To Read: Dana Milbank writes about Rand Pauls bitter defeat against the GOP's interventionalists in the recent vote on Egypt-
Paul responded to all this with rambling speeches and wild gestures, refusing to yield when colleagues asked him to and accusing his opponents of “empty thoughts and empty promises.” He called the AIPAC letter “a canard” and he wandered into an account of a Paris shopping spree by the wife of Mobutu Sese Seko, the late Congolese dictator.
McCain needled Paul. “The question here is whether the senator from Kentucky knows what’s better for Israel, or Israel.”
Quote: "If President Rouhani truly has the will and authority to make a bold gesture on Iran's nuclear program - such as suspending enrichment -- he has a small window of opportunity before this bill becomes law. I think all of us would welcome such a gesture, but until that point we will continue to pursue a path of diplomatic pressure on the Iranian regime", Congressman Eliot Engel supporting the Iranian sanctions bill yesterday.
Number: $2.7m, the amount of money per prisoner the Pentagon has spent thus far in Guantanamo Bay.
To Read: Former Shin Beit director Ami Ayalon, former chief negotiator Gilead Sher, and hi-tech entrepreneur Orni Petruschka suggest a confidence building move which could, in their opinion, get things going between Israel and Palestine-
But more will be needed. Netanyahu should further declare that Israel has no sovereignty claims over West Bank areas east of the security fence. (This is the fence erected by Israel around the main West Bank settlement blocks and Jewish parts of Jerusalem in order to counter Palestinian suicide bombers, terrorists and hostilities.) Then Netanyahu should announce a voluntary evacuation, compensation, and absorption plan for those settlers who live east of the fence and who choose to relocate to Israel proper, thereby allowing for the two-state notion to become reality.
Quote: “What do you get out of it when the kushim (derogatory term for black people) who are paid by Tel Aviv beat the kushim who are paid by Greece?”, Israel's new Chief Rabbi's racial slur.
Number: 85, the percentage of settlement blocks which Israel will retain in a future agreement, according to John Kerry.
The Middle East
Headline: Egypt police told to break up rallies
To Read: Ehud Yaari surveys the many difficulties and regional rifts that have been plaguing Hamas recently (including some cold shoulders from some former allies)-
Next came a rift with Hezbollah, after Hamas leaders joined the wave of Sunni criticism over the Shiite militia's intervention in Syria this spring. Some Hamas commanders in charge of military cooperation between the two organizations were ordered to leave Hezbollah's stronghold in Beirut, and all bilateral military arrangements—including weapons supplies, training, intelligence exchange, and so forth—are currently suspended. Thus far, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has rejected all Hamas requests to meet with him about the impasse, though some delegates have been permitted to speak with his lieutenants at the Iranian embassy in Beirut.
Quote: “Had we in Syria not been confident of victory, we wouldn’t have been able to resist”, Bashar Assad showing confidence.
Number: 1,057, the number of Iraqis who were killed in the month of July alone, making it the deadliest month the country has seen since 2008.
The Jewish World
To Read: Professor Oz Almog points out that Israel's Haredi community is rapidly growing more violent and more dangerous-
My hands tremble as a type the following words: It's possible that as we speak, a "haredi Yigal Amir" is developing somewhere.
For those who read the ultra-Orthodox press, it's difficult not to compare those days to these times. If a leading newspaper creates an analogy between Minister Yair Lapid and Hitler, and none of the rebbes and great Torah sages cries "gevalt," this is incitement "within the bounds of Torah."
Quote: “It makes people feel that someone is thinking of them, that someone has driven all the way out here to meet them, and that’s something beautiful and powerful”, Levi Kameniski, a Rabbi in the Siberian city of Tomsk, praising Chabad's Synagogues on wheels, which drive around Siberia delivering Jewish services.
Number: 25, the percentage of NY's Jews who are 'non white or Sephardic'.