What Now for Arab- Israeli Peace ? Joel Rosenberg: What Now for Arab-Israeli Peace? How should we assess the Annapolis conference? First, the good news: President Bush, to his great credit, is doing everything he possibly can to keep another horrible war from breaking out in the epicenter. I don't think in the end he will be successful, but I strongly applaud him for trying. He is following the words of Jesus [Yeshua], "Blessed are the peacemakers." With great difficulty, he brought together senior leaders from almost 50 countries—including Syria, including the head of the Arab League, and including the secretary-general of the Organization of the Islamic Conference—in the hopes of jump-starting a new dialogue for peace. I, for one, am grateful for his efforts. The United States emerged once again as a global agenda-setter, working hard to build a global alliance of moderate, peaceful, reformer Muslim leaders against the radical Islamic jihadist leaders that Iran is trying to pull together into an alliance against Israel and the West. Syria's participation in the Annapolis conference, which infuriated Iran, was particularly welcome. Tensions along the Golan Heights are running high. War clouds between Damascus and Jerusalem are clearly building. The fact that Syria was willing to meet in a diplomatic setting like this is good news. It may not ultimately be enough to prevent a war, but it is still a welcome development. The Israelis and the Palestinians are going to begin regular peace talks beginning December 12. This, too, is good—though Prime Minister Olmert must strongly and firmly insist from the outset that talks absolutely cannot continue if southern Israeli towns like Sderot continue to be hit by rockets and mortars. The shelling must stop immediately. The first provision of the "Road Map to Peace" was Israeli security. Nothing else should be discussed until the border is quiet. President Bush did not publicly pressure Olmert to divide Jerusalem, and Olmert did not publicly immediately put Jerusalem on the table. This, too, is good, though I suspect it's only temporary. Still, let's take one day at a time. Now, the bad news: A process is now in place that will, in fact, steadily and dramatically increase international pressure on Israel to give up something tangible (land, sovereignty) for something historically elusive, at best ("recognition" by the Islamic world and, of course, "peace"). If Israel is not careful, she could end up feeling forced to give away the store. We know by his previous statements and those of his advisors that Prime Minister Olmert is already disposed to give away nearly all of the Biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, commonly known as the West Bank, as well as up to half of Jerusalem. He is going to have plenty of opportunities to thus "respond" to this growing international pressure in the weeks and months ahead. This is a serious concern. (Excerpts of an article by Joel Rosenberg, joelrosenberg.blogspot.com, November 28, 2007) Prayer Focus Praise God that there were some good points that came out of the Annapolis conference. Pray that the international leaders will be able to go with the momentum and work for peace between Israel and Palestine based on mutual agreement, and not through bloodshed and hatred. Scripture “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge” (Proverbs. 18:15).