Wednesday, November 20, 2019

US Carrier thru Hormuz

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
The USS Abraham Lincoln, a US aircraft carrier, passed through the Strait of Hormuz yesterday along with accompanying ships.

The carrier group went through the Strait very slowly. The entire passage was tense.

On one side of the Strait is Iran.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have been very high.

The United States blames Iran for hijacking oil tankers and for shooting down a US drone. The United States is also claiming that Iran attacked oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. Iran has threatened to attack a US military ship in the region.

The USS Abraham Lincoln and the carrier group are in the region to try to protect oil, shipping and other interests of the United States in the region.

Iran is monitoring every move.





Micah@MicahHalpern.com
 

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Monday, November 18, 2019

Russia Poaching US Clients

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
Russia is expanding their weapons program.

The Russians are on the prowl for new clients interested in buying their fighter jets and missiles. Egypt has been enticed and they are in talks with Russia about augmenting their air force.

If the sale goes through, it would a violation of US contracts. Until now, ever since the end of the Cold War, the United States has been supplying Egypt with weaponry.

R. Clarke Cooper, Assistant Secretary of State in the US Bureau of Political- Military Affairs, issued a very bold and direct statement at the Dubai Air Show. The assistant secretary said that if Egypt buys Russian hardware: "It puts them at risk of sanctions and it puts them at risk of loss of future acquisition."

There are other sanctions that the US would apply. These would include spare parts and technology and anything that is connected even remotely to military assistance.

It would Egypt in the long run. But Russia really wants to break the US hold on countries like Egypt and is making their offers sound very attractive.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

Iran: "We're Not AntiSemitic"

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:
The Supreme Leader of Iran, the Grand Ayatollah Khamenei, announced that he is not anti-Jewish at all.

At an Islamic conference in Tehran The Supreme Leader told the participants: “Calling for the elimination of the state of Israel does not mean the elimination of the Jewish people.” The comments were posted to his official website.

He continued “It means that the people of Palestine - be they Muslim, Christian or Jewish - should choose their own government.”

Iran is responding to the claims that they are planning to destroy Israel. The Supreme Leader wants it to be clear that his attitude toward Israel is political and theological.

It is certain that The Supreme Leader does not really think that there should be an election to determine the political leadership of the area. He is making a gesture to rebut his vehement threats to destroy Israel.

When you plan to wipe out a nation of 7 million Jews that is called anti-Semitism. Most of those 7 million people are not religious - they are simply Jews and they will be targeted because they are Jews.

Micah@MIcahHalpern.com 

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Friday, November 15, 2019

Lessons from Gaza

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:


There's an important lesson that Israel's enemies should have learned from the 48 hour long conflict with Islamic Jihad:  Israel was prepared, very prepared - prepared for the strike against Gaza, prepared to keep her citizens safe.

This conflict highlighted Israel's superior skill in striking their targets.  The speed with which Islamic Jihad ran to accept a ceasefire illustrated how surprised they were by Israel's surgical strikes.

BUT- Islamic Jihad is not Hamas and Islamic Jihad is not Hezbollah. 

Islamic Jihad is a small group of terrorists.  Their total membership is about 8000.  Hamas and Hezbollah are hybrid armies, well-trained armies.  They are hybrid because they function both as an army and as a terror force.

Israel was ready to widen its scope and engage Hamas.  And Hamas was well aware that if they were to support Islamic Jihad, Israel would certainly strike their targets and probably also advance on the ground.  That would be a certain setback, a debilitating setback, for Hamas.

Islamic Jihad still has a significant number of missiles and rockets especially long range sockets which they did not launch.  The reason they were not launched was the death of their operational leader at the hands of Israel.  As a result, immediate decisions could not be made.   
They were simply shooting rockets without direction.  Over 60% were not even headed towards Israeli targets. 

Israeli citizens heeded the directions of the Home Front Command.  They took cover in a responsible way.  Following safety directions saves lives.


Micah@MicahHapern.com 

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cease Fire in Gaza

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

A cease fire between Islamic Jihad and Israel went into effect at 5:30am.

As has become the custom, air raid sirens and rockets attacks persisted even after the cut off time.

The military exchange started on Tuesday and ended on Thursday. Thirty-two Palestinians were killed. Israel maintains that almost all were terrorists.

Islamic Jihad launched well over 450 rockets into Israel in a 48 hour period. That averages out to nearly 10 per hour - one rocket every 360 seconds on average.

Islamic Jihad threatened the international diplomats who were delivering messages from Israel. The threats were that intermediaries could get hurt because they are in the way and they are delivering messages from Israel.

It's over, technically, but it's never really over between Islamic Jihad and Israel.

Micah@MicahHapern.com 

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Wednesday, November 13, 2019

New Gaza Conflict

By Micah Halpern
Wednesday November 13, 2019
I've Been Thinking:
The conflict out of Gaza is unique in many ways:

It pits Islamic Jihad against Israel - Hamas has stood on the sidelines.
No one wants an escalation.
Hamas is pleased with the ceasefire that has been in place since May.

Israel's first strike was extremely surgical as have been their subsequent strikes. They are now taking out many above ground Islamic Jihad rockets.

Hamas does not control Islamic Jihad. They will watch, and smile, while Israel takes Islamic Jihad down a few notches.

In an effort to display unity, Hamas and Islamic Jihad released a joint statement saying that they are united. But it is not true. Their statement read: "We will not accept efforts by the occupation to resume their cowardly policy of targeted killings."

Islamic Jihad is unpredictable. Targeting their leader saved Israeli lives - never doubt that. The aftermath was predictable. But after a serious operation in which Israel depletes or destroys much of their weapons caches, the status quo and quiet will resume.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Russian Sub in Israeli Waters

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

A Russian submarine was spotted in Israeli territorial waters. The sub ventured eight nautical miles in. That's a lot, given that the area spans only twelve nautical miles.

The story was broken by YNet news, the Yediot website. The incident took place three months ago.

Once Israel discovered the Russian sub, they contacted Russian leadership.

Russia and Israel have a mechanism in place to avoid conflict. They have a direct line of communication. Within minutes of activating the mechanism, the

Russian submarine returned to the international waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Luckily, this did not become an international incident.

Russia did not mistakenly wander into waters so close to Israel. There was a definite agenda. The closer the submarine got to Israel, the easier it would be to latch onto Israel’s computers and other electronic resources.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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