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Iran Says Mistake to Trust the US
By Micah Halpern

Sunday July 22, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Anyone who thinks that Iran will negotiate with the United States as a tactic to relieve the pressure of upcoming sanctions against them doesn't understand Iran.

Iran's leader, the Grand Ayatollah Khameinei, has said that it would be an obvious mistake to negotiate with the United States because the US is totally untrustworthy and unreliable.

In a meeting with his foreign ministry, the Supreme Leader said: "The word and even the signature of the Americans cannot be relied upon, so negotiations with America are of no avail."

He further explained that It seems clear that negotiations with the US would be an "obvious mistake."

There have been rumors that Iran wants to resume dialogue with the US and even that the United States is actually reaching out to Teheran.

Those rumors seem unfounded given the public messages we are receiving.

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Arab Glides into Syria to Join ISIS
By Micah Halpern

Friday July 20, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

An Israeli Arab is now under arrest and being tried for joining ISIS.

Nidal Salah, along with his friend, used gliders and flew into Syria in October 2015. As he was landing he was shot at - but not shot down. And then, after landing, he was arrested by ISIS and brutally tortured. Finally, Salah convinced ISIS that he wanted to join them. He then fought for ISIS.

Some time later Salah escaped and hired a smuggler to cross the Syrian border into Turkey. There he met family members. He eventually flew back to Israel where he was arrested and now charged.

The gag order was lifted yesterday, after his indictment.

As shocking as it is that an Israeli would join ISIS, it is even more shocking that he would return to Israel. When he was still in Turkey Salah's family brought over an Israel lawyer - he knew he was going to be arrested.

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China Invests in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Thursday July 19, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

China is going to overtake the United States in foreign investments in Israel.

This is very big news.

In the year 2016 alone, China's investments in Israel tripled to $16billion dollars - all in one year alone.

China is set on investing in Israel to get their hands on new technology. Israel is the center of that new tech. China knows that in order to be part of that technology, they need to be close to Israel.

They Chinese can't invent the tech, but they can invest in it. They invest in the ideas and then own part of the tech.

This will put the Chinese in competition with the United States which does the exact same thing.

Of course there are dangers in accepting Chinese investments, but the dangers pale in comparison to the benefits.

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Iran Takes US to World Court
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday July 19, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

It's pure Chutzpah - there is no other word for it.

Iran is taking the United States to the World Court, officially known as the United Nations International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Iran is suing the United States over the new sanctions being imposed on them. Their filing asserts that the US is in violation of a 1955 bilateral trade treaty between the two nations.

Sanctions or disrupting the free trade between the two countries is a breach of that treaty.

Iran is actually asking for a provisional ruling so as to lift the sanctions in the meantime and to then set a court date for complete arguments to be heard.

The United States will argue that the World Court does not have jurisdiction.

In fact, the World Court both does and does not have jurisdiction.

They are the go to address for countries when there is a treaty violation. But the 1955 treaty was with a different Iran and the sanctions the United States is instituting are part of a foreign policy of a sovereign nation - and that does not fall within the jurisdiction of the World Court.

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Hamas is Failing in Gaza
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday July 17, 2018

I've Been Thinking:


Hamas is claiming that Israel wants to de-stabilize Gaza in the hope of making the situation so intolerable for Gazans, that they will rise up against Hamas leadership.

Hamas leadership is asserting that that is why Israel shut the Kerem Shalom crossing to all goods except for food and medicine, and even those exceptions must receive prearranged permission to cross the border.

Hamas issued a statement saying: "Israeli sanctions demonstrate its desire to increase the siege of Gaza and commit more crimes against its people. The world must end its silence in the face of Israel's crimes against humanity."
Hamas is not entirely wrong.

Israel is using the border closure as a vehicle to try to influence the masses who live in Gaza.

Israel is tightening the screws in order to force Gazans to rise up, to wrest control from their leadership and to act to defend themselves.

Israel wants life to be better for Gazans.

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Iran Must Decide about Syria
By Micah Halpern

Monday July 16, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Iran is facing a real dilemma. They must decide what to do in Syria.

The civil war in Syria, is drawing to an end. Bashar Assad is clearly in power and Iran's role in Syria is going to have to change.

Russia does not want the Iranians in Syria, mostly because Iran complicates their role own in Syria. Russia wants every power out of Syria except for Hezbollah and Russia.

Iran needs to calculate whether there is a positive role for them to play in Syria. Most analysts would say Iran is no longer helpful in Syria, so they should leave. But Iran has no interest in giving up any power or influence.

Iran has asserted that the only way they would even consider leaving Syria is if Assad asked them to leave. That would happen only if Russia demands that Assad make the request and make it both publicly and privately.

If Iran retreats from Syria it will draw down tensions and make for a safer region.

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