• The Middle East in Focus
• A Report from Israel
• DOMA Update
• Time to Rejoice! Protect Life Act Passed in House
• Obama's Bad Day
• More News from Israel
• The Good News Corner
• Worship with Us Today!
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The Daily Brief - Tuesday, October 18, 2011
"Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth." (Revelation 3:10)
1. Gilad Shalit freed in Israeli-Palestinian prisoner swap - BBC
Gilad Shalit says he missed his family while in captivity and has much to do now he is free.
Cheering crowds have greeted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as he arrived back in his northern hometown of Mitzpe Hila after five years in captivity in Gaza.
Sgt Shalit was flown by helicopter from an airbase in central Israel after undergoing medical tests.
He was freed after Israel and the Islamist movement Hamas agreed a deal under which more than 1,000 Palestinians would also be released. Many thousands thronged the streets of Gaza to greet the former prisoners.
Israel freed 477 Palestinians on Tuesday, including people convicted of murder and of planning suicide attacks. Another 550 jailed Palestinians are to be freed next month under the deal.
- Father, we praise you for this long awaited release of Gilad Shalit. We intercede over the release of the prisoners that were freed in exchange for Shalit. We pray these men will be stopped from attempting any attacks against Israel in the future. May their conceived violence return to them.
- "He who is pregnant with evil and conceives trouble gives birth to disillusionment. He who digs a hole and scoops it out falls into the pit he has made. The trouble he causes recoils on himself; his violence comes down on his own head." (Psalm 7:14-16)
2. Iran, Russia call for stronger ties - PressTV
During a Saturday meeting between the two officials, Salehi called on Iranian and Russian authorities to work together on common interests, saying Tehran can be a reliable ally of Moscow. Iranian and Russian officials have a resolve to utilize opportunities with the purpose of expanding mutual relations, Salehi said.
- Lord, let your kingdom come and let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven and deliver us from evil we pray. (From the Lord's Prayer)
3. Iran Sends New Ambassador to Syria - FarsNews
Upon arrival at Damascus Airport, Sheibani who formerly served as Iran's Ambassador to Lebanon, said he would do whatever within his capabilities and possibilities to reinvigorate the ties between the two Muslim allies. "Relations between the two countries have always been special, and they grew stronger after the Islamic Revolution in Iran - My mission in Syria aims to strengthen the good bilateral ties, and we shall work with officials in both Iran and Syria to overcome the difficulties and challenges that Syria faces," the Iranian envoy said.
- Lord, we pray for protection against unholy alliances and for the fear of the Lord to come to these leaders.
- "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9:10)
4. FBI's DNA database upgrade plans come under fire - BBC
A major upgrade of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) DNA database system has come under fire from members of the forensic science community. The Codis system is used to generate the genetic profiles stored in the US national DNA database. The FBI wants to expand the number of genetic markers used by Codis to classify individual DNA profiles.
- Lord, we thank You for our life that is in the blood, and for Your shedding of blood for forgiveness of sins. We thank you for good uses that have come from DNA findings. We lift up this Codis system and the DNA database and ask that life be protected through the use of it. We ask that any evil would not be allowed to prevail in the use of it. Please give Holy Spirit wisdom and protection over the use of this information. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
- "For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar: it is the blood that makes atonement for one's life." (Leviticus 18:3)
5. Iranian Terror Suspect Known in Texas as Disorganized - VOA News
Manssor Arbabsiar, the man the U.S. government has charged with taking part in a plot with Iranian government officials to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the United States, lived for more than two decades in Corpus Christi, Texas, on the Gulf of Mexico, before moving to a suburb near Austin, the Texas capital, a few years ago.
- Father, we pray protection over our cities and neighborhoods from those who seem to live among us peacefully, but reveal themselves as wolves.
- They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.(Matthew 7:15)
6. US producer prices surge in September - AFP
US producer prices rose sharply in September, with jumping energy costs leading a broad-based rise in the Labor department's index for finished goods, government figures showed Tuesday.
Energy prices jumped 2.3 percent in September from the previous month, while foods were 0.6 percent higher, and other goods excluding energy and foods rose 0.2 percent.
The Labor Department cited especially rises in animal feeds, diesel fuel, primary basic organic chemicals.
- Father, while prices continue to rise on every side, may we strengthen ourselves in You, and Your provision over our lives.
- With perfect peace you will protect those whose minds cannot be changed, because they trust you. (Isaiah 26:3)God's Word Translation
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"But now many nations are gathered against you. They say, "Let her be defiled, let our eyes gloat over Zion!" But they do not know the thoughts of the Lord; they do not know his plan," (Micah 4:11-12a)
1. Schalit reunites with parents, PM welcomes him to Israel - Jerusalem Post
Gilad Schalit was welcomed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as he landed at Tel Nof Air Force base in Rehovot on Tuesday, before being reunited with his family after five years in Hamas captivity.
2. Schalit: I thought I'd be held captive for years to come - Jerusalem Post
Egyptian television aired an interview with Gilad Schalit on Tuesday morning, in which the captured soldier said that he thought he might have been held in captivity for many years to come. The interview, which was officials called "exploitative," was broadcast in the hours after the IDF soldier was released from captivity.
3. US: Quartet to meet Israelis, Palestinians - Ynet News
Envoys of the Middle East Quartet will meet separately in Jerusalem on October 26 with Israeli and Palestinian representatives, the State Department said Monday.
4. Quartet to hold meetings with Israel, PA officials in Jerusalem in late October - Ha'aretz
The Quartet of Middle East envoys will meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian officials in Jerusalem later this month to try to lay the ground for fresh Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Monday.
5. West Bank residents celebrate Schalit prisoner releases - Jerusalem Post
Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in the West Bank on Tuesday morning to celebrate the impending release of prisoners in the first stage of the Gilad Schalit deal, Channel 2 news reported.
A Report from Israel
Today in Israel: An on-site report from one who is on the land
I need to write to you about the freeing of Gilad Shalit. Seeing Gilad looking very thin and dazed, but still alive and walking under his own strength was a blessing. At the same time, watching all this prison swap business take place was extremely distressing. While Gilad was still in Egyptian hands, he was interrogated by the Islamic press; asking him all sorts of propaganda questions. In his weakened state, he did amazingly well, but it is unconscionable that they would use him in this way.
At the same time, the 450 ungodly Palestinian prisoners being released in the first round (for a total or 1,027) were interviewed by BBC, CNN, etc. as they sat on their Israeli buses heading for Gaza. These well fed, nicely dressed prisoners . . . many of which had Jewish blood on their hands . . . dared to suggest that they would kidnap many more Israelis until all the prisons in Israel were emptied of Palestinians. A woman prisoner had the audacity to create a lie for propaganda to be believed by the Israel-haters viewing the interview. She said that she would want to have a medical evaluation as soon as she got to Gaza, to show the Jewish neglect and abuse during her imprisonment. OUTRAGEOUS! These prisoners have had Internet access, television, recreation, balanced meals that were halal (Islamic approved), regular medical check-ups, family visitation, college courses offered toward degrees! This is how they discredit the righteous actions of the Israelis?
Gilad was in a dungeon for more than five years. Minimal food . . . mental torture . . . surrounded by explosives . . .no medical care . . . wounds uncared for . . . no visitation is what Hamas gave him! My comfort is found in the fact that the God of Israel knows the truth, and HE WILL DEAL WITH THIS EVIL POPULATION.
--Pray for the truth to come out in all this. Pray for people who want to know the truth.
--Pray for Gilad's total recovery . . . body, mind, and spirit.
Two tragedies occurred today in this unbalanced prisoner exchange.
1: The families, whose loved ones were murdered by these newly released prisoners, are in great pain. Palestinians who were to have remained in prison for several lifetimes are free again to see their loved one. The families of their victims will be denied the same opportunity for their whole lifetime. Many policemen, border guards and soldiers were killed or severely wounded to get these murderers behind bars. Now their sacrifices have been treated as if they are nothing of value . . . their deaths were in vain.
--Pray that the Lord would comfort these families.
--Pray that they would not be consumed in fear, in hatred, or in revenge.
--Pray that the Lord would send them the assurance that the lives of their lost loved ones are precious to Him.
2: The freed Palestinians have been greeted with massive parades in Gaza . . . treated as honored heroes . . . many of them pledging to kill again until all of Palestine is free of Jews. The Damascus-based Hamas leader, Khaled Mashaal, has already announced that those freed terrorists will "return to the struggle." Statistically, more than 60% of freed Palestinian prisoners will kill more Israelis. The Hamas leader in Gaza sent out the call to kidnap many more Israeli soldiers and citizens until all the prisons are empty. They learned today that terror works. They announced throughout the Islamic world that Israel is weak, and is now ripe for take-down. The threat level against Jewish lives . . . especially those in the settlements of Judea and Samaria was just raised to the maximum.
In addition, Hamas today became the official leadership of the Palestinian people. Abbas and Fatah could not extract from the Israelis what Hamas now has accomplished. In the eyes of the Palestinian people, Hamas members are the heroes. Therefore, if a Palestinian State is declared (God forbid!), it will now be led by a bloody terror organization, that will being in severe Sharia law and a promise to kill every Jew. This is a terrible consequence of the prisoner deal. The UN members had better take note of this.
--Pray that the Lord would deal with these murderers and with their evil leaders.
--Pray that the Lord would supernaturally protect every Jewish life . . . leaving these murderers empty handed and humiliated.
--Pray that the international community would hear the statements that have been made by the Palestinians, and be distressed by them, to the point that they will deny the PLO a State in the UN.
The hearts of the Israelis are very torn tonight. They have confidence that the Israeli government will do whatever is necessary to return their soldiers and citizens to safety. At the same time, they know that, as a result of this deal, everyone will be a target in the days ahead. More sons and daughters will be killed or kidnapped. The pride of the Palestinians is now rising off the charts. Due to the fact that many orchestrators and planners of terror attacks were among those freed today, we could soon see our streets run red with Jewish blood again.
--Pray that the Jewish people will unite. This deal has created much division, which could grow in the coming weeks.
--Pray that every plan to commit terror attacks will be thwarted, and uncovered. Pray that the orchestrators and participants will be caught and removed.
The spiritual atmosphere here is very heavy. With tomorrow being the final day for the Sukkot holiday, it appears that the Lord has been very merciful in preventing attacks during all the Fall feasts. Praise Him!
Also . . . please remember to pray for rain. We have had no rain in the past three weeks. The Fall rains MUST come soon, and the 10 year drought must be broken this year. Pray for God's mercy to rain down upon us.
God bless and keep you in the palm of His hand!
DOMA to Come Under Military Fire
Summary: [Pink] Military group vows to file suit for spousal benefits for soldiers' same-sex partners.
Following the official repeal of the military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy, the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) will face another frontal assault in federal court by the end of October.
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network -- the same activist group that lobbied for the repeal of DADT -- said over the weekend that it will file a lawsuit before November on behalf of gay-, lesbian- and bisexual-identified service personnel in legal same-sex marriages who want spousal benefits for their partners.
Though many people concerned about DOMA raised questions about this scenario before DADT was repealed, the U.S. Department of Defense never answered them.
"Before DADT was repealed, many of us warned the goal was always to get rid of DOMA," said Douglas E. Lee, a founding member of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. "The hints recently about gay literature, recruiting quotas, formal attempts to get rid of DOMA -- all this was predicted. It certainly is not surprising. A dismissal of DOMA would open up the military, which is exactly what their intentions were, to all kinds of things. So it's a very serious issue."
DOMA currently limits health care coverage and housing allowances to married heterosexual spouses and dependents of military personnel -- two factors which, combined, can account for nearly half their compensation. With DADT no longer in place, same-sex partners are now eligible for group life insurance, missing member notification and hospital visitation rights.
The Obama administration announced in February it would no longer defend DOMA in ongoing or future court challenges. Meanwhile, a bill to officially repeal the law is scheduled for discussion in the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee in November.
If the timing seems propitious, says retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis, it's only due to careful planning. Maginnis, who was on the Pentagon team in the1990s that preserved DADT, said gay activists have been aiming to take down marriage all along.
"Let there be no doubt: Homosexual activists have taken captive one of the nation's most conservative institutions," he told Citizen, "and they intend to use it as a platform to further transform the nation's moral landscape." (CitizenLink)
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Read House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon's letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.
Review the national poll results on the repeal of DADT.
Read Lt. Col. Bob Maginnis' summary of the bias in the Pentagon survey of homosexuals in the military.
Time to Rejoice! Protect Life Act Passed in House
FRC Praises House of Representatives for Approving the 'Protect Life Act'
Washington, D.C.- The U.S. House of Representatives last night approved the "Protect Life Act" to ensure that government funding is not used to fund abortion under Obamacare.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins responded with the following comments:
"We applaud U.S. Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA), Rep. Dan Lipinski(D-IL) and the majority of the House of Representatives for approving the 'Protect Life Act' to restore government neutrality on the question of taxpayer funding for abortion.
Most Americans, regardless of their view on the legality of abortion on demand, oppose government funding for abortion. The 'Protect Life Act' will make sure that this principle is restored under Obama's health care law, often called 'Obamacare.'
"Despite misleading comments by abortion proponents, the Protect Life Act simply removes abortion funding and funding for health plans that include abortion. It ensures that Americans who want health care insurance with abortion coverage or supplemental abortion coverage can purchase it, but not with federal dollars. This was the long standing policy of the Hyde amendment until Obamacare bypassed this 30 year-old provision by directly spending money on new programs without any abortion funding restriction and creating tax subsidies for plans with abortion. The Protect Life Act restores this principle.
The bill also provides conscience protections for health care workers who oppose abortion, something that is being undermined by the government and pro-abortion forces who want health care providers to pay for, cover, or participate in abortion procedures. Now that the House has acted, the Senate should follow suit and remove abortion from the controversial health care law," concluded Perkins.
[Capitol Hill Prayer Partners joins with the Family Research Council in rejoicing at the passage of tihis very important piece of legislation.]
Obama's Bad Day
Obama and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
As Obama continues his taxpayer funded bus tour with campaign stops in Virginia today, he might want to think about staying on the road -- as all the news from Washington has been bad news for him. First, last Friday the Obama Administration said it was dropping the CLASS program, the long term care part of Obama's health care law. At the time of ObamaCare's passage, Obama insisted that the monstrous program would be largely paid for by dubious savings found under the CLASS program. Instead, the plan was found to be unsustainable and thus dropped. As Congress investigates how exactly the Democrats covered up the obviously misguided piece of legislation, more fuel is added to the full repeal fire. As more and more is revealed regarding the ObamaCare monstrosity, it is becoming painstakingly obvious that this patient cannot be saved.
Next, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is dissecting the same JOBS/Stimulus II bill Obama is on the road promoting. The beleaguered Nevada Senator is taking the parts of the legislation that call for an increase in taxes on business owners and vowing the money would be spent to save jobs for teachers and first responders. If you recall, that was the same mantra used in Stimulus I. As the Wall Street Journal points out, spending too much is nothing new to the Washington culture. The federal government is wrapping up its most expensive year ever, spending $3.6 trillion. This is despite the promised "cuts" in government spending from both parties' leadership during the spending debates of the past year.
Washington doesn't have a taxing problem -- they have a serious spending one. That is why even Obama's piecemeal plan is opposed by Republicans and Democrats alike in the Senate. Not all the bad news comes from our nation's capital though. In news almost too funny to be true, Obama found out while on the road yesterday that his teleprompter was apparently stolen. When asked about the incident, Obama had no comment. [How could he, he had no teleprompter.] (Family Research Council)
Obama opposes repeal of healthcare program suspended last week
Obama is against repealing the health law's long-term-care CLASS Act and might veto Republican efforts to do so, an administration official tells The Hill, despite the government's announcement Friday that the program was dead in the water.
"We do not support repeal," the official said Monday. "Repealing the CLASS Act isn't necessary or productive. What we should be doing is working together to address the long-term care challenges we face in this country."
Over the weekend, The Hill has learned, an administration official called advocates of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act to reassure them that Obama is still committed to making the program work. That official also told advocates that widespread media reports on the program's demise were wrong, leaving advocates scratching their heads. (The Hill) Read more.
More News from Israel
Israeli MKs and Ministers Demand: Stop Home Demolition Derby
Senior members of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's government and dozens of Knesset Members - 38 in all - sent a letter to Netanyahu last week demanding that he reverse his policy, according to which, Jewish houses built on privately owned land in Judea and Samaria will be razed. Israel's Supreme Court, under its current President Dorit Beinisch, determined that the term "private property" includes any parcel that is not state property, even if there is no claim of ownership to it by a private individual. The Court's recent decisions in this matter require a massive demolition drive against Jews in Judea and Samaria after the holiday season, and are seen by nationalist observers as a parting shot by Beinisch, who is retiring in February.
"These criteria discriminate against the settlers and they must be changed to rules that grant compensation to the land owners, as is common practice in Israel and the entire world," the MK's letter said. They also called upon Netanyahu "to defend the settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria from those who persecute it under the guise of 'the rule of law,' and to instruct the professional tiers to try every legal means possible in order to prevent further demolitions in Judea and Samaria." Signatories include ministers Eli Yishai, Yuli Edelstein, Daniel Hershkovitz, Yaakov Mergi and Yossi Peled; as well as MKs from Likud, Shas, Yisrael Beitenu, National Union, Jewish Home and UTJ.
Minister of Culture and Sport Limor Livnat revealed Monday, in an Arutz Sheva exclusive interview that following her request, that Netanyahu instructed Justice Minister Yaakov Ne'eman to appoint a legal team that would find ways of blunting the edge of Beinisch's Supreme Court decrees. The head of the Yesha Council, an umbrella group of settlement leaders in Judea and Samaria, is calling upon ministers and Knesset members to intervene immediately to prevent mass demolition of Jewish homes in the mountainous Israeli heartland. The alternative, he warns, "will throw us all into a whirlpool with unknown consequences."
Yesha Council Chairman Danny Dayan sent a letter Tuesday to all of the ministers and MKs, noting that 150 homes - that approximately 1,000 Israelis have resided in for over a decade - are scheduled for destruction in the next four months or so. He warned that Netanyahu's government might be remembered as the one that carried out the most demolitions except the government of Ariel Sharon, which tore down Gush Katif and four communities in Samaria. (A7 Israeli News)
- Gracious Father, we ask that there be no more demolitions of Israeli homes in the Yesha--Judea and Samaria-- or anywhere else in Israel. We ask that many more homes will be built for Your Glory, and that all Israelis, especially new Israelis...those making aliyah, will have homes to live and rejoice in. May You guide Prime Minister Netanyahu to have the wisdom of Solomon in his deliberations about the demolition of homes that were approved and have now been found to be illegal by the outgoing president of the Israel Supreme Court. May all deception and double-mindedness of Israeli elected and unelected officials stop. HaShem Yeshua HaMasiach we pray. Amen.
-"But let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No.' For whatever is more than these is from the evil one." (Matthew 5: 37 NKJV)
The Good News Corner
Gilad Shalit is Welcomed Home, as Christian Pilgrims and Israelis March in Solidarity in Jerusalem
Gilad arrived by helicopter at Israel's Tel Nof Airforce Base where he met Prime Minister Netanyahu just before meeting his parents and family for the first time after five years.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in his first public announcement after greeting Gilad and escorting him to see his parents spoke about the fact that Israel pardoned and released over 1000 prisoners in exchange for Gilad, a price some believe may be too high.
"I would like to make it clear: We will continue to fight terrorism. Any released terrorist who returns to terrorism-his blood is upon his head. The State of Israel is different from its enemies: Here, we do not celebrate the release of murderers. Here, we do not applaud those who took life. On the contrary, we believe in the sanctity of life. We sanctify life. This is the ancient tradition of the Jewish People.
Netanyahu concluded his remarks by pointing out the fact that tomorrow evening the Feast celebration of Simchat Torah will begin and that how, on this coming Sabbath we will begin to read the words of the prophet Isaiah (42:7).
'To bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison-house.' Today, I can say, on behalf of all Israelis, in the spirit of the eternal values of the Jewish People: 'Your children shall return to their own border (Jeremiah 31:17).' Am Yisrael Chai! (The People of Israel live!)."
In the meantime, celebrations continue in Jerusalem with the annual Jerusalem March, though this years parade promises to be much more celebratory than years past. Thousands of Christians from some 80 nations will join the Jerusalem March, an annual parade during the holiday of Sukkot, which has become an expression of solidarity with Israel.
The Christian marchers in Israel are participating in the annual Christian celebration of the Feast of Tabernacles, sponsored by the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ).
"It is good for our Feast pilgrims from around the world to be here to express our solidarity on such a momentous day, as they will also see and experience first-hand what Israel is going through as Gilad Shalit returns home," said ICEJ Executive Director Dr. Juergen Buehler. "We share the relief and joy of the Shalit family and all Israel that Gilad has come back alive. We also share the disgust of so many that the price for his return has meant having to set ruthless murderers free. These are the paradoxes which Israel constantly lives with, and our pilgrims will no doubt return to their own nations with a deeper appreciation of Israel's unique struggles and an even stronger commitment to standing with the Jewish state and people."
The ICEJ's Feast pilgrims is the largest and most colorful delegations in the Jerusalem March.
The Christian Embassy's week-long Feast of Tabernacles celebration continues to be the largest solidarity mission to Israel this year, and the nation's largest annual tourist event. Approximately 6,000 Christians from more than 80 nations are participating in the festivities, which will conclude tonight at the Jerusalem Convention Center. Israel's deputy Foreign Minister, Daniel Ayalon, will give the farewell address.
Worship with Us Today!
"Above All" by Michael W. Smith
"Above All Powers" . . . It's a good thing to remember today, with Occupy Wall Street, the powers behind it, the Iranian threat, the killing of Christians by police in Egypt, and the news today out of Israel, too.
God is great . . . the All Powerful One who yet watches over all of us in His love.
Join us tonight in worship. Amen!