Monday, November 30, 2020

Another Election in Israel

Micah D. Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

It looks like elections are on the horizon in Israel. Again.

Both Benny Gantz, the head of the Blue & White party, and Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu of Likud, made announcements about elections on the same day. And their announcements were made only 15 minutes apart from each other.

Gantz wants elections. Bibi is saying hold on. They each have a personal agenda.
Elections are personal.

In the end, in the event of another election in Israel, both Gantz and Netanyahu will be big losers.

Gantz will never be able to bring together the broad base group that challenged Bibi in earlier elections. And Bibi is feeling a real threat from his right flank.
Gantz and Bibi aside, if there is a 4th election in Israel, the biggest losers will be the citizens of Israel.

Never a dull moment in Israel.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Sunday, November 29, 2020

UAE Blackballs 11 Muslim Countries

 By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Israel and the UAE are in high gear. Multiple airlines are flying back and forth.
ELAL has 16 flights from Israel to Dubai per week. And that’s just one of the airlines now connecting these two, now friendly, countries.

Israel and the United Arab Emirates have signed a visa-free program. There is no visa necessary for citizens of either country to fly to the other country.

But while Israelis can now travel to the UAE easily and visa-free, the visas of eleven Muslim countries, including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Yemen, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Tunisia, have been yanked. They have been cancelled, rescinded.

This black-list is official policy. Why does this policy exist? The answer is, actually, pretty easy to understand.

Most of those eleven countries are havens for terror. Terror groups gather there and organize there.

The UAE is concerned that Israelis would be perfect targets for terror. So, the UAE has literally blocked all entry from countries that might plan, sponsor and perpetrate attacks against their Israeli guests.

If terror came to the UAE it would ruin not just their new relationship with Israel, it would destroy tourism, trade and business between the UAE and any other Western group planning on expanding their dealings in the UAE.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Friday, November 27, 2020

Iranian Nuke Head Assassinated

 By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the father of the Iran’s nuclear weapons program, was assassinated on Friday, November 27, 2020.

His name and picture were part of the nuclear archive that Israel smuggled out of Iran and which Bibi Netanyahu presented to the world. Israel place a photo of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on a large screen and Netanyahu told everyone to remember that name.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated while riding in a car. Witnesses describe an explosion and then some shots. Photos show gunshots through the front windshield on the driver’s side. There was significant blood on the street. First reports were that he was taken to the hospital and died there. More likely, he was pronounced dead there.

The policy of most highly trained assassination teams is to “confirm the kill”. That means that after the strike, if there is time and access, they will quickly approach the body and shoot the target in the head.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Qatar Stops Bahraini Ships

 By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Midday on Wednesday two Bahraini ships were returning home from a nearby war exercise in the Arabian Sea. As they passed through Qatari waters, the two Bahraini ships were stopped by three Qatari naval vessels who claimed that they were protecting their border and territorial waters.

In the end, the Bahrainis and their ships were let go and continued the rest of their short trip home.

Bahrain is ledging a complaint with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Both Bahrain and Qatar are members of the GCC which has an agreement that permits the vessels of member nations to safely traverse each other’s territorial waters.

In 2017 Bahrain, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt all severed ties with Qatar. Why? Because Qatar had aligned with Iran.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Israelis to Ethiopia to Fight Locust

 By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister has invited an Israeli team of locust experts to visit his country in order to help combat their worst locust plague in 75 years.

The team of four Israelis are on the ground in Ethiopia. They are using drones and spraying at night in order to stop the plague.

Dr Yoav Motro, a member of the team said: “It’s the worst it has been in 75 years. And a tropical cyclone that hit the eastern part of the region in the past few days will only make things more complex. One has to note these regions do not deal with locusts on a regular basis — which hampers their readiness and their resilience to it.”

The locust descend and literally destroy everything that grows. An entire year’s crop is lost - devoured. This is not just an issue of an industry being hurt or a crop being destroyed, it is about major food shortage.

Swarms of locust are destroying food in a region where food is desperately needed.

The Israeli team has studied locust and they have experience fighting them. If they were called in early enough, they will be successful in their mission. The locust need to be destroyed before they move on to their next location and destroy that area, too.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Monday, November 23, 2020

Bibi Meets Saudi Prince

 By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

With lightening-speed the media covered yesterday’s story of a secret meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Wall Street Journal broke the news. And then The New York Times followed up and reported that the Saudis denied the meeting.

Then the Israeli press confirmed that the meeting did happen and the Saudis finally offered confirmation.

Yes, Israel’s prime minster and the head of Israel’s Mossad flew to Riyad, Saudi Arabia to meet with Saudi leadership.

So, who leaked the meeting to the press?

In Israel, many people are pointing their fingers at the Office of the Prime Minister.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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Iran's New Naval Ship

 By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Iran has unveiled a brand-new naval ship that is 170 yards long. The ship is a “naval city capable of carrying ocean missions.” It can carry aircraft and drones and missiles.

Iranian State television reported that a "heavy, multi-purpose, and long-range warship capable of carrying all types of aircrafts, drones, missiles and radar systems" had been added to the Revolutionary Guards fleet. The Shahid Rudaki warship is a “mobile naval city capable of carrying ocean missions," state TV added.

The Revolutionary Guards navy commander, Ali Reza Tangsiri, told state TV that the warship would provide security for "maritime transportation lines, oil tankers, commercial and fishing fleets on the high seas."

The name given to this ship, the Shahid Rudaki, is profound. A shahid is a person who dies for a cause, a shahid is a martyr. Rudaki was the founder of modern Persian poetry and literature. He died in 941.

This Iranian naval vessel is the size of an aircraft carrier. Its purpose is to check the US aircraft carrier fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com

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