To Read: Stephen Hadley, Joseph Lieberman and Jim Steinberg believe that showing a bit more aggression is the key to achieving a peaceful solution to the Iranian nuclear problem-
Even more directly, the Obama administration should signal unequivocally that the United States is prepared to take military action against Iran absent a diplomatic breakthrough.
We are convinced that if diplomacy with Iran fails, President Obama is serious that all options, including the use of force, are on the table. Unfortunately, there are indications that the regime in Tehran continues to doubt the seriousness of U.S. intentions, which makes a peaceful resolution less likely.
Quote: "If they claim that this program has lots of safeguards, wouldn't you expect they would detail them – 'Here are the procedures for following up on an individual'?- This is certainly an issue I have a strong interest in", Senator Wyden criticizing the NSA's surveillance procedure and questioning its effectiveness at a hearing.
Number: 50, around 50 percent of American kids under 5 are of ethnic minority.
To Read: The JPost is bemused by the Netanyahu government's incoherent foreign policy-
The prime minister can continue to pronounce his support for a two-state solution and freeze building in Jerusalem, thus partially deflecting international pressure and providing US Secretary of State John Kerry with tangible gestures as part of his attempts to jump-start the peace process.
At the same time, hawkish politicians whose opinions reflect the majority in Likud Beytenu are advanced to key positions and are permitted to speak freely, thus preventing a situation where Netanyahu’s faces a rebellion from within his own party. In the process, however, Israel’s policy loses its coherence. Who knows how long this state of affairs can go on?
Quote: “She is very constrained with this coalition. You need a bold program by Mr. Netanyahu, a change in the coalition or an election. I don’t see this coalition, which is run by settlers, to have a chance. She doesn’t have a real chance", former Palestinian FM Nabil Shaath talking about Tzipi Livni.
Number: 26, the percent increase of the Mossad and Shin Beit budget during Netanyahu's premiership.
The Middle East
To Read: According to Iran Scholar Abbas Milani, supreme leader Khamenei has found out that he is less popular than he assumed-
So far, though, what the election has shown is that not just the opposition, but more and more of the regime stalwarts see Khamenei's failed leadership as the cause of the country's blighted situation. In some ways, he might end up the biggest loser of the election he so assiduously tried to engineer.
Quote: “the right of travel or freedom of travel is open for all Egyptians… We are no longer a center for rendition, or punishing Egyptians for what they do in other countries”, Khaled al-Qazzaz, a foreign affairs adviser to Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, saying that Egyptians are free to fight in Syria (or basically anywhere) if they like.
Number: 60, the percent decrease in the amount of aid Gaza is receiving from Iran, according to a Hamas official.
The Jewish World
To Read: Rabbi Jonathan Sacks accuses the new Atheists of superficiallity-
Future intellectual historians will look back with wonder at the strange phenomenon of seemingly intelligent secularists in the 21st century believing that if they could show that the first chapters of Genesis are not literally true, that the universe is more than 6,000 years old and there might be other explanations for rainbows than as a sign of God’s covenant after the flood, the whole of humanity’s religious beliefs would come tumbling down like a house of cards and we would be left with a serene world of rational non-believers getting on famously with one another.
Whatever happened to the intellectual depth of the serious atheists, the forcefulness of Hobbes, the passion of Spinoza, the wit of Voltaire, the world-shattering profundity of Nietzsche?
Quote: "the City of Los Angeles will continue to make contracting decisions based on the best interests of the City, its residents, businesses and taxpayers and in accordance with the City Charter and applicable State and Federal law and hereby affirms that issues related to the Arab-Israeli conflict will not be considered and will have no impact on the awarding of contracts with the City of Los Angeles”, the LA city council's anti BDS resolution.
Number: 200,000, the possible amount of money twitter could pay for not divulging the user IDs of people who posted anti-Semitic remarks in France.