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Where Will Russian Run Escape The Cold
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday December 1, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

The conflict between Russia and Turkey has significant ripple effects.

For example, Russia is no longer importing fruits and vegetables from Turkey. The official reason for the ban is contamination of the imported produce. We, of course, know that the real reason is that Turkey shot down a Russia air force bomber.

This is a huge loss to Turkey. 20% of Russian fruits and vegetables are imported from Turkey.

Russia announced that they will pick up the difference by importing fruits and vegetables from Iran and Israel. This, in turn, will be a big boon for Israeli produce exporters.

At the same time, Russians love to escape the cold winters and they were accustomed to fleeing to Turkey. Turkish hotels and charters included very inexpensive, all inclusive, deals. No Israeli hotel can compete with the price, the service, or the standard that Turkey easily provided.

Never the less, the Israeli Hotel Association is lobbying for a huge immediate investment of government tourist advertising funds in an effort to woo this potential new tourist pool. Some Russians might be swayed to come to Israel despite the significant price difference. But most will not.

Also taken off the agenda for Russian vacationers are the chartered, all inclusive trips to the Sinai. ISIS took care of that when they blew up a Russian vacation charter jet killing 224 people.

Sinai was another perfect place for Russian to vacation during the cold winter. And again, the hotels in the Sinai were luxurious and inexpensive.

One night in a 5 star Jerusalem hotel is the cost of a week in Sinai or Turkey.

But at least Israel, along with Iran, will be providing tomatoes to Russia.

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Israel Did Not Shoot Down A Russian Jet
By Micah Halpern

Monday November 30, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

A Russian jet fighter wandered into Israeli airspace ... but it was not shot down. There are several reasons for that.

As I have mentioned, there are 14 separate air forces operating over Syria and there are bound to be mistakes. In this case the Russian jet flew 1.5 kilometers, or about 1 mile, into Israeli airspace and then quickly turned around.

The main reason the plane was not shot down is communication. Israel informed Russia and the Russians told their pilot to turn about.
Communication between Russia and Israel is at the highest operational level. Heads of both air forces met in Tel Aviv to discuss procedures and agreed to inform one another in advance of when they would be operating.

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said: "Russian planes don't intend to attack us and therefore there is no need to automatically, even if there is some kind of mistake, shoot them down."

There have been several Israeli strikes in to Syria and several Russian strikes that hit very close to Israel but they have not become "incidents."

Israel tracks and watches everything that happens in Syria. They monitor the land, sea and air. All this is done to both insure Israel's safety and to gauge the pulse and movement of the conflict within Syria.

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Allahu Akbar is #1 Song in England
By Micah Halpern

Sunday November 29, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Guess what the # 1 song on the British music chart was this week.

It's a song called "Allahu Akbar." The artist performing the song goes by the name DJ Inappropriate. It repeats the words Allahu Akbar, just a dance track and the song title.

Allahu Akbar means Allah is Great.

According to Spotify rankings, "Allahu Akbar" is # 5 on the international chart. Spotify is an excellent method by which to judge the popularity of a single these days.

The song is very popular on the radio and in clubs as well.
"Allahu Akbar" is a dance song. It has been rising slowly in popularity for the past seven months. Since the simultaneous terror attacks in Paris the dance track for "Allahu Akbar" has been high up in the charts hitting the # 1 spot this week.

Some might say that this is a good thing, that it is a healthy response to Islamic terror. Dance instead of kill.

The words Allahau Akbar are part of normal parlance in Islamic prayer and Arabic interaction. In English they are parallel to saying Thank God.

But in the West, these two Arabic words are understood to be a chilling call to murder. Many of the terrorists in Paris shouted Allahu Akbar as they blew themselves up and it is the phrase that was used as other terrorists began shooting at innocent people.

We don't know the reason this title was chosen for the song. DJ Inappropriate is not coming forward to explain.

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Europe is Clueless
By Micah Halpern

Friday November 27, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Europe is clueless about the scourge of terror ravaging the continent.

For decades, Europeans refused to consider themselves part of the problem and refused to entertain the notion that they needed to clamp down on the terror that was swilling around them. Even events of the past few years and these past few months did not sway them.

Leaders, governments, courts, police - none of them had any idea of how deep, how pervasive, how dangerous and how powerful the terror had grown in their own societies.

One would have thought that the Charlie Hebdo attack would have been a wakeup call. Sadly, it was not. We can only hope that the most recent attacks that horrified Paris finally woke Europe up.

There is one sign that change may be happening.

A Belgium court convicted a famous comedian of hate speech and sentenced him to two months in prison and 9000 Euros (about $9500).

Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala, known simply as Dieudonne, has been the center of much hate humor over the past decade. He claims his material is protected by free speech and that it is political and social commentary - not hatred. The court in Belgium has disagreed.

Dieudonne is best known for his "quenelle." I call it the inverted Nazi salute. Right arm stretched down instead of up. Left arm across chest.

The "quenelle" became a symbol of anti-Semitism. Europeans took pictures of themselves posed in front of synagogues, next to Holocaust survivors, at Holocaust memorials, even in soccer matches and at the Western Wall.

Europe must crack down on hate - on symbols of hate and on hate speech. Terror organizations cannot be protected under freedoms of democracy.

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ISIS Recruits Friends & Relatives
By Micah Halpern

Thursday November 26, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Scott Atran, co-founder of the Center for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Oxford University, made public some very interesting information about the study of ISIS recruits.

Atran said that 75% of all ISIS recruits are recruited by friends.
He also said that 20 % of ISIS recruits are recruited by family -- that means siblings and cousins.

He admitted that mosques have become radicalized but ISIS recruitment very seldom comes from the mosques.

Anecdotal evidence seems to confirm Atran's research and his assertions. We see many sects which include friends from the same neighborhood. These are friendships that date back decades. When looking at those who perpetrate terror attacks we see an uncanny number of siblings and cousins.

This means that radicalized mosques are not the hotbed of recruitment that we may have thought. And hard core recruiters are less effective than we gave them credit for.

Contacts and connections are the most effective recruitment tools.
This knowledge should allow us another set of methods to use to interrupt recruitment. Find friends and find siblings.

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14 Air Forces Fly in Syria
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday November 25, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

A Turkish F-16 shot down a Russian SU-24 yesterday. This is a very ominous set of events. Turkey is claiming that they warned the Russian pilot ten times in five minutes to leave Turkish air space.

Russia will not let this action go unanswered.

The atmosphere is very tense in the air in and around Syria. Fourteen air forces fly in Syrian skies. Fourteen! That fact alone is cause for worry - mistakes are made all the time.

The US, Britain, Canada, France, Australia, Russia, Israel, China, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Turkey and of course Syria all fly around in Syria. They are bound to bounce up against one another and it is inevitable that some country, at some time, will fly out of bounds.

But Russia and Turkey have been testing one another for over a decade. This is not the first skirmish between them that involves planes.

The first incident took place in 2012. A Turkish F-4 reconnaissance plane was shot down. Then a year and a half later Turkey shot down a Syrian MIG and a helicopter. The Turks have repeatedly said that the Russians are violating their airspace. On October 3rd it was reported that a MIG locked onto a Turkish jet.

Russia is now expanding its plane arsenal. They are doubling their number of planes over the next few weeks.

As I said - this was not the first and it will certainly not be the last time there is an incident in the skies of Syria, and it is not the first and not the last time there will be aerial conflict between Russia and Turkey.

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Finally US See ISIS for What it IS!
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday November 24, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

The United States is revamping its perspective on ISIS objectives. Finally!

For the past 18 months the US has called ISIS a "regional threat" and insisted that ISIS was not interested in striking any targets outside of the Middles East.

Of course - that was wrong from the outset.

The US evaluation was so off-base that it endangered not only the US but also Western allies around the world.

To put it succinctly, the US has been absolutely clueless about anything and everything ISIS. Thankfully, they have now re-adjusted their understanding of ISIS and know that it is a world threat and a real and significant threat to the US.

The truth was staring them in the face, but US leaders refused to see it because their preferred ISIS narrative did not see them as a world danger. Not even Charlie Hebdo shook the US out of their fantasy.

The signs and signals were there. But they refused to hear the wake-up calls.

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Missed Red Flags Of Terror
By Micah Halpern

Monday November 23, 3015

I've Been Thinking:

Red flags were missed about the Paris attacks. And for some reason that I cannot understand, mainstream media has not made this information public. It is time for people to know.

These were not small flags, they were major flags.

The list is long. Here are some examples:

One of the terrorists had an international arrest warrant out on him, another was on an international watch list.

A third terrorist had missed his check-in with his official police monitor for three weeks in a row.

Some of the terrorist had been deported to Belgium from Turkey.
Turkey conveyed details of how the terrorists were involved in plans and other information. Then the terrorists arrived in Belgium they said it was untrue they were let go.

Several terrorists were members of a known terror ring in Belgium.

The French were warned by Turkey about this terrorist attack and only after the Friday night horror did France ask for details. Twice they were warned about the first suicide bomber Omar Ismael Msutafei.
Turkey named him by name. Sadly he was the first one identified as a suicide bomber.

According to the reports in Europe there were 24 people in the cell that pulled off the attacks. That included a sleeper cell in France and Belgium. The training for the attacks, run through as well as the planning took place in Raqqa Syria, which is an ISIS regional capital.

Aba'aoud, the ring leader, had bragged that he was able to enter and leave Belgium and Europe at will and without fear of being detained.

Two brothers, Saleh and Ibrahim Abdeslem, were on watch lists.
Ibrahim blew himself up in Paris that Friday night on Boulevard Volatire. Seleh his brother fled to escape. He was apprehended on Saturday, the day after, at the Belgium border and after a short interview he was released and is now in the wind.

Wow. I could not make up these details and they are only a handful of the snafus from before and after the horrific terror attack in Paris.

It is not just France and Belgium that are at fault - the entire system is not set up to stop these acts of terror.

Terror suspects are a different breed. They are not simply criminals. Countries need to apply a different set of conditions of due process.

The threshold for evidence needs to be changed and it needs to be lowered. Police should not need enough evidence for prosecutors to decide whether to charge and convict as they do with common criminals.

The only evidence they should need is the information necessary in order to follow, track.

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Pollard's 1st Wife Sues Israel
By Micah Halpern

Sunday November 22, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Now that Jonathan Pollard has been released on parole there are other details that need to be brought out into the open.

As is often the case, t story is not so simple or straight forward.
Pollard's first wife Anne served 40 months in jail and was released early. She was part of the plea deal that Jonathan made. That deal was later thrown out by the judge.

In 1990, after she was released from prison, she and Jonathan divorced. After Anne got out of jail she came to Israel for a while, but returned to the States.

Now she is suing Israel. She says that throughout the 30 years that Jonathan Pollard was in prison, Israel portrayed her as a crazy woman.

Over the years Anne has tried to get assistance from Israel but they rejected her. She and her father live in NYC and an Israeli embassy official has visited them and discovered that they are both ill and live in terrible poverty.

Now Prime Minister Netanyahu has set up a team to help her. He is said to have told them that Israel has a moral obligation to help them.

It should never have come to this level.

The legal suit being brought by Anne Pollard against Israel has merit.

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What Turns A Kid Into A Suicide Bomber
By Micah Halpern

Friday November 20, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Hasna Aitboulahcen is the name of the 26 year old terrorist in Paris who blew herself up at the safe house as police were closing in to arrest her and her colleagues.

She actually played the victim card and asked the police to come in - but only so that the closer they were to her, the more of them she could kill as she blew herself up.

Instead of police men, Diesel, the police dog was killed in her suicide explosion.

This 26 year old daughter of Moroccan immigrants was a party animal. By all accounts she loved to drink and dance. Then she became hooked on ISIS and turned herself into a suicide mass murderer.

What makes a young woman switch gears so quickly? She was clearly impressionable ... but so are many other women her age.

The answer rests with the recruitment, the recruiters and the media propaganda. ISIS PR is very slick and very convincing. They make young Muslims feel needed and they give them purpose.

Most importantly, ISIS recruiters and the accompanying ISIS propaganda lends these young men and women a tool with which they can redeem and return the honor of Islam in a world that dishonors Islam.

That is how ISIS works. That is why ISIS is so successful at what they do.

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By Micah Halpern

Thursday November 19, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

ISIS released a picture of the type of bomb they used to blow up the Russian airliner that departed from Sharm el Sheik, Egypt.

It was a Schweppes Gold can. Schweppes Gold is a pineapple flavored carbonated soft drink. A huge Schweppes bottling plant is located in Egypt.

This can was put onto the plane. It was probably brought on with the refreshments and nestled between the rest of the drinks.

A tiny explosive - one as small as 500-700 grams which is about the size of a ping pong ball, is enough to blow a hole in a plane's fuselage and cause it to crash.

The soft drink can was hollow allowing for the explosive and ignition switch and timer fit in perfectly. The terrorists probably packed the can so that it did not rattle and made certain that the weight of their can was exactly the same weight as a full can.

Then the terrorists planted the bomb in the guise of a can with drinks that were being loaded onto the plane. That was probably the weakness in security to which ISIS referred.

Another possibility is that part of the cleaning and service crew planted the can in the garbage. Because, as garbage in a closed bin like one in airplane bathrooms, the can would not have been out of place and the worker would not have looked suspicious carrying a Schweppes Gold can.

This was a terrible terror attack and ISIS is rubbing our noses in it.

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Don't Mess w Soccer in Europe
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Europeans are very serious about their soccer or, as they call it, football. Don't ever mess with European football.

The terror in Paris on Friday messed with their football. Three near simultaneous suicide bombers blew themselves up at the stadium that was hosting a football match between Germany and France.
The bombers, as we all well know by now, never made it into the stadium - they blew themselves up outside.

And then, yesterday, European football was messed with again.
This time it was in Hanover, Germany at a match between Germany and the Netherlands. The game was cancelled 90 minutes before it began.

There was a substantial and credible threat of a bomb.

About the stadium scare - a report came in that security found an emergency vehicle filled with explosives. Police did not confirm the report. Also, a local reporter on CNN International reported that a bomb was found at a train station in Hanover. The station was evacuated and people were sent home in an orderly fashion. And then a concert that was supposed to start was cancelled and everyone was sent home.

It is hard to generalize about a large group of people, but Europeans love their soccer and they will not take kindly to people who are disturbing and interrupting their games, even exhibitions matches.

This terror may have an unintended consequence. It may rile up the Europeans enough that they start to protect themselves not only at stadiums, but at other public events and locations, as well.

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Hackers Declare War on ISIS
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday November 17, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Anonymous is a confederation of computer hackers. They are a notorious group. And they have successfully attacked numerous sites around the world.

Anonymous attacked the NY Stock Exchange as part of the Occupy Wall Street Movement. In June of 2015 they shut down the entire internet system of the government of Canada. Anonymous has hacked presidents and prime ministers and defense departments.

Anonymous has also hacked and shut down child porn sites. They have hit banks and private industry like Koch Industries. They also orchestrated a large systematic attack against the Church of Scientology.

Yesterday, Anonymous posted a video to YouTube and declared war on ISIS. The video was in French. The reader was wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and announced that Anonymous will search, will attack and will destroy ISIS.

The reader pledged that Anonymous will find the ISIS website, ISIS players and ISIS contributors and they will destroy them. By destroy
Anonymous means that they will wipe out the ability of ISIS to use the internet. Wherever anything ISIS pops up, Anonymous will shut them down.

Anonymous "declared war" on ISIS.

It was not an idle threat. This is the second time that Anonymous has declared war on ISIS. The first time was after the Charlie Hebdo attack.

Anonymous is very capable. They have people all over the world. Most are good hackers - some are exceptional hackers. The exceptional ones are driven. They do not stop.

Some of the hackers are kids. The first person arrested in the United States for being part of Anonymous was a 19 year old. His name was Dmitry Gunzer. He served 366 days in federal prison.

Anonymous is very dangerous. They tend to like anarchy, but they are also fiercely protective of individual rights - especially the right to live one's own life. And that is why Anonymous has targeted ISIS.

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Paris Theatre Was A Jewish Target
By Micah Halpern

Monday November 16, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

The central target of the ISIS terror attack in Paris on Friday night was the Bataclan theatre.

These terrorists did not select the theatre out of convenience, it was selected because it has been a well known Jewish establishment for decades. Until September the theatre was owned by Jews, two brothers named Marcel and Joel Laloux.

The Bataclan theatre has been the centerpiece of many Jewish conferences and events. Even fundraisers for Friends of the IDF have taken place in the hall. And indeed, over the years, the theatre has been the target of many threats and attempted terror attacks.

Since 2007, numerous videos have been released that threaten the Bataclan theatre. In 2011, Farouk bin Abbas, an Islamic terrorist, admitted under interrogation that he planned to attack the theatre with his terror organization Jayish al Islam.

The reason Abbas gave for planning an attack on that particular theatre was that the owners were Jewish. The BDS movement, too, has targeted the theatre often and pro-Palestinian groups were often seen protesting outside the Bataclan.

The band playing in the theatre at the time of the attack was also important for the terrorist organizers. The group, Eagles of Death Metal, is American and the founder and lead is Jesse Hughes.

In July 2015 Eagles of Death Metal performed at the Barby Club in Tel Aviv. At the time, a huge amount of pressure was brought on the band to cancel their performance. BDS exerted public arm twisting. Even Roger Waters sent a letter to Hughes demanding that they boycott Israel. This is how Hughes put it at the concert:

"I would never boycott a place like this ... You know what I wrote back? Two words ... Never waste your time worrying about what an asshole thinks about you."

Hughes shouted out the two words he wrote to Waters. The Tel Aviv crowd went wild. And then later, during the concert, Hughes remarked: "I've never felt more at home in my life."

So yes - odds are that, along with the Bataclan theatre, the band Eagles of Death Metal was also a target for these terrorists.

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France Still Does Not Understand
By Micah Halpern

Sunday November 15, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Europe still does not understand. It's frustrating, it's infuriating, it's sad. And the United States is not much better.
This is a war not between Paris and ISIS, a war not between Russia and ISIS.

It is a war - and I do not use the word frivolously - between radical Islam and everyone else.

It is a war waged by Jihadists who want everyone to convert to their radical ideology - or die.

It is a war between the terrorists, their supporters and the silent majority of Muslims who look on and do nothing - and the West.

It is a world war and there is no way that anyone can sit it out, sit on the sidelines or claim to be impartial.

In this battle, the terrorists targeted Paris and the West. Paris represents the freedoms that they reject, freedoms that embrace inclusiveness and equality. And France has the numbers.

Attacking France was, in many ways, an easy target for these terrorists.

There are more than a significant percentage of Muslims living in France. It is a country in which the terrorists can recruit and train and easily mix and mingle in society.

The freedoms and protections of individual rights in France allows for terrorist organizations to build their organization and solidify their infrastructure.

From France, terrorists have easy access to weapons and explosives making their way from Libya.

In interviews with people on the street in streets around the world in the aftermath of the Paris attacks, most displayed shock and the horror - and then asked "why?"

Only after you realize that you are a target can you best protect yourself.

The Paris soccer stadium was spared unimaginable carnage because stadiums realize that they are potential targets. This stadium had protections set up in advance of the four attacks for which they were targeted. None of the bombers got in. The lives of thousands of attendees were saved. All because the stadium knew and understood that it was a potential target.

That lesson must be translated, across the board, to everyday life.

It is a lesson Israelis know well. It is how Israelis live their lives and it is how Israel protects itself from terror. Every theatre and every restaurant and every promenade is a target.

Without that understanding, you will never be able to protect yourself and you will always be an easy target.

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The Symbol of the Knife
By Micah Halpern

Friday November 13, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

The use of large knives being used by terrorists to attack Israelis is not accidental. For these terrorists, the knife is a weapon of convenience.

Now, while that statement is true - there's more to it than what is apparent and obvious.

Saif is the word used in Arabic for large knife or small sword. Saif can be found in all aspects of Arabic and Islamic life. And, here's where it gets interesting, the saif is filled with symbolic value.

Throughout history every man carried his own saif, it was an issue of power and defense.

But Islam uses the word saif in a way which resonates with domination. For example:

Saif al Islam means the sword of the submission to Islam.
Saif al Haqq means the sword of truth.
Saif ul Maluk means the sword of the power of leadership, or of the realm, or the governing force.
Saif al Ulla al Masloul means the drawn sword of Allah.
Saif al din means the sword of religion (of Islam).

And then, there is the most famous of all saif - Saif ul Ali.
Saif ul Ali refers to the sword that first belonged to Mohammed and was then handed down to his son-in-law and successor Ali. Ali cleaved off the head and the helmet of an enemy Makkan foot soldier with one flash of his saif. It is with that sword that Ali killed the powerful Makkan fighter Amr in the battle of the Trench in Medina.

The long knives now used by Palestinians to attack Israelis cannot be seen simply as a weapon of convenience. These modern day saif need to be seen as a symbol that returns power to Islam and defends and ensures and protects Islam from any threat.

In the world of Islam, a knife by any other name is not, simply, a knife.

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Hezbollah is Deluded
By Micah Halpern

Thursday November 12, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

President Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu met earlier this week.

Many people concluded that the two leaders spent their time together patching up a badly tattered relationship. They concluded that this visit was really a badly needed opportunity to build bridges and that Netanyahu spent his time in DC talking to both sides of the aisle.
Others came to different conclusions.

Hassan Nasrallah, the head of Hezbollah, delivered a speech on Wednesday. He told his audience that the two leaders actually spent their meeting time discussing Hezbollah. Now, there is no doubt that a few minutes of discussion time were dedicated to Hezbollah in the context of Syria and the stability of Lebanon as it relates to Israel's border. But this was most certainly not a meeting about Hezbollah.

Nasrallah said: "We can be proud that the Little Satan (Netanyahu) and the Great Satan (Obama) dedicated their meeting at the White House to Hezbollah."

He continued -- "Hezbollah is (fighting) on the right front and is having a genuine influence on the region."

Nasrallah ended his speech very crypticaly. He said that if the US were to try to reach out to Hezbollah, it would mean that the US is totally deluded to think that Hezbollah would join them.

Now, how Nasrallah concluded that the Great Satan would reach out to Hezbollah is truly a mystery. Then again, people are often deluded and can have a very unrealistic sense of themselves and reality.
Nasrallah is simply deluded.

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Pollard Release Nov 20th
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday November 11, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Jonathan Pollard is scheduled to walk out of prison on November 20th. In just a few days the end of a very difficult chapter in US/Israel history will be closed.

The terms of Pollard's parole have not been released. The word is that the terms stipulate that Pollard may not leave the country. In other words, he may not go to Israel for the next 5 years. And for the next 5 years he may not grant any interviews.

In July, when his parole was processed, it was thought that the Justice Department could, at any point, challenge the parole and quash Jonathan Pollard's release from prison. At this point is seems like a truly done deal.

I wrote it then and will I repeat it now: The release of Pollard is very important to Israel. There is no doubt in my mind that it is a direct reward to Israel to help soften the blow of the Iranian deal. The talks with Iran were taking place at the very same time that the decision to grant Pollard parole was made.

I am told that Pollard will take up residence in Manhattan. He has a place here and has been promised a job. It won't be an easy transition.

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Stopping Iran's Hackers
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday November 10, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Iranian hackers have been hard at work attacking Western targets.
One of the most notorious hacker groups is nicknamed Rocket Kitten.
The name was dubbed by Western analysts as they were identifying the group.

The group has done some serious damage. Rocket Kitten has launched attacks against EU infrastructure as well as countries within the EU. There have also been attacks launched against Israel especially academics.

The Iranian hackers are using a malware called GHOLE and they have launched a series of continuous operations of attack. One is called Operation Woolen Goldfish. It is a fishing campaign to get the targets to open a link - and then the hackers are in. They successfully compromised 1,600 high profile targets and are now able to spy on them through this operation and discover their secrets.

There is good news. Some of the links that people were lured to click on were not closed. That enabled counter measures and Western analysts have been able to crawl in and follow, watch and infect the infectors.

At one point earlier this year Iran had a foothold in five major satellite communications systems in Europe - they are the data hosting and communications systems of much of Europe. With their malware and spyware, Iran was deeply bedded inside.

After Western analysts burrowed in, they saw the map of what Iran was able to see and realized that it was a total picture of some very sensitive material. Iran had set up a command and control center which was being hosted - unknowingly, by the West inside their supposedly secure data and communications systems.

Now Western analysts have begun counter measures and they have declawed Rocket Kitten. According to the official reports written by Western techies the Iran infection is no longer in the system.

This is a huge setback for Iranian intel and a defeat for Iranian hackers. It is a great victory for the West.

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ISIS Now Have Great Hackers
By Micah Halpern

Monday November 9, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

ISIS has hacked in to 54,000 twitter accounts. Most of the accounts belonged to the CIA, to CentCom (Central Military Command) and to the FBI.

The hackers sent out messages on the hacked accounts supporting ISIS activity. People who owned the accounts looked on, powerless, as their twitter feeds pounded out tweets glorifying the actions of ISIS.

The Cyber Caliphate claimed responsibility. They posted a video explaining their message. The video showed a still Cyber Caliphate person with their symbol and there was a computer muffled voice reading the following statement:

"Praise to Allah, today we extend on the land and in the internet. We send this message to America and Europe. We are the hackers of the Islamic State and the electronic war has not yet begun."

"What you have seen is just a preface of the future. We are able until this moment to hack the website of the American leadership and the website of the Australian airport and many other websites."

We know exactly who founded the Cyber Caliphate. We have a very good sense of those who support it and those who are involved. They are a very capable bunch.

These pro-ISIS hackers have the ability to cause damage on a large scale. I would estimate that even at this stage they could successfully attack a nation and its infrastructure - water, energy (especially electricity) and even communication grids. They could certainly hit small and medium size cities anywhere across the Western world. Large cities would just be slightly more difficult.

It may sound like a sci-fi movie, but this is real.

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Tensions Again Btw US & Israel
By Micah Halpern

Sunday November 8, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu will meet with US President Obama on Monday.

Washington announced last week that they would not be pressuring Israel to make concessions regarding peace with the Palestinians. The announcement continued that not pressuring Israel on this issue will be the policy for the remainder of the Obama presidency.

The purpose of the prime minister's visit to Washington is to get the reward package Israel was promised when the United States signed off on the Iran deal. Netanyahu is going to Washington to pick out and pick up Israel’s goody bag.

We have been told that Israel wants a very significant list of goodies amounting to a $5 billion a year package for 10 years. The current deal between the US and Israel is for $3 billion a year and it is up in 2017.

But we are hearing that the White House is not keen on this increase. The White House is saying that times are tough economically and so Israel must make do with the same package - or less.

If this becomes the scene, expect an explosion.

Israel needs the qualitative advantage on the military side. They need it by a factor of three - not simply better, but a full three times better.

Given the new threat posed by Iran, if the United States will not help Israel, Israel may just have to look elsewhere. Russia and China are waiting in the wings.

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Oil in The Golan
By Micah Halpern

Friday November 6, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Private geologists have announced that they found oil in Israel. And it looks like a huge find.

There are only three problems.
The first problem is that the oil reserves lie deep under volcanic rock.

The second problem is that the only country in the world that recognizes that the site of the oil discovery is in Israel --- is Israel.

Why? Because the oil that was discovered is in the Golan Heights. The Golan came under Israeli military law after the Six Day War in 1967. In 1981 the Knesset passed the Golan Heights Law which applies Israeli "laws jurisdiction and administration" to the Golan.

People often mistake this as annexing. The law and the Knesset fall short of annexing. They specifically do not use the word in the context of the Golan just as they do not use it when referring to Jerusalem.

Finally, the third and last problem is that the oil reserves lie right on the border with Syria. They are only hundreds of yards from where ISIS and al Qaeda and Hezbollah and Assad's forces are fighting.

This is one hot potato - but it might be worth dealing with in a serious way.

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More Lies By Palestinians at the UN
By Micah Halpern

Thursday November 5, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Lies, more lies and still more lies in the UN, perpetrated by the Permanent Observer to the UN representing the Palestinians.

Riyad Mansour submitted a formal complaint against Israel saying that Israel is harvesting the organs of Palestinian terrorists killed by Israel and returned to the PA for burial.

"A medical examination conducted on bodies of Palestinians returned after they were killed by the occupying power found that they were missing organs."

Israel photographs each stage of the process. Bodies received, bodies inspected, bodies stored and bodies transported.

There is no harvesting of organs ... to say that there is, is a modern day blood libel!

This is the same centuries' old libel that has permeated throughout history and springs forth from the hatred of Jews, but with a twist.
It is a classic tale of how Jews take the blood of Christians and Muslims.

This myth resounded throughout the Arab world and now it has found a new forum in the form of a formal complaint presented before the United Nations.

A blood libel - a sham!

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Israel Is Training w/ Arab Forces
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday November 4, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Israel has been involved in joint air force training missions with Jordan. The Israeli military has also been cooperating with other Arab armies.

The news about the military cooperation was hinted at in a press conference - but the hint came from a high level source which means that it was, effectually, a declaration. It was a press conference with Israel's Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon and was later confirmed by US sources.

In July, the United States hosted Operation Red Flag where the US air force and others - including Israel and Jordan, worked together. In one exercise a Jordanian fighter jet refueled over the Atlantic from an Israeli fuel tanker.

Yaalon said "There were Arab pilots there too, and pilots from the various branches of the United States military and other countries."

For years there has been contact between Israel and her neighbors but it was kept very hush hush.

This new cooperation is a result of the Arab nations being very uncomfortable with the Iranian nuke deal and the very public role that Iran is taking in world affairs.

Another example of current cooperation took place the other day after the Russian airliner crashed in Egypt's Sinai Desert. It was Israel's air force that immediately located the crash site for the Egyptians.

The times they are a changin'.

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Iran Tells World Powers Get Serious RE:Syria
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday November 3, 3015

I've Been Thinking:

World powers and regional powers are meeting in Vienna to discuss Syria.

Included in this group is Iran. Iran is, undoubtedly, one of the most important factors influencing the Syrian conflict. They have major numbers of boots on the ground and they supply aPnd support Assad and his forces.

The talks began on Friday.

Iran is, so far, very displeased with the process. They feel that Saudi Arabia is being negative. So on Monday Iran announced that they would pull out of the talks if the parties, especially Saudi Arabia, were not more positive.

"In the first round of talks, some countries, especially Saudi Arabia, played a negative and unconstructive role. Iran will not participate if the talks are not fruitful," announced Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian.

This announcement was carried in the Islamic State News Agency (ISNA) which is an official outlet of the Islamic Republic.

Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia are centuries old. They play out most dramatically in Syria and in Vienna but they also play out almost everywhere in the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia represents the Sunnis. Iran represents the Shiites.

This is how lines are drawn across the Middle East.

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ISIS Video
By Micah Halpern

Sunday November 2, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

On Friday ISIS released a second video in Hebrew. The video began with the message "this is an important announcement to all Jews."

The speaker, in green fatigues, spoke Hebrew with an Arabic accent.
He was very clear about what he had to say.

"My message to the officers and soldiers and all the Jews - we will fight you with God's help, we will come for you from across the world and we will slaughter you like sheep, prepare for the big war, the war of stone and wood. This attack will be soon."

He said: "We will enter al-Aksa mosque as conquerors, using our cars as bombs to strike the Jewish ramparts."

"Do what you will in the meantime until we reach you."
"Then we will punish you ten times for the crimes"
"Soon there will be not a single Jew in Jerusalem. We will kill every Jew in Jerusalem and all of Palestine."

The first video was shorter. It ran about 43 second and was less detailed. This video was more than three times as long, running 2 minutes and 3 seconds.

ISIS is not climbing over Iraq and into Israel, neither are they coming in from Syria as the speaker says. The video is, however, building on fears of the ISIS phenomenon.

ISIS knows that people fear them. They want to make sure that Israel fears them, too.

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Israel Joins Space Cmt
By Micah Halpern

Sunday November 1, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Do you know what COPUOS is? I didn't. COPOUS is a UN committee, the Committee On Peaceful Uses of Outer Space.

There are 139 member states on the committee and Israel was just allowed in. Entry is usually granted by way of general consensus.
But in the case of Israel, Syria forced a vote. The vote was pretty convincing especially considering that it was a UN vote.
117 in favor, 1 opposed, 21 abstentions. Most of the abstentions were Muslim countries.

There is no doubt that Israel can add a tremendous amount to this committee. Israel has already developed a program for tracking space garbage, especially old satellites. Israel has been involved in space for 30 years.

According to some sources Israel will soon launch its Amos -6 satellite. We are told that the Amos-6 has remarkable upgrades and will be a real addition to communication.

The US and Israel also recently signed a 10 year space cooperation deal. This will allow Israel to be involved in the United States journey to Mars - one of the hottest space projects on the US horizon.

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