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Iran Favors Brexit
By Micah Halpern

Thursday June 30, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Iran is elated about the Brexit vote.

The Iranians claim that they believe in democratic voting and so they supported the vote about leaving the EU. The Foreign Ministry statement read "As a democratic establishment, the Islamic Republic of Iran respects the British people’s vote on leaving the European Union, and considers that as being in line with the will of majority of that country’s people to adopt their own foreign policy."

It sounds good, but it is truly irrelevant.

The real reason Iran supports Brexit is because the United States was in support of remaining.

In addition, the Iranians perceive England to be a huge trading partner and they want to expand their trade with Iran.

Every country has an agenda. Iran is no exception.

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Germany to Lease Israeli Killer Drones
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday June 29, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Israel will lease 5 drones to Germany in a deal worth 600 million Euros.
There are two fascinating components to this deal. The first is that Germany did not lease or buy the US drones, but chose Israel instead. After all, the US Predator and Raptor drones are part of the United State’s highly developed weapons cache.

Israel has a wide range of drones and they are the leaders in technology in the field. The Germans are leasing the Eitan which is called the Heron TP.
It is huge, weighing over 5 tons. Its wingspan is 86 ft and it is 43 ft long. The Eitan can carry an additional 4000 lbs of equipment. (bombs).

And that leads to the second very interesting dimension to this deal. The
Germans said that the Heron can carry and shoot missiles, rockets and bombs. The Germans used older versions of these drones to attack in Afghanistan.

The Germans were revealing a well hidden secret
Israel has never admitted that they make drones that can be armed with weapons. The Germans just disclosed that very important piece of information.

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US May Buy Iron Dome
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday June 28, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

The US is considering buying the short range interceptor missile, the famous Iron Dome, from Israel.

The idea is to use the Iron Dome in Europe to protect against Russian missiles that could attack European cities. The US already has anti missile batteries in Poland and the Czech Republic. Russia has interpreted this as a major threat against them and an increased US direct involvement in Central and Eastern Europe.,

US Major-General Glenn Bramhall of the US Army's Air and Missile Defense Command just visited Israel and discussed details of buying the Iron Dome or major segments of it.

Israel developed the Iron Dome with the financial help of the United States.

There were many conditions placed on the money. Israel cannot sell it to just anyone. But they can certainly sell it to the United States.
Interestingly, there have not been many potential buyers for the missile despite it 90% success rate against the rockets shot at Israel from Gaza.

The original Iron Dome was limited to a range of only 3 - 43 miles. But with improvements that expand its range to 95 miles this short range interceptor now encroaches into the range of a mid range interceptor allowing for a near total defense shield.

The United States is thinking critically and strategically with this military purchase.

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The Pope & Turkey
By Micah Halpern

Monday June 27, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Pope Francis just finished a visit to Armenia and, as expected, he ruffled Turkey's feathers.

When the Pope arrived he made a clear declaration condemning the Turkish- led Armenian Genocide as a planned attempt to murder Armenians.

In response the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Nerettin Canikli, called the Pope’s declaration "greatly unfortunate." He said that the Pope was showing a bias that resembled "the mentality of the Crusades."
Last year Pope Francis made a similar statement condemning the Armenian Genocide which resulted in the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians. As a result Turkey withdrew its ambassador from the Holy See for ten months, only now returning to their post in Rome. The Turks accused the Pope of spreading lies.

The Turkish claim is that people died on both sides and that it was the middle of WWI just as the Ottoman Empire was breaking down. They also simply say that the number 1.5 is a huge exaggeration.

Turkey is in the midst of trying to resurrect diplomatic relations with Israel. The day before the preliminary deal was signed Turkey hosted a formal meeting with the head of Hamas.

Turkey appears to have a warped sense of the code of conduct for the art of diplomacy and they just don't know how to get along with others.

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Muslims Sworn into IDF
By Micah Halpern

Sunday June 26, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Muslim soldiers were recently sworn in to the IDF.

Most of the soldiers are Bedouins. They were sworn into the Desert Corp. They will probably be trackers, a task that Bedouins have traditionally excelled in for decades.

These Muslim soldiers swore their allegiance to defend the State of Israel. They each received a weapon and a Koran.

The ceremony took place at the Memorial for Fallen Bedouin Soldiers in the Negev Desert in the southern part of Israel.

Israel wants and needs Bedouin input in the IDF and in Israel society.

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New ISIS Hit List
By Micah Halpern

Friday June 24, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

ISIS just released a new hit list of 8318 people from around the world and almost all 8000+ were from the US.

The United Cyber Caliphate put the list on line. The list includes names, addresses, and email addresses belonging to 8,318 people.

Names come from the United States, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Brazil, China, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, Trinidad, and Tobago. On Vocativ reports of the 7,848 Americans listed, 1,445 had addresses in California, 643 in Florida, 341 in Washington, 333 in Texas, 331 in Illinois, and 290 in New York.

An interesting point is the Vocativ also found that 4000 names and details were found on an earlier hit list from Linkedin created in 1999.
This new ISIS list was unique in its own way. While it was a list of enemies - earlier lists were actually entitled hit lists. This list was not.

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Israel & Turkey to Mend Relations
By Micah Halpern

Thursday June 23, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Israel and Turkey will normalize relations this weekend. The information was leaked yesterday. This will bring a final conclusion to six full years of diplomatic conflict between the two nations.

There will be an official announcement at a joint meeting between Israel and Turkey and then ambassadors will once again be dispatched.

Israel had earlier agreed to compensate the families of the ten Turks killed in the Israeli operation that stopped the flotilla of Turkish ships from breaking the sea barricade against Gaza.

Israel announced that they "regretted what happened." At the time, that was not enough for Turkey - they wanted an apology. Israel did not want to issue an apology. That would have meant that Israel's actions were wrong and unjustified. And of course Israel does not think they were wrong or unjustified.

Six years later Israel issued an "apology". There are two reasons for the change in terminology. One is that Israel wants Turkey back on board. The second reason is that six years is enough time for the people of Israel not to be upset and may not even see the difference in meaning between regret and apology.


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