• An all-star group of foreign policy thinkers from President Obama’s first-term team, including Thomas Pickering and Anne-Marie Slaughter, has issued a damning report of the White House’s Iran policy, warning that the sanctions-and-diplomacy strategy may be solidifying the Islamic Republic’s drive for nuclear weapons rather than discouraging it. [NYT]
• Obama’s new Secretary of State, John Kerry, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee at a hearing Wednesday that the president’s efforts to referee between the Israelis and the Palestinians hasn’t fared much better. “I believe the window for a two-state solution is shutting,” Kerry said. “I think we have some period of time: a year, a year and a half to two years—or it’s over.” [Politico]
• After months of debate in the wake of the Newtown shootings last winter, the Senate killed any new gun control legislation. Obama, at the White House, called the failure of reform “pretty shameful,” but former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords channeled the righteous outrage of many with a scathing op-ed in the New York Times. “Senators say they fear the N.R.A. and the gun lobby,” she writes. “But I think that fear must be nothing compared to the first the first-graders in Sandy Hook Elementary School felt.” [NYT]
• Thanks to an effort by Berlin’s central library to maintain an online catalogue of books seized from Jews by the Nazis, Peter Schweitzer, the leader of New York’s City Congregation for Humanistic Judaism, has now recovered an Alpine club periodical that once belonged to his great-grandfather. [Atlantic]
Allison Hoffman is a senior editor at Tablet Magazine. Her Twitter feed is @allisont_dc.