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Hamas: Murder the Jews Everywhere
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday July 16, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

In the middle of his recent Friday sermon, a fiery charismatic Hamas Sheik named Fathi Hamad shouted that Arabs should murder Jews all over the world. He demanded that followers murder Jews in Israel and everywhere else.

A few days later Ahmed Yosef, who has a direct line to Hamas leader
Ismail Haniyeh, publicly condemned Hamad for calling for the murder of all Jews.

Yosef said: "The language of knives and explosive belts is not suitable for statesmen ... And the talk of killing Jews using this kind of language contradicts religion and morality."

Yosef continued: "Hamas is not against world Jewry, and not even against Judaism as a religion."

This exchange is illustrative of an important issue.

Traditionally, Palestinians terrorists struck out against Western targets, and, of course, against Jewish targets. Particularly in Europe. Then they changed course, turned inward, and focused on Israel only.

Today we are witnessing a conflict between the two perspectives and focus of Palestinian terror. There are those who still believe that Jews around the world should be murdered and those who believe in targeting only Israeli Jews.

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Why is Russia so Involved?
By Micah Halpern

Monday July 15, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Ever wonder why Russia is so involved in the Middle East and so committed to Iran?

I'll explain:

First and foremost, there is a significant Muslim population in Russia. And Russia needs to placate their citizens. There has been some Russian / Muslim tension and it is important to tamp it down.

Next is that the United States has significant influence in the region. And for Russia, it is very important to keep US interests in check. It is that attitude alone that informs large swaths of Russian foreign policy.

Third comes proximity. Russia itself, is actually located in the region. Their former states are even closer, extremely close, to Iran and to the entire Middle East.

Finally, Russia and Iran are linked economically. They are enormous oil producers. Russia is also a huge provider of much of what Iran needs.


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Hezbollah Threatens Israel
By Micah Halpern

Sunday July 14, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah went public today outlining the next conflict with Israel.

Nasrallah announced: "In the next war with Israel we will have surprises in land, air and sea." He went on and explained that "the resistance" which means perpetrators of terror and his own forces can reach "the whole of Israel until Eilat." Eilat is the southern-most part of Israel.

There was more. Nasrallah said he is "confident of victory" and confident that "Israel is weaker than a spider web ... Life and death are in the hands of God, yet logic points to me praying in al-Aqsa mosque."

Nasrallah described how Hezbollah could strike "sensitive targets" in the southern and northern Israel. 'In a next war with us, Israel will be fighting for its existence ... and I will be praying in Jerusalem".
The comments were made during an interview on Al-Manar TV, the Hezbollah TV cable station.

Explaining that Hezbollah is not afraid even though Israel has previously killed many Hezbollah members and will target them, he said: "Hezbollah is an organization that doesn’t depend on anyone ... There were those who died and those who left the organization, and it didn't affect us."

Nasrallah cautioned that Hezbollah will target the city centers: "There's no need for us to harm soldiers. Instead of wasting missiles on the north, we will attack the south ... "We'll bring Israel back to the Stone Age."

Explaining one of his targets Nasrallah explained that: "Israel tried to get rid of the ammonia tanks in Haifa and did not succeed. We only need a couple of rockets to hit these tanks, and the number of fatalities will be very large, even Israelis themselves say that."

The leader of Hezbollah emphasized that: "Everything I've presented is the minimum of our abilities. It's important to me that Israelis understand that."

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu responded very quickly to Nasrallah's remarks by saying: "Over the weekend we heard Nasrallah's remarks on his attack plans. It should be clear that if Hezbollah dares to do some nonsense and attacks Israel, we will hit him and Lebanon with a crushing military blow."

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Make Israel Normal Again
By Micah Halpern

Friday July 12, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

The election in Israel will be held on September 17th.
After the April election, Avigdor Lieberman was the man responsible for preventing Benjamin Netanyahu from creating the coalition government he needed to cinch the position of prime minister - thereby forcing the new election.

On Thursday Lieberman and his party, Y'Israel Beitenu (Israel is Our Home), released a campaign ad that unveils a new slogan.
The 30 second video which was released via Twitter runs under the phrase "This is not Las Vegas." The ad cuts to a slot machine with photos of Netanyahu's potential coalition partners and labels them all as extremists. Next comes a derogatory comment about potential coalition members if the Blue and White party were to win.

The ad finishes with a flourish. In white letters, against a blue background, with a blood red exclamation point for added emphasis - and in English - is the phrase "Make Israel Normal Again!"

The allusion to Donald Trump's "Make American Great Again" slogan is obvious. The substitution of the word "normal" is critical. Normalcy is a political and defense condition Israelis yearn for.

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Israeli Arab High Jumper Represents Israel- Called a Traitor
By Micah Halpern

Thursday July 11, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Hanin Nasser is an Israel Arab, she is also Israel's best female high jumper. Nasser will represent Israel in the European Athletic U23 Championships.

And that upsets some Arabs.

Hirak Haifa, a group of Israeli Arab activists, is pressuring Hanin Nasser to back out of the competition. They went public with a statement. This is how it read:

"We condemn her representation of the Zionist entity that uprooted our people and is using her as a fig leaf to cover up the racism and crimes of Israel."

The group also sent a personal note to Nasser asking her not to represent Israel.

What frightens haters more than anything else is normalization. In their narrow world, freedom and democracy are treated as treason.

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Israel Stopped 50 Terror Attacks Worldwide
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday July 10, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

The Jerusalem Post published a report yesterday informing us that the Mossad has announced that Israel prevented and intercepted 50 terror attacks by Iran and ISIS over the past 3 years.

Twelve of those attacks were planned for Turkey. Some were halted at the very last minute.

Turkey's relations with Israel have been very rough since 2010. That's when a Turkish aid ship, part of a flotilla, was boarded by Israeli commandos.

Turkish President Erdogan has been a vocal critic of Israel at almost every turn.

And yet, despite the vitriol being spewed against them, Israel is convinced that helping stop terror everywhere is the right thing to do. Israel's leadership also believes that these connections will help Israel further improve relations with countries all around the world.

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Israeli Plans For Iran
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday July 9, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Iran's moves to increase the enrichment of their uranium has upset the countries who signed on to the now infamous deal with Iran.

It appears that the deal has no teeth. That there is no way to force Iran to comply with the deal.

Additionally, this deal leaves Israel in a very precarious situation.

Questions arise. How will Israel respond to the new threats?

It should be perfectly clear to everyone that this assertive move by Iran is, first and foremost, a direct threat against Israel. And then it is a threat to the rest of the Western world. But location is everything and Israel is in the neighborhood - in the target zone, in the cross hairs, of Iran.

Israel has a history of interceding when it perceives threats to be developing. In 1981 Israel attacked and destroyed the nuclear reactor in Iraq. In 2007 Israel attacked and destroyed the nuclear center in Syria.

If Iran pushes too hard, Israel may very likely strike Iran's nuclear system.

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Why Generals Are Running Against Bibi
By Micah Halpern

Monday July 8, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Have you ever wondered why so many generals are vying for political leadership in Israel?

One former general cum present contender was the most decorated Israeli general ever. Another was the head of the Mossad, another the head of internal security and another was chief of staff of the IDF.

Ostensibly the argument is that these former generals want to protect Israel and disagree with Prime Minister Netanyahu's point of view on safety and security. But that's not really true.

The truth is that these generals want to trade in their name recognition for political power and ultimate control.

They may disagree with Netanyahu about a two-state solution or about how harsh to be with Iran, but on most of these topics they are on the same pages with only nuanced difference.

They all worked for Bibi and now they want to oust him. They think that their IDF experience will win over the Israeli masses and lure them away from a leader they perceive to be a demagogue and a danger to Israel.

They want to save Israel from Bibi Netanyahu. And each of these generals wants to be the person who replaces him.

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J.Lo in Tel Aviv Aug 1
By Micah Halpern

Sunday July 7, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Jennifer Lopez, J. Lo to her fans, will perform in Tel Aviv on August 1st. The Tel Aviv concert is part of a sold out, 30 concert tour, entitled "It's My Party." The tour began in Las Vegas.

Accompanying Lopez on her trip to Israel will be her fiance, New York Yankee legend Alex Rodriguez, aka A Rod.

BDS supporters are applying tremendous pressure. Their goal is to prevent the concert by forcing force J Lo to cancel.

In a letter BDS supporters wrote: "Boycott! Supporting the Palestinian BDS call from within".

The letter described the Israeli "government's policies of oppression, occupation, apartheid and ethnic cleansing against the indigenous Palestinian people."

"To understand why we are writing you, we would like to start off by saying that, much like Sun City in South Africa under the apartheid regime, the city of Tel Aviv, where you are about to perform, is used as a tool for marketing the State of Israel as a 'cool' and 'cultured' democracy, while hiding a brutal history of colonization, even that of the city itself".

A Rod's responded to the letter by saying in an interview: "I'm going to Israel, so I am so excited, it's my first time."

So far the performer and her celebrity fiance are standing strong against the BDS pressure. If they do not succumb, J Lo and A Rod will witness - with their own eyes, the wonders of Israel. They will understand the lies BDS is spreading. And this concert and their trip will be an inspiration for those who are curious about Israel and for the many lovers of Israel constantly libeled by BDS canards.

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Erdogan Offers to Mediate
By Micah Halpern

Friday July 5, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered to mediate the conflict between the United States and Iran. He said that he wanted to help ease the tensions that continue to ratchet up between the two countries.

Erdogan made his suggestion at the G-20 meeting in a conversation with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Surprising as it may seem, it is actually a very good idea.

Erdogan is perfectly positioned to mediate. He is distrusted by both parties - and yet, he is also close with both parties. Erdogan shares strategic economic objectives with both the United States and Iran.

I look forward to hearing the responses - if any, of both the United States and Iran to Erdogan's gesture.

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UN:Miss Iraq Says She Loves Irsrael
By Micah Halpern

Thursday July 4, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Former Miss Iraq Sarah Idan and former Miss Israel Adar Gandelsman are friends. Their relationship began in 2017 at the Miss Universe competition.

Ms. Idan posted a picture of herself with Ms. Gandelsman and wrote: "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel." Yesterday Idan was at the United Nations Human Rights Commission speaking about anti-Semitism in the Arab world and about the hatred towards Israel that is taught in the Arab world.

In 2018 Sarah Idan visited Israel.

While in Israel Idan said: "The issue between Arabs and Israelis goes beyond policy disagreements. It's deeply rooted in the belief systems taught in Muslim countries, which are anti-Semitic."

Yesterday, at the UN she said: "Two years ago, I represented Iraq at Miss Universe. I posted a photo with Miss Israel on social media. I was told to remove it and forced to denounce Israeli policies. I received death threats. Since then, I can no longer return to my homeland," she further recalled in Geneva,

While in Geneva, home of the UN Human Rights Commission, Idan made a point of mentioning that the Iraqi government did not condemn the threats, nor did they protect her freedom of expression.

She also spoke out denouncing Hamas:
"When I watched the news last month, why did they never report that the Hamas terrorist organization fired nearly 700 rockets at Israeli civilians in one weekend or that Hamas used Palestinians in Gaza as human shields? Why do they never condemn Hamas for initiating the attacks? Instead, they only show those killed by the response, in self-defense, and blame Israel."

Idan concluded her remarks by saying:
"For advocating peace, I'm called a traitor ... negotiating peace for both states isn't betraying the Arab cause but a vital step to end conflict and suffering for all. Thank you."

Thank you, Sarah Idan. The world needs more spokespeople with your courage and commitment to righting wrongs.

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Russia is Striking Hospitals
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday July 3, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Since April, when Russia launched an offensive to recapture the area of Idlb in Syria, the Russians have bombed more than 23 hospitals in the region.

Mark Lowcock is the UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs. He reported to the Security Council about the attacks on the hospitals.

Lowcock told the Security Council that he sent a letter to Russia asking for an explanation about the clear targeting of hospitals. He said that he was "not sure" why Russia would act in this way.

Last week, on June 20th, an ambulance with a pregnant woman being rushed to the hospital was targeted by Russia.

Lowcock has tried to find out how and why that happened. "I have written to the Russian Federation to request information as to how the details provided through the de-confliction mechanism are used."

Russia has not yet responded.

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Bank Leumi Appoints Arab Chair
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday July 2, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

Israel once again proved itself a wonderful democracy. The largest investment bank in Israel, Bank Leumi just named an Israeli Arab as their new chairman of their board.

On Sunday Dr. Samer Haj-Yehia was selected by the bank's board of governors.

Haj-Yehia earned a PhD in macroeconomics from MIT. He earned an MBA in finance, a master's degree in accounting and economics and a law degree.

His resume is very impressive. As the new chairman of the board I am certain that the bank will continue to grow financially.

The most important lesson here is that his election was not a token appointment. Haj-Yehia is the perfect candidate for the position.

Israel is a democracy with equal opportunity.

Unfortunately, like any democracy, there are some very vocal racists.

A tiny minority -- and also unfortunately that minority attract the limelight. These racists often catch the attention of the media and they are paraded across headlines.

But they do not represent Israel.

More typical of Israel is this appointment.

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Syria S-300s are Operational
By Micah Halpern

Monday July 1, 2019

I've Been Thinking:

The Israeli intel satellite company ImagSat International released pictures of Russia's four S-300 surface-to-air anti-missile batteries in Syria.

The fourth and final S-300 photographs were made public this weekend.

This information means that it will be much harder for Israel to attack Iranian and Hezbollah targets.

This Russian S-300 weapon is one of the newest and most sophisticated anti-missile systems - and it will most probably be manned by the Iranians.

The four batteries are positioned strategically throughout Syria and will significantly bolster their defense against Israelis airstrikes.

With the S-300 protecting them, Israel will have to work much harder to keep Iran and Hezbollah from amassing weapons and transferring them.

This is a major obstacle for Israel to overcome.

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