PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas will seek an endorsement from President Bush Thursday for the commencement of direct, final-status negotiations with Israel, according to the director of political affairs for the PLO in Washington, Nabil Abuznaid. While Abbas will be seeking American pressure to restart final status talks on creating a Palestinian state, diplomatic sources in Washington say most of the meetings will be focused on how the PA can make good on its promise to disarm Hamas and other terrorist organizations.
Expect more incitement in PA-controlled media. "The Canaanite," a new television series broadcast on Palestinian television over the holy month of Ramadan, is filled with biased scenes illustrating the brutal behavior of Israeli security officials against Palestinian prisoners. One scene depicts an IDF soldier happily shooting and killing a Palestinian bride. The presentation of IDF soldiers as blood-thirsty murderers is only a backdrop to the claim that Israelis "are willing to fight us (the Palestinians) with AIDS." (Ynet News)
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday that progress was being made in securing Iraq, but declined to predict when American forces could withdraw or to rule out widening the war to Syria. Rice said for the first time that the American ambassador to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, had the "flexibility" to reach out to Iranian envoys to discuss the problem of insurgents entering Iraq from Iranian territory. There were also hints in her testimony of mounting American impatience with countries unwilling to support Iraq financially and politically, and the unwillingness of Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-dominated Arab countries to do more to encourage Iraqi Sunnis to work with Shiites. Asked about news reports that fighting on the border could spread to Syria, Rice repeatedly indicated that no options were being ruled out.
Rice offered a cutting comment about Saudi Arabia, which administration officials say has not come forward with aid or debt relief commensurate to its wealth. Asked about the recent comments of the Saudi foreign minister, Saud al-Faisal, that Iraq was disintegrating, she said: "I really think that the proper role for Saudi Arabia or for any other country in the region is to help them, not critique them." Administration officials say Rice was incensed by Prince Saud’s comment last month. (New York Times)
The evacuated settlers of the Atzmona and Elei Sinai settlements, who have been living in ‘tent cities’ since the pullout, suffered Wednesday from flooding, mud and puddles, resulting from the first rains. Ever since their evacuation from Gush Katif about two months ago, the settlers of Atzmona have been living in temporary housing facilities, in what they have named "The City of Faith."
Increasing numbers of Christians worldwide are coming to realize that they have a common future destiny with the people of Israel. Around 7000 Christians are in Jerusalem at various venues this week to show their solidarity with the people of the Jewish state. This is one couple’s story of how the evacuation of the Gush Katif area forever changed their lives. (Jerusalem Newswire)
Pray for President Bush. Pray that God will give him wisdom in the choices he makes, and the advisors to whom he listens. Pray for our members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, and state and local officials. (I Timothy 2:1-2)
Pray for our partners, friends and families in the Gulf Coast region as yet another killer storm heads for the Gulf of Mexico. (II Corinthians 8:14)
Pray for the families of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan this week. Pray that the Holy Spirit will comfort them, and give supernatural peace. (Philippians 4:7)
Pray for the safety of our troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world. Pray that God will protect and guide them daily. (Psalm 5:11)
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem according to Psalm 122:6.
Pray for revival worldwide according to II Chronicles 7:14. (I Thessalonians 5:17)
Pray for the victims of anti-Semitism worldwide who have been touched by the hatred of bigotry. Pray that God will heal the wounds, both physical and psychological. Only God can heal the hurting hearts. (Psalm 140:6)