Israel is often divided between internal scandals and regional problems, and this week was no exception. A brawl between a mob of Jewish teenagers and several Arabs in Jerusalem's Zion Square, described by the Israeli media as a lynch, was noted in a "lynching victim" headline in The Jerusalem Post on Thursday. The Post's editorial condemned the incident.

At the same time President Shimon Peres caused some controversy earlier in the week with statements about a possible strike on Iran. The comments came amid a background of numerous authors and academics who have demanded further oversight over a strike. Prof. Elihu Richter condemned the president’s inaction in an open letter.

The region, i.e Iran, competes with the beating of several men. One existential and the other also presented as existential, for if society cannot solve its violence and problems of ethnic discord, how can it confront a nuclear armed state?

In the region, Ayman Jawad al-Tamimi wrote about the continuing violence in Iraq, reminding us that the US invasion of Iraq in 2003 was predicated on the “freedom agenda” of various neo-cons in the Bush II administration. Iraq was meant to be carved out as a democratic ally of the US. In an important interview with Elliot Abrams, Daniel Tauber wrote about the fate of that agenda.

Gordon Bardos reminded us that militant Islamism is still thriving in the Balkans. He sketched the roots of this issue as going back to the 1990s, when various Mijahadin entered the region to fight on the side of the Bosnians. Alison Goldberg reminded us that not all is black clouds from South Africa; there are black African leaders there who support Israel. This came on the heels of various outrageous anti-Israel statements by African National Congress members and the decision, apparently to label goods made in the West Bank as "made in Palestine."

Closer to home Jonathan Schanzer wrote about how Hamas is now perceived as deeply corrupt. This is an irony, since the Islamic movement garnered so many votes vis-à-vis Fatah in 2005 because it was seen as more simple and clean, even if voters didn’t agree with its ideology.

Shuel Sandler and Efraim Inbar of the BESA center, argued in a well written and timely op-ed that Israel’s left is fading away and that it has replaced political power with a new dogma, namely the need to “save Israel from itself.” At the same time Dov Lipman reminded us that Israel must not rest on her academic laurels, as the state of education in the country is greatly lacking.

Our columnists were outraged at the media’s treatment of the Iran issue. Eli Pollak, Yisrael Medad and Isi Leibler all reminded readers that there is “too much chatter” on the Iran issue by irresponsible politicians and media personalities speculating on things they don’t know about. At the same time Gershon Baskin wrote an op-ed urging US President Barack Obama to stop Israel from bombing Iran.

On Thursday Ehab Abou Housein contributed a visual essay on the nature of beauty, a subject that certainly inspires much thought; Umberto Eco even wrote a "history of beauty." So we go into a new week on a pleasant note, ruminating on the nature of beauty and the diverse types of it in the country.

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