October 10, 2013

The US

Headline: U.S. to partially cut aid to Egypt

To Read: A WSJ editorial criticizes the Obama administration for managing to anger everyone in Egypt-

The U.S. is managing to anger nearly everyone in Cairo. The Islamists who demand President Morsi's return and the shrinking band of liberal democrats will see this as continued U.S. support for the generals. The generals get to feel the back of Washington's hand without being given an incentive to change their behavior at home. Israel is also upset, since its peace with Cairo was premised in part on U.S. aid.

Quote: “It's hard to imagine a more counterproductive effort to slow the development of Iran's nuclear program – especially when sanctions have succeeded in bringing the Iranians back to the negotiating table. This attempt to legislate the use of force in Iran is so far out of the mainstream that it makes Netanyahu look like a bleeding heart peacenik in comparison”, an unnamed congressional aide criticizing a new republican legislation proposal which will authorize war with Iran.  

Number: 63, the percentage of Israelis who believe that the US projected weakness in its dealings with Syria and Iran.



Headline: Iran says developed new drone capable of reaching Israel

To Read: Yigal Kipnis writes an LA Time op-ed about the Yom Kippur war-

There are lessons in this history for today's leaders, both in Israel and the United States. It is important for them to understand that if they fail to act for the good of the state, their failures will be revealed to future generations. Today, we can see that 40 years ago, many paid a heavy price for the excessive consideration Kissinger showed for the political fortunes of Israel's prime minister. Let's hope the actions of current leaders in Israel and the United States will stand up to scrutiny by the next generation.

(Make sure to take a look at our exchange with Kipnis)

Quote: “Because (fellow Nobel laureate Arieh) Warshel didn't get tenured there (in Israel) and it was critical in those years of work”, fresh Nobel Prize winner Michael Levitt explaining why he and Arieh Warshel moved abroad.

Number: 14, the number of countries which have more Nobel prizes than Israel (remember- Israel is pretty small).


The Middle East

Headline: Cutbacks in U.N. Food Assistance Set Off Outcry in Gaza

To Read: Daniel DePetris believes that without a credible military threat still on the table, it is highly unlikely that Bashar Assad will keep his end of the Syrian deal-

Mr. Kerry was right to call this a “good beginning,” but the State Department was also smart to hold its praise for Mr. Assad. Recent history suggests that the Assad regime will not live up to any agreements with the United Nations unless there are repercussions for stonewalling or obstruction. Washington and the UN both need to take Assad’s past track record into account by making it clear that there will be strong consequences if the Syrian government slows down its compliance. For the Obama administration, that means keeping the threat of military force alive, even if that is not its favorite option.

Quote: “We collect our signatures via email through a website we have set up for that purpose. But Hamas was able to sabotage the site, and we are now trying to create a new, more secure site that Hamas can’t hack. We do that because it is difficult to collect the forms manually because we will be arrested. Tamarod’s administrators are in Gaza and their identities are kept secret. Only three of its members have been identified and they are all abroad. So far, we have been able to collect 600,000 forms”, Hind al-Arabi, media spokeswoman for the Tamarod movement in Gaza, talking about the Egyptian-style protests her movements is planning to produce against Hamas in November.

Number: 3, the number of Egyptian soldiers killed in a suicide attack in the Sinai peninsula.


The Jewish World

Headline: Circumcision won’t be banned in Europe, officials say

To Read: Robert Nicholson examines the changes and nuances in current Evangelical Christian attitude towards Israel-  

By all rights, this rather stunning fact—the fact of a vibrant Christian Zionism—should encourage a welcoming response from beleaguered Jewish supporters of Israel. Instead, it has caused palpable discomfort, especially among Jewish liberals. Wary of ulterior religious motives, and viewing evangelicals as overly conservative in their general outlook on the world, such Jews either accept the proffered support with a notable lack of enthusiasm or actively caution their fellow Jews against accepting it at all. To many, the prospect of an alignment with evangelicals, even one based on purely tactical considerations, seems positively distasteful. Very few have attempted to penetrate the evangelical world or to understand it in any substantive way.

This is a pity, for many reasons. It is also a serious strategic error. For the reality is that today’s Christian Zionism cannot be taken for granted. For one thing, not all evangelicals do support Israel. For another, more alarming thing, a growing minority inside the evangelical world views the Jewish state as at best tolerable and at worst positively immoral, a country that, instead of being supported on biblical grounds, should be opposed on those same grounds.

Quote:  “We found that most of the maternal lineages don’t trace to the north Caucasus, which would be a proxy for the Khazarians, or to the Near East, but most of them emanate from Europe”, Martin Richards, an archaeogeneticist, discussing a study he coauthored about the genetic origins of Ashkenazi Jews.

Number: 80, the percentage of US conservative and reform rabbis who believe to a great/some extent that is Israel should freeze settlements (62 to a great extent, 18, to some extent), according to a new study.

Did you enjoy this article?
You'll love our roundtable.

Editor's Picks

Latest Articles

Beauty Without Borders

I was amused by this scene of an elderly, ultra-Orthodox couple enjoying a coffee while a sensual French song came on. Do they have any idea what this song is about? I wondered.

More news and opinions than at a
Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.

More news and opinions than at a Shabbat dinner, right in your inbox.