Iranian President Ahmedinejad, photo by Reuters
Headline: Senate panel votes to provide weapons to Syrian rebels battling Assad regime
To Read: The NR's Julia Ioffe takes a look at some very cold-war-minded Russian attitudes toward the US and the Middle East-
Moscow may not have a long term plan—in fact, while it knows that the peace conference it's co-sponsoring with the U.S. will inevitably fail, it continues to push the idea anyway—but fighting the fight, acknowledging the proxy war aloud is, in some ways, all that matters. “The issue isn’t a love for Assad, or our port at Tartus, or even the arms sales,” says Georgy Mirsky, a venerable Russian scholar of the Middle East. “These things matter, of course, but they are not the main thing. We can live without Syria, we can live without Assad, but to allow someone to say that Moscow is dancing to Washington’s tune would be unacceptable. Unacceptable.” This, Mirsky says, is a holdover from the Soviet days, which, at the Russian Foreign Ministry, have never quite receded. “Soviet rule has been gone for twenty years, but the Soviet mentality remains, especially at the very top,” Mirsky explains. “There is a very strong suspicion that you can’t trust the Americans in any way because they’ll take every opportunity to do something nasty to us. So the instinct is that if the Americans are against someone in the Third World, then we have to be for this person. And vice-versa. This all comes from the Soviet mentality.” This would explain why Mirsky once heard a Russian diplomat say, “I would rather have a nuclear Iran than a pro-American Iran."
Quote: "You will be funding, today, the allies of al Qaeda. It's an irony you cannot overcome", Rand Paul opposing the Senate's recent motion with his usual outspokenness.
Number: 12, the percentage of Americans who have a positive view of moral value in America, according to Pew.
Headline: Gantz: Assad will pay if he deteriorates situation in Golan
To Read: Adi Schwartz reads the controversial Jewish-Palestinian education report-
When one puts the media hype aside and examines the Victims study in full, one almost gets the feeling that the authors didn’t read their own report. In the face of overwhelming data, collected by the authors themselves, the report reaches the baffling conclusion that both sides embrace “unilateral and exclusive national narratives” and that “both Israeli and Palestinian school books forcefully and consistently establish distinct unilateral and opposing narratives.” Throughout, they claim, the textbooks show “a lack of recognition of the presence and absence of information about the other.” Contradicted by report’s own data, these conclusions are simply unsupportable.
Quote: "I'm totally against this aid. It cannot be when, first of all, the Americans are standing in line like two or three miles in the snow to get a job. To get any kind of aid from America when, economically, we are in a much, much better position doesn’t look moral to me”, Deputy Knesset Speaker Moshe Feiglin questioning the morality of US aid to Israel.
Number: 100 NIS, the cost of an MRI test (worth 4,000 NIS) for the early detection of breast cancer in Israel.
The Middle East
Headline: Iran's Ahmadinejad to challenge ally's ban from election
To Read: Stephen A. Cook examines the recent improvement in the traditionally frosty Egypt-Iran relationship-
Hooking up with the Iranians does fit in with Egypt’s overall “positive neutralist” approach, which in the 1950s was Nasser’s way of playing powers off of one another in an effort to extract resources from them. Morsi seems to be playing a similar game, but may overplay his hand when it comes to the Iranians. Other than some quick cash and subsidized energy, there is nothing that Tehran can offer Cairo that will, in the long run, be to Egypt’s benefit.
Quote: “We are certain these are fighters of Hassan Nasrallah. They are no longer Hezbollah, they are fighters of Hassan Nasrallah and [Iran’s supreme leader] Ali Khamanei”, FSA spokesman Louay Almokdad, talking with Al Arabiya about about the dramatic battle of Qusayr.
Number: 10, the percent-increase in the number of complaints about human rights abuses by the PA and Hamas, according to a new report.
The Jewish World
Headline: Biden: Jewish leaders drove gay marriage changes
To Read: British novelist Howard Jacobson is glad to learn that the anti-Israel boycotts have nothing to do with anti-Semitism (and that anti-Semitism is, in fact, a thing of the past)-
Can the day be far away when Israel no longer exists, when the remaining rights-upholding, peace-loving countries of the region come together in tolerance and amity, and it won’t even be necessary to speak of anti-Semitism’s demise because we will have forgotten it ever existed? That’s when Jews will know they’re finally safe. Ring out, ye bells!
Quote: “Israel is a Jewish state and Jews have superior rights. But the Karaites are not Jewish”, the Israeli Rabbinate's Chief Spokesperson talking about one of Israel's most curious minorities.
Number: 4, the number of remaining survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto uprising following the passing of Baruch Spiegel.