Russia has offered to host a meeting of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of next Sunday’s Paris Middle East peace conference. Israel has stated repeatedly that they will meet anytime and anywhere for direct negotiations, assuming no preconditions. Over and over again, the Palestinians have refused to meet, preferring instead to use the Palestinian-favorable United Nations as a bully pulpit in which to declare unilateral statehood.
The timing of this proposed meeting is very suspicious. As you know, the UN Security Council passed a very anti-Israel resolution on December 23, in essence declaring “Israeli settlements” illegal. The US broke decades of precedent by failing to veto that anti-Israel resolution, and on December 28, US Secretary of State John Kerry gave a damning speech, rationalizing why the US betrayed Israel in the UN.
A meeting of world leaders is scheduled in Paris this coming Sunday (1/15/17), where it is thought that plans to implement the UN resolution will be discussed, and perhaps another damning resolution rammed through before President Obama leaves office 5 days later. Because John Kerry has already stated the US position on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, the US will certainly support (and perhaps even craft) any new resolution to come out of the Paris conference.
Again, all this just days before the Obama administration leaves office on January 20.
Now, back to the Russian offer to host Abbas and Netanyahu. Why the rush to do so before the Paris conference? Most likely to press Israel to make concessions before having them imposed by the UN following the Paris conference.
But, here is what you may not have heard on the news. Prior to the proposed meeting in Russia, a “reconciliation meeting” between Fatah (ruling party in the West Bank) and Hamas (ruling party in the Gaza Strip) will also be hosted by Russia. (Since when did Russia become the world center of peacemaking? When the Obama administration ceased to show leadership in the Middle East, leaving a power vacuum that Russia President Vladimir Putin was happy to step into!)
So, the Palestinians hope to reunite ruling parties…Fatah and Hamas. Hamas is a known terrorist organization who has vowed repeatedly to wipe Israel off the map. Need the most recent example?
Just yesterday in Israel, a terrorist intentionally drove a truck through a group of IDF soldiers in Jerusalem, killing 4 and wounding at least 15 others. Though they didn’t take credit (it is believed to be an ISIS-related attack), Hamas indicated strong support for the attack, and on Twitter, lauded it as “heroic.” (See a celebratory rally in Gaza here.)
And the world sits idly by…
Friends, these days leading up to Obama’s exit from the White House are critical days for Israel, and for those who perpetrate evil against her. Will you commit to pray fervently these next 2 weeks? Please pray:
- For wisdom of Israel’s leaders as they deal with these difficult issues.
- That evil plans meant to condemn and disadvantage Israel fail.
- That the schemes of the enemy will be turned upon them.
- For the incoming Trump administration to stand firm with Israel from day 1.
- For the families of IDF soldiers killed or injured in yesterday’s terrorist attack in Jerusalem.
Meet you at the foot of the throne, as we pray together for Zion’s sake!