To Read: Politico's Susan Glasser asks whether Hillary Clinton was a good secretary of state-
Timing, fate and the White House may have all conspired in it, but the truth is that Hillary Clinton never did find a way to turn Foggy Bottom into her ticket to history.
And perhaps that’s exactly the reason why American politicians tend to become secretary of state after they’ve run for president and lost; it just might be a better consolation prize than it is steppingstone to higher office.
Quote: “Just to be absolutely clear, we are not focused on an interim deal, we are focused on a final deal”, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki explaining why John Kerry decided to come to Israel again.
Number: $173m, the sum of the added funding for the joint U.S.-Israeli missile defense programs.
To Read: Brent Sasley believes that following the Iran deal Israel will cooperate, not clash, with the US-
The tendency of Western, and particularly American, observers to describe Israel in one-dimensional terms, however, is not new. U.S. commentators have long viewed the country and the region through a prism of American politics and priorities. They assume that recent electoral and coalition politics in Israel are about Iran -- which is certainly on the minds of American foreign policy specialists and journalists -- when they have actually been more about domestic politicking and crude power struggles. Such assumptions miss the deeper processes at work in Israeli foreign and security policymaking, which suggest that U.S.-Israeli relations are not in grave danger since there are still, in fact, enough common policy concerns keeping the two countries together. Those include maintaining strict sanctions on Iran during negotiations and ensuring close ties with Egypt in the post–Hosni Mubarak era.
Quote: "The president is recovering from flu and doctors advised him not to fly", President Peres' spokesman explaining why he too will not be attending Nelson Mandela's funeral.
Number: 3,500, the number of Gazan construction workers who will get back to work after Israel agreed to allow building materials into Gaza.
The Middle East
To Read: Eric Trager writes a piece about Mohammad Morsi's brother, Hussein Morsi, and finds the Muslim Brotherhood still very much active in rural Egypt-
Indeed, while the Brotherhood’s leadership is severely depleted and its organization is barely functional in the major cities, it retains legions of members who are committed to its power-seeking program and rural cells that are still active. Of course, the Brotherhood is hardly on the cusp of a dramatic comeback, but the fact that it is far from dead means that the struggle for Egypt’s future isn’t over.
For countryside Muslim Brothers like Hussein Morsi, that’s the way it’s always been.
Quote: "[Tehran knows that the likelihood of military intervention now] is almost zero”, Netanyahu's ex top-advisor Ya'acov Amidror discussing Iran.
Number: $240m, the cost of a new pipeline which would provide Dead Sea water to Israel and Jordan.
The Jewish World
Headline: US-Israeli Jews' intermarriage rate up
To Read: John Acocella writes a review of a new book (by Mark Larrimore) which takes a look at the history of the reception of the book of Job-
Kant said that all we could do with doubts about God was admit them. For Kant, Larrimore writes, “the book of Job shows that the problem of evil must remain an open wound.” Larrimore thinks that’s still true: that the dispute between Job and his friends epitomizes modern thought. There are no answers, only riddles. In the face of that impasse, the discussion often shifts from content to style. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a number of people who wrote on Job—the German theorist Johann Gottfried von Herder, the Anglican bishop Robert Lowth—stopped trying to figure out God’s plan, and instead focussed on his poetry, whose sublimity, they felt, was meaning enough. Indeed, the ambiguity boosted the sublimity. This position was undoubtedly reassuring, but the new aestheticism could also be seen as a failure of moral seriousness. Furthermore, it placed God at a very far remove from humankind. One of the reasons that Job complains so bitterly is that he thought that he and God had a relationship. Now it is sundered: “I cry unto thee and thou dost not hear me.”
Quote: "For an artist to go and play in a country that occupies other people’s land and oppresses them the way Israel does, is plain wrong. They should say no. I would not have played for the Vichy government in occupied France in the Second World War, I would not have played in Berlin either during this time", Roger Waters sparks some more controversy with remarks about Israel.
Number: 1000, according to reports, over a thousand Ultra Orthodox people came to protest the detention of Ultra Orthodox Jews for not appearing at the IDF's initial draft assessment.