Period: August 2018
End-Time Church / Pluralism
Global Politics



The Trump administration is assembling a Middle East policy team prior to its unveiling of an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan the president has touted as the “deal of the century.”
By: AP - August 3, 2018 - U.S. officials say the Trump administration is staffing up a Middle East policy team at the White House in anticipation of unveiling its long awaited but largely mysterious Israeli-Palestinian peace plan. The National Security Council last week began approaching other agencies seeking volunteers to join the team, which will work for President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace pointmen Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, according to the officials.
The team, which is being set up to organize the peace plan’s public presentation and any negotiations that may ensue, will comprise three units: one concentrating on its political and security details, one on its significant economic focus and one on strategic communications, the officials said.
The creation of a White House team is the first evidence in months that a plan is advancing. Although Trump officials have long promised the most comprehensive package ever put forward toward resolving the conflict, the emerging plan has not been described with even a small amount of detail by Kushner, Greenblatt or any other official. Timing on the release of the plan remains undecided. The State Department, Pentagon, intelligence agencies and Congress have been asked to detail personnel to the team for six months to a year, according to the officials, who were not authorized to publicly discuss the
matter and spoke on condition of anonymity.
The agencies declined to comment but an NSC official said that Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, and Greenblatt, Trump’s special envoy for international negotiations, “are expanding their team and the resources available as they finalize the details and rollout strategy of the peace initiative.” Cont'd:

According to reports in the Israeli media, the Trump administration transferred tens of millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority to further security coordination with Israel.
By: World Israel News Staff - August 2, 2018
The Trump administration has reportedly rolled back a large-scale funding freeze instituted at the beginning of the year that stopped the flow of US aid dollars to the Palestinian Authority (PA).
According to a report in Haaretz quoting an American official, $61 million of the frozen aid money was transferred to the PA to facilitate counter-terrorism initiatives. Other sources familiar with the matter claim the sum was much lower, in the $35 million range.
The official told Haaretz that the funds were released to assist PA security force cooperation with Israel to stop terror and violence in Judea and Samaria. The Trump administration has been universally boycotted by the PA since the president
recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December and announced his intention to move the US embassy in Israel to that location, a move he carried out in May. The US has withheld over $200 million in aid based on concerns related to Palestinian policies and the mandate to ensure that the use of the aid “meets [US] national security interests,”
the State Department commented. Cont'd:


August 3, 2018 - Abbas’ appointment on Thursday of a new deputy prime minister has been deemed by some a provocation of his rivals in the Hamas terror group.
By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News Longtime Palestinian Authority (PA) presidential spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeineh was promoted
to deputy prime minister and information minister Thursday in a move that rival faction Hamas sees as a slap in the face.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri slammed the appointment as a sign that Abbas’ Fatah faction was trying to take over the supposed consensus government currently headed by Rami Hamdallah, who is officially considered a political outsider.
“Any reconciliation should be sponsored by a Palestinian unity government and not a Fatah government,” he tweeted.
Although a Greek Orthodox Christian, Rudeinah has been a loyal official in the overwhelmingly Muslim Fatah organization for decades.
He was appointed as spokesman by Yasser Arafat and served as assistant of PLO co-founder Abu Jihad, a mastermind of many terror attacks that killed dozens of Israelis throughout the seventies and eighties. Abu Jihad was assassinated by Israeli commandos in Tunis in 1988. Speaking for Ramallah, Rudeinah has been a harsh critic of US President Donald Trump’s recent Mideast strategy, denouncing the decision to move the American embassy to Jerusalem, and supporting the boycott of the administration officials in charge of the as-yet unrevealed peace plan known as “the deal of the century.” Cont'd:

Posted on August 3, 2018 by Galen [Bi Partisan]
If Americans Knew – by Alison Weir - The Senate yesterday passed a bill to give Israel $38 billion over the next 10 years. The legislation, heavily promoted by AIPAC, was adopted in a voice vote. The bill is “S.2497 – United States-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018.”
This amounts to approximately $23,000 for each Jewish Israeli family of four. The bill also mandates that NASA work with the Israeli Space Agency, despite accusations of Israeli espionage – In 2015 a Caltech scientist revealed that the Chair of Israel’s National Committee for Space Research had illegally acquired classified information. Also yesterday, the Senate voted a Defense bill that provides $550 million to Israel. While Israeli media have reported on the legislation, mainstream U.S. news media have failed to inform Americans about the money to Israel.
AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, issued a statement saying: “AIPAC appreciates the leadership of Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-TN) and Ranking Member Robert Menendez (D-NJ) along with the authors of the bill, Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Chris Coons (D-DE).”
The bill is currently also making its way through the House of Representatives. If the House passes it, as expected, it will be sent to President Trump to sign into law. Cont'd:

By KHALED ABU TOAMEH - Aug 7, 2018 - Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said the senior officials of his movement held intensive discussions with representatives of all Palestinian factions in the Gaza Strip about the cease-fire proposal.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to visit Qatar on Wednesday for talks with the country's Emir Tamim bin Hamed al-Thani on the latest developments in the region, including efforts to broker a cease-fire between Hamas and Israel and achieve Palestinian unity.
Meanwhile, senior Hamas officials are expected to return to Cairo in the coming days to brief Egyptian intelligence officials on the movement's position regarding a long-term truce with Israel.
Munir Ghanem, the PA envoy to Doha, told the Voice of Palestine radio station that Abbas’s visit to Qatar will last two for days. The visit, he said, comes in the context of coordination between the PA leadership and Arab leaders on a number of issues of common interest.
Abbas, according to Palestinian sources in Ramallah, has expressed reservations about the recent Egyptian and UN initiative to reach a long-term truce between Hamas and Israel. Abbas maintains that Hamas is not authorized to sign such a deal because it does not have any “representative status” as it had violently seized control over the Gaza Strip in 2007.
In the past few days, Abbas and senior officials of his Fatah faction have warned Hamas against striking any deal with Israel before ending the dispute between the two rival factions. Some PA and Fatah officials have gone as far as claiming that the proposed truce was part of US President Donald Trump's yet-to-be-announced plan for peace in the Middle East. They claim that the plan, which is also known known as the deal of the century, is aimed at liquidating the Palestinian cause.
In June 2017, Egypt, together with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, cut its diplomatic relations with Qatar and accused its rulers of supporting terrorism, including the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian government banned the Muslim Brotherhood after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power in 2014. Cont'd:

Future of Iran sanctions to top the agenda during September talks in New York, Israeli envoy Danon says, also confirming his term has been extended
By Raphael Ahren - August 8, 2018
Image: US President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu make their way to the Oval Office for a meeting at the White House on March 5, 2018. (AFP Photo/Mandel Ngan)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is planning to attend the upcoming United Nations General Assembly and meet US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the conference, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said Wednesday. Iran and the effects of the new US sanctions against the regime will top the agenda of the Trump-Netanyahu meeting in New York, Danon told Kol Barama radio. “The prime minister’s speech is very important and many people are looking forward to hearing what he has to say,” Danon said.
The Prime Minister’s Office on Wednesday did not confirm Netanyahu’s travel plans or the meeting with Trump.Cont'd:

'Make Israel Palestine Again' shirt slogan of terror-linked BDS movement
WND Exclusive - August 8, 2018 - There’s a lot of talk about “hate speech” these days among the big Internet companies – from Apple to Google to YouTube to Facebook to Twitter to Amazon.
With that in mind, a T-shirt on sale at Amazon, not by a third-party provider but the retail giant itself, is raising some eyebrows – especially those of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.
The slogan calls for the end of the one and only Jewish state – “Make Israel Palestine Again.” The slogan is popular with the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement, which is linked to terror-linked organizations such as the Council of National and Islamic Force in Palestine – a coalition that includes representatives from Hamas and other terrorist groups. Similar shirts are available on Cont'd:

By BZ ?AM Riger - August 2, 2018 - Published in Absolute Data - Jewish groups worldwide voice support for pro-Palestine BDS movement
Published on The New Arab, July 17, 2018 - Dozens of Jewish groups worldwide issued an unprecedented joint statement on Tuesday backing the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and saying that criticism of Israel’s actions does not equate to antisemitism. The initiative was spearheaded by the US-based Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP) organisation and 36 Jewish groups from 15 countries – including South Africa, Germany and Brazil – signed the joint statement.
“From our own histories we are all too aware of the dangers of increasingly fascistic and openly racist governments and political parties,” the global letter states. “The rise in antisemitic discourse and attacks worldwide is part of that broader trend. At times like this, it is more important than ever to distinguish between the hostility to – or prejudice against – Jews on the one hand and legitimate critiques of Israeli policies and system of injustice on the other.”
Central to the pro-Israel effort is the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s (IHRA) definition of antisemitism, which equates criticism of Israel or pro-Palestine advocacy with antisemitism. In the US, two bills currently being discussed by Congress seek to criminalise the boycott of Israeli settlements and restrict Palestinian human rights advocacy by defining such acts as antisemitic. Cont'd:

Friday Church News Notes, July 20, 2018 - David Cloud - The deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards recently boasted that the “Islamic army in Syria” in the Golan Heights was awaiting orders to eradicate the “evil regime” of Israel (“Top Iranian general,” The Times of Israel , Jul. 9, 2018). Hossein Salami said, “Today an international Islamic army has been formed in Syria, and the voices of the Muslims are heard near the Golan. Orders are awaited, so that … the eradication of the evil regime [Israel] will land and the life of this regime will be ended for good. The life of the Zionist regime was never in danger as it is now.” He said that “the Zionist regime constitutes a threat … to the entire Islamic world.”
Bible believers know how this is going to turn out. Israel is not going to be destroyed by Muslim nations. Israel is going to be deceived by the Antichrist’s “peace” program. He will enable Israel to build the Third Temple and then occupy it and claim to be God. During the Tribulation that will ensue, Israel will be converted. “And I will cause you to pass under the
rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant: And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD” (Ezekiel 20:37-38).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel is slated to accept an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa. She is also expected to visit the Israel Museum and the Foreign Ministry exhibit on innovation featuring the work of six Israeli companies.
By Eldad Beck and Israel Hayom Staff - August 23, 2018 - Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2011. Credit: EPA/HANNIBAL HANSCHKE.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is scheduled to make her first visit to Israel since February 2014 in October, despite strained relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met Merkel in Berlin in June.
During her visit, Merkel is scheduled to be awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa. She is also expected to visit the Israel Museum and the Foreign Ministry exhibit on innovation featuring the work of six Israeli companies.
When Merkel and Netanyahu last met, Netanyahu said that Israel was looking at various ways of mitigating the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip. Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas for the crisis in the Hamas-ruled coastal enclave, and said that Hamas itself was opting to sink resources into terrorism rather than the welfare of Gaza’s residents.
But the main point of dispute between Merkel and Netanyahu is Iran—namely, the Iran nuclear agreement reached between Tehran and six world powers in 2015. Netanyahu has consistently warned that the deal, which aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions, fell short of preventing and Iranian bomb and neglected to address the other threats posed by Iran.Cont'd:

U.S. President Donald Trump will only unveil an “agenda for peace” at the U.N. General Assembly meeting next month, due to difficulties encountered by his peace team in recent months and the president’s current legal troubles, a source tells Israel Hayom.
Image: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House in Washington D.C., on March 5, 2018. Photo by Haim Zach/GPO.
By Ariel Kahana and Israel Hayom Staff - August 23, 2018 / JNS - Only the first phase of the Trump administration’s Middle East peace plan will be presented at the United Nations General Assembly, a source close to the White House told Israel Hayom on Thursday.
Previous reports claimed U.S. President Donald Trump would unveil his so-called “deal of the ?century” during the U.N. General Assembly ?meeting next month in New York. Trump is set ?to address the assembly on Sept. 25.
The source said the president would only present a partial outline of the overall peace initiative the White House has been drafting, describing it more as an “agenda for peace.”
The source said the reason for the partial presentation was that the president’s peace team has encountered difficulties in recent months, but also noted Trump’s current legal battles.
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton told reporters in Jerusalem on Wednesday that while there’s been “a lot of progress,” the Trump administration has no timetable for rolling out the much-anticipated peace plan.
Bolton refused to speculate what the plan entailed or when it may be publicized.
Meanwhile, another source with ties to the administration said the Trump peace plan has not been finalized yet and that efforts to iron out its details would be expanded in the coming months.
On Tuesday, Trump said that Israel will have to pay “a higher price” in peace talks with the Palestinians as a result of official U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the U.S. embassy move in May.
Speaking at a rally in Charleston, West Virginia, Trump said it was now the Palestinians’ “turn” to “get something very good” in potential peace talks with Israel. Cont'd:








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