Thursday, November 27, 2014

Israel Proposal to Fight Terror

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

A proposal for a bill to fight terror is in the works in Israel. The bill was developed by Likud member Yair Levin at the request of the Prime Minister.

The bill contains eight significant points. Some of those points will almost certainly be struck down by the Supreme Court for violating the "basic law." There will be some conditions within the bill that apply only to those in the West Banks - that comes under
the Army Code of Law and is determined using military and security guidelines.

It is not yet a perfect bill, but it is certainly a very good start.

Here are the highlights of the plan:

Anyone caught involved in acts of terror or in supporting terror will lose their Israeli citizenship or Palestinian Authority residency.

After completing a prison term, those people will be deported.

Terrorists will not receive a funeral.

There will be no transfer of the body of a terrorist and the body will be buried in an unknown location.

Houses of terrorists will be destroyed within 24 hours.

Anyone caught throwing stones or firebombs, etc. will remain remanded until trial. Illegal protests include the waving of enemy flags. Anyone waving the Palestinian flag will be arrested. Anyone participating in illegal protests will lose their social benefits and driver̢۪s license for 10 years.

Family members of terrorists who supported the acts of terror will lose their citizenship and will be deported to Gaza. That support includes social media and internet.

Businesses that print posters and materials that support terror will be closed.

Some of these items are anti-democratic in nature and will never pass the Knesset. But others will.
The Supreme Court of Israel will certainly weigh in heavily on the material contained in this bill. 

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

ISIS Earned $45 Mill in Ransom

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The United Nations Security Council Committee on Counter Terrorism was briefed yesterday.

The most salient point to come out of the regular briefing was that
over the past year, ISIS has earned $45 million in ransom.

The amount is baffling. ISIS has made kidnapping for ransom a very good industry.

In the West, especially in America, we see photos and video of the kidnappings and the beheadings - and we are appalled. What everyone must understand, however, is that almost everything we know about what transpires in ISIS captivity and almost everything we know about the ISIS victims comes from those hostages who have been freed by ransom. The dead cannot talk.

US policy on ransom will shock many people. It is not something the Administration advertises. It is their big secret.

The United States refuses to pay ransoms and has intimidated the families of hostages not to pay. The United States government has even threatened to prosecute families who wanted to raise money to ransom their loved ones. 

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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Erdogan Puts Foot in Mouth

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Should I write a column about Turkish President Erdogan or should I just collect a list of his most ridiculous comments? What a dilemma!

For example:
Remember last week Erdogan said that it was Muslims who discovered America and not Columbus? Well, yesterday Erdogan said that women and men are not equal. He said that women, especially feminists, cannot possibly understand the special role women have in it,

They should be mothers.
Erdogan said, "You cannot put women and men on an equal footing." He said, "It is against nature. They were created differently. Their nature is different. Their constitution is different." Erdogan continued,

"Motherhood is the highest position ... You cannot explain this to feminists. They don't accept motherhood.

They have no such concern."

Earlier this year he said that women should have at least three children.
Erdogan is a deeply religious Muslim and the party he created is an Islamic party. He is clearly trying to pull back from the great democratic freedoms that have enveloped Turkey over the years.
Every time Erdogan opens his mouth to speak about women his anti-women sentiments become more pronounced -- and more ridiculous. 

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Monday, November 24, 2014

Iran Deal: No Plan B

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The deadline for decisions about Iran and nuclear talks is upon us. Obviously, no agreement has been reached.

An extension will be arranged.

Iran and the West have different sets of objectives. The West very much wants the agreement.
But Iran is not about to compromise on two basic issues.

Iran does not want to dismantle their 10,000 operational centrifuges and scale back the 9,000 more that are nearly operational. They want all 19,000.

And Iran wants a quick removal of sanctions - they will not even consider the option of a ten year, slow removal, process during which the international community checks and verifies that they continue to live by the agreement.

The United States has already shown flexibility on the numbers of centrifuges. But 19,000 is way too many. And the US will not immediately lift the sanctions.

Bottom line: neither party trusts the other.

But trust is not the biggest problem. The biggest problem is that the United States has no "Plan B".

The United States has no backup plan other than to enlist the help of China and Russia. And while it is true that China and Russia are not in favor of a nuclear Iran, neither are they keen on going to the mat on this issue - especially because they would be doing the bidding of the United States.

This is a real problem. 

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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Germany Says Dialogue is the Only Way

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

The move to recognize Palestine has been dizzying. Parliament after parliament, country after country, has been voting in support of Palestinian state recognition.

But Germany has said no.

On Friday German Chancellor Merkel announced, rather emphatically, that Germany supports a two-state solution and "we see how difficult that is, so we also believe that unilateral recognition of the Palestinian state won't move us forward."

Merkel explained that the two sides look distant right now and dialogue is not immediately on the horizon. She said "that appears very difficult in the current conditions."

She continued saying that none the less it should be clear - the only way to create a Palestinian state is through dialogue and not through fiat and votes in parliaments around the world.

Merkel is correct. A Palestinian state will only emerge through an agreement with Israel. Because, in the end, a Palestinian state can not exist without the support of Israel.

I just wish everyone else understood what Merkel understands. 

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Hamas Plot To Murder Israelis

By Micah Halpern 
I've Been Thinking:

It should come as no surprise that Hamas wants to attack Israel and part of that plan would absolutely include assassinating Israeli leaders. The more prominent the leader, better. The more vocally anti-Arab the leader, the better.

Israeli intelligence has successfully arrested a Hamas cell for plotting the assassination of Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The plan was extremely detailed. The most important dimension of the plan focused on the essential fact that Lieberman lived in Nokdim, a settlement in the Gush Etzion area. Lieberman traveled through the West Bank at least twice a day.

The nature of the roads and the topography of the West Bank provided an important element of the perfect assassination plot. The Hamas cell procured RPG's (Rocket Propelled Grenades) which they planned on sitting atop a hill in order to target the minister as he drove thru the area en route to Jerusalem. Lieberman is the only minister who lives in the West Bank.
Lieberman would be a prize target. Thankfully the cell was discovered. 

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

How To Stop Lone Wolf

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

People have been declaring that it is impossible to defend against the lone wolf terrorist. Wrong ... it just takes different tools.

The best tool is to change the atmosphere and create a sense of trust and economic hope. It is harder than it sounds, but it is essential. When political and economic issues improve there will be less interest in terror.

This does not happen overnight.

Almost all these lone wolves are connected both religiously and politically. That nexus needs to be identified, it needs to be monitored on the web and monitored through real intel.

Israel also needs to increase the number of agents working in those communities from which the terrorist come. Lone wolves do not come ex nihilo, they come from an environment rich and saturated in this hatred.
Identify the environments, monitor them and then shut them down.

Arrest agitators and arrest leaders who preach and write and support terror. Stop local religious and political leaders who inspire the terrorists.

Jewish extremists need to be reined in too. Jewish extremists need to act within the limits of the law and not step outside the law.

Strengthening and utilizing local Jewish community volunteer resources and the civil guard will help increase the numbers of alert trained personnel to assist in protecting their communities.

Finally, there needs to be an increased number of soldiers and police in locations that are high risk and in communities that foment terror - that is another way to deter terrorists, even lone wolf terrorists. 

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