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Must Read, January 22, 2012

by Shmuel Rosner

January 22, 2012 | 3:38 am

Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House, May 2011., (Photo: Reuters)

Inside Obama’s World

Barack Obama talks to Fareed Zakaria of TIME about American foreign policy, including the success of its steps on dealing with Iran’s nuclear ambitions.

“When I came into office, what we had was a situation in which the world was divided, Iran was unified, it was on the move in the region. And because of effective diplomacy, unprecedented pressure with respect to sanctions, our ability to get countries like Russia and China — that had previously balked at any serious pressure on Iran — to work with us, Iran now faces a unified world community, Iran is isolated, its standing in the region is diminished. It is feeling enormous economic pressure.”

The Palestinian Campaign to Delegitimize Israel
Jonathan Schanzer and David Barnett, writing in The National, warn that the Palestinian leadership has opted for a campaign to delegitimize Israel rather than negotiations.

“The game began last year when Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas launched a bid for full UN membership for a sovereign state of Palestine. Abbas sought to gain international recognition for his bureaucracy and strengthen the consensus against Israel’s presence in the disputed territories of the West Bank, which Palestinians hope to claim for their national project. Abbas pursued this strategy while shunning direct talks with his Israeli counterparts.”


Hard Fighting

In a piece puiblished by the Rand Corporation, David E. Johnson looks at how the United States could learn from Israel’s changing fighting tactics in the wake of the 2006 war with Hezbollah.

“Like Israel in 2006, the United States today is likely ill prepared for hybrid warfare after years of focusing on irregular adversaries.”

Jack Lew and the Power of Shabbat

Writing in The Forward, Rabbi Ethan Tucker uses the example of President Obama’s new chief of staff, an observant Jew, to explore how the Sabbath can be kept in the modern world.

“Are Jews authorized and empowered to do the 24/7 things that are required for a modern society to function? Should we really say that Jews, at least in a gentile, diasporic government, may have to be among the represented, but not among those who represent?”

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