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Indian Terror Threat
By Micah Halpern

Saturday December 31, 2005

I'm Predicting:

Bangalore is the Silicon Valley of India.
It is home to 1500 software companies.
Its growth is impressive by any standard.

Bangalore is under a huge terror threat.
A letter written in English and signed by Moin a Din of the unknown "Jihadi" group threatened simultaneous suicide bombings, the largest attacks the area has seen. The letter read: "It will be the most coordinated attack the country has ever seen."

India suffers from two terror threats.
One threat comes from Kashmir separatists, the other from a Muslim extremist movement.
India is confronting the Kashmiri terrorists head on.
Now they must confront the Muslim terrorists the same way.

High tech and computer software will not help them fight terror.

A Strong Syria
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 30, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

"A strong and resistant Syria will bring closer the day in which Jerusalem will become Palestine's capital." That is the wish of an Arab member of the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament, Mohammed Barrakeh.

Can you imagine? Sounds a lot like sedition to me.

Even the Lebanese are challenging Syria and demanding a serious international investigation into former Prime Minister Hariri’s murder. And here we have an Israeli, an Arab, a member of Parliament, calling for a stronger Syria.

Yes, a stronger Syria would threaten Israel.
A stronger Syria would also threaten the entire region.
But it is highly unlikely that Syria will successfully challenge Israel in the near future.
Syria does not have the weapons or the manpower or the creativity.
It is a dream, not dissimilar to the dream of Arab unity.

Palestinians both in and out of Israel should know by now that they will get more from Israel than from any of their Arab brothers.
They should know, but they don't.

Deport Demjanjuk
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 29. 2005

I've Been Thinking:

It has taken years, too many years, but it looks as if - finally - John Demjanjuk, the Nazi death camp guard is about to be deported.

John Demjanjuk has one last appeal before he is deported from his adopted American home in Cleveland back to his true home, the Ukraine.

Israeli courts tried Demjanjuk, but could not convict him as Ivan The Terrible. His defense was that he was not a guard at Treblinka, but a guard at Sobibor, another death camp. So they let him return, with his family, to Cleveland. Demjanjuk thought he was free. But he lied on his US immigration forms and that, too, is a crime.

Today, John Demjanjuk is 85 years old. He is claiming that deportation will endanger his life. The US Court, however, is not considering chronic back pain to be a significant issue. So the deportation was upheld and now Demjanjuk has 30 days to make his last and final appeal.

International mass murderers and collaborators must not be allowed to gain sanctuary in the great United States.
John Demjanjuk does not deserve to call the United States his home.

By Micah Halpern

Wedensday December 28, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Israel's northernmost city, Kiryat Shmoneh was bombed by 6 katuysha rockets. Residents of the city spent two hours in their bomb shelters.
One of the bombs was a direct hit on a home.
In response to the terror bombings, Israel dispatched its air-force to bomb PFLP terrorist training bases.
Israel believes the PFLP was responsible for the attack.

Pay careful attention to the Israeli response.
Israel will use the same retaliatory method in dealing with Gaza.

After an attack Israel will locate and hit the nerve centers and planning centers for the attack. They will search out the people responsible for the attack and they will try to destroy the infrastructure, the planners and the attack leaders.

Contrary to the popular misunderstanding of Spielberg's Munich - this is not about vengeance.
It is not about retribution.
The real objective is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure.

Israel counter attacks to make terrorists realize that there is a hefty price to pay for attacking Israel. Israel is not like other Western countries, willing to roll over and absorb attacks against them. Israel attacks as a disincentive.

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 27, 2005


Qassam missiles launched from Gaza into Israel are an almost daily menace. To live in an Israeli community bordering Gaza is to live with the constant threat of a missile falling on your head, on your home, on your child's school.

And now Palestinians are claiming that they have new and improved Qassam rockets. What makes a rocket new and improved - a greater range. These new missiles can reach targets that are up to twenty-five kilometers away. In plain English that means that towns up to eighteen miles away from Gaza are now in the Qassam danger zone.

Israelis have had enough. The barrage of attacks must be ended. But rather than fight fire with fire, missile with missile, certain Israeli leaders are suggesting that a tried and true method, a method used as a deterrent by Israel in Lebanon be reinstated, this time to stop the onslaught of missiles from Gaza.

The suggestion presented in the Knesset Defense Committee was that for every missile the Palestinians send from Gaza, Israel shuts down electricity in Gaza City for an hour. Israel can do it, shutting off electricity in Gaza City is, figuratively, a flick of the switch.

The question is should they? Should Israel punish all the residents of Gaza City for the actions of a few?

The threat of cutting off electricity, some might even call it an incentive, was a tool that Israel wielded effectively during the Lebanese War. It was used in order to urge the Lebanese government to take actions against those terrorists who attacked Israeli civilians living on the border. It was an attempt to influence Lebanese society. In effect, Israel was speaking to the citizens of Lebanon, asking if their discomfort at home was worth the minor successes of the terror attacks on Israelis.

In addition, Israel would regularly disturb Lebanon with low flying fighter jets. The jets would break the sound barrier. The noise would shatter windows. Almost everything that was not anchored down would topple down. The entire exercise was an extension of the dictum "if we can't rest in peace, you won't rest a wink either."

But will it work in Gaza? Should it even be attempted?

The idea is under debate. The principle is gaining popularity. But it is highly unlikely that turning off the lights of Gaza will become the new weapon used to stop the flow of Qassam missiles launched from Gaza onto Israel.

Make no mistake about it, periodically Palestinian electricity has been cut off by Israel. In the future, electricity will probably be cut off again, but under different circumstances. Until now, cutting off electricity was used as retaliation for a spike in terror operations resulting in serious damage and a significant number of Israeli casualties. Only then do Israeli helicopters and sometimes, even fighter jets, target electric plants and "turn off the lights," as the strike is called using the lingo of the pilots.

So why doesn't Israel "turn off the lights" each time a missile is shot? Why shouldn't they?

Because firing so indiscriminately would mean a drastic departure from Israel's current policy. It would mean attacking innocent civilians, masses of people, simply because they live in Gaza City. Israel chooses not to do that.

Israel hits a target if the location was used as a platform for an attack or as a hiding place for attackers. Israel tries to target only those individuals responsible for past attacks and those planning future attacks. Israeli leaders and decision makers do not say that all Palestinians are terrorists. The defense of Israel does not entail the destruction of innocents. Israel is not simple doling out vendettas. Israel does not practice collective punishment.

The latest polls have 62% of Palestinians agreeing with Hamas and with the methods Hamas employs to attack Israel. And still, even while Israeli would like to punch out the lights of many Palestinians they will not, despite the temptation, turn off the lights of the Palestinians of Gaza City.

Terror Alert During the Holiday
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 26, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Indonesia is on high alert.
Terrorists are out there, lurking, attempting a strike.

Indonesia is a hotbed of terror activity and it is very difficult to stop the activity. The overwhelming majority of the 190 million citizens are Muslims and many of them harbor animosity towards Christians, Jews and all Westerners.

5 years ago, on Christmas, terrorists attacked a church in Indonesia and murdered 19 Christians.
Authorities do not want this horrific act of terror to be repeated this holiday season.

Azahari bin Husin, leader of the terrorist organization Jemaah Islamiyah, was recently killed.
During the raid that resulted in his death police found numerous maps and notes outlining attacks that were in the very last stages of planning.
This might be just the excuse that many terrorists are waiting for.
This might be the time they choose to execute their attack and strike out against the West.

Be careful. Holidays can be a wonderful time, but they are also a time when we are very vulnerable.
Be on the alert. Especially if you are traveling.

Abbas & Hamas Land
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 25, 2005

I'm Predicting:

Rumors abound about Abu Mazen, the head of the Palestinian Authority.
The most significant rumor has it that he will be resigning from politics.

Abu Mazen has hit an all time low.
His popularity and power have reached new depths.
During Arafat's era Abu Mazen would threaten to resign in order to get Arafat to move on an issue. But now he is in charge and he is paralyzed. Abu Mazen cannot move anything. He makes policies, makes agreements and nothing is fulfilled. There is no trickle down. No one listens to him.

Internal Palestinian sources describe intense frustration. They describe how Abu Mazen avoids difficult issues.
Right now, for example, Abu Mazen is avoiding the issue of missiles being fired at Israel from Gaza. He says, let Israel deal it. He says it is not his problem.
Israeli military intelligence says that Abu Mazen is barely hanging on and that he is on the verge of leaving politics all together.

What happens if Abu Mazen does leave his position and politics?
It would cause terrible disorder and the void would be filled by Hamas.
A Hamas run Palestine would be a Palestine with no mixed messages.
That is for sure.

We Hand Iran Victory
By Micah Halpern

Saturday December 24, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

We, the West, have handed Iran another great victory. We did it without knowing we were doing it. We did it because we do not understand the game Iran is playing.

Hussien Entezami, the spokesman for the Supreme National Security Council spoke about Iran's nuclear program and the resumption of talks between Iran and the European Union. This is what he had to say:

"The impasse over the nuclear file has been broken. From now on we sense a clear perspective for arriving at a compromise."

"the very fact that the dangerous process, which began with the resolution of September 24th, has stopped constitutes a diplomatic victory."

"But our principled position gave results and the Europeans agreed to return to the negotiating table without any preconditions. This constitutes a diplomatic success."

Iran's diplomatic success is a failure of the West.

Iran is controlling the discussion and the results.
The West is totally unaware of the issues or the stakes.
The West is duped by the lure of dialogue.

The West is so intent on realizing its agenda and attaining its own goals that no thought it given to the fact that Iran is seizing the opportunity and also attaining goals - and that is very dangerous.

US Arabic Mag Closes
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 23, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

America. The pop culture capital of the world.
America. The greatest merchandisers in the world.
America excels at selling itself - everywhere except in the Arab Middle East.

There is no reason why American culture should fail in the Arab Middle East. And yet, it does. Here is a case in point: The US State Department has just shut down "Hi" an Arabic language magazine co-published by the State Department and a private entity.

They shut it down because it was not making money.
Hello!!! It was not supposed to make money. That is why the State Department co-sponsored it.
It was supposed to spread American culture.
It was not supposed to brainwash.
But it was too brainwashy, it was too preachy, people did not buy it.
What a waste of time and money and opportunity.
"Hi" was pitched at the wrong level with the wrong material.

The US has the most magnetic culture in the world but fails to properly understand the Arab Middle East and so fails to properly package messages.

I have plenty of ideas on how to convince the masses ... but no one is listening.
If I had the funding I guarantee that in 5-10 years we could rid that part of
the world of terror.

Iran is Cloning
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 22, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Iran has cloned sheep embryos.
The first is expected to be born on February 14, 2006.
Seven weeks from now.
That puts Iran ten years behind Dolly, the first sheep to be cloned, born in 1996.

Is this factoid the least bit significant?
It is very significant.
Here are several reasons:
Iran is run by Shiite religious leadership and they have signed off on the cloning issue and on stem cell research. The minority Sunni religious leadership has rejected all cloning experimentation.

Iran has been undertaking, and successfully accomplishing, a series of technological and scientific advancements that includes advanced weapons and space satellite development. This cloning is just the latest in the series.

Iran is positioning itself to be a regional if not an international, technology player. They want to provide and sell technology, not import it. They want to become independent and in demand.

Iran is investing large sums and putting their best and brightest on these projects. The religious leadership is balancing science and religion in a way that many analysts naively think is way beyond their capabilities.

World, watch out. Keep on the alert. This is serious stuff happening in Iran.

Iraq, Don't Play Favorites
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 21, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

In most democratic countries the person responsible for security and safety is the Minister of the Interior.

It is a ministerial position that is essential to the entire population.
It requires an impartiality that neither imbues one group with favored status nor scapegoats another as political victim.
Not so in Iraq.
In Iraq there have been some very disturbing reports about torture in prisons where Sunnis have been incarcerated.

The US ambassador in Iraq has twice made this point to the interior minister.
His words have twice fallen on deaf ears.
I hope that the new Iraqi leadership receives the message and understands its importance.
It is essential that those charged with policing Iraq under new leadership not play favorites.

Democracy cannot function with corrupt police.
This is a particular worry. I'll continue to watch and monitor the situation.

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 20, 2005


The Middle East is more about politics than it is about politeness. But when a leader takes ill, decency sets in and kind wishes are in order.

How will the Arab and Muslim world react now that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has been sidelined, hospitalized, even if only for a couple of days? How should they react? Has anything changed? Has everything changed?

One message that reached the bedside of the prime minister brought a wish for "a speedy recovery - out of the political arena." And that was from a colleague, an Israeli.

Ariel Sharon is an enigma. If politics were poker, he would be a master. It is a style and attitude that he cultivated and perpetuates. Perhaps it was crucial to his military success, it has certainly been helpful in his political career. If Sharon is considered an enigma by Israelis and by the West, imagine how much more of a mystery he is to the Arab and Muslim worlds.

And now that he has had a mild stroke the Arab world is caught in a quandary.
For years Sharon has been typecast. When they are being kind, the Arab world refers to him as the Bulldozer. Most often, he is known as the Butcher of Lebanon.

Ariel Sharon is responsible for the 1982 War in Lebanon. And when he served as Israeli minister of defense, under his watch, Christian Phalange MIlitia led a massacre decimating two large Palestinian refugee camps. To the Arab world, Sharon represents the hated Israeli, the hated Jew, he is their everyman, their everyJew, he is their everyIsraeli.

To the Arab world Ariel Sharon is not just a man, he is a man of mythical proportions. Sharon has always been seen as the devil incarnate, as utterly without redeeming value.

But is the devil you know better than the unknown? Should they pray for his health or wish for his death?

And then, just when they had him all figured out, when the Arab and Muslim worlds were sure that Sharon was an Israeli leader who would offer them nothing but pain and humiliation - he went and got out of Gaza. Unilaterally.

If you are an Arab leader, how do you spin that? If you are Arabic press, how do you spin it? The Arab press had a truly difficult time covering the Gaza Withdrawal. They did not know how to relate to Sharon - praise him or vilify him? Acknowledge what he was doing or ... what?

During the period leading up to the redeployment I was in Gaza at the same time that a television crew from al Jazeera was there. They literally did not know how to spin the coverage. Ariel Sharon was supposed to be the modern day version of Richard the Lionhearted during the Crusades. But who was this man? Naively, I suggested that they simply cover the events, leaving out the spin. They did not think that their network would be able to handle something that revolutionary.

And what has the response of al Jazeera been to the hospitalization of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon? One of their headlines read "Is the Pressure Finally Getting to Sharon?" They hinted that if Sharon's condition improves and he quickly returns to his normal work day, this whole incident will only add to the myth of the man called Sharon, that it will add to the myth of his resilience.

The normal work day for Ariel Sharon is twenty hours long. By all accounts, he will be back to his norm in only a few days. And yes, it will add to the mystique of the man.

From now on, Ariel "Arik" Sharon will be seen in the Arab world as invincible. They will recall that after the Yom Kippur War in 1973 General Sharon surrounded the Egyptian army and moved to just outside Cairo - never touching the city. They will remember that when Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made his historic visit to Israel he stepped off the plane and, bypassing others in line, went directly over to Sharon and shook his hand.

This stroke was minor. Its impact is major.

Sharon's Stroke
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 19, 2005

I'm Predicting:

Ariel Sharon had a mild stroke. How does it play out?

It changes everything
It changes nothing.

It changes everything if it is serious and sidelines him.
He is the one and only leader on the Israeli horizon - right, left, center.
He is the only leader with vision.
He is the only person that unites the masses in the middle of the Israeli political spectrum.
He has the maturity and the uncanny ability to out-maneuver everyone else in Israeli politics.
He has a plan and no one else does.
He is a one man band.

It changes nothing because he will probably recover totally.
Israel is a democracy and huge pendulum swings do not happen quickly.
The ball that he has already set in motion holds the promise of security for the people of Israel and the people are ready and willing to take bold steps to insure their security.

As for Arab countries in the region they have yet to make sense of this new Sharon, now they are all the more confused.

Iranian Spin
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 18, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

The Iranian Interior Minister Mustafa Pur Mahmaddi has begun to try to spin his president's ludicrous comments about the Holocaust.

But the Iranians do not understand how ludicrous the original comments are, so the spin is just that, whirring, whirling circles, going nowhere.

Mustafa Pur Mahmaddi, said:

The president "wanted to say that if certain people have created troubles for the Jewish community they should bear the expenses, and it is not others who should pay for that."
He said:
"A historical incident has occurred. Correct or not correct. We don't want to launch research or carry out historical investigation about it."

We know what the president said .

Rephrasing does not make it better. These comments make it worse.

The point the Iranians are making is that if there were no Holocaust, there should be no Israel. And if the Holocaust took place in Europe, that is where Israel should be situated. Europe should pay the price.

It happened. And Israel was around way before Islam, not just post-Holocaust.

PA Wants To Delay Elections
By Micah Halpern

Saturday December 17, 2005

I'm Predicting:

Palestinian Authority leadership is going to want to delay the Parliamentary elections that are scheduled for January 25, 2006.

The PA has suffered some serious popularity setbacks.
Over the last weeks local elections have resulted in overwhelming support for Hamas. That should not have surprised anyone. For example: in Nablus, the largest West Bank city, Hamas received 73% of the municipal election.

This is a huge blow to the success of Fatah, the military arm of the PA, and to the PA itself.

Internal struggles are also compromising the strength of Fatah and the PA.
The Fatah Young Guard, led by Marwan Barghouti, is running as an independent party. This young guard will split the Fatah vote and will help Hamas gain an even larger voice in the Legislature.

The PA will try to push off the elections so that they can buy more votes by stepping up their social services and gain in popularity.
The PA will try to fight Hamas at its own game.

Hamas and the Fatah Young Guard have already organized rallies against a delay in elections. Some Fatah Young Guard members, weapons in hand, took over a Fatah headquarters to protest any delay.

The situation is tense. Tensions will continue to escalate.

A New Terrorist Party
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 16, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Today is the deadline for submitting lists for the Palestinian Parliament election.
A new party has been named and added.
I was not surprised to see that the name given the party is: "Abu Abbas."

Abu Abbas is not Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority.
Do not make the mistake of confusing the two.
Abu Abbas is dead, killed in Iraq, in the spring, just ahead of the invasion of Iraq.

Abu Abbas was a famous terrorist.
Abu Abbas was the person behind the terror attack aboard the cruise ship Achille Lauro. During that attack Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly Jewish American confined to a wheelchair was murdered and pushed off the overboard.

Why would anyone name a party after a known terrorist?
Because these Palestinians want to perpetuate his values and principles. Because these Palestinians want his legacy of terror to live on.
Because these Palestinians see the acts of Abu Abbas as heroic and brave.

Someone has to tell these Palestinians that all ideas are not equal in democracy. In Germany racists parties are outlawed. The same is true for Israel.
The same should also hold true for the Palestinians.

I have an idea. Someone should endorse a Party of Peace.

Iraq's Elections
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 15, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Elections in Iraq are a most miraculous event.
15,000,000 people will vote for their future.

225 Members of Parliament will be elected from 7,655 candidates and 996 parties. Iraqis will vote for a list not a candidate. According to the percentages won, the qualifying members on party lists will serve in Parliament.

This is an important issue.
An America democracy cannot and should not emerge in Iraq.
If you ask me what type of democracy should emerge in Iraq I would describe something closer to the Canadian model: a loose central government with strong provinces.
The central government will help out the weaker provinces and the stronger ones will soar. The central government maintains a national army while the regional provincial authorities maintain courts, education, police and healthcare.

We must take advantage of the sectarian splits.
Do not try to unify warring factions when you cannot.
To do so would be to insure and expedite failure.

The Russian Wild Card
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 14, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Russia has responded to recent reports that it just sold $1 billion worth of missiles and other defense materials to Iran.
The response was not a denial, it was a rationalization.
Russia said that the weapons were for defensive purposes only.

"All contracts concluded in the military-technical cooperation fully comply with our international commitment, including in the sphere of nonproliferation, and are in full compliance with Russian law."

Why would any country sell weapons to Iran in this day and age?
Why would they sell this particular weapon?
There is only one reason.

The question is whether the money is worth the potential cost of giving Iran the Tor M1 Missile Systems. The system can fire at two targets at the same time.

The United States and other allies should be in an uproar.
As on now, there is silence.

A Palestinian Alternative
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 13, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

There is an interesting political move afoot in the Palestinian Authority.
If it worked, it would be a true step forward. But I am doubtful it will succeed.

The idea is to create a new, middle of the road, non-corrupt political party that will provide the Palestinian people with an alternative in the upcoming January elections.
The idea it so provide an alaternative choice to Hamas and Fatah.

The people behind the party include Hanan Ashrawi, Yasser Abed Rabbo, and Salem Fayed.
All are very well connected and well thought of Palestinian leaders.
Ashrawi is known for her eloquence. Abed Rabbo sponsored the Geneva Plan. Fayed is the minister of finance, fighting corruption within the PA.

An alternative would be nice. But this alternative may just backfire, strengthening the Hamas numbers by splitting the more liberal elements of Palestinian society. On the other hand, it might be what it takes to give Abbas a serious kick in the pants and force him to seriously crack down on corruption and terror and chaos.

Good luck.

By Micah Halpern

Monday, December 12, 2005


Biographers, take out your pencils. Historians, get ready to record.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran, one of the most virulent anti-Western influences alive today, the man who defies international doctrine to benefit his own needs, is turning over a new leaf.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who only recently called for Israel to be "wiped off the map" is allowing that the State of Israel has a right to exist. He has found a new home for Israel, some place else on the map.

The Iranian president is at it again. He is, boldly, blatantly, completely unknowingly, flaunting his complete ignorance of 20th century history, his misunderstanding of regional and global politics, his overblown and aggrandized sense of self.

"If the Europeans are honest" Ahmadinejad said "they should give some of their provinces in Europe, like in Germany, Austria or other countries, to the Zionists and the Zionists can establish their state in Europe." And here comes the clincher. "You offer part of Europe and we will support it."

Why Germany? Why Austria? Why European provinces?

Because "Some European countries insist on saying that Hitler killed millions of innocent Jews in furnaces and they insist on it to the extent that if anyone proves something contrary to that they condemn that person and throw them in jail."

How magnanimous.

How warped.

That's it. Get rid of the Zionist Issue, by getting rid of the Zionists. At least, getting rid of them in the region where Ahmadinejad lives. If only life were that simple, that uncomplicated, that easy to re-arrange with a snap of the fingers - we could get rid of the threat of nuclear war by moving Iran outside the region. How about Asia?

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a dangerous man. He is a powerful man. And he is an ignorant man.

Let us analyze the basic inconsistencies, fallacies and historical misinformation in his remarks. Forget that he refuses to call Israel, Israel. We will allow him to call it the Zionist state for now. It is part of the bigger issue we are dealing with.

Up until these statements by the President, the Iranians have always claimed that they were anti-Zionist only, not anti-Jewish, not anti-Semitic. It was always a huge distinction in their mind, but now, based on these remarks, it has all been merged. Jewish = Israeli = Zionist.

Next. When speaking of the Holocaust, again, not by name but, at least, by definition, he says: "Although we don't accept this claim, if we suppose it is true, our question for the Europeans is: Is the killing of innocent Jewish people by Hitler the reason for their support to the occupiers of Jerusalem?"

Now the real perspective of Iranian foreign policy emerges. If there was no Holocaust, then there is no justification for Israel. And if there was a Holocaust, why should the Muslim people of the world pay the price for what the Europeans did? As far as President Ahmadinejad is concerned, he is in a win-win situation.

But Mr. President, the reality is that there was a Holocaust and it even included parts of the Muslim world, especially North Africa. But you wouldn't know that. And why should you? That explains your shock at the uproar over your statements, your misstatements, your analysis, your personal vision of a final solution.

Ahmadinejad is such a product of his own propaganda and of Arab and Muslim propaganda that he can truly not distinguish between what it real and what is created. It reminds me of the days of the former Soviet Union when people were really only taught propaganda. And when you are the victim of propaganda it becomes difficult to truly analyze a situation and propose solutions.

And Mr. President, the vast majority of Israel is not composed of Jews from European descent but of Jews who escaped the Muslim world. Who fled the Muslim world. Who were expelled from the Muslim world. Who were persecuted in the Muslim world.

So when Ahmadinejad asks, "... where do those who rule in Palestine as occupiers come from? Where were they born? Where did their father's live?"
When he says: "They have no roots in Palestine but they have taken the fate of Palestine in their hands" he is really showing a total misunderstanding of the history of the Holocaust, the development of and creation of the State of Israel and the nature of how states are established in Europe and in the Middle East.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is never going to change. Iran will probably never change. And Israel, the Zionist State, that is not about to change either. Israel is staying right where it is.

Palestinians Sue Israel
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 11, 2005

I'm Predicting:

Avi Dichter, the former head of the "Shin Bet," Israel's Secret Intelligence Agency, has been served with papers in a civil suit in the United States.

The plaintiffs are the families of 14 Palestinians who claim that Dichter, in his role as director of the Shin Bet, was responsible for the death of their loved ones. Specifically, a one ton bomb dropped by the Israeli Air Force in July of 2002 that hit its mark, a building that housed Salah Shehedah, a senior Hamas leader.

The case is based on international law under the Torture Victims Act and the US Alien Tort Claims Act to apply jurisdiction in the US.
This is the very legal procedure used by Holocaust survivors to pursue their Nazi guards.
The papers were served while Dichter was in NY, attending a charity benefit.

Here is the problem:
Dichter was head of an intelligence agency. His job was to gather intel to protect Israel. Hamas is a sworn enemy of Israel. Sheheda was responsible for planning numerous attacks against Israeli civilians and he sought sanctuary around innocent Palestinians.

This will not hold up in court. No way.

US Pressures Israel on Arms Deals
By Micah Halpern

Saturday December 10, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Once again, the United States is attempting to thwart an Israeli arms deal.
Last time it was with China.
This time it is with South Korea.

When it came to China, the US had a valid point. China is the enemy, plain and simple. And Israel gets so much aid from the US that it should not be selling arms to the only significant potential challenge to the United States in the world.

But South Korea? A deal for four early warning planes?
Israel outbid Boeing for the deal. They bid $1.25 billion, Boeing bid $2.1 billion.

First, the US used the "Korean war guilt" argument saying that American soldiers were killed fighting for Korean freedom 50 years ago. That didn't work so they resorted to bureaucratic obstacles demanding that Israel obtain export licenses from the United States Department of Commerce because the planes were constructed using some US parts.
This will not be the last deal the US tries to thwart. It happened with Venezuela and it happened with India.

Bottom line? The US is eliminating competition and Israel is becoming a real competitor in the arms market.

They Can't Condemn Terror
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 9, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

The United Nations Security Council has not issued a statement condemning the recent terror bombing in Netanya, Israel.

You see, the Security Council requires unanimous agreement before issuing a statement. Unanimous. Every single nation.
Algeria was not happy with the proposed statement and vetoed it.

The US was livid. Ambassador John Bolton was almost out of control. He wanted to lay blame in the lap of Syria and Islamic Jihad. Bolton wanted to know what purpose there was in defending Islamic Jihad. After all, hadn't they already proudly claimed responsibility for the attack?

But Algeria wanted the Security Council statement to mention that Israel had killed a Palestinian child earlier in the week in the Palestinian city Jenin.

This is the crux of the problem we face when universally defining terror.
There will always be countries and people who cannot unequivocally condemn terror.
There will always be those who cannot dedicate themselves to fighting terror. They are the justifiers of terror.

Solidarity With Syria? Only In Israel
By Micah Halpern

Thursday December 8, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

A high profile Palestinian Arab Israeli group was recently formed.
In simpler terms, the group is composed of Arab citizens of Israel.
And what is the raison d'etre of this group?
To give support to Syria in the "ongoing American aggression ..." in "a bid to exercise the new imperialistic plan to increase the economic and military influence over all the Arab territories."

These Israeli Arabs, as they were once called, want to show their solidarity for Syria.
They believe that Syria is being unfairly attacked by the US.
They want "to break the horrifying barrier of silence and show solidarity with Syria and its principles."

Nothing shocks me when I analyze this part of the world, but seldom do I let out such an audible laugh.
What we have here is a group of Arabs who are free to express themselves because they live in Israel- and they are praising Syria and pledging solidarity with its principles.
What principles? Certainly not respect, freedom, independence, democracy, responsibility, accountability, equality, safety, security or any of the other principles that actually allowed these prominent Israeli Arabs their right to create this "national committee."

People. They can be so naive.

Bloody Tuesday
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday December 7, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday was a very bloody day in Iraq.

43 people killed and 70 wounded in a double suicide bombing at the Police Academy in Baghdad.

What lessons can be learned from these deaths?
We learn that despite the terrible odds, some Iraqis are still hopeful for the future.
Terrorists continue to target new Iraqi police recruits and yet the line of recruits never seems to stop. Iraqis are willing to take risks for a good job and will sacrifice to save their country.

We learn that in Iraq, trust is often misplaced and taken advantage of.
The two terrorists were students at the Police Academy. Just because someone wears a uniform, even if they look like they belong, they may still be a terrorist.

Security agencies, all security agencies, must wake up to the realization that even, especially, insiders have the ability to attack. Everyone must be subject to a the same "search" even if they are "local."

We must always be alert. We must always be on the alert.

By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 6, 2005


The scene repeats itself over and over again.

The questions are the same each time:
How many dead?
How many injured?
Where did it happen?
When were you last there?
What method did they use?
Who has claimed responsibility?

"Why?" is a question that had not been asked in a very long time. It is a question that is now back on the agenda.

Now, a few short weeks after Israel's historic withdrawal from Gaza, a few long hours after a Palestinian backed terrorist claimed innocent lives in yet another terror attack against Israel in the hard hit city of Netanya, the world community must begin to ask another set of questions.

The world needs to know:
Is the Palestinian Authority doing anything to truly stop the terror?
Are the words of condemnation mouthed by Palestinian leader Abbas enough?
Can Israel and the West help Abbas and the Palestinians fight the terror?

NO, No,no.

Palestinian Authority leadership has begun to realize that Israel and the West, most especially the United States, are using the Palestinian fight against terror as a test to determine the Palestinian commitment to democracy and reform. As a result, the PA is gesturing, gesticulating and making superficial efforts to engage in a fight against the terror in their midst, but the act is becoming tiresome and their empty gestures are becoming evermore transparent.

Even in his public condemnation of the Netanya attack President Abbas qualified his condemnation. "The PA opposes any attack on civilians" is what he said. Not, "any attack," not "any attack against Israelis," Abbas specifically said, "any attack against civilians."

Make no mistake about it. Abbas is saying that there are clear and actual attacks and targets that ARE acceptable. He is drawing a line, a blurry line, between those people and places that are more acceptable and those, like Netanya, that are less acceptable. But he IS NOT condemning terror. In the mind of Abbas, the man charged with rooting terror out of the Palestinian midst, there are actually targets that are acceptable, that are strategic, that are worthy of terrorist attack.

Do you know what that means?

It means that the Palestinians are at war with Israel. Officially. At war. With the very country they are supposed to be aggressively pursuing for peace.

Well, you might ask: Isn't Israel at war with the Palestinians? Isn't Israel regularly pursuing, targeting, capturing, even killing Palestinians? Even on a daily basis?

NO, No, no. And if the Palestinians paid attention to the facts on the ground, to the actions not the rhetoric, it would enable them to really pursue an aggressive battle not against Israel, but against the terrorists, the true enemy of Palestinian progress and reform.

Israel is not at war with the Palestinians.

Israel is at war with terror. Israel is not at war with a Palestinian government or with a Palestinian army. Israel is in pursuit of clearly identified and targeted groups and individuals who are a direct threat to Israeli sites, to Israeli citizens, to Israel's survival.

Things have changed. Israel is not attacking Palestinian military and police centers as they once did. They were once under attack because the military and police themselves were the organizations directly sponsoring terror. There are still terrorists in the PA infrastructure, but many fewer giving Israel the ability to focus on the individuals, not the institutions. Or, at least, that's what Israel thinks.

Because then the situation gets all muddied and confusing again.

Abu Mahmoud a senior al Aksa Brigade leader said that a Palestinian group was responsible for the Netanya attack. He said: "this is an important act, since it makes it clear to Israel that the organizations, despite their commitment to the calm, are also committed to a certain balance in their responses."

Al Aksa is a direct arm of the Palestinian Authority. Abu Mahmoud and Mahmoud Abbas are true brothers. They speak the same language, they think the same thoughts, they shimmy to the same music. Abu Mahmoud is justifying the terror. The suggestion that terror teaches Israel a lesson shows just how divergent Israel and the Palestinians are in their understanding of the preset day situation.

The question then is: Can Israel, the United States, the West, really expect the Palestinians to root out the infrastructure of terror when they use it as a learning device, a tool with which to teach Israelis and Palestinians important lessons? The answer is: They cannot.

The West and Israel must hold the Palestinian Authority to an absolute test on terror. No compromises can be accepted. And when the Palestinians fail, the world will know "why."

Terror Continues in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 5, 2005 #2

I've Been Thinking:

Why do Palestinians continue perpetrating acts of terror?
Why - especially in light of Israel's redeployment from Gaza?

I'll tell you why.
Palestinian terror is perpetrated for various reasons and rationales.

Many terrorists will never accept any compromise and that includes the very existence of Israel.
Those terrorists consider the city of Netanya the perfect target because it is so close to the West Bank.
Those terrorists speak of liberating Netanya from Israel in the same way they speak about liberating the West Bank.
The terror is seen as tit for tat - Israel attacks terrorist leaders so terrorists hit back at Israel.

Palestinian leadership has refused to crackdown on terrorist cells and to disarm non-police bodies.
By not cracking down the leadership demonstrates to the people and the world that they do not share the disdain that the US and Israel have for terror.

By not acting against terror the Palestinian Authority embraces the end result, even if not the means, of terror.
Terror against Israel has become synonymous with the Palestinian political assertion of independence and has become a vehicle of spite.

New Syrian Scud-D
By Micah Halpern

Monday December 5, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Syria has added a new, vastly improved, Scud Missile to their arsenal.
It is called the Scud-D.

Scud Missiles were used by Nazi Germany and were called V-1 and V-2.
Saddam Hussein chose the Scud Missile as his attack weapon on Israel and Saudi Arabia during the first Gulf War.
Now Syria is using the Scud-D.

How do I know?
The information was just unclassified.
A few months ago a Syrian Scud-D went off course and landed in Turkey. Syria apologized hoping that Turkey would keep the incident quiet. They kept it quiet from the press, but not from intelligence gatherers.

The Scud-D is a frighteningly powerful missile.
The range of the new missile is 500 miles, the range of the Scud-B is 200 miles.
The warhead on this Scud "separates" from the body making it much more difficult to shoot down, much more accurate, much smaller and much faster.
Upon separation it uses smalls fins, making it harder to retaliate and hit.
The course of the Scud can be changed and corrected on the way to its target.

The technology of war is vastly and rapidly improving in the Arab world.
The Syrian Scud-D Missile coupled with new Iranian satellite technology should seriously worry America and her allies.

This type of technology is there primarily to present more dangers to the West.

We must shut them down.

Iran Has A Satellite
By Micah Halpern

Sunday December 4, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Last month Iran launched a satellite.
I known, it sounds unbelievable.
The satellite is called Sina-1.

It is Russian made by a company named Polyot, weighs about 400 lbs and orbits the earth 14 times a day.

In two months Iran is scheduled to launch its own 100% Iranian made Satellite.

The official, stated purpose of the Iranian satellite is to track weather and agriculture. The fear is that it will be used to spy on Israel.

Here is what the Iranian deputy minister of telecom had to say:
"Sina-1 is a research satellite. It's not possible to use it for military purposes." "Technically speaking, yes it can monitor Israel. But we don't need to, you can buy satellite photos of Israeli streets from the market."

Of course it is possible to spy on Israel. Of course it is possible to buy photos of Israeli streets. But who is he kidding? Streets are not what Iran would look for. Troops, weapons, movements of individuals and of police, that's what you want.

Real time info would really aid terrorists and anyone else who might want to attack Israel.

The lesson: Always assume you are being watched.

EU & Jerusalem
By Micah Halpern

Saturday December 3, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

I read the recent European Union report on Jerusalem with great interest and anticipation.

Call me naive or perhaps simply overly curious.
I was expecting a serious report with serious suggestions and a plausible resolution.

Was I mistaken.

On the positive side, at least the report articulated its prejudice.
It did not mince words and stated that, as far as they are concerned, the status of Jerusalem was still open for negotiation.

In reality the report just echoes the principle that any community built by Israel post '67 in Jerusalem is a settlement - including neighborhoods like Ramat Eshkol, East Talpiot and French Hill, places very central in Jerusalem.

So yes, certain issues may be open for discussion.

But these communities will not be a part of those negotiations.

Israel On Iran
By Micah Halpern

Friday December 2, 2005

I've Been Thinking:

Ariel Sharon has articulated Israel's policy on Iran and their nuclear capability.

Look carefully at what Sharon said:
"I said, Israel should not lead but it is certainly in close contacts with the countries that run this battle."
"Israel is not spearheading the international struggle against Iran's nuclear arming."
"Before anyone decides on a military step, every effort should be made to pressure Iran."

Now, read between the lines:
Israel and the United States are working very closely to find out what is actually happening.
There are military options and plans.
Israel would prefer if the US and European allies step in with more pressure on Iran, or, if that does not work, with a military strike.

Finally, if the threat is too great and if the US is not acting - Israel will strike.

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