Nelson Mandela, photo by Reuters
Headline: Obama defends Iran deal at Hanukkah celebration
To Read: George F. Will believes that a nuclear Iran is basically a done deal, and that containment is better than war as far as the US is concerned-
The agreement will not stop Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons; only a highly unlikely Iranian choice can do that. The agreement may, however, prevent a war to prevent Iran from acquiring such weapons. If Pollack is right, and he certainly is persuasive, we have two choices, war or containment. Those who prefer the former have an obligation to clearly say why its consequences would be more predictable and less dire than those in the disastrous war with Iraq.
Quote: "He no longer belongs to us. He belongs to the ages", President Obama paying tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Number: 1928, US income inequality is at its highest since 1928, according to Pew.
Headline: Kerry, Seeking to Nudge Along Peace Talks, Offers Netanyahu Ideas on Security
To Read: Steve Linde writes about Nelson Mandela's ambivalent attitude toward Israel-
Mandela resented Israel's military relationship with apartheid South Africa, and passionately supported the PLO, which he saw as a liberation movement similar to his own ANC.
He supported Israel's right to exist as a democratic Jewish state, yet felt closer to its enemies: the PLO's Yasser Arafat, Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, Iran¹s Mohammed Khatami and Syria's Hafez Assad. Nevertheless, he praised his Israeli hosts for their warm reception and peace-making efforts. Mandela received a red-carpet welcome at the King David Hotel, where South African chief rabbi Cyril Harris, together with leaders of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and Israel's ambassador to South Africa, Uri Oren, greeted him.
Quote: “Wonder Woman is arguably one of the most powerful female characters of all time and a fan favorite in the DC Universe. Not only is Gal an amazing actress, but she also has that magical quality that makes her perfect for the role." Film director Zack Snyder in a statement about Gal Gadot, the Israeli actress chosen to play Wonder woman.
Number: 250, the number of Christian Arab-Israelis who participated in an IDF recruitment event earlier this month.
The Middle East
Headline: Activists: Assad used poison gas again
To Read: Egyptian journalist Mohannad Sabry writes about the emergence of al-Qaeda in Egypt-
Despite claims by several Islamists that Egypt's militant groups have no organizational ties to al-Qaeda, the surge in militant attacks suggests otherwise. Within five months, six explosive trucks targeted military and security facilities and convoys including that of the minister of interior in eastern Cairo, in addition to dozens of roadside bombs that hit military and police vehicles in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
Quote: “Following our victories in domestic and foreign policy, now people have got their eyes on the economy,” Iran's Minister of the Economy, Ali Tayyebnia commenting on the sanctions relief which is already beginning to be felt by Iranians.
Number: 1, Egypt's General Sisi ranked number 1 in Time Magazine's 'person of the year' reader poll.
The Jewish World
Headline: South African Jews Mourn Nelson Mandela, 'Mensch' of the Nation
To Read: Conservative Rabbi David Lerner takes a look at the bright side of the Conservative Movement's progress-
When we look beyond numbers to big ideas, the movement’s success has been remarkable. Its focus on Hebrew and traditional rituals has been picked up by Reform and other liberal movements. Its halakhic egalitarianism is being emulated by modern Orthodoxy today. It continues the support of Israel that has been a hallmark since the movement’s founding; Reform and Orthodoxy now emulate that position. Its focus on academic excellence and intellectual honesty has been picked up by hundreds of Judaic studies departments around the country. Its approaches have bred institutions founded by graduates of Jewish Theological Seminary, its premier educational institution. Although not officially part of the movement Congregation B’nai Jeshurun, Kehillat/Mechon Hadar and IKAR are among its products.
Quote: “I don’t give a shit about asylum seekers, but the journalists are to be blamed. They should be hanged; they are like the Jews”, an Austrian mayor saying some terrible things.
Number: $1m, the LA Kabbalah Center is being sued by former followers for $1m.