To Read: According to FP's Micah Zenko, the US has been showing quite a bit of restraint with its drone policy, especially given the pressure from its 'partners'-
Still, the Obama administration has been wise to reduce the overall number of drone strikes, while rejecting demands for U.S. drone strikes on behalf of additional countries. Such requests are not just a tactic to attempt to kill suspected militants, but a means to deepen America's commitment to providing for that country's security against domestic and regionally focused terrorist organizations. Given that there are several thousand al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists, according to the State Department's own estimates, in the Middle East and North Africa, an open-ended policy of drone strikes for friends would never end. And that, clearly, would only create additional enemies for the United States.
Quote: “We will not succumb to fear tactics [against holding talks with Iran]", John Kerry, sending a hint to PM Netanyahu.
Number: 34, the New Republic published a nice collection of 34 pieces of Anti-American street art in Teheran.
To Read: Dan Margalit denounces the populist public protest of the more right-wing elements in Israel's government over the decision to release Palestinian prisoners-
Interior Minister Gideon Sa'ar was right when he attacked Senior Citizens Minister Uri Orbach and Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel on Sunday, telling them that they were free to leave the cabinet if they could not come to terms with the release of Palestinian terrorists as per a government resolution. "So quit," he teased them, saying this would prove they were serious.
This was the climax of the crash course in manners the cabinet members were attending; the coalition agreements lack any provisions for such political civility. You can voice your opposition all you want, but once a cabinet resolution is passed, all cabinet members must own up to it.
Quote: “the incidence of discrimination must also not be ignored, and we know that the Arab public has difficulty integrating into certain industries, even if the appropriate training is provided”, The new BOI Governor, Karnit Flug, in her first press conference.
Number: 18, after an 18 month boycott, Israel will appear this week at the UN Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva.
The Middle East
Headline: Syria polio outbreak confirmed by WHO
To Read: Vali Nasr writes about the turbulent relations between the Saudi monarchy and the Muslim Brotherhood-
In breaking with the Brotherhood to protect their domestic grip on power, the Saudi rulers may have miscalculated. The Brotherhood is a regional force. Its tentacles run from North Africa through the Middle East. By removing their patronage from the Brotherhood and throwing their full support behind the Egyptian military — and other regimes bent on crushing the Brotherhood — the Saudis may be pushing the movement to become both more extreme and more sharply anti-monarchical, threatening the Islamic legitimacy of all the Arab monarchies.
In the coming years, the larger strategic challenge facing Saudi Arabia may not be Iran, as it has been, but the Brotherhood. This new rivalry could set off protracted conflicts across the region, which in turn could disturb efforts toward a Palestinian-Israeli peace, and to contain Iran’s influence.
Quote: I do not advise one to go there ... Going to a land that you do not know and without experience, you will be a burden to them, what they want from you is your prayer", Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority, the grand mufti Abdulaziz Al al-Sheikh, telling young Saudis they should not go to Syria to fight.
Number: 37, the UN inspectors have finished inspecting 37 out of the 41 Syrian chemical weapons sites.
The Jewish World
To Read: Claude Lanzmann's new documentary revisits the fascinating story of Benjamin Murmelstein, a Jew who helped administer the Theresienstadt ghetto (written by Jack Schwartz)-
When Lanzmann raises the specter of Chaim Rumkowski in Lodz and Jacob Genz in Vilna — Judenrat leaders who could reasonably be charged with collaboration — Murmelstien gruffly dismisses their tenures as incomparable with his own.
Told of the historian Gershom Scholem’s opinion that he should have been hanged, Murmelstein observes that although Scholem is a great scholar of Jewish mysticism he is out of his depth in essaying the Holocaust. After much similar sparring, Murmelstein plays his trump card: The Theresienstadt ghetto was not cleared; 19,000 Jews survived. This is his legacy.
Quote: "We want to put the fate of Nazi victims into the open, give the victims a face and a biography", Martina Bachmann, spokeswoman for a company which is developing a curious new Holocaust memorial app.
Number: 80,000 the number of weddings performed by 'Tzohar' Rabbis in Israel since 1995.