To Read: Thomas Wright discerns between two opposing cross-partisan views at the center of the current American Foreign Policy debate-
President Obama may not say so explicitly in his State of the Union address, but his administration's foreign policy is poised to shift significantly in his second term. The shift is the result of an ongoing debate between two camps that I call "restrainers" and "shapers." Restrainers and shapers sharply disagree about the threats to the United States and this leads to very different views about how to engage the world -- and it may well lead to a division within the Democratic Party.
Quote: "And I remember as I watched him breathe out the last part of air, I thought: Is this the best thing I've ever done, or the worst thing I've ever done? This is real and that's him. Holy shit", the Navy Seal soldier who shot Osama Bin Laden, recalling his experience.
Number: $700m, the sum of the US aid John Kerry is trying to unblock for the Palestinian authority.
Headline: Netanyahu stands by 2-state solution
To Read: Ben Dror-Yemini offers his harsh criticism of Ido Bartal's textbook study-
Regarding one matter there is no dispute. All agree that there is no chance for peace without recognition of the rights of the other, and without the cessation of the campaign of incitement which continues unabated in the Palestinian Authority. In order to stop incitement, it must be exposed, denounced, and opposed. International funding for the books that perpetuate the incitement must come to an end. The struggle against incitement suffered a blow because of useful idiots like Bar-Tal. Next time Israel demands that the Palestinians halt incitement, no one with take it seriously. One thing that can be said for Bar-Tal: he is truly committed to recognition and understanding. He is opposed to incitement. Tragically, his report amounts to a stamp of approval for that very incitement.
Quote: “About 99.9 percent of what you read in the papers about the negotiations is not actually happening. There are no discussions on portfolios. No one spoke to our negotiating team on that. Whatever you are reading is mere speculation that is not connected to us”, Yair Lapid to his Knesset faction.
Number: NIS 4 million, the sum of the fine the environmental protection ministry imposed on the IDF for failing to clear asbestos.
The Middle East
Read: The Atlantic's Armin Rosen visits the first Palestinian-designed planned city of Rawabi and ponders about the promises and possibilities it signifies-
Rawabi represents something totally new -- a visionary Palestinian-directed private sector project, with support from both Israeli businesses and a major Arab government. It has the potential to shift the conversation on the region's future on both sides of the Green Line. It could convince Palestinians -- and the rest of the world -- that the future of the West Bank shouldn't be shackled to Ramallah or Jerusalem's vacillating willingness to hash out fundamental issues. It could prove that there's an appetite, both among Palestinian consumers and foreign donors, for the creation of a social and economic existence in the West Bank that's de-coupled, insomuch as currently possible, from the Middle East's tense and labyrinthine politics.
Quote: "Syria will remain the beating heart of the Arab world and will not give up its principles despite the intensifying pressure and diversifying plots not only targeting Syria, but all Arabs" Bashar al-Assad refusing to give up.
Number: 13, the number of people who died in a car-explosion on the Turkish-Syrian border.
The Jewish World
To Read: A JPost editorial pays respect to the life and intellect of David Hartman-
It is safe to say, however, that as much as Hartman was a catalyst for spiritual change in Israeli society, he and his thought process are a reflection of a post-modern era characterized by new, innovative and more egalitarian forms of religious expression. Hartman was lucky to see his efforts bear fruit and witness this spiritual change unfold before his eyes. May his memory be a blessing.
Quote: “When I listen to the very partial presentation, I am fully with them — when I listen to the other side, I have to accept that they also have logic. We do have to find a solution in which nobody will feel discriminated against, and at the same time we don’t see the pictures every day of hundreds of people fighting in the most ugly way. Is it easy? Not. But we Jews chose to be [a] not-easy people, and to live in a not-easy place, and to ‘do’ [a] not-easy religion”, Jewish Agency head chairman Sharasky about the Women of the Wall phenomenon.
Number: 107,000-120,000, the estimated number of Jews in Austalia, which has decided to hold its elections on Yom Kippur this year.