A general view of the U.S. Capitol is seen from
the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington
February 25, 2013. Reuters/Jonathan Ernst
Headline: Senate urges Barack Obama to step up Iran sanctions despite softer rhetoric of Hassan Rouhani
To Read: David Rhode compares the US' strategy of buying influence in Egypt with a similar move made in Pakistan-
One of the lessons from the last decade in Pakistan is that money might buy American officials a seat at the table. But Pakistani generals -- or Egyptian generals -- will not necessarily listen.
And they will definitely blame their problems on us. For the last decade in Pakistan, military officials have used pro-military media outlets to spread a message that an all-powerful United States is behind the country's ills. Some of the same patterns are emerging in Egypt. Pro-military Egyptian media blame the United States for the country's problems.
Quote: "You left the Egyptians. You turned your back on the Egyptians, and they won’t forget that. Now you want to continue turning your backs on Egyptians? The U.S. interest and the popular will of the Egyptians don’t have to conflict. We always asked the U.S. officials to provide advice to the former president to overcome his problems", Egyptian army chief, General Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, in an interview for the Post.
Number: 58, the percentage of Americans who view the GOP unfavorably (the Democrats aren't doing much better).
Headline: Record number of settlements included in national priority list
To Read: Geoffrey Aronson examines Israel's complicated current relationship (and cooperation) with Hamas-
Isn't it ironic that Hamas' best relationship these days is with Israel? This point has not been lost on either party. They remain bitter enemies, of course, but it is also true that the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is demonstrating that in a time of great uncertainty, it has no interest in toppling “the devil it knows” in Gaza. Hamas, for its part, knows that notwithstanding its deep-seated antipathy toward Israel, raison d'etat [state interest] favors practical cooperation with the Zionist entity on its main project — consolidating its power, authority and well-being in Gaza.
Quote: “The prime minister and the finance minister don’t have a private investigations firm at their disposal”, Yair Lapid commenting on the recent controversy surrounding the Bank of Israel Governor appointment.
Number: NIS 282,000, the amount of money that the education ministry transferred last year to the Temple institute, an organization which advocates the building of a third temple.
The Middle East
Headline: Iran gets new president, vows 'constructive' foreign relations
To Read: Brookings' Kemal Kirisci and Rob Keane argue that the Israel-Palestine peace negotiations might be a great opportunity for Turkey to regain some of its regional prestige-
If Turkey remains on its current path, the picture that emerges is not a promising one. The beginning of Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in Washington present Erdoğan and Davutoğlu with an opportunity to take the first step in reviving the once highly praised “zero problems with neighbors” policy. Not only would this be a meaningful symbolic gesture signaling Turkey’s reemergence as a regional power committed to peace and diplomacy, but it would also be a pragmatic step reminiscent of the earlier Özal and pre-2009 Erdoğan eras. This may be the last chance for redemption for the Erdoğan-Davutoğlu foreign-policy partnership, and the best chance they have to reverse Turkey’s growing image as an obstacle to progress.
Quote: “met with several representatives of the Islamist movements ... and stressed that there are opportunities for a peaceful solution to the crisis provided all sides reject violence”, army spokesman, Colonel Ahmed Aly, reporting about General al-Sisi's talks with members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Number: 74, the percentage of Palestinians who believe that peace with Israel will never be achieved.
The Jewish World
Headline: Surviving Holocaust contributed to longevity, study finds
To Read: Rabbi David Wolpe shares his impressions from a dramatic service conducted by Rick Warren following the tragic death of his son-
Rick spoke about the cruel things that had sometimes been written about him after the tragedy and how the opinions of others, if they ever could hurt him, could not touch him now. But of course it was not his or Kay's imperviousness but their openness, their brokenness, that left us who attended a little more whole, a little more healed. No matter one's faith, every worshipper walked away that day knowing they had seen God's work being done.
Quote: “I’m not a religious person, I’m more of a spiritual person, so I follow the rules of the Bible that coordinate with and connect with the Hebrew culture”, New York Knicks Superstar Amare Stoudemire (who is applying for an Israeli citizenship).
Number: 240,000, the number of Hassidic Jews in the NY area.