May 17, 2013 | 3:28 am
Headline: Obama says U.S. won't act alone on Syria
To Read: According to Ronan Farrow, the real cover-up in Benghazi is all the blame and allegations thrown at the White House-
Four of the Washington bureaucrats responsible for denying that support were removed from their posts in the aftermath of the attack. But the rigid restrictions on informal and covert outposts receiving traditional resources persist, as does the deeper Washington culture of providing them short shrift.
America is far less served by the endless recitation of calls made and talking points issued than it would be by a hard look at the members of Congress that failed to provide resources, and the bureaucratic hurdles that kept the resources that were available from being deployed. The breathless search for a cover-up has only served to bury those real -- and potentially deadly -- problems.
Quote: “That’s how we learn the lessons of Benghazi. That’s how we keep faith with the men and women who we send overseas to represent America and that’s what I will stay focused on as commander in chief”, President Obama urging congress help secure US diplomats abroad.
Number: $4 billion, the amount allotted to State Department security funding in Obama's 2014 security budget.
To Read: Michael Auslin writes about China's increasing involvement in the Israel-Palestinian conflict-
Whatever China's motivations for focusing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the move is welcome news to Mahmoud Abbas. Mr. Xi's public support for a Palestinian state last week has given Mr. Abbas a new lever to use against his financial backers in Washington. Diversifying his supporters should give Mr. Abbas more freedom to pressure Israel over intermediate issues such as settlements and the Gaza blockade.
Quote: “[We] see eye to eye on the need for more serious steps to be taken, including making sure law enforcement have the tools at hand to deal with the criminals responsible”, a joint statement made by the ministries of Justice and Public security, calling to take additional measures against the violent 'price tag' group.
Number: 10, the percentage of Israelis who believe that Yair Lapid is the man most qualified to be Prime Minister.
The Middle East
To Read: A new CFR report examines the instable state of Jordan's monarchy and the effect it could have on US interests in the ME-
Radical anti-Western change in Jordan coerced by popular opposition—for example, royal abdication or constitutional reforms compelled by street protests—would almost certainly trigger profound change in Jordan's strategic posture that would harm U.S. interests. The monarchy plays a critical role in maintaining Jordan's pro-West, pro-peace orientation; any coerced diminution of royal prerogative would harm Jordanian-American and Jordanian-Israeli relations. Radical change at home is sure to bring about radical change in Jordan's foreign policy. Potential setbacks for the United States include, but are not limited to, the severance of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty, Jordan's refusal to participate in U.S.-led counterterrorism and regional security efforts, and, by implication, heightened instability in Gulf monarchies, which view Jordan as a critical line of defense. At the same time, the United States has humanitarian and other political interests in Jordan: avoiding major bloodshed brought by popular unrest and furthering stable, if incremental, democratic change in line with its larger regional goals. Given these stakes, preventing radical and/or violent change in Jordan is a high U.S. priority.
Quote: As for Israel, we don't have relations with it, with the exception of the Camp David Accords. We respect [Camp David] because it is an international agreement, without striving to develop this relationship", 'Deputy Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood' Rashad al-Bayoumi in an interview with AL-Monitor.
Number: 39, the percentage of Egyptians who think things are better now that Mubarak is out of power.
The Jewish World
To Read: A Tablet article takes a look at the early Samaritan version of the Torah, a version which seriously differs from the traditional sacrosanct one-
While Jews study a number of religious books—from the Talmud to the Shulchan Aruch—the text that provides the religion’s very foundation is the Torah. And the version of the Torah most commonly studied by Jews is known as the Masoretic text, the most authoritative Hebrew version of the Torah.
But it is not the only one.
A small, ancient sect known as the Samaritans rely on the Torah, and the Torah alone, as their sole religious text—and the Samaritans use a somewhat different version. Two weeks ago, the first English translation of this Hebrew text was published by Samaritan historian and scholar Binyamin Tsedaka: The Israelite Samaritan Version of the Torah. There are some 6,000 instances where this version of the Torah differs from the Masoretic text; the question for scholars is which version is more complete, or more accurate.
Quote: “We previously have reproached the government that it does not enough in order to put clear lines toward anti-Semitic manifestations. In the recent period, verbal [condemnations] have occurred but not every case is followed by actions”, Gusztav Zoltai, executive director of the Federation of Jewish Communities in Hungary talking with the JPost.
Number: 63, the percentage of Hungarians who hold negative views of Jews.
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12.11.13 at 7:28 am | The first part of an exchange with Dr. Howard. . . (219)
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