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Hamas Is Using Puppets Again
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday April 1, 2008

I'm Predicting:

Hamas, the people who preached murder and hatred and the total destruction of the Western World to the children of the Palestinian Authority through TV and puppets and a Mickey Mouse look-a-like are at it again.
This time Hamas has created a George Bush look-a-like puppet.

In this latest installment on Hamas educational TV a Palestinian boy meets US President George Bush.
The boy is crying. He berates Bush for killing father in Iraq, his mother in Lebanon and his brothers and sisters in Gaza with the help of the Israelis, of course.
The child tells Bush: "You are a criminal. You took everything away from me."

The boy shouts: "I have to take revenge with this sword of Islam."
Bush begs, saying: "I repent. Don't kill me."
Bush says come to the White House. The boy says the White House is now a mosque, and "impure Bush" is forbidden to even enter.
The scene ends as the boy stabs Bush to death.

This scenario will continue to be replayed - new shows will be broadcast.
Hamas will continue to manipulate the children of the Palestinian Authority under the guise of entertainment.
No one and nothing is stopping Hamas.

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

By Micah Halpern

Monday March 31, 2008


Fact: Victory in battle against Islamic radicalism and terror will take several generations.
Nothing new there. Western thinkers have been saying that for years.

Fact: Fighting terrorism means knowing the enemy and knowing the weapons the enemy is using.
Nothing new there either.

Fact: Victory in battle against Western infidels will take generations.
Now that's new.
For the first time ever the terrorists and the Muslim extremists from whose midst they emerge, the believers who want to topple the West, are declaring outright that according to their plan the actual defeat of the West will take generations to accomplish.

The new approach that Muslim extremism is taking in explaining their plan to rid the world of infidels, to take over the world and to rule the world, is colossal. And yet, rather than boldly heralding this news, rather than proclaiming this transformative thinking to be policy, the Muslim world is slowly slipping it into the vernacular of radical Islam.

The original objective of radical Islam was two-fold.
First, the infidels.
Islamic radicals would bring about the overthrow and ousting of Western society. An Islamic Revolution would transform the world. America, Israel and all countries that embrace Western countries would be toppled, destroyed, eradicated.
Next, the believers.
Islamic radicals would replace the Arab and Muslim leaders with theocracies. The current regimes in the Muslim world are run by Muslims, but Muslims in name only. The goal of Muslim Islamisists is to replace the kings and dictators with Islamic law and run a country patterned after Iran - according to Shariya, according to Islamic law.

Jihad is an overarching concept for the radical Muslim and the terrorist. Originally, radicals like Osama bin Laden and The Ayatollah Khomeini advocated the Islamic principle of Jihad. Jihad is a religious obligation to defeat those who reject the primacy of Islam and resist the hegemony of Islam.

Jihad is no longer the working principle of radical, extremist, Islam. Terrorists and Muslim extremists have made a transition. That transition is manifest in language. It is subtle, it is strong. It signifies an essential shift in principles. Jihad has been replaced with a new theological term.

Jihad has been replaced with Moqawamah.

Moqawamah. The word actually sounds Native American, like a summer camp in the Pocono Mountains or the name of a boy scout troop. It is pure Arabic. It explains an attitude similar to but significantly different from, Jihad. It means resistance.

Jihad implies an all out struggle and absolute victory.

Moqawamah implies that victory is not near at all.

In Moqawamah the fighter must fight, but the fighter must not necessarily win. Moqawamah is not about the current engagement, Moqawamah is about a long, protracted, multi-generational struggle.

Moqawamah is a way for terrorists and radical Islam to save face. It is a way of saying that not winning is not defeat. Not winning is part of a process. Not winning is a step forward. Moqawamah is why Muslim radicals around the world can interpret the Hezbollah war against Israel as victory - Israel did not destroy Hezbollah so Hezbollah is victorious and Hezbollah can continue to strike against and hit Israel. Moqawamah is why Muslim radicals around the world can interpret al Qaeda sponsored and led attacks against Western targets as victory. The resistance is still viable. Moqawamah is successful.

In brief, in Moqawamah, if you do not lose - you win. If there is one fighter still standing, one subscriber to the principle of Moqawamah unvanquished, Moqawamah wins. The flip side for the Western world is that it is almost impossible to defeat Moqawamah.

The terrorist need not win to win. Moqawamah is the perfect equation for a guerrilla - terror philosophy that does not favor fighters fighting in uniform and that promotes attacks against innocent civilians in schools, airplanes, office buildings and trains. Shooting rockets from Gaza into innocent Israeli towns will help the next generation get closer to the goal of ridding the world of Israel. Attacking the Twin Towers will help the next generation get closer to the goal of ridding the world of Western influences.

This thinking is deeply intertwined with theological justification. The Muslim radical has found a way of justifying the cruel reality that Allah has turned his back on Islam. Allah has not heard the prayers of radicals. Israel and the Jews have been blessed while the Muslim world sits in utter poverty and chaos despite enormous oil and gas reserves. Moqawamah puts it all in perspective for the Muslim mind.

Moqawamah turns little actions into large symbols. Moqawamah speaks not to the now, it speaks to the future. Moqawamah allows radical Islam to continue to plan great victory in the future. In the war against terror and radical Islam Moqawamah is the new fact on the ground.

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

Abbas Calls For Protection
By Micah Halpern

Sunday March 30, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas made some scary demands at the Arab League meeting held in Damascus over the week-end.

Abbas said: "We demand that our Arab brethren seriously consider offering Arab and international protection for our besieged nation."

Abbas said: that the Arab league should "[t]hink seriously of Arab and international protection for our people."

What is Abbas doing?
Even if Abbas really believes that Israel is sabotaging the peace process, he knows that the main problem facing Palestinians now is not Israel, it is Hamas. Abbas should be rallying the Arab League against Hamas not Israel.

Thankfully the Arab League member representatives are inept and cowardly and they will not pick up the gauntlet that Abbas laid down.

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

Arab League: Doesn't Deliver
By Micah Halpern

Saturday March 29, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

The Arab League meeting in Damascus is underway - the players will get into full gear over the weekend.

Here is an inkling of what to expect:
The Palestinian Authority has already been promised $50 million a month by the Arab League. That makes $600 million for the year.
The Palestinian Authority was promised $660 million for the year last year - and less than half has been given them.
Surprising - no, actually this is rather typical for the Arab League.

There are several reason explaining why monies were promised and then neither collected nor disbursed.
# 1: the Arab League is a lot of fluff and only a little substance
# 2: the Arab Leagues speaks about the Palestinian cause, but cares very little about the Palestinians and does even less to aid them.

Seldom does anything useful come out to of the Arab League.
Arab League meetings are more about camaraderie than commitment.

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

Israel's Intelligence Assessments
By Micah Halpern

Friday March 28, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

A new regional security assessment has been drawn up by Israel.
The assessment was released last week - frankly, there were no surprises.

According to the 2008 Assessment:
Watch Hezbollah and Syria
Iran will continue to make progress in the area of nuclear development
Iran will be on-line in 2009
Hamas will attempt to make major inroads to the West
Hamas may attempt a takeover of the West Bank
Chances of an agreement between the PA and Israel are low

Bernard Lewis, one of the world's greatest Arabists, gave Israeli Prime Minister Olmert his own, personal assessment.
Lewis believes that the real danger in the Middle East is radical Islam.
Saudi Arabia knows it, Egypt knows it and the Gulf States know it.
Lewis advised the prime minister not to be misled by Syria - Assad is no Sadat.

Intelligence assessments are not political perspectives.
Intelligence assessments are an attempt to predict the future independent of politics.
The United States can afford to learn something here.

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

Russia is Selling Weapons
By Micah Halpern

Thursday March 27, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

President Mubarak of Egypt just wrapped up a trip to Russia.

The results of this trip will have an important effect on Egypt's future.

Mubarak met with both Vladimir Putin and with Dmitry Medved who replaces Putin in May.

Mubarak signed a series of agreements that will permit Russia to bid on the nearly $2 billion nuclear reactor Egypt wants to build.

Russia will sweeten their bid on the nuclear reactor by also offering to sell Egypt a slew of conventional weapons.

Selling weapons to the developing world is one of the things Russia does best.

Russia sold weapons to Iran.
Russia also developed Iran's new nuclear facility called Busher.
Russia just signed a contract with Bulgaria for a nuclear facility.
Russia needs to regenerate their stronghold in the Middle East.

During the Cold War the Russians were the dominant force in the Middle East and outfitted every country - not surprisingly, with the exception of Israel.

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

Arab League Meeting in Syria
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday March 26, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

This week's Arab League meeting is the first ever hosted by Syria.
Usually, heads of state and high level officials attend the meeting.
This year, because it is being hosted by Syria, many Arab League members are not attending and those that come will not send high level representatives.

Two topics will be under discussion: Lebanon and the Arab League peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians.
There is little hope that anything will come from the meeting - Arab League members have little respect for Syria.

Syria says that 14 countries have responded that they will come.
The Emir of Kuwait and the Emir of Qatar have responded that they will attend.
Saudi Arabia will send a simple ambassador.
Egypt's President Mubarak will not attend and will likely send his foreign minister.
Jordan's King will not attend.
Lebanon will probably not attend and if is does it will be low level representation.

Fact is, it is even obvious to the Arab world that Syria is part of the problem - not part of the solution.

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

Hamas - Fatah: No Agreement
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday March 25, 2008

I'm Predicting:

The meeting being hailed as the start of reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas is a farce.
The document that was signed during that meeting was signed by mistake.

As Chief Palestinian Negotiator Ahmed Qureia tells it, former Deputy Palestinian Prime Minister Azzam al-Ahmed mistakenly, even absent-mindedly, agreed to put his signature on the Fatah side of the Yemeni accord.
Yup, it was all a mix-up.
Apparently al-Ahmed tried calling the office of his boss, Abbas, for help and a decision. But just when al-Ahmed needed him most, Abbas was in a meeting with US Vice President Cheney. So Azzam al-Ahmed signed the agreement.

There is no way that Fatah and Hamas can or will share power.
Fatah needs to control Gaza and Hamas will never give up the reins.
Fatah cannot risk sharing power once again - it would mean turning their back on the Palestinian Authority once again, it would mean reliving last June when Fatah was thrown out of Gaza by Hamas.

An agreement between Fatah and Hamas will not in any way advance the Palestinian cause.
The only thing Hamas can bring to the table is a more Islamic Palestinian Authority.
That is not the way to go.
This agreement will be nullified - either by deed or by action.

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

By Micah Halpern

Monday March 24, 2008


Barack Obama is in trouble, serious trouble. He needs help, real help.

The presidential hopeful doesn't seem to realize the precariousness of his situation, and that's a problem, a big problem.

His reputation has been compromised. His judgment is being called into question. His allegiance to his country, to our country, is under scrutiny. His unwillingness to either confront or truly separate from a man he considered to be his mentor is turning into a political liability.

"A true master of politics is able to calculate, down to the smallest fraction, the advantages to which he may put his very faults," said Napoleon Bonaparte. Obama, I believe, has got his math all wrong.

America, as a whole, may be willing to forgive Barack Obama for his association with Jeremiah Wright, even if many Americans do not forgive Wright himself. But there is one statistically small group of Americans who will not be able to forgive. America's Jews.

I do not know if presidential hopeful Barack Obama will regain his reputation in the Jewish community after the scandal caused by his religious mentor. No doubt, this is a case of "guilt by association" but as Obama full well knows, politics is all about contacts, all about affiliations, all about associations.

Disagreeing with Wright is not good enough. Saying I was not present when those despicable pronouncements by Wright were declared is not denial enough. Explaining that Wright has been an integral part of his life and that separation is difficult is not reason enough. Jeremiah Wright is a liability to the Obama campaign. If the candidate could not see that himself his handlers should have seen it. And his handlers should have forced this separation before the damage was done.

Loyalty to an individual is not a virtue in politics. Loyalty to a nation is a virtue. Loyalty to the people is a virtue. America watched and America listened as Barack Obama eloquently justified the person - not the words, but the person, who had vilified America, preached hate against Israel and against Jews and who stands shoulder to shoulder with, who embraces verbally and emotionally, Louis Farrakhan.

Statistically, the Jewish vote is not significant. Politically, it is very significant. There are a mere six million Jews in the United States - what makes the Jewish vote significant is that almost all six million make their way to the voting booth on election day, almost all six million are active voters. And they are significant contributors to campaigns. And the Jewish community has a strong history of political activism. Forget the numbers, Jews do make a difference. The influence the Jewish community wields in this presidential election is dramatically greater than mere numbers.

If I were advising Barack Obama I would make a concerted effort to woo Jewish America back into his camp.

I would immediately convene a six day to Israel (visiting the Western Wall and Sderot, the city under siege) and to the Mid East (including the Palestinian Authority) region.
How that would help: American Jews need to know that their next president understands the facts on the ground in Israel. Jewish Americans, as all Americans, need to know that their next president has a true understanding of the threats and perils that Iran poses to the West.

I would insist that he condemn (strongly) both the man and his (more strongly) words and publicly announce his departure from Wright's church.
How that would help: Jeremiah Wright is the antithesis of the Obama unity platform. Obama cannot be trusted to "bless America" when his mentor publicly "damns America." Obama must place physical and emotional distance between himself and his past influences.

I would have him clearly explain what he knew and when.
How that would help: Apologizing for a lapse in judgment inspired by close family ties is humbling, but ingratiating. Explaining that there was once a time when Obama believed in the virtues that Wright then preached and they were attractive to the Obama family but that has now changed, that there has since been a divergence in beliefs and thoughts shows that Obama himself can change, that he can push the envelope, that he listens and recalibrates as situations change.

Barack Obama needs to do the right thing. He needs to do what is right for his candidacy and what is right for America whether or not it brings Jewish America and disenchanted America back into his camp.

He needs to do the right thing but I am doubtful that he will do the right thing. The man who wants to be the next president of the United States of America does not really know about Americans. He does not realize the depth of the pain that Americans felt as they watched and they heard Jeremiah Wright. For Barack Obama the man, for Barack Obama the candidate, that is a fatal flaw.

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

Cheney Returns From The Middle East
By Micah Halpern

Sunday March 23, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Vice President Cheney just returned from a visit to the Middle East.
Many analysts are speculating that this trip was not a success.

I disagree.

In the whirl of response surrounding the vice presidential trip almost all the discussion has focused on a single issue:

Should the United States attack Iran.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan said that an attack would be the worst thing for the US to do. Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov, also in the region at the very same time, said the very same thing.

Cheney's mission on this trip was to show that the US may indeed strike out at Iran. All the responses and all the comments prove that the Iranians are fearful of a US attack. That means the trip was a great success. Iran should not think they get a "pass" on this.

To quote from the Shakespearean play Hamlet Act 3:2:230
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

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

Russia Again
By Micah Halpern

Saturday March 22, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Russian Foreign Minister Sergie Lavrov has been on a trip to the Middle East.

On the itinerary were Syria and of course, Israel.
After meeting with Syrian president Bashar Assad Lavrov came away convinced that Syria is willing and able to pursue peace with Israel.

So now Moscow wants to sponsor a peace conference between Israel and Syria. The Israelis think otherwise.

On his visit to Israel Lavrov met with Israeli President Shimon Peres who told Lavrov point blank that he hopes he realizes the Israelis do not trust the Russians.

When Syria stops sending weapons to Hamas and Hezbollah, that is when it will clear that the Syrians want peace.

Get with the program, Russia.

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

Bin Ladin's New Message
By Micah Halpern

Friday March 21, 2008

I'm Predicting:

Osama Bin Laden's latest audio tape is very telling.
A message from bin Laden in commemoration of the 5th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion was to be expected - and we got it.
As usual of late, the real purpose behind these transmissions from bin Laden is to garner support for his cause using tried and true anti-Western and pro-Palestinian slogans.

He said: "My speech is about the Gaza siege and the way to retrieve it and the rest of Palestine from the hands of the Zionist enemy." He continued: "Our enemies [Israel] did not take it [Palestine] by negotiations and dialogue but with fire and iron. And this is the way to get it back."

Bin Laden is threatening war with everyone including Arab leaders and the Pope.

If I were predicting I would say there will certainly be upcoming attacks in the Arab world - especially in Saudi Arabia and Jordan. There will also be attacks in Europe, in France, Spain, Italy, Belgium and England.

Simply put, this is the world we live in right now.

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

A Blood Libel Again
By Micah Halpern

Thursday March 20, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Antisemitism will always rear its ugly head.
But the posters now strewn all over Novosibirsk, Siberia smack of a special form of Antisemitism - Medieval Jew Hatred.

The Posters warn:
"Beware Russian parents. Keep watch over your children before the coming of April 2008, the Jewish holiday of Passover. These disgusting people still engage in ritual practice to their gods. They kidnap small children and remove some of their blood and use it to prepare their holy food (matza). They throw the bodies (of the children) out in garbage dumps."

Blood Libel, we thought, was a thing of the past - ended with the 1913 Mendel Beilis trial in Russia. We were wrong. It's 2008 and in a major capital city the idea that Jews ritually murder Christian children and use their blood to bake matza is still alive.

It is this hatred and it is these myths that power the engine of Antisemitism.
Antisemitism is not only being spread in Novosibirsk.
We need to look no further than our own back yard and the controversy swilling around the upcoming race for president of the world's greatest democracy, the United States of America.

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

McCain in The Mideast
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday March 19, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

John McCain is in the midst of his Middle East trip. He is now in Israel.

Israeli President Shimon Peres seized upon the opportunity to educate McCain. Peres told McCain "Iran is not Israel's problem alone. The combination of terror, nuclear capabilities and irresponsible leadership poses a danger to the entire world." He said "The Arab countries in the region are also fearful of Iran."

This is an essential but often overlooked component of the Iranian threat.
Most Arab countries in the region will not articulate, expressly because they are fearful, what Israel knows so well and is unafraid to admit.

McCain responded by saying that after this trip to the Middle East he is even more concerned about the Iranian threat.

It behooves all candidates vying for the position of next president of the United States to see the issues beyond Iraq in an effort to truly understand the region.
From there the candidate will have the tools to formulate realistic policy proposals to present to the voters.

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

RIGA - 2008 OR 1941
By Micah Halpern

Monday March 17, 2008


Riga is the capital city of Latvia. Located on the Baltic Sea, Latvia, a scenically beautiful country to behold, is one of the former Soviet states. Riga is a city rich in culture in history and even in human and natural resources.

On Sunday, in Riga, three thousand Latvians came out to join a parade. It was a parade to honor those Latvians who belonged to and fought in and defended the honor of a notorious SS Unit known as the Latvian Legion.

Three thousand people came out and joined that parade. Did I make myself clear? Three thousand Latvians flocked to the city of Riga to participate in a pro-Nazi rally.

It happened this Sunday - in the year 2008, in a European capital.

As Americans, we think that most people think the way we do. We think that not to think the way we do is bad, or wrong, thinking. We think that our understanding of right versus wrong is universal. We think that the reason others do not think the way we think is because they have not heard the power of our argument, that they would be convinced if they had As Westerners, we think that
our belief system is the correct system, the most evolved system, the most popular system. In actuality, we are deluding ourselves. Our view of the world is insular, it is short sighted and it is narrow-minded.

Look no further than Riga, March 2008.

Latvia, along with the rest of the USSR, was invaded by the Germans in 1941. Then, as now, Riga was the capital of Latvia. According to a census taken in 1935 there were 43,672 Jews living in Riga. After the war there were 150 Jews, survivors from Riga.

Most of Riga's Jews were murdered in a place called Rumbla, a "killing fields" located only seven miles outside the city. There, on two separate days, first on November 30th and then on December 8th, 1941 the Nazis - with the help of the local Latvians, mowed down 25,000 Jews.

The Jewish Ghetto in Riga, like most Jewish ghettos created during World War II, was situated in the most densely populated area of the Jewish community. In Riga that area was called Maskava. In Riga, like in every other city under their control, in order for the Nazi massacre of the Jews to succeed the Germans needed local assistance. The assistance that the Latvian community of Riga gave to Nazi Command came in the form of the Latvian Legion, proud members of the German SS.

We now know, the proof is in the numbers, that local Latvians today, are still proud of their members of the Latvian Legion.

Was there a counter demonstration? There was - and we should be thankful that there was, but their well intended shouts of "disgrace" and "Hitler is Dead" and their few numbers pale in comparison to the pomp and glory of the Pro Nazi parade.

The lessons of the mass murder of the Jews at the hands of Nazis have not sunken in very well in Europe - even in those places where the lessons are most needed. Mass murder is still celebrated. Local mass murderers are encouraged to strut their stuff in style.

The most important lesson we can draw from the citizenry of Riga is not to be deceived. Realize that the values and issues that we hold dear are unique to us. We can try to influence others to adopt our values, we can even bribe them to behave in ways that we deem appropriate, but in their hearts seldom do they truly adopt our values and our sense of right and wrong.

We are who we are because we think that what the Nazis did was wrong. Some of the world still does not agree.

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

Iran's Elections For Parliament
By Micah Halpern

Monday March 17, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Iran voted this week.
Surprise, surprise, the conservatives won.

The elections were for the 290 seats in the Iranian Parliament.
The reformers, those who respectfully do not 100% agree with Ahmadinejad, received about 25% of the vote - which is huge.

25% of the Iranian public actually dared to express this muted form of descent. To stand for election a candidate had to be vetted by the most conservative election board. Most if not all reformers were rejected - including the grandson of Ayatollah Khomeini, the leader of the original of the Revolution. Imagine, the Ayatollah Khomeini's heir was not extreme enough for modern Iran.

Knows in the know, know the truth.
The sad reality is that secret ballots are the limit of acceptable resistance in Iran.

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

More Pressure From Bush
By Micah Halpern

Sunday March 16, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

George Bush is planning another trip to Israel and The Region in May.
That means that the president who never visited Israel until January 2008 will be paying two trips in five months.
Condi Rice is planning another trip to Israel in 9 days - two trips in one month.

On her way to Chile on Saturday Condi Rice made this statement:
"Frankly, not nearly enough has happened to demonstrate that the Israelis and the Palestinians fully understand ... that without following road map obligations and without improvements on the ground, it's very hard to sustain this process."
Rice's comment speaks volumes.

The United States is disappointed.
The United States wants to see progress on the Israeli/Palestinian peace front.
What the United States does not understand is that the problem does not lie with the Israelis and the Palestinians.
It is impossible to move ahead with peace between Palestinians and Israelis until there is some resolution among the Palestinians themselves.
Until Fatah confronts Hamas there can be no real progress on the peace front.

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

Compare the Religious Leaders
By Micah Halpern

Saturday March 15, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Last week there was a massacre in a religious school in Jerusalem.
The terrorist was motivated by religious fervor and xenophobic hatred.

In a vigil honoring the eight victims of the massacre former Israeli Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yossef said that the greatest revenge on the enemies of Israel is to show just how much God loves the Jewish people and Israel.
Rabbi Yossef is not known for holding his tongue or pulling punches when it comes to politics and Israel's neighbors.
All rabbis who spoke at the vigil insisted that vigilantism is not acceptable.

Contrast that to the calls across the Arab world mandating the people to engage in violent acts of revenge.
There was even a story published in a Lebanese paper yesterday reporting that the real target of the terror attack last Thursday was a Chief Rabbi.

I do not know if a Chief Rabbi was the intended target.
I do know that the comparison between the speech and actions of Israel's religious and political leadership and the speech and actions of religious and political leadership in the Arab and Muslim world is dramatic.

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

Syria Closes the Internet
By Micah Halpern

Friday March 14, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Syria has begun a total crackdown on internet use.
Think of it as the Syrian version of the "Iron Curtain."

Home internet use has been verboten for a long time.
Now the ban is extending to public spaces.
Most Syrians who want internet connections frequent internet cafes.
The idea is to learn what is happening in the outside world and to communicate with people under the radar.

No more.
The Syrian government is demanding that all internet users register their names and ID numbers and all cafe owners must record the sites visited and the number of internet visits per person.

The irony of it all is that when Bashar Assad was called back from London to assume his new role as president his very first promise was to provide internet use for all Syrians - once they had electricity, of course.

How things change.

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

Shame On You Olmert
By Micah Halpern

Thursday March 13, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert visited the Southern Israeli city of Ashkelon on Thursday. He arrived shortly after the city was hit by a new GRAD rocket, fired from Gaza, by the Palestinians.

In Ashkelon Olmert said: "The Grad is heavier than the Qassam, and we have no way of preventing these things [rocket attacks] from recurring."

It is the responsibility of leaders to protect their citizens.
This admission may be true, but should never be uttered.
When a terrorists group openly declares war and attacks a country that country's political and military leadership must join forces to both protect their citizens and to prevent future attacks.

Rejecting this role is an admission of defeat.
It is a defeat for the prime minister and a it is defeat in the war against terror.
Western democracies can not give in to terrorists.
Shame on you, Prime Minister Olmert.

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

Sarkozy's Caveat
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday March 12, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

On Monday Israeli President Shimon Peres was greeted in Paris by his French counterpart, President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Sarkozy said: "The State of Israel's right to exist securely is not debatable, and I believe that since the Holocaust the world bears the responsibility for this. I will continue to support Israel anywhere, as I did in my previous visits to Arab states."

This is a very new perspective from France in particular and Europe in general.
Sarkozy tells it like it is - and one thing is for certain, Sarkozy supports Israel.
For Sarakozy it is an issue of principle.
He has told Arab leaders that he will not shake the hand of a person who does not recognize the right of Israel to exist.

Sarkozy is not unique in Europe.
Most of France and Europe agree with Sarkozy - they just add a caveat.
They say that it is all right for Arabs and Palestinians not to shake the hands of Israelis.
And that becomes the central issue.

For Sarkozy, the caveat is just a caveat.

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

Al Qaeda Is Ticking Off Tunisia
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday March 11, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Al Qaeda of North Africa released an audio tape on Al Jazeera yesterday.
The tape explained why two Austrian tourists vacationing in Tunisia were kidnapped.

On the recording a man who identified himself as Sallah Abu Mohammed explained that on February 22nd al Qaeda kidnapped two Austrians because of Western cooperation with Israel.
Al Qaeda is hoping to intimidate Western allies of Israel by putting the lives of those citizens in danger during their travels.

It's not happening.
Tunisia is livid and they are pulling out al the stops to squash al Qaeda.
If German, Austrian and other Western tourists stop visiting Tunisia there will be a huge drop in foreign currency income. If the West sees the Arab world as dangerous they will start pulling out the new investments the Arab world has tried so hard to develop.

Al Qaeda has overplayed their hand.
Tunisia is on the war path.

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

By Micah Halpern

Monday March 10, 2008


History in the Muslim Arab world, the remembrance and recording of the past, differs from history in the Western world. The Western world records past events and calls them history. The Muslim Arab world recalls myths, hopes, conspiracies and events and calls that history. In the Arab world history and memory merge into a psycho-cultural universe that informs and motivates and plots the future.

The events on the evening of Thursday March 6th, 2008 were part of a chain of events that began years earlier, late at night, on Friday August 23rd, 1929.

The eight Jewish students killed by an Arab terrorist while learning in their religious school, their yeshiva, on Thursday March 6th, 2008 were a part of history even before they were brutally gunned down and massacred. Even before their deaths these Jewish students held a special place in history - a special place in Arab history. The machine gun toting terrorist who entered the Zionist stronghold yeshiva called Merkaz HaRav Kook on that Thursday evening, the people who planned the operation and sent him there and the people who rejoiced for his having been there, were all reliving a historical memory from 1929.

They were reliving the 1929 massacre of Hebron that began in Yeshivat Hebron. They were re-enacting the massacre of other Jewish students in another religious school. The location and the act chosen for this terrorist deed were a direct outgrowth of Arab/Jewish interaction and history, a history of Arabs massacring Jews. They were reconnecting the present with their past.

It was a hot Friday night in August. The students were gathered together in their yeshiva in the city of Hebron. The Sabbath had already been ushered in - and then the massacre began. The calls for reinforcements from the one British policeman in the area went unheeded for five hours, unanswered until it was too late. When it ended, three days later, 67 Jews were dead, brutally murdered - butchered with axes and knives and swords. Those students still alive were evacuated by the British to Jerusalem.

And that massacre, the 1929 Massacre of the Students in Hebron, became the paradigm in the Arab world for removing Jews. Massacre them. Massacre them especially while they are at study in their religious schools. Massacre them today and it will lead to the Jewish evacuation of Jerusalem just as it led to the Jewish evacuation of Hebron in 1929.

In the morning, after a night of murdering Jews, Arab leaders came to the home of a man whom they respected, a prestigious, well liked teacher at the yeshiva. They had a proposal to place before Rabbi Jacob Slonim. If the rabbi were to hand over all the Ashkenazi students, the students of European birthplace, they would end the massacre and spare the lives of the Sephardic students, the students who came from Arab lands. Rabbi Slonim declined the offer. He was killed on the spot. The massacre continued.

In retrospect we can say that in the days leading up to the Hebron Massacre tensions between Arabs and Jews were high, very high, especially in Jerusalem, especially around the area of the Western Wall. In sermons delivered in area mosques and in propaganda spread in Arabic newspapers stories were told about Jews killing Arabs and about Jews taking advantage of Muslim holy sites. These messages fed the already widespread - and still growing - conspiracy theory that the Jews were engaged in what was termed "the wholesale murder of the Arabs." So the Arabs of Hebron took matters into their own hands murdering the Jews of Hebron and forcing the survivors out of their city.

Re-enactments of the Hebron Massacre of 1929 have been carried out several times over the years, but never so successfully as this last attack. In the city of Ma'alot, high up in the Galil, a horrific attack was carried out in a school. In Gaza, just before Israel evacuated, terrorists massacred a Jewish religious school as the students sat down to eat on a Saturday night. Most recently terrorists attempted to murder students in a school in the Etzion block located between Bethlehem and Hebron. Luckily, teachers thought quickly, acted more quickly and killed the terrorist.

The Arab world claims that their intention to remove Jews is steeped in history, that their desire to remove Jews today is being done "for their own safety" - just as the British did in 1929 in Hebron. In truth, Arab leaders around the world are stoking the flames of the conspiracy in order to motivate their murderers to act. That is one of the most significant reasons that the Arab world, with regular frequency, speaks of the Holocaust Israel is perpetrating on the Palestinians.

There is no Holocaust being perpetrated by Israelis or by Jews anywhere in the world upon Arabs and there are no Jewish land grabbers. If anything, the opposite is true. Jews are ceding land and Israel is pursuing peace. But that message will not motivate.

Hatred and fear motivate evil. Untruths motivate massacres. History and conspiracy theories merge.

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Saudi Grand Sheik Says No to Al Qaeda
By Micah Halpern

Sunday March 9, 2009

I've Been Thinking:

Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti, Sheik Abdul-Aziz Abdullah al-Sheikh, has warned Muslims not to give donations to al Qaeda.
The Grand Mufti issued his warning in response to an audio tape made by Ayman al-Zawahri, bin Laden's # 2 man, exhorting Muslims to cough up financial assistance to al Qaeda families in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Specifically, the Sheik told Muslims not to support "evil groups."
Everyone knows that he was referring to al Qaeda.
This is the first real public instance where a major cleric is challenging al Qaeda. The message was picked up by The Arab Times, a significant Kuwaiti paper.

For a long time I have been saying that the West is powerless in the real fight against al Qaeda. In order to seriously weaken al Qaeda the battle must be waged between Muslims. Muslims have to stand up and say NO to al Qaeda.

Maybe, just maybe, that NO has begun to be whispered.

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

Barbaric Arab Acts
By Micah Halpern

Saturday March 8, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

The barbaric attack on a religious school in Jerusalem drew appropriate condemnation from the UN Secretary General and from many world leaders.
This attack even brought forth condemnation from Amnesty International.
Several important voices, however, have remained silent.

The only international body with real teeth, the Security Council of the United Nations, could not agree on a public condemnation of the attack.
Libya is a temporary member of the Council and they refused to condemn this terrorist attack.
Even Russia said that not being able to see how horrific this attack was is troubling.

Vitaly Churkin, Russian Ambassador to the United Nations, said: "To see people walk into a religious school and open fire on the students there, that is really something which should give one pause, especially those who care about religion." He said the attack by the Palestinian gunman was a "clear-cut individual act of terrorism."

Libya has done a disservice to the worldwide fight against terror.
We need no further proof of the weak and lackadaisical attitude the world has towards confronting the war on terror than the fact that the Security Council of the United Nations could not bring itself to condemn an act of terror specifically because Jews were the victims of the attack, not the perpetrators.

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It Is Simply Mass Murder
By Micah Halpern

Friday March 7, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

The deliberate mass murder of innocent people can never be justified.
There can be no equivalency drawn between the mass murder of innocents and deaths occurring during military maneuvers.
There is no parallel between the intentional murder of innocents and the unintended killing of innocents during military actions.

In Jerusalem young boys were gunned down while learning in their religious school - the school had been targeted for the kill.
As news of the massacre was released celebrations began in Gaza.
And now parallels are being drawn between the deaths in Jerusalem and the deaths of Gaza residents.
That thinking is dangerous and it is wrong.

The distinction is lost by those who justify the acts of the terrorists.
It is not a question of semantics, it is an issue of ethical, moral and philosophical clarity.
Not to see this distinction is to justify the murder of innocent people in a school.

All deaths are tragic - and that is where the parallel begins and ends.

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

Iran and the US Discuss Iraq
By Micah Halpern

Thursday March 6, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

IRNA, the official press mouthpiece of Iran, has just issued a special report.
IRNA reports that an Iranian military delegation arrived in Iraq Wednesday for its 4th meeting with American and Iraqi military representatives as part of a committee that discusses security in Iraq.

The United States denies that there is such a committee.
The Iraqis are non-committal.
The Iranians proudly proclaim it.

It might be an unpopular idea, but a committee like this can really produce results. Low level practical negotiations between the US and Iran - especially on practical issues like security in Iraq - are very important.

Iran has a vested interest in Iraq as does the United States.
The United States needs to gather important, on the ground, practical understanding of Iran and the way in which Iran is approaching Iraq.

If all 3 sides can come together to create some sort of agreement on safety this may be a giant step towards stability. Even if the agreement is only partially adhered to, it will be a significant improvement in dealings with Iraq. And yes, I realize that another element of Iran's leadership and military is sponsoring terror in Iraq but sometimes the two seemingly contradictory objectives must be separated.

In the end, because of these talks, Iraq might just be a safer place for Iraqis.

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

Ahmadinejad's Trip To Iraq
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday March 5, 2008

I'm Predicting:

Ahmadinejad wrapped up a 36 hour trip to neighboring Iraq on Monday.
This was the first trip any Iranian president has made to Iraq since the conclusion of the 8 Year War and that was in the 80's.
Western press paid little attention to this trip and that's a shame.

From the Iranian standpoint this trip was a huge success.
Ahmadinejad held 6 press conferences and signed 7 memoranda of understanding with Iraq.
Ahmadinejad kept hammering away with his demand that the "foreigner" go home, asserting that all conflict will subside when the "foreigner" leaves.

If the conflict in Iraq should subside it will not be because Ahmadinejad was correct about the "foreigner." It will happen only because Iran stepped in and sponsored Shiite control in Iraq. If that happens it also means a wholesale massacre of Iraq's Kurds and Sunnis.

To this day Iran blames the Sunnis of Iraq for the thousands of deaths resulting from the 8 Year War with Iraq. Many of those deaths were innocent farmers who were poisoned by the low flying planes Saddam Hussein used to dust Iranians with poisonous gas.

Do not be misled - this was not just a long overdue social call.

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

Excuse Me, Mr. Abbas
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday March 4, 2008

I've Been Thinking:

Here is an example of a serious diplomatic synapse:
Palestinian President Abbas said that he will work to create a cease fire between Hamas and Israel.

He, Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian people will work to create a cease fire.
Excuse me, but Hamas is part of the Palestinian Authority.
Excuse me, but it is Abbas who has permitted a situation to arise in which Hamas sets the Palestinian agenda, not he.
Excuse me, but Abbas has had no say over Hamas until now, why would anyone think that Hamas could be swayed by this ineffectual leader now.
Excuse me, but Abbas has no ability to pressure Hamas either diplomatically or by way of physical threats.

Abbas sees that Israel is attacking Hamas with great force and he must try to stop Israel.
Israel sees a Palestinian leader who by all rights should, but cannot, stop Hamas.

Who is Abbas kidding?
Abbas has failed and Israel knows it.
Abbas and the United States have yet to recognize that truth.

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

By Micah Halpern

Monday March 3, 2008


It's official. It's on the record. The words have been spoken out loud. Israel, according to Ban Ki-Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations, is using "excessive and disproportionate" force in Gaza.

Now the Security Council knows it. Now the world knows it.

After years of being pounded by missiles and rockets from Gaza, after weeks of escalating Hamas instigated and led attacks, Israel chose to respond. And in turn, the world has responded by condemning Israel.

"While recognizing Israel's right to defend itself," said the Secretary General "I condemn the disproportionate and excessive use of force that has killed and injured so many civilians, including children."

What did Israel do? Did Israel raze a village, bomb an orphanage, massacre an entire village? No. Israel officiated a counterattack, striking at those terrorists who are targeting Israeli cities and citizens with Qassam rockets and with missiles.

"I call on Israel to cease such attacks" said the Secretary General with the European Union saying almost exactly the same thing, using almost the same language. Well what would Ban Ki-Moon and European leaders have Israel do? What would be an acceptable, proportionate response? Let me offer some suggestions. Perhaps, Israel should:

* day after day, for the next few years, indiscriminately lob rocks into residential areas

* sponsor civilians to build and shoot crude and inaccurate rockets into Gaza

* preach hatred, teach about destruction and dream of annihilating the entire Palestinian population

* reprint textbooks eliminating the Palestinian Authority from maps

Would that change the thinking of those who are now condemning Israel? Would those be less excessive and proportionate responses? I don't think so.

Israel has initiated a series of surgical aerial operations and ground strikes. There might even be plans for a ground invasion. The purpose of these strikes is to assess the value of an invasion. The purpose is to hurt Hamas command and destroy Hamas resources. And in all that, Israel has been successful. And because Israel has been successful, Israel is being condemned.

Condemned for using excessive force. Condemned for using disproportional force. And this condemnation of Israel comes from the same man who, until now, has been pretty clear about condemning the Palestinians for their relentless Qassam rocket attacks into Israel. And the Secretary General is still condemning them. He is still saying: "I condemn Palestinian rocket attacks and call for the immediate cessation of such acts of terrorism."

And Israel is taking this all very seriously.

Israeli Defense Minister Barak, a former Prime Minister and a former Chief of Staff, has officially asked Israeli Justice Minister Daniel Freidman to examine international law on the issue of targeting terrorists who attack from within civilian populations. Barak wants to determine Israel's right and Israel's position on hitting Hamas terrorists. The defense minister wants to know how to respond to the world as they vilify Israel for finally initiating what is a low grade response to the daily blows raining down on them from Gaza.

And defense minister Barak wants to reassure Israeli soldiers that the counter attack they are now engaged in, the operation that has already cost the lives of Israeli soldiers is just, is fair, is appropriate and is essential.

There are people around the world who hate Israel and who will do anything to vilify Israel. There are people who are cheering after hearing about the UN condemnation of Israel. There are people, including Jews, who cannot accept Israel in any role other than victim. These are the people who fall prey to the Palestinian public relations campaign that paints Israel as the big, bad Goliath of modern history. But instead of five smooth stones, in this version the wronged and smaller Daoud slings rockets and missiles.

If anything, Israel can be blamed for exercising too much restraint. Maybe it was that restraint that brought about the current situation. Maybe Israel should have responded sooner and responded more vigorously. Maybe Sderot would be safe and Israel would not be criticized in today's news. But that is a historical, not a military analysis.

Say what they want, if Israel was not using restraint in their response to Hamas many more Palestinians would be dead.

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

Simply Put: They Lie
By Micah Halpern

Sunday March 2, 2008

I'm Predicting:

Human interest stories make front page news.
Corrections are relegated to the back pages.

Last week, as tensions escalated between Hamas and Israel, casualties were sustained by both sides.
In one counter attack Israel hit the empty residence of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.
The Palestinian press reported that an innocent, one year old infant was killed in the rocket attack.

This week the Palestinians changed their story.
Now they are saying oops, the infant was killed not by Israel, but by Palestinians who were constructing an explosive device that exploded.

We can expect that, as this conflict intensifies, the Palestinian press will fill pages with heart wrenching stories of Palestinian babies and Palestinian mothers.
It is all part of a concerted, methodical effort by the Palestinians to control the Arab mass media and to influence media across the world.

Most of the time the Palestinians will not be successful and their mostly fabricated gut wrenching stories will not make it to media around the world.
But sometimes, they will succeed.
That's where we come in, that's when we must all play the role of fact checker.

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

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