Headline: Kerry Praises Syria’s Compliance
To Read: Michael Hirsh examines what he believes was President Obama's missed opportunity to get things right in Syria at the Geneva convention in summer 2012-
According to some officials involved, perhaps the greatest tragedy of Syria is that, some 80,000 lives ago, President Obama might have had within his grasp a workable plan to end the violence, one that is far less possible now. But amid the politics of the 2012 presidential election—when GOP nominee Mitt Romney regularly accused Obama of being “soft”—the administration did little to make it work and simply took a hard line against Assad, angering the special U.N. Syria envoy, Kofi Annan, and prompting the former U.N. secretary-general to quit, according to several officials involved.
Quote: “These operations in Libya and Somalia send a strong message to the world that the United States will spare no effort to hold terrorists accountable, no matter where they hide or how long they evade justice", Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel commenting on the capture of the bombing suspect in Libya.
Number: 350,000, most of the Pentagon's 350,000 furloughed workers have been called back to work.
Headline: Rabbi Yosef in critical condition
To Read: Jeremy Ben Ami discusses the misconceptions that lead people to assume that a one-state solution is possible-
It's easy to see why this idea has some superficial attraction, especially for American liberals who have become used to lauding the development in our own nation of an increasingly multiethnic, multicultural society. If we all manage to get along here in the United States, surely Israelis and Palestinians could get along just fine in some imaginary singular state — call it "Israelistine."
Political scientists even have their own word for such an arrangement — "consociationalism." It borrows heavily from the positive experience of solving the conflict in Northern Ireland. They imagine Israelis and Palestinians abandoning their deep-rooted yearning to control their own destinies in favor of an arrangement in which each would respect the other side's identity and ethos, including linguistic diversity, culture and religion.
Unfortunately, this concept has no connection to reality in today's Middle East.
Quote: 'He doesn't know we wear jeans, how can he know that Iran is developing nuclear weapons?', one of many Iranian tweets making fun of Netanyahu's remarks about jeans in Iran.
Number: 16/1, the chances of Amos Oz getting the Nobel Prize in Literature, according to gambling giant LadBrokes.
The Middle East
Headline: Egypt war anniversary erupts in violence
To Read: Is the Muslim Brotherhood dying? Hussein Ibish muses on the matter-
This may not be the end of the Muslim Brotherhood but its region-wide crisis is so severe that significant ideological and practical adaptation will be unavoidable for those flexible enough to learn any lessons. The Moroccan and Tunisian branches are already unhappily compromising to survive.
But the Muslim Brotherhood may be dying at least in the sense that what ultimately emerges from the current wreckage will be unrecognisably different. Only a radical change in fortunes across the region is likely to forestall such a process.
So during the very period in which many Arabs and westerners alike expected Brotherhood domination in many Arab countries, we may instead be witnessing the death throes of a nearly 100-year-old failed experiment.
Quote: “We haven’t had border security problems in Nusaybin so far but in that area it’s extremely easy for people to cross illegally. It’s almost like there is no border”, a Turkish Government official commenting on Turkey's decision to build a wall on a small stretch of the Turkish-Syrian border to avoid immigration.
Number: 15,000, the number of personnel which will help organize pedestrian flow in this year's Hajj festivities in Mecca.
The Jewish World
To Read: Daniel Trilling writes about The British Daily Mail's controversial attack on the father of both of Britain's most senior Jewish politicians, Ralph Miliband-
Britain’s own history of anti-Semitism is something conveniently obscured by its heroic self-image of being the country that defeated Hitler. Yet that anti-Semitism existed, and its traces are still discernible today, even if it largely remains beneath the surface of polite society. The Mail would no doubt aver that it was attacking Ralph Miliband’s Marxist politics, and not his ethnic origins. But the message of that piece was that those politics were not merely objectionable; they were deeply sinister because they were foreign and did not belong here. The subtext, further reinforced by the way the paper worded its refusal to apologise for running the piece, is that there’s something foreign about Ed Miliband himself. Never openly said, of course, but a series of snide digs that say—watch it, Ed, you’ll never be fully British and don’t you forget it.
Quote: “When it comes to anti-Semitism, I, as a practicing Jew in the orthodox tradition, regard myself as something of an expert with very sensitive antennae”, Daily Mail editor Alex Brummer denying the allegations of Anti-Semitism the paper faces after the controversial Miliband story mentioned above.
Number: 500, the number of Russian Jews who participated in a conference held in Odessa about Israel's national poet Bialik.