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Hezbollah Prepping For War
By Micah Halpern

Monday November 19, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Things are looking bad in the south of Israel along the Gaza border.

Israeli communities - towns and cities - wait in fear of the next series of rockets or kites or balloons coming at them from Gaza.

Meanwhile, in the North of Israel, Hezbollah is digging in and preparing to attack.

That, at least, is the evaluation of Israel's IDF Head of the Northern Command Major General Yoel Strik who said: "although Assad is stabilizing, we still face challenges ... Hezbollah is building infrastructure in the Syrian Golan ... We can see Iranian attempts to base themselves around the country."

When the Head of Israel's Northern Command says that the Hezbollah is digging in and that Iran is involved, we should all take notice.

Obviously this is all happening independent of the new relative stability in Syria and independent of Russian involvement.

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Macy's Paprade in Jerusalem
By Micah Halpern

Sunday November 18, 2018

I've Benn Thinking:

On the first night of Chanukah -- December 3, 2018 -- in Jerusalem, the Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade will take place. Of course it will still take place in NYC on Thanksgiving.

But this year the famous parade is going on the road. The parade will take place just outside the walls of the old city of Jerusalem in the area of Sultan's Pools.

Kong Fu Panda along with Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck will attend. Newer balloons like Pokeman and Spiderman will also be there.

The parade is being sponsored by the Ministry for Diaspora Affairs.
The ministry wants to build bridges and especially since the massacre of Jews in their synagogue in Pittsburgh. There are actually plans to bring a delegation from Jewish Pittsburgh to join the parade.

At this point gestures are important.

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Calls to Boycott Sabra Hummus
By Micah Halpern

Friday November 16, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Israel is constantly being attacked. Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) is constantly trying to needle Israel.

George Mason University(GMU) in Virginia has a BDS student movement that is sending around a petition to ban Sabra Hummus. They want Sabra products off campus because Sabra sppports the IDF.

The students petition says "In accordance with the call issued by
Palestinian civil society for a boycott, divestment, and sanctions campaign against the benefactors of the illegal occupation, we demand that you cease to stock, offer, and buy the Sabra family of products. Sabra Hummus is co-owned by the Strauss group, which support the Israeli Defense Forces' Golani and Givati Brigades."

GMU is not the first university to attempt to ban Sabra.

Princeton and University of Ottawa has already unsuccessfully attempted to ban Sabra. The call failed for several reasons. Primarily because boycotts are illegal. It also failed because people like Sabra Hummus.

The petition links to specific IDF brigades. That is curious. The reason for the link is that Sabra's parent company Straus and PepsiCo sent care packages to soldiers in those companies.

These boycotts are without real merit. The students from GMU are targeting a company from White Plains, NY. Even if it was an Israeli company -- boycotts are not effective and of course they are illegal.

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Czech FM Visits Western Wall
By Micah Halpern

Thursday November 15, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Czech Foreign Minister Tomas Petricek visited the Western Wall. He was escorted by Israel's ambassador to Prague, Daniel Meron.

This visit enraged Palestinian leadership. They assert that it was a violation of tradition and protocol. They said that third parties should not recognize areas that are in dispute - like East Jerusalem.

The official Czech response is that their foreign minister is in Israel for the 6th annual Czech -Israel Forum. He will also visit the Czech House near the Cinemateque movie theatre. The Czech House is the planned space for the Czech embassy when it moves to Jerusalem.

This trip is more than a simple visit. It is paving the way for moving the Czech embassy to Jerusalem. That is what irks Palestinian leadership the most.

All of these are very good signs from the perspective of Israelis and Czechs.

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Hamas Rockets Killed Palestinian
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday November 14, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Hamas launched over 300 rockets, their intention is to to kill as many Israeli Jews as possible.

As fate would have it, one person was killed by the barrage. That one person is Mahmoud Abbash Asba, a 48 year old construction contractor. He was the only victim - and he is not an Israeli at all. Asba lived in Halhul, an Arab village one mile north of Hebron in the West Bank. Mahmoud Abbash Asba was a Palestinian.

The irony is striking.

Hamas terrorists try to murder as many Jews as possible and instead, they murder a Palestinian from Halhul.

Asba would sleep in Ashkelon near his work site during the week and go home on Friday to be with his family. He was in Israel illegally.

Hamas continues to claim that they shot their rockets into Israel to defend Palestinians. What they are is murderers, the murderers of Palestinians.

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Yesterday Was Tough Day for Israel
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday November 13, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

For Israel, yesterday was the worst of days since 2014.
Yesterday, Hamas launched over 300 rockets into Israel. That many rockets in one day were last launched into Israel four years ago.

Israel struck back hitting over 70 Hamas targets.

50 Israelis were hospitalized. Almost all were suffering from shock.
Three of those injured suffered physical injury.

When Israelis are injured and when rocket fire from Gaza increases to new heights, history tells us that Israel will respond with an increase in force.

Israeli special operations forces in Gaza are what began this recent crisis - there is no question or controversy on that. They were discovered mid-operation in Gaza, Hamas responded and continues to respond.

If Israel increases the intensity of their response, it may include more ground operations.
The situation is not good.

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Israel Operating in Gaza Draws Rockets
By Micah Halpern

Monday November 12, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Israel operates in the Gaza strip more often than one would think.
Their last operation resulted in the death of a 43 year old commander, a Lt Colonel in the IDF. Another officer was wounded.
This is a huge loss.

When Israel goes into Gaza, they go with very clear and specific goals for the operations. They go in with small, highly-trained strike forces with a great deal of experience. They work well together and they work efficiently. They go in on the ground and then often take a vehicle or use one that has been arranged for them through local Palestinian assistance.

These small strike forces move quickly.

Their goals, normally, are to confirm information or to sabotage or destroy targets. Sometimes they are there to kidnap or assassinate terrorist leaders.

When something goes wrong there are contingency plans. In this most recent case, the team was discovered. A firefight ensued and that's when the commander was killed and the officer was wounded. Within seconds IDF helicopters came and fired on the Hamas positions giving cover to the IDF team. Other helicopters landed to evacuate the wounded and the rest of the team.

Knowing what to do when things do not go as planned is a critical part of every operation.

Hamas is still responding to the Israeli operation. They are lobbing mortars from Gaza into Israel. Of the 80 mortars lobbed so far today, one mortar resulted in a direct hit on an Israeli bus.

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