Dear friends of Israel:
When the American Vice-President Joe Biden visited Israel, the Israeli Minister of the Interior, Eli Ishai, declared that the government has approved further construction in Ramat Shlomo, one of the Jerusalem suburbs beyond the so-called “Green Line”. This move has caused lasting tensions in the relationship between Israel and the United States.
Afterwards the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu traveled to America because he was invited as a speaker to the conference of American Jewish organizations (AIPAC). During his visit he also met President Obama. Netanyahu was obviously told that Israel could no longer look to the United States for unlimited support in all areas of Israeli policy. In her speech to the attendants of AIPAC Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented the new position of the Obama administration. She said that Israel could be put under pressure if necessary, but that the security interests of the Jewish state should always be taken into account. Mrs. Clinton also explained that the status quo of the last decade has not lead to permanent security – neither for Israel nor for the Palestinians, and therefore this situation would have to be changed. Unlike its predecessors the current US administration sees the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as a part of the complex power structure in the Middle East and as an important factor for the strategic interests of the United States. It is surprising that the representatives of the Jewish organizations hailed Mrs. Clinton’s speech with standing ovations.
Until now no predecessor of President Obama has demanded a freeze of settlement construction for Jerusalem. If Israel is not ready to make definite concessions towards a two-state solution, however, its isolation within the international community will grow more intense. It is already becoming obvious that Israel will come under greater pressure and affliction. In spite of everything President Obama, Vice President Biden, Middle-East envoy George Mitchell and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have solemnly declared that the United States is still committed to Israel's security. However, the shifts in the international balance of power have led to a situation where the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is no longer regarded as a regional problem. Within the last decade this struggle has become part of a global security strategy. A Jewish commentator said about this new situation that the Israeli Prime Minister should reflect how he can convince his government coalition of acting for the long-term interests of the State of Israel.
During his election campaign Barack Obama successfully used the word "change" as his motto. Now the President of the United States seems to be determined to make this change in international politics and especially relating to Israel. In spite of the continuing changes that happen in this world and even more so in the political arena we should put our trust in God and His word because He is like a rock that neither staggers nor falls.
Sharing with you an unwavering faith in this Rock that gives us security in the storms of time, I am sending you a warm Shalom,
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