Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Russia Understands Israel

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Ever since Russia entered Syria in 2015 Israel and Russia, more specifically Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin, are in regular contact about Syria and other issues in the Middle East.

The essence of the dialogue is the shoring up of mutual interests. In this case that means that both sides stay away from each other and not fire upon each other.

Russia's allies in Syria include President Bashar Assad and his supporters Hezbollah and Iran. They are not happy that Russia not only understands but even supports Israel's actions and bombings in Syria.

Israel does not want Assad or Hezbollah or Iran or ISIS or al Qaeda in the Golan Heights. Russia respects Israel's need to protect itself.

Open lines of communication between Putin and Netanyahu are Russia's way of de-escalating potential conflict between Israel and Russia in the air or on the ground in Syria. That is very wise.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Monday, January 16, 2017

Iran & Its New Planes

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Passenger jets is the perfect symbol of Iran's move out of the doghouse and finding a place among the community of nations.

Both Airbus and Boeing have been competing for the huge prize of well over $130 billion in deals with Iran. Airbus represents one of the largest companies in France while Boeing symbolizes American corporations.

So far, the score is nearly even with Airbus just nosing out Boeing. Airbus now has a contract for 731 planes with Iran while Boeing has a deal for 668. This includes the 100 Airbus sold to Iran just after the sanctions were lifted.

These planes will open the doors for Iran. Tourism, trade, global interaction and much more will happen as these planes arrive in Iran and take their place in the new Iranian fleet.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Paris Conference

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

A conference on the future of peace in the Middle East is taking place in Paris today. It is said to be the only hope to save the two state solution.

The biggest problem with this conference is that the two major players - the Israelis and the Palestinians - are not there.

The sponsors of the conference want to develop a plan acceptable to both sides. This is the second meeting of the groups in the Paris Conference. The first meeting was earlier last year, this meeting was originally scheduled for December but was postponed because the Israelis and the Palestinians were not talking.

They're still not talking. So why now?

Because it is just days before Obama leaves the White House.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Friday, January 13, 2017

US Sends Troops to Poland

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The US sent troops into Poland. This is a direct check against Russia.

Soldiers and tanks crossed over into Poland from Germany. They crossed in the south western part of Poland and are now headquartered in the south western Polish city of Zagan.

Since the fall of communism in Poland in 1989 the Russians have been trying to influence and intimidate Poland. The Russians have never been happy about Poland's independence.

In addition, the Russians want to make certain that the US not become the main influencer in Poland.
The Russians went ballistic when the Poles permitted the US to set up anti-missile batteries in Poland.

Poland fears the influence of Russia. They do not want to be another Ukraine or Crimea.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Hamas & Israel Talk

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

An Arab Israeli newspaper has reported that Qatar is mediating between
Israel and Hamas in an effort to get back the bodies of two Israeli soldiers and the two Israelis (believed to still be alive) who were kidnapped after wandering over the border into Hamas controlled Gaza while walking on the beach.

The Qatari ambassador to the Palestinian Authority has been travelling back and forth to Gaza and is the conduit passing along messages.

The negotiations are slow to start. Hamas demanded the release of 60 prisoners who were released in the Gilad Shalit exchange - and then re-arrested on various terror charges.

Israel agreed - but only with the stipulation that the 60 to be expelled from Gaza or sent to Qatar.

Hamas rejected that condition.

According to the Arabic report, that is where the situation now languishes.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Jordan Fires Imams

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Jordan's Ministry of Religious Affairs has fired fifteen Imams from their roles as leaders of mosques. Seven additional Imams are being disciplined.

The reason behind these disciplinary actions is the decision by these religious figures to refuse to pray for the recovery of the Jordanians and tourists who were wounded in terror attacks by ISIS on December 18th and 20th. In addition to those who were wounded, eleven Jordanian soldiers, two Jordanian civilians and a Canadian civilian were killed in the attacks.

The five ISIS terrorist perpetrators were also killed.

This incident illustrates just how fragile the situation is in Jordan. Jordanian leadership is fighting ISIS, but it seems that some of the rank and file - even Imam employees of the Ministry of Religion, side with the terrorist.

Jordan sees the threat of ISIS very clearly and senior leadership is working hard to buttress the country against terror and stymie the development of ISIS within Jordan.

But Jordan borders both Iraq and Syria and therein rests the problem.

Tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands of refugees from both countries have fled to Jordan. Independent of that reality is the fact that there are many people in Jordan who lean toward religious extremism in the guise of ISIS or al Qaeda.

Despite it all, Jordanian leadership is stepping up their battle against terror. They must stop the trend of terror threatening to overrun their country and the region.

They know what needs to be done. We all hope they can do it.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Uptick in Terror

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

There has been an uptick in terror of late.

Terror has risen in the USA and around the world. In Arab countries and in Western countries. Almost all recent acts of terror have been perpetrated by Muslim terrorists.

There have also been enormous strides in fighting terror.

In Israel this week a terrorist used a semi-tractor trailer truck to run over soldiers.
After the attack, ISIS called for more truck attacks.

Also last week Israel announced that they had intercepted hundreds upon hundreds
of terrorists en route to perpetrate attacks on Israelis.

Had even a few of these attacks been successful, dozens more Israelis would have died. Israel's defense establishment, along with their intel and clandestine services, is working overtime to discover and uncover terror cells before they act or to intercept the terrorists during their missions.

Kudos to Israel's defense establishment.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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