|Rice pushing for document of agreement by September|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Monday, 28 July 2008 11:20|
Palestinian sources have revealed that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is pushing for a document to be drafted by Israel and the Palestinian Authority that will show what progress has been made on the Middle East peace process to date. Rice is hoping to present the document, which will outline progress made since the Annapolis peace conference last November, to the United Nations General Assembly in September. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had originally committed themselves to the establishment of a Palestinian state before US President Bush's term ends in January. There has been some notable progress made towards achieving that goal. There have been several international gatherings over the past year aimed at financing the establishment of a Palestinian state, building the Palestinian economy and strengthening Palestinian institutions and security. And thanks to Quartet Special Envoy Tony Blair, the Palestinian Authority has been handed security control of several West Bank towns, namely Jenin and Shechem. The creation of the first union of Mediterranean countries since the fall of the Roman Empire has brought the prospect of Middle East peace ever closer. But the main sticking points of borders and the status of Jerusalem have prevented major progress being made on the establishment of a Palestinian state by the end of the year.
Quote: "The sources said Rice wants to be able to present the document during the General Assembly to show progress in the talks. The document would include agreed-on points particularly on borders, an issue where, according to an American diplomat, the gap is not significant. According to Palestinian sources, the gap regarding a right of return for Palestinian refugees has also narrowed. The United States is pressing for an agreement by which Palestinian refugees will have the right of return to what were the Palestinian territories before 1967, except for a yet-unclear small number of family reunifications. The PA says the U.S. will not take a dramatic step of a "Camp David" nature before the end of President George W. Bush's term in office.
It was originally hoped that a Palestinian state would be established by November 2008. That goal was later revised to reaching an agreement by the end of US President Bush's term. Now the Israeli government says even that aim is over-ambitious, and they are hoping instead to announce the commencement of yet more talks at the upcoming Moscow conference. So where are we now in Bible prophecy? Despite the seeming delay in the establishment of a Palestinian state, I would say we are still on course for the beginning of Daniel's seventieth week. What year that will begin, I don't know. But we are still on course. For the Scriptures state that it will be the Antichrist who will divide the land for gain (Daniel 11:39), and that Judea and east Jerusalem are to fall into the hands of the Gentiles for a period of three and a half years (Zechariah 12:2, Revelation 11:2). So we should not be expecting a Palestinian state to be established by the end of this year, but we should be expecting some sort of agreement to be made. If not by the end of this year, then perhaps in the not too distant future.
One of my favourite songs is sung by Mary McKee and the Genesis, and it is called "Signs of the Times". The lyrics are as follows.
Signs of the times are showing very clear
That day is coming closer, time's moving on
I think that song has a lot of truth to it. The signs of the times are showing very clear, and my witness as a Christian has not been very clear. I need to get my life in order. If Jesus Christ came today, would I have anything in my life that I would be ashamed of? Am I expecting His coming at any moment? Am I living in the light of it? I should be. I hope and pray that you will be ready also. If you are not a Christian, now is the time to get right with God. Jesus Christ is coming back, to take His waiting people home, and to judge this world for its wickedness. Forget about trying to live a good life, you will never meet God's requirements (Romans 3:23). And forget about God letting you into heaven if your good deeds outweigh your bad ones. Jesus Christ has already declared that if we die in our sins, we can never be in heaven (John 8:21). You need to have your sins forgiven. Jesus Christ bore God's punishment for your sins when He died upon the cross (Isaiah 53:6). All who believe on Him for salvation can have their sins forgiven and have eternal life in heaven. Why wait until tomorrow? You may not have another opportunity to be saved. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.