Israeli soldiers at the Syrian border, photo by Reuters
Headline: Kerry to help ink $2.1 bln defense deal in Oman
To Read: David P. Goldman reminds us of how exceptionally like-minded and sanguine American neocons and liberals were at the beginning of the Arab spring-
Errors by the party in power can get America into trouble; real catastrophes require consensus.
Rarely have both parties been as unanimous about a development overseas as they have in their shared enthusiasm for the so-called Arab Spring during the first months of 2011. Republicans vied with the Obama Administration in their zeal for the ouster of Egypt’s dictator Hosni Mubarak and in championing the subsequent NATO intervention against Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. Both parties saw themselves as having been vindicated by events. The Obama Administration saw its actions as proof that soft power in pursuit of humanitarian goals offered a new paradigm for foreign-policy success. And the Republican establishment saw a vindication of the Bush freedom agenda.
Quote: “Every country in the world – including the United States – retains the right to deny entry to individuals based on national security concerns. The US explicitly warns countries that are granted entry into the visa waiver program that we have the right to deny entry to any foreign national who represents a ‘threat to the welfare, health, safety, or security of the United States”, Senator Barbara Boxer defending the US-Israel Visa waiver bill.
Number: 30, the number of suicides in the US has increased by 30 percent in the past decade.
Headline: Israel fires back at Syria after gunshots at its troops
To Read: Peter Berkowitz believes that John Kerry shouldn't further induce cynicism in Israel and Palestine by promoting another American grand plan-
At present, less is more in pursuing a resolution to the conflict. If Kerry fails to learn the hard lessons of the last four years of the president he serves, if the American secretary of state tries to rush a final agreement in one grand concentrated burst of diplomatic activity, then he is likely to fail -- and that foreseeable failure is likely to intensify cynicism in the region about America’s competence and heighten disgust with the peace process among those on both sides.
If, however, in light of the long-term goal of two states for two peoples, Kerry patiently pursues incremental reforms and small improvements, then the United States will have a decent prospect of leaving Israelis and Palestinians better off than they might otherwise have been.
Quote: "I'm not sure Israel has an answer to some of the missiles which the Syrians have and I'm not sure that the (anti-missile system) Iron Dome can be successful here”, former senior Intelligence officer and Mideast Professor, Mordechai Kedar raising concerns about a Syrian attack in Israel..
Number: 19, the number of years Hapoel Tel Aviv's popular Arab-Israeli captain Walid Badir played before retiring.
The Middle East
Headline: Syria's military shows unexpected resilience
To Read: Dina Esfandiary and Islam Al Tayeb take a look at the deep resentment Iran is currently facing in the Arab world-
These days, there are not many things that Arabs agree on. In fact, it may be fair to say they agree to disagree more often than not when it comes to regional policy. But Iran, once the darling of the Arab Street, is finding both popular and government opinion turning against it. And at the heart of the matter lies official Iranian attitude towards sectarianism and the Syrian uprising.
Quote: "We have no conditions to resume negotiations… Today in the West Bank, including east Jerusalem ... I can sum up the situation with one word - apartheid. Worse than that which existed in South Africa", chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat endorsing Kerry's peace efforts and denouncing Israel at a UN committee meeting.
Number: 6,000 the number of people working in the Palestinian high-tech industry.
The Jewish World
Headline: Anti-Semitism Reports Increase, State Department Says
To Read: Israel's venerated novelist and occasional provocateur A.B Yehoshua tries to make some clarifications about Zionism-
Zionism is not an ideology. If the definition of ideology, according to the Hebrew Encyclopedia, is as follows − “A cohesive, systematic combination of ideas, insights, principles and imperatives that finds expression in the particular worldview of a sect, a party or a social class” − then Zionism cannot be considered an ideology, but merely a very broad platform for various ideologies that may even contradict one another.
Ever since the State of Israel was founded in 1948, the definition of “Zionist” has been revised, since we don’t need to establish another state. Therefore, its definition is as follows: A Zionist is a person who accepts the principle that the State of Israel doesn’t belong solely to its citizens, but to the entire Jewish people. The practical expression of this commitment is the Law of Return.
Quote: “Maybe if they both get a good laugh, they can begin a negotiating process”, Alan Dershowitz recommending a 'Curb your Enthusiasm' episode to the leaders of Israel and Palestine.
Number: 16,000, the number of Jews in San Francisco in 1880, according to this curious piece about Jews during the great gold rush.