Tuesday, January 13, 2009

On Capitol Hill This Week - January 12-16, 2009

In This Issue
· On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XVI, No. 2
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

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

On Capitol Hill This WeekVolume XVI, Number 2 January 12 - 16, 2009

"Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD: and the people whom He hath chosen for His own inheritance." (Psalm 33:12)

On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XVI, No. 2

The 2008 election of members to the 111th Congress has concluded with the exception of the Minnesota Senate race. The House of Representatives began with 434 of 435 members and the Senate began with 98 of 100 members. Due to the change in executive administration and the selection of cabinet members from the legislative branch, the membership profile that is to be expected for most of this Congress' duration is not yet known.
· Ask God to establish the leaders he would have for our nation, and to give our leaders wisdom in pursuing righteousness and justice.
· Greet all of your leaders and all the saints (Hebrews 13:24). Daniel said, Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him. It is He who changes the times and the epochs; He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men And knowledge to men of understanding (Daniel 2:20-21).

The majority in the House of Representatives has taken steps to hush any voice of correction outside its own ranks. In the last Congress, the minority found in the motion to recommit with instructions a method of substantially modifying legislation without delay. The change in the rules prohibits this motion from not delaying legislation, thereby providing members of the majority with political cover for not supporting legislative innovations that originate in the other party.
· Ask God to give His people in Congress ways to make His words through their voices heard throughout the Halls of Congress and across our land.
· Take words with you and return to the Lord. Say to Him, Take away all iniquity, And receive us graciously, That we may present the fruit of our lips (Hosea 14:2).

The leaders of both chambers of Congress introduced resolutions to support Israel in its fight against Gaza: H.Res. 34 and S.Res. 10.
· Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.· Pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

Members of the party that will soon control both legislative and executive branches of the federal government are now debating how they want to expand federal spending on embryonic stem cell research: through executive order or by legislation.
· Ask God to show all of our leaders the need to build on the affirmations of life during this past decade. Praise God for those leaders who are faithful to Him, and pray for wisdom and knowledge to show them how to maintain the gains for life we have seen in our nation.
· I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live , you and your descendants, by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days, that you may live in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them. (Deuteronomy 30:18-20).

According to the Congressional Budget Office the sharp downturn in housing markets across the country has led the United States into a recession which began about a year ago and will last well into 2009, making it the longest recession since World War II. While there is ample motivation in Washington to address the problem, there is less clarity as to what can be done that would actually fix the problem.
· Ask God to give our leaders motivation to seek His guidance in their every decision. Ask God to give the American public a willingness to accept responsibility for the problem.
· The beginning of wisdom is: Acquire wisdom; And with all your acquiring, get understanding (Proverbs 4:7). O Lord, how many are Thy works! In wisdom Thou hast made them all; The earth is full of Thy possessions (Psalm 104:24).

Betrayal. No other word describes the reversal of American foreign policy that took place on the night of Jan. 8 when the U.S. refused to veto the Security Council resolution on Gaza. A president whose friendship and alliance with Israel once appeared honest, perceptive and unshakable, decided two weeks before leaving office to throw Israel to the wolves. The resolution calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and does not even mention the word "Hamas."There will no longer be a need for an Obama transition team on foreign policy. The outgoing president and secretary of State have done it all. Yesterday's resolution, along with another Condoleezza Rice-inspired resolution from mid-December, draws Israel into a Security Council spider web that U.N. enthusiasts have been weaving for decades.
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton can simply step into George W. Bush and Condi Rice's shoes, label themselves new-age multilateralists and let the remnants of Israel fall where they may.The Security Council resolution makes a mockery of Israel's right of self-defense. In fact, it makes no mention of a right of self-defense at all. Eight thousand mortars have rained down on Israel from the Gaza Strip over a period of eight years.Israel withdrew every Israeli man, woman and child from Gaza three and a half years ago. Yet the United Nations draws an equivalence between a terrorist organization whose very modus operandi is to target civilians and a state whose aim is to protect civilians, Israeli and Palestinian.
Arab states could scarcely contain their glee. The U.K. went out in front and accepted the idea of a much stronger resolution instead of a Security Council presidential statement, and Secretary of State Rice rolled over and played dead within minutes. Veto-wielding powers had reportedly given undertakings to Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that they would not permit a resolution. These promises were ignored in the face of allegedly enormous pressure from undemocratic thugs, state sponsors of terrorism and weak democracies cowering at the prospect of unhappy Muslim constituencies or a dent in their bank accounts from belligerent Arab sheiks. What, moaned U.S. officials, was poor Condi to do?

1. The resolution she supported makes no mention whatsoever of Israel's right of self-defense.
2. The resolution calls for a ceasefire while Israel is still under fire, thus gutting the right of self-defense.
3. The resolution puts a right of "all" states "to live in peace"--though Israel is the only state under fire--in its preamble instead of in the operative section of the resolution, where it would have carried substantive weight.
4. The resolution expresses grave concern only about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. No concern is expressed over the humanitarian crisis in Israel that has forced half a million people into underground holes for eight years and left Jewish children growing up with the trauma of fleeing and hiding throughout their young lives.
5. The resolution makes no mention of any need to return Hamas kidnap-victim and Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. It does not even demand that Hamas or the Palestinian Authority abide by the humanitarian requirement under international law to permit a single visit to Shalit from the International Red Cross or any other international agency.
6. The resolution calls for "unimpeded" provision and distribution throughout Gaza of myriad forms of humanitarian assistance--which obviously makes the conduct of war against Hamas terrorists impossible.
7. The resolution condemns "all acts of terrorism"--without mentioning the identity of the terrorist--leaving Islamic countries to claim that Israel is the state terrorist and that the condemnation has nothing to do with Hamas.
8. The resolution places no mandatory responsibility on Egypt to stop the trafficking of weapons into the terrorist-controlled Gaza strip. It merely "calls for member states to intensify efforts" to stop the trafficking.
9. The resolution promotes further international intervention in the Arab-Israeli conflict, rather than a negotiated settlement between the two parties, by "welcoming...an international meeting in Moscow in 2009." Code language for shoving U.N. terms and conditions down Israel's throat.
10. The kicker is that the Security Council "decides to remain seized of the matter." This means Israel's failure to abide by any of the points in the resolution is grounds for more and more Security Council meetings designed to thwart Israel's right to defend itself against the terrorism that threatens all civilized societies.When it was over, Secretary of State Rice "abstained" with the following words: "this resolution, the text of which we support, the goals of which we support, and the objectives that we fully support, should indeed be allowed to go forward." These words led other ambassadors to point out that the resolution had, in effect, been adopted by consensus.Israel's prime minister reacted to the resolution today by pointing to the obvious:
It "will not be honored in actual fact by the Palestinian murder organizations." And though UN actors wish it were otherwise, "The State of Israel has never agreed that any outside body would determine its right to defend the security of its citizens." (
·This matter of America standing with Israel has not been clarified in the media. Perhaps the Lord wants us to concentrate on the salvation of those Americans who stand on the slopes of indecision, for when America turns her back on Israel, God can no longer bless America. Throw our country on the mercy of the Lord! And pray for those who are so deceived.
· "O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of years. In the midst of years make it known; In wrath remember mercy." (Habakkuk 3:2)

A government or a gang? As the Israeli operation in Gaza wears on, it appears Hamas has relinquished any visage of a socio-political party, abandoning its claim to govern the residents of Gaza in favor of engaging in open war at their expense. A number of reports from the Strip paint a picture of very difficult humanitarian conditions, not least because of Hamas itself.
The suspicion is that the group's operatives have seized control of any supplies passing through the crossings-including those sent by Israel and international organizations. Reports say Hamas takes a cut out of all aid that arrives, including flour and medicine. Supplies intended to be distributed without gain among the population are seized by the group and sold to the residents, at a profit to the Hamas government.One such incident was recorded January 5, when a convoy of trucks carrying supplies through the Kerem Shalom crossing was fired upon and seized by Hamas gunmen. Similar incidents occurred with trucks carrying fuel.In other cases, civilians are simply used as cannon fodder or human shields. Reports out of Gaza say residents who attempted to flee their homes in the northern area of the Strip were forced to go back at gunpoint, by Hamas men.
Other civilian complaints state that Hamas gunmen pull children along with them "by the ears" from place to place, fearing that if they don't have a child with them they will be fair game to the IDF. Others hide in civilian homes and stairwells, UNRWA ambulances, and mosques. The animosity towards Israel has not disappeared, say the sources, but it is now accompanied by bitterness towards the organization many are dubbing Iranian in its extremism. (Ynetnews.com)
· Pray that the supplies intended for public relief in Gaza will reach those in need and Hamas's activities will be exposed and contained. Pray that the Lord will expose such criminal activity to the world media that will have no ability to deny the truth. That any people could behave so heinously towards its own people is incomprehensible.
· "Do not rob the poor because he is poor. Nor oppress the afflicted at the gate; For the Lord will plead their cause And plunder the soul of those who plunder him." (Proverbs 22:22,23)

IDF forces operating in northern Gaza have quickly become familiar with the enemy's modes of operation. According to commanders and soldiers, Hamas has built an underground city of tunnels and holes paved with weapons. Many Hamas members have dug tunnels for themselves under their homes and hid weapon caches in them.One of the Air Force strikes in Gaza, not far from the Shifa Hospital, revealed weapons hidden in the area. Following the explosion, the bottom part of the bunker was blown away, exposing a maze of tunnels.
IDF officials said the terrorists emerge from the tunnels, hide in them, attempt to kidnap soldiers into them and place different traps in a bid to attract the soldiers. The Hamas men try to initiate close combat, face-to-face, and use different methods-covering tunnels with dolls, placing explosives in schools and wearing IDF uniforms.
The forces are still being prepared for the operation, and medical teams have been trained at the simulator of the Army Logistic Training Center. "We are simulating a complicated incident with a large number of casualties according to the threats in the Strip," said Lieutenant-General Yoel Har-Even, head of the Medical Corps' training unit. (Ynetnews.com)
· Pray that the war preparations created by Hamas will be exposed and destroyed. Pray also that the residents of Gaza, so annoyed with Hamas, will bring information to the IDF about the location of these tunnels. Pray for the protection of the IDF forces.
· "Then we departed from the river of Ahava on the twelfth day of the first month, to go to Jerusalem. And the hand of our God was upon us, and He delivered us from the hand of the enemy and from ambush along the road" (Ezra 8:31).

The residents of Rafah have been worried since the start of Operation Cast Lead, in no part because of the economic downturn that could result from damage to the tunnels used for smuggling goods from Egypt. It is no secret that the tunnels have been a source of prosperity for this Gaza city for the past two years, and there is great concern that future security arrangements will limit their use.Economic figures from the tunnel business were published last month by a research institute in the Gaza Strip. According to these statistics, unemployment figures in Rafah reached 20% in December 2008, as compared to 50% in December 2007. The workforce in Rafah is estimated to stand at about 18,000 people.Expansion of the tunnel business attracted workers from all over the Strip, some of whom were looking for employment and others for commercial purposes. This was quickly translated into a marked increase in economic activity in the city, including both in merchandise supply in stores and in new restaurants and coffee shops springing up.
According to the Palestinian figures, the increase in the number of tunnels since Hamas has risen to power has been astronomical. By the middle of 2007, some 20 tunnels were open in Rafah, while only a year later upwards of 500 tunnels were in operation. Most of the tunnels were dug within a limited 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) area along the Gaza-Egypt border in the neighborhoods of Tel Zareb, Brazil, and al-Abur, where the ground allows for such digging. The length of the tunnels usually ranges from 200 meters (0.1 miles) to 1 kilometer (0.6 miles). Digging a tunnel takes weeks, or even months, depending on its length. The cost of digging per 1 meter of tunnel is about US $100. Sources in Rafah know that the higher the cost of digging a tunnel, the higher the appetite of the tunnel owners for higher revenues, a fact that usually trickles down in price to the average consumer.
Economic groups in the Gaza Strip claim that income created as a result of smuggling via the tunnels averaged about US $30 million a year until 2006 and reached US $650 million the first year Hamas came to power. These massive sums found their way into the pockets of the tunnel owners and the Hamas government.According to this same research institute, ever since Hamas came to power, there has been a marked increase in the number of children begging for handouts in the streets. However, the researchers noted that despite their negative effects on the Gazan economy, "the tunnels played an important role in dealing with the blockade." (Ynetnews.com)
· Pray that the tunnel activities will be contained and their illegal function will be stopped. Pray for the protection of the minds of the Palestinian children against the horrific lessons that they have learned from the elders in their culture. Do these people truly love their children?
· "In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenue of the wicked is trouble" (Proverbs 15:6).


In this time of war, it is important to keep up with the news out of Israel, which is now changing hour by hour. We encourage our readers to visit the sites below for current information in Israel, and to pray as our Lord would direct . . .

In addition, many of these news sources have a daily e-mail update you can sign up for.

1. DEBKAfile www.debka.com
2. Israel National News www.israelnationalnews.com
3. Jerusalem Newswire www.jnewswire.com
4. Jerusalem Post www.jpost.com
5. Jerusalem Watchman www.stangoodenough.com
6. WorldNetDaily www.worldnetdaily.com
7. World Watch Daily -- Koenig's International News http://watch.org
8. Worthy News www.worthynews.com
9. YouTube -- Note: IDF has posted many videos on YouTube.
Search "IDF"www.youtube.com

This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .

THE LORD IS THERE (Adnoi Shahmah)
"And the name of the city from that time on will be: The LORD is There ." (Ezek.48:35)

Dear Father,
What a comfort to know that deep in my soul, whatever trouble assails me, You are there with me.

Just as You chose Jerusalem to be the city in which You dwelt, You also dwell in the heart of every child of God. May I never doubt that You are always there for me.

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