|Livni chosen to replace Olmert as leader of Kadima|
|Written by Chris Perver|
|Wednesday, 17 September 2008 15:52|
Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has won the Kadima primary elections, beating her main rival Transport Minister Shaul Mofaz to the post by a margin of ten percent. Her victory will help to secure her position as the second woman Prime Minister in the history of the modern state of Israel. Ehud Olmert, who is presently under criminal investigation for a number of corruption scandals, will continue as Prime Minister until a new coalition government is formed. Livni heads the Israeli negotiating team that was set up following the Annapolis peace conference, and her win has given the Palestinian Authority much cause for celebration.
Quote: "A senior Fatah-PA source said that "even if our formal position is that we work with whoever is elected, it is no secret that working with Livni will be much easier. She knows the material and there is no need to start from scratch with her." The source estimated that if Mofaz were elected he would have tried to create a coalition with Shas and the right-wing parties and toughen Israel's stance in negotiations, whereas "Livni understands that the solution to the situation is a quick diplomatic agreement with us," he said.
Despite Livni winning the primaries, the pressure is still on Israel and the Palestinian Authority to reach an agreement by the end of the year. Last night Olmert met with Abbas in Jerusalem in a last minute bid to clinch a deal before he steps down. The two are expected to continue to meet until Olmert steps down as Prime Minister. Olmert hopes that a 'shelf agreement' could be agreed by Israel and the Palestinians, which would be implemented at a later date once more difficult issues such as the division of Jerusalem had been resolved. But the Palestinian Authority has been demanding that these issues be dealt with immediately, and that a state be established as soon as an agreement is reached. A recent report by Channel 2 news stated that Olmert had apparently offered Abbas 98.1% of Judea and Samaria for the creation of a Palestinian state, well above the 92% which had been offered in previous months. They also reported that the government has agreed to absorb 5000 Arab refugees into Israel as part of a peace deal with the Palestinian Authority. Olmert had previously stated that he was not willing to allow a single Arab refugee to return to the land of Israel.
Quote: "Olmert appealed on Monday for a partial peace deal before he steps down, but Abbas wants a detailed accord that would settle sensitive issues such as the future of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, borders and Jewish settlements. "We will not sign any deal before we are assured that it is comprehensive and doesn't delay any of the core issues. It should be detailed," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, a senior Abbas aide. "We also want implementation mechanisms, and international guarantees for implementation, as well as international implementation monitoring," Abed Rabbo said.
It's hard to know what may take place over the next few months. Will we see an agreement signed before the end of the year? I don't know. But one thing is certain, we will not see a Palestinian state created just yet. For the Bible states that halfway through the period known as Daniel's seventieth week, Israel's enemies shall be in siege both against Judea and Jerusalem (Zechariah 12:2), and east Jerusalem shall fall into the hands of the Gentiles for three and a half years (Zechariah 14:2, Revelation 11:2). So it seems that Israel must remain in possession of these lands until the time the great tribulation begins. Many people have differing viewpoints on when the Lord Jesus Christ will come for His Church. I believe this will happen prior to Daniel's seventieth week. But even if that were the case, none of us are guaranteed to see tomorrow's light. That's why it is important to be ready today (2nd Corinthians 6:2). If your soul was required of you tonight, would you be ready to meet God? Have your sins been forgiven? Jesus Christ bore God's punishment for your sins when He died upon the cross of Calvary (Isaiah 53:11). All those who trust in Him for salvation can know their sins forgiven and have everlasting life in heaven (John 3:16). Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation today.