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TWO HOURS AT THE WHITE HOUSE: Was progress made?

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2009 at 5:25 am

In public, all smiles. The question is: Do serious policy differences remain?

In public, all smiles. The question is: Do serious policy differences remain?

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu met in the Oval Office to discuss Iran and the peace process.

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu met in the Oval Office to discuss Iran and the peace process.

> UPDATE: On Monday, I’m scheduled to be on Janet Parshall’s nationally syndicated radio show from 3pm to 3:45pm to discuss the Netanyahu visit. I’m also scheduled to be on Glenn Beck’s TV show on Fox to discuss the Obama-Netanyahu meeting at 5:30pm eastern.

> To join nearly 100,000 people receiving Joel’s email alerts on events in Israel and the Islamic world — and Joshua Fund project and prayer updates — please click here

UPDATE AT 2:30pm eastern: President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu just completed two hours of meetings at the White House. The major topics, as expected, were Iran’s nuclear threat to Israel and the Western world, and the future of the peace process with the Palestinians.

The President unsuccessfully pressed Netanyahu to commit to a “two state solution.” Netanyahu reiterated that Israel does not want to govern the Palestinians but would not commit to agreeing that they have full sovereignty, something that would allow the Palestinians to build strategic military alliances with Iran, Syria and other dangerous regimes, as well as build an air force and navy, all of which would endanger the Jewish States.

The President did not commit to putting to put a time limit on diplomacy with Iran. He did say he wants to see a positive response from Iran by the end of the year, but did not define what progress would look like.  “Obama said he expects a positive response from his diplomatic outreach to Iran on stopping its nuclear program by the end of the year,” reported the Associated Press. “The president said the United States wanted to bring Iran into the world community, but declared ‘we’re not going to have talks forever.’”

Reuters is also reporting that “Obama said after the meeting he saw no reasons to set an artificial deadline for diplomacy with Iran, but the United States would like to see progress with Tehran by the end of the year.”

“The two were intended to meet in private for an hour and then be joined by their advisors, though the tête-à-tête was extended by half an hour,” reported the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. “Afterwards Netanyahu was joined by top aide Ron Dermer and his National Security Advisor, Uzi Arad. Obama was joined by the US National Security Advisor, James Jones.” It was General Jones who publicly criticized Israels’ “preoccuption” with the Iranian nuclear threat and recently told European diplomats that “we’re not going to throw Israel in front of a bus, but…” — but we’re going to pressure Israel to accept American dictates on Middle East policy vis-a-vis Iran and the Palestinians.

ORIGINAL POST: Please carve time out of your schedules today to pray that the God of Israel would bless the meetings today, tomorrow and Wednesday between  Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, Defense Secretary Gates, and Congressional leaders. Given the high stakes in the epicenter, please pray that the Lord’s will would be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Yes, it appears a diplomatic train wreck is coming between the U.S. and Israel in the not-too-distant future given that Netanyahu understands Iran’s leaders are part of an apocalyptic, genocidal death cult and believe it is their God-given mission to annihilate Judeo-Christian civilization as we know it, and the American President and his team clearly do not. [Example: Gen. James Jones, President Obama's national security advisor -- appearing on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopolous" last week -- referred to "Israel's preoccupation with Iran as an existential threat." That's a curious choice of words to the rise of a Nazi-esque regime in Iran.] That disconnect, of course, could change. Change is the mantra, after all. The Lord in His grace and power could change the hearts and minds of our government leaders so that they would: 1) understand the evil nature of the Iranian regime and be united with Israel in doing everything possible to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons; and 2) stop pressuring Israel to make unwise concessions to their enemies. The question I’m asking is not whether the Lord can change the hearts of our leaders, but whether He will choose to do so.

Perhaps, the Lord is going to allow the U.S. to abandon Israel at this moment in history. The Obama administration is  certainly doing everything it can to curry favor with the Muslim world and clearly views Israel as the problem in the region, not our best strategic ally in the epicenter. Only 31% of Israelis now see President Obama as “pro-Israel,” down from more than 80% of Israelis who saw President George W. Bush that way. Perhaps the season of American love and steadfast support for the Jewish State is coming to a close. I hope not. I pray not. But we must realize that Scripturally we know that the entire world will eventually turn against Israel in the “last days.” The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob won’t abandon Israel. Indeed, the Lord will use the nations turning against Israel to show His unconditional love and unwavering support for the Jews. That He is their only friend. Their only hope. God is jealous for the Jewish people. He wants to draw them to Himself, to protect them, to care for them, to save them. He does not want them to trust in anyone or anything but Him. Perhaps the Lord is beginning to show His people that He is the only one they can truly trust to love them and care for them.

The good news is that the Bible gives us hope — that the God of Israel can change the situation dramatically if He so chooses; and He can and will bless Israel even if the United States does not, because He loves the Jewish people and has a great plan for their lives. Consider the following verses as  you pray for U.S. and Israeli leaders today:

  • “Nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37).
  • “The king’s heart is like channels of water in the and of the Lord; He turns it wherever He wishes.” (Proverbs 21:1)
  • “Behold, He who keeps Israel will  neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:4)
  • “O Israel, trust in the Lord; He is their help and their shield….The Lord has been mindful of us; He will bless us; He will bless the house of Israel.” (Psalm 115:9,12)
  • “Those who trust in the Lord are as Mount Zion, which cannot be moved but abides forever. As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds His people from this time forth and forever.” (Psalm 125:1-2)
  • “For the Lord has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His habitation. ‘This is My resting place forever; here I will dwell, for I have desired it. I will abundantly bless her  provision; I will satisfy her needy with bread. Her priests also I will clothe with salvation, and her godly ones will sing aloud for joy.” (Psalm 132:13-16)
  • “I know that You [Lord] can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.” (Job 42:2)

So let us pray, but not be worried. God has everything in His control, and we need to put our full trust in Him, especially as the return of Jesus Christ approaches. As Jesus told us in John 14:1-3, “Let your heart not be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”

> INTERVIEW: On Friday, I was interviewed on CBN News to preview the Netanyahu visit. To watch, please click here

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