Jewish Journal


November 22, 2013

November 22, 2013



Senator Harry Reid (D-NV), photo by Reuters

The US

Headline: Iran: Reid backs Senate action next month on new sanctions

To Read: Joe Lieberman and Vance Serchuk point out that a deal with Iran would mean that the US would have to monitor and check Iran's regional ambitions much more actively (which entails 'more involvement')-

This, then, may be the ultimate irony of a prospective Iranian nuclear agreement: Rather than allowing Washington to pivot away from the Middle East, a diplomatic breakthrough with Tehran would increase the need for strong, principled U.S. leadership across the region. Now is the time for the Obama administration to provide it.

Quote: "The Senate must be prepared to move forward with a new bipartisan Iran sanctions bill when the Senate returns after Thanksgiving recess. And I am committed to do so", Senate Majority leader Harry Reid (D-NV) showing resolve.

Number: 56, the percentage of Americans who support a deal with Iran, according to CNN.



Headline: Herzog vows to unite Labor, reclaim the premiership

To Read: BESA's Professor Efraim Inbar argues in favor of an Israeli attack in Iran-

At a time when appeasing Iran seems to be in vogue, an Israeli strike could invigorate elements in the international arena who are unwilling to accept an Iran with a nuclear breakout capability. In addition, many people around the world would be reminded that muscular reactions to evil regimes are often truly necessary.

A decision by Israel to strike Iran would be a historic gamble. Nevertheless, history, necessity, and common sense point toward an attack.

Quote: “obviously we disagree with [Khamenei’s statements] profoundly", John Kerry's response to Khamenei's remarks about the Israeli officials not being human (we disagree as well).

Number: 58.5%, the percentage of the vote Herzog received in his landslide victory.


The Middle East

Headline: Iran, six powers struggle to overcome snags in nuclear talks

To Read: According to Professor Eyal Zisser, Iran and Hezbollah are beginning to question their Syria strategy-

In the shadow of the Syrian civil war Lebanon has begun itself to slip into the Sunni-Shiite battle. Some Lebanese Shiites have dared to question Nasrallah's decision to drag them into Syria's fighting. In Tehran too, a different tune is being sung, and it is possible that breakthroughs in the nuclear talks will lead Iran to re-evaluate the merits of being bogged down in the Syrian-Lebanese mud. Until then suicide bombers will continue to detonate at Iranian and Shiite sites in Lebanon.

Quote: "[Israel's position on Iran sanctions would] close the door on diplomacy and essentially lead to war”, a top White House official discussing Washington's perspective on Israel's Iran efforts.

Number: 'up to 4 million', the unofficial estimates of the number of hard core drug addicts in Iran, a country with a surprising problem.


The Jewish World

Headline: Jewish groups embrace Senate sanctions announcement

To Read: Yehuda Mirsky- next week's Torah Talk guest- writes about Ovadia Yosef, whom he describes as 'the most powerful Rabbi in History'-

On October 7, some eight hundred thousand people, about 10 percent of Israel’s population and roughly 13 percent of its Jews, attended the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in Jerusalem. Ninety-three at his death, he was the single most powerful rabbi in history and for decades the kingmaker of Israeli politics. His extraordinary, complicated life reshaped not only traditional Judaism and Israeli politics and society but also scrambled familiar categories—of religious and secular, tradition and change, Israeli-ness and Zionism—in ways both petty and profound. 

Quote: “I tried to make changes in regular [Orthodox] shuls and didn’t succeed and said if they’re not changing then we must make something new. When I was thinking about it, many people said to me, ‘Nobody has a need for it… If they’d needed it, it would have started already.’ Or — that a great rabbi needs to do it or it will fail"”,  Tova Hartman one of the founders of Jerusalem's landmark orthodox feminist congregation, Shira Hadasha.  

Number: 40, the number of families in an extreme ultra-orthodox community which was caught making its way from Canada to Teheran.

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