Weekly Update: Lord have mercy

editor - 31 January 2020

The unveiling of the Trump plan this week has caused a lot of controversy in Israel and abroad.

The plan is very detailed and has many good suggestions. Perhaps most importantly, the plan defends Israel’s claims with respect to the so-called “occupied territories”, Jerusalem as the united capital of Israel, and the right of Jews to live in Judea, Samaria and the Old City of Jerusalem. In the week that we commemorate the 75th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation, it is very significant that the right of the Jewish people to live in safe borders is recognised. The plan also requires Hamas to be disarmed and Gaza to be demilitarized. A very positive sign is that UAE, Kuwait, and Bahrain were present at the White House on Tuesday, and Egypt and Saudi Arabia both gave their approval of the plans.

However many are concerned about specific aspects of the proposal, the way it has been presented, the lack of Palestinian buy-in, and the possibility it will negatively affect relations with the Arab populations in Israel. The position of Christian Arabs under the proposed regime is also very uncertain.

Given the outright rejection of the plan by the Palestinian leadership, there is no likelihood the Palestinians will agree to the plan in the near future. On the contrary, not a few in Israel fear an increase in violence.

In the background, Israel remains on alert in the knowledge Iranian leaders have not forgotten their promises to respond to the recent elimination of senior Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by the Trump administration in Baghdad on January 3.

These are testing times.

Israel, the Jewish people, all Arabs and other non-Jews living both in Israel and the territories, and all their neighbours – all need the prayers of the global church more than ever.

Pray that Israel’s leaders will think not of themselves, but will look only to the Lord for their guidance and strength. Pray for genuine reconciliation between Jew and non-Jew in the land. Pray that those who seek to destroy Israel will be removed from power. Pray that all who live in the region will receive a spirit of humility, wisdom, and mutual respect. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

“Let Israel hope in the Lord: for with the Lord there is mercy, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He shall redeem Israel from all his iniquities.” (Psalm 130)

The Trump Peace Plan unveiled

‘A realistic two-state solution’, is how the American President Donald Trump described the essence of the long-awaited “Peace to Prosperity” plan he launched on Tuesday 29th January 2020. The plan contains two parts: a Political Framework, and an Economic Framework. The Economic Framework had previously been unveiled in June 2019.

Some of the main aspects of the Political Framework are:

Palestinian statehood. The plan envisages the creation of a demilitarized Palestinian state, provided certain criteria are met. “The Palestinians deserve a better future and this Vision can help them achieve that future. Palestinian leaders must embrace peace by recognizing Israel as the Jewish state, rejecting terrorism in all its forms, allowing for special arrangements that address Israel’s and the region’s vital security needs, building effective institutions and choosing pragmatic solutions. If these steps are taken and the criteria set forth in this Vision are satisfied, then the United States will support the establishment of a Palestinian State.”

Negotiations leading to a peace agreement. The plan envisages both Israel and the Palestinians to take various steps that would lead to a binding peace agreement to end the conflict.

Jerusalem. Jerusalem west of the security barrier will remain undivided under Israeli sovereignty. A Palestinian capital can be established in the area of Jerusalem outside the barrier. Jordan retains control over the Temple Mount.

Territory, borders and settlements. The plan contains a map showing the borders of the proposed future Palestinian state. The Palestinian state would cover all of current Areas A and B as well as about 70% of Area C. These areas are connected by major roads. A tunnel connects Gaza and the Palestinian state. Israel retains sovereignty over the Jordan Valley. No Israeli settlements are to be forcibly removed.

Security. The proposal contains extensive arrangements designed mainly to protect Israel’s right to security.

Gaza. Hamas and Palestinian Jihad are to be disarmed, and the Palestinian Authority is to have control over Gaza. A range of proposals are intended to improve the economic conditions in Gaza. This includes adding territory close to the Gaza strip to enable new infrastructure to be built.

Regional development. The plan promotes regional cooperation and integration. Both Jordan and Egypt will have an important role to play in determining whether the plan obtains political support in the region, and if so the success of the plan’s implantation.  There will be a free trade zone between Jordan and the State of Palestine.

Read the plan in full here.

Leaders and residents of Arab-Israeli towns in the so-called Triangle fumed on Wednesday after US President Donald Trump’s peace plan proposed including their villages southeast of Haifa in a future Palestinian state. “We are citizens of the state of Israel. Not enemies,” said Tayibe Mayor Sha’a Mansour Massarwa, who blasted the Trump’s “Deal of the Century” during an interview with the Ynet news site. Read more..

Trump adviser Kushner says US expects Israel to wait until new government in place, sides need to work out details over several months; Netanyahu had pushed for immediate action. Read more..


Indictment of the Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

On Tuesday 28th January 2020 Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit filed the indictment against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust with the Jerusalem District Court. Read more..


“Never again”

Monday, 27 January, 2020, marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau by Soviet troops. The world commemorated the tragedy and horrors of the Holocaust, remembering the six million (some argue many millions more!) precious Jewish lives that were ruthlessly snuffed out. Read more..


The last Jew of Ugniv

The last Jew going home became reality for the small Ukrainian town of Ugniv. The last Jewish family of Ugniv left for Israel in December 2019! Presently this family is in kibbutz Merhavia, in their First Home in the Homeland. I’m writing this article just before the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. For the family of Valeriy and Lesya, as well as for their son Yuri this day is quite special. It reminds them of the miracle and the good will that saved their ancestors. Read more..


“Focus on the future” – Video teachings by Rev. Willem J.J. Glashouwer

Rev. Willem Glashouwer helps us understand God’s prophetic word, and how prophecy is being fulfilled in our generation.

Volume 3 episode 1: If there is anything that people want to have is peace! Peace in your heart, peace in your home, peace in your family and peace in your country. No more wars! But when you look at the world around you there is conflict where ever you look! Will there be peace in the future? Now, let’s focus on the future and see what the Bible has to say about these things! Rev Willem Glashouwer explains what Jesus is saying about the future in Matthew 24.

“The Measure” – Video teachings by Johannes Gerloff

Watch this series of teachings by Israeli-based Bible teacher and journalist Johannes Gerloff:

Episode 10: One of the functions of Israel’s unique election is that this nation is a standard, a measure by which Gentile nations will be judged. Our relationship to Israel indicates whether Messiah will consider us blessed or cursed.



View Amir Tsafarti’s latest update:  

View Bible teacher Amir Tsafarti’s latest weekly roundup (26 January 2020)

Shabbat shalom,

Andrew Tucker
Editor-in-Chief – Israel & Christians Today


Scripture for the week: Psalm 130

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord;
2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.
3 If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you.
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.
6 I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.
7 Israel, put your hope in the Lord, for with the Lord is unfailing love and with him is full redemption.
8 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
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