To Read: Fred Hiatt tries to understand the deep change in President Obama's attitude toward Human Rights, as reflected in two UN speeches, given two years apart-
By the time of Obama’s U.N. address, generals in Egypt had toppled the elected government, and Libya was plagued by uncontrolled militias. Worst, Syria was a humanitarian and foreign-policy disaster, with well over 100,000 people killed and millions more forced from their homes. In northern Syria, al-Qaeda affiliates were establishing the kind of safe havens that the United States went to war in Afghanistan to eradicate.
This can’t be an easy thing for a president to live with, as President Clinton made clear after Rwanda. So Obama fashioned a new doctrine.
Quote: “Secretary Kerry conveyed that while it is Saudi Arabia's decision to make, the U.S. values Saudi Arabia's leadership in the region and the international community, and a seat on the UNSC affords member states the opportunity to engage directly on these issues”, a State Department official reporting about John Kerry's meeting with his Saudi counterpart in Paris.
Number: 10, the number of Predator drones which the US was going to deliver to Turkey, before the Delivery was canceled.
To Read: Professor Yakir Plessner takes a look at the stats behind Israel's 'Brain Drain' phenomenon (and sees mainly an over-supply of PhD holders)-
A constant whining on the part of higher education functionaries and others concerning the "brain drain" allegedly caused by the neglect of R&D by the state. The following data are enlightening in this regard: In 2008-9 the number of lecturers (the initial rank in regular tenure track positions) in Israel’s universities was 459 (CBS: Yearbook 2012, Table 8.46). During that year 1,373 were awarded PhD degrees in Israel, the degree needed to get an academic position at the universities (CBS: Higher Education in Israel 2008-9, Table 3.1). This means that in one year the number of new potential lecturers has almost tripled (!) the number of those serving in this position. It should be absolutely clear that this represents a glut of supply that the existing system cannot absorb and, more importantly, even a much larger system would not have been able to absorb. Therefore, it is only natural that some PhD holders will seek alternatives in countries where there is no such excess supply.
Quote: "The pace has intensified, all the core issues are on the table and they have been meeting with increased intensity", John Kerry commenting on the "intensification" of the peace process.
Number: 50, the percent decrease in Israel's pharmaceutical exports in the past quarter.
The Middle East
To Read: Matthew Shaer writes about amateur news smugglers in Syria, the world's most dangerous place for reporters-
Syria is now the most dangerous country in the worldfor reporters: According to the Doha Centre for Media Freedom, at least 114 journalists have died there since the spring of 2011. Among the dead are seasoned correspondents like the American Marie Colvin, who was killed in Homs in 2012, and freelancers like the Frenchman Olivier Voisin, who was wounded in February near Idlib and later died in Turkey. Meanwhile, 16 foreign journalists are officially missing, along with an untold number of fixers and translators. Because of voluntary media blackouts—enforced to avoid encouraging would-be kidnappers—the real number is almost certainly higher.
Quote: "factors are not yet in place", Bashar Assad casting doubt on the Geneva peace talks.
Number: $150m, the amount of aid money Qatar is going to supply the PA with.
The Jewish World
To Read: Howard Jacobsen muses about how Jews seem to no longer have the right to complain about anti-Semitism and to conjure the Holocaust-
Jews are considered to have forgone their right to own even a part-share in defining anti-Semitism, or to judge the extent to which they are, or indeed ever were, its victims. By virtue of their failure to learn the lessons of the Holocaust and implement them in Israel — or indeed in any other parts of the world they continue to scheme, lobby and exploit — they have cancelled out all entitlement to the usual decencies, let alone the usual legalities, in matters of racial discrimination and incitement.
Thus has the shame of thinking anti-Semitic thoughts been lifted from the shoulders of liberals. Since there can be no such thing as anti-Semitism — Jews having stepped outside the circle of offense in which minorities can be considered to have been offended against — there is no charge of anti-Semitism to answer. The door is now wide open for those who truly believe they have nothing in their hearts but love to stroll guilelessly through to hate.
Quote: “This new gimmick goes against halachah [Jewish law] and is contemptuous of the mitzvah of milah [circumcision] as well as the sanctity of human life”, Rabbi Avi Zarki, a well-known radio talk show host and ritual circumciser from Tel Aviv, condemning the new trend of circumcisions at the graves of Hassidic greats.
Number: 2, the number of Jewish organizations on the ADL's list of 'top 10 anti-Israel groups'.