To Read: An American Interest feature takes a look at the history of American involvement in Syria-
The Obama administration should thus allow the Syrian civil war to run its course, if only to avoid making the lives of well-meaning Syrians, free of opportunism and extremism—who wanted nothing more than a better future for their country, and who were still encouraged by the U.S. “democracy project”—even worse. Maybe the administration might even reconsider the project itself, which has, at best, brought this great nation to the brink of permanent fiscal and strategic insolvency.
Quote: “In my meetings with American policy makers I often detect a conversation between ghosts. The ghosts of Afghanistan and Iraq are vying with the ghosts of Rwanda and Kosovo”, the Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, commenting on the Syria debate in Washington.
Number: 300, the number of sponsors the US-Israel waiver program bill has in the US congress.
To Read: Gil Troy criticizes Peter Beinart's and Open Zion's criticism of Ron Dermer ((and Shmuel Rosner))-
I know that after reading Peter Beinart’s essay critiquing Ron Dermer I should feel outraged that Bibi Netanyahu’s next choice to represent Israel in Washington is a neocon whose writings “would have fit snugly into the pages of The Weekly Standard,” with his “disdain for Palestinians” reflecting “his cartoonish view of their and Israel’s shared history.” Instead, Beinart’s essay—which was, characteristically, well-researched and well-argued—captured the problem of Progressive Zionism today, and more, specifically, the challenge Open Zion faces to provide something more positive than declaring Open Season on Israel.
Quote: “He’s criticizing his predecessor (President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) for being a wolf in wolf’s clothing. His strategy is be a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Smile and build a bomb”, PM Netanyahu sharing his views on new Iranian President Rouhani.
Number: 30, the number of rare Koran Manuscripts Israel's National Library is exhibiting in honor of Ramadan.
The Middle East
To Read: Middle East specialist Reuel Marc Gerecht believes that the Muslim Brotherhood's days are far from over-
Egypt’s experiment with democracy is probably over. Egyptian secularists may win the next election, but many — probably most — Egyptians will see the vote as illegitimate. Islamism grew strong in Egypt in opposition to unlawful power. Islamists may return to violence — the holy-war arguments advanced by the Brotherhood theologian Sayyid Qutb are more readable now. More likely, the brethren will rally their followers in the streets and return to neo-fundamentalism, biding their time until the Egyptian army cracks. Contrary to what the Facebook liberals proudly boast on Tahrir Square, the game is far from over.
Quote: "[Morsi] entered into a conflict with the judiciary, the media, the police and the public opinion. Then he also entered into a conflict with the armed forces", Egyptian General al-Sisi explaining why he overthrew President Morsi.
Number: 3, the number of people killed by militants yesterday in North Sinai.
The Jewish World
To Read: A young man tells Tablet his story of how Tisha B'av helped him with his cancer-
Today, at age 24, I have been in remission for two years. I’m entering my last semester of undergraduate studies and preparing for another Tisha B’Av. Marking the destruction of the Temples, we often consider the holiday to commemorate the end of our culture’s peak. According to Jewish tradition, however, Tisha B’Av is also the day when the messiah is born. Within our suffering, and beneath the ruins, there is a flask of pure oil, waiting for us to retrieve it.
Quote: “For us, and I think probably for all Eastern Europe, Jewishness is something very attractive”, the Lithuanian ambassador to Israel tells about his country's changing attitude toward Jews.
Number: $27m, the amount of money Jerry Seinfeld earned last year, making him the highest earning comedian in the world, 15 years after his show stopped airing.