Peace

Jesus Christ is "The Prince of Peace." He taught us that if someone strikes us not to retaliate. But what does the rest of the Bible add to this issue? Can we be peace-loving people and still act in self defense? Is there such a thing as a "just war," as philosophers and theologians have defined it? This is not an easy subject, but it is one each Christian should study and prayerfully decide. We will offer helpful news and commentary from various sources in the days ahead.


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People of Peace in a Time of War



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Mid-East Conflict

Notice: Sources often remove their news links after a period of time. Some of them move older stories to a subscription-only section. Even if the story is no longer on line, our summary will still be available on this page.

Go to stories after Jan. 1, 2011



Israel-U.S. talks on renewed settlement freeze reach dead end

Dec. 8, 2010 - The U.S. has agreed to stop trying to get Israel to renew a moratorium on West Bank settlement construction.
A senior U.S. diplomat confirmed Tuesday that Washington was "ending the contacts to try and achieve another moratorium." ... [He] said "we reached the conclusion this is not the time to renew direct negotiation by renewing the moratorium".
The negotiators did say that they will continue to find new ways to keep the peace process alive.
Source: Haaretz
Middle East peace talks 'crisis' over settlement row - BBC
PA official questions US ability to broker ME peace - Jerusalem Post


Israel 'risks chaos without peace', official warns

Nov. 16, 2010 - An anonymous Israeli intelligence official told BBC that the current situation in Israel is the best it has been in recent memory for a peaceful agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, but if peace is not achieved, things will likely descend into chaos. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas wants to be the leader "who establishes the first ever Palestinian state in history".
But he warned that "Abu Mazen [President Abbas] is tired and fed up", and that if he continued to be humiliated he might carry out his threat to step down and return home.
If Abbas does resign the intelligence source believes that the whole Palestinian leadership could fall apart.
Source: BBC

Obama to present US Israel-Palestinian border map within 3 months

Nov. 15, 2010 - One of the issues discussed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton last Friday was a new three-month settlement construction freeze in exchange for a commitment to hold Israel-Palestinian negotiations on the two states' final borders. If peace talks fail within those three months, the US will propose its own map of proposed borders.
Obama believes that leaving Israel with no more than 4-4.5 percent of the pre-1967 West Bank area should satisfy its essential security requirements. In terms of population, this would entail the evacuation of dozens of settlements...
Source: DEBKAfile

Netanyahu, Clinton meeting ends after 7 hours

Nov. 12, 2010 - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met together for 7 hours to explore ways to keep peace discussions from disintegrating between Israel and the Palestinians.
The two sides indicated that officials would continue to meet in the days ahead in order to create "conditions for the resumption of direct negotiations," which have stalled ever since the Israelis let a settlement freeze lapse and Palestinians have demanded the freeze be extended as a condition of the talks.
Their meeting was characterized as friendly and productive, and Israeli officials said that "everything is on the table."
Source: Jerusalem Post

Clinton: Mideast peace deal still possible and necessary

Nov. 10, 2010 - President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both expressed displeasure at Israel's decision to build more settlement homes, but Clinton believes the peace process is still a high priority and that it can still be achieved.
Clinton told reporters in a joint video conference with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad Israel's recently announced plan to construct 1,300 homes in East Jerusalem and 800 more in the West Bank settlement of Ariel was counterproductive to peace negotiations.
Source: Haaretz

Abbas seeks urgent Security Council meeting over East Jerusalem construction

Nov. 10, 2010 - Israel announced plans for new settlement homes in two contested areas: one in East Jerusalem, and another in Ariel in the northern West Bank. This has prompted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to ask the United Nations Security Council to discuss the issue.
[Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu says Israel has 'never accepted restrictions' on building in Jerusalem, adding that there is 'no connection' between peace process and development in the capital.
Source: Haaretz

Clinton Hopeful on Resuming Mideast Peace Talks

Nov. 4, 2010 -
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the Obama administration is working "nonstop" on a path to resume stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, and she plans to meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he is in the United States next week.
Source: Fox
Obama's Midterm Loss May be Netanyahu's MidEast Win - NewsMax

Obama 'to turn on Israel after midterm elections'

Oct. 31, 3010 - A Palestinian official has claimed that Israeli Pime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is fearful that President Obama will bring pressure on Israel after the U.S. elections to force their adoption of an undesirable peace agreement. The U.S. public backs Israel, but once the elections are past, it is thought that the President will hold back support for Israel in future U.N. resolutions condemning the Jewish state, and will insist that they give up some of their settlements in any future peace negotiations.
Also, the U.S. is likely to tacitly back a Palestinian threat to unilaterally declare a state at the U.N. Security Council if Netanyahu fails to reach an agreement with the PA.
Source: WorldNetDaily

Report: Egypt proposes international summit to sustain Mideast peace process

Nov. 1, 2010 - Al-Hayat, London's Arabic newspaper, reported that Egyptian leaders would like to see an international summit to try to end the impasse in the current Middle East peace process.
"An international summit would redefine the fundamentals and the borders of a Palestinian state that would be erected on the territories occupied in June of 1967, with Israeli settlements or without."
The Egyptian source of the story believes that the impasse is a result of the Israeli government's "extreme rightist views."
Source: Haaretz

'Palestinians accept 2-month freeze extension proposal'

Oct. 8, 2010 - The U.S. peace negotiators have suggested that Israel and the Palestinians accept a slowdown of West Bank settlements for another two months. The Palestinians have accepted the proposal but President Abbas says he will step down from his post if peace talks with Israel fail.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Update: Oct. 12, 2010 - Netanyahu offers settlement freeze in return for recognition as Jewish state, Palestinians say no - Haretz

Egypt president warns of 'global terror' if Mideast peace talks fail

Oct. 5, 2010 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is convening his forum of top ministers to consider an additional two-month freeze on settlement building so the peace talks with Palestinians can continue. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak has weighed-in dramaticallyi on the issue:
He has told several leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, that "if the peace process collapses, violence and terrorism will erupt in the Middle East and all over the world."
Source: Haaretz

'Netanyahu agrees to extend settlement freeze by 2 months'

Oct. 4, 2010 - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed to extend Israel's freeze on settlement construction by 60 days.
Source: Haaretz

Palestinian leader Abbas delays decision on peace talks

Sept. 27, 2010 - Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had said that he would not continue peace talks with Israel if they lift their freeze of settlement building in the West Bank. However, after Israel let the moratorium cease at midnight Sunday, he is under pressure from the United States to continue the process. He has called for an emergency meeting of the 22-member Arab League in Cairo next Monday to discuss the issue.
Source: BBC

Obama Presses Mideast Peace in U.N. Speech

Sept. 23, 2010 - As part of this morning's speech to the United Nations General Assembly, President Barack Obama is encouraging support of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
"If an agreement is not reached, Palestinians will never know the pride and dignity that comes with their own state," he says. "Israelis will never know the certainty and security that comes with sovereign and stable neighbors who are committed to coexistence."
The President asks the United Nations to support an agreement that would create an independent Palestine and a secure Israel in a year's time.
Source: Fox

Abbas won't negotiate 'for single day' if freeze ends

Sept. 20, 2010 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told reporters that peace negotiations with Israel will continue as long as there is a freeze on settlement building. However, the freeze is set to expire at the end of the month and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that it will end as planned. Abbas said,
"If Israel stops the settlement and shows goodwill, then we can reach an agreement on borders and security, and agreement on other matters like the status of Jerusalem, water and settlements will follow."
But Abbas said he would not continue to be involved in the talks "for a single day" if Israel does not extend the freeze for "at least a month or two".
Source: YNet News

U.S. envoy: Israel-Palestinian talks moving faster than expected

Sept. 16, 2010 - George Mitchell, U.S. special envoy, said that peace talks between the Israeli and Palestinian leaders was going well.
"I will say that the two leaders are not leaving the tough issues to the end of their discussions .... We take this as a strong indicator of their belief that peace is possible."
However, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the freeze on settlement building would not be extended past September 26.
Source: Haaretz
Gaza's war on peace: 12 rockets hit southern Israel - Israel Today
Mideast Round Ends Amid Fresh Violence- Fox
History of Failed Peace Talks- BBC
IAF Attacks Gaza Terrorists after Israel Under Massive Attack - Arutz Sheva
Shouting, “Peace! Peace!” Where There Is No Peace - John Mark Reynolds, The Torrey Honors Institute - Crosswalk
Report: US wants borders set in 3 months - YNet

Clinton: Israel, Palestinians Serious About Peace

Sept. 15, 2010 - According to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palistinian President Abbas are working hard to make progress in their peace talks in spite of their disagreement about settlement-building by Israel.
"They are getting down to business... with the core issues that can only be resolved through face-to-face negotiations... I believe they are serious about reaching an agreement that results in two states living side by side in peace and security."
Source: Fox

Mideast Leaders Meet, Clinton Says 'Time Is Ripe'

Sept. 14, 2010 - Today U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is convening the next meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.

The most pressing issue now is the curb on construction for Israeli settlements in the West Bank.Netanyahu believes some of the restraints should be lifted when the current ban expires on Sept. 26, but the Palestinians want the moratorium to continue.

Clinton said the Obama administration believes Israel should extend the moratorium, but she also said it would take an effort by both sides to find a way around the problem.
Source: Fox

Jon Voight Slams Time Magazine as Anti-Semitic for Its ‘Why Israel Doesn’t Care About Peace’ Cover

Sept. 13, 2010 - On the Huckabee show, actor Jon Voight complained about Time magazine's cover article, "Why Israelis Don't Care About Peace."
Listen, if Israel falls we all fall. Did you see the Time magazine, did you guys see the Time magazine cover? Cover? It was amazing. Here's a cover with a Star of David on it, and it says Israel doesn't care about peace. ... But this is anti-Semitism.
He also reminded Huckabees listeners about Time's previous cover that implied America is Islamaphobic.
Source: NewsBusters
Why Israelis Don't Care About Peace - TIME
Islamophobia: Does America Have a Muslim Problem? - TIME

U.S. plans Jerusalem talks after Egypt peace summit

Sept. 6, 2010 - Peace discussions will be held by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on September 14 in he Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.

The following day Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will meet with the two leaders in Jerusalem.

The setting is a symbolic move to show the seriousness of peace negotiations.
Source: Haaretz
VIDEO / Obama's Rosh Hashanah message: Seize year of opportunity for Middle East peace

Israelis, Palestinians to work out framework agreement

Sept. 3, 2010 - Israelis and Palestinians agreed to work out a framework agreement in the coming months as a first step to a full peace treaty. The framework would lead to a permanent peace, not an “interim agreement.” Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas will meet again Sept. 14-15, possibly in Egypt, and continue bi-weekly meetings with the goal of reaching agreement within a year.
Source: Jerusalem Post
Hezbollah: 'Jerusalem cannot be the capital of state called Israel' - Jerusalem Post

Israeli, Palestinian Leaders Resume Talks Despite Violence

Sept. 2, 2010 - Top leaders of Israel, Palestinians, Egypt and Jordan continue to meet with President Obama and with each other in Washington D.C. in the most valiant attempt to obtain peace in many years. Meanwhile, Hamas, which is not a part of the process carries out two shooting attacks in two days to try to derail the peace process. President Obama told the dignitaries,
Neither success nor failure is inevitable. But this much we know: If we do not make the attempt, then failure is guaranteed. If both sides do not commit to these talks in earnest, then long-standing conflict will only continue to fester...
Talks will continue today.
Middle East peace talks: Where they stand - BBC
Source: Fox

Barak to Haaretz: Israel ready to cede parts of Jerusalem in peace deal

Sept. 1, 2010 - On the eve of peace talks in Washington D.C., Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak is optimistic that real progress will be made. Here are some of his projections:
Two states for two nations; an end to the conflict and the end of all future demands; the demarcation of a border that will run inside the Land of Israel, and within that border will lie a solid Jewish majority for generations.
He thinks that Israel will keep most of the settlement blocs, and that there will be some solution about the refugee problem.

Of greatest importance, he believes that Jerusalem will be divided--Jewish neighborhoods in West Jerusalem and Palestinian neighborhood in East Jerusalem. He added, "There will be a special regime in place along with agreed upon arrangements in the Old City, the Mount of Olives and the City of David."

Source: Haaretz
Mitchell: Israel-Palestinian peace deal within a year - Jerusalem Post
West Bank attack overshadows new Middle East talks - BBC

US may give Israel arms in exchange for concessions

August 31, 2010 - Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu assured his associates before leaving for peace talks in Washington D.C. that he would insist on security guarantees if Israel agrees to withdraw from most West Bank territories. Otherwise they might have a repeat of the rocket attacks that followed their withdrawal from Gaza and Lebanon.

The United States may offer an arms package to compensate for the security risk Israel would face including additional F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Jets and additional missile defense systems.

Netanyahu noted that the outcome of the talks depends also on the willingness of the Palestinians to be reasonable. He said,

I hope to find a courageous partner as Begin found in [Egyptian president Anwar] Sadat.
Source: Jerusalem Post

U.S.: Direct peace talks to begin on September 2 in Washington

Aug. 21, 2010 - U.S. President Barack Obama will hold one-on-one talks in Washington on Sept. 1 with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. They will then attend a dinner together with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, the special representative of the Quartet of Mideast peacemakers (The U.S., the UN, the European Union and Russia).

On Sept. 2 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host the first direct Israel-Palestinian negotiating session between the parties.

The meeting will serve to "re-launch direct negotiations to resolve all final-status issues which we believe we can complete in one year," Clinton said.
Source: Haaretz
IDF Removes Protective Wall in Israeli Town - CBN
Palestinians don’t want direct talks to succeed, as they prefer one-state solution - YNet

Netanyahu rejects peace talks based on 1967 borders

Aug. 12, 2010 - Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with U.S. envoy George Mitchell once again and repeated his position that direct talks should begin without preconditions. He rected a Palestinian demand that direct negotiations be based on the 1967 borders.
Source: Haaretz
Update Aug. 13: Report: Netanyahu to offer withdrawal from 90% of West Bank - YNet

Israel believes Abbas will bide time on direct talks until settlement freeze nears end

July 31, 2010 - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas continues to delay the beginning of direct peace negotiations with Israel, even after the Arab League gave the green light for the process at a special session on Thursday. President Obama has requested help from the Arab states to resume peace talks.
He pressured Arab states to back direct negotiations, and they did so, even at the cost of a minor confrontation with the Palestinians. Winning some brownie points at the White House was apparently enough to get the Arabs to withdraw their unconditional support for Abbas.
Source: Haaretz

U.S. court grants asylum to 'Son of Hamas'

July 1, 2010 - The U.S. Department of Homeland of Security has reversed its position on Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of a Hamas leader [founder]. A year ago they wanted to deport him because he had "engaged in terrorist activity" and was considered a "danger to the security of the United States."

Because of new information, Homeland Security officials recommended that the court grant Yousef asylum.

Yousef says he started working with Shin Bet [Israeli intelligence] after witnessing Hamas brutalities in prison that left him disillusioned. He gravitated toward Christianity after his release in 1997.
Source: Haaretz
U.S. grants asylum to born-again 'Son of Hamas' - WorldNetDaily
Son of Hamas Website
Wikipedia Article: Mosab Hassan Yousef
Facebook Page

US: Productive start to peace talks

May 6, 2010 - After more than a year of stalled talks, US Middle East envoy George Mitchell launched Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations Wednesday. He met first with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and plans to visit Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas next in Ramallah.The U.S. State Department reported that the first meeting was productive.
Abbas is allocating four months for the indirect talks, insisting that the main disagreements must be discussed — control of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees, borders and Israel's West Bank settlements.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Just War and Assassinating a Terrorist

Apr. 14, 2010 - Chuck Colson raises the question of our Administration's targeting of Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical Muslim cleric, for assassination. He has been linked to both the "underpants bomber" and the shootings at Fort Hood. But is this solution proper?
For starters, al-Awlaki is an American citizen. We're talking about executing an American citizen on the basis of evidence that has never been presented in open court, or any court for that matter.
Colson says he is not sure about this issue, but we must remember two of Christianity's great contributions to Western civilization: the rule of law and the "just war" tradition.
Source: Crosswalk

Follow the progress of Middle East Peace Talks

March, 2010
Current News
Biden sees 'moment of opportunity' for Mid-East peace
Netanyahy meets Mitchell as PLO okays talks
Mideast peace talks could begin as early as Sunday
Source: Prophecy Central's Mideast War Section

Clinton eyes quick resumption of Mideast talks

Feb. 25, 2010 - According to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, peace talks between Israelis and the Palestinians should resume soon but details are not yet known. U.S. envoy George Mitchell will be involved in the process. Ms. Clinton said:
We hope that that will commence shortly. We think it is absolutely necessary that they begin to talk about the final-status issues that divide them, that have perpetuated the conflict over all of these years.
Source: USA Today
Mideast Quartet meeting to be held in Moscow on March 19 - Russia Today

Will Israel join the European Union?

Feb. 9, 2010 - According to Jerome Corsi's Red Alert reports Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said that he would like to see Israel invited to join the European Union. The comment was made during a personal visit to Israel

The EU already has a requirement that its member countries must not occupy territory that is not recognized as part of its own. If Israel were to join the EU it seems that they would need to turn over the West Bank as well as the Gaza to the administration of the Palestinian Authority.

In his visit to Yad Vashim, Jerusalem's Holocaust museum, Berlusconi left an emotional hand-written message saying: "Our soul cries out that 'it is not true, it cannot be true,' and then, facing reality, shouts 'never, never again.'"
In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, "Israel has no greater friend than Italy.

Meanwhile, Israel is considering the purchase of 40 of Italy's most advanced M-346 fighter jets at a cost of over 1.3 billion dollars.

Source: WorldNetDaily

PM hopes to resume peace talks in few weeks

Feb. 4, 2010 - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu signaled hope for resumption of peace talks with the Palestinians.
"I have basis to hope, in a realistic way, that in the coming weeks we will resume the peace process with the Palestinians, without preconditions," the prime minister told the Herzliya Conference at the Interdisciplinary Center on Wednesday evening.
Source:YNet News

Mitchell to meet with Netanyahu as U.S. relaunches peace drive

Jan. 22, 2010 - Meeting with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and President Shimon Peres, US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell attempted to launch a restart of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations yesterday. However, the process faces a number of challenges.
Already complicating envoy George Mitchell's mission was a new demand by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for an Israeli military presence in the West Bank to stop weapons smuggling, even after formation of a Palestinian state.
In a Time Magazine article published just before Mitchell's meetings, President Obama said that the US may have overestimated its ability to persuade Israel and the Palestinians to cooperate.
Source: Haaretz
'Hamas accepts Israel's right to exist' - Prophecy Central's Mideast War Section

Exposed: Secret talks to carve up Israel, again

Jan. 12, 2010 - Authorities from the U.S., Jordan and Egypt are working to outline a future Palestinian state that would include part of Jerusalem, and most of the West Bank.
Source: WorldNetDaily

FM: We've made enough gestures to Abbas

Jan. 3, 2010 - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas has received a series of generous gestures.
"[And yet] I have heard Abbas recently threatening to end security cooperation with Israel," continued the foreign minister. "He's the only one who would lose out from that, both personally and from the point of view of the PA."
Source: Jerusalem Post

Netanyahu proposes peace summit with Abbas this month

Jan. 1, 2010 - Following a visit to Cairo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested that he and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas could meet later this month to rejuvinate the peace process in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh
"There is a possibility of a breakthrough surrounding the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority," senior officials in the Prime Minister's Office said earlier Thursday.
Source: Haaretz
'Recent change of atmosphere may mean time is ripe for talks' - Jerusalem Post
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