Headline: Obama officially begins 2nd term
To Read: On the eve of Obama’s second inauguration speech, Foreign Policy’s Daniel Drezner offers a wittily revised version of his first.
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you have bestowed, mindful of
the sacrifices borne by our ancestorsthe implacable opposition I am about to encounter.
Quote: "another reminder of the threat posed by al Qaeda and other violent extremist groups in North Africa", President Obama responds to the Algerian crisis.
Number: 23, the number of hostages reported dead in the recent Algerian crisis.
To Read: Our Israel Factor panelist Alon Pinkas criticizes PM Netanyahu’s reaction to Obama’s remarks on Israel
The president, like the incoming secretaries of defense and state, believes Israel is leading itself toward international isolation and a diplomatic disaster. Netanyahu's response was irritating and sad, because it reflected a lack of understanding of the significance of Obama's remarks. "Netanyahu will not withdraw to the 1967 borders and will not allow Iran to obtain nuclear weapons." The Netanyahu government will also not allow the Romans to conquer Jerusalem again and will fight the British Mandate and the White Paper.
Quote: “Imagine if the Golden Dome - I’m being recorded so I can’t say ‘blown up’ - but let’s say the Dome was blown up, right? And we laid the cornerstone of the Temple in Jerusalem. Can you imagine? None of you would be here - all of you would be like, ‘I’m going to Israel, right?’ No one would be here, it would be incredible!”, ‘The Jewish Home’ Knesset candidate Jeremy Gimple sharing his fantasies.
Number: 40 the projected number of orthodox members in the next Knesset.
The Middle East
To Read: Former Iranian foreign ministry employee Ahmad Hashemi gives an inside look at the way nuclear issues are discussed in Iran:
Using a well-known concept in Shiite jurisprudence known as the expedient or altruistic lie, Iranian officials are perfectly willing to lie when it comes to their intentions and programs. The enlightened nations would do well to understand the religious underpinnings of Iranian diplomats’ big lies in contrast with European negotiators. Once the extent of the deception is understood, the question should be not whether Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful but rather when and how the program can be safely terminated.
Quote: “There are 40,000 people working in the building and I think 35,000 out of those can’t stand the Muslim Brotherhood”, says Ehab El Mergawi, a state television news producer and member of the leftist April 6 group.
Number: 3,538, the number of children killed since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The Jewish World
To Read: Gilad Ini points out the problematic disparity in the New York Times' coverage of Egyptian and Palestinian leaders’ anti- Semitic remarks in a curious JPost opinion piece:
THE TIMES must educate readers about the malevolent role played by delegitimization, demonization and incitement to violence, not only by Hamas but also by Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority.
It matters not only because readers deserve to know the whole story about why the Palestinian-Israeli conflict continues, but also because coverage that looks frankly at these realities can make a positive difference.
Quote: "With the word 'camp' I definitely went too far”, Der Spiegel columnist Jakob Augstein commenting on his controversial comparisons between Israel and the Nazi.
Number: 5, The number of Jewish hockey players starting the season in the NHL.