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Iron Dome 97% Hit Rate
By Micah Halpern

Sunday August 6, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

97% effective is near perfect.  

Israel’s Iron Dome, in real battle conditions, as rockets launched from Gaza headed into Israel, was 97% effective in destroying those rockets. 

The Iron Dome was first created in 2011.  At that point the anti-missile defense battery operated at 85% efficiency. Since then, it has been tweaked and it continues to improve.  In 2012 it had a 90% shoot down rate.

The Iron Dome was developed by Israeli state-owned Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd with support from U.S. firm Raytheon Technologies Corp.  This unique defense system was designed to economize on costly interceptor missiles by only engaging rockets that are on a trajectory to hit populated areas.

And since the most recent flare-up of fighting between Israel and Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in Gaza, it has, according to an Israeli military spokesperson, been the Iron Dome’s best performance so far.

"We are improving our capabilities all of the time," the spokesperson said. "Touch wood."

Islamic Jihad had fired 580 rockets at Israel as of Sunday morning, the spokesman said, adding that around 20% fell short.  That means that they fell within Gaza.  The remaining 80% reached as far as the outskirts of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

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Bella Hadid Hits Israel
By Micah Halpern

Saturday August 7, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Bella Hadid, world renowned model, has 54 million followers on her Instagram account.  And Bella Hadid used that Instagram account to attack Israel.

On her Instagram account Hadid quoted from an interview with Ha’Aretz columnist Gideon Levy that ran in Al-Jazeera.  

Quoting from the interview, the super model wrote: "The Israeli public is quite brainwashed and knows very little about what is going on. In recent days we were told that the southern communities near the border with Gaza need to be under curfew because there is danger. No one knew what the danger was exactly and all of a sudden, after three or four days, Israel said this was an 'intolerable' situation – but Gaza can be under siege for 16 years and this is 'tolerable.' Meanwhile, some of the communities in the south can't withstand four days of lockdown…"

And she added pictures.

Hadid, the American born daughter of a Palestinian Jordanian has never been a fan of Israel. In fact, it’s fair to call her a Palestinian advocate and an Israeli basher.

Several months ago, on Valentine's Day, Hadid took a virtual swing at the Jewish state, posting a photograph of a heart on her Instagram page with the words "Will you free my Palestine".  It was, of course, a play on the traditional request "Will you be my Valentine."

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Gaza Bombs Israel
By Micah Halpern

Friday August 5, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

580 rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel. 

Most of them were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system.

But damage was done within Israel. Shrapnel from both the terrorist’s rockets and from the Iron Dome defense system came raining down and some of it fell into residential and commercial areas. 

One person from Israel was injured from the rocket debris.  He is a Palestinian worker from Hebron working in a factory in Ashkelon.

This is the classic definition of irony.

Palestinian terrorists try to kill and wound and terrorize as many Israelis as possible by launching rockets that are intercepted and their falling remains hurt a Palestinian from the West Bank working in Israel.   

Classic irony!

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Israel is the Winner
By Micah Halpern

Thursday August 4, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

The biggest winner in US President Joe Biden’s meeting with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was not the United States.

In the end, the United States did not walk away with any significant increase in OPEC oil production.  In fact, the goal the United States had set for this meeting wasn’t met at all, even though the US jumped through Saudi hoops and even let the Saudis out of the diplomatic doghouse it was in.

The biggest winner was Israel. 

Israel was one topic that both the United States and Saudi Arabia could agree on.  And agree they did. 

For years Israel and Saudi Arabia had conducted secret interactions especially around security and Iran. But as of late, that relationship, albeit secret, had have cooled off.  Until Biden’s visit.

The US / Saudi meeting smoothed over Saudi Arabia’s negative feelings towards Israel and allowed for forward movement - not just on air travel but also on security and trade especially, hi-tech

Biden failed at one goal, but succeeded in another.

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Israel Holds PA Tax Money
By Micah Halpern

Wendesday August 3, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Israel has decided to withhold hundreds of millions of dollars of tax revenue from the Palestinian Authority.

The tax is collected in the ports and then delivered to the PA.

The decision to withhold the money was made by Israel because the Palestinian Authority continues with its policy of paying out stipends to Palestinians who were killed or imprisoned after perpetrating terrorist acts against Israelis and the Jewish state.

Israel will offset approximately NIS 610 million ($175 million) in 12 installments. Israel withheld a similar sum in Palestinian tax revenue last summer.

The decision by Israel to withhold the money is in accordance with a 2018 law that requires them to deduct stipends paid out by the PA to Palestinian terrorists and their families. Israelis believe that the payments encourage violence, while the Palestinians say the funds assist distressed families.

In April, the High Court of Justice in Israel ruled that due to this controversial PA policy termed “Pay to Slay”, the Palestinian Authority can be held liable for terrorist acts.

Justice Yitzhak Amit, setting out the majority ruling, found that the decision to pay convicted Palestinian terrorists and those killed as part of what Palestinians define as the “struggle against Israel” makes the PA liable for their actions.

Amit wrote: “[The PA] expresses its consent to their actions, in a manner that takes responsibility for the acts. This justifies that [the PA] will be assigned personal and direct responsibility.”

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Iran Arrests Bahai
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday August 2, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Iran is once again arresting members of the Baha’i community. 

Baha’i, an offshoot of Islam, is considered to be a collection of apostates and heretics by religious Iranian leadership.

According to a report by Iranian State TV, those who have been arrested are being charged as spies.  They are accused of spying for Israel.

Crackdowns on Baha’i are common in Iran. What is rare is for the ministry to report the arrests. The report did not say how many Baha’i had been detained but the detentions have raised concerns about potential crackdowns on followers of the religion.

Iran already bans the Baha'i, a religion founded in the 1860s by a Persian nobleman considered a prophet by his followers. Muslims consider Muhammad the highest prophet.

Since the 19th century many Iranians have converted to the Baha'i sect.

In 2013, Iran's top leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all state matters, issued a fatwa, a religious decree, urging Iranians to avoid all dealings with members of the banned Baha'i sect.

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Lebanon Arrests Christian Leader
By Micah Halpern

Monday August 1, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

The Maronite Archbishop of the Holy Land, headquartered in Haifa, serves as the leader of the Maronite Church in Israel. Upon his return to Lebanon from Israel, the Archbishop was subjected to an intense search.

Because of his special role numerous exceptions are made for Archbishop Moussa El-Hage to travel back and forth between these countries which have no diplomatic relations.  The Archbishop brings aid and assistance and money to support his parishioners.

While not actually arrested, the Archbishop who has been vocal in his call to stop calling all Israelis terrorists and traitors, was charged with treason.

Judge Akiki who was hearing the case said: "I respect the church, but there is a law that is the boycott of Israel and it is my duty as a judge to implement it".   

Maronite Patriarch Rahi, who sits in Beirut Lebanon, has come to the defense of the Archbishop. 

Rahi has demanded that officials rectify the situation.  He stated: "What happened with Archbishop Moussa El-Hage constitutes a test of the ability of those responsible to put an end to the attack on the Maronite Church...Some were complaining about the interference of sects in the state, so the state attacked a founding sect and a cleric who was famous for his piety and serving the people, whom the state should have secured respect for in his movement between Lebanon and his diocese."

Rejecting claims that the transfer of funds from Lebanese citizens in Israel to their relatives in Lebanon is considered "working with the enemy," the Maronite Patriarch stressed that: "we affirm once again that 'working' with an enemy country has never been part of our culture, our spirituality and our dignity."

Patriarch Rahi insisted that: "We are the first to respect and defend the laws, so we ask the authorities to respect and abide by them. We are the first to respect the judiciary and defend it, but we ask judges and judicial officials to respect the sanctity of the judiciary and liberate it from maliciousness and dependence on political and sectarian forces.”

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Explosion in Beirut
By Micah Halpern

Sunday July 30, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Two years ago, the Port of Beirut exploded. 

The explosion was equivalent to 10% of the power of a large nuclear bomb.  It was so powerful an explosion that a major section of Beirut was destroyed and windows were broken 15 miles away.

The sound reverberated and smoke could be seen for tens of miles.

Almost exactly two years later to the day, silos in the Port of Beirut have collapsed and a large cloud of dust and smoke was seen in the area.  This report comes from a witness as reported by Reuters. 

Earlier in the month, a fire had been burning slowly in the ruins of the port's grain silos.  The fire, which gave off an orange glow was visible at night from nearby neighborhoods.  Local Lebanese warned that the fires would cause the silos to collapse but nothing was done to prevent the damage.

Something is rotten in the leadership of Lebanon.

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Direct flights from Nigeria to Israel
By Micah Halpern

Saturday July 30, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

There will soon be direct flights to and from Israel and Nigeria.

The announcement was made, during a meeting held in Jerusalem, by both Israeli Tourism Minister Yoel Razvozov and the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrim Commission, Dr. Yakubu Pam.

The meeting centered around the mutual benefit that will come to both parties with the opening of this new route.

The route, a regular, non-stop flight, is intended to provide direct service for Christians in Nigeria to visit religious sites in Jerusalem.  According to Razvozov, roughly 50% of Nigerians are Christian.

It will take a bit of coordination, but it is expected that both Nigerian Air and El Al will be providing the service.

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Stop UN Investigation
By Micah Halpern

Friday July 29, 2022
I've Been Thinking:

Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid has called for UN Secretary General António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres to disband the UN Human Rights Commission of Inquiry (COI).

Lapid’s request cum demand was prompted by statements made by COI Commissioner Miloon Kothari.

On July 25th Kothari was quoted saying that the “Jewish lobby” has global influence and power. The Commissioner also called for ousting Israel from the United Nations.

The COI, which is investigating the 11-day war between Israel and Gaza, has placed almost all blame on Israel.

Miloon Kathari is a professional within the United Nations. His expertise is in human rights and in housing. The statements, coming from him, are no surprise. Miloon Kathari has a long and established history of Jew hatred.

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