Monthly Archives: May 2009

It’s Official: Obama’s New Middle East Plan is a Poison Pill For Israel

President Obama and PM Netanyahu Meet

President Obama and PM Netanyahu Meet

The much anticipated meeting in Washington D.C. between President Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has come and gone.

So what do we know now?

Their meeting seemed cordial and both tried to be publicly conciliatory towards each other but it was clear that a consensus was not reached. PM Netanyahu was nice but made it clear that, though Israel will work towards peace with their Arab neighbors, he was not ready to embrace the two-state solution.

President Obama made it clear that he wants Israel to embrace the two-state solution and strongly pressured Israel to discontinue all settlement expansion in Judea and Samaria (West Bank).

The Plot Gets Thicker: New Middle East Plan Revealed

On May 21 the popular London-based Al-Quds Al Arabi newspaper ran an extensive analysis of Obama’s new peace initiative. According to this report the main points of Obama’s peace initiative are as follows:

  • It is based on the Saudi/Arab League plan from March 2002.
  • It envisions a demilitarized Palestinian state.
  • It mandates a Palestinian state with territorial contiguity between Gaza and the West Bank that would split Israel into two parts.
  • Jerusalem would be split into Arab controlled east Jerusalem and Jewish controlled west Jerusalem.
  • Jerusalem would also serve as the capital of the new Palestinian state.
  • Israel would forfeit sovereignty over the Old City of Jerusalem and the Old City of Jerusalem would be internationalized, that is belonging to no one.

Obama Initiates Another First (unfortunately)

King Abdullah II of JordanIn addition, it was noted that President Obama and King Abdullah of Jordan conceived this plan while Obama was recently visiting Jordan.

This is the first time a US President has created a peace plan without first coordinating with Israel.

This is not a good sign for Israel…and for the US in general!

So what does Netanyahu really think?

 May 22, the day after the Al Quds Al Arabi article is published in London, PM Netanyahu addresses the nation of Israel on Jerusalem Day which is the celebration of the unification of the city of Jerusalem under Jewish control after the Six Day War in 1967. 

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

He states in his speech,

United Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. Jerusalem was always ours and will always be ours. It will never again be partitioned or divided.

It sounds to me as if there is little to no give in Israel’s position concerning Jerusalem and is the polar opposite to President Obama’s desire for Jerusalem in his new peace initiative.

What About Obama’s Call for halting Settlement Expansion?

While Netanyahu has tipped his hat at this request and dismantled one or two outposts, the Israeli PM insists that authorized settlements should be allowed to continue natural growth i.e. natural population expansion.

What Does This All Mean?

It means that there is little common ground between Obama’s new agenda for peace and Israel’s new government. There are so many non-starters for Israel that I believe there is absolutely no chance Netanyahu and his conservative government would or even could agree to it without a total collapse of the coalition Netanyahu leads.

In other words Obama’s initiative is, for all intents and purposes, dead on arrival.

What Will Obama’s Response Be?

Obama has put himself in a very fragile position politically. If Obama, after all of his public posturing,  does not try to force Israel to comply he risks looking weak and impotent before the Arab/Moslem world and for that matter the world in general. He is investing a lot of the political capital he gained with his election in trying to resolve the Middle east conflict…his way. I don’t believe he will crawl away with his tail between his legs.

President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama

This is where we must pray for the President and this country.

Unfortunately, it appears…and I say appears…that he is moving in the direction of being willing to sacrifice, if necessary, the US’s long standing relationship with Israel to accomplish what he believes will bring peace to the Middle East.

Look for the US to put unprecedented pressure on Israel to bend to its will.

I hope I am wrong. Keep praying for Israel and the US.

The God of Israel is in control.

Joel Chernoff

~The views contained in The Joel Chernoff Report are not necessarily views held by the MJAA~

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Disturbing: Obama Seeks to Weaken Israel’s Nuclear Deterrent

In a recent article in the Philadelphia Bulletin by Middle East Correspondent, David Bedein, I read two things that greatly disturbed me.

  1. President Obama is the first President in 50 years to publically pressure Israel to diminish or eliminate their undisclosed nuclear arsenal and sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
  2. The last President to do so was Former President John F. Kennedy(JFK). Unbeknownst to me JFK apparently greatly pressured then Prime Minister David Ben Gurion to NOT develop a nuclear deterrent. This was a shocking revelation.

The Official Position

Rose Gottemoeller

Rose Gottemoeller

Assistant Secretary of State, Rose Gottemoeller, said the following,

Universal adherence to the NPT itself, including India, Israel, Pakistan and North Korea (countries that are not members of the treaty despite being considered to have nuclear capabilities) remains a fundamental objective of the United States.

Amazingly, Gottemoeller omits Iran from this list.

Gottemoeller, when questioned further, declined to answer the question as to whether the US was willing to “initiate measures” to pressure Israel to comply.

Her silence was ominous.

Alan Baker

Alan Baker

Israel’s response was surprise and worry. Alan Baker, former senior Israel Foreign Ministry legal advisor responded;

I don’t think the Americans have said such a thing in the past…The Americans know what our position is, and as long as we are under a threat from neighboring countries, both in the immediate circle and in the external circle, we cannot be expected to assume commitments that will place us at a disadvantage.

Well said. There is a reason why, for the last 50 years, US presidents have never said such a thing. They recognized Israel’s (their allies) fragile situation with just a few million Jews living in close proximity to 250 million Arab Muslims who were and are avowedly seeking Israel’s destruction.

He Doesn’t Get It…or Does He?

But somehow President Obama doesn’t understand what was obvious to so many other Presidents and is seeking either intentionally or unintentionally to weaken Israel’s position in the Middle East. Perhaps he is asking Israel to trust the US to protect them as the US has done with South Korea.

Would you trust this President? Does his track record so far warrant such trust? In my view the answer is an obvious – no!

Lastly and shockingly…

Former President John F. Kennedy

Former President John F. Kennedy

I was completely unaware that JFK had so strongly insisted that the fledgling country of Israel NOT pursue a nuclear option despite Ben Gurion’s protestations.

Soon after — his presidency was cut short.

Until this very moment I had no idea he had taken such a negative position concerning Israel’s need to deter the Arab nations around her despite the fact that the US maintained such a deterrent with Russia during the Cold War.

Another Example of a President “Running Amok” of God’s Prophetic Agenda

 

President George Bush Senior

President George Bush Senior

President George Bush Senior also took a very negative posture towards Israel after the first Gulf War. He had 90% approval ratings. He should have easily won the next election over Bill Clinton. However, the opposite happened. He was gone within two years in a huge upset.

The point being that God’s prophetic agenda always takes precedence over man’s agenda. If President Obama continues to take antagonistic and negative positions against Israel and her security…God will judge and perhaps America will suffer along the way (Gen 12:3). I hope not.

Our concern is to pray for our leaders and nation that Obama not find himself on the wrong side of God’s prophetic agenda and we all suffer for it.

Time will tell.

Joel Chernoff

~The views contained in The Joel Chernoff Report are not necessarily views held by the MJAA~

Pressure From Obama Administration Building

First it was Special Envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and now none other than Vice-President Joe Biden is challenging Israel that they should back a two-state-solution. Not only must Israel support this particular formulation for Middle East peace but the new Netanyahu government should demonstrate in some fashion it’s sincerity to the Palestinians by making further goodwill gestures and concessions.

Gettin’ in Israel’s Face

He made these remarks at the annual policy conference of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee). This is a major and influential Jewish organization.

He says and I quote, “you are not going to like my saying this, but (do) not build more settlements, dismantle exisiting outposts and allow Palestinian freedom of movement.”

On the other hand…

 he urges the Palestinians to “meet their obligations” to the so-called “road map” for peace. Does he specifiy what the Palestinians need to do? Of course not. All he requires is that the Palestinians and Arab states around Israel make “meaningful gestures” whatever that means.

Is that evenhanded…NO!

Is that fair…NO!

Is he showing conscious or unconscious bias against Israel and her security interests…In my view absolutely!

Mitchell, Clinton and Biden are all exhibiting a certain arrogance not just towards Israel and concerning the Middleast conflict but in everything that they are doing. Obama believes that he knows best and is riding a wave of popularity not only in the US but also worldwide. With the support of both houses of Congress I believe he is intoxicated with a false sense of greatness and rightness.

Is this good for Israel?

No! It is no coincidence that all three are firing shots over the bough of the new Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, who will be in Washington soon for high level consultations with the President Obama. They are all publically trying to soften, what they believe to be, Netanyahu’s harder line on forming a Palestinian state.

They hope that Netanyahu will be compliant to the Obama administrations sense of what the right thing to do is and go along with their agenda for world peace.

So how is Netanyahu reacting to all of this combative public posturing?

He also spoke at this same AIPAC conference and asserted his “triple track” approach to the Midde East conflict. At no time did he mention the creation of a new Palestinain state.

It appears to me that Obama’s agenda and Netanyahu’s clear lack of enthusiasm for any peace formulation that put’s Israel’s security at risk, ie the two state solution is headed for something of a showdown in Washington this month.

The question is how bad will it get.  We will see.

Joel Chernoff

~The views contained in The Joel Chernoff Report are not necessarily views held by the MJAA~

Aliyah Expert: Messianic Jews and Aliyah!

This was the headline of a feature in the Jerusalem Post today:

This column is written by Maurice Singer who is an independent consultant and former Senior Aliyah Consultant at the Jewish Agency. In other words, he has been a major player in the area of Jewish immigration to Israel. Click here to read the article (scroll down near bottom).

In his column people ask him various questions about how to immigrate to Israel. One of the questions came from a Messianic Jewish couple and was as follows:

Question:

We are Messianic Jews and would like to make Aliyah. How difficult would this be?”

As an expert this must not be the first time he has encountered the controversial question of Messianic Jews and aliyah. Nevertheless, here was his response.

Answer:

“From the inquiries that I have received, I have come to the conclusion that there seems to be two different interpretations of the meaning of “Messianic Jews”. One seems to be people born Jewish who have embraced Jesus as the Messiah and follow the New and Old Testament. The other appears to be people not of Jewish birth who support the Jewish religion and who believe in both testaments. If the questioner is the former then it would appear that he/she is entitled to make Aliyah in accordance with the Law of Return. If the latter is the case then the questioner does not qualify for Aliyah.”

What? Are you kidding!

In other words this non-Messianic Jewish expert is saying it doesn’t matter what a person of Jewish lineage believes, he/she is qualified to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.

MY OH MY! How Things Have Changed!

Until recently there is no way we would have seen such a response in print from the mainstream Jewish world in a paper like the Jerusalem Post. I could hardly believe my eyes that this would be his response despite the current reading and interpretation of the Law of Return especially by the Orthodox Jewish community that would say that Messianic Jews have left the fold of Jewish faith and therefore do NOT qualify to immigrate to Israel under the Law of Return.

Is this issue less controversial than it was 40 years ago when the revival first broke out in the late 1960’s?

Has the Messianic communities hard work inside and outside of Israel through the Joseph Project etc slowly cultivated an appreciation for our community and a lessening of tensions and greater acceptance?

Whatever it is, the response of this aliyah expert is quite remarkable!

As Bob Dylan once wrote, “The times they are a changin”.

Joel Chernoff

~The views contained in The Joel Chernoff Report are not necessarily views held by the MJAA~