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Prof Fired for A/S Tweets
By Micah Halpern

Sunday February 28, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to anti-Semitism.

A science professor at Ferris State University in Michigan named Thomas Brennan was fired because of his tweets. There is no hiding it – his tweets were outright anti-Semitic.

The Torch, which is the university student newspaper at Ferris State, printed a screenshot of one of his tweets. It read: “Covid19 is another jewish revolution.”

At the time, the university’s president, David Eisler, said the school was “shocked and outraged by these tweets.” He added that the tweets were “extremely offensive and run counter to the values of our University and our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.”

In November, Brennan was placed on administrative leave until an investigation was concluded.

As a defense, Brennan explained that he thought there were people invading his body and mind. He claims that he was not in control when he wrote those tweets.


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Iran Attacks Israeli Ship
By Micah Halpern

Saturday February 27, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

This week an Israeli cargo ship, the Helios Ray, was hit by 2 missiles while above sea level in the open sea. The shop docked in Dubai in order to repair the holes.
The attack was almost certainly the work of Iran.

Israeli Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi said: "This past weekend we received a reminder from one of the biggest threats in the region, who reminded us that Iran is not only a nuclear threat, but a spreader of terrorisms which carries out terrorist acts and actions against civilian targets."

Iran has identified a very weak link in Israeli security – Israeli shipping in the open seas. Cargo ships at sea are totally defenseless. Israeli ships flying the Israeli flag have only limited security.

This ship, the Helios Ray, was not flying an Israeli flag. It travelled under a Bahaman flag. But Iran knew its origin.

Israel must figure out how to defend ships on the high seas.

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Gantz Visits Jordan
By Micah Halpern

Friday February 26, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The head of Israel’s Blue White Party, Benny Gantz, met with King Abdullah of Jordan on Friday.

The purpose of the meeting was to point out to Israelis that Prime Minister Netanyahu was not welcome in Amman. Bibi has never successfully developed or expanded relations with Jordan.

Gantz is a serious underdog in the upcoming March 23rd elections.

This tete a tete in Jordan was an attempt by Gantz to illustrate how much more likeable to the Arab world he is than Bibi Netanyahu is.

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Israel Gives Vaccines to Syria
By Micah Halpern

Thursday February 25, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

There have been some very interesting developments on the COIVD vaccine front.

One of the most fascinating is mostly speculation - but it is still, very plausible.
Syria received the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. It was given to them by a “friendly nation.” That was how Syrian Health Minister Hassan Ghabash put it, as reported by the official Syrian media outlet SANA.

Now here is where it gets interesting and speculation begins: Russia was running interference and playing mediator between Israel and Syria to swap prisoners for an Israeli woman who accidently wandered into Syria.

To sweeten the pot, Israel bought the Russian vaccine and had the Russians deliver the vaccine to Syria. So who’s the “friendly nation”? That would be Russia.

The private equity company in Russia handling the sale and distribution of the Sputnik V vaccine would not comment.

We may never know the truth or learn more details. But quite possibly, Israel bought the vaccine from Russia and had it sent to Syria in exchange for the release of an Israeli woman.

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Vaccine Diplomacy
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday February 24, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

I call it Vaccine Diplomacy.

Israel is giving COVID vaccines to countries that have already moved, or promised to move, their embassies to Jerusalem.

Israel is giving vaccines to those countries that have opened their diplomatic doors to them.

The ability to vaccinate your citizens, when vaccines are expensive and difficult to come by, is of the great benefits of creating relations with Jewish State.

Honduras, Guatemala and the Czech Republic will all benefit from Israel’s Vaccine Diplomacy.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu explained that: “Our stock is above and beyond what Israelis need; we have more than enough to help out.”

More countries are in line to receive COVID vaccines from Israel – and more and more vaccines are arriving in Israel.

Pfizer was, for a long time, the only vaccine administered in Israel. That’s because Israel agreed to transmit to all the details of the public rollout to Pfizer, allowing the drug company to use Israel as their test country.

Now however the Moderna has arrived. And Israel has more than enough vaccine, allowing them to be generous to their “friends” in need.

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Elections in Iran June 18
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday February 23, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Most people have not marked the date on their calendars, but on June 18th there will be a presidential election in Iran.

The present government, which is run by “moderate” Rouhani will be replaced by – who knows. The field is full of conservatives. Included in the roster of contenders is Irani’s current Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif.

It is too soon to predict the outcome of the election for two simple reasons.
Reason number one is that the Supreme Leader has not yet made his opinion public. And as we all know, in the end it is The Grand Ayatollah who decides who wins an election.

Reason number two is that the only issue of significance in Iran right now is the nuclear question which is all about sanctions and the economy. Until the Biden administration puts their plan of action into play, neither the candidates nor current
Iranian leadership will be able to respond.
We must all be patient and wait.

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Monitor World Leaders
By Micah Halpern

Monday February 22, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

It is important to monitor the activities of leaders of allied countries, not just the actions of our enemies. Their travel and their health can be very telling.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is recovering from a successful surgical operation. The report was issued by the state news agency.

The Crown Prince underwent laparoscopic surgery for appendicitis in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital in the Saudi capital Riyadh.

This is very good news from all points of view.

Most important is that the Crown Prince was quickly diagnosed and that he was brought to a local hospital where a successful and quick surgery was performed.
This shows a change in Saudi policy. In the past, the Crown Prince would have been flown to another nation for his surgery.

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Israel's Cure for COVID
By Micah Halpern

Friday February 19, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Enlivex is an Israeli biotech company specializing in immunotherapy. The company is working on a cure for COVID. They just completed Phase II of trials and the results are very promising.

The drug Enlivex is testing and improving is called Allocetra.

In this second stage, sixteen patients who were all in severe or critical condition survived a 28 day experimental Phase II treatment. At the end of the trial, two of the sixteen patients were in still in critical condition and on ventilators. The other fourteen patients were fully recovered, healthy and released from the hospital.
The average duration of hospitalization after receiving Allocetra, for those who were discharged, was 5.3 days.

In the Phase I trial of the drug, five patients were all in severe condition when they started receiving Allocetra. Their average stay in the hospital was 10 days and they all recovered.

The most significant finding in this study is the improvement that was seen from the first to the second trial. Nearly a 50% improvement. And the time spent in the hospital once the drug was administered went from ten days to five.

There is hope.

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Arrest the Rioters
By Micah Halpern

Sunday February 21, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The rioters who broke into the Capitol on January 6th are, slowly, slowly, all being arrested.

The rioter who sat in Mike Pence’s seat in the Senate and who shouted and posted horrific Jew hatred saying that the Jews control the government and Israel controls governments around the world has been arrested.

His name is Christian Secor. His internet name is “Groyper.” He follows and supports white supremacists. He has praise for shooters who spray their bullets across crowds and murder innocent people and for the neo-Nazi rally that was held in Charlottesville, VA in 2017. His web-posts are littered with racist Jew hatred and with conspiracy theories.

The Department of Justice has prioritized their agenda. Fighting extremism is high on their list.

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Israel's Nano Satellite
By Micah Halpern

Saturday February 20, 2021
I've Been Thinking:


Tel Aviv University launched a nano satellite from Virginia. The satellite is, as the name implies, tiny. It is only 4 inches by 4 inches by 12 inches and weighs just over 5 lbs.

This nano satellite will orbit the earth at an altitude of 250 miles, racing at a speed of 5 miles per second which puts it at a speed of 17,150 mph (27,600 kph). An entire orbit of the earth will occur every 90 minutes.

Tel Aviv University’s nano satellite entered orbit on a NASA supply ship on its way to the international space station. It split off into orbit when it hit its proper altitude.

This is truly remarkable. The technology was created by a few engineers in a university lab - not by a multi-billion dollar company with hundreds of engineers and physicists.

We are witnessing the future of satellites and it is a great equalizer. It is called “New Space technology” as opposed to “Old Space Technology”.
And Israel is on the cutting edge of this technology.


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Chief Rabbi Fires Judge-Refuses to Vaccinate
By Micah Halpern

Thursday February 18, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau suspended a rabbinic judge who serves on the conversion court.

As president of Supreme Rabbinical Courts, Rabbi Lau has the authority to suspend judges for behaviors deemed inappropriate. This judge refuses to take the COVID vaccine.

In a statement issued by Rabbi Lau, he wrote: “It is forbidden for a person to damage his own body and all the more so that of someone else”.

Lau said that the dangers of COVID-19 are a verifiable fact and that any dangers inherent in the vaccine are uncertain, and that it is, therefore, an obligation to get vaccinated.

He explained: “Someone who does not get vaccinated is not only likely to harm himself but is also likely to harm someone else.”

According to the Chief Rabbi, protecting one’s health allows people to “fulfil our obligations in a world of significance … Someone who does not fulfill this command rejects the good that God granted his world by giving us the possibility of getting out of the distress caused by the coronavirus.”

According to Jewish law, Rabbi Lau is correct. According to Israeli law, I’m not sure if suspending the rabbi for these reasons is legal.

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Israel Warns Hezbollah
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday February 17, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israel has sent a very clear message to Hezbollah.

During a single, 24-hour period, Israel engaged in an exercise during which the Israeli air-force attacked 3,000 targets.

The targets were all essential infrastructure and military sites. They hit bridges, electric grids, airports, arms depots and underground command and control centers.

This is the first air-force drill of its kind. It was so big and so real.
Israel carried out this one-of-a-kind exercise in public. In an almost unprecedented move, the exercise was broadcast to the media.

Israel was transmitting a message to Hezbollah both through the air and through the air waves. The message was clear. Israel is prepared to respond to any attack or act of aggression from Lebanon.


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Rabbis From Arab Lands
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday February 16, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The rabbis of fourteen Arab countries have created an alliance.

Israel’s Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yossef endorsed the new group which is named the Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic States. The chairman of the alliance is Rabbi Mendy Chitrik, the Chabad representative in Turkey.

Rabbi Chitrik explained the background behind this alliance and said: “The establishment of this alliance to unite all the Jewish communities in these places with the recognition of government officials in each state is very welcome and will assist in the provision of Jewish needs of the members of these different communities.”

The fourteen countries participating in this alliance are: Tunisia, Morocco, Uganda, Nigeria, Kosovo, Albania, Turkey, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, North Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates. Additional members are the Russian Muslim-majority republics of Tatarstan and Bashkortostan.

According to Rabbi Chitrik: “Our purpose is to advance Jewish life in these countries and focus on Jews who still work and live in the Muslim world … It is important for us to have our voice heard in countries where we live, so we work with government officials to maintain the Jewish past and sustain Jewish life in the present.”

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Iran Arrests Synagogue Thieves
By Micah Halpern

Monday February 15, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Iran arrested a gang of thieves as they were tunneling into an ancient synagogue in Urmia, a city in the north western region of the country.
Urmia is the 10th largest city in Iran.

The gang’s plan was to steal synagogue treasures and then to sell them.

In the past, it was Torah scrolls that were stolen from synagogues in Iran. In one case, a Torah was found and returned to its rightful synagogue – all by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps.

It was the Iranian Revolutionary Guards that discovered the tunnels and arrested the thieves.

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Israeli Borders & Drug
By Micah Halpern

Sunday February 14, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israel’s borders with her neighbors are, first and foremost, security risks.

They are also the point of entry for illegal drugs.

When an Israeli soldier was injured in shootout on the Egyptian border, the reason was clear. The Egyptian army and drug smugglers were shooting at each other when the Israelis arrive. The soldier was not hit by a bullet, but by shrapnel.

In the end, the drug smugglers were stopped.

Most drugs enter Israel through its borders, very often from the Egyptian border.
Bedouins excel at drug smuggling. For Bedouins, borders do not exist. Crossing borders and delivering product is not a violation of Bedouin tradition.

This tradition must be broken.


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Israel Gives Gas To Gaza
By Micah Halpern

Saturday February 13, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israel has signed on to an agreement to import natural gas to Gaza.

The agreement was signed between Israel, Qatar, the United Nations and the European Union. The deal was brokered by Qatar.

The agreement has two parts.

Part one involves Israel providing gas to the Palestinian Authority.

Part two includes the construction of a pipeline from Israel to the Gaza Strip. The European Union and Qatar will allocate money for the pipeline.

Israel has already signed contracts with Egypt and Jordan, so it makes sense that they should supply natural gas to Gaza.

It is hard to imagine, but Israel is now a major player in the supply of natural gas.


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Herzl 150 years
By Micah Halpern

Friday February 12, 2021
I’ve Been Thinking:

Friday February 12, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Theodor Herzl’s spectacular work. Der JudenStaat. was published in February of 1896.

In this pamphlet Herzl presented his plan for changing the Jewish people through the creation a state. Herzl argued that a state will transform the Jewish people.

The title Der Judenstaat is most often mistranslated. Whereas as “The Jewish State” is the translation we most often here, it is fundamentally a wrong translation of Herzl’s idea. The best translation of Der Judenstaat is the “State of Jews”.

Herzl wanted Jews to come together, he wanted to create a mini-Switzerland in the Middle East. Herzl did not want a state imbued with Judaism.

Herzl proposed that, rather than one language, all languages be spoken in the new state. That way, he felt, it would bring the culture of the world to the new state.
He warned that two languages should not be spoken.

Those languages were Hebrew and Yiddish.

About Hebrew he said: who among us knows enough Hebrew to order a train ticket. And About Yiddish he said: Yiddish is the language of the ghetto, the new state is a rejection of the ghetto.

Herzl actually went to the Sultan of Turkey and offered to balance his books in exchange for giving Jews land in Palestine. Obviously, the deal never went through.

Theodor Herzl is the father of modern Zionism. This year commemorates the 125th anniversary of one small publication that changed the world. Not just the Jewish world, the entire world.

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Gaza Has Re-Armed
By Micah Halpern

Thursday February 11, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza have completely rebuilt their military apparatus in the years since their last major conflict with Israel in 2014.

According to Israeli estimates Hamas now has:
7000 rockets, 300 anti-tank missiles, 100 anti-aircraft missiles, 30,000 soldiers and 400 naval commandos.

Islamic Jihad has:
6,000 rockets, dozens of drones, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and 400 naval commandos.

This is not good news.

The border between Israel and Gaza is 30 miles long and very problematic. In 2014 alone, Israel discovered and destroyed 20 terrorist tunnels going from Gaza into Israel.

With each passing year, the threats increase.


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Crazy Ideas About COVID
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday February 10, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

I’ve Been Thinking:
Israel has been a beacon to the world on how to best deliver the COVID vaccine to millions of people.

And yet, there are still those who DO NOT want to receive the shots.
Vaccine evaders tout pseudo-science and pseudo experts and parrot claims about the dangers of taking the vaccine.

There are rabbis and community leaders and people with influence who advise that the vaccine leads to death and that COVID is, really, not so bad.

Rumors are spreading that the vaccine is actually a tool of the government used to track every citizen and therefore, DO NOT vaccinate.

It’s ludicrous. But there are believers.

Israel is spending millions of dollars to educate anti-vaxxers. Proponents of this idea are very slick, they couch their message in great presentations. But performances aside, their premise is incorrect.

The numbers are unclear. No one knows exactly how many people are refusing COVID vaccines, but every one of them can and will endanger countless other people.

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TEVA to Help Produce Vaccine
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday February 9, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Kare Schultz, the CEO of Teva Pharmaceuticals, announced that the company has been approached by, and they have approached the manufacturers of, COVID vaccines to help produce more product.

Demand for the COVID shot is tremendous. And that demand is only increasing.
Every country in the world needs to have their residents inoculated and creators of the vaccines need more and more vaccine. They cannot keep up with the need and so they are looking for help.

Teva is an international company. It was created in Israel, it manufactures in Israel and Israel is one of its major centers, especially in R&D.

This is a good idea. The shortage of vaccines is due to inability to produce enough vaccine fast enough.

A contract between Teva, the largest producer of generic drugs in the world, with whichever company needs the help, will be a win-win for each and every one of us.


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Iran's New Boats
By Micah Halpern

Monday February 8, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Iranian media has reported that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard has 340 new, small, attack boats.

Some of the boats are from England and they are called Bladerunner.

Some are from China and are called “China Cat”.

Some are from North Korea and are called Taedong -B. These are attack boats with the capability of going under water.

Some of the boats were filmed and photographed. Some had drones attached to them. Others had rocket launchers attached.

Part of the strength of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard comes from their fleet of small boats that travel under the radar. An additional 340 attack boats would be a massive upgrade to their fleet.

But - many analysists are doubting the veracity of the claim as reported by Iranian media. Some doubt that all of the 340 attack boats are new. Others doubt that there are even 340 of them at all.

It might all be a big fake. Iran enjoys the game of intimidation.

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Biden Says No About Lifting Iran Sanctions
By Micah Halpern

Sunday February 7, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

All it took was a single word – and that word was NO.

President Biden said NO, the United States will not lift sanctions against Iran until after Iran stops enriching uranium in violation of the 2015 Nuclear Deal.

Before the US president made his intentions clear, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and the Supreme Leader Khamenei both said that they will not stop enriching unless the United States lifts the sanctions. They both asserted that there should be no preconditions.

The Supreme Leader said: "This is the definitive and irreversible policy of the Islamic Republic, and all of the country's officials are unanimous on this, and no one will deviate from it."

It looks like we have an “Iranian standoff.”

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David Schoen Kiddush HaShem
By Micah Halpern

Saturday February 6, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The lead defense lawyer for former President Donald Trump in his second Senate impeachment trial is David Schoen.

Schoen is an orthodox Jew and he requested that the proceedings halt from Friday evening through Saturday evening, during the Sabbath.

The request, which was granted by Senator Chuck Schumer, also Jewish but not as observant a Jew as Schoen, raises several questions. One of those questions is about how long will the trial actually take? Will it take over 4 days – an interesting question given that the Senate is not scheduled to meet during the week known as President’s Week?

From the Jewish perspective, the appointment of Schoen to lead attorney is a tremendous “Kiddush Hashem”, an act which elevates and highlights the beauty of Judaism and God.

It is a clear demonstration that accommodations can and should be made for Sabbath observers and that Sabbath observers can and should request the accommodations. It is a clear demonstration that being a Sabbath observer should not be thought of as a professional hindrance.

Schoen did not make his request of the Senate at the last minute, he let them know upfront. Respect is a two-way street.


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ICC Sides w the Palestinians
By Micah Halpern

Friday February 5 , 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The Palestinians have always felt secure about imploring the international community to plead their case and to defend them.

Their use of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague is a perfect example. The International community - and especially the ICC, is a reflection of the thinking and the tone of power as it is set on the international scene.

For 4 years under the Trump presidency, the Palestinians and their cause were sidelined. And for the past year even their fellow Arabs relegated Palestinian issues to the margins.

Things changed once Joe Biden took office. And now the Palestinians are making certain not to miss this opportunity. Not waiting for the result of Israeli elections scheduled for March 23rd, the Palestinians have mounted a diplomatic full court press in Europe.

They are also pursuing Israel by way of the ICC. And the ICC has ruled that they now have jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories.

Israel needs to clearly show where they stand - especially on the issue of Palestinian statehood.

For years Israel embraced ambiguity. It was safe. But because of the changes in the White House, real decisions are going to be forced upon the region. In order to properly respond, Israel must know its options and plan adequately and appropriately.

This is not just important, it is crucially important.

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Royal Cloth Found in Desert
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday February 3, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

A fragment of royal purple cloth, dating to 1000 years BC, was recently discovered in the Israeli desert, near the Dead Sea, in a place called Slaves Hill.

The dig in which the cloth fragment was unearthed has been dated to the reign of King David.

The royal purple color of the cloth is officially known as argaman. Cloth of that color, which came from a murex sea snail, was more valuable than gold. The color does not change over time. It does not fade. 3000 years later the purple is the same purple.

The textiles made their way from the Mediterranean coast where the snails were caught to Jerusalem where the clothing was worn.

This small fragment is proof that there was much more interaction between geographic areas and socio-economic groups than historians and archaeologists had thought. It is now clear that people of the rural desert and royalty must have interacted.

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PA Plants Trees for Terrorists
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday February 2, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The Palestinian Authority has begun planting trees to memorialize terrorists.

The PA decided to plant trees so that they can “sanctify” terrorists and make certain that they “eternally remain in our hearts”.

According to an advisor to Abbas: “[t]he initiative… honors the Martyrs, who are the most ‎precious thing we have in our history”‎

The father of a terrorists expressed his pleasure at this initiative and said:“Every day we will grow a tree, every day we will grow a Martyr”.

The list of people the PA has chosen to honor with trees is astonishing – and abhorrent. They include:

“Self-sacrificing fighter Martyr Dalal Mughrabi” - who led the mass-murder of 37 Israeli ‎civilians, including 12 children.

“Martyr commander Fathi Shaqaqi” - founder of the terror organization Islamic ‎Jihad. ‎“Martyr commander Salah Khalaf” – who planned the massacre of 11 Israeli ‎athletes during the Olympic games.

Thank you to PMW, Palestinian Media Watch, for their descriptions of these Palestinian terrorists and for bringing this initiative to our attention and to the attention of the world.

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France Suspends Hosts Who Interviewed Is Amb
By Micah Halpern

Monday February 1, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israel’s ambassador to France, Daniel Saada, was interviewed on BEUR FM radio.

BEUR FM is a French national station that caters to the North African community throughout France. They broadcast in French, in Arabic and in other Berber languages.

Saada was interviewed by two hosts on a show that discussed the Abraham Accords and especially, the new relationship between Israel and Morocco.
The two hosts were suspended and sanctioned for hosting the interview with the Israeli ambassador. The hosts were stunned.

Legal proceedings have now commenced against the station for illegally suspending and sanctioning the hosts. This is most certainly a form of discrimination.

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