the officials said. “There is a serious mistake here in conflict resolution when you make it more difficult to achieve something rather than contributing to it and promoting a solution,” they added.

On December 2, French lawmakers voted in favor of recognizing ‘Palestine’ as a state. The motion was supported by 339 lawmakers with 151 voting against. However, the vote was symbolic and will not immediately affect France’s diplomatic stance toward the peace process. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stopped short of supporting the parliamentary motion, saying that the government wants to try other pathways to a negotiated settlement, including setting a time-line for a negotiated settlement in a UN Security Council resolution. “At the United Nations, we are working with our partners to try to have a resolution adopted by the Security Council in order to relaunch the negotiations and to bring them to a conclusion,” Fabius said. “A two-year time frame is often mentioned for that purpose. The French government agrees with this duration.” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said  the French parliament would be making a “grave mistake” with recognition. “Do they have nothing better to do at a time of beheadings across the Middle East, including that of a French citizen?” he said. “The State of Israel is the homeland of the Jewish people, the only state that we have, and the Palestinians demanding a state do not want to recognize the right to have a state for the Jewish people.”

Denmark’s parliament will vote on a resolution calling on the government to recognize a Palestinian state in early January 2015. “The parliament directs the government to recognize Palestine as an independent and sovereign state within pre-1967 borders and, by extension, provide the state of Palestine with full diplomatic rights,” the draft text says.

A vote by the European Parliament over whether to recognize a Palestinian state is scheduled for mid-December.  The original vote was postponed . Israeli diplomatic officials said the move was delayed for three reasons: Emerging difficulties between the various parties regarding the language of the resolution; opposition by some members of the parties – especially from Germany – to the resolution; and intensive work by Israeli diplomats in Brussels to postpone the vote, hoping to gain more time to change minds.

In a meeting with Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, Netanyahu said that Israel’s need to be recognized as a Jewish state by the Palestinians, as well as the necessity for “solid security arrangements on the ground, which are so essential for peace,” are “not addressed by the European countries that unilaterally give recognition to a Palestinian state.” European Parliament recognition of a Palestinian state represents a “big mistake for peace. It encourages the Palestinians to harden their positions, not to compromise on mutual recognition, not to compromise on the things that are needed to achieve genuine security. I think these European positions actually push peace away, and I believe that they make reaching a solution much harder. [These calls] don’t tell the Palestinian Authority that they will have to make genuine compromises and take seriously Israel’s legitimate security concerns. They merely award the Palestinians a prize without asking them at all to make the concessions that are necessary for a genuine peace,” said Netanyahu. Negotiated peace is only possible with compromises from both sides.

In October, the Palestinians informally shared a draft resolution with Arab states and some council members, calling for an Israeli withdrawal from East Jerusalem and the West Bank by November 2016. However, the text was not formally circulated to the full 15-nation Security Council, a move that can only be done by a council member. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas determined that “the American mediation has failed” and demanded US Secretary of State John Kerry “to formulate a resolution draft to the UN Security Council that will press Israel to stop settlement construction.” Abbas said that the Palestinian Authority would “stop the security coordination with Israel if real negotiations don’t take place.” Abbas said he was “willing to recognize the State of Israel, but under no circumstance willing to recognize a Jewish state. Furthermore, Abbas said he will not negotiate over land with Israel, saying, “I won’t give up one inch of pre-1967 with Israel. However, Abbas did say that he was ready to set up a Palestinian State on what he says is 22 percent of the size he says it should be meaning ALL of the present day land of Israel.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) PA denies postponing statehood bid at Security Council
2) Palestinian FM insists UN bid on course, regardless of Iran
3) Arabs to push for UN Security Council resolution on Palestinian state
4) Jordan to present resolution on Palestine in UN soon: Arab League
5) UN Security Council to consider ‘Palestine’ resolution
6) French FM: Last chance for Mideast peace through talks
7) Report: Kerry Threatens Abbas with Sanctions Over UN Bid
8) Lapid: US veto at Security Council no longer assured
9) Abbas: I won’t give up one inch of 1967
10) Abbas says he is ready to set up Palestinian State on ’22 percent of land’
11) Spanish Lawmakers Call for Recognition of ‘Palestine’
12) Foreign Ministry: Spanish Resolution Distances Peace
13) French parliament debates Palestine recognition
14) Denmark’s parliament to vote on Palestine recognition in January
15) Divided EU Parliament postpones vote on Palestine recognition
16) PM: EU calls to recognize Palestine push peace away
17) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks for The Jewish Federations of North America’s General Assembly

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 25, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

November 23rd, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

In the last several months, Israel has made various announcements of their intent to build Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.  Currently, around 200,000 Jews live alongside about 300,000 Arabs in East Jerusalem. Each time Israel announces plans to build more Jewish homes in the disputed territories, strong condemnation against it is voiced by the United States and the European Union.  The United States calls such decisions by Israel as being “counterproductive” to efforts to achieve a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. “We have long made clear our opposition to continued settlement activity,” said a US State Department official. “These announcements, like every other  settlement announcement Israel makes, planning step they approve and construction tenders they issue, is counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians,” the official said. Furthermore, the US says that Israel building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would distance Israel from “even its closest allies.” US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that the US is “deeply concerned” over Israel’s continued building of new Jewish homes in East Jerusalem. These decisions by Israel will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies, poison the atmosphere not only with the Palestinians but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations,” she said, calling her own language “strong.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that US criticism of building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem goes “against American values.” Netanyahu said he does not accept restrictions on where Jews could live, and said that Jerusalem’s Arabs and Jews should be able to buy homes wherever they want. He said he was “baffled” by the American condemnation. “It’s against the American values. And it doesn’t bode well for peace,” he said. “The idea that we’d have this ethnic purification as a condition for peace, I think it’s anti-peace.” The strong condemnation of US criticism against the building of Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem threatens to deepen a rift with the United Status over the issue.

In response to Netanyahu’s comments, US Press Secretary Josh Earnest said. “The fact is American policy has been clear and unchanged under several administrations, both Democrat and Republican. When it comes to American values, it’s American values that led to this country’s unwavering support of Israel. It’s American values that have led us to fund an Iron Dome system,” he added. “It’s clear how American values dictate or at least guide our thinking on support of Israel,” Earnest said. “We oppose any unilateral actions that attempt to prejudge final status issues including the status of Jerusalem. These can only be legitimately determined through direct negotiations through the parties that this president has worked hard to try to facilitate,” he concluded.

England calls Israel’s decisions to continue announcements of building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem as illegal under international law and that such moves “present an obstacle to peace and take us further away from a two state solution.”

Palestinian chief negotiator in the peace process, Saeb Erekat said that “The international community should hold Israel accountable as soon as possible for the ongoing Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Israeli government is committing various crimes against the Palestinian people and their occupied land,” he said. PA spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said that building Jewish homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem would cause the situation in the region to deteriorate further, and added that settlements in general are illegal.

The European Union condemned an Israeli plan to build 2,610 new Jewish homes inside the pre-1967 borders warning that the future of its relations with Israel depended on its commitment to peace.  “The EU deeply deplores and strongly opposes the recent expropriation of land near Bethlehem, recent announcements of plans for new settlement construction, in particular in Givat Hamatos, Ramat Shlomo, Har Homa and Ramot, as well as plans to displace Bedouins in the West. The council — which consists of the foreign ministers of the EU’s 28 member states — urged Israel to reverse these decisions, as they “run counter to international law and directly threaten the two-state solution. This represents a further highly detrimental step that undermines prospects for a two-state solution and calls into question Israel’s commitment to a peaceful negotiated settlement with the Palestinians,” the EU’s diplomatic service said. A solution to the Israeli / Palestinian conflict can only be found “if both parties refrain from unilateral actions that change the situation on the ground,” he stressed, noting that “the EU will not recognize any changes to borders pre-1967, including with regard to Jerusalem, unless both parties agree. We emphasize that the future of relations between the EU and Israel depend on the commitment of the latter for a lasting peace and a solution comprising two states,” he added.

The European Union is threatening to “take further action” to respond to Israeli moves deemed harmful to the two-state solution, but refrained from announcing concrete sanctions. At the same time, an internal EU document indicated preliminary sanctions the union is considering imposing on Israel, including recalling European ambassadors and cutting ties with Israeli leaders who publicly oppose the two-state solution. An internal EU document lists several steps the union considers taking to promote a two-state solution, trying to offer both carrots and sticks. But most suggestions appear to be punitive, such as reassessing the EU’s commitment not to participate in Israel-bashing sessions at the United Nations Human Rights Council, reassessing the distribution of funds or “actions vis-à-vis EU companies operating in the settlements.”

The EU could also take actions “reinforcing” the Palestinians’ unilateral statehood bid, according either by recognizing a Palestinian state or by supporting or not opposing the Palestinians’ efforts to join international organizations. However, it should be noted that the document is clearly labeled as a “non-paper,” which means it does not state official policy but is merely meant as a basis to start a discussion on what could possibly become policy at a later stage. EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini denied that the internal EU document is about to become the union’s policy. “There is no such plan” she said, adding that it is more like a “hypothetical working paper” asked for by EU member states a while ago. The goal of the council conclusion was to prod the two parties back to the negotiating table, she said.

Israel has not yet officially responded to the EU’s ideas about possibly sanctioning Israel. Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he hoped the EU Foreign Affairs Council would refrain from linking Israel-EU bilateral relationship to the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians. “Any attempt to create such a stipulation is based on a misguided approach that does not contribute to stability, normalization or enhancement of the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians,” he said. Israel will not freeze building in any Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem. “Anyone who dreams that the government of Israel will cave [to pressure] and will limit building in Jerusalem is mistaken,” Lieberman said. “We are prepared to defend our independence and sovereignty and there will be no compromise to that stance,” he said. “Any pressure to the contrary [by the US or the European Union] will be very counterproductive,’ Lieberman added. “We will never accept any definition of building in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem as settlement activity. There is broad consensus for that stand among Jews in Israel and abroad,” Lieberman said.

Former US Middle East envoy, Martin Indyk, said that the U.S.-Israel alliance “is crumbling” due to waning support for Israel among Democrats and “total disrespect” for the Obama administration among segments of the Israeli government. Indyk warned that U.S.-Israeli relations are at an all time low. “The U.S.-Israel relationship is critical and is essential to Israel’s survival,” Indyk said. “And the relationship is in trouble.” U.S. support for Israel is “the bedrock that Israel has always relied on … and I worry that bedrock is crumbling,” Indyk said. “We have a situation,” he said. “Support amongst Republicans for Israel is really high. … But the truth is that most Jews are Democrats, and amongst Democrats support for Israel is only something like 43 percent.”

However, Indyk reserved his harshest criticism against certain Israeli government officials saying, “On the Israeli side I see something which I’m really, really disturbed by, which is the total disrespect on the part of some on the right in Israel for the relationship with the United States,” Indyk said. “And that manifests itself with right wing politicians standing up criticizing our leaders, who are trying to do their best for Israel,” Indyk said. “Look to the [Israeli] Defense Minister, whose budget is supplemented to the tune of $3 billion dollars a year by the American taxpayer, standing up and calling the Secretary of State an obsessive messianic,” Indyk said. “That kind of attitude on Israel’s part is not ingratitude; it’s disrespect. It’s something that I find very, very disturbing.”

Likud political party central committee Chairman Danny Danon said that Israel cannot be bought. “President Obama is mistaken if he thinks American military aid, which is given for reasons of American strategic interests, buys him the right to dictate to Israel not to build in Jerusalem,” stated Danon.

Israel Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that Israel government decisions to build Jewish homes in East Jerusalem harms Israel’s relations with the US. “This past summer, Israel completed a military operation against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip. Israel is already struggling to preserve international support, why was it so urgent to create another crisis with the Americans at this time?” Lapid said.

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that Israel will continue to build in Jerusalem and will not apologize for doing so. “In 1967, Jerusalem was liberated. This is our eternal united capital. However, there are those in the international community, who questions Israel’s right to Jerusalem. Jerusalem will forever remain the capital of Israel, the Jewish people’s capital, the city that we will continue to build and develop without apologizing for it,” he declared.

Finally, Israel Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis sharply criticized the European Union (EU) and the U.S. State Department for continuing to condemn Israel building Jewish homes in East Jerusalem. “Israel will continue to work to promote settlement on its land – just as every other country in the world does,” declared Akunis. “It is strange at this time, when terrorist groups of Islamic extremists slaughter innocents, behead journalists in front of the cameras and continue their journey of madness targeting the free world, what concerns foreign ministries around the world is the decision to build and develop the Gush Etzion region, which was and will remain the homeland of the Jewish people,” he added.

In other news relating to the peace process, the Israeli cabinet approved a law that would define Israel as a Jewish state that is governed by democratic values for all its citizens. Speaking at the start of the Likud faction meeting in the Israeli Knesset, Netanyahu recalled how on November 29, 1947 the UN General Assembly voted to establish a Jewish state in Israel. “66 years have passed since that day, and not a day goes by without the right of Jews to a national state of their own being undermined,” he said. “In order to provide a response to all those who doubt the right of Jews to have their own nation-state in the state of Israel, this Jewish State Law will secure Jewish rights in our country.” Netanyahu said. “In the state of Israel, every citizen has rights, regardless of religion, race, and gender, which are anchored in law. However, the national right of the Jewish people in Israel is not enshrined in law. Therefore we will insist that this law passes.”

According to the Jewish State Law, which was proposed by MK Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) and is backed by the Jewish Home party, all Jewish schools will teach Jewish history as well as Jewish tradition and heritage. Hebrew will be recognized as the only official language in Israel. Arabic, which as of now is considered an official language in Israel, will instead be given special status. The bill also declares that the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which a Jew can exercise his desire for self-determination in accordance with his historical legacy. This right to exercise national self-determination will be provided to Jewish people only. However, every resident, regardless of religion and nationality, will be entitled to preserve his or her heritage, culture and language.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) IDF expands state land in West Bank by 4,000 dunams
2) US rebukes Israel over claim of West Bank land
3) Caught off guard, White House angered at timing of Jerusalem housing announcement
4) US warns East Jerusalem housing plans will ‘distance Israel from even its closest allies’
5) Netanyahu says White House criticism ‘un-American’
6) US hits back at Netanyahu: American values led us to fund Iron Dome
7) Britain condemns Israel’s ‘ill-judged’ West Bank land grab
8) EU condemns Israeli plans to build beyond Green Line
9) EU foreign ministers target settlements
10) EU threatens ‘further action’ to protect two-state solution
11) Liberman: ‘We will never stop building in Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem’
12) Indyk Bashes Israel
13) Obama ‘Can’t Buy Control of Israel With Military Aid’
14) Lapid: West Bank land seizure harms Israel
15) Ya’alon: We’ll Build in Jerusalem And Won’t Apologize for It
16) Deputy Minister: We’ll Continue to Build in Our Land
17) Amid coalition tensions, Netanyahu to present ‘Jewish state’ bill to cabinet Sunday
18) Netanyahu: Cabinet will Vote on the Jewish State Law

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 18, 2014: Weekly 5 minute update

November 18th, 2014

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

1) Listen to the audio

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

1) The current situation with the Israel / Palestinian peace process

Five people were killed when two terrorists brutally attacked worshippers in a synagogue and yeshiva in the Har Nof neighborhood in Jerusalem on November 18. Seven people were wounded, including two police officers. At around 7am, the terrorists – wielding massive knives and a gun – entered the Kehilat Yaakov synagogue on Harav Shimon Agasi Street, which includes both a synagogue and yeshiva (rabbinical seminary), and carried out attacks in more than one location. Four Rabbis were killed in the attack  — Rabbi Moshe Twersky, 59; Aryeh Kupinsky, 40; Rabbi Kalman Levine, 50; and Rabbi Avraham Shmuel Goldberg, 68 — who were immediately buried in Jerusalem.

“Two terrorists entered the synagogue in the neighborhood of Har Nof. They attacked with an axe, a knife and a gun. Five worshipers were killed. The police who arrived at the scene shot and killed the two terrorists,” said Israel Police spokeswoman Luba Samri.

Yaakov Amos was praying in the synagogue at the time of the attack. “During the prayers, I heard shots and saw a worshiper wearing tefillin lying on the floor. The bastard passed me from the right while shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and firing indiscriminately. Three people fell immediately, and I saw him keep on massacring people.” Amos said that, “one of the terrorists did not waste bullets and aimed directly at people. He fired and then looked at me, and chose people closer to him, shooting them at point blank range.”

Yossi Barzani, one of the worshipers in the synagogue, recounted the scary ordeal. “In the middle of prayers, two terrorists entered shouting ‘Allahu akbar’. The synagogue was in panic, and I tried to flee. At a certain stage, one of the terrorists approached me with a knife, and there was a chair and a table between us. “I drew back and ran from him and fled outside. In those moments, I asked God to save me. My prayer shawl got caught. I left it there and escaped. On the way out, I saw terrible sights and bodies.”

Akiva, a Magen David Adom paramedic, said that he was greeted at the scene by the sight of a worshiper with stab wounds. “Inside there was someone singing. I ran into the synagogue, there was a gunshot victim lying on the floor. I tried to treat him, but the gunfire started in my direction and we fled. I pulled the wounded man along,” he said. “The police arrived and surrounded the entrance and then the terrorist ran out and they shot him. there was wild gunfire. People ran out of the synagogue.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the shocking terrorist attack on the Jerusalem synagogue by saying, “We are at the height of a terror campaign focused on Jerusalem. In the middle of shacharit (morning) prayers five innocent and pure Jews were murdered. We send condolences to the families and wishes of recovery to the wounded, among them heroic police officers who prevented a heavy tragedy.” Relating to the terrorists, Netanyahu said “The human animals who perpetrated this slaughter were full of hatred and incitement, deep hatred and terrible incitement against the Jewish People and its state.

Palestinian sources named the terrorists as cousins Ghassan and Uday Abu-Jamal, from the Jabel Mukaber neighborhood of East Jerusalem. The families of the two terrorists who killed five people hailed the two as heroes, as candies to celebrate the attack were handed out in the West Bank and Gaza. Alaa Abu Jamal, a cousin of the terrorists, said that Israeli policies were to blame for the attack at the synagogue, when the two entered the compound during morning prayers, armed with meat cleavers and a gun.

“This occurred because of the pressures of the occupying Israeli government on the Palestinian people and in Jerusalem generally, and the ongoing harm to the al-Aqsa mosque; this act is something normal for any person who is connected to his people, to courage and to Islam. We got the usual death notification and we shouted with joy, people here also handed out candies to guests who came to visit and were happy for the martyrs.”

Residents of Gaza Strip praised the brutal attack. Fireworks were set off in celebration and from the mosques were heard chants of “Allahu Akbar” (God is most great) in honor of the attack. Islamic Jihad also issued a statement, calling the attack “a natural response to the crimes of the occupier.” Loudspeakers at mosques in Gaza called out congratulations.

Fatah officials (the Palestinian sect of Mahmoud Abbas) made repeated statements in recent weeks praising deadly terror attacks on Israelis, and calling for “blood” to “purify” Jerusalem of Jews. According to Palestinian Media Watch, the head of the Media Department for Fatah in Lebanon Muhammad al-Biqa’i praised the Palestinians who carried out three recent terror attacks that killed four Israelis and left a rabbi in critical condition. Al-Biqa’i sent a blessing of “praise and esteem” to the killers saying, “They are the ones who heard the call of Yasser Arafat, while the Arab and Islamic nation ignored his call: ‘Millions of martyrs (shahids) are marching to Jerusalem,’” al-Biqa’i said. “They came out with their weapons, with their true belief that Jerusalem needs blood to purify itself of Jews.” Last week, a representative of the PA Ministry of Religious Affairs called on Palestinians to “rush to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices and blood.” Palestinian official Hassan al-Saifi said that “Jerusalem has no need of declarations or religious rulings, but rather needs the religious scholars in particular to fulfill their duty, rush to Jerusalem and offer sacrifices and blood.”

Palestinian radio reports described the attackers as “martyrs” and Hamas praised the attack.” Furthermore, Hamas said that terror attack at the Jerusalem synagogue saying the deadly incident was in response to the death of a Palestinian bus driver found hanged in his vehicle earlier in the week. Hamas called for additional attacks after two suspected Palestinian terrorists killed five people and wounded a number of others at the “Kehilat Yaakov” synagogue in Jerusalem. Amid an onslaught of unfounded claims in the Palestinian media that 32-year-old bus driver Yussuf al-Ramuni was murdered by Jewish settlers in Jerusalem, an autopsy report concluded the driver’s death was self-inflicted, resulting from hanging himself inside the vehicle. Hamas calls for the continuation of revenge operations and stresses that the Israeli occupation bears responsibility for tension in Jerusalem,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said. “The attack in Jerusalem is a reaction to the crime and execution of the martyr al-Ramouni and a reaction to the crimes of the occupation, the Hamas movement is calling for more revenge attacks,” Hamas said on its official Al-Aksa TV.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the deadly attack, and called for an end to what he said was Israeli provocation over the Temple Mount. “The presidency condemns the attack on Jewish worshippers in their place of prayer, and condemned the killing of civilians no matter who is responsible,” said a statement from Abbas’ office. “We condemn all acts of violence from all sources, and demand an end to the invasions of Al-Aqsa Mosque, the provocations of settlers and the incitement by some ministers in the Israeli government.” The statement said that, “It’s time to end the occupation and to put an end to everything that makes violence and tension.”

Israel President Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Abbas comments by saying, “Abbas may have condemned the attack but that isn’t enough, because at the end of the same sentence he connected the event to imaginary acts that have no basis that he claims Israel is conducting on the Temple Mount.”

Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) revealed that PA Supreme Sharia (Islamic law) Judge and Abbas’s adviser Mahmoud Al-Habbash appeared on official PA TV on November 5, after several attacks and hours before another one in Jerusalem that left two dead, where he clarified that Abbas is indeed inciting terrorism. “First of all, allow me to say that we kiss every forehead, every hand and even every foot that carries out ribat at the Al-Aqsa Mosque and in Jerusalem…We are behind them. The leadership is with them…we are with them in every movement, in every action and every deed, and we welcome what they are doing at the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque,” Al-Habbash said.

Referring to Abbas’s speech in mid October when he called to block Jews from “defiling” the Temple Mount by “all means necessary,” Al-Habbash noted “a few days ago, President (Abbas) greeted them, reinforced them and requested more ribat (religious war) from them. This statement may have angered the Israelis and the occupation, that the President is inciting the Palestinians from Jerusalem to religious war. Yes, we are inciting the people in Jerusalem to religious war. Religious war means to protect and to hold on to your ground,” said Al-Habbash in an admission of incitement. In his speech, Abbas said “we must all carry out religious war” so as to prevent Jews by “any means necessary” from entering the Temple Mount, because “they have no right to enter it.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for the gruesome terrorist attack on the Jerusalem synagogue and vowed to respond harshly. He said: “Hamas, the Islamic Movement and the Palestinian Authority are disseminating countless lies and falsehoods against the State of Israel. They are saying that the Jews are contaminating the Temple Mount. They are saying that we are planning to destroy the Holy Places, that we intend to change the order of prayer there – this is all lies. These lies have already claimed a very heavy price. This is the direct result of the incitement led by Hamas and Abu Mazen [Abbas], incitement that the international community irresponsibly ignores.” Netanyahu said in a statement. “We will respond with a strong hand to the cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were caught by dark murderous hands.”

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also blamed the “incitement, lies and hate” circulated by the Palestinian Authority and Abbas. Ya’alon vowed that Israel will “chase down the perpetrators and those who sent them everywhere and in every way, within the borders of Israel and outside.”

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called on the international community to respond to what he said was Abbas’s anti-Semitic incitement, which he said caused the attack. “Abbas has turned the conflict into a religious conflict between Jews and Muslims and his systematic incitement that he leads against Jews — whom he defines as impure who are not allowed to enter the Temple Mount — is instructions to carry out nasty attacks like this,” said Liberman.

Israel Economy Minister Naftali Bennett,  the leader of the Jewish Home politial party also blamed Abbas for the attack. “Mahmoud Abbas, one of the greatest terrorists to come from the Palestinian people, is directly responsible for the spilled blood of Jews wearing tallit and tefillin,” he said, referring to images of the killings showing slain worshipers still wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries. “While we were busy with our fantasies about of the diplomatic process, we created for ourselves an interwoven infrastructure of terrorism and incitement. Abbas declared war on Israel, and we must treat it accordingly,” he added.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein echoed Bennett in blaming PA incitement for the attack and implied that Israel should cut ties with the Palestinians. “While we are making an effort and calling for calm, the brutal incitement by Palestinian Authority leaders continues and worsens,” Edelstein said. “Israel should not be dealing with those whose way is to slaughter innocents in our holy places,” he added.

As a result of the killing of the four rabbis of the Jerusalem synagogue, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ordered the deployment of checkpoints at the entrance to East Jerusalem’s Arab neighborhoods. The prime minister also instructed security forces to carry out raids on the homes of suspected terrorists in the city. Under the new directives, police will conduct routine large-scale raids into problematic East Jerusalem neighborhoods. Police will be authorized to arrest those resisting the entry of law enforcers as well as demonstrators who verbally assault officers. Security forces will also be increased throughout the West Bank. Another plan under consideration is to order the positioning of security guards at public buildings, such as synagogues and places of entertainment.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on world leaders to denounce the attack in a Jerusalem synagogue that claimed the lives of five people. “I call on all the leaders of countries in the Western world: I want to see outrage over this massacre. I want to see denunciation,” he said.

US President Barack Obama condemned the attack by two Palestinians on a synagogue in Jerusalem that killed five people, including three Americans. “I strongly condemn today’s terrorist attack on worshipers at a synagogue in Jerusalem,” Obama said in a statement. “There is and can be no justification for such attacks against innocent civilians. At this sensitive moment in Jerusalem, it is all the more important for Israeli and Palestinian leaders and ordinary citizens to work cooperatively together to lower tensions, reject violence, and seek a path forward towards peace,” he said.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama said US Secretary of State John Kerry had spoken to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about the attacks. “Tragically this is not the first loss of life that we have seen in recent months. Too many Israelis have died, too many Palestinians have died. And at this difficult time I think it’s important for both Palestinians and Israelis to try to work together to lower tensions,” he said.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry branded the deadly terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue as “pure terror”, and demanded that Palestinian leaders condemn the attack. “People who had come to worship God in the sanctuary of the synagogue were hatcheted and hacked and murdered in their holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality,” said Kerry. “To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for ‘days of rage,’ of just irresponsibility, is unacceptable,” he said. “The Palestinian leadership must condemn this and they must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement … and exhibit the kind of leadership that is necessary to put this region on a different path. This simply has no place in human behavior and we need to hear from leaders who are going to lead their people to a different place.”

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said on Tuesday that Canada deplored the “savage” terror attack. “Attacks on innocent worshipers, in what is supposed to be a place of peace and tranquility, are cowardly and must never be tolerated,” said Baird. “Those engaging in these despicable terrorist acts, and those financing or morally supporting their actions, are responsible for further aggravating an already fraught and dangerous situation,” Baird added. “Canada reiterates that any statements of incitement are completely irresponsible. Those leaders who regularly issue them cannot plead ignorance or look the other way when terrorist attacks like today’s occur,” Baird continued.

Several other foreign ministers condemned the attack. The French foreign ministry said that “President Hollande strongly denounces the awful attack carried out in a synagogue in Jerusalem and those who dared to commend this act. He shares the grief of the families and of the Israeli people.” The German foreign minister, Frank Walter Steinmeier, said he hoped the attack would serve as a wake-up call, and that the overlap of political and religious issues in the conflict added a new and dangerous dimension.

While international leaders condemned the terrorist attack on the Jerusalem synagogue, some of the international media continued to report on the events in Israel in an eyebrow-raising shocking bias against Israel. US media outlet,CNN ran a headline stating that four Israelis and two Palestinians were killed in the attack, failing to note that the two Palestinians were the terrorists. In addition, CNN superimposed their preliminary coverage of the terror attack with the headline: “Deadly attack on Jerusalem mosque.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Four people killed in terror attack at Jerusalem synagogue
2) Seven minutes of terror: Haunting accounts of a bloody morning prayer
3) Families of terrorists celebrate their attack, hail martyrs and heroes
4) Fatah official calls for blood to ‘purify’ Jerusalem of Jews
5) Hamas: Jerusalem synagogue attack in response to death of Palestinian bus driver found hanged
6) Palestinians in Gaza celebrate terror attack at Jerusalem synagogue
7) PM blames Abbas, calls emergency meet in wake of attack
8) PA Clarifies: ‘Abbas is Inciting for Religious War’
9) Netanyahu: ‘We Are at the Height of a Terror Campaign’
10) Netanyahu okays checkpoints in East Jerusalem neighborhoods
11) Netanyahu to world leaders: I want to see outrage over this massacre
12) Obama condemns J’lem synagogue attack, calls to lower tensions
13) ‘Guardian’ deletes reference to Palestinians, CNN labels synagogue ‘mosque’ 
14) Video of Jerusalem Synagogue Terror Attack

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