|France offers to host Middle East conference|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Wednesday, 06 January 2010 15:33|
Despite assurances that the Obama administration is committed to finding a peaceful resolution to the Middle East conflict, it seems that US interest in the region is beginning to wane as efforts to restart the stalled negotiations flounder. One of the first acts Obama executed following his election to the White House was to appoint Senator George Mitchell to be his Special Envoy to the Middle East, in the vain hope that what was achieved in Northern Ireland could be somehow be repeated in Israel. But it seems that US foreign policy may be as much to blame for the current impasse, as America seeks to distance itself from Israel in order to woo its Arab antagonists in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton had hoped to redress a perceived imbalance of US favouritism towards Israel by labelling the settlement construction, as opposed to terrorism, as an obstacle to peace. And President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority has naturally latched on to those words, and half the world with him, and has made an issue that was never an obstacle to past negotiations the sticking point of the whole process. Yes, it seems that the president, who received a Nobel peace prize for his efforts in working towards peace in the Middle East, may now be about to wash his hands of the whole thing.
Quote: "White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel recently told the Israeli consul in Los Angeles that the Obama administration is fed up with both Israel and the Palestinians, Army Radio reported on Wednesday. Emanuel met with Jacob Dayan, consul general of Israel in Los Angeles, about two weeks ago, after which Dayan briefed the Foreign Ministry. Emanuel told Dayan the U.S. is sick of the Israelis, who adopt suitable ideas months too late, when they are no longer effective, according to Army Radio. The U.S. is also sick of the Palestinians who never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, Emanuel reportedly said. Emanuel added that if there is no progress in the peace process, the Obama administration will reduce its involvement in the conflict, because, as he reportedly said, the U.S. has other matters to deal with. Emanuel reportedly said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu publicly acknowledged the two-state solution too late, and that the freeze on settlement construction in the West Bank came only after months of U.S. pressure. The report added that both sides reportedly rejected the peace plan proposed by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, but that if there is progress in peace talks, Obama might visit Israel and the region.
But even as US patience with the Middle East wears thin, efforts are still underway to reach an agreement in the region. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu travelled to Cairo this week, as Egypt sought to achieve unity between Hamas and Fatah and kick-start the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. But it is extremely doubtful whether anything will come of it. According to an Egyptian newspaper, President Mubarak had proposed that even before the negotiations begin, Israel should recognize the 1948 armistice lines as the borders of a future Palestinian state. East Jerusalem would become the capital of 'Palestine', and the negotiations would then commence over other issues, such as prisoner release and right of return. That's something Abbas has once again latched on to, insisting that Israel cede Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem to the Gentiles. While it is doubtful that anything will come of the American or Egyptian efforts, European leaders are still interested in the Middle East, and remain the only ones who can be trusted by both the Israelis and the Palestinians. French President Nicolas Sarkozy, himself of Jewish descent, has once again offered to host a summit in France in an effort to restart the peace process. Regarding the announcement of the establishment of the Union for the Mediterranean, Sarkozy had claimed that this event was the best news for peace in the Middle East, and that the union would act as a catalyst to resolving the conflict. And although the Union for the Mediterranean may have got off to a shakey start, the Bible seems to indicate that this last great empire will be instrumental in achieving an agreement in the coming years.
It's all coming to pass just the way the Bible said it would. Global contention over the status of east Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2-3), Judea and Samaria being ceded to the Gentiles (Zechariah 14:2, Revelation 11:2), the European Union rising to prominence in the world (Daniel 7:7-8) and the never-ending Middle East conflict (Daniel 9:27). These are all signs of Christ's Second Coming. For these events are to unfold during the period of time we call Daniel's 70th week. And following the 70th week, Christ will return to set up His Millennial Kingdom. I am looking forward to that day. Are you? In light of these things, Peter asks, what manner of people ought we to be (2nd Peter 3:11)? If only we could live each day in the light of the coming of Christ. It would make such a change in our lives. It would cause me to stop worrying about things which are fleeting and temporal. "No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier", 2nd Timothy 2:3. Are you a Christian? Then God has chosen you to be a soldier. You are to fight the good fight (2nd Timothy 4:7). Do what He has commanded you to do, and serve Him faithfully while you are here on this Earth. Great will be your reward. Are you not yet a Christian? Look at what is happening in the world today. How many more years do we have left? Are you prepared for what the Bible says must take place hereafter (Hebrews 9:27)? God loves you. He sent His Son Jesus Christ to give His life for you upon the cross, so that your sins could be forgiven and that you could have eternal life in heaven (John 3:16). Don't neglect God's salvation. It's too serious a matter to put off. The Bible says, now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation (2nd Corinthians 6:2). Trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today. "Acquaint now thyself with him, and be at peace", Job 22:21.