Lawmakers call for investigation into Flynn’s contacts with Russia

FEB. 14, 2017, 6:05 P.M.

On the eve of the first summit between President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the White House late Tuesday appeared to back away from the long-standing U.S. advocacy of a so-called two-state solution for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

“A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not our goal that anybody wants to achieve,” a senior White House official said in briefing reporters ahead of the Netanyahu meeting.

U.S. policy, and that of most international groups, for decades has considered a two-state solution, where Israel and a Palestinian nation live side-by-side, as the essential basis for peace in the troubled region. But the official, who spoke to reporters under rules that did not allow him to be identified by name, cast doubt on that.

Asked whether peace didn’t equal a two-state solution, the official said, “Maybe, maybe not.”

“It’s something the two sides have to agree to,” the official added. “It’s not for us to impose that vision.”

“Peace is the goal, whether it comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want or something else. If that’s what the parties want, we’re going to help them,” the official said.

The statements were the latest fluctuation in what seems to be an evolving Middle East policy for the new administration.

Initially, Trump took hard-line positions on Israel, refusing to condemn the expansion of settlements in West Bank land claimed by the Palestinians and vowing to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Relocation of the embassy is controversial because both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem, or parts of it, as their capital.

Trump also said he would turn over the Israeli-Palestinian portfolio to his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, a longtime supporter of Israel. He has nominated as his ambassador to Israel one of his lawyers, David Friedman, a passionate financial backer of settlements, which much of the world consider illegal and an impediment to peace.

More recently, however, the administration dropped talk of moving the embassy, at least in the short term, and issued a statement that was critical, albeit mildly, of settlements.

Trump has said he wants to make peace in the long conflict the “ultimate deal.” Administrations over the years have been stymied in similar goals. Peace talks have been at an impasse for several years.

Both Trump and Netanyahu are eager to show an improved relationship following eight frosty years with the Obama presidency. But experts have also warned that Trump should be careful not to risk provoking Arab states, whom he needs in the fight against the Islamic State terrorist organization and as counterweight to Iran.

The White House official said Trump and Netanyahu, in their summit Wednesday, will discuss settlements, an embassy move and Iran.

Chronological Order of the Prophets

Chronological Order of the Prophets (According to Ussher)

  1. Prophets Before the Exile
    1. To Nineveh: Jonah, 862 B.C.
    2. To the 10 tribes “Israel”: Amos, 787 B.C.; Hosea, 785-725 B.C.; Obadiah, 887 B.C.; Joel, 800 B.C.
    3. To Judah: Isaiah, 760-698 B.C.; Micah, 750-710 B.C.; Nahum, 713 B.C.; Habakkuk, 626 B.C.; Zephaniah, 630 B.C.
  2. Prophets During the Exile
    1. Ezekiel, 595-574 B.C.
    2. Daniel, 607-534 B.C.
  3. Prophets After the Exile
    1. Haggai, 520 B.C.
    2. Zechariah, 520-518 B.C.
    3. Malachi, 397 B.C.

Obadiah

Chapter 1

1The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord GOD concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the LORD, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle.

2Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised.

3The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground?

4Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD.

5If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?

6How are the things of Esau searched out! how are his hidden things sought up!

7All the men of thy confederacy have brought thee even to the border: the men that were at peace with thee have deceived thee, and prevailed against thee; they that eat thy bread have laid a wound under thee: there is none understanding in him.

8Shall I not in that day, saith the LORD, even destroy the wise men out of Edom, and understanding out of the mount of Esau?

9And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter.

10For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever.

11In the day that thou stoodest on the other side, in the day that the strangers carried away captive his forces, and foreigners entered into his gates, and cast lots upon Jerusalem, even thou wast as one of them.

12But thou shouldest not have looked on the day of thy brother in the day that he became a stranger; neither shouldest thou have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; neither shouldest thou have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

13Thou shouldest not have entered into the gate of my people in the day of their calamity; yea, thou shouldest not have looked on their affliction in the day of their calamity, nor have laid hands on their substance in the day of their calamity;

14Neither shouldest thou have stood in the crossway, to cut off those of his that did escape; neither shouldest thou have delivered up those of his that did remain in the day of distress.

15For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen: as thou hast done, it shall be done unto thee: thy reward shall return upon thine own head.

16For as ye have drunk upon my holy mountain, so shall all the heathen drink continually, yea, they shall drink, and they shall swallow down, and they shall be as though they had not been.

17But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

18And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken it.

19And they of the south shall possess the mount of Esau; and they of the plain the Philistines: and they shall possess the fields of Ephraim, and the fields of Samaria: and Benjamin shall possess Gilead.

20And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel shall possess that of the Canaanites, even unto Zarephath; and the captivity of Jerusalem, which is in Sepharad, shall possess the cities of the south.

21And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD’S.

 

Amos

Chapter 1

1The words of Amos, who was among the herdmen of Tekoa, which he saw concerning Israel in the days of Uzziah king of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash king of Israel, two years before the earthquake.

2And he said, The LORD will roar from Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the habitations of the shepherds shall mourn, and the top of Carmel shall wither.

3Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Damascus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have threshed Gilead with threshing instruments of iron:

4But I will send a fire into the house of Hazael, which shall devour the palaces of Benhadad.

5I will break also the bar of Damascus, and cut off the inhabitant from the plain of Aven, and him that holdeth the sceptre from the house of Eden: and the people of Syria shall go into captivity unto Kir, saith the LORD.

6Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Gaza, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they carried away captive the whole captivity, to deliver them up to Edom:

7But I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof:

8And I will cut off the inhabitant from Ashdod, and him that holdeth the sceptre from Ashkelon, and I will turn mine hand against Ekron: and the remnant of the Philistines shall perish, saith the Lord GOD.

9Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Tyrus, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they delivered up the whole captivity to Edom, and remembered not the brotherly covenant:

10But I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof.

11Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Edom, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he did pursue his brother with the sword, and did cast off all pity, and his anger did tear perpetually, and he kept his wrath for ever:

12But I will send a fire upon Teman, which shall devour the palaces of Bozrah.

13Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of the children of Ammon, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have ripped up the women with child of Gilead, that they might enlarge their border:

14But I will kindle a fire in the wall of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof, with shouting in the day of battle, with a tempest in the day of the whirlwind:

15And their king shall go into captivity, he and his princes together, saith the LORD.

Chapter 2

1Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Moab, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because he burned the bones of the king of Edom into lime:

2But I will send a fire upon Moab, and it shall devour the palaces of Kerioth: and Moab shall die with tumult, with shouting, and with the sound of the trumpet:

3And I will cut off the judge from the midst thereof, and will slay all the princes thereof with him, saith the LORD.

4Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Judah, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they have despised the law of the LORD, and have not kept his commandments, and their lies caused them to err, after the which their fathers have walked:

5But I will send a fire upon Judah, and it shall devour the palaces of Jerusalem.

6Thus saith the LORD; For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof; because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes;

7That pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek: and a man and his father will go in unto the same maid, to profane my holy name:

8And they lay themselves down upon clothes laid to pledge by every altar, and they drink the wine of the condemned in the house of their god.

9Yet destroyed I the Amorite before them, whose height was like the height of the cedars, and he was strong as the oaks; yet I destroyed his fruit from above, and his roots from beneath.

10Also I brought you up from the land of Egypt, and led you forty years through the wilderness, to possess the land of the Amorite.

11And I raised up of your sons for prophets, and of your young men for Nazarites. Is it not even thus, O ye children of Israel? saith the LORD.

12But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink; and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not.

13Behold, I am pressed under you, as a cart is pressed that is full of sheaves.

14Therefore the flight shall perish from the swift, and the strong shall not strengthen his force, neither shall the mighty deliver himself:

15Neither shall he stand that handleth the bow; and he that is swift of foot shall not deliver himself: neither shall he that rideth the horse deliver himself.

16And he that is courageous among the mighty shall flee away naked in that day, saith the LORD.

Chapter 3

1Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

2You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

3Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

4Will a lion roar in the forest, when he hath no prey? will a young lion cry out of his den, if he have taken nothing?

5Can a bird fall in a snare upon the earth, where no gin is for him? shall one take up a snare from the earth, and have taken nothing at all?

6Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

7Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

8The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord GOD hath spoken, who can but prophesy?

9Publish in the palaces at Ashdod, and in the palaces in the land of Egypt, and say, Assemble yourselves upon the mountains of Samaria, and behold the great tumults in the midst thereof, and the oppressed in the midst thereof.

10For they know not to do right, saith the LORD, who store up violence and robbery in their palaces.

11Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled.

12Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.

13Hear ye, and testify in the house of Jacob, saith the Lord GOD, the God of hosts,

14That in the day that I shall visit the transgressions of Israel upon him I will also visit the altars of Bethel: and the horns of the altar shall be cut off, and fall to the ground.

15And I will smite the winter house with the summer house; and the houses of ivory shall perish, and the great houses shall have an end, saith the LORD.

Chapter 4

1Hear this word, ye kine of Bashan, that are in the mountain of Samaria, which oppress the poor, which crush the needy, which say to their masters, Bring, and let us drink.

2The Lord GOD hath sworn by his holiness, that, lo, the days shall come upon you, that he will take you away with hooks, and your posterity with fishhooks.

3And ye shall go out at the breaches, every cow at that which is before her; and ye shall cast them into the palace, saith the LORD.

4Come to Bethel, and transgress; at Gilgal multiply transgression; and bring your sacrifices every morning, and your tithes after three years:

5And offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving with leaven, and proclaim and publish the free offerings: for this liketh you, O ye children of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

6And I also have given you cleanness of teeth in all your cities, and want of bread in all your places: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

7And also I have withholden the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain upon one city, and caused it not to rain upon another city: one piece was rained upon, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered.

8So two or three cities wandered unto one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

9I have smitten you with blasting and mildew: when your gardens and your vineyards and your fig trees and your olive trees increased, the palmerworm devoured them: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

10I have sent among you the pestilence after the manner of Egypt: your young men have I slain with the sword, and have taken away your horses; and I have made the stink of your camps to come up unto your nostrils: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

11I have overthrown some of you, as God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah, and ye were as a firebrand plucked out of the burning: yet have ye not returned unto me, saith the LORD.

12Therefore thus will I do unto thee, O Israel: and because I will do this unto thee, prepare to meet thy God, O Israel.

13For, lo, he that formeth the mountains, and createth the wind, and declareth unto man what is his thought, that maketh the morning darkness, and treadeth upon the high places of the earth, The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.

Chapter 5

1Hear ye this word which I take up against you, even a lamentation, O house of Israel.

2The virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.

3For thus saith the Lord GOD; The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.

4For thus saith the LORD unto the house of Israel, Seek ye me, and ye shall live:

5But seek not Bethel, nor enter into Gilgal, and pass not to Beersheba: for Gilgal shall surely go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nought.

6Seek the LORD, and ye shall live; lest he break out like fire in the house of Joseph, and devour it, and there be none to quench it in Bethel.

7Ye who turn judgment to wormwood, and leave off righteousness in the earth,

8Seek him that maketh the seven stars and Orion, and turneth the shadow of death into the morning, and maketh the day dark with night: that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name:

9That strengtheneth the spoiled against the strong, so that the spoiled shall come against the fortress.

10They hate him that rebuketh in the gate, and they abhor him that speaketh uprightly.

11Forasmuch therefore as your treading is upon the poor, and ye take from him burdens of wheat: ye have built houses of hewn stone, but ye shall not dwell in them; ye have planted pleasant vineyards, but ye shall not drink wine of them.

12For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: they afflict the just, they take a bribe, and they turn aside the poor in the gate from their right.

13Therefore the prudent shall keep silence in that time; for it is an evil time.

14Seek good, and not evil, that ye may live: and so the LORD, the God of hosts, shall be with you, as ye have spoken.

15Hate the evil, and love the good, and establish judgment in the gate: it may be that the LORD God of hosts will be gracious unto the remnant of Joseph.

16Therefore the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, saith thus; Wailing shall be in all streets; and they shall say in all the highways, Alas! alas! and they shall call the husbandman to mourning, and such as are skilful of lamentation to wailing.

17And in all vineyards shall be wailing: for I will pass through thee, saith the LORD.

18Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

19As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.

20Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

21I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies.

22Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts.

23Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols.

24But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream.

25Have ye offered unto me sacrifices and offerings in the wilderness forty years, O house of Israel?

26But ye have borne the tabernacle of your Moloch and Chiun your images, the star of your god, which ye made to yourselves.

27Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.

Chapter 6

1Woe to them that are at ease in Zion, and trust in the mountain of Samaria, which are named chief of the nations, to whom the house of Israel came!

2Pass ye unto Calneh, and see; and from thence go ye to Hamath the great: then go down to Gath of the Philistines: be they better than these kingdoms? or their border greater than your border?

3Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;

4That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;

5That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;

6That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

7Therefore now shall they go captive with the first that go captive, and the banquet of them that stretched themselves shall be removed.

8The Lord GOD hath sworn by himself, saith the LORD the God of hosts, I abhor the excellency of Jacob, and hate his palaces: therefore will I deliver up the city with all that is therein.

9And it shall come to pass, if there remain ten men in one house, that they shall die.

10And a man’s uncle shall take him up, and he that burneth him, to bring out the bones out of the house, and shall say unto him that is by the sides of the house, Is there yet any with thee? and he shall say, No. Then shall he say, Hold thy tongue: for we may not make mention of the name of the LORD.

11For, behold, the LORD commandeth, and he will smite the great house with breaches, and the little house with clefts.

12Shall horses run upon the rock? will one plow there with oxen? for ye have turned judgment into gall, and the fruit of righteousness into hemlock:

13Ye which rejoice in a thing of nought, which say, Have we not taken to us horns by our own strength?

14But, behold, I will raise up against you a nation, O house of Israel, saith the LORD the God of hosts; and they shall afflict you from the entering in of Hemath unto the river of the wilderness.

Chapter 7

1Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, it was the latter growth after the king’s mowings.

2And it came to pass, that when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

3The LORD repented for this: It shall not be, saith the LORD.

4Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and, behold, the Lord GOD called to contend by fire, and it devoured the great deep, and did eat up a part.

5Then said I, O Lord GOD, cease, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he is small.

6The LORD repented for this: This also shall not be, saith the Lord GOD.

7Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.

8And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A plumbline. Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:

9And the high places of Isaac shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

10Then Amaziah the priest of Bethel sent to Jeroboam king of Israel, saying, Amos hath conspired against thee in the midst of the house of Israel: the land is not able to bear all his words.

11For thus Amos saith, Jeroboam shall die by the sword, and Israel shall surely be led away captive out of their own land.

12Also Amaziah said unto Amos, O thou seer, go, flee thee away into the land of Judah, and there eat bread, and prophesy there:

13But prophesy not again any more at Bethel: for it is the king’s chapel, and it is the king’s court.

14Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet’s son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:

15And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

16Now therefore hear thou the word of the LORD: Thou sayest, Prophesy not against Israel, and drop not thy word against the house of Isaac.

17Therefore thus saith the LORD; Thy wife shall be an harlot in the city, and thy sons and thy daughters shall fall by the sword, and thy land shall be divided by line; and thou shalt die in a polluted land: and Israel shall surely go into captivity forth of his land.

Chapter 8

1Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me: and behold a basket of summer fruit.

2And he said, Amos, what seest thou? And I said, A basket of summer fruit. Then said the LORD unto me, The end is come upon my people of Israel; I will not again pass by them any more.

3And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.

4Hear this, O ye that swallow up the needy, even to make the poor of the land to fail,

5Saying, When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat, making the ephah small, and the shekel great, and falsifying the balances by deceit?

6That we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes; yea, and sell the refuse of the wheat?

7The LORD hath sworn by the excellency of Jacob, Surely I will never forget any of their works.

8Shall not the land tremble for this, and every one mourn that dwelleth therein? and it shall rise up wholly as a flood; and it shall be cast out and drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

9And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord GOD, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day:

10And I will turn your feasts into mourning, and all your songs into lamentation; and I will bring up sackcloth upon all loins, and baldness upon every head; and I will make it as the mourning of an only son, and the end thereof as a bitter day.

11Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

12And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

13In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.

14They that swear by the sin of Samaria, and say, Thy god, O Dan, liveth; and, The manner of Beersheba liveth; even they shall fall, and never rise up again.

Chapter 9

1I saw the Lord standing upon the altar: and he said, Smite the lintel of the door, that the posts may shake: and cut them in the head, all of them; and I will slay the last of them with the sword: he that fleeth of them shall not flee away, and he that escapeth of them shall not be delivered.

2Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:

3And though they hide themselves in the top of Carmel, I will search and take them out thence; and though they be hid from my sight in the bottom of the sea, thence will I command the serpent, and he shall bite them:

4And though they go into captivity before their enemies, thence will I command the sword, and it shall slay them: and I will set mine eyes upon them for evil, and not for good.

5And the Lord GOD of hosts is he that toucheth the land, and it shall melt, and all that dwell therein shall mourn: and it shall rise up wholly like a flood; and shall be drowned, as by the flood of Egypt.

6It is he that buildeth his stories in the heaven, and hath founded his troop in the earth; he that calleth for the waters of the sea, and poureth them out upon the face of the earth: The LORD is his name.

7Are ye not as children of the Ethiopians unto me, O children of Israel? saith the LORD. Have not I brought up Israel out of the land of Egypt? and the Philistines from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir?

8Behold, the eyes of the Lord GOD are upon the sinful kingdom, and I will destroy it from off the face of the earth; saving that I will not utterly destroy the house of Jacob, saith the LORD.

9For, lo, I will command, and I will sift the house of Israel among all nations, like as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth.

10All the sinners of my people shall die by the sword, which say, The evil shall not overtake nor prevent us.

11In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:

12That they may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this.

13Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes him that soweth seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt.

14And I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and drink the wine thereof; they shall also make gardens, and eat the fruit of them.

15And I will plant them upon their land, and they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the LORD thy God.

 

Obama and Netanyahu: A clash of world views, not just personalities

Note the date of this article.  

I am using it to help us understand Obama and Netanyahu, their relationship and their policy differences in light of today’s news.

 U.S. declines to veto U.N. Security Council resolution for Israel to stop Jewish settlement activity

By Stephen Collinson, CNN

Updated 5:40 PM ET, Mon March 2, 2015

Washington (CNN)The disconnect between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is about a lot more than bad personal chemistry.

Their relationship, which will be played out in all its dysfunctional glory during Netanyahu’s visit to Washington this week, founders on a deep ideological divide and a sharply conflicting world view.
A long, steadily worsening showdown between the rivals is coming to a head in the tense final stages of talks between world powers and Iran in pursuit of a nuclear deal backed by the U.S. but opposed by Netanyahu.

Highly unusual

Netanyahu’s visit is highly unusual. Not only will he not meet with Obama, but he is taking the most prominent stage outside the White House available to a foreign leader in Washington and directly campaigning against one of the president’s top second-term priorities — a nuclear deal with Iran. Netanyahu appears to have concluded that the proposed agreement is so bad that, in a highly unorthodox move, he will actively join Obama’s political adversaries in an effort to derail the president’s Iran deal-making.
The Israeli leader will make the case against the proposed deal in an address to Congress on Tuesday, against the wishes of the White House, at the invitation of GOP House Speaker John Boehner.
The speech, likely to delight Republicans, who are also trying to thwart Obama’s Iran diplomacy, will be the starkest illustration yet of the estrangement between Netanyahu and Obama.
“Each one is convinced that the other one doesn’t get the other side’s core interests,” said David Makovsky, a former advisor on Secretary of State John Kerry’s Middle East team.
“Beyond all the grievances and the slights, that is the fundamental issue.”

Historic figures

Both Obama and Netanyahu see themselves as historic figures, elected at fateful moments in the lives of their nations.
Obama sees his mission as ending foreign land wars, putting the campaign against terrorism on a sustainable footing and honoring John F. Kennedy’s dictum that the United States should “never fear to negotiate” with its enemies.
Netanyahu believes he is “entrusted with the awesome responsibility of ensuring the future of the Jewish people and the future of the Jewish state” against an existential threat from Iran’s nuclear program.
In his more optimistic outlook, Obama, the first African-American president, puts his faith in the power of aspirational political movements and grass roots organizing. He ran for office arguing that recent approaches to foreign policy had not worked — hence his willingness to engage U.S. enemies.
But Netanyahu has a more hardened view of the world, forged by decades in Israel’s treacherous neighborhood, the threats Jews have faced throughout their history and his close ties with foreign policy hawks who believe that military strength and vigilance are the best ways to ensure security and peace.
“I do think that it is important to understand this is more than simply a little personality clash,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of J Street, a liberal pro-Israel advocacy group in Washington.
“It really is a fundamental disagreement over policy and it reflects the underlying world views that are held not just by the two men but by the two camps in each country,” Ben-Ami said.
Obama and Netanyahu have never been friends. And now their personal antipathy is beginning to infect national political ties, which are as bad as they have been for decades.
Obama and Netanyahu did not set out to have a bad relationship, and there are plenty of instances where world leaders who did not like each other still worked well together. But this feud has certainly made it easier for both sides to question the other’s motives and to see deliberate slights even when none are intended.

Differing personality traits

Their differing personality traits almost guaranteed a collision. Obama has an author’s temperament. He doesn’t enjoy politics and seeks to avoid public confrontations. Netanyahu is blunt, a skilled wheeler-and-dealer and a bruiser in the tradition of Israel’s in-your-face politics. And one trait they share, a deep confidence in their own convictions, only increases their head-butting.
“I sometimes wonder if we have a situation where we have someone who is a law professor and is very cerebral and has this universal sense of how things are supposed to unfold under international law,” Makovsky said, referring to Obama.
“On the other side, you have someone who is convinced he lives in a region called the Middle East and believes that a lot of the categories that they teach in law school are not always applicable in this neighborhood.”
Their disconnect has played out in testy photo ops, and even in an over-the-top stroll, with jackets slung over their shoulders, on the baking runway of Ben Gurion airport outside Tel Aviv in 2010, in an apparent bid to scotch reports that the leaders were at odds.
But events soon belied the encounter. Obama was caught in 2011 on an open mic complaining to then-French President Nicolas Sarkozy about Netanyahu after Sarkozy branded the Israeli leader a “liar.” Last year, an anonymous quote attributed to a senior White House official calling Netanyahu a “chicken sh**t” caused a storm.
Administration officials, meanwhile, were furious over what they saw as several patronizing lectures on Jewish history and the threat from Iran that Netanyahu delivered before the cameras to Obama in the Oval Office.
And Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, just before the Israeli election on March 17, is seen by critics in the administration and elsewhere as at least in part another attempt to play politics, following what the White House perceived as his open backing of Mitt Romney during Obama’s re-election campaign in 2012.
The administration also largely blames Netanyahu for blowing up its two thwarted efforts to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians. They see him as having appeased right-wing elements in his fragmented coalition by endorsing settlement building on lands Palestinians envision as part of their future state at the expense of talks between the two sides.

Iran

But the most consequential dispute between Obama and Netanyahu is on Iran.
Both men have placed the Islamic Republic at the center of their political projects and understand that they can only achieve the legacy they seek by outmaneuvering the other.
“I don’t want to be coy. The prime minister and I have a very real difference around Iran,” Obama said earlier this month.
Netanyahu weighed in on Saturday before leaving for the United States. “I respect U.S. President Barack Obama,” he said, but warned that he had an obligation to make clear his fears about Tehran’s nuclear program.
Obama has tried to coax Iran out of decades of hostility towards the United States, which it sees as the “great Satan,” and has made historic gestures by speaking to President Hassan Rouhani on the phone and carrying out a correspondence with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
But Netanyahu has repeatedly warned that Rouhani is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing” and sought to bring attention to what Israel considers deceptions by Tehran over its nuclear program and violations of international restrictions on its activities.
Details of a proposed nuclear deal with Iran ahead of a deadline for a framework agreement next month have widened the divides.
Moshe Arens, a former Israeli defense minister, said that while Netanyahu is convinced that the proposed deal is dangerous, Obama doesn’t agree: “He thinks it is the best he can get at the moment. My impression is that he doesn’t want to get into a confrontation with Iran at the moment.”
The U.S. president has long warned that the kind of “perfect” deal that Netanyahu envisages — which would completely strip Tehran of centrifuges and nuclear infrastructure — is not realistic.
The administration argues that the deal being negotiated would keep Iran in a box, freeze the “breakout” period at which it could race to a bomb at around one year and include monitoring and inspections that would thwart any covert bid by Tehran to make a nuclear weapon.
Administration officials have also argued that diplomacy is preferable to a military strike on Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, reasoning that such an approach would only set back its ambitions for several years while jeopardizing the willingness of the international coalition to maintain sanctions key to keeping Iran in check.
Netanyahu, however, considers the deal taking shape in the talks a “bad” one and says the idea of lifting sanctions that have Iran “on the ropes” is nonsensical. He has also pointed to Iran’s duplicity — concealing entire nuclear sites, for instance — as reason to doubt that Iran could be effectively monitored and that the breakout period could be limited if Tehran maintains facilities for nuclear production.
Obama has repeatedly said that he will never allow Iran to get a nuclear bomb and threaten the Jewish state. But Netanyahu’s trip to Washington appears to indicate that the prime minister doesn’t trust that assurance.

U.S. power

In a wider sense, Obama and Netanyahu are also at opposite ends of a debate on the use of U.S. power that emerged as a fault line in American politics after the September 11 attacks in 2001.
Netanyahu’s Likud Party is a much better fit with neoconservatives and Republican hawks who prospered in the early years of George W. Bush’s presidency than with Obama’s doctrine of “strategic patience” when deploying U.S. power abroad.
“I think Bibi has always been close to the American right, it is partly where he got his political education,” said Daniel Levy, who worked as an advisor to former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname. And from the start, it was clear that the two figures’ political ideologies were not in line.
During the 2008 campaign, Obama told a Jewish group that “there is a strain within the pro-Israel community that says unless you adopt an unwavering pro-Likud approach to Israel, then you’re anti-Israel.”
That, he told them, “can’t be the measure of our friendship with Israel.”

U.S. declines to veto U.N. Security Council resolution for Israel to stop Jewish settlement activity

U.S. declines to veto U.N. Security Council Resolution

For the first time in 36 years, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution critical of Israel’s Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory. The United States abstained. (Reuters)
December 23 at 2:27 PM
The U.N. Security Council on Friday passed a resolution demanding Israel cease Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian territory in a unanimous vote that passed when the United States abstained rather than using its veto as it has reliably done in the past.The resolution declares settlements constructed on land Israel has occupied since the 1967 war, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity.” It said settlements threaten the viability of the two-state solution, and it urged Israelis and Palestinians to return to negotiations that lead to two independent nations.

The United States’ abstention Friday was a rare rebuke to Israel, and reflected mounting frustration in the Obama administration over settlement growth that the United States considers an obstacle to peace. With President Obamas time in office due to end in barely a month, his decision not to veto was a symbolic statement of that displeasure.

“In the absence of any meaningful peace process, as well as in the face of the acceleration of settlement activity that put at risk the viability of a two-state solution, we took the steps we did today,” said Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser.

Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the U.N., excoriated the Security Council after the vote, saying they did not have the right to tell Israelis not to build in Jerusalem, and suggesting it will have little impact on Israeli policies.

Palestinian envoy says Israel ‘not living in reality’

Riyad Mansour, the permanent Palestinian observer to the United Nations, welcomed the Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, saying those against it were “not living in reality.”(Reuters)

“We overcame those decrees during the time of the Macabees, and we will overcome this evil decree today,” he said.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said immediately after the vote that Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry have privately and publicly been warning Israel that the moribund prospects for peace were undermining Israel’s ability to remain both Jewish and democratic.

The resolution also condemned Palestinian incitement to violence and all acts of terrorism. Power said the United States would not have allowed its passage without that proviso. She also criticized the United Nations itself, saying it had perpetuated a double standard by repeatedly condemning Israeli actions while remaining silent about Palestinian incitement.

The 14-0 vote, with only the United States abstaining, followed an intense campaign from Israel to derail it. It was to have been voted on Thursday, but Egypt withdrew its sponsorship after the country’s president spoke by phone with President-elect Donald Trump, who got involved at Israel’s request. Friday’s resolution was sponsored by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal.

The 14-0 vote, with the United States the only member abstaining, brought a swift reaction, particularly in Israel and in Congress.

“This is absolutely shameful,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement, promising that next year, “our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said abstaining made the United States “complicit in this outrageous attack” on Israel, and predicted the resolution “will serve as yet another roadblock to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and embolden the enemies of Israel.”

Meanwhile Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that deals with foreign aid, threatened earlier on Friday to reduce the U.S.’s contributions to the United Nations and any country that voted for resolution.

After the vote, Graham tweeted that “Obama-Kerry foreign policy has gone from naive and foolish to flat-out reckless. With friends like these #Israel doesn’t need any enemies.”

In Israel, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the resolution was not only against settlements but was also anti-Israel and against Jews everywhere.

“After eight years of friendship with Obama and joint work, this move hurts and is unfair,” he said.

But Israel’s U.N. ambassador Danny Danon expressed disappointment with what he called “this disgraceful resolution.”

“I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel,” he said.

Ruth Eglash, Karoun Demirjian and David Nakamura contributed to this report. Eglash reported from Jerusalem.

 

U.S. declines to veto U.N. Security Council resolution for Israel to stop Jewish settlement activity

U.S. declines to veto U.N. Security Council Resolution

For the first time in 36 years, the U.N. Security Council passed a resolution critical of Israel’s Jewish settlements on Palestinian territory. The United States abstained. (Reuters)
December 23 at 2:27 PM
The U.N. Security Council on Friday passed a resolution demanding Israel cease Jewish settlement activity on Palestinian territory in a unanimous vote that passed when the United States abstained rather than using its veto as it has reliably done in the past.

The resolution declares settlements constructed on land Israel has occupied since the 1967 war, including East Jerusalem, have “no legal validity.” It said settlements threaten the viability of the two-state solution, and it urged Israelis and Palestinians to return to negotiations that lead to two independent nations.

The United States’ abstention Friday was a rare rebuke to Israel, and reflected mounting frustration in the Obama administration over settlement growth that the United States considers an obstacle to peace. With President Obamas time in office due to end in barely a month, his decision not to veto was a symbolic statement of that displeasure.

“In the absence of any meaningful peace process, as well as in the face of the acceleration of settlement activity that put at risk the viability of a two-state solution, we took the steps we did today,” said Ben Rhodes, the White House deputy national security adviser.

Danny Danon, the Israeli ambassador to the U.N., excoriated the Security Council after the vote, saying they did not have the right to tell Israelis not to build in Jerusalem, and suggesting it will have little impact on Israeli policies.

Palestinian envoy says Israel ‘not living in reality’

Riyad Mansour, the permanent Palestinian observer to the United Nations, welcomed the Security Council resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlements, saying those against it were “not living in reality.”(Reuters)

“We overcame those decrees during the time of the Macabees, and we will overcome this evil decree today,” he said.

Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., said immediately after the vote that Obama and Secretary of State John F. Kerry have privately and publicly been warning Israel that the moribund prospects for peace were undermining Israel’s ability to remain both Jewish and democratic.

The resolution also condemned Palestinian incitement to violence and all acts of terrorism. Power said the United States would not have allowed its passage without that proviso. She also criticized the United Nations itself, saying it had perpetuated a double standard by repeatedly condemning Israeli actions while remaining silent about Palestinian incitement.

The 14-0 vote, with only the United States abstaining, followed an intense campaign from Israel to derail it. It was to have been voted on Thursday, but Egypt withdrew its sponsorship after the country’s president spoke by phone with President-elect Donald Trump, who got involved at Israel’s request. Friday’s resolution was sponsored by New Zealand, Malaysia, Venezuela and Senegal.

The 14-0 vote, with the United States the only member abstaining, brought a swift reaction, particularly in Israel and in Congress.

“This is absolutely shameful,” House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said in a statement, promising that next year, “our unified Republican government will work to reverse the damage done by this administration, and rebuild our alliance with Israel.”

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) said abstaining made the United States “complicit in this outrageous attack” on Israel, and predicted the resolution “will serve as yet another roadblock to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and embolden the enemies of Israel.”

Meanwhile Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who chairs the Appropriations subcommittee that deals with foreign aid, threatened earlier on Friday to reduce the U.S.’s contributions to the United Nations and any country that voted for resolution.

After the vote, Graham tweeted that “Obama-Kerry foreign policy has gone from naive and foolish to flat-out reckless. With friends like these #Israel doesn’t need any enemies.”

In Israel, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz, a close ally of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said the resolution was not only against settlements but was also anti-Israel and against Jews everywhere.

“After eight years of friendship with Obama and joint work, this move hurts and is unfair,” he said.

But Israel’s U.N. ambassador Danny Danon expressed disappointment with what he called “this disgraceful resolution.”

“I have no doubt that the new US administration and the incoming UN Secretary General will usher in a new era in terms of the UN’s relationship with Israel,” he said.

Ruth Eglash, Karoun Demirjian and David Nakamura contributed to this report. Eglash reported from Jerusalem.