Read: Michael Hirsch writes a curious piece on John Kerry's role in the the Obama administration-
Rice and Kerry are both pragmatists, and both are also eager to address transnational threats, especially climate change. Both have done their share of compromising with autocrats to make messy problems go away. Right now, the two of them are in tenuous balance. "I think the White House likes Kerry going out and taking a lot of heat," says a former Kerry aide. "They like the idea that they can float trial balloons through Kerry. If they float, Obama gets the credit. If they shut down, it's just because Kerry failed. As of now, more are floating than sinking."
Quote: “This narrative, which has frankly been pushed by some people who have an interest in saying the United States is on a different track, I will tell you it is flat wrong. You name the issue. I can’t think of a place in the world from where we’re retreating”, Secretary Kerry rejecting the notion of US global disengagement.
Number: 52, the percentage of Americans who believe that the US has failed in Iraq and in Afghanistan.
To Read: Yoaz Hendel writes about the recent Sodastream scandal-
What bubbles in the soda factory in Ma'ale Adumim burst in Hollywood. A superficial world, superficial problems. Johansson was hit with a huge wave of protests. She stepped into the breach. She is in favor of a Palestinian state and in favor of Israeli soda which matches a green approach. She is in favor of peace and against boycotts. As simple as it may sound, the issue turns complicated when it comes to the State of Israel.
The Oxfam organization, which fights poverty and inequality around the world, didn't like Johansson's soda campaign. The battle against Israel defeats the battle against poverty. All is fair, even laborers' future. There is no point in writing about the hypocrisy while reports are being published about the massacre taking place in Syria since the agreement with the West. Justice is not pursued in the international arena, only interests.
Quote: "Secretary Kerry has a proud record of over three decades of steadfast support for Israel's security and well-being, including staunch opposition to boycotts", State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki responding to Netanyahu's complaints about John Kerry's alleged boycott threat.
Number: 75-80, the percentage of settlers who will be placed under Israeli rule according to the US framework (according to Martin Indyk).
The Middle East
To Read: Emily Dyer examines the soar in the harassment of women in post-Mubarak Egypt-
Prior to the 1970s, only the most conservative women wore headscarves, but cases of sexual harassment were rare. Men caught harassing women were chased through the streets and often had their heads shaved as a mark of shame. Today, women face a significant social pressure to cover up, and are often blamed for sexual harassment if they don’t. Still, according to a recent UN report, more than 99 percent of women in Egypt have been sexually harassed.
Quote: “I wish you could sit with me on stage and talk about it", Israeli Justice Minister and negotiator Tzipi Livni responding to the compliments of a high-ranking Saudi prince at the Munich conference.
Number: $500m, the sum which Iran just received in unfrozen funds, following the nuclear agreement.
The Jewish World
To Read: A new book argues that religious belief is transmitted predominately through fathers, with the exception of Jews-
Professor Bengtson also found that one parent matters more than the other — and it’s Dad. “But what is really interesting,” he writes, “is that, for religious transmission, having a close bond with one’s father matters even more than a close relationship with one’s mother.”
There are some interesting exceptions. Transmission of Judaism, for example, depends more on a close bond with one’s mother than with one’s father — perhaps because Judaism has traditionally held that the faith is inherited from the mother. Among Jews with a close maternal bond, 90 percent considered themselves Jewish, versus only 60 percent of those who weren’t close to their mothers.
Quote: "What’s your favorite Woody Allen movie? Before you answer, you should know: when I was seven years old, Woody Allen took me by the hand and led me into a dim, closet-like attic on the second floor of our house. He told me to lay on my stomach and play with my brother’s electric train set. Then he sexually assaulted me", the very disturbing beginning of the open letter penned by Woody Allen's adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow.
Number: $12m, the amount of money raised by Anne Heyman (who died in a Horse riding accident on Friday) and her husband for the remarkable Agahozo-Shalom youth village project in Rwanda.