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Kerry Says Don't Cover Terror
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday August 31, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

US Secretary of State John Kerry made an inane statement in a press conference the other day.

He said out right that the press should stop covering terror attacks. He actually said, not implied, that if the attacks were not covered people would not know about them. The implication was that without the coverage, people would not freak out and fear terror and that without the publicity the terrorists would not act.

The entire message by Kerry is a serious mistake.

Terror does not go up and down because the events are covered. A press blackout on terror would never stop events from being covered. In this day and age of media access, most people learn about things from social media and not from traditional news sources.

The most important issue here is that Kerry's entire perspective is based on the false assumption that if you de-emphasize the value of something/anything it becomes less important to everyone else. This is not true. It is a terrible fallacy.

Terror is important to the terrorists and to the victims and to the world that is at war confronting the terror. Saying it is not Islamic or not terror will not make it less important.

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Israel 1st To Send Aid to Italy
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday August 30, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Most people do not know this, but the first country to send a team of aid workers to help Italy after the terrible and devastating earthquake struck on August 24 - was Israel.

Israel has volunteer teams that are always ready to hop on a plane and help people in need. They were the first in Italy, the first in Haiti and the first aid team in Nicaragua.

The teams specialize in finding victims buried under rubble and in dealing with the Red Cross, neighbors and community. Knowledge of the victim’s native language, in this case Italian, is essential.

In Italy one of the main foundations of the team is a psychologist named Sylvania Winer who came to Israel from Italy as a 20 year old.

The Israelis are indentifying bodies and informing the families. Part of Israel's job also is keeping people away from the remains and from the dead bodies that are decomposing and rife with disease.

Well done Israel, we are all proud.

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Oct Summit in Moscow BTW Pal & Is
By Micah Halpern

Monday August 29, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

It is happening... almost certainly.... in October Netanyahu will meet with Abbas in Moscow under the sponsorship of Putin.

Originally, this meeting was supposed to take place in Egypt under the sponsorship of Egypt, but Abbas is wary of the Egyptian plan. It seems that he trusts Putin more than al Sisi.

We know that Netanyahu and Putin have been in contact over the past few days and now their teams should be ironing out the details.

Last week I wrote that Egypt's President al Sisi announced to a closed groups of select journalists that Putin was interested in hosting the meetings... and now they will all come together. Egypt and Saudi Arabia will also be part of the talks

Abbas has no idea what he wants - but he knows that he needs to stack the group against Israel.

What Abbas does not realize is that most everyone has lost their patience with him (not with Netanyahu) and as I read the tea leaves, the real pressure will be on the Palestinians (not the Israelis) to make serious concessions and move towards a real solution.

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
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Iran Attacks US Carrier- US Fires Warning Shots
By Micah Halpern

Sunday August 28, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Wednesday and Thursday saw two aggressive Iranian actions against the US aircraft carrier Nitze.

On Wednesday four little boats belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard aggressively approached the Nitze. The United States fired four warning shots at the little boats and the incident ended.

And then again, on Thursday, the rubber speed boats came in "arms length" of the US aircraft carrier. This time the US carrier fired three warning shots. The Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel turned and left.

The White House and the Pentagon have said only that they are concerned and that this behavior is not helpful and that they do not understand the motivation behind it.

Well, I understand the motivation very well. The Iranians are toying with United States. These actions are meant to lure the United States into an irresponsible and exaggerated response.

This is a game that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard is playing.

In January the Iranians did the same thing with drones and a submarine that were close enough to nearly touch the flight deck of the US vessel.

My suggestion to the United States - don't take the bait.

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Bibi's Gov Almost Fell Last Night
By Micah Halpern

Friday August 26, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

A massive crisis in Israel was averted on Thursday night.

The crisis was not about peace or economics, not about the Palestinians or security or even about ISIS. And yet, it was a crisis of such proportion that it threatened to take down the government - and nearly did. Prime Minister Netanyahu spent the whole night in dialogue and negotiations to keep his government from falling.

The crisis centered on a simple Latin expression composed of 2 words: Status Quo - which means, things should stay the same. No Changes.
Status Quo. These words are the foundation of the Netanyahu coalition. It has to do with the concept of religious life in Israel, especially the role of government.

In this case religious parties in the Netanyahu government were up in arms because work on the rail lines was taking place on Shabbat.
Two ministers sent a scathing letter to the PM saying stop or we will pull our support from your government because this is a violation of the Status Quo, which is part of our coalition contract.

Israel's ministers of transport and labor said that their contracts allowed for work on Shabbat in Tel Aviv. The religious parties said no way.

Finally, the prime minister stepped in with a Solomonic resolution.
They agreed to allow emergency and safety related work to be done on Shabbat because that work save lives. For instance, major safety improvement on the Ayalon Highway may be performed so that fewer people will die in what has become a deadly roadway. But simply laying track and other non-safety related work will be postponed until after Shabbat.

A near crisis - averted.

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
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What a Shock-- Its Politics
By Micah Halpern

Thursday August 25, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

George P. Bush, Jeb Bush's 40 year old son, just returned from a trip to Israel.

The trip should come as no surprise, Jeb and his uncle George W. are great supporters of Israel.

The big surprise is that George P Bush broke ranks from his father and endorsed Donald Trump, the republican nominee. Despite the awful way that Trump attacked his father, George none the less has embraced the idea that Trump needs to win the presidency.

Currently, George P. Bush is the Texas land commissioner, elected in 2014. But he may be maneuvering for a spot in the Trump administration. This trip to Israel certainly helps secure his foreign policy exposure and experience.

Machiavelli said that politics make strange bedfellows. Here we have the perfect example.

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
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