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Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

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  • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

    Originally posted by HSB
    ...I guess the Russian invasion forces will need to fly over top of US forces deployed in the same region in order to seize Israel. Possible but I doubt it!!...
    HSB, I believe you are right. It is unlikely.

    Originally posted by HSB
    ...More likely to me is that the heavy equipment that arrives in Israel as part of the Gog incursion will have stars on the side but they won't be red (for Russia) but white (for the good ol USA) After all, even God Himself has told the President to form a Palestinian state on the West Bank according to recent link articles posted here on WEDG.
    Ask yourself some serious questions. Who is running the show today? Who is behind the peace proposals? Who is behind the money? It is the US.


    • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

      The following is from
      I thought it was interesting as it sheds light on the Moslem religion and ties it in with our Ezekiel thread.
      "Fight and slay the pagans (infidels) wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war". - Koran, Sura 9:5

      "Believers (Muslims), take neither Jews nor Christians to be your friends: they are friends with one another. Whoever of you seeks their friendship shall become one of their number, and God does not guide (those Jewish and Christian) wrongdoers." - Koran, Sura 5:51-5:74

      The Islamic agenda can no longer be ignored. They now have the resources, oil, and oil revenues and, now, nuclear weapons. Their "Jihad" is not against the Jews, it is directed against the entire non-Muslim world. The world of Islam divides the entire universe into only two parts: Dar Al Islam, the domain of the faithful (to Islam); and the Dar Al Harb, those with whom they are at war with until Judgment Day!

      Islam commands almost 2 billion adherents, and is clearly the fastest growing religion in the world today. In this 21st century, Islam is the greatest threat to Christianity and the free world. In Britain, there are more Muslims than evangelical Christians, more than 1,000 churches have been converted into mosques. There are more Muslims than Jews in North America. There are almost 2,000 mosques in the US.
      It is interesting to note that Islam did not begin with Muhammad. Before the advent of Muhammad, the Sabeans in Arabia were into astral religion, the worship of heavenly bodies. The moon was viewed as a male deity; the sun, a female deity; the stars were viewed as their offspring. It was from this background that we got our lunar calendar. Fasting was, and still is, done from crescent moon to crescent moon.

      One of the names for the Moon-god was "Sin". "Sin" was elevated to the top of the Babylonian pantheon by Nabodnidus in an effort to make the Babylonian religion more acceptable to their subjects like the Arabians and the Aramaeans, who esteemed the moon god, and had difficulty identifying with Marduk, the supreme Babylonian deity associated primarily with the city of Babylon. Sin, "The Controller of the Night," had the crescent moon as its emblem, and the lunar-based calendar, which later became the primary religious symbols of Islam. The Moon-god was worshipped in Arabia as Al-llah, later simplified to Allah. Allah was the "Lord of the Ka'aba" ("cube"), the center of pagan worship, ruling over 360 idols. Due to its location along the trade routes, Mecca became the center of all pagan religions of Arabia.

      It was required long before Muhammad, to bow and pray toward Mecca. Pilgrimages there were required; the Ka'aba, site of the protective black stone, was circled seven times, kissed, and then the pilgrims would run to Wadi Mina to throw stones at the Devil. These pagan rituals are still practiced in Islam today.

      The nature of Islam is a legacy of hate, born of deception, weaned on violence. Islam means "Submission". Originally, it referred to that strength which made a desert warrior, who, even faced with impossible odds, would fight to the death for his tribe.

      The nature of Allah, the God of Islam differs greatly from the Christian God. The Islamic Allah is unknowable, impersonal, capricious (thus, untrustworthy). The God of the Old Testament is immutable, unchanging, and makes and keeps His covenants and promises. Important contrast between Muhammad and Jesus Christ. Muhammad was not sinless: Sura 40:55. Nor did he ever perform a single miracle: Sura 17:91-95. He did not die for anyone. Unlike Jesus Christ, no personal relationship is possible: Muhammad is dead.

      It is not the size of Israel that is the problem with Islam: it is the existence of Israel that is the problem. All of Islam is irrevocably committed to the total destruction of Israel. So, it does not matter how much land Israel gives up or how many concessions they make, as long as Israel is still in existence there will always be a thorn in the side of Islam. Could the battle of Ezekiel 38, be the Islamic attempt to remove this thorn from their side once and for all? Russia, has aligned themselves with most of the nations listed in Ezekiel 38, being their provider of weapons and even going as far as signing treaties with these nations to protect them in case of war. So, the hook in the jaw has been set, I believe God is already tugging on the line!

      I know HSB is leaning toward the USA as being the invaders, but what if the moslems take over in the USA either by force or by sheer numbers in elections. Is this possible?


      • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

        Wendy: thanks for the article. I know the moon god Sin is much older than Islam. It is a built on a pagan religion of the desert.
        Regarding Israel, I DO NOT believe that America will be "invaders". What I do believe is that there is a reasonable possibility that the secular Jews in Israel (about 2/3 of the total) will WELCOME American and other international peacekeepers as part of the implementation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank. The folks who will be left to "swing in the breeze" are the observant Orthodox Jewish settlers who believe in the Abrahamic covenant and the promise of the Land and its redemption. The hook that turns Gog might easily be the change of direction of US ground troops heading home from Iraq to get sent into Israel for peacekeeping duties. There is no way America will tolerate a Russian "invasion" of the oil rich middle east. What is more likely is keeping large amount of US equipment in the field, and sizable numbers of US troops in the area. If Muslim nations don't want US soldiers to "desecrate" their soil then perhaps they can be accomodated in Christian (Orthodox) Georgia, a REALLY convenient hinge for the whole area. If oil gets discovered in Israel you can bet that ground troops will arrive in Israel sooner than later.


        • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.


          Lebanese security officials have told Geostrategy-Direct that hundreds of Palestinian terrorists have crossed into Lebanon over the past two weeks with Syrian assistance.

          Damascus' ostensible aim is to strengthen what hold it still has over Lebanon through its terrorist allies and to bolster forces massed in Israel's northern neighbor for future aggression against the Jewish state.

          Over the past three years, attacks originating in Lebanon or carried out inside Israel proper by Syrian-supported groups have elicited Israeli air strikes on Syrian targets both in Lebanon and Syria itself.

          And so Syria last week also concluded the obtaining of advanced Russian-made S-18 anti-aircraft missiles, just in case Israel tries to retaliate again. Moscow also agreed to offer advanced military training to more than double the Syrian officers it now instructs in the ways of war.

          The strengthening of Syrian and terrorist forces north of Israel corresponds to increased cooperation between "Palestinian" terror groups in the PA controlled territories and those based in Syria and Lebanon, most notably Hizbullah.
          In early 2004, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) intelligence officials estimated some 80% of "Palestinian" terror cells were financed and controlled, either directly or indirectly, by Hizbullah.

          With all the terrorists on the same page, their numbers bolstered, and morale skyrocketing in the wake of Israel's retreat from Gaza, the likelihood of a coordinated rocket assault on both northern and southern Israel at the same time has greatly increased.

          Both Hizbullah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza certainly have the armaments, the will, and the audacity to carry out such an assault. If they do, Israeli will presumably launch a harsh response, including token strikes meant to display it's military superiority, such as bombing runs on terrorist bases in Syria.

          But this time Syria would be in a far better position to down an Israeli aircraft or two, leading to the situation quickly spiraling out of control, with Israel needing to respond even more harshly and the terrorists greatly emboldened in their offensive.

          While all of this may seem like wild speculation amid relative calm in Israel and Western assertions of renewed momentum towards peace, another source indicates it is at just such a time that all hell will break loose:

          "The enemy to the north will say, "I will go to a peaceful people, who dwell safely, all of them dwelling without walls, and having neither bars nor gates" (Ezekiel 38:11). "Thus says the Lord God: 'On that day when My people Israel dwell safely...Then you will come from your place out of the far north, you and many peoples with you...a great company and a mighty army'" (Ezekiel 38:14-15).

          Interestingly, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz last week told The Jerusalem Post that on the eve of the Jewish New Year, Israel has never dwelt more safely in its land than it does now.

          (By Ryan Jones, Jerusalem Newswire,, October 9, 2005)

          PRAYER FOCUS
          Pray for the people of the northern part of Israel, that they will be strong, courageous and use wisdom in their actions. Pray that they will be saved from harm even in the face of an onslaught from the enemy.

          "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8).


          • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

            Wendy- this is an interesting newswire service. I have posted below the recent article about "negotiations". I wonder if WEDGies have any thoughts on when a Palestinian state will actually emerge. Thoughts?

            'Israel won't play by our rules,' PA whines
            By Ryan Jones

            October 14th, 2005

            The Palestinian Authority is none too happy over Israel's failure to follow its script of holding high-level negotiations leading to Israel's full and complete acquiescence to all Arab demands.

            “The Israeli side is uninterested in promoting the peace process, and does not want the PA as its partner,” PA Information Minister Nabil Sha'ath told the regime-controlled WAFA news agency.

            Sha'ath made the remarks in reaction to Israel's rejection earlier this week of sweeping preconditions PLO chief Mahmoud Abbas demanded Jerusalem agree to before he would sit with Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.

            The two leaders were scheduled to meet on Tuesday. That summit has been postponed until November.

            “Israel is not interested in a serious summit, and simply wants to continue implementing unilateral moves, like its withdrawal from Gaza,” Sha'ath insisted.

            The Sharon government, however, has indicated its keen interest to restart meaningful negotiations, but maintains that is only possible after the “Palestinians” prove their willingness and ability to comply with their signed agreements.

            Sha'ath said the Israel's insistence on reciprocity shows “without a doubt the Israelis are not interested in concluding a peace agreement with us.”

            He then pointed out the only acceptable agreement to the “Palestinians,” of course, would be full Israeli capitulation.

            “A settlement would mean complete withdrawal from the West Bank,” said Sha'ath.

            The “Palestinians” are hopeful Abbas will convince US President George W. Bush to put “real pressure” on Israel when the two men meet later this month in Washington.

            “We hope that this visit will lead Bush to pressure Israel into standing by its commitments to the Palestinians,” Sha'ath said.

            Recent comments by Bush, however, indicate the American is, in the wake of Israel's “disengagement” from Gaza, more interested in seeing the “Palestinians” finally honor their numerous commitments to disarm the terror groups operating out of territories under their control.

            The president is expected to suggest to Abbas he start with the armed “military wings” of his own Fatah faction.

            The Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and Fatah Tanzim stand behind the murder and maiming of thousands of Israeli Jews over the past five years.
            Copyright 2002-2004 Jerusalem Newswire


            • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

              I am attaching a recent map showing the latest proposed route for the security fence in Israel. It appears that the fence is looking more and more like a new international boundary. While the folks in Ariel or Gush Etzion might be pleased that they will be on the "inside", that cannot be said for the residents of Shiloh, Hebron, as well as the rest of Judea and Samaria (including the Jordan Valley and Qumrum etc). I suspect that the pressure to get a final "settlement" will mount quickly. PS The "red line" is the route to study. Sorry that the picture is not larger. The original is 1.89 megas and the attachment limit for posts is only 39 KB so I had to shrink it to a postage stamp size
              Last edited by HSB; 10-17-2005, 09:24 AM.


              • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                HERE IT COMES !!!! Look at the map in the post above. The blue sections show the Jewish settlements while the brown shows arab areas. If you set aside the Jericho region down by the Jordan River the brown area pretty closely coincides with the "mountains of Israel" we have been discussing on this thread since last January. These are about to become the "mountains of Palestine" if this plan goes ahead! HSB

                Israel weighs unilateral pullout from 90 percent of West Bank

                Monday, October 17, 2005
                JERUSALEM — The government of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon is examining plans for a multi-stage unilateral withdrawal from as much as 90 percent of the West Bank.
                Officials said the Israeli withdrawal plans have been discussed with the United States. On Oct. 20, President George Bush was scheduled to meet Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and last week Bush assured a Palestinian delegation that Israel would withdraw from additional areas of the West Bank.
                Officials said the Defense Ministry and military have been reviewing a range of options for unilateral withdrawal in the West Bank by 2007, Middle East Newsline reported. They said the National Security Council has drafted options for the removal of between 10,000 and 100,000 Jews from the area.

                "Only unilateral [withdrawal] can work in this era," [Res.] Brig. Gen. Eyval Giladi, a senior adviser to Sharon, said. "Israel determines where, when and how it withdraws."

                Officials said any unilateral withdrawal plan would be facilitated by the construction of the security wall and fence in the West Bank.
                "Within months or even weeks, the communities not included in the wall will be isolated and life will become increasingly harder for them," an official said. "In some ways, it will be similar to what took place in [the Jewish settlement bloc of] Gush Katif in the Gaza Strip."

                Another option drafted by the council was for an Israeli pullout from 90 percent of the West Bank and the removal of more than 100 Jewish communities. Officials said this option has been discussed by Sharon and supported by several senior ministers, including Vice Premier Ehud Olmert.

                Officials said that by 2007 many of the Jewish communities in the West Bank located outside the wall would either disintegrate or be dismantled by the military. They said the military would also remove Jewish communities in the northern and central West Bank as part of a plan to provide the Palestinians with territorial contiguity from Jenin to Ramallah.

                By November, officials said, the Defense Ministry plans to begin construction of the wall at 15 points along the Etzion Bloc, which Sharon has vowed to maintain in any peace settlement with the Palestinians. The Defense Ministry has drafted maps for a wall that would encompass a narrow Jewish enclave and exclude Israeli communities in the eastern and southern portion of the region.

                National Security Council chief Giora Eiland has presented a plan for the removal of 17 Jewish communities in the northern and central West Bank as part of the first stage of the unilateral withdrawal, officials said.

                They said the communities consisted of 8,000 people.

                In a speech prepared for delivery at the Likud Party Central Committee in late September, Sharon proposed the evacuation of Jewish communities outside three settlement areas: the Etzion Bloc, the Ariel Bloc and the Jordan Valley. These blocs would be ringed by security zones patrolled by the Israeli military.

                Copyright © 2005 East West Services, Inc.
                Last edited by HSB; 10-18-2005, 11:51 AM.


                • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                  My thoughts are......" We better hold onto our hats! "

                  With Abbas visiting Bush on Thursday and "last week Bush assured a Palestinian delegation that Israel would withdraw from additional areas of the West Bank.

                  And.....quoted from an article Bobby posted called "Bush tells PA, Don't worry about Israel"....
                  When the PA delegation complained to President Bush that expanding Jewish communities, such as the city of Ma'aleh Adumim, might make a new Arab state unacceptable, he eased their fears and said, "Don't worry. I have some political sway with Israel and will use it if need be."

                  We have another hurricane that is stationary....not sure what path to take....hanging out in the Caribbean. I know this is hurricane season but I can't help thinking some of our hurricanes making landfall in the US are related.

                  I am really upset with oiur government making these statements as they are turning their back on Israel....even though they don't think so.

                  Thank you, HSB, for the really shows us what Israel is facing with this withdrawal.
                  Psalm 63:3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life, My lips will praise You.


                  • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                    For the life of me, I cant think of why sharon is still in pwr and not assassinated. Must be part of the devine end times scenario?!! I dont understand why Israel is abandonning key areas esp. after having seen the "Nutbar" reactions of the Palis???? I sit here distressed over it all , imagine how the settlers on the Mtns of Israel feel now. We should pray for peace and safety within their marriages and families and a turning to Yeshua.


                    • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                      Re: the article posted above:

                      I have been wondering how on earth the disengagement could be effected when Sharon said in the summer that there would be no further removals until the PA get their act together..and we all know how likely that is!!! Solution, ....simply change your mind and proceed ahead unilaterally. Build a big wall that is properly patrolled, then abandon everything on the other side. Can you imagine what UTTER HAVOC this will cause with armed bands of arab marauders shooting up whatever Jewish communities might try and hold on. Don't look for reinforcements coming from the fort, the cavalry aren't coming. Maybe this is all part of the "hook" that will drag other interests into the country as peacekeepers. What is of pressing interest here is the speed with which this can all proceed ahead (since there need be no prolonged "bargaining" required or even assurances from the PA side) WOW!!!
                      Look for big developments BEFORE 2007 expires (and with it the opportunity of the current US government to build a legacy of PEACE in the ME!!)


                      • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                        Here is some "helpful" advice from the left-wing Peace Now group in Israel. It is interesting to review the list of settlements that they are recommending be abandoned. These include Elon Morea..that's the mountain that God showed Abraham all the Promised land. It is just north-east of Shekem (Nablus) in Samaria. My wife and I had the opportunity to climb to the top of this mountain in May. Truly an outstanding view of what is about to be taken away from the rightful heirs of the promise. HSB
                        PS Hebron of course was the city that Caleb wanted from Joshua after the original conquest of the land. It became the capital of Judah, and that was where King David reigned for 7 years before moving up to Jerusalem. I was privileged in May to be shown the excavations of the original Israelite city foundations and gate. the way that is where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebbekah, Jacob and Leah are all buried. I'm sure the Palestinians will take good care of their grave sites, just about the same way they took care of Joseph's tomb in Nablus (mob wrecked and burned the place just after the IDF left it in PA police hands) Let's not be too hard on doubt they were just getting some of their frustrations out!

                        Last update - 18:15 19/10/2005
                        Peace Now proposal: Evacuate isolated settlements in W. Bank
                        By Lili Galili, Haaretz Correspondent

                        Peace Now on Wednesday announced its new initiative calling on Israel to immediately withdraw from 26 settlements throughout the West Bank.

                        The initiative's first goal is to "raise awareness to the problematic nature of the West Bank settlements," Peace Now members told the media.

                        "Netzarim and Kfar Darom were settlements whose problems the public was aware of, unlike those (settlements) in the West Bank whose problematic nature the public does not know of," Peace Now representatives said.

                        The settlements on Peace Now's list are situated mostly east of the separation fence and are relatively isolated within large concentrations of Palestinian settlements, and include Alon Moreh, Hermesh, Itzar, Itamar, Kfar Tapoah, Dolev, Tekoa and Ma'alah Amos, among others. Evacuating these settlements would give the Palestinians territorial continuity in the southern Hebron area and southern Samaria, Peace Now explained.

                        According to Dror Etkes, the head of Peace Now's settlements tracking committee, the most pressing issue at the moment is the evacuation of the Jewish settlement in Hebron.

                        Etkes complained that GOC Central Command has been suspending his authorization of a request submitted by Peace Now activists to tour the area.


                        • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                          Well 'Hello" to all of you.... it's been a while... it took me over an hour of continuous reading just to catch up with where I last input. My how the whole Thread has come around again to... Is it Russia [most of Christendom sits here] or is it USA [very few but growing group here].

                          I think that your point, HSB; that to arrive at Russia one must follow the People's of former Gog & MaGog as they move geographically north to where Moscow resides today, and even further north to the Siberian border. Why then do we not do the same for the original People from whom the Pharaoh’s originated... would that mean because they are no longer there, that Egypt is really geographically somewhere else??? So why do we accept this line of thought for Russia as Gog?

                          Quote from HSB... It is even easier to conclude that TBL refers as it originally did to Tibilisi (TBL) the capital of the country of Georgia, and Mesheck to Mts'kheta (the ancient capital of Georgia which is close by, in the very area Gog and magog occupied in Ezekiel's time. Incidentally there are huge airbases there that during the cold war were occupied by Russian forces but now thanks to the War on Terror and Georgia leaving the USSR confederation are now happily being used by US forces, with huge stockpiles of American equipment.

                          The sand in the hour-glass is running out! If time were a Clock on the wall... it is now 11:59 and the second hand is already ticking off the remaining seconds of time... how far are we from 'Mid-Night'? Only He knows for sure, but He has given us His Word. "They" too had His Word at the time that it became flesh and dwelt amoung us... but 'they' missed Him. I wonder how many who have thought that it is all nailed down will be surprised at the way things finally do turn out.

                          Know this... The King of Babylon New York is in CONTROL of Babylon Iraq. The only two Babylon's in our modern Atlas are under ONE MAN's CONTROL... and he does not reside in Russia!
                          Last edited by Don Brooks; 10-19-2005, 11:26 PM.


                          • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                            Folks: I have been thinking long and hard recently about Gog's arrival in Israel. Most Bible translators indicate that Ezekiel 38:11 means the inhabitants are living in safety (and have no need of walls or gates) and rest. Notice the frequent references in the passage to "land of unwalled villages", "dwelling without walls" etc. A terrible thought came to me...what if this passage is describing people who have been FORCED to live outside a Security Wall, ie on the wrong side of a protective barrier. The passage takes on a whole different meaning. Perhaps the prophet is actually describing a situation that is about to emerge in Israel (unparalleled since medieval times when the city gates closed at night) Suppose there is a disengagement from the west bank that abandons all the settlements "outside the wall". I started to dig around some old posts on WEDG and found the following from a year ago. ZionGene was commenting in his thread on Gog/Magog, a phrase by phrase literal English translation directly from the Hebrew for Ezekiel 38:11.

                            Now here is my phrase-by-phrase literal English translation of the what I tried to include above, but could not.

                            And you will say / I will go up / upon (or against) the land / rural regions I will enter / the settled areas (or settlements) / dwellings for protection / all of them for settlings / nowhere protection / no way of escape / no exit / nowhere for them.

                            Think of this in light of the comments I made about living "outside the wall" in terms of the Security Wall/fence/gate system that Israel is implementing as part of a unilateral withdrawal from most of the West Bank. I will try and find a nice little photo of "The Wall" to add to this commentary.

                            Folks we are getting really close to the exact literal fulfillment of Ezekiel 38/39, I believe within the next 2 years. Settlers living in "unwalled settlements" are going to be left to turn in the wind. Gog will then arrive on cue. Make sure your earthquake insurance is paid up!!!


                            • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                              Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries sent this . It is who she is interviewing this weekend. Some of you have talked about he Ezekiel Option so I thought I would send this.

                              RADIO THIS WEEKEND: Joel Rosenberg, author of "The Ezekiel Option," Laurent Murawiec, author of "Princes of Darkness: The Saudi Assault on the West", and Dr. Ron Rhodes on the rise of false religions. Listen live on line at, then click on "Listen Live." All programming goes up on "radio archives" at by Monday of the following week. Dial up users should have no problem. We headquarter out of AM980 KKMS, Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Saturday 9-11 AM CST with a rebroadcast Sunday, 12-2 PM CST. Visit our Web site for live and tape-delayed listening options and cities.


                              • Re: Ezekiel 36 and the Mountains of Israel.

                                Looks like the pressure from USA on Israel is lessening. See Debka file below. The PA is in no position to form a state. However do not discount the distinct possibility of unilateral Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank, and abandonment of that area to the chaos that now exists in Gaza. Apparently nobody is taking responsibility to reign in the thugs of Hamas, so we may well end up with a "wild west" situation "beyond the wall". (photo below)

                                Bush to Abu Mazen: The Palestinians Must Start Helping Themselves

                                DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

                                October 21, 2005, 10:00 PM (GMT+02:00)

                                Smiles, yes; state, no

                                The Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas did not get much chance to lay down his usual list of demands and gripes in his talks at the White House with US president George W. Bush Thursday, Oct. 20. Instead, in contrast to the jovial mood of their joint news conference, Bush crushed his visitor’s hopes of a Palestinian state in the foreseeable future. “Not during my term,” the president declared firmly, according to DEBKAfile’s Exclusive sources Washington.

                                Abu Mazen is described as coming out of the meeting pale and shaken, with nothing to show for his Washington trip. Most of their 45-minute conversation was one-sided. Bush scarcely let Abu Mazen get a word in edgeways, cutting him short several times.

                                According to our sources, the US president laid down a new set of rules, unfamiliar to the Palestinians. In a word, no one will help the Palestinians if they don’t help themselves – and that goes for me, the US President, too. If you think you can disarm Hamas by letting them take part in elections, go ahead, but you are on your own. We think you are making a big mistake, but we don’t interfere. But there is a price to pay. A regime dominated by terrorists cannot expected to be treated as a democracy.

                                He reminded Abbas that he was the first American president to envision an independent Palestinian state and make it a strategic goal of his foreign policy, but the Palestinians had not risen to the challenge. He informed Abbas that to achieve statehood, they must meet three categorical conditions:

                                A. A Palestinian state must live in peace with Israel.

                                B. Peace alone is not enough. The Palestinians must demonstrate they are capable of being good neighbors.

                                C. The Palestinian state must be clean of terrorism.

                                As matters stand now, said Bush, I see no prospect of Palestinian statehood coming into existence before I leave the White House.

                                The US president said he continued to support the Palestinian leader. However, his terms were the reverse of what Abbas wanted to hear.

                                1. Final-status negotiations must not begin yet. (This knocked on the head Abbas’ most cherished goal which is to skip the road map preliminaries and jump to the final stage.)

                                2. Washington is holding back the timeline for progress towards Palestinian independence. (This was a stunning setback for Abbas’ plans and his standing at home.)

                                3. The Middle East road map for peace will not for now be activated. It will remain on paper as long as Palestinian “armed gangs” are in charge.

                                Abu Mazen tried to put in a word on Palestinian demands, such as the unresolved status of the Egyptian-Gaza border crossings, a direct, sovereign Gaza-West Bank link, a halt on the Israeli defense barrier and various complaints, but Bush brushed him off, saying he is familiar with the problems and he leaves them to advisers – “Jim Wolfensohn,” or “General Ward.”

                                He gave some ground on the Palestinian demand for weapons and ammunition to arm their security forces, but said this would have to wait until a new military coordinator takes over from General Ward. The US president said he was still looking for a suitable candidate, a military man with the right intelligence background who worked well with the CIA. He also agreed to raise the granting of more economic concessions with Ariel Sharon.

                                All in all, the meeting ended without results or decisions.

                                Outside, when they both faced reporters, President Bush took advantage of a question put by a Palestinian correspondent to drive home his new message. Asked if a Palestinian state would come about during his term as president, he replied: My purpose is to lay the foundations for a state. Whether it comes about or not is not my problem; is up to the Palestinians.

                                Clearly the US president has taken several steps back from his first concept of Palestinian statehood as a top American policy goal. He is leaving it to the Palestinians to make the running. For the first time, they have been put clearly and firmly on notice that as long as they harbor terrorists, they can forget about attaining their own state
                                Last edited by HSB; 10-23-2005, 08:02 AM.