Headline: U.S. says no plans for Mideast talks yet
To Read: Marc Lynch discusses the great surge in anti-American sentiments and conspiracy theories in Egypt-
Typically, this would be the time for me to call for renewed public diplomacy to try to combat anti-American misconceptions and convince Egyptians of American intentions. But let's be real. American efforts to push back against the most outlandish allegations are certainly worthwhile, but have obvious limitations. No, American battleships are not moving toward Egypt to launch an invasion. No, Ambassador Patterson did not conspire with the Muslim Brotherhood or offer to sell the pyramids to Israel. No, Obama is not a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and isn't going to be impeached over secret payments to them. All well and good, but entrenched opinion is unlikely to be moved.
Quote: “It would be a mistake not to test whether Dr. Rohani’s election represents a real opportunity for progress toward a verifiable, enforceable agreement on Iran’s nuclear program that ensures the country does not acquire a nuclear weapon”, an excerpt from a letter signed by 118 congress members which urges President Obama to engage in negotiations with Iran's new President.
Number: 83, the percentage of Israelis who view the US favorably.
To Read: Gary Sick writes compares PM Netanyahu to the boy who cried wolf-
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not a subtle man. When he has an objective in mind, he is not above resorting to hyperbole, exaggeration, or apocalyptic scenarios to make his point. He has been crying wolf nearly as long as he has been in politics. For a very good reason: It works. And it works. And it works.
Unlike the boy in the story who lost credibility when he sounded the alarm one time too many, each new iteration by Mr. Netanyahu is greeted with nods of grave concern. The latest edition of this long-running show was his appearance on "Face the Nation" on Sunday.
Quote: “Naftali had to reassure his constituency that he has red lines. He had to make his position clear, in case someone believes he would actually be a part of a government that would negotiate on that basis”, a source close to Naftali Bennett talking about the looming coalition crisis around peace negotiations.
Number: 150, the number of journalists recruited for the first Israeli 24 hour news channel.
The Middle East
To Read: West Point terror specialist Scott Helfstein writes about the pernicious merger between Middle East sectarianism and populism-
At first glance, the protests and coup in Egypt have little in common with the Syrian sectarian violence. Yet less than a month before the coup, Morsi called Shiite Muslims “filthy” while on stage with hardline clerics. A group of Sunni Muslims beat four Shia to death after prayers a week later. With ethnic tensions boiling over in Syria and a poor record of economic performance at home, Morsi tried playing on sectarian tensions. It could not save him, but it may well offer a glimpse of things to come. Recent political transitions towards democracy have added a new element to a region long-plagued by sectarianism: populism.
Quote: "[The Labanese President has] asked the foreign minister to notify the European Commission and member states of the government's request, and not to place Hezbollah, an essential component of Lebanese society, on the list of terror organisations", A statement made by Lebanon's government.
Number: 16, the percentage of Egyptians who view the US favorably.
The Jewish World
To Read: A Ynet piece asks whether holding a sporting event for Jews only is not a bit, well, racist (written by Yakir Elkariv)-
If we take a minute to peel off its layer of Zionist bullshit, the Maccabiah is in fact the answer to the following question: What would happen if we decided to ignore every single aspect of sports and maintained that all athletes participating in a certain event would be chosen not based on their skills, but according to their race – let's say, Jews?
Well, we have been checking that for quite a few years now, since 1932 to be exact, and we know what happens: An inflated sports event lacking any valuable achievements or real records – certainly in comparison to world championships, not to mention Olympic Games.
Quote: “Don’t look at [an elderly death camp guard] and see an old guy who might look frail; look at these people and think of someone who at the height of their physical power spent all of their energy and strength mass-murdering innocent men, women and children”, the Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, talking about 'Operation last chance'.
Number: 30,000, the number of participants in the opening ceremony of the Maccabiah