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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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

This Terror was a Game Changer

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The terror attack in Jerusalem yesterday is a game changer, it is an absolute watershed.

Let me explain why: The attack took place in a synagogue -- no one, not even the most secular person, can understand how Palestinians could attack Jews in the act of prayer. Americans, especially US leadership, were shocked. Even Muslim leadership in certain parts of the world were stunned that the terrorists chose to murder people in the act of prayer.

The attack place in Jerusalem where Israel is in charge of security - not the Palestinian Authority.

The two terrorists who perpetrated this attack came from within
Jerusalem. They were from a Jerusalem that, in 1967, was offered

Israeli citizenship. Rather than citizenship the villagers chose to become permanent residents. People ask how the terrorists were able to get in to Jerusalem. They did not have to get in, they were in, these terrorists lived in Jerusalem.

In the aftermath, Palestinian Incitement continues. Even as Abbas condemned the attack, he justified the attack by giving it context. Abbas explained that it is because of the occupation and Israeli disrespect of Al Aksa that the attack was perpetrated.

This attack was not spontaneous. It was planned. The terrorists knew the workings and timing of the synagogue. A huge amount of preparation went into this attack.

Was not a single lone wolf at least 2 were involved if not more.

The many of victims were dual citizens - 3 were Americans and one from Great Britain.

Was not on the seam of the city between Arab and Jewish sides of Jerusalem. 

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

ISIS Butchers Innocents

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

ISIS has murdered well over 1400 people, all non-combatants. Thousands have been killed in battle.

This group of 1400 victims were beheaded, shot in the back, had their throats or were stoned. Brutal mass murders, most of them carried out in towns after ISIS members entered the area, gathered the relatives of opposing fighters - and butchered them.

It is impossible for the Western mind to comprehend how a military force can sponsor the murder of so many civilians. It is all part of the ISIS master plan. In order to reduce military opposition, ISIS intimidates the masses. If you challenge ISIS and lose, ISIS will search out you and your family and publicly murder you all.

That alone is enough to convince would-be opponents not to challenge ISIS. 

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Palestinian Music Video - Calls To Destroy Israel

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

There are several effective forms of mass media today - a handful are gripping.

Video shorts, 30 seconds to 4 minutes long, sound, music, stills and motion shots blend to create a message. Some of the messages go viral.

Over the summer Palestinians produced a short music video called: "up, hit, bomb, do terrorist acts."

The video turned into a hit. It glorified terror. The production was gritty. It was performed in broken Hebrew with Hebrew and Arabic subtitles. The Arabic "B" sound replaced the "P" sound. Most Arabs cannot say the "P" sound and there is no hard "P" in the Arabic.

The same group came out with another video short. Also in Hebrew, this one was far better performed and produced. See for yourself at:,7340,L-4591242,00.html

This video talks about destroying Israel by way of the new Intifada. The producers show a great deal of knowledge about the Israeli army and Israeli history. It is graphic and it is powerful.

Worst of all, this music video proclaims - through words and music - that every Arab participate in the fight to defeat Israelis and destroy Israel. 

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