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Israeli Technology Fighting Ebola
By Micah Halpern

Friday October 31, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Israel has developed two technologies that will help fight Ebola.

The first technology is a made-to-specifications special pop-up isolation tent. The technology was created by an Israeli company called SYS. All that is needed are the desired dimensions and details and the tent will be delivered in only two weeks.

So far Ebola has been detected in eight countries. 10,000 people have contracted Ebola and 50% have died from it. These tents control the contamination. They also come with special stretchers to isolate the patient in transit to the tent.

The system utilizes positive air technology to create a hermetically sealed system. Many airports and hospitals have already placed their orders. The SYS tents are already being used in Guinea.

The other technology that Israel has developed is for an infrared thermometer which can be used in airports to detect if travelers have a temperature.

These new products developed by and marketed in Israel will both save lives and control the spread of Ebola.

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Attack in Jerusalem
By Micah Halpern

Thursday October 30, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

The attempted assassination of Yehudah Glick, in the middle of Jerusalem, just outside the Menachem Begin Center, marks a new low point for the city and for Palestinian - Israeli relations.

The shooter actually got very close to Glick, an activist and extremely vocal proponent of the rights of Jews to traverse on the Temple Mount. Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with Glick's political point of view, the attack set a new nadir. The shooter confirmed that it was Glick by asking his name. Then he shot him four times - in the head, the neck, the chest and the arm and fled on a motorcycle.

As the news spread, Israelis were in communal shock. Such a brazen act of terror in the heart of Jerusalem is deeply worrisome. This heinous act was not simply an assassination attempt. It was an expression of the desire to ignite a full blown Intifada.

When nighttime came, the sky was lit up by fireworks in celebration of the attack. Yes, Palestinians in Jerusalem were elated that Glick was shot. To them it was an act of courage and heroism.

That is hard to comprehend.

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Egypt Attacks Hamas Tunnels
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday October 29, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Egypt is very seriously and aggressively destroying the new tunnels that Hamas has dug from Gaza into Egypt.

It is through those tunnels that terrorists smuggled themselves and their weapons into Egypt and were able to conduct an attack against
Egyptian soldiers, killing 31 Egyptian military personnel.

Egypt has now evacuated every home and every building which borders Gaza. They are instituting a buffer zone. That buffer zone will protect Egyptians from Gaza and from the tunnels.

The exact dimensions of the buffer zone are still unclear. It will certainly vary according to specific locations. But it is clear that the buffer zone will reach far enough into Egypt to make it very difficult for Gazans to burrow under.

Understand - this does not mean there will be no more tunnels.
Creating a serious buffer zone means there will be significantly fewer tunnels. It means that building the tunnels will be more difficult. It means that entering Egypt and committing acts of terror will happen less frequently. It means that life just got harder for the terrorists of Gaza.

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Pressure Building on Israel
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday October 28, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Israel is being squeezed in a diplomatic vice grip. Israel is being pressured into accepting a two-state solution.

The United States and the European Union have publicly denounced the decision by Israel to build 1000 housing units in East Jerusalem.
They both used similar language in their official comments suggesting that Israel cannot be serious about peace when they continue to build.

The US and the EU and frankly, almost every other country, is trying to understand why Israel continues to build. Unfortunately, it will be very difficult to convince any of those nations of the inherent right of Israel to build - even if the areas being developed will almost certainly fall within Israel in any future agreement with the Palestinians.

The problem the United States has is not legal. The US sees building as a direct act of breaking down any sense of trust that might possibly emerge diplomatically.

And so, the US, the EU and just about every other Western country has concluded that current Israeli leadership is simply not interested in a two-state solution. These nations believe Israeli leadership is making up excuses and buying time. They see the Israelis as not fully committed to finding a negotiated resolution.

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Israel - Jordan to Sign Gas Deal
By Micah Halpern

Monday October 27, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Jordan and Israel are about to sign an energy agreement.
Israel will provide 600 million cubic feet of gas per day to Jordan for 15 years. The deal should save Jordan $1.5 billion per year.

Jordan has been suffering since the collapse of the pipeline from Egypt, which ran through Israel, was destroyed by the Muslim Brotherhood. Jordan used to receive 80% of their natural gas through that pipeline. Now, two years later, they struggle to find natural gas to power their electricity.

Due to population increases Jordan's natural gas demands have increased by about $6 billion per year. They have great difficulty keeping up with their electrical demand.

This deal will make natural gas easily accessible and extremely secure for Jordan. It is a very simple decision Yet, there was much debate and dispute about it among Jordanian parliamentarians.

The deal will be signed soon without public fanfare. It will be a new lifeline for Jordan. And it will also be an important positive link between Jordan and Israel - a link that underscores the mutual gains that emerge from good diplomatic relationships.

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US Disses Israel in DC
By Micah Halpern

Sunday October 26, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Israel's Defense Minister Moshe "Boogie" Yaalon has been in Washington. Not a single member of the US Administration or even
their assistants was cleared to meet with him.

Imagine that - Washington is teaching Israel a lesson.

Yaalon and his boss Prime Minister Netanyahu have been insolent and publicly insulting to the US. Yaalon told US Secretary of State Kerry to just get his Nobel Prize and stop coming back to the region - and that is just one of his numerous public outbursts.
So when Yaalon comes to DC, no one will meet with him.

This is not childish or immature behavior. It is the way things are done. Everyone and anyone who has been involved in foreign affairs knows that the United States expects theirs friends, especially those who receive three billion dollars a year are expected to be civil towards them. If not, they will be disciplined in DC. Hence the cold shoulder.

This is simply a lesson and Israel had to know that it was going to happen.

I would have done things differently. If I were the Administration I would have scheduled the meetings and then cancelled them seconds before they were to happen to further humiliate Israel and to make certain that Yaalon could not use his time in Washington for other meetings or purposes. That way, his entire trip would be turned into a colossal waste of time.

That would not be called vindictive diplomacy, it would be appropriate diplomacy.

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US Calls Terror Attack in Jerusalem a Traffic Accident
By Micah Halpern

Saturday October 25, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

The US Consulate in Jerusalem sent out a memo calling the murder of 3 month old United States citizen Haya Zisl Braun - a traffic accident.

Here is the exact wording of the memo.
" As of 2105 hrs Reports of unrest/demos in many EJ neighborhoods all related to earlier traffic accident near french hill"

The United States could have called it an incident, they could have called it an act or even an event. They chose to call it a traffic accident. The United States is afraid.

There are many ways to parse word and diplomats are very good at creating words or at using many words to say nothing. The situation now is that the United States does not like the word "terror."

The US has yet to call the axe wielding incident that took place in Queens, NY on Thursday terror. They officially called it "another crazy New Yorker" even though Zale Thompson, the axe wielding terrorist, changed his name to a Arabic name and posted numerous online justifications for murdering innocent people in the name of Jihad.

This is not a good sign for the United States of America.

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Nigerian President Visits Israel
By Micah Halpern

Friday October 24, 2014

I've Been Thinking:

Make sense of this. Goodluck Jonathan, the president of Nigeria, made an agreement with the terrorist group Boko Haram to free the 219 Nigerian girls who were kidnapped six months ago.

Next year there is a presidential election scheduled for Nigeria and Goodluck is the incumbent.

But today, Goodluck is arriving in Israel and visiting Jerusalem to get some good luck. Jonathan is a devout Christian and believes that Jerusalem - and specifically the Western Wall is holy and that he will get blessed by visiting. He will participate in a mass of 300 Nigerians.

Goodluck Jonathan comes to Israel as a president with a private plane and an 80 member delegation. They book 40 rooms at the brand new beautiful Jerusalem Waldorf.

I have not even gotten to the strange part yet. The strange part is that Nigeria sits on the UN Security Council. And during his stay, Israel will try to convince Goodluck Jonathan of the importance of not backing Palestinian Statehood.

Israel is deeply invested in Nigeria. About 50 Israeli energy companies operate there.

Right now Nigeria has been non committal about their stance on Palestinian statehood. Hopefully, Goodluck will get good luck and will commit to supporting Israel at the Security Council. If Nigeria supports Israel, the United States may not have to utilize their automatic veto.

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