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On Capitol Hill This Week Volume XIX, Number 31a
Special Edition: ISRAEL AT WAR
November 19, 2012
"I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth." (Job 19:25)
NETANYAHU SERVES NOTICE
NETANYAHU'S REMARKS TO FOREIGN AMBASSADORS
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, this afternoon (Monday, 12 November 2012), made the following remarks at a meeting in Ashkelon with the foreign ambassadors stationed in Israel (view video). "If an alarm is sounded, all of us have exactly 30 seconds to find shelter. This is the situation in which one million Israelis find themselves. That's families, old people, children, babies-including the children who stand here. A million Israelis, including many little children, like the ones here, are targeted on a daily basis, by people who took areas that we vacated, that the government of Israel vacated, came in there, and are now hiding behind civilians, while firing on civilians, firing on our children. A million Israelis . . .
"I don't know of any of your governments who could accept such a thing. I don't know of any citizens of your cities who would find it acceptable, or something that could proceed on a normal basis. I think the whole world understands that this is not acceptable. It's something that the people of Israel cannot accept, and it's something that I, as the prime minister of Israel, cannot accept.
"So we're going to fight for the rights of our people to defend themselves. We'll take whatever action is necessary to put a stop to this. This is not merely our right, it's also our duty, and it's something that I think is understood not only by you, who are here in Ashkelon today, but also by any fair-minded person in any fair-minded government in the world. They would understand that it's our right to defend our people, and that is what we shall do."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, [also] made the following remarks on events on the Syrian border: "We are closely monitoring what is happening and will respond appropriately. We will not allow our borders to be violated or our citizens to be fired upon." (By Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, November 12, 2012) Read more.
[Reported by BFP: Bridges for Peace]
- Pray that the foreign ambassadors understand what Netanyahu was communicating and pray that they will provide support and understanding of what Israel had to do to protect its citizens.
- "A ruler who oppresses the poor is like a driving rain that leaves no crops. Those who forsake the law praise the wicked, but those who keep the law resist them. Evil men do not understand justice, but those who seek the Lord understand it fully." ( Proverbs 28:3-5)
FOCUS ON HAMAS
FOCUS ON HAMAS:
- LIEBERMAN TO HAMAS: DON'T TEST US
- IDF VIDEOS DISPROVE HAMAS PROPAGANDA
- UK: BLAME FALLS ON HAMAS FOR GAZA CRISIS WITH ISRAEL
- HAMAS TRIED TO DEVELOP A UAV
- IRAN ADMITS PULLING STRINGS ON GAZA CRISIS
1. LIEBERMAN TO HAMAS: DON'T TEST US
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman issued a direct threat to Hamas on Friday, warning the terror group which controls Gaza not to test Israel's military capabilities. "It is our duty to ensure peace and quiet to residents of the south," Lieberman told Channel 2 News. "It cannot be that a million people won't be allowed to lead a normal life, where children - instead of going to school - are in shelters and conduct their lives in accordance with the sirens. This cannot continue. Our goal is to restore calm." "The government of Israel is in favor of peace and security for southern Israel's residents," added Lieberman, "and we'll do everything it takes to ensure this."
He said, "Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas deals with political terror and Hamas deals with traditional terror by firing on residents of Israel. It's no coincidence that most of the rocket barrages are at eight in the morning, when kids are going to school and people are going to work." "We need to understand that Abbas is now running away from his own failings in the domestic arena," said Lieberman. "He failed in everything pertaining to employment and financial management. His domestic failure brings an escalation in the political arena, that's exactly what he did."
"I highly recommend that the Hamas leadership in Gaza not test us again," warned the Foreign Minister. "Never think that Israel will not respond with greater force next time. If, G-d forbid, there is a next time, we will respond with much greater force. Nobody over there is safe, not Hamas Prime Minister Haniyeh and not others." Read article here.
- O Heavenly Father, we understand why Israeli leaders must respond to the ongoing attacks coming upon their land from Gaza. Their people need and deserve security when Israel did not start this exchange of rockets and missiles. Syria and Egypt are now joining Hamas' bombardment of Israel. Lord, we ask You to protect Your people and to guide their leaders in these escalating confrontations leading into war, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "A wicked man hardens his face, but as for the upright, he establishes his way." (Proverbs 21:29)
2. IDF VIDEOS DISPROVE HAMAS PROPAGANDA
As the IDF's Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza continues, Hamas has made several totally false claims about damages it has supposedly done to Israeli cities and soldiers. This is done in order to give the public in Gaza a false image as though Hamas is defeating Israel.
In response, the IDF Spokesperson's Unit has put together and distributed several videos which present the truth and disproves the Hamas lies. Among other claims, Hamas said its missiles directly hit Tel Aviv. In fact, despite sirens having been sounded in Tel Aviv in recent days, there were no direct hits on the city. In most cases the missiles landed in open areas and in one case on Saturday, the Iron Dome anti-missile system shot down the missile.
The terror group also claimed to have hit the Israeli Knesset. In reality, a missile fired by Gaza terrorists on Friday sounded off sirens in Jerusalem, but the missile landed in open areas outside the city.
In another lie, Hamas published a photo of a wounded child, claiming he was hurt in an IDF air strike. In truth, the child was not wounded in Gaza but rather in Syria as part of the ongoing civil war in the country. The terror group has also claimed that it brought down Israeli fighter jets and warships. None of the claims are true. (Arutz-7)
[ Reported by JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE]
- Offer praise that solid evidence has emerged, confirming that these "victories" claimed by Hamas have only been lies.
- "You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:32)
3. UK: BLAME FALLS ON HAMAS FOR GAZA CRISIS WITH ISRAEL
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas "bears principal responsibility" for escalating tension in Gaza and Israel, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague has said. "I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups." Rocket attacks from Gaza create "an intolerable situation for Israeli civilians in southern Israel, who have the right to live without fear of attack. Hamas and other armed groups in Gaza should cease attacks against Israel immediately. I call on those in the region with influence over Hamas to use that influence to bring about an end to the attacks." (BBC) [ Reported by JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE]
- Praise God for the British! May this nation always stand as a strong, unfailing ally of Israel!
- "I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." (Genesis 12:3)
4. HAMAS TRIED TO DEVELOP A UAV
Gaza's Hamas terrorist rulers have been trying to develop an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), the IDF Spokesperson's Unit revealed on Friday. A video published by the IDF Spokesperson shows Hamas conducting a test flight of the drone it was building. Over the past week, during the IDF's Operation Pillar of Defense, IAF aircraft struck a stockpile of such UAVs. Reports on Friday evening indicated that the Hamas developers of the UAV acquired the knowledge required to develop it in Iran and Syria.
The UAVs that the IDF destroyed can reportedly reach a distance of tens of kilometers from Gaza, including to Tel Aviv and north of it. Last month, Israel shot down an Iranian-made drone that penetrated Israel's airspace. Hizbullah chief Hassan Nasrallah later boasted that his group sent the unmanned drone over Israel. (Israel National News) Read article.
- Lord God, it seems Hamas has been developing and testing unmanned drones. We give praise to You that Israel's IAF were able to destroy a stockpile of these drones. We ask You, Lord, that these successes in air strikes against all kinds of weaponry set up to be used against Israel continue under Your guiding hand, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "It is a joy for the just to do justice, but destruction will come to the workers of inquity." (Proverbs 21:15)
5. IRAN ADMITS PULLING STRINGS ON GAZA CRISIS
As the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Hamas faction is escalating and rockets are hitting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Iran announced Friday that its missiles were being used against the Jewish state. According to a source in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence division, Iran has large stockpiles of chemical and microbial weapons and it has armed the Lebanese terrorist group Hezbollah with them. It also has Quds Forces in Gaza and other Palestinian territories to help Hamas and Islamic Jihad in setting up underground rocket facilities while training and supervising the Palestinians in launching attacks on Israel.
The escalation of the Gaza conflict was ordered by the highest authority in Iran, the source added, and rockets targeting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are in fact a warning to Israel that its Iron Dome missile defense system cannot thwart Iran's ballistic missiles and tens of thousands of rockets and missiles in the hands of Hezbollah.
On the day that the International Atomic Energy Agency announced that Iran is set to sharply expand its uranium enrichment in an underground site after installing all the centrifuges it was built for, the message was clear: An attack on Iran's nuclear facilities will have destructive consequences for Israel.
But Friday's IAEA quarterly report demonstrates that the Islamic regime is continuing its headlong approach to building nuclear weapons. (WorldNetDaily) Read more.
- O Heavenly Father, Iran is assisting the terrorists in Gaza with weaponry and technical information. There are also chemical and biological weapons being supplied by Iran. We need Your miracles , Lord. Rise up and put the enemy down, Lord, so that all who see what happens will know that You did it. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- "Help me, O Lord my God! Oh, save me according to Your mercy, that they may know that this is Your hand - that You, Lord, have done it!" (Psalm 109:26-27)
FOCUS ON GAZA
FOCUS ON GAZA
· ISRAEL LAUNCHES SCORES OF AIRSTRIKES INTO GAZA
· APOCALYPSE NOW: ISRAEL BOMBARDS GAZA FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT DAY
· ISRAELI FORCES PREPARE FOR WAR AS TROOPS MASS ON GAZA BORDER
· HAMAS HEADQUARTERS LEVELED, GAZA POWER GRID TARGETED
· ISRAEL INTERCEPTED 267 ROCKETS SINCE BEGINNING OF GAZA OPERATION
· ACTIVISTS AROUND THE WORLD HOLD RALLIES DENOUNCING ISRAEL'S CAMPAIGN IN GAZA
· IDF CHECKING IF ROCKETS THAT HIT ESHKOL AREA FIRED FROM SINAI (EGYPT)
1. ISRAEL LAUNCHES SCORES OF AIRSTRIKES INTO GAZA
Israel bombarded the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip with nearly 200 airstrikes early Saturday, the military said, widening a blistering assault on Gaza rocket operations to include the prime minister's headquarters, a police compound and a vast network of smuggling tunnels. Correspondent Allen Pizzey reports that, despite vague talk of a cease-fire, Hamas managed to hit a southern Israeli city with four rockets, and retaliation continued unabated.
A massive explosion rocked the Gaza City soccer stadium this morning and speculation was that the target was a rocket launching site. The Israeli bombing campaign expanded into other areas and included the government infrastructure. The cabinet headquarters was flattened. There were reports of civilians among the casualties.
The new attacks, which Gaza officials say left 10 dead, followed an unprecedented rocket strike aimed at the contested holy city of Jerusalem that raised the stakes in Israel's violent confrontation with Palestinian militants and extended the battlefield.
Israeli troops and armor amass along the border with Gaza. Roads have been sealed off and Israeli cabinet has approved to call-up as many as 75,000 reservists setting the stage for a possible ground invasion. Today the Israeli military deployed a battery of its so-called Iron Dome anti-missile system in Tel Aviv, Pizzey reports. Four are already operational in the south.
Militants, undaunted by the heavy damage the Israeli attacks have inflicted, have unleashed some 500 rockets against the Jewish state, including new, longer-range weapons turned for the first time this week against Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv heartland.
The violence has widened the instability gripping the Mideast. At the same time, revolts against entrenched regional regimes have opened up new possibilities for Hamas. Islamists across the Mideast have been strengthened, bringing newfound recognition to Hamas, shunned by the international community because of its refusal to recognize Israel and renounce violence. Israeli leaders have threatened to widen the operation even further if the rocket fire doesn't halt. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in emergency session with Cabinet ministers Friday and they approved mobilizing up to 75,000 reservists, more than doubling the number authorized earlier this week. That would be the largest call-up in a decade. (CBS News) Read article.
- Abba Father, thank You for 'gifting' the Israeli military with the ability to be so exacting as to their bombing targets. We ask mercy on the civilians, Lord, but we know that the terrorist groups will use women, children and the elderly as 'cover' for their launching sites. Continue to guide and direct Israel as to when, where and how to do this military operation, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "Do not keep silent, O God! Do not hold Your peace, and do not be still, O God!" (Psalm 83:1)
2. APOCALYPSE NOW: ISRAEL BOMBARDS GAZA FOR FIFTH STRAIGHT DAY
Israeli warplanes have struck Gaza militants for a fifth straight day as its military prepared for a possible ground invasion, though Egypt saw 'some indications' of a truce ahead. Israel unleashed its massive air campaign on Wednesday, killing a leading militant of the Hamas Islamist group that controls Gaza and rejects Israel's existence, with the declared goal of deterring gunmen in the coastal enclave from launching rockets that have plagued its southern communities for years. The Jewish state has since launched more than 950 air strikes on the coastal Palestinian territory, targeting weaponry and flattening militant homes and headquarters. The raids continued past midnight on Sunday. It came as thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles were at muster points along the border, as speculation mounted that Israel was to launch a ground offensive.
Israel had been slowly expanding its operation beyond military targets but before dawn it ramped that up dramatically, hitting Hamas symbols of power. A three-story apartment building belonging to a Hamas military commander was hit, and ambulances ferried more than 30 inhabitants wounded by the powerful explosion.
In southern Gaza, Israeli aircraft went after the hundreds of underground tunnels militants used to smuggle in weapons and other contraband from Egypt, residents reported. A huge explosion in the area sent buildings shuddering in the Egyptian city of El-Arish, 30 miles away. (Daily Mail UK) Read article.
- O Heavenly Father, be with Israeli leaders as they continue these counter attacks against Hamas. They do not want to repeat problems from previous confrontations and the terrorists on all sides show that they are not willing to stop. So we ask You, Lord, to fill the leaders of Israel full of Your wisdom, discernment and plans. Abide with all the Israel military forces, keeping Your warrior angels around them. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- "May the Lord answer you in the day of troubles, may the name of the God of Jacob defend you. May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion." (Psalm 20:1-2)
3. ISRAELI FORCES PREPARE FOR WAR AS TROOPS MASS ON GAZA BORDER
Thousands of soldiers and hundreds of tanks and armoured vehicles were at muster points, as speculation mounted that Israel was to launch a ground offensive against the Islamists who control the Gaza Strip. The Israeli cabinet called up 75,000 reservists on Saturday - many soldiers checking their weapons by Saturday night were at work in offices and factories on Friday morning. "Morale is high. We are currently training and preparing for ground possibilities," said Lt Col Avital Leibovich of the Israel Defence Forces. "This is isn't like any other operation. This is to defend 3.5 million Israelis who are under rocket attack."
Israel's generals claim that four days of precision bombing in Operation Pillar of Defense have knocked out many rocket sites, with the toll of accidental civilian deaths relatively low, unlike similar operations in the past. Even so, by Saturday night 40 Palestinians had been killed and more than 300 injured.
The streets of Gaza, usually a chaotic mass of noisy humanity, were empty. Only a few furtive-looking figures hurried through the streets, glancing up nervously towards the constant whine of circling Israeli drones. In private, many people were prepared to admit to dismay that it was happening again. Israeli leaders were stressing last night that no decision had yet been taken about an invasion. They were painfully aware that Israel's recent wars in Gaza and Lebanon have started well before becoming bogged down. (Telegraph UK) Read article.
- O Heavenly Father, it is truly amazing to hear the reports of high morale exhibited by the Israeli troops who are massing at the Gaza border! We ask You to extend hedges of protection all around these IDF soldiers, considering what they will possibly be encountering. Let them witness the work of Your warrior angels, and fill them with Your blessings of strength, discernment and courage, in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.
- "The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways." (Deuteronomy 28:7)
4. HAMAS HEADQUARTERS LEVELED, GAZA POWER GRID TARGETED
The IDF's pounding of Hamas' infrastructure in Gaza entered its fourth day Saturday, and is deemed to be highly successful thus far. The Hamas government headquarters, which housed Gaza prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh's offices, were leveled to the ground. In addition, "security compounds, tunnels and electricity transformers" were hit. Missiles also knocked out five electricity transformers, plunging more than 400,000 people into darkness, according to the Gaza electricity distribution company.
Israel's government has approved the call-up of 75,000 reservists and massed troops, tanks and armored vehicles along the border with Gaza, signaling a ground invasion could be imminent. The IDF's attacks from air and sea have been very accurate, and attempts to minimize civilian deaths have also been relatively successful, although with Hamas, one never knows when a family may be purposely placed in harm's way to create a bloodbath that can be blamed on Israel. The US and even the European Union have been relatively supportive of the IDF's action. (Arutz-7)
- Thank our Lord that He is indeed guiding the Israelis to wage this war successfully. Praise be to His Name. Pray that Israel's enemies will yield quickly to her strength, so that no more lives be lost in this conflict. Finally, pray for those who grieve today. May they find salvation in the name of our Messiah, for there is no other name by which we can be saved.
- "Daughter Babylon, doomed to destruction, happy is the one who repays you according to what you have done to us." (Psalm 137:8)
5. ISRAEL INTERCEPTED 267 ROCKETS SINCE BEGINNING OF GAZA OPERATION
Since the beginning of IDF's Operation Pillar of Defense, the IDF has struck 950 terror hubs in the Gaza Strip, 300 of which were on Saturday. 824 rockets have been fired at Israel, 267 of which were intercepted by the Iron Dome anti-missile system. Only 29 rockets have exploded in urban areas.
While Gaza's terrorists have fired hundreds of rockets and missiles into Israel over the past few days, at least 100 have landed in Gaza itself putting Gaza's own residents and property at risk. The IDF further reported that out of 30 terrorists killed, six were assassinated Saturday. (Ynet/J.Post/INN)
[ Reported by JERUSALEM-ON-THE-LINE]
- "As I have observed, those who plow evil and those who sow trouble reap it." (Job 4:8)
6. ACTIVISTS AROUND THE WORLD HOLD RALLIES DENOUNCING ISRAEL'S CAMPAIGN IN GAZA
Immediately after Israel assassinated Hamas's military leader, Ahmed Jabari, and publicly announced its launch of Operation Pillar of Defense, activists around the world began demonstrating against what they termed Israeli aggression in Gaza. Protests took place in Cairo, Washington, D.C., New York, Jerusalem, Istanbul, Seoul, Rome, and other European cities. Protests are also planned for Hebron and Ramallah Saturday afternoon.
Some called on the international community to level sanctions on Jerusalem; others denounced the West's support of Israel.
In Istanbul Saturday, protesters burned the Israeli flag and a poster of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Thousands gathered in Cairo Friday and chanted slogans in support of Gaza Strip against Israel's "blatant aggression."
In New York, some 250 activists stood outside the Israeli Consulate at 42nd Street Friday and chanted "Free, Free, Palestine!" and "Hey Israel, what do you say, how many kids did you kill today?" They were joined by the ultra-religious anti-Zionist group Naturei Karta.
A small, opposing group congregated across the street and retorted:"Israel wants peace, Hamas wants terror" and "God bless America. God bless Israel."
Similar rallies also took place in South Korea's capital city, Seoul, in front of the Israeli embassy. "Protestors laid flowers on a temporarily built memorial, for Palestinians who have died in the last couple of days," China's Xinhua reported.
Activists carrying the Palestinian flag and donning keffiyehs in Washington D.C. stood outside the White House Friday and chanted "Zionism is racism," and "Free Gaza, free Palestine." (Times of Israel) Read article.
- Heavenly Father, the world continues in its blindness as to the lies against Israel, and in support of the Palestinians. Israel did not start this set of confrontations but the blind hatred continues. We bind and rebuke in Jesus' Name the spirits driving this hatred, spirits of envy, coveting, vengeance, slander and lies, that are coming forth. We ask that all who spew out this hatred be confronted by a Holy Fear of You, Lord, and awaken them to the consequences of their blind hatred against the Lord Most High and His chosen people. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- "Let all my enemies be ashamed and greatly troubled; let them turn back and be ashamed suddenly." (Psalm 6:10)
7. IDF CHECKING IF ROCKETS THAT HIT ESHKOL AREA FIRED FROM SINAI (EGYPT)
The IDF is looking into the possibility that rockets which exploded in the Eshkol Regional Council Friday evening were fired from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, army official said. If the suspicions prove true, the attack would mark the second time in two days that rockets were fired toward Israel from Sinai. On Wednesday, shortly before the IDF killed Hamas military chief Ahmed Jabari in Gaza and launched Operation Pillar of Defense, four rockets exploded in an Israeli community located near the Egyptian border. Israel suspects that they were fired from Sinai. There were no reports of injury or damage in the attack. The Color Red siren, which alerts residents of incoming projectiles, was not sounded.
Egyptian newspaper Al-Shorouk reported Friday that the Mujahideen Shura Council (MSC) in the Environs of Jerusalem, an al Qaeda-linked group in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, claimed responsibility for the launching of five rockets. These were apparently the rockets that were fired at Israel on Wednesday. The report said the rockets were launched from the northern part of Sinai, adding that a video clip shows that the rockets were fired from 107-millimeter rocket launchers, similar to the ones being used by Palestinian terror groups in Gaza. Al-Shorouk further reported that the rockets "hit their targets."
The past three years have seen a number of rocket attacks emanating from Sinai, but most of those attacks have targeted Eilat, Israel's southernmost city. The Sinai Peninsula has become a hotbed of terror activity and lawlessness since the ouster of Egypt's former president Hosni Mubarak. (Ynet News) Read more.
- Abba Father, it appears that attacks upon Israel are coming from multiple lands all at once. We fall before Your throne and ask that You rise up, extending Your right hand and send Your warrior angels to stop or turn back these rockets upon the launchers, confronting the enemy with the fear of You. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- "Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered. Let those also who hate Him flee before Him." (Psalm 68:1)
MISSILES FALL ON OUTSKIRTS OF JERUSALEM
MISSILES FALL ON OUTSKIRTS OF JERUSALEM
- PALESTINIAN ROCKETS STRIKE JERUSALEM, TEL AVIV
- IRON DOME INTERCEPTS GAZA MISSILE OVER TEL AVIV
- AIRPORT IN TEL AVIV MAY CLOSE SOON
1. PALESTINIAN ROCKETS STRIKE JERUSALEM, TEL AVIV
Signs of an approaching full-scale war increased Friday afternoon, Nov. 16. The IDF obtained government approval to call up reserves in addition to the 30,000 already approved. Hospitals across the country were placed on emergency footing and patients not needing urgent treatment were sent home. The security cabinet meets urgently after 550 Palestinian rockets fired in three days. Jerusalem and Tel Aviv were targeted Friday by Hamas which reported firing two "homemade M-75" missiles each at Israel's capital and commercial hub. There were no casualties in either town. Israeli ground forces continue to stand by on the Gaza border awaiting government orders to go in.
debkafile reported earflier Friday: As Hamas government officials greeted Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil on his arrival for a short visit to the Gaza Strip, Friday morning, Nov. 16, Palestinian rocket crews stepped up their barrage against Israel. After Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu acceded to Cairo's request to suspend military action for the visit, air strikes were resumed over northern Gaza to counter Palestinians fire across the South Thursday night, long-range Fajr rockets exploded in Greater Tel Aviv region, Israel's urban and commercial heartland (3 million population) - two landing near Bat Yam or the sea and one or two between Rishon Lezion and Palmachim.
IDF armored, artillery and mechanized infantry units continued to stream to the Gaza border Thursday and Friday, gathering at jumping-off positions for crossing into the enclave in the next stage of the operation. (DebkaFile) Read article.
- Thank You, Heavenly Father, that these missiles did not achieve their goal by causing deaths. We do ask You, Abba Father, to comfort Your people as these hundreds of rockets have caused so much disruption and trauma in their lives. Heal them both emotionally and physically, in Jesus' Name, Amen an\d Amen.
- "Save Your people, and bless Your inheritance; shepherd them also, and bear them up forever." (Psalm 28:9)
2. IRON DOME INTERCEPTS GAZA MISSILE OVER TEL AVIV
Missile alert sirens were heard across the Greater Tel Aviv area Saturday, Nov. 17, before the explosion caused by Iron Dome's interception of one of the two rockets incoming from the Gaza Strip to Israel's largest conurbation for the third day in a row. The second rocket landed harmlessly on open ground. Hamas claimed to have launched Iran-made Fajr-5 long-range missile against Tel Aviv.
The Iron Dome anti-missile battery, the fifth, was deployed for the first time in Greater Tel Aviv that morning as a defense for the Greater Tel Aviv area and Jerusalem. Jerusalem came within Hamas missile radius for the first time Friday night.
The IDF is rushing forward the completion of the fifth Iron Dome battery after the first four stopped some 150 incoming rockets in the last 48 hours. Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and the high IDF command are pushing for the ground operation, Stage B of the Pillar of Cloud operation, to start without delay. The prime minister and defense minister prefer to wait.
(DebakFile) Read article.
- Abba Father, we lift up praise to You as we are thankful for all the rockets that have been stopped by the Iron Dome technology! However there are so many targets to protect and now the key airport for all who need to enter or leave Israel is in jeopardy. We ask you, Abba Father, to raise up Your right hand and send Your angels ahead to do battle with all these incoming missiles; and to guide and clearly direct the IDF exactly what to do. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- "Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch out Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and Your right hand will save me." (Psalm 138:7)
3. AIRPORT IN TEL AVIV MAY CLOSE SOON
Our sources report that Thursday, some international airlines cancelled flights to Israel. They fear Ben Gurion international airport at Lod may be next. The sources noted that the landing of a rocket in the sea off Bat Yam posed a serious aviation hazard because it occurred under the flight path of passenger planes bound for and departing Israel. Intense Israeli Air Force activity over Gaza was making commercial flights additionally "hazardous if not impossible," they said. (DebkaFile) Read article.
- Pray for the safety of all international travelers going into and departing from Israel. Ask our Lord to call forth His angelic host to keep our people, and others, safe in the airways. In His Name, amen.
- "May those who seek my life be disgraced and put to shame; may those who plot my ruin be turned back in dismay. May they be like chaff before the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away; may their path be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them." (Psalm 35:4-6)
- "Proclaim the power of God, whose majesty is over Israel, whose power is in the skies." (Ps 68:34)
FOCUS ON SYRIAN BORDER
FOCUS ON SYRIAN BORDER
· FIRE EXCHANGES ON SYRIAN BORDER; IDF JEEP DAMAGED
· SYRIAN REBEL FORCES ON ISRAEL'S NORTHERN BORDER
· ISRAEL RETURNS FIRE ON SYRIAN GOLAN
1. FIRE EXCHANGES ON SYRIAN BORDER; IDF JEEP DAMAGED
Stray Syrian fire hit an IDF patrol in the Golan Heights on Saturday night. No injuries were reported but an IDF jeep was damaged. This is the fourth such incident recorded in the past week.
The incident began when an IDF patrol was hit by Syrian fire in the Tel Hezeka area. The IDF fired artillery at the Syrian post in response. The Syrians then retaliated by firing a mortar shell that landed in the demilitarized zone. The IDF Spokesperson's Unit said a complaint was submitted at the United Nations force.
The last similar event occurred on Thursday, a day after the IDF launched Operation Pillar of Defense. A soldier was lightly wounded by ricochet. On Monday, a Syrian shell hit near an IDF post in the Golan Heights. No injuries or damage were reported. Shortly thereafter, the IDF returned fire, using tanks deployed along the border to target two D-3 mortar launchers belonging to the Syrian army. A direct hit was identified. The IDF reportedly hit two Soviet guns.
On Sunday, the IDF fired into Syrian territory for the first time since the Yom Kippur War. The IDF's Artillery Corps fired a missile towards a post in Syria after a 120mm mortar shell landed in the eastern Golan Heights on Sunday morning. (YnetNews) Read article.
- Abba Father, it appears even Syria wants to provoke confrontation and that Russian guns are being used, which means Russia is also involved. This was the fourth incident just recently involving attacks on the Golan Heights, so it is not just 'accidental'. Lord, we need You to rise up and confront this situation, however You choose. Israel is being attacked on all sides. Help them Lord!! In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- "God is a just judge, and God is angry with the wicked every day." (Psalm 7:11)
2. SYRIAN REBEL FORCES ON ISRAEL'S NORTHERN BORDER
"Israel and Syria will scrupulously observe the cease-fire on land, sea, and air and will refrain from all military actions against each other, from the time of the signing of the document, in implementation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 338 dated October 22, 1973."
This is a portion of the text from the disengagement agreement between Israel and Syria. The agreement also states that this is not a "peace agreement" but "a step toward a just and durable peace." This absence of military strife between the two countries has now become tenuous at best as the civil war within Syria edges even closer to the borders of Israel.
Within the past few days, mortar shells and stray bullets have come across the border into Israel and most recently Israel has started to respond to the activity by returning fire. According to the Israeli Defense Forces web site, "the IDF filed a complaint through the UN forces operating in the area, stating that fire emanating from Syria into Israel will not be tolerated and shall be responded to with severity."
The latest reports are that the rebel faction of Syria's civil war has now taken control of several towns in the demilitarized zone or buffer area between the two countries, an area specified in the UN Security Council agreement. Rebels may be setting up strongholds in this area, knowing that the agreement will make it difficult for Syria's military forces to intervene and/or fight. Most recent news reports state that there may be as many as 200 rebel soldiers that have taken over the two villages of Beerajam and Bariqa, which are located in the DMZ. These villages are very close to one of the main roads leading to Damascus and there is speculation that their intent may be to take control of the southern part of the route. [Reported by BFP: Bridges for Peace]
- Pray for wisdom and discernment of the commanders who are stationed on Israel's northern border. Pray for protection of the villages and people whose homes and businesses are so close to the civil war in Syria.
- "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever." (Psalm 111:10 )
3. ISRAEL RETURNS FIRE ON SYRIAN GOLAN
May Have Caused Deaths of Syrian Soldiers
Israel fired artillery into Syria in response to gunfire aimed at its troops in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, and may have killed Syrian soldiers, Israel's army said on Sunday. There were no reported injuries on the Israeli side from the shootings, which occurred on Saturday, the third case this month of violence seen as a spillover of civil unrest in Syria that has also alarmed other neighbors such as Lebanon and Turkey.
"There was small arms fire (at Israeli forces), there was a response and from what I hear over Arab media it appears Syrian soldiers were killed," Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, Israel's chief military spokesman, told Army Radio.
He said Israel was trying not to be dragged into battles between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels. The chaos of the 20-month-old insurgency often makes independent assessment of casualties within Syria difficult.
"Our trigger finger is very stiff, not light," Mordechai said. "Under no circumstances do we accept any shooting on the State of Israel's territory, but nor do we intend to heat up the area."
Israel captured the Golan area in the 1967 war and later annexed it in a move never recognized internationally.
Israel lodged a complaint with the United Nations over Saturday's incident. The U.N. has a peace-keeper force in the area monitoring a ceasefire in place since the 1970s. (Reuters) Read more.
- Even as the war is raging in Gaza, don't forget to cover Israel's northern border in prayer, too. Thank our Lord that, as we praise Him, He does promise to fight for His people and to deliver them! Amen and amen!
- "The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them." (Psalm 34:7)
On Capitol Hill This Week Volume XIX, Number 31b
More International News
More International News
- ROCKETS FAIL TO DETER LOOTERS IN BEERSHEBA
- ISRAEL RETURNS FIRE ON SYRIAN GOLAN, MAY HAVE CAUSED DEATHS
- A NEW LEADER FOR EUROPE?
- "BELGIUM WILL BECOME AN ISLAMIC STATE
- CHINA UNVEILS NEW LEADERSHIP WITH XI AT HELM
1. ROCKETS FAIL TO DETER LOOTERS IN BEERSHEBA
As air red sirens sounded in the southern city of Beersheba on Thursday night, many residents hid in shelters. But not everyone felt the need to do so; taking advantage of the situation, thieves broke into a kitchen design store and stole two television screens. Even theft has its time and place, and this isn't the time to steal," the store's manager, Eliezer Weiss said. "We have lost our sensitivity, our humanity."
The store is equipped with a burglar alarm, but just as it went off the siren sounded, so the security team's response was delayed. "When I reached the store I was simply shocked, the store window was smashed. I just can't believe someone would actually exploit this situation to rob the store," Weiss added Weiss urged other store owners to "Make sure you guard your businesses - no one can be trusted, not even at times like these."
- Abba Father, we are so saddened with this kind of news. People are fleeing to bomb shelters for their lives, yet there are some people who just see it as an opportunity for greed and thievery. Lord, we ask Your mercy and comfort to those being looted, and to confront the looters with Your awesome presence, so they will know You are God. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- He who is glad at calamity will not go unpunished. (Proverbs 17:5b)
2. ISRAEL RETURNS FIRE ON SYRIAN GOLAN, MAY HAVE CAUSED DEATHS
Israel fired artillery into Syria in response to gunfire aimed at its troops in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights and may have killed Syrian soldiers, Israel's army said on Sunday.
There were no reported injuries on the Israeli side from the shootings, which occurred on Saturday, the third case this month of violence seen as a spillover of civil unrest in Syria that has also alarmed other neighbors such as Lebanon and Turkey. "There was small arms fire (at Israeli forces), there was a response and from what I hear over Arab media it appears Syrian soldiers were killed," Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai, Israel's chief military spokesman, told Army Radio.
He said Israel was trying not to be dragged into battles between Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces and rebels. The chaos of the 20-month-old insurgency often makes independent assessment of casualties within Syria difficult. "Our trigger finger is very stiff, not light," Mordechai said. "Under no circumstances do we accept any shooting on the State of Israel's territory, but nor do we intend to heat up the area."
- Why does the headline by Reuters call the Golan Heights "Syrian" instead of Israeli land? What would Bashar Assad do if the Israelis did not fight back? Praise God for the courage of the Israelis in forbidding the incursions of other country's battles on its land. Pray for the safety of any settlements in the Golan Heights. Also, ask the Lord to set warrior angels at Israel's borders, protecting its borders all the way around. Unrest, fomented by the Moslem Brotherhood is occurring in Jordan, and of course, Egypt's MB leadership is siding with HAMAS in Gaza. Israel needs our prayers and protection. Some missiles are coming into Israel from launchers in Egypt.
- "The words of the wicked are, 'Lie in wait for blood,' but the mouths of the upright will deliver them." (Proverbs 12: 6).
3. A NEW LEADER FOR EUROPE?
Tony Blair has warned that the structures of the European Union are distant from EU citizens; not exactly headline news, but for the former British prime minister, a situation that can be remedied by the election, by the European citizens, of a European Council president. Speaking in Germany, Blair said that a Europe-wide vote on the position, currently held by Herman Van Rompuy and decided on by EU heads of state as part of their usual institutional wrangling, would help bring the EU closer to its citizens. There have already been similar calls in EU circles for a directly elected president of the European Commission.
It is possible that Blair covets this position for himself; he was mooted in 2009 - although according to the man himself, he didn't actively seek the position - when Van Rompuy was given his first two-and-a-half year mandate.
Some of those prejudices lingering from his domestic term of office to have subsided; but how many? The Iraq war may be forgiven, and more centre-left governments may be on the scene, but could Europe really be led by a man from a country with an opt-out on the single currency, and whose government, supported by his own Labor Party, are throwing a spanner in the works of the Union's budget negotiations?
Regardless of the political intentions of Blair and whether he is mistaking recognition for popularity - a flaw in any cross-border European elections - as a European grandee engaging in the European debate at a crucial time, his remarks still hold some weight; even just as departure points for debate. He may not be breaking new ground, but Blair, like George Soros in the same week, acknowledges the reality of a fracturing Europe and the need for solidarity. "The euro crisis, however, has turned the EU into something radically different.
Member countries are now divided into two classes - creditors and debtors - with the creditors in char," Soros wrote in an article published on New Europe's website.
Countries like Germany, he says, have now become dominant in European affairs, not by any deliberate policy scheming, but by policy mistakes. He called this the "tragedy of the European Union." The EU, he said, once the instrument of European unity, is now held together by "grim necessity."
Talk in European circles right now is, rightly, focused on the budget; after that what next? Tony Blair may not be the answer to our problems, but if those ideas, like those put forward by George Soros, aren't debated, then the status quo remains.
- Although the EU was touted as the savior of European countries' unity to save the continent from more devastating wars, the EU has seemed to cause more turmoil than it was to solve, especially in economics. Of course, the EU is totally secular, and God is forgotten, having put God out of the picture. There are pockets of on-fire churches throughout Europe. Pray for the Christians in these dynamic churches so that God is once again put in control. Pray against the thinking of men like George Soros wherever they live, for their goal is power, not the good of the citizens.
- "The Lord has made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God."(Isaiah 52: 10 )
4. "BELGIUM WILL BECOME AN ISLAMIC STATE
Two Muslim politicians, who just won municipal elections in Belgium's capital, Brussels, on October 14, have vowed to implement Islamic Sharia law in Belgium. The two candidates, Lhoucine Aït Jeddig and Redouane Ahrouch, both from the fledgling Islam Party, won seats in two heavily Islamized municipalities of Brussels, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean and Anderlecht, respectively.
During a post-election press conference in Brussels on October 25, the two future councilors, who will be officially sworn in on December 3, said they regard their election as key to the assertion of the Muslim community in Belgium. "We are elected Islamists but above all we are Muslims," Ahrouch said. "Islam is compatible with the laws of the Belgian people. As elected Muslims, we embrace the Koran and the tradition of the Prophet Mohammed.
We believe Islam is a universal religion. Our presence on the town council will give us the opportunity to express ourselves," said Ahrouch, who refuses to shake hands or make eye contact with females in public. Ahrouch, who was sentenced to six months in prison in 2003 for the assault and battery of his disabled wife, also spends considerable time talking about ethics in politics and "respect for the other."
In A video (0:25:40), Aït Jeddig, 50, commends Islam as having paved the way for "the emergence of European civilization." (He makes no mention of Europe's Judeo-Christian or Greek-Roman roots.) He also insists that Islam is compatible with freedom and democracy.
The Islam Party, which plans to field candidates in European-level elections in 2014, campaigned on three core issues: ensuring that halal meals are served in public school cafeterias, securing the official recognition of Muslim religious holidays and pushing for a law that would legalize the wearing of Islamic headscarves in public spaces.
Ahrouch has run for political office before. In 1999, he founded a political party called "Noor: Le Parti Islamique," which promotes a 40-point program based on Islamic Sharia law. These points include, among other items: 7) abolishing interest payments [riba] in the Belgian banking sector; 10) redesigning the Belgian judiciary to comply with Islamic law; 11) restoring capital punishment; 12) prohibiting alcohol and cigarettes; 15) promoting teenage marriage; 16) segregating males and females in public spaces; 20) outlaw gambling and the lottery; and 39) creating an official Islamic alms fund [Zakat]. Ahrouch says that his ultimate goal, creating an Islamic state in Belgium based on Islamic Sharia law, has not changed.
Speaking to a reporter from Radio Télévision Belge Francophone (RTBF), the public broadcasting service of the French-speaking part of Belgium, Ahrouch said: "The agenda is still the same, but our approach is different now. I think we have to sensitize people, make them understand the advantages to having Islamic people and Islamic laws. And then it will be completely natural to have Islamic laws and we will become an Islamic state."
The rise of the Islam Party comes amid a burgeoning Muslim population in the Belgian capital. Muslims now make up one-quarter of the population of Brussels, according to a book recently published by the Catholic University of Leuven, the top Dutch-language university in Belgium. In real terms, the number of Muslims in Brussels -- where half of the number of Muslims in Belgium currently live --- has reached 300,000, which means that the self-styled "Capital of Europe" is now the most Islamic city in Europe. In practical terms, Islam mobilizes more people in Brussels than do the Roman Catholic Church, political parties or even trade unions, according to "The Iris and the Crescent," a book that is the product of more than a year of field research.
In Belgium's second-largest city, Antwerp an estimated 40% of elementary school children are Muslim. The growth of the Muslim population has been accompanied by an increase in violent crime, which has made Brussels one of the most dangerous cities in Europe, according to an exposé produced by the ZDF German television in April 2012. Much of the crime is being attributed to shiftless Muslim youth, especially in the Anderlecht and Molenbeek districts, where "the police have lost control."
- Beware America, for what is happening in Brussels is the same goals for the Moslems here. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Pray against the rise in sharia law gaining control in the USA, and pray against the rise of anti-semitism. Our cries for the mercy of the Lord and intercession, are the bulwarks against these two nasty lies of Islam. Pray for peace in the streets of Belgium cities. Call forth the worship of the Lord in Belgium.
- "Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies." (Psalm 40; 4)
5. CHINA UNVEILS NEW LEADERSHIP WITH XI AT HELM
China's all-powerful Communist Party on Thursday unveiled a new seven-man leadership council steered by Xi Jinping to take command of the world's number two economy for the next decade. After striding out in Beijing's Great Hall of the People as the party's new general-secretary, succeeding President Hu Jintao, Xi vowed to fight official corruption and build a "better life" for the nation's 1.3 billion people.
Xi's long-expected ascent to the apex of national politics was confirmed when he emerged onto the stage in front of the other six members of the elite Politburo Standing Committee, after a week-long party congress. Xi, 59, has an impeccable political pedigree as the son of a lieutenant to revolutionary leader Mao Zedong. He will formally replace Hu as state president when the rubber-stamp legislature confirms the appointment in March.
The new committee has been slimmed from nine members to seven, a change analysts said would ease decision-making at the consensus-driven heights of the Communist Party as China faces rapid change on a host of fronts. "Under the new conditions, our party faces many severe challenges, and there are also many pressing problems within the party that need to be resolved," Xi said, highlighting graft and alienation from citizens.
Xi appeared confident and far more relaxed than his stiff predecessor Hu, starting out with a disarming apology for the speech's late start and then talking about ordinary people in plain language. Some users of the nation's popular Twitter-like microblogs welcomed the speech, with its lack of Communist jargon or mention of socialist heroes, as a refreshing departure.
Xi's standing at the top of China's opaque power structure was consolidated with his appointment as chief of the nation's vast military as head of the Central Military Commission.
In second place in the new Politburo Standing Committee was current Vice Premier Li Keqiang, whose promotion puts him in line to be appointed premier in charge of the nation's day-to-day economic administration in March.
The spectacle marked the climax of years of jockeying within the secretive party, which brooks little dissent to its monopoly on political power but which has had to take new account of the public's demands in the age of social media.
Analysts said that despite calls from Xi, Hu and others for reform, the new leadership line-up appeared to have a conservative slant, the result of compromise and consensus among different groups," Chinese University of Hong Kong associate professor Tsao King Kwun said. but also stressed that continuity and stability reigned supreme in the communist system.
The process was essentially finalized Wednesday when the party ended its week-long congress by announcing a new 200-strong Central Committee. The seven men who hold innermost power are tasked with addressing a rare deceleration of economic growth that threatens the party's key claim to legitimacy -- continually improving the livelihoods of the country's people.
- Although Obama and Hilary Clinton have expressed much hope at the new Chinese leadership, scholars throughout the world tend to be skeptical about what Xi can do amid China's many problems. These two American leaders have lied to American citizens before. Ask the Lord to protect our economy against any manipulation by shrewd secularists who deny the presence of God in the affairs of nations. We don't need China; we need God to help the USA.
- "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful: But his delight is in the law of the Lord" (Psalm 1:1,2a)
On Capitol Hill This Week: Vol. XIX, No. 31c
- WHY ARE THE BENGHAZI HEARINGS SECRET?
- CONNECTING-THE-DOTS ON BENGHAZIGATE
- LEADERS CALL FIRST "FISCAL CLIFF" MEETING CONSTRUCTIVE
- REID, BOEHNER SPLIT OVER TIMING FOR DEFICIT-REDUCTION DEAL
- U.S. POVERTY SPIKES, 50 MILLION AMERICANS AFFECTED
- $4 MILLION SPENT TO DISTRIBUTE $12 MILLION IN FOOD STAMPS
- OBAMA BEGINS PUSH FOR NEW NATIONAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM
- U.S. PENSION INSURER RUNS RECORD $34 BILLION DEFICIT
- DESPITE $15.9 BILLION LOSS, U.S.P.O. EXECS RECEIVE PAY BOOST
- U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS WILL NOT COMPLY WITH OBAMA ON BIRTH CONTROL COVERAGE
- OBAMA NOMINATES BLACK HOMOSEXUAL JUDGE
- OBAMA PUTS GUN RIGHTS IN THE CROSSHAIRS
1. WHY ARE THE BENGHAZI HEARINGS SECRET?
Both the House and Senate held closed hearings on the continuing and broadening Benghazi situation. Why is it secret? Congressmen will ask the State Department why a group of known jihadists who had fought against the United States in Iraq were guarding the consulate in Benghazi. The February 17th Martyrs Brigade was formed in memory of those killed attacking the Italian Consulate in Benghazi on February 17th, 2006. At the time, Libyan strong man Gadafi was an ally of the West and defended the Italian consulate. In doing so he killed 13 "martyrs." The attack on the Italian consulate was a protest against an Italian minister who was DEFENDING FREE SPEECH." The February 17th Martyrs Brigade went on to fight against American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. This is the organization Hillary Clinton hired to defend the American Consulate in Benghazi! Now you know why the hearings are secret. I could disclose more, but I don't want a visit from the FBI. (Religious Freedom Coalition) Read more.
- Father God, trust in You to reveal all evildoings in connection with the tragic deaths of the Americans in Benghazi. We pray for You to move to make these hearings open and public so that America can hear the truth and corrections be made to policy dealing with our diplomatic personnel in dangerous situations. Please send comfort to the families and friends of the men who were killed in the line of duty. Amen.
- "He uncovers deep things out of darkness, And brings the shadow of death to light." (Job 12:22)
2. CONNECTING-THE-DOTS ON BENGHAZIGATE
The Center for Security Policy hosted three of the nation's preeminent analysts concerning the totalitarian, supremacist Islamist doctrine of shariah in an examination of its influence and impact on U.S. policy - including the scandal now known as "Benghazigate." In a panel convened at Hillsdale College's Kirby Center in Washington, the author of the new book, Shariah vs. Freedom, Dr. Andrew Bostom, syndicated columnist and author Diana West and the former duty expert on radical Islam for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Stephen Coughlin, Esq. connected the proverbial dots between the failing efforts of the Obama administration with respect to engaging with Islamists and submitting to shariah and the debacle that began in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 and continues to this day.
Video of the panel is available here.
A transcript will be posted at www.securefreedom.org by November 14, 2012. In addition, the video link, the transcript and an executive summary were distributed to members of Congress on November 14, 2012. (Family Security Matters) Read more.
- Our Merciful Lord, we come humbly before You to seek revelation and correction to what looks like the government's unstated policy to aid radical Moslems. Lord, please do a work to counter this promotion of Islam. We pray for the Body of Christ in America to rise up in prayer for a strengthening of the principles this country was founded upon.
- "How are the things of Esau searched out! how are the hidden things sought up!" (Obadiah 1:6)
3. LEADERS CALL FIRST "FISCAL CLIFF" MEETING CONSTRUCTIVE
In a signal to financial markets that have fallen precipitously since Obama's election last week, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) expressed confidence they would reach a deal. The four all appeared outside the White House after the meeting as a group to telegraph their seriousness and unity to the markets and the public.
"We all know something has to be done ... we feel very comfortable with each other and this isn't something we're going to wait until the last day of December to get it done," Reid (D-Nev.) said. "We have a plan. We're going to move forward on it." Boehner said the parties had developed the "cornerstones of being able to work something out." (The Hill) Read more.
- Heavenly Father, please give wisdom to those who are set in place to arbitrate the issues of national debt. Place in the hands of those charged with this responsibility wisdom to make sound financial decisions.
- "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" (Acts 20:35)
4. REID AND BOEHNER SPLIT OVER TIMING FOR DEFICIT-REDUCTION DEAL
A rift has emerged between Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) over the timing of a deficit-reduction deal, which they discussed at the White House Friday. The disagreement stems from a battle for leverage. Democrats want to strike an agreement now, when their political capital is at a high point following the election. They feel their position is further strengthened by the pending expiration of the Bush tax cuts and scheduled cuts to defense spending. Republicans say a broad package would be too complex to finish in the next six weeks. But waiting until next year to complete an agreement would also help them politically as Obama's election mandate is likely to fade. (The Hill) Read more.
- Heavenly Father, we ask that You intervene in the matters of resolving our national dilemma with how to go about paying our national debt in a way that serves the people of this great nation. Bring an honest and lasting peace between the Senate and the House in the budget deliberations that are underway. help these leaders find common ground in establishing a solid plan for future stability.
- "For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he may have enough to finish it; lest perhaps, after he has laid the foundation and is not able to finish, all those seeing begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build and was not able to finish." (Luke 14:28-30)
5. U.S. POVERTY SPIKES, 50 MILLION AMERICANS AFFECTED
As Obama is set to begin his second term, new statistics on America's poverty rate indicate that nearly 50 million Americans, more than 16 percent of the population, are struggling to survive.
New figures released by the Census Bureau this week found a spike in poverty numbers last year, going from 49 million in 2010 to 49.7 million last year. The numbers may come as a surprise to Congress, which estimated in September that the poverty rate would drop to 46.2 million. One of the most startling findings showed that almost 20 percent of American children continue to live in poverty. (Associated Press / CBS News) Read more.
- Heavenly Father, we see that there are many Americans who are struggling financially to make living in this great nation. We ask that You help us create creative means of employment that will benefit our whole society and establish firm foundations. You O Lord are our Rock and Shield, not national wealth. May we first seek You and Your Kingdom and all these things will be added unto us.
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matthew 6:33)
6. $4 MILLION SPENT TO DISTRIBUTE $12 MILLION IN FOOD STAMPS
In the wake of hurricane Isaac, Baton Rouge, Louisiana spent $4 million dollars setting up emergency food stamp application sites which eventually distributed $12 million in benefits. Hurricane Isaac struck the gulf coast the last week of August 2012 and was responsible for nine deaths. In the wake of the disaster, emergency food stamp sites were set up at six locations in Baton Rouge. In that city alone $4.2 million was spent on renting everything from chairs to port-a-potties to food service.
According to records examined by CBS affiliate WAFB, $360,000 was spent renting 240 portable toilets, over 112 of which were delivered to one location. Nearly half a million dollars was spent catering food and snacks for state workers. WAFB notes that the $4.2 million spent in Baton Rouge did not include the salaries of state workers. The cost of setting up the distributions sites was split between the state of Louisiana and the federal government.
A total of $12.4 million in food stamps were distributed as a result of the effort, less than triple what was spent on the distribution effort itself. (Breitbart News) Read more.
- "Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." (1 Corin.4:6)
7. OBAMA BEGINS PUSH FOR NEW NATIONAL RETIREMENT SYSTEM
A recent hearing sponsored by the Treasury and Labor Departments marked the beginning of the Obama Administration's effort to nationalize the nation's pension system and to eliminate private retirement accounts including IRA's and 401k plans, NSC is warning.
The hearing, held in the Labor Department's main auditorium, was monitored by NSC staff and featured a line up of left-wing activists including one representative of the AFL-CIO who advocated for more government regulation over private retirement accounts and even the establishment of government-sponsored annuities that would take the place of 401k plans.
"This hearing was set up to explore why Americans are not saving as much for their retirement as they could," explains National Seniors Council National Director Robert Crone, "However, it is clear that this is the first step towards a government takeover. It feels just like the beginning of the debate over health care and we all know how that ended up."
A representative of the liberal Pension Rights Center, Rebecca Davis, testified that the government needs to get involved because 401k plans and IRAs are unfair to poor people. She demanded the Obama administration set up a "government-sponsored program administered by the PBGC (the governments' Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation)." She proclaimed that even "private annuities are problematic."- Heavenly Father, we humbly ask You to deliver our nation from a socialist styled government that we know from history does not work. We ask that You block any attempts to undermine the established methods of retirement that have served this country well over the past decades. We ask that sound financial safeguards be put between government and personal assets to insure a more secure future for our citizens.
Such "reforms" would effectively end private retirement accounts in America, Crone warns. "These people want the government to require that ultimately all Americans buy these government annuities instead of saving or investing on their own. The Government could then take these trillions of dollars and redistribute it through this new national retirement system." (National Senior Council) Read more.
Such "reforms" would effectively end private retirement accounts in America, Crone warns. "These people want the government to require that ultimately all Americans buy these government annuities instead of saving or investing on their own. The Government could then take these trillions of dollars and redistribute it through this new national retirement system." (National Senior Council) Read more.
- "A prudent one foresees the evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished." (Proverbs 22:3)
8. U.S. PENSION INSURER RUNS RECORD $34 BILLION DEFICIT
The federal agency that insures pensions for more than 40 million Americans last year ran the widest deficit in its 38-year history. The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. said Friday that its deficit grew to $34 billion for the budget year that ended Sept. 30. That compares with a $26 billion shortfall in the previous year.
Pension obligations grew by $12 billion to $119 billion last year. Assets used to cover those obligations increased by only $4 billion to $85 billion.
The agency has now run deficits for 10 straight years. The gap has grown wider in recent years because the weak economy has triggered more corporate bankruptcies and failed pension plans. If the trend continues, the agency could struggle to pay benefits without an infusion of taxpayer funds.
Agency Director Josh Gotbaum said continued deficits "will ultimately threaten" the PBGC's ability to pay pension benefits to retired workers. "There's no imminent threat that we're going to stop cutting checks," Gotbaum said during a conference call with reporters. However, he said, Congress must act "long before 10 years from now" to increase the insurance premiums that companies pay to the agency. (Associated Press) Read more.
- Heavenly Father, there are many businesses and financial institutions in our country who have not administered sound financial practices and are now being exposed. Give wisdom to those who have the task of restoring stability and sound financial practice in the marketplace.
- "For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men." (2 Corinthians 8:21)
9. DESPITE $15.9 BILLION LOSS, U.S. POSTAL SERVICE EXECS RECEIVE
Despite nearly $16 billion in annual losses announced by the U.S. Postal Service on Thursday, all but one of the top five executives for the nation's mail service had an overall compensation increase this year, records show.
Unlike past years, when the Postal Service's politically appointed, bipartisan board of governors awarded executives lucrative deferred compensation deals and incentive bonuses, this year's compensation increases came mostly in the form of pension plan earnings.
Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, for instance, earned a base salary of $276,840, but even without a bonus or incentive payout, his overall compensation came to $512,093, compared with $384,229 in 2011, according to regulatory filings. (Washington Times) Read more.
- Heavenly Father, You say in Your Word that" a laborer is worthy of his hire" but we also see that there are just compensations and sound financial decisions that also play a part in the amount of "hire" that is financially just. Please give wisdom to those who are charged with administering public funds. Expose any fraudulent activity and establish a policy of just compensation for all employees that is sustainable.
"A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is His delight." (Proverbs 11:1)
10 U.S. CATHOLIC BISHOPS WILL NOT COMPLY WITH OBAMA ON BIRTH CONTROL COVERAGE
A top American bishop said Tuesday the Roman Catholic church will not comply with the Obama administration requirement that most employers provide health insurance covering birth control.
New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said church leaders are open to working toward a resolution with federal officials, but will meanwhile press ahead with challenges to the mandate in legislatures and in court.
"The only thing we're certainly not prepared to do is give in. We're not violating our consciences," Dolan told reporters at a national bishops' meeting. "I would say no door is closed except for the door to capitulation." The bishops have been fighting the regulation since it was announced by President Barack Obama early this year. Houses of worship are exempt, but religiously affiliated hospitals, charities and colleges are not. (Family Security Matters) Read more.
- Father in Heaven, we thank You for the strong stance of the leaders of the Catholic Church in America. We pray that they will lead many into a righteous stand concerning abortion and abortion-inducing pills. We ask you to bless them and cause their words and actions to be effective toward Your Kingdom purposes of ending abortion.
- "And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever." (Daniel 12:3)
11 OBAMA NOMINATES BLACK HOMOSEXUAL JUDGE
Obama nominated seven judges, including a black homosexual, to the federal judiciary, saying their appointments "ensure that the judiciary resembles the nation it serves." Obama appointed Judge William Thomas to the Southern District of Florida. Thomas has served on the Eleventh Judicial Circuit since 2005.
"Today's announcement . . . reflects Obama's historic commitment to advancing a diverse judiciary that looks like America," said Nancy Zirkin of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. "If confirmed, these nominees would bring more women, minorities, and openly gay judges to courts to better reflect the nation they serve." (Life Site News) Read more.
- Heavenly Father, we pray that righteous judges would be placed in places of authority and that those who practice or advocate the sin of homosexuality would be removed from political influence in our nation. You have stated in Your Word that homosexuality is an abomination.
- "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." (Leviticus 18:22)
12. OBAMA PUTS GUN RIGHTS IN THE CROSSHAIRS
The day after President Obama was re-elected, his administration acted to jump start a United Nations treaty that critics say takes direct aim at Second Amendment freedoms here in the U.S.
Pennsylvania Rep. Mike Kelly is pushing House legislation to demand Obama reject any efforts at the United Nations or anywhere else to infringe on Americans' constitutional right to keep and bear arms. The House doesn't have any real jurisdiction on the issue as the Senate gives the final word on treaties, but Kelly said raising public awareness is critical.
"Our ability to keep and bear arms is constantly under attack," he said. "Our Second Amendment is constantly under attack by an administration that uses this 'wordsmithing' and this constant massaging and spinning." (World Net Daily) Read more.
- Heavenly Father, We ask that You help us protect the rights of each person in this nation regarding our constitutional freedoms that You have granted this nation from its founding. Expose any hidden agendas by unrighteous leaders that would attempt to threaten those constitutional rights. We know that You are our Deliverer and our Strong Tower, but You have also charged us to be responsible for looking out for the weak and those in need of protecting such as our families.
- "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." (Psalm 82:3)
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
Therefore the Lord, the Lord Almighty, the Mighty One of Israel, declares: "Ah! I will vent my wrath on my foes and avenge myself on my enemies."