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Tensions Are High in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Saturday August 2, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Tensions are very high in Israel - tensions between Arabs and Jews.
There has been way more than usual spontaneous violence, rock throwing and indiscriminate beatings.

Nerves are very raw.

Last night, for example, as families across Israel were sitting down to eat the Sabbath evening meal, four cars with Israeli flags on them were torched in the upscale Jerusalem neighborhood called the German Colony.

The capture of IDF officer 2nd Lt. Hadar Goldin put Israeli Jews on edge in a way reminiscent of the kidnappings of the three Israeli teenagers Eyal, Gil-Ad and Naftali. Only now there is the added tension of Operation Preventive Edge and the persistent presence of rockets raining down on Israel.

All this will pass and one day, things will again return to a sense of normal.

But until that normalcy arrives tensions will continue to mount and nerves will become even more frayed.

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Tunnel War
By Micah Halpern

I've Been Thinking:

Friday, August 1, 2014

It is worthwhile thinking about the history of tunnel warfare.

Until now there has never been a weapon able to combat or defeat tunnels when tunnels are used as an attack tool. Tunnels have the element of surprise. Tunnels are almost impossible to detect. Tunnels allow for regress and secret escape.

Israel is fighting to destroy tunnels that are designed as weapons. These are not wine cellars - they are military weapons.

The history of tunnels can be found as far back as the Bible. II Samuel 5:8 describes David as saying that those who succeed and defeat the Jebus, the original name of Jerusalem, will enter through the water tunnel. And so it happened.

The Romans could not defend against tunnels. So much so, that the Romans themselves built a labyrinth of aqua ducts under Rome to help themselves in their time of defense. During the Jewish revolt against Rome, Bar Kochba used tunnels. The Romans tried to smoke them out.

Tunnels were used by the North Vietnamese, the Koreans, the Chinese, the Japanese, the Afghans. They were used by the Germans and the Russians. They were used in WWI and WWII. They were used in the ancient world and in the medieval word and they are used in the modern world.

Tunnels as a weapon of war have not changed much over time - they connect internal units and allow for escape to the outside.

The only way to combat tunnels is to destroy them. That is Israel’s goal. And that is why Hamas has booby trapped their tunnels

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
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The World Doesn't Understand
By Micah Halpern

Thursday July 31, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

It pains me to say this, but the world in general has little patience for Israel in their current battle with Hamas. The United Nations and even the United States just want it to stop. They say too many civilian are dying. They say too many UN targets are being hit.

The entire operation seems so lopsided to them. As the world sees it, Israel is so much more sophisticated than Hamas. And Israel has already destroyed so many tunnels. So it is time for Israel to stop and pullout.

What the world does not see, does not understand and does not care about is that the Israeli operation is justified. That Israel has the right to defend itself against the rockets if Hamas. What matters to the world is only that Israel stops.

But what is missing in the call to stop, whether it be echoed by the president of the United States, the secretary of state of the United States, the secretary general of the United Nations or a host of other world leaders is the understanding that stopping the operation before the tunnels are destroyed and while the Hamas military infrastructure is still intact will defeat the purpose of the operation.

Hamas had, at most, 10,000 - 20,000 trained fighters. Those numbers have been depleted, we do not know by how many. Hamas has hundreds and perhaps even thousands of tunnels in Gaza, especially when you count the many tunnels with multiple exits.

The tunnels of Gaza must be destroyed before Israel stops her operation or they will be used to attack Israel again the day after Israel stops. That is not a prediction. It is a fact.

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
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Report on Religious Oppresssion
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday July 30, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday the US State Department published its Report on International Religious Freedom. The gist will not surprise you, it is the details that are appalling.

Since 1998, when Congress passed the International Religious Freedom Act, the State Department has been required by law to submit a report on the state of religious freedom in the world.

There is no question that in many parts of the world people are persecuted because of who they are. They are murdered because of the tribe they are in and the religious community they are members of.

I have written about the oppression of Christians in Egypt and the oppression of Shiites in Iraq. The report tells their story.

In the Syrian city of Homs there were 160,000 Christians just three years ago. Today there are fewer than 1,000. In Mosul a city taken over by ISIS, the second largest city in Iraq, there are now 20 Christian families. Three weeks ago there were 20,000 Christians. ISIS gave them an alternative - leave, convert or die.

This madness must be stopped.

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
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Israel Has Another Stage in Gaza
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday July 29, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

At a press conference yesterday Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon announced that there will be a tactical change in Israel's approach over the next few days.

He said:

"If the leaders of Hamas believe that they will be able to keep up a constant barrage of missiles, rockets and terrorist attacks - they are making a big mistake. If terrorist organizations in the Gaza Strip think that they'll be able to break the State of Israel and our citizens - in the next few days they'll understand how wrong they are. They're firing at us and we will hit them hard."

The statement by Yaalon predicts that Israel will not merely continue to strike at Hamas as they have been doing, but that Israel is preparing to "hit them hard."

That means that, up until now, Israel has restrained itself. It means that in the final stages of Operation Preventive Edge Israel will go the distance to wipe out Hamas' infrastructure, including the tunnels, and to truly hurt Hamas.

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
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US - Israel Tensions Rise
By Micah Halpern

Monday July 28, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Tensions between the US and Israel are now becoming public.

Israelis feels that the United States is not dealing straight with them. Israel feels that the US was simply pressuring them, not Hamas, to accept the terms of the Kerry ceasefire. And Israel feels that the US was pushing Hamas' terms for the ceasefire.

Israel is so upset that they leaked the entire proposed deal to the Haaretz newspaper so that everyone can read the details and confirm for themselves that, indeed, the United States had practically abandoned Israel on this issue. Readers of the proposed document for a ceasefire are left asking what the United States was even thinking in putting those ideas on paper as an official proposal.

As you can imagine, the leaking of the document really ticked off the United States. The US responded by hemming and hawing and saying that the document was meant for comments - not as a final agreement.

The entire episode has shown that there is a real disconnect between the United States and Israel. And it underscores the fact that there is very little good faith between the two countries at this juncture.

Israel thinks that the United States is more interested in a ceasefire than in returning calm to the region. For the United States, getting everyone to stop shooting is a priority. The United States has misplaced priorities.

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
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Ugly Anti Semitism in Europe
By Micah Halpern

Sunday July 27, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

We have been witnessing a huge spike in anti-Semitism in Europe. Much has to do with Israeli Operation Preventive Edge. Preventive Edge is not the cause of the anti-Semitism, it is the release valve for the hatred. The hatred was been simmering, just under the surface, waiting to erupt.

According to reports in Belgium this week, some shops are not serving Jews. The most dramatic example is a cafe which posted two signs one in Turkish and one in French. The Jewish Forward reports the signs as saying "Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Jews are not under any circumstances." The French version of the sign replaced "Jews" with "Zionists."

In addition, outside that same cafe, two flags were hung. The Palestinian flag and the Israeli flag - with a huge red X through it and two kafiyahs, Palestinian scarves, hanging on it.

Sadly, when I wrote about this hatred last week, some people responded saying that those who were exhibiting this ugly hatred were not Europeans but Muslim immigrants --- well, to those people I say, that makes them Europeans.

It is the role of the host nation to educate their immigrants as to what is and what is not acceptable in their country.

I was glad to see the foreign ministers of several European nations stand up this week and, in unison, renounce the rise of anti-Semitism.

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click.
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=halpern%2C+micah

To reprint my essays contact sales (at) www.featurewell.com
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