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New Hamas Tactics
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday May 24 , 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad are hard at work preparing for their next attack and next war with Israel.

They are using three tactics to achieve their goals.

Tactic # 1 - digging new tunnels

Tactic # 2 - developing better drones

Tactic # 3 - expanding naval capacities

The newly dug tunnels that have been recently uncovered by the IDF reach the Israeli border, but don't cross it. In times of war, Hamas hopes to emerge out of the tunnels on the Gazan side, close to the partition fence, and then break through it.

IDF sources say that Hamas has added 1,000 rockets to its existing arsenal, since the end of Operation Guardian of the Walls last year. The big difference is that now Hamas is focusing on the quality, not quantity, of their drones and missiles. This new arsenal is more accurate and more sophisticated than their previously used weapons.

Hamas also has well trained drone teams that have not been targeted by Israel.

They are also smuggling equipment through the Gaza-Egypt border by disguising their cargo to look like civilian shipments. They are utilizing the shipments to manufacture larger and stronger engines for boats already used by Hamas naval commando units and to assemble explosive boats.

Hamas is becoming more adept at warfare.

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Jew Hatred in Hollywood
By Micah Halpern

Monday May 23 , 2022
I've Been Thinking:

They call themselves GDL, the Goyim Defense League. Their aim is to draw attention to their hatred of Jews.

Over the weekend 3 members of the GDL pulled their truck into the Beverly Hilton and shouted ugly anti-Jewish expressions at hotel guests. Their truck was covered in anti-Jewish slogans and they shouted “The Nazis are coming!”. 2 members of the group were dressed as Nazis, the third wore a hat with fake sidelocks.

They were trying to intimidate hotel guests. The police were called/

Their website, Goyimtv’s, describes their vision this way: “All members of the community and wider society should be treated as equals with the same rights, regardless of their race, age, sex, religion, political beliefs, or any other immutable attribute or self assigned designation UNLESS YOU’RE A JEW or THE SHABBOS EQUIVALENT.”

The group’s major philosophy is called replacement theory. They believe that Jews will replace whites in the United States. It is one of their group mantras.

They believe that a cabal of political elites – often Jews – are trying to destroy white culture or race through mass migration of non-white peoples. That belief is often part of a narrative about “white genocide,” and is manifested in the slogan, “You will not replace us,” or “Jews will not replace us.”

This group is very small, but the Jew-hating sentiment is catching on and others are starting to repeat this hateful rhetoric.

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Israel Parade in NYC
By Micah Halpern

Sunday May 22 , 2022
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Today New York City’s 5th Avenue was transformed into a celebration of love for Israel.

The 57th annual Salute to Israel Parade had 10’s of thousands of spectators as 10’s of thousands of marchers from schools, synagogues, youth groups, Jewish organizations, police, fire, ambulance heroes – all told over 40thousand, proudly strode down the avenue accompanied by marching bands and clowns on stilts – and of course, politicians.

After a three year hiatus, necessitated by Covid, the theme that was chosen for this year’s parade was, in English, Together Again. In Hebrew it was Kolannu b”Yachad, we are together.

The joy and love for Israel was palpable. An unabashed and proud lover pf Israel, I was in the reviewing stands and cheered as the marchers went by. I spoke to many JBS viewers who told me both how excited they were to attend the parade and how essential a part of their lives JBS is.

An electric celebration of 74 years of Israeli statehood and independence, marchers made their way from 57th Street all the way to 74th Street. How appropriate – the 57th Salute to Israel Parade began on 57th Street and ended on 74th Street – Israel’s 74th anniversary celebration.

When the parade first originated nearly 6 decades ago, marchers marched along Manhattan’s Riverside Drive.

Yesterday’s parade was all about Jewish pride.

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Fake Attack on Tel Aviv
By Micah Halpern

Saturday May 21 , 2022
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Israel is in the midst of the month long set of drills called Chariots of Fire. The country is preparing for any and all attacks they might have to, one day, face. This is the largest, most comprehensive drill in Israeli history.

A recent Chariots of Fire drill was an enactment of an attack on Tel Aviv. During the drill it was as if missiles, shot by Hezbollah, hit the center of downtown Tel Aviv and destroyed a building. Israel actually destroyed a real building in order to truly train the participants.

A senior officer, who could not be named, who is a high ranking member of the Home Front Command explained that:

"The goal was to practice complex scenarios which could occur in the future."

"In the next military conflict, we could experience more frequent and intense rocket fire, especially from Hezbollah, and the potential of more racially motivated riots across the entire country, after the May riots last year."

The IDF trained in 42 cities and towns, they trained in industrial areas across the country activating sirens in as many as 61 communities, as part of the drill.

All to be prepared for the inevitable.

One of their biggest fears for Israeli forces is that roads will be blocked by rioters and that will prevent rescue equipment from getting to sites and it will block medical teams form evacuating the wounded.

As part of the drill the IDF was trained on how to remove rioters and free up roads. The IDF will also use a completely different internet and communication system, so that it will be 100% reliable, during any crisis that might arise.

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Lag B'Omer 2022
By Micah Halpern

Friday May 20 , 2022
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Yesterday was Lag B’Omer.

The Jewish calendar counts a 50 full days, 7 full weeks, from Passover until Shavuot. It is called “counting the Omer”.

Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day of the Omer, in other words, it comes 33 days after the first day of Passover.

One year ago, in Israel, 45 people - men and children, were trampled to death on Lag B’Omer. It happened at Meron, where 100’s of thousands of people gather each year to pay tribute to Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai.

The 45 deaths were the results of overcrowding and poor planning. All of the dead were trampled to death.

This year, in response to last year’s tragedy, a plan and restrictions were put in place. Only those with tickets were permitted entry. They were asked to remain no more than four hours. The number of people at the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai was limited.

But the crowds did not follow the rules. And the grave site became overcrowded with 400 people where only 170 can safely fit.

And as the crowds got larger and reached the maximum - the Police stopped busses as they were getting off the highway causing traffic jams. Some people became unruly. They pulled down fences and cameras. It was getting out of hand.

The police ended the celebrations a few hours early. They managed to maintain control despite some difficult moments.

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5 Sand Cats Born in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Thursday May 19 , 2022
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Sand Cats, also known as Sand Dune Cats, are an endangered species.

The Ramat Gan Safari had two Sand Cats - one male and the other a female. One feline came from France and the other from Sweden. The two-year old female just delivered 5 kittens.

According to the Safari staff, at first, the Europeans did not seem to get along. But as time went by they got closer, grew fond of each other and eventually mated.

All five of the newborn Sand Cats in the litter have survived. Often, only two kittens survive - so this is an exception. The mother is very protective of her newborns and barely lets the father come close.

There are less than 10,000 of these endangered cats in the wild and only 178 in zoos across the world. At one time there were Sand Cats in Israel, but with time they came extinct in the region. Now several zoos, like the Ramat Gan Safari, are taking part in efforts to boost the species' reproduction rate and to bring more Sand Cats to the world.

The Israeli-born kittens will eventually be transferred to zoos in Europe where they will, hopefully, continue to help the species' population increase.

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Huge Loss for Hezbollah
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday May 18 , 2022
I've Been Thinking:

There were elections in Lebanon - and Hezbollah turned out to be the big loser.

Final results are in, and Hezbollah has lost significant power.

Hezbollah won 31 seats in this election. In the last election they had only 29 seats. So how did they lose?

Here’s how:

Hezbollah’s partners from the past parliament lost significant seats in this election. Because of that Hezbollah, despite a gain of two seats, they lost power.

In bigger terms, this means that Hezbollah has lost control of the Lebanese parliament. It’s actually good news for everyone except Hezbollah.

I have been predicting this outcome for the past few months.

And that’s because, in Lebanon, for the past several months, we have witnessed numerous signs and signals that average citizens of Lebanon are expressing anger at Hezbollah. There were repeated claims that Hezbollah was putting the rest of Lebanon at serious risk. And they were shouting that Hezbollah’s priorities and Iran’s priorities are not Lebanon’s priorities.

They were publicly saying that Hezbollah keeps poking Israel and that when Israel strikes back, they hit at all Lebanese – not only Hezbollah.

And through their votes, they made their point. And they made their point loud and clear.

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Chariots of Fire- Drill
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday May 17 , 2022
I've Been Thinking:

It’s called Operation Chariots of Fire. It is the largest military drill in the history of Israel.

“There won’t be a unit that doesn’t take part in this drill” explained IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen Ron Kochav.

Operation Chariots of Fire will involve multi-fronts and real-time decision making operations by political leaders and military general staff. Of course, thousands and thousands of soldiers will be involved.

Tensions in Israel are very high and getting higher with each successful and thwarted terrorist attack. This drill will involve ground, sea and air forces. While the IDF spokesman did not mention computers, the most important element in Chariots of Fire will be the high tech responses.

For Israel, the most important and dangerous front is now in the north. Hezbollah is in possession of 150,000 rockets and there needs to be a coordinated Israeli response in the event of an attack.

The stated purpose of the Operation Chariots of Fire is: “to improve cooperation between the IDF, government ministries, security organizations and civilian bodies, including their capabilities to transition from routine to a full emergency scenario with multiple areas that are constantly evolving.”

A multi-front attack is a realistic scenario. Israel needs to be prepared.

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1st Whale in Israeli Waters
By Micah Halpern

Sunday May 15 , 2022
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A whale was recently sighted off the coast of Haifa. This is big news. It was the first whale ever spotted off the coast of Israel.

It was a massive sperm whale.

The sighting was photographed by a graduate student named Kim Kobo. And so the whale was given the name Kim, because was the first person to see it.

Kim, the grad student, was part of a group of marine scientists.

After spotting the whale, the marine scientists contacted colleagues in the hope of gaining information and they received conformation that this was the first sighting of this – or any whale in Israel ever.

They are now cataloguing the whale and identifying it thru scars and other indicators.

About her namesake, Kim Kobo said: "It's a nice feeling. It's especially exciting that I was part of this study. Most of our lab members have dolphins named after them… But I had the honor of having a sperm whale taking my name."

According to Dr. Aviad Scheinin, the Head Apex Predators Investigator at the University of Haifa’s Morris Kahn Marine Research said: "Sperm whales are on the verge of extinction in the Mediterranean and their population is in rapid decline.”

He added: “We hope that our discovery will show that the Haifa area serves as an important habitat for them. We hope that Kim will be the first on a long list of Israeli whales."

This is one whale of a story.

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Iran Targets US General
By Micah Halpern

Saturday May 14 , 2022
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The Jerusalem Post reported that Israel’s Mossad interrupted a triple assassination attempt. The targets were a US general, an Israeli diplomat in Turkey and a journalist in France.

The Mossad arrested the 52 year old leader of the plot. Mansour Rasouli. in Iran and interrogated him. Rasouli gave up the details of the plan and his links with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He was later released.

Rasouli revealed that they were willing to pay contractors $1 million per hit.

In a British media outlet, Rasouli now claims that: “criminals abducted me … They put a bag over my head and took me to an unknown location … They told me they’d kill me and my family and tortured me severely. They told me I had to say everything they told me — that I was an emissary of the Revolutionary Guards and that I was sent to kill people in Europe and Turkey.”

There were a lot of credible details in the report Rasouli gave the Mossad.

The information sounds incredibly reasonable especially given that the United States spends $2 million per month protecting former secretary of State Mike Pompeo because of credible and actionable threats against his life.

Rasouli is working hard to protect himself from reprisal by the notorious Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

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Value of Old Garbage
By Micah Halpern

Thursday May 12, 2022
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Who knew garbage would be so informative?

The Nabataean–Roman ancient trading route connected the Mediterranean world with eastern and southern sources of incense, spices and other luxury goods, stretching from the Levant and Egypt through Northeastern Africa and Arabia to India and beyond.

The route was in use for 600 years, from 300 BCE to 300 CE.

Professor of Archaeology at the University of Haifa, Guy Bar-Oz, heads the study that excavated ancient rubbish which had accumulated at rest stations along the route. And he says that the research his group conducted did helps unveil new information about the trade route.

Prof. Bar-Oz explained that: "When examining the trade composition, three main trends are recognized: international trade with a central route to South East Asia; international trade that connected between sea sources - especially between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea; and local trade that acted as an 'economic belt' of the route and provided raw material and food for the merchants along the route."

The University of Haifa researchers pursued a strategy involving targeted, small-scale excavations at ancient middens or garbage dumps at caravanserai along the Petra–Gaza section of the route.

Rubbish deposits, rich in ash and organic remains, located on the outskirts of the archeological sites, enabled the researchers to illuminate aspects of the organization of desert trade, with wide implications for other ancient trade routes.

What great finds they uncovered.

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Shame on Lufthansa
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday May 11 , 2022
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Lufthansa has apologized for not allowing Jews on one of their flights.

In a statement, the CEO of the airline wrote that Lufthansa: “regrets the circumstances surrounding the decision to exclude the affected passengers from the flight.”

He went on to say that the airline regretted that: “the large group was denied boarding rather than limiting it to the non-compliant guests.”

What Lufthansa referred to as a “group” were 100-plus Hasidic Jews, many of whom did not know one another, flying to Hungary on a pilgrimage to the graves of renowned rabbis.

According to the passengers, they were not a group at all - most of the Jewish passengers were flying as individuals.

Lufthansa also apologized “not only for the inconvenience, but also for the offense caused and personal impact.”

Lufthansa management did not use the word “Jews” nor did they mention that the only passengers barred from travel were Jews and very Jewish looking Jews.

Airline employees spoke to that issue saying that it was Jewish people who had boarded a plane at JFK who were non-mask-compliant and hence, they were being punished.

During the flight from JFK the pilot admonished passengers and told them there would be consequences for not wearing a mask. And there were.

Shame on Lufthansa -- even the apology was insulting.

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World Leaders Beg Iran
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday May 10 , 2022
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Leaders from around the world are still attempting to convince Iran to come back to the negotiation table and sign on to a new nuclear agreement.

The European Union's Iran nuclear coordinator, Enrique Mora, is going to Tehran to meet Iranian negotiator Bagheri Kani.

On Twitter, Enrique Mora wrote: "Travelling again to Tehran for meetings with Bagheri Kani and other officials on the Vienna talks and other issues. Work on closing the remaining gaps of this negotiation continues."

Ali Shamkhani, the chair of Iran's powerful Supreme National Security Council, tweeted in Hebrew that nuclear talks were progressing and "were a sign that the strong government and its official ability to deal with the most important matters."

Shamkhani was, obviously, trying to bring home his point to one of the nuclear deal’s most outspoken naysayers

Mora has played a crucial role in facilitating the negotiations, given that Iran refuses to speak directly to America. He last traveled to Tehran in late March, before heading to Washington.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said Mora would be "conveying messages" from the other signatories to Tehran during his trip.

One of Iran’s most outrageous demands is that Washington lift its terrorism designation from the Revolutionary Guard.

Separately, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has grown increasingly critical of Iran's failure to cooperate and its refusal to explain the traces of radioactive material at several undeclared nuclear sites.

The IAEA’s head, Rafael Mariano Grossi, has repeatedly expressed his frustration with Iran. He is quoted as saying: "We, in the last few months, were able to identify traces of enriched uranium in places that have never been declared by Iran, so we are extremely concerned about this."

Grossi added that he was skeptical that officials could close a nuclear deal if the IAEA still had unanswered questions.

This is not over – and probably wont be over for a while.

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A/S in Antwerp
By Micah Halpern

Monday May 9, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

It was right out of a comic book.

It took place in Antwerp, Belgium.

A man was attacking a Jew. The Jew was dressed in traditional Jewish garb. He had a beard, a fur hat, a long black coat and a white shirt.

The perpetrator shouted hateful anti-Jewish slurs and then lunged at the Jew. The Jew quickly responded taking down the bad guy.

The scene was filmed by someone watching from a balcony above the melee. The perpetrator was held on the ground by the victim while other people called the police.

The police came and arrested the perpetrator.

Attacks against Jews in Belgium are commonplace. They have been on a fast rise this past year.

It is good to see that Jews are responding.

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Jews Fight Back in Anterp
By Micah Halpern

Sunday May 8, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Sometimes, the news just makes me laugh.

Sometimes, an item shoots across my screen and I think it is a joke - but it turns out to be all too true.

A family of American tourists was leaving Israel after their visit. They arrived at Ben Gurion Airport and, like everyone else, stood on line for a security check of their luggage. And there, in their luggage, it was discovered that they were carrying home a souvenir they found on their trip to the Golan Heights.

What was this souvenir? It was an intact, unexploded, loaded, shell.

The airport was quickly evacuated. One person was hurt in the mayhem. The family was taken and interrogated.

The American family was quickly released and they were even able to fly home on their originally scheduled flight. It was obvious to security that they had no intention of wrongdoing. And just as obvious that they had no idea of how dangerous a souvenir they had.

In a certain way, it was a quaint story. Had they been in the United States the family would have certainly been arrested and charged. The legal principle is “ignorance is no excuse.”

In Israel, they handled things differently.

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Russians Leave Israel
By Micah Halpern

Saturday May 7, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Israel granted refugee status and citizenship to about 6,000 Russian Jews. they were obviously also granted the Right of Return.

As refugees, these new Israelis receive even more benefits than those granted to a simple oleh or Jewish immigrant.

These 6,000 Russians were granted the same refugee status as Ukrainians who were truly escaping for their lives. The Russian Jews were not escaping. But they lived with the fear that they may be targeted in Russia simply because they are Jews.

Now, 2 months since the invasion into Ukraine and the arrival of Russian refugees to Israel – 1,800 of these Russians have returned to Russia with their new Israeli citizenship plus the cash and other benefits given them by the Jewish State.

As you rightly imagine, Israel is not pleased. The Israeli government, you could say, is livid.

The Russians all flew back on either El Al or Israir. They are the only airlines that fly from Tel Aviv to Russia and the tickets are extremely expensive. Not to mention that the flights from Moscow to Tel Aviv were paid for by Israeli taxpayers.

These 1800 people are clearly not refugees … that is obvious by their return.

They exploited Israel to get an Israeli passport - a passport that is more respected in the Western world than a Russian passport.

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Teddy Bear Hospital
By Micah Halpern

Friday May 6, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

500 Israeli children received teddy bears for participating in an Open House for Children. The event was sponsored by the Azrieli Faculty of Medicine in Safad.

Every year for the past decade, this branch of Bar Ilan Medical School transforms their facility into a hospital and creates a program intended to de-mystify the hospital for children.

The goal is to alleviate anxiety. They conduct child-friendly programs in emergency rooms, blood labs, x-ray rooms, a cardiac center and even in ambulances.

The program is call “the Teddy Bear Hospital.” And it is very successful.

Many children, as well as adults, have a fear of hospitals and that fear keeps them from getting early treatment. If this anxiety can be alleviated early, then whenever hospitalizations are required - even if the need arises later in life, these graduates of Teddy Bear Hospital will feel comfortable enough to quickly access a hospital, before their situation turns into an emergency.

In the long term, innovative programs like this one save lives.

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Zelenskyy & Bennett
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday May 4, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Ukrainian President Zelenskyy spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Bennett about Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov’s Hitler comments.

Zelenskyy called the comments "scandalous and completely unacceptable remarks". Zelenskyy also went on air and said that Lavrov’s ridiculous pronouncement had outraged the world.

Referring to Lavrov’s comments, Bennett said: "His words are untrue and their intentions are wrong. Using the Holocaust of the Jewish people as a political tool must cease immediately. Lies such as these mean to blame Jews for the horrible crimes committed against them throughout history and by doing so, remove responsibility from their enemies."

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid was very forceful in his outrage over Lavrov’s comments. He found them to be both a personal affront and a historical untruth.

Lapid said: "This is an unforgivable and outrageous statement and a terrible historic mistake and we expect an apology.

"Jews did not kill themselves in the Holocaust. My grandfather was killed by Nazis. To say that Hitler was of Jewish origin is like saying that Jews killed themselves and we cannot forgive such a comparison.

"It enrages me not only as foreign minister but also as a son of my father's who was put in the Budapest ghetto. He was not put there by Jews. He was put there by Nazis.

"The Nazis persecuted the Jews and killed six million of them. Ukrainians were not Nazis. Only the Nazis were Nazis and they had conducted a systematic eradication of the Jewish people.”

This issue is not going away. The Kremlin firmly asserts that Ukraine is Nazi and fascist. Russian’s propaganda machine is in full force telling Russians that through this invasion, they are de-Nazifying Ukraine.

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Lavrov's Ridiculous Pronouncement
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday May 3, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

The ridiculous and very bold announcement, made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, stating that Hitler was Jewish set in motion a series of responses.

Lavrov’s intent was to say that it does not matter that Ukrainian President Zelenskyy is Jewish. Russia still must destroy the Nazism and fascism of Zelenskyy and of Ukraine.

The statement was made in a now famous interview Lavrov gave to Italian media.

He said: “I could be wrong but Hitler also had Jewish blood … [The fact that Zelensky] is a Jew doesn’t mean anything. Wise Jewish people say that the most ardent anti-Semites are usually Jews.”

The claim by Russia’s foreign minister is 100% false. But that doesn’t stop it from being repeated often these days in the Soviet Union. And it is even being used to discredit Israel and all Jews. The Kremlin’s intent was to bolster their claim that Ukraine is Nazi and Fascist – which is also blatantly false.

Just because they are false statements, doesn’t mean that they are not effective. These pronouncements have awakened a deep-seated hatred of Jews that, in the new era of Russia, has been controlled - residing and festering, beneath the surface.

There are serious ramifications to these Russian moves and proclamations.

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