Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hamas is Failing in Gaza

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Hamas is claiming that Israel wants to de-stabilize Gaza in the hope of making the situation so intolerable for Gazans, that they will rise up against Hamas leadership.

Hamas leadership is asserting that that is why Israel shut the Kerem Shalom crossing to all goods except for food and medicine, and even those exceptions must receive prearranged permission to cross the border.

Hamas issued a statement saying: "Israeli sanctions demonstrate its desire to increase the siege of Gaza and commit more crimes against its people. The world must end its silence in the face of Israel's crimes against humanity."

Hamas is not entirely wrong.

Israel is using the border closure as a vehicle to try to influence the masses who live in Gaza.

Israel is tightening the screws in order to force Gazans to rise up, to wrest control from their leadership and to act to defend themselves.

Israel wants life to be better for Gazans.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Monday, July 16, 2018

Iran Needs To Decide About Syria

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Iran is facing a real dilemma. They must decide what to do in Syria.

The civil war in Syria, is drawing to an end. Bashar Assad is clearly in power and Iran's role in Syria is going to have to change.

Russia does not want the Iranians in Syria, mostly because Iran complicates their role own in Syria. Russia wants every power out of Syria except for Hezbollah and Russia.

Iran needs to calculate whether there is a positive role for them to play in Syria. Most analysts would say Iran is no longer helpful in Syria, so they should leave. But Iran has no interest in giving up any power or influence.

Iran has asserted that the only way they would even consider leaving Syria is if Assad asked them to leave. That would happen only if Russia demands that Assad make the request and make it both publicly and privately.

If Iran retreats from Syria it will draw down tensions and make for a safer region.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Friday, July 13, 2018

China Wants to Help in MidEast

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

China has decided to up its game in the Middle East.

President Xi of China has announced that the Chinese will increase their role in the Palestinian/Israeli peace process and in the rest of the Middle East.

It begins with China's pledge of 100 million yuan to the Palestinians. 100 million yuan is equivalent to only $15 million. For China, that's chump change.

China has also committed to partnering with the Arab League to advance peace.
In the end, this is simply a gesture.

China is not really serious about playing a central role in the Middle East.

If they were serious they would give at least $150 million, ten times their current pledge, to the Palestinians.

The ultimate goal of China is to try to oust the United States from any role in the Middle East. In that, China will fail.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

Bibi Meets Putin in Moscow Before World Cup

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with Russian President Vladimir Putin just before the World Cup semi-final which was played in Moscow.

Putin invited many world leaders to the July 15th World Cup finals. Netanyahu countered and asked to meet and watch the semi-finals instead.

It was a perfect maneuver. It gave Netanyahu and Putin time alone without pressure.

The most crucial part of the meeting was Israel telling Russia that they will not tolerate any violation of the Golan Heights buffer zone that separates Israel and Syria.

Israel will attack any force that approaches the area - no matter if they hail from Iran, Syria or Lebanon.

The message was transmitted and it was received.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Iran Emptying Accounts

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Iran is emptying accounts in Germany. They are trying to bring back as many dollars and Euros as possible before the US sanctions kick in.

At least 300 million Euros, which is equivalent to $350 million, have been transferred from Germany to Iran over the past few weeks.

On the one hand, Iran is doing everything they can to insulate themselves against
US sanctions that kick in August and then in November.
On the other hand, Iran is counting on President Trump to keep on tweeting.

The more the US president tweets, the higher the price of oil soars.

Iran is a nuclear leader. The idea is to try to tamp them down. It's not going so well.


Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

China to Block US Oil Imports

By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

In an act of defiance, an independent Chinese oil refinery has suspended all US oil imports and replaced them with Iranian oil.

The company, Dongming Petro-Chemical Company, is just one company in what appears to be a pre-emptive Chinese strike against the United States.

The Chinese are also planning to charge a 25% tariff on US oil imports into China.

China currently imports 400,000 barrels of US crude oil per day. The additional tariff coupled with the suspension of importing US crude oil will have a huge impact on the price of US oil and gasoline.

Analysts speculate that China will drop almost all US oil supplies. China will make up the loss in their oil supply by importing from West Africa and the Middle East.

Never forget that China is the largest consumer of oil in the world. The Chinese are the most important oil market in the world. If the United States is frozen out of that market it will have a catastrophic impact on the oil market.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Monday, July 9, 2018

Israel Strikes Syrian Airbase

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Israel struck a Syrian airbase named T- 4 yesterday, Sunday. They hit this very same base several months ago.

This airstrike took place two days after Israel attacked a Syrian artillery base from which missiles were launched toward Israel. The missiles, which landed in no man's land, were tracked from that base.

Israel struck the Syrian T- 4 base after discovering that Iran had outfitted the base with a modern, sophisticated, anti-aircraft battery.

Israel has been threatening to make certain that Iran not change the status quo in Syria. They want to stop the buildup of weapons Iran is willing to provide to help their enemy.

These attacks are perfect examples of how Israel is actively preventing a change of balance of military power in Syria.

Micah@MicahHalpern,com

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