Period: November 2014


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Friday Church News Notes, November 14, 2014, David Cloud - After Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah visited the Temple Mount and declared Jerusalem the eternal capital of Palestine, Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made the following statement: "We will continue to develop seaports in order to lower the costs of goods. We will continue to pave highways and build railroads in order to join the Negev and the Galilee to the center of the country. We will continue to build in Jerusalem, our eternal capital. We have built in Jerusalem, we are building in Jerusalem, and we will continue to build in Jerusalem. I have heard a claim that our construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem makes peace more distant. It is the criticism which is making peace more distant. These words are detached from reality. They foster false statements among the Palestinians. When Abu Mazen incites to murder Jews in Jerusalem, the international community is silent, and when we build in Jerusalem they are up in arms. I do not accept this double standard. Just as the French build in Paris and the English build in London, Israelis build in Jerusalem. We will continue to build in Jerusalem and we will continue to build in here in Ashdod" ("Netanyahu Hits Back,", Oct. 28, 2014).,

The bill has been the subject of a heated debate between Jewish people, Palestinians and Arab Israelis.
By Thor Benson Contact the Author - JERUSALEM, Nov. 23 (UPI) -- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet approved a controversial bill on Sunday to make Israel the nation-state of Jewish people.
The bill is not yet a law, as it still needs approval from the country's parliament. It's actually a combination of two bills, and Netanyahu will be adding it to an additional version to be presented in the coming week. Fourteen cabinet members supported the measure and six opposed.
"The bill submitted today to the government puts a Jewish state before democracy," said Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid. "It is an anti-democratic bill. Neither I nor Yesh Atid will vote on Wednesday for the nation-state bill as it was submitted." Arabs account for just over 20 percent of Israel's population, and the bill would remove Arabic from the list of official languages. Many people see the proposed law as racist and exclusionary.

November 24, 2014 - Isabel Kershner -Jerusalem: The Israeli cabinet has approved draft legislation that emphasised Israel's Jewish character above its democratic nature in a move that critics said could undermine the fragile relationship with the country's Arab minority at a time of heightened tensions.
The promotion of a nationality law has long stirred fierce debate in Israel, where opponents fear that any legislation that gives pre-eminence to Israel's Jewishness could lead to an internal rift as well as damage Israel's relations with Jews in other countries and with the country's international allies.
The vote on Sunday also highlighted political fissures within the governing coalition amid increasing talk of early elections. The bill, a proposal for a basic law titled "Israel, the Nation-State of the Jewish People", passed 14-6, with two centrist coalition parties opposing it. Parliament still has to approve the bill for it to become law.
Answering critics who have questioned why such legislation is necessary 66 years after the foundation of the state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu defended the push for legislation.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at a meeting in Amman last week, called on Jordan’s king and the Islamic foundation that administers the Temple Mount to exercise their authority to prevent disturbances at the holy site, according to details revealed in an Israeli report Monday
During the Thursday meeting, attended by Netanyahu and US Secretary of State John Kerry, Jordan’s King Abdullah II expressed dissatisfaction regarding the Jewish Knesset members who had visited the Temple Mount in recent weeks, telling Netanyahu that their presence was inconsistent with the prime minister’s public assurances of maintaining the status quo of the compound, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif.
In response, Netanyahu reportedly told the king he was unable to restrict the movements of MKs, according to news site NRG. Abdullah, however did acknowledge President Reuven Rivlin and Netanyahu’s recent requests that right-wing MKs refrain from visiting the contested holy site, and noted the decline in such visits over the last week, the Hebrew daily reported. Netanyahu reiterated his commitment to Abdullah and Kerry that Israel has no intention of changing the delicate status quo at the Temple Mount, including leaving in place a controversial Israeli policy that bans prayer by non-Muslim visitors.
According to NRG, Netanyahu reminded Abdullah that Jordan maintains administrative control of the holy site, and encouraged the Hashemite Kingdom to take a larger role in restoring quiet. Netanyahu also pointed out that the recent clashes were carried out with the full knowledge of the Jerusalem Waqf.

President says deployment of Egyptian troops has been discussed with Israel and Palestine
November 23, 2014 - Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi speaks during a joint news conference in Khartoum Reuters - Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has said that he would be prepared to send troops to a future Palestinian state to help bring stability to the region. Speaking in an interview with Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, al-Sisi said any deployment of troops would take place with the agreement of the Palestinian authority and Israel.
"We are ready to send military forces into a Palestinian state," he said.
"We would help the local police and reassure the Israelis through our role as guarantor. Not forever, of course. For the time necessary to re-establish confidence. But first a Palestinian state must exist where troops can be sent to."
Al-Sisi also that he has raised the idea with Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the topic of neighbouring Libya, the Egyptian leader said the country has descended into chaos, as "extremely dangerous jihadist bases" take root in the region.
"The international community must make a very clear and joint choice in favour of the Libyan national army and no-one else," he said. "Aid, equipment, training must be sent to it exclusively." Al-Sisi's comments come as he begins his first European trip since ousting his predecessor, former Islamist leader Mohamed Morsi in July 2013. Al-sisi is due to visit France and Italy, where his trip will include a meeting with Pope Francis.

This critically important post concerns the Middle East turmoil about to explode, and specifically the nation of Israel in these Last Days. Many of nations of the world including the United States are seeking to compel this tiny nation (the size of New Jersey in America)- surrounded by sworn enemies- to give up more land, in order to somehow bribe those who daily demand her destruction to establish a so-called “Two State Solution”. This is doomed to failure again! I have written several posts concerning Israel- that are linked at the bottom of this essay that clearly reveal the truth about this 66+ year old nation that was born in one day in fulfillment of Bible prophecy:
Isaiah 66:8… “Or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, She gave birth to her children.”
This was historically fulfilled on May 14, 1948… and immediately five Muslim nations attacked her militarily to their great humiliating defeat. Since then Israel has been attacked three more times (1956, 1967 & 1973), and again soundly defeated her enemies and gained more land in the process. All who are privileged to study in depth the circumstances surrounding these four conflicts will walk away with the clear apprehension that Divine Intervention was involved at every turn, and that YHVH GOD sovereignly protected His chosen people, though most until now do not serve Him… yet! Therefore in light of the accelerating wave of prophecies reaching fulfillment, what Biblical Christians should be asking is “What is on the near horizon in prophetic Scripture as to ‘the cup of trembling for all nations’?” This book by Bill Salus and the two in-depth video interviews linked at the bottom of this post will answer this question and so much more. I will post a series of brief excerpts from the book, and yet cannot recommend enough that each disciple of Christ should get a copy of this outstanding book and study it with your Bible in hand!
From Bill Salus’ website, I quote:
“Psalm 83 predicts a climactic, concluding Arab-Israeli war that has eluded the discernment of today’s top Bible scholars, and yet, the Middle East stage appears to be set for the fulfillment of this prophecy. While many of today’s top Bible experts are predicting that Russia, Iran, Turkey, Libya, and several other countries are going to invade Israel according a prophecy in Ezekiel 38, this timely book explains how Psalm 83 occurs prior. Discover how Israel defeats their ancient Arab enemies, and why Americans need to stand beside Israel in this coming war!”
And from the text itself Psalm 83- The Missing Prophecy Revealed, these citations in sequence:
“There are 150 Psalms, 1189 chapters, and over 31,000 verses in the [entire] Bible, and Psalm 83 is the only place in Scripture where Israel and Hezbollah appear pinned against each other in a war prophecy…”
“…There is an abundance of prophetic content about the “end times” contained within the scriptures. Information that not only authenticates the sovereignty of GOD, the only true Author of prophecy, but is furthermore intended to prepare humanity for the times in which they live. The intent of this book is to explore Bible prophecies that receive little regard, that are extremely relevant today.”
“… But is a chapter missing- a concealed matter in desperate need of being searched out? Is it a chapter unfolding before our eyes, yet remaining virtually unnoticed? In light of the events developing on the world scene these days, prophetic scriptures exist that command equal attention!” Continued:

November 19, 2014 - In an unprecedented gesture of hostility towards Israel, the Jordanian Parliament on Wednesday opened a cabinet meeting with a moment of silence for the two Palestinian terrorists who slaughtered five Israelis in a Jerusalem synagogue a day earlier, Israel’s NRG News reported.
Lower House Speaker, Atef Tarawneh, then went on to recite a prayer in memory of the “martyrs,” Uday and Rassan Abu-Jamal, killed by Israeli police as they shot and hacked to death four rabbis at prayer and a police officer who later succumbed to his wounds.Along with the sixty second memorial, one MP demanded the governing body compose a letter condemning what he called “the Zionist attacks on Jerusalem and its inhabitants after a ‘heroic act’ committed by the two east Jerusalem residents.” Continued:

Published on Nov 11, 2014

November 20, 2014 [...] Popular Jewish blogger Elder of Ziyon has amassed evidence of UNRWA employees lauding the Jerusalem attack, among them Maha al Mosa, an UNRWA teacher in Syria who prayed for the two terrorists to be accepted in “paradise” as “martyrs,” Ibrahim Hajjar, another teacher based in Hebron, who published a poem praising the terrorists, and another Syrian-based teacher who, using a pseudonym, posted a celebratory picture of Adolf Hitler on his Facebook page.
The latest outrage centers on Naief al-Hattab, school director of UNRWA’s Zaitoun Elementary School Boys “B” and former school headmaster of Shijia Elementary School Boys “A” for Refugees. Writing on his Facebook page, al-Hattab congratulated the terrorists on their “wonderful revenge.” Al-Hattab, who shook hands with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on his visit to Gaza in October, has previously posted inflammatory statements and images, among them one of a young child brandishing a sub-machine gun. It is not clear whether this child is related to al-Hattab, or whether he attends the Zaitoun Elementary School which al-Hattab runs. [...]

November 21, 2014 “I will make a prediction,” Father Gabriel Nadaf told me with a smile. “Next year, in 2015, there will be 400 Christian recruits into the IDF.”
Father Nadaf, a Greek Orthodox priest from the town of Yafia, in the north of Israel, has spent the last two years urging Israel’s Christian community to join the Israeli military, based on his conviction that the Jewish state is the only country in the Middle East where Christians can practice their faith free from persecution. The numbers would appear to bear him out; in marked contrast to the other states in the region, where Christian populations have declined dramatically because of oppression and political conflict, the size of the community in Israel has more than quadrupled since independence in 1948, from 34,000 to 158,000 in 2012.

October 30, 2014 07:43 - Sweden has recognized the occupied state of Palestine officially, according to its foreign ministry. The Scandinavian has become the first West-European EU state to recognize the territories. Israel has recalled its ambassador in Sweden. The news follows an earlier hint by Prime Minister Stefan Lovfen in his Social Democrat manifesto, during his inaugural address in October, that this would happen. The idea was quickly met with criticism from the United States and Israel. "Our decision comes at a critical time because over the last year we have seen how the peace talks have stalled, how decisions over new settlements on occupied Palestinian land have complicated a two-state solution and how violence has returned to Gaza," Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom told reporters.
"By making our decision we want to bring a new dynamic to the stalled peace process."
"Today's recognition is a contribution to a better future for a region that has for too long been characterized by frozen negotiations, destruction and frustration," she wrote earlier on Thursday in the daily Dagens Nyheter. "Some will state this decision comes too soon. I am afraid, rather, that it is too late."
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has already welcomed the "historic" move by Sweden. "President Abbas welcomes Sweden's decision," Nabil Abu Rudeina, the leader's spokesman told AFP.
'US won’t decide our policies' – Sweden on Palestinian state recognition - The reaction from Israel followed soon after: “The decision of the Swedish government to recognize a Palestinian state is a deplorable decision which only strengthens extremist elements and Palestinian rejectionizm,” the Jewish state's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said. Later in the day, Israel's Foreign Ministry said the country is recalling its ambassador in Sweden for consultations in protest of the move. Lieberman even considers permanently removing the ambassador, Isaac Bachman, from his position, reported Haaretz. This move would officially downgrade Israel's relations with Sweden. Continued:

Reuters 10.30.2014 - Washington (AFP) - US Secretary of State John Kerry hit out Thursday at reported insults by an American official leveled against the Israeli prime minister, saying it was "disgraceful, unacceptable and damaging."
The top US diplomat also pledged the United States would continue to work "quietly and effectively" to try to relaunch the peace process with the Palestinians in a thoughtful and even-handed way, saying it was "doable." Turbulent US-Israel ties plunged to new lows this week, when an anonymous senior Obama administration official was quoted in The Atlantic magazine as calling Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "a chickenshit" only interested in preserving his own political skin.
Kerry told a forum hosted by The Atlantic that the comments did not reflect the views of either President Barack Obama or his cabinet.
A bid by Kerry to hammer out an elusive peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians collapsed earlier this year amid bitter recriminations on both sides.
"We still believe it is doable, but it takes courage and it takes strength," Kerry insisted.
"Both sides have to be prepared to compromise in order to do it."
And he argued that Israel's changing demographics, with a burgeoning population of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, meant the country had little choice but to seek a two-state solution.

Posted: 10/27/2014 3:07 pm ED Rabbi Michael M. Cohen - U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried during the prime minister's last visit to the White House to recalibrate their relationship. The rapidly changing face of the Middle East was one factor.
In addition, their awareness of the eventual setting sun on their respective political careers should not be lost on anyone. They need each other when it comes to their legacies and the unfinished business of a resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the related Arab-Israeli conflict.
That is the easy part. The challenging dynamic is how to bring that agreement about when they have staked out very different positions to address those conflicts. The edgy chatter between Jerusalem and Washington since the two leaders sat down together in the Oval Office documents that gap. In classic conflict resolution theory analysis both hold different positions when it comes to the conflicts Israel has with her neighbors, but both understand they also share other interests and needs. Continued:

November 20, 2014 An Israeli Arab leader’s bellicose calls for open warfare and Hamas posters urging West Bank Palestinians to “avenge the deaths” of terrorists who carried out recent attacks are the latest incitement towards a “Day of Rage” after Muslim prayers Friday.
“The Great War for Jerusalem has begun,” declared Sheikh Kamal Khatib, deputy chairman of the northern branch of the Islamic Movement.
Vowing to reporters in Jerusalem that “…it will not end until the promise of Allah be fulfilled and the land will be released of the filthy hands of the Israeli occupation,” Khatib said that regional Muslim violence was the “result of a volcano about to erupt,” that would affect the entire area.

Palestinian Politicians: Rabbis Are Not Civilians

November 21, 2014 | Debbie Smith [...] In a recent Twitter post, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of Iran, who represents the latest in a long line of Iranian officials who have advocated her annihilation, called for the destruction of the State of Israel.
Khamenei proposes a here to fore “unspecified plan” and referendum that would establish a government in Palestine responsible for deciding whether Jewish immigrants to the State of Israel can rightfully stay in Israel, or will be deported back to “their home countries.”
Khamenei states that his plan will be presented to the ‘international community”, and apparently, he is confident that the plan will be approved.
Perhaps, revealing his true intent, Khamenei insists that until this “government “can be formed,” a powerful confrontation and resolute armed resistance “is needed and proposes that those “interested in the destiny of Palestine” should arm the Palestinians’ in the West Bank.
Not interested in mediation by the UN or any “peace” agreement, Khamenei believes that Israel would sabotage any attempts at peace, and only use them to take advantage of the Palestinians. [...]

November 24th | 2 Kislev 5775 - Diplomacy With Iran IAEA inquiry Institute for Science and International Security International Atomic Energy Agency Office of Public Witness Presbyterian Church Presbyterian Peace Fellowship So-called peace activists within the Presbyterian Church (USA) have decided that they know better than the International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA has stated that Iran is blocking efforts to determine whether or not its nuclear program
is being used for military purposes. On Nov. 7, 2014, Reuters reported that the “International Atomic Energy Agency said Tehran had still not provided information it was due to produce more than two months ago to help advance a long-running IAEA inquiry into suspected nuclear weapons
research.” According to Reuters, the IAEA report stated that “Iran has not provided any explanations that enable the agency to clarify the outstanding practical measures.” In response to the IAEA report, The Institute for Science and International Security stated its concerns in a report also issued on Nov. 7, 2014:

theJonathanKleck Published on Mar 10, 2014 -
Revelation 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon. 2 Thessalonians 2:3 "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
Revelation 3:11 "Behold I AM (JESUS CHRIST) Coming Soon!" Hold Fast to what you have that no man take your crown."
Acts 2:11 "Whomsoever shall call upon the name of the LORD (JESUS CHRIST), shall be saved.
Our bodies are referred to as the Temple of the Holy Spirit, we are once again (through Christ's sacrifice) a habitable dwelling place for the Spirit of the Living God, a divine connection that had been cut-off since Adam & Eve in the Garden. Well, we all know Satan mimics the nature and character of God, thus, the passage from Daniel 9:27 says "and there shall be in the temple the abomination of desolation".
We would argue that this verse is talking about the Temple body becoming desolate, hacked into by Satan and his demons. Wherein the Mark of the Beast would ultimately unleash this dark potential within the human genome, with the spirit of fallen angels descending onto Earth, and Lucifer himself ultimately setting up residence in the flesh of the willing Antichrist: "And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him." REVELATION 12:9

Jewish Republicans: We Played ‘Important Role’ in GOP Retaking the Senate. Democrats say Jewish support remained steady during the 2014 midterms, while Republicans insisted that more Jews were coming over to the GOP. Democrats Claim Jewish Support Steady in Midterm Results, Republicans Stress Inroads ...
October 3, 2014 - Author: avatar - AJC Executive Director American Jewish Committee Ebola Relief Effort IsraAID Jewish Group – The American Jewish Committee (AJC) announced that it is partnering with IsraAID, a leading Israeli humanitarian relief organization, to provide assistance to Ebola victims in West Africa. “The Ebola epidemic in Africa is devastating,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris. “Medical experts from our Israeli partner, IsraAID, are on the ground bringing urgent, vital humanitarian relief to Ebola victims through health education and awareness training, as well as psychosocial support training.” IsraAID sent a team to Sierra Leone in late September to help fight the spread of Ebola. The humanitarian organization is providing psycho-social support training to local social workers and health care officials, teaching tactics to help prevent trauma, manage stress, and deal with the emotional side effects of the health crisis. Founded in 2001, IsraAID is a non

NTEB News Desk | November 3, 2014 | What the prophets have declared will soon come to pass
“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people round about, when they shall be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:2
In both the Old and New Testaments, the prophets have declared that in the last days, Israel would be the focus of all the world. And not just Israel in general, but Jerusalem in particular where the Temple Mount is. This is the most important spot that exists anywhere on the whole earth, according to Scripture.
The prophet Daniel says that when the “man of sin” comes, he calls him the “abomination that maketh desolate”, he will sit on the throne of the rebuilt 3rd Jewish Temple and declare himself to be God.
“And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.” Daniel 9:27
The prophet Zechariah says that Messiah will return to that exact same spot, and will split the Mount of Olives right down the middle.
“And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.” Zechariah 14:4
The underpinnings of the spiritual battle that will be waged during upcoming the “time of Jacob’s trouble” have already begun, and at some point will spiral out of control. Jesus is preparing to return, and Satan is preparing for the battle of Armageddon in a vain attempt to stop Him. Scripture is right on time.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a secret meeting in Amman with Jordan’s King Abdullah to discuss rising tensions over the Temple Mount, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported Monday. The two leaders met Saturday to discuss resolving ongoing unrest in Jerusalem, which has seen waves of violence centered around the holy site, the Kuwaiti al-Jarida daily reported, citing unnamed senior Jordanian officials.
Tensions over the Temple Mount over the last several weeks have come against rising unrest in some East Jerusalem neighborhoods, with near-daily incidents of rocks being thrown at Israeli drivers and Molotov cocktail attacks. Police have bolstered their presence in an effort to crack down on violence.
The report added that Netanyahu had agreed to temporarily close the site, known to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif, to Jewish visits in the coming days, and to increase coordination with the Islamic Waqf on managing the site.
Netanyahu also agreed to change the way non-Muslims are allowed to visit the compound, according to the report.On Sunday, Netanyahu appealed for calm in Jerusalem, rebuffing calls to open the site to Jewish prayer in the wake of the shooting of an activist who lobbied for increased Jewish access there.
“I think that what is necessary now is to show restraint and to work together to calm the situation… I also ask that private initiatives be avoided as well as unbridled statements,” he said at a cabinet meeting. “We are committed to the status quo for Jews, Muslims and Christians.”
On Saturday, Netanyahu called on all Knesset members to work to calm tensions surrounding the Temple Mount, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement. Despite the statement, right-wing MK Moshe Feiglin from Netanyahu’s Likud party visited the site on Sunday under heavy guard.
Jewish prayer is banned in the compound, considered the religion’s holiest site. Muslims also revere the area, which houses the Dome of the Rock and the al-Aqsa Mosque, as holy.
According to the Kuwaiti report, Netanyahu’s appeals for calm were the result of Jordanian pressure, as was a statement from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas saying Netanyahu’s words were “a step in the right direction.”

Oct 12, 2014 By HAMZA HENDAWI - Associated Press - CAIRO (AP) - A donor conference in Cairo to raise money to rebuild the Gaza Strip after this year's war between Hamas and Israel ended with pledges of $5.4 billion for reconstruction there, Norway's foreign minister said Sunday.
Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende offered the figure at the end of Sunday's one-day conference, far beyond the $4 billion initially sought by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
"The message was clear to the international community that the Palestinian brothers are not alone," Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri said.
Qatar pledged $1 billion toward the reconstruction, once again using its vast wealth to reinforce its role as a regional player as Gulf Arab rival the United Arab Emirates promised $200 million.
The pledges followed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry earlier announcing immediate American assistance of $212 million. The European Union pledged 450 million euros ($568 million), while Turkey, which has been playing a growing role in the Middle East in recent years, said it was donating $200 million. Continued:

Following President Obama Insults, USSC Will "Decide" If Jerusalem Belongs To Israel. The US Supreme Court will decide the fate on whether to recognize Jerusalem as being a part of Israel as part of several new cases to be taken up during its new term, which opens on Monday. The nine judges on the high court will hear the case of an American born in Jerusalem who wishes to list his birthplace as Israel on his passport. The case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry, highlights a major dispute between US congress and the president with complex Middle Eastern politics serving as a background. The US does not recognize Jerusalem as belonging under any nation’s sovereignty, saying that the status of Jerusalem should be determined via peace agreements. In 2002, Congress passed a law that says American’s born in Jerusalem should be able to list Israel as their birthplace. Continued:

By Ahuva Balofsky January 2, 2014 “And the LORD said unto Abram, after that Lot was separated from him: ‘Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward and eastward and westward;for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed for ever.” (Genesis 13:14-15) This is a week that saw 26 Palestinian prisoners released from Israeli jails as a precondition for ongoing peace talks, yet the fragile negotiations are continuing under constant threat. While speculation regarding settlement expansion in Judea and Samaria drew criticism from PA Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas, both Israel’s right and left wing put forth conflicting bill proposals in an effort to influence the outcome of any future peace agreement.
On Tuesday night, Abbas compared Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria, as well as building in East Jerusalem, a “cancer.”
“We will not remain patient as the settlement cancer spreads, especially in Jerusalem, and we will use our right as a UN observer state by taking political, diplomatic and legal action to stop it,” Abbas said during a speech in honor of the forty-ninth anniversary of the founding of the Fatah party, according to AFP.
Last week, when reports of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s alleged plan to announce new building in the area began to spread, Abbas met with US envoy Martin Indyk and “asked for US intervention to stop the Israeli government from issuing new settlement decisions in order to save the peace process and the American efforts,” chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said.
The PA will “no longer remain committed to not joining international organizations,” including the International Criminal Court (ICC), “if Israel goes ahead with any building announcements”, Erekat said last week, according to the Palestinian Wafa news agency. No such announcements have been made as yet.
Meanwhile, a bill proposal was approved early this week by the Ministerial Legislative Committee to annex the Jordan Valley, effectively taking the area off the negotiating table. Opponents of the bill appealed immediately, meaning the bill is unlikely to pass. However, a counter-proposal, which would prevent the annexation of any part of Judea and Samaria without a peace agreement, was proposed by MK Hilik Bar (Labor) and the Opposition, and supported by Labor MKs and some from Shas and Meretz.
The bill, a variation on one proposed by Bar in July, reads: “The final status of the territory will be determined only in the framework of an agreement that arranges ‘two states for two peoples’ between the State of Israel and the formal representatives of the Palestinian Authority… The State of Israel shall not apply its sovereignty unilaterally to lands in the territory, except in such an agreement.” The territory in question is defined elsewhere in the bill as Judea and Samaria, as well as the Gaza Strip, but not Jerusalem. It should be noted that Bar’s bill is also unlikely to pass.

Isi Leibler Summary ... The irrationality and severity of the recent rebukes of Israel by Obama, encouraging other "friends" to join in the condemnation, suggests that he remains obsessively determined to force Israel to adopt his approach. And this, despite the events of recent months and his own admission in his U.N. speech that he had hitherto erred in asserting that the Israeli-Arab conflict was a major impediment to regional stability.
The exceptionally vicious U.S. condemnation of Israel with regard to housing construction in the Jewish neighborhoods of Jerusalem is not merely misguided but also reflects irrational bias. Incidentally, this behavior also has many ominous parallels to the inhumane incarceration of Jonathan Pollard, despite pleas for his commutation from all sectors of American society.
The harsh outburst relates to a 2,600-unit housing project planned as an extension of an exclusively Jewish neighborhood adjacent to the suburb of Talpiot and Kibbutz Ramat Rahel both within the Green Line. It incorporates primarily barren land on which Ethiopian and Russian immigrants had been housed temporarily in mobile homes. Highly significant — but a fact that is ignored — is that nearly half of the construction was designated to provide housing for Arabs. Construction permits were approved two years ago but it was the far left-wing group, Peace Now [Shalom Achshav], that saw fit to highlight the issue in a press release on the eve of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama in a calculated effort to embarrass the prime minister and provoke tensions.
The successive statements by both the White House and State Department spokesmen must be considered among the most bitterly prejudiced and unbalanced condemnations of Israel ever expressed by the U.S. They make a mockery of repeated claims by the Obama administration that it considers Israel to be a close ally.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest stated, "This development will only draw condemnation from the international community, distance Israel from even its closest allies, poison the atmosphere, not only with the Palestinians [sic] but also with the very Arab governments with which Prime Minister Netanyahu said he wanted to build relations." Continued:

By AFP | 12 Oct, 2014 - CAIRO: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi urged Israel to reach a peace deal with the Palestinians as an international donor conference began in Cairo Sunday to raise funds for Gaza. "I call on the Israeli people and the government: now is the time to end the conflict," Sisi said in his opening remarks.

Federica Mogherini says world can’t afford a fourth Gaza war, and entire EU sees Palestinian statehood as ‘ultimate goal’
By 'Times of Israel' staff November 8, 2014 - Top EU diplomat calls for Jerusalem to be shared capital.
Palestinian rioters, police clash in East Jerusalem. ‘European nations threaten to recognize Palestinian state’
Romney hammers Obama as ‘dictatorial’ to friends like Israel, ‘naive’ on Iran.
Hamas and Israel fought a 50-day war in July and August which resulted in the deaths of 2,140 Palestinians, at least half of them combatants according to Israel, and more than 70 Israelis, most of them soldiers. Mogherini’s visit came against a backdrop of surging Israeli-Palestinian tensions in East Jerusalem where there have been near-daily clashes in flashpoint neighborhoods, and two terror attacks that killed four Israelis in two weeks. She voiced hope that Gaza would avoid another major conflict.

Minister says Ramallah has yet to secure votes, and Tehran nuke diplomacy has overshadowed lobbying for West Bank withdrawal
By Spencer Ho November 24, 2014 Ramallah has decided to delay submitting an appeal to the UN Security Council to set a timetable for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in remarks published Monday. Maliki told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency that the Palestinians had decided to wait until after the end of the latest round of negotiations between Iran and world powers, and further noted that they had yet to secure a nine-vote majority in the Security Council on the proposal.
Palestinian Authority: President Mahmoud Abbas vowed earlier this month to follow through on his plan to present a resolution to the UN Security Council in the coming month demanding a timetable for Israel to pull out of the West Bank by November 2016, and said “no pressure” would deter him from this course.
Maliki said the Palestinians were not delaying out of fear of sanctions by the US, which has come out against the move. The Palestinians need nine votes to win approval or force the US to use its veto in the 15-member council. However, Maliki said the five permanent members of the council were too busy trying to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program to give their attention to the Palestinian cause.
Talks with Iran are slated to wrap up Monday, but reports have indicated officials are looking into an extension should a flurry of diplomatic activity in Vienna fail to bring the sides together before the deadline.