Sources say Israel prepared to give up 90% of West Bank. Here’s the latest in the drip, drip, drip of leaks from the peace process.

netanyahu-map(Washington, D.C.) – A drip, drip, drip of leaks this week may be giving us a clearer picture of the Mideast peace plan that President Obama and Secretary Kerry are cooking up.

Here’s the latest:

To be clear, neither Netanyahu nor his inner circle has been quoted as saying they are ready to give Abbas and the Palestinians 90% of the West Bank. That’s a leak from the American side, and I cannot confirm it’s true.

Maybe Netanyahu is just playing along with Kerry, biding his time, looking interested, looking ready to make major concessions, but hoping all the while that the Palestinians say “no” to the American plan first, thus making it unnecessary for him to do so.

But it is also possible that Netanyahu is really getting close to saying “yes” to Obama and Kerry.

Remember: In his address to the U.N. General Assembly last October, Netanyahu signaled he was preparing to make “painful concessions” for peace. “Israel continues to seek an historic compromise with our Palestinian neighbors, one that ends our conflict once and for all,” the PM said. “We want peace based on security and mutual recognition, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state of Israel. I remain committed to achieving an historic reconciliation and building a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Now, I have no illusions about how difficult this will be to achieve. Twenty years ago, the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians began. Six Israeli prime ministers, myself included, have not succeeded at achieving peace with the Palestinians. My predecessors were prepared to make painful concessions. So am I. But so far the Palestinian leaders haven’t been prepared to offer the painful concessions they must make in order to end the conflict.”

At the time, it wasn’t clear anyone was listening to that paragraph, or believed him — after all, the bulk of that speech was about the Iran nuclear threat.

But it’s clear that Israelis are listening now, and some are growing angry, even those within his own government.

For more context:

Here are the latest leaks picked up in a Times of Israel story:

  • The closed-door negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority over the future contours of a Palestinian state, and how much land and settlements Israel will retain, have reportedly come down to a matter of a few percentage points, with both sides agreeing in principle that the majority of Jewish West Bank settlements would be transferred to Israeli sovereignty in a final status deal.
  • Citing anonymous Israeli, Palestinian and American sources close to the negotiations, Walla News reported on Thursday that Israel is seeking to annex about 10 percent of the West Bank’s land area in a final deal. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are seeking to have Israel annex only around 3% of the West Bank, the report said.
  • According to both Israeli and Palestinian officials cited in the report, the Palestinians have agreed to Israel’s annexation of the Gush Etzion bloc, just south of Jerusalem, but are arguing over the settlements of Efrat and Migdal Oz, which lie east of Route 60, a major north-south road running between Nazareth and Beersheba, through Jerusalem, Hebron and much of the West Bank.
  • Israel is seeking to also retain several of the smaller communities in the immediate area of Ma’ale Adumim, just east of Jerusalem, but the Palestinians have been opposed to such a move, the report said. Israel has said in the past it expects to keep control of the city of Ma’ale Adumim.
  • Both sides have reportedly agreed that the settlements that lie more or less along the 1967 border will be annexed by Israel, as will Givat Ze’ev, just north of Jerusalem. More-isolated Jewish settlements, such as Beit El, Ofra and others in the Samaria region, are not slated to be annexed, but Israel is reportedly seeking a long-term lease agreement for those communities.
  • The report did not touch on the issue of East Jerusalem, which Israel formally annexed in 1980, a move not recognized by the international community. The Palestinians seek to create their capital in the eastern part of the city, but the area is also home to several large Jewish neighborhoods, such as Gilo, Pisgat Ze’ev and Har Homa, which Israel is unlikely to consider parting with.
  • The future of settlements such as Ariel and Karnei Shomron in the northern West Bank is unclear, as the Palestinians are said to be extremely opposed to their annexation by Israel. It is supremely important for the PA to create “a contiguous Palestinian state” with sensible borders, and it will not agree to “a state whose map will be broken,” according to sources cited in the report.
  • The report noted that Israel seeks to “retain a presence” in Hebron, but there was no mention of the status of Kiryat Arba, a major settlement just outside the city, or any of the smaller Jewish communities in the surrounding area.
  • Israel has offered land adjacent to the southern West Bank, inside of Israel proper and not far from Hebron, as well as an area near Bet She’an, in exchange for the West Bank areas to be annexed. Israel has also raised the possibility of monetary compensation and other forms of economic assistance in exchange for the annexed territories, the report said.
  • The Americans are also attempting to persuade the two sides to agree to the creation of a “safe road” linking the West Bank and Gaza, but that idea, which has been raised before during previous rounds of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, is complicated by the security situation in the Strip, which is controlled by Islamic terror group Hamas. Israel is not opposed to the idea, an official said, but its implementation depends on “developments in Gaza.” If such a deal were agreed upon by the two sides, the official noted, it would create massive pressure on Hamas to comply with a general peace agreement.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Are the rumors true? Is Netanyahu about to make “painful concessions” in the peace process? Here’s what we know.

netanyahu-Obama-inPMofficeUPDATED: (Washington, D.C.) — The very fact that Israeli leaders on the center-right of the political spectrum are getting so anxious, even angry, strongly suggests two rumors are true:

  1. The Obama administration and the Europeans are putting enormous pressure on the Netanyahu government behind the scenes to say “yes” on to an American-crafted peace plan; and
  2. Netanyahu is seriously contemplating agreeing to deeply painful and enormously controversial concessions, possibly even dividing Jerusalem and rolling Israel back to her pre-1967 borders.

Many analysts have felt for the past year that Secretary Kerry’s frenetic efforts to jump-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process were going nowhere and doomed to failure. Now there is rapidly growing evidence that Kerry has driven the two parties into the corner, and that he appears to be putting the most pressure on the Israeli side to make the deepest concessions.

Here’s what we know so far:

In his address to the U.N. General Assembly last October, Netanyahu signaled he was preparing to make “painful concessions” for peace. “Israel continues to seek an historic compromise with our Palestinian neighbors, one that ends our conflict once and for all,” the PM said. “We want peace based on security and mutual recognition, in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state of Israel. I remain committed to achieving an historic reconciliation and building a better future for Israelis and Palestinians alike. Now, I have no illusions about how difficult this will be to achieve. Twenty years ago, the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians began. Six Israeli prime ministers, myself included, have not succeeded at achieving peace with the Palestinians. My predecessors were prepared to make painful concessions. So am I. But so far the Palestinian leaders haven’t been prepared to offer the painful concessions they must make in order to end the conflict.”

At the time, it wasn’t clear anyone was listening to that paragraph, or believed him — after all, the bulk of that speech was about the Iran nuclear threat. But Israelis are listening now, and some are growing angry, even those within his own government.

Two weeks ago, for example, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon lashed out at the American plan, describing it as worthless, naïve, “messianic,” and dangerous. ”The American security plan presented to us is not worth the paper it’s written on,” Ya’alon said. “It contains no peace and no security. Only our continued presence in Judea and Samaria and the River Jordan will endure that Ben-Gurion Airport and Netanya don’t become targets for rockets from every direction. American Secretary of State John Kerry, who turned up here determined and acting out of misplaced obsession and messianic fervor, cannot teach me anything about the conflict with the Palestinians….Abu Mazen (Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas) is alive and well thanks to us. The moment we leave Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) he is finished. In reality, there have been no negotiations between us and the Palestinians for all these months – but rather between us and the Americans. The only thing that can ‘save us’ is for John Kerry to win a Nobel Prize and leave us in peace.” The Obama administration was furious, and Yaalon apologized, sort of, under pressure from Netanyahu.

This week, Israeli Economic Minister Naftali Bennett lashed out at the American plan and harshly warned Netanyahu not to give away Judea & Samaria and put Jewish settlers under Palestinian sovereignty. “Our forefathers and our descendants will not forgive an Israeli leader who gives up our country and divides our capital,” Bennett warned, adding that the government’s growing fear of boycotts “is what will bring on the boycott. This is no way to handle negotiations, running frightened between the capitals of the world.” Bennett later added that the Prime Minister’s approach “reflects the loss of a moral compass. We didn’t experience 2,000 years of yearning for the Land of Israel so that we could live under the government of Abu Mazen (Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas). Anyone thinking of placing the lives of Jews in the Land of Israel under Palestinian rule is pulling the rug out from under our presence in Tel Aviv….I call on the prime minister to immediately reject this terrible idea.” Netanyahu’s team threatened to fire Bennett from the ruling coalition unless he took back his personal attack. Eventually, Bennett apologized, sort of.

Such tensions would not be flaring this intensely if Kerry wasn’t about to lower the boom on Israel, and center-right political leaders in Israel weren’t so worried Netanyahu was about to agree to far-reaching concessions.

Consider the following:

What is in the ”framework agreement”? The Obama team has leaked key details to Thomas Friedman of the New York Times:

  • The “Kerry Plan,” likely to be unveiled soon, is expected to call for an end to the conflict and all claims
  • following a phased Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank (based on the 1967 lines)
  • with unprecedented security arrangements in the strategic Jordan Valley.
  • The Israeli withdrawal will not include certain settlement blocs
  • but Israel will compensate the Palestinians for them with Israeli territory.
  • It will call for the Palestinians to have a capital in Arab East Jerusalem
  • and for Palestinians to recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.
  • It will not include any right of return for Palestinian refugees into Israel proper.

Is there evidence that Netanyahu and Abbas are trying to prepare their people for painful concessions? Here’s an interesting analysis of the “framework agreement” — and Sec. Kerry’s effort to hammer out “interim” deals on both the Iran issue and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — by David Ignatius of the Washington Post.

  • [The]  issues may still prove insoluble: Listening to Israeli Finance Minister Naftali Bennett at a conference here Tuesday, it was clear how vehemently the right-wing settlers’ movement he represents would oppose a Palestinian state. “Our forefathers and ancestors and our descendants will never forgive an Israeli leader who gives away our land and divides our capital,” Bennett said, his voice almost a shout.
  • Yet the prospect of a framework agreement, of the sort Kerry is seeking, seemed tantalizingly close in comments by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the gathering, which was sponsored by the Institute for National Security Studies.
  • Netanyahu told the conference that the U.S. was compiling a document that would summarize the points that have emerged during the months of secret Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.
  • He said that Israel might agree to further talks under this framework, while not accepting all the U.S. ideas, as long as the Palestinians agree to a demilitarized state that guarantees Israel’s security and accepts Israel’s status as a homeland for the Jewish people.
  • Abbas said in televised remarks to the conference that he might be willing to accept a phased, three-year Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and continued presence by other military forces, as ways of satisfying Netanyahu’s security concerns.
  • Amos Yadlin, a retired chief of Israeli military intelligence who heads the institute that hosted the conference, described Kerry’s goal: “It’s a framework agreement, or an agreement on a framework, or an American piece of paper,” he said, but the aim was to roll forward the negotiations for another nine months.
  • The White House has backed Kerry’s attempt to pull together the parameters that have emerged in the negotiations, rather than simply striving for another round of confidence-building measures, such as Israeli releases of Palestinian prisoners and Abbas’ restraint from taking his case for a Palestinian state to the United Nations.
  • As in the Iran negotiations, a framework agreement would patch over what are still wide differences on a permanent, final-status agreement. But they would reduce the risk of outright conflict while diplomacy continues.

What are the political ramifications inside Israel if Netanyahu says “yes” to the U.S. “framework agreement”? Useful analysis by Jeffrey Goldberg of Bloomberg News:

  • U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is obviously getting somewhere in his attempt to achieve a framework agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, because all the right people — the far-right people — are going a little nuts.
  • At a security conference this week in Israel, Naftali Bennett, the leader of the Jewish Home party — reacting to an earlier suggestion made by the leader of his governing coalition, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that Jewish settlers could conceivably find themselves living under Palestinian rule one day — asked, “Why should Jews live in Tel Aviv with Israeli sovereignty and in Eli and Hebron under Palestinian sovereignty? Open up the Book of Genesis and form an opinion. I demand that this idea be removed from the agenda.”….
  • Netanyahu, unlike a set of government ministers to his right, including Bennett, understands that Israel’s addiction to West Bank settlements is undermining the legitimacy of his country, and endangering its role as a democratic haven for Jews.
  • This is why he appears to be taking small rhetorical steps in Kerry’s direction — floating the idea that Jews on the West Bank could remain where they are under Palestinian rule (a proposal the Palestinians, so far, at least, reject) is one way he’s signaling to the Israeli public that unpopular decisions might be coming.
  • Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas also seems to be bending under Kerry’s pressure, offering just this week a concession of his own: Israelis forces, he said, could remain in parts of the West Bank for as long as three years after an agreement is struck. Previously, Abbas had argued that all Israeli forces must depart as soon as a deal is made.
  • For Israelis, there are two ways to look at Kerry’s Herculean (and often Sisyphean) efforts to outline an agreement between extremely hesitant parties.
  • The first way is Bennett’s: Much of the Israeli right sees Kerry as the enemy, trying to break the will of their prime minister in order to uproot settlers and create a Palestinian state that will become a source of endless violence.
  • The second way is the one favored by Israelis of the center and the left: suspicion of grandiose American schemes but also a sober realization that someone needs to figure out a way to disentangle Israel from the lives of its Palestinian neighbors, and that that person may well be Kerry.
  • The particular difficulty for Netanyahu is that he might have both of these understandings fighting it out in his head.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Here’s a summary of what we discussed on the Hannity radio show about Egypt, Iran & the Mideast peace process.

jerusalem-siloutte(Washington,  D.C.) — I just finished a very interesting conversation with Texas Congressman Louie Gohmert, who was guest hosting for Sean Hannity on his radio show. Pastor Michael Youssef of “Leading The Way,” originally from Egypt, also joined us on the program. Thanks to both of them for the questions they asked and the points they made. I appreciated being included in the conversation.
Here is a brief summary of what we discussed:
  • We talked about the dramatic changes in Egypt this past year, including the counter-revolution last July when the military arrested President Mohamed Morsi and most of the top leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood.
  • Now General Sisi and his forces are fighting the Brotherhood throughout Egypt, and fighting against al Qaeda in the Sinai. It’s still not an easy life for Egyptian Christians, or anyone in Egypt.
  • It’s too early to say whether Sisi will prove to be a positive force for Egypt over the long haul.
  • We need to keep praying for all Egyptians, and especially for the persecuted Christians there. But the three of us agreed that the situation is much improved from 2012.
  • [For more on this, see my recent blog, “Here’s my list of the Top Five most important events in the Mideast in 2013.”]
  • We discussed the dangers of the Shia Muslims in Iran and elsewhere who believe their messiah, the “Twelfth Imam” (or “Mahdi”), is coming soon. We discussed how determined Iran’s Twelver leaders are to annihilate Israel (the “Little Satan,” in their view) and the U.S. (whom they call the “Great Satan.”)
  • We also discussed the Mideast peace process and Secretary Kerry’s visit to Jerusalem today. This is a very important and very sensitive topic. We all want peace between Israelis and Palestinians. I definitely do. I believe we need to keep praying and working towards peace. After all, the Lord Jesus Christ told us in Matthew 5, “Blessed are the peacemakers.” The Psalmist told us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6). We must be faithful to those commands.
  • That said, Rep. Gohmert asked me about two specific Bible prophecies. One prophecy he quoted is from Jeremiah 31:1-6. This passage indicates that Israel will be reborn as a country and will resettle the land of “Samaria,” the territory many call the “West Bank.” The second prophecy he quoted was Joel 3:2. In this passage, the Lord vows to bring into judgment all nations that divide the Land of Israel.
  • I noted that it’s not often we talk about Bible prophecy on the Hannity show, but I’m glad we did today. It’s important.
  • Presidents, Prime Ministers and diplomats don’t like to discuss prophecy, but it’s important that they are aware of and understand these important Biblical truths.
  • Yes, ancient Bible prophecy tells us Israel would be reborn in the last days, and it has been.
  • Yes, prophecy tells us the Jewish people will resettle Samaria. That is happening, though I realize it deeply angers the Palestinian people, including many Arab Christians.
  • Yes, prophecy tells us that all nations (including the U.S.) that divide the Land of Israel will be judged.
  • These are not easy passages for everyone to hear. They are not easy to teach since many are upset by them. But as Christians we know there are consequences for ignoring or opposing the Scriptures. 
  • As Christians, we must be particularly aware that these are sensitive issues. We as evangelicals need to be careful in how we handle these prophecies. Many of our friends in the Mideast don’t agree with them. Some are angered when these topics are raised. I don’t want to hurt my Palestinian friends. I don’t want to be insensitive to their very real day-to-day challenges and concerns. I know the Israeli government and military are not made up of believers. They make serious mistakes that affect the Palestinians in very real ways. Indeed, both sides have long lists of grievances against each other. 
  • That said, as a lay person who does not work in or for the U.S. or Israeli government, or any government, I don’t have the ability to affect the geopolitical state of affairs in the epicenter.
  • Rather, as an author and speaker I see my role as helping people understand what is happening in the Middle East; teaching the Scriptures, including the prophecies; and helping Christians (and all people) in the U.S. and around the world understand the Biblical importance of loving Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, Palestinian Arabs, Arabs throughout the Mideast, Persians, and all the people of the Middle East.
  • I want to encourage people to pray for peace, and to invest in ways to bless Israel and her neighbors in the name of Jesus. We need to proactively show love to both sides. We need to encourage persecuted believers. We need to help local pastors teach the Word of God. We need to provide food, clothing and medical supplies to those in need, both Jews and Arabs.
  • God doesn’t tell us to love Jews OR Arabs. It’s not “either/or.” It’s “both/and.” We must love Jews AND Arabs. That’s what Jesus did. That’s what He commands us to do.
  • Let’s work together to be faithful to the task.

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Two new podcasts available on the Iran threat & the Mideast peace process

podcastWe’ve posted two new podcasts this week:

* Podcast #2: The rise of Hassan Rouhani as President of Iran & the growing prospect of war between Israel and Iran

* Podcast #3: Inside the Israeli-Palestinian peace process – five critical questions that need to be asked

You can listen to them by going to my web site, www.joelrosenberg.com and clicking on “Podcast,” or you can click here to be directed right to my podcast page.

You can also find the podcast on iTunes and download it to your phone. Just search for “Joel C. Rosenberg Podcast” and look for the photo/logo that you see here to the left.

Please subscribe today and you’ll be instantly notified when the next episode is available.


Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

Five critical questions we need to ask during the Mideast peace process.

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shtayyeh (right) and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molho (left) at the formal resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in the Oval Office, July 30, 2013 (photo credit: Official White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy/Times of Israel)

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, along with Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Mohammed Shtayyeh (right) and Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Yitzhak Molho (left) at the formal resumption of direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, in the Oval Office, July 30, 2013 (photo credit: Official White House Photo, Chuck Kennedy/Times of Israel)

The Israeli-Palestinian peace process restarted this week, and this is a good thing. We all want peace in the Middle East. We all want Israelis and Palestinians — Jews, Muslims, Christians, and those of other faiths, and those of no faith — to be able to live with security, freedom, dignity, opportunity, justice, and hope for the future.

As Christians, let us not be cynical or scared about the process, or where it might lead. Rather, let us pray and ask the Lord to give humility and courage to all of the Jewish and Arab leaders and people in the region to truly reach out a hand of friendship and kindness to their neighbors and their long-time enemies in the name of peace.

  • The Psalmist told us to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6).
  • The Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9).

So let us obey the Word of God. Let us pray for peace, and for the would-be peacemakers, and let us also pray for patience. This conflict goes back to the Biblical times of Abraham, Ishmael and Isaac. It is, at its core, a spiritual conflict, not merely a geopolitical one. It has never been easy or simple to solve, and it won’t be so now.

Let us also pray for the leaders and people of the region, and all those involved in the process, to truly have wisdom from above — God’s wisdom — the insight and ability to make the right decisions at the right time in the right way.

To this end, I believe it is vital that we ask five critical questions as the peace process begins:

First, what is the best way to balance competing priorities? Helping the Israelis and Palestinians meet and discuss the “final status issues” and chart a peaceful, respectful path forward is (and should be) a very high priority for U.S. diplomats. But there are other high priorities competing for the U.S.’s attention.

  • Example: The Iranian Threat – Iran is steadily moving towards becoming a state with nuclear weapons. Stopping Iran from getting The Bomb is, I would argue, the number one priority we have. Are the White House and State Department investing enough time and energy to accomplish this critical objective at the moment, or are they creating a situation in which the Israelis feel they may have to launch a preemptive strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities – and soon – because the rest of the world isn’t acting decisively?
  • Example: The Syrian Implosion — More than 100,000 people have already died in the Syrian civil war. There are credible allegations that chemical weapons have been used. The U.S. is contemplating the use of military force in Syria (no-fly zones, arming the “rebels,” etc). The Russians, however, are standing closely with the Assad regime. So are the Iranians and Hezbollah. Given the high stakes in Syria, in the U.S. devoting enough time and energy to make wise decisions vis-à-vis Syria?
  • Example: The Egyptian coup d’état — The Egyptian military has just seized power from the Muslim Brotherhood, arrested President Morsi, and installed a temporary government. The military says it will eventually hold elections and draft a new constitution, one explicitly not based on Islamic Sharia law. Are we giving enough time and energy to monitoring the volatility in this important country, and helping the new leaders steer the country away from Islamic Radicalism, and away from military authoritarianism, towards true freedom, peace and prosperity?

Second, are we certain that the Palestinian leadership truly wants to make peace? I believe many of the Palestinian people want to live in peace with their Israeli neighbors. But real questions have to be asked about Palestinian Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Third, does the Palestinian leadership in Ramallah truly have the legal authority and legitimacy to sign a peace deal with Israel? We would all like the answer to be yes, but we should not rush to make an assumption. Consider these troublesome facts:

  • Abbas is currently serving the 8th year of a 4 year term. His term expired Jan 15, 2009, yet he refuses to call new elections.
  • Abbas doesn’t control all of the territory that he and the PLO define as “Palestine” — Hamas controls the Gaza Strip.
  • Abbas either does not have the power, or refuses to exercise his power, to stop Palestinians once and for all from firing rockets, missiles and mortars at Israelis from Gaza.
Fourth, is the Netanyahu government truly committed to making peace with the Palestinians? The Netanyahu government is deeply divided by Cabinet Members who have very different definitions of what peace should and would look like? Indeed, Netanyahu is rather conflicted, as well. In the past, he has supported autonomy for Palestinians, but not a sovereign state. In recent years, however, he changed his position. Now, he says he is willing to divide the land of Israel to create a sovereign Palestinian state, so long as it is a “demilitarized” state that does not threaten Israel’s national security or Jewish majority. Does Netanyahu and his team have clarity amongst themselves of what they really want to achieve, and have a viable game plan to get there?
 
Fifth, and most importantly, are Israeli, Palestinian and American leaders looking to God and the Bible for wisdom on how to make peace? The Bible is clear that ultimately, the Lord considers the Land of Israel His own land. What’s more, the Lord is very jealous for the Land of Israel, and He warns in the biblical Book of Joel, in chapter three, that every nation that divides the land if Israel will face judgment. Are the leaders of the region taking such Biblical warnings into account as they proceed?
It is not the job of the Church to run the Mideast peace process, or to be cynics, skeptics and naysayers. As Christians, we should want justice and mercy for Jews and Arabs in the region. We should want peace and reconciliation. We should pray faithfully towards this end. We should also teach the Word of God and encourage leaders on all sides to fully consider everything that God has to say, and to follow the principles in the Scriptures, not to defy or disobey them.
Let us be faithful in this task, and trust our sovereign Lord to make all things work out for His glory, and for the good of the people in the epicenter.
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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog