Sunday, April 10, 2011

On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XVIII, No. 14

In This Issue
• On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XVIII, No. 14-a
• Special Alert: How the Bill Passed
• More News From the Hill
• This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970

On Capitol Hill This Week - Volume XVIII, Number 14a
April 11 - 15, 2011


"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)



Harry Reid takes a victory lap

Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took a victory lap on the floor late Friday night, following the announcement of a spending deal that averted a government shutdown with just minutes to spare. "This is historic, what we've done," Reid said, accompanied by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. "It has not been an easy process. Both sides have had to make tough choices. But tough choices is what this job's all about."

Reid, The Honorable Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Obama effectively shook hands on two deals Friday: a long-term spending bill that slashes $38.5 billion from current levels and a temporary 6-day stopgap measure that cuts $2 billion of that total as congressional negotiators dot their "i"s and cross their "t"s. Had they not reached an agreement, the government would have shutdown for the first time since 1995.

"We had an opportunity tonight to decide whether we wanted to repeat history or make history," McConnell said. "Had we chosen to repeat history, we would have allowed a government shutdown. Instead, we decided to make history by implementing in the middle of this fiscal year, as the majority leader indicated, substantial reductions in spending."

After both leaders shared their praise for the completed deal, Reid called for a voice vote. And then, in just a few words, the Senate passed a bill to keep the government open. They lived to negotiate for another day. (Politico) Read more.

-- For an excellent play-by-play summary of how this vote finally came together, please visit Tim McGhee's site here.

- Father, we have much to be thankful for this week. You made a way! Some of these policy provisions extend through the rest of the fiscal year and make for great victories for your glory. Others last all of another week or less before they must be decided again. We thank you for that opportunity to once again learn to trust you with every day.

- "Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding." (Proverbs 4:7)


The spending deal agreed to Friday night to avert a government shutdown includes a provision banning the District from spending its own funds to provide abortions to low-income women as well as funding to continue a controversial school voucher program. The inclusion of the abortion policy "rider" represents a victory for Republicans, who previously imposed such a ban when they controlled Congress and who included the provision in the version of the continuing resolution passed by the House in February. And it marks a sharp defeat for D.C. leaders, who fought to keep the ban out of a deal. (Washington Post) Read more.

- Father, we thank you for taking us off the path of proliferating access to abortion, and putting us back on the path of longstanding partially pro-life policy. We further ask you to put us on a path to a fully pro-life policy in this country. Specifically we want to see at least some kind of cut to Planned Parenthood. If this non-profit can bank an average of more than $75 million in profit each year, its federal funding should be cut by a minimum of that much.

- "Oppressing the poor for profit or giving to the rich certainly leads to poverty." (Proverbs 22:16)


Republicans and Democrats agreed to a budget deal with less than two hours to spare before the federal government engaged in a partial shutdown. The deal restores language that prohibits federal taxpayer funding of abortions in the nation's capital that Obama and Democrats removed in a previous budget when they controlled both chambers of Congress. Secondly, the deal requires Senate Democrats to allow a vote on a bill the House Republicans already approved to repeal the pro-abortion Obamacare bill that contains abortion funding and rationing concerns. The deal also requires a vote in the Senate on revoking funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business. (LifeNews) Read more.

- Father, we thank you that the health care law repeal began in earnest this week. The Congress sent a repeal of the 1099 provision to Obama. Virginia restricted abortion coverage under insurance sold through a health exchange. This isn't just a historically rapid retreat from one of our most wide-sweeping laws ever, but it's a testament to a people waking up and turning away from trusting in man to trusting in God. May that continue, and may we remember it is only with Your help that we can turn away from dependence on ourselves. Independence is not self-dependence, but freedom of worship with our whole lives.

- "I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:1-2)


Included in the bipartisan agreement reached last night on the Continuing Resolution are provisions which move us closer to repeal of ObamaCare, which can be strengthened by you helping us amplify the need for repeal.

What are those provisions?


The agreement reached with Senate Democrats guarantees a Senate debate and vote on legislation that would repeal Obama's government takeover of health care in its entirety. The House passed such legislation in January as part of the Pledge to America.


The agreement will generate new tools for the fight to repeal Obamacare by requiring numerous studies that will force the Obama Administration to reveal the true impact of the law's mandates, including a study of how individuals and families will see increased premiums as a result of certain Obamacare mandates; a full audit of all the waivers that the Obama Administration has given to firms and organizations - including unions - who can't meet the new annual coverage limits; a full audit of what's happening with the comparative effectiveness research funding that was in Obamacare and Obama's failed "stimulus" spending bill; and a report on all of the contractors who have been hired to implement the law and the costs to taxpayers of such contracts.


The Obama administration has sought increased federal funding for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) - money that could be used to hire additional agents to enforce the administration's agenda on a variety of issues. This increased funding is denied in the agreement.

To add your name to a petition to repeal Obamacare, go here.

- Ask the LORD to breathe LIFE into this petition drive, raising up a GROUNDSWELL OF SUPPORT among our citizens to see Congress repeal Obamacare. Politically, this will require a miracle; thank Him that we serve a miracle-working God!

- "'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the LORD Almighty." (Zech.4:6) "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power . . ." (Psalm 110:3)


I spend most of my time on Capitol Hill when Congress is in session, and it continues to amaze me how the minds of liberals there work. The United States is paying nearly $1.5 billion a day in interest on the national debt. Liberal congressmen say that cutting $61 billion of the more than $3.5 trillion budget will starve children and the elderly. Just imagine how many children and elderly could be fed using the money that is paid to the Chinese and the Saudis each month. We need to cut the debt. Note: About 40% of Obama's $3.5 trillion budget for next year will have to be borrowed. (Willam Murray; Religious Freedom Coalition)

- Father, there are many who would diminish what was accomplished this weekend. We know it's not just about the substance, but it's also about the direction. We thank you for the largest spending cuts in our nation's history. We know our financial problems will only be solved if this is just the beginning. We praise you that 60% of our annual budget does not need to be borrowed. May we continue to trust in you, not just to fix our problems, but to be a leading nation to the rest of the world.

- "The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow." (Deuteronomy 28:12)


Democrats and Republicans finally reached a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown, but their next clash promises to be just as epic when they tackle the national debt ceiling and the 2012 budget.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is fond of saying "nothing is decided until everything is decided." Well, despite the machinations of Friday night, everything is still not decided.

House and Senate appropriators began churning through writing the broader bill overnight to fund the rest of fiscal year 2011. They hope to post this bill late Monday, just before midnight; the bill would then wind its way through the rules committee Tuesday and hit the House floor Wednesday. One GOP aide said, "This will be a Herculean task to get this written."

Note that the House set its meeting time at 11pm Monday. That's right. Post Meridian. That is an effort to accomplish two things. First, the late start maximizes the amount of time appropriators have to write the bill. But at the same time, they face a time crunch on the other side. They want to post the bill late Monday night so Monday technically counts as one of the three days they have the bill available for lawmakers and the public to review.

"Nettlesome is a good word," said one aide, describing the bill battles ahead. "But they'll get it resolved." (Fox News)

To view a list of the items to be covered in this bill, go here.

- Father, we've heard of calculations before of how many dollars are spent per page, per word, and in this case no doubt even per dot on the pages of these bills. The amount of spending that is worked out every minute of this weekend and early this week boggles the minds of even those doing the very work. We pray for the budget negotiators, the chiefs of staff, legislative directors, and those people whose years of public service have led up to this week. We ask you to go before their pens, pencils, keyboards and spreadsheets, and bring forth a spending plan that would unmistakably honor and glorify You.

- "Does He not see my ways, And count all my steps?" (Job 31:4)


There is great news out of Wisconsin today. Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus apologized to voters yesterday after admitting that human error failed to include the results of more than 14,000 ballots from the city of Brookfield, Wisconsin, a heavily Republican area. Once those results were added to official totals, conservative Justice David Prosser took the lead by more than 7,000 votes.

The results are too big of an error to be voter fraud by conservatives, and Ramona Kitzinger, a Democrat canvasser in Waukesha County vouched for the totals at a press conference yesterday evening. Kitzinger said, "We went over everything and made sure the numbers jibed up and they did. We're satisfied that it's correct."

I have to admit, I was disturbed by the initial results this week when it looked like the left had won. But it seems Wisconsin taxpayers have had enough. Turnout in this week's election was twice what was expected. The unions and their left-wing allies pulled out all the stops, and so too did grassroots conservatives. I'm pleased to report that CWF played a role in conservative voter turnout efforts.

Here is another timely reminder: If you watched the scenes at the state capitol and the media's coverage, you would have thought that every citizen was furious with Gov. Walker and the GOP legislators. But it is the same old story: The left bussed in liberal activists from other states and left-wing students from the college campuses. Meanwhile, the silent majority of conservatives, moderates, independents and taxpayers are busy at work. The left is good at making noise and getting noticed. Whatever happens in the days ahead, we can't let that intimidate us. (Gary Bauer)
- Father, we thank you for the people of Wisconsin, and for consistency in their elections. We know our Union is fragile and has tender points in it right now. We ask you to give peace to the decisions made by the people, and comfort those caught in between changing times.

- "Blessed are those who keep justice, And he who does righteousness at all times!" (Psalm 106:3)


Internationalist billionaire George Soros is holding his international conference April 8 to April 11 at Bretton Woods, N.H., the noted birthplace of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, where he plans to "rearrange the entire financial order," as he noted in a November 2009 article in The Japan Times Online.

This "Bretton Woods II" comes along just as the Trilateral Commission will be meeting at the same time in Washington, D.C. With an apparent goal of creating nothing less than a new global economy, Soros is spending $50 million in New Hampshire to bring together up to 200 academic, business and government policy leaders under his Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET).

"Reorganizing the world order will need to extend beyond the financial system," Soros wrote in his opinion piece.

Soros is saying that a washed-up America should be replaced by a world government with a global currency under UN rule. He also advocates that China should be top dog while we play second fiddle. What Soros doesn't say is that two decades of outsourcing U.S. industry, opening the borders and bankrupting the economy with pointless wars and other debacles have been intentionally orchestrated so that now international bankers can tell the world the system is broken and that the individuals who broke it need to show us how to fix it.

Soros also fosters cultural degeneracy by supporting abortion rights, atheism, drug legalization, sex education, euthanasia, feminism, gun control, globalization, mass immigration, gay marriage etc. Soros funded Obama's campaign and often visits the White House.

At 81, taking down America appears to be his final challenge. "The main obstacle to a stable and just world order is the United States. The time has come for a very serious adjustment," he said. (American Free Press)

- In this article, we learn that as a young boy, Soros, a Hungarian Jew, turned in his own people to the Nazi soldiers, to be taken to the ovens of Auschwitz! Somewhere, this man must have a soul . . . pray for his deliverance from this bondage to the evil one. Pray, too, that the plans and purposes and every agenda of this conference in New Hampshire (and another Soros - funded conference for the global media, taking place in Boston) would come to naught. PRAY!


- "So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." (Isaiah 55:11)

- (For the conference) "Whatever you devise against the LORD, He will make a complete end of it." (Nahum 1:9)

Special Alert: How the Bill Passed

'We have an agreement'

[All material cited below is posted on Tim McGhee's blog, including links to each article. Used with permission.]

1. 'We have an agreement'
With under an hour and a half to go before a midnight deadline, House Speaker John Boehner announced that there is a deal to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year and that a short-term stopgap measure will be approved tonight to stave off a government shutdown.

2. Senate approves short-term bill to keep the government open
The Senate passed a short-term resolution late Friday night that would fund the federal government through April 15.

3. House, Senate pass one-week spending bill to buy time for deal The House approved a one-week spending bill at about 12:39 a.m. Saturday morning to avoid a government shutdown. The bill cuts $2 billion from discretionary spending and gives Congress more time to finalize a fiscal 2011 spending deal that Republicans and Democrats agreed to late Friday evening.

4. Evolution of the Deal: The White House Account
Obama called Reid Friday evening at 11:22 p.m. and the Honorable House Speaker John Boehner at 11:25 p.m. and "thanked them for their hard work." Around 10:30 p.m., the Obama was informed that the deal was made by Chief of Staff Bill Daley. Daley was informed by Legislative Affairs Director Rob Nabors, who was on the Hill with Reid's staff when the deal was officially made. Reid, D-Nev., called Vice President Joe Biden directly to inform him of the deal.

5. House rushes to pass 'bridge' bill ahead of longer-term measure
To move a week-long stop-gap bill to the House floor, Democratic leaders would need to grant "unanimous consent" to bypass going through the House Rules Committee. McCarthy said that it was "up to the Democrats, but we're hopeful."

6. Minutes to shutdown, Congress strikes budget deal
Just around midnight, House and Senate approved a six-day "bridge" bill that will keep the government operating while they draft bipartisan legislation to fund the government for the final six months of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

7. Pelosi, Hoyer vote for short-term spending deal
Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) returned from her Boston trip late Friday in time to vote in favor of the one-week spending agreement. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) also supported it. Only 28 Republicans voted against the bill, and 42 Democrats joined them.

8. Deal curbs D.C. abortions, includes other social issues
Democrats agreed to ban the District of Columbia from using federal and local taxpayer funds on abortions - a move already being cheered by abortion opponents as a noteworthy victory. The deal also includes a guarantee that the Senate will vote on bill that would end federal funding for Planned Parenthood, according to a House Republican summary.

9. Budget Deal Nets DC Abortion Funding Ban, Planned Parenthood Vote
Republicans and Democrats agreed to a budget deal with less than two hours to spare before the federal government engaged in a partial shutdown. The deal restores language that prohibits federal taxpayer funding of abortions in the nation's capital that Obama and Democrats removed in a previous budget when they controlled both chambers of Congress. Secondly, the deal requires Senate Democrats to allow a vote on a bill the House Republicans already approved to repeal the pro-abortion Obamacare bill that contains abortion funding and rationing concerns. The deal also requires a vote in the Senate on revoking funding for the Planned Parenthood abortion business.

10. Budget chief: 'Agencies are instructed to continue their normal operations'
So was the government technically shut down for a few minutes before the House passed the bill and the president signed it?

More News From the Hill
For more detailed and current information on what Congress has done and is doing in the House and Senate, please visit Deeper Inside the Mountain.

On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XVIII, No. 14b




It doesn't get much worse than this. An anti-tank missile fired from the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, hit a school bus in the Negev area of Israel. By the grace of God all the students but one had just previously been dropped off. Attacks on Jewish school children are not new. Several years ago I visited a kindergarten in Israel on the Lebanon border that been deliberately targeted by Hezbollah. What wasn't reported on the news: For the last several months Israel has not retaliated against several rockets a day being fired into its territory. The rockets have so far not injured anyone. (Religious Freedom Coalition)

The US . . . condemned the attack on the bus. Spokesman Mark Toner, in comments to reporters posted on the State Department Web site, said, "We condemn the attack on innocent civilians in southern Israel in the strongest possible terms, as well as ongoing rocket fire from Gaza. As we have reiterated many times, there's no justification for the targeting of innocent civilians, and those responsible for these terrorist acts should be held accountable. (Bridges for Peace)

- Praise God for protecting the 40 children who were previously on the bus. Pray that those who are fearful will put their trust in God, and He will give them peace, so they can sleep at night.

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


Fifteen Grad-model rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory overnight Friday. The Iron Dome rocket-defense system intercepted five of them in the Beersheba and Ashkelon areas, Israel Radio reported. Saturday morning two additional Grad rockets were fired at Ofakim and 25 mortar shells were fired into the Eshkol Regional Council. No injuries were immediately reported. Dozens of mortar shells were fired overnight.

Major escalation overnight, southern Israel under heavy fire: The Iron Dome anti-rocket system intercepted several Grad rockets fired at Beersheba, southern Israel's largest city, and at the town of Ofakim early Saturday. Five residents in both cities were lightly hurt while rushing to local bomb shelters after the anti-rocket siren was activated. Four of them were taken to hospital for treatment.

Meanwhile, the IDF continued to target terrorists, killing three Hamas members after firing at their vehicle in the city of Rafah. Palestinian sources said two of those killed were senior members of Izz al-Din al-Qassam, Hamas' military wing. (Jerusalem Post; Ynet News) Read more.

- - Friends on the land are reporting today (Saturday): The pounding continues at this moment. We need to bear down in serious prayer. I was told yesterday that each Iron Dome response costs 1 million dollars to take down an attack rocket that could cost up to $1000. It is very likely that these attacks are intended to deplete our defense supply for Iron Dome, before our enemies send down the BIG stuff. We really need to pray for wisdom from the Lord in applying this system, we well as additional protection from the Lord to cover what we cannot.

- "Deliver [Israel], O Lord, from evil men: Preserve [Israel] from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts: they continually gather together for war:" (Psalm 140: 1,2)


After nearly two months of rising tension, Israel and Hamas have taken a step towards a full-blown military confrontation: Before dawn Saturday, April 2, an Israeli air strike killed three senior Hamas Izz al-Din Qassam Brigades gunmen in the Gaza Strip in an operation described by an Israeli army spokesman as pre-empting a major Palestinian terror-cum-kidnap campaign scheduled for Passover. A fourth Palestinian was seriously injured by the airborne missile which struck their car between Khan Younes and Deir el Balakh. The Hamas Brigades warned Israel its "dangerous escalation" would have "consequences."

Debkafile's military and intelligence sources predict that the war confrontation which Saturday brought closer to realization will be unlike any previous Israel-Palestinian showdowns in the sense that it will be less the product of the old Middle East order and fall more under the influence of the radical elements rising out of the current Arab unrest, especially in Cairo, amid the decline of Western influence. Hamas may also resort to jihad against "the Israeli enemy" as a distraction from the rising disaffection of the Gazan population against its increasingly repressive methods of enforcing ever stricter Islamic decrees.

Saturday, after nearly two months of heightened Palestinian terrorist activity and low-key Israeli reprisals, both sides dropped their long pretense of seeking calm. The new rulers [of Egypt] are . . . distancing themselves from the close alliance the deposed Hosni Mubarak maintained with Saudi Arabia. While Riyadh fights Iranian-backed insurgents in Bahrain and slams the door on further encroachments in the Arab world, Cairo is opening it wide to give the Islamic Republic a foothold both in Cairo and in Gaza. Hamas is encouraged to spread its sphere of aggression from the half million Israeli civilians within missile range to far broader regions.

When US Defense Secretary Robert Gates visited Cairo on March 24, he tried to warn the military rulers that their indulgence of Hamas was bound to end badly in an Israeli military campaign to cut short its belligerent behavior. But three days later, when he was in Israel, he had to admit to his hosts that his warning fell on deaf ears. (DebkaFile) Read more . . .

- Pray that the USA does not step back from supporting Israel's fight against Hamas, for there can be no peace with these crazed terrorists who think they are doing Allah's work in destroying Israel. Since it may not yet be God's timing to have war erupt between Israel and the terrorists, ask the Lord to calm the situation down. The Israelis are very angry now, especially after the missile attack on a school bus last week, and wisdom must prevail. The terrorists respect power, but as they say their true weapon is time, and it is not their time but God's that is paramount.

- "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to kill and a time to heal; time of war and a time of peace." (Eccl. 3: 1,3, 8b)


Almost one year after the Gaza flotilla incident, another flotilla is being planned, and Israel is already taking diplomatic steps to try to prevent it. Last May, nine activists aboard one of the ships were killed in the original flotilla when activists attacked Israeli soldiers trying to commandeer the vessel as part of the blockade of the Gaza Strip. According to a report last week in Haaretz, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to try to prevent the next flotilla, which is expected to come in late May. Netanyahu said the new flotilla is intended as a provocative move and being organized by extreme Islamists.

A separate Haaretz article on Monday [April 4] said that more than 1,000 activists are expected to be involved in the upcoming flotilla. According to sources cited by Haaretz, more than 20 vessels are expected to be in the new flotilla. It is set for May 31, the one year anniversary of the violence in the first flotilla.

Haaretz said that Israel is working diplomatically to convince leaders of nations from which the ships are planning to come to discourage their nationals from being involved in the next flotilla. According to last week's article in Haaretz, Netanyahu, in speaking with Ban, reinforced the need for the Israeli naval blockade, reminding the UN leader of the recent interception of a cargo ship carrying an estimated 50 tons worth of weapons from Iran and bound for Gaza. Haaretz quoted Netanyahu as telling Ban, "Hamas is a terrorist organization and Iranian proxy."

Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Web site published an article saying that up to 121 new projects to benefit Gaza have recently been approved by the IDF's Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (CoGAT). The projects, with a cumulative price tag of approximately US $100 million, will be funded by international organizations, such as the Red Cross. The IDF article said the projects aim to "build infrastructure and improve the quality of life in the Gaza Strip." (Bridges for Peace)

- Pray that God will stop this flotilla from coming to Israel's shores. Let us cry out like Amos and say, "Lord, cease."

- "Behold, the Lord GOD called for conflict by fire and it consumed the great deep and devoured the territory. Then I said: 'O Lord GOD, cease, I pray! Oh, that Jacob may stand, for he is small!' So the LORD relented concerning this, 'This also shall not be,' said the Lord GOD." (Amos 7:4-6)


Less than six months before the Palestinians could go to the United Nations for unilateral statehood, the White House's top Middle East adviser has reaffirmed the American opposition to such a move, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Speaking to the Anti-Defamation League's leadership conference on Monday [April 4], US official Dennis Ross was quoted as saying, "We have consistently made it clear that the way to produce a Palestinian state is through negotiations, not through unilateral declarations, not through going to the UN. Our position on that has been consistent in opposition."

September's United Nations meeting in New York has been mentioned as a possible date for the Palestinians to make such a step, which would be a diplomatic blow to Israel and could try to pressure them to make territorial compromises at the expense of their security.

The UN talk has continued despite the fact that the Palestinians suspended peace negotiations with Israel last year following the end of Israel's 10-month settlement construction freeze-which was itself an unprecedented gesture by Israel.

Palestinian unilateralism at the UN would likely harm the diplomacy involved between Israel and the Palestinians, and The Jerusalem Post reported that Ross himself believes it would not advance the Palestinian aims. (Bridges for Peace)

- Praise God that the US remains supportive of Israel on this issue. Pray that your nation will stand with Israel and speak out boldly for her.

- "For Zion's sake I will not hold My peace, and for Jerusalem's sake I will not rest, until her righteousness goes forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burns." (Isaiah 62:1)


The chairman of the UN Human Rights Council fact-finding team that accused Israel of possibly committing war crimes during the 2008-09 Gaza war effectively retracted those claims on Friday [April 1] in an op-ed in The Washington Post. Judge Richard Goldstone, of the UN's Goldstone Report on Operation Cast Lead, said in The Washington Post that if he had known then what he knew now, the report would have been different.

He said Israel's own investigations into the war which were recognized in a UN follow-up committee's report have indicated that "civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of policy."

The Israelis welcomed Goldstone's comments, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying in a statement posted on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site that the UN should shelve the original Goldstone Report. "Everything we said has proven to be true: Israel did not intentionally harm civilians, its institutions and investigative bodies are worthy, while Hamas intentionally fired upon innocent civilians and did not examine anything [of accusations of war crimes]," said Netanyahu. "The fact that Goldstone backtracked must lead to the shelving of this report once and for all." (Bridges for Peace)

- Praise God for this vindication of Israel! Often, though, retractions given after an incident are not acknowledged and only the first reports are believed. Pray that this will bring the issue to a close in the UN.

- "For You have maintained my right and my cause; You sat on the throne judging in righteousness." (Psalm 9:4)


Protests erupted across Syria against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad on Friday, and sources said at least 22 people were killed in the southern city of Deraa, the cradle of unrest challenging his 11-year rule. In the east, thousands of ethnic Kurds demonstrated for reform despite the president's offer this week to ease rules which bar many Kurds from citizenship, activists said.

Protests swept the country of 20 million people, from the Mediterranean port of Latakia to Albu Kamal on the Iraqi border, as demonstrations entered a fourth week in defiance of Assad's security crackdown and growing list of reform pledges. State television said armed groups killed 19 policemen and wounded 75 in Deraa.

Authorities have blamed armed groups for the violence and state television broadcast footage on Friday of plain clothed gunmen it said fired at security forces and civilians alike. It said a policeman and an ambulance driver were killed.Syria has prevented other media reporting from Deraa.

"I saw pools of blood and three bodies in the street being picked up by relatives," a Deraa resident told Reuters by phone. "There were snipers on roofs. Gunfire was heavy. The injured are being taken to homes. No one trusts putting his relative in a hospital in these circumstances," he added. Many protesters feared they would be arrested if taken to clinics. (Jerusalem Post) Read more.
- Please pray for the residents of Syria: for their protection, for their voice to be heard, and for their desire for liberty. What Americans have trouble understanding is that in the Middle Eastern countries, assimilation does not occur. People from other countries do not become citizens of, for example, Syria but must remain citizens of their home countries. They have no grounds on which to protest. Despotic rulers then have grounds for harshly putting down riots/ cries for liberty. Sever Assad from the spirit of murder that he inherited from his father who killed thousands of Syrians when gaining power. Never cease to pray for our own friend who lives in Syria and his family. [Name withheld upon request.]

- "Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, and the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance." (Psalm 33: 12) [Obviously, Syria is not such a nation, but many of its people belong to God.]


BUKATA, Golan Heights - Druse in the Israeli-held Golan Heights have been turning out in thousands in shows of support for Syria's president as he faces anti-government protests. But the pro-reform wave stirs mixed feelings for the 20,000 Druse, who never stopped seeing themselves as Syrian but have grown up used to freedoms under Israeli rule.

Few members of the Druse, members of a tight-knit community who belong to a secretive offshoot of Islam, will speak out against Syrian President Bashar Assad - possibly fearing for family members on the other side of the frontier.

The community has gone out of its way to show public support. A rally in the Golan last weekend drew thousands of Assad backers to the village of Majdal Shams, where the main square is dominated by a sculpture featuring Sultan Pasha Atrash, a legendary Druse warrior who led Syria's battle for independence from France and other powers in the last century. There have been no protests backing Assad's opponents.

. . . One prominent figure in the Golan community acknowledged that reverting to authoritarian Syrian rule is problematic. Many, he said, like their lifestyle under Israeli rule. Yet "they still feel a sense of belonging to Syria," he said. Like many residents, he spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing trouble with authorities. (AP) Read more.

- In the face of the growing turmoil within the nation of Syria and against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, call unto the Lord that He would visit the Golan with His peace. This area of Israel was not "captured" in 1967, but rather was "recaptured," for this land, too, belongs to the Jews. Offer praise that the Druze feel safe and secure within the borders of Israel, for this is a testimony to the true nature of Israeli rule: a government that reflects the mercy heart of our God.

- [For the Druze] "They will live in safety, and no one will make them afraid."
(Ezek. 34:28)


Is the Obama Administration ignoring or encouraging the power grab by radical Islamic groups in Egypt? Nagib Gibrail, a Coptic Christian who heads the Egyptian Union of Human Rights, told the Jerusalem Post that the Egyptian revolution has been kidnapped by Islamist radicals. "There are areas in Egypt where Christian girls can't walk outside after eight o'clock in the evening for fear of being kidnapped," Gibrail told The Media Line. "Moderate Muslims should be more scared than Christians. It is very worrying that the military regime hasn't issued a statement declaring Egypt a secular state."

Obama's Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said that the Muslim Brotherhood was "largely secular" and that there was "no overarching agenda, particularly in pursuit of violence, at least internationally." Today, April 8th, more than a million Egyptian followers of the Muslim Brotherhood gather at "Liberation Square" to demand the destruction of Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood also wants to repeal the free market practices which the deposed President Mubarak had introduced. The Muslim Brotherhood seems to be the new international partner of the Obama Administration to bring "democracy" to the Middle East. Religious Freedom Coalition; Jerusalem Post)
Read more.

- The opening question is good, and the answer seems to be "yes." A few weeks ago the OCAP included an article that tied Obama to the MB, a horrifying issue that defies American thinking. Even the American media is beginning to question the president's tactics. Keep praying that the truth will be exposed of the White House's agenda and that any aid -- whether financial or ideological -- to terrorists is stopped immediately. Pray also that Congress will notice this trend and will hold a hearing on the president's leanings. James Clapper needs to retire from government work until he can see the truth. Surround the Coptic Christians in Egypt with the Lord's protection.

- "Also I will make justice the measuring line, and righteousness the plummet; the hail will seep away the refuge of lies, and the waters will overflow the hiding place."
(Isaiah 28: 17)


The situation in Libya has become increasingly chaotic. A NATO bombing raid yesterday killed 13 rebel fighters. Somehow the rebels managed to seize a few tanks and heavy vehicles, and NATO aircraft mistook them for Qadhafi's forces.

On Thursday, Army General Carter Ham testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee. Gen. Ham, who led U.S. forces in Libya until NATO took over, offered a bleak assessment of the situation. According to CBS News, Ham said that "the operation was largely stalemated now and was more likely to remain that way since America has transferred control to NATO."

From Baghdad this week, NBC's Tom Brokaw reported this shocking revelation: " . . . the Saudis are so unhappy with the Obama administration . . . that [they] sent high level emissaries to China and Russia to tell those two countries that Saudi Arabia now is prepared to do more business with them." (Gary Bauer)

URGENT: Report: Qaddafi Accepts "Roadmap to Peace"

After meeting with African leaders, the Libyan leader expresses interest in ending the conflict. (Fox News)

- Pray in the Spirit over all news coming out of Libya tonight. The Lord has a plan, and He knows what He is doing. As we use our prayer language in agreement with His will, His kingdom shall be built on earth, as it is in heaven.

- "Whatever the Lord pleases, He does." (Psalm 135:6)


A top Kremlin official has told the United States Russia wants "red button" rights to a new US-backed missile defense system for Europe, a move that would allow it to influence the shield's day-to-day operational use. Sergey Ivanov, Russia's deputy prime minister, made the controversial demand during a visit to the United States where he met with top officials including Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State. "We insist on only one thing," he said of the nascent US-backed missile defence shield. "That we are an equal part of it." "In practical terms, that means that our office will sit for example in Brussels and agree on a red-button push to launch an interceptor missile, regardless of whether the missile is launched from Poland, Russia or the UK."

Russia has been pushing hard for a prominent role in the new missile shield for months but with little noticeable success as Washington and its allies remain deeply skeptical of Russia's reliability as a political and military partner. The United States has said the new shield is needed to protect Europe and itself from long-range missile attacks from rogue states such as Iran. But Russia has argued that the new system will blunt its own nuclear deterrent. It has threatened to beef up its own nuclear forces if it is excluded or granted only a junior role in the project.

Robert Gates, the US defense secretary, tried to pacify the Kremlin last month by offering to share information about the new system and by offering to build a joint data centre. But Russian government officials have since made it clear that such a compromise does not go far enough. President Barack Obama diluted Washington's original plans to build a missile defense shield around facilities in Poland and the Czech Republic in the face of fierce Russian opposition. (UK Telegraph) Read more.

- This demand from Russia sounds like "let's see how far we can push the Americans" ploy to get information about the defense shield. Probably Russia has some plans to build its rockets to penetrate the shield. Russia is not to be trusted. Pray that the USA will not succumb to any Russian demand, even if Russia becomes angry and blusters with threats. Pray for the Secretary of Defense to stand firm against the president's lack of understanding. Russia respects power, not negotiation.

- "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust: My shield and the horn of my salvation , my stronghold." (Ps. 18:2)


The call to prayer featured below was issued by Wolfgang and Mercy Simson, and Christoph Tiedeke. It is reprinted here by permission.

Although this specific call to prayer was to have taken place today, we submit these prayer requests and strategies to our Prayer Partners for future reference. Thank you.

Calling all to pray with our Japanese Brothers and Sisters this Sunday, April 10th.

As participants of an emergency meeting a few days ago of Christians from inside and outside Japan in Nagoya, we would like to invite you all to join our brothers and sisters in Japan with our prayers and intercession this Sunday. They will meet in several locations in Japan (2 PM Japanese time) to bring the current situation before God. They have clearly heard, in all the disasters that have happened, the deadly serious call of the coming [sic] King to repentance. It is their deep conviction that God is calling the entire nation of Japan to walk away from their idols and come back to him. Instead of just praying "for Japan" as an innocent victim and donate money for humanitarian aid to restore the country back to the situation before the disasters, they specifically ask to pray "with Japan" to the God from whom this national shaking originates, and to ask him if mercy can triumph one more time over justice.

As the judgment of God begins at the house of God, Dr. Mitsuo Fukuda (Osaka) has named three core idols of Christians that are competing with God and are venerated in most churches far more than most realize: the system of a professional and pyramidical priesthood with the imported theology of God as a distant and harmless grand-father that literally teaches "the laity" to death; the obsession with costly church buildings that are far too large for the average of 20 believers per church; and the religious enslavement to the routines and rituals of the church programs, which are typically centered around a lifeless One Man show.

According to leaders in society, business and politics, the church, as it is, has next to no voice nor influence in the Japanese society. Where the church has turned a deaf ear to all prophetic calls for a return to their first love, to unity and to a life aligned with the principles of the Kingdom of God, the judgment of God goes beyond the house of God and now implicates the entire country. The only way to stop this process is a national return to God. This, however, would mark a historic chance for a new beginning, and could be the beginning of liberating the nation of Japan to stepping into the historic role amongst the nations that God has planned for it.

- Please pray with them this coming Sunday in services, house churches and families, that the Japanese Church will have the strength to walk away from their idols and find back to their God, who is not only their savior, but also wants to be their acting King.

- Pray for a national repentance, for a capitulation of its leaders before the King of Kings.

- We should not attempt to hinder Gods arm. It makes no sense to pray against a situation that God has authorized. But as intercessors we have huge privileges: we can and should pray for repentance and forgiveness, negotiate with God about the number of those with righteous standing (Genesis 18), ask him to shorten the days of tribulation (Mark 13:20) and stand in the gap for a nation that God is calling back to him.

- Please pray if God would have you fast for hree days towards the breakthrough of Gods redemptive purposes for Japan.

- Beyond humanitarian aid Japan urgently needs help for a spiritual reconstruction and reformation, based on the solid foundations of the Kingdom of God. (Released by the WIN PRAYER ALERT)

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

HOLY (Kadosh)

For this is what the high and lofty One says- he who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite." (Isaiah 57:15)

Holy is Your Name; Holiness befits You. Thank You that it is not on my merit that I can approach You, but it is because of the shed Blood of Yeshua, Jesus, that I can approach Your throne of grace, and have the privilege to call You Holy -- Kadosh.

"All the earth bows down to you; they sing praise to you, they sing praise to your name." (Psalm 66:4)

(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)