To Read: According to Jonah Golberg, Assad's Chemical attack succeeded in making the US forget about its original goal in Syria, ousting the Syrian President-
That goal is now dead. The Russian deal Obama just agreed to amounts to a huge boon to Assad in that it brings him into the so-called international community America has spent the last two years trying to kick him out of. This "represents an astonishing victory for the Assad regime," writes Bloomberg's Jeffrey Goldberg (no relation). So long as Assad only massacres his own people — including children — with old-fashioned weapons, he's immune to international force. Worse, Assad is now our partner because getting his WMD is now more important than getting rid of him. We've gone from siding with the rebels to acting like a boxing ref with no investment in who wins so long as neither side strikes any low blows.
Quote: “What that does I think is change the international dynamic. I think it changes international opinion on this issue”, President Obama talking about the UN report on Syria.
Number: 26, the Executive Office for U.S. Attorney overstated the number of terrorism-related defendants who had been found guilty in fiscal 2010 by 26 percent, according to a federal audit.
To Read: Emanuel Shahaf doesn't like PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yaalon's statements about how Israel 'can only rely on itself'-
To warn both of hubris, or, as one could call it in our age and environment, the arrogance of power and at the same time advise to rely on ourselves for Israel’s security, strikes me as a massive contradiction in terms. Being expressed by the two individuals who more than anybody else bear direct responsibility for the security of the State of Israel is certainly worrisome.
Quote: “Because he hit the rock he was not allowed into the land. What is the logic behind that, it seems unjust?”, PM Netanyahu studying Torah with Israel's two chief rabbis on a regular Tuesday afternoon.
Number: 5%, the growth rate of Israel's settler population (three times higher than the general population).
The Middle East
To Read: Putin biographer Masha Gessen doesn't believe that the Russian President has honorable intentions in Syria-
Here is what he is really promising: protracted and difficult negotiations on the Syrian project, from which the United States will emerge battered and humiliated, with a compromise plan that lacks a convincing enforcement mechanism. A frustrating, expensive and possibly dangerous attempt to put the plan in place will follow. The civil war in Syria will continue to rage, claiming more lives and robbing the Syrian people of hope with every passing day. Ultimately, the United States and its good-faith partners will have to admit the chemical-disarmament project has failed, as Syria lies in ruins — still ruled by Assad.
Once defeat is acknowledged, Putin will take himself out of the Syrian picture, using the alibi he has already put forward: It wasn’t Assad who used the chemical weapons in the first place, he will say.
He will not mention that he sees nothing wrong with using weapons of mass destruction to fight the opposition: that will go without saying.
Quote: "The resolution of the Security Council will not contain any reference to Chapter VII", Russian FM Sergei Lavrov rejecting a resolution under the chapter of the UN charter that allows the use of force.
Number: 20, the percent of American divorces caused by Facebook, according to Iranian Judge Abdolsamad Khoramabadi.
The Jewish World
Headline: Joe Biden to address J Street conference
To Read: Former Chief Rabbi of the UK Jeffrey Sacks writes about the relevance of Sukkot to our time-
The twenty-first century will one day be seen by historians as the Age of Insecurity. We, as Jews, are the world’s experts in insecurity, having lived with it for millennia. And the supreme response to insecurity is Sukkot, when we leave behind the safety of our houses and sit in sukkot mammash, in huts exposed to the elements. To be able to do so and still say, this is zeman simchatenu, our festival of joy, is the supreme achievement of faith, the ultimate antidote to fear.
Faith is the ability to rejoice in the midst of instability and change, travelling through the wilderness of time toward an unknown destination. Faith is not fear. Faith is not hate. Faith is not violence. These are vital truths, never more needed than now.
Quote: “Throughout the Rav’s 86 years, he created a path for millions to learn and live Kabbalah. The Rav has left us with incredible knowledge through thousands of hours of teaching, examples of courage we will never forget, and the comfort of a Kabbalah Centre we can all call home”, the LA Kabbalah Center's announcement of the death of celebrity Rabbi Phillip Berg.
Number: $3m, the cost of a new Messianic Jewish center in Brooklyn which will try to target members of the religious community.
*There will be no H&R for the following 8 days due to our Sukkot-Simchat Torah break.