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• Israel and Egypt have been holding high-level, secret talks aimed at insuring that the democratically elected (and likely Islamist) future Egyptian government upholds the peace treaty. We know this from prime opposition leader Mohammed ElBaradei; it isn’t clear why he decided to disclose this besides wanting attention. [Haaretz]

• The United States is trying to articulate exactly which “red lines” would prompt a U.S. attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons program, in an effort to dissuade Israel from acting on its own. [The Daily Beast]

• A prominent Syrian activist in exile has called for humanitarian intervention. His request won’t be the last. [Yahoo! The Envoy]

• Photographer Lynsey Addario, who while pregnant was harassed at a Gaza checkpoint, gave birth this morning. [Twitter]

• Now we have the head of Iran’s navy mentioning that it would be really easy to close the Strait of Hormuz. Gulp. [AP/WP]

• In Brooklyn’s Hasidic enclaves, the Beit Shemesh conflict with the anti-women ultra-Orthodox is seen primarily as a shanda fur die Goyim. [Haaretz]

• The prominent Abstract Expressionist painter Helen Frankenthaler died at 83. [NYT]

• Hamas and Fatah are best friends again, unless you want to celebrate Fatah’s anniversary in Gaza, and then Hamas won’t let you. [JPost]

• A Tunisian-French Jew lobbies for Yad Vashem to include her savior as the first “righteous” person who is Arab. [NYT]

• Paul Berger continues his reporting on George Washington’s letter to the Rhode Island synagogue with a profile of the document’s reclusive owner, Richard Morgenstern. [Forward]

• Former yeshiva kid Brett Ratner led Hanukkah services for all the rich celebrities on St. Barts. [Page Six]

Maybe the most cogent explanation Matisyahu has offered yet for his sudden, recent change from being Hasidic. Hint: still a little confusing.





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