US Secretary of State John Kerry is going back to the Middle East next week for yet another round of meetings pursuing peace in the Middle East by restarting peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In advance of the trip, the Fatah faction has sent Kerry a pointed message: “Stop telling us not to insist on conditions ahead of the talks.” The Palestinians have made their participation in any peace talks conditional to a number of concessions that Israel has described as issues that should be viewed as Palestinian goals for outcomes, not demands for beginning talks.
Palestine willing, if…
Among the Palestinian demands are an immediate end to construction of homes for Israeli families in East Jerusalem, the release of many prisoners held in Israeli jails, and the acceptance of the 1967 borders as the basis for the creation of a Palestinian state. The Fatah Committee publicly called on Kerry to “put pressure on Israel” to make these concessions as a means of starting the peace process rather than expecting them to come to the table to discuss such issues.
The Obama Administration has made the peace talks a high priority for the second term. Mr. Obama visited Israel a few months ago, and Kerry has made a number of trips to talk to both sides of this Middle East conflict attempting to find some means of getting them back to the negotiating table. The Israeli government has proclaimed willingness to begin talks if no demands are made in advance, but so far no movement has resulted.
With all of the threats further roiling the conflict in the Middle East—the bloody Syrian civil war, the growing unrest in Turkey, the collapse of the government in Lebanon, the return of sectarian violence in Iraq and Iran’s continuing nuclear weapons program—the lingering tension between Israel and Palestine is receiving a great deal of focus from America and the European Union. Many people believe (or at least profess to believe) resolving that conflict would bring peace to the entire region.
While we know that there will never be lasting peace until Yeshua returns as Prince of Peace, we can and should pray for the peace of Jerusalem. Today people in Israel live with the constant threat of attack that could come at any moment. Jewish Voice Ministries is committed to doing everything we can to encourage, comfort and bless the poor and needy of Israel. Your financial support today allows us to continue working with more than two dozen ministry partners in Israel to meet these needs. Thank you for your prayers and gifts to enable this great work to continue. God bless you.
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