To Read: Former nuclear negotiator Robert Einhorn thinks the US should focus on achieving concrete goals in its dealings with Teheran rather than on 'bringing down the regime'-
The Obama administration should also address publicly an apparently genuine Iranian concern that, for the United States, the nuclear issue is only a pretext for pursuing regime change in Iran. The administration should make clear that, while it has deep concerns about various aspects of Tehran's policies (not least regarding human rights), it is prepared to reach a deal on the nuclear issue independently, while addressing other concerns separately. It is important to disabuse the supreme leader and other suspicious Iranians of the notion that, if they make concessions on the nuclear issue, the United States will move the goalposts and demand additional concessions in other areas. Americans do not like the Iranian regime. But by now, we should realize that, if change is to come in Iran, it will be the doing of the Iranian people, not the United States.
Quote: “The concern in the Jewish community is about his support for Israel. That’s why he’s making these visits”, Alan Berger, a participant in an event in which Rand Paul wooed some religious Jews.
Number: 54, the percentage of Americans who think that Snowden did the right thing.
To Read: Peter Beinart shares his views on Netanyahu's new US ambassador-
In the wake of Dermer’s appointment, media speculation has focused on whether the Obama administration is annoyed by the pick. I understand the temptation. During the reporting for my book, one senior White House official told me that Dermer could “stand some self-reflection.” Another, on background, was even more salty. (Though, to be fair, another former administration type called him capable and effective.) But whether Team Obama likes Dermer’s personality and his partisan leanings is a distraction. The real question is whether they’re bothered by the fact that, as the window for a two-state solution closes, Netanyahu is sending to Washington a man with a history of trying to seal it shut. If that doesn’t bother the Obama White House, it means they’re probably already given up.
Quote: "The IDF is supposed to know who is a draft dodger and send Military Police to arrest them. It is an army matter, not an academic one", a source involved in the IDF's recent request for universities to help combat draft dodging.
Number: 200, the IDF and the Shin Bet arrested over 200 Palestinians two weeks ahead of Ramadan.
The Middle East
To Read: According to the Washington Institute's Mehdi Khalaji, Egypt's recent failure is also Iran's recent failure-
Going forward, the notion of rapprochement with Cairo will probably remain a distant dream for Iran, since all of Egypt's anti-Brotherhood forces have taken a tougher stance toward the Islamic Republic than did Morsi's government. Meanwhile, Iran's influence with the Palestinians will become even more tenuous, not only because Hamas's relationship with Tehran is worsening, but also because military rule in Cairo would make it very difficult for Iran to send support to Gaza via the Egyptian border. More broadly, many will interpret the Brotherhood's ouster as a failure of the type of political Islam that Tehran has long promoted.
Quote: “Only the Assad regime has the know-how, capability and willingness to use these weapons”, Khalid Saleh, a spokesman for Syria's National Coalition, denying allegations that the rebels forces used chemical weapons.
Number: 600,000, the number of Syrian refugees who have fled to Lebanon since the beginning of the conflict.
The Jewish World
To Read: Veteran Israeli journalist Yaron London doesn't see a substantial difference between voting for Ultra-Orthodox parties and voting for Islamist parties-
Among the 3.8 million citizens who voted in the elections for the 19th Knesset, 528,000 supported Shas and United Torah Judaism, parties which take orders from rabbis who despite democracy and are longing for the day when the halacha will replace the laws being enacted by the people through their elected representatives. There is no significant difference between the vision of these parties and the Muslim Brotherhood's vision.
In the last elections some 346,000 supported Habayit Hayehudi, a party which hails democracy. However, half of the MKs on its roster declare their subordination to rabbis and favor the supremacy of "Judaism" over democracy.
Quote: "I'd very much like to anally probe @govwalker each time he needs to make an "informed decision"", a controversial Sarah Silverman tweet that made headlines after being re-tweeted by a Colorado congressman.
Number: $14, the cost of a trip from Beit Shemesh to Rachel's Tomb, the Western Wall and the IKEA store in Rishon Lezion, which is in the midst of its summer sale.