Friday, March 07, 2014

More pressure on Israel

Israel is being pressured to make further concessions for peace - though no pressure is being exerted on the Palestinians to do their part. US President Barack Obama has warned Israel that if peace talks fail and the Palestinians come to believe that the possibility of a contiguous sovereign Palestinian state is no longer within reach, "then our ability to manage the international fallout is going to be limited."

The "window was closing" for a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, and he urged Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to "seize the moment" to help achieve a framework agreement to extend peace talks. Israel also faces a boycott from the European Union.

The Palestinian Authority complain Israel continues to build settlements in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, and the PA still refuses to recognise the state of Israel.

 Prime Minister Netanyahu said "Israel has been doing its part, and I regret to say that the Palestinians haven't." He called for a "real peace. . . based on mutual recognition" and chided the Palestinians for promoting "incessant violence" against the Jewish state. "I think it's about time they recognised a nation state for the Jewish people," he said. "We've only been here for about 4,000 years."

Israel's government has said it is serious about peace, but would not be pressured into endangering the Jewish state. Prime Minister Netanyahu wants Iran to be forced to dismantle its uranium enrichment centrifuges in a final nuclear deal.

"It is profoundly in all our interests to let this process play itself out," said President Obama. "Let us test whether or not Iran can move far enough to give us assurances that their programme is peaceful."

He expressed confidence Teheran was convinced he was keeping all options on the table, including military action, should diplomacv fail and Iran seek to develop a nuclear weapon. "I know they take it seriously," he said.

Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati recently told a crowd in Teheran: "Death to America is the first option on the table."

The Bible says God gave the land of Israel to the Jews for an "everlasting possession." May they not be tempted to give away more land to no purpose.

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