|New settlement freeze will include east Jerusalem|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Thursday, 18 November 2010 04:57|
A new settlement freeze being formulated by Israel and the US administration would likely include east Jerusalem, contrary to recent reports in the media. President Obama has been pressuring the Israeli government to recommit to a 90 day construction freeze in Judea and Samaria in a last ditch attempt to kick-start the Middle East peace process. During this time the US would press both sides to agree on final-status borders, paving the way for the establishment of a Palestinian state by the end of next year. In order to sweeten the deal, Obama had reportedly promised to give Israel 20 F-35 aircraft, which it had sought to purchase but couldn't afford due to budget cuts. Israel hopes to acquire 40 of these aircraft to give it the qualitative edge in the Middle East, after similar deals were struck between the US and Saudi Arabia. But Israel will not start taking delivery of the aircraft until 2017, which some analysts say will be too late for dealing with the Iranian threat. The US has also promised to veto any attempts to have the United Nations unilaterally recognize a Palestinian state. Netanyahu has sought assurances that the freeze, which will affect all construction work in Judea and Samaria, will not include east Jerusalem. And that Israel will not come under any pressure to repeat the construction freeze if the talks should fail. But the written assurances received by the Israeli Prime Minister made no mention of Jerusalem's exclusion from the freeze, and officials now admit that the US will indeed press for a de-facto freeze in the capital city.
Quote: "Netanyahu met with Shas Chairman Eli Yishai and Minister Ariel Attias on Wednesday in a bid to convince them not to vote down the settlement freeze when the motion is brought to cabinet. But the U.S. official told Haaretz that "If the moratorium deal goes through, we will continue to press for quiet throughout East Jerusalem during the 90 days, regardless of what Bibi [Netanyahu] is telling Shas now."
Indeed, earlier in the month, President Obama publicly expressed his 'disappointment' that Israel was actually carrying on with construction in a suburb of east Jerusalem. So it is very unlikely that the US would agree to an east Jerusalem exclusion. As I said before, a settlement freeze is just the precursor to a full-blown evacuation. For as soon as Israel forfeits its rights to build in Judea, Samaria and east Jerusalem, they effectively admit that they have no right to be there in the first place. The freeze is not just a ploy to get the Palestinian Authority to return to the talks. Israel will come under intense pressure to keep the freeze in place as long as the talks continue, and most likely the sweeteners that were promised to Netanyahu will be conditional on that happening. The only logical thing that can follow from this freeze is a complete disengagement. President Abbas, that peace-loving Arab who refuses to even recognize Israel's existence, recently stated that he "will never agree that there will be a single Israeli among us on Palestinian soil". So much for peace.
It's not a case of if, but when all this takes place. For the Bible predicts that just prior to the return of Jesus Christ, that Israel's enemies shall be in siege against Judah (modern day 'West Bank') and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2). Half of the city of Jerusalem shall go into captivity (Zechariah 14:2), and the Gentiles shall take control of the Old City for a three and a half year period (Revelation 11:2). The Bible predicts that this will commence the time of Jacob's trouble (Jeremiah 30:7), a period of great tribulation which the Jewish people have never before experienced (Matthew 24:21). But praise God we are not waiting for the arrival of the Antichrist. We are not not even looking for the coming of the tribulation period. But we are waiting for our Lord Jesus Christ to return for His own.
1st Thessalonians 1:10
When speaking of His Second Coming, the Lord Jesus Christ likened the conditions that would exist in the earth at that time to the days of Noah and the days of Lot (Luke 17:26-28). We are told in 1st Peter 3:20 that "the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water". The flood could not come until the ark was complete and Noah was 'shut in', Genesis 7:16. And again we are told how the destroying angel warned Lot in the city of Sodom, "haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither", Genesis 19:22. So the wrath of God cannot fall on this present evil world until His people are in the place of safety. Jesus Christ is coming soon. We are seeing the signs of His Second Coming today. How much closer must be His coming for the saints? Is He coming for you? Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved (Acts 16:31).