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President Obama yesterday.(Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images)

• The whole wide world—but especially the Mideast—will be watching President Obama’s speech this morning. [NYT]

• Obama has been warned that his tough stance on Israel from the outset could very well hurt him with important Jewish donors. Reportedly, one thing that would be a nice salve is a trip to Israel. [WSJ]

• Defense Minister Ehud Barak publicly urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to offer a “daring” peace plan and admitted Israel lacks a “sense of direction.” [LAT]

• The Obama administration finally levied (mostly symbolic) sanctions on President Assad and six other senior Syrian officials. Assad claimed it was doing this to serve the interests of … Israel. So yes it’s possible Israel is being scapegoated. [AP/WP]

• Dominique Strauss-Kahn resigns as head of the IMF. Wait—he hadn’t already?! [NYT]

• Jackson Diehl comes down hard on President Abbas for allying with Hamas—“Abbas blew up four years of U.S.-sponsored institution building, relative peace and growing prosperity in the West Bank”—and says we are too hard on Bibi. [WP]





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