May 15, 2012

Meridor: Thanks to sanctions, Iran is not rushing full speed to the bomb

In a wide-ranging interview, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor talks to David ‎Horowitz of the Times of Israel about Iran, as well as a settlement freeze, the peace ‎process and the future of the peace treaty with Egypt. ‎

‎“What is the bottom line?” Meridor asks rhetorically. “The sanctions are having an ‎effect. One needs to continue with them and increase and accelerate them.” The firm ‎message has to be, “You Iranians, you’re not going to get there, we are determined,” ‎he says. “If this is the message that they read from the world, America and the rest, ‎and if the price they are paying gets higher and higher every month, there is a chance ‎‎— no guarantee — that it will have the effect that we want. Is it worth trying? Yes. Not ‎staying as we are, but augmenting, getting more and more [sanctions].”‎

Colin Powell on the Bush Administration’s ‎Iraq War Mistakes

Newsweek publishes excerpts from the former defense secretary’s new book, in ‎which he looks back on his UN speech, Abu Ghraib and grave missteps made during ‎the war. ‎

When we went in, we had a plan, which the president approved. We would not break up ‎and disband the Iraqi Army. We would use the reconstituted Army with purged ‎leadership to help us secure and maintain order throughout the country. We would ‎dissolve the Baath Party, the ruling political party, but we would not throw every party ‎member out on the street. In Hussein’s day, if you wanted to be a government official, a ‎teacher, cop, or postal worker, you had to belong to the party. We were planning to ‎eliminate top party leaders from positions of authority. But lower-level officials and ‎workers had the education, skills, and training needed to run the country. The plan the ‎president had approved was not implemented. ‎

Creating Syria Safe Zones Is a ‎Dangerous Step Toward War

Writing in Bloomberg, Aaron David Miller ‎outlines the pitfalls of a much-touted plan to ‎stem the violence in Syria. ‎

To have even a chance of [safe zones] working, the right conditions would have to be ‎present. Those would include full Turkish buy- in and an international mandate ‎legitimizing intervention, preferably a resolution of the UN Security Council. Most ‎important would be a sustained military commitment to protect the zones and the ‎corridors leading to them. This would require air patrols and thus the suppression of ‎Syrian air defenses. It would also mean carrying out offensive air strikes against the ‎regime’s forces, if the Syrians respond militarily, and ultimately securing Syria’s ‎stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons to prevent their use against coalition ‎troops.‎

The Democratic Majority

In an article in the Iranian, Yuval Porat explains the methodology behind an Israeli poll ‎that found overwhelming support for democracy among the Iranian people. ‎

An analysis of the Iranian sample showed that alongside conservative values, such as ‎conformity and tradition, Iranian society is characterized by strong support for pro-‎liberal values such as a belief in the importance of self-direction and benevolence. For ‎example, 94% of the respondents identified with the sentence “freedom to choose ‎what he does is important to him,” and 71% of the respondents identified with the ‎sentence “being tolerant toward all kinds of people and groups is important to him.”‎

Sendak’s Chelm

Jewish Ideas Daily reproduces ‎three short stories for children ‎by Isaac Bashevis Singer that were ‎illustrated by Maurice Sendak. ‎

After the publication of Where the Wild Things Are established Maurice Sendak as a ‎force to be reckoned with in children’s literature, he had the opportunity to illustrate ‎Isaac Bashevis Singer’s first children’s book, Zlateh the Goat and Other Stories.  Sendak… ‎cherished the collaboration, which not only garnered a 1967Newbery Honor, but more ‎importantly in his eyes, “finally” earned him his parents’ respect. ‎

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