To Read: Leon Hadar criticizes the Obama administration's murky representation of its motives in Syria-
Instead of spinning the decision to scale up military support for the Syrian rebels as a "humanitarian intervention," the unnamed sources in the Obama administration seemed to promoting it as a demonstration of sensible of Realpolitik-style considerations. In fact, examining the postmortem narratives about President Obama raising the ante in Syria, one might get the impression that the Obama administration's national-security team is a not a bastion of Samantha Power's liberal interventionists—but that of Henry Kissinger-like hard-core realists. Forget humanitarian intervention: It's the balance of power, stupid!
Quote: "The bottom line is very simple. Allies are supposed to treat each other in decent ways, and Putin always seems almost eager to put a finger in the eye of the United States.”Chuck Schumer commenting on Russia's President Putin.
Number: 67, the percentage point divide between Israelis who have a favorable view of the U.S. and Palestinians.
To Read: A new JPPI report on European Jewry reminds Israel that it should be extra sensitive when promoting Aliya and dealing with Antisemetism in European countries-
Regarding possible intervention by the State of Israel, things are even more delicate: it can certainly be seen as a foreign state’s interference in another country’s affairs and this may place local Jewish leadership in an uncomfortable position. Although discreet diplomatic interventions by Israeli embassies are often useful, a public intervention by the Israeli government in the local media is a delicate issue that may exacerbate charges of dual loyalty leveled at European Jews and should be considered with caution.
Quote: “Israel will have to seriously consider the option of conquering all of Gaza and really cleaning it out. I’m not sure we want to live with that situation, but in the long term it’s inevitable”, former Israeli FM, MK Avigdor Liberman in an interview for Israeli radio.
Number: 6, the number of rockets fired from Gaza to the south of Israel, prompting this response.
The Middle East
Headline: Deadly fighting rages in Lebanon
To Read: Jonathan Schanzer writes about the (surprisingly negative) effect the 'Arab Spring' has had on Hamas-
The Arab Spring years have been surprisingly unkind to Hamas. The falling out with Iran is just one example. The Islamist group has failed to benefit from the rise of other Islamist governments across the region. Instead, the faction finds itself at a strange inflection point, with more ideological allies but few true alliances.
Quote: “For Nasrallah, there is some good news from his involvement in Syria. Hezbollah is gaining battle experience. But this is smaller in significance than the price Nasrallah is paying, politically and operationally. There is an erosion of Hezbollah’s fighting forces and its resources. The organization is suffering a loss of personnel. And of course, politically, this is increasingly chipping away at Hezbollah’s image as the resistance party that fights the common enemy [Israel]”, Yoram Schweitzer, Israeli terrorism expert, on Hezbollah's crisis.
Number: 8 million, the number of votes the 1.7 million inhabitants of Gaza sent for the Palestinian contender who eventually won the 'Arab Idol' competition.
The Jewish World
To Read: Professor Aryeh Cohen doesn't like the overbroad (mis-)use of the term 'Tikun Olam'-
Rabbi Jill Jacobs, cited by Korf as a critic of the term tikkun olam, is the executive director of “Tru’ah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights.” She has written a book steeped in traditional learning, Where Justice Dwells, which, as its subtitle suggests, “Pursu[es] Social Justice Through Jewish Law and Tradition.” In her book, Jacobs critiques the overbroad usage of the term tikkun olam—and shows that the tradition has a much more nuanced vocabulary for the work of social and economic justice. In my own book, Justice in the City: An Argument from the Sources of Rabbinic Judaism, the phrase tikkun olam does not appear.
Quote: “This [the current tension facing European Jews] is a unique opportunity for Israel to make clear that it is a viable option for European Jewry to live here a very attractive option for them to have a safe, economically stable life”, JPPI co-chairman Stuart Eizenstat presenting the new JPPI report to the Israeli government.
Number: 50,000, the number of Jews murdered in the Babi Yar forest, where a new memorial is finally being built.