To Read: Robert Kaplan writes about how post cold war US Presidents lack the authority their cold war predecessors had to pursue geopolitical goals-
Geopolitics is not immoral. Actually, as many a Cold War president showed, it can be quite moral. If a liberal democracy like the United States does not employ geopolitics to its own purposes, illiberal autocracies like China and Iran certainly will -- and will have the field to themselves. Indeed, China is acting and speaking geopolitically in the South and East China seas; Iran is doing likewise in Iraq and Syria. When post-Cold War presidents justify to the American people their actions in geopolitical terms, the public will likely understand and support them, even if some sectors of the elite do not. And from that will flow a more serious, more coherent foreign policy.
Quote: "I'd rather be a little slow and keep control of the weapons as much as possible, rather than try to move fast in what is likely to be a long, drawn-out war", Seth Jones, associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center at RAND, commenting on reports that the US has begun shipping weapons to Syria.
Number: 80,000, the US army is going to cut its head count by 80,000 soldiers by 2017.
To Read: Indian-Israel specialist Alvite Singh Ningthoujam explores the role of clandestine arms deals in Israel's diplomacy-
Historically, Israel’s establishment of closer ties with other countries has often been accompanied or facilitated by military relations. Arms sales and other forms of security relations occupied a prominent position in Israel’s relations with Iran under the Shah, South Africa (during the apartheid regime), Taiwan, Latin America, Turkey and India (since normalization of relations in 1992).
Absence of formal diplomatic ties did not inhibit Israel from offering military aid to countries officially at war with the Jewish state. This is because its limited political, economic and diplomatic leverage has resulted in Israel using arms sales and other forms of military assistance such as training and military upgrading to further its foreign policy objectives.
Quote: "Our partner in Israel has determined that this particular location is not part of his growth plan", Irina Shalmor, spokeswoman for McDonald's Israel, commenting on McDonald's decision not to open a branch in the large West Bank Settlement Ariel.
Number: 1,250, the new number of peacekeeping soldiers who are going to be stationed at the Golan.
The Middle East
To Read: Brookings' Shadi Hamid believes that a second revolution in Egypt (like the one scheduled for this Sunday) will probably come at a price-
There is no legal or constitutional mechanism through which Morsi, who was elected with 51.7 percent of the vote just a year ago, can be ousted. Realistically, there is only one way he falls - if mass violence and a total collapse of public order provoke the military to step in. In this sense, for Tamarod to "succeed," Egypt must fail. For some in the opposition, this short-term cost -- as devastating as it might be -- is justified because the alternative of continued Muslim Brotherhood rule will fundamentally alter the very nature of Egypt.
Quote: "Syria is still bleeding, and in Lebanon the flames have started to creep up on Nasrallah", IDF Chief Benny Gantz using metaphors.
Number: 16, the number of who died under torture at the hands of Syria’s feared security forces and have been handed to their families, according to a Syrian NGO.
The Jewish World
To Read: The Times of Israel presents the positions of several Jewish thinkers on the following ethical dilemma-
After completing graduate school in the United States last year, my daughter decided to make aliyah. As a longtime Zionist, I am proud that she has decided to make Israel her home. However, I find her political choices disturbing. She recently joined a Jewish community on the West Bank that opposes any territorial concessions for peace. I strongly oppose this position. I believe it is detrimental to both Israelis and Palestinians, and contributes to larger negative dynamics both regionally and globally. Should I continue to support my daughter financially, as I do with her two older siblings who live in the US?
Quote: “On a larger political level, I think our political goal can only be to achieve that the vast majority of German society – not only German society, every democratic society – understands that combating anti-Semitism is not solely for the benefit of the Jewish community. It’s for the benefit of every democratic civil society", Daniel Alter, the Rabbi who was attacked and had his cheekbone was broken by young Arab men in Berlin last year for wearing a skullcap, addressing an anti-Semitism conference in Berlin.
Number: 24,811, the number of people recognized as 'Righteous Among the Nations' thus far by Yad Vashem.
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