Abbas may circumvent Israel, ask U.S. to recognize Palestinian state
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has told Arab leaders he may seek U.S. recognition for a Palestinian state, which would include all of the West Bank, should peace talks with Israel break down, an aide said on Saturday.
The idea, raised during Arab League deliberations in Libya on Friday, would place new pressure on Israel to extend a recently expired freeze on construction of settlements in the West Bank - a Palestinian condition for continuing recently relaunched direct peace negotiations.
Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said "alternatives" to the face-to-face talks launched five weeks ago had been discussed, among them "ask(ing) the United States to recognize the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders."
"[Another] is to study the possibility of going to the [United Nations] Security Council to get a resolution that calls upon member states to recognize the state of Palestine on the 1967 borders," he told Reuters by telephone from the Libyan town of Sirte.
Palestinians want a state in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and in the Gaza Strip - territory that Israel captured from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 war. Israel quit Gaza in 2005 but insists on keeping all of Jerusalem and swathes of West Bank settlements under any peace accord.
It will be interesting to see if this proposal gains momentum and what the consequences would be if this proposal becomes reality. It is most definitely something worth watching closely.
In other news:
Pope calls for a global authority on economy
Pope Benedict called on Tuesday for a "world political authority" to manage the global economy and for more government regulation of national economies to pull the world out of the current crisis and avoid a repeat.
Benedict said "there is an urgent need of a true world political authority" whose task would be "to manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result."
Such an authority would have to be "regulated by law" and "would need to be universally recognized and to be vested with the effective power to ensure security for all, regard for justice, and respect for rights."
"Obviously it would have to have the authority to ensure compliance with its decisions from all parties, and also with the coordinated measures adopted in various international forums," he said.
The United Nations, economic institutions and international finance all had to be reformed "even in the midst of a global recession," he said in the encyclical...
That seems bad enough, but is this agenda going to be picked up by the G8?
German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had rebuked the pope earlier this year at the height of the row over a Holocaust-denying bishop, welcomed the encyclical as important encouragement for world leaders ahead of a G8 meeting in Italy.
"Pope Benedict has encouraged the state leaders to create rules so that this sort of worldwide economic crisis isn't repeated," Merkel told reporters. "I also saw this as an order to work toward a social market economy in the world."
The pope appeared to back government intervention "in correcting errors and malfunctions" in the economy, saying "one could foresee an increase in the new forms of political participation, nationally and internationally."
This is something else worth watching closely. What is interesting, for a prophecy watcher, is the fact that we know such a figure will arise and take the world into the Tribulation. During this time, as described in the book of Revelation, the antichrist and the false prophet will have such power and authority - exactly as proposed.
The road to the Tribulation continues to be paved.