To Read: Aaron David Miller takes a look at President Obama's lack of control over his Middle East legacy:
Had the Arab Spring moved in the right direction, Obama would have been hailed as a strategic genius for his smart, low-cost management from the sidelines. Sadly, it has moved the other way -- toward instability, violence, and dashed hopes. As a result, what people saw -- certainly those in the Middle East, where it's easy to blame somebody else for your troubles -- is a president who became strangely disconnected and who at best just seemed to have other things to do. At worst, he seemed to have simply stopped caring.
Quote: "It's inappropriate for a diplomatic mission to engage in such negative political propaganda", the Egyptian Presidency's twitter account criticizing the US embassy for sharing a Jon Stewart diatribe against Egypt's arrest of Bassem Youssef's arrest.
Number: 26, the percentage of Americans who believe that 'President Obama might be the Antichrist', according to a new conspiracy theory poll.
To Read: Turkish political scientist Can Kasapuglo tries to figure out what's next in Israel-Turkey relations:
In sum, the most important bilateral ties of the Middle East, relations between the only two democracies of this dangerous region, might be on the eve of a major restoration. The crucial track would be driving this prospect into a strategic dialogue, and then an effective cooperation. However, at this point we should keep an eye on Palestinian affairs and Lebanon, where anyone who is uncomfortable with Turkish-Israeli partnership might try to provoke an Israeli military action, and thereby, a Turkish diplomatic reaction. If Turkish and Israeli officials want to keep their rapprochement safe, they should remember that on one hand there are the likes of Obama, who is happy with how things are going so far. Nevertheless there are some others who are already starting to go mad to see the Turks and the Israelis acting in coordination in Syria.
Quote: "I have met with the finance minister few times and my initial impressions are excellent, that he is a serious man", outgoing Bank of Israel governor, Stanley Fischer, about Yair Lapid.
Number: 4,500, the number of Palestinian prisoners who sent back their food yesterday in protest of the death of a Palestinian inmate which the PA blames on Israeli medical negligence.
The Middle East
To Read: David Ignatius examines the implications of a Free Syrian Army document which reveals the extent of chaos in Syria's opposition forces:
Idriss and his Free Syrian Army command about 50,000 more fighters, rebel sources say.
Realistically, the best hope for U.S. policy is to press the Saudi-backed coalition and its 37,000 fighters, to work under the command of Idriss and the Free Syrian Army. That would bring a measure of order and would open the way for Idriss to negotiate a military transition government that would include reconcilable elements of Assad’s army.
Quote: “instead of hiding behind traditions, why don’t they say clearly they are Islamists and they want to Islamize the community”, Zeinab al-Ghoneimi, a women’s rights activist in Gaza, about Hamas' decision to enforce gender segregation in public schools.
Number: 6,000, the number of casualties in the Syrian crisis in March alone.
The Jewish World
To Read: A Jewish Ideas Daily piece about a new biography of the eccentric British army officer (and 'mad Zionist') Orde Wingate sheds some new light on this curious figure:
Wingate’s story inspires and educates the reader from a number of points of view. He was an exceptional man with a special interest in Israel. His aggressiveness, creativity, realism, leadership, command, the hate that was directed against him on account of his eccentric genius, his contempt for mediocrity and, of course, the Zionism that burned with him generate great historical and practical interest and give the reader much food for thought.
Quote: "A lot of our visitors don't know any Jews and have questions they want to ask. With this exhibition we offer an opportunity for those people to know more about Jews and Jewish life", Berlin Jewish Museum official, Tina Luedecke, about a controversial new exhibition which features a Jew answering questions in a glass box.
Number: 11,000, the number of youths who are to attend this year's 'March of the Living'.
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