To Read: A Washington Post editorial supports the US' push for an interim deal with Iran, but concludes that more work needs to be done-
Any successful negotiation with Iran will require distasteful concessions to a regime whose domestic repression and external aggression are repugnant and a menace to U.S. allies. But a deal that decisively curbs its nuclear capacity is preferable to military action. The Obama administration is right to move forward — but it should work harder to align any deal with its goals and to bring Congress and allies on board.
The editors of the NYT also believe that an interim deal is the way to go, but are much more blunt and disapproving in their characterization of Netanyahu's position on the matter-
Unfortunately, the inconclusive negotiations have given an opening to the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who excoriated the proposed agreement as the “deal of the century” for Iran before it is made public, to generate more hysterical opposition. It would be nice if Iran could be persuaded to completely dismantle its nuclear program, as Mr. Netanyahu has demanded, but that is unlikely to ever happen. The administration of President George W. Bush made similar demands and refused to negotiate seriously and the result was an Iranian program that is more advanced than ever.
Quote: “Mister secretary of state, is it Iran which changed half the text of the Americans on Thursday and made contrary statements on Friday morning?”, Iran's Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, responding to Kerry's remarks about how Iran backed out of the interim nuclear deal.
Number: 107, the age of Richard Overton, a veteran (honored by President Obama) who was at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked and later served in Okinawa and at Iwo Jima.
To Read: David Horowitz gives his take on the recent US-Israel crisis over the nuclear negotiations with Iran-
At the root of the current bitter, unpleasant and very public Israeli-American standoff — or rather the bitter Netanyahu-Obama standoff — is a difference not over the terms of this interim deal, but over whether an interim deal of any kind is a good idea.
Quote: “there are two countries in one in Israel. One country is a start up nation. It’s fantastic, it’s cutting edge,” he told the audience. But there is another country within Israel and that other country is not receiving either the tools or the conditions to work in a modern economy", Professor Dan Ben-David of the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel, talking about Israel's social maladies at the GA.
Number: 17.6%, the alarming percentage of Israeli children who have experienced sexual abuse, according to the National Council for the Child (NCC) and Haifa University.
The Middle East
To Read: A Reuters report exposes Khamenei's insane $95b financial empire, Setad-
Khamenei's grip on Iran's politics and its military forces has been apparent for years. The investigation into Setad shows that there is a third dimension to his power: economic might. The revenue stream generated by Setad helps explain why Khamenei has not only held on for 24 years but also in some ways has more control than even his revered predecessor. Setad gives him the financial means to operate independently of parliament and the national budget, insulating him from Iran's messy factional infighting.
Quote: “I am very much looking forward to renewing direct UK contact with the Iranian government and society”, Britain's new non-resident envoy to Iran, Ajay Sharma.
Number: 8, the number of Sinai-Gaza tunnels which Egyptian security forces destroyed, causing mass power shortages in Gaza (some of which last up to 12 hours).
The Jewish World
To Read: According to Professor Theodore Sasson, the Pew report actually contains a lot of positive signs regarding children of Intermarriage-
By neglecting the role of parental intermarriage, the report contributed to the erroneous impression that young adult Jews had somehow abandoned Jewishness. “Where have the Jews by religion gone?” the Pew report asked. “[M]any have become Jews of no religion.” But Pew’s own data show that the growth of the unaffiliated population is the result of the unexpected tendency of most young adults with intermarried parents to identify as Jewish. Instead of a growing population of young adults raised in Jewish households opting out, there appears to be a trend of young adults raised in non-Jewish or partly Jewish households opting in.
Quote: “The rabbinate is admitting it is acting on an ad hoc basis. In fact, I’m aware that there used to be a concrete list and that the rabbinate’s legal adviser said they had to stop using this list because of legal complications this creates”, Rabbi Seth Farber, director of the ITIM religious services advisory organization, discusses Israel's Chief Rabbinate's criteria for recognizing Diaspora Rabbis.
Number: 47, the number of years Saul Kagan (who just passed away on Saturday) stood at the helm of the claims conference.