July 3, 2013 | 3:33 am
To Read: Eli Lake and Josh Rogin question Obama's claim that he has been on the side of democracy in Egypt-
President Obama said Monday his government makes decisions on aid to Egypt based on that government’s respect for democracy and the rule of law. The record suggests otherwise.
In nearly every confrontation with Congress since the 2011 Egyptian revolution, the White House has fought against restrictions proposed by legislators on the nearly $1.6 billion in annual U.S. aid to Egypt. Twice in two years, the White House and the State Department fought hard against the very sorts of conditions on aid that Obama claimed credit for this week. When President Mohamed Morsi used the power of his presidency to target his political opponents, senior administration officials declined to criticize him in public. Many close Egypt observers argue that the Obama administration’s treatment of Morsi has been in line with the long-standing U.S. policy of turning a blind eye to the human rights abuses of his predecessor, Hosni Mubarak.
Quote: “Washington is trying to walk a very fine line on engaging with political and military leaders. No one is eager to demonstrate a strong U.S. hand in the midst of a very fluid crisis”, a Senior US official commenting on the US' current stance on Egypt.
Number: 32, the percentage of Millennials who believe that the US is the greatest country in the world.
To Read: Oren Kessler writes about the lack of interest Kerry's efforts have been receiving from the Israeli public-
If Israelis are confused by Kerry's efforts, they're also not paying much attention. On Monday, the three networks' evening newscasts -- which still set the tone for the national discourse here -- all led with Egypt's mass anti-government protests. In the same day's Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel's highest-selling daily, the first four pages were devoted to Egypt and the next 14 to internal affairs. Kerry's photo appeared only on page 18, in a midsized item titled, "Leaving empty-handed."
Maariv, another mass-market daily, ran a nearly identical headline: Kerry was "leaving empty-handed after 72 hours of frantic shuttling." As conservative columnist Amnon Lord opinionated: "This isn't a [peace] process aimed at historic achievements -- forget about it. This is a process for the U.S. government to appear as if it's doing something in the Middle East."
Quote: "there's nothing that keeps us from meeting. We are prepared to meet at any time. We are determined to reach peace with the Israelis. They are our neighbors and we recognize that. They and we need to live in security and stability", PA President Abbas, making modest advances following the Kerry visit.
Number: 2, the number of private ports PM Netanyahu has issued a tender for in his struggle with Israel's largest workers' union.
The Middle East
To Read: Egypt specialist Samer S.Shehata describes the power struggle in Egypt as one between 'liberals who are not Democrats' and 'Democrats who are not Liberal'-
Fair elections have improved the Brotherhood’s campaign skills. But it hasn’t fully committed to pluralism or to equal rights for minorities. It participates in democracy, but doesn’t want to share power.
Many in the opposition, on the other hand, believe fiercely in minority rights, personal freedoms, civil liberties and electoral coalition-building — as long as the elections keep Islamists out of power. In other words, they are liberal without being democrats; they are clamoring fervently for Mr. Morsi’s ouster and want the military to intervene. But they have proved themselves woefully unequipped to organize voters. Though my heart is with their democratic goals, I must admit that their commitment to democratic principles runs skin deep.
Quote: "The price of preserving legitimacy is my life", President Morsi, getting ready for Egypt's great showdown.
Number: 23, the number of people killed in clashes in Cairo University.
The Jewish World
To Read: An interesting book review of a new collection of articles in honor of Aaron Oppenheimer presents some interesting observations about the similarities and differences between early Christians and the Rabbis of their time (review written by Ron Naiweld)-
The analysis proposed by Oppenheimer in his important book sheds light on an important fact that can explain the subsequent success of the rabbinic movement in the religious and national spheres. Namely, it is a movement that insists on the possibility to live a life of holiness inside the ordinary social world. The many references to amei ha-aretz prove that there were early (or proto-) rabbinic figures who shared a will to lead a life of purity inside the world. To speak in “monastic” terms, they thought that they could practice holiness inside the city and did not feel the same obligation – as at least some Essenes and later Christian monks did – to retire to the desert where conflict with laymen could be avoided or at least reduced.
Quote: “We don’t say to people ‘look around, it’s dangerous where you are – you should make Aliyah”, Nathan Sharansky talking about the Jewish Agency's attitude to Antisemitism and aliya (which, according to him, doesn't promote aliya) .
Number: $4.1m, the amount of money granted to the HUC by the Mandel foundation (to be used to establish a 'visionary leadership' program).
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