Jewish Journal


Headlines & Reads: UAE Ups Aid to Egypt, Rice’s Modest Middle East Strategy, On Religion Without God

by Shmuel Rosner

October 27, 2013 | 4:16 am

US National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
Photo by Reuters

The US

Headline: Rice Offers a More Modest Strategy for Mideast

To Read: John Kerry writes an op-ed descrying President Assad and stressing the importance of putting pressure on the tyrant before winter exacerbates his country's unbearable humanitarian situation-

Merely expecting a regime like Assad's to live up to the spirit, let alone letter, of the Security Council statement without concerted international pressure is sadly unrealistic. A regime that gassed its own people and systematically denies them food and medicine will bow only to our pressure, not to our hopes. Assad's allies who have influence over his calculations must demand that he and his backers adhere to international standards. With winter approaching quickly, and the rolls of the starving and sick growing daily, we can waste no time. Aid workers must have full access to do their jobs now. The world cannot sit by watching innocents die.

Quote: "We can’t just be consumed 24/7 by one region, important as it is,” she said, adding, “He thought it was a good time to step back and reassess, in a very critical and kind of no-holds-barred way, how we conceive the region.” Rice telling her aides about the President's view of the Middle East.

Number: 1000, the Post has found that over 1000 American NGO's have suffered from significant diversions in their accounts, due to theft, embezzlement and such.   



Headline: Gov't divided on issue of prisoners' release

To Read: James Loeffler takes a look at Gil Troy's book about Daniel Patrick Moynihan's defense of Israel-

Troy’s careful analysis of Moynihan’s motivations is one of the strengths of this book, if a bit redundant at times. In an era when both critics and advocates of the American-Israeli alliance often blithely assert that domestic politics drive US foreign policy (be it Jewish lobbying or Christian Zionist votes), it is an important lesson to remember that Israel often functions as much as a symbolic proxy for American identity in foreign affairs as a strategic ally or special interest issue. “In defending Zionism,” writes Troy, “Moynihan was combating what he saw as an ideological assault on Western values and American power.”

(take a look at our q&a with Gil Troy right here)

Quote: "It was appalling to listen to Britain's former foreign secretary. His remarks reflect prejudice of the worst kind. We're used to hearing groundless accusations from Palestinian envoys but I thought British diplomats, including former ones, were still capable of a measure of rational thought", former Israeli MK Einat Wilf responding to some controversial remarks made by Britain's former FM Jack Straw.

Number: 9, nine Israelis and one Palestinian were hurt in an rock attack incident in Hebron


The Middle East

Headline: UAE signs $4.9 billion aid package to Egypt

To Read: Eric Trager takes a look at the rants and conspiracy theories of the Times' new Egyptian columnist Alaa al Aswany-

“A simple experiment,” he tweeted in July, “Go to the website of any global newspaper and read its coverage of Egypt, and you’ll find that most of the writers that defended Israel are now mostly defending the Brotherhood.” Indeed, in Aswany’s twisted worldview, Washington’s displeasure with the way in which Morsi was ousted and Western reporting of the rising Brotherhood death toll must have Israel in mind first and foremost. And so being pro-Brotherhood—as Aswany defines it—must be a Zionist position.

Quote: “Enrichment to 20 percent is continuing”, Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the head of parliament’s national security and foreign policy committee, admitting that Iran's uranium enrichment is still on.

Number: 16, the number of Iranians who were reportedly hanged in retaliation for a eadly border attack.


The Jewish World

Headline: Republican Jewish Coalition to Senate: Approve new Iran sanctions bill

To Read: Moshe Halbertal takes a look at Ronald Dworkin's posthumous book, which examines the notion of 'religion without god'-

The notion of “religion without God” is first defined negatively. It stands for a rejection of naturalism, which claims that the world consists exclusively of matter governed by laws of nature that are in principle described by science, and that qualities such as beauty or value are not independent of the mind but are humanly constructed responses to the world. Dworkin’s rejection of naturalism consists of two crucial elements. The first is the affirmation that human life has an objective meaning and importance. Our values and moral convictions are not humanly contrived responses that can be exhaustively explained as an outcome of the evolutionary process. “Cruelty is wrong” is an objective statement that has been discovered by us rather than invented by us, and its objective foundation is, for Dworkin, internal to our experience of the prohibition on cruelty. We encounter it as an absolute. If we examine the set of our convictions concerning the realms that are independent of our mind, we might genuinely entertain a Cartesian doubt as to whether we exist, but we cannot imagine a world in which it would be fine to run over an innocent child with a car because we were late to a party. 

Quote:  “The success and mission of Limmud FSU is building a family of young Russian-speaking Jews. Look around you: These are the best and brightest of Russian society. They come because this conference gives them a sense of pride and family" Limmud founder, Chaim Chessler discussing the organization's role in revitalizing Russia's Jewish community.

Number: 1000, over one thousand people showed up for a neo Nazi rally in Athens.

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