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


“Israel is the best thing to ever happen to us Arabs”

Well, you don’t hear that very often, do you!  However, it is important to understand that there are Arabs who understand that Israel is not the enemy, and that perhaps the Jewish state might make a really good neighbor.

This Lebanese Arab Christian states:

I am not alone among Arabs in seeing the amazing potential that Israel represents to Arabs as a neighbor and a partner. I am however one of the few who speak out publicly. …Arab leaders could quickly find a favorable solution for the Palestinians if they so wished, but they choose instead to continue the hatred. I cannot accept that, and I refuse to be silent about it. I know that one dissenting Arab voice means little, but if a few thousand or even a few hundred Arabs similarly spoke up, Arab leaders would have much more difficulty hiding the truth from their peoples.

Read his entire op-ed, Growing up north of Israel: How I became an ardent Zionist

Certainly, I share these articles for your enjoyment.  However, the larger purpose is to exhort us all to pray.  The Bible says, Blessed are the peacemakers (Matthew 5:9).  This man is a peacemaker.  Let’s pray the Lord will give him (and others like him) great favor as they speak out encouraging their own people to be peacemakers as well.

“Father in Heaven, thank You that all are created in Your image, and that, ultimately, You call all of us Your own.  As You reveal Yourself to Jews, Christians and Arabs, please help us all to see You as the One True God who sent Your Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of every human.  We each need Your salvation equally.  Bless this Arab Christian and others like him as they discover the value of peacemaking with Israel.  May they speak clearly and with favor as they encourage other Arabs to discover the value as well.  In the midst, may they also come to faith in the God of Israel!”

Messianic Pastors in Israel Repent for Their Country and Invite the Messiah’s Return

On this Lord’s Day, friends, I want to share news that stirs my heart deeply.  For those who have studied with me, you know how passionate I am about the Biblical truth that Jesus, our King, will return only when the Jews invite Him back.  How is that, you say?

In Matthew 21:8-9, we find Jesus entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, as the crowds shout, “Hosanna to the Son of David; Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the Highest!”  They had awaited the coming of their King, but were soon to deny Him as the Messiah, as He was sent to crucifixion.

Two chapters later (Matthew 23:37-39), Jesus weeps bitterly over Jerusalem because He knows His people had just missed the day of His visitation (Luke 19:44).  Here is the Lord’s lament.  Pay particular attention to His final sentence here:

“Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. Behold, your house is being left to you desolate! For I say to you, from now on you will not see Me until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”

Indeed, King Jesus will not return to put His foot on this earth until He hears His people say, “Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!”  (In English: “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!”)

On a trip to Israel, I met a woman named Hermana who ministers at Magdala, a relatively newly-excavated site in the Galilee where Jesus spent some time.  But her ministry also puts her in contact with Messianic pastors and leaders (both Jewish and Arab) throughout Israel.  I receive occasional ministry updates and she recently sent the following.  I want to share it with you because I know your heart will be blessed, as mine was, when you hear the experience she shares.  Enjoy!

I experienced something this week that i don’t have words to describe properly. All I know is that an exceptional privilege was my portion!

For more than ten years Reuven and Benjamin Berger (two Jewish pastors in the land) have had the desire to gather the messianic body to repent on behalf of their nation. For what Reuven described, as the biggest sin: “rejecting our Messiah”. On the fast of Esther, they gathered in Christ Church at Jaffa Gate in the Old City. Several pastors who could not attend, had signed their agreement beforehand.

The worship wasn’t like in congregations – it was synagogue music. Slow and reverent, mourning the condition of their hearts and pleading for mercy. The moment was really too weighty to describe, but my friend Orna Grinman says it was as if the presence of Ancient of Days filled the space. I agree … and the sounds and laments were like keys, turning the locks of heart-doors.

Passages from Daniel, Jeremiah and Nehemiah were read to open the service and Reuven described how Israel has always been God’s inheritance. He spoke about how they first killed the prophets and then Yeshua – the rightful Heir. A solemnity hung over everyone in the church… almost like at a funeral. It reminded me of Zechariah 12 when the nation will grieve over Him whom they have pierced.

Pastors came to the microphone to repent for that which was on their minds. Some wept. Some confessed, “LORD, Your word is true – our nation is rebellious … we have acted very wickedly towards You”. One pastor sounded like his heart was bursting as he wailed aloud. Another buried his face and asked forgiveness for his people’s pride. One pastor expressed renewed shock at the words, “Let His blood be on us and our children”. Everyone begged for mercy.


Pastor Avi Mizrachi invited a few women to represent others. One lady from an orthodox background, told how when she was a child, her mouth was rinsed with soap when she dared to say the J-word. She asked forgiveness for the way Yeshua’s name has become a curse in Israel. Other women repented for things deeper than gentiles would understand.

Then Avi invited a humble Arab pastor to the front. He sobbed in identification with his Jewish brothers – affirming that the land belongs to them and thanking God for their allowing them (the Arabs) to live in Israel. Gut wrenching.

Then Benjamin lead us all in communion. The round flat loaf felt coarse on my tongue, and the wine … yes, the wine. Has it ever tasted so sweetly so deeply? It went down wholesomely restoring an ancient brokenness. “Lord, yes – please let Your blood on our heads, but for good. Please wash the curse away, we beg You! Let Your blood now become a blessing for us and our children”.

They announced that the Jewish people have only one King – Yeshua HaMashiach! The leadership went before us in inviting Him back to Jerusalem.

Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!

Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!

Baruch haba b’Shem Adonai!

Holy ground, it was


Syria Media: Israel Conducted Airstrikes on Iranian Base near Damascus

On Tuesday night, Israel allegedly carried out airstrikes on an Iranian facility near Damascus, Syria.  As is policy, Israel neither confirms nor denies the attacks, though Benjamin Netanyahu has stated often and clearly that Israel will not allow Iran to set up bases on Israel’s border.

Apparently, the attack targeted the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center in Jamraya (north of Damascus) and was carried out from Lebanese airspace.  That particular military base, housing the research center, is protected by Russian-made anti-aircraft batteries.  Syrian media claims that most of the missiles were shot down, but surveillance of the area will provide evidence of just how successful the strikes were or were not.

This follows Netanyahu’s warning a day earlier: “Don’t test us.”  It is clear that tensions are rising and each decision is becoming more and more critical.  Is the region bound for imminent war?  Is the stage set for fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy regarding the destruction of Damascus?  (Isaiah 17:1)  Will that destruction cause a vacuum that will draw Russia, Iran, Turkey and others to Israel’s border, as Ezekiel describes?  (Ezekiel 38-39).

The answer is: we don’t know!  Could it be?  Certainly.  But only God sees the future and knows His plans.  What we do know, though, is that we are told in Scripture to be ready for the return of our King.  We don’t know if Jesus comes to meet us in the air (rapture) before or after those events, so we must be ready!

Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming. But be sure of this, that if the head of the house had known at what time of the night the thief was coming, he would have been on the alert and would not have allowed his house to be broken into. For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.
~Matthew 24:42-44

Are you ready?