Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu & PA President Mahmoud
Abbas, photo by Reuters/Jason Reed
Headline: U.S. House set to vote on tough Iran sanctions bill this week
To Read: Pew's Bruce Stokes writes about the decline in America's global popularity-
The decline is in no way comparable to the collapse of U.S. standing in the first decade of this century. But the “Obama bounce” in the global stature of the United States experienced in 2009 is clearly a thing of the past. And this gradual erosion of support is, in part, due to the diminishing popularity of U.S. President Barack Obama himself in some nations.
Quote: "[Secretary Kerry is] Grateful for their leadership", State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki commending Netanyahu and Abbas.
Number: 28, the percentage of Americans who believe that the war in Afghanistan has been worth fighting.
Headline: Peace talks set to begin after Israel agrees to free 104 Palestinian prisoners
To Read: Ophir Falk and Boa Ganor suggest that Israel should try de-radicalizing Palestinian prisoners-
Some differences may be irreconcilable, but the deradicalization of convicted terrorists is a common objective for all peace pursuers, and can serve as a true building block to solve issues that seem unsolvable.
It is in the best interest for anyone interested in peace that released prisoners be productive citizens rather than destructive combatants. For the prospect of peace, give de-radicalization a chance.
Quote: “Our friends were deported to the place they fled, and their agreement was secured through extortion. Because of the exploitation of their situation at the hands of the government, their lives are in danger", an excerpt from a letter read by Eritrean asylum seekers at a press conference yesterday.
Number: 4%, the new electoral threshold which the Knesset approved yesterday.
The Middle East
Headline: Morsi supporters call for fresh Egypt rallies
To Read: Is the Egyptian General who deposed the Muslim Brotherhood actually an Islamist? National Security specialist Robert Springborg takes a look at General Sisi's agenda for Egypt-
Morsi likely also found much to admire in the thesis that Sisi produced at the U.S. Army War College, which, despite its innocuous title (“Democracy in the Middle East”), reads like a tract produced by the Muslim Brotherhood… Secularism, according to Sisi, “is unlikely to be favorably received by the vast majority of Middle Easterners, who are devout followers of the Islamic faith.” He condemns governments that “tend toward secular rule,” because they “disenfranchise large segments of the population who believe religion should not be excluded from government,” and because “they often send religious leaders to prison.”
Quote: “I believe Geneva might happen. But will it produce a political solution? This is the question. I am not overwhelmingly optimistic because I know how this regime thinks” Syrian opposition leader Ahmed al-Jarba discussing the planned Geneva talks.
Number: 36, the number of people killed in a wave of car bombs in Shia areas in Iraq.
The Jewish World
Headline: Russian-speakers who want to make aliya could need DNA test
To Read: How reliable is the old testament as a historical resource? Archeologist Yossi Garfinkel shares his take on some recent findings-
We do not know the extent of this kingdom. Did it only control the south of the country or also the north? Current research has no clear data on the matter. However, it is clear that the abundance of new data entirely changes our knowledge of the genesis of the Biblical Kingdom of Judah and attests that the Biblical tradition indeed preserves highly valuable historical information.
Quote: “It’s a lot of work. You have to put together an hour of laugh, laugh, laugh, laugh. You can’t dawdle. In a film script, if there’s a laugh here and there, but people interacting in a meaningful way, it’s good. But on stage, you come out and you’ve got to get a laugh, and then another and another”, Woody Allen, contemplating a return to standup.
Number: $92 billion, the estimated amount of money Germany has paid holocaust victims since 1945.