August 8, 2013

The US

Headline: Obama's Moscow visit is called off, and not just because of Snowden

To Read: Ted Koppel believes that America suffers from chronic overreaction to terrorist threats-

Will terrorists kill innocent civilians in the years to come? Of course. They did so more than 100 years ago, when they were called anarchists—and a responsible nation-state must take reasonable measures to protect its citizens. But there is no way to completely eliminate terrorism.

The challenge that confronts us is how we will live with that threat. We have created an economy of fear, an industry of fear, a national psychology of fear. Al Qaeda could never have achieved that on its own. We have inflicted it on ourselves.

Quote: “who gave you the right to poke your nose into Egypt's internal affairs?”, Egypt's interim Minister of Investment scolding John McCain on Twitter.

Number: $195m, the worth of the additional humanitarian aid the US is sending Syria.



Headline: Top IDF officer: Hezbollah marked our artillery guns

To Read: Ariel Sharon's chief of staff and veteran negotiator Dov Weisglass thinks that the Israeli Government's decision to prioritize West Bank settlements shows it isn't serious about peace-  

How will the Palestinian state (which Israel says it wants) look if it will be split by a chain of Israeli communities? During one of the conversations held with senior Bush Administration officials during Ariel Sharon's term as prime minister, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice said that even if the future Palestinian state will be the size of a football field, it is crucial that it will also have the shape of a football field. Meaning: It should be complete and continuous so the Palestinians will be able to move from one part of the state to another without running into Israelis. She said Washington would never agree to a Palestinian state that looks like a “slice of Swiss cheese.”

George W. Bush is no longer in office, but I do not believe the American position on this has changed. The Israeli government's decision is aimed at deepening, expanding and enlarging the Israeli “holes” in the Palestinian “slice of cheese,” despite knowing full well that the Palestinians will never agree to a state that is dissected by Israeli settlements, and neither will the international community.

Quote:  “Erekat talked about the necessity to live together with mutual respect. I asked whether the [Palestinian] school curriculum would comport with that objective. He indicated that they had not done so perfectly, but he believes they are working on that and trying to get to that objective”, US Democratic Whip, Steny Hoyer, reporting on his meeting with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat.

Number: $405m, the amount of money AOL is going to pay for adap.tv, an Israeli video advertising platform (just to remind you, the Washington Post was sold for a lot less).


The Middle East

Headline: Iran has new rocket site, ballistic missile tests possible: report

To Read: Eric Trager reads General Sisi's grad school paper and determines that it presents Egypt's new ruler as closer to a Mubarak clone than to an Islamist-  

Sisi's paper, in other words, doesn't reflect Islamists' obsession with constructing an Islamic state — it reflects Mubarak's obsession with preventing Western pressure to democratize. For Sisi, the question is not whether Islam and democracy can coexist, but “whether the rest of the world will be able to accept a democracy in the Middle East founded on Islamic beliefs.”

It's an especially ironic sentence to read today. For better or worse, the international community was prepared to accept a state in Egypt “founded on Islamic beliefs.” Sisi and millions of his fellow Egyptians, however, were not.

Quote:  “The news is wholly untrue”, Omran Zoabi, the Syrian information minister, denying claims about an attack on Assad's convoy.

Number: 60, the number of alleged terrorists the Egyptian army has killed in Sinai since the removal of morsi.


The Jewish World

Headline: YU sex abuse scandal: Twelve students join $380m suit

To Read: Historian Samuel Moyn takes a look at two books which examine 'the myth of silence' about the Holocaust-

The conventional wisdom about Holocaust memory has been that there was next to no interest or investment after the Second World War in the fact that so many Jews died during it; that those who lived through the war were not simply bystanders of a great enormity, they did not even realize they were. Even in Israel before and after 1948, the creation of Holocaust consciousness lagged. But now, on the assumption that this “myth of silence” could only amount to a project to dishonour Jews or delegitimize the Jewish state, a backlash has begun.

Quote:  “I think the faculty and administration will have a very serious look at that and go through a responsible decision-making process. On something like that you want to do it right”, Rabbi Aaron Panken, the new head of the Hebrew Union College, commenting on the possibility of allowing Rabbinical candidate to marry non-Jews.

Number: $21,000, the amount of money that was offered for a rare wartime Oskar Schindler document.

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