The ruins of Aleppo's Salaheddine district, April 8, 2013
Headline: Hopes for Syria Talks Hinge on Kerry-Lavrov Meeting
To Read: Does consistently failing to help others make the US a 'failed State'? David Rothkopf muses on the matter-
Americans celebrate this independent spirit. Their market ideology is more Charles Darwin than Adam Smith, suggesting somehow that if we value the survival of the fittest, then the casualties of the weak are merely part of nature's grand equation. Even those who don't embrace the most extreme aspects of this frontier fuck-you-ism at home almost certainly do abroad. It is a great American tradition. From George Washington's farewell admonition to avoid foreign entanglements to the isolationism that is by far America's greatest and longest-lasting international policy impulse -- the same inclination that had only 17 percent of Americans in favor of getting involved in the war in Europe even as it raged in the middle of 1940 -- the view of this great nation has more often than not been that the world's problems are not its own.
Quote: “The council’s inaction on Syria is a moral and strategic disgrace that history will judge harshly”, Susan Rice admonishing the UN in her farewell speech.
Number: 41, the percent-increase in the amount of money garnered by US arms exports between 2008 and 2012.
Headline: Abbas douses expectations for resumption of talks
To Read: The AJC's David Harris responds to criticism his organization received from left and right for daring to say something about Israel-
How could we “condemn a democratically elected government,” when we specifically supported the prime minister who was challenged by one of his deputies? And isn’t Netanyahu on record in support of a two-state agreement, whereas Bennett opposes that objective?
As for our approach to the administration, I’ll let our left-wing and right-wing critics thrash that one out, since one sees us as the nemesis and the other as the handmaiden of the White House. Maybe, just maybe, our stance is precisely what a non-partisan group is supposed to do – support when appropriate, criticize when necessary.
Quote: "After they fed us smelly fish and ran us out of town, it's time that the Turks pay a price for their nasty behavior", a senior Israeli official discussing the always fragile Israel-Turkey relationship with Shimon Shiffer.
Number: 62, the percentage of Israeli Arabs who believe that "it is impossible to trust most Jews".
The Middle East
Headline: 100,000 killed since start of Syria conflict - monitoring group
To Read: Michael J. Totten shares his experiences in Hezbollah's theme park-
The Tourist Landmark of the Resistance promises a fun-filled day for the entire family celebrating the holy Islamic “resistance” against the perfidious Zionist Entity. The Syrian- and Iranian-backed Party of God built it on top of a mountain overlooking South Lebanon and the Israeli border area, and they bus in school kids from all over the country to look at it.
Anti-American propagandist Noam Chomsky attended the inauguration.
It’s open to visitors from everywhere in the world except Israel, so I had to see it. My friend and occasional traveling companion Sean LaFreniere joined me, and we set out in a rental car from Beirut.
Quote: "Fading prospects of peace will explode relations between Palestinians and Israelis in a manner emulating the Arab Spring protests, either through a new intifada (uprising) or a new cycle of violence and counter violence", Jordan's King Abdullah discussing different aspects of the regional turmoil.
Number: 123, the number of followers of Salafist Lebanese cleric Ahmed al-Assir, all of whom have arrest warrants issued against them.
The Jewish World
Headline: Jews voice concern over Pius sainthood
To Read: Tal Becker of the Hartman Institute examines the role of the 9th of after the existence of Israel-
What these and other responses share is a respect for the continuing place of longing in the Jewish condition. German Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig was one of numerous Jewish thinkers who wrote about how a sense of exile and longing is embedded as part of the essence of the Jewish story. We may live in Zion, but we remain forever removed somehow from that mythical Zion that exists in our imagination.
Quote: “I feel like the goal of the program is for us to go home and do PR for Israel… I feel like that because they pretty much told us”, Nicole Levin, a participant of Onward, a Birthright follow-up program.
Number: 400, the number of Ethiopian olim who are to arrive to Israel on August 28th, after which potential immigrants will be considered on a case-by-case basis.