Winds of War Amidst Peace Talks
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
Over the past weeks there have been numerous attempts to get the Israelis and Palestinians to agree to direct talks which have been stalemated for almost the past 2 years. Despite the large gap between both sides, it was announced that U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama will hold a Middle East peace summit on September 2nd at the White House. The Israelis have been calling for direct talks for quite a while now while the Palestinian Authority has basically rebuffed direct talks unless Israel agrees to extend the no construction freeze in the West Bank and Jerusalem. It appears the talks will officially take place without "preconditions" yet the Palestinians have said that if Israel calls off the construction freeze then peace talks will cease. So it appears that there is a window of opportunity for peace talks to be held before the construction freeze order expires on September 26th.
Despite the prospects for direct talks taking place next week, the truth is the situation on the ground is very unstable and it is expected that the radical terrorists will try to disrupt the peace talks by possibly trying to provoke an incident on the Israeli border that causes a conflict. In response to these concerns, the U.S. warned the Lebanese not to let Hezbollah and other elements cause problems on the border as Israel was prepared to destroy the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in a matter of 4 hours. The Jerusalem Post reported:
The US warned Lebanon that if it did not prevent any recurrence of the border-fire incident that occurred earlier this month, the IDF would destroy the Lebanese Armed Forces within four hours, Israel Radio cited a report by Lebanese newspaper A-Liwaa on Friday.
According to the report, Frederick Hoff, assistant to US Middle East Peace Envoy George Mitchell, told Lebanese Army chief of staff Jean Kahwaji that Israel was ready to implement a plan to destroy within four hours all Lebanese military infrastructure, including army bases and offices, should a similar confrontation occur in the future.
These comments came after the recent tragic killing of an IDF officer on the Lebanon border recently while Israel was trimming trees on their side of the border. A recent UN investigation has shown that the IDF was on their side of the fence which contradicted claims made by the Lebanese. Once again, the Islamics have distorted the truth and been found guilty of aggression towards Israel. This event reportedly caused Israeli Defense minister Ehud Barak to want to respond militarily against Lebanon when the incident occurred but he was calmed down by others. Apparently cooler heads prevailed but I have a feeling that won't be the case in the future. In fact, another report said if another event like the one a few weeks ago happened again it would cause a war. The tension is truly at a point that anything could happen.
The peace talks that will begin on September 2nd will take place in Washington and mainly consist of the Israelis, Palestinians, and the Americans. Earlier this week French President Nicolas Sarkozy demanded that France be given a seat at the talks. However, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton has come out on record saying that the EU will not participate in the talks. Ashton will be in China while the talks are taking place. The Jerusalem Post reports:
The European Union said Saturday it will not participate in the US-backed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority due to start on Thursday in Washington. A spokesman for the bloc's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said she will be in Beijing meeting with Chinese leaders at that time. Spokesman Darren Ennis also said "for the EU as a whole, the focus is on a successful outcome of the talks (and not) on the choreography or who goes to Washington."
So for the time being it appears that the U.S. will be remain the prime mediator between the Israelis and Palestinians at the upcoming direct talks. This is not surprising as it was reported the other day that the U.S. administration of Barack Hussein Obama wants the Israelis and Palestinians to agree to concessions and peace agreements now, and then implement them later. The YNetNews website reports:
The Obama administration plans to present Israel and the Palestinian Authority with a new outline aimed at ending the Middle East conflict. The Yedioth Ahronoth daily has learned that the Americans will pressure the parties to sign a framework agreement for a permanent settlement within one year, but that the agreement itself would be implemented within 10 years.
The American administration plans to invest every effort to guarantee that the direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which will be launched officially next Thursday, will end with an agreement rather than with a crisis, as in previous negotiations.
According to the American plan, the Israeli and Palestinian negotiation teams would hold hectic talks in a bid to reach a framework agreement within a year. The intensive talks would be held in isolated sites, so as to allow the teams to calmly discuss the core issues of the permanent agreement: Jerusalem's future, the borders, the settlements and the refugees.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas would be required to hold frequent meetings in order to solve concrete problems and advance the negotiations' stages. If the talks reach a deadlock, American officials would intervene and attempt to bridge between the sides. In addition, the US would try to convince the Arab states to offer goodwill gestures to Israel and influence the Palestinians to compromise. The framework agreement aimed at ending the conflict would be signed within a year. From that moment on, the agreement would be implemented gradually over a period of several years.
It appears to me that President Obama is trying to once again force a peace among the Israeli and Palestinians. This of course will not result in true peace if each side is not willing to make the needed sacrifices for peace. But just like when President Obama shoved the universal healthcare issue down the American's throats, it appears he is up to the same tactics but this time with the Israelis and Palestinians. While the Palestinians refuse to recognize Israel and only seem to make one ridiculous demand after another to the Israelis, the prospects of peace are very slim despite the Obama administration's best efforts. The Palestinians have shown they will not budge on the difficult issues and Israel also has their issues they will not budge on either. The rumors swirling around are that the peace talks are only likely to bring conflict once again to the region when they fail. And of course as we mentioned at the beginning of this article, the terrorist proxies on the border can easily cause a conflict in a matter of moments if they decide to do so.
In summary, it appears that the Middle East remains in a stalemate and the prospect that the September 2nd talks will produce a breakthrough is basically not good. It was noted by one source that the direct talks are only scheduled for one day which would seem to indicate that no major breakthroughs are expected. It is important that we continue to monitor the Middle East situation as it is extremely volatile at this time and anything could happen given the recent incident on the Lebanese border. Let us continue to pray for Israel and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. This next week will be a very tension filled week for Israel PM Netanyahu and his staff as they head off to Washington for the direct talks with the Palestinians. Stay tuned!!