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Friday, January 5, 2018

Trump threatens stop to Palestinian aid over Jerusalem row

BBC, 3 January 2018

The US may stop aid payments to Palestinians who are “no longer willing to talk peace”, President Trump said.

On Twitter, Mr Trump said the United States received “no appreciation or respect” in return for its aid.

He also said his controversial recognition of the contested city of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital took the hugely divisive issue “off the table” for new peace talks.

Palestinians had said the move showed the US could not be a neutral broker.

Soon after Washington’s decision was announced in December, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he would not accept any US peace plan for the Middle East.

The decision on Jerusalem was also overwhelmingly condemned at the United Nations, where 128 countries voted against Mr Trump’s fulfilment of a campaign promise.

The US president was following up earlier comments about aid payments to Pakistan, in which he said the US had received only “lies and deceit” in exchange for billions of dollars in aid.

@realDonaldTrump: It’s not only Pakistan that we pay billions of dollars to for nothing, but also many other countries, and others. As an example, we pay the Palestinians HUNDRED OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect. They don’t even want to negotiate a long overdue…

@realDonaldTrump: …peace treaty with Israel. We have taken Jerusalem, the toughest part of the negotiation, off the table, but Israel, for that, would have had to pay more. But with the Palestinians no longer willing to talk peace, why should we make any of these massive future payments to them?

Jerusalem is one of the world’s most contested sites.

Israel claims the whole of the city as its capital. The Palestinians want East Jerusalem, occupied by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war, to be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Mr Trump, however, decided to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, despite being warned it could cause unrest in the region.

He also said he would move the US embassy there from Tel Aviv, where all other nations have their consulates.

For the Palestinians, Mr Abbas said: “The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process.”

He also called Jerusalem the “eternal capital of the state of Palestine”.

How did the Palestinians respond to Mr Trump’s threat to cut aid?

Angrily. A Twitter feed of the governing Palestine Liberation Organisation accused Mr Trump of sabotaging their “search for peace”.

@nadplo: Palestinian rights are not for sale. By recognizing Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Donald Trump has not only violated of international law, but he has also singlehandedly destroyed the very foundations of peace and condoned Israel’s illegal annexation of the city.

@nadplo: We will not be blackmailed. President Trump has sabotaged our search for peace, freedom and justice. Now he dares to blame the Palestinians for the consequences of his own irresponsible actions!

Mr Trump’s tweets followed remarks from Nikki Haley, the US envoy to the United Nations, in which she said the US would stop contributing to the UN’s relief agency for Palestinian refugees.

The agency runs education, health, and social programmes. The United States is its largest governmental donor, handing over almost $370m (£270m) in 2016.

Speaking at a news conference, Ms Haley said: “The president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding, or stop funding, until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table.”

She said the UN’s vote to condemn Mr Trump’s Jerusalem decision was “not helpful to the situation”.

“The Palestinians now have to show their will that they want to come to the table. As of now, they’re not coming to the table but they asked for aid.

“We’re not giving the aid, we’re going to make sure that they come to the table,” she said.

The withdrawal of aid is likely to have a significant impact on the UN agency’s work, as the US contributes almost 30% of its overall funding.

In 2016, the second-largest donor, the European Union, donated less than half as much as the US.

Dennis Edwards: Again we see America and Israel becoming more and more isolated from world opinion. If we are understanding Bible prophecy correctly, this isolation of these two nations will lead us to that terrible day of Armageddon. The Book of Revelation chapters 16,17,18 and 19 in the New Testament, and Ezekiel 38 and 39, plus Daniel 11:30-45 in the Old Testament seem to be referring to the same apocalyptic events. These events culminate with the invasion of Israel during the end times. The present positions of both Israel and America are in line with what the prophets predicted. If we are understanding correctly, Israel will be invaded and at the same time or near to the same time,  the Babylonian city system will be destroyed. 

So keep your eyes and ears open. We may have some sort of "Holy Covenant" regarding Jerusalem, which could be a compromised agreement on the Palestinian issue and the state of Jerusalem. Whatever the Holy Covenant is however, it is the breaking of the covenant and the placing of the "abomination that makes desolate" in the temple that Jesus gave as a sign point to the beginning of the Great Tribulation or Jacob's Trouble. It is at the end of the Great Tribulation period and the Wrath of God that follows that the destruction of Babylonian city system takes place and the invasion of Israel. Christ's predicted return will take place during the Armageddon period to prevent mankind form destroying all of civilisation. 

In Ezekiel 38 and 39 we see Russia with its allies Turkey and Iran cooperating in Israel's invasion. These nations are presently strengthening their accords and military cooperation. We see Russia making a permanent base in Syria, not far from Israel itself. All these events are confirmations that we are moving down the road to destruction just as we sang many years ago, and just as the Bible predicts. Our turning our backs on God has brought bad results and will continue to do so. One thing is turning our backs on the religious system, the other is turning our backs on God. Most people don't seem to be able to distinguish the two and God is completely left out of their knowledge. But He doesn't have to be. He says, "Draw nigh to Me, and I will draw nigh to you." Make your resolution to draw nigh to God this year. It may be your last!


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