Israeli Construction Freeze Talks Continue to Dominate Headlines
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
The Israeli Construction freeze talks continue to dominate the news headlines as the U.S. tries to put together a package of incentives to get the Israeli government to agree to 90 day freeze on building construction in the West Bank. The current deal does no prohibit Jewish construction in the east Jerusalem area. The proposed construction freeze is to include the West Bank. The incentives to Israel for such a freeze is an extra squadron of 20 new F-35i fighter jets that will be the world's most advanced fighter jet when they roll off the assembly line. This is the joint strike fighter (JSF) jet made by the U.S. and it's allies that has stealth capabilities. The Israeli military for their part is drooling at the prospect of a second squadron of these jets for it's military. Israel already has an order in for twenty something of the fighters as it is. The estimates cost of the planes is around $2.5-$3 billion dollars. This is a very significant package of incentives that is causing Israel to think twice and hard about agreeing to another construction freeze in order to advance the so called peace process. As part of the deal the U.S. government is in the process of putting the deal in writing and giving it to the Israeli's to consider. The Jerusalem Post is reporting:
The US has given written assurance to Israel that it won't be pressured to impose any additional settlement freezes after it accepts a limited 90 day construction moratorium aimed at reviving peace talks, a top Israeli official said Saturday. "A commitment not to ask an additional freeze after 90 days was written by the Americans," National Security Advisor Uzi Arad said Saturday afternoon to Channel 2. Arad also told the channel that the F-35 stealth fighter jets are not a gift and that Israel will be buying them. "Payment agreements need to be worked out," he said.
The US proposal would mean Israel would cease settlement building for 90 days in return for US pledges to veto anti-Israel resolutions at the United Nations and a fleet of next-generation stealth fighter planes. The proposal does not include a freeze on building in east Jerusalem.
Netanyahu has asked for the assurances in writing in part to appease some members of his cabinet who oppose the deal. Israel and the Palestinians are supposed to try to and work out a deal on their future borders during the 90-day freeze period. Once borders are settled on, Israel could then resume building on any territories it expects to keep under a future peace deal. Palestinian officials were not immediately available for comment.
So far the word from the Palestinians has been quiet from Abbas, but other officials close to the Palestinian government have denied that they will agree to the deal and have threatened to reject it. Whether they do or not remains to be seen. Some of the criticism coming from the Palestinian camp is that the U.S. is using the deal to bolster Israel's defenses at the expense of the peace talks. The Palestinians know a second squadron of advanced fighter jets is not good for them. Especially on that is stealth and can provide unexpected consequences. The Palestinians President Abbas is currently in Egypt talking with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak about the current peace process. The Palestinians are also expected to examine the proposed deal with the U.S. and Israel and then take the issue to the Arab League for a decision on how to proceed. It is expected that the Palestinians will reject the deal over the fact that building in east Jerusalem will resume and the fact that Israel will be receiving the advanced fighter jets.
As for the terrorists in the Gaza strip and northern Israeli border, they continue to build up for the next confrontation. However, there is a report out today that Hamas is losing support in the Gaza strip. The Jerusalem Post reports:
A majority of Palestinians in Gaza don’t like Hamas or Iran, as support for the two entities has continued to drop over the last year, according to a new poll. At the same time, Fatah gets high approval ratings, with its leaders likely to win elections, as Palestinians back their involvement in peace talks with Israel.
Still, while most Palestinians said they support a two-state solution, most see that as a step towards eventually having a one-state solution of a Palestinian state. These results are among the findings from an Israel Project survey conducted between October 4 and 15 and come as negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians have stalled.
Another interesting news report confirms this one state solution concept by reporting that most Islamists see the peace process as a way to eventually head to a one state solution that erases Israel from the map and replaces it with a "Palestinian" state. As we all know the Islamists are not genuinely interested in peace with Israel, instead they engage in talks with Israel in order to build up their arms stockpiles while waiting for a better time to lash out at Israel. This is illustrated in the Islamic concept of a "hudna" which is simply a means to buy time to defeat an enemy. A hudna allows the Islamists up to 10 years to make peace with an enemy they can't defeat, then they must break the "truce" and try again to defeat their enemy. This appears to be what the terrorists are trying to do on the borders of Israel as they stockpile weapons and missiles able to reach every inch of Israel. It is my opinion that the further the terrorists get along in their plans and plots to try to destroy Israel, the closer we will be getting to the possible fulfillments of Psalm 83 and Isaiah 17.
A YNetNews article reports:
The majority of Palestinians support direct talks and the two-state solution, but ultimately want the entire area between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea to turn into one Palestinian state, a poll sponsored by The Israel Project, a Jewish-American organization, shows. The data, collected by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research in October, shows that the Palestinians blame Hamas for the current state of affairs in the Gaza Strip, and are hostile not only towards the Islamic organization but also towards Iran. According to the poll, 61% of Palestinians from both Gaza and the West Bank support direct negotiations with Israel, and 60% accept the two-state solution. A 54% majority also agree peace is possible with Israel.
A closer look, however, reveals a different picture: According to the poll, most Palestinians refuse to reconcile with the idea of Israel as a Jewish state. While 23% accept the statement that “Israel has a permanent right to exist as a homeland for the Jewish people,” two-thirds prefer the alternative statement that “over time Palestinians must work to get back all the land for a Palestinian state.”
Moreover, the Palestinians perceive the two-state solution as a precursor to this entirely Palestinian state. When presented with the statement that “the best goal is for a two-state solution that keeps two states living side by side,” 30% agreed, while 60% opted for the alternative statement that “the real goal should be to start with two states but then move it to all being one Palestinian state." On the issue of terrorism, 58% said they support the armed struggle with Israel, while 36% believes that the direct talks are the only option. In the aftermath of Operation Cast Lead, support for armed struggle was lower in Gaza (51%) than in the West Bank (62%).
As we can see from the YNetNews data the Islamists still prefer to "push the Jews into the Sea" rather than making genuine peace with them. The prevalent attitude also shows that the respondents in the Gaza strip are also tiring of Iran's influence in the region as well. Iran maintains it's influence in the region with both Hamas and Hezbollah acting as proxy armies to fight with Israel. As the peace process continues to stalemate and get derailed, it is possible that more and more Palestinians will get frustrated with the current situation and put pressure on the terrorist leaders to do something more. In order to maintain control and release this frustration it is likely that the terrorists will use the current stalemate as an excuse to start another conflict with Israel. This in turn has the potential to ignite the whole region as Syria and other major players in the region have sworn to "get involved" in the next conflict. A conflict which maybe much closer than we can even imagine. It surely wouldn't take much to light the fuse of the Middle East.
As students of Bible prophecy we should continue to keep an eye on the situation in the Middle East, as Israel is God's prophetic timepiece here in these last days. If there should be an agreement for another freeze, we could see a lull in prophetic activity until possibly after the New Year. However, if the peace talks result in a failed construction freeze, then we could see tensions mount and a conflict erupt. The terrorists are just itching for a reason to fight Israel. And if they have their way, it won't be long now. Let's stay tuned!