July 28, 2013 | 4:26 am
To Read: Rosa Brooks points out that Americans tend to think about their soldiers in Stereotypes-
…the average American knows little about the military and even less about those who serve. This doesn't stop most of us from forming strong opinions, of course. Nature abhors a vacuum, and in the absence of any concrete knowledge, many Americans -- and certainly many in the media -- fall back on comfortable but dangerously distorted myths about those who serve. Lacking examples of human complexity, we turn servicemembers into stock characters in well-worn narratives: the Hero, the Villain, the Victim.
Each stereotype draws on kernels of truth, but each is far more distorting than illuminating. Together, they make it remarkably difficult to have a nuanced or clear-headed national conversation about our military and its role in society.
Quote: "There was no way support from outside sources to the opposition would have narrowed the gap when the regime had tanks and warplanes", a senior Obama administration official opposing the notion that the US 'could have done a lot more' at the beginning of the Syria conflict.
Number: 8, the percentage of Palestinians who trust President Obama to broker a fair Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.
To Read: Jonathan Tepperman thinks that Netanyahu's 'scaring the west' Iran strategy is flawed and counterproductive-
Netanyahu won’t — and shouldn’t — get the kind of response he’s hoping for. Simply put, that’s because both his language and Israel’s behavior are make it harder and harder to take his warnings seriously.
The problem starts with just how familiar Israel’s warnings on Iran have become. Netanyahu went through a similar exercise, remember, last summer. And the summer before that. In fact, Israeli leaders have been issuing such alarms for almost a decade now.
Quote: "Terrorists should be eliminated, not freed", Naftali Bennett being soft spoken as usual.
Number: 24311, the number marked on a bird which was cleared by Turkey of Spying for Israel.
The Middle East
To Read: Egyptian writer and activist Wael Nawara writes about the tough spot General al-Sisi and the Egyptian army are in-
What shall the army do with this mandate? If it cracks down on the sit-ins, armed militants will most likely use civilians, women and children as human shields. The cost of blood will be too heavy to bear, which will work in favor of the Muslim Brothers who could in fact use such casualties to regain some of the sympathy it had lost. Sisi’s best strategy may be to deny them such gains and target the real movers of the terror campaigns with minimal collateral damage. It may be also more potent to dry their resources and ammunitions up, rather than risk bloody confrontations. At the same time, failure to swiftly restore order and stop the bloodshed after a popular mandate is granted may erode public confidence in the army’s chief. It is a difficult call and one which may require more than sheer force. It is one of these instances where you have to live up to the high expectations placed upon you as a national hero, or watch yourself become the villain.
Quote: "discussions were thorough and productive and led to an agreement on the way forward", a joint UN-Syrian statement about the chemical weapons talks.
Number: 31%, the unemployment rate in Gaza.
The Jewish World
To Read: Hussein Aboubakr shares his thoughts about the abundance of anti-Semitic programming on TV around Ramadan across the Arab world-
Learning to hate Jews starts in Egypt the first moment you learn about their existence and continues long into adulthood. I am so used to seeing Jews identified by the old traditional Middle Ages stereotype as mean, filthy, greedy dishonest conspirators out to cause global chaos and disharmony among the Egyptian people. Bit by bit I learned all the elements and causes of religious and secular hatred of Jews in Egyptian society. I still recall the time when, as a 13-year-old, I got to experience the broadcast of the Ramadan special: “A Horseless Knight,” a TV series watched widely across Egypt telling the story of the Jewish conspiracy to dominate humanity, as recorded in the “Elder’s Protocols.” The TV series spurred a large growth in sales of countless copies of the “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” in Egypt.
Quote: “In fact, there are two distinct Jewish populations in Britain: haredim, with a median age of 27, who are bucking the commonly-accepted narrative of Jewish demographic decline, and the far larger remainder, with a median age of 44, who are, in all likelihood, conforming to it", Jonathan Boyd, Executive Director of JPR, discussing his report on British Jews.
Number: 3000, the number of Jews who fought for the confederacy in the American civil war.
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