Monday, August 1, 2011

On Capitol Hill This Week Volume XVIII, Number 24

In This Issue
• Breaking News
• More Prayers During this Crisis
• This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
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On Capitol Hill This Week Volume XVIII, Number 24a
August 1 - 5, 2011


"Let my supplication come before You; Deliver me according to Your word." (Psalm 119: 170)




Both House and Senate Leaders Said to Endorse the Plan

Obama announced Sunday night that leaders of both parties in both chambers have reached an agreement on a debt-reduction deal that will "lift the cloud of uncertainty that hangs over our economy." According to the president, the deal means an immediate cut of $1 trillion over a 10-year period, followed by the creation of a committee to come up with additional cuts worth $1.5 trillion to be voted on by the end of the year.

Each chamber will nominate lawmakers to the committee to report back in the fall. Tax hikes are not part of the package and a pledge for a Balanced Budget Amendment vote is. Obama said everything will be on the table and both parties will find some of the cuts objectionable. (Fox News) Read more.

- It is interesting to note that this deal, which has yet to be actually approved by both houses, has been "announced" just as the Asian markets were opening tonight. As a result, the markets are up, and the dollar has been strengthened in China.


- "Having done all, stand." (Eph. 6:13)


Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid said Sunday evening that all congressional leaders had agreed to a compromise plan to lift the debt ceiling. "We're moving forward together," Reid said. Immediately afterward, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell declared "there is now a framework" for a deal.

The Senate adjourned Sunday night without a vote on a debt reduction deal, but Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid said that the parties are going to have to give ground and compromise so the country doesn't default.

"I am relieved to say that leaders from both parties have come together for the sake of our economy to reach a historic, bipartisan compromise that ends this dangerous standoff. The compromise we have agreed to is remarkable not only because of what it does, but because of what it prevents: a first-ever default on the full faith and credit of the United States," Reid said. (Fox News; Washington Post) Read more.

Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell will both present the agreement to their caucuses on Monday morning. Several objections are expected, including from Republican defense hawks who don't want the military gutted and from the Congressional Black Caucus, which called the deal a "sugar-coated Satan sandwich."

- Father, give our leaders Your wisdom as they work to approve this final deal. May they seek your face and be in one accord. May they put aside all bitterness and quarreling.
- But select capable men from all the people - men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain (Exodus 18:21)


Says "the deal does not violate GOP principles"

House Speaker John Boehner told his Republican caucus on a Sunday night conference call that the deal isn't done yet. "The press has been filled with reports all day about an agreement. There's no agreement until we've talked to you," he said.

But Boehner of Ohio said the deal does not violate GOP principles. "We got 98 percent of what we wanted," he said adding gthat the framework cuts more spending than it raises the debt limit. It also caps future spending to limits in the growth of government. "It would also guarantee the American people the vote they have been denied in both chambers on a balanced budget amendment, while creating, I think, some new incentives for past opponents of a BBA to support it," Boehner said. (Fox News) Read more.

- Offer a prayer that members of the House and the Senate be granted unusual wisdom to discern the "fine print" in this deal. May each one be granted an ability to "see" and to "know" when any detail may include a loophole that would be a detriment to our people. Pray!

- "I have now come to give you insight and understanding." (Daniel 9:22)


According to a Power Point presentation provided by Reid's office, if the committee's recommendations are not approved by the end of the year, a "trigger" in the proposal would automatically enact across-the-board cuts -- with roughly half of the cuts coming from defense.

The 12-member committee, composed of six Republicans and six Democrats, three from each party and each chamber, will report the legislation by Nov. 23. The vote, to take place by Dec. 23, would be an up-or-down vote with no amendments allowed.

The trigger would be enacted for across-the-board cuts if the joint committee doesn't reach at least $1.2 trillion in deficit reduction. If that happens, Obama would be allowed to request a $1.2 trillion debt increase and Congress would have to disapprove it. Across the board cuts would also apply to Medicare, but other programs like Social Security, Medicaid, veterans benefits and military pay would be off-limits. (Fox News) Read more

- There is clearly much work yet to be done before tihs deal can completely take effect. As the leaders of the House and the Senate, from both parties, weigh the names of who will serve on this committee, once again, ask our Lord to grant His wisdom as they do so. And may this committee, when it is set in place, govern wisely.

- But select capable men from all the people - men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain (Exodus 18:21)

More Prayers During this Crisis

Below please find a number of prayer requests that we have lifted up during this past week regarding different aspects of this crisis. Please continue to stand in agreement, asking our Lord to answer these prayers. Please feel free, too, to made adjustments in your intercession during this continued, fluid situation.

In reviewing prayers already offered, let us thank God together that many of these requests have already been answered during this past week of extremely intense negotiations on Capitol Hill. AMEN!

1. US fails to halt slide towards debt default - UK Telegraph (Posted on Friday, 7/29/11)

Stock markets across the world tumbled and gold hit a fresh high as leaders in Washington failed to halt America's slide towards default.

Downgrade may now be unavoidable - Financial Post The principal risk emerging from the U.S. debt quagmire is not a cataclysmic default that many economists maintain is highly unlikely.

Much more realistic is a downgrade to the country's creditworthiness, which markets are beginning to register as distinctly possible, even if the debt ceiling is raised.

- Now that a deal has apparently been reached, pray that this news will turn around, and we will not default on our loans.

- "Ask, and it will be given to you . . ." (Matthew 7:7)

2. Insiders Selling at Unusually Fast Pace - (Posted on Friday, 7/29/11)

Bad news, stock-market bulls: Corporate insiders are selling their companies' shares at an abnormally fast pace.

In fact, one measure of that selling activity shows insiders of NYSE- and AMEX-listed companies recently were selling at the fastest rate since data began being collected in the early 1970s, four decades ago. On the theory that insiders know more about their companies' prospects than do the rest of us, this is an ominous sign.

- Men are doing the best they know how to rescue themselves, but we put on the mind of Christ. Bind the spirit of panic that is hitting the markets; and loose peace, wisdom, grace, and peace. Men may follow after men; but we follow after the Lord our God.

- "Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God." (Psalm 20:7)

3. Downgrade may now be unavoidable - Financial Post {Posted on Thursday, July 28)

The principal risk emerging from the U.S. debt quagmire is not a cataclysmic default that many economists maintain is highly unlikely.

- Lord, as downgrade of America's credit rating in the world seems inevitable, we ask for a flood of wisdom and repentance throughout our Congress and the White House. Reveal to them what they have done to America and convict them of unrighteousness.

- "For I will surely deliver you, and you shall not fall by the sword." (Jeremiah 39:18a)

4. House speaker says Senate plan 'full of gimmicks' - CNBC (Posted Wed., 7/27/11)

House Speaker John Boehner says Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid's plan to deal with the debt and avert a government default is "full of gimmicks."

- We cry out to the Lord God of heaven to bring to nothing these any plans that are outside of Your perfect will for our people.. Open the eyes of our citizens. We ask for Your protection today. We call for angelic intervention to go in and destroy any and all documents that are full of deception. In Jesus Name.

- "You shall break them with a rod of iron: You shall dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be wise now therefore, O kings: be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling." (Psalm 2:9-11)

5. Obama warns of 'dangerous game' over US debt - AFP (Posted Wed., 7/27/11)

Karl Marx inspired Obama warned that the Republicans' unyielding approach to the US debt crisis was a "dangerous game" and urged Americans to press for compromise.

- God, open the eyes of our members of government to see clearly any deception regarding the US debt crisis. Dispatch angels to hover around the White House and all government offices and the homes of our officials to prevent any lawlessness that would bring destruction to our people. Guide them to act in accordance with God's perfect will. In Jesus Name.

- "The Lord is in His holy temple, the Lord's throne is in heaven: His eyes behold, His eyelids evaluate, the children of men. The Lord tries the righteous: but the wicked and him that loves violence His soul hates." (Psalm 11:4-5)

6. Futures slump as debt talks result in no deal - Reuters (Posted one week ago tonight: 7/24/11)

U.S. stock index futures fell sharply on Sunday (one week ago!) as failure so far by the government to strike a deal on the debt ceiling made the prospect of default -- once considered an impossible outcome -- more likely.

- Father, we put our trust in You for our future. We reject all fear concerning this report. We offer praise that, as of tonight, it does look like we will see this headline reversed, and we thank You for answered prayers! Amen!

- Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XVIII, No. 24b



The Palestinian people are solidly opposed to a third intifada and support negotiations with Israel, but they also have not reconciled themselves to the existence of the Jewish State of Israel and believe the goal should be to eventually turn it all, including Israel, into a single Palestinian state, according a recent poll. According to the poll of West Bank [Judea and Samaria] and Gaza Palestinians-conducted by Stanley Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research with the Palestinian Center for Public Opinion and sponsored by The Israel Project-52% of Palestinians said the real goal should be to start with two states and then move to one Palestinian state.

Greenberg said that while they did not ask specifically in the poll, he leans towards thinking that the one-Palestinian-state goal is more of a general goal in their current situation. He notes it highlights the need for education of the people by Palestinian leaders, but he said that Palestinians are not interested in making such a move to one-state through violence. Similarly, Palestinians were asked about their feelings regarding Obama's support for two states: "Palestine" as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people. The poll found that 61% reject that concept, with just 34% accepting it. . .

Interestingly, the Palestinians polled said they did believe in negotiations with Israel-despite obvious differences with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on what the parameters for a peace deal should be. The poll even showed a disconnect between the people and the Palestinian leadership, as 52% wanted negotiations instead of continuing to boycott talks.

. . . The Palestinian people have also made the UN recognition matter very low on what they believe should be President Mahmoud Abbas' list of priorities. Just 4% said getting the UN to recognize a Palestinian state should be one of the two highest priorities for Abbas in dealing with national questions facing the Palestinians, well below creating new jobs, expanding healthcare and solving water shortages, strengthening education and more. "So this is clearly not something people are invested in, and I don't expect much of a reaction," said Greenberg. He noted that Palestinians are "more focused on economic issues and building the quality of life in Palestinian areas. Particularly given the belief that violence is not a productive course right now and that peace negotiations are not a productive course, there seems to be greater interest in building Palestinian institutions and quality of life." (Reported by: Bridges for Peace)

- Pray that the international community, recognizing the impact of these poll results, will join with Israel in encouraging the Palestinian people to acknowledge that the nation of Israel is here to stay and to think realistically about their future.

- "Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. For He spoke, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast. The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; He makes the plans of the peoples of no effect. The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of His heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people He has chosen as His own inheritance." (Psalm 33:8-12)


A routine Security Council debate on the Middle East and Palestine became Israel's and the Palestinian Authority's dress rehearsal for September's General Assembly conference where the Palestinians will seek UN recognition. Palestinian observer Riyad Mansour called on the UN to recognize a Palestinian state. "It's time to end the occupation," he said, before bursting into tears. Israel's Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor warned that the Palestinian way of bypassing peace talks will lead to frustration and violence.

He later addressed Mansour and asked him: "On behalf of whom will you present a resolution in September? Mr. Abbas or Hamas?" He called on the Palestinians to embrace "a road of solutions, not resolutions; dialogue, not monologue; and direct negotiations, not unilateral declarations." Prosor continued: "There is much uncertainty about the future Palestinian government: its acceptance of the Quartet conditions, the peace process, control of its security forces, and many other questions . . . on these issues Israel and the international community must have clarity. For Israel, this so-called unity has only brought continued impunity for the terrorists that fire rockets into our cities." He noted that "even the most basic condition for statehood does not exist. The Palestinian Authority [PA] does not maintain effective control of all its territory nor does it hold a monopoly on the use of force."

Addressing the Security Council member states, Prosor stressed: "Unilateral actions will not bring peace to our region. The Palestinian initiatives at the United Nations may be superficially attractive to some. Yet, they distract from the true path to peace. There are no shortcuts to statehood. You cannot bypass the only path to peace. The Palestinians will have to get off the bandwagon of unilateralism-and back to the hard work of direct peacemaking."

US Ambassador to the UN Rosemary A. DiCarlo said that Washington was committed to a just solution and stated that core issues could only be resolved through negotiations and not in the UN. She added that an effort to isolate Israel in the General Assembly will not promote a Palestinian state.

(Excerpts of an article by Yitzhak Benhorin, Ynetnews, July 26, 2011)

(Reported by: Bridges for Peace)

- Pray that the number of nations that will oppose a Palestinian declaration of statehood in September will continue to grow and that any such unilateral action will be defeated.

- "In God is my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." (Psalm 62:7-8)


Turkish newspaper Hurriyet on Monday [July 25] reported that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is considering moving to a "Plan B," which will see relations with Israel suffer further by downgrading the level of Turkey's diplomatic staff in Israel. On Sunday [July 24], Erdogan said that he still expects an apology from Jerusalem [over the 2010 Gaza flotilla incident].

"We will wait for the Israelis' decision a certain period. If they don't apologize by this time, we shall move to Plan B," he said. According to Hurriyet, "Plan B" means cooling down relations with Israel. One of the most significant steps will be downgrading the level of Turkey's embassy staff in Israel.

Ankara recalled its ambassador following last year's flotilla event. It is also possible Turkey will not approve an Israeli ambassador to replace Gaby Levy.

On Sunday, the Turkish newspaper reported that Israel is considering compensating the families of the nine people killed aboard the ship and intends to issue a statement regretting the loss of life-regardless of Turkey's demand for an official apology.

(Excerpts of an article by Ynet, Ynetnews, July 25, 2011)

(Reported by: Bridges for Peace)

- Pray that the Lord will intervene in this situation and heal this diplomatic relationship. Pray that Israel will do the right thing and not be pressured into doing the "politically correct" thing.

- "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye." (Psalm 32:8)


Concerned about Israel-bashing

Three European nations have expressed their intention to boycott an upcoming United Nations event due to concerns about anti-Israel content. According to a newsflash on the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs Web site, Italy and the Czech Republic have joined with the Netherlands in announcing they will not attend the 10th anniversary event of the Durban declaration on racism.

Canada and the US have also expressed their intention to boycott. The original Durban events on racism, held in Durban, South Africa in September 2001, degenerated into an unfair singling out of Israel. As a result, the US was among the nations to boycott the follow-up event, Durban II. There, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad slammed Israel in a speech.

In the newsflash, the Dutch Foreign Ministry noted that since the 2001 Durban event, "a number of countries have repeatedly used discussions on combating racism, xenophobia, and discrimination to draw attention to the peace process in the Middle East and denounce Israel's right to exist."
In order to prevent this from happening again, the three European nations wanted to include a statement in the final declaration effectively saying that all participating states "agree to distance themselves from attempts to connect the Durban declaration to issues that have nothing to do with fighting racism."

However, the Netherlands said that "because such a guarantee proved impossible to achieve, the three countries now feel they have no option but to pull out of preparations for the celebrations and to stay at home in September."

Despite their intention to avoid the event over anti-Israel concerns, the Dutch wanted to emphasize that "needless to say, the Netherlands remains committed to fighting racism, xenophobia and discrimination in more productive ways." (By Joshua Spurlock, BFP Israel Mosaic Radio, July 26, 2011)

- Praise the Lord for these nations that are standing against anti-Semitism by boycotting this event. Pray that many other nations will do so as well and pray that this event will actually prove to be a non-event.

- "The LORD is righteous in all His ways, Gracious in all His works. The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He also will hear their cry and save them. The LORD preserves all who love Him, but all the wicked He will destroy." (Psalm 145:17-20)


No one can say when the next war will come, but when it does, Israel's main cities will almost certainly come under sustained bombardment by thousands of tons of warheads. That scenario has the military commanders responsible for protecting its citizens in a frenzy of preparedness. Across the country this summer, Israelis have been subject to home front drills, sending people scurrying into shelters, sirens blaring and gas masks distributed. Defense planners want to use underground parking garages and road tunnels as massive bomb shelters.

Israel's enemies-Hizbullah in the north, Hamas in the south, and Syria and Iran to the east-are stocking up missiles on an unprecedented scale. "Most of the rockets that are in the world today are pointed at Israel," Avi Schnurr, executive director of the Israel Missile Defense Association, told The Media Line. "The work that has been done in Israel, the leadership shown in terms of missile defense, has been extraordinary."

Matan Vilnai, Israel's minister for home front defense, told a conference on missile defense on Monday [July 25] that Palestinian rockets will hit Tel Aviv in any future conflict in the Gaza Strip. "In the next conflict with Gaza, even if it is at a much lower intensity than a war, missiles will fall on Gush Dan [Tel Aviv's metropolitan area]-for all intents and purposes, inside Tel Aviv," Vilnai said, referring to the heavily populated center of the country [of over 3 million or 42% of Israel's population].

"Terror organizations are making great efforts in order to threaten our heartland," he added. "Today, we understand that the next war there will be no difference between the rear and the front line.
Syria's formidable arsenal of Scud rockets are tipped with chemical and possibly biological warheads and can reach nearly every location in the country. "Syria possesses one of the largest ballistic missile-development programs in the region. Its arsenal already includes hundreds of mobile SCUD-class and short-range ballistic missiles," U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Arms Control, Verification and Compliance Frank Rose said in Tel Aviv on Monday. Speaking at the missile conference, Rose said the U.S. would continue to collaborate with Israel on its missile defenses and said that it was soon dispatching to the region another early-warning radar system to enhance Israel's missile-detection capabilities.

Intelligence reports were leaked last week saying that the embattled Syrian regime had been transferring missiles to Hizbullah in Lebanon, including 10 Scud-D class rockets, due to the unrest sweeping the country. If true, this would mark the first time that a non-state organization holds such destructive weaponry.

While the leaders and commanders in Israel have been highlighting the risk of nuclear-tipped missiles from Iran, they have rarely spoken of the other, potentially more deadly in scope, threat that comes from chemical weapons. These are aimed at Israel in staggering quantities. According to the Israel Defense Web site, Germany has offered to give Israel eight TEP 90 decontamination systems free of charge. (Excerpts of an article by Arieh O'Sullivan, The Media Line, July 26, 2011)

(Reported by: Bridges for Peace)

- Pray that these stores of rockets remain unused, and none are ever fired at Israel. Pray that the Lord will move dramatically to protect His people from these deadly threats.

- "Deliver me from my enemies, O my God; defend me from those who rise up against me. Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloodthirsty men." (Psalm 59:1-2)


Tens, and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Egyptians poured into Cairo's now-famed Tahrir Square on Friday to demand their nation become subject to Sharia Law and form the cornerstone for a new Islamic caliphate. The unplanned demonstration erupted following Friday prayers at mosques around the Egyptian capital. The demonstrators, who were led by the increasingly powerful Muslim Brotherhood, demanded that Egypt's interim military regime give way to an intolerant Islamic dictatorship. Various news media reported the demonstrators shouting and holding up signs reading: "Egypt will return to Sharia Law!", "Liberals and secularists are the enemies of Allah!", and "The solution is Islam!" (Source: Pray California!)

- Lift up a mighty prayer for the people of Egypt, that they not be brought into the yoke of bondage that is Shariah law. Ask our Lord to "open the eyes of the blind" that they might see the truth of the dangers of Islam, and flee!

- "And your ears will hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way; walk in it, when you turn to the right hand and when you turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21)


Tension Between the Two Nations IncreaseMeanwhile, tensions between Israel and post-revolution Egypt are again rising after Muslim gunmen bombed the Sinai natural gas pipeline on Saturday, the fifth such attack since Mubarak's ouster. The pipeline had already been turned off while work was being done to repair damage from the previous bombing earlier in the month. Israel receives about 40 percent of its natural gas from that pipeline, and having it out of order is setting the stage for an energy cost crisis in the Jewish state.

The latest pipeline attack has reignited the debate over whether or not Israel should continue to purchase natural gas from Egypt, considering that the Jewish state has recently discovered its own massive reserves. Israel buys natural gas from Egypt as part of the Camp David Accords that brought peace between the two nations. But Israeli energy experts say it can no longer be seen as a reliable source of energy.

INTERESTING - Israel's own offshore gas reserves are actually larger than Egypt's, and could easily supply the nation's needs. But making such a switch is certain to put the kind of economic pressure on Egypt that could lead to an outbreak of hostilities. (Israel Today)

- "FATHER, the United States stands with Israel, and blesses the land and the people into the knowledge of Jesus Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, as Savior and Lord, amen."

- "The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow . . . to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken" (Psalm 37:14-15)


The EU is likely to toughen sanctions against the Syrian regime after some 100 people were reportedly killed in the city of Hama when government tanks stormed in on Sunday (31 July), crushing protests in the five-month-long stand-off with President Bashar Assad. "I am shocked at the latest reports from Syria that large numbers of civilians have again been killed in a totally unjustified assault by Syrian security forces on the town of Hama, using tanks and other heavy weapons against citizens exercising their right to peaceful protest," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said in a statement. Condemning the killing which took place on the eve of the holy month of Ramadam, Ashton said that the actions "once again show the hollowness of the promises of reform made by the government" and urged Assad's government to engage in a real dialogue with opposition. (EU Observer) Read more.

- Praise the Lord that the UN is trying to make a stand against the violence occurring in Syria. Unfortunately, with China and Russia at the back of Syria, there is little that the UN can do. Assad's promises to the world mean nothing, for he and his regime have no plan to carry out any reform. They are interested in only in power. Pray that the meaninglessness of Syria's promises are exposed to the general public and that a spirit of condemnation will fall on Assad so mightily that he can become a righteous leader.

- "Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He
Italic saved them out of their distresses." (Psalm 107: 19)


For ISLAM, Ramadan is the most holy time of year. They show their love to their god allah through personal sacrifice and self discipline. In the ninth month of the Islamic year, all Muslims are called to fast for the entire month. They refrain from eating, drinking and sexual relations from dawn until sunset. Ramadan commemorates the transmission of the Qur'an by the archangel Gabriel to Muhammad. This month of fasting forms the fourth Pillar of Islam. For Muslims, it is a time to please their god allah and to bring themselves into closer relationship with him. (Pray California!)

- Let us corporately bind any unclean, lying, deception spirits. Let us bind the enemy that is seeking to destroy our households, bind the enemy that is sneaking into our counties and into our state. Let us command the enemy to leave, in Jesus' Name, and ask the Lord to send them back to the pit from where they came! Let us corporately call forth the Good Plans and Strategies the Lord has given to us to fill our land as we call forth and welcome the Holy Spirit, His Kingdom and His Righteousness. Amen!

- "Thank You Lord that You give us wisdom, understanding, and discernment to recognize and identify dark spirits and idol-worshiping events that harass and swirl around us. We walk in Your authority. We pray for those who are under the influence of the demonic to be set FREE! We pray for hearts to receive TRUTH, in Jesus Name. We pick up the Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, and we cut off any curses and actions against You and against us, Your People. Let Your enemies be scattered and let Your Glory ARISE in California and in Israel, we pray in Yeshua's Name, amen!"


On Tuesday, the United States reaffirmed its opposition to Palestinian plans to sidestep negotiations with Israel and declare a state this fall at the United Nations. But Ambassador Susan Rice, Washington's top representative at the UN, was apparently nowhere to be found. At the last open meeting of the UN Security Council prior to the Palestinians' expected unilateral declaration of independence (UDI), Rice's deputy, U.S. Deputy Permanent Representative Rosemary DiCarlo, pronounced that "symbolic actions to isolate Israel at the United Nations in September will not create an independent Palestinian state. The United States will not support unilateral campaigns at the United Nations in September or any other time."

While the statement was reassuring, Rice's absence is troubling.

By all accounts, the Palestinians are closing in on the numbers they need (if they haven't already). If U.S. policy is to stymie a vote in the General Assembly, where a two-thirds majority can pass a measure that would enable Palestinians to prosecute Israel in international legal fora, why wasn't Rice making more multilateral magic? . . . To make matters worse, a spokesman from the U.S. mission reluctantly admitted via email that Tuesday's open debate was the last this summer on Middle East issues -in other words, the last opportunity for the U.S. to publicly make its case.
Just what was America's closing arguments at the UN? The statement reveals the U.S. apparently does not view the Palestinian unilateral declaration as worthy of long refutation. Rather, the statement devotes just a few sentences at the top, explaining why unilateralism is ill-advised. By contrast, some three-quarters of the statement laid out the well-known contours of the president's policies in the Middle East, from settlements and Syria to Lebanon and Gaza.

Thus, while the Obama administration's public opposition to Palestinian unilateralism is both commendable and commonsensical, the execution of its policy has been a failure. The question now is whether the White House failed to execute a successful policy, or succeeded in executing a failed one. (The Jerusalem Connection) Read more.

- At the U.N., like everywhere else, actions (or, in this case, inaction) speak louder than words. Although the president has said he will not support the vote in September before the General Assembly, a unilateral declaration of Palestinian sovereignty, this past week's clue is unsettling, to say the least. Pray the Mr. Obama will stick to his words, and not abandon Israel when the day comes for this vote to be taken. Pray!
- "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one." (Matthew 5:37)

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

KING OF THE NATIONS (Meh-lekh Ha Goy-yeem)

"Who should not fear you, King of the nations? This is your due. Among all the wise leaders of the nations and in all their kingdoms, there is no one like you." (Jer. 10:7)

King of the nations, how I praise Your name, for there is none like You. Others may try to usurp your kingly reign, but they are fools in Your sight. Thank You that, no matter where I am, You are King. Amen.

(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)