U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about
Syria next to Vice President Biden at the Rose
Garden of the White House, August 31, 2013
Photo by Reuters/ Mike Theiler
Headline: At the Last Minute, Obama Alone Made Call to Seek Congressional Approval
To Read: Fred Kapan believes that Obama chose right in involving congress in the Syria decision-
An authorization on the use of force binds Congress to Obama’s actions—assuming the measure passes. It will also have the salutary effect of shifting precedents on America’s use of force generally. Maybe the new standard will be that Congress does play a role in any such decision. No more lazy sniping—or hollow rooting—from the sidelines. Those who have long urged Obama to do something about Syria, and then criticized him in recent days for doing something (just because it’s Obama who’s doing it), will now have to step up and take a stand…
Quote: “He can’t make these decisions divorced from the American public and from Congress. Who knows what we’re going to face in the next three and a half years in the Middle East?”, a senior Obama aide commenting on Obama's big decision.
Number: 41, the percentage of Republicans who support a strike on Assad.
Headline: Netanyahu: Israel peaceful, self-assured
To Read: Gabriel Sassoon shares his experience of shopping for gas masks in the ever so quiet Tel Aviv-
It was sobering to experience the Gaza rockets over Tel Aviv’s skies last November, and at times chilling. Today, my task list included not just writing this article, going to the gym, editing a few documents, and picking up the groceries for the weekend, but also obtaining a gas mask for my girlfriend and myself.
I imagine a chemical warhead exploding in the square in front of the café I am sitting at right now, and what exactly I could do to protect myself. My newly acquired gas mask sits beside me, and I am comforted.
Quote: "In the digital and satellite era, space and cyber space are critical issues when it comes to Israel's security. The Israeli Space Agency is expanding its work significantly and launching this satellite is another milestone in the journey that the State of Israel has set – entry into the list of five leading national space programs", Israeli minister of science, Yaakov Perry, celebrating the launching of Israel's new satellite, Amos 4.
Number: 1000, the number of army reservists who are still on call in Israel.
The Middle East
Headline: Arab League to discuss Syria crisis
To Read: CFR member Steven A. Cook explains why he has changed his mind about a Syria intervention-
The Syrian civil war was formerly an uprising against the brutality of a despot. It has become a battle among sects and ethnicities over which group of Syrians should control the country; part of a fight for regional leadership involving Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Iran; and an extension of the battlefield on which al-Qaeda affiliates carry out their messianic violence. The complex and dreadful evolution of the conflict has shaken the moral and strategic justifications for intervention, even a short one focused on punishing the regime for its use of chemical weapons and deterring future use.
Quote: “We had a feeling of disappointment. We were expecting things to be quicker, that a strike would be imminent... But we believe Congress will approve a strike”, Samir Nashar, a top official at the Syrian National Coalition, commenting on the American President's decision.
Number: 13 million, the number of tonnes of oil which India may very well import from Iran in 2013/14, according to its oil minister.
The Jewish World
Headline: Britain's new chief rabbi taking office
To Read: Controversial author Daniel Goldhagen talks with Vox Tablet about his new book on anti-Semitism (audio interview)-
Goldhagen has broadened his scope in a new work. The Devil That Never Dies: The Rise and Threat of Global Antisemitism offers an in-depth look at anti-Semitism around the world. He argues that it’s an almost pathological prejudice that spans centuries and cultures and therefore is a uniquely destructive force that has redoubled its strength thanks to a new age of globalization and information-sharing. Goldhagen joins Vox Tablet host Sara Ivry to discuss why anti-Semitism is distinct from other forms of prejudice, how globalization has contributed to its resurgence, and what we can do to combat this scourge.
Quote: “That’s not true. Really doesn’t matter for me. Doesn’t matter if I am or am not. But is not the case. I am not”, Tennis genius Rafa Nadal denying allegations about his Jewishness.
Number: $9m, the amount of money Jewish organizations will receive from the US dep. Of Homeland Security to protect themselves from terrorist threats.