Dear friends of Israel:
"One-state or two-state: If Israel doesn't decide, the UN will". This is the title of an article that appeared in the Israeli daily Jerusalem Post. The author writes that since August 2009 the process leading to the establishment of a Palestinian state has rapidly advanced and that this development has gone mostly unnoticed by the public. Last year the Prime Minister of the Palestinian Autonomy, Salam Fayyad, presented a two-year timeframe for his plan. This period will end soon. Referring to an upcoming solution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians a prominent Palestinian said: "Palestinians can go either way, but the two-state solution is better for Israel." However, the fact that even Libyan President Muammar Gaddafi has supported a one-state solution should be proof positive that such an approach must be bad for Israel. On the Israeli right there are still quite a few proponents of a "bi-national Jewish-Palestinian state", although they are diametrically opposed to those who argue that the one-state solution spells death by demography (i.e. the expected majority of Arabs) for the democratic Jewish state.
The rapid and target-oriented progress in developing an infrastructure of a future Palestinian state on the one hand and the impending enforcement of a "one-state solution" by the United Nations on the other serve as catalysts for the Israeli government. This is one of the reasons why Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has made efforts to improve his initially clouded relationship with US President Obama. After all, a mutual understanding between the United States and Israel is of the utmost importance for the upcoming negotiations with the Palestinians.
A further catalyst for Israel is her deteriorating relationship with Turkey. This is why Israel is seeking to strengthen the alliances with her Western partners. Moreover, Israel is looking for new allies. Potential candidates are Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria. These countries have longstanding conflicts with Turkey. It was obviously no coincidence that after the recent Israeli-Turkish tensions the Greek Prime Minister Papandreou visited Israel in July. For a long time Greece was among the countries that were most fiercely criticising Israel, but now it looks as if Greece will become a new ally.
When the US Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, travelled to Israel early in July, his visit was probably also destined to strengthen Israel's relationships with her Western allies. Gates confirmed to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the United States is still willing to sustain Israel's military superiority. In his talks with Gates Netanyahu also mentioned US security guarantees for a future peace agreement with the Palestinians. Without provisions for Israel's survival such an agreement would be insufficient. At the same time Turkey tries to strengthen her bonds with Hamas. In Damascus Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, supposedly to discuss a renewal of peace talks with Israel.
These developments clearly show that two camps are emerging when it comes to Israel, and that Turkey is developing into a "touchstone" where the chaff will be sifted from the wheat. This is why Israel is expected to make hard and fateful decisions in the near future, and this is one of the reasons why Israel needs our prayers.
Sharing with you the growing concern over Israel's struggle for survival, I am sending you a warm Shalom,
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