Well once again we lead off our update with the weather. Last week while John Kerry, President Obama, and other top administration people were pressuring Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to make peace with the Palestinians, the Washington area was hit hard by a major snowstorm and freeze. The Federal Government was shut down on Monday and from Washington to Baltimore the east coast experienced its coldest March temperatures in recorded history. Seriously, I know there has to be a copy of Bill Koenig’s book “Eye to Eye” laying around the White House somewhere, somebody needs to just pick it up and read it.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu arrived in Washington he was greeted with the content of an interview between Jeffrey Goldberg and President Barack Obama. The language in the interview, in regard to Israel’s acceptance of John Kerry’s framework for peace, could not have been welcomed by the Prime Minister. When asked about the subject of Middle East peace, Obama told Goldberg that the U.S.’s friendship with Israel is undying, but he also issued what Goldberg took to be a veiled threat: “The U.S., though willing to defend an isolated Israel at the United Nations and in other international bodies, might soon be unable to do so effectively.” Obama also said that if Prime Minister Netanyahu “does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach.” Obama then added, “It’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.”
In the interview, Obama made it clear that he views Abbas as the most politically moderate leader the Palestinians may ever have. And, it seemed obvious to Goldberg that the president believes that the next move is Prime Minister Netanyahu’s. Later in the interview Obama also said “I believe that President Abbas is sincere about his willingness to recognize Israel and its right to exist, to recognize Israel’s legitimate security needs, to shun violence, to resolve these issues in a diplomatic fashion that meets the concerns of the people of Israel.”
However, in an article published on Friday, March 7, by the official Palestinian news agency WAFA, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said there is “no way” he will recognize Israel as a Jewish state and accept a Palestinian capital in just a portion of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem. Abbas’s comments signaled that the divide between him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains wide after months of mediation efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry. Abbas also said, he withstood international pressure in the past, when he sought UN recognition of a state of Palestine over Washington’s objections, and would continue to do so.
While in Washington Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the AIPAC Policy Conference. Some of his key points in the speech were:
- Jerusalem is the eternal undivided capital of Israel and the Jewish people.
- The need to strengthen alliance between the U.S. and Israel, and safeguard and nurture the most important alliance in the world.
- When Iran builds ICBMs they are to use against America.
- The need to oppose Iran and stand for what is right.
- The greatest threat to our mutual security is a nuclear Iran.
- Iran wants a military nuclear program, not a peaceful one.
- It is a mistake leaving Iran with the ability to enrich uranium; Iran may have a threshold nuclear program.
- Pressure got Iran to the table, not backing off the pressure. The greater the pressure on Iran, the smaller the use of force will be necessary.
- Time for PA to stop denying history. PA must recognize a Jewish state. President Abbas must recognize a Jewish state. We may have a territorial dispute, but tell the Palestinians we have a right to a Jewish state.
- May take decades for formal approval of a Palestinian state to trickle down.
- I am charged with the protection of the state of Israel. I will never gamble with the security of the only Jewish state.
- BDS (boycott, divestment and sanctions) movement will fail. Won’t stop major companies from doing business in Israel. Apple, Google, Microsoft, Cisco and other major companies are doing business in Israel.
- BDS is the latest chapter in dark history of anti-Semitism.
- Israel’s best economic days lie ahead.
- Americans and Israelis stand for life. We stand on the right side of the moral divide.
As Prime Minister Netanyahu returns to Israel, another “Christ at the Crossroads” conference has begun in Bethlehem. It is at the very heart of the BDS movement and is sponsored by “Christian” denominations who have rejected God’s eternal promises to Israel through the Abrahamic covenant. This theological error has caused them to embrace Supersessionism, also known as Replacement Theology, and in doing so they have become proponents of the so-called Palestinian liberation theology. In my opinion this is nothing more than anti-Semitism and further evidence of biblical apostasy in mainstream denominations.
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Israeli defense forces intercepted a ship in the Red Sea carrying an Iranian arms shipment headed for the Gaza Strip. The Panamanian flagged ship, the “Klos-C”, was found to be carrying 150 shipping containers, 100 of which contained arms. After the initial inspection the ship was escorted to an Israeli port and unloaded. In total the ship contained 40 Syrian M-302 missiles, 181 heavy mortars, and 400,000 rounds of ammunition.
On Sunday, March 9 the European Union’s policy Chief, Catherine Ashton, met with Iranian President Rohani in Tehran to discuss Iran’s nuclear activities. Later on Sunday at his regular weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke out about the meeting in Tehran and the European Union foreign policy Chief’s visit there. “The goal of seizing the arms ship was to expose Iran’s true face,” Netanyahu told ministers. “I say this in order to bring it to the attention of Ms. Ashton, who is now visiting Tehran, and I wish to ask her whether she asked her hosts about the shipment of weapons to terrorist organizations.”
As all of this is happening, tension continues in the Ukraine as Russia has continued to occupy Crimea. Russian President Vladimir Putin has completely dismissed warnings from President Obama and his administration. His disdain for the US president and his spineless approach to foreign-policy by “leading from behind” is glaringly apparent. Putin maintains that they are only in Crimea to protect Russia’s national interests there and the Russian speaking citizens of Crimea.
In my opinion the Russian takeover of Crimea is a done deal and it only remains to be seen whether or not they will Annex the entirety of the Ukraine. Because of Russia’s desire to control the natural gas pipeline that services the European Union, and its need for the warm water ports in Crimea and the Ukraine, Vladimir Putin will not back down even under the threat of economic sanctions. He is aware that neither the United States, European Union, nor any of their allies are willing to commit troops to attempt to repel the Russian takeover.
Friends we are living in the Last Days, the signs of the times are everywhere, and I believe Jesus will soon return for His Church. End Times prophecy is being fulfilled before our very eyes, and it has never been more important for us as believers, His Remnant Church, to be sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with this world, which truly needs a Savior.