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.

Current Events
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Message Outline:
People of Peace in a Time of War

Current Events

See also:
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, 2012

Sources: Quartet push for peace talks weakened by issue of Israel as Jewish state
Sept. 27, 2011 -
The European Union, Russia, the United Nations and the United States - known as the Quartet - have tried for months to draft "terms of reference" that might breathe life into peace talks that collapsed nearly a year ago.
The Quartet's greatest difficulty in their attempt to relaunch peace negotiations is how to define the relationship between Israel and the Jewish people. Israel wants to be known as a Jewish state, but the Palestinians consider that an impediment to the return of Palestinian refuges to Israel at some point.

The Quartet could not come to an agreement on the wording of the "Jewish state" issue, but they did call for preparatory talks in a month, substantive proposals from both sides on borders and security within three months, and a peace deal by the end of 2012.

Neither Israel nor the Palestinians have formally responded to the Quartet statement.

Source: Haaretz

Connecting the Dots: A Handbook of Bible Prophecy

Vital Information about Israel, Islam, the Church, and Things to Come

Muslim states call on Hamas to recognize Quartet terms
Jun. 20, 2011 - In a surprising boost for Israel, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (23 member states, also known as the Mediterranean Union), including its Muslim member countries, called on Monday for an end to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and a return to negotiations and the Quartet's conditions for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. All of the members that were present, including Egypt, Morocco, Tunis and Algeria, and even the Palestinian Authority, voted in favor of the resolution. Countries that did not attend the meeting were Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Libya.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Berlusconi offers to host peace talks in Sicily
June 13, 2011 - In a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Rome, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi offered to get personally involved in restarting the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians. He also offered to host the negotiations in Sicily.
In a press conference of the two leaders following a meeting that both sides said went well, Berlusconi reiterated his opposition to the United Nations recognizing a Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly in September.
Source: Jerusalem Post

Abbas says prefers talks with Israel over UN vote on Palestinian state
Jun. 13, 2011 - In a meeting with delegation of the Socialist International Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said he would prefer to have direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but that all attempts to have such talks have failed.
Abbas told his interlocutors that his first, second and third priorities were negotiations - and that only his last priority was making a move at the UN.
Source: Haaretz
U.S. pressuring Netanyahu to accept Obama's peace plan - Haaretz
PA considers 1947 UN Partition Plan if US vetoes state - Jerusalem Post

White House set for Obama-Netanyahu-Abbas summit. Israel downbeat
May 30, 2011 - Trying to bring about a significant step toward a peace agreement before the September deadline, when the Palestinians plan to ask the U.N. to recognize them as an independent state, President Obama is promoting an early summit between himself, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Observers of the process note that Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister to offer to leave some of their recent settlements as part of the process of establishing a Palestinian state. In President Obama's speech these were called "mutual swaps of land."

These swaps need not entail the evacuation of large populations or numerous settlements but rather create Israeli and Palestinian pockets that would remain in situ in each other's territories under the "sovereign symbols" of the opposite party, Israeli or Palestinian.
Some analysts speculate that some of these "pockets" could be in Jerusalem, so that it could in essence be shared, but neither side would have to give up its sovereign rights in the city.

The President also asked for two concessions that Israelis feel they can not accept: That Israel would have no military presence outside of the new borders, and that part of the land swap would come from Israel's pre-1967 sovereign land.

Source: DEBKAfile

Netanyahu Heads to White House After Obama Shift on Palestinian Statehood
May 20, 2011 -
Obama, in a sweeping address tackling the uprisings in the Middle East and the stalled peace process, stunned Washington and Jerusalem Thursday by endorsing Palestinians' demand for their own state based on the pre-1967 borders.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is en route to a meeting with President Obama. His office released a statement that Israel appreciates President Obama's commitment to peace, but withdrawal to the 1967 borders would make it impossible for Israel to protect its nation, and he needs President Obama to reaffirm the U.S. commitments made to Israel in 2004, including the concept that Israel would not be required to withdraw to the 1967 lines.

President Obama's speech did include some statements that bolster Israel's position. He claimed that the United States' commitment to Israeli security is "unshakable." He also said that Israel's right to defend itself will remain paramount. He said that the recent agreement between Fatah and Hamas was a problem because the U.S. considers Hamas a terrorist organization. He publicly disagreed with recent Palestinian plans to ask the U.N. to recognize them as an independent state if the peace process has not succeeded at that time.

In his speech the President also said that the "future of Jerusalem" and the fate of Palestinian refugees remains to be worked out.

Source: Fox
Full Text and Video of Obama Speech on Israel - Israel National News
Full Text: Official Response From Netanyahu to Obama’s Israel, Palestine 1967 Border Remarks - Fox Insider
PM slams Obama call for ‘Palestine’ based on ’67 lines - Jerusalem Post
Netanyahu says 'No' to 1967 borders - YNet News

Obama's draft speech to urge '67 borders, negate PA's state bid
May 17, 2011 - When President Barack Obama delivers his next speech on Thursday he is expected to urge Israel to return to the 1967 lines and discourage the Palestinian Authority's plans for a unilateral declaration of statehood in September.
Obama will call on Jerusalem and Ramallah to reignite the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process, saying it is the only way to achieve viable peace.
He is planning to demand that the Palestinian Authority abandon terror and recognize Israel as the Jewish state. It is thought that he will also say that Israel must cease any settlement expansion in the West Bank.
Source: YNet News
Netanyahu: Conflict is about 1948, not 1967 - YNet News
Netanyahu: Israel willing to 'cede parts of our homeland' for true peace - Haaretz

Clinton: US to lay out new Mideast policy in weeks

April 13, 2011 - Speaking at the US-Islamic World Forum, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that President Obama will lay out a new push to promote comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace plans in the coming weeks.

In the absence of a promising peace plan, the Palestinian government plans to ask the U.N. General Assembly in September for recognition of statehood.

Source: Jerusalem Post
New U.S. peace push must come soon: Palestinians - Yahoo

Netanyahu May Seek Interim Accord With Palestinians

Mar. 2, 2011 - Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been stalled since Israel resumed settlement building in disputed areas last September. According to an unnamed Israeli official, the recent wave of protests and revolutionary activity in the Middle East has caused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to consider an interim agreement with the Palestinians rather than one that resolves all core issues.
"Of course, Israel would prefer final status peace agreement, but that has become all but impossible because of the Palestinian refusal to negotiate," the government official said.
The interim agreement would be a step forward toward establishment of a two-state solution,
Source: CNN
Israel: No Palestinian peace deal possible now - Yahoo

Muslim Brotherhood wants end to Egypt-Israeli peace deal

Feb. 3, 2011 - Rashad al-Bayoumi, a deputy leader of Egypt's banned Muslim Brotherhood, revealed their plans if they come to power in Egypt.
"After President Mubarak steps down and a provisional government is formed, there is a need to dissolve the peace treaty with Israel," al-Bayoumi said.
The Egyptian peace treaty was signed in 1979. This made Egypt the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel and agree to live in peace with them.
Source: RIA Novosti (Russia)
U.S. 'held secret meeting with Muslim Brotherhood' - WorldNetDaily
Rosenberg: What to Make of the Middle East Shakeup - Joel Rosenberg - CBN
Trend Alert: Revolutionary Fervor to Spread Beyond Arab States - Europe Next - By Gerald Celente - Yonkers Tribune

EU pushes Mideast talks, says 'no alternative' to negotiated deal

Jan. 5, 2011 - The European Union foreign policy chief called for continued progress in Middle East peace talks.
"Urgent progress is now needed towards a lasting Israeli-Palestinian peace, and the EU will continue to support all efforts towards that goal," Catherine Ashton said in a statement issued overnight. "There is no alternative to a negotiated solution."
Source: Haaretz
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Just War Theory
The Just War - From The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Principles of the Just War

War/Peace Debate
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