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Micah Halpern Is Always Thinking

middle East violence continues
(Micah Halpern is a long-time friend of The Morning Zone, and his radio blogs air weekday mornings at 6:35 and 9:35, plus, he makes frequent live appearences on the program with host,Dave Chaffin, to update you on what really is happening today in the middle east)
Christians Live in Fear
By Micah Halpern

Friday February 22, 2013

I’ve Been Thinking:

Since the Muslim Brotherhood rose to power in Egypt, the Christians there have been living in a precarious and especially dangerous situation.

And we only know half the story, because most anti-Christian attacks in Egypt go unreported.

This week Al Balad news service covered threats made to Coptic Christian religious leaders. The Coptic Christians were told to convert to Islam or die. These threats were issued in the city of Safaga, near the Red Sea. They were made by a new group called Jihad al Kufr which means “the holy war against the heretics.”

In Islam, the punishment for heretics is death.

In Fayoum this week the church was attacked – twice. Last week two boys, one nine years old and the other ten years old were arrested for desecrating the Koran. They were playing on a garbage heap and in the heap there happened to be some remains of a Koran.

On a subway in Cairo Muslim in hijabs and burkahs grabbed two Coptic Christians and forcibly cut their hair. That is the third time something an incident like this has been perpetrated.

The situation is not getting better for the Christians of Egypt. Of the 85 million people who live in Egypt, 9 million are Christians.

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Saudis Behead BabySitter
By Micah Halpern

Thursday February 21, 2013

I’ve Been Thinking:

Let’s begin at the end. Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador from Sri Lanka.

The move came in response to Sri Lanka pulling their ambassador in Saudi Arabia.

How did the situation get to this point?

It began in 2005 when a then 17 year old Sri Lankan babysitter was charged with smothering a four month old baby Saudi baby to death. On January 9, 2013 the babysitter was beheaded. In response to the beheading Sri Lanka announced a travel ban to Saudi Arabia on all women under 25.

Many international organizations condemned the beheading.
Saudi Arabia executes people who have violated laws that they deem fundamental to their social fabric. Drugs, robbery, adultery and more serious crimes like murder are all met with the same punishment – beheading.

The United States has made its point of view known to the Saudi government, but no country and no diplomacy will have an impact or influence on the policies of Saudi Arabia. Saudi policy is ingrained into Saudi life and is a fundamental component of Saudi legal culture.

This is Shariya — Islamic law.

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Hagel— Why?
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday February 20, 2013

I’ve Been Thinking:

I still believe that Chuck Hagel will be confirmed by the Senate. I do not think it is a wise decision. If I were advising the president, I would suggest that he find a new nominee.

The reason Hagel will be confirmed as Secretary of Defense comes down to simple math. The Democrats only need 51 members to approve the confirmation and they are a majority of 55 in the Senate.

Comments made by Hagel before an audience at Rutgers University in 2007 show just how off base he is. He suggested that the State Department is a branch of the Israeli Foreign Ministry. The ridiculousness of that comment shows just how out of line things have gotten.

If there is any genuinely pro-Arab agency in the US government it is State. And the Arabists there have good reason to be pro-Arab if for no other reason than that they must deal with the geopolitical reality. In their eyes it is a numbers game – there are some many Arabs and so many Arab countries that they must be addressed.

The State Department clearly has an anti-Israel bias, that is the way it is and that is the way it always has been. How could anyone, especially a sitting member of the armed services committee, even entertain any other idea.

The biggest kicker is that yesterday The Wall Street Journal exposed that the academic department that invited Hagel to speak at Rutgers was sponsored by Iran.
Read my new book THUGS. It’s easy. Just click.

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Why Egypt Flooded the Tunnels
By Micah Halpern

Tuesday February 19, 2013

I’ve Been Thinking:

One of the most common questions posed to me over the weekend was – why has Egypt flooded the tunnels between Gaza and Egypt.

The answer is that Egypt has been hurt badly by weapons and by people making their way through the tunnels all in order to attack Egypt.

The reality is that now only 30% of the goods in Gaza come through the tunnels and almost all of that is illegal. Compare that to the 100% figure of only a few months ago.

This is the answer, according to Reuters, given by Essam Haddad, President Morsi’s National Security Adviser, to the tunnel question: “And on the other side, we would not like to see arms smuggled through these tunnels either in or out, because we are now seeing in Sinai and we have captured actually across Egypt heavy arms that could be used in a very dangerous way.”

Last week Egypt stopped two tons of explosives making their way to the tunnels en route to Gaza. The Egyptians stopped the delivery en route because once they are in Gaza the goods can be allocated for operations against Egypt.

Six months ago, in August, terrorists from Gaza attacked and killed 16 Egyptian police in the Sinai.

This week alone two sets of Israeli security teams are meeting in
Egypt to discuss mutual interests. Egypt says they will shout at Israel to open up the border even more – but they really want to hear what Israel knows about al Qaeda and other terrorists.

Terrorists almost as interested in destroying Egypt as they are in destroying Israel.

Read my new book THUGS. It’s easy. Just click.

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Barbie & Ken in Israel
By Micah Halpern

Monday February 18, 2013

I’ve Been Thinking:

Every once in a while something fun happens on the world scene, something that makes me smile.

Last summer two Italians visited Israel. They went for a vacation and for the purpose of creating art.

The two were photographers, so naturally, they brought their cameras. They also brought Barbie and Ken. And then they took pictures of the dolls against the backdrop of the great sites of Israel. Tel Aviv, the Dead Sea, the Western Wall.

Those photos are now on display. They have been featured in very popular Italian fashion and art magazines and even in Vanity Fair.
What makes this an even more interesting story is that in Iran, Barbie and Ken are outlawed because they are Western influences.

They were officially banned in January of last year. And just yesterday the Iranians outlawed Buddha so that it is now illegal to sell any doll of Buddha in Iran.

Barbie was created by a Jewish woman named Ruth Handler on March 6, 1959. Handler was the co founder of Mattel. She named the doll after her daughter Barbara and then, in 1961, when Ken came along she named him after her son.

It is intriguing to see that dolls can have such an impact on the world that one country bans them while another takes pictures of them and publishes those pictures as art.
Read my new book THUGS. It’s easy. Just click.

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