Netanyahu presiding over his weekly cabinet meeting yesterday.(Sebastian Scheiner - Pool/Getty Images)

• Prime Minister Netanyahu’s demand that Israel be recognized as a Jewish state is being questioned as a tactic on the Israeli side. [NYT]

• “Halt To Palestinian Peace Talks Could Become Permanent.” We’ve noticed! [WP]

• A former nuclear inspector reports that Syria should be under a higher level of inspection and that many of Iran’s centrifuges are not working to full capacity. [Haaretz]

• Iran is sidestepping many international sanctions with Chinese help. [LAT]

• Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Virginia)—due to become House Majority Leader if (when?) the Republicans take over the lower chamber—proposed separating Israeli aid from the foreign budget so that the budget could be opposed without threatening Israeli funds. [JTA]

• Sol Steinmetz, an etymologist whom William Safire once dubbed a “lexical supermaven,” died at 80. He edited an edition of Webster’s Dictionary, and his speciality was Yiddish; he was an ordained rabbi. [NYT]