Barak Obama, photo by Reuters
Headline: Brennan nomination exposes criticism on targeted killings and secret Saudi base
To Read: Shadi Hamid sees America’s unwillingness to intervene in Syria as a morally and strategically devastating result of the war in Iraq:
… For Syria, it is likely too late. Notwithstanding something sudden and entirely unexpected, the international community will not intervene. That does not mean that the Syrian people are doomed. They will likely "win" in the end, but their victory, if we can even call it that, will have come at a much greater cost - in the sheer number killed - than was necessary. It will have come at the cost of a country destroyed, of sects polarized beyond any hope of reconciliation, of Salafis and Jihadists ascendant, of a state too torn and divided for real governance. As has been reported elsewhere, the Syrian opposition feels that it has been not just forgotten, but, worse, betrayed. They are unlikely to forget this anytime soon. Anti-Americanism, a given among regime supporters, has slowly taken root among the opposition as well. The Syrian protest movement's Friday theme for October 19, 2012 was "America, has your spite not been sated by our blood?" In due time, the Obama administration's inability or unwillingness to act may be remembered as one of the great strategic and moral blunders of recent decades. Hoping to atone for our sins in Iraq, we have overlearned the lessons of the last war. I only wish it wasn't too late.
Quote: “President Obama is not coming with conditions or demands. He is coming to confer with all our partners about problems and challenges we are dealing with in the region”, US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, discussing the Obama visit on Israeli radio.
Number: 54, the number of countries which helped the CIA’s secret detention, rendition and interrogation program in the years after the Sept. 11, according to a newly published report.
Headline: Obama to visit Israel for first time as president
To Read: David Horovitz imagines an ideal Netanyahu government in this droll ministerial fable-
Netanyahu looked around his cabinet table. And before he opened this first meeting, he allowed himself a brief moment of self-praise. He remembered what he’d said on February 5, at the small ceremony after the new MKs were sworn in, about representing all of Israel, all facets of the population. “Wow, Bibi,” he said silently, as he smiled at the eager, expectant faces turned toward him from around the room, “you really did good this time.”
Quote: “It’s not ethical and it’s not sustainable and the Israeli economy cannot withstand it”, Naftali Bennett addressing the lack of Haredi participation in the Israeli workforce and army.
Number: 80, the percentage of Israelis in favor of ‘a civil government with an agenda focusing on freedom of religion and an equal share of the burden’, according to a recent study.
The Middle East
Headline: Iran's president begins historic Egypt visit
To Read: A JPost editorial calls the west to start acknowledging and confronting Turkey about its recent actions and declarations-
The West must stop deluding itself with regard to the political leadership of Turkey. This is the same leadership that, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, has broken the world record for jailing the most journalists (more than 70); that threatened in 2011 to attack Cyprus over gas drilling off its shores; that made the ridiculous claim The Economist was a part of an “Israeli conspiracy” because its editorial board recommended ahead of the 2011 elections in Turkey not to vote for the AKP; and that in 2009 denied the genocide in Darfur and defended Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, the man responsible for this genocide.
The time has come to recognize that Turkey has changed radically – and for the worse.
Quote: "I have said previously that we can offer a big credit line to the Egyptian brothers, and many services", Ahmadinejad offering aid to the Egyptian, despite the sanctions and his country’s ailing economy.
Number: 10, the percentage fall in foreign currency reserves in the past month alone in Egypt.
The Jewish World
Headline: Debate on European Jews' origin settled?
To Read: Shmuley Boteach discusses AIPAC’s silence on the Hagel nomination and claims that this silence is enough to disprove his famous ‘Israel Lobby’ statements-
How ironic that pro-Israel groups have themselves proven the falsity of Hagel’s defamatory claims of intimidation. It turns out that even when it comes to nominees with deeply troubling records on Israel, they have little bark and still lesser bite.
Quote: “It would be absurd to suggest that criticizing Israel is anti-Semitic. It would also be absurd to suggest that Anti Semites don’t use Israel as the whip with which to lash out against Israel. Somewhere in between the lines unquestionably get blurred.”, Rabbi Yitzchak Schochet defending Israel on a BBC panel onwhich he was the sole pro-Israel member.
Number: 150, the annual number of Jewish families fleeing from Hungary to Austria.