President Obama and PM Cameron yesterday, Reuters
Headline: US Envoy Won't Attend Arms Talks Led by Iran
To Read: Richard Cohen criticizes the over-the-top comparisons between Benghazi and Watergate-
It is good to find out how this happened — who’s responsible for the inadequate security, etc. — and it is also good to hold the Obama administration accountable for putting out a misleading statement. But the record will show that a thorough report was, in fact, compiled. Its authors were Thomas Pickering, an esteemed retired diplomat, and Adm. Mike Mullen, an equally esteemed retired chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They found the standard mistakes and snafus — but no crime.
Watergate, though, was a crime. Iran-contra was a crime. Government officials were convicted and some of them went to jail. Fudging a press release is not a crime. Compromising on wording is not a crime. Making a decision — even if wrong — that there was no time to call in the cavalry is not a crime. And having inadequate security is not only not a crime but partly a consequence of congressional budget cuts.
Quote: "I don't think it's any secret that there remains lingering suspicions between Russia and other members of the G8 or the West", President Obama being tough and candid about Russia.
Number: 39 percent of the people who believe that Benghazi is the greatest scandal in American history don't actually know where it is.
Headline: Cabinet passes State budget
To Read: Moshe Arens believes that fears of a bi-national state are somewhat misplaced, seeing that Israel already is a bi-national state-
Since Theodore Herzl, all Zionists have known that the Jewish state, when established, would include a significant number of Arab citizens. Ze'ev Jabotinsky’s requirement for the establishment of the Jewish state was a Jewish majority. But how big a majority? How big a minority of Arab citizens can be included within the borders of the state without significantly affecting the Jewish nature of the state? There is no quantitative answer to this question. Is the present 17% Arab minority among Israel’s citizens the limit? Or 20%, which would result if the entire Arab population of East Jerusalem were to opt for Israeli citizenship? Would 30% be stretching the limit? How do we expect the ratio to change as time goes by? What will be the rate of natural increase of Jews and Arabs in future years? How big an aliyah is to be expected in the coming years? How certain are we of the accuracy of the demographic projections?
Quote: "We the Palestinians are the enemies of Israel. Until now we have not had nuclear weapons, but in the name of Allah, if we had nuclear weapons, we’d be using them", leading Fatah leader in an interview for Al Mayadeen.
Number: 23, the percent drop in the number of Israelis from the FSU converting to Judaism.
The Middle East
Headline: UK to double aid to Syrian opposition
To Read: in an interesting FP article, Thanassis Cambanis examines how Syria is gradually becoming 'Iran's Vietnam'-
The cost of Tehran's support of Assad can't entirely be measured in dollars. Iran has had to sacrifice most of its other Arab allies on the Syrian altar. As the violence worsened, Hamas gave up its home in Damascus and its warm relationship with Tehran. Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood-dominated government has also adopted a scolding tone toward Iran on Syria. On Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy's first visit to Tehran, he took the opportunity to blast the "oppressive regime" in Damascus, saying it was an "ethical duty" to support the opposition.
Gone are the days when Iran held the mantle of popular resistance. Popular Arab movements, including Syria's own rebels, now have the momentum and air of authenticity. Iran's mullahs finally look to the Arab near-abroad as they long have appeared at home -- repressive, authoritarian, and fierce defenders of the status quo.
Quote: "I swear to God we will eat your hearts and your livers, you soldiers of Bashar the dog", the rebel who shockingly ate a man's heart on video.
Number: 80,000, the estimated death toll of the Syrian crisis has risen to 80,000.
The Jewish World
Headline: Jewish groups join call for ban on religious profiling
To Read: Robert Eisenman takes a look at a discrepancy between the stern orthodox attitude toward intermarriage and that of the bible, especially the book of genesis (which sees virtually all the Jewish forefathers marrying non Jewish women) and the scroll of Ruth-
This is what is implied by the watchword, "Whither thou goest, I will go." Anyone who wished to share the fate of the Jewish People or be part of its traditions was considered part of it – period! There was nothing ever said about women or who one's mother might have been throughout the whole of the Old Testament except ever so slightly, as I said, in the story of Esau. If you wanted to be "Jewish", "Hebrew,'" or part of the tradition, then you were. It was as simple as that.
Quote: "I don't want to appear before any kangaroo court where the rules of justice have been denied. All I want is any evidence in front of me so I can look at it and defend myself. I can't defend myself if there is no evidence produced", British peer Lord Ahmed quitting the Labor party amid allegations of Antisemitism.
Number: 1, Yair Lapid's ranking in the Jerusalem Post's list of most influential Jews list.
*Tomorrow there won't be Headlines & Reads due to Shavuot.