Syrian women living in Jordan protest against Bashar Assad ourtside their embassy in Amman. (Photo: Reuters)
Headline: Biden's Gun Push Draws NRA Ire
To Read: Four Months After Benghazi Attack, Where Are the Killers?
Eli Lake of the Daily Beast says the trail has run dry in the hunt for those who murdered US Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in Libya.
Meanwhile, in Libya, the landscape is becoming increasingly lawless. In Benghazi this week, Ahmed Abu Khattala, a militia leader who claimed in an interview with Reuters that he was at the U.S. mission on the night of the consulate attack, survived an assassination attempt after a bomb was placed under his car. The device exploded prematurely and instead killed one of Khattala’s assailants. Additionally, the Benghazi police officer investigating the murder of the chief of Benghazi police in November went missing last week.
Quote: “Essentially we will become Fort Apache in Kabul and the major cities” A former U.S. intelligence official describes a scaled-down CIA presence in Afghanistan
Number: 1 trillion The dollar value of the proposed platinum coin that has been touted, and dismissed, as a way of solving the debt ceiling crisis
Headline: ‘Jerusalem Post’ poll: Likud Beytenu gains, Bennett slides
To Read: The Arab elephant in the Knesset
Israel's leftist parties would no more form an alliance with the Arab parties than their rightwing colleagues, writes Zvi Bar'el in Haaretz.
The center-left parties need to keep a clear distance from the Arabs if they want to bolster themselves electorally. Who, after all, would vote for the left-wing Meretz party if it forged a joint election campaign with the Arab Balad party, or even with Da'am, which has a joint Arab-Jewish slate of candidates? Who would risk the prospect of campaign billboards jointly featuring Meretz's Zahava Gal-On and Balad's Hanin Zuabi?
Quote: “Netanyahu will be the demise of the Jewish state” Livni launches a new attack on the prime minister over his policies
Number: 160,000 The number of Israeli seniors who must choose between food or heating this winter
The Jewish World
Headline: France chief rabbi, other leading French clerics meets Hollande to discuss gay marriage bill
To Read: Jewish Gun Leaders Come Out Firing
Even after the Sandy Hook massacre, not everyone in the Jewish community is anti-guns, writes Nathan Guttman in the Forward.
Jews affiliated with the Republican Party or who live in areas where gun ownership is widespread tend to demonstrate more support for gun rights. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, a Virginia Republican, holds a top rating from the NRA and received $7,450 in campaign contributions this election cycle from the gun lobby. Still, even minor, seemingly incidental brushes that Cantor has had over the years with restrictions on unlimited access to guns — such as his appearance at a GOP rally for families held last October at a venue that banned firearms — have provoked attacks against him from a local pro-gun rights organization. At the event, dozens of signs were placed, noting that the NRA has endorsed Cantor, a measure seen as essential in order to overcome criticism of being soft on guns.
Quote: “If I wanted to work on Saturday, I have this 24/7 job. I come to shul to pray” Jack Lew's response when fellow congregants to talk politics during theShabbat service
Number: $11 million The value of the Jewish art owned by Michael Steinhardt set to be auctioned in New York
The Middle East
Headline: Syria rebels capture key Idlib airbase
To Read: Role of Syrian women evolves as war rages on
Carol Morello in the Washington Post meets some of the women playing a role in the fight to oust Bashar Assad.
Kisar, 38, who was born and raised in Syria but moved as an adolescent to Pittsburgh when her parents immigrated to the United States, quit her job as an admissions officer at a Dallas university in April and relocated near the Syrian border. Living off her savings, she gets money from her family, friends and people she has met in Turkey to buy 37-pound bags of food, which she delivers to refugee families. She films the food deliveries on her iPhone and sends the images to donors so they know how their money was spent.
Quote: "Talks with Iran don't proceed in a linear way. It's one step forward, two or three steps back ... So we can't say we have an optimistic outlook" IAEA chief Yukiya Amano offers a somber assessment of nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic
Number: 77 The age of the successor to the throne of ailing 90-year-old Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud