President Obama today.(Brendan Hoffman-Pool/Getty Image)

• The U.S. State Department upgraded the status of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s diplomatic mission, bringing it to the level it enjoys in Canada and most European nations. [Haaretz]

• Longtime JTA Executive Editor and Publisher Mark J. Joffe is stepping down. A big mazel tov to his replacement, current Editor-in-Chief Ami Eden. [JTA]

• After waffling, writes Aluf Benn, the Obama administration has determined that the old Mideast fundamentals—containing Iran, securing oil, etc.—indeed make Israel “a vital ally.” [Haaretz]

• And the Obama administration (and other national Democratic politicians) have the talking points to get that message out. [Laura Rozen]

• An interesting survey on responses to the Rotem Bill, from the Orthodox newspaper of Long Island’s Five Towns. [The Jewish Star]

• Wish I was going to “Jewstock,” on Bank Lake, north of Budapest, in a couple weeks. [JTA]

Heeb dug up this Milton Berle cameo from a 1984 episode of Diff’rent Strokes: