Friday, November 16, 2018

Calls To Boycott Sabra Hummus

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Israel is constantly being attacked. Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is constantly trying to needle Israel.

George Mason University(GMU) in Virginia has a BDS student movement that is sending around a petition to ban Sabra Hummus. They want Sabra products off campus because Sabra sppports the IDF.

The students petition says "In accordance with the call issued by
Palestinian civil society for a boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign against the benefactors of the illegal occupation, we demand that you cease to stock, offer, and buy the Sabra family of products. Sabra Hummus is co-owned by the Strauss group, which support the Israeli Defense Forces' Golani and Givati Brigades."

GMU is not the first university to attempt to ban Sabra.
Princeton and University of Ottawa has already unsuccessfully attempted to ban Sabra. The call failed for several reasons. Primarily because boycotts are illegal. It also failed because people like Sabra Hummus.

The petition links to specific IDF brigades. That is curious. The reason for the link is that Sabra's parent company Straus and PepsiCo sent care packages to soldiers in those companies.

These boycotts are without real merit. The students from GMU are targeting a company from White Plains, NY. Even if it was an Israeli company -- boycotts are not effective and of course they are illegal. 

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

Czech FM Visits Western Wall

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek visited the Western Wall. He was escorted by Israel's ambassador to Prague, Daniel Meron.

This visit enraged Palestinian leadership. They assert that it was a violation of tradition and protocol.
They said that third parties should not recognize areas that are in dispute - like East Jerusalem.

The official Czech response is that their foreign minister is in Israel for the 6th annual Czech -Israel Forum. He will also visit the Czech House near the Cinemateque movie theatre. The Czech House is the planned space for the Czech embassy when it moves to Jerusalem.

This trip is more than a simple visit. It is paving the way for moving the Czech embassy to Jerusalem.

That is what irks Palestinian leadership the most.

All of these are very good signs from the perspective of Israelis and Czechs. 

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Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Hamas Rockets Killed Palestinian

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Hamas launched over 300 rockets, their intention is to to kill as many Israeli Jews as possible.

As fate would have it, one person was killed by the barrage. That one person is Mahmoud Abbash
Asba, a 48 year old construction contractor. He was the only victim - and he is not an Israeli at all. Asba lived in Halhul, an Arab village one mile north of Hebron in the West Bank. Mahmoud Abbash Asba was a Palestinian.

The irony is striking.

Hamas terrorists try to murder as many Jews as possible and instead, they murder a Palestinian from Halhul.

Asba would sleep in Ashkelon near his work site during the week and go home on Friday to be with his family. He was in Israel illegally.

Hamas continues to claim that they shot their rockets into Israel to defend Palestinians. What they are is murderers, the murderers of Palestinians. 

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Yesterday was a Tough Day For Israel

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
For Israel, yesterday was the worst of days since 2014.

Yesterday, Hamas launched over 300 rockets into Israel. That many rockets in one day were last launched into Israel four years ago.

Israel struck back hitting over 70 Hamas targets.
50 Israelis were hospitalized. Almost all were suffering from shock.

Three of those injured suffered physical injury.
hen Israelis are injured and when rocket fire from Gaza increases to new heights, history tells us that Israel will respond with an increase in force.

Israeli special operations forces in Gaza are what began this recent crisis - there is no question or controversy on that. They were discovered mid-operation in Gaza, Hamas responded and continues to respond.

If Israel increases the intensity of their response, it may include more ground operations.
The situation is not good. 

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Monday, November 12, 2018

Israel Operates in Gaza Draws Rocket Fire

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Israel operates in the Gaza strip more often than one would think.

Their last operation resulted in the death of a 43 year old commander, a Lt Colonel in the IDF. Another officer was wounded.

This is a huge loss.

When Israel goes into Gaza, they go with very clear and specific goals for the operations. They go in with small, highly-trained strike forces with a great deal of experience. They work well together and they work efficiently. They go in on the ground and then often take a vehicle or use one that has been arranged for them through local Palestinian assistance.

These small strike forces move quickly.

Their goals, normally, are to confirm information or to sabotage or destroy targets. Sometimes they are there to kidnap or assassinate terrorist leaders.

When something goes wrong there are contingency plans. In this most recent case, the team was discovered. A firefight ensued and that's when the commander was killed and the officer was wounded. Within seconds IDF helicopters came and fired on the Hamas positions giving cover to the IDF team. Other helicopters landed to evacuate the wounded and the rest of the team.

Knowing what to do when things do not go as planned is a critical part of every operation.
Hamas is still responding to the Israeli operation. They are lobbing mortars from Gaza into Israel. Of the 80 mortars lobbed so far today, one mortar resulted in a direct hit on an Israeli bus. 

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Sunday, November 11, 2018

14 Years Since Arafat

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

14 years ago, on November 11, 2004, Yasser Arafat died in a hospital in France.
Since then, not much has progressed for the Palestinians. Actually, under the current Palestinian leadership, the Palestinian cause has stalled.

Many blame Israel. And yes, there are things Israel could have done to further urge Palestinian leadership and the masses into a mindset amenable to peace agreements. But the lion's share of responsibility sits firmly on the shoulders of Palestinian leadership.

Simply put, Palestinian leadership is afraid to take upon itself the responsibility of compromise. They do not have faith that their leadership will convince the masses that compromise will create a better life and a better future.

Extremists advocate black and white answers only - they refuse to compromise and they threaten anyone who speaks of an agreement with Israel as a traitor and a collaborator. And both leadership and the masses cower in fear and toe the line of the extremists.

Palestinian leadership even mimics extremist ideas in order to save public face which then gives rise to the question whether they actually want peace at all.

Classic examples of capitulation to extremist demands are the official PA policies of paying stipends to arrested terrorist and to the families of killed terrorists, and the offer to those who spend twenty years in Israeli prison for terrorist crimes to purchase car free of tax.

Since Arafat's time, things have really not improved. 

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Thursday, November 8, 2018

Saudis Say No Palestinians at Hajj

By Micah Halpern
Thursday November 8, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

The Saudis are not permitting Palestinian Arabs to attend the Hajj. Since 1978 Palestinians have joined the Hajj. They use temporary Jordanian passports in order to enter Saudi Arabia.
No Israeli is permitted to enter Saudi Arabia and certainly not the holy city of Mecca.
In order to side step that issus Jordan, gave Israelis this temporary status.
There are two interesting issues at stake. 1st is that Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank are included in the ban. 2nd is that this is all happening at a time when Israel and the Saudis are having secret meetings. It was rumored that Israeli PM Netanyahu met the Saudi Crown Prince in Amman Jordan recently.
Israeli press has also reported that they sold the Saudis their Iran Dome.

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