MIDDLE EAST & ASIA
- US [OBAMA / KERRY] TORPEDOED REGIONAL PEACE BID BY TRYING
TO IMPOSE TERMS, ISRAELI OFFICIAL SAID
- Secret effort to solve Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which
saw a Feb. 2016 Aqaba summit with Netanyahu, Kerry, Sissi, Abdullah,
was doomed by US, official close to PM claims
- By Times of Israel staff - February 22, 2017 - The administration
of former US president Barack Obama ruined the chance for a regional
peace deal to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict last year
by trying to impose its terms for the accord, a senior Israeli
official reportedly said late Tuesday. Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu reportedly confirmed on Sunday that he attended a secret
US-led summit with Arab leaders in early 2016 meant to jumpstart
efforts toward a regional peace push, but told Likud ministers
that he, and not then-US secretary of state John Kerry, was the
initiator of the meeting.
- The February 21, 2016 meeting in the Jordanian port city
of Aqaba was attended by the prime minister, Kerry, Egyptian
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Jordans King Abdullah.
The first report about the summit, published in Haaretz Sunday,
said Kerry had started the ball rolling with a US-crafted two-state
proposal for ending the conflict, which would include broad Arab
recognition of Israel as a Jewish nation-state, a key demand
Netanyahu has sought in peace talks with Palestinian Authority
- CHIEF RABBI BLESSES NETANYAHU AHEAD OF MEETING WITH TRUMP
- By The Jerusalem Connection - February 13, 2017 - By Israel
Today Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday departed
for his fateful first meeting with Donald Trump since becoming
the 45th president of the United States.
- But before Netanyahu left, Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak
Yosef blessed him and prayed for the meeting.
- May the Holy One, Blessed be He, be with your words.
You are the representative of the entire Jewish nation, and there
is no doubt God will aid you, said Yosef.
- A day earlier, Netanyahu presided over a fiery cabinet meeting
where some ministers put heavy pressure on him to take advantage
of President Trumps sympathy to renounce the two-state
solution and the so-called Oslo Accords.
- Netanyahu tried to chill expectations, insisting that even
with a president like Trump, there would be limitations to what
Israel could do. Even so, if the meeting ends with either Netanyahu
or Trump committing to a Palestinian state, the prime minister
will be in for a political firestorm when he gets home.
SURRENDERS, TO TELL TRUMP HE SUPPORTS A PALESTINIAN STATE
- By TOVAH LAZAROFF,GIL HOFFMAN - February 12, 2017 -
- PM Netanyahu, who departs for Washington today, tells ministers
that the new US president wont give Israel free rein.
- Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not retract his support
for the creation of a Palestinian state when he meets with US
President Donald Trump in Washington on Wednesday, Netanyahu
made clear in Sundays security cabinet meeting.
- When Bayit Yehudi ministers Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked
called on Netanyahu to speak out against the creation of a Palestinian
state, Netanyahu told them of a conversation with Trump in which
the president told him he thinks he can make peace between Israel
and the Palestinians.
- Hours earlier, Netanyahu said that Trump will not give Israel
free rein to do what it wants.
- Even after eight years of complex navigation in the
tenure of [former US president Barack] Obama, we still need to
continue to act wisely with the Trump administration, Netanyahu
told the ministers in his party, before the weekly cabinet meeting.
While it is a more comfortable administration [to work
with], there will still be restrictions.
- Netanyahu has publicly accepted the principle of a two-state
solution to the Israeli- Palestinian conflict since his public
address on the matter at Bar-Ilan University upon entering office
- But his coalitions right flank, the Bayit Yehudi party,
as well as members of his own Likud party, have pressured him
to back away from that position, particularly given that support
for a Palestinian state is not part of the US Republican Partys
- National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval
Steinitz (Likud) warned that if Netanyahu were to disavow the
Bar-Ilan speech, it would harm Israel internationally. But the
voices of caution were drowned out on Sunday by right-wing politicians
who also called on Netanyahu to annex Area C of the West Bank.
Speaking at a sovereignty conference in Jerusalem, sponsored
by the organization Women in Green, Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi
Hotovely (Likud) said she had told Netanyahu already last week
that your political base requires sovereignty.
- Environment and Jerusalem Heritage Minister Zeev Elkin,
also of the Likud, said, There is no doubt that the conversation
with regard to Israeli sovereignty over the West Bank has become
a significant component of the political discourse, and that
is undoubtedly a great achievement. Samaria Regional Council
head Yossi Dagan said that the Israeli position Netanyahu presents
to Trump with regard to Palestinian statehood and sovereignty
would impact the Trump administrations stance on the matter.
It wont be more Zionist than Netanyahu, Dagan
said as he urged Netanyahu to stand strong.
- Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee told the conference
in a video message that the Trump administration marked a new
day of you knowing that your friends are with you. I wish upon
you the courage to be bold and to do that which is necessary
to secure your homeland. This is not land that you occupy. This
is land that you own, and you have a right to live there.
Since taking office, Trump has not put forward a position with
regard to a Palestinian state.
- NETANYAHU TO MEET TRUMP AMID 'MONUMENTAL' SHIFT IN U.S. TIES
- JOYCE KARAM - Special to Arab News - February 14, 2017 -
WASHINGTON: After eight years of hand-wringing and not-so-subtle
backstabbing between former US President Barack Obama and Benjamin
Netanyahu, a monumental shift in language and substance
awaits the Israeli prime minister as he arrives in Washington
to meet Obamas successor Donald Trump. Netanyahus
visit on Wednesday will mark the first official meeting that
Trump will hold with a Middle Eastern leader in the Oval Office
since his inauguration on Jan. 20.
Netanyahu is also scheduled to meet Vice President Mike Pence,
and have dinner with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday.
He will also meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Minority
Leader Chuck Schumer.
The change in optics will be accompanied by a shift in the discussions,
according to experts, where Irans regional role and its
nuclear program will likely dominate the meetings, followed by
exploring ideas to jumpstart the peace process.
The difference from the Obama administration is monumental,
said David Shor, a foreign policy expert based in New York. The
strained relations between Obama and Netanyahu were no secret
over the last eight years; Netanyahu dismissed the administrations
calls for a settlement freeze, rebuffed its Iran policies and
went behind the White Houses back in addressing the Republican-majority
Congress in 2015.
Key to the differences during the Obama days was the enormous
pressure (the administration put) on Israel to make concessions,
while basically giving Tehran a free hand in the region,
And in that alone, a sea change is expected from the Trump Cabinet.
Upping the pressure on Iran especially regionally,
with a clear upgrading and enhancing of the US-Israel alliance
is expected, and Israel surely hopes that Iran will once
again be the central focus of American foreign policy in the
Middle East, the expert added.
- TRUMP AND NETANYAHU - A MATCH MADE IN HEAVEN?
- By The Jerusalem Connection - November 12, 2016
- BY RAPHAEL AHREN, JPOST - On January 20, 2017, Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will finally have a Republican president
sitting in the White House. Netanyahu has often been called a
Republican himself, and many observers of US-Israel relations
believe he is eagerly awaiting Inauguration Day, when for the
first time in his 10 years at the helm of the Jewish state there
will not be a Democratic president of the US. On the face of
it, Donald Trumps victory seems to be a dream come true
for the Israeli prime minister. The president-elect has repeatedly
vowed to unconditionally back the Jewish state in any possible
way: he promised not to try to force a solution on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict; slammed the Iranian nuclear deal; pledged to move the
US embassy to Jerusalem and removed the two-state solution from
the Republican party platform.
- Netanyahu also knows and appreciates the vice-president-elect,
Mike Pence, who has a long record of support for Israel.
- Some of the names rumored to be part of Trumps future
cabinet will be music to Netanyahus ears. Newt Gingrich
and John Bolton, for instance, are thought to have a good chance
of becoming the next secretary of state, and Rudy Giuliani expects
to be appointed attorney-general. Many others in Trumps
inner circle have long records of outspoken and unconditional
support for the Jewish state and Netanyahus policies. On
the other hand, Netanyahu knows that Trump is unpredictable and
might change his Middle East policies on a whim. The prime minister
surely hasnt forgotten that Trump said he wants to remain
neutral on the Israeli-Palestinian issue or that
he contemplated asking Israel to repay the billions in military
aid it received from the US. In December, Netanyahu issued a
statement rejecting Trumps proposed ban on Muslims, stressing
that Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees
the rights of all its citizens.
- TRUMP SHOWS NEW SUPPORT FOR ABANDONING TWO-STATE SOLUTION
IN MEETING WITH NETANYAHU
- By Emily Love - February 15, 2017 - President Donald Trump
met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday
to hold a joint press conference at the White House regarding
the future of the IsraeliPalestinian conflict. The upshot
of which is neither leader committed explicitly to back a future
independent Palestine, a longstanding bedrock of US policy. Trump
suggested to Netanyahu that Israel should hold back
on building new settlements for a little bit.
- As far as settlements, Id like to see you hold
back on settlements for a little bit. Well work something
out but I would like to see a deal be made, Trump said
at a joint press conference with Netanyahu at the White House
before their meeting.
In response, Netanyahu played down the issue of settlement building.
I believe that the issue of the settlement is not the core
of the conflict, nor does it really drive the conflict. I think
its an issue that has to be resolved in the context of
peace negotiations, Netanyahu said.
- Last month, Israel approved the construction of 3,000 housing
units in West Bank settlements, amidst a spate of settlement
expansion in the wake of Trumps inauguration. On Wednesday,
Trump also said that he is open to either a one-state or two-state
solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a departure from
U.S. stance in previous administrations.
- Im looking at two-state, one-state, and I like
the one that both parties like
I can live with either one,
- The previous U.S. administrations have pushed for the two-state
solution to the Middle East peace process, an idea of establishing
an independent Palestinian state that lives side-by-side with
- PALESTINIANS FEAR BEING SIDELINED BY TRUMP WHITE HOUSE
By Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press
- RAMALLAH, West Bank - February 8, 2017 - Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas, who spent hundreds of hours on the phone and in
meetings with U.S. presidents and secretaries of state in the
past 12 years, has tried unsuccessfully to reach out to President
Donald Trump. Abbas and his aides are alarmed by the possibility
of being sidelined at a time when the administration is embracing
Israel's prime minister who heads to the White House next week.
Here's a look at what's at stake for Abbas and Palestinian hopes
- ARE THE PALESTINIANS REALLY BEING IGNORED?
- In December, the Trump transition team refused to meet with
Palestinian officials visiting Washington, putting them off until
after the Jan. 20 inauguration, according to senior Abbas aide
Saeb Erekat, the main point man for official contacts with the
United States. Other advisers say Abbas tried to arrange a phone
call with Trump after the November election and again after the
inauguration, but received no response to his requests. The White
House did not respond to a January letter in which Abbas expressed
concerns about possibly moving the U.S. Embassy in Israel to
- Erekat, whose contacts are now limited to the U.S. Consulate
in Jerusalem, has been quoted as saying that "we have sent
them letters, written messages; they don't even bother to respond
to us." In contrast, Trump spoke twice with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by phone, on Nov. 9 and Jan. 22,
and will receive him at the White House on February 15,
- WHAT HAS THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION SAID?
- The White House earlier this week denied an Israeli newspaper
report, based on a secondhand quote from a Trump aide, that the
administration does not intend to have a relationship with the
Palestinian Authority, Abbas' self-rule government, at this point.
However, the statement did not say what kind of relationship
the White House envisions with the Palestinians.
- PALESTINIANS TURN JERUSALEM INTO A TOOL OF TERROR
- By The Jerusalem Connection - February 13, 2017 By Noah Beck,
Israel Today - Palestinian and other Arab leaders threatened
violence in response to President Trumps pledge to move
the U.S. embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. While Bill Clinton
and George W. Bush also promised such a move as candidates, each
backed off. The terrorist who killed four Israelis in Jerusalem
Jan. 8 by mowing them over with his truck expressed agitation
after hearing a sermon at a local mosque criticizing Trumps
embassy relocation promise. The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership
reportedly instructed the mosques it controls to focus their
religious sermons on the embassy relocation. Worse still, the
PA promised the terrorists widow a lifetime, $760-per-month
stipend for her husbands martyrdom for Allah.
- Arab reactions to Trumps embassy plans are more heated
than they were to those of candidates Bush and Clinton perhaps
because of Trumps pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israels
capital and relocate the embassy there from Tel Aviv, not only
as a candidate (including during his address at last years
AIPAC Policy Conference) but also as president-elect, issuing
public reassurances on the issue. Trump even planned to visit
the Temple Mount as a candidate, although the visit never materialized
and as president he said last Thursday that it
was too early to discuss moving the U.S. Embassy.
- Nevertheless, Palestinian and Arab leaders have warned that
moving the embassy could lead to unrest and violence. Influential
Iraqi Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called the idea a declaration
of war against Islam. PA President Mahmoud Abbas said he
could revoke the PLOs recognition of Israel, while his
Fatah party warned the move would open the gates of hell.
Such declarations by political and religious leaders give a green
light to Palestinians to react violently, as the Jerusalem terrorist
truck attack shows. http://thejerusalemconnection.us/blog/2017/02/13/palestinians-turn-jerusalem-tool-terror/
- GLICK TO SUBMIT BILL ANNEXING JERUSALEM-AREA SETTLEMENT
- By The Jerusalem Connection - February 13, 2017 - Glick to
submit bill annexing Jerusalem-area settlements
- By Tovah Lazaroff, Jerusalem Post - MK Yehudah Glick (Likud)
plans to submit to the Knesset this week a private members
bill to annex the settlements around Jerusalem. It follows on
the heels of a similar bill to annex the West Bank settlement
of Maaleh Adumim, which already has been submitted but
not approved for government support by the Ministerial Committee
for Legislation. Glicks bill would include Maaleh
Adumim, as well as the settlement of Givat Zeev, Geva Binyamin
(Adam), Psagot, Maaleh Michmash and the Gush Etzion bloc.
- It would cover at least one third of the 386,000 settlers
in Judea and Samaria, based on 2015 data from the Central Bureau
of Statistics. Glicks spokesman said the bill has the support
of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely and Transportation
Minister Israel Katz, both of the Likud. The legislation is part
of a flurry of annexation initiatives settlers and right-wing
politicians have promoted since US President Donald Trump was
sworn into office on January 20.
- Glick said placing these communities within sovereign Israel
would strengthen Jerusalem and remove the idea of a Palestinian
state from the agenda. He noted that Israel would soon mark the
50th anniversary of the Six Day War, in which Judea and Samaria
were liberated, saying it also should be the year of sovereignty.
It is not enough to settle for applying sovereignty to Maaleh
Adumim, he added. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has discouraged
annexation attempts, preferring a more moderate path forward
in which the US would support construction within the settlement
- IT'S ANNEXATION TIME
- By The Jerusalem Connection - May 30, 2014
By MICHAEL FREUND
- With the collapse of American-led efforts to revive negotiations
between Israel and the Palestinians, the peace process has largely
faded from view, as the prospect of a deal seems more remote
- TRUMP REASSURES PALESTINIANS EMBASSY NOT MOVING TO JERUSALEM
- By The Jerusalem Connection - Feb 13, 2017 - By Yasser Okbi
- Donald Trump has responded to the Jordanian kings request
that the United States refrain from moving the US Embassy in
Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Arab media reported on Saturday.
The Palestinian daily Al-Quds reported that the Trump administration
transferred a message to the Palestinian Authority that the embassy
would not be moving to Jerusalem.
- According to the report, top security officials in the Trump
administration also spoke with the head of the Palestinian General
Intelligence Service, Majid Faraj, to send reassuring messages
on settlements. But in an interview with the Hebrew daily Israel
Hayom, Trump said he had not yet made a decision on whether or
not to relocate the embassy. I am thinking about the embassy,
I am studying the embassy [issue], and we will see what happens.
The embassy is not an easy decision. It has obviously been out
there for many, many years, and nobody has wanted to make that
decision. Im thinking about it very seriously, and we will
see what happens, Trump told the paper. On Wednesday, the
foreign ministers of Jordan and Egypt discussed Israeli settlements
in the West Bank and east Jerusalem during a meeting in the Jordanian
- Jordans Foreign Minister Ayman al-Safadi said that
Israeli settlements and other issues relating to the conflict
were addressed during Jordanian King Abdullahs recent meetings
with the new US administration. During the visit, Abdullah raised
concerns about Trumps pledge to relocate the American Embassy
in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
- OLD U.S. ENEMY THREATENS 'WAR' IF TRUMP MOVES EMBASSY
- By The Jerusalem Connection - Janurary 25, 2017 - By Art
Moore - WND - A major nemesis during the Iraq War is warning
that if the U.S. moves its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to
Jerusalem, as President Trump has vowed, it will be regarded
as a declaration of war against Islam. Iraqi cleric Moqtada al-Sadr,
who led a militia against U.S.-led coalition forces in Iraq,
called for the formation of a special division to liberate
Jerusalem were the decision to be implemented.
- Congress passed a law two decades ago directing that the
embassy be moved to Jerusalem, every president has signed a waiver
every six months, citing national security concerns. The U.S.
largely has fallen in line with United Nations policy, which
does not recognize Israels annexation of east Jerusalem
after the citys capture in the Arab-initiated Six Day War.
- The Palestinians view east Jerusalem as the third holiest
city in Islam and the future capital of a Palestinian state.
- Commenting on Saders declaration, Islam expert Robert
Spencer, the publisher of Jihad Watch, observed that while Western
policy analysts routinely treat Israels conflict with the
Arabs as a matter of a land dispute that can be settled by negotiations,
Muslim spokesmen worldwide treat it as an Islamic matter. Al-Sadr
and many others are trying to make this move of the embassy into
a showdown, Spencer wrote. They are trying to make
President Trump back down, which would set an extremely damaging
precedent. He warned that if the administration backs down
and the showdown is averted, those analysts would be kidding
themselves if they didnt realize that it is coming sooner
or later anyway.
- NETANYAHU OPPOSES PALESTINIAN STATE, ISRAEL CABINET MEMBER
- By The Jerusalem Connection - Feb 13, 2017 - By Reuters -
Netanyahu opposes a Palestinian state, a senior Israeli cabinet
member said on Monday, but left it unclear whether the prime
minister would say that publicly in talks with US President Donald
Trump in Washington this week.
- Netanyahu has never explicitly abandoned his conditional
support for a future Palestine, and his spokesman did not respond
immediately to a request to comment on Public Security Minister
Gilad Erdans remarks. Erdan belongs to Netanyahus
right-wing Likud party, whose leading members have often espoused
a harder line than the prime minister himself. I think
all members of the security cabinet, and foremost the prime minister,
oppose a Palestinian state, Erdan told Army Radio after
the forum met on Sunday on the eve of Netanyahus departure
for Washington for talks with Trump on Wednesday.
- No one thinks in the next few years that a Palestinian
state is something that, God forbid, might or should happen,
he said in the interview. But asked if Netanyahu would voice
opposition to statehood on camera when he meets Trump, Erdan
said: The prime minister has to weigh things according
to what he feels in the meeting and the positions he encounters
there. No one knows what the positions of the president and his
staff are. Palestinians seek to establish a state in the
West Bank and the Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital.
Israel captured those areas in a 1967 war and pulled its troops
and settlers out of Gaza in 2005. Citing Israeli settlement activity,
Palestinian leaders and the former US administration of Barack
Obama have questioned Netanyahus commitment, which he first
made in a 2009 policy speech, to the so-called two-state solution
to decades of conflict. It is not only their statements
what the government of the extreme right in Israel does
on the ground prevents any chance of the establishment of a Palestinian
state, Wasel Abu Youssef, an official of the Palestine
Liberation Organization, said of Erdans comments.
- WHO IS ISRAEL?
- PRAISING TRUMP, SAUDI FM URGES PROGRESS TOWARD PEACE WITH
- Days after Trump and Netanyahu talk of regional deal, Adel
al-Jubeir says his country ready to stand with others in Arab
world to promote a deal
- By AP and Times of Israel staff - February 19, 2017 - Saudi
Arabias foreign minister said he is optimistic that Arabs
and Israelis can reach a peace deal in 2017. Speaking four days
after US President Donald Trump and Israels Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu spoke at a White House press conference about
the possibilities of a regional peace agreement, Adel al-Jubeir
told delegates at the Munich Security Conference on Sunday that
the contours of an Israeli-Palestinian accord were clear, and
that Saudi Arabia and other Arab states would work to bring
it to fruition.
- I believe progress can be made in the Arab-Israel conflict,
if there is a will to do so, he said. We know what
the settlement looks like, if there is just the political will
to do so. And my country stands ready with other Arab countries
to work to see how we can promote that. He said the new
US administration made him optimistic that this and other
regional challenges could be resolved.
- 6 TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE: ISRAEL RELATIONS & THE MIDDLE
EAST IN WDC
SPEAKERS PRESENT WERE MARTIN INDYK, MICHELLE FLOURNEY & ROBERT
CSPAN Early March 2017. The Speakers addressed the fact that
the only solution for Israel is a 2 state solution. It has been
tried for 70 years without results. The Palestinians consider
the Jews as occupiers. The speakers seemed to have little hope
for an agreement between the two states. It was said that the
opportunity is fading away fast and there is no other solution.
To develop a national identity and live in peace is now confusing.
Is is still approached by Arab diplomats in the U.S. The CIA
Director West Bank are ready to negotiate. No more settlements.
no more settlements, no more undermining of Telavive by moving
the US Embassy to Jerusalem . The all important city of peace
should be open to all religions.
The conference was supposed to include the usual diplomat from
Palestine who could not be present. Instead another Diplomat
took his place. He agreed that the only solution is a 2state
solution. He said that Israelis are making it more difficult
by defying international law by undermining the Palestinians.
In the agreement in 1988 relative to East Jerusalem, the Palestinians
had 22% left. They are not willing to compromise anything more.
The Palestinians want one state with equal rights. What is the
purpose of division. Any attempt to divide Muslims, Shiites and
Summies, 20 are Summies who are in Lebanon. No more sectarian
strife. To bring in Saudis and make sense of that, it has been
tried before, instead let's push that which will enable peace
with countries. No more sectarianism which causes strife. No
divided city at capital of all capitals. Moving the embassy will
bring negative results. We have to make clear how sensitive this
issue is. Bigots, homophobics do not succeed in this country.
To condemn US Jews, destroy their cemeteries, wishing to get
Christians to join this anti-Semitism produces fear.
US tolerance needs to continue. US values need to continue to
work. Shared values to see an end of the Palestinian and Israeli
Conflict. Children need a better future consisting of two sovereign
states, security and solid commitment to work with you in this
group to achieve your objective which is a peace agreement that
The PA Diplomat gave hope in that he stated Palestinians wish
to resume to the original agreement that Jerusalem should be
considered an international city.
[Ednote: I tried to relate what was said from notes. They were
not word for word. Jerusalem was one of the sticking points in
the past. The Palestinians insisted that Jerusalem would have
to go to them if there were a peace agreement. President Trump
is making a difference. The Palestinians know this is their last
chance. Netanyahu knows it as well. They would certainly agree
to Jerusalem as an international city. Israeli rabbis are asking
Trump and Putin to help build the third temple.. I read today
that President Trump has invited Abbas, Palestinian President,
to Washington, DC. ] CSPAN
- EGYPTIAN PRESIDENT TELLS US JEWS PEACE DEAL AT TOP OF AGENDA
- Sissi tells Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations
that solving Israeli-Palestinian conflict will remove a key impetus
- By Stuart Winer and Times of Israel staff - February 19,
2017 - Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi told a delegation
from an umbrella group of US Jewish groups that reaching an end
to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of his top priorities.
- Meeting in Cairo, Sissi told representatives from the Conference
of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations that reaching
a peace deal would remove a main impetus behind terror attacks.
- Sundays meeting came as an Israeli media report detailed
a secret summit between Sissi, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu, Jordans King Abdullah and US secretary of state
John Kerry last year aimed at cobbling together a regional peace
initiative. Sissi, who also met with the Jewish group last year
shortly before the secret summit, said Sunday that a regional
peace would bring a new reality, enabling cultural and economic
development for countries in the area.
- Sundays meeting with the Jewish leaders was aimed at
improving ties between the US and Egypt, according to a statement
from the Egyptian Presidency, The Daily News Egypt website reported.
- HERZOG: NETANYAHU CAVED TO RIGHT-WING MINISTERS, SCUTTLED
REGIONAL PEACE DEAL
- Opposition leader says history will judge prime
minister for allowing his allies to derail agreement that would
have changed the region
- By Raphael Ahren - February 20, 2017 - Opposition leader
Isaac Herzog on Monday confirmed reports that he entered negotiations
to join a unity government last year in the framework of a secret
regional agreement that was discussed at the time, and argued
that the potentially historic deal fell through because Prime
Minister Benjamin eventually caved in to domestic political pressures.
Addressing American-Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, Herzog (Zionist
Union) said Netanyahu had been willing to appoint him foreign
minister to oversee a process that would include a freeze on
settlement construction outside the settlement blocs areas
of the West Bank that Israel would seek to retain under a peace
deal in return for international and Arab consent to building
within the blocs. What happened was amazing, Herzog
said, speaking in English. I worked with Netanyahu on a
draft appendix to our agreement, which had included certain steps
that were quite dramatic. Had these steps been agreed upon, namely,
had he agreed at the end to go for it, it would have changed
the region. http://www.timesofisrael.com/herzog-right-wing-ministers-scuttled-regional-peace-deal
- JOINT NETANYAHU-HERZOG
PEACE BID WAS STYMIED BY AMONA CRISIS LAST FALL - REPORT - PM
and opposition leader said to have drafted an 8-point regional
peace call before coalition talks collapsed in October
By TIMES OF ISRAEL STAFF
- Tony Blair said in talks to become Trumps Mideast envoy
- Former British PM and Quartet representative denies report
he met with Jared Kushner in bid to reprise peace process role.
- By Times of Israel staff and AFP - March 5, 2017 - A spokesperson
for Tony Blair on Sunday denied a report he wants to become US
President Donald Trumps adviser on the Middle East. According
to The Mail on Sunday newspaper, the former British prime minister
met with Trumps son-in-law and key adviser Jared Kushner
last week to discuss working for the Republican president. The
weekly tabloid said Blair had met Kushner three times since September,
including a three-hour meeting last week at the White House.
- Kushner has been named by Trump as his point-man on Mideast
peace. Blair is looking to become Kushners adviser on any
Trump peace effort, the story claimed. The story in the
Mail on Sunday is an invention, a spokesperson for Blair
said in a statement. Mr. Blair has made no such pitch
to be the Presidents Middle East envoy. Neither has he
had any discussions about taking such a role or any role working
for the new President. He has been working on the peace process
for 10 years. He continues to do so. He does so in a private
capacity. He will continue to do it in that way. Period.
- The Mail cited a well-placed source saying that
Blair has been pitching hard for this job and Trumps
people are taking him very seriously. http://www.timesofisrael.com/tony-blair-said-in-talks-to-become-trumps-mideast-envoy/
- IRAN'S SUPREME LEADER BACKS 'HOLY
INTIFADA' TO DESTROY 'CANCER' ISRAEL
- At conference backing violent uprising, Khamenei says no
people in history ever suffered as badly as Palestinians
- By Raphael Ahren February 21, 2017 - Illustrative: Supreme
Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei speaks during a meeting in Tehran,
Iran, Monday, August 1, 2016. (Office of the Iranian Supreme
Leader via AP) Calling Israel a cancerous tumor,
Irans supreme leader on Tuesday expressed support for a
holy intifada to eradicate the Jewish state, arguing
that the international community is headed toward confrontation
with the Zionist regime.
- In the opening address of the regimes sixth international
conference in support of the Palestinian violent uprising against
Israel, Ayatollah Khamenei hailed the resistance
against the cruel occupation, which he described
as the worst case of oppression against one particular people
recorded in history. He also accused Israels founders of
being responsible for the current upheaval in the wider Middle
- The people of Palestine have no option other than keeping
the flames of fighting alight by relying on Allah the Exalted
and by relying on their innate capabilities, as they have genuinely
done so until today, said Khamenei, according to a translation
of his speech posted on his website. A wave of terrorism some
called a third intifada, which began last year and manifested
itself mainly in stabbings and vehicular attacks against Israelis
troops and civilians, is moving forward in a bright and
hopeful manner, the ayatollah declared. And by Allahs
permission, we will see that this intifada will begin a very
important chapter in the history of fighting and that it will
inflict another defeat on that usurping regime. From
the beginning, this cancerous tumor has been developing in several
phases until it turned into the current disaster, he went
on. The cure for this tumor should be developed in phases
as well. http://www.timesofisrael.com/iran-leader-hails-holy-intifada-against-cancer-israel
- BREAKING: TRUMP'S US EMBASSY MOVE TO JERUSALEM WILL AFFECT
TRUMP WARNED ANNEXING JUDEA AND SAMARIA MEANS BREAKUP WITH US
- By JNI Media March 6, 2017 - In that day Hashem made
a covenant with Avram, saying: Unto thy seed have I given
this land, from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the
' Genesis 15:18 (The Israel Bible)
- Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) stated
at Monday mornings meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs
and Defense Committee that he strongly opposes the idea of annexing
Judea and Samaria, citing a direct threat from the Trump White
House discouraging any future attempt to do it.
- I heard this morning Miki Zohar from Likud talking
about an initiative to impose Israeli sovereignty over all of
Judea and Samaria, Liberman told the committee, adding,
Im starting to receive phone inquiries from around
the world about this. I want to make clear we should separate
from the Palestinians, not absorb Palestinians in our own area.
Its 2,700,000 Palestinians.
- On Sunday, MK Zohar presented in a panel discussion on i24News
his plan for allowing the PA Arabs to live in a Jewish one-state,
with full civil rights, save for the right to vote for the Knesset.
- Help BIN to spread news from a Biblical perspective!
Im not even talking about us being attacked over
the fact that [these annexed Arabs] would not be granted voting
rights. Even if they only receive residency, it means that from
day one Israel would have to pay them $5.5 billion for Social
Security alone. Which is why this approach is wrong and the coalition
better clarify in no uncertain terms that there is no intent
to impose Israeli sovereignty on Judea and Samaria.
- We received a direct message from the US, that imposing
sovereignty on Judea and Samaria would mean an immediate crisis
with the US. So, anyone looking to start a crisis with the US
and also spend $5.5 billion, let them go ahead.
- ELITE HAMAS FIGHTERS DEFECTING TO ISLAMIC STATE
- Despite losing a number of its top commandos, the Gaza-based
terror organization continues to work with IS on smuggling, other
- By Avi Issacharoff - February 7, 2017
A member of Hamass naval commando unit defected from the
Gaza-based terror organization nearly a year ago to join the
Sinai Province the Islamic State groups branch in
the Sinai Peninsula, Palestinian sources told The Times of Israel.
Abed al-Wahad Abu Aadara, 20, from the city of Rafah in the southern
Gaza Strip, was arrested approximately two months ago by Hamas
while visiting Gaza due to his affiliation with IS. He has since
been freed. Although Abu Aadara is not the first Hamas operative
to defect to IS, he is the first known member of the groups
naval commando unit to join its ranks. The weeks following Abu
Aadaras arrest were marked by a dramatic increase in tensions
between Hamas and IS, due in large part to the arrest of Gaza-based
operatives identified with the group, as well as the reduction
in the volume of goods being smuggled to the Gaza Strip from
Sinai, which IS used as a means of pressuring Hamas in response
to the arrests. However, due to the recent rapprochement between
the two groups, in particular relating to smuggling from the
Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, Abu Aadara has now been released
from one of Hamass prisons in Gaza.
- GROUPS PETITION HIGH COURT TO STRIKE DOWN OUTPOST LAW
- Two NGOs representing 17 municipalities file papers seeking
to overturn dangerous new legislation legalizing
West Bank; Court gives state one month to prepare defense
- By Raoul Wootliff and Agencies February 8, 2017 -Israeli
and Palestinian human rights groups petitioned the High Court
Wednesday, asking it to strike down a new law that retroactively
legalizes several thousand West Bank settlement homes built on
privately owned Palestinian land.
- Arab rights group Adalah said that it and the East Jerusalem-based
Legal Aid and Human Rights Center had filed the request on Wednesday
afternoon on behalf of 17 Palestinian municipalities to overturn
the dangerous law, which was approved by the Israeli
parliament late on Monday.
- This sweeping and dangerous law permits the expropriation
of vast tracts of private Palestinian land, giving absolute preference
to the political interests of Israel, said Suhad Bishara,
an attorney for Adalah.
- The court gave the state one month to present its defense
of the law, Israel Radio reported.
- The petitions against the law had been expected and Attorney
General Avichai Mandelblit warned before it was passed Monday
that he would be unable to defend it in court, saying that it
marks the first time Israeli legislation explicitly affirms government
support for wildcat settlements, and would openly curtail property
rights of Palestinians in the West Bank in a way that contravenes
the protections granted to
- occupied populations under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
- PUTIN HOSTS NETAYAHU FOR TALKS
SET TO FOCUS ON SYRIA
- By VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
- From Associated Press - March 09, 2017 - MOSCOW (AP)
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday for talks focusing on the situation
in Syria and Israeli concerns about the role of Iran and its
- Greeting Netanyahu at the start of their Kremlin negotiations,
Putin emphasized a high level of trust between them. Netanyahu's
visit to Moscow follows his talks last month with U.S. President
- Netanyahu praised Russia's role in fighting the Islamic State
group and other radical militants in Syria. At the same time,
he raised strong concern about the presence of Iranian and Hezbollah
forces in Syria.
"One of the things that we are fighting together is radical
Islamic terrorism," Netanyahu said as he and Putin sat down
for talks. "Of course, in the past year, there was significant
progress in the fight against the radical Sunni Islamic terrorism
led by Daesh and al-Qaida," he said, using the Arabic acronym
Daesh to refer to the Islamic State group. "Russia has made
a very important contribution. Naturally, we do not want this
terrorism to be replaced by the radical Shiite Islamic terrorism
led by Iran."
- Russia has sided with Iran and Hezbollah in helping support
Syrian President Bashar Assad, but at the same time it has maintained
warm ties with Israel. The two nations have coordinated their
actions to prevent any possible incidents between their militaries
in Syria. http://enews.earthlink.net/article/top?guid=20170309/c7a865ca-1376-4810-b90c-c6f536611990
views expressed in these articles are the sole responsibility
of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of Cephas
If you wish to send a donation
by mail send it to Cephas Ministry PO Box 351944 Westminster
- (In accordance with
Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without
profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving
the included information for research and educational purposes.)
Tell your friends about
us and thank you for visiting Cephas Ministry