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According to estimates, the amount of oil found will make Israel self sufficient for many, many years.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/201517#.VhVOfZeVkjx

Prayer Opportunity: Yet another puzzle piece in the Middle East. Please continue to pray for God’s will and purpose to be accomplished in the land and in the hearts of all who inhabit Israel and the surrounding area. Aligning ourselves and praying for governments and leaders to do so as well, combined with our faith that God sits enthroned and no matter the evil or chaos that is seen. He is still in control and will execute judgment and protect the righteous as we seek to abide in His presence. “He will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is set on Him because he trusts in Him.” Isaiah 26:3

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Read entire article @ http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/147881#.TnDBSOxVLAE

The Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza announce their opposition to the Palestinian Authority’s bid for statehood recognition at the U.N.
By Chana Ya’ar

First Publish: 9/14/2011, 11:33 AM
Hamas officers in Gaza

Hamas officers in Gaza
Israel news photo: Flash 90

The Hamas terrorist rulers of Gaza have announced their opposition to the Palestinian Authority bid for recognition at the United Nations as a new country and membership among the international body’s ranks.

Senior members of Hamas told the Ma’an news agency this week that the reason is that the statehood bid by the Ramallah-based PA government, led by the rival Fatah faction, would constitute recognition of Israel as a state. (read more…)

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu today rejected the key proposal in President Obama’s Thursday address on the Middle East, stating unequivocally that Israel will not return to the 1967 borders.

Netanyahu, in deeply personal remarks made in the Oval Office after the two leaders met, called the borders indefensible and created the temptation for past attacks.  Click to read the rest of this article

Watch the video from Fox News http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fcZtDrkuCd0

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/144360.

What Will Prime Minister Netanyahu Say to the US Government?
by INN Staff PM's Speech to US Congress

Dear Friends, Senators and Congressmen, Representatives of the American people who are the best friend the Jewish people have had in all of history,

The Jewish people and the state of Israel are honored that the Prime Minister of Israel is invited to stand here before both houses of the American Congress.

I wish, in the name of the Israel’s citizens, to thank you for this opportunity to talk to you.

In 1492, two events of great historical significance occurred.

An evil decree of King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain brought about the expulsion of the 150,000 Jews of Spain from the country where they had once lived tranquilly and had had a semblance of civil rights.

Yet an act of deliverance preceded this debacle, when, in the same year, Christopher Columbus discovered America. This was the start of the American nation, the nation whose very existence is an act of grace for the entire world and for the Jewish people in particular.

America was fated one day to become a place of refuge and support for the Jewish people.

Our people feel great affection for the American nation, which became a safe harbor for us towards the end of our exile. We thank the Almighty for choosing the American people to be the best and most helpful friend in our efforts to establish a national homeland for the Jewish people.

From the very start, there has been a covenant of love and friendship between the American people and the Jewish people and its state. The United States of America has stood by Israel in the past, in the present and will, please G-d, stand by her forever.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Senators and Congressmen,

At the close of a forced, long and cruel exile, we returned to our land. During all the 1900 years of exile, we never forgot our land, the land of Israel, our birthplace, the land promised to us and our descendants by the Creator of the world, the land of the Bible. Generations of Jewish children, young and old, studied and memorized the words of the Bible and our daily prayers, day and night, in hunger and thirst, cold and poverty, in secret and in the open, longing for a return to Jerusalem and the cities of Judea. Jerusalem is mentioned 21 times in a Jews’ daily prayers.

The Passover Haggadah that is recited at the yearly Seder, the very same one we have said through the ages, in Casblanca, Paris, Fez, London, Tsana,Barcelona, Addis Ababa, St. Petersburg, Alexandria, G’erba, Munich, Rome, and New York—whatever place we were exiled to—ends with the song “Next year in Jerusalem”.

The pioneering spirits among our people attempted to found a Third Commonwealth, but the nations of the world prevented them from succeeding. A small number managed to actually reach the land of the Bible. They started an awakening. They were followed by successive waves of tens, then hundreds, thousands and tens of thousands who founded villages, communities, cultural institutions and spread throughout the holy land, but the land remained desolate looking as It had been since its destruction thousands of years earlier.

After 18 centuries of exile, bubbles of longing began coming to the surface of Jewish life, and in the last 300 years, a large number of Jews left their places of residence to return to Israel. Today, at the state of Israel’s 63rd birthday celebration, we can state with confidence that our land was glad to see us back. Israel is a beautiful country, has one of the most stable economies in the world, is blessed with investments, research and development—it is a beacon to the entire world—and this is in addition to the rennaisance of Jewish culture and scholarship in the Jewish state.

In his book, “The Innocents Abroad”, Mark Twain describes journeying to the holy land with a group of pilgrims in the 1860’s. He describes a barren and desolate land, that contains nothing but deserts, wastelands, swamps, full of neglect and contagious diseases. All this was before the Jews returned. Once they began coming, Arab tribes followed in their footsteps, so that Arab claims to being in the land from time immemorial are put to the lie even by Twain.

In the Passover Haggadah I mentioned earlier, we also say each year: “In every generation they rise to destroy us, but the Lord rescues us from their hands.” No one, not even today, has a rational explanation for the continued existence of anti-Semitism.  We only know that it is there, kicking and screaming. It began with our becoming a nation, in Egypt, and continued all through the years of exile during which period most of our nation was systematically murdered. That is how we find ourselves, after 1900 years and after the Holocaust, approximately the same population size as we were when the long exile began.

Possibly, anti-Semitism is a product of Israel’s G-d-given task of being “a light unto the nations,” commanding the Jews to set a moral example and to spread monotheism in the ancient world of paganism and cruel idol worship. That may have caused jealousy and hatred, mixed with admiration. Jewish tradition had it that the world was round 1200 years before Galileo was hounded by the Church for saying so.  In Jewish law,  women were called “daughters of kings” long before the world realized the basic rights of women. The Jewish people served as an island of culture, purity, charity and lovingkindness, all found in the 613 commandments, those between man and his fellowman, those between man and his God.  Although most of the world has abandoned idol worship by now, that hatred did not cease in the bitter exile with which we were subjected, but in which we never bowed. We remained stalwart spiritually and it is that strength that gave us the foundations for our national steadfastness.

On November 2, 1917, Lord Arthur James Balfour, Foreign Secretary and past Prime Minister of Great Britain, issued the famous Balfour Declaration, that posits the founding of a national home for the Jewish people in the land of Israel. Its authors were referring to the Biblical borders of Israel, with whose boundaries the English people were familiar from studying the Holy Book, that land which lay on both sides of the Jordan River, extending from the northernmost Golan Heights to Aqaba in the south, close to 116 thousand square kilometers.

In 1920, the San Remo International Conference confirmed the Balfour Declaration and gave Britain the mandate over both sides of the Jordan River.  King Feisal of Iraq, in the name of the Arab delegation to the 1919 peace conference after WWI, wrote: “Our delegation here in Paris are fully aware of the suggestions the Zionist Federation made to the peace conference. In our eyes they are modest and fitting, and we will do our best to have them accepted. We will welcome the Jews warmly when they come home.

Two years later, the eastern bank of the Jordan, an area of about 90,000 square kilometers, was separated and closed to Jewish immigration.  What remained for the Jews was the west bank of the Jordan, an area of only 26,000 square kilometers. The decision to hand over the land east of the Jordan to the head of the Saudi royal family, was decided on by Great Britain for political ends.

The plan to partition the land of Israel west of the Jordan River, as suggested by the Peel Committee in 1936, was called “a midget-sized Jewish country”, by revisionist leader Zeev Jabotinsky, in his 1937 speech before Parliament.  The heads of Jewish settlement in Israel declared that even if the Jews are forced to accept the partition against their will, they see it as a temporary solution. Chaim Weizmann, later Israel’s first president, said: “This is an arrangement that can last 25-30 years”, and David Ben Gurion, later to be Israel’s first Prime Minister, reacted: “I see our future as cancelling the partition, once we have become secure in our state”.

In 1947, the United Nations Assembly ratified the Partition Plan, a decision that led to the declaration of the state of Israel on the tiny bit of land left for the Jewish homeland. Our capital,Jerusalem, was divided in two,  and her heart, the site of our Holy Temples, was outside our borders. All the parts of Israel that had been clearly promised to us by God were also outside these borders.

The Arabs never accepted the Partition Plan and, led by Amin El Huseini, continued their terror attacks against the Jewish people. Huseini met with Hitler in Bernlin at the height of WWII in order to plan the extermination of the Jews in Israel and the east.

Immediately after the declaration of Israel’s independence on May 15, 1948, the armies of 7 Arab states invaded the fledgling country to attempt to murder all its Jewish residents. For the next 19 years, we lived while paying for our existence in unending bloodshed. In the War of Independence alone, 6000 soldiers and civilians were killed, that was 1% of the population at the time. God helped us defeat our enemies and we succeeded in building a wonderful country despite its narrow borders and their limitations.

Then began the infamous announcements of President Nasser of Egypt in 1967, who, together with Syria’s ruler Hafez el Assad, and Jordan’s King Hussein, decided to invade tiny Israel and wipe it off the map.  Israel’s boundaries were the indefensible Green Line, called “Auschwitz Borders” by then-Foreign Minister Abba Eban. In the June 1967 war that ensued, the state of Israel and its heroic soldiers, defeated Egypt in six days and freed the remaining sections of Israel on the west of the Jordan River.

From the beginning, the Arab countries have engaged in anti-Israel incitement. Israel, for its part, has always yearned for peace with its enemies, but was always given the cold shoulder—and worse, unceasing terror attacks and bloodshed.

In 1993, a minority Israeli government signed the Oslo Accords with the PLO terrorist leader Yasser Arafat. The US government had reservations about the agreement limits at various stages of its development.  The immediate result of these agreements was the terrorist murders of over 1500 Israelis, most of them civilians: the elderly, women, men, children – in the city centers, on buses, at restaurants and shopping centers. The PLO broke the Oslo Accords and forced Israel to engage in a military operation to reestablish full security control in PA cities, an act that was taken to  prevent terror in Israel today.

It is no secret that of the 120 members of the United Nations General Assembly, 57 are Islamic, and that they vote automatically against Israel no matter what the issue. The United States of America, along with several other countries, have led the fight against anti-Israel activities in the UN for the 63 years since Israel’s establishment.

We are immeasurably grateful to the Presidents, Cabinet Members, Senators and Congressman who kept the hate and anti-Semitism in check, not allowing them to win another war waged against the Jewish people who have come home after thousands of years in exile.

In recent years, another enemy of the Jewish people has arisen, one who reminds us of Adolf Hitler, an enemy who does not hesitate to declare that he wishes to complete the genocide that Hitler planned. Israel, the entire world and especially the United States must make the battle to eliminate this ruler, who is developing non-conventional weapons of destruction and preparing his army to destroy Israel,  a top priority. We must act towards Ahmadenijad as the United States did successfully and so bravely against arch- terrorist Osama Bin Laden.

Six years ago, then-Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon decided on a “Disengagement Plan” and expelled 10,000 Jews from the Katif Bloc. Although I was in the coalition when this was decided, I realized my mistake and left the government. Today, in retrospect, almost everyone admits that this plan was an egregious error and that Israel should have remained in that part of the Gaza Strip instead of leaving it for Iran’s puppet, Hamas.

Israel expelled Jews, destroyed their homes and brought about the burning of their synagogues by rioting Arabs. Immediately afterwards, Israel became a target for missiles raining from Gaza.

Over 10,000 rockets and missiles have been launched at Israeli cities as a result of this immoral and irresponsible decision. Our strategic, existential and security status have all become more vulnerable. We were forced to initiate the Cast Lead Operation to try to change the situation, but at great cost.

Israel yearns for peace, it is capable of overcoming past grievances. It has diplomatic, economic and even security relations with countries that took part in the destruction of the Jews only 70 years ago.

Israel gives equal rights to all her citizens, even those who once fought against her, and even to those who work against her even at present – and announce publicly that they do so.

There is no Arab or Muslim country in the world whose citizens have the freedom that Israel’s Arabs have. They vote, are members of the Knesset, serve as judges on the Supreme Court and in any capacity they wish.

Our right to the land of Israel is inalienable. It is an historical right and is stated clearly in the Book of Books. God’s command is that the Jewish people be connected to the holy land forever and ever. We must do our best to rebuild its ruins and settle its desolate areas.

My grandfather, the gifted speaker and well known Zionist, Rabbi Natan Milikovsky-Netanyahu, may he rest in peace, was a good friend of the first Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Avraham Kook. He traveled round the world at his behest, most especially to American Jewish congregations, during the 1920’s, to convince Jews to move to Israel and live their Zionism. Speaking in Rochester, New York in 1927, he said: “ We will not abandon our people to die. We must live. We have proven our integrity and just cause for two thousand years. We have our old weapons with us—justice and integrity—we will return to our homeland, our birthplace, our past and independence. The land awaits us.”

Dear Senators and Congressmen,

I wish to tell you that of some 7.5 million residents of the state of Israel, 6 million are Jews. 650,000 of them live in what is called “East” Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – Israel’s heartland, the dwelling place  of our forefathers, liberated in the Six Day War.

A good many places in the United States are named for Jewish holy cities: Beit El, Bethlehem, Shiloh and more.

The anti-Semitism always unleashed against the Jewish people, is now aimed at the Jewish state. It is inconceivable that 500 years after the Jews were expelled from Spain and suffered  so many  expulsions from the countries of Europe through the centuries, that Israel will be expected to expel 650,000 Jews from their ancestral homes, the cities of ancient Israel that have come back to life: Beit El, Hevron, Shechem, Elon Moreh, Kiryat Arba, Susiya, and above all, Jerusalem.

There is no doubt that the American people, who enjoy American’s freedom, who love and know the uniqueness of the Bible, will come to the aid of the millions of Jews who have renewed their lives in all parts of the holy land. You are the representatives of this wonderful nation and there is no doubt in our hearts that you will stand at our side and help defend our rights to live everywhere in biblical Israel.

At the present time, the Arab residents of Judea and Samaria are being led astray by leaders who are eaten up by hatred. Anti-Semitic caricatures in the PA press are an everyday occurrence.  PA media, official textbooks, do not accept the existence of Israel and the Jewish people’s rights for a state in the holy land. Children are taught to be shahids from an early age, taught to kill as many Jews as possible. As long as this goes on, there is no way of talking to the PA. The treaty they signed with Hamas only makes this more obvious.

In exactly the same way we offered full citizenship to Israel’s Arab citizens decades ago, we are willing today to extend that gift to the Arabs of Judea and Samaria. Accept Israeli citizenship and become loyal to the state.

We are a peace loving nation. We will always be one. We never tried to undermine the countries in which we lived during our centuries of exile and always wanted peace. But peace is not derived from the destruction of another. Peace is the ability to live together.

Our integrity is reflected in our policies. I am the head of the Likud party, voted in on a platform that vowed to keep all of Israel in the hands of the Jewish people. I must tell you that in the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria, not counting “East” Jerusalem and the Golan Heights, 26.5% of the voters chose me. They have not authorized me to destroy their homes, even had I wished to do so.

In the name of the Israeli nation that has sent me here, I ask you to help bring a painful isue that puts a pall on the quality of our relationship to an end. I am referring to Jonathan Pollard, and it seems to me that we must decide together, in the name of rationality as well as morality, to free him. He has paid a much higher price than anyone who has committed  a comparable crime.

I turn to you to also help us gain freedom for our soldier Gilad Schalit from the hands of Hamas terrorists, the ones who expressed outrage and grief at the elimination of Ben Laden.

We in Israel have to learn from the United States, not to negotiate with terrorists. Gilad has not been visited by the Red Cross, has not seen a lawyer. Hamas ignores international principles of the freedom of mankind and commits crimes against humanity. We ask the world to raise its voice against this.

To close, I wish to pray that one day the world realize that the shared longing of the Jewish and American peoples for peace and liberty, is one that the entire world should share. May we pray together for world peace.

Thank you once again for the opportunity to address you. All of you are invited to visit the holy land, the land of the Bible, to enjoy her beauty, her rebuilding and progress.

Note: This speech was written by MK Yaakov Katz (“Ketsaleh”), head of the National Union party, and sent to INN for translation and posting, in the hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu will stand firm and present its message to the government of the United States.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/144360.

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

"Qaddafi's Days are Numbered"Libyan rebels control most of Libya’s oil production facilities, have taken over another town and are closing in on Tripoli, Muammar Qaddafi’s sole base.

Reporters in the city of Zariwa, where Qaddafi’s supporters took them to show how its forces were in control, saw opposition fighters flying their own flag and controlling barricades in the city, where intense fighting took place last week.  READ MORE

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/142547#replies

A CBN Jerusalem Dateline Blog
http://blogs.cbn.com/jerusalemdateline/archive/2011/01/29/praying-for-the-middle-east.aspx

Pray for PeaceThe events throughout the Middle East, and especially in Egypt, are sending shock waves throughout the world. The impact is being felt politically and economically around the world. It’s affecting oil prices, stability in the Middle East, and the security of Israel.

But how are some Christians in this part of the world responding to these events? It’s driving many to their knees and to the Bible. Many site these scriptures, in I Timothy 2:1-6, as one of the Apostle Paul’s most fervent exhortations to pray for events like the ones we’re seeing unfold in Egypt today:

“I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people. This has now been witnessed to at the proper time.”

It might surprise you that there is a formative prayer movement in Egypt with a number of “houses of prayer.” There’s also a nascent move of young Egyptians – former Muslims – coming to faith in Jesus Christ. Rick Ridings, with Succat Hallel, mentions those phenomena in this YouTube posting.

Here’s another excerpt from another Middle Eastern house of prayer. It sums up some of the pressing prayer requests some in the Middle East are sending out:

“Pray for Egypt, Gaza, Yemen and Tunisia – cover the Middle East! Lebanon is also in a government upheaval adding to the tensions of the region. Pray that the Lord would direct the outcome of these riots. (Ps. 75:7 – But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another)”

There is also a danger to Israel in that it could potentially find itself sandwiched between two radical Islamic regimes should more radical elements prevail and overthrow Mubarak.

– Pray that the Lord establish the leadership of His choice in Egypt.

– Pray for the Egyptian people that they would call upon the name of the Lord in the midst of this turmoil and be saved.

– Pray for the Coptic Christians in Egypt. Pray for their safety.

– Pray that this violence does not spill over into Israel. Pray for the government of Israel to hear the LORD. Islamic governments often tend to blame Israel and the Jewish people as being the root cause of their problems.

Some of our Christian Arab friends feel that the Middle East is on fire spiritually and God is about to manifest powerfully.”

It’s worth remembering too that the Bible talks about a future time when the entire Middle East from Egypt to Assyria (modern day Iraq) will enjoy tranquility. Many here in the Middle East are praying for the fulfillment of these verses in Isaiah 19:23-25:

“In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria. The Assyrians will go to Egypt and the Egyptians to Assyria. The Egyptians and Assyrians will worship together. In that day Israel will be the third, along with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing on the earth. The LORD Almighty will bless them, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, Assyria my handiwork, and Israel my inheritance.”

And of course, many are praying for what Psalm 122:6 says:

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.”

By Eric Rozenman December 11, 2009 

President Obama asserts, seconded by Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, that “America does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements” in the West Bank. Both have praised the 10-month freeze on new residential building — excluding eastern Jerusalem — that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced late last month.

Netanyahu now calls for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume negotiations or take the blame for lack of progress when the “one-time-only” freeze expires. Abbas’ precondition — adopted after Washington’s pronouncements — is that all Israeli construction, including in eastern Jerusalem, must cease permanently.

Too bad international diplomacy doesn’t have a replay button. If it did, the parties could look back at history, which would show that Israeli settlements not only are legitimate under international law but positively encouraged.

The basic relevant provision, the League of Nations’ 1922 British Mandate for Palestine, Article 6, encourages “close settlement by Jews on the land, including state lands and waste lands not required for public use.” Most Israeli settlements in the West Bank have been built on land that was state land under the Ottomans, British, Jordanians and, after the 1967 Six-Day War, under the Israelis, or on property that has been privately purchased.

The United States endorsed Article 6 by signing the 1924 Anglo-American Convention, a treaty stipulating acceptance of the mandate. The League of Nations is long gone, but Article 6 remains in force. The United Nations’ 1945 Charter, Article 80 — sometimes known as “the Palestine article” — notes among other things that “nothing in the charter shall be construed to alter in any manner the rights whatsoever of any states or peoples or the terms of existing international instruments.”

Eugene Rostow, U.S. undersecretary of State for President Lyndon Johnson — who is an authority on international law and the coauthor of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242, which outlines requirements for Arab-Israeli peace — reaffirmed this principle. In 1990, he said: “The Jewish right of settlement in the West Bank is conferred by the same provisions of the mandate under which Jews settled in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem before the state of Israel was created.”

As for Resolution 242’s call for “secure and recognized boundaries,” according to Rostow in 1991 in another piece, a careful look at the wrangling over the resolution in 1967 makes it clear that it did not mandate Israeli withdrawal from all of the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and Sinai peninsula to the post-1948 armistice lines.

Many who allege that Jewish communities in the West Bank violate international law cite the 4th Geneva Convention, Article 49. It states that an occupying power “shall not deport or transfer parts of its own civilian population into the territory it occupies.” But Julius Stone, like Rostow a leading legal theorist, wrote in his 1981 book, “Israel and Palestine: An Assault on the Law of Nations,” that the effort to designate Israeli settlements as illegal was a “subversion . . . of basic international law principles.”

Stone, Stephen Schwebel, a former judge on the International Court of Justice, and others have distinguished between territory acquired in an “aggressive conquest” (such as Nazi Germany’s seizures during World War II) and territory taken in self-defense (such as Israeli conquests in 1967).

The distinction is especially sharp when the territory acquired had been held illegally, as Jordan had held the West Bank, which it seized during the Arab states’ 1948-49 war against Israel.

Further, Article 49 of the 4th Geneva Convention was intended to outlaw the Nazi practice of forcibly transporting populations into or out of occupied territories to labor or death camps. Israelis were not forcibly transferred to the West Bank, nor were Palestinian Arabs forced out of it. Two years after President Carter’s State Department determined that Israeli settlements violated international law, President Reagan said flatly that they were “not illegal.”

One can argue, as Reagan did and Obama does, that Israel’s establishing towns in the disputed territories after 1967 obstructs diplomacy, or, as some Israeli critics do, that building Jewish communities near Palestinian Arab population centers disperses the country’s Jewish majority too widely. But one cannot accurately declare the settlements illegal.

Eric Rozenman is Washington director of CAMERA, the Boston-based Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America.

Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/no-way-home-the-tragedy-of-the-palestinian-diaspora-1806790.html

You might think Palestinian refugees would be welcomed by their Arab neighbours, yet they are denied basic rights and citizenship
A special report by Judith Miller and David Samuels
Thursday, 22 October 2009

It is a cynical but time-honoured practice in Middle Eastern politics: the statesmen who decry the political and humanitarian crisis of the approximately 3.9 million Palestinians in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in Gaza ignore the plight of an estimated 4.6 million Palestinians who live in Arab countries. For decades, Arab governments have justified their decision to maintain millions of stateless Palestinians as refugees in squalid camps as a means of applying pressure to Israel. The refugee problem will be solved, they say, when Israel agrees to let the Palestinians have their own state.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/no-way-home-the-tragedy-of-the-palestinian-diaspora-1806790.html
Please follow the link to read the entire article.  This is important information for prayer and understanding but I cannot re-post it.

 

Mon, 26 Jan 2009
updated Sun, 1 Mar 2009

http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2009/01/give-up-on-the-two-state-solution.html

I have devoted an entry, “The West Bank to Jordan, Gaza to Egypt,” to those voices (including mine) who have given up on the two-state solution and instead advocate for or against the idea that the Jordanian and Egyptian governments take over, respectively, the West Bank and Gaza.

But this leaves out the growing debate over the two-state solution that does not mention the Jordan-Egypt option; their ideas will be recorded here, as a complement to the original weblog entry.

I shall also include a few prominent voices that continue to place their hopes in a Palestinian state – starting with the newly-inaugurated Barack Obama, who said today, “I think it is possible for us to see a Palestinian state—I’m not going to put a time frame on it—that is contiguous, that allows freedom of movement for its people, that allows for trade with other countries, that allows the creation of businesses and commerce so that people have a better life.” (January 26, 2009)

Feb. 1, 2009 update: Nathan J. Brown of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace concludes in “Palestine and Israel: Time for Plan B” that “the international effort to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict has come to a dead end.” His Plan B offers makes no mention of Jordan-Egypt but involves three steps that center on recognizing Hamas:

The first step in a new diplomatic approach must be to establish a cease-fire that builds on the common interest of both Israel and Hamas to avoid fighting in the short term. …

The second step must be an armistice that would offer each side what they crave for the present—Israel would get quiet and a limit on arms to Hamas; Palestinians would get open borders, a freeze on settlements, and an opportunity to rebuild their shattered institutions. Such an armistice must go beyond a one-year cease-fire to become something sustainable for at least five to ten years.

Finally, the calm provided by the armistice must be used to rebuild Palestinian institutions and force Palestinians and Israelis to confront rather than avoid the choices before them.

Comment: One has to wonder what planet Brown lives on, making plans on the basis that Hamas can be tamed and made to accept the existence of a sovereign Jewish state between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River.

Feb. 17, 2009 update: Giora Eiland, a leading Israeli strategist, has issued a study, “The Future of the Two-State Solution,” in which he calls the two-state solution “a big illusion.” In its stead, he offers a baroque plan whereby Cairo grants Gaza 600 sq. km. of its territory, Jerusalem annexes 600 sq. km. of territory on the West Bank and it grants a final 600 sq. km. of territory in the Negev desert to Egypt. Eiland does not explicitly say this last tranche would cut Israel in two, but that is implied when he writes that “Egypt could get a land corridor to enable movement from Egypt to the rest of the Middle East without the need to cross Israel.”

Comment: This has to be concurrently the least likely and least good idea anyone has come up with lately.

Feb. 28, 2009 update: Binyamin Netanyahu punts when asked in an interview if he endorses the 2-state solution, saying neither yes or no:

Q. What do you say when asked if you believe in a two-state solution as George Bush outlined in 2002?

A. Substantively, I think there is broad agreement inside Israel and outside that the Palestinians should have the ability to govern their lives but not to threaten ours.

Israel’s Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu (R) shakes hands with Foreign Minister and Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni in Jerusalem February 22, 2009.

Mar. 1, 2009 update: Emerging from unsuccessful talks with Netanyahu to form a Likud-Kadima government, Tzipi Livni of Kadima blamed their failure in large part on Netanyahu’s unwillingness to commit to pursue a two-state solution.

Israel is facing challenges and I told him that Kadima would support the correct moves made by the government. But to deal with the challenges, I wanted three basic principles that you know about. Two states for two peoples is not an empty slogan. It is the only way Israel can remain Jewish and fight terrorism. It’s a fundamental issue. … This meeting has ended without agreements on issues that I see as essential.

(The other two demands were changes to the electoral system and reforms in the Interior Ministry.)

Comment: (1) Coalition talks are where the real platform gets hammered out. (2) But the evolution of Likud’s Ariel Sharon in 2003 shows how the real platform can change dramatically. Here is my account of what happened then:

Mr. Sharon decisively won re-election in January 2003 over Amram Mitzna, a Labor opponent who advocated an Oslo-style unilateral retreat from Gaza. Mr. Sharon unambiguously condemned this idea back then: “A unilateral withdrawal is not a recipe for peace. It is a recipe for war.” After winning the election, his talks in February 2003 about forming a coalition government with Mr. Mitzna failed because Mr. Sharon so heavily emphasized the “strategic importance” of Israelis living in Gaza. By December 2003, however, Mr. Sharon himself endorsed Mr. Mitzna’s unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

So, coalition talks are a good but not entirely reliable guide to future policy.

Mar. 1, 2009 update bis: Aluf Benn of Ha’aretz points to “obvious political reasons” to explain Netanyahu’s reticence on this issue: “It would cost him his potential coalition with the right-wing National Union and Habayit Hayehudi, and force him into a rotation arrangement with Livni.” Plus, writes Benn, his opposition to a Palestinian state “is also a matter of principle, one he has held for many years.” Finally,

Netanyahu also has a tactical reason for objecting to a Palestinian state: He believes that this must come through negotiations, rather than being something conceded by Israel in advance. He considers the Annapolis process that outgoing prime minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Livni conducted with the Palestinian Authority’s Mahmoud Abbas and Ahmed Qureia to be a joke. In his opinion, Israel must not offer a near-total withdrawal from the West Bank in advance, which he believes would achieve nothing and only encourage the Palestinians to demand more.

 Today, Israel will elect their new Prime Minister and government. As the “experts” are busy predicting the outcome, we need to focus on praying for God’s will and purpose to be accomplished. Scriptures tell us that righteousness will arise from Jerusalem. Instead we see rampant selfishness, appeasement and apathy from government, candidates and the public. Pray that Israelis will overcome their apathy, take responsibility, and vote wisely according to God’s will, rather than sitting home and then complaining about the results. World crisis and threats dictate that it is the hand of God and His wisdom that is needed in this hour to overcome evil that is bent on destruction. Pray for God’s mercy. His mighty right arm is able to save and intervene. He has set the times and the seasons and they cannot be changed by any force set against Him or His people.

Below is an article by Caroline Glick which gives a candid assessment of the elections:

February 07, 2009

Israel’s Fateful Elections    By Caroline Glick
http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2009/02/israels_fateful_elections.html

Tuesday’s general elections will officially end the briefest and most nonchalant electoral season Israel has ever experienced. Regrettably, the importance of these elections is inversely proportional to their lack of intensity. These are the most fateful elections Israel has ever had. The events of the past week make this point clearly.

On Monday Iran successfully launched a domestically manufactured satellite on a ballistic missile called the Safir-2 space rocket. Since the launch, experts have noted that the Safir-2 can also be used to launch conventional and nonconventional warheads. The Safir-2 has an estimated range of 2,000-3,000 kilometers. And so the successful satellite launch showed that today Iran is capable of launching missiles not only against Israel, but against southern Europe as well.

Many Israeli leaders viewed Monday’s launch as a “gotcha” moment. For years they have been saying that Iran’s nuclear program is a threat to global security – not merely to Israel’s. And Monday’s launch demonstrated that they were right all along. Israel isn’t the only country on Iran’s target list.

Unfortunately for Israel, the international community couldn’t care less. Its response to Teheran’s latest provocation was to collectively shrug its shoulders.

On Wednesday emissaries of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany convened in Wiesbaden, Germany, to discuss their joint policies toward Iran in the aftermath of the satellite launch. Some Israelis argued that Iran’s provocation forced these leaders’ hands. Their reputations for toughness were on the line. They would have to do something.

Unfortunately for Israel, the emissaries of Russia, Britain, China, France, Germany and the US are more interested in convincing the mullahs that they are nice than in convincing them that they are tough.

Far from deciding to take concerted action against Iran, the great powers did nothing more than wish the Obama administration good luck as it moves to directly engage the mullahs. As their post-conference press release put it, the six governments’ answer to Teheran’s show of force was to “agree to consult on the next steps as the US administration undertakes its [Iranian] policy review.”

As President Barak Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have explained, the US is reviewing its policy toward Iran in the hopes of finding a way to directly engage the Iranian government. While they claim that the aim of these sought after direct negotiations will be to convince the mullahs to give up their nuclear weapons program, since taking office the new administration has sent out strong signals that preventing Iran from going nuclear has taken a backseat to simply holding negotiations with Teheran.

According to a report in Aviation News, last week the US Navy prevented Israel from seizing an Iranian weapons ship in the Red Sea suspected of carrying illicit munitions bound for either Gaza or Lebanon. A week and a half ago, the US Navy boarded the ship in the Gulf of Aden and carried out a cursory inspection. It demurred from seizing the ship, however, because, as Adm. Michael Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained on January 27, the US believed it had no international legal right to seize the vessel.

In inspecting the ship the US was operating under UN Security Council Resolution 1747, which bars Iran from exporting arms. The US argued that it lacked authority to seize the ship because 1747 has no enforcement mechanism. Yet the fact of the matter is that if the US were truly interested in intercepting the ship and preventing the arms from arriving at their destination, the language of 1747 is vague enough to support such a seizure.

And that’s the point. The US was uninterested in seizing the ship because it was uninterested in provoking a confrontation with Teheran, which it seeks to engage. It was not due to lack of legal authority that the US reportedly prevented the Israel Navy from seizing the ship in the Red Sea, but due to the administration’s fervent wish to appease the mullahs.

Today the ship, which was sailing under a Cypriot flag, is docked in the Port of Limassol. Cypriot authorities have reportedly inspected the ship twice, have communicated their findings to the Security Council, and are still waiting for guidance on how to deal with the ship.

ALL OF this brings us back to next Tuesday’s elections. With the US effectively giving up on confronting Iran, the entire burden for blocking Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons falls on Israel’s shoulders.

This means that the most important question that Israeli voters must ask ourselves between now and Tuesday is which leader and which party are most capable of achieving this vital goal?

All we need to do to answer this question is to check what our leaders have done in recent years to bring attention to the Iranian threat and to build coalitions to contend with it.

In late 2006, citing the Iranian nuclear menace, Israel Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman joined the Olmert government where he received the tailor-made title of strategic affairs minister. At the time Lieberman joined the cabinet, the public outcry against the government for its failure to lead Israel to victory in the war with Iran’s Lebanese proxy Hizbullah had reached a fever pitch. The smell of new elections was in the air as members of Knesset from all parties came under enormous public pressure to vote no confidence in the government.

By joining the government when he did, Lieberman single-handedly kept the Olmert government in power. Explaining his move, Lieberman claimed that the danger emanating from Iran’s nuclear program was so great that Israel could not afford new elections.

But what did he accomplish by saving the government by taking that job? The short answer is nothing. Not only did his presence in the government make no impact on Israel’s effectiveness in dealing with Iran, it prolonged the lifespan of a government that had no interest in forming a strategy for contending with Iran by two years.

In light of this fact, perhaps more than any other Israeli politician, Lieberman is to blame for the fact that Israel finds itself today with no allies in its hour of greatest peril. Had he allowed the people to elect more competent leaders in the fall of 2006, we might have been able to take advantage of the waning years of the Bush administration to convince the US to work with us against Iran.

Then there is Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. If Lieberman was the chief enabler of Israel’s incompetent bungling of the Iranian threat, as Israel’s chief diplomat, it is Livni – together with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert – who deserves the greatest condemnation for that bungling.

Throughout her tenure as foreign minister and still today as Kadima’s candidate for prime minister, Livni claims that she supports using diplomacy to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. But in her three years as Israel’s top diplomat, Livni never launched any diplomatic initiative aimed at achieving this goal. In fact, she has never even publicly criticized the European and American attempts to appease the mullahs.

Livni has remained silent for three years even though it has been clear for five years that the West’s attempts to cut a deal with Teheran serve no purpose other than to provide the Iranians time to develop their nuclear arsenal. She has played along with the Americans and the Europeans and cheered them on as they passed toothless resolutions against Iran in the Security Council which – as the Iranian weapons ship docked in Cyprus shows – they never had the slightest intention of enforcing.

As for Defense Minister Ehud Barak, as a member of the Olmert government, his main personal failure has been his inability to convince the Pentagon to approve Israel’s requests to purchase refueling jets and bunker buster bomb kits, and to permit Israeli jets to fly over Iraqi airspace. To achieve these aims, Barak could have turned to Israel’s friends in the US military and in Congress. But he did no such thing. And now, moving into the Obama administration, Israel finds itself with fewer and fewer allies in Washington’s security community.

For the past several years, only one political leader in Israel has had the foresight and wisdom to both understand the dangers of Iran’s nuclear program and to understand the basis for an Israeli diplomatic approach to contending with the threat that can serve the country’s purposes regardless of whether or not at the end of the day, Israel is compelled to act alone.

In 2006, Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu took it upon himself to engage the American people in a discussion of the danger Iran poses not only to Israel but to the world as a whole. In late 2006, he began meeting with key US governors and state politicians to convince them to divest their state employees’ pension funds from companies that do business with Iran. This initiative and complementary efforts by the Washington-based Center for Security Policy convinced dozens of state legislatures to pass laws divesting their pension funds from companies that do business with Iran.

Netanyahu also strongly backed the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs’ initiative to indict Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as an international war criminal for inciting genocide. Both the divestment campaign and the campaign against Ahmadinejad have been Israel’s most successful public diplomacy efforts in contending with Iran. More than anything done by the government, these initiatives made Americans aware of the Iranian nuclear threat and so forced the issue onto the agendas of all the presidential candidates.

Instead of supporting Netanyahu’s efforts, Livni, Barak and Lieberman have disparaged them or ignored them.

Because he is the only leader who has done anything significant to fight Iran’s nuclear program, Netanyahu is the only national leader who has the international credibility to be believed when he says – as he did this week – that Israel will not allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. Likud under Netanyahu is the only party that has consistently drawn the connection between Iran, its Palestinian, Lebanese, Iraqi and Afghan terror proxies, its Syrian client state and its nuclear weapons program, and made fighting this axis the guiding principle of its national security strategy.

GIVEN THE US-led international community’s decision not to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, it is clear that in the coming months Israel will need to do two things. It will need to put the nations of the world on notice that they cannot expect us to stand by idly as they welcome Iran into the nuclear club. And Israel will need to prepare plans to strike Iran’s nuclear installations without America’s support.

More than ever before, Israel requires leaders who understand the gravity of the hour and are capable of acting swiftly and wisely to safeguard our country from destruction. Only Netanyahu and Likud have a credible track record on this subject.

For the sake of our country, our nation and our posterity, it is our responsibility to consider this fact when we enter the voting booths on Tuesday.

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