To Read: A Washington Post editorial severely criticizes Obama for not listening to his advisors on Syria-
Mr. Obama’s reasons for quashing the Syria plan were surely not purely political. But the president’s only public explanation for his resistance, in a recent interview with the New Republic, amounted to excuse-making. He wondered why he should concern himself with Syria and not the civil war in the Congo, as if the United States cannot intervene in any war unless it does in all; he asked whether providing weapons to rebels would “trigger even worse violence,” ignoring the testimony of his own aides that, under his present policy, the carnage “every day . . . it gets worse,” as new Secretary of State John F. Kerry put it.
Quote: "How many more have to die before you recommend military action?", Senator McCain demanding answers about Syria in yesterday's hearing.
Number: 47, the percentage of Iranians who hold the US responsible for the recent sanctions, according to a new Gallup Poll.
To Read: Yoaz Hendel voices the Israeli fatigue and pessimism about the peace process:
The current political reality in Israel is unclear. Paradoxically, Netanyahu and some segments of the Right have adopted the pragmatic vision of "two states for two peoples," while the Left has adopted the Right's pessimistic outlook, according to which a peace agreement cannot be signed, regardless of the vision.
Quote: 'This behavior is shameful. We cannot accept such racist behavior. The Jewish people, who suffered excommunications and expulsions, need to represent a light unto the nations.'' PM Netanyahu condemning the racism of the fans of Beitar Jerusalem.
Number: 11.8, the percentage decline in the number of High tech ged 45-50 in Israeli start-ups last year.
The Middle East
To Read: Mark Lynch examines the problematic aspects of social media in the Arab Spring-
Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook didn't cause the Arab Spring on their own, and they aren't alone to blame for its struggles. I continue to believe that the Internet and social media represent a profound change in the texture of Arab politics, shattering the monopoly over information and opinion upon which those authoritarian regimes depended. The net effects of the empowerment of diverse voices and the free flow of information strike me as positive. But if we believe in the transformative power of these changes, we really can't avoid considering the negatives alongside the positives. And the current state of the Arab revolutions offers us far too many negatives from which to choose.
Quote: "The new round of sanctions ... are designed to put pressure on the nation and to create a gap between the (Iranian) nation and government", Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast blaming the US for meddling in Iranian politics.
Number: 10, the percentage of Iranians who believe that the Iranian government is most responsible for the sanctions.
The Jewish World
To Read: Alan Dershowitz believes that the attacks he faces when he talks about Israel are aimed at younger academics who have more to lose:
Why then is there such a concerted effort to attack me personally and to question my integrity every time I speak about Israel? It has little to do with me, because my attackers know that I can fight back and that my academic standing will not in any way be influenced by their attacks. The attacks are directed at young academics, without tenure who would dare to speak up on behalf of Israel. The message is clear: If you support Israel, we will attack you like we attack Dershowitz, but you will be hurt much more that Dershowitz would. We will damage your reputation, hurt your student evaluations and decrease your chances for tenure. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that so many pro-Israel young academics refuse to speak up. I know because they call and discreetly tell me about the fear they have that they will be subjected to the same kind of McCarthyite tactics that I am subjected to.
Quote: "The Chief Whip has assured us that Mr Ward’s latest comments will be dealt with as a fresh issue. It was made clear that this will be pursued in the context of Mr Carmichael’s commitment that if 'anything of this sort' ever happened again the consequences for Mr Ward 'would escalate significantly' beyond the official censure already imposed", the leaders of the JLC reporting the contents of their meeting with the chief whip of the Lib-Dem party concerning the David Ward affair.
Number: $28 million, the amount of money bequeathed by Richard Herman to THE Family matters organization.