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Abbas in France
By Micah Halpern

Sunday September 23, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron insists that talks resume between Israel and the Palestinians. To that effect, his office released this message: "to resume the thread of dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis and confirmed to President Abbas the willingness of France to mobilize on the diplomatic field, in order to change a situation that is no longer tenable."

Abbas explained that Palestinians are not against talks, it's just that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the reason for the stalled talks.

Abbas was happy to hear that France would like to take the lead in a future dialogue between Israel and the Palestinians. One reason for their excitement is that with France taking charge, Israel would, of course, be sidelined.

There is no chance that this will happen. Israel will never let that happen.

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Iran's Drills and Maneuvers
By Micah Halpern

Friday September 21, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Iran has been running military drills in the Persian Gulf. They have set off test rockets and they had ground maneuvers.

A country, especially a country like Iran which is feeling more and more isolated and threatened, has only a few options for regaining honor and pride and for sending a message to those poking and provoking them.

Iran's maneuvers are clear statements against the United States, the West and all other countries joining in US-sponsored sanctions against them.

These military exercises are carefully designed by Iran to make certain that their neighbors understand that they are capable of hitting anyone at any time.

Iran's maneuvers are a clear statement and part of that statement is a military threat.

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Iran Feeling the Sanctions Pressure
By Micah Halpern

Thursday September 20, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Iran is starting to feel the pressure of the US sanctions that are already in place and of future sanctions, those on oil that will on start November 4th.

Iran is responding by saying that the sanctions will not be that effective.

Moayyed Hosseini Sadr, an adviser to Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said, "Considering the high demand and low supply in the market, America's sanctions cannot drop Iran's oil sale to zero ... Other oil producers cannot replace Iran's oil."

Sadr is correct about the demand for oil - it is high.

BUT - here's the big question: is buying from Iran to meet your needs and even possibly undercutting the world market rate worth the potential backlash and wrath of the United States????

That is the question that needs to be answered.

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Syria Down Russia Plane
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday September 18, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Reports abound that Syria accidentally shot down a Russian IL-20 aircraft carrying 14 Russian servicemen.

Some background is required.

The Syrians have beefed up their anti-air defenses with the help of Russia. Yesterday - and the day before, missiles were headed toward the Syrian port of Latakia. According to Israeli sources, Latakia port was storing new weapons that would alter the status quo.

So Israel launched an attack against the weapons cache in Latakia.

On Sunday night Syria successfully struck some of the incoming Israeli rockets. But Monday night, rather than shooting down Israeli planes, they mistakenly shot down the planes of their ally, Russia.

One of the dangers of having hi-tech weapons is that when using them they can cause great damage.

The irony should not be lost. Russia improves the anti-missile defense system of Syria only to be shot down by that very system.

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A Hero Murdered
By Micah Halpern

Monday September 17, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Ari Fuld was murdered in cold blood yesterday by a 17 year old Palestinian terrorist.

Ari was a hero, cut down in the prime of his life in the parking lot of a Gush Etzion shopping mall, a spot frequented by both Palestinians and Israelis.

Hamas and Islamic Jihad of Gaza both issued statements supporting the murder of this father of four.

They proclaimed: "We welcome the stabbing attack in Bethlehem, which coincided with the killings of our people during the March of Return."

"The attack makes it clear that our people wish to continue the Jerusalem intifada. To resist the occupation, by using all means necessary, is our legitimate right."

"The attack is a natural response to the aggression and crimes perpetrated by the Zionist terrorists against our people, our land and our holy places. We praise our people in the West Bank and call for a continuation of resistance against Israel and attacks against the settlers."

These comments are official - they not off the cuff.

These terrorists want to stimulate more terror and to murder more innocents. They take pride in the murder of Ari Fuld. They justify the murder of Ari Fuld. They may think of themselves as freedom fighters, but they are nothing more than cold blooded murderers.

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Palestinans Say No Peace Deal!
By Micah Halpern

Sunday September 16, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinians, has made it very clear that Palestinians will not accept any US peace plan. More than that, he suggested that the United States will never even present the plan.

Erekat explained the reason for the Palestinian rejection by saying that the United States has sided with Israel on every issue.

In a Reuters interview which took place in Jericho, Erekat said: "I don't think they will ever introduce a plan."

He continued: "The whole world is rejecting their ideas. They are already implementing their plan by changing the terms of reference."

Erekat is not a prophet - but he is correct that, at this point, the US sponsored will not succeed. No peace plan will succeed if one of the parties refuses to participate.

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