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America’s Long Fuse

How far can Iran provoke the US before the Biden administration is forced to react?
The Backstory

How far can Iran provoke the US before the Biden administration is forced to react? A series of hushed-up incidents over Saudi Arabia says that it can go very far.

Just two days after Biden’s inauguration, an Iranian drone hit the door of the Saudi royal palace in Riyadh. A month later, both the White House and Saudi officials refuse to release pictures of the (intentionally) minor damage.

And that wasn’t it. Three days later, drones hit both a royal palace in a desert area of the country, as well as a helipad. Unbelievably, that too was buried.

“We would have expected this to dominate the headlines,” a senior source in Israel’s military intelligence (AMAN) told me. “But the Americans want to give negotiations with Iran a chance to work.”

Iranian belligerence hasn’t just been limited to the Gulf states. The more widely reported attack on an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf last week, attributed by Bibi Netanyahu to Iran, was not the work of anti-ship missiles, as was widely assumed.

“The Iranians carried out the attack using naval commandos,” says the AMAN source.

The American fuse, it turns out, is a very long one.

—Yisrael Yoskovitz

Wind in their Sails

Texas’s recent extreme weather predictably became a partisan mudslinging match, with Democrats blaming the GOP in power for lack of state oversight of the grid, and conservatives laying into the green energy policies they say caused mass blackouts.

“The windmills failed like the silly fashion accessories they are, and people in Texas died,” said Fox News anchor Tucker Carlson, with his customary understatement.

But are the wind turbines really so useless? Are they just vain props in a liberal virtue-signaling exercise?

The view from the UK says otherwise. Wind farms, as they’re known, are a normal sight across the windy country, which gets a fifth of its power from the systems.

Opinion is still divided whether the turbines are graceful ornaments to the horizon, or ugly bird-killers. But as Britain prepares to host the UN Climate Summit later this year in Glasgow, the country’s success in harvesting its abundant wind crop is evidence that not all green policy is hot air.

Showing Them the Gelt

Is there an economic solution to the so-called “shidduch crisis”? The problem of older singles runs the gamut of all kehillos and all sectors. Now in response, the Bobover Rebbe, Rav Benzion Halberstam, has undertaken a bold initiative for his kehillah, which has hundreds of older bochurim and girls.

The initiative boils down to gelt, and not just pocket money. A shadchan who suggests a shidduch for anyone 21 years old that leads to the boy or girl getting engaged nets $5,000, plus an added $1,000 for each additional year the single is.

The new program, which does not include the shadchan’s regular fee from the two sides, was announced by the Rebbe at his Shushan Purim tish.

And there have been immediate results — within a week, two shadchanim have already claimed their bonuses. A 21-year-old bochur got engaged on Monday last week and a 32-year-old became a chassan on Thursday, netting the shadchan a $16,000 windfall.

The Jewish world’s singles scene is watching.

—Yochonon Donn.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 852)

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