To Read: Lee Smith warns against alienating the US' Middle East allies-
Allies, after all, are not simply products of power; they are also its signature. The United States owes much of its might to the nature and number of its alliances. Obama seems not to understand that if you really believe in a multi-polar world, if you treat your allies like anyone else, if you treat them the way you do your adversaries, then they may make different choices. He seems not to see that in forging a realignment of the region, it is the United States that is most likely to be realigned, friendless, doubted, and diminished.
Quote: “It’s not just Embassy Kabul we are planning for”, an official commenting on a draft of a bilateral security agreement that will indefinitely extend the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan beyond next year’s combat troop withdrawal
Number: $10m, the cash reward for information leading to the arrest of one of the perpetrators of the Benghazi attacks.
To Read: Jonathan Tobin believes that while we can't take the US-Israel alliance for granted, the friendship is too deep to actually be threatened-
But even if we ignore the utilitarian aspects of this friendship, it should be remembered that the core of American foreign policy has, contrary to the slanders of the left, always primarily been moral rather than a nation bent on conquest or empire. As such it needs nations that share its democratic values. That means Israel remains part of the select few countries that will always be natural allies. It is true that Israel cannot always count on the U.S. to do the right thing at the right time. Nor can the U.S. assume that Israel will disregard its interests in order to serve American convenience. But the relationship is both mutual and rooted in something stronger than Lord Palmerston’s famous dictum about permanent interests. Support for Israel is part of the political DNA of American culture. The same is true of Israel’s affinity with its fellow democracy.
Quote: “Once the Geneva agreement is signed, the military option will be back on the table. The Saudis are furious and are willing to give Israel all the help it needs”, an Israeli diplomat quoted by the Sunday Times commenting on the possibility of joint Israeli-Saudi military cooperation against Iran.
Number: 370, the number of Filipinos who received treatment by the IDF field hospital.
The Middle East
To Read: James Traub explains why the 'tighter sanctions' approach to negotiations with Iran might backfire-
But that's not the biggest problem with the squeeze-‘em-till-they-drop crowd. The reason why Menendez and others really are marching on a path to war is that they are demanding an outcome which Iran manifestly will not accept: zero enrichment. As Daryl Kimball, director of the Arms Control Association, puts it, "This is a strategy based upon hope that is not supported by the evidence of Iranian actions over the past decade, its past statements, or common sense."
Quote: "Assad wants to go to Geneva with credit, not debit. He is trying day after day to gain on the battlefield, and when he goes to Geneva he can say, ... 'OK, here's the situation — we are strong on the field. What do you have?'", Hisham Jaber, a retired Lebanese army general who heads the Beirut-based Middle East Center for Studies and Political Research, commenting on reports about Assad's army gaining grounds in Syria.
Number: $76b, the reported worth of the massive deal between Emirates air and Boeing.
The Jewish World
To Read: Daniel Gordis mourns the fate of the Conservative movement-
Those who will live in the aftermath of Conservative Judaism’s demise will live in an American Judaism diminished and robbed of an important voice. This is not the moment for gloating or for self-congratulation—even within Orthodoxy. This is the moment to begin to ask the question that the Pew study puts squarely in front of us: If Orthodoxy is intellectually untenable for many, and liberal Judaism is utterly incapable of transmitting content and substance, is there no option for Jewish continuity other than Israel? There must be. Those who care about the future of the Jewish people had better embark now on the search for what it might be.
Quote: “I never said we will give back the pictures to all those who suffered injustice back then”, prosecutor Matthias Nikolai commenting on the possibility that hundreds of paintings looted by the Nazis may remain with the son of the Nazi dealer who hid them.
Number: 90, the percentage of Hungarian Jews who believe that anti-Semitism is a big problem in Hungary.