February 20, 2020

February 11, 2013

The US

Headline: Republican Threatens to Block Pentagon and C.I.A. Nominees

To Read:  Fouad Ajami tells the story of how a liberal-minded orator began using drones, and wonders why his foreign-policy liberal mindedness at this point only seems to manifest itself as a reluctance to intervene-

There remains the discrepancy between an extensive campaign of drones and a passive foreign policy that maintains — the president’s very words — that an era of war is ending. Forgive those Syrians left at the mercy of their dictator’s cruel war: It is hard to explain to them why those drones don’t somehow find their way to Bashar al-Assad’s bunker. We do anti- terrorism. Wars of rescue are not an American specialty nowadays.  

Quote: “I’m afraid there are people who just don’t want to waste their time with U.S. intelligence any more. There have been a lot of broken promises…The levels of anger and mistrust are off the charts. And I’m not sure it’s redeemable”, Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Institution’s Doha Center, talks about the growing disillusionment of Syrian rebels with the CIA.

Number: 1,700, the number of deployed nuclear weapons at the US military's disposal.



Headline: Officials: Obama visit to prevent strike on Iran

To Read: Itamar Marcus criticizes the recent textbook study and claims that a lot is on the line:

Only if the international community preconditions its political contacts and support for the PA on the PA’s compliance with demands to eliminate its culture of hate and violence will peace become possible.

While the Palestinian Authority is ultimately responsible for the hatred and terror it promotes, its defenders, especially Israelis like Bar-Tal, are ultimately enablers of this hatred. Such misleading reports could ease the international pressure that has been put on the Palestinians to replace their hate education with peace education.

Public rejection of this Bar- Tal/Adwan report by the US is not merely the right thing to do. People’s lives are depending on it.

Quote:  “As things look now, he won’t have open access to the prime minister, and it’s doubtful that he’ll receive public support from him for the reforms he wants, or become a true ally of the incoming government”, a source close to the PM about Netanyahu's personal problems with Bennett.

Number: 90 the number of homes to be constructed in the Beit-El settlement.


The Middle East

Headline: Iran and Hezbollah build militia networks in Syria in event that Assad falls, officials say

Read: Ahram editor Hani Shukrallah  believes that disorder is bound to keep on plaguing Egypt for quite a while-

In a Facebook posting a few months ago, I joked that of all world revolutions, Egyptians seem to have picked the French Revolution to emulate — that is, a struggle that raged, in various shapes and forms, for nearly a century. Hopefully, we're not in for another 100 years of this tumult, but the path toward the realization of the revolution's great aims remains long and tortuous.

Egypt's polarized political and social forces continue to be too evenly matched, and the schism between the protagonists too deep, for any viable resolution in the short term. The Muslim Brotherhood may have won — for the moment — the reluctant backing of the military and the police, but they're by no means its creatures. The country's security services have minds and imperatives of their own that are by no means identical to, or even commensurate with, those of the Brotherhood leadership...

Quote:  “To openly challenge Khamenei publicly is unprecedented. It will have long-term repercussions. It shows that Khamenei does not have the authority he once did”, Abbas Milani, director of the Iranian Studies program at Stanford University, about Ahmedinejad's recent scandalous radio performance.

Number: 160,000, the number of political prisoners which Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib demands Assad to free before the Syrian National Coalition – an alliance of opposition groups – would agree to meet Syrian officials.


The Jewish World

Headline: 10 women arrested at Kotel for wearing tallitot

To Read: Algemeiner editor in chief contrasts the reactions to the Netanyahu caricature episode with those of the Brooklyn college one:

 The response to Brooklyn College’s sponsorship of the event started out in much the same way as the response to the Sunday Times cartoon. City officials strongly expressed opposition, as did mayoral candidate Bill Thompson, and Jewish groups including the ADL and the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Concerned individuals and members of the public spoke up as well. But many Jewish groups sat out the round, as did representatives of the state of Israel. Then New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg disgracefully endorsed the College’s sponsorship of the event, and there was nary a response from Jewish leaders. The opposition went cold and a publicly funded institution of higher learning got away with sponsoring a bigoted hate fest.

The lesson is clear: to be effective, as in the case of the Sunday Times cartoon, the opposition to institutionalized hate speech must be sustained, consistent, broad and uncompromising. The challenge is great, but for the sake of our humanity it must be overcome.

Quote:   “And if you want to read something that is very, very enlightening, this guy he’s getting tremendous reviews on it. He’s Jewish. He worked in the State Department, worked for Baker, worked for Albright, I think he’s worked for four secretaries of state, different Democrats, Republicans”, Chuck Hagel in a recently surfaced video in which he talks about Iran Israel.   

Number: $50 million, the sum of the donation made by Sheldon Adelson to Jewish dayschools in Las Vegas.