To Read: Politico's Josh Gerstein points out that Obama's difficult dilemma on Egypt is very similar to the one he faced a couple of years ago-
As the Egyptian military issued what appeared to be an ultimatum Monday for Morsi and the opposition to sort out their differences within 48 hours, Obama found himself in a painfully familiar place — facing questions about whether the United States had, once again, invested too much in a helpful but flawed Middle Eastern leader, while paying insufficient attention to burgeoning popular discontent.
It’s the same set of questions that dogged Obama throughout the Arab Spring, when he wrestled with the dilemma of precisely when to ditch a string of besieged leaders, from Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi to Egypt’s previous president, Hosni Mubarak.
Quote: “The problem of peace in the Middle East is the American administration more than Israel. [Kerry] brings nothing new in his pocket, not even a small step, especially with regards to the settlements or an [Israeli] commitment to the two-state solution”, Azzam Al-Ahmad, head of Fatah’s parliamentary bloc, blaming the US' bias toward Israel for the lack of progress in the peace process.
Number: 44, the number of the participants of the Guantanamo Bay hunger strike who are being force-fed.
To Read: Michael Totten offers a riveting report on Lebanese attitudes toward Israel-
If citizens of the two countries meet, say, on a beach in Cyprus or in a bar in New York, the Lebanese risks prison just for saying hello. Israel doesn’t even exist on Lebanese maps.
At the same time, with the possible exception of Morocco, Lebanon is in important ways the least anti-Israel country in the Arab world. Indeed, decades ago many Israelis assumed it would be among the first Arab countries to sign a peace treaty with the Jewish state. It made sense at the time. With its enormous one-third Christian minority (it used to have an outright Christian majority), it’s the least Muslim and most religiously diverse of all the Arab countries. And since a huge number of its Christians insist they aren’t even Arabs, Lebanon might be the least Arab of the Arabic-speaking countries. Its capital, Beirut, has more in common with Tel Aviv than with any Arab city, including those in Lebanon itself. Put simply, Lebanon is just about the only Arab country where Israel can find natural allies.
Quote: "Today the new alcohol taxing regulations and the consequent price hikes are taking effect. Many people don’t like this tax and I'm one of them. We've tried to call it off, but it's a decision made by the previous finance minister", Yair Lapid reallocating the blame for the immensely unpopular Alcohol tax hike.
Number: 10, the number of days before Ma'ariv daily's publisher Shlomo Ben-Tzvi stops using the paper's printing house (another milestone in the collapse of one of Israel's largest papers).
The Middle East
Headline: Morsi rejects ultimatum from army
To Read: RAND's Jeff Martini examines the crucial decision ahead of the Egyptian army-
At this point, there is nothing to indicate that generals have a plan that matches their objective -- stability -- with their means -- a military intervention. An intervention would almost surely exacerbate short-term instability as the opposition presses harder and the Muslim Brotherhood and its allies try to get their own supporters into the street. But the military has already taken the first wade into this morass. It should be holding its breath as it takes the next one.
Quote: “We are only here to fight Assad; we want nothing from Israel and we want Israel to know this”, a spokesman for Yarmouk Martyrs Brigade — the Syrian Rebel militia that kidnapped UN peacekeepers in March and May- sending a surprisingly peaceful message toward Israel.
Number: 56, the number of Islamists a UAE court sentenced to prison time for trying to overthrow the government.
The Jewish World
To Read: The 'first female orthodox Rabbi' (and past 'Rosner's Torah Talk' guest) Sara Hurwitz argues that ordaining female Rabbis could enliven Orthodoxy rather than hurt it-
Serving as clergy is one of the highest honors one can fulfill; it is a calling that brings with it a tremendous responsibility. The presence of female clergy standing next to women mourners reciting Kaddish, or teaching from the pulpit, or leading some of the communal prayers, engages and includes women in the ritual experiences of communal life.
And now, young girls can look to female spiritual leaders as their role models, perhaps inspiring them to pursue a similar career path.
Quote: “True character requires of me the courage to admit that, despite my best intentions then, I now recognize that I was wrong. I am not perfect; none of us is perfect”, Rabbi Norman Lamm stepping down as Chancellor of Yeshiva University amid accusations of his involvement in a cover up in a sexual abuse scandal.
Number: $68,500, the amount of money paid for a bible signed by Albert Einstein.
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