Jewish Journal


Sunday Reads: Netanyahu ‘Will Not Evacuate Any Settlements’, AIPAC’s Controversial Letter

by Shmuel Rosner

January 26, 2014 | 4:35 am

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a session at the annual meeting of the World
Economic Forum in Davos January 23, 2014. Photo by Reuters

The US

Headline: Secretary of State Kerry rejects notion U.S. is disengaging from world

Read: Robert Satloff offers some grim warnings and predictions regarding US-Israel relations-

Looking forward, even President Obama gave no more than 50–50 odds that U.S. diplomats will reach a comprehensive agreement with Iran. The alternative would likely be to extend the temporary deal, triggering a deeper crisis with Israel. That could heighten the potential for a unilateral Israeli military attack on Iran’s nuclear sites, with U.S. –Israel ties suffering massive collateral damage. Since Israel needs American support when the dust clears, that might not qualify as the worst of times, but it comes close.

Quote: "In my view, it is a march toward war," Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), one of the Democrats who support Harry Reid and President Obama on the Iran sanctions bill, describing the proposed piece of legislation.  

Number: 419,384, the record number of people deported from the US in 2012, according to recently released stats.



Headline: Netanyahu: I won’t evacuate settlements

 To Read: According to FP's John Hudson, AIPAC's recent attack on a Democrat Congresswoman has been causing quite a commotion among the organization's supporters-

That AIPAC was driving hard for new Iran sanctions legislation surprised no one. But its use of a right-wing blog to target a well-connected Jewish Democrat with a long history of support for Israel raised eyebrows among some current and former AIPAC officials. It also raised concerns that AIPAC's open revolt against the White House's Iran diplomacy could fray its relations with liberal Democrats on the Hill.

"In the 40 years I've been involved with AIPAC, this is the first time I've seen such a blatant departure from bipartisanship," said Doug Bloomfield, AIPAC's former chief lobbyist. Bloomfield was referring to an AIPAC letter scrutinizing Wasserman Schultz's silence on sanctions. The letter relied on the Washington Free Beacon's reporting, which (irony alert) happened to be the first news outlet to report on the existence of the letter.

Quote: “Aloni was tremendous, courageous and a groundbreaking, fearless fighter of justice. She will be unforgettable by every Israeli who carries the importance of equality and human rights in their heart”, the current leader of the Meretz Party paying respect to the legendary Meretz leader Shulamit Aloni, who passed away on Friday, aged 85.

Number: 87, the percentage of Israelis who don't believe that the current peace negotiations will actually result in a peace deal.


The Middle East

Headline: Syria Negotiators Resume Talks, Opposition Seeks Prisoner Release

To Read: Global Health specialist Annie Sparrow writes about how President Assad has let polio run rampant in the rebel controlled areas of his country-

And now polio is back. Since May, Syrian doctors and international public health agencies have documented more than ninety cases of polio in seven of Syria’s fourteen administrative districts, or governorates: Deir Ezzor, Aleppo, Idlib, Hama, Damascus, al-Hasakeh, and Ar-Raqqa. At an average age of just under two, most victims are—or used to be—literally toddlers. Few were fully vaccinated. None has had treatment to prevent paralysis from becoming permanent. All are from areas long opposed to the Assad regime, which reflects the political dimension of the outbreak. Not a single case has occurred in territory controlled by the government.

Quote: "It was hard to sit in front of regime representatives, but we are doing it for the sake of the Syrian people", Anas al-Abdeh, a Syrian National Coalition representative, reporting about the tentative start of the Syrian peace talks.

Number: 29, at least 29 Egyptians died in clashes on the anniversary of the 2011 uprising.


The Jewish World

Headline: NYC mayor, in AIPAC speech, vows to defend Israel

To Read: Lucy McKeon reviews a curious new book by Yascha Mounk which describes his experiences of living as a Jew in Germany-

At one moment, Mounk’s fifth-grade teacher asks “Protestant or Catholic?”and the class is in stitches when he responds, “Well, I guess I’m sort of Jewish.” The next, an acquaintance at a party describes Woody Allen as creepy and then bends over backward to defend Allen’s entire oeuvre when Mounk arrives to the conversation, despite Mounk’s assurance that he has no horse in the race. There’s Klaus the neo-Nazi, a regular at fourteen-year-old Mounk’s chess club who becomes sheepish after discovering his opponent’s Jewishness. And then there’s Markus, whose guilt-induced conversion to Judaism and obvious attempts at friendship unnerve Mounk.

Quote:  “I’m heading to  Auschwitz. Sending you kisses. Your Heini”, the German daily Die Welt has published several of Heinrich Himmler's letters to his wife.

Number: 30,000, the number of Japanese tourists who visit the Anne Frank House every year

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