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Egypt Starts Defending Christians
By Micah Halpern

Sunday March 26, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Egypt has finally started protecting their Christians.

When an anti-Christian incident took place in the ancient city of Luxor, police stepped in to control the mob. Eight of the protesters were arrested and seven protesters were injured. Four police were also injured.

Here's what happened: Muslims were marching on a Christian home and the police found out about it and stepped in to protect the family inside their home. The motivation for the protest was a rumor that a Christian teenager converted to Islam. It was rumored that his parents were holding him and punishing him for the conversion and trying to influence him to change back.

The family denies all of this.

Had police not stepped in, the crowd would have lynched the family.

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Why An Israeli Called in the Threats
By Micah Halpern

Friday March 24, 2017

I've been thinking.

Yes, it's true. The culprit behind the rash of over 120 phone threats against Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions was a Jewish boy living in Israel, a boy with dual Israeli/US citizenship.

The question on everyone's lips is "Why?"

The answer is clear. But first - a caveat. Just like the former journalist aka the first culprit caught for perpetrating crimes against Jewish institutions - this has nothing at all to do with President Donald Trump.

It was an attempt to become powerful. That quest, coupled with a modicum of computer skills is a very dangerous combination.

In order to feel powerful, this 18 year old attacked his community, his own people and threatened his family in Israel and in the United States. He exhibited a hatred of himself and of his community.

Doing his dastardly deeds under the veil of anonymity yielded him even more power. Doing it to his loved ones and doing it right under their noses while they searched for the perpetrator of these hate crimes empowered him. And he just went on and on and on strutting his stuff and exercising his new found power.

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JCC Terrorist
By Micah Halpern

Friday March 24, 2017

I've been thinking.

Yes, it's true. The culprit behind the rash of over 120 phone threats against Jewish community centers and other Jewish institutions was a Jewish boy living in Israel, a boy with dual Israeli/US citizenship.

The question on everyone's lips is "Why?"

The answer is clear. But first - a caveat. Just like the former journalist aka the first culprit caught for perpetrating crimes against Jewish institutions - this has nothing at all to do with President Donald Trump.

It was an attempt to become powerful. That quest, coupled with a modicum of computer skills is a very dangerous combination.

In order to feel powerful, this 18 year old attacked his community, his own people and threatened his family in Israel and in the United States. He exhibited a hatred of himself and of his community.

Doing his dastardly deeds under the veil of anonymity yielded him even more power. Doing it to his loved ones and doing it right under their noses while they searched for the perpetrator of these hate crimes empowered him. And he just went on and on and on strutting his stuff and exercising his new found power.



UKraine Bans RUssian Eurovision Singer
By Micah Halpern

Thursday March 23, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Ukraine has announced that the Russian contestant in the Eurovision music festival will not be permitted entry into Ukraine. Eurovision is an annual music festival that functions as a creative cultural competition between nations.

According to Eurovision rules, the winning country hosts the next year's competition. Last year Ukraine won. This year the music contest will take place in Kiev on May 11-13.

Ukrainian officials say that Yulia Samoylova, a 27 year old Russian woman who is confined to a wheelchair may not enter their country.

Eurovision is traditionally non-political. This year is different. Why? Because in 2014, after the Russian land grab, Yulia toured Crimea. Ukrainian law does not permit any entry into Crimea except through a Ukrainian border crossing. Anyone who violates that law may be refused entry into Ukraine.

Ukrainian officials take this very seriously.

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Ted Allen Was Wrong
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday March 22, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect is calling on actor Tim Allen to apologize for his comments on the Jimmy Kimmel Show.

Allen likened the atmosphere in Hollywood to Germany in the 1930's. He paralleled the being a conservative in Hollywood to Jews under Hitler. Allen his audience to imagine that life in LA is as bad as was life in Berlin. He said that "you've got to be real careful around here or you'll get beat up." He added, "If you don't believe what everybody believes, this is like thirties Germany."

Steven Goldstein, the director of the Anne Frank house, said "apologize to the Jewish people." He told Allen that "no one in Hollywood today is subjecting you or anyone else to what the Nazis imposed on Jews in the 1930s."

Goldstein is correct and Allen should apologize. There is no parallel. Allen could have said that it is uncomfortable being a conservative in Hollywood - he did not have to be so melodramatic and theatrical and invoke the Holocaust to make his point.

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Egypt an Palestinians Reconcile
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday March 21, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Palestinians and Egyptians are in talks in an effort to reconcile their tensions.

Palestinian leaders are now meeting in Egypt with their Egyptian counterparts. This is a good sign, for some time now there was almost no interaction between these two parties.

There are several reasons for this division.

The first reason is that Egypt had begun reaching out to the leaders of Gaza and tried to work with them in order to protect their border and stop the back and forth movement of weapons and drugs. Tensions between Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank are nearly beyond repair.

The second reason is that Egypt withdrew their anti-Israeli settlement resolution at the United Nations Security Council due to pressure from the US and Israel. Never mind that the resolution passed the next day after being proposed by another country.

Tensions between Egypt and the Palestinian Authority can be resolved. Egypt is a regional power and it is in the best interests of Palestinians to be able to count on al Sisi and his government.

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Israel 8th Most Powerful
By Micah Halpern

Monday March 20, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

US News and World Report has published its yearly list of the most powerful nations of the world.

Israel was named number 8 in the most powerful category. Number one was the United States, followed by Russia, China, UK, Germany, France, Japan and then Israel.

Israel was listed as #19 in the movers and shakers category and #25 in entrepreneurship.

Israel's standing is impressive by any standard. Israel, a country with about 8 million people, is competitive in power with countries like China with a billion and half people and the United States with 325 million.

Israel truly is extremely powerful. And so are Saudi Arabia, which was rated as #9, the United Arab Emirates which came in at #10 and South Korea and Canada, # 11 and #12, respectively.

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IDF Drills Near Gaza
By Micah Halpern

Sunday March 19, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Israel has called up army reservists for drills in southern Israel.

The drills, which will prepare the IDF for a variety of scenarios that may arise, were stimulated by increased tensions along the border with Gaza.

Over the past few weeks five rockets have been launched into Israel and three other border security incidents have occurred.

This does not mean that a battle is imminent, it means that Israel wants to be as well prepared as possible for potential threats and for an intensification of attacks coming from Gaza.

Bringing the IDF reservists to the Gaza border sends a signal to the leadership in Gaza. It says that Israel is preparing and that an increased number of launched missiles into Israel could result in a series of Israeli operations and strikes against Gaza.

That was not a part of the Gazans plan.

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