To Read: David Ignatius believes that President Obama has a terrible case of 'the slows' when it comes to implementing policies in the Middle East-
Centuries of theatergoers have puzzled over the riddle of why it took Shakespeare’s Hamlet so long to act once he had set his mind to it. The Arab world has the same question about President Obama’s delay in implementing his policies in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.
Quote: "I'm pleased to tell you that we have made real progress on this trip. And I believe that with a little more work, the start of final status negotiations could be within reach", John Kerry's upbeat statement following his visit.
Number: $28.6 Billion, the amount of Aid distributed by USAid in Egypt between 1975-2009.
Headline: Danon, Katz, Elkin win Likud races
To Read: Raphael Ahren tries to understand the source of John Kerry's unending confidence and optimism about Israel and Palestine-
For now, though, he looks like the hapless top diplomat from the world’s only superpower, gradually reducing the prestige of his office by making himself overfamiliar to two recalcitrant leaders over whom he plainly wields no particular influence.
In June 1990, one of Kerry’s predecessors, James Baker, resonantly declared that “the telephone number (of the White House) is 1-202-456-1414. When you’re serious about peace, call us.” Kerry’s message could hardly be more different. No need to call, he assures Netanyahu and Abbas. I’ll be back soon anyway.
Quote: "Progress that should not be underestimated", President Peres describing the progress made during the Kerry visit.
Number: 2, Gal Mekel is going to be the second Israeli to play in the NBA.
The Middle East
To Read: Walter Russell Mead writes about the anatomy of the Egyptian people's discontent with the revolution and about Morsi's possible responses-
Nobody knows what will happen in Egypt this week, and the Muslim Brotherhood could lose the battle for public opinion but gain the power for control of the state. Sometimes revolutionary movements prevail even though they fail to satisfy the hopes that brought them to power. Revolutionaries often turn out to be failures at utopia-building, but very good at building police states.
That could be happening in Egypt this summer; we shall see. But the hopeful phase of the Egyptian Revolution has come to a close. It looks more and more as if the Muslim Brotherhood must either become a much harsher movement in a much bleaker world, or it must learn to watch power slip from its hands.
Quote: "(Morsi) has until 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 to leave power. He must do this in order for Egyptian state institutions to prepare for early presidential elections", a statement by 'Tamarod', a popular Egyptian rebel movement, giving President Morsi an ultimatum.
Number: 50, the percentage of Iranians who don't have enough money to provide their families with adequate food and shelter, according to a recent poll.
The Jewish World
Headline: LA’s first Jewish mayor takes the helm
To Read: David Turner examines the deep Anti-Semitism of the great heroes of the French enlightenment, Voltaire and Diderot-
Some modern philosophers would rescue Voltaire-as-antisemite by pointing out that his attack on the Jews was part of a more general assault on Christianity. And perhaps, had he limited his critique to Judaism-as-religion the argument might be somewhat credible. But Voltaire singled out “the Jews,” the “nation.” Nor are such antisemitic attacks limited to Voltaire. “The Jews” also appear with regularity in the writings of many others identified as Philosophes, and Jews and Judaism occupy more than twenty-five percent of Voltaire’s Dictionary.
Voltaire and Diderot and most of the Philosophes, Europe’s intellectual avant-garde, were dedicated to liberating the continent from superstition and prejudice, from intolerance and what they perceived as the darkness of religion: how explain their unreflective import of 1700 years of anti-Jewish prejudice into their “rational” and secular model for a just and modern society?
Quote: “The claim that the swastika is not always associated with Nazism is not true. Placing such symbols in public places should be definitely regarded as promoting Nazism and fascism”, Tadeusz Marek, chief prosecutor of Bilaystok, discussing swastikas.
Number: $1.5m, the amount of money that has been awarded thus far to young Jewish Americans by Hellen Diller's Tikun Olam awards initiative.