SINCE THE RAPTURE OCCURS BEFORE THE FUTURE 7 YR TREATY IS SIGNED, I WONT BE AROUND TO HAVE THE ACTUAL TREATY SIGNING. BUT UNTIL THEN THIS SITE IS DEDICATED TO THE BEGININGS OF THE ISRAELI / ARAB PEACE PROCESS. AND AS CLOSE TO THE 7 YEAR SIGNING THAT WE GET BEFORE THE RAPTURE OF THE SAVED TO HEAVEN. UNTIL WE MEET JESUS IN THE CLOUDS BODILY, AND COME TO EARTH 7 YRS LATER.

Friday, November 10, 2017

US SAYS NOT IF BUT WHEN JERUSALEM EMBASSY WILL BE MOVED TO JERUSALEM.

JEWISH KING JESUS IS COMING AT THE RAPTURE FOR US IN THE CLOUDS-DON'T MISS IT FOR THE WORLD.THE BIBLE TAKEN LITERALLY- WHEN THE PLAIN SENSE MAKES GOOD SENSE-SEEK NO OTHER SENSE-LEST YOU END UP IN NONSENSE.GET SAVED NOW- CALL ON JESUS TODAY.THE ONLY SAVIOR OF THE WHOLE EARTH - NO OTHER. 1 COR 15:23-JESUS THE FIRST FRUITS-CHRISTIANS RAPTURED TO JESUS-FIRST FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT-23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.ROMANS 8:23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.(THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE)

LUKE 21:28-29
28 And when these things begin to come to pass,(ALL THE PROPHECY SIGNS FROM THE BIBLE) then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption (RAPTURE) draweth nigh.
29 And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree,(ISRAEL) and all the trees;(ALL INDEPENDENT COUNTRIES)
30 When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.(ISRAEL LITERALLY BECAME AND INDEPENDENT COUNTRY JUST BEFORE SUMMER IN MAY 14,1948.)

JOEL 2:3,30
3 A fire devoureth (ATOMIC BOMB) before them;(RUSSIAN-ARAB-MUSLIM ARMIES AGAINST ISRAEL) and behind them a flame burneth: the land is as the garden of Eden before them, and behind them a desolate wilderness; yea, and nothing shall escape them.
30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.(ATOMIC BOMB AFFECT)

ZECHARIAH 14:12-13
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the LORD will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their eyes shall consume away in their holes,(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB) and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.(DISOLVED FROM ATOMIC BOMB)(BECAUSE NUKES HAVE BEEN USED ON ISRAELS ENEMIES)(GOD PROTECTS ISRAEL AND ALWAYS WILL)
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the LORD shall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.(1/2-3 BILLION DIE IN WW3)(THIS IS AN ATOMIC BOMB EFFECT)

EZEKIEL 20:47
47 And say to the forest of the south, Hear the word of the LORD; Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I will kindle a fire in thee, and it shall devour every green tree in thee, and every dry tree: the flaming flame shall not be quenched, and all faces from the south to the north shall be burned therein.

ZEPHANIAH 1:18
18 Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

MALACHI 4:1
1 For, behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven;(FROM ATOMIC BOMBS) and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the LORD of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch.

And here are the bounderies of the land that Israel will inherit either through war or peace or God in the future. God says its Israels land and only Israels land. They will have every inch God promised them of this land in the future.
Egypt east of the Nile River, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, The southern part of Turkey and the Western Half of Iraq west of the Euphrates. Gen 13:14-15, Psm 105:9,11, Gen 15:18, Exe 23:31, Num 34:1-12, Josh 1:4.ALL THIS LAND ISRAEL WILL DEFINATELY OWN IN THE FUTURE, ITS ISRAELS NOT ISHMAELS LAND.12 TRIBES INHERIT LAND IN THE FUTURE

As deadline nears, US lawmakers hear case for moving embassy to Jerusalem-Subcommittee chair pushes for mission to be relocated from Tel Aviv; White House official says move 'a matter of when, not if'-By Raphael Ahren-NOV 9,17-TOI

American lawmakers on Wednesday discussed the possibility of moving the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, some three weeks before US President Donald Trump will have to decided on whether to postpone the action for another six months.The two-hour discussion took place in the House Oversight Subcommittee for National Security, which is in charge of security arrangements for US diplomatic missions across the globe.Trump has so-far balked at moving the mission to Israel’s capital, despite initial excitement that he would make good on the campaign promise, but he has left the possibility open, with Representative Ron DeSantis of Florida leading an investigation into the possibility of transferring the embassy.“US policy should recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, because Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people for thousands of years and is the beating heart of modern Israel,” said DeSantis, who chairs the subcommittee. “Why should we reject the chosen capital city of a close ally?”Santis, who in March led a fact finding mission to Jerusalem about a possible relocation, said there were good reasons why Trump should move the embassy to Jerusalem. Israel is the only country who guarantees religious freedom for everyone in the city, which has become “one of the world’s crown jewels,” he said.Furthermore, a move would demonstrate American leadership, the Congressman added. “Leaders in the Middle East respect the strong horse and acting with decisiveness to defend American and standing by a close American ally is far more preferable to defaulting on a key promise like past leaders have done.”On June 1, Trump — who during the election campaign repeatedly vowed to move the embassy — signed a waiver that delays the relocation for six months. The waiver is expiring on December 1, but Trump is expected to renew it, arguing that it could jeopardize the administration’s efforts to relaunch Israeli-Palestinian peace process.“The president has always made it very clear that it is a matter of when, not if. We have no news to share at this time,” a White House official told The Times of Israel on Wednesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.DeSantis acknowledged the president’s hesitance to announce the embassy relocation at this sensitive point in time, but called for “incremental steps” to be taken in the meantime, for instance having the US ambassador in Israel conduct at least part of his work week from Jerusalem.Opponents of the move argue that it could enrage “the so-called Arab street and provide a pretext for acts of terrorism,” DeSantis said. “Who knows, that may be true. But does it make sense to shirk from doing what’s right for fear of what our enemies might do?”Moving the American embassy to Jerusalem is long overdue. https://t.co/H7dGbyG47F— Ron DeSantis (@RepDeSantis) November 8, 2017-Massachusetts Democrat Stephen Lynch also raised concerns over the possible move.“I’m just advising caution, that we consider … including the Israeli security interests on this issue, and that we give respect to our allies in the region. Moving forward but proceeding with caution,” he said.The US could easily relocate the embassy by changing the sign at the door of one its consulate in Jerusalem, DeSantis said. The main US consulate building on 14 David Flusser Street, in the capital’s Arnona neighborhood, is best suited for that purpose, as it is spacious enough and allows for adequate security arrangements, he said.“That the annex in Arnona straddles the 1949 Armistice Line also counts in its favor as a potential site.”Five experts testified before the subcommittee, all of whom agreed that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and that by right the US Embassy should be there. Most panelists argued vehemently in favor of the relocation, only Michael​ ​​Koplow,​ policy​ director at the Israel Policy Forum, cautioned of possible negative repercussions.“I believe that recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and relocating our Embassy there on incontestably Israeli sovereign territory would be sensible, prudent and efficient for the United States government,” former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton said.“Indeed, fully regularizing the American diplomatic presence in Israel will benefit both countries, which is why, worldwide, the US Embassy in virtually every other country we recognize is in the host country’s capital city.”Bolton rebutted arguments that relocation to embassy would upsetting the chances of reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.“If the Middle East peace process is such a delicate snowflake that the location of the US Embassy in Israel could melt it, one has to doubt how viable it is to begin with,” he said.“Washington’s role as an honest broker in the peace process will not be enhanced or reduced in the slightest by moving its Embassy to Jerusalem. To say otherwise is to mistake pretext for actual cause. Moving the Embassy may produce new talking points for those who have never reconciled themselves to Israel’s existence in the first place, but it will not ‘cause’ any change in the existing geopolitical state of play.”Dore Gold, a former director-general of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, strongly advocated for the relocation as well, arguing that only Israel will safeguard religious freedom for all at the holy sites in Jerusalem.“There is a regional assault on holy sites underway across our region. Israel deserves your support as it defends Jerusalem. For only a free and democratic Israel will protect Jerusalem for all the great faiths,” Gold said.We saw what happened to #HolySites when we were barred from #Jerusalem. Only #Israel protects these sites. To the extent the #US reinforces #Israel's standing in Jerusalem, its reinforces the only player that protects #freedom of access to all faiths and reinforces shared values pic.twitter.com/ejxKLjvmmI— Dr. Dore Gold (@DrDoreGold) November 8, 2017-Trump made a commitment to move the embassy, “and I believe he will stand by what he has said,” he told the subcommittee.Israeli leaders have lobbied for decades for the embassy move, though some have reportedly expressed private worries that the move could inflame regional tensions.Kopolow, of the dovish Israel Policy Forum said the move “could have potentially damaging national security implications,” though he also said the move would be “fair.”“There are three primary national security considerations that favor keeping the embassy in Tel Aviv: preventing violence in Israel and the West Bank and the targeting of American diplomatic facilities, safeguarding the interests of Sunni Arab regional allies, and maintaining conditions for the Trump Administration or any future administrations to successfully advance an initiative on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process,” he said.

Israel grants building permits for 240 homes in East Jerusalem-Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee approves 90 homes in Gilo and 150 in Ramat Shlomo in addition to 44 units in Arab Beit Hanina-By Jacob Magid-TOI-NOV 9,17

Jerusalem authorities granted building permits for 240 homes in East Jerusalem Wednesday, Deputy Mayor Meir Turgeman told The Times of Israel.The Jerusalem Planning and Building Committee, chaired by Turgeman, approved 90 units in the Gilo neighborhood and 150 in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood.Meanwhile, building permits were granted for 44 units for Arab East Jerusalemites in the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Hanina, Turgeman said.Jewish East Jerusalem neighborhoods have enjoyed an increase in building approvals in recent months.Israel took control of East Jerusalem in the Six Day War of 1967 and later extended sovereignty over it in 1980, in a move never recognized by the international community.Israeli decisions to build in East Jerusalem invariably draw international condemnation. Israel rejects this, saying all of Jerusalem is the undivided capital of the Jewish state.Last month, the Planning and Building Committee approved a major expansion of the Jewish neighborhood of Nof Zion in East Jerusalem, signing off on plans to add 176 homes.Nof Zion is located inside the Arab neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber.In allowing Nof Zion to add the new units to 91 existing homes, the expansion would create the largest Jewish enclave in an Arab neighborhood of the city, left-wing groups charged.Also in October, Channel 1 news reported that the government is planning to build some 10,000 new homes for Jews in north Jerusalem, near the Arab town of Qalandiya, just a few miles south of Ramallah, the de facto capital of the Palestinian Authority.The treasury has already allocated the money to develop the project, the report said. However, planning experts in Jerusalem told Channel 1 it is “nothing less than a fantasy.”No new Jewish neighborhoods have been built in Jerusalem since the 1990s.

Taking Saudis’ side, Egypt warns Iran against regional ‘meddling’-Sissi says he does not war, but will not tolerate threats against Arab countries by Tehran or Hezbollah-By AP-TOI-NOV 9,17

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — Egypt’s president said Wednesday that Iran must stop “meddling” in the Middle East and the security of Arab Gulf countries must not be threatened, but he underscored that he does not want war and believes dialogue can resolve the region’s crises.With his comments, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi threw his support behind Egypt’s Gulf ally Saudi Arabia amid the kingdom’s mounting tensions with Iran.But he avoided the increasingly aggressive rhetoric that has come from Riyadh in recent days.Over the weekend, Saudi Arabia blamed Iran for a missile fired toward its capital by rebels in Yemen and warned that could be considered an act of war. At the same time, Saudi officials accused Iran’s Lebanese ally Hezbollah of “declaring war.”The kingdom appears to have orchestrated the collapse of Lebanon’s government, which included Hezbollah, by pushing its prime minister to resign.The Egyptian leader told reporters that he did not want more tensions in the region, but that doesn’t mean threats to Arab countries can be tolerated.“The region has enough instability and challenges as it is. We don’t need any new complications involving Iran or Hezbollah so we don’t add new challenges to the region,” Sissi said at a news conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh.“I am against war, we can resolve crises with dialogue,” Sissi said when asked about the possibility of war with Iran or Hezbollah.But, he added, “Gulf security is a red line and others must stop meddling in our affairs and not work to escalate tensions. We in Egypt believe that Arab and Gulf security and any threat to Gulf (Arab) nations is a threat to our own national security.”He also said Saudi Arabia remained stable in the wake of the surprise arrest over the weekend of dozens of ministers, members of the royal family, businessmen and senior army officers.“Conditions in Saudi Arabia are totally stable and I have confidence in the government’s handling of the situation,” Sissi said during the two-hour news conference held on the sidelines of an international gathering of youths convened under the Egyptian leader’s patronage.His comments reflected the recent hardening of Egypt’s public rhetoric on Shiite and non-Arab Iran, a shift that matches Cairo’s close ties with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain — Sunni-led countries that see Iran as an existential threat. However, Sissi would not say whether Iran has become an outright enemy of his country.He said arms purchases worth billions of dollars concluded by Egypt since he took office in 2014 were needed in response to what he called a “strategic imbalance” in the region since the area was jolted by Arab Spring revolts that have since 2010 engulfed Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Syria.“We had to have the hardware to redress the balance and fight terrorism … we need to be able to deal with any threat when it directly confronts us,” he said.Egypt has since 2014 purchased Rafale fighter jets and helicopter carriers from France, MiG-29 fighter jets and assault helicopters from Russia and submarines from Germany. Moreover, Egypt receives $1.3 billion in annual US aid.

One year on, Trump voters still loyal to scandal-plagued president-Some 85 percent who cast ballots for him would do so again, according to Reuters survey, despite plunging approval rating and chaotic year in office-By TOI staff and Agencies-NOV 9,17

Nearly all people who voted for US President Donald Trump a year ago would do so again today, a poll released Wednesday showed, highlighting the polarizing head of state’s ability to maintain his base of support despite a plunging approval rating.The Reuters/Ipsos survey, conducted in October, found some 85 percent of those who voted for Trump in 2016 said they would still vote for him were the election held today.The numbers indicated that despite a series of scandals and gaffes — including allegations of support for white supremacists, bickering with war widows, an investigation into campaign ties to Russia, a White House seen as beset by chaos, and more — the president’s backers remain loyal and may continue to be should he run for election in three years.The poll, released a day after Republicans lost several races across the country, also found that Trump is more popular among voters than those who did not vote for any candidate in 2016, indicating that his renegade political camp may have more support than the GOP establishment.Among Republicans, 82% of voters approve of Trump, but the number drops to 77% when including all Republicans. Among the general population, 44% of voters approve of the president, but the figure shrinks to 37% if including non-voters as well.A Gallup poll earlier this week found Trump’s approval rating at 33%, the lowest of his presidency.The Reuters/Ipsos results were released a year after Trump won the White House in what many saw as a shocking upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton, exposing deep divides between conservative and liberal Americans.Trump on Wednesday tweeted his thanks and congratulations to the millions of Americans who elected him president, including the “deplorables” criticized by Clinton during their toxic campaign.“Congratulations to all of the ‘DEPLORABLES’ and the millions of people who gave us a MASSIVE (304-227) Electoral College landslide victory!” Trump posted on Twitter from China, where he is in the midst of his nearly two-week trip to Asia.Congratulations to all of the ”DEPLORABLES” and the millions of people who gave us a MASSIVE (304-227) Electoral College landslide victory! pic.twitter.com/7ifv5gT7Ur— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 8, 2017-The tweet included a photograph apparently taken aboard Air Force One, showing Trump, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and several aides — White House communications director Hope Hicks, senior policy advisor Stephen Miller and social media director Dan Scavino — giving thumbs-up signs.In a speech on September 10, 2016, Clinton derided many Trump supporters as “deplorables,” and the president’s backers have since embraced the term.The tweet from Trump came a day Democrats managed to sweep several state and local contests across the country, in what many saw as a rebuke of the unpopular president’s policies and brash governing style.However, analysts and Trump himself have pointed out that some candidates, particularly Virginia gubernatorial also-ran Ed Gillespie, shunned the president, and the poll results seemed to indicate that Republican candidates would do better if they stick with him, despite misgivings.Charting the course forward after Tuesday’s drubbing was on the minds of Republican leaders in speeches around the US Wednesday, with former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel calling on Republicans to come together, while former White House strategist Steve Bannon maintained an aggressive tone toward any in the GOP who would stand in the president’s way.Their remarks in Iowa and Michigan underscored the tension bubbling over in Washington.“Let me tell you, there is a stark difference between the worst Republican and the best Democrat,” Spicer said during the Republican Party of Iowa’s annual Reagan Dinner in Des Moines.Spicer lamented Republicans in Virginia who decided not to vote Tuesday for GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie because he didn’t pass their “litmus tests.”Bannon, meanwhile, took aim at veteran Republican lawmakers and entrenched party insiders, whom he has pledged to root out of the Senate next year. He grouped Gillespie — a lobbyist, former RNC chairman and adviser to former President George W. Bush — with the GOP forces of old.Trump needs more outsiders at his side, Bannon said.“He’s had some victories. He’s had some defeats,” Bannon said of Trump. “Most of the defeats are because the Republican establishment cannot execute on the plan.”Bannon spoke at a Republican dinner in Macomb County, Michigan, a working-class Detroit suburb which former President Barack Obama carried twice but where Trump handily beat Clinton last year.Despite Trump’s low approval ratings, McDaniel, who also spoke at the Iowa banquet, painted an optimistic picture of the economy, touted record party fundraising and said, “I feel very confident in the candidates I see running across the country.”

What the political turmoil in Saudi Arabia and Lebanon means for Israel-Riyadh's new crown prince adopts tougher stance on Iran -- and some Israeli officials are excited-By Ron KampeasTOI-9 November 2017

WASHINGTON (JTA) — What is MBS? Why did Lebanon’s prime minister resign — and why in Saudi Arabia? What’s Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas doing in Saudi Arabia? Where is Jared Kushner in all this? And what does it all mean for Israel? It’s been a busy week in the Middle East and, for a change, the two ground-shifting stories — they may be the same story, but we’ll get to that — don’t directly involve Israel.Mohammed bin Salman (the MBS contraction is so cool, it’s already uncool), the recently minted Saudi crown prince, has placed a stack of his rivals under luxuriant house arrest, and Saad Hariri, the prime minister of Lebanon, has resigned, saying the country was ungovernable as long as Iran interfered in its affairs.But of course Israel is involved: When does something happen in the Middle East that does not eventually involve Israel? What happened, Part 1-Mohammed, 32, was named crown prince by his father, King Salman, in June. That in itself was an upheaval, as succession had been an opaque, delicate process aimed at preserving balance among the welter of descendants of the kingdom’s founder, Abdulaziz. Salman’s declaration that his son would succeed him rattled the extended family.Already the defense minister since 2015, Crown Prince Mohammed moved quickly to make clear he was in charge (his father is ailing). He placed his predecessor as crown prince under house arrest, talked repeatedly about modernizing the kingdom and made good on a promise when his father decreed that women may drive.This weekend he rounded up another 11 princes and dozens of other high-ranking officials and placed them under house arrest, many in Riyadh’s Ritz Carlton. Officially, father and son were cracking down on corruption.What happened, Part 2-Guess who else was in Riyadh? Hariri, the Saudi-backed prime minister of Lebanon. Former prime minister, that is. He said he was quitting because Iran is controlling the country through its proxy, Hezbollah, and that he feared for his life.Hezbollah controls a militia that dwarfs the Lebanese army in firepower, and effectively has had a veto on all things Lebanon for decades. And it is widely believed to be behind the 2005 killing of Hariri’s father, Rafik, who also was a prime minister.So why quit now? This may be the same story.Crown Prince Mohammed has, since becoming defense minister in 2015, been behind an aggressive Saudi bid to reassert dominance in the region in the face of an increasingly assertive Iran. He is driving Saudi Arabia’s war with Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen. Pulling Hariri out of Lebanon is a piece with a broader strategy of keeping Iran teetering.As he guides Saudi Arabia into bolder confrontations with Iran in the region, the crown prince may feel he needs to consolidate his power at home.“MBS has taken a very assertive approach to Saudi foreign policy,” said Tamara Cofman Wittes, a senior fellow at the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution. “It’s happening simultaneously with his efforts to consolidate internal control.”So, Saudi Arabia confronting Iran — good for Israel, right? The Israeli government seems to think so. Ron Dermer, its ambassador to Washington, told the Israeli American Council on Monday that he was “more optimistic now because I see a change in the region.”Dermer was not referring directly to the events of the weekend but to broader changes. Still, it was significant that he delivered what has now become a familiar message from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after Hariri’s resignation and the Riyadh crackdown.“The Arab governments are in a different place than they were five years ago, certainly 10 years or 15 years ago, because they see our interests as being aligned with theirs,” Jewish Insider quoted Dermer as saying. “Many things are happening underneath the surface, many remarkable things.”Israel’s Channel 10 news quoted an Israeli Foreign Ministry cable to diplomats that listed pro-Saudi talking points on Hariri’s resignation and on the kingdom’s intervention in Yemen.Jonathan Schanzer, the vice president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said the Netanyahu government was seizing an obvious opportunity.Hariri’s resignation “is just one more indicator of a possible regional architecture that could be built between the Sunni states and Israel,” he said. “If MBS succeeds in creating a modern Saudi Arabia, one can imagine a Saudi Arabia somewhere down the line where Israel and Saudi Arabia could have open ties.”Schanzer cautioned, however, “But we are in very early days.”Nimrod Novik, a former Israeli peace negotiator, said Saudi Arabia’s sudden summoning of Abbas was another positive sign signaling Crown Prince Mohammed’s moderating tilt.Novik, who is now the Israel Fellow of the Israel Policy Forum, said it was significant that the summons came a week or so after a quiet visit to Saudi Arabia by Kushner, President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. The Trump administration wants Abbas to reassert control of the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.Saudi Arabia, working with other Sunni moderates in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, is pressing Abbas to take the necessary risks by offering him a “bulletproof vest,” as Novik put it — a change from previous years when the Saudi tendency was to offer only qualified backing for Israeli-Palestinian peace moves.“I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall” in Riyadh, he said.Let’s not get carried away.There are lots of risks for Israel in the recent upheaval.Daniel Shapiro, a former US ambassador there who is now a fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies in Israel, said Israel should be wary of being drawn into a war with Hezbollah — one that would damage Hezbollah, a key goal of Crown Prince Mohammed, but one that would cost Saudi Arabia little and Israel plenty.“Israel and Saudi Arabia may be strategically aligned” in seeking to contain Iran, Shapiro said, “but they are not tactically aligned.”He said Hezbollah may take the bait, as it suffers from a blow to its ambitions to be a Lebanese unifier.“It may accelerate the confrontation Hezbollah already wants with Israel because [war with Israel] would be a unifying event” for the Lebanese, Shapiro said.And whatever Netanyahu says, a temporary tactical alliance does not mean long-term peace benefits, said two Persian Gulf scholars with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Simon Henderson and Lori Plotkin Boghardt.Boghardt said the Saudis may be coordinating with Israel behind the scenes, but there are not yet incentives to make the relationship open. Henderson, joining her in a conference call for reporters, said there remained plenty of disincentives, preeminently popular opinion, noting the hostile reception for Israeli athletes at a judo competition in Abu Dhabi.“That’s an indication of the difficulty of selling a pro-Israeli policy to these people,” Henderson said.What about Jared? Kushner said his visit to Saudi Arabia was simply to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace. Accompanying him to Riyadh was Jason Greenblatt, whose mission is brokering the peace. Greenblatt continued on to Israel and the Palestinian areas.Iran prefers to see a conspiracy. Javad Zarif, its foreign minister, said on Twitter that Kushner’s visit “led to Hariri’s bizarre resignation while abroad.”Visits by Kushner & Lebanese PM led to Hariri's bizarre resignation while abroad. Of course, Iran is accused of interference. 2/— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) November 6, 2017-That was the buzz in Washington as well.David Ignatius, the Washington Post columnist known for his deep sources in the US intelligence community, wrote after the events in Riyadh that it “was probably no accident that last month, Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, made a personal visit to Riyadh. The two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, swapping stories and planning strategy.”Trump may have boosted the conspiracy theories late Monday when he tweeted his support for Crown Prince Mohammed’s crackdown.“I have great confidence in King Salman and the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, they know exactly what they are doing,” he said on Twitter.The Brookings Institution’s Wittes said that if anything, MBS was taking cues not from Kushner or anyone else in the Trump administration, but instead is filling a vacuum created from what at times has seemed to be a rudderless US foreign policy.“The US government is not putting anything on the table,” she said. “In the absence of that, what you’re seeing is Israel and Saudi Arabia trying to pull the United States into the region.”

May government seen in tailspin after minister ousted over Israel meetings-Politicians criticize prime minister for inability to rein in cabinet after second minister sacked in a week, with several more under fire-By TOI staff and Agencies-NOV 9,17

The resignation of UK aid minister Priti Patel over unauthorized meetings with Israeli officials has sent shockwaves through British Prime Minister Theresa May’s administration, with the government seen as increasingly out of control.Patel quit on Wednesday, apologizing to May after it emerged that she held a series of meeting with Israeli officials — including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — about diverting aid to the Israeli army’s Syrian relief efforts without properly informing Downing Street.Patel’s sacking makes her the second minister in a week to leave the government, after Michael Fallon quit as defense secretary following allegations of sexual harassment, with several others under fire and May’s government looking increasingly adrift.Patel’s departure comes as May’s deputy Damian Green is being investigated for allegedly groping a journalist in 2014 — which he denies — while a similar probe is under way into the behavior of junior trade minister Mark Garnier towards his secretary.“This next month to six weeks is make-or-break time. Not just domestically, not just with the EU withdrawal Bill and the Budget, but with the European Council in December and whether we get ‘sufficient progress’ in Brexit talks,” one minister told The Independent.Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, himself accused of jeopardizing the case of a British woman jailed in Iran, after appearing to suggest she was training journalists at the time, told reporters his Conservative colleague Patel had been “a first class secretary of state.”“It’s been a real pleasure working with her and I’m sure she has a great future ahead of her,” Johnson said.But opposition party politicians criticized Patel and the prime minister for failing to rein in her ministers.Kate Osamor, Labour’s shadow international development secretary, said May “must get control of her chaotic cabinet and decaying government”.Jo Swinson, the Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson said Patel had “rightly been forced to step down for her cover up.”“This was an appalling error of judgement and is nothing short of a major failure by the British government,” Swinson said.Labour Party lawmaker Jonathan Ashworth said Patel’s position was untenable even if she had been unaware she was breaking rules when she met Netanyahu and the others.“If she didn’t know, she’s incompetent. If she did, she’s lying,” he told Sky News. “Either way she’s got to go.”May will reportedly name a replacement for Patel in the coming days, and will be under pressure to install a similarly vociferous Brexit backer, according to analysts. She is not expected to launch a major cabinet reshuffle, as some have called for.Associates of Patel told the Telegraph she feels like she’s being made a “scapegoat” by the government and “could do some pretty hard damage to Downing Street,” be going after colleagues who opposed the Brexit.“She’ll go off like a double-barrelled shotgun, she is livid. She’ll make her feelings clear about [Remain campaigners] Philip Hammond, Anna Soubry, all of them,” one said.Already on Wednesday, the Jewish Chronicle reported that Patel had informed 10 Downing Street of the meetings and had been advised to keep a sit-down with Israeli Foreign Ministry official Yuval Rotem in New York off of a list of 12 meetings with Israeli officials she disclosed, to save face for the Foreign Office.Downing Street denied the claims as “categorically untrue.”Patel had apologized on Monday for holding 12 separate meetings during a family holiday to Israel in August, without notifying the Foreign Office or Downing Street in advance.After a public reprimand from the prime minister, Patel left the UK on Tuesday for a three-day trip to Uganda, but returned on Wednesday at May’s request after the existence of more meetings were reported, including with Rotem and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.Patel apologized to May in a letter and offered her resignation Wednesday.May accepted Patel’s resignation, replying in a letter that “the UK and Israel are close allies, and it is right that we should work closely together. But that must be done formally.”In a further development on Wednesday, Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that Patel visited a military field hospital in the Golan Heights as a guest of the government.Labour’s Tom Watson wrote a letter to May claiming Patel met with British officials while on vacation in Jerusalem, suggesting the government knew more than it was letting on and demanding answers.“The existence of such a meeting or meetings would call into question the official account of Ms Patel’s behaviour, and the purpose of her visit,” he wrote, according to The Telegraph.

Historic visitor number 3 million gets private Jerusalem tour from Netanyahu-PM celebrates record number of tourists to Israel by showing Romanian holiday-maker around the Tower of David Museum-By Stuart Winer-TOI-NOV 9,17

An unsuspecting tourist from Romania made history on Tuesday by becoming tourist number 3 million to arrive in Israel this year, receiving a surprise package including a private tour by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu-Ioana Isac, 31, together with her partner, Mihai Georgescu, arrived on a Wizz Air flight from Bucharest in Romania.As she passed through customs and into the arrivals halls Isac was greeted with, balloons, flowers, and a red carpet laid out with Tourism Minister Yariv Levin waiting at the end of it.The minister presented Isac with a certificate to mark the occasion after which the couple were whisked away in a limousine to enjoy a holiday bonuses that included an upgraded hotel suite, a visit to the Dead Sea, a helicopter flight, and dinner with Israeli chef Nir Tzuk.However, first stop was the Tower of David museum in the Old City of Jerusalem where he apologized profusely because the guide had failed to arrive. A replacement was quickly rustled up, who turned out to be none other than Netanyahu.An overwhelmed Isac apologized for only being casually dressed.Netanyahu stepped up to show the visitors around the ancient fort that can trace its foundations back to the Second Temple Period in the first century BCE.“This is a special day and an historic milestone as we break the 3-million- tourist barrier and set a new all-time record,” Levin said in a statement. “We are set to end the year with an amazing achievement, the likes of which have never been reached since the establishment of the State.”In an interview with Channel 12 News, Isac, who works as a makeup artist,  explained that the couple chose to holiday in Israel because they wanted somewhere “warm and sunny” to celebrate Georgescu’s birthday, which falls on Wednesday.“I am living my dream right now, here in Israel,” she said and revealed she didn’t ask her auspicious tour guide — Netanyahu — too many questions because she had not been expecting to meet the prime minister.“The experience was amazing,” she said.By the end of November 2016, 2,651,400 tourists had visited Israel the Tourism Ministry said at the time.According to Tourism Ministry figures in the period January-October 2017, 63,000 tourists arrived from Romania, up from the 40,100 in the same period last year, an increase of 57 percent In 2015 the figure was 37,400.The leading sources of incoming tourists are the USA, Russia, France, Germany and Britain.Wizz Air is a budget airline that over the past year has opened several routes to and from European destinations flying to Tel Aviv and Ovda, near Eilat in the south of the country.

Abbas says Palestinians ‘stand alongside’ Saudis in face of attacks-In meeting with Saudi Crown Prince, PA president appears to take sides with Riyadh against Iran-By Dov Lieber-TOI-9 November 2017

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met Wednesday with the powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh, telling him that the Palestinian leadership supports Saudi Arabia after a recent missile attack.“The Palestinian leadership, as well as the Palestinian people, stand alongside the Arab Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the face of attacks,” Abbas said, according to the official PA news site Wafa.Abbas and the Crown Prince also discussed Palestinian reconciliation, American efforts to move the peace process forward and ways to improve bilateral ties.The meeting comes a day after the PA president met with King Salman of Saudi Arabia, in which similar issues were discussed.On Saturday Yemeni rebels fired a missile more than 800 kilometers (500 miles) to near Riyadh international airport, where it was intercepted and destroyed by Saudi air defenses.The Crown Prince blamed Iran for arming the Yemeni rebels with the missile, and said it may “constitute an act of war.”Saudi Arabia and Iran are currently locked in a battle for regional hegemony, and blame each other for spreading extremism throughout the Middle East.The Saudis also said on Monday that Lebanon is considered to have declared war on the Gulf kingdom, due to political hegemony of the Iranian-backed terror group Hezbollah in the small Mediterranean country.In Abbas’s meeting with the Saudi King on Monday, the monarch affirmed his government’s long-standing support for the Palestinians in international forums, and its commitment to provide “all that is required to bring about the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”In the Wafa report of Abbas’s meeting with the Crown Prince, no such similar statement about Saudi support for an independent Palestinian state was given, and no pictures of the meeting between Abbas and the Crown Prince were published by either side.US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, paid a secret visit to Saudi Arabia last month in his latest effort to restart Mideast peace talks.Despite many meetings between US officials from the current administration with Israelis and Palestinians, Washington has yet to clarify how it intends to return both sides to the negotiating table since talks broke down in 2014.Abbas was unexpectedly summoned to Riyadh on Monday, just as the Gulf kingdom was at the height of a major crackdown on members of the royal family.On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s heir to the throne oversaw an unprecedented wave of arrests of dozens of the country’s most powerful princes, military officers, businessmen and government ministers. Some of them are potential rivals or critics of the crown prince, whose purported anti-corruption sweep sent shockwaves across the kingdom Sunday as he further consolidated power.Abbas’s Fatah party, which dominates the Palestinian Authority, is currently in negotiations with Hamas to bring the PA’s rule back to the Gaza Strip by December 1. Hamas took control of the Strip in a violent conflict with Fatah in 2007.Abbas’s visit to Riyadh comes after Hamas last week handed the PA control of all the Gaza Strip border crossings, in a test of a reconciliation accord signed last month under the auspices of Egypt.Senior Hamas officials last week met and spoke with Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah, and the two terror groups have said they share the same goals.In recent months, Hamas has publicly flaunted its burgeoning ties with Iran, and the Islamic Republic has in turn sworn to increase its military backing of the Gaza-based terror group.On Saturday, a high-profile Hamas delegation visited Tehran for the second time in recent weeks, in order to attend a memorial service for the father of Qassim Suleimani, the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force.On Monday, the London-based Pan-Arab newspaper Al-Rai quoted Palestinian sources who said that Abbas had been summoned to Riyadh so the Saudis could ask him to join an anti-Hezbollah coalition.Also on Monday, Abbas met with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Sharm el-Sheikh, who said he remains committed to bringing Israelis and Palestinians back to the negotiating table.AFP contributed to this report.

Syria army, allies ‘encircle’ last Islamic State-held town-After series of defeats along with loss of IS de facto capital Raqa, Albu Kamal is only Syrian urban center left for jihadists-By AFP-TOI-9 November 2017

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syrian troops and their allies on Wednesday encircled the Islamic State group in Albu Kamal, state media said, edging closer to ousting the jihadists from their last urban stronghold in the country.Albu Kamal lies on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq, in the oil-rich eastern province of Deir Ezzor.After a series of defeats in the province and the loss of IS’s de facto capital Raqa further north, Albu Kamal is the only Syrian urban center left in the hands of the jihadists.“Army troops and allied forces have completely encircled Daesh terrorists in Albu Kamal and have begun operations to eradicate them from the town,” state news agency SANA reported, using an Arabic acronym for IS.Syrian regime forces, backed by intensive Russian air strikes, have advanced on the town from the south and west for weeks.And Iraqi forces have closed in on the border area from the east, seizing the town of Al-Qaim from the jihadists last week.“The advance towards Albu Kamal came after army troops and their allies met up with Iraqi forces at the border between the two countries,” SANA said Wednesday.A source from the militias allied to Damascus told AFP that fighters from Lebanon’s pro-regime Hezbollah movement had advanced to the southern edges of Albu Kamal on Wednesday.“Part of those units crossed into Iraq, with the help of Hashed al-Shaabi units, to circle around Albu Kamal and reach the northern side of the town,” the source added.The Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary alliance has denied that its own forces entered Syria on Wednesday as part of the fight.IS overran vast swathes of oil-rich Deir Ezzor province in 2014 during a military sweep across Syria and Iraq, where it declared a self-styled “caliphate.”But the jihadist group has seen that territory shrink down to a small pocket along the Euphrates River, with Albu Kamal as its final hub.Tens of thousands have been displaced by fighting to oust IS from the area, many living in desperate conditions in desert camps.120,000 displaced-In recent weeks, an estimated 120,000 people have been displaced from Albu Kamal alone, said Linda Tom from the United Nations’ humanitarian affairs coordination office in Damascus.On Friday, Syrian forces backed by Russian air power took full control of Deir Ezzor, which was the last city where IS still had a presence.The US-led coalition that has been fighting IS in an offensive separate to that of the Russian-backed regime estimated recently that there were 1,500 jihadists in the Euphrates Valley border area.Moscow is a close ally of Syria’s President Bashar Assad and launched a military intervention in support of his government in September 2015.More than 330,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011 with anti-government protests, before spiraling into a complex, multi-front war that drew in international forces and jihadists.

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