Jewish Journal


August 21, 2013

August 21, 2013



People, affected by what activists say is nerve gas,
are treated at a hospital in the Duma neighborhood
of Damascus, August 21, 2013.
REUTERS/Bassam Khabieh

The US

Headline: Untangling the fate of U.S. aid to Egypt

To Read: Aaron David Miller explains how Obama's Egypt policy actually makes perfect sense-

You may think the Middle East is a mess and Obama's approach a complete muddle. But I bet you, given his domestic priorities and where he thinks the American public is on these issues, he doesn't. Whatever the president is worrying about these days (and there's no shortage of troubles), I'd be surprised if he's tossing and turning at night over Egypt and Syria. Governing is about choosing, and for now the president has made his choices clear.  

Quote: “Syria today is not about choosing between two sides but rather about choosing one among many sides. It is my belief that the side we choose must be ready to promote their interests and ours when the balance shifts in their favor. Today, they are not”, General Dempsey describing the US' current attitude toward the Syrian Rebels in a letter to Congressman Engel.

Number: 7, here's a nice list of seven governments which the CIA has overthrown.



Headline: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators hold unannounced Jerusalem meetings

To Read: Bethany Mendel writes about Jewish professionals who support the BDS movement-

There’s a disturbing trend that seems to be emerging in the professional Jewish community: Jewish professionals, working for organizations that receive millions of dollars from stalwart defenders of the State of Israel, are increasingly becoming apathetic of and even sympathetic to the anti-Semitic BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel) movement. Despite the claim that the movement is aimed solely at “correcting” the behavior of the State of Israel against its Palestinian neighbors, the reality of what they advocate is pure bigotry, something they accuse Israelis of on a daily basis. When individuals are boycotted due solely to their nationality (which is tied to their religion in the case of Israel), not their actions, that is not a valid form of protest. Despite this, we’ve seen several recent instances of Jewish organizations and individuals that work at them engaging the BDS movement in destructive ways.

Quote: “Israel looks more or less like Switzerland during World War II, when all of Europe burned and Switzerland stayed neutral. [Except] we’re not Switzerland, [because] there is enmity against us in this Middle East”, International Relations and Strategic Affairs Minister, Yuval Steinitz, describing Israel's role in the midst of the regional turmoil.

Number: 182,000, the number of Israeli children who have been vaccinated for polio thus far as part of the national vaccination campaign.


The Middle East

Headline: 'Chemical attacks' near Damascus

To Read: Rich Lowry thinks that the Brotherhood supporters' assault on Coptic Christians shows how important it is that the Islamist movement doesn't regain power-

The militants have the same nihilistic spirit as the Taliban destroyers of the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan in 2001, the same poisonous arguments as anti-Semitic propagandists in every time and every place and the same sectarian intent as Slobodan Milosevic on the cusp of his ethnic-cleansing campaigns of the 1990s.

If there were any doubt that the Muslim Brotherhood couldn’t be trusted with power, the wanton hate of its rampaging backers in the wake of its ouster should remove it.

Quote:  “Egypt went with the Russian military for support and we survived. So, there is no end to life. You can live with different circumstances… We need the US as much as the US needs us”, interim Egyptian Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi stating that Egypt will survive without US aid.

Number: 36, the number of Egyptian prisoners who were brutally suffocated to death by the Egyptian police.


The Jewish World

Headline: Egyptian Jews: We support military’s fight against ‘terrorism’

To Read: A new book draws comparisons between Socratic dialogues and the methods of the Talmud-

Jenny Labendz’s firstling presents us with many intriguing perspectives, of which only a few could be mentioned here. Through successive close readings of a small set of texts, she manages to open up a remarkable room for discussion. By utilizing some of the vast research on Platonic dialogue, Labendz unleashes fascinating questions about the apparently “Socratic” dialogues found in rabbinic literature. Did the rabbis have a notion of eliciting knowledge from people? Did they believe that there is something to gain intellectually from fellow humans without a rabbinic background? Was the ability to engage complete Others in conversation valued? To what extent are these dialogues didactic, and are they designed to educate others or only the rabbis themselves? What does this particular literary form do for the audience? What can we learn from them about rabbinic epistemology?

Quote: “The new law tramples on the rights of mental health therapists to engage freely in their profession, and it unfairly denies teenagers seeking therapy for issues that are troubling them the ability to obtain professional help”, The Haredi Orthodox Agudath Israel of America condemning a New Jersey law prohibiting gay “reparative” therapy for minors.

 Number: 1, the number of German Chancellors who have visited the Dachau concentration camp.

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