US President Barack Obama
Photo by Reuters
To Read: Seth Lipsky writes about the discussions that led to the US court's 'Jerusalem, Israel' decision-
It was one of the liveliest hearings at the Supreme Court in years. At one point, Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked the big question: What would happen if listing the infant’s birthplace as being in Israel were to lead to war? “Let’s assume,” she said, “that a dozen nations said this designation on the passport is — we view as an act of war; if the United States is going to do this, we’re going to view it as an act of war. Would that then permit the president to ignore Congress . . .?”
The question was left hanging in the air. The answer is — or ought to be — that if the justices are worried about the possibility of war, then the decision certainly goes to the Congress. For it is to Congress that the Constitution delegates the power to declare war in the first place.
Quote: "President Putin made it clear that he wouldn't allow Snowden to undermine his relationship with us. This latest action seems to counter that assertion. Russia has a choice between harboring an indicted fugitive or making an already challenging relationship that much more difficult", Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY), one of several congressmen who are angry at Putin for letting Snowden leave from Moscow International airport.
Number: 57, the percentage of Americans who would 'fire everyone in congress'.
Headline: Turkey refuses to accept Israel's ex gratia compensation payment
To Read: Nathan Sacks warns that a possible (and even probable) failure of the upcoming peace talks could give naysayers and settlers some serious ammunition-
Skeptics (like me) have been wrong before. This round of peace talks may succeed, and we should wish wholeheartedly for their success. Netanyahu has the political backing -- from opposition parties, if necessary -- to make bold, historic decisions. Abbas may prove skeptics wrong and demonstrate courageous leadership in the face of difficult circumstances.
And yet, even while wishing the parties Godspeed, we should also think seriously about the possibility that the talks may fail. Washington should make sure that the ultimate winners of this peace effort are not those who oppose peace.
Quote: "Should there be any manipulation on Israel's part we will take unexpected steps that will stop the entire peace process", part of a statement issued by Palestinian prisoners held in Israel since before the Oslo Accords.
Number: NIS 10m, Michael Palmer asked the Judea Military Court on Wednesday for a “legal price tag” of NIS 10 million in damages against Waal al-Arjeh, who murdered his son Asher and grandson Yonatan.
The Middle East
Headline: Egypt rallies defy army chief's call
To Read: Jeffrey Goldberg thinks that bringing down Hamas is a prerequisite for peace between Israel and Palestine-
Of course, the collapse of Hamas wouldn't mean instantaneous Palestinian Authority rule. But nothing at all will happen with Hamas in power.
There are more important matters in the Middle East right now than the resumption of peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians: The Syrian civil war, the turmoil in Egypt and Iran's continued march toward the nuclear threshold are three. But if Kerry insists on pushing negotiations, he might as well attempt to create conditions in which those negotiations could work.
Breaking Hamas would be one way to try to achieve his goal.
Quote: "These are men, women, and children who live every day without knowing if they will see the next sunrise -- and yet still manage to show the kind of open-hearted hospitality to a stranger", Tom Daams, a photographer who has spent months with Syrian rebels.
Number: 80, the percentage of tunnels closed at the Egypt-Gaza border.
The Jewish World
Headline: David Lau, Yitzhak Yosef named chief rabbis
To Read: Adam Kirsch reviews a new Jesus biography which presents him a Jewish nationalist-
All of this adds up to a coherent and often convincing portrait of who Jesus was and what he wanted. The problem, which Aslan acknowledges though he doesn’t fully address it, is that the Jesus of the Gospels is much more than a Jewish nationalist. If he were simply a zealot, he would not be remembered today, any more than “the Egyptian” is. When Jesus spoke about God as his Father, or called himself the Son of Man, or said that the Kingdom of Heaven was coming, his words did have a political bearing, as Aslan shows; but they also had a much broader and more mysterious application. Jesus, one might say, radicalized the language of Jewish messianism in such a way that it could be turned against Judaism itself. This act of religious creativity, more than his zeal, is what turned a minor Jewish preacher and miracle-worker into the Christian son of God.
Quote: “I’m not saying that this is an ideal situation, but there are Jewish students whose Jewish identity is important to them but they are not necessarily in line with the Israeli government’s policy, which is perceived as globally, to the uneducated eye, the Zionistic cause. We have to allow these students to formulate their own interpretation", Chaya Esther Pomeranz, the newly elected chair of the World Union of Jewish Students, in an interview for the JPost.
Number: $5m, the amount of money Anthony Weiner has raised for his NYC Mayoral campaign (which is still on, at least for now).