To Read: Anthony Cordesman believes that the US should act decisively and forcefully in Syria-
But, there are times when the risks of inaction outweigh the very real risks of action. For all the talk of sarin and “redlines,” the United States has far greater reasons for action than the scattered use of small amounts of chemical weapons that may have killed 140 people. In fact, the “discovery” that Syria used chemical weapons may well be a political ploy. It seems very like that the administration has had virtually all the same evidence for weeks if not months. The real reasons are the broader humanitarian issues involved and far more urgent U.S. strategic interests.
Quote: “You don't have to be a great expert to understand that this will violate international law”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, opposing a US impoesd no fly zone in Syria.
Number: 90, according to a new piece of legislation, the US President has to report every 90 days on how the new US measures to ensure Israel's security are being implemented.
To Read: Conrad Black writes about his enduring optimism about the Middle East and Israel, which is ironically fueled by the regional powers' ability to mutually annihilate one another-
The Dynamic among these nations will reach a point of mutual assured destruction. This struggle will consume the attention and resources of these nations. And n the meanwhile, no one will make war on Israel, and Hamas and Hezbollah will not be able to provoke a nuclear conflict. The Muslims will sort it out eventually and Israel will flourish.
As for the Palestinians, they can have their state next week if the concede Israel its long-established legal right to be a Jewish Sovereign state. In that respect nothing much has changed.
Quote: “Just a spin”, Israeli Defense Minister Ya'alon's opinion on the Arab league peace initiative.
Number: 25, the percent decrease in the budget of the IDF's rabbinate, a cut that might force a substantial reduction in the number of Kashrut inspectors.
The Middle East
To Read: Barbara Slavin writes about the connection between the dancing in the streets of Teheran and Istanbul-
What unites these incidents in Istanbul and Tehran is not just the fact that it’s early summer and that, as the old song goes, the time is right for dancing in the streets.
From the earliest days of recorded history to today’s Twitterverse, people have come together in central places to express their views and gain strength and comfort from the presence of like-minded others. Every culture has had its agora, forum, maydan, square or park — a place where people can literally vote with their feet. The leaders of both Turkey and Iran sought to choke off this fundamental form of expression — and both have paid a price.
Quote: “We stand against Hezbollah in its aggression against the Syrian people. Hezbollah must leave Syria – these are serious words. There is no space or place for Hezbollah in Syria”, Egypt's President Morsi cutting diplomatic ties with Syria and opposing Hezbollah and Assad.
Number: 72.7, the surprisingly high voter turnout rate in the Iranian presidential elections.
The Jewish World
To Read: A new book reveals the surprising extent of cooperation between Jewish Hollywood and Hitler throughout the 1930's-
Incredibly, the creative collaboration between the Nazis and Hollywood only deepened throughout the 1930s as exclusionary violence against Jews increased and Hitler tightened his grip on power. In the late 1930s, Urwand claims, Paramount and 20th Century Fox produced newsreels in Germany depicting major Nazi events. Most shocking of all, Urwand maintains, in 1938 MGM invested in factories making German weapons in Austria and the Sudetenland. As Urwand put it in a recent YouTube interview, “The biggest movie studio in America was actually financing the production of German armaments immediately before World War II.” After Germany invaded Poland, MGM further consolidated its alliance with the Nazis by donating eleven of its most popular movies to the cause of German war relief.
Quote: “[electing Rabbi David Stav would be] like bringing idolatry to the temple… He is not worthy… this man is dangerous to Judaism, dangerous to the rabbinate and dangerous to the Torah”, Rabbi Ovadya Yossef, the spiritual leader of Israel's Shas party, denouncing religious Zionist Chief Rabbinate candidate David Stav.
Number: 113, the age of Evelyn Kozac, the oldest Jew in the world, who died last week.