Headline: US expands aid to French mission
To Read: According to Seth G. Jones, the US should not get its hopes up about the liberalization of the middle east-
Washington should not base its policy toward the greater Middle East on the assumption that the region is democratizing quickly or sustainably. The United States and other Western countries should encourage liberal reforms, support civil society, and provide technical assistance in improving countries' constitutions and financial systems. But the perceived promise of the Arab uprisings should not cause the United States to overlook its main strategic priorities in the region. Like it or not, the United States counts among its allies a number of authoritarian Arab countries, and they are essential partners in protecting its interests. The normative hope that liberal democracy may flourish in the future must be balanced by the need to work with governments and societies as they exist today.
Quote: "I always tease Denis that he made up for modest talents with extraordinary dedication and a high threshold for pain", Obama about his new chief of Staff Dennis McDonough.
Number: $1.1b the sum total of money donated by mayor Bloomberg to Johns-Hopkins University over the past four decades.
To Read: Ivan Kenneally believes that Mahmoud Abbas’ lack of control over his ailing and divided society makes a successful two state solution inconceivable at this point in time-
THE CENTRAL failing of any conceivable two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is that there is only one state and then a swarm of angry factions, unbridled by univocal law. Abbas has no real authorization to broker agreements of behalf of this patchwork quilt of competing interests, and no power to compel them to submit to terms. He could never guarantee Israel peace and security, even if those were goals for which he honestly pined.
Quote: "If we're not too late... the two-state solution will only last as long as Obama's term; if it doesn't happen by then I don't think it will happen.", Jordan’s King Abdullah, about the Israel and Palestine, Friday.
Number: 50,000, the number of Israeli Holocaust survivors who suffer from poverty according to a recent report.
The Middle East
To Read: FP’s Charles Holmes sees the Egyptian revolution as a result of several historic processes more fundamental than the rise of current political figures or parties-
What we are witnessing is the last, dying gasps of the Nasserite era. The ideological vision of Gamal Abdel Nasser, who led the 1952 revolution that overthrew Egypt's monarchy, has defined the last six decades of Egyptian politics: Arab nationalism, vehement anti-colonialism, the nationalization of the country's economy, and the preeminence of the military are the foundation on which modern Egypt is built. While Nasserism was arguably successful in helping Egypt emerge from its political past, it has long been in slow decline -- and is now on the verge of collapse.
Quote: “an attack on Syria would be considered an attack on Iran”, Ali Akbar Velayati, an aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, backing the Assad regime.
Number: 40, the number of people dead in the Egyptian riots in the past couple of days.
The Jewish World
To Read: Jonathan Sarna examines the possible need for updating the JPS translation of the Bible-
Today, half-a-century since its first appearance, the JPS Torah translation is showing its age. Scholars have pointed to numerous passages where the translation fails to take account of the latest research. Feminists have called for a translation that is “gender sensitive,” especially in its depictions of God. Translators like Everett Fox and Robert Alter have produced alternative Jewish translations, foregrounding principles markedly different from those that the JPS team employed... In light of these developments, the argument that JPS made when it first solicited funds for the new translation back in 1956 might well be revisited. With Catholics and the Protestants looking to update their Bible translations, should not Jews be doing so, as well?
Quote: "I'm accusing the Jews who did it, so if you're a Jew and you did not do it I'm not accusing you. I'm saying that those Jews who did that and continue to do it have not learned those lessons.", British MP David Ward about his recent comparison of Israeli Jews to Nazis.
Number: 40, the percentage of French people who believe that ‘Jews are too powerful in business’.
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