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)

What did Israel do in 2017? What did the PA do in 2017?

What did Israel do in 2017?  A lot…check out a few of the accomplishments:

 

What did the Palestinians do in 2017?  Here’s a short list:

Palestinian 2017

Read here to find out just how much the Palestinian Authority paid terrorists in 2017.  Hint: every Palestinian kid could have a much better life if those funds were spent in their best interest!  Will you pray for those children?

Arab Reactions to Palestinian Failures

The Palestinian Authority has taken a hit following their ineffectiveness to sway world sentiment in favor of the Palestinian agenda.  Following President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, widespread protest and rioting was expected.  The Middle East was expected to become inflamed.

Much to the chegrine of the Palestinian Authority and their president, Mahmoud Abbas, that did not occur.

As a result, the Arab League, led by Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, met to devise a new plan for the Palestinian plight.  In fact, an Arab League spokesman said:

“The decision to establish this committee was, in effect, imposed on the Palestinian Authority by  Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan in a move that was backed by the Arab League.  This is a super committee that is headed by the secretary general of the Arab League, and it effectively puts the Arab League in charge of the policy on Jerusalem, taking it away from the Palestinians.

“The Palestinians’ efforts to sway public opinion have been a complete failure, and as a result, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has created a rift between us [the Arab world] and Trump. We are once again left with the demagogic, hollow and inflammatory rhetoric of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

In weeks and months to come, it will be interesting to see how the Arab League handles the situation.  The Saudis have already hinted that perhaps the Palestinians should consider a different capital: Abu Dis.  This site was planned as the Palestinian Legislative Council, which the PA started to build in 1995.

Other interesting developments have occurred recently.  In one case, an Arab historian declared that there are no Palestinian people.

The real issue, though, is who will get the upper hand in ruling the Arab world.  It is no secret that Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and Iran (Shi’ite) are mortal enemies, each declaring the other to be infidels.  However, even within the world of Sunni Islam there is competition.  Saudi Arabia and Turkey (both Sunni) are vying for control, and Turkey’s President Erdogan has spoken out boldly about his ambition to become leader of the Sunni Arab world.  Saudi leaders have deemed Erdogan’s rhetoric as “hollow and inflammatory.”

Keep your eye on these developments.  It will be interesting to see whether or not the alliance President Trump has forged with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan remains intact, and if the Arab League’s leadership will lead toward peaceful relations with Israel.