Direct Peace Talks Start Between Israel and Palestinians
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
The main topic on everyone's mind today was the re-launching of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. It has been nearly two years since both sides sat down to talk about the growing political stalemate in the Middle East. The Israelis and Palestinians were invited to the United States as a guest of U.S. President Barack Obama for what only a few saw as optimistic peace talks. The truth of the matter is that the vast majority of people who watch the events in the Middle East did not expect anything to come from the meetings. In fact that only decision that seemed to be made today was the deicsion to meet again in two weeks. While Israeli PM Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas sat down to meet with the U.S. administration they were also joined by Jordan's King Abdullah and Egypt's President Mubarak. This was an attempt to trumpet up the peace talks and try to get the meetings productive. The Haaretz news reported that the two sides agreed to meet again in two weeks perhaps at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik. Haaretz reported:
Israeli and Palestinian leaders agreed Thursday to produce a framework for a permanent peace deal and to hold a second round of direct talks this month followed by regular meetings, a modest achievement reached amid deep skepticism about success at their first such session in two years.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet again on Sept. 14 and 15 in the Middle East, likely at the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik, with an eye toward forging the outline of a pact that could lead to a final agreement in a year's time.
The Haaretz news article went on to further state:
The United States' special Mideast envoy George Mitchell announced the agreement after several hours of talks between Netanyahu and Abbas at the State Department at which the two leaders pledged to work through the region's deeply ingrained mutual hostility and suspicion to resolve the long-running conflict.
"I believe these two leaders - President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu - are committed to doing what it takes to achieve the right results," Mitchell told reporters, explaining that following the Sept. 14-15 round of talks, negotiation teams, headed by the two leaders, would meet every two weeks.
Despite the best efforts by the U.S. administration to put on a good face on the meetings it is being reported that despite the "warm" talks and "pleasant" speeches, that both sides remained far apart and that in fact the arguing had once again started up even it remained civil. This is seen by a Jerusalem Post article that said that despite the nice pictures, elaborate settings, and the presence of prominent politicians that at the end of the day the decision to move forward or backward would still be left up to the Israelis and Palestinians. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remarked that the U.S. would not force an agreement between both sides. But with neither side willing to budge on their "red line" topics it appears that we are set for another failure in the Middle East peace process. The Jerusalem Post article reported:
When the ceremonies cease, when the speech-making ends, when the chandeliers in ornate halls are turned off, when Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Jordan’s King Abdullah II go home, and when US President Barack Obama’s attention is diverted elsewhere, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will be left – just the two of them – alone in a room. And, as the two leaders’ speeches at the ceremony in the State Department’s Benjamin Franklin room on Thursday morning to mark the start of direct negotiations indicated, it is then going to get very, very difficult.
The day before, at the White House, in the presence of Obama, Mubarak and Abdullah, Netanyahu said, “I did not come here to play a blame game where even the winners lose. I came here to achieve a peace that will bring benefits to all.” But at the State Department on Thursday, just as the two men were to get down to the proverbial brass tacks, the blame game already started. It was polite, civilized, not overheated, but it started. It wasn’t direct, but it started.
Between the ongoing stalemate between the Israelis and Palestinians, it appears that things are just going to continue on from where they left off nearly two years ago. Couple this with the influence of Hamas and the other various terrorist groups, it is obvious that a peace deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians is simply a pipe dream smoked up by the liberals who seem to think that sitting down at a table and discussing things will solve all the problems in the world. The truth of the matter is that there are more impediments to peace than there are things going for it. As a result, it is my honest opinion that things are more likely to stay the same.
Israeli PM Netanyahu has declared that the construction freeze that ends on September will not be extended and that the Israelis will resume building in the Jerusalem and West Bank area. Never mind that this is in the areas that both sides believe will fall into Israeli territory should a peace agreement be found, the Palestinians for their part have insisted that all construction cease even in those Israeli territories. It is ridiculous demands like these that keep the Middle East peace process from moving along, yet when we look at Bible prophecy we will see that God has declared that in these end times in which we live that Jerusalem will eventually become a burdensome stone for all those who involve themselves with it. And that is what is happening right before our very eyes.
Zec 12:3 And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces, though all the people of the earth be gathered together against it.
So as the September 26th deadline approaches for the ending of the construction freeze, it would appear that the talks between the Israelis and Palestinians may also expire around that time unless a concession is made by the Palestinians to keep on talking despite the construction thaw. But knowing the Palestinians and the fact that they haven't made one single concession in the past, it looks as though a continuation of talks will not be in the plans for the future. Which leads us to what happens once talks break down again? That is a good question. Would the time be ripe for the fulfillment of Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17 should the Islamics lash out at Israel for the failure of the peace talks and the resumption of building construction? I don't have the answers, but it appears that we don't have long to find out. I'd advise that everyone continue to watch the Middle East peace talks and keep their eyes on the region. If the peace talks break down, it could lead to more conflict. This is exactly what the experts are predicting as well as those within the region. And this time, it could easily spiral out of control given the severity of the terrorist buildup on the Israeli borders. Stay tuned!!