January 24, 2013 | 4:24 am
To Read: According to Peter Beinhart, Obama can be relatively pleased by the results of the Israeli elections-
… the power dynamic between the American and Israeli leaders has shifted in Obama’s direction. And if Obama wants, he’ll be well-positioned to hasten Netanyahu’s demise, and push Israel toward elections that just might produce a Lapid-led government more open to a viable Palestinian state.
Quote: "Any reference to the 'State of Palestine' in the United Nations, including the use of the term 'State of Palestine' on the placard in the Security Council or the use of the term 'State of Palestine' in the invitation to this meeting or other arrangements for participation in this meeting, do not reflect acquiescence that Palestine is a state", US ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice.
Number: 15%, the percent of republicans who are optimistic about the US’s future, according to a recent gallop poll.
To read: Aaron David Miller tries to explain why Netanyahu might be here to stay despite his party's poor results on Tuesday's elections-
...but it would be a mistake in 2013- just as it was in 1996- to write off Bibi or to conclude that Israeli politics are somehow on the verge of transformation. Remember: This is the topsy-turvy, volatile world of Israeli politics, where since independence there have been 32 governments, each lasting roughly 1.8 years, and this is the place where principles compete with the rough trade of street politics, coalition horse-trading, and downright meanness. And that is squarely in Netanyahu's wheelhouse. He knows how to survivein the shark-infested waters of Israeli politics. Indeed, in the curious interaction of domestic politics, national security, and, most importantly, the absence of charismaticleadership, there's still life left in King Bibi.
Quote: "We're not going to form a bloc with Hanin Zoabi", Lapid firmly distancing himself from the far left and the Arabs parties.
Number: 7, the percentage of voters who voted for parties which didn’t pass the electoral threshold on Tuesday.
The Middle East
Headline: Winners and losers of Jordan’s elections
To Read: Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary general of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, opposes Assad in a decisive opinion piece in the Chicago Tribune
The continuous loss of lives on a daily basis, the senseless violence, and the destruction of Syria's physical and moral heritage are too painful to take in. Assad must leave immediately to allow a peaceful political transition of power. It is the only way that we will see an end to the violence marking Syria.
Quote: “This is the fastest-deteriorating humanitarian crisis on the planet . . . and it is deteriorating at a much, much faster pace than we had planned for. It’s dramatic, it’s explosive, and it’s dangerous”, Panos Moumtzis, regional coordinator for Syria at the UNHCR, the U.N. refugee agency, talking about the recent events in Syria.
Number: 20, 000, the number of Syrian refugees who have fled to Jordan in the last seven days.
The Jewish World
To Read: Jewish Ideas Daily’s Jonathan Sarna reflects about the absence of a chief rabbinate in the US-
Chief Rabbis today confine their authority to the religious realm, but their role is never purely ceremonial. Inevitably, they must also devote themselves to promoting their own brand of Judaism (usually some variety of Orthodoxy) over all the others. Israel’s chief rabbinate, in recent years, has sought to undermine more liberal approaches to conversion and has taken a hardline stance on women’s issues and on the thorny problem of who is a Jew. Rabbi Sacks alienated liberal Jews early in his tenure and promoted a centrist form of Orthodoxy that those to his religious right openly disdained.
Quote: "He was attempting to explain himself ... then he said, ‘Well, I think we all know that the media in the United States has made a big deal of this and we know the media of the United States is controlled by certain forces and they don't view me favorably”, Senator Chris Coons recalls his meeting with Egyptian president Morsi.
Number: ‘Less than one million’, the number of Jews killed by the Nazis in WW2, according to Mahmoud Abbas.
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