Jewish Journal


October 9, 2013

October 9, 2013



Janet Yellen (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

The US

Headline: Obama Expected to Reduce Military Aid to Egypt

To Read: Glenn Nye examines the implications of the shutdown for US Diplomacy-

Perhaps more importantly, the government shutdown sends a very negative message about the United States' reliability as a partner in world affairs and reduces the authority with which it can carry out a leadership role. How can allies have confidence that the country's attention will remain on developments in Syria or Iran's nuclear ambitions when it cannot even keep its government's doors open? President Barack Obama was forced to cut his planned visits to Southeast Asia, thereby postponing potential advances in bilateral and multilateral relations in the Asia-Pacific. The moral authority of the United States to guide other countries on a pathway to pluralistic democracy is further complicated when a minority faction is able to cause a shutdown of the U.S. government in an effort to press for its specific policy demands. As one U.S. diplomat recently put it, "How are we supposed to promote good government when we can't even pass a budget?"

Quote: "We have a common understanding of what needs to be done and how. I am very glad that President (Barack) Obama is occupying this position (on chemical arms)", Russian President Putin commenting on the US position on Syria.

Number: 100, here's a list that tracks how the 100 US representatives who have been around for the past 6 US interventions voted on each one of them.



Headline: Israeli scientist Arieh Warshel wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry

To Read: Dan Diker points out that Netanyahu's Iran policy has quite a few silent supporters in the Arab world-  

While optimistic western elites bristle at Netanyahu’s rejection of Rouhani’s “smile and conquer diplomacy,” The Middle East’s silent Sunni majority backs Netanyahu’s “distrust, dismantle, and verify” approach towards neighboring Iranian regime’s nuclear program and race for regional supremacy.

Led by Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states and supported by the region’s many minorities including Kurds, Christians, Druse, Sufis, Baluchees and others, several hundred million Sunnis across the Middle East are quietly banking on Netanyahu’s making good on his declaration before the UN General Assembly that, “Israel will not allow Iran to get nuclear weapons,” and “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone.”

Quote: “We must act for the member of our ethnic group”, Shas' three-member Council of the Torah Sages endorsing Moshe Lion as the party's candidate in the upcoming Jerusalem mayoral election.  

Number: 200,000, the number of rockets and missiles which are pointed at Israel, according to Home Front Defense Minister Gilad Erdan.


The Middle East

Headline: Iran rejects U.S. condition for joining Syria peace conference

To Read: According to the WSJ's Bret Stephens, The US should heed to the advice of Hassan Rouhani (given years back to an Israeli agent) in its dealings with the Iranian government-

Iran was then trying to obtain missiles from the U.S. (with Israel acting as an intermediary) in exchange for the release of Americans held hostage by Iranian-backed proxies in Lebanon.

The missiles were provided but the hostages were not—a victim, by some accounts, of hard-line opposition within Iran to the more pliable course advocated by Mr. Rouhani. So it goes with Western outreach to Iranian moderates: It always fails, though whether it's on account of the moderates being duplicitous or powerless is a matter of debate. Maybe Mr. Rouhani isn't "a wolf in sheep's clothing," as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says. Maybe he's a sheep among wolves.

If so, he's a very canny sheep. "If you don't bare sharp teeth before [Ayatollah] Khomeini," he advised Nir, "you're going to have troubles all over the world. If you threaten him with military force, he'll kiss your hand and run."

Quote: “I got pain in the back and foot after seeing the newspaper’s headline this morning. I could not even walk or sit ... I left the foreign ministry in the afternoon for hospital. (A medical examination) showed it was due to being nervous and the muscular spasms and would be treated by physical exercise”, Iran's FM, Mohammad Javad Zarif, telling his Facebook followers about how being misquoted made him go to the hospital.   

Number: 14, Egyptian President Morsi is going to face trial together with 14 other defendants in November.


The Jewish World

Headline: Obama to nominate Janet Yellen to head US Federal Bank

To Read: An interesting piece, written by Ariel Picard n 2008, about Rabbi Ovadia's Halakhic world view-

Rav Ovadia often characterizes his generation – pejoratively -- as “the generation of freedom and liberty.” In his opinion, freedom leads to the erosion of rabbinical authority and to the lack of commitment to complete submission to halakhic requirements. The strict approach is therefore flawed, because excessive strictness is likely to lead the public to ignore duties that it finds too burdensome. Rav Ovadia is concerned lest traditional Jews who have “weak” religious devotion are driven from the path by the demands of a rigidly Orthodox lifestyle.

Quote:  'It’s safer to be a Jew in New York than in Israel', Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid sparking some controversy on Charlie Rose.

Number: 7.6, the percentage increase in Jewish community endowments in 2012

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