Jewish Journal


November 26, 2013

by Shmuel Rosner

November 26, 2013 | 4:15 am

El Al airplanes Photo by Ronen Zvulun / Reuters

The US

Headline: Obama Defends Iranian Nuclear Deal Against ‘Tough Talk And Bluster’

To Read: David Rothkopf explains why Hawks should actually be excited by the deal with Iran and why doves should start worrying-

While hawks in the United States have seized upon and denounced Iran's "victory dance" following the deal, they have to recognize that a failure of this initiative -- which would result in worse sanctions and possible military action -- would be seen as a serious setback for Iran's leadership. While the country's most important leaders don't answer to the people, Rouhani does and for him, and even for Iran's Supreme Leader, the damage to their credibility would take a huge toll on their international standing and weaken them at home.

Quote: “So much that was done out of the box was winding down those wars. We’ve shifted from a very military face on our foreign policy to a very diplomatic face on our foreign policy”, Benjamin Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor, commenting on the US' shift towards Diplomacy.

Number: 50, here's an intriguing map of the US redrawn as 50 states with equal population.



Headline: Netanyahu seeks new compromise in EU research program talks

To Read: According to Yossi Klein Halevy, the Iran deal 'confirms Israelis' fears about Obama'-

During the first Obama administration, the urgent Israeli question was: Is he is a friend of the Jewish state? That question was largely resolved for many Israelis during the President’s visit to Israel last March, when he won over much of the public by affirming the Jewish roots in the land of Israel and the indigenousness of Israel in the Middle East, as well as Israel’s past efforts to make peace.

Now, though, Israelis are asking this: After eight years of President Obama, will the Middle East be a safer or more dangerous region for Israel?

For most Israelis the answer is self-evident. The turning point came this summer, when Obama hesitated to enforce his own red line over Syria. That was the moment that he lost the trust of the Israeli public on Iran.

Quote: "I spoke last night with President Obama. We agreed that in the coming days an Israeli team led by the national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, will go out to discuss with the United States the permanent accord with Iran", Netanyahu announcing a special delegation which is going to the US.  

Number: 77, Israeli industrial giant Dov Lautman passed away this Saturday aged 77.


The Middle East

Headline: Syria peace talks to take place without Assad: France

To Read: David Ignatius writes about the secrecy of the Iran negotiations-

Count the Iran nuclear deal as a rare win for President Obama’s secretive, cerebral style of governing. His careful, closeted approach has produced many setbacks over the past five years, but it was at the heart of last weekend’s breakthrough deal with Tehran.

This was secret diplomacy that a Henry Kissinger could appreciate. Obama began by authorizing carefully concealed meetings back in March, through Oman, the most opaque and discreet nation in the Persian Gulf. The president sent as his personal emissaries two low-key, quintessentially gray men, Bill Burns and Jake Sullivan, the deputy secretary of state and vice presidential adviser, respectively.

Quote: “Would that satisfy all the people? Would that satisfy some of the foreign powers, and does this mean working to find solutions for Egypt’s problems? In any case, let’s see what the days bring”, Egypt's General Sisi responding to a question about his Presidential aspirations, last week.

Number: 6000, the number of Syrian women who have been raped since the beginning of the conflict, according to a new report.


The Jewish World

Headline: Aliya from France soars, while immigration from North America drops

To Read: Mark Lilla examines Claude Lanzman's new documentary, which, by focusing on the apologia a Jewish collaborator, reaffirms (according to Lilla) Hannah Arendt's beliefs which his masterwork Shoah once rejected-

If Shoah can be viewed as a cinematic response to Arendt’s “banality of evil” thesis, Lanzmann’s new film is a retort to her unflattering portrait of the Jewish leaders. It is a straightforward, chronological documentary that moves from Murmelstein’s work with Austrian Jews after the Anschluss to the history of Theresienstadt, then moves to the two years Murmelstein spent in the camp, the last as head elder (Judenältester). Now, it seems, Lanzmann wants very much for us to understand the Holocaust, through Murmelstein’s story. This is a striking turnabout for the filmmaker and makes for a very strong documentary, if not an entirely satisfying one.

Quote: "I'm completely overwhelmed. Israel is in the center of my life, and even though I don't live in Israel, Israel lives within me. I now see myself as an honorary Israeli. Life is composed of moments, not only years, and this moment is worth an entire life", Elie Wiesel accepting Israel's Presidential Medal from Shimon Peres.

Number: NIS 500, the daily fine a Woman from Natanya was ordered to pay by a rabbinical court for every day her son is not circumcised (as infuriating and ugly as it gets).  

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