AUSTRALIAN PRAYER NETWORK NEWSLETTER – ISRAEL NEWS 1st FEBRUARY 2014
- JULIE BISHOP SAYS AUSTRALIA’S SHIFT ON ISRAEL UN RESOLUTIONS IS A BID FOR BALANCE
- ARIEL SHARON ‘A LION OF ISRAEL’ PASSES AWAY
- FRANCE AND SAUDI ARABIA SUPPORT ISRAEL DEFENDING ITSELF FROM IRAN
- ARABS REALISING ISRAEL IS NOT THE ENEMY
ISRAELIS ASK IS IT TIME TO ACCEPT MESSIANIC JEWS
JULIE BISHOP SAYS AUSTRALIA’S SHIFT ON ISRAEL UN RESOLUTIONS IS A BID FOR BALANCE
Australia has changed its position on Israel and Palestine to ensure only “balanced” UN resolutions receive its support, says Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop. Australia recently abstained from two UN resolutions; one condemning the expansion of Jewish settlements and another calling for the Geneva Convention to apply in the occupied Palestinian territories. Under Labor, Australia had supported the resolutions. Ms Bishop said the shift “reflected the government’s concern that Middle East resolutions should be balanced. The government will not support resolutions which are one-sided or pre-judge the outcome of negotiations between the two sides,” she said.
The resolution to end “all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories” was supported by 158 nations. Australia was one of only eight nations to abstain. Australia was one of only five countries to abstain from calling for Israel to “comply scrupulously” with the 1949 Geneva Convention. The resolution was supported by 160 nations. Ms Bishop’s spokeswoman said Australia strongly supported the resumption of negotiations between Israel and Palestine aimed at reaching a just and lasting two-state solution. “This approach is reflected in the government’s position on voting on Middle East-related resolutions in the UN,” she said.
“Australia is ready to assist in any way it can to support the efforts of Israel and the Palestinians to achieve lasting peace including supporting Palestinian development as an important contribution to the Middle East peace process” Bishop said. Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek said the change of stance was very surprising. “We voted yes to a proposition that has suggested that the unlimited building of settlements on land that is considered Palestinian land is not helping with the peace process. If the Australian government have a different position, I think it very important for them to explain to Australians why that position’s changed.
Source: Compiled by APN from Australian media reports
ARIEL SHARON ‘A LION OF ISRAEL’ PASSES AWAY
Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has died after eight years in a coma following a brain haemorrhage in January 2006. He was 85. Sharon was the last of a generation of Israeli leaders and warriors that knew how to get the job done. Often controversial, Sharon was not afraid to bend and even break the rules in order to accomplish his and what he felt were the nation’s goals. And more than once, that approach is believed to have saved the State of Israel from disaster. David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first Prime Minister, famously labelled Sharon as the Jewish state’s “greatest field commander” for his uncanny ability to remain calm and turn the tide of battle.
Sharon carried those qualities into his political career where he managed to get things done that others viewed as being out of reach. From daring military manoeuvers that brought Israel great wartime victories, to brutal anti-terror campaigns that taught Israel’s enemies that Jewish blood is not cheap, to bulldozing through some of Israel’s toughest political issues, Sharon demonstrated a decisiveness that is sorely lacking in most leaders today. Former left-wing opposition leader Yossi Sarid said. “Ariel Sharon was the most influential person in the country in the past two generations. Nobody in recent times, for better or for worse, has left such a deep mark on our history.”
Source: Israel Today
FRANCE AND SAUDI ARABIA SUPPORT ISRAEL DEFENDING ITSELF FROM IRAN
Both France and Saudi Arabia have come out in support of Israel’s tough stance against Iran’s nuclear armament. French President Francois Holland said, “France will not make concessions on nuclear proliferation. We will maintain all its measures and sanctions until we are certain that Iran has renounced nuclear weapons.” In Hebrew, Holland added, “We will always remain a friend of Israel.” In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is reportedly working with Israel “to formulate a plan of attack to hit Iran’s nuclear facilities in the event the international community fails to adequately quell the Islamic Republic’s atomic ambitions.”
The arrangement reportedly being hashed out would allow Israel to use Saudi airspace en route to Iran. The Saudis would also provide logistical support by coordinating the use of drones, search and rescue aircraft and refuelling tankers over their soil. In an interview with a French newspaper, Prime Minister Netanyahu alluded to a “meeting of the minds” between Israel and the “leading states in the Arab world” noting that it is “one of the few cases in memory, if not the first,” of Israel working with such a Middle East state. “We know something about this region. We know a great deal about Iran and its plans. It’s worthwhile to pay attention to what we say” he said.
Source: Israel Today
ARABS REALISING ISRAEL IS NOT THE ENEMY
One of the very few positive outcomes of the regional crises engulfing the Middle East is that a number of Arab states are beginning to realize that Israel is not the true enemy. “For the first time in Israel’s existence, there is an understanding in the Arab world, that Israel is not the enemy of the Arabs. On many issues, we are united,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. Netanyahu noted that the hijacking of pro-democracy revolutions in Egypt, Syria and elsewhere had turned many of the Arab states against the same Islamist regimes and groups that most threaten Israel.
“Many nations in the area have a strong desire to eliminate the influence of Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood and Al-Qaida,” the prime minister said. “This is an important development, even historic.” Government sources later revealed that Netanyahu’s remarks were a veiled announcement that Israel and several Arab states, are now actively cooperating on various fronts. With America now seen as an unreliable ally, Arab states are looking for a strong nation with which they can coordinate their own battles against Islamic extremism and Iranian hegemony. Many have found that ally in Israel, even if the bulk of the unprecedented cooperation must happen in secret.
Source: Y Net News
ISRAELIS ASK IS IT TIME TO ACCEPT MESSIANIC JEWS
Former President Bush’s attendance and keynote address at a recent Messianic Jewish event seemed to raise the ire of many traditional and orthodox Jewish leaders and commentators. However, if the result has been a questioning of the animosity toward Messianic Jews by the general Jewish population, then perhaps a thaw in this icy relationship may be beginning. At least two Israeli news agencies have run the same story wondering whether it was time for the mainstream Jewish community to finally accept Messianic Jews as a legitimate and vital part of the tribe.
Some American Jews were incredulous that Bush, in a recent address to the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute, would provide such legitimacy to a movement viewed as a ploy to convert Jews away from Judaism. But Messianic leaders said that while the “gatekeepers” of Judaism are often “overzealous” in their approach to Jewish Believers, most average Jews are welcoming. As Orthodox Jewish leaders become more vocal in their opposition to the Messianic community, mainstream Israeli society has become more accepting. Government controlled Channel One News even broadcast a segment that criticized anti-missionary Orthodox groups for harassing Messianic Jews.
Source: Jewish Telegraphic Agency