To Read: A WSJ editorial criticizes the Obama administration's de facto support for Bashar Assad-
So long as the goal of American policy in Syria is to divest the regime of its chemical weapons—rather than to divest the country of its regime—it will need Assad to remain in power to hand those weapons over. That gives Assad an incentive to prolong the "disarmament" process as long as he can while his forces make gains against the rebels.
Though it won't say it publicly, the Administration thinks that's not such a bad thing, on the view that Assad's survival may not be the worst scenario for Syria. More than a few Republicans agree. But as we've noted from the start of this war, Assad's victory would also be Iran's, and it is Tehran that is our major adversary in the region. A credible U.S. policy would aim to inflict a strategic defeat on the mullahs, not that credibility is this Administration's strong suit.
Quote: “There is not a need for the United States to apologize to Afghanistan. Quite the contrary. We have sacrificed and supported them in their democratic progress and in tackling the insurgency and Al Qaeda”, Susan Rice responding to Afghan demands for a US apology for its mistakes in Afghanistan.
Number: 64, the percentage of Americans who support a diplomatic deal with Iran.
To Read: Former Mossad Chief Efraim Halevy believes that Israel should claim its chair at the Iran negotiations table-
Israel must claim its place around every table debating the fate of our region. It must aim for a situation in which Iran will have no other choice but to face Israel on the diplomatic level. If Israel is always left outside the room, it will remain with just one alternative to achieve its goals. Is that what it has been striving for to begin with? Must the sword devour forever?
Quote: "A major Milestone", the Defense Ministry's description of Israel's new missile defense system, aimed against ballistic missiles.
Number: 4, the number of targets the IDF air-force struck in Gaza yesterday.
The Middle East
To Read: Rami Houri confesses that even he did not properly understand just how complicated the Syrian conflict is-
Two years ago, I wrote that Syria was three conflicts in one—the domestic rebellion for dignity and democracy, the regional Cold War driven by Iran and Saudi Arabia, and a global confrontation between the United States and Russia primarily, but also comprising actors like China, Turkey and France. Earlier this year I expanded this view to include other regional actors who have been so deeply involved in the Syria situation, including Turkey, Iran, Israel, Hizbullah and pan-Islamic Salafist militant movements.
Well, that was an optimistic and over-simplified view. I would now say that Syria in fact comprises at least ten different conflicts and historical confrontations in the region that have come together at this moment and in this place, and are all active simultaneously.
Quote: "We have reason to be suspicious of every move they make", Iran's FM Zarif Mohammad Javad insinuating that Israel might just be behind the bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut.
Number: 10, at least 10 Egyptian soldiers were killed in a deadly attack in Sinai.
The Jewish World
Headline: Poverty drives change among haredi Jews
To Read: Natan Slifkin points out that the current dire situation of Israel's Ultra-Orthodox population could be avoided by simply adhering to the classic sages of early Judaism-
A man has to work to support his family! There are countless sources in Chazal to that effect. “A person should hire himself out for alien work rather than requiring assistance from others”; “The man who is self-sufficient is greater than the one who fears Heaven”; etc., etc. It's even written in the kesubah. A rabbi from an outreach kollel wrote to me recently with harsh criticism of my Jerusalem Post articles, deploring the way that I use "the same old quotes from Rambam and Pirke Avos that the enemies of Torah have been quoting ad nauseum." It's extraordinary that people in the charedi world are so derisive and dismissive towards the teachings of Chazal and Rishonim. And then when they suffer the tragic results of ignoring Chazal, they blame everyone except themselves!
Quote: “While Brandeis has an unwavering commitment to open dialogue on difficult issues, we are also obliged to recognize intolerance when we see it, and we cannot – and will not – turn a blind eye to intolerance”, Brandeis University making a statement on the suspension of its partnership with Palestine's Al Quds University following 'Nazi-style' protests against Israel.
Number: 'hundreds', hundreds of Iranian Jews reportedly rallied in favor of Iran's nuclear program.