Dear friends of Israel:
During their meetings the politicians also talked about the Jewish settlements in the so-called West Bank and in East Jerusalem. In defiance of the American request that Israel stop all construction in Palestinian territories Prime Minister Netanyahu has just approved a building project in East Jerusalem. Netanyahu obviously wanted to demonstrate that Jerusalem will not be divided again and that the Jews have a right to erect buildings everywhere – not only in Jerusalem, but also in the West Bank. Concerning the Jewish settlements in the latter area Netanyahu declared that it would not be acceptable if a future Palestinian state were "judenrein" (free of Jews). The Jewish settlements in the West Bank could become a measuring stone for the willingness of the Palestinians to accept a peaceful coexistence with their Jewish neighbours.
President Obama's personal objective vision includes Israel and the Palestinians, Syria, Lebanon and the surrounding region. Mitchell stressed that the US "commitment to Israel's security is unshakable and will not change". He also said that the current strains in the US-Israel ties are "discussions among friends" that can be resolved. In his meetings with several Arab leaders Mitchell emphasized that America expects definite steps towards a normalization of the Arab-Israeli relations and that the Arab side should "refrain from any words or deed that make the prospect of successful negotiations more difficult."
This new American peace effort seems to be more determined than the previous ones. The fact that President Obama has declared a peace in the Middle East to be his personal objective puts further weight on the endeavour. This development fits well into the prophetic picture that has often been presented in this magazine. Mitchell's urgent appeal to all parties involved not to provoke any further discord may lead to a peace agreement. However, such a solution will not remove the profound differences between the parties involved. This is why the prophet Zechariah talks about a future partition of Jerusalem with half of the city going into exile (Zech 14:2). When this will come to pass, however, the Lord Himself will intervene and join the battle (verse 3). The urgency that Obama shows in his effort to achieve a solution of the Middle East conflict shows how quickly we are approaching the conditions prior to the return of our Lord Jesus.
Sharing with you the assurance that our redemption is drawing near I am sending you a warm Shalom,