To Read: Ruchir Sharma, a leading emerging markets specialist at Morgan Stanley, believes that the American fear of emerging markets 'taking over' is largely misplaced and that the US economy's hegemony is far from being over:
The question after a global economic crisis is always the same: What is the next growth driver? At a recent conference, entrepreneur Peter Thiel argued that the answer is usually a major advance in technology, which is most likely to emerge in a country like the United States that promotes innovation. The United States still accounts for one-third of global R&D spending, which is why it is leading critical advances in digital technology, such as cloud computing. As factories come to rely more heavily on digital technology than on cheap labor, the edge in manufacturing shifts from developing countries like China back to developed countries like the United States. And as China and other BRICS grow richer, their citizens will demand the kind of kind of custom-designed products made in the most advanced factories, which are emerging first in the United States and the West.
Quote: “The president has directed his national security team to identify additional measures so that we can increase assistance”, a senior Obama Administration official about the growing prospects of the US expanding its aid to Syria.
Number: $526.6m, the size of the new proposed US defense budget.
To Read: British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gould is deeply impressed by the Palestinian security forces and sees them as a key to calming down the region:
But these commanders also know their mission has a wider purpose – to prepare the Palestinians for statehood. They know they are the main answer to the question 'if there’s a Palestinian state, what about Israel’s security?’ They know there can only be a Palestinian state if they are ready to step up, letting their Israeli counterparts step back. They know they have a crucial part to play in building a Palestinian state, living side by side with Israel in peace and security. They know this has to be made to work on the ground, day in and day out. And it is.
Quote: “If there is comprehensive peace in the Middle East, Jerusalem might become the most visited place on Earth”, Bill Clinton talking at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Abu Dhabi,
Number: 55,195, the number of African migrants in Israel.
The Middle East
To Read: According to Eric Trager, the recent violent protests in Egypt are aimed at bringing back military rule:
During a recent trip I took to Egypt, non-Islamists openly admitted that their increasingly violent protests against the government of President Mohammed Morsi, including a string of arsons targeting Muslim Brotherhood headquarters nationwide, are intended to force the military to reclaim control. "There will be bloody action in the street, and the army will come," Heba, an Alexandria-based leader of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party, told me. "I don't want this, but the people will be happy."
This weekend's anti-Christian violence in Egypt, which left six people dead, has amplified calls within the country for the Egyptian military to reclaim power. Those calls aren't new. Ever since Morsi's November 22 constitutional declaration, through which the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated leader declared virtually unchecked executive authority, non-Islamist activists have demanded the end of the Brotherhood's rule. Public support for a new military takeover then grew tremendously after December 5, when the Brotherhood used organized violence against protesters outside the presidential palace. According to one poll, 82 percent of Egyptians now want the military back in power.
Quote: “In the [nuclear] game, Iran reached all its goals including enrichment and access to nuclear know-how but they [the US and Western countries] did not attain their objectives, which was the suspension of enrichment in Iran. So, our country was the winner of this big game”, Chairman of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy, Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi, claiming victory.
Number: 2000, the number of Hizbollah troops currently fighting in Syria, according to Col. Abdul-Hamid Zakaria, spokesman for the FSA’s Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The Jewish World
To Read: Political scientist Benjamin Ginsberg invites us to re-evaluate the assumption that Jews did not resist the Nazis during WW2:
The moral of the story, which became the topic of my new book, is that rather than look for armed resistance among unarmed civilians and express scorn at Jews for failing to do what could not be done, we should look for resistance where it was possible to resist. If we pursue this path, we come to a very different conclusion about the Jews and their efforts during the war. The fact of the matter is that the Jews resisted very vigorously and quite effectively through four vehicles
Quote: "A day after the cheerful publication of the Sharansky outline for an egalitarian Western Wall plaza, the Israeli government sends the police to arrest women wearing prayer shawls. The detentions during today's prayer clarify the sincerity of the outline proposal", Knesset Member, Tamar Zandberg, about the arrests at the Western wall.
Number: $1 billion, the value of the donation given by Ron Lauder to the Met.