Ministers' reactions to President Shimon Peres's calls for the resumption of peace talks Sunday showed differences of opinion within the government on how to deal with the Palestinian conflict and border issues.
Peres called for the immediate resumption of peace talks at the World Economic Forum in Jordan, leading Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz to quip ahead of a cabinet meeting: "I didn't know that Peres became the government spokesman."
Minister Uzi Landau called pre-1967 lines "Auschwitz borders" ahead of Sunday's cabinet meeting.
Landau's comments, quoting a well-known turn of phrase by former foreign minister Abba Eban from 1969, came after US Secretary of State John Kerry visited the region and called for a treaty based on pre-1967 lines with land swaps.
"What country would start talks that aim to break down its ability to defend itself?" Landau asked. "I hear people talking about a Palestinian state that must be established. There's a long list of Arab states that are falling apart – Syria, Libya, Yemen. The Palestinian Authority with which we once signed an agreement split into Judea and Samaria and Gaza. Why would we work to create a state with unclear chances of survival?"
"Israel is the most threatened state in the world," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday at the start of "national emergency week."
Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, the prime minister said that the threats against the Israeli Home Front have significantly increased in recent years, pointing to missile and rocket threats. "We are prepared for any scenario," he stated.
"In recent years we have significantly increased the preparedness of the home front vis-à-vis such attack," Netanyahu said. "We are investing billions so that the home front will be better protected and better prepared. We are investing in the Iron Dome, sirens, shelters, structural reinforcement, and improved early warning systems. We will make legislative changes so as to adapt the legal reality in the State of Israel to the security reality and the concomitant threats."
The prime minister emphasized that while many changes have already taken effect, which he said was visible in the Home Front during Operation Pillar of Defense, it is difficult to achieve complete protection.
"In the end, no protection can be a substitute for the striking power of the IDF and the stamina and strength of the Israeli public in time of attack," he asserted.
The Palestinian Authority’s chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, said Sunday that his side would only agree to renew peace talks if Israel ceased all settlement activity and openly declared that a future state of Palestine would be created on the 1967 lines with minor land swaps. He sounded exceedingly skeptical about the prospects of a breakthrough in the stalemate.
“This is the fifth time that Syrian forces have fired into Israel from this military outpost,” he wrote in the letter addressed to Security Council President Kodjo Menan, and called Monday’s incident “part of a disturbing pattern of events intended to spark provocation with Israel.”
Oh, yes he did. In perhaps one of the most blatant and blasphemous statements in history, Pope Francis has declared that everyone – including atheists – are redeemed through Jesus. Did Jesus die for the sins of the world? Indeed He did. But that’s not what the Pope meant. No, what saves you isn’t believing and trusting in Christ alone for His atonement for our sins; it’s your good works. Your deeds. Why is he saying these things?
Because he wants world peace. And unity. One-ness. You have to see the video on this:
Of course, not all Christians believe that those who don’t believe will be redeemed, and the Pope’s words may spark memories of the deep divisions from the Protestant reformation over the belief in redemption through grace versus redemption through works.
This article is worth reading in full, but can be summarized by the concluding paragraph:
What artful dodgers! The lesson was clear: with very few exceptions, the British elite is terrified to call jihad by its rightful name. It would rather condemn the English Defence League for the thousandth time than choke out even the most muted, gracefully nuanced acknowledgment that there might, in fact, be something of a causal connection between the instructions to the faithful spelled out in the Koran and the actions carried out in Woolwich on Tuesday afternoon. Yet it’s precisely that elite’s dishonest, irresponsible, lily-livered response to abominable transgressions like this one that is driving more and more people into the arms of the EDL. For while Cameron, Livingstone, and company were responding to the Woolwich killing by defending Islam, feigning perplexity, and/or dismissing the idea that this murder had any larger significance, EDL leader Tommy Robinson wasspeaking the plain and simple truth, accusing the country’s leaders of being “scared to say the word Muslim” and flatly rejecting the fatuous falsehoods about Islam that are proferred in Britain’s classrooms and endlessly reiterated in its media. Said Robinson on Tuesday: “Our next generation are being taught through schools that Islam is a religion of peace. It’s not. It never has been. What you saw today is Islam.”