U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry shakes hands
with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad
Zarif after a ceremony at the UN in Geneva
November 24, 2013. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Headline: Obama launches sales job on Iran nuclear deal
To Read: The Atlantic's Uri Friedman takes a look at the history leading to the agreement with Iran, an event which is 'bigger than a nuclear deal'-
The way the news cycle works these days, we take it for granted that Kerry is now in Geneva celebrating a diplomatic breakthrough with Zarif. But the frenzied diplomacy this fall has truly been exceptional. As the Ploughshares Fund’s Joe Cirincione remarked after nuclear talks collapsed earlier this month, Kerry and Zarif “spent more time [together] in the last 24 hours than they have in 34 years.”
Quote: "[The agreement] shows other rogue states that wish to go nuclear that you can obfuscate, cheat and lie for a decade, and eventually the United States will tire and drop key demands", Senator Marco Rubio, one of the lawmakers opposed to the nuclear deal.
Number: 58%, in 1963 58% of Americans were in favor of foreign aid (Pew takes a look at the opinions of JFK's America).
Headline: Netanyahu calls Iranian deal 'historic mistake'
To Read: Elliott Abrams criticizes Tom Friedman's claims regarding how Israel has influenced members of the US Congress-
Friedman parades out these accusations against Congress whenever there is a strong and visible demonstration of agreement with an Israeli prime minister he does not like. It is absolutely fair for Friedman to argue that the views of these members of Congress are foolish, ignorant, dangerous, and so on, but calling these men and women disloyal, willing to put aside U.S. interests to get “Jewish…campaign donations,” is quite something else. It ought to be beyond the pale. It is a gift to anti-Semites everywhere, it will increase anti-Semitism, and it is a vile and baseless insult to the scores of Representatives and Senators who are trying to protect American security as best they know how–but have apparently committed the crime of disagreeing with the great Tom Friedman. I guess one alternative theory, that they are right about the policy issues and he just might possibly be wrong, has not entered his mind.
Quote: “all plots hatched by the Zionist regime to stop the nuclear agreement have failed”, Iran's FM Mohammad celebrating the agreement.
Number: 200,000, the number of Israeli women who suffer from domestic violence.
The Middle East
Headline: Diplomats strike deal in Iran talks
To Read: According to this al Monitor piece (written by Laura Rozen), US Deputy Secretary William Burns led secret back channel negotiations with Iran for months-
Deputy Secretary of State William Burns has led a secret U.S. back channel to Iran going back to before the June election of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, U.S. officials told Al-Monitor.
Burns was tapped to lead the US diplomatic effort to establish a bilateral channel with Iran, which gained momentum after the exchange of letters between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Rouhani in early August, US officials said. Led by Burns, the US’s second highest ranking diplomat and a former lead US Iran nuclear negotiator, the US effort to form direct diplomatic contacts with Iran also includes two officials from the Obama White House: Jake Sullivan, the national security advisor to Vice President Joe Biden, and Puneet Talwar, the National Security Staff senior director for Iran, Iraq, and Persian Gulf affairs, US officials confirmed. Talwar’s role in back channel discussions with Iran was previously reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Quote: "I think Saudi Arabia will go ahead if Iran goes ahead. I think Egypt, maybe Turkey, Saudi Arabia, maybe the Emirates, would go ahead and acquire the same technology. This will open the door widely to weaponisation", Abdullah al-Askar, chairman of Saudi Arabia's appointed Shoura Council, a quasi-parliament that advises the government on policy, comments on the prospects of Iran getting the bomb.
Number: 72, the number of people dead in a deadly battle near Damascus.
The Jewish World
Headline: German minister: Nazi-looted art hoard could be put on public display
To Read: Shoshana Gabay takes a look at the re-emergence of Jewish Arab singers who were forgotten after moving to Israel-
Some of the most revered musicians from the Arab world moved to Israel in the 1950s and 60s, where they became manual laborers and their art was lost within a generation. Now, with the advent of YouTube, their masterpieces are getting a new lease on life and new generations of Arab youth have come to appreciate their genius.
Quote: "We're both bed wetters", Sarah Silverman explaining why she loves Corey Booker.
Number: 4,500, the number of members in Morocco's Jewish community.