To Read: Sarah Posner writes about a right wing women's organization which exploits 'pro-Israel' sentiments for anti Obama rallying (and about Jennifer Rubin who endorses them)-
The Washington Post’s conservative blogger Jennifer Rubin is elated that Concerned Women for America, long a fixture of the Christian right’s social issues activism, has decided to “include concern about the ‘threat of global terrorism and the movement in the Middle East to squelch the nation of Israel’ and ‘increased anti-Israel sentiment within our government’ among its core priorities.”
There’s quite a subtext in the words, “increased anti-Israel sentiment within our government.” Get it? It’s not just that CWA is opposed to the Obama administration’s recently stepped-up efforts to revitalize the push for a two-state solution. The Obama administration itself, CWA ominously implies, must be working for the enemy.
Quote: “Samantha Power and I have worked closely over the last four years on issues vital to Israel’s security. She thoroughly understands those issues and cares deeply about them”, Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren, endorsing Samantha Power.
Number: 56, the percentage of Americans who believe that the NSA's phone tracking is an acceptable anti-terror tactic.
To Read: As hard as it is to imagine, the writer of this article, Chas Freeman, was once the US Assistant Secretary of Defense and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia-
Judaism is a religion distinguished by its emphasis on justice and humanity. American Jews, in particular, have a well-deserved reputation as reliable champions of the oppressed, opponents of racial discrimination, and advocates of the rule of law. But far from exhibiting these traditional Jewish values—which are also those of contemporary America—Israel increasingly exemplifies their opposites. Israel is now known around the world for the Kafkaesque tyranny of its checkpoint army in the Occupied Territories, its periodic maiming and slaughter of Lebanese and Gazan civilians, its blatant racial and religious bigotry, the zealotry and scofflaw behavior of its settlers, its theology of ethnic cleansing, and its exclusionary religious dogmatism.
Quote: "When I hear that one of the haters of Judaism died…Someone who declared he wanted to become non-religious and married a foreigner, (Livnat) bemoans the great loss as a result of this Jew hater's death. It's unbelievable. Is this Jewish culture? Is this a Jewish state?" Ultra-Orthodox Knesset member Israel Eichler disrespecting the recently deceased Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk.
Number: 85, the percentage of Israel's Jews who are opposed to releasing Palestinian prisoners for peace talks, according to a new Smith poll.
The Middle East
To Read: Daniel P Goldman takes a look at Russia's new role in the Middle East-
On the other hand, Russia's support for the Assad regime is a fact of life. Russia may enjoy the paralysis of the West in the region and seek to embarrass the United States and its allies, but that is a secondary matter. It also may want to demonstrate to the world that it doesn't abandon allies the way that the United States abandoned former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. Again, that is a minor matter. Russia's interest in the outcome of the Syrian civil war stems from two critical interests.
The lesser of these is the naval supply station at Tartus, which supports the expansion of Russia's naval presence in the Eastern Mediterranean. The more important concern is Russia's fear of the Sunni jihadists who dominate the rebel opposition.
Quote: "At dusk on Monday... I received a letter from Mohammad Khatami... he said it would not be wise for me to remain in the race", Mohammad-Reza Aref, the 'sole reformist candidate' in Iran's upcoming presidential elections, pulls out of the race.
Number: $4.2bln, the cost of Ethiopia's massive hydroelectric dam which is threatening 20 percent of Egypt's Nile water supply and which might be cause for war between the two countries.
The Jewish World
To Read: How does one become a Halachic authority? Gil Student describes the process-
The path to becoming an expert is gaining respect of other experts. You must create a body of work that is valued by peers. Put more colloquially, becoming a Gadol is not a popularity contest among the masses but among other Gedolim. A posek is someone whom other poskim consider a posek. Publishing responsa in insufficient; the publications must be well-received by other halakhic authorities. Serving as a resource to laymen and other rabbis is also insufficient. Your decision-making experience must be deemed worthy by other halakhic authorities.
Quote: "I miss him very much. He was sick for a long time and was informed of the prize just several days before he passed away. He told me it was a little too late. I vowed to continue his work, and the house will remain open and serve as a museum for children who will arrive to see what we all experienced", Irena Wodzislawski, who together with her husband won a Yad Vashem award for creating a private holocaust museum at their own home.
Number: 360,000, the number of NY Jews living in poverty, according to a new study.