To Read: David Rothkopf believes that the Obama administration has been over obsessed with semantics in its foreign policy-
Governments that work for their people are governments that will last. None will look exactly as we imagine an ideal state might. All will confound the literalists and those who think that to be successful every state must look just like America -- which means that the United States ought to promote policies less driven by semantics and more measured in terms of results. The one word most likely to bring peace and stability to the Middle East happens to be the same one that is most important in America. It is "jobs."
Quote: "The only way this is going to work successfully... is if all parties are encouraged and allowed to participate and that's why we've made clear that arbitrary arrests are not anything that we can support' Whitehouse spokesman, Jay Carney, urging Egypt to avoid 'arbitrary arrests'.
Number: 6, Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to visit Israel for the 6th time (!) next week.
To Read: Three security experts offer a critique of Israel's much lauded Iron Dome missile defense system-
But many thorny strategic and operational issues remain. Despite its utility in meeting Israel’s unique security challenges, Iron Dome is not a game changer, nor does it validate—at least not yet—Reagan’s vision of a global strategic-defense capability. Despite a growing (but incomplete) consensus on the need for some level of missile defense, the vision of “impotent and obsolete” ballistic missiles remains firmly out of reach for the foreseeable future.
Quote: "This might be a new world record for lunacy at the United Nations", Israeli UN Ambassador, Ron Prosor, on Iran and Syria's new bid to join the UN's human rights council.
Number: 11,000, the number of approved users of medical marijuana in Israel.
The Middle East
To Read: Tony Blair shares his views in support of the Egyptian uprising-
Across the Middle East, for the first time, there is open debate about the role of religion in politics. Despite the Muslim Brotherhood’s superior organization, those who support an intrinsically secular approach to government – and this is true in most of the region – are probably in the majority.
Society can be deeply imbued with religious observance; but people are starting to recognize that democracy works only as a pluralistic concept, requiring equal respect for different faiths and allowing a voice, but not a veto, for religion. For a country like Egypt, with its immense and varied civilization, which includes around eight million Christians and a young population that needs to be connected to the world, there is no future as an Islamic state that aspires to be part of a regional caliphate.
Quote: "We are going to wipe the floor with them. We will not let them get away with it because they want to target us", a senior Free Syrian Army commander responding to the killing of Kamal Hamami of the FSA Supreme Military Council on Thursday.
Number: 20, over twenty percent of Syria's schools have been destroyed or made unusable since the conflict began, according to a new report.
The Jewish World
To Read: Yehezkel Dror writes about what he sees as the real danger facing the Jewish people in the future, irrelevancy-
But the real long-term danger for the Jewish people is becoming irrelevant to a new humanity in the making. The future threats, in the absence of large-scale countermeasures, include: the geo-cultural decline of Western civilization resulting in the irrelevance of Jewish values and traditions to an Asian age; the absence of Jewish contributions to novel dilemmas facing humanity, such as regulation of science and technology and human enhancement ethics; the evaporation of Jewish creativity in science, technology and humanities; and an enforced solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict producing domestic violence, demoralization and social fragmentation in Israel, rendering it another small country of little distinction.
Quote: "It's just a few books I'd like to return to their rightful owner, but I know the feeling of touching an object that belonged to a loved one", Christoph Schlegel the grandson of a senior Austrian Nazi officer, returning books his father stole from a Jew 70 years ago in a ceremony at Yad Vashem.
Number: 13, the record number of Rabbis ordained in the UK this week.