As Deadline Nears for an Iran Nuclear Pact, the Fingers Are Pointing: “The number of spinning centrifuges is only one issue. Whether Iran will sign on to a protocol that allows inspections in many other areas of the country, whether it will allow interviews of its nuclear scientists, whether it will explain away a dozen questions posed by international inspectors about suspected weapons designs are all on the table… That mixture allows room for additional spin. The United States — along with Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China — has been trying to come up with solutions that would allow the Iranians to argue at home that they gave up none of their nuclear rights, and allow the West to claim that they slowed Iran’s ability to build a weapon…. But there is only so much face-saving that is possible. In the end, it is hard to spin how many centrifuges are spinning — or whether Iran’s nuclear laboratories have been opened up. “I can’t think of a harder deal to be negotiating in public,” one senior Obama administration official said, “or to explain simultaneously to the Congress and the Iranian mullahs.” [NYTimes] — Reuters Exclusive: According to Western Diplomats, Iran has eased its demands for nuclear capacity today at Vienna talks [Reuters]
“Deadly Violence Escalates in Israel After Palestinian Youth, Israeli Teens Killed” [WSJ] — QUICK TO CONDEMN: U.S. Condemns ‘Heinous Murder’ Of Palestinian Teen: “White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the United States “condemns in the strongest possible terms” the death of 17-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, which followed the discovery in the West Bank on Monday of the bodies of three abducted Israeli teenagers… “We hope to swiftly see the guilty parties brought to justice,” Earnest told reporters. “We call on the government of Israel and the Palestinian Authority to take all necessary steps to prevent an atmosphere of revenge and retribution. People who undertake acts of vengeance will only destabilize an already volatile and emotional situation.”[AP] — Israel Police Weighing Clan, Criminal and Family Motives in Death of Arab Youth [Algemeiner] — Rocket From Gaza Slammed Into A House In Southern Israel This Morning [AP] — Ambassador Ron Dermer on Charlie Rose [Bloomberg] — Is this how the Third Intifada begins? [WashPost]
In Tweet, NYC Council Speaker Mark-Viverito Refers To E. Jerusalem As ‘Palestine’: NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito on Wednesday plummeted herself indelicately into the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by referring to an East Jerusalem neighborhood as ‘Palestine.’“Saddened by the escalating violence in Palestine. We mourn the loss of life and call for an end to this cycle of violence,” Mark-Viverito, who handles her own Twitter account, tweeted… [JP]
—Jewish family escapes from Syria, arrives safely in Israel: “News of the recent escape of a Jewish family from Syria to Israel was cleared for publication Thursday. The mixed Jewish-Muslim family fled the battlefields of Syria a few weeks ago, with two family members leading the way and the rest following later on. They made their way through several dangerous road blocks manned by Assad’s Syrian military and various militias of the opposition. Eventually they managed to leave Syria and fly to Israel.”[JPost]
Krauthammer: “If Fences Don’t Work, Why Is There One Around The White House?”: “BILL O’REILLY: How do you secure the border, Charles? CHARLES KRAUTHAMMER: Alright, here’s what I’ve been on for years. You start with a fence. It’s very simple. People say, ‘Oh, fences don’t work. You make a ladder.’ Well, then you build two fences, triple strand fences. San Diego did that in the mid 90’s and within a decade, the illegal immigration rate at that point was reduced by 90% and people ended up going through other places like Arizona.
“If fences don’t work, why is there one around the White House? If they don’t work, why is it that the Israeli fence which separate Israel from the West Bank has cut down terror attacks within Israel by 99%. Fences work. Yes, there are parts of the border where you can’t have a fence, fine. So you don’t have it in those areas and you do heavy patrols. But there is no reason why a rich country like us cannot put a fence across — a double fence, a triple fence and patrol it all the time. That would have a tremendous impact.” [RealClearPolitics]
TOP-OP: Benjamin Luxenberg – “Volunteering for the All-American Military – As a young Jew in the U.S., I admired my peers who joined the Israel Defense Forces, but my calling was the Marines”: “It was not unusual to hear of American Jews choosing to serve in Israel, where military service is mandatory and the country is under constant threat. It was much less common to hear of them joining the all-volunteer U.S. military. That is largely how Jews serving in the U.S. military today are considered by fellow Jews: as anomalies.
“The attitude doesn’t suggest any diminished respect toward those who serve in the U.S. It is more indicative of wonder or a slight bewilderment. I can’t imagine asking or anyone else asking a young American Jew who volunteered for the IDF why he joined. The answer would be obvious—Israel needs defenders. In the U.S., where most Americans go through their daily lives rarely encountering a member of the military, much less a Jewish one, I was often asked why I had joined.
“The answer was easy: because I am an American. Yes, Israel will always hold a special place in my heart. Israel is the embodied dream of a people—my people—exiled and downtrodden for 2,000 years, returning to their homeland, a unique historical event. But in the grand sweep of history, it is America and the American dream for which I hold the most awe… America is a country for all peoples. Like the identities of all other modern nation-states, Israel is one based on an ethnic, cultural or religious affinity; it is a state for a specific people with an exclusive identity…
“American identity is heterogeneous. America is for everyone in general and no one in particular. There may be hyphenated groups—Jewish-American, African-American, Chinese-American, Irish-American—but the “Americanness” of any group is not in doubt… As long as we continue to struggle to live up to our founding ideals, just as sinners continually strive for righteousness, it is that ennobling ideal that sets America apart. It is an ideal that young Americans of every religious and ethnic background should consider fighting for.” [WSJ]
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: 100 Story Skyscraper Planned For Tel Aviv [Calcalist] — Larry Silverstein Plans Tallest Residential Tower in the U.S. Planned for West Side [NY1] — Hertz Investment Group expected to purchase Jacksonville’s Bank of America Tower for $88 million [DailyRecord] — Joe Nakash buys Apthorp garage for 12.3M [RealDeal] — The Saga of Christie, Samson and the Ghermezian’s American Dream Megamall [Part1] [Part2] — Paul Singer’s Elliot Calls on Argentina to Negotiate Accord on Bonds [Businessweek]
Pzifer’s Elelyso receives first-ever kosher certification for prescription medication: “Elelyso, a Pfizer therapy for Type 1 Gaucher disease, has just become the first ever prescription medication to receive a kosher certification—even though it didn’t need one…. The medication is a form or enzyme replacement therapy for the long-term treatment of adults with the disease, for which one in every 14 Ashkenazi Jews is a carrier, according to the National Human Genome Research Institute. The Orthodox Union, an American Jewish organization that provides the circled-U “Ⓤ” symbol to food products, certified Elelyso’s manufacturing facility in Israel operated by Protalix Biotherapeutics, according to a Pfizer press release.” [CNBC]
JUGGLING DEFICIT: New York’s Yeshiva University Faces Tough Money Choices: “Yeshiva University, a century-old institution of Jewish life in New York, is juggling a modern problem: a stubborn budget deficit that reached $150 million in a recent year. According to university officials and publicly available financial documents, the school with deep ties to the Orthodox Jewish community also has seen its investments shrink by hundreds of millions of dollars since 2007—due in part to poor internal budgeting and so-called alternative investments that lagged behind the broader market rally in recent years.
“Over the past six months, the school has eliminated administrative positions, instituted a hiring freeze and offered early-retirement packages, according to faculty and administrators. Belt-tightening has included matters as small as forgoing coffee at meetings—and as large as a debate over whether to consolidate its separate single-sex campuses into a coed one. “There’s no doubt faculty morale has suffered,” said Will Lee, a Yeshiva professor since the 1980s… Yeshiva has also entered into an agreement to hand over operations at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine to a local community hospital and to sell off 10 residential properties, according to school officials.” [WSJ]
Happy News: Jonathan Sarna Returns Home From Hospital: “Jonathan Sarna, a leading scholar of American Jewish history, has returned home from the hospital two months after collapsing at his daughter’s college graduation… Sarna announced his homecoming in a post on his Facebook page. “A long recovery still awaits, but I do not want to settle into rehabilitation and work before first thanking everyone on this list for your interest, your concern, your prayers, your cards, your encouragement, and your love,” he wrote, saying that the support “made all the difference over these past weeks and ultimately made it possible for me to defy all odds and turn the corner toward restored health.” [Forward]
JEWISH PASTIME – KVETCHING: Richard Ferrer – Why Israel Must Reach Out to the Jewish Media: “Despite star turns from Benjamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres, the loudest spontaneous applause at last week’s Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem was bestowed on a panelist who accused Israel of ignoring the Jewish media.. The dissenting voice was that of fellow British delegate Jenni Frazer, who noted with irritation that Israeli government ministries rarely return calls or answer emails from Jewish newspapers or websites.. [Algemeiner] Related: Gary Rosenblatt – Jewish journalists plead with Israeli government not to treat them like PR operatives: “… There was no time built into the schedule to allow the participants to get to know each other and discuss and compare the challenges they face in their communities. (Judging from questions posed at the sessions, the French journalists were deeply concerned about growing anti-Semitism at home and the lack of attention to it elsewhere.) And compounding the problem, there were no translators on hand — all sessions were in English — and many of the journalists from Eastern Europe and South America felt out of touch…”[Jewish Week]
JOKE’S ON YOU! – Nazis’ ‘perfect Aryan’ baby was Jewish: “Hessy Taft, who was 6 months old when the picture was taken, found out about the photograph after an aunt recognized her on a postcard. But apparently the Nazis had no idea that the precious baby they deemed the “perfect Aryan” was actually a descendant of the House of David… when her parents found out that the Nazis had thrown her picture on a cover of Sonne ins Hause, a major Nazi family magazine… they angrily confronted the photographer, Hans Ballin, asking for an explanation. But, unbeknownst to her parents and the Nazis, Ballin had known that Hessy was Jewish, and submitted the photo to the most beautiful Aryan baby contest on purpose.“I wanted to make the Nazis ridiculous,” he told Hessy… “I can laugh about it now,” Taft told Germany’s Bild newspaper. “But if the Nazis had known who I really was, I wouldn’t be alive.”[NYPost]
That’s all folks, have a great Thursday!
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