Egypt and Saudi Arabia Pressuring the Palestinian Authority to Accept the US Peace Plan?

News was leaked last week of secret meetings between Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Israel.  Now some outlets are reporting those meetings led to further meetings with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, where Arabs are encouraging Abbas to accept the US peace plan.

An unidentified Arab diplomat supposed told Abbas:

“Wisdom requires accepting the maximum of what is available now.  The dealing should be in accordance with the logic of ‘take and negotiate’ so that we won’t be surprised after a few years that the monster of settlements has devoured the Palestinian territories.”

Abbas apparently views the proposal as the “slap of the century,” and fears he will be seen as a traitor by his people.

Meanwhile, parts of those reports also indicate that President Trump is using the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and the planned move of the US Embassy to persuade Israel to agree to concessions with the Palestinians.  Trump has supposedly said Israel will “pay a price” for those concessions made to Israel.

(See such reports by the Times of Israel and i24News.)

In other alleged news, the American plan includes a Palestinian airport and port in the Egyptian Sinai.  (See that news here.)

Please note that I have not seen verification of these stories…only published reports by several media outlets.  The US plan has yet to be released publicly, and no official news of a deal being struck has been announced yet, so the facts are yet to be confirmed.  Thus, my point is not to say these facts are true, but to say, let’s keep an eye out and continue to pray for wisdom for the Trump team, the Netanyahu administration, as well as the governments of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the Palestinian Authority and others involved in negotiations.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
~Matthew 5:9


Benjamin Netanyahu to Mahmoud Abbas: “Stop Paying Terrorists!”

The AIPAC Policy Conference was graced with the presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who enthusiastically moved around the stage touting Israeli successes over the past few years and how those successes are benefiting the entire world.  He also issued warnings to terrorists, before commenting on the deeply committed relationship between Israel and the US.  As is common in Netanyahu speeches, he also referenced Scripture!

You can watch his entire 32-minute speech here:

Vice President Mike Pence Arrives in Israel

Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Israel, January 21, 2018.

Jerusalem Post, January 21, 2018

After important stops in Egypt and Jordan, Vice President Mike Pence has arrived in Israel.  During his 2-day visit there, he will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Ruben Rivlin, in addition to stops at Yad Vashem (Holocaust Museum and Research Center) and the Kotel  (Western Wall).  Pence is also scheduled to address the Knesset.

Meanwhile, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has cancelled a planned meeting with the American VP, and the PA prohibits any communication with Pence during his visit.  The Jerusalem Post has also reported that the Palestinian Authority will turn to the European Union to mediate future peace plans.

VP Pence is the highest-ranking American diplomat to visit Israel since President Trump’s acknowledgement of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Friends, please continue to pray for Vice President Pence and the Netanyahu administration as they make strategic plans and deepen the Israeli-American relationship.

PA Fury and Talks between Turkey and the Vatican

These remain interesting days in the Middle East, as tensions stir and factions plot their next move.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a meeting with the Palestinian Central Council, a top decision-making body, at his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah, January 14, 2018. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Abbas, in an address before the Palestinian Central Council  (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Earlier this week, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas gave an impassioned speech denouncing Israel, following confirmation of parameters of the US peace plan provided by Saudi officials.

The plan allegedly calls for something less than statehood for the Palestinians, Israeli control over security measures, permanent IDF presence in the Jordan Valley, no settlement evacuations and final status of Jerusalem delayed until later negotiations.

Abbas blasted President Trump, stating:

“We told Trump we will not accept his project, the ‘deal of the century,’ which has become the ‘slap of the century.’ But we will slap back.”

The White House responded, calling it “regrettable that the Palestinian leadership is looking to create a false impression against an unfinished plan they have not even seen,”

Meanwhile, as tempers flare surrounding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Turkey is cozying up to the pope.  Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit the Vatican February 5 to discuss US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Both Pope Francis and President Erdogan have strongly opposed the US announcement.

So, what are we to make of these current events?  I’m sure we could draw from many Scriptural passages and principles, but let’s focus on a few simple things.  First, the fight for Jerusalem is just beginning!  Remember, the Bible tells us that Jerusalem will eventually become a heavy stone that will injury those who try to move it.  Both Mahmoud Abbas and the Israelis have stated that the status of Jerusalem is a key.  Each want it, so the Lord will one day intervene to settle the dispute!

Secondly, we know that Turkey has turned its back on Israel.  Once allies, Israel and Turkey are far from it now, as Turkey has gained renewed energy in its push to restore the Sunni caliphate to the status of the Ottoman Empire (and beyond).  Erdogan seeks control of that “empire.”

Meanwhile, we have examined the ultimate role of the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church during the last days.  It will become the haven for the False Prophet and give rise to One World Religion.

I hope your seat backs and tray tables are in their upright and locked positions, as it won’t be long before this plane leaves the gate!

But we have hope, dear friends!  The Blessed Hope…the rapture of believers.  That moment is imminent (could happen any moment).  Let’s live with urgency as we keep looking for the Blessed Hope!  (Titus 2:11-13)