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• “No government in the world [kills] its people unless it is led by a crazy person,” Syrian President Assad told Barbara Walters, denying that he ordered all the deaths going on in his country. [AP/Vos Iz Neias?]

• Hassan Nasrallah, Hezbollah’s reclusive leader, made a rare public appearance to endorse Assad. [NYT]

• Meanwhile Hamas quietly and quickly is moving its staff out of Damascus. [WSJ]

• As the Republican Jewish Coalition candidates forum begins, it’s notable that Israel and Iran have been Republicans’ main foreign policy front against President Obama. [NYT]

• The notorious NGO funding bill likely won’t withstand court scrutiny, Israel’s attorney general informed Prime Minister Netanyahu. [AP/WP]

• Ben Smith reports that certain Democratic groups are trying to push the Israel conversation farther to the left. [Politico]





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