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Israeli Satellite Back on Line
By Micah Halpern

Friday September 23, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Last Tuesday Israel launched spy satellite Ofek 11. This satellite launch brings the total of Israeli spy satellites to ten.

When the spy satellite was launched, it was malfunctioning. That's a problem. The satellite was unable to send pictures back to earth to be analyzed by Israeli defense intelligence teams.

But yesterday, Thursday, we got a report that the Ofek11 was online and transmitting very clear pictures.

The coming on line of the satellite allowed the Israeli teams to breathe a deep sigh of relief. It is very hard to fix a satellite from earth - but it seems that is exactly what they did.

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UK Amb Converts to Islam and Does the Hajj
By Micah Halpern

Thursday September 22, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Simon Collis, the British Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, converted to Islam. This week Collis and his wife, who is of Syrian descent and is also a Muslim, performed the Hajj - the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The Saudi press has been filled with compliments for Collis.

There has been a ripple effect throughout the rest of the Arabic world.

Collis, in explaining his decision, said that he spent the past 30 years living in Muslim cultures.

Although conversion is a personal matter, Collis' conversion is clearly important to the Arabic world and they are literally holding Collis up as a hero within Islam.

On the other hand, I am certain that people in White Hall, the center of the British foreign office, are very concerned about this very public conversion and the attention it is getting in the press throughout the world.

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Russia - Egypt Tensions
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday September 21, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Russia and Egypt are in the midst of a serious trade crisis.

Russia is one of the world's largest exporters of wheat and Egypt is the largest importer of wheat in the world.

In August a shipment of Russian wheat arrived in Egypt contaminated with a common fungus called ergot. Egypt rejected the shipment.

Then Russia rejected Egyptian citrus fruit saying that the fruit shipment was potentially rotten.

Now a special Egyptian delegation is off to Moscow to solve the problem. But Egypt will not accept tainted wheat. There is no doubt that ergot ruins wheat, but Egypt has been filling part of Russia's fruit needs since the breakdown of Russian Turkey relations earlier this year.

Egypt needs both to get Russia's wheat and to sell them fruit. Russia is in the driver's seat in this dialogue. Is anyone surprised?

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Israeli Embassies Drill Hostage Crisis
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday September 20, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Yesterday in Riga, Latvia the Israeli embassy and the Latvians conducted an important drill. They simulated a full blown hostage situation.

This Latvian drill comes on the heels of a drill in Rumania and another one conducted in Kiev, Ukraine. There was also a drill in Greece.

Israel needs to drill because the possibility of a hostage crisis is everywhere. These locations utilized the host communities to practice so that both the host country and Israel can be as well trained as possible.

Every single Israeli embassy and consulate around the world has been regularly training and drilling so that, when the situation arises, they will be ready and able to protect themselves.

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New Muslim Poll in France
By Micah Halpern

Monday September 19, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

A recent poll in France reveals two very interesting and important pieces of information about Muslims who live in France.

30% of those surveyed said that Islamic law is more important than French law and that one should follow Sharia over French law.

The next interesting point is that it has been assumed that 10% of the 64 million people in France were Muslims. This poll halves that number and puts it at 3 to 4 million Muslims in France.

The information in the poll is important to process. It is clear that Muslims in France are less and less likely to buy into the national values of freedom, equality and fraternity.

It is also important to realize that an entire educational message needs to be directed at teaching about the importance of the Republic.

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Algeria Put Israel on the Map
By Micah Halpern

Sunday September 18, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

A massive crisis has engulfed Algeria. It is called "mapgate."

An educational textbook identified Israel by name on a map. It did not use the word Palestine. There are calls for the minister of education to resign. The Islamic parties are livid.

The books have been recalled.

The explanation given for the choice of Israel over Palestine was that the labeling was a mistake - that there was no intention of labeling the area Israel and not Palestine. The minister blamed the publishing house. The head of the publishing house apologized for offending Algeria sensibilities. It was called "a lapse and unintentional mistake."

The publisher said that the author was on deadline and downloaded a map from the internet without checking it.

The hatred towards Israel is so great in Algeria that they are jumping through hoops to try to justify using the name Israel. Israel, in Islamic Algeria, is quite simply an unacceptable word.

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Israel Drills for Massive Attack
By Micah Halpern

Friday September 16, 2016

I've Been Thinking:

Next week Israel will conduct a national drill. It will be as realistic as possible.

The Home Front Command is enacting a drill that will simulate a multi-front simultaneous attack against Israel. There will be attacks from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, the Golan Heights and from Iran. 95% of the rockets will not hit residential areas but 1%-5% will definitely land and cause damage.

The most important part of the drill is getting emergency teams to the people and places in need and providing the necessary triage to get the wounded to the proper trauma centers.

These drills are so important.

Israel needs to constantly keep themselves as on top of their game as possible. At any time, on any day, the enemies of Israel can strike. Israel needs to be prepared.

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