To Read: Charles Krauthammer thinks that the Obama administration has been using language to avoid confronting some important problems-
The word “extremism” is meaningless. People don’t devote themselves to being extreme. Extremism has no content. The extreme of what? In this war, an extreme devotion to the supremacy of a radically fundamentalist vision of Islam and to its murderous quest for dominion over all others.
But for President Obama, the word “Islamist” may not be uttered. Language must be devised to disguise the unpleasantness.
Quote: “U.S. is not a real mediator, it stands by the Zionists”, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, questioning the US' impartiality in the Middle East peace process (perhaps Iran might be a better mediator).
Number: More than 50, the number of Iranian political prisoners who have signed a letter urging President Obama to end the US sanctions on Iran.
To Read: Renowned scientist and long time Netanyahu critic David Harel, praises the Israeli PM for changing his attitude towards peace-
Like many others, I have also protested in recent years. And I have written, complained and shouted. I have been furious at things the Netanyahu government has done and I have desperately been trying to make it do what it wouldn’t think of doing. This time it's different, at least for now, and I find myself sitting and writing words of encouragement and support for the steps it is taking.
Quote: “We are speaking to the government of Israel and making our concerns known. The United States does not accept the legitimacy of continued settlement activity and opposes any efforts to legitimize settlement outposts”, Whitehouse Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, denouncing another Israeli decision to build settlements.
Number: 58, the percentage of Israeli Arabs who believe that the Israeli government is sincere in its wish to resume peace talks.
The Middle East
To Read: Former IDF intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin warns the West of focusing on only one dimension of Iran's nuclear program-
Whoever negotiates with Iran must acknowledge that the enrichment of uranium from a low level (3.5 percent to 19.75 percent) to weapons-grade level (90 percent) is only one of three dimensions of Iran’s nuclear strategy. A second dimension is Iran’s progress toward a quick “breakout capability” through the stockpiling of large quantities of low-enriched uranium that could be further enriched rapidly to provide weapons-grade fuel. Third, Iran also appears to be pursuing a parallel track to a nuclear capability through the production of plutonium.
If there is going to be a nuclear deal with Iran, all three parts of its strategy must be addressed.
Quote: "He is coming back, God willing", Mohammad Morsi's wife making promises at a pro-Morsi rally.
Number: 35, the percentage of 2012 Gaza marriages which included under-17 year old brides.
The Jewish World
To Read: A new study by the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy takes a look at the next generation of Jewish Donors-
The Jewish community has expressed concern that members of the next generation of Jewish donors are disinterested in their Jewishness, and that this disconnect may dramatically reduce their support for Jewish institutions. While Jewish next gen donors do give less to Jewish causes than they perceive that their parents or grandparents do, our findings suggest that the community’s concern is overblown. In fact, the survey reveals that giving to “Religious and Faith-based” organizations is the second highest area of giving for the Jewish next gen donors in this study, only surpassed by “Education.”
Quote: “One of the righteous gentiles who loved Israel and was proud to be involved in Israel and Jewish affairs all her life”, former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert describing Holocaust Scholar Elizabeth Maxwell, who passed away yesterday at the age of 92.
Number: 8.2, the percentage of next generation Jewish donors who refer to themselves as 'conservative' (one of the many interesting stats from the study mentioned above).