A 3 State Solution Not 2
By Micah Halpern

Thursday April 14, 2011

I've Been Thinking:

PA Prime Minister Salim Fayyad has begun to make public his economic plan for Palestinian statehood.

Fayad has distributed his plan to donor nations scheduled to meet in June. He hopes to collect $5 billion in order to put his three-year plan into place. The plan is to present statehood to the General Assembly of the United Nations in September.

By all estimates the decision will fly through the United Nations.

The Fayyad plan is very detailed. He lists dollar amounts required to build, stimulate and create a stable economy that will become self sufficient over time. The declaration of statehood and recognition by the world is pretty straight forward. The PA will ask that a Palestinian state be established in the post '67 West bank and Gaza areas - the terminology used by the Palestinian Authority is the post 1967 occupied territories.

The major problem with the entire plan is that it speaks in detail about Gaza - both in terms of economic growth and the bureaucratic role it will play. But Gaza is not controlled by the PA. Hamas controls Gaza and they threw the Palestinian Authority out in a coup.

This plan would create a 3-state solution, not a 2-state solution. There would be one Israeli state, one Palestinian state in the West Bank and one Hamas state in Gaza.

Three, not two.

Iran Blames US & Israel
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday April 13, 2011

I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday the Iranian foreign ministry issued an official statement about the unrest in Syria. The Iranians are blaming Israel and the United States.

This should not surprise anyone.

Ramin Mehmanparast is the spokesman for the foreign ministry. He said : "What is happening in Syria is a mischievous act of Westerners, particularly Americans and Zionists."

The Iranians never call Israel by its name. They always say the "Zionists" or the "Zionist entity." Instead of saying Israel, the leaders of Iran insist on referring to the 19th century nationalism called Zionism - a European ideology and phenomenon, which has no place in the Middle East.

Iran refers to this external ideology in order to discredit Israel's ancestral, historical and biblical claim to exist.

There is a method behind every utterance and every action taken by Iran. We must always remember that.

Egypt Arrests Blogger
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday April 12, 2011

I've Been Thinking:

A blogger in Egypt was sentenced to 3 years in prison for blogging.
Yes this is the new Egypt - and its very much like the old Egypt.

Maikel Nabil Sanad, a 26 year old, wrote in his blog that the army has been brutal. He was not writing history.

Sanad was writing about daily abuses against Egyptians at the hands of the army. It was the same army that stood still during the revolution and that ousted Mubarak.

The army stood silently by because they were ordered to do so. The leaders of the army under Mubarak were disillusioned and wanted him out. But they continue to rule the country just like he did - with an iron fist.

On Sunday Sanad was sentenced without his lawyer. The only reason we know any of this is because the information was leaked to human rights groups who came out and blew the whistle.

Who ultimately rules? The internet rules, even in Egypt.

Goldstone and Danon Libel in the US
By Micah Halpern

Monday April 11, 2011

I've Been Thinking:

Israeli Knesset member Danny Danon had serious meetings with lawyer friends in the United States.

Danon and his friends are filing papers against Judge Richard Goldstone for libel against Israel. They think that they have a case because in his now famous recant in the Washington Post, Goldstone referred to the tremendous damage his report did to Israel's reputation.

This, the group asserts, is the definition of libel.

The problem is that according to US law, you cannot libel a country. Adding to the difficulty of this case is the knowledge that it is very difficult to win a case of libel when a politician is involved. The United States heard a case of libel where then Israel Defense Minister Ariel Sharon claimed that Time Magazine libeled him - that Time clearly knew the facts and nevertheless, printed the opposite.

Sharon won the case against Time but was awarded only $1 in damages. It was a pyrrhic victory. It proved the principle, but it also proved that despite overwhelming evidence, US courts do not sympathize with foreign political figures.

Glenn Beck
By Micah Halpern

Sunday April 10, 2011

I'm Predicting:

Wednesday's announcement that Glenn Beck will be stepping down from his 5pm cable news show on Fox is still being talked about, celebrated and bemoaned.

People on the left are gleeful. They despise Beck. They hate Beck more for his ideas than for his huge numbers and viewers.
But they are mistaken to celebrate.

Beck is not going away, he is going to new media. He will do Fox specials. And the new media he is involving himself with will reach many more people and many more young people than his 5pm show ever reached - even at his height. Beck will bring his audience to the new media and his ideas will be a much more serious force - way beyond that of the simple one dimensional flat TV screen.

Much of what Glenn Beck will be doing will be done through Fox's new media division in cahoots with his media company

This move is huge for Fox. Bringing a block buster into the new media will propel them into the next generation.

Glenn Beck and Roger Ailes are once again demonstrating their brilliance and keen understanding of media and human nature.