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Australia to Take citizneship from Terrorists
By Micah Halpern

Friday May 22, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Australia is planning on taking more serious steps in their fight against Islamic terror and Islamic homegrown terror.

From now on in Australia, if you join ISIS and travel to fight for them, or if you join them in Australia and you are an immigrant or the child of an immigrant, they will strip your citizenship.

Peter Dutton, the Australian Minister of Immigration, announced the plans earlier this week.

This is a significant step - especially for Australia, which has a reputation for openness and claims to be the most diverse country in the word.

Homegrown Islamic terror and Australians running to join ISIS has become a threat to the homeland and needs to be addressed.

This new law may or may not dissuade young people from joining ISIS - but it will give Australia more power and more teeth to punish and prosecute Islamic terrorists. The threat of deportation might not seem daunting, but word will soon get around.

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Battle in the Golan
By Micah Halpern

Thursday May 21, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

The heat during the day in the Golan Heights is brutal. Maybe that explains why summer is a time for fighting in the Golan. Whatever the reason, it has become the tradition. And this summer is no exception.

In two important battles over the past two weeks, Syrian rebels have extracted ISIS fighters from important positions very close to the Israeli border.

In both locations ISIS was attempting to expand their control - in the end, they lost and were badly defeated.

The first battle was waged just south of Qunetra, right on the Israeli border. That is where Jayash al Nusra, an ISIS affiliate, was defeated by rebels. During the second battle the Free Syrian Army, together with the Islamic group Jabhat al-Nusra, (which is affiliated with al Qaeda) overpowered ISIS fighters from the Shuhada al Yarmouk Brigades.

It is crucially important to understand that local issues trump ideology.

Groups cooperate with each other in order to make certain that the border with Israel remains quiet. That is why the Jabhat al-Nusra fought together with The Syrian Free Army.

ISIS was a threat to the stability and quiet of that border - and that was simply not acceptable.

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ISIS Rings in PA
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday May 20, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

120 silver rings that had ISIS slogans on them arrived at Ben Gurion airport. They were imported from Turkey and they were to be sold to Palestinians.

En route to Ramallah, in the Palestinian Authority, the rings were confiscated. And will be destroyed.

The essential point is not that the rings were discovered. The significance is that they were to be sold. The significance is that there is a market for semi precious jewelry that proclaims support for ISIS.

120 people would wear those rings with the same pride we feel wearing our lodge rings or college rings.

Palestinian leadership has been shouting for months that there is no ISIS presence in the PA ... none. And yet ...

Given this discovery that claim is very hard to believe.


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EU Wants To Lead Israel-PA Peace Talks
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday May 19, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

There is one thing almost everyone can agree on: The United States is losing influence in the Middle East.

As a result, other forces are lining up to try to exert leadership and influence in the vacuum that now exists.

The European Union is one of those forces. The leader of the 28 nation bloc EU is Federica Mogherini. She is 41 years old and the former foreign minister of Italy. Mogherini will be meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Wednesday where she will be propose that the EU step in and provide the much needed role of negotiations facilitator.

While it is true that the US role has diminished in the region, it is also true that the EU simply has neither the gravitas nor the ummpf necessary for that vital role. Besides, the Europe Union has a long history of siding against Israel.

Unless Mogherini can convince Israel otherwise, this proposal will simply die in the water. And someone else will try their hand at filling the role of negotiator.

Next ...

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Ramadi Falls to ISIS
By Micah Halpern

Monday May 18, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

The battle with ISIS is neither mono-directional nor is it mono-dimensional. The battle with ISIS has many levels and many fronts.

Ramadi, a city of 500,000 people, fell to ISIS yesterday. It is the capital f the Anbar province. Now the entire Anbar province in Iraq is now in the hands of ISIS. ISIS confirmed the conquest and we have video of Iraqi forces running away for fear of losing their heads.
We saw army vehicles speed away with Iraqi soldiers jumping and grabbing the sides of the trucks trying to escape.

When ISIS confirmed the victory they said that they had confiscated tanks and trucks and executed apostates.

This is a major setback for the West and a great victory for ISIS.
Anbar is the largest province in Iraq. Its transfer into ISIS control expands ISIS land and property even more. Anbar is larger than the rest of Iraq combined and the population of Anbar is 2 million.

Two days ago, in Syria, US Delta Force commandos attacked and killed ISIS leader Abu Sayyaf, the man in charge of oil production and marketing. I have been told that the plan was not to kill him, but to capture him alive -- plans do not always work out as anticipated. In the course of the attack, however, the West killed 31 ISIS fighters and captured the wife of Abu Sayyaf.

The commandos took computers and papers. Abu Sayyaf evidently kept meticulous record.

The success here is far greater than simply assassinating an individual high up in the ISIS organization. It must be seen together with other successful hits by the United States - the removal of the #1 ISIS leader, al Baghdadi and then the assassination of the #2 ISIS leader, Abu Afri.

Even more important than eliminating a high ranking ISIS member is the position that this particular ISIS member held - Abu Sayyaf ran the extremely efficient oil system that provided money allowing ISIS to function as smoothly and efficiently as it does.

Striking a blow to ISIS money sources is a huge success.

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Russia & China Navies Drill in the Med Sea
By Micah Halpern

Sunday May 17, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Russia and China are embarking on naval maneuvers in the Mediterranean Sea.

The exercise will include 9 large ships and numerous smaller support vessels.

The headquarters for the maneuvers will be the Russian missile cruiser the Moskva which is attached to the Black Sea Fleet and is normally docked in Crimea.

The deputy commander of the Russian navy, Vice Admiral Alexander Fedotenkov, is running the exercise from the Russian side. According to him "Sea Cooperation 2015 drills ... were not aimed against a third country."

Of course --- this is pure 100% rhetoric.

These drills are aimed at the United States and her allies as well as at the entire Middle East. Russia and China are saying loudly and clearly that they are now, individually and collectively, significant players in the region.

From here on, Russia and China will influence and effect change on everyone and everything in the region.


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Abbas' Pre -Conditions
By Micah Halpern

Saturday May 16, 2015

I've Been Thinking:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gave a speech commemorating the
Palestinian nakba, it is called Nakba Day.

Nakba means catastrophe. Nakba Day falls out on May 15th every year.

May 15, 1948 is the day on the Gregorian calendar that the State of Israel was declared. Palestinian Catastrophe Day is Israel Independence Day. It does not have to be seen that way-- but it is.

Make special note that the Palestinians chose to celebrate this day according to the Gregorian calendar, not according to their Muslim calendar.

In his speech Abbas clearly repeated his conditions for returning to negotiations with Israel. His three pre-conditions are.

#1: Total stopping of settlement
#2: Release of prisoners
#3: Negotiations for just one year.

This set of pre-conditions set by the Palestinian leader is pie in the sky. That is why the starting point of negotiations for Israel is NO pre-conditions.

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