June 16, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

June 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 status of the Israel / Palestinian peace process

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius plans to travel to the Middle East to speak with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt and Jordan to raise support for a French UN Security Council Resolution expected to be presented later this year which lays out the parameters of a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. It is unknown whether Fabious will bring a draft of the proposed UN Security Council Resolution with him.

In a recent speech, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated his opposition to such moves but did not mention France by name. He said: “There are those who attempt to impose terms on Israel in the Security Council because there are no talks and some of them pretend that the dangers we face are not real dangers at all,” he said. “I think what that does is drive peace away.” Netanyahu said that efforts to impose peace from the outside will not work for two reasons: Israel will “resist it,” and the “Palestinians will not come to the table” since they know they will get better “starting terms” from a UN resolution than anything they could get from any Israeli government.

In that case, he said, “why should they come to negotiate?” Government officials said that that while Israel has not seen a draft of the proposal, there are concerns in Israel about different ideas being discussed and that “this could go in a negative direction.” One of Israel’s concern is that the US might not veto the proposal, which the French are expected to submit before September’s UN General Assembly meeting. US President Barack Obama has pointedly refused to commit himself to vetoing any such resolution.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely attacked France’s proposed UN peace initiative as “counterproductive” in an interview with a French newspaper, saying it “deludes” the Palestinians into believing they can achieve statehood without making concessions. She said that the French peace initiative “will not improve the situation” and will likely “aggravate the situation on the ground.”

“The French initiative is counterproductive because it deludes the Palestinians into thinking they will get something from the international community without having to make concessions,” Hotovely said. “It’s clear to the Israeli public – left and right – that direct negotiations between the two sides is the only way to solve the problem,” Hotovely said. “We see that Palestinian leaders, with the encouragement of certain countries, have tried for several years to internationalize the conflict through a very dangerous process, not just for Israel but for them.”

In response to Netanyahu’s views, Nimr Hammad, a political adviser to Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas compared Netanyahu to Nazi Germany’s Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels. The adviser accused Netanyahu of using Goebbel’s propaganda strategy in order to persuade the international pubic that the PA is the source of stagnation in Arab-Israeli peace negotiations.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Palestinians would only back a proposal that raises all of their demands, indicating the demand for an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and a clear date set for the end of negotiations and implementation of a PLO state. Abbas emphasized that the PA fundamentally opposes recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, reiterating his vehement rejection of the recognition that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu requested in talks. If recognition of the Jewish state is included in the French proposal the PA will not back it said Abbas.

In addition, Abbas said that there are no contacts with Israel as part of “peace talks” at the current juncture in time, and warned of the “destructive” ramifications of the current status quo being allowed to continue. However, it was in fact Abbas who torpedoed the last round of talks last April by unilaterally joining international conventions in breach of the 1993 Oslo Accords that established the PA and by signing a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization in Gaza.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, refused to say that the US would veto a potential UN Security Council resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Speaking before the US House Foreign Affairs Committee, she said: “I really am going to resist making blanket declarations on hypothetical resolutions. Our position, again, I think has been very clear for some time,” Power said, when pressed on the issue. “I have said, again, we would oppose anything that was designed to punish Israel or undermine Israel’s security. However, at the present time, there is no UN Security Council resolution in front of us to consider.” US President Barack Obama said in a recent interview with an Israeli television station the U.S. will have to re-evaluate “how we approach defending Israel on the international stage around the Palestinian issue.”

Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren said that Obama has made mistakes in the Israeli-U.S. relationship “deliberately” and that he was responsible for abandoning two core principles of the alliance: no public disagreements and no surprises. He said: “The past six years have seen successive crises in U.S.-Israeli relations, and there is a need to set the record straight. But the greater need is to ensure a future of minimal mistakes and prevent further erosion of our vital alliance. Israel has no alternative to America as a source of security aid, diplomatic backing and overwhelming popular support. The U.S. has no substitute for the state that, though small, remains democratic, militarily and technologically robust, strategically located and unreservedly pro-American.”

Last month, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met with Pope Francis. At that meeting, the Palestinian flag was officially raised in the Vatican for the first time. The meeting between Abbas and the Pope, and the highly symbolic display of the flag, occurred a few days after the Vatican referred to the “state of Palestine” in an official document. The Vatican has functionally dealt with Palestine as a state, welcoming its ambassador, since the 2012 United Nations General Assembly vote. Francis made a grand gesture in that direction last spring when he flew directly to the West Bank from Amman, Jordan, rather than first landing in Israel, as his predecessors had. But the treaty, which had been under negotiation for a year and used “Palestine Liberation Organization” rather than “State of Palestine” in earlier drafts, formalizes the recognition.

At their meeting, Pope Francis encouraged the PA president to be an “angel of peace.” The leaders also discussed the future of relations between the Palestinian Authority and the Vatican and exchanged gifts. The Vatican announced that it would sign its first treaty with the “state of Palestine.” While the agreement primarily related to the status of the Catholic Church and its activities in the Palestinian territories, it also included an official recognition of Palestine as an independent state. Monseigneur Antoine Camilleri,  the Holy See’s current undersecretary for relations with states, commented that the agreement expressed the Vatican’s hope for “the attainment of a solution to the Palestinian issue and the struggle between Israelis and Palestinians in the context of two states.”

Israel’s foreign ministry expressed its disappointment over the agreement’s usage of the phrase, “state of Palestine,” saying such recognition outside of the framework of bilateral negotiations between the two sides hindered progress toward genuine peace. Israel’s Foreign Ministry said it was “disappointed” by the Vatican’s decision and that the recognition would “not advance the peace process.”

In other news, senior Western officials have revealed that once a nuclear deal agreement is reached with Iran, the European Union and the United Nations are planning a diplomatic offensive meant to force Israel into returning to yet more peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA) and making dangerous concessions in the process – and reportedly the EU already has a list of sanctions ready to force Israel to bend. A senior Western diplomat said that “a diplomatic attack against Israel is expected soon that will surprise even the pessimists in Israel.” It appears that the waiting period will likely expire in September, at which time a UN General Assembly will open in tandem with the first shots of the diplomatic barrage against Israel.

Diplomatic sources familiar with Western European positions vis-a-vis Israel said the EU already has a list ready, itemizing sanctions against Israel in the fields of trade, agriculture, science and culture. That list is to be translated into an economic assault – unless Israel presents a new set of concessions it is willing to make for a new round of peace talks, after the last set of talks was torpedoed by the PA signing a unity deal with the Hamas terrorist organization. One western diplomat said that “S‭enior officials in Israel are aware of the existence of sanctions documents at EU headquarters, some of which have even fallen into their hands. The coming months will be difficult for Israel. This time Israel will pay a heavy price for continued stagnation. This time, it is also uncertain if the United States will succeed in saving Israel and maybe this time they don’t want to do so.”

Finally, Israel would be required to label products that are made in West Bank settlements and exported to Europe, according to guidelines being prepared by the European Union. An EU official said that EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, told European foreign ministers that work is underway and that a set of guidelines will be “finalized in the near future.” An EU free trade agreement with Israel already excludes settlement goods, even if they say they were made in Israel. Likewise, Israel is barred from spending money it receives under a landmark technology-sharing pact in the West Bank or east Jerusalem. Several European countries have approved voluntary labeling guidelines for settlement products.

However, the new guidelines would take things further by requiring Israeli exporters to explicitly label products as being made in the settlements – a potential stigma that could deter consumers from buying them. The EU began work on labeling guidelines in 2012 but appears to have decided to revive that effort following the formation of Israel’s new coalition government. The EU official said it would likely be months before the guidelines are complete. A second official said much would depend on the policies of the new government. If peace talks with the Palestinians are restarted, the effort could once again be shelved. But if talks remain frozen and Israel steps up settlement construction, the EU will move forward, he said.

Europe also is Israel’s largest trade market, importing about $14.7 billion in goods last year, according to EU figures. Products from the settlements, including wines, honey, cosmetics and agricultural produce, make up just 1.5 percent of that total, according to Israel’s Finance Ministry. While the economic impact of a labeling campaign might be minimal, it would be a symbolic setback to Israel. “If Europe begins labeling settlement products, then this will mean that they have put their political position into effect in the sense that there will be a real and true boycott of settlement goods,” said Mohammed Shtayyeh, the Palestinian Cabinet minister in charge of economic development.

Israeli officials reject the European labeling plan, saying it would amount to a type of boycott and help discourage Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from returning to negotiations. Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said Israel fears that consumers will not differentiate between settlement products and Israeli products. “It will be a de facto boycott against Israel,” he said. Nahshon said Israel is in “close contact and dialogue” with the EU on the matter. “We have been conveying our positions, and we hope they will be accepted by the EU,” 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) Fabius to meet with Netanyahu in Israel over plans to push Security Council resolution
2) Hotovely: French UN peace proposal ‘deludes’ Palestinians
3) Abbas Warns French UN Proposal Must Not Include ‘Jewish State’
4) Samantha Power: US Won’t Commit to Veto of Palestinian State Resolution
5) PA official: Netanyahu implements Nazi strategy to blame PA for stagnation in negotiations
6) For the First Time: The Vatican Flies the Palestinian Flag to Greet PA Chairman Abbas
7) Vatican to Recognize Palestinian State in New Treaty
8) US Diplomats Reveal EU Sanctions Assault After Iran Deal
9) EU edges closer to labeling of West Bank products

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

June 9, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

June 10th, 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 US Supreme Court ruling that permits the President of the United States to not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem

The US Supreme Court struck down a US congressional attempt to allow Americans born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their birthplace on passports. The court was considering a 2002 law that instructed the US State Department to “record the place of birth as Israel” in the passports of American children born in Jerusalem if their parents requested the designation. The case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry was brought by the parents of Menachem Zivotofsky, who was born not long after Congress enacted the law. At the time, President George W. Bush said he would not allow the State Department to honor the request and President Obama has continued the practice. The law was meant to take a symbolic stand on the political status of Jerusalem.

Zivotofsky’s attorneys argued that the case was not about formal recognition of Jerusalem, but merely a matter of how an American is identified on his or her passport. The Court ultimately disagreed. The vote was 6 to 3, with the court’s three Jewish justices — Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Elena Kagan voting with the majority to not recognize Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem. The president, rather than Congress, must determine national policy on the status of Jerusalem, the majority said.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for five justices, said: “Jerusalem’s political standing has long been, and remains, one of the most sensitive issues in American foreign policy and indeed it is one of the most delicate issues in current international affairs.” Justice Kennedy said the Constitution gave the president exclusive authority to determine the nation’s stance. “Put simply,” he wrote, “the nation must have a single policy regarding which governments are legitimate in the eyes of the United States and which are not.” The nation must speak with one voice, he said, and “that voice must be the president’s.” Justice Kennedy based his opinion on provisions of the Constitution authorizing the president to receive foreign ambassadors, to appoint American ones and to make treaties.

Chief Justice Roberts responded that receiving ambassadors is a presidential duty rather than a power. “The president does have power to make treaties and appoint ambassadors,” the chief justice added. “But those authorities are shared with Congress, so they hardly support an inference that the recognition power is exclusive.”

Furthermore, Chief Justice Roberts said the majority had taken a bold step. “Today’s decision is a first,” he wrote. “Never before has this court accepted a president’s direct defiance of an act of Congress in the field of foreign affairs.” Furthermore, he said that the decision was “based on the mere possibility that observers overseas might misperceive the significance of the birthplace designation.”

Justice Scalia announced his dissent from the bench saying. “A principle that the nation must have a single foreign policy, which elevates efficiency above the text and structure of the Constitution, will systematically favor the president at the expense of Congress,” he said. “But it is certain that, in the long run, it will erode the structure of equal and separated powers that the people established for the protection of their liberty.”

Justice Kennedy wrote that some observers had interpreted passport provision as altering United States policy, leading to “protests across the region.” Chief Justice Roberts responded that giving legal weight to such mistaken reactions “is essentially to subject a duly enacted statute to an international heckler’s veto.”

Justice Kennedy wrote that Congress was not free to contradict the president’s determination about the status of Jerusalem even in a notation in a passport. “This is not to say Congress may not express its disagreement with the president in myriad ways,” Justice Kennedy added. “For example, it may enact an embargo, decline to confirm an ambassador, or even declare war. But none of these acts would alter the president’s recognition decision.”

Ari and Naomi Zivotofsky, the parents of their son Menachem, spent 12 years fighting for their son to be listed as a citizen of “Jerusalem, Israel” instead of merely “Jerusalem,” said, “We expected the courts in the United States to be about more than politics. Perhaps the result shows that this assumption is not correct but we thought that the legal system is unrelated to the political system [there]. A passport is just a symbol of the central problem here, which is very large, due to the United States not recognizing the sovereignty of the State of Israel over any part of Jerusalem.”

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said: “We welcome the Supreme Court’s important decision in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, which reaffirms the long-established authority of the president to recognize foreign states, their governments, and their territorial boundaries. The court’s decision upholds the president’s long-standing authority to make these sensitive recognition determinations as part of his conduct of diplomacy and foreign policy.” Presenting its case, the Obama administration argued that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital would compromise the United States position as an objective arbiter in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The decision, Earnest concluded, “confirms that the president’s recognition determinations should be accurately reflected in official documents and sensitive diplomatic communications, including passports.”

Historically, Jerusalem was divided into east and west factions following the war in 1949 that broke out after Israel’s creation. Israel has controlled the entire city following the Six Day War in 1967, eventually annexing the eastern part in 1980, in a move unrecognized by either the United States or the U.N. As a result, Jerusalem’s status remains one of the sticking points in final status peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. A peace process that seems that seeks to reconcile the seemingly irreconcilable reality of Isael attempting to find a compromise solution and a faction of Arabs who refuse to recognize its Israel’s existence and/or yearn for its annihilation.

Palestinian chief negotiator in the peace proces, Saeb Erekat, praised the decision and said it “sends a clear message to the Israeli government that “Jerusalem is an occupied territory.” Erekat added that the top American court’s ruling highlighted “that the Israeli decision to annex Jerusalem to be settlements is a total violation of international law.” Nabil Abu Rdaineh, spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas, hailed the “important decision” that he said runs in accordance with UN resolutions. “This is a clear message that Israel occupies east Jerusalem as well as the West Bank and Gaza Strip,” he charged.

However, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat called for President Obama to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital saying that it was particularly important “when anti-Semitism is trying to raise its head. Just as Washington is the capital of the United States, London the capital of England and Paris the capital of France so Jerusalem was and always will be the capital of Israel, and the heart and soul of the Jewish people.”

Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, head of lawfare NGO Shurat Hadin, said besides the specific issue just decided by the US Supreme Court, this decision involves a greater issue which involves deciding who in general decides issues of foreign affairs – Congress or the State Department. “This question could come up in other matters, such as American financing for the Palestinian Authority. Congress decided to limit the transfer of funds to the PA from the State Department, so that it may only be transferred if there is certainty that they do not go toward terrorism. The State Department has been ignoring Congress and when the matter reaches the courts, there will again be a debate over who decides foreign policy, the legislators or the State Department.”

As for the court’s decision itself, Darshan-Leitner said that it truly damages every single Israeli person: “This is a disappointment. While it is true that this is a decision that relates to the internal regime in the US, and which delimits the boundaries of the executive branch’s discretion, and who decides foreign policy, one cannot ignore the actual decision, which de facto does not recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel – and this is a real kick in the face of every Israeli citizen.”

Furthermore, a significant consequence of this US Supreme Court decision may occur when the United Nations General Assembly opens its next session on Sept 15.  There has been indications that France plans to submit to the Security Council a resolution to prescribe a Palestinian state in the disputed territories of the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as its a capital with a negotiating deadline of 18 months. The US may support this proposes resolution or may allow it to pass with a US abstention. If this happens, it would contradict one of the arguments made by the Obama administration during this US Supreme Court case, when they insisted recognizing Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel “would critically compromise the ability of the United States to work with Israelis, Palestinians and others in the region to further the peace process.” In addition, “it would now be very hypocritical for the Obama administration to turn around after the arguments they made in this Supreme Court case to violate it and support a United Nations resolution specifying a Palestinian state that includes East Jerusalem as its capital.”

In addition, a long list of major American Jewish organizations expressed dismay at the US Supreme Court ruling that American citizens born in Jerusalem may only list their birthplace as Jerusalem, rather than as Jerusalem, Israel. The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, an umbrella group representing 51 organizations, issued a statement saying that the organization’s leaders were “deeply concerned” by the ruling. “We do not believe that Jerusalem-born American citizens having Israel on their passport would impinge on future peace negotiations or compromise the role of the United States in this area,” argued Chairman Stephen Greenberg. “Tens of thousands of Americans are affected by this decision.”

Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, described the US government’s approach regarding Jerusalem as “hypocritical.” The ADL had spearheaded an effort signed by 12 Jewish organizations which argued that Americans born in Jerusalem should be able to identify their country of birth on their passport in the same way other American citizens born abroad may do.

“The question for the Supreme Court in this case involved a simple and ministerial act – whether or not US citizens born in Jerusalem should be allowed to list their birth place as Israel,” Foxman wrote after the ruling. “The answer to that should have been an easy yes. And the court did not have to issue a sweeping decision about executive power to reach that conclusion.” Foxman called on the administration to “step up,” asking “how long will the US government continue to have this hypocritical approach?”

“It is sad and unfortunate that Israel – as a sovereign nation – is the only country in the world whose capital comes under such scrutiny and has to defend its right to determine where its capital city exists,” Foxman continued. “It’s time for the Executive Branch to face the reality: Jerusalem is the capital of Israel” he concluded.

Similar expressions of disappointment came from across the Jewish religious spectrum. Rabbi Jonah Pesner, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, said that his organization was “disappointed” by the decision, which he described as “circumscribing the right of Americans born in Jerusalem to lawfully and accurately identify their birthplace as Israel.”

The Religious Action Center was one of the organizations that signed on to the ADL brief, and Pesner noted that “the Reform Movement has long called for US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that Israel should not be subjected to legal disadvantages under US law that are not applied to other nations.”

America’s largest Orthodox umbrella organization, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, also expressed disappointment with the the US Supreme Court in the Jerusalem passport case. Nathan Diament, executive director for public policy of the Orthodox Union, wrote in a statement that while the organization was “of course, disappointed” by the ruling, “we are more disappointed by the persistent policy of the United States government – carried out by successive presidents – to treat the capital city of Israel with less respect than that accorded to capital cities of virtually every other nation. Jerusalem is unquestionably the capital of Israel,” he added. “Even after this court decision, it is high time for the US administration to acknowledge the reality of Israel’s capital – Jerusalem.”

The Orthodox Union, like the Religious Action Center, was also a signatory on the ADL friend of the court brief that urged the justices to uphold Congressional legislation requiring the State Department to write Jerusalem, Israel, on US-issued passports. Other organizations signing the brief included the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), B’nai B’rith International, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Hadassah, the Jewish Council for Public Affairs, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Council of Young Israel, the Rabbinical Assembly, the Union for Reform Judaism, Women of Reform Judaism, and the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Supreme Court says president’s powers prevail on foreign borders
2) Supreme Court Backs White House on Jerusalem Passport Dispute
3) White House welcomes Jerusalem passport ruling as upholding president’s authority
4) ‘The US Refuses to Recognize Israel’s Sovereignty’
5) Supreme Court ‘Kicked Israelis in the Face’
6) US Jewish groups slam administration’s ‘hypocritical’ view on Jerusalem
7) PA: US court ruling sends ‘clear message’ that Israel occupies east Jerusalem
8) PA: Ruling on Jerusalem Proves Israel is an ‘Occupier’
9) The Consequences of Obama’s Jerusalem Passport Supreme Court Win

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

June 2, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

June 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 status of the Israel / Palestinian peace process

France and New Zealand are drafting a UN Security Council Resolution that would set an 18-month deadline for direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians which would lead to the creation of a Palestinian state. In July, New Zealand will take over the rotating presidency of the UN Security Council. A New Zealand Foreign Ministry’s spokesman said: “We acknowledge that, ultimately, a lasting two-state settlement is something that will have to be negotiated between the two principal parties. But the UN and its members have a role to play in promoting dialogue to encourage that negotiated settlement. New Zealand therefore supports UN resolutions that advance the two-state solution, upholds international law, including human rights and humanitarian law, or calls for humanitarian assistance.” Details of the draft resolution was disclosed by the French newspaper ‘Le Figaro’. If no agreement is reached within the 18-month timeframe,  France would go ahead and unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state.

According to sources familiar with the resolution, it is not likely that it would be presented to the UN Security Council prior to September. The leaking of the contents of the resolution appears to be designed to put pressure on Netanyahu’s new coalition government to return to peace talks. US State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the United States has not yet made a decision on what actions it will take regarding a UN resolution being worked on by France that would set a timetable for an Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. She said:  “We’ve made no decisions with respect to action at the UN and certainly not on a hypothetical resolution. We are carefully considering our future engagement at the UN if and when we reach that point to determine how to most effectively advance the objective I think we all share for a negotiated two-state solution. So we’re continuing to work with our partners, including the French. But at this point, again, no decisions have been made with respect to action at the UN.”

However, in an interview with an Israeli television station, US President Barack Obama raised the possibility that the U.S. will allow a United Nations Security Council vote on issues related to the Palestinians if the two sides make no meaningful movement toward peace. Obama noted that his administration has “up until this point” quashed such efforts at the U.N. while insisting that the Israelis and Palestinians must negotiate a resolution. But he said it is a challenge for the U.S. to keep demanding that the Palestinians negotiate in good faith if no one believes the Israelis are doing the same.

“How do we move off what appears right now to be a hopeless situation and move it back towards a hopeful situation?” Obama asked in the interview. “That will require more than just words. That will require some actions. And that’s going to be hard work, though, because right now I think there’s not a lot of confidence in the process.” Obama said that Israel “as a whole loses credibility” on the point. “If, in fact, there’s no prospect of an actual peace process, if nobody believes there’s a peace process, then it becomes more difficult to argue with those who are concerned about settlement construction, those who are concerned about the current situation,” Obama said. “It’s more difficult for me to say to them, ‘Be patient and wait because we have a process here’ — because all they need to do is to point to the statements that have been made saying there is no process.” Obama’s critical tone toward Netanyahu, describing him as someone who is “predisposed” to “think perhaps that peace is naive,” appeared to return to the tough language that marked administration statements earlier this spring. Obama said that Netanyahu’s statements included “so many caveats, so many conditions, that it is not realistic to think that those conditions would be met anytime in the near future,” Obama said. “The danger here is that Israel as a whole loses credibility, ” he added. “Already, the international community does not believe that Israel is serious about a two-state solution. The statement the prime minister made compounded this belief.” As a result, Obama said that he does not foresee a “framework agreement” between Israel and the Palestinians being possible in the current climate.

In response, Netanyahu said: I want “to reiterate Israel’s commitment to peace, and my commitment to peace. We want a peace that would end the conflict once and for all,” he said. “My position has not changed: I don’t support a one-state solution – I don’t believe that’s a solution at all. I support the vision of two states for two peoples – a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.” Israel believes that a potential UN resolution only hardens the Palestinians’ position and therefore makes peace more difficult to achieve.

Former Israel Justice Minister and chief negotiator in the peace process with the Palestinians, Tzipi Livni believes that Israel should agree to do what Obama wants Israel to do. She said: “We need to be sensitive to the current situation,” said Livni. “It doesn’t matter if the we like the American president or dislike him. We have to work with him. Too much is at stake.”

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said, “What we hear is that there is coordination between the French and the [United] States” on the potential UN Security Council resolution. He said if such a resolution was passed – meaning one that defines the final parameters of a deal and sets a timeline – “I’m sure we can go back to negotiations.” The US has promised the Palestinians that it will ramp up efforts for a new round of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians once negotiations with Iran are concluded. Hamdallah said: “We have had certain assurances from the United States that after the June 30th deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran, they will resume negotiations between us and the Israelis. We count on the [United] States and are sure they will deliver.” Declaring that direct negotiations with Israel were a failure, Hamdallah said the Palestinians would only negotiate if the United Nations Security Council set a 2017 deadline for Israel’s withdrawal from the West Bank. “We need outside intervention from the UN, from the superpowers, from the United States. Once there is a resolution, where the UN asks for an Israeli withdrawal and for the establishment of the state, this has to be guaranteed by the superpowers,” he said.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority has submitted an official request to the International Criminal Court to set a date to discuss the possibility of two war-crimes lawsuits against Israel, PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki said. He added: “I have submitted a request to the court to set a date for us to present the files of settlements and Israeli war crimes. We’re now awaiting the court’s response. This could take place in mid-June.” Malki said that, once the ICC sets a date, he would head to the ICC to follow up on the case. He said a special Palestinian committee has been entrusted with preparing the files that would be brought before the ICC. “The procedures have begun and we will work seriously and professionally in accordance with a timeline,” he added.The Palestinians want the ICC to sue Israel for war crimes it claims were committed during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge and for Jewish building over the 1949 Armistice Line in Jerusalem and the West Bank.

In 2013, a United Nations Human Rights Council report on Jewish building over the pre-1967 lines found that such activity was prohibited under Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention. That article views the direct or indirect transfer of a civilian population into occupied territory as a war crime. Israel has long argued that the areas over the pre-1967 lines are not occupied Palestinian territory because they were never under Palestinian sovereignty and, thus. the Fourth Geneva Convention is not applicable. Israel’s position is that, therefore, the status of the territories is disputed and must be resolved by direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

In response, Netanyahu said: “Tell the Palestinians to stop their campaign to delegitimize Israel. Tell them to get back to the negotiating table. Tell them that we should negotiate without preconditions.” He added that Israel faces an “international campaign to blacken its name.” The aim is to undermine Israel’s existence. Netanyahu said: “We are in the midst of a great struggle being waged against the state of Israel … it is connected to our very existence.”

According to Netanyahu, that campaign is not connected to Israel’s policies in Gaza or the West Bank but is rather an anti-Semitic attack to deny Israel the right to exist. Netanyahu said: “The last thing that we should do is bow our heads and ask where we erred, where we went wrong. We did not err, we did not do wrong. We are put up to standards that no other democracy is forced to face. We do not need to justify ourselves. We just need to say the truth. It doesn’t matter what we do, but rather what we represent. What has been said about Jews throughout history – that we are the source of evil in the world, that we drink the blood of small children – all this has been said of us. It wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now. They say if only we were nicer, or more generous,” Netanyahu added. “We’ve made many concessions and it hasn’t changed a thing, because this campaign of delegitimization is much deeper, it wishes to strip us our right to live here in the land of Israel.”

European Union Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini has promised European countries that there will soon be special labels on all products coming from the West Bank. The move in Europe to label products from West Bank settlements is gaining momentum. The plan would require supermarkets and other retailers to label products made in West Bank and Golan Heights settlements as well as in East Jerusalem differently from those originating in Israel. Israeli officials believe the measures are meant to pressure Israel into resuming talks with the Palestinians or at least to deter it from Israel for massive construction in settlements.

Prior to Mogherini’s recent visit to Israel, the foreign ministers of 16 of the EU’s 28 member states urged her in a letter to advance the labeling moves. They said the legislative process, which was initiated over two years ago and halted, should be revived out of fairness to European consumers, who are entitled to know where their products they buy come from. This year a EU directive was issued not to recognize Israeli veterinary supervision from occupied areas. Israeli farm exports to Europe have fallen in the recent year. Several Israeli agricultural exporters said recently that the current fall in European orders may be due to retailers’ desire to head off pro-Palestinian groups demonstrations outside their stores. The Palestinian Authority and various pro-Palestinian groups worldwide are urging boycotts against Israel over the stalled peace process. The Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement, for example, is waging a global campaign seeking to increase economic and political pressure on Israel through such measures.

Israeli government officials said that they don’t regard the global boycott, sanctions and divestment movement as a present strategic threat to the Israeli economy. “It has the potential to be a strategic threat in the future, but we’re far from that,” said one source. However, the Israeli government has decided to increase its efforts to prevent academic, consumer, cultural and sports boycotts against Israel, with several ministers taking the lead in what has become a diplomatic priority.

Science, Technology and Space Minister Danny Danon plans to convene the heads of Israel’s universities to discuss the efforts waged to thwart boycotts against Israeli academics, scientists and researchers. Danon said: “We must forge a united front and fight the boycott attempts against Israeli researchers and scientists. Unfortunately, we have to deal with organizations and agencies that have made it their mission to undermine Israel rather than promote research and development,” Danon said.

In addition, Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev announced that her ministry will form a special task force to prevent and counter academic and cultural boycotts against Israel. Campaigns calling to expel Israel from the global cultural and sports arenas are based on libelous propaganda, which can be refuted, she explained. “There are some pro-Palestinian groups that want to do only one thing — promote hatred and boycotts against everything Israel represents. They urge economic, academic, cultural and sports boycotts, and to them it is ‘right’ and ‘moral’ to wage a libelous propaganda campaign against Israel’s economy, and the wonderful intellectuals and artists based in Israel and abroad,” Regev said.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon also commented on the issue saying, “Israel does have to explain itself — it has to fight for what it believes is right, with regard to the Israeli-Palestinian issue as well. Let them [pro-Palestinian groups] check who it was that slammed the door in [U.S. President Barack] Obama’s face — it wasn’t Netanyahu, it was [Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud] Abbas,” 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) UN resolution to impose 18-month deadline on Palestinian state talks
2) Diplomatic bantam New Zealand takes on peace process
3) PA prime minister: US promised new talks after Iran deal
4) Palestinian PM: We’ve experienced direct talks, and they were a failure
5) Palestinian Authority advances bid to file lawsuits against Israel at ICC
6) Netanyahu demands Palestinians stop anti-Israel ‘campaign’, return to negotiations ‘without preconditions’
7) ‘Israel Won’t Bow Down to Forces Trying to Deny Right to Exist’
8) State Dept.: No Decision Yet on French UN Initiative
9) Obama raises possibility of allowing U.N. vote on Palestinian statehood
10) Obama: Stalled peace process makes it harder for U.S. to defend Israel at UN
11) Barack Obama says Israel risks losing credibility over Palestinian state stance
12) Obama: Israel losing credibility because world doesn’t think it’s serious about peace
13) Livni: Israel Has No Choice But to ‘Toe Obama’s Line’
14) Israel Under Existential Threat By Palestinian-Led International Campaign
15) EU Foreign Minister: Soon We Will Label Products from Judea-Samaria
16) EU sources: Drive to label Israeli settlement products unstoppable
17) Netanyahu Lashes Out at Criticism of Israel
18) ‘Israel faces an international campaign to blacken its name’
19) Israeli ministers take boycott efforts head on

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

May 26, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

May 28th, 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 status of the Israel / Palestinian peace process

After seeing the new Israeli coalition government of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that was formed on May 7, U.S. President Barack Obama does not have faith in the new Israeli government’s commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict with the Palestinians. Obama said: “I continue to believe that a two-state solution is absolutely vital for not only peace between Israelis and Palestinians but for the long-term security of Israel as a democratic and Jewish state. And I know that a government has been formed that contains some folks who don’t necessarily believe in that premise. But that continues to be my premise. That prospect seems distant now. But I think it’s always important for us to keep in mind what’s right and what’s possible.”

Obama called the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “a very difficult challenge.” Obama said his administration had “worked very hard” to achieve a peace deal but “the politics inside of Israel and the politics among the Palestinians, as well, made it very difficult for each side to trust each other enough to make that leap. And what I think at this point, realistically, we can do is to try to rebuild trust — not through a big overarching deal, which I don’t think is probably possible in the next year, given the makeup of the Netanyahu government, given the challenges I think that exist for President Abbas — but if we can start building some trust around, for example, relieving the humanitarian suffering inside of Gaza and helping the ordinary people in Gaza to recover from the devastation that happened last year; if we can do more to create business opportunities and jobs inside the territories, if we can slowly rebuild that kind of trust, then I continue to believe that the logic of a two-state solution will reassert itself.”

Obama said. “And Israel has legitimate security concerns. There’s no doubt about it. And what is also true is I’m deeply committed to a Palestinian state.” Obama said he had told the Israelis “you cannot remain a state that is both a democracy and Jewish if you continue to have this problem unresolved. And with respect to the Palestinians, I’ve said that you cannot expect to have a state of your own and the full dignity and respect that is inherent for all human beings if you also don’t recognize Israel because Israel is not going anywhere. I think that people of good will on both sides understand that. Unfortunately, the politics of fear has been stronger than the politics of hope over recent years, partly because of the chaotic situation in the region overall. And it’s going to take some time to rebuild it.

Meanwhile, U.S. National Security Advisor Susan Rice strongly reaffirmed the Obama administration’s commitment to the two-state solution that leads to a sovereign Palestinian state. She said: “The U.S. remains firmly committed to an independent, viable and contiguous Palestinian state, living alongside a democratic Jewish state of Israel in peace and security.” Rice said while reassessing the U.S. approach to the Palestinian Israeli conflict, President Obama made it clear that resolving the conflict is in the national security interest of the United States.

The day before the most recent elections in March, Netanyahu said in an interview that the conditions in the region were currently not ripe for a Palestinian state, and agreed with the assertion that one would not be established under his tenure. The Obama administration jumped on those comments as a sign he was no longer committed to a two-state solution, and said that as a result it would “reassess” its position regarding Mideast diplomacy. This was interpreted by the Netanyahu government as a threat to withdraw diplomatic support for Israel in the UN Security Council.

Regarding this issue, Netanyahu said: “Before the elections, I was asked in an interview [about the possibility of a Palestinian state coming into being on my watch], and I replied that I don’t estimate it will happen. I don’t think it will happen,” he said. “After the elections, they jumped on it, so I explained my position.” At no time did he rescind his agreement in principle to the creation of a Palestinian state, as long as it was demilitarized and recognized Israel as the Jewish homeland, Netanyahu asserted. “I did not renounce the idea, but I explained what’s the problem with it,” he said. “If the Palestinians change their positions then it’s a different situation.”

Rice said that she expects a commitment to the two-state solution from the new Israeli government and from the Palestinian Authority. “We look to the next Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority to demonstrate — through policies and actions — a genuine commitment to a two-state solution,” she said.

She defined the requirements needed for the long-stalled peace deal.  “There must be robust provisions for Israel’s security, the occupation must end and the Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves in their own sovereign state.” she added. She said the Obama administration opposes the Israeli settlement activities and efforts to change facts on the ground because it makes it harder to negotiate peace in good faith. “Both Israel and an independent Palestinian state need secure and recognized borders based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed upon swaps.” Rice said. She said the U.S. continues to believe that a comprehensive peace between Israel and the Palestinians is “necessary, just and possible.”

In addition, US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman called for Netanyahu’s new government to support peace negotiations with the Palestinians. She said: “If the new Israeli government is seen as stepping back from its commitment to a two-state solution – that makes our jobs in the international arena a lot tougher because our ability to push back our efforts to internationalize the resolution of the conflict. Israeli-Palestinian issues has depended on our insistence that the best course in achieving a two-state solution is through direct negotiations between the parties.”

US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said that the US is evaluation its position regarding whether it would support a UN Security Council Resolution desired by France to spell out parameters of a two-state solution. DEBKA an Israeli intelligence and news gathering website reports that the Obama administration behind the scenes have given support for France to support a UN Security Council motion proclaiming an independent Palestinian state. In order to show their sincerity for such a proposal, senior US officials sat down with their French counterparts to agree on the general outline of this motion. They discussed the area of the Palestinian state, its borders, security arrangements between Israel and the Palestinians and whether or not to set a hard-and-fast timeline for implementation, or phrase the resolution as  a general declaration of intent. Incorporating a target date in the language would expose Israel to Security Council sanctions for non-compliance. The French have said they are moving forward on wording of a resolution that would present the parameters of a final deal and set a time line for negotiations. In these meetings, the US told France that the Obama administration would prefer to give Netanyahu a lengthy though predetermined time scale to define his new governments Palestinian policy.

Recently, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius presented the Arab League with a detailed plan to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. The plan stipulates the formation of a Palestinian state in the pre-1967 lines, with swaps of mutually agreed upon lands similar in size, while taking into account Israel’s security needs. If a two-state solution is not reached by the end of the 18 months of talks, France will announce it is officially recognizing the State of Palestine. The French plan calls for the two-state for two-peoples solution but includes the demand for the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish nature of Israel.

Fabius said that he would travel to Israel and the Palestinian territories in June with the goal of getting an international consensus for a UN Security Council resolution that would set parameters for peace talks. “We are for a two-state solution. We need to ensure Israel’s security that’s obvious. There is no peace and security without justice for the Palestinians but let’s be frank justice hasn’t been given to the Palestinians,” Fabious said. “I will go … to Egypt, the Palestinian territories and Israel to speak to their leaders,” Fabius said. “We want the negotiations to restart between the two sides and that [they are] put within an international framework.”French diplomatic sources said the planned resolution would not go beyond already agreed negotiating points but would set a time period of 18 to 24 months to complete the talks. It would kick off with an international conference.

A senior French diplomat said: “The US method hasn’t worked so we felt the idea was to create the conditions to support this negotiation by creating an international support group which would include Europeans, Arabs, Americans and anyone who thinks they could be of use.” French sources said the target could be to put a resolution forward during the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Israel is opposed to Palestinian efforts to pass a resolution through the Security Council that would call explicitly for the establishment of a Palestinian state within the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital. US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said: “I won’t say whether we will or not support or vote on a resolution we have not seen. We are trying to find a way to preserve the two-state solution as a realistic solution during a period without negotiations, and to bring the sides back [to the talks] – even at a later period – and to defend Israel against threats of isolation and delegitimization,” he said. “I assume that the new Israeli government will take into account the international situation, and if Israel is committed to two states, we will talk about the best way to move forward toward that goal, even during a period when its impossible to hold direct negotiations,” he said.

The US was pressing France to delay presenting its Security Council proposal until after June 30, the deadline for a final deal between world powers and Iran on its nuclear program. The US wants the French to delay their proposal until after the Obama administration wins congressional support for the Iran deal not wanting to jeopardize that support by pushing forward with another proposal opposed by Israel.

The international community will renew its pressure on Israel over Israeli-Palestinian peace talks after Iran and the six powers sign a final nuclear deal at the end of June, Norwegian Foreign Minister Boerge Brende said. Brende told Netanyahu that the new Israeli government must come up with its own diplomatic peace initiative. Netanyahu responded by saying: “I hear you loud and clear.”

In response, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas presented three conditions that need to be fulfilled by Israel in order to resume negotiations: Freezing construction in the settlements; releasing all Palestinian prisoners jailed prior to the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1993, and holding negotiations for no more than 12 months, at the end of which a timetable will be set for ending the occupation no later than the end of 2017. Brende told Netanyahu that he will have to agree to at least one of the three conditions set by Abbas.

Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) stated it was the Palestinians who abandoned last year’s US-led negotiations. The newly appointed Hotovely told Brende that the Palestinians must cease to undertake unilateral steps against Israel in the international arena, and that the EU must condemn terrorism more forcefully. “We expect you to put pressure on the Palestinian leadership to recognize the State of Israel as the state of the Jewish people,” Hotovely said.

Meanwhile, the European Union has threatened to impose economic and diplomatic sanctions against Israel if it does not resume peace talks with the Palestinians. EU Foreign Policy Chief Federica Mogherini said: “The development of relations between the EU and both Israel and the Palestinians is linked to the extent of their commitment to the peace process.” Some diplomatic circles believe that the EU has prepared a list of sanctions to be imposed on Israel based on a request from the EU parliament and Mogherini should Israel not support peace negotiations with the Palestinians.

Furthermore, European diplomatic officials said that if Netanyahu wants to convince the Europeans of his commitment to a two-state solution, he should declare a construction freeze outside the main settlement blocs. By doing so, such a measure would “make clear the prime minister is serious about maintaining the two-state option open. It would seriously enhance Israel’s diplomatic credibility.”

One Israeli official familiar with the Netanyahu-Mogherini talks said that Netanyahu told Mogherini that were clearly areas in the West Bank that would remain on the Palestinian side after an agreement, and there were areas that would clearly remain part of Israel after an agreement. He said the goal was to see whether it was was possible to come to understanding on the areas that would remain inside Israel, so that building there could take place.

According to the European official, the idea of delineating the settlement blocs is not new, and Netanyahu has for some time tried to convince individual EU member states to differentiate between condemning settlement construction taking place inside or outside the blocs. Both the Europeans and the United States make no distinction in their condemnations of construction beyond the 1967 borders regardless of where it it taking place.

Efforts to get approval for Israeli construction inside the major settlement blocs are not new. They go back to the understandings former Israel prime minster Ariel Sharon had with then US president George W. Bush about where and how Israel could build in settlements. Those understandings were never adopted, however, by the Obama Administration. Much of Israel’s settlement construction in the last number of years has been inside the major settlement blocs. David Makvosky, a member of US Secretary of State John Kerry’s negotiating team during the talks that failed in 2013-2014, said earlier this month that 98 percent of the government tenders for settlement construction announced while those talks were ongoing – announcements that infuriated the Palestinians and the international community – took place inside the security fence. Of that, 62% of the tenders were for 1.9% of the land that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reportedly agreed during talks with then prime minster Ehud Olmert in 2008 would remain part of Israel.

The PLO’s top negotiator Saeb Erekat issued a statement saying that the idea was “nothing new,” and called it a “request to continue illegal settlement construction with Palestinian consent.” Erekat said that if Netanyahu “wants to have meaningful negotiations ending the occupation that began in 1967, he should recognize a Palestinian State on the 1967 border and honor Israel’s obligations including a halt of settlement construction and the release of the Palestinian prisoners. The settlements in the West Bank are not legal so there is no room to discuss their borders in the first place.”

Nabil Abu Rudaineh, spokesman for the PA presidency, said that any negotiations should be based on Israeli recognition of the pre-1967 lines as the basis for establishing an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital. “There can be no partition or postponement of the final-status issues,” Abu Rudaineh said. “There should also be a full cessation of settlement construction and the release of prisoners incarcerated before the Oslo Accords in order for any negotiations to be credible.”

In response, Netanyahu told Mogherini, “I want peace. I am not for a one-state solution. I support the vision of two-states. I take this opportunity to reiterate Israel’s commitment to peace and my commitment to peace. We want a peace that would end the conflict once and for all. My position has not changed. I don’t support a one-state solution — I don’t believe that’s a solution at all. I support the vision of two states for two peoples — a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.”

In addition, Israel’s Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely told Mogherini the new Netanyahu government was committed to pursuing a peace agreement and blamed the Palestinians for the deadlock. She said: “The Palestinians abandoned the negotiating table a year and a half ago, leaving the proposal of [American Secretary of State John] Kerry unanswered. In order for the peace process to go forward, she said that the Palestinians must come back to the negotiating table and not take unilateral measures.”

In discussing possible peace initiatives with the Palestinians, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he welcomed the general idea being the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative which called for a regional agreement between Israel and the moderate Arab states. However, the Arab Peace Initiative, originally proposed by Saudi Arabia in 2002, has many problematic aspects to it, the prime minister said, such as its call for an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights and the return of Palestinians refuges to Israel. “There are positive aspects and negative aspects to it,” he explained. “This initiative is 13 years old, and the situation in the Middle East has changed since it was first proposed. But the general idea — to try and reach understandings with leading Arab countries — is a good idea.” In the framework proposed by the initiative, all Arab and Islamic states would establish normal diplomatic relations with Israel after the successful conclusion of the peace process with the Palestinians.

Netanyahu said that there are several core problems that stand in the way of a peace treaty with the Palestinians, such as Jerusalem, which he said “will not be resolved – we’ll set this aside.” However, the most important question was security, he said. “One of the key questions will be who guarantees the security of the territories that Israel is ready to vacate?” Under every scenario in which Israel withdraws from parts of the West Bank, only the IDF will be able to guarantee Israel’s safety, the prime minister said. Israeli troops will have to stay in the West Bank “for an extended period of time,” he said.

Regarding Jerusalem, Netanyahu said: “We will forever keep Jerusalem united under Israeli sovereignty. Jerusalem was only ever the capital of the Jewish people not of any other people.”

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama: Israeli-Palestinian peace deal unlikely in next year
2) Rice: Obama Administration Firm on Two-State Israeli-Palestinian Solution
3) Washington seeks ‘genuine’ Israeli commitment to 2 states
4) Top US Official Issues Veiled Threat to Israel on Withdrawing UN Support
5) Shapiro noncommittal on US veto of UN draft forcing Israeli withdrawal to ’67 lines
6) Exclusive: Obama to back Palestinian state at Security Council – payback for Israel’s right-wing cabinet
7) EU threatens Israel with economic and diplomatic sanctions
8) Norway to Netanyahu: International pressure on Israel will resume after June 30
9) Netanyahu tells EU’s Mogherini he’s committed to two-state solution
10) Netanyahu backs ‘general idea’ behind Arab Peace Initiative
11) UN resolution to impose 18-month deadline on Palestinian state talks
12) French foreign minister to visit Israel, Palestinian territories, in bid to revive peace talks
13) EU: Stop building outside settlements to show world commitment to two-state solution
14) Netanyahu to EU: Don’t condemn construction in defined Israeli blocs
15) Palestinians reject Netanyahu bid to define settlement blocs
16) Silvan Shalom to head up talks with Palestinians
17) Netanyahu Vows “Jerusalem Shall Never Again Be Divided”

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

May 19, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

May 19th, 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 make-up of Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s new government coalition

Meeting a May 7 deadline, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was able to form a new coalition government following the March 17 Israeli elections. Their are 120 members in the Israeli Knesset. A majority of at least 61 is needed to form a government. The political parties, Kulanu, headed by Moshe Kahlon and the Ashkenaz ultra-orthodox party, United Torah Judaism, were the first parties to join Netanyahu’s coalition.

During the elections, Kulanu ran on the political platform to improve the Israeli economy and in particular bring down the cost of housing.  In order to accomplish this objective, Kahlon said that the lengthy coalition negotiation process had focused on securing the proper tools to help implement reforms that would not aim to help one sector of Israeli society but, rather, the whole society. He said the new government would pursue reforms in housing and the banking sector and would act to close economic gaps. “The Israeli economy is in need of reforms, and we in Kulanu, together with the Likud, the prime minister and other ministers, understand how to lead these reforms,” Kahlon said.

The agreements with Kulanu include the three portfolios given to the party: the Finance Ministry, the Environmental Protection Ministry, and the Construction Ministry. Kahlon will be Finance Minister. In doing so, Kulanu managed to get the Interior Ministry’s planning authority, which has power over the housing market, moved to the Finance Ministry. “We got everything we asked for,” a spokesman for the party said, saying that the party will control the governmental organs most relevant to the housing and banking reforms Kahlon promised during the campaign.

Furthermore, the coalition agreement states that a special committee will be formed to advance legislation on housing, which would be headed by a member of Kulanu. Kulanu also received a pledge that the government will work to provide an addition of 700 housing units per year to the number of apartments for which people are eligible through the Construction Ministry and the Immigration and Absorption Ministry.

It was further stated that the Finance Minister will have the authority to expropriate lands for use in large-scale housing projects, in an attempt to encourage construction. Particular emphasis will be given to rehabilitation of neighborhoods in the periphery. Housing tenders will be offered as part of a prior plan to subsidize apartments in periphery areas for young people, and up to 80 percent of them will be allocated to young couples or single people under age 35. The document also said that the number of apartments for public housing and rentals will be expanded.

The agreement also stated that once the new government is formed, Kulanu will support a proposal by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, referred to as “the Norwegian bill”, that would allow an MK from a party that has less than 12 MKs to resign from the Knesset and serve solely as a minister.

Netanyahu praised Kahlon, saying, “We promised during the election campaign to lower the cost of housing and the cost of living, to implement a number of reforms and to continue to improve Israel’s economy.” Netanyahu said Israel’s economy already stands out from those of its allies in the West that are moving downward, while it continues on a path of financial growth. The prime minister said that both he and Kahlon, as well as everyone else who will sit in the emerging government, have the best interest of the public at heart and hope to better the citizens’ situation by continuing to grow the economy and letting everyone enjoy the fruits of this growth.

The agreement with United Torah Judaism established that the party will be given the roles of deputy minister in the Health Ministry, deputy minister in the Education Ministry, chairman of the Science and Technology Committee, and deputy chairman of the Knesset. UTJ head Ya’acov Litzman thanked Netanyahu and the Likud’s negotiating committee for coming to an agreement, saying that it covered “a lot of social items, such as issues relating to childcare and dental care.” Litzman added: “There are many more things, which included fixing issues that were distorted,” he said, referring to the Ultra-Orthodox Draft Law which required ultra-orthodox yeshiva students to serve in the Israeli military.

Besides the known amendments to the Equal Share of the Burden Law, the removal of criminal sanctions for yeshiva students who don’t serve in the military, and returning child benefits to their original levels, the agreement also said the new government will protect the ultra-Orthodox public’s way of life and will bolster the position of the ultra-Orthodox educational institutions.

The agreement also said the government will pass an amendment involving the Committee for the Appointment of Rabbinic Judges, in which three government ministers, three MKs – two from the coalition and one from the opposition – and a United Torah Judaism member will sit.

According to the agreement, the change to Israel’s conversion laws by the previous government, which gave local municipal rabbis power at the expense of the central rabbinate, will be reversed. The position of rabbinical courts will also be protected, and marriage registration will be possible only at religious councils or the local rabbinate. Additionally, the status quo regarding kosher laws will be maintained, and the government will work to include workers from the ultra-Orthodox community in public service.

Upon signing the deal with UTJ, Netanyahu said: “We worked together in the last government for the greater good of the State of Israel. We did big things. We have an opportunity to return to that now. There is a strong will to make things happen.” Finally, the agreement between Netanyahu and the political parties, Kulanu and UTJ, it includes a clause that could facilitate a national unity government with the opposition party, Zionist Union, at a later date.

Next, while there was only about 48 hours remaining until the deadline to present a new government, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic political party, Shas, signed an agreement to join Netanyahu’s new government coalition. From the agreement, Shas will be in charge of the Ministry of Religious Services. Shas will also control the Ministry of Galilee & Negev Development and the Ministry of the Economy. Shas will also receive another ministry which will be headed by Yitzchak Cohen as well as two deputy ministerial slots and head of the Knesset Education Committee. One of the deputy ministers will oversee the District Planning Committee that moved from the Interior Ministry to the treasury. Shas will also have the power to appoint judges to rabbinical courts.

After signing the agreement, Shas leader Aryeh Deri said that he made good on his promises to voters during elections including the zero value added tax on basic necessities, public housing reform, and increasing minimum wage.

The last party to join Netanyahu’s government was Jewish Home. The agreement include promises to increase funding for soldiers, schools and settlements, as well as an agreement to push through a bill that would limit foreign funding for nonprofit organizations deemed hostile to Israel. Furthermore, Jewish Home will receive the education, justice and agriculture portfolios, the right to name a deputy defense minister from its own ranks, the leadership of the Knesset’s Constitution, Law and Justice Committee and control over the World Zionist Organization’s Settlement Division.The agreement also includes an increase of NIS 630 million ($163.4 million) for the education budget, an allocation of NIS 1 billion ($259 million) to raise soldiers’ pay during their third year of service, a budget increase for Ariel University, which is in the West Bank, and support for the so-called NGO bill. It also includes protection for transportation over the Green Line, increased accessibility for special-needs pupils in schools, and more funding for community groups who move to disadvantaged areas.The head of the Jewish Home political party, Naftali Bennett will be education minister. MK Ayelet Shaked will be justice minister and MK Uri Ariel  will be agriculture minister.

According to the coalition agreement, Jewish Home Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit will head a special team that will draft a plan to legalize buildings and neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria that were established with government involvement and under the agreement of the state. The team, which will be established within a month of the new government being sworn in, is to submit its outline within 60 days of being formed. The government will be obligated to act to implement the findings of the team. The talk of legalizing the buildings and communities comes after the NGO Regavim presented MKs with aerial maps showing 2,026 homes in Judea and Samaria are in danger of demolition due to anticipated petitions by radical leftist groups. While Jewish Home’s coalition deal with Likud includes establishing the team to legalize homes, it appears to have made no mention of the Jewish construction freeze, in an apparent abandonment of an earlier demand to lift the freeze. The covert freeze on building has reportedly been in place since late 2013, and has continued since then in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, aside from a handful of building announcements in the capital, even as Jewish Home was in the last coalition government and Ariel served as housing minister.

In making the coalition agreement, Netanyahu thanked the Jewish Home party leader for his “efforts during the negotiations and throughout these last weeks.” He also asserted that Israel would have a “strong, stable government.”

Netanyahu’s government now has the minimum 61 Knesset members. After the elections, it was believed that Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beitenu, would be a member of Netanyahu’s government. If so, the government coalition would be 67 members. However, Lieberman chose to not join the government and resign from his position as foreign minister. Lieberman said that he was opposed to the policies of the new government. He said: “The coalition does not reflect the position of the national camp. This government has no intention of overthrowing the Palestinian Hamas regime who rules in the Gaza Strip.” he said. Furthermore, he said: “I am happy we chose principles and not portfolios. What’s being built is not a national camp, but a government that smacks of opportunism”.

Lieberman lashed out at the disappearance of the nationality bill which sought to legally define Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people, and determine that the right to national self determination in Israel belongs solely to the Jewish people. Lieberman said: “Someone vetoed the issue and suddenly it’s off the agenda. Furthermore, “The ink on the governance law has yet to dry and they’re already increasing the numbers of government ministers and deputy ministers to unlimited amounts. This is unacceptable,” Lieberman added. The Israeli government will be expanding the cabinet and increase the number of government ministers from 18 to 22.

Lieberman also criticized the coalition deal signed between Likud and United Torah Judaism which will cancel many of the reforms agreed upon in the last Knesset. Yisrael Beytenu faction chairman and coalition negotiator Robert Ilatov stated that if Netanyahu did not go back on the agreements he had made with the religious parties, then Yisrael Beytenu would be in the opposition.

The significance of Lieberman’s decision is that he and Netanyahu have had a long-standing political partnership, which began to fray last year. In October 2012, the two party leaders announced that they would run on a joint ticket in the January 2013 elections, as Likud Beytenu. The election victory saw Netanyahu return as prime minister and gave Lieberman the Foreign Ministry. But Lieberman pulled his party out of the partnership in July last year, and each ran on a separate ticket in the elections earlier this year. In the March 17 elections, Yisrael Beytenu won just six seats, down from 13 in the previous government.

According to political analysts, Netanyahu’s best bet to ensure his new coalition’s survival will be if he can persuade the opposition leader Isaac Herzog to join his government further down the line, perhaps in the role of foreign minister. After announcing his new government, Netanyahu hinted heavily at this prospect. “I said that 61 is a good number and 61 plus is even better,” he said, “Time is short because we have to form a strong and stable government by next week.” According to Israel Channel 2, Netanyahu desires to expand the government after it is formed, although not at the expense of parties already in the coalition.

After signing his coalition agreement with Likud, ultra-Orthodox Sephardic leader from the Shas political party, Shas Chairman Arye Dery called on Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog to join a unity government. In addition, in commenting on the newly formed narrow 61 member government coalition, a senior Likud official said “a coalition of 61 MKs is an impossible coalition. Our mission in seeking to form the government was to first of all close deals with Shas and Jewish Home, stabilize a 61-MK coalition, and only then close with [Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor] Liberman. The assessment was that the odds of Liberman preferring the opposition were slim and that he will enter [a Likud coalition] anyway for the prestigious Foreign Affairs Portfolio,” the Likud official said. Likud’s Knesset speaker, Yuli Edelstein, conceded that a 61-strong coalition would present “a string of problems,” but acknowledged there may be no choice, and said Netanyahu could make “every effort” later on to sign on more partners. As a result, Netanyahu plans to pursue negotiations with Zionist Union leader, Isaac Herzog, in the coming weeks to join his government.

Another Likud official confirmed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was holding the Foreign Ministry portfolio for himself in the hope of later handing the top government position to Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog should he manage to convince the party to join Netanyahu’s government. “I understand that [keeping the Foreign Ministry] is [the prime minister’s] inclination, because he really wants to leave room for the government to expand in the future,” the official said. When asked whether Netanyahu was holding the government portfolio in hopes of wooing Herzog, he responded “yes.”

Netanyahu’s concern in that in the coming months, Israel will face enormous political pressures from both the European Union and the Obama administration. Once Obama is no longer directing all his efforts towards consummating an agreement with Iran by the June 30 deadline, effectively transforming it into a threshold nuclear power, he is likely to focus his efforts more strongly on the Israeli / Palestinian peace process. All indicators suggest that he intends to implement his threat that if Israel fails to toe his line, the US would no longer employ its veto at the United Nations.

His clearly stated policy is that Israel’s borders should be based on the (indefensible) 1949 armistice lines with mutual swaps (which could never be achieved with the intransigent Palestinians), division of Jerusalem, and an indefinite freeze of all settlement construction which, in this context, includes settlement blocs and Jewish east Jerusalem.

However, opposition and Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog reacted to the news of Netanyahu’s new government coalition by insisting that will not be joining Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition saying, “I am not joining this government. It is bad and dangerous for Israel,” Herzog said, “I suggest that Netanyahu and his partners fill all the ministerial portfolios that, according to rumors, are waiting for me. We don’t have to say it every minute on every street corner. I don’t have an intention nor did I have to be a fifth wheel of Netanyahu. I intend to replace Netanyahu,” he said. Herzog added that Netanyahu’s 61-seat government coalition “lacks responsibility, stability and governance.” He also called it a “national disaster of a government. A weak and narrow government, susceptible to blackmail, that will advance nothing and will quickly be replaced by a responsible and hopeful alternative. I think that the best thing Netanyahu can do after he held a clearance sale to assemble his national government of failure is to return the mandate to the president so that he can task someone else with the formation of a government,” he said.

According to Herzog, the new government’s agenda will result in damage to quality of life and the fabric of Israeli society; damage to woman’s rights, gay rights, workers’ rights and the media; incessant threats to the courts and rule of law; continuation of the political deadlock; and further transfer of billions to settlements.

“A government has been formed that has no responsibility, no stability, and no chance whatsoever to govern,” said Herzog. “If this is how he handles negotiations with his natural partners, how will he negotiate with the Palestinians? With world powers? Finally, Herzog said “the countdown to form a government ended. Now, the countdown to its replacement begins.”

Co-leader of the Zionist Union party with Herzog, former chief negotiator in the peace proces, Tzipi Livni also had harsh words for the new government. “I disagree with the worldview, the path, and the objectives [of the new government], so I cannot wish it luck on the issues where there is such a disagreement, but in general, I hope for the best for the nation of Israel,” she said. Livni insists that her party would sit in the opposition “and that’s a commitment. Netanyahu just recently managed to form a new government of 61 MKs and this morning his advisors began to publicly court the Zionist Union,” she said. Livni stressed that she and Herzog have clear agreements and that decisions will be made in tandem. “Herzog agrees with me. This fight must take place in the opposition. I am not in politics for portfolios and honorary roles. I am here to continue our path and fight for it,” she said.

Based upon their comments, it would seem logical to conclude that the only way that Zionist Union would consider joining Netanyahu’s government is if Netanyahu would be willing to agree to Obama’s parameters for the peace process to establish a Palestinian state based upon 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as it capital.

Finally, Senior Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat said that the new Israeli government “will be one of war which will be against peace and stability in our region. This government will set its sights on killing and reinforcing settlement activities in the West Bank,” 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) Netanyahu signs coalition deals with Kulanu, UTJ; Kahlon promises reforms
2) Contents of coalition agreements with UTJ, Kulanu revealed
3) Shas signs coalition deal with Likud, urges Herzog to join unity government
4) What Does Shas’ Coalition Agreement Include?
5) Jewish Home makes it official with Likud deal
6) Lieberman: Yisrael Beytenu won’t join new Netanyahu government
7) Coalition deal signed, swearing in expected Wednesday
8) ‘A 61-MK coalition is impossible,’ says Likud official
9) Likud Official: Bennett Will Pay for His Extortion
10) New Government to Legalize Jewish Buildings in Judea-Samaria
11) Shaky Israel coalition spells trouble for Netanyahu and peace process
12) Report: Netanyahu Plans to Expand Government After Formed
13) Candidly Speaking: To survive, Netanyahu must broaden his new government
14) Hoping to woo Herzog, Netanyahu to keep Foreign Ministry in back pocket
15) Herzog: New Netanyahu coalition is prone to extortion, bound to fail
16) Herzog: Bibi Should Give the Mandate Back to the President
17) Herzog: We won’t save Netanyahu from himself
18) PA Upset over Shape of New Israeli Government

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

May 5, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

May 5th, 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) Israel’s response to the Palestinians joining the International Criminal Court and a call by EU Foreign Ministers to label Israel products made in the West Bank

On April 1, the Palestinians officially joined the International Criminal Court. Judge Kuniko Ozaki, acting president of the court, said: “It is a pleasure for me to address this gathering at which we formally welcome the State of Palestine as the 123rd state party to the Rome Statute. By acceding to the Rome Statute, the State of Palestine has entered the growing majority of the world’s nations that have combined their efforts for the purpose of ending impunity for the most serious crimes of concern to humanity.”

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki, who represented the Palestinians at the ceremony, said that “in the face of [the] great injustice our people are enduring and the repeated crimes committed against [them], Palestine has decided to seek justice, not vengeance.” The Palestinians’ decision to join the court “should be viewed in this light,” Malki said. “Our policy reflects a commitment to international law and universal values.” He added: “We now have a weapon which we can use against any Israeli political and military official. This weapon will serve as a deterrent for Israeli officials and prevent them from perpetrating crimes against the Palestinian people in the future.”

Malki reiterated the Palestinians’ pledge to cooperate with ICC prosecutors and judges to promote the principles and objectives of the court and the Rome Statute. “Palestine remains one of the most important tests of the will and ability of the international community,” he said. “It is a test that the world cannot afford to fail.”

Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat hailed the accession to the court as a “national and historic day” for the Palestinians. The decision to join, he added, marked a “qualitative transformation in the strategy of the Palestinian struggle.” Erekat stressed that the PA leadership would not backtrack on its decision to join the court. “Those who are afraid of facing justice should stop committing crimes,” he said.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat said that the ICC had already begun a preliminary examination of alleged Israeli crimes from the Gaza war last summer. Earlier this year, the Palestinians accepted the court’s jurisdiction dating back to June 2014, to ensure that last summer’s Gaza war between Israel and Hamas will be included in any review. “The legal and technical committees have been extensively working on finalizing the two files,” Erekat said. “We will conduct all practical moves directly after Palestine is officially declared an ICC member.”

ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda has already launched a preliminary review to determine if there are grounds for an investigation of possible war crimes in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Prosecution spokeswoman Florence Olara said there are “no timelines” for how long a preliminary examination can take. Some have taken months, others are continuing after years. Two senior Palestinian officials said the Palestinians will wait for the outcome of that review – which can take months or years – before considering further action. Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said: “I don’t want to disappoint our people but the ICC procedures are slow and long and might face lots of obstacles and challenges and might take years to complete.”

In response, Israel Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nachshon said “Palestine” had no right to join the International Criminal Court because there was no Palestinian state under international law. This meant , he said, that the ICC’s chief prosecutor had erred earlier this year in accepting the Palestinian request for a preliminary examination into alleged war crimes stemming from last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip. “The Palestinian Authority government, which has established a partnership with the murderous Hamas terrorist organization that carries out war crimes like those carried out by Islamic State, is the last one that can threaten to file claims in the international court in The Hague,” Nachshon stated.

Israel said that the Palestinian decision to join the International Criminal Court is “hypocritical.” saying that Palestinian intentions at the ICC contradicted the goals of the court and would lead to a “destructive politicization” that harms the body’s stature. He added that there was no room for the court, which was established to bring to justice people responsible for the worst crimes and atrocities in the world, to cooperate with those who merely sought to abuse its limited resources. Unilateral Palestinian steps – first and foremost, joining the ICC – blatantly violated the basic principles agreed upon between the sides to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through negotiations, the Foreign Ministry spokesman said. These steps, he continued, highlighted the Palestinian refusal to conduct peace negotiations with Israel.

When the Palestinians decided to apply for membership in the ICC at the end of December, Israel decided that it would withhold the monthly transfer of taxes that Israel collects for the Palestinians. Under existing agreements, Israel collects taxes and customs on behalf of the Palestinians and then transfers the sums. That revenue accounts for about 70 percent of the Palestinians’ budget. Israel withheld these funds from December through March.

However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to renew the transfer of the tax revenues on the advice of defense establishment officials who warned of the possible collapse of the PA. Behind the scenes, however, according to sources in Israel, the transfer of the funds was conditioned on the Palestinians maintaining their security coordination with Israel and refraining from filing claims against Israel at the international criminal court. Therefore, Israel released to the PA over NIS 1.37 million in tax revenues. In doing so, withheld NIS 160,000 of the tax revenues to pay for outstanding debts, particularly to the Israel Electric Company to which the PA owes NIS 2 billion.

Initially, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the funds to be returned because money had been deducted to cover debts to Israeli utility companies. Abbas said: “We are returning the money. Either they give it to us in full or we go to arbitration or to the court (ICC). We will not accept anything else.” However, in a compromise agreement, Israel agreed to release the money to the Palestinians in exchange for a partial reduction of the Palestinian $ 500 million debt for electricity and other services.

The United States has been pressuring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to change his position that the funds would be released after Israel deducts the huge amount of money the Palestinian Authority owes the country. Israel reportedly agreed to the compromise for “humanitarian” reasons and with an eye to ensuring regional stability. It was one of a number of humanitarian steps Israel had taken including authorizing the water hook-up for the new Palestinian city of Rawabi and increasing the volume of water it provided to Gaza, officials said

In other news, 16 out of 28 EU foreign ministers wrote a letter calling on the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, to advance a proposal to mark products made in West Bank settlements and assure “correct and coherent implementation of EU labeling legislation.” After praising Mogherini for renewing the EU’s commitment to the Middle East peace process, the letter draws the foreign policy chief’s attention to a similar letter in 2013 to her predecessor, insisting the implementation of the union’s legislation was an important component of the Mideast policy.

The letter said: “Following the public commitment made by the Council in May and December 2012 and more recently in November 2014, we remain of the view that this is an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy, in relation to the preservation of the two-state solution.” The foreign ministers emphasized that “European consumers must indeed have confidence in knowing the origin of goods they are purchasing. Green Line Israel and Palestinian producers will benefit from this.”

Currently, only a handful of European Union nations have ordered their supermarkets to mark products made in Israeli settlements. As mentioned in the letter, the demand for a unified European policy on the labeling of West Bank goods had been raised several times in recent years.

Israeli officials fired back at the call by 16 European foreign minister to mark products made in the West Bank’s settlements, evoking a Holocaust-era comparisons and claiming the EU was blaming Israel for the stalemate in peace talks. Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called the plan “hypocritical, sanctimonious and cynical,” noting that the murder and expulsion of Palestinians by Islamic State in Syria was “going by quietly” in Europe. He said: “No European foreign minister has demanded an emergency meeting of EU diplomats, of the EU, of the UN Security Council. Other than a few public statements nothing is being done. I have a suggestion for them on how to label (the products),” he said. “They can…label all products from Judea, Samaria and the Golan Heights with a yellow star. I think that is extremely fitting to the cynical and hypocritical position expressed in this letter. We know that what begins as marking Israeli products, quickly deteriorates into an overall boycott of Israeli goods.”

Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid said:  “This is a de-facto call to boycott Israel,” he said. “According to these guidelines, there is no difference between products which are produced over the 1967 borders and those that are produced within the 1967 borders. This is an irresponsible call that could create havoc on the Israeli economy. This kind of call is a stain on the EU, and the state of Israel has to fight to prevent this kind of initiative,” he said.

Israel’s Energy Minister Silvan Shalom slammed the move as counter-productive, saying they do little to promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians. According to him, “such moves began a decade ago and have achieved little.” Shalom said that the move placed on the onus of the stalemate in peace talks on Israel and not the Palestinians.

Israel Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said that “European Union foreign ministers decided to boycott Israeli produce whose ‘source is in the settlements’! Not Syrian produce of (Bashar al-)Assad, not Gaza (produce) of the Hamas murderers, or of any other murderous terror regime in the world. Only Israeli produce.” Katz condemned “European hypocrisy, nourished by a combination of ancient anti-Semitism and new Islamic influence.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Palestinians officially become signatories to International Criminal Court
2) ICC ‘welcomes State of Palestine’ as 123rd member at ceremony
3) Israel blasts Palestinian ICC membership as ‘hypocritical’
4) Palestinians attempting to fast track war crimes suits against Israel at ICC
5) Exclusive: In exchange for freed tax funds, PA won’t pursue Israel over settlements at ICC
6) Abbas rejects Israel’s partial transfer of Palestinian tax revenues
7) Israel Caves in to US and Frees Tax Money for PA without Erasing Debt
8) Israeli officials slam EU bid to mark settlement products
9) Lapid to Mogherini: EU foreign ministers are calling for a de-facto boycott of Israel
10) ‘EU Boycotts Israel, Not Murderers in Syria or Gaza’
11) FM compares labels on settler products to Nazi yellow star

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l


April 28, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

April 25th, 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 efforts in the UN Security Council to discuss a UN Security Council resolution to recognize a PLO state

The Palestinian Authorities initiated a UN Security Council Resolution in December for the UN Security Council to consider a two state solution with Israel based upon the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital. The measure did not pass. The United States opposed the Palestinian draft saying that Palestinian statehood can only be achieved through negotiations with Israel and not by an imposed timetable. It has been a long standing US policy that the resolution of the Israeli / Palestinian conflict would be based upon agreement by both sides through direct negotiations. In the past, the United States has vetoed a UN Security Council Resolution to recognize a PLO state. With Israel expected to form a new government by May 7, Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas is speaking with key members of the UN Security Council to support another effort to eventually recognize a PLO state.

Recently, the UN’s outgoing top Mideast envoy, Robert Serry, challenged the UN Security Council to lead the way on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying it should present a framework for talks that “may be the only way to preserve the goal of a two-state solution.” In response, Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour said that the Palestinians are “ready and willing” to see if the UN Security Council has “the political will” to adopt a UN resolution with a deadline for ending Israel’s presence in the West Bank and establishing a Palestinian state. Mansour said that the adoption of a resolution with a timetable would be “one of the most effective measures to combat extremism in our region, because extremists receive their fuel from the injustice of the Palestinian people.” Mansour added “If there is a just solution to this conflict … in a short period of time, then you’ll take away from them the main source of recruitment and mobilization,” he said, adding that it would also contribute to resolving perhaps 70 percent of the “burning issues in the Middle East.” In addition, the Palestinians also want an international conference on the issue that would include the five members of the UN Security Council which have veto power — the US, Russia, China, Britain and France — and “concerned” Arab parties, Mansour said.

Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas said that the success of a renewed effort to establish a Palestinian state at the UN Security Council would be complicated and has its obstacles. Abbas said: “This [renewed effort] will be very difficult because the US can use its veto rights [in the UN Security Council]. In any case, he said that the ball is now in US and Israel’s court.

Recently, the Arab League foreign ministers decided to support a new Palestinian UN Security Council resolution which would also call for setting a timeline for an Israel withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders. Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said that an agreement was reached wherein the Arab ministers asked a team of experts to start working on preparing a plan to assist the Palestinians in their effort to seek a resolution calling for establishing a timeline concerning an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 borders.

Abbas made a trip to Russia to speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov about the matter and to get advice on how Russia can support an effort to recognize a PLO state at the UN Security Council. In response, Putin said that Russia will support the Palestinian effort. Speaking at the Arab League Summit,
Putin said that the “Palestinians have the right to establish an independent and viable state with a capital in east Jerusalem.”

A Chinese envoy to the UN called on the Palestinians and Israel to “move towards each other” and restart their peace talks as soon as possible. China’s representative to the United Nations, Wang Min, said: “The recent situation in the Middle East remains volatile. Solving the question of Palestine and Israel is becoming more important and more urgent. The creation of an independent state of Palestine through peace talks and the peaceful coexistence of the two countries is the only way out,” he said, adding “we hope that Israel will demonstrate good will and sincerity, stop the construction of settlements and lift completely the blockade on Gaza.” He added that any solution to the conflict should consider Israel’s legitimate security concerns. China firmly supports the people of Palestine in its just cause for the restoration of their legitimate national rights, said Wang. China has always “supported Palestine and Israel living in peace and security. We are open to all initiatives that will contribute to the restart of peace talks. China will continue its effort to find a solution to the question of Palestine” he said.

France urged the United Nations Security Council to set a framework to broker peace between Israel and the Palestinians as council member New Zealand said it had started working on a draft resolution to kick-start the peace process. New Zealand’s UN Ambassador Jim McLay said: “We have been working on a text that might serve the purpose of getting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians started again.” French UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said: “It’s the responsibility of this council to adopt a consensual and balanced resolution that sets the parameters of a final status and a timeline for the negotiations.” France and New Zealand indicated that now was the right time for the UN Security Council to consider the matter since Israel held its election last month and before the US presidential campaign gets started in early 2016. McLay said that New Zealand was prepared to see how the French-led push for a UN resolution played out first saying, “We have not seen the latest French text, but if it has a chance of succeeding, New Zealand stands ready to engage and to be helpful.”

The French ambassador to the United Nations said that the establishment of a Palestinian state is in the interest of Middle Eastern stability, stressing that without a Palestinian state, there will never be peace in the region. He said: “We are convinced more than ever that there is no alternative to the establishment of a Palestinian state which is in the interest of everyone and in the interest of peace, so it is essential that the Security Council shoulders its responsibilities towards this end.” The French Ambassador said that the Israeli settlements are illegal and undermine the possibility of a Palestinian state existing on the ground. He stressed the need for all parties “to commit to the two-state solution and to proceed from here to create a new political perspective that leads to the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel,” and to face the continued unilateral strategies which only increase the lack of trust between the parties. Finally, he said that “We cannot surrender and we cannot accept the current situation which will inevitably lead to a disaster.”

France wants to have a leading role in promoting a UN Security Council resolution in favor of Palestinian statehood. France discussed the possibility of presenting its own resolution at the end of 2014. A possible French resolution will probably include a demand for a border based on the 1967 line with mutual land swaps. Additional parameters will be security arrangements on the borders, including the presence of international forces, Jerusalem as a shared capital for the two states and a just and agreed-upon solution to the Palestinian refugee problem.

The French hoped to convince the Obama administration to not cast a veto on such a resolution. A French foreign ministry source was cautiously optimistic that the United States may abstain from such a vote. France believes that it needs to coordinate its policy with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. As a result, France wants to make the 2002 Saudi peace initiative the basis for its peace efforts.

The Saudi peace initiative calls for an Israeli withdrawal from the Palestinian territories, including east Jerusalem, and the establishment of a Palestinian state in exchange for recognition of, and normalization of ties with, Israel by the Arab nations. Israel rejected the initiative outright at the time it was proposed, particularly because of the clause which calls for “a just solution for refugees,” and in essence supports the Palestinian right of return. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas expressed at the time of its release full support for the Saudi initiative.

According to diplomatic sources at the United Nations, the United States may support the Saudi peace initiative as a solution to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. These sources indicate that the US would not initiate the move itself but would “make sure” that another western state would introduce the move. The purported US plans do not indicate that the United States supports all of the clauses of the Saudi initiative or agrees to its diplomatic goals. However, the United States sees a benefit to supporting the 2002 Saudi peace initiative for two reasons.

1) It will appease the Saudis who opposes the emerging nuclear deal that the United States negotiated with Iran

2) It would send a message to the new government in Israel that it does not have a lot of time to ponder a renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians.

France is hoping to avoid a U.S. veto at the U.N. Because of increasing American frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a French official described a possible “backdoor” for negotiations now, and said “all countries including the United States now realizes that all other ways to achieve a peace agreement has been explored without success.” The French are optimistic that the United States might reconsider its position because after Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s election win on March 17 where he made tough campaign comments against Palestinian statehood, the United States said it would re-evaluate its approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The French official praised the “pretty clear message sent by the Americans.”

French foreign minister, Laurent Fabius said: “If we want to have a viable two-state solution, the UN Security Council must agree on a solution. Therefore, I hope that the partners who were reluctant in the past [meaning the United Statues] will not be so reluctant in the future.” US President Barack Obama has said he will reassess US policy toward Israel following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s comment before last month’s election that he would not allow the establishment of a Palestinian state during his administration. This could be a possible sign that the United States will no longer veto a UN Security Council resolution to recognize a PLO state at the UN.

The French proposal includes a requirement for Palestinian recognition of Israel as a “Jewish state.” In the past, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected this demand. The discussed French plan would consist of three steps:

1) French diplomats will present a draft resolution to the UN Security Council. This requires that the United States will not veto such resolution.

2) An international peace conference will be held

3) France, along with other European allies, will recognize an independent Palestinian state based upon the pre-1967 borders.

Nabil Shaath, a senior official of the Fatah Central Committee said “France is working with the US to gain backing for the new peace effort. France is also seeking support from European and Arab partners”. He said that the weight of a United Nations Security Council resolution, which is legally binding, would add to international pressure against Israel. He declined “to provide more details on the possible sticking points in the negotiations.”

Britain’s UN Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant said that Britain saw merit in a new UN Security Council resolution that sets “the parameters for a peaceful and negotiated solution.” However, in order for this to succeed, he said that this will require proper consultation on the issue with key UN Security Council members to achieve the full backing of the 15 member security council.

Senior officials in the Obama administration are initiating steps to be taken immediately after the swearing in of the new Israeli government aimed at renewing Israeli and Palestinian peace talks. Furthermore, the US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power said that the United States would not rule out advancing resolutions targeting Israel. She noted that the United States had as recently as last summer’s war between Israel and Hamas contemplated advancing a UN Security Council resolution on the conflict.

Rep. Nita Lowey, D-NY told Power that she was troubled by reports “suggesting a reevaluation of our long-standing policy of defending Israel at the UN” and said “supporting or remaining agnostic” on UN resolutions targeting Israel would violate the 1993 Oslo peace accords.

Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas said that she was disturbed by reports that the United States may allow a UN Security Council resolution to recognize a PLO state to go forward. Granger said: “I am also very concerned about recent statements from administration officials that suggest the United States is reevaluating its approach to the peace process and reports that the US may support a UN Security Council resolution laying out conditions and establishing deadlines.”

Furthermore, a bipartisan group of US senators warned President Barack Obama in a letter  that “using the United Nations to push Israel and the Palestinians to accept terms defined by others will only ensure that the parties themselves are not committed to observing these provisions.”

Democratic Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Mark Warner (D-VA) joined with Republican Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) in signing the missive, which stated their opposition to “efforts to bypass direct negotiations and impose peace terms on Israel at the UN and other international bodies. For decades, both Democratic and Republican administrations have stood by Israel in opposing anti-Israel or one-sided resolutions at the UN Security Council and other UN agencies,” the senators noted, telling the president that “we must remain firm in opposing actions that are designed to circumvent direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.”

Such actions, the senators warned, “will set back the opportunities for peace in the long term. We must make clear our willingness to use our veto power to block such efforts at the UN Security Council and our continuing defense of Israel at the United Nations Human Rights Council and other agencies where Israel is under constant assault,” the senators emphasized. The senators quoted Obama’s own 2011 address to the UN General Assembly in which he told the international body that “ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians — not us — who much reach agreement on the issues that divide them.”

US Speaker of the House John Boehner described the Obama administration’s historical treatment of Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as “reprehensible.” In defending Netanyahu, Boehner said: “Netanyahu doesn’t have a peace partner. How do you have a two-state solution when you don’t have a partner in that solution, when you don’t have a partner for peace, when the other state has vowed to wipe you off the face of the Earth,” Boehner said. “So until there’s a willing partner, willing to sit down and have peace talks, I think it’s irrelevant whether we’re talking about a two-state solution.”

Israel opposes UN Security Council resolutions to try to resolve the conflict with the Palestinians because it believes the United Nations is biased against it and that only direct negotiations can resolve the conflict. Israeli leaders also say an international resolution that essentially endorses the Palestinian negotiating position will make the Palestinians more intransigent in future talks. Israel also remains opposed to returning to the 1967 borders and insists that any peace process should include recognition of a Jewish state.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Abbas Seeks International Allies to Found Palestine as Legitimate Country
2) Palestinians ready to test UN on pullout timetable again — envoy
3) ‘Arab League to submit timetable for an end to Israel’s occupation’
4) Putin to Arab League: Palestinians have right to state with capital in east Jerusalem
5) Chinese envoy calls for restart of peace talks between Palestine, Israel
6) Britain, France urge UN action on Middle East
7) France: Establishment of Palestinian State vital for peace in the Middle East
8) France steps up involvement on Iran, Palestine
9) France Calls for Peace Talks Based on Two-State Solution
10) France using US-Israel tensions to push for UN resolution on Mideast peace effort
11) France to Push for New UN Resolution on Israel-PA Peace
12) France to Submit UN Resolution on Israel-PA Talks in 12 Days
13) France set to propose new Palestinian state resolution at UN
14) EU not reassessing relationship to Israel… yet, envoy says
15) US may push renewed discussion of the Saudi peace initiative
16) White House: US ‘to Reevaluate’ Backing for Israel at UN
17) Power: US won’t dismiss anti-Israel UN resolutions
18) Senators warn Obama against rescinding UN veto
19) Boehner: Obama administration’s ‘animosity’ toward Netanyahu ‘reprehensible”

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 21, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

April 20th, 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 Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to form a new government

On March 17, Israel had new elections. In the elections, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political party, Likud, won the most seats in the Israeli government.  As a result, Netanyahu is being given the opportunity to form a government coalition. There are 120 members in the Israeli Knesset. A coalition of at least 61 Knesset members is needed to form a government. Based upon the election results, Netanyahu can form a nationalistic right-wing government of 67 members. Alternatively, he can choose to form a government with the primary opposition party, formerly called the Labor party, now called the Zionist Union. The Zionist Union is a merger between the former Labor party and Hatnua, the party established by former Israel chief negotiator in the peace process, Tzipi Livni. The Zionist Union is a center-left political party.

A nationalistic right-wing government of 67 members would consist of the ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism along with the religious Zionist party, Jewish Home, headed by Naftali Bennett, the secular Russian based nationalistic right wing party, Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman and the new socio-economic party, Kulanu, headed by former Likud party member, Moshe Kahlon.

The ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, are close to an agreement to join the government. MK Yariv Levin, a leader of the negotiating team of the Likud, said that the coalition negotiations with Shas and United Torah Judaism are advancing. Levin said, “We are close to signing agreements with Shas and United Torah Judaism. However, there are still some small disagreements and disputes.” Shas representatives said: “The negotiations are very positive. We have progressed in many things,” said a senior negotiator, ” We still have some disagreements and issues which we are working at in collaboration with United Torah Judaism – especially about the religion ministry. But there is no doubt we are progressing well.“ Shas is seeking the Interior and Religious Affairs ministries for party leader Arye Deri and deputy minister posts in the Finance, Education, and Religious Affairs ministries for other members of the party.

In further meetings with Likud,  it is believed that the the head of United Torah Judaism, Yaakov Litzman, will be given the position of Ministry of Health. In addition, UTJ MK Moshe Gafni would head the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee was also sought after by the Kulanu party of Moshe Kahlon in order to carry out the economic reforms they promised their constituents. Moshe Gafni has indicated a willingness to meet with Kahlon in order to work out an arrangement in which Gafni will head the finance committee but Kahlon will be assured of getting what he needs to institute his reforms.

Israel Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, said that he would keep his promise and appoint, Kulanu party leader, Moshe Kahlon, to be finance minister as well as give the party other socio-economic positions. In the March 17 elections, Kulanu ran on the platform to bring down housing prices and improve the Israeli economy. In their meeting, Netanyahu told Kulanu, “Your success is everyone’s success.” In their meetings, Kulanu also requested the Construction Ministry, the Environmental Protection Ministry, and the chairmanship of the Knesset Finance Committee saying, “No economic reforms will be able to happen if we are not given the authority to accomplish them.” In response to demands for the extra positions, Likud officials accused Kahlon of going overboard.

Meanwhile, Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon said he would only join the coalition if Yisrael Beytenu or the Zionist Union were part of the government coalition. Without one of the two parties, Netanyahu’s majority would not rise above 61 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. This would create an unstable government.

In any event, Netanyahu seems close to reaching an agreement for the ultra-Orthodox parties and Kulanu to join the government. Recently, Likud negotiators drafted a list of the agreements that they have reached with the ultra-Orthodox parties and the Kulanu party. However, Netanyahu is waiting to reach agreements with the rest of the coalition partners before signing an agreement with the ultra-Orthodox parties.

Meanwhile, in order to strengthen their negotiating position with Likud to join a possible government coalition, Jewish Home leader, Naftali Bennett is partnering with Yisrael Beitenu leader, Avigdor Lieberman. According to Israel’s Channel 2, Bennett and Lieberman reached an agreement whereby Bennett would drop his demand to be named foreign minister – Liberman’s current position – in exchange for Lieberman’s assistance in obtaining other key portfolios desired by Jewish Home primarily the Religious Affairs Ministry while agreeing to block any attempt by Netanyahu to form a national unity government with the center-left Zionist Union.

Jewish Home is demanding that they receive the Religious Affairs Ministry. Jewish Home leader, Naftali Bennett threatened to end negotiations with Likud if Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu grants control of the Religious Affairs Ministry to the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party Shas. Jewish Home had the Religious Affairs Ministry in the last government. As a result, Bennett said: “Unilaterally taking the Religious Affairs Ministry away from the religious Zionist movement and handing it to Shas will spell the end of negotiations with Jewish Home.” It has been reported that Netanyahu wants to give the religious affairs portfolio to Shas chief Aryeh Deri as compensation for Deri’s relinquishing the Interior Ministry to Kulanu party head, Moshe Kahlon.

Sources within Jewish Home said that the only compromise the party would accept was a rotation of the Religious Affairs Ministry or for a member of Likud to be appointed as minister. Shas and Jewish Home clashed frequently in the last Knesset over the reforms regarding religion and state. As a result, Jewish Home is trying to prevent Shas from taking control of the issue.

Lieberman indicated his preconditions for Yisrael Beytenu’s entry into a Likud-led government. They include “liquidation” of Hamas and legislation mandating the death penalty for convicted terrorists. Furthermore, Lieberman will insist on maintaining the laws approved in the last government that ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva students serve in the military. Lieberman is adamant on keeping the “Sharing the Burden” law, which calls for the religious to perform some form of national service, as well reforms to the process of converting to Judaism and to the system of marriage registration, which would allow couples to choose the rabbi performing the wedding ceremony.

In contrast, the ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, want all of these laws passed in the last government to be overturned. It is being reported that Netanyahu has promised the ultra-Orthodox that at least some of the religious reforms passed in the last government will be repealed. As a condition for them joining the government, the ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism, demand that the laws concerning religious reforms be revoked. Lieberman wants to continue to be Foreign Minister and said repairing diplomatic ties with the United States is a top priority on his agenda. Finally, Lieberman opposes the proposal to add more ministers to the government. In the last Israeli government, it was agreed that the total number of cabinet ministers would be restricted to 18. In addition, Lieberman said that he would not sit in a national unity goverment. “Netanyahu has the right to close a deal with Herzog and Livni [Zionist Union]. However, we wouldn’t be part of such a government. That I can say definitely,” Lieberman said.

In frustration to the demands of Jewish Home and Yisrael Beitenu, the Likud negotiating team is threatening to establish a national unity government with the main opposition party, Zionist Union. Likud party whip, MK Ze’ev Elkin said: “We’ve been saying all along that if the days go by and the parties of the nationalist camp fail to compromise, the prime minister will have no choice but to make a generous offer to the Zionist Union, even though that is not our preferred option.”

However, Zionist Union chairman Isaac Herzog maintained that he intends to lead the opposition, not join a unity government. He said: “A government of 67 MKs [nationalist right-wing] is about to be established. I said right after the elections that we would be going to the opposition. That’s not a default choice; it’s a preference.” He added that, “From our place in the opposition we will take the place of the Likud government in the future, because Netanyahu will lead the government to hit a wall, in the end.” Furthermore, Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel affirmed that the Zionist Union will not join a national unity government saying: “I do not see the Zionist Union being welcome in Netanyahu’s government. If there is a statement indicating that Likud would consider a national unity government, it only comes from Likud sources who want to lower the price in the coalition negotiations between the parties of the right,” he said.

Initially, Netanyahu has 28 days to try to form a coalition government. If needed, he may request a 2 week extension. With little sign of any imminent coalition agreement by the initial April 22 deadline, Netanyahu asked Israel President Reuven Rivlin for a 2 week extension. The request was granted and now Netanyahu has until May 7 to form a coalition government. In being granted the extension, Netanyahu said: “We’ve moved forward in the process and we’re well on our way to forming a new government but more time is needed to make sure [the government] is a stable one, and to reach agreement on a number of important [issues] that will enable us to tackle the challenges facing the state of Israel.”

After the March 17 elections, it seemed that Netanyahu would be able to easily establish a nationalistic right-wing government. However, after weeks of negotiations with his potential partners, Netanyahu is finding that task more difficult than originally believed.  Whether Netanyahu chooses a national unity government with the main opposition party, Zionist Union, or forms a nationalistic right-wing government will have broad implications. If Netanyahu sides with the right-wing allies that he often calls his “natural” partners, Netanyahu will have a solid parliamentary majority of like-minded parties that could avoid much of the infighting that plagued the outgoing government and provide some welcome internal political stability at home.

But such a coalition — averse to peace moves with the Palestinians and in favor of expanded settlement construction in the West Bank — quickly would find itself on a collision course with the international community at a time when Netanyahu is already feuding with his allies over the direction of the peace process and a nuclear deal with Iran that he strongly opposes. A unity government that includes his leftist rivals would help blunt that looming international isolation.

Throughout the election campaign, Netanyahu ruled out the possibility of joining forces with Isaac Herzog and his center-left Zionist Union and vowed to rule from the right. Election results gave his Likud party 30 seats and secured him a potential 67-seat majority with his traditional allies. In negotiations, however, these allies have made demands to head powerful government ministries.

Under Israeli election rules, if Netanyahu fails to form a coalition at the end of 42 days — the first 28 plus the two-week extension — Israeli President Reuven Rivlin can assign someone else the task of doing so. While this is technically possible, it is unlikely that Zionist Union would have an easier time establishing a government coalition. If no one succeeds in forming a coalition, Rivlin would be left with no choice but to order a new national election. Few expect that this will happen. Most believe that a 67-seat right-wing government seems to be the most likely outcome from the two-week extension. However,  within Netanyahu’s own Likud political party, his aides acknowledge that Netanyahu is concerned about conflict with his allies in the US and western Europe.

Increased settlement construction, a prolonged absence of Palestinian peace talks and nationalist legislation that critics argue undermines Israel’s democratic nature would surely draw a strong rebuke and perhaps even calls for sanctions and boycotts. With his relations with US President Barack Obama at a low point following clashes over Mideast peace and the Iranian nuclear talks, there is a real fear that Israel’s top ally may rescind its automatic protection of Israel at the United Nations and other international bodies.

Netanyahu has partnered with his adversaries in the past to shield himself from similar fallout. In 2009, Netanyahu appointed  then-Labor party leader Ehud Barak to be a part of his government. In 2000, Barak offered a Palestinian state to Yassir Arafat. In his last government, Netanyahu brought in dovish ex-foreign minister Tzipi Livni to be his chief peace negotiator.

Herzog’s Labor party, the main partner of the Zionist Union, has a long history of ousting its defeated leaders, so Herzog also may be tempted to jump at a chance to gain some influence and job security — most likely as Netanyahu’s foreign minister. Herzog is the seventh leader of the party since it last won a national election in 1999. But, so far, Herzog’s party rank-and-file seems to oppose joining Netanyahu and appears eager to watch a hard-line government fail.

Finally, Shas MK Yaakov Margi is very optimistic that things will work out with all of the Likud’s “natural partners,” including his party, Jewish Home, and Yisrael Beytenu. “Anyone who wants a national government will have to compromise, and I think everyone will,” Margi said. “Otherwise they are likely to get a national unity government with Labor leaders Yitzhak Herzog and Tzipi Livni.”

So what government will Netanyahu choose? By May 7th, we will all know.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Shas and UTJ Close to Coalition Agreement with Likud
2) Netanyahu Grants Shas and UTJ Their Preferable Ministerial Portfolios
3) In coalition push, Likud to confer with ultra-Orthodox, Kulanu
4) Kulanu expands coalition demands
5) ‘Bennett, Liberman join forces in coalition talks with Netanyahu’
6) Liberman to Place Hamas’s Destruction as Coalition Condition
7) Bennett: We’ll bolt talks if Shas gets religious portfolio; Likud: Don’t threaten us
8) Facing political deadlock, Netanyahu gets more time to build coalition
9) Rivlin grants Netanyahu 2 more weeks for coalition talks
10) Herzog insists he won’t join Netanyahu’s government
11) Lieberman Says He Will Not Sit in Unity Gov’t; Netanyahu Wants Foreign Ministry for Likud
12) Shas MK: Government Will be Formed, Despite Misgivings

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 14, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

April 13th, 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 reaction by the US, Israel and Iran to the framework agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program

Israel Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz distributed a document wherein it charged that the framework nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1 powers (US, Britain, France, Russia, China) and Germany does not block Iran’s path to the bomb. It says: “By removing the economic sanctions and lifting the main restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in about a decade, this framework agreement actually paves Iran’s path to a bomb. The result will be a dramatic increase in the risks of nuclear proliferation and an increase in the chances of a terrible war.” Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed that a “better deal” can and must be reached. The document poses 10 questions to the US-led negotiators with Iran that it said underlined “the extent of the irresponsible concessions given to Iran” and made clear “how dangerous the framework is for Israel, the region and the world.” The document asserted that “great consideration” was given to Iran, “an enemy of the Unites States, whose regime, even during the negotiations, continued to conduct aggression in the Middle East while calling for the destruction of Israel.”

The 10 questions regarding the agreement is as follows:

1. Why are sanctions that took years to put in place being removed immediately (as the Iranians claim)? This would take away the international community’s primary leverage at the outset of the agreement and make Iranian compliance less likely.

2. Given Iran’s track record of concealing illicit nuclear activities, why does the framework not explicitly require Iran to accept inspections of all installations where suspected nuclear weapons development has been conducted? Why can’t inspectors conduct inspections anywhere, anytime?

3. Will Iran ever be forced to come clean about its past nuclear weaponization activity?

4. What will be the fate of Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium?

5. Why will Iran be allowed to continue R&D on centrifuges far more advanced than those currently in its possession?

6. Why does the framework not address Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program, whose sole purpose is to carry nuclear payloads?

7. Following Iranian violations of the framework, how effective will be the mechanism to reinstitute sanctions?

8. What message does the framework send to states in the region and around the world when it gives such far-reaching concessions to a regime that for years has defied UNSC resolutions? Why would this not encourage nuclear proliferation?

9. The framework agreement appears to have much in common with the nuclear agreement reached with North Korea. How will this deal differ from the North Korean case?

10. Why is the lifting of restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program in about a decade not linked to a change in Iran’s behavior? According to the framework, Iran could remain the world’s foremost sponsor of terror and still have all the restrictions removed. Instead, the removal of those restrictions should be linked to a cessation of Iran’s aggression in the Middle East, its terrorism around the world and its threats to annihilate Israel.”

Many of the terms of this framework nuclear agreement is a departure from some of the stated goals of President Obama regarding the talks which he mentioned about 18 months ago. Here are a list of five areas where the administration changed policy during the negotiations.

1. Banning uranium enrichment

Before talks began, the Obama administration and the United Nations Security Council called for Iran to stop all uranium enrichment. The framework agreement, though, allows Iran to continue enriching uranium and producing plutonium for domestic civilian use. “Zero enrichment” had been a key demand since 2009, said Michael Singh, a senior fellow and managing director at The Washington Institute. “We basically went from zero to a number that kept going up.” The deal’s critics worry any enrichment could quickly be diverted to military use.

Omri Ceren, senior adviser for strategy at the Israel Project, said the administration started “sliding” on zero enrichment after talks began. But U.S. officials have suggested that halting all enrichment was never a realistic goal, and instead a key bargaining chip to secure other concessions from Iran.“ Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council and a former State Department official, said the U.S. had to budge on this demand for the talks to advance. “It was the icebreaker. It was what allowed these negotiations to take root,” he said. “It’s the single most important point in my opinion, in terms of getting negotiations off the ground,” he said. “Once that position softened, it allowed the Iranian position to soften.”

2. Capping centrifuges at 1,500

The Obama administration initially called for limiting the number of Iranian centrifuges used to enrich uranium to between 500 and 1,500, experts say. But U.S. negotiators walked back those limits, allowing Iran 6,104 centrifuges. Only 5,060 of those centrifuges, at the nuclear facility at Natanz, will be allowed to enrich low-grade uranium. “The number [went] from hundreds, to thousands, to eventually, 6,104, which is where they ended,” said Singh.

But proponents of the deal say it is still a huge two-thirds reduction from Iran’s current 19,000-some centrifuges, and that any enriched uranium would be unusable for a bomb. They also argue the more important criteria is not the number of centrifuges but the time it takes Iran to have enough material for a bomb — the ”break-out” period — which the framework leaves at one year.

3. Shuttering secret nuclear facilities

The U.S. initially called for Iran to completely close down its secret underground nuclear enrichment facility at Fordow and the heavy water reactor at Arak. President Obama said in December 2013 that Iran had no need for either. “They don’t need to have an underground, fortified facility like Fordow in order to have a peaceful nuclear program,” he said. “They certainly don’t need a heavy-water reactor at Arak in order to have a peaceful nuclear program.”

However, under the framework announced last week, both Fordow and Arak remain in operation. Fordow will have 1,000 centrifuges but be converted into a research facility, while Arak will continue producing plutonium, albeit at a low-grade unusable for a bomb. Fordow will not enrich uranium or keep any fissile material there for at least 15 years, and almost two-thirds of its centrifuges and infrastructure would be removed and placed under International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) monitoring. Also, Iran has agreed to implement the “Additional Protocol of the IAEA” which would provide inspectors expanded and regular access to Iran’s facilities and nuclear supply chain.

Skeptics, though, say Iran could continue covertly working on a bomb, noting that Fordow is underground and heavily fortified. “There was certainly a sense that we were seeking to sort of shut down or dismantle Iran’s nuclear program in a significant ways,” said Singh. “Under this deal, there’s certainly no dismantling of any kind.”

4. Ending Iran’s ballistic missile program

U.S. negotiators also dropped demands that Iran restrict development of ballistic missiles that could be used to deliver warheads, experts say. The current framework only says a new U.N. resolution would incorporate “important restrictions on conventional arms and ballistic missiles. They have completely given up ballistic missiles,” Ceren said.

The Obama administration says the issue of missiles and other conventional weapons should be treated separately from the nuclear deal. “As we’ve said, we have concerns about Iran’s conventional weapons, including ballistic missiles, separate from the nuclear program, obviously,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said. “Those concerns don’t go away with the nuclear agreement,” she added.

5. Finalizing a 20-year deal

Initially the U.S. pushed for a deal that would last over 20 years. However, the framework would see the deal’s key terms sunset in 10 to 15 years. Specifically, Iran would have to restrict the number of centrifuges enriching uranium for 10 years. In addition, the level of uranium enrichment would be capped at a lower-quality grade and the amount Iran stockpiles limited for 15 years. In addition, the restrictions on Fordow and Arak also last for 15 years.

Ceren said even though Iran isn’t legally allowed to build a bomb, all “functional” restrictions on Iran’s nuclear capacity would be lifted after 15 years. “For many months, we’ve said we’ve wanted a 25-year sunset clause, then a 20-year sunset clause, now we’re down to a 10-year sunset clause,” Ceren said. “If nothing changes in Iran in 10 years … then you’re looking at after 10 years, a much shorter break-out time,” Singh warned.

Meanwhile, the Iranian defense minister Brigadier General Hossein Dehgan said that international inspectors would not be granted access to Iranian military sites. He said, “No such agreement has been reached and basically, visiting military centers are among the red lines and no visit to these centers will be allowed.” Dehgan said that international media reports that the framework nuclear deal will allow International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) experts to inspect military centers across Iran were “lies” and “deceits.” He said, “The determination of the nuclear negotiating team of the Islamic Republic of Iran is that it will not allow anything be imposed on the Iranian nation.”

Furthermore, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran would not allow any online cameras to be installed at its nuclear facilities because in the past Iranian nuclear scientists have been identified and assassinated. In addition, Iran’s foreign minister told members of the Iranian parliament that Iran will begin using its latest generation of IR-8 centrifuges as soon as its nuclear deal with the world powers goes into effect. Iran has said that its IR-8 centrifuges enrich uranium 20 times faster than the IR-1 centrifuges it currently uses. Zarif said that Iran was capable of producing an atomic bomb at any given moment but will refrain from doing so due to religious Islamic injunctions against such a move.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said: “Israel shares the view that from the beginning of the nuclear deal with Iran that the break out time for Iran to achieve a nuclear weapon will be near zero,” with the “inevitable result of the automatic removal of restrictions something that would enable Iran to gain an industrial-scale production capacity.” Breakout time refers to how long it would take to build a bomb. The framework deal, if honored, expands Iran’s breakout time — currently two to three months — to at least a year. In defense of his nuclear deal, US President Barack Obama said Iran would be kept a year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon for more than a decade but did admit this period to shrink to zero after 13 or more years.

Former US Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and George P. Shultz warned of the implications of the framework Iranian nuclear deal saying, “For 20 years, three presidents of both major parties proclaimed that an Iranian nuclear weapon was contrary to American and global interests – and that they were prepared to use force to prevent it. Yet negotiations that began 12 years ago as an international effort to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability, albeit short of its full capacity in the first ten years.” they said. Kissinger and Shultz noted that by “mixing shrewd diplomacy with open defiance of U.N. resolutions, Iran has gradually turned the negotiation on its head. Iran’s centrifuges have multiplied from about 100 at the beginning of the negotiation to almost 20,000 today. The threat of war now constrains the West more than Iran.”

“While Iran treated the mere fact of its willingness to negotiate as a concession, the West has felt compelled to break every deadlock with a new proposal. In the process, the Iranian program has reached a point officially described as being within two to three months of building a nuclear weapon,” they added. “Under the proposed agreement, for 10 years Iran will never be further than one year from a nuclear weapon and, after a decade, will be significantly closer.”

The two warned that “the gradual expiration of the framework agreement, beginning in a decade, will enable Iran to become a significant nuclear, industrial and military power after that time – in the scope and sophistication of its nuclear program and its latent capacity to weaponize at a time of its choosing. …Iran will be in a position to bolster its advanced nuclear technology during the period of the agreement and rapidly deploy more advanced centrifuges…after the agreement expires or is broken.”

The former secretaries of state noted that “the ultimate significance of the framework will depend on its verifiability and enforceability.” They pointed out there are various versions of the deal floating around and claiming different details meaning “the so-called framework represents a unilateral American interpretation.” They also noted how the US changed its goal to a one-year window for nuclear breakout, after shelving original demands to dismantle significant parts of Iran’s nuclear program altogether. “The new approach complicates verification and makes it more political because of the vagueness of the criteria,” they said.”Under the new approach, Iran permanently gives up none of its equipment, facilities or fissile product to achieve the proposed constraints. It only places them under temporary restriction and safeguard – amounting in many cases to periodic visits by inspectors to declared sites,” they said. “The physical magnitude of the effort is daunting. Is the International Atomic Energy Agency technically, and in terms of human resources, up to so complex and vast an assignment?”

The two assessed that “in a large country with multiple facilities and ample experience in nuclear concealment, violations will be inherently difficult to detect. …The experience of Iran’s work on a heavy-water reactor during the ‘interim agreement’ period – when suspect activity was identified but played down in the interest of a positive negotiating atmosphere – is not encouraging.”

“Compounding the difficulty is the unlikelihood that breakout will be a clear-cut event. More likely it will occur, if it does, via the gradual accumulation of ambiguous evasions,” they noted. “When inevitable disagreements arise over the scope and intrusiveness of inspections, on what criteria are we prepared to insist and up to what point? If evidence is imperfect, who bears the burden of proof?” Kissinger and Shultz pointed out that the threat of renewed sanctions which is “the agreement’s primary enforcement mechanism” will be a murky and difficult process to impleent, and puts Iran at an advantage, because the deal gives Iran permanent sanctions relief “in exchange for temporary restraints on Iranian conduct.”

The two diplomats added that by changing American policy and accepting Iran’s nuclear program, the deal poses another threat for the region and cause a nuclear arms race. They said: “Some of the countries in the Middle East are likely to view the U.S. as willing to concede a nuclear military capability to the country they consider their principal threat,” they said. “Several will insist on at least an equivalent capability. Saudi Arabia has signaled that it will enter the lists; others are likely to follow. In that sense, the implications of the negotiation are irreversible.”

While there has been talk of an American nuclear umbrella for the Gulf states against Iran, the two argued that there are many issues complicating how and when such protection would be deployed. Noting how Iran has been expanding its power in Yemen, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, they assessed that “Iran occupies positions along all of the Middle East’s strategic waterways and encircles archrival Saudi Arabia, an American ally. Absent the linkage between nuclear and political restraint, America’s traditional allies will conclude that the U.S. has traded temporary nuclear cooperation for a nuclear Iran. As a result, the two diplomats warned that as Sunni states “gear up to resist a new Shiite empire,” the Middle East will be further destabilized.

The Saudi Arabia news media responded to the Iranian nuclear framework agreement by saying: “Gulf states — and especially Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait and Bahrain — have been experiencing the nightmare of an Iranian attack for decades. Now, after the nuclear agreement, there is no doubt that this danger has doubled. People are angry with the Obama administration for selling this region cheaply. Obama left the region to face an evil state. As long as the Americans don’t explicitly state their commitment to defend Saudi Arabia from Iran and Iraq, we will face large-scale regional anarchy as a result of this nuclear deal. The Iranians are claiming that Obama is uninterested in the security of the Gulf and his American allies in the region. This Iranian thinking will lead to more regional wars. People are angry with the Obama administration because it has limited the conflict to the nuclear issue, while Tehran continues to mull further geographic gains. Iran’s wars were actually always against Gulf states; not against Israel.”

Meanwhile, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Iran will only agree to a final nuclear accord with the six major powers if all sanctions imposed on the country over its disputed nuclear work are lifted. In addition, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called the deal “non-binding” and said the prospect of lifting sanctions in stages was “unacceptable” saying they must be removed on the same day a deal is signed.

In response, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that international sanctions on Iran should remain in place saying that Iran’s “unbridled aggression and its terrorism” have proved why the country could not be trusted. Maintaining his criticism of the US-led framework deal, Netanyahu said that a better agreement would tie the lifting of all sanctions “to an end of Iran’s aggression in the region, its worldwide terrorism and its threats to annihilate Israel.”

The United States said that any sanctions relief will only come once curbs on its uranium enrichment are verified. US State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said: “Sanctions will be suspended in a phased manner upon verification that Iran has met specific commitments under a finalized joint comprehensive plan of action. The process of sanctions suspension or relief will only begin after Iran has completed its major nuclear steps and the breakout time has been increased to at least a year,” he said.

Republican Senator John McCain called US Secretary of State, John Kerry “delusional” for not being totally honest and transparent about the Iranian framework nuclear agreement. In defending the US framework agreement with Iran, US Secretary of State, John Kerry, warned the US Congress not to put in place any conditions that would impede implementation of the Iranian deal if a final agreement can be reached by the end of June. The US Congress is trying to advance a bipartisan bill that would give Congress the right to review any final deal with Iran and to have a vote on whether economic sanctions imposed by Congress should be suspended. 

As a result of the framework nuclear agreement, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a ban on supplying Iran with the sophisticated S-300 air defense missile systems. Russia signed a 2007 contract to sell Tehran the S-300 system but the weaponry was never delivered amid strong objections by the United States and Israel. Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz denounced the Russian decision as proof of Iran’s new “legitimacy” following nuclear talks. “This is a direct result of the legitimacy that Iran is receiving from the nuclear deal that is being prepared, and proof that the Iranian economic growth which follows the lifting of sanctions will be exploited for arming itself and not for the benefit of the Iranian people” he said.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned the United States that the Iranian inter-continental ballistic missile system (ICBM) — an issue not addressed in the nuclear framework deal — was more of a threat to the US than to Israel. He said: “The Iranian ICBMs is a weapon to be used against the United States. They are not directed at Israel.” Furthermore, Netanyahu said that any final nuclear deal with Iran must include Iran’s recognition of Israel’s right to exist. He said: “Iran is a regime that openly calls for Israel’s destruction and openly and actively works towards that end.” he said. “Recently, an Iranian commander said that ‘the destruction of Israel is non-negotiable.’ Well, I want to make clear to all. The survival of Israel is non-negotiable.” Netanyahu said that Israel would not accept an agreement that “allows a country that vows to annihilate us to develop nuclear weapons, period.” As a result, in any final agreement with Iran, Iran must recognize Israel’s right to exist.

In response, US President Barack Obama disagreed with Netanyahu saying that that policy would be a misjudgment. He said, “The notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons in a verifiable deal on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms,” Obama said. “And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment.”

In addition, Obama criticized Netanyahu for opposing the Iranian nuclear framework agreement saying, “The Prime Minister of Israel is deeply opposed to it. I think he’s made that very clear. I have repeatedly asked – what is the alternative that you present that you think makes it less likely for Iran to get a nuclear weapon? And I have yet to obtain a good answer on that.”

In response, Netanyahu said: “I’m not trying to kill any deal. I’m trying to kill a bad deal. Furthermore, I think the alternatives are not either this bad deal or war. I think there’s a third alternative – that is standing firm, ratcheting up the pressure until you get a better deal. And a better deal would roll back Iran’s vast nuclear infrastructure, require Iran to stop its aggression in the region and its terror worldwide, and its calls and actions to annihilate the state of Israel,” he said. “So let me reiterate again the two main components of the alternative to this bad deal: First, instead of allowing Iran to preserve and develop its nuclear capabilities, a better deal would significantly roll back these capabilities – for example, by shutting down the illicit underground facilities that Iran concealed for years from the international community. “Second, instead of lifting the restrictions on Iran’s nuclear facilities and program at a fixed date, a better deal would link the lifting of these restrictions to an end of Iran’s aggression in the region, its worldwide terrorism and its threats to annihilate Israel.

The main opposition party in Israel, the Zionist Union, and its leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni laid out their Iranian policy calling for a “comprehensive, intimate and in-depth strategic discussion with the US” on nuclear talks between world powers and Iran, saying all issues on the table must be clarified with the United States before a final agreement is signed with Iran. Their position paper demanded that the United States “give legitimization ahead of time to any action Israel will need to take to protect its safety.” In essense, the Herzog and Livni’s plan is a call on the Obama administration to commit in advance to approve an Israeli military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities if Iran violates the framework agreement recently signed and try to produce a nuclear bomb.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Israeli document poses 10 key questions about ‘irresponsible, dangerous’ Iran deal
2) 5 key demands US dropped in Iran talks
3) Iran rules out inspection for military sites
4) Iranian FM reportedly says ‘no cameras’ in nuke sites after deal
5) Iran news report: Tehran will start using fastest centrifuges on day deal takes effect
6) Netanyahu: ‘Iran’s breakout time from start of deal will be near zero’
7) Obama admits: Deal will give Iran ‘near zero’ breakout time in 13 years
8) Kissinger Slams Obama for Conceding to Iranian ‘Nuclear Arsenal’
9) Obama sold the Sunnis down the river, Saudi media say
10) Rouhani: Iran will only sign final nuclear deal if sanctions end on same day
11) Netanyahu: Sanctions on Iran must remain
12) As Iran digs in, US says no to immediate sanctions relief
13) Israel alarmed at news Russia to supply Iran advanced air defense system
14) Netanyahu on US TV: Iran’s missile program aims at you, not us
15) Netanyahu: Any final Iran deal must include recognition of Israel’s right to exist
16) Obama says tying Iran deal to recognition of Israel “misjudgment”
17) Obama: Netanyahu has not offered alternative to Iran deal
18) Netanyahu to US: Still time to reach better nuclear deal with Iran
19) Israeli opposition fleshes out Iran policy, demanding US support for Israeli strike
20) Kerry fires back at critics over Iran deal details

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

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

Shalom in Yeshua the Messiah,

Eddie Chumney
Hebraic Heritage Ministries Int’l

April 7, 2015: Weekly 5 minute update

April 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 framework agreement by the major world powers regarding Iran’s nuclear program

The United States along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China announced a framework agreement with Iran regarding its nuclear program with the goal of reaching a detailed comprehensive agreement by June 30. The deal will limit Iran’s nuclear program and will provide Iran with relief from economic sanctions that have crippled its economy for the past decade.

US President Barack Obama said: “The United States, together with our allies and partners, has reached an historic understanding with Iran, which if fully implemented, will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” Obama called the deal “historic” and said that, “if fully implemented” it would prevent Iran attaining the bomb, and would render the US, its allies and the world safer. Obama said: “we have achieved the framework” for a long-term deal, a framework “that would cut off every path” that Iran could take to the bomb, including the toughest inspections “ever negotiated,” he said. He said the terms of the deal, first, closed off Iran’s plutonium route to the bomb. The core of the Arak reactor will be dismantled, he said.

Second, the uranium route would be closed, with two-thirds of Iran’s centrifuges no longer to be used, no enrichment at the Fordow facility, and no use of advanced centrifuges “for at least 10 years.” Most of Iran’s existing stocks of enriched uranium would be “neutralized.” Third, as the best defense against a covert Iranian bid for the bomb, it would be subjected to unprecedented inspection. “If Iran cheats, the world will know it,” Obama said. “If we see something suspicious, we will inspect it. It is a good deal.”

If it fully complies with the deal, Iran could “rejoin the family of nations,” the president said, stressing again that the deal had yet to be finalized. Obama reiterated that, “Iran will never be permitted to develop a nuclear weapon.” He said the deal provides for phased sanctions relief, but that if Iran violates the deal, “sanctions can be snapped back into place.” Obama added: “The issues at stake here are bigger than politics. These are matters of war and peace, and they should be evaluated based on the facts.” The president called the agreement “a good deal, a deal that meets our core objectives.”

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry said the deal had “no sunset clause.” Some of its components would in force for 10 years, others for 15, and still others for indefinite periods. If implemented, Kerry added, Iran’s current two-month potential breakout time, he said, would be at least a year. In an apparent jab at Netanyahu, Kerry added: “Simply demanding that Iran capitulate makes a nice soundbite, but it’s not a policy.” Kerry continued: “Throughout negotiation, we have made a diligent effort to consult with our allies and partners,” Kerry said, mentioning Israel and the Gulf states specifically.

The secretary of state said the preliminary deal opened the door to a long-term resolution that would ultimately satisfy international community’s concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. “There can be no question that the comprehensive plan we are moving toward will more than pass that test,” he said. He said that Iran has agreed to reduce its centrifuges by two thirds — from approximately 19,000 to an allowed 6,104 installed under the deal. Of those, 5,060 will be allowed to enrich uranium for the next 10 years.

Tehran had also agreed to cap its uranium enrichment at 3.67 percent for at least 15 years, and will not build any additional facilities for the purpose of enriching uranium during that time. Iran, whose breakout time for acquiring enough fissile material for one weapon is currently assessed to be 2-3 months, will be extended to at least one year for the next ten years. Kerry said that Iran had agreed not to enrich uranium at its Fordo facility or conduct nuclear research there, and will convert the complex into a science research center. Iran will ship all of its spent fuel from the Arak reactor out of the country, and the facility will also be redesigned to support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production. Kerry said that a final deal reached between the P5+1 powers and Iran would rely on proof — not on promises from Iran’s government, and that sanctions relief would only be implemented if Tehran abided by the outlined commitments.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif followed with the same statement in Farsi. He called the deal a “win-win” agreement. He later said the deal was designed to reassure “anybody who had concerns that our program is []anything but] exclusively peaceful. Still, he stressed, Iran would not be closing “any of our facilities” — something the “proud” Iranian people would not have accepted — would “continue enriching,” and would continue R&D.

Turning to Israel’s concerns over the Iranian nuclear issue, Obama said the framework accord provided the “best option” to ensure that Iran does not achieve nuclear weapons capabilities. Obama added: If “[Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is looking for the most effective way to ensure Iran doesn’t get a nuclear weapon, this is the best option.” Obama promised that he would speak to Netanyahu about the agreement and openly acknowledged that they “don’t agree” on how to stop Iran, while telling Netanyahu that the new deal was “the most effective” and “best option.”

Israeli officials strongly disagreed. Israel officials slammed the framework agreement as “a capitulation to Iranian dictates.” They called it “a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous agreement. If finalized, it would make the world “far more dangerous.” The agreement constitutes “international legitimization of Iran’s nuclear program” whose “only purpose is to build nuclear weapons.” The official said: “This is a bad framework that will lead to a bad and dangerous deal,” he said. “If an agreement is reached based on the guidelines of this framework, that would be an historic mistake which will transform the world into a much more dangerous place. This deal kowtows to Iranian dictates and it will not lead to a nuclear program for peaceful purposes, but rather to a military nuclear program.”

The Israeli official added: “The framework gives Iran’s nuclear program, the sole purpose of which is to produce nuclear bombs, international legitimacy. Iran will still have extensive nuclear capabilities. It will continue to enrich uranium. It will continue its centrifuge research and development. It will not close even one of its nuclear facilities, including the underground facility at Fordo. This and more.” The official added: “The bottom line is that this deal ensures the full removal of the sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program while assuring that it will keep its nuclear capabilities. There is no demand that Iran stop its aggression in the region, its terrorism around the world or its threats to destroy Israel, which it has repeated again over the past several days,” the official complained. The alternative to a bad deal is not war but rather a different deal,” the official concluded, “one that will significantly dismantle Iran’s nuclear infrastructure and will require Iran to stop its aggression and terrorism in the region and around the world.”

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu criticized the agreement and Iran’s intent in taking notice to recent statements by officials in Iran — notably their calls to eliminate Israel — as evidence of Iran’s unwillingness to compromise on its nuclear ambitions and campaign of “terror, subjugation and conquest.” Netanyahu said it was a moral outrage to make an agreement with Iran while Iran continues to call for the destruction of Israel. Netanyahu said: “Yesterday an Iranian general brazenly declared, and I quote, ‘Israel’s destruction is nonnegotiable’ ” while “Giving Iran’s murderous regime a clear path to a nuclear bomb is negotiable,” he said. “This is unconscionable.” Netanyahu argued that Iran’s actions and ongoing “aggression” across the Middle East proved it did not intend to give up its nuclear and regional ambitions.

Netanyahu said: “I agree with those who have said that Iran’s claim that its nuclear program is only for peaceful purposes doesn’t square with Iran’s insistence on keeping underground nuclear facilities, advanced centrifuges, and a heavy water reactor. Netanyahu’s reference to “those who have said” marked the second time in two days that he has referred to comments made by President Barack Obama at the Saban Conference in December 2013, without citing Obama by name. Netanyahu added: “Nor does it square with Iran’s insistence on developing ICBMs [Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles], and its refusal to come clean with the International Atomic Energy Agency on its past weaponization efforts. At the same time, Iran is accelerating its campaign of terror, subjugation and conquest throughout the region, most recently in Yemen,” he continued.  “After the Beirut-Damascus-Baghdad axis, Iran is maneuvering from the south to take over the entire Middle East,” Netanyahu said. “While [world powers] convene to sign this deal, Iran’s proxies in Yemen are conquering large swaths of land in an effort to overtake the Bab al-Mandab straits, so that they can change the balance of power in shipping oil,” he said.

Furthermore, Netanyahu said that he had spoken with Republican leaders in the US Senate and “conveyed our serious concern regarding the arrangement with Iran at the nuclear talks. This agreement confirms all our fears and exceeds them.

Some Israeli officials dismissed celebration of a nuclear framework deal between major powers and Iran, calling it detached from reality, and vowed to continue lobbying to prevent a “bad” final agreement. Israel Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said in a statement after the announcements in Switzerland: “The smiles from this agreement are detached from a wretched reality in which Iran refuses to make any concessions on the nuclear issue and contiues to threaten Israel and all other countries in the Middle East. We will continue with our efforts to explain and persuade the world in hopes of preventing a bad (final) agreement.”

Israel Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said: “The Nuclear deal would be ‘nothing less than a tragedy.” He added: “one does not have to be an intelligence agency member to know that Iran is lying without blinking, that today it is the biggest danger to the stability of the Middle East and the entire world.” Ya’alon said that the “Iranian appetite to export the revolution through terrorism will only get bigger, and with the seal of approval it receives as a legitimate state that is a touching distance away from being nuclear – the danger to the West and its allies in the Middle East will be enormous.”

Centrist Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid noted: “On the Iranian nuclear issue there is no opposition and coalition. We are all concerned that the Iranians will circumvent the deal and Israel must protect its own security interests. The ayatollah’s regime has been peddling fraud and deception for years and progressing with its nuclear program. They will try, from day one, to cheat the international community as they have done in the past.” Added Lapid: There is no basis to the determination that today Iran was prevented from attaining a nuclear weapon.

Debka, an Israeli intelligence gathering website, gave the following assessment of the Iranian nuclear agreement:

US President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry promised that the nuclear deal to be signed with Iran will give the world powers a year’s warning after the Islamic Republic’s breakout up to an operational weapon. Our nuclear experts explain why even that grim arithmetic does not do full justice to the advantages Iran has gained for its push to a nuke:

1.  Because Iran is permitted to continue running up to 6,500 elderly IR-1 centrifuges for enriching uranium to a low 3.5 percent grade, even if it is permitted to keep only 500 kilos of its stock of 7.5-8 –tons, Tehran would still be able to build a bomb in 7-8 months, i.e. a lot faster than Obama and Kerry have promised.

2.  But if Tehran activates secret facilities undetected by US intelligence, it can produce a larger quantity of enriched uranium and so shrink the time between breakout and bomb to three, at most, four months, totally insufficient for the world powers to detect, step in and abort the bomb’s manufacture, in view of the following considerations:

— To obtain proof that Iran is cheating on its accord with the world powers, “environmental” samples would have to be obtained and tested in laboratories outside Iran. Results would be available only after two months, further slashing the time line for stopping Iran building a weapon. But that is not all.

— If Iran is shown by the first round of tests to be in violation of the accord and enriching uranium to a higher grade than 3.5, a second batch of “environmental” samples must be collected to analyze the exact quantities of uranium illicitly enriched and grade of purity.

There goes another month of valuable time for action, cutting it down to 10-12 weeks.

3. And, finally, the US President, Secretary of State and International Atomic Energy leaders have affirmed Iran’s faithful compliance with the first interim nuclear accord – known as the Joint Plan of Action – JPOA – that was signed in Geneva November 2013.

That information is equally false.

It is a fact which is known to intelligence agencies that Iran never complied with its commitment to reduce its UF6 stocks below 7.5 tons and convert added amounts to harmless oxides. Indeed, they estimate that Iran has enlarged its approved amount of stock to 8.5 tons or more, by means of the “creep-out” strategy it has repeatedly pursued in the past to conceal its nefarious nuclear activities.

A final concession which Iran has managed to wring out of the six world powers led by the United States allows Iran to keep an extra 9,000 IR-1 centrifuges Tehran idle – though not dismantled – and permission to continue research and development on high-speed IR-8 or IR-5 centrifuges.

This means that the Islamic Republic will not only keep its nuclear infrastructure under the accord the six powers plan to sign, but add improvements along with the freedom to shorten at will the critical time lapse between breakout and bomb.

The tons of spoken and printed verbiage poured out on the Iranian nuclear issue and ongoing diplomacy year after year have exposed, rather than disguised, President Obama’s willingness to sign a nuclear deal with Iran – however bad and whatever the price.

The inescapable conclusion is that the US president has come around to accepting the reality of a nuclear-armed Iran. As seen from the United States, America never stopped India, Pakistan and North Korea from becoming nuclear powers, and has therefore decided it can live with a fourth – Iran.

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

The link to these articles are as follows:

1) Obama details ‘historic’ nuke deal with Iran, Jerusalem slams ‘dangerous capitulation’
2) Obama: Framework deal on Iran nuclear program ‘best option’ for Israel
3) Kerry: Iran deal will leave world safer, more secure
4) Full text of Iran nuke deal parameters, as set out by State Department
5) Israel: Deal a capitulation, will give Iran ‘a military nuclear program’
6) Netanyahu voices outrage that nuclear talks go on while Iran vows to destroy Israel
7) US surrender on breakout time to a bomb leads to breakthrough on a nuclear deal
8) Iran deal worse than Israel feared, Netanyahu says
9) Steinitz: Iran nuclear framework detached from reality
10) Ya’alon: Nuclear deal would be ‘nothing less than a tragedy’
11) Ya’alon: You don’t have to be in intelligence to know that Iran is lying

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