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Slaughtering Kosher Meat Illegal in Greece
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday October 27, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Jewish ritual slaughter of meat is a central component of Jewish life.

Over the past few years there has been a move to outlaw Jewish ritual slaughter of animals. The reason given for promoting this move – which has already won in court cases, is that Jewish law prohibits stunning the animal before slaughter.

Not stunning the animal before slaughter, is considered animal abuse.

Today, the highest court in Greece ruled that Jewish ritual slaughter of animals was animal abuse and illegal.

The Greek ruling echoes last year’s decision from the highest court in the European Union. According to that ruling, any region that prohibited slaughtering an animal without first stunning it, was illegal.

The rulings directly impact the lives of both Jews and of Muslims who must, according to their religious belief, eat kosher and hallal meats.

These rulings make an obvious point: animal rights take precedence over, and have become more important, than religious rights and religious rites.

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Cyberattack Hits Iran Gas Stations
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday October 26, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Iran was hit by another cyberattack on Tuesday.
This was one brilliant attack.

The target of this cyberattack was gasoline fueling stations. Long lines snaked across the country as no one was able to fill up on gas.

Here is how the hack worked:
All Iranians get their gas by using a government issued credit card that gives them a subsidy. Effectively, with the government card a gallon of gasoline costs an
Iranian 5 cents for up to 15.8 gallons. After that, gas costs 10 cents a gallon.
This hack attacked the card system.

Every time an Iranian used their card and began to fill-up on gasoline, the number 64411 flashed along with the word “cyberattack”.

The numbers 64411 echo a previous attack that struck Iranian trains. That attack was attributed to a hacking group named Indra – the Hindu god of war.
The earlier attack was tracked by Check Point, one of Israel’s cybersecurity firms.

Any number of groups could have perpetrated this cyberattack. Israel and Israelis are, of course, prime candidates – but there is a long list of groups and countries that would benefit from disturbing daily life in Iran.

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Israel Invests in Arab Sector
By Micah Halpern

Monday October 25, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israel has allocated NIS 30 billion for a five-year plan dedicated to the economic. social and infrastructure development of the Arab sector. The plan includes investments in education, transport, housing, culture, sport and employment.

According to Meirav Cohen, Israel’s Social Equality Minister: "this plan will provide hope for many people in Israel, and at the end of the day will also reduce the violence and crime problem in the Arab sector."

That’s not all.

The government approved another NIS 2.5 billion dedicated to fighting the spike in crime in the Arab sector.

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev explained the decision saying: "the decision convinces the whole government to act as one for this important goal."

Lawlessness within the Arab sector has led to a sense of frustration in Arab villages and cities. These allocations are seriously needed. Hopefully, they will have the desired and desperately needed effect.

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Syria Executes 24
By Micah Halpern

Sunday October 24, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Syria regularly executes people convicted of crimes.

Recently, Syria executed 24 people. They were convicted of igniting wildfires last year that left three people dead and burnt thousands of hectares (acres) of forests. The fire was devasting.

Executions are common in Syria.

But 24 executions is an unusually large number even for Syria to execute at one time.

Syria's decade-old conflict left hundreds of thousands dead and displaced half the country's population, including five million refugees outside the country.

The Syrian Ministry of Justice said those were executed, "criminals who carried out terrorist attacks that led to deaths and damage to infrastructure and public property." The ministry said that there were another 11 people who were sentenced to life in prison in the same case.

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Iran's Public Air Drill
By Micah Halpern

Saturday October 23, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Iran boldly and publicly had the media cover their annual air force drill. As part of the exercise they had planes flying across the country, crossing into the sea and then back to land.

This air force drill came just one week after another massive exercise – this one in air defense.

Official Iranian media covered the two events extensively so as to send a message to the United States and Israel.

According to Iranian reports, bombers, jet fighters, and attack and surveillance drones participated in the drill. Additionally, they used heavy weapons including laser-guided missiles.

The press reported that all of Iran’s military air bases participated in the maneuver. Reportedly, Iran has 12 air bases.

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India Vaccinates 1 Billion
By Micah Halpern

Friday October 22, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

1.4 billion people live in India. Vaccinating India against COVID was a real challenge. There were devastating surges of COVID and the country was devastated by the numbers of deaths due to corona virus.

But India just celebrated a milestone. They successfully administered 1 billion COVID-19 vaccines.

The government promoted the event with song and a video. But just as the celebrations began, the number of daily vaccines dropped.

Today, India's has vaccinated 75% of its 944 million adults with at least one vaccine dose. BUT only 31% with two doses. The government wants all adults to get vaccinated before the end of 2021.

"India scripts history," Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter. "We are witnessing the triumph of Indian science, enterprise and collective spirit of (1.3 billion) Indians."

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Hezbollah Losing Support
By Micah Halpern

Thursday October 21, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Samir Geagea is the head of the Lebanese Christian Forces.

The Lebanese Christian Forces is publicly charging Hezbollah, which is the Iranian backed Shiite Muslim terrorist group, as being "the biggest threat facing Lebanon and its people."

Geagea further stressed that, right now, Hezbollah has only one goal. And that goal is to stop the investigation into last summer’s explosion at the port of Beirut.
The explosion killed hundreds and injured thousands.

Geagea is suggesting that Hezbollah and/or Iran must have had some role in the explosion. The head of the Lebanese Christian Forces is not alone. We are hearing from more and more Lebanese leaders condemn Hezbollah.

Until recently this critique was unheard of. This might be a sign that Hezbollah is losing popular support and control in Lebanon.

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Egypt Fighting ISIS
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday October 20, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Egypt has implemented a set of plans aimed at destroying ISIS in the Sinai desert.
Until now, for all intents and purposes, ISIS was freely roaming the desert. They were roaming the desert with impunity.

The first thing that the Egyptian army is doing is cutting off this freedom of movement.

To that end, the Egyptians erected a string of watchtowers, checkpoints and army posts along the northern edge of Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Egyptian troops now patrol in armored vehicles along newly repaved roads, they are on the lookout for ISIS.

Smaller roads have been blocked off with piles of sand and some houses were demolished to eliminate cover between Al Arish and Sheikh Zuweid.

These measures reflect a significant shift in the security situation during the past two years. Hopefully, Egypt will successfully secure the area and force ISIS into retreat.

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Iran Strikes US Base
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday October 19, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Iran attacked a US base in Syria.

The al Tanf base sits on the Syrian/Iraqi border. The base is there to function as an intel facility. It houses about 400 US troops along with British and French intelligence personnel.

Interestingly, the report on the attack of a US base was broadcast not on US media – but on Iranian media. And the Iranians claimed responsibility.

This was a direct message to both the United States and Israel. And the message is that Iran is acting and responding to changing events in the region.

Iran regularly uses others to do their bidding so that they have plausible deniability. So their direct involvement in strike against a US base is a significant change in style.

Aside from the message to the United States and to Israel, Iran is also telling Russia that they too do not want the United States in Syria and that they are actively moving to push them out.

We have been warned.

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Internal Divide in Lebanon
By Micah Halpern

Monday October 18, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

"No one is above the law and judiciary."

That is what Lebanon's Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai, the top Christian cleric in Lebanon, said regarding the protests and violence in Beirut.

He is speaking about the judiciary’s probe into last year's horrific explosion at the Beirut port and the violent reaction it has caused.

This violence may ignite more violence - sectarian violence between Shiites, Sunnis and Christians which has plagued Lebanon for decades and always lies just under the surface in Lebanon.

Remember, the Lebanese suffered under a 15 year bloody civil war from 1975-1990.

It appears that Hezbollah, the Shiite terror group sponsored by Iran, is fomenting against the investigation. We can only wonder, and at this point speculate, about why Hezbollah is so involved and cares so much about this investigation.

In his sermon the Patriarch said: "We must free the judiciary from political interference, sectarian and partisan political activism and respect its independence according to the principle of separation of powers.”

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Violins From Holocaust
By Micah Halpern

Sunday October 17, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Commemorating the Holocaust is a true challenge.
Amnon Weinstein found a moving and innovative way.

Weinstein, an Israeli, is one of the world greatest violin restorers. He works with his son. One of his greatest projects is collecting and restoring violins from the Holocaust. Weinstein calls this project “Violins of Hope.”

The Jewish Federation in Roanoke, VA Jewish held a concert featuring Weinstein-restored violins playing music composed by composers who were murdered by Hitler during the Holocaust.

The concert was called “And their Music Lived On.”

It was held in the Grandin Theatre in Roanoke, Virginia, in a special show presented by the Roanoke Jewish Federation.

In 2014 Germany invited Amnon Weinstein to bring his violins to Berlin to be played by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz.

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Sweden New A/S
By Micah Halpern

Saturday October 16, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Sweden has emerged as a hotbed of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial.

During an international forum combatting anti-Semitism held in a synagogue, the words “The Holocaust was a scam” were flashed onto the walls of the synagogue in Malmo, the 3rd largest city in Sweden. A light projector was used project the slur and to disrupt the event.

It happened during the forum, which was taking place outside the synagogue, and intended for all the dignitaries to see. The same words were simultaneously projected onto the walls of other buildings especially municipal and court buildings in Malmo.

Police are investigating these disruptions and treating them as a hate crime.

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Political Change in Arab Countries
By Micah Halpern

Friday October 15, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Every Israeli prime minister is briefed on issues and safety questions concerning Israel and Jews from all over the world.

I was very happy to hear Prime Minister Bennett talk about internal challenges in Lebanon and in Iraq and specifically about the grassroot opposition groups emerging in these countries.

There has been violence and protests by Hezbollah on the streets of Beirut opposing the judiciary’s investigation of the horrific explosion in the port of Beirut.
In response, popular voices are emerging rejecting that violence and those protests. In essence, those voices are rejecting Hezbollah and Iran.

During the recent elections in Iraq, Iranian-backed candidates did very poorly.
Bennett said: "Wherever Iran interferes, there is violence, poverty and instability.”
He continued: "I hope the Lebanese and Iraqi people will succeed in breaking free from the strangle-hold of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps and build a better future for themselves."

I hope, his hope, comes true.

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Jews Must Secure their Buildings
By Micah Halpern

Thursday October 14, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Security is one of the biggest issues that Jewish communal leaders deal with every single day. They ask for and have received millions of federal dollars to help secure Jewish buildings and institutions.

Now the quandary: With the increase of violence against Jews and Jewish institutions, leaders are questioning whether they should pull back on the visibly Jewish symbols on their buildings. They fear that Jew haters can easily locate and then deface and vandalize the institutions.

They raise an important point -- but the horse is already out of the corral.

Very few Jewish buildings are unknown, especially to Jew Haters. And a simple internet search can provide the address of almost any Jewish institution or building. They are listed in order to serve the good people they serve.

Jewish institutions should not hide from those evil people who want to cause damage, perpetrate terror and instill fear. They should bolster their security.
Seriously bolster their security.

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Israel is Opening
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday October 13, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

From now on, in Israel, the parents of children testing positive for COVID will not have to isolate.

This is a major step forward towards insuring that neither the country nor the economy shut downs or even slows down.

The only caveat – and there is always a caveat - is that the parents have been fully vaccinated or recently recovered from COVID.

Fully vaccinated means that a person has received all three shots OR two shots that were administered within the last 6 months.

Recovered means someone who has recovered from COVID within the past 6 months OR recovered more than 6 months ago and has received 1 vaccine dose.

The Health Ministry statement indicated that this is "significant news for parents of children under the age of 12, who were forced into isolation and lost working days."

All in all, the Delta variant is receding in Israel. The infection rate has dropped significantly and is below 2%.

In the span of two weeks the number of “red cities” and towns dropped from 63 to 3. Two weeks ago, 63 cities and towns were considered red, of those 58 were Arab. Now only 3 are red and of those, only 1 is Arab.

This is all very good and encouraging news.

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Israel COVID Self Tests
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday October 12, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Part of Israeli Prime Minister Bennett’s plan for getting Israel back to normal and defeating the COVID Delta Variant is placing antigen test kits in the hands of every family with school aged children.

7.2 million kits have been imported. Parents will test their children in the privacy of their homes and only if the test results are positive will they need to take them to an official site for a PCR test.

This plan is intended to relieve parents in many ways, especially by removing the need to take time off from work to trek to testing centers only to find out that their child is negative. Kits will also be available in classrooms.

Prime Minster Bennett explained his thinking this way:
"We are doing everything to keep the economy open, the education system functioning, and to maintain routine life. With the millions of tests that we are bringing to the country – it is possible. With correct, close and flexible management, we will defeat the Delta strain."

This is a gargantuan step. Hopefully it will improve the quality of life for Israeli parents as they struggle to care for their families and to defeat COVID.

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Markel in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Monday October 11, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Angela Merkel, before officially stepping down as Chancellor of Germany, paid a visit to Israel. While there, she met with numerous Israeli leaders - and they all counseled her to clamp down on Iran.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett did not mince words when speaking to Merkel. He told her: "This is a critical point in time, and Germany's position is crucial. In Israel, we are taking action and operating against Iran in every dimension – including daily actions to stop it flooding our region with weapons”.

"The Iranians are stalling and their centrifuges are spinning. Israel's responsibility is to make sure, with deeds and not with words, that Iran will never have nuclear weapons."

"Nuclear weapons in the hands of such an extremist and violent regime will adversely change the region and the world. For us it is an existential issue".
Germany’s chancellor heard what the Israeli prime minister had to say and responded:

“I see a responsibility for Russia and China here.” She went on to say that every day without a deal, is a day that Iran continues to enrich uranium.

This is a very serious issue and it must be closley monitored.

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IAEA Iran's Uranium & The Bomb
By Micah Halpern

Sunday October 10, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog, announced that Iran has successfully enriched 120kilo of uranium. 120kilo is 265lbs of uranium.

That is an enormous amount of uranium

Iran countered the announcement explaining that, according to their agreement. Iran was supposed to receive 20% enriched uranium - but that uranium was never delivered. So, the Iranians made it themselves.

Of course, the agreement also stipulates that Iran is not to enrich greater than 3.75% uranium. But for Iran, that’s beside the point.

According to scientists who specialize in uranium, Iran is very close to the threshold for making a rudimentary nuclear bomb. A rudimentary bomb would require 375lbs, or 175kilo, of enriched uranium. At 265lbs, they are almost there.

This is – to put it mildly, a very worrisome situation.

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Cafes Have No Limits Anymore
By Micah Halpern

Saturday October 9, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israel’s Corona Virus Cabinet voted to scrap the rule which put a ceiling on the number of people who could sit outside in a café or restaurant.

But there is a caveat. They decided to scrap the policy only as long as the tables were separated from each other by 150 cm, which would mean that they are about 5 feet apart.

The decision to change policy is significant,

It frees up restaurants and it follows the science. More than that, it is a resounding acceptance of the thinking that there is very little chance of COVID transmission when outside.

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Tensions in Persian Gulf
By Micah Halpern

Friday October 8, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Tensions continue to be high in the Persian Gulf.

Iranian State TV reported that their navy’s rubber boats successfully harassed a United States vessel.

They released a video which was broadcast on television. In the video, which certainly looks authentic, there is audio of the Iranians in the rubber boat shouting “keep chasing them” in Farsi, the language spoken in Iran.

But is it really authentic? The US Navy spokesperson has no knowledge of any event of this sort.

The Persian Gulf is a tinder box. The region can explode at any time. Talks, which were taking place in Vienna, stalled in June and there is no date for the resumption of talks.

Iran is trying to lure the United States into a conflict.

Iranians believe that in any exchange with the US, the United States will be perceived as the aggressor and they, Iran will be seen as the victim. That thinking is one of the reasons for using small rubber boast against large US ships.

They are hoping to re-enact the David and Goliath story, Iranian style.

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Brazil & Nazis
By Micah Halpern

Thursday October 7, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

When executing a search warrant, it is not uncommon for police to find the unexpected.

In Brazil, police were searching the home of an accused serial child molester. And that’s how they found a huge collection of authentic Nazi memorabilia. Uniforms, hats, helmets, all varieties of memorabilia.

Included in the stash there were also various daggers and nine guns. There was a rifle, a machine gun and a large amount of ammunition.

The collections was valued at $3.5 million

After World War II, Brazil was a safe haven for Nazis.

Nazis could gather and sing songs and regale each other with tales of the greatness of the Nazi era and express their yearning for its return. The movie “The Boys from Brazil” captures the essence of that period in history.

It is estimated that over 9,000 Nazi officers found refuge in South America and that in Brazil was home to between 3,000 and 4,000 Nazi officers.

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Israel & COVID: Update
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday October 6, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israel’s COVID positivity numbers are dropping and dropping. Obviously, this is very good news. But it is not all good news.

17% of Israelis are unvaccinated. And as expected, the overwhelming percentage of those people being hospitalized – are unvaccinated.

Unvaccinated Israelis compose 70% of those people in the hospital.
23% of those hospitalized received 2 vaccines over 6 months ago.

Surprisingly, 4% of the hospitalized also received their third vaccine, the booster.

This next number is very disturbing - and it is growing.
44% of those testing positive are children under 11 years old. Some of them are very sick and even dying,

And that goes against conventional wisdom. The COVID virus of 20 months ago is not the COVID virus of today.

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The Search for Ron Arad
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday October 5, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The story of Ron Arad is back in the news.

Israeli Prime Minster Naftali Bennett told Israelis that the Mossad was launching a serious investigation to find out what happened to Ron Arad.

The story of Ron Arad has been hanging over – and haunting - Israel for 35 years ago.

In 1986, Arad, an IDF navigator, ejected from his fighter jet and landed behind enemy lines in Lebanon. He was captured by the Amal Militia and never again heard from or found. His body was never returned to Israel.

In a speech to the Knesset during the opening of the winter session Prime Minister Bennett said: "It was a complex, large-scale and daring operation. That's all there is to say right now. We made another effort on the way to understanding what happened to Ron.”

After an Israeli columnist claimed that the current operation endangered lives, Arad’s widow, Tami, defended the operation and said that she was specifically told that no lives were endangered.

Israel has already discovered the first place where Ron Arad was held. The search for answers continues.

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Iran's Attempt to Kill Israelis
By Micah Halpern

Monday October 4, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Israelis living outside of Israel, everyone including Israeli business people and their businesses and Israeli diplomats and their family members and Israeli properties abroad have been put on alert. They were told to be extra specially careful.

The announcement came in the wake of the unsuccessful assassination of an Israeli businessman in Cyprus.

According to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the attempt was real and all Israelis must be vigilant. He corroborated the story and emphasized that Iran attempted to assassinate billionaire businessman Teddy Sagi.
Cypriot security informed Sagi and the plot was foiled.

Of course, Iranian officials say that this is all an Israeli fiction.

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UN Rights Watch is Wrong
By Micah Halpern

Sunday October 3, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

I watched and I was stunned.

In a video conference, the UN Human Rights Council listened to UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neurer as he spoke about how teachers and principals at United Nations schools are posting and teaching hatred of Israel and of Jews and teaching an appreciation of Hitler.

The President of the UNHRC, Nazat Shameem Khan, cut Neurer off and said he was out of order. She said that his comments were insulting and offensive. Khan’s exact words were: "insulting and inflammatory remarks" were made that amount to "personal attacks" against individuals. Then she said that the "statement is out of order"

Neurer’s watchdog group documented over 100 teachers and principals in UN schools violating their neutrality. They praised and even advocated killing Israelis on social media.

The UNHRC is an independent body. The Secretary General of the United Nations has only very limited influence over the Council.

There has been almost no outcry on this blatant misuse of power. That is unexcusable.

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COVID Now Hitting Kids
By Micah Halpern

Saturday October 2, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

There has been a dramatic change in the COVID numbers of children seriously affected by the virus.

The only real numbers come from Israel – which, as I have said many times before, is most transparent with their COVID numbers. And unfortunately, Israel has seen an upward trend in the hospitalizations of children.

In September more than 50 children were hospitalized with COVID. 40 of these children displayed life threatening symptoms and were put on ventilators.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, conventional medical wisdom was that young people did not suffer dramatically from COVID.

It is clear that the change was brought on by the Delta Variant.

Professor Tzachi Grossman, head of the Israeli Pediatric Association, explained to YNET that: "COVID is often more than a mild illness … There are serious complications and we must do everything we can to prevent infections."

Dr. Adi Klein, who heads the pediatric ward at the Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera, said that they were receiving increasingly younger patients with severe COVID-19 complications for treatment.

She said: "We used to get mostly teens, but now we see small children too, as young as 4 and 5, who come to us in serious condition due to complications of COVID … COVID is mild in most children, but once tens of thousands of children are infected, some of them will end up developing more severe illness."

This is not news we had hoped to hear.

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96 & She Runs from Court
By Micah Halpern

Friday October 1, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

A 96 year-old woman named Irmgard Furchner skipped her hearing in Germany. She got up and ran away – or rather, hobbled away.

The woman has since been caught. She ran because she was to stand trial for her role in Stutthof, a Nazi concentration camp in Poland where, between 1943 and 1945 she worked as a typist.

Furchner is charged with accessory to the murder of 11, 412 people. At the time, she was 18 years-old and so, she is being tried in Germany, as a minor.

Very early in the morning on the opening day of her trial, she left her home and took a cab. An arrest warrant was issued and she was found. After undergoing medical testing, the trial is slated to begin.

This is the latest in a series of trials of elderly Nazis and they will be the last of Nazi trials.

These former Nazis played minor roles in the murder process. In the first few decades after the Holocaust there was a concerted effort to find Nazis and bring them to trial. The targets of those searches were those Nazis who played significant roles in the murder process.

The objective today is to use these last Nazis trials as teaching moments.

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Egypt's Direct Flights to Israel
By Micah Halpern

Thursday September 30, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

EgyptAir is the official commercial airline of Egypt and EgyptAir is now operating 4 flights a week to Tel Aviv.

These flights were 42 years in the making.
It’s been 42 years since the 1979 peace treaty between Egypt and Israel, known as
The Camp David Accords, was signed. The Accords provided for official flights between Egypt and Israel with planes carrying the Egyptian flag on their tail wing.
But it never happened – until now.

Until now, Air Sinai flew the route.

Air Sinai is a subsidiary of EgyptAir and their planes do not display the Egyptian flag on their tail wing.

Air Sinai was created in 1982 specifically for the purpose of fulfilling the treaty which clearly stipulates that there will be official commercial air flight travel between Egypt and Israel.

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Wild Antelopes Roaming
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday September 29, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The Arabian Oryx is a white wild antelope. In the beginning of the 20th century, these antelopes became extinct. Or so we thought!

A large herd of Arabian Oryx was seen grazing and strolling about the Arava desert. The video shows at least 16 of these white, wild, antelopes.

There is no mistaking them with their white bodies, black stiped head and black antlers.

In the early 2000’s Israel released several oryxes into the wild in the hope of allowing them to reproduce. We now know that the experiment was a success.
The video, shot by a Drone, verifies that this is a new herd with at least 4 newborn Arabian Oryx.

There may be many more herds out there.

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Birds Arriving in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday September 28, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

Fall is the season for bird migration.

The birds of Europe are now flying south to Africa for the winter. And one of their most popular routes is to fly right over Israel.

The birds fly, land and then, most of them move and return 6 months later, in the beginning of Spring, for their return trip. Some birds, however, seem to like what they see and remain in Israel.

Traditionally, bird watches from all over the world flock to Israel to witness this yearly occurrence. This year, however, COVID has put a damper on bird watching.

But the birds are still coming.

The most majestic sight of all is the arrival of storks. They come in the hundreds and sometimes in the thousands and they appear to cover the sky.

Storks are huge, measuring 3 feet in length and with 6 foot wing spans.

In a single day as many as 100,000 storks arrive in Israel. Over the next few days between half a million and a million storks will drop in and visit the Holy Land.

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Israel Selling Arms to NATO
By Micah Halpern

Monday September 27, 2021
I've Been Thinking:

The Czech Republic will buy a new air defense system from Israel. The new, Israeli, system, will be used to replace their 50-year-old Soviet air defense system.

This is over a half billion dollar deal and it clearly demonstrates that Israel is making headway with NATO nations when it comes to arms sales.

Although exact details and numbers are secret, it looks like Rafael Industries, one of Israel’s arms manufacturers, will provide the Czech Republic with 4 mid-range anti-missile batteries as well as command and control units.

The system is designed to protect cities and nuclear facilities.

Slovakia, another NATO nation, has placed an order with Israel for similar defense weapons, mostly radar and control devices.

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