Yair Lapid speaks during a Yesh Atid party meeting
at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem
on March 4. Photo by REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun
Headline: Syrian opposition head fears U.S.-Iran thaw could benefit Assad
To Read: Abraham Soafer writes about the (fiscally prudent) future of US Foreign Policy-
Efforts to limit the flexibility available to the US to develop a grand strategy based on advanced technologies, relatively inexpensive methods, and selective engagements may ultimately fail, but should be taken seriously. A strong tendency exists that disfavors relatively inexpensive interventions. That requires political and military planners to take into account that grand strategies based on the view that the US will be able to take full advantage of its claimed technological superiority, and limit its interventions as it sees fit, may be mistaken.
Quote: “Rightly or wrongly, the administration’ view the jihadist opposition as the real enemy. What they would like is for the U.S.-backed centrists and moderates to work with the regime against the real extremists. The Iranians would like to see that as well”, Jim Hooper, a former US diplomat in Damascus, commenting on the Obama Administration's attitude toward Syria's rebels.
Number: 47, the percentage of Americans who believe that the rich poor income gap in America is a very big problem.
Headline: Lapid: Peace talks may lead to coalition realignment
To Read: Rafael Ahren examines the connection between the US' recent Iran policy shifts and its attitude toward Israel-Palestine-
At the United Nations General Assembly in September, US President Barack Obama said, “In the near term, America’s diplomatic efforts will focus on two particular issues: Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the Arab-Israeli conflict.” The obvious juxtaposition of the two not-directly-related issues suggested the president sought to revive a venerable formula known in Hebrew as “Gar’in tmurat Falestin” — the nuclear issue in exchange for Palestine. Routinely rejected by American and Israeli officials, this often-quoted theory postulates that Washington is willing to be tough on Iran if Jerusalem is forthcoming on the Palestinian issue. But statements Obama made Saturday suggest the opposite is now the case.
Quote: "There is no connection between these two issues", US ambassador denying the aforementioned connection between the two issues.
Number: 5,000, the number of Hezbollah rockets that can reach Tel Aviv, according to Israeli officials.
The Middle East
Headline: Chemical watchdog warns of Syria delay
To Read: Daniel Kurtzer, Seyed Hossein Mousavian, and Thomas Pickering argue that the deal with Iran (imperfect as it is) is a genuine opportunity on many fronts, including Syria Afghanistan and Iraq-
Complete, timely implementation will not only build trust and credibility but will also significantly improve the atmosphere and prospects for a full agreement within the next six months. Such a trend would facilitate further constructive cooperation between Iran and the world powers on other crises in the Middle East such as Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq. The interim agreement — and its faithful implementation — is a significant opportunity which should not be missed or it will constitute a failure of unimaginable proportions.
Quote: “We are concerned about the tensions arising from the presence of foreign forces in the region and believe that all foreign forces should exit the region and Afghanistan’s security should be ceded to the people of that country”, Iran's President Rouhani making a statement about foreign (mainly US) presence in Afghanistan.
Number: 18, the number of people killed yesterday in a car bombing in Iraq.
The Jewish World
Headline: Ex-chief rabbi: I warned against Metzger
To Read: Rick Rickman takes a look at early Zionist leader Ze'ev Jabotinsky's plans to organize an international Jewish army to fight the Nazis right before his death in 1940-
On June 18, Vladimir Jabotinsky, head of the New Zionist Organization, was in New York City, preparing to deliver an address the next evening at the 4,500-seat Manhattan Center. He had spoken there in March to an overflow crowd of 5,000 people; now he held a press conference to preview the second address: he would call for a Jewish Army to fight “the giant rattlesnake.” On June 19 another overflow crowd showed up at the Manhattan Center, despite an extraordinary public effort by American Jewish leaders to thwart the event.
Quote: “In light of the ongoing rash of assaults that have left many residents frightened to walk around our neighborhood alone, I am asking the NYPD to move forward on the installation of these security cameras as soon as possible”, New York City Councilman David Greenfield responding to a case of violence against a Jewish woman in NY on Saturday.
Number: 94, the age of an alleged Auschwitz guard who was deemed unfit to stand trial in Germany.