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The Daily Brief Thursday, November 15, 2012
"See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you. Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn." (Isaiah 60:2,3)
The Daily Brief
1. More deaths reported as Israeli military, Gaza militants trade fire- Fox News
Israel moved closer to an all-out ground war with Hamas Thursday, as Israeli planes, tanks and gunboats pounded suspected militant positions in Gaza in retaliation for another day of Hamas rocket attacks that left at least three Israelis dead.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told reporters on Thursday that Israel could no longer stand repeated attacks on its southern towns. He said that Israel has "made it clear" it won't tolerate continued rocket fire on its civilians.
- Father, we stand with Israel at this dangerous time and pray that You will show Yourself mighty on their behalf. We pray for the peace of Jerusalem!
- "He who scatters has come up before your face. Man the fort! Watch the road! Strengthen your flanks! Fortify your power mightily." [Nahum 2:1]
2. a) Iran's Bushehr plant entering final stages - UPI
Iran's nuclear plant in Bushehr is entering its final testing stage and is expected to become fully operational by early next year, an Iranian official said.
b) Iran increased by a third Fordow centrifuges - Jerusalem Post
Iran is believed to have increased the number of centrifuges in an underground nuclear plant by nearly a third in three months, diplomats say, underlining the tough task facing major powers pressing Tehran to curb its atomic activity.
- Father, we ask in Jesus' Name that You will continue to thwart Iran's nuclear program.We apply the Blood of Christ to the Jewish people and those who stand with her.
- "The Lord of Hosts will defend them" [Zechariah 9:15a]
3. Lawmakers dig for answers on Libya in round of public, private hearings
- Fox News
More than two months after the deadly Libya terror attack, lawmakers are entering a round of hearings in hopes of getting some answers.
The House and Senate intelligence committees are both holding closed oversight hearings Thursday where a roster of top-ranking intelligence and other officials are set to testify. These include Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and CIA Acting Director Michael Morell, who was tapped to replace David Petraeus after he resigned last Friday.
Petraeus, though, has agreed to speak to the intelligence committees about Libya, with back-to-back appearances before the House and Senate panels scheduled for Friday morning. Those, too, will be closed to the public.
- Lord, we continue to pray Your truth will be revealed in these hearings.
- "He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path." [Proverbs 2:8-9]
4. Obama to open talks with $1.6 trillion plan to raise taxes on corporations, wealthy - Washington Post
President Obama is taking a hard line with congressional Republicans heading into negotiations over the year-end "fiscal cliff," making no opening concessions and calling for far more in new taxes than Republicans have so far been willing to consider.
- Father, we pray that only Your will prevail over America's budget and financial situation. We trust in You to save us from the plans of our enemies.
-"God is wise in heart and mighty in strength. Who has hardened himself against Him and prospered?" [Job 9:4]
5. Wealthy Dump Assets Amid Worries About Going Over 'Cliff' - CNBC
Fearing an increase in capital gains and dividend taxes, many of the rich are unloading stocks, businesses and homes before the end of the year.
- Lord, we bind fear of man in the Name of Jesus. We pray for wisdom for our wealthy citizens, that they not do rash and foolish things in the midst of this difficult time.
-"The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe." [Proverbs 29:25]
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"Hallelujah: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns." (Revelation 19:6)
1. IDF calling up reserves ahead of possible Gaza ground operation - Times of Israel
The IDF has called up a limited number of reserve soldiers ahead of a possible ground incursion into Gaza as part of Operation Pillar of Defense, IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said Thursday.
2. Hamas threatens to carry out suicide bombings - Ynet News
Hamas is vowing to avenge the death of commander Ahmed Al-Jabari, who was killed in an airstrike earlier on Wednesday. Hamas official Ismail al-Ashqar said that the "resistance's possibilities" are now open and include suicide bombings and high profile attacks inside Israeli cities.
3. Gazans fire 83 rockets into Israel; Iron Dome intercepts 25 - Jerusalem Post
Terrorists from the Gaza Strip renewed their rocket-fire on southern Israel following the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense Wednesday night, which struck terrorist targets in the Palestinian enclave.
4. Gaza rocket hits building, kills three in Kiryat Malachi - Jerusalem Post
Gaza terrorists continued to fire rockets into southern Israel on Thursday morning killing three people and injuring two others in Kiryat Malachi.
5. Hamas: Assassination is a declaration of war - Jerusalem Post
The assassination of top Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari is a declaration of war, Fawzi Barhoum, a spokesman for the Islamist movement, said Wednesday.
6. Israeli air strike kills top Hamas commander Jabari - Jerusalem Post
The IAF struck and killed Hamas's head of military operations Ahmed Jabari in central Gaza on Wednesday. The airstrike marked the beginning of Operation Pillar of Defense to target Hamas and Islamic Jihad terror organizations in Gaza, IDF spokesman Yoav Mordechai said.
7. Israel ministry proposes 'toppling' Abbas over UN - AFP
Israel's foreign ministry has proposed in a policy paper "toppling" Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas if a Palestinian bid for state observer status at the United Nations is approved later this month.
8. IDF to hold large military drill in northern Israel - Jerusalem Post
The IDF was planning to hold a military drill in the north of the country, near Katzrin, Amiad, Gimla, Safed and Meron. There will be a heavy volume of military vehicle traffic in the North and sirens and explosions will be heard.
THREE MISSILES FIRED AT TEL AVIV
ISRAEL AT WAR: MISSILES FIRED AT TEL AVIV
IDF retaliates by hitting 70 terror sites in one hour. Ground offensive being planned. 30,000 reservists being mobilized. Casualties rising.
Joel C. Rosenberg
(Netanya, Israel, November 16, 2012) -- It is just after midnight on Friday morning here in Israel. To put it bluntly: Thursday was a very difficult day for Israelis in the south and Palestinians living in Gaza.
Consider this: the Palestinians have fired nearly 700 rockets, missiles and mortars over the past 36 hours. The Israelis have bombed more than 70 terrorist sites in Gaza in just the past hour. Tonight, the big news here is that the terrorists have fired missiles at Tel Aviv, Israel's biggest and most populated city. Air raid sirens have been going off. People are anxious. This is the first time Tel Aviv has been the target of missile attacks since the Gulf War with Saddam Hussein in 1991. What's more, three Israelis were killed in a direct rocket strike earlier today, and 54 have been wounded. Now the IDF is calling up 30,000 reserve soldiers to prepare for what could be a massive ground invasion.
As I explain in ISRAEL AT WAR, the onslaught by Hamas and its allies in Gaza is being driven by Iran. It is the mullahs in Iran who arm, fund and encourage the Palestinian terrorist movement and no one is happier to see Hamas unleashing its evil fury on Israeli towns, villages and cities more that the Ayatollah Khamenei. The big question is this: How far are Israeli leaders prepared to go to shut down the Gaza threat, before they turn towards a possible war with Iran to neutralize Iran's nuclear threat. Will this conflict go just a few more days? Or are we talking weeks. That's not yet clear, though officials in Jerusalem are telling their people this is just the beginning.
Events here are dominating discussions wherever you go. I just had dinner with Israeli friends who kept the TV on for much of the evening to keep track of the latest developments, particularly the nearly unprecedented attacks on Tel Aviv. They know families whose fathers and sons are being called up to prepare for an invasion of Gaza. We're all praying that doesn't have to happen, but Israeli officials are warning this is just the beginning of "Operation Pillar of Defense," not the end. "Difficult days are ahead," said IDF spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai Mordechai. "We must be strong in both defense and offense. At the end of the day we will be measured by what we have achieved; not by what we said we would achieve."
Over the past several years, The Joshua Fund has been privileged to provide funds for the purchase of much needed equipment for a medical center in the south where the rockets have been aimed. This morning we received word that the medical center has been placed on its highest state of emergency due to the rockets being fired from Gaza. Patients are being evacuated to other facilities, all elective procedures have been cancelled, and doctors and nurses are on site to handle the wounded. As of earlier today (Israel time) the medical center was treating 20 injured patients and preparing for more.
As you pray for the Lord to intervene, please also remember the doctors and nurses who are presently dealing with the wounded. Please continue to pray for Jews and Arabs on both sides of the conflict. The Lord God loves them both. He has a plan for them both. Let's pray for peace and security. Let's also pray for wisdom for leaders on both sides and for the Lord to comfort and heal the dozens who are wounded and the millions who are traumatized on both sides.
Please pray for the believers here as they continue to love their neighbors and pray for and comfort their neighbors, and continue to preach and teach the Word of God. Please mobilize others to pray. Remember: at its core, this is a spiritual battle. The violence is a physical manifestation of a spiritual war that is going on in the heavenlies. We need you to be interceding for Israel and the Palestinians in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
That said, here are more of the latest developments you should know about . . .
[To read the rest of this article on the blog -- or learn more about the new e-book, ISRAEL AT WAR; or to find links to the latest news and analysis of events and trends in the U.S., Israel, North Africa, Russia, and the Middle East -- please go here.]
Debka Report: Tel Aviv
First three Gaza missiles hit Tel Aviv.
Israel drafts 30,000 reservists
The first three Palestinian missiles reached the Tel Aviv conurbation, Gush Dan, Thursday night, Nov. 15. shortly after a long-range missile exploded in Rishon Lezion southeast of Tel Aviv and sirens sounded in outlying towns of Holon, Ness Ziona, Gan Raveh and Beer Yacov. None report casualties or damage. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered 30,000 army reservists drafted. The IDF spokesmen earlier reported units of the elite paratroop and Givati Brigades were mustering outside the Gaza Strip on the second day of Israel's counter-terror operation Pillar of Cloud.
From DEBKAfile's earlier report Thursday: As the rockets kept coming through Wednesday night - and the first three fatalities Thursday morning, Nov. 15 - the cautious lift in Israeli spirits generated by the death of Ahmed Jabari, who fashioned Hamas into a paramilitary machine of terror, and the destruction of dozens of missile sites in Gaza, gave way to resignation for a long haul before southern Israel is free of its decade-long rocket nightmare. Thursday morning, a rocket from Gaza killed three Israelis in Kiryat Malachi. By then, some 120 rockets - mostly targeting the major towns of Beersheba and Ashdod, but also smaller locations - had followed Jabari's death. Iron Dome intercepted 27.The first reserve units had been mobilized for possible ground action in Gaza to supplement the air offensive against the Palestinian missile arsenal.
But Operation Pillar of Cloud's first part showed a favorable balance: Palestinian missile fire was as erratic as ever, although intense; Iron Dome filtered out the rockets aimed at Israel's major towns; Israeli casualties were relatively low though painful; and the enemy in Gaza was decapitated - for now. But most of all, the Palestinians and their allies in Tehran and Hizballah suddenly discovered that the old IDF had come roaring back. In the only former major Israeli operation in Gaza, Cast Lead (late 2008, early 2009), the IDF was slow, unwieldy and unfocused. Its counter-terror offensive was foreshortened by heavy diplomatic pressure before achieving anything, owing to the government's lack of resolve. In the 2006 Lebanon War, the army was stalled before developing an effective tactical offensive.
The IDF of 2012 is in a different class, recalling its rapid-fire performance in the Six-Day War then fought on multiple fronts.
In just a few hours late Wednesday, Nov. 14, Pillar of Cloud achieved more than Cast Lead managed in weeks: It was driven by clockwork, integrated intelligence by the Shin Bet and Military Intelligence, precise, surgical air force strikes and a command-and-control with fast reflexes which recalled Israel's military skills of 45 years ago.
The rapid destruction of scores of Fajr-3 and Fajr-5 rockets, whose respective ranges of 45 and 75 kilometers placed Israel's heartland in line of Palestinian strikes, compared with the destruction of the Egyptian air force on the ground in the early hours of the 1967 war, rather than the bombardment of Hizballah's long-range missiles in 2006 which failed to draw its sting.
In 1967, the Egyptian army had to fight in Sinai without air cover. In 2012, the Hamas rulers of the Gaza Strip were stripped of their key commander and terror strategist and lost substantial, though not all, its missile arsenal.
Wherever Operation Pillar of Cloud goes next - and the IDF is preparing for a long, hard haul - Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz deserve kudos for their performance thus far.
It may be said that Israel's Gaza operation did in fact start on Oct. 24 in Sudan with the attack on the Yarmouk complex manufacturing Iranian missiles near Khartoum. Former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin Wednesday confirmed DEBKAfile's exclusive report that the factory had housed the emergency reserve stocks of the Palestinian Hamas and Jihad Islami in the Gaza Strip.
Its destruction contributed to their loss of infrastructure. The tough part of the Israeli operation to eliminate the terrorist war peril hovering over southern Israel from the Gaza Strip is still to come. For now, Hamas is at a loss for a strategic answer to the IDF offensive - unless one is provided by Tehran or Hizballah coming to its rescue.
Israel Under Siege
Israel Under Siege
Tensions and hostilities are escalating in the Middle East. Three Israelis were killed in Kiryat Malahi when a rocket fired from Gaza struck an apartment building. In the past day, 250 rockets and mortars have been fired by Palestinian militants into Israel. Yet the world, including President Obama, is urging Israel to "show restraint" and "limit civilian casualties."
The media are covering this story as if it all started yesterday, and, once again, Israel is being accused of perpetuating a "cycle of violence." Israel is trying to end the cycle of violence!
The New York Times acknowledges that "Southern Israel has been struck by more than 750 rockets fired from Gaza this year" by Hamas and Palestinian extremists. The world seems to have a very high tolerance for dead or wounded Jews.
Israel finally did what every other responsible sovereign nation would do -- it took action and made those responsible for the repeated attacks pay a heavy price. Ahmed Jaabari was a terrorist thug. The civilized world and all those who cherish the rule of law and decency should be applauding Israel's actions and condemning the rocket attacks from Hamas and other Islamic extremists.
Meanwhile Egypt's new president, Mohamed Morsi, declared in a nationally televised speech that "all of Egypt is standing with all its resources to stop this assault, to prevent the killing and the bloodshed of Palestinians." Morsi also recalled Egypt's ambassador to Israel. So let's get this straight: The Palestinians launch 750 rockets at Israel, Israel responds and Egypt condemns Israel. So much for that peace treaty.
Today, the suburbs of Tel Aviv were hit. These long-range missiles are Iranian-made, and could even be under the control of Iranian Revolutionary Guard agents. To put this into perspective, it would be equivalent to 50 to 60 million Americans coming under the bull's-eye of Al Qaeda firing from Mexico or Canada with the cooperation of the Mexican or Canadian governments. Does anyone seriously think the U.S. would hesitate to defend itself?
In times such as this, I am especially proud to be part of Pastor John Hagee's Christians United for Israel and Bill Kristol's Emergency Committee for Israel. I want our Israeli friends to know that millions of Americans are praying for them and standing with them. (Gary Bauer)
ObamaCare: Things Every State Should No
Losing the White House was tough, but in two years, conservatives may look back and realize they won the foundation for the future--in the states. Republicans' moderate message may have blown it nationally, but conservatism continued to rack up governorships at a surprising clip. After last Tuesday's election, they now control 30 of the 50 states' top jobs--the most for either party since 2000. Even North Carolina, which had gone 24 years without a Republican at the helm, elected one. Obviously, November 6 was not the failure of conservative principles that some pundits are painting it as. Instead it was a failure of Washington to lead by those principles.
In the states, voters are rewarding the men and women who govern without compromise on strong values, limited government, and fiscal responsibility. They've seen the benefits of it as more states reap prosperity from lower taxes, reformed entitlements, and budget surpluses where there were once deficits.
Today, these governors have an opportunity to do something equally significant: hold the line on the President's health care law. As we speak, conservative governors from across the country are meeting in Nevada with one burning question on their minds. Will they bar the door from ObamaCare or give in to the temptation to join the health care exchanges in their states? Because of how the policy is structured, the road to ObamaCare leads straight through the governors' desks. Based on the Supreme Court's decision, the federal government has to implement the President's program, but it cannot force states to run it.
So don't fall for the line from governors like Rick Scott who are now saying that ObamaCare is the law of the land and suddenly states have to fall in line. They don't.
With 60% of states under GOP management, 180 million people have plenty of reasons for optimism. As FRC's Ken Klukowski explains in an excellent op-ed for Breitbart today, "If a state refuses to set up [a health care exchange], then the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will set up the exchange, but there will be no subsidies." The states that do participate will have to bear 10% of the financial responsibility for the health care law. But, as many governors, including Iowa's Terry Branstad pointed out today, "We don't want to get trapped in something we can't afford and can't be sustained."
That's because there is absolutely no guarantee that the federal government will have the money to hold up its end of the bargain in states every year. That opens up these governors to huge liabilities in the future. If Washington runs out of ways to finance its 90% share of the exchange, then it will simply transfer the burden to states. And, as Ken points out, once you're in--you're in. Governors who agree now are permanently putting their states on the hook for the 2,700-page law and the thousands of regulations issued by HHS in the years to come. "New regulations are coming out all the time, so the federal government has a blank check to profoundly change the [states'] system anytime it chooses."
The deadline for the governors' decisions is this week, although Republicans have asked for an extension. While this sounds like a no-brainer, even conservative governors have a lot to lose. Remember what happened to Governor Rick Perry when he zeroed out Planned Parenthood? The Obama administration retaliated by stripped his state's Medicaid funding. There is no telling what the President will threaten by way of federal programs or assistance if states refuse to join his exchange. But if these governors have the strength to withstand the pressure now, they'll be glad they did in five years, when other states are going bankrupt from the influx of poor people, the lack of federal help, the exodus of doctors to states without big government medicine, and the loss of sovereignty on a whole host of issues (like conscience).
Do your part to push your state in the right direction. Pick up the phone and encourage your governor to say "yes" to the future by saying "no" to ObamaCare now! (Family Research Council)
The Madison Report
The Madison Report
Yet, none of these issues will be dealt with during the impending debate over "comprehensive immigration reform." Chuck Schumer and Lindsey Graham are negotiating a bipartisan comprehensive immigration bill, which will likely serve as the vehicle for an amnesty bill sometime early next year. When they are referring do comprehensive immigration reform, they mean one thing -amnesty and a full path to citizenship for 12 million illegal immigrants. They will never tell you how the welfare programs could possibly absorb such a strain on the system; they will never explain how the country at large can deal with the ensuing chain migration from all of their relatives.
This issue represents the biggest policy and political threat to conservatives moving forward. We must be prepared for anything.
The Daily Jot
Let them eat milk toast
The Occupant of the Oval Office held his first news conference after the election. It appeared like a staged affair, with him calling on pre-arranged reporters with likely pre-arranged questions. Despite the Middle East being on the brink of a full fledged war, the economy facing what the media is calling a fiscal cliff, and the entire Administration embroiled in damage control over the Benghazi murders and the sex tryst of the CIA Director, there was no new news produced. It was milk toast questions and answers with campaign responses and a continuation of the stonewalling, bait and switch and lies that preceded the election. Nothing was more exemplary of this than the president's response on Benghazi.
ABC News' Jonathan Karl delivered a soft ball pitch about Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham wanting "Watergate-style" hearings on Benghazi and expressing alarm over UN Ambassador Susan Rice possibly being nominated to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. The president answered: " If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me. And I'm happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. Ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation is outrageous."
Then the president blatantly lied to the news media and the American people, saying, "We have provided every bit of information that we have, and we will continue to provide information. And we've got a full-blown investigation, and all that information will be disgorged to Congress. And I don't think there's any debate in this country that when you have four Americans killed, that's a problem. And we've got to get to the bottom of it, and there needs to be accountability. We've got to bring those who carried it out to justice. They won't get any debate from me on that." He continued to say that when he found out "our folks were in danger" he ordered his team to "do whatever we need to do to make sure they're safe."
Senators McCain and Graham, if they have the courage, should take the president up on his challenge to go after him. The extent of the president's investigation to date has been to change his story, deny the events of Benghazi, create a media diversion with the revelation of an affair, and to stonewall Congressional requests for testimony from the CIA Director and the Secretary of State. This Administration is similar to what Ezekiel found when the LORD had him dig into the temple wall and found a door. Ezekiel 8:9 says, "And he said unto me, Go in, and behold the wicked abominations that they do here." For those who have eyes to see, the LORD will reveal much if you will seek the truth.
Have A Blessed And Powerful Day,
The Good News Corner
Israel Aid to New York & New Jersery: only foreign nation to provide assistance (Part One)
(Have you seen this reported in the media?)
New York, NY --- November 4, 2012 . . . Israel Flying Aid, the Israeli global humanitarian organization, which was first to land in Haiti following the 2010 earthquake, has been distributing large supplies of gas to hospitals, food, batteries and generators to Hurricane Sandy victims.
"We have many years of disaster relief experience," said Israel Flying Aid North American Operations Manager Moti Kahana. "Israel Flying Aid, in having Israelis on the ground here in New York and New Jersey, have made Israel the only foreign nation to provide humanitarian assistance to the US during this disaster. We are working in coordination with FEMA, local police, the American Red Cross and Jewish communities in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut."
Kahana said that most of the efforts had been donated by Israelis living in the US, and this enabled gas to be distributed to hospitals in New York and New Jersey.
Joel Leyden, an Israel Flying Aid Operations Specialist who was with the IFA in Haiti, has been working with the Greater Hartford Jewish Community to distribute both food and generators on Long Island.
We had a convoy of food and generators move out of the Greater Hartford area early yesterday morning," said Leyden. "The food had been donated by Panera Bread and Dunkin Donuts in the Hartford, Manchester Connecticut area. This food was distributed to hurricane victims on the south shore of Long Island, the Nassau County Police, the Free-port Fire Department and the Red Cross Shelter which is set up at Nassau Community College." Leyden said that when they spotted hundreds of people lined up at gas stations to pour gas into their containers, they would get out of their cars and feed these people as they waited. The donuts and bread created smiles and positive moods which replaced the trauma of suffering in the dark and cold, he said.
"We are so very proud to see you, to welcome you to New York," said Dr. Jason Mallin, who normally practices neurology at North Shore University Hospital but was now volunteering with the Nassau County Department of Health. "We read about Israel and the great work you did in Haiti. We have thousands here that need you. It's awesome that you are here!"
(Tomorrow: Part Two)
Worship with Us Today!
The Mighty One Of Israel
The Lord shall cause His glorious voice to be heard And you shall have a song in the night Come to the mountain of the Lord See His glory and His might
He's the Mighty One of Israel The Mighty One of Israel His voice shall be heard In the power of His word The Mighty One Israel
The eyes of the blind shall be opened and they'll see The ears of the deaf shall hear The lame man shall jump and shall leap as a hart The tongue of the dumb shall sing
The Lord shall cause His glorious beauty to be seen The dessert shall bloom and rejoice Say to them that are fearful of heart Be strong and listen to His voice