Best Of The Web
“The lack of U.S. involvement in the Syrian arena and in the recent dust-up between Israel and Russia stands out, given the intimate relationship between Netanyahu and Trump, the great interest America has in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the common front on the Iranian issue. There are only small American forces in Syria now – in the east of the country and on the border between Jordan and Iraq – leaving Israel’s security interests at the mercy of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the “landlord” in Syria.
Netanyahu has been cultivating a relationship with Putin over the years, and during the past three years there has been a coordination mechanism between Israel and Russia enabling Israel to carry out hundreds of attacks on Syrian soil. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, relations between the two countries did not merely involve security coordination, but included various other things done for Israel.
But though Netanyahu enjoys bragging about his relationship with the Russian president, it is clear from this incident that the rapport has its limits. The speed at which Russia began to issue threats (including the announcement that it was transferring advanced S-300 missile systems to the Assad regime) on the one hand, and the submissive Israeli behavior on the other – culminating in the flight of Israel Air Force commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin to meet his Russian counterpart and make a personal presentation of the findings of the IDF investigation – indicate this is not a relationship based on trust and is potentially dangerous.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Donald Trump is the only President of the United States since the collapse of the Soviet Union who has been unable to “reset” the U.S. relationship with Russia."
"This past weekend Melania Trump’s spokeswoman penned an op-ed for CNN in which she criticized the media’s unrelenting criticism of the first lady... Is it true that the media have a fixation on the first lady’s fashion sense?"
"Ultra-Orthodox Jews are smarter consumers, have interest-free loan funds, and are satisfied even if they are poor, the Haredi Institute for Public Affairs has found."
"In Anti-Fandom: Dislike and Hate in the Digital Age, out January 8, Melissa Click delivers a collection of 15 essays by scholars exploring the many ways there are to hate, and why we love to do it."
"For more than a decade, ultrarich people from the former Soviet Union, China and the Middle East have turned to London mansions, New York high-rises, and chic properties in Vancouver, Miami and Paris to store their cash."
"Virtual worlds give back what has been scooped out of modern life . . . it gives us back community, a feeling of competence, and a sense of being an important person whom people depend on."
"It’s the end of 2019 and America’s bountiful harvest is in. But President Donald Trump is facing a crisis few contemplated the year before: a food shortage almost everywhere else in the world."
"Christopher Hitchens died seven years ago this Saturday, a decade after breaking ranks with onetime friend Gore Vidal and beginning a feud that symbolized major changes in left-wing politics."
"I could try to find out where my ancestors may have come from, but that is never going to show me what I’ve actually inherited."
"Have you eaten a Cheez-It sometime in the past eight years? If so, as they say on TV, call now because you may be entitled to compensation."
"An intelligent fish has stirred up a debate about how to measure self-awareness among animals—and what self-awareness even is in the first place."
"...either our youth walk out on Judaism or maintain a lukewarm relationship with Jewish observance; or, they become so obsessed by its finest points that they are incapable of seeing the forest from the trees."