Rice urges Israel to split Jerusalem [Excerpts]
JERUSALEM – Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, completing a visit to the region today, has been pressing Israel to sign a document by the end of the year that would divide Jerusalem by offering the Palestinians a state in Israel's capital city as well as in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, according to top diplomatic sources involved in the talks.
The Israeli team, led by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has been negotiating the division of Jerusalem – despite claims to the contrary – but would rather conclude an agreement on paper by the end of the year that would give the Palestinians a state in the West Bank, Gaza and some Israeli territory, leaving conclusions on Jerusalem for a later date, the informed diplomatic sources told WND.
The sources said the Palestinian team has been pushing to conclude a deal by January on all core issues, including Jerusalem, and has been petitioning the U.S. to pressure Israel into signing an agreement on paper that offers the Palestinians eastern Jerusalem.
Rice, the sources said, has asked Israeli leaders to bend to what the U.S. refers to as a "compromise position," concluding an Israeli-Palestinian agreement by the end of the year that guarantees sections of Jerusalem to the Palestinians. But Israel would not be required to withdraw from Jerusalem for a period of one to five years.
The diplomatic sources said the plan is that once an Israeli-Palestinian deal is reached on paper by January, Bush would issue an official letter guaranteeing that the U.S. supports the conclusions of the document.
Any Israeli-Palestinian paper agreement is to finalize a process that began at last November's U.S. backed Annapolis conference, which seeks to create a Palestinian state, at least on paper, before Bush leaves office.
[TBC: As Dave has noted in past issues of the newsletter, “Even the church has forgotten that the God of the Bible is “the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” (Ex 3:15,16, and 11 more times). No matter what one thinks of Jews, God chose them as a “special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth” (Dt 7:6), the “apple of His eye” (Dt 32:10; Lam:2:18; Zec:2:8). He gave them the land of Canaan “from the river of Egypt unto...the river Euphrates” (Gn 15:18) to be their “everlasting possession” (Gn 17:7,8;1 Chr:16:16-18, etc.), promising that Israel’s latter end would be better than her beginning (Ezk 36:8-38; 37:21-28, etc.), and that she would never cease to be a nation (Jer:31:35,36). He declared that the land of Israel was His land never to be sold (Lv 25:23) and that all nations would be punished for dividing His land (Joel:3:2). This is God’s Word!”