To Read: James Traub writes about how President Obama yielded to public opinion in Pakistan-
Men and women on the street of the Islamic world often say that they feel helpless in the face of American power -- but in President Barack Obama's decision to restrict the use of drones they won a victory which the administration's domestic critics could never have achieved. As Obama pointed out in his speech, drones do an incredibly effective job of killing America's adversaries, do not violate the laws of war, and -- a fact he didn't adduce -- enjoy the overwhelming support of the American people. Obama was reacting to public opinion -- but less in the United States than in Pakistan or Yemen. And the fact that this is so tells us a great deal about the changing face or war, and of statecraft.
Quote: "It's clear that the US has basically moved towards the Russian position on the Geneva communiqué, which is where we were nearly a year ago", Yezid Sayigh, Syria expert and senior associate at the Carnegie Middle East Centre, about the US' policy on Syria.
Number: 171, the percent increase in corporate profits since the beginning of Obama’s first term.
To Read: Ethan Bronner describes Israel’s sense of no urgency concerning the peace process with the Palestinians-
FOR years, conventional wisdom has held that as long as Israel faces the external challenge of Arab — especially Palestinian — hostility it will never come to terms with its internal divisions. The left has sometimes used it as an argument: we must make peace with the Palestinians so that we can set our house in order — write a constitution, figure out the public role of religion. Others have viewed the threat as almost a silver lining keeping the place together: differences among Israeli Jews (religious or secular, Ashkenazic or Sephardic) are so profound, the argument goes, that if the society ever manages to turn its attention inward, it might tear itself apart.
Back in Tel Aviv for a recent visit a year after ending my tour as Jerusalem bureau chief, I was struck by how antiquated that wisdom felt…
Quote: “The aim is to put pressure on the governments and to say, '[Because] we, as the private sector, pay the price of the conflict when we lose in our businesses, we should be able to have a [say] in designing a future for both parties along the lines of the two-state solution [and] based on the UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative', Elias Zananiri, a political adviser and public relations consultant who is involved with the new "Breaking the Impasse" peace initiative lead by Israeli and Palestinian leaders of industry.
Number: NIS 50 million, the amount of money Yair Lapid has decided to transfer to Ariel University.
The Middle East
To Read: Egyptian writer Ahmed Lashin does not believe that the Syrian crisis is going to seriously damage the Iran-Turkey relationship-
Despite the fact that the relationship between the two countries has recently become more complicated and ambiguous, the Turkish-Iranian—or if you prefer, the Ottoman-Safavid—struggle is well-rooted in history. Conflicts of interests between the two countries may have arisen in the past; however, Turkey and Iran always managed to arrive at mutually-satisfying compromises.
Despite the two major regional players’ disputes over Syria, which continues to threaten their relationship, it is hard to consider the situation in the country as a decisive point that will determine the nature of the relationship between Ankara and Tehran. Aside from their political competition, strategic benefits and economic interests have a more significant impact on decision makers in Turkey and Tehran.
Quote: “Even chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat does not know the details of the discussions between Abbas and Kerry. Abbas has decided to keep everyone in the dark”, Palestian sources describing the secrecy surrounding the Abbas-Kerry meeting.
Number: 8, the number of Presidential candidates cleared by Iran’s unelected Guardian council (out of 868 who registered).
The Jewish World
To Read: A Tablet piece takes a look at a new curious feature film about Hannah Arendt-
It’s not every week that you get to see a movie about an intellectual contretemps, let alone one that rocked the Jewish world. Indeed, in a way, Von Trotta and screenwriter Pamela Katz have attempted something far more difficult and potentially absurd than making a documentary, namely setting out to dramatize an upheaval in the life of the mind. The only filmmaker who has ever really turned the trick is Roberto Rossellini in his early-’70s telefilms Socrates, Descartes, and Blaise Pascal. (Would that he had also essayed Spinoza!)
Quote: "The uniqueness of this celebration is in the fact that there has not been a wedding for the grandson of the Belz Rebbe since before the Holocaust. This wedding, for this public, for the tens of thousands of people here – marks the victory over the German Nazis, damn them”, Rabbi Aharon Vind, one of the participants of the ultra orthodox ‘wedding of the decade’.
Number: 5, the percentage of JDate users who are not Jewish.