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ISIS Using Social Media Headhunters
By Micah Halpern

Friday January 20, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

The head of Germany's domestic terror unit said that ISIS has been utilizing social media headhunters for recruiting purposes and that they have signed up children as young as 13 and 14 years old.

Social media recruiters use Facebook, Instagram and other new media. They use an algorithm to identify people who might be prime for ISIS. The next step is to send the potential recruits to ISIS recruiters to snap up the kids and send them off to join ISIS.

This is one of the most serious dangers of social media and the algorithm. Information in the wrong hands becomes a danger for all others.

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Russia & Turkey Unite to Bomb ISIS
By Micah Halpern

Thursday January 19, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Russia and Turkey coordinated air strikes against ISIS yesterday. Their attack was on the town of al Bab about 30 miles northeast of Aleppo.

This is the first time that there has been a coordinated air-force effort between these two nations.

It seems that the Russians have also provided air support for Assad's forces in Dir el Zor.

Russian fighter jets also bombed outside of Palmyra. The Russians were defending the Assad forces who were squaring off against ISIS. The fear was that ISIS will once again loot and blow up the remains of the ancient city.

Russia has trimmed its air fleet, so working together with Turkey bolsters the Russians air-force presence.

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Pole Pres Put Warsaw Stone on Grave in Jerusalem
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday January 18, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

The president of Poland, Andrzej Duda, is visiting Israel. This is an important trip for both countries.

The Polish president asked to include a visit to Mt Herzl, Israel's national cemetery, on his official itinerary.

While at Mt. Herzl, Duda placed a stone on the grave of Yoni Netanyahu, the brother of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who was killed in the famous July 4, 1976 operation saving Jews who were hijacked, kidnapped and brought to Uganda.

The Polish president knew of Yoni's story and brought a stone from the Warsaw ghetto to place on his gravesite. The symbolism is powerful - bravery and fighting against all odds.

The Warsaw ghetto uprising and the Uganda rescue are two of the most significant, elevating and mythic stories for Israelis - as a nation, as a people and as individual Jews and Israelis.

This was a very thoughtful and positive move on the part of President Duda and the people of Poland.

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Russia Understand's Israel
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday January 17, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Ever since Russia entered Syria in 2015 Israel and Russia, more specifically Benjamin Netanyahu and Vladimir Putin, are in regular contact about Syria and other issues in the Middle East.

The essence of the dialogue is the shoring up of mutual interests. In this case that means that both sides stay away from each other and not fire upon each other.

Russia's allies in Syria include President Bashar Assad and his supporters Hezbollah and Iran. They are not happy that Russia not only understands but even supports Israel's actions and bombings in Syria.

Israel does not want Assad or Hezbollah or Iran or ISIS or al Qaeda in the Golan Heights. Russia respects Israel's need to protect itself.

Open lines of communication between Putin and Netanyahu are Russia's way of de-escalating potential conflict between Israel and Russia in the air or on the ground in Syria. That is very wise.

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Iran & Its New Planes
By Micah Halpern

Monday January 16, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

Passenger jets is the perfect symbol of Iran's move out of the doghouse and finding a place among the community of nations.

Both Airbus and Boeing have been competing for the huge prize of well over $130 billion in deals with Iran. Airbus represents one of the largest companies in France while Boeing symbolizes American corporations.

So far, the score is nearly even with Airbus just nosing out Boeing. Airbus now has a contract for 731 planes with Iran while Boeing has a deal for 668. This includes the 100 Airbus sold to Iran just after the sanctions were lifted.

These planes will open the doors for Iran. Tourism, trade, global interaction and much more will happen as these planes arrive in Iran and take their place in the new Iranian fleet.

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Paris Conference
By Micah Halpern

Sunday January 15, 2017

I've Been Thinking:

A conference on the future of peace in the Middle East is taking place in Paris today. It is said to be the only hope to save the two state solution.

The biggest problem with this conference is that the two major players - the Israelis and the Palestinians - are not there.

The sponsors of the conference want to develop a plan acceptable to both sides. This is the second meeting of the groups in the Paris Conference. The first meeting was earlier last year, this meeting was originally scheduled for December but was postponed because the Israelis and the Palestinians were not talking.

They're still not talking. So why now?

Because it is just days before Obama leaves the White House.

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