To Read: Aaron David Miller examines John ("the Lone Ranger") Kerry's great Middle East gamble-
This week, the Lone Ranger is making his fifth official visit to the Middle East as U.S. secretary of state, with the stated goal of finding some way to resuscitate peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. And, on those terms, there is a good chance that he will succeed. Diplomacy is a get-along business. Nobody wants to be blamed for the collapse of the Kerry effort or to say no to a likeable and persistent secretary of state.
But Kerry surely knows that getting Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiating table is only the first step. The real challenge will be to get them to stay there. And in that endeavor, good will and persistence will only get him so far. In fact, in restarting talks right now, Kerry may be risking sowing the seeds of his own failure. And that raises the question of why he is so adamant about pushing for a quick renewal of peace talks in the first place.
Quote: “We’ve made a recommendation that as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese Armed Forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging al-Qaeda in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability”, General Martin Dempsey recommends bolstering armed forces in Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan.
Number: 3, all three of the Jewish Supreme court Justices voted against DOMA.
To Read: Bradley Burston writes about the BDS' disturbing use of the image of Anne Frank-
Who, it might be worth asking, is hurt by the exploitation of Anne Frank for the purpose of boycotting Israel? Certainly not pro-occupation and pro-settlement rightists in Israel and abroad. They revel in images such as these – in fact, they exploit them themselves - as proof of their allegations that the boycott movement is anti-Semitic.
No, those who are affected most directly by the Anne Frank image – and most deeply hurt - are Holocaust survivors and their descendants.
Quote: “Bereaved mothers have asked me to oppose this bill, explaining that if the bill passes, they will be forced to remove their sons and daughters from their graves”, MK Ben Dahan arguing against MK Elazar Stern's proposal to end separate burial spaces for non-Jews in Military cemeteries.
Number: 141, the number of countries which voted in favor of an Israel-led UN conference in which advanced tools would be showcased for developing countries.
The Middle East
To Read: FP's Piotr Zalewski takes a look at how both protestors and government supporters in Turkey are pointing at the US and Israel-
In Turkey, conspiracy theories are to politics what kebabs and baklava are to an evening meal. That goes for supporters and opponents of Erdogan alike, often with the same targets in mind. Of the dozens of Gezi protesters I talked to over the past weeks, many earnestly claimed that the United States had parachuted Erdogan and his party into power in 2002, that the Obama administration retained a Pennsylvania-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gulen, in order to bolster its aims in the Middle East, and that it and the European Union continued to support the militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, in a bid to divide Turkey.
Quote: “If Netanyahu really believes in the two-state solution, we are ready to renew negotiations tomorrow", senior Fatah official Jibril Rajoub claiming that the PA is ready for negotiations.
Number: 10, the number of incidents of chemical weapons use in Syria, according to a UN diplomat.
The Jewish World
To Read: Dennis Gray tells the story of how Rafael Schechter organized a special performance of Verdi's Requiem at the Terezin concentration camp-
In a concentration camp designed by the Nazis to eradicate Jewish cultural life, among 120,000 of its inmates who would ultimately be murdered, a rising young musician named Rafael Schachter managed one of the miracles of the Holocaust.
Assembling hundreds of sick and hungry singers, he led them in 16 performances learned by rote from a single smuggled score of one of the most monumental and moving works of religious music – Giuseppe Verdi's Requiem Mass.
Quote: “We have long believed that that the principle of equal treatment under federal law means equal treatment for all. The Court’s landmark decision in Windsor affirms the principle that legally married same-sex couples are entitled to all of the federal rights, protections and benefits of civil marriage" an ADL statement supporting yesterday's DOMA ruling.
Number: 81, the percentage of American Jews who support gay marriage.