Jun
24

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Daily Kickoff: BREXIT Reactions | Israeli Court Rejects Conversion by Ivanka Trump’s Rabbi | Howard & Lottie Marcus donate $400M to Israel’s BGU Negev

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BREXIT: A majority of British voters chose to leave the European Union on Thursday. According to the final results, the UK voted 52% for leave, 48% for remain. The British pound immediately fell 9 percent against the dollar, hitting its lowest level in three decades. Speaking outside 10 Downing Street Friday morning, Prime Minister David Cameron announced his resignation. “I think the country requires fresh leadership,” he said. “I do not think I can be the captain to take the country to its next destination.” Cameron will step down after the Conservative Party chooses a new leader in October.

Boris Johnson, the former London Mayor who supported Brexit, is now a leading candidate to succeed Cameron. UKIP leader Nigel Farage – who has campaigned for the past 20 years for Britain to leave the EU – hailed it as the UK’s “independence day.” The White House issued a statement saying President Obama has been briefed on the incoming returns, and he will continue to be updated by his team as the situation warrants. The President plans to speak to PM Cameron today.

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: A week and a half ago, at the weekly joint meeting of the Israeli government, housing minister Yoav Galant (of the centrist Kulanu party) proposed ​that ​the Bank of Israel brief all the ministers who have economic portfolios about the possible effects of a British decision to break with the EU. Prime ​M​inister Neta​n​yahu replied that it was a “good idea,” and another very senior cabinet member mumbled​,​ “let’s just hope it doesn’t happen.” ​In the ten days that have passed since that​ dialogue​​, no discussion was arranged. Israel, like many other world countries, foun​d​ itself ​slightly unprepared ​for the shocking news from Britain.

To add to the fear of a new economic crisis that would harm Israel’s economy (the EU is Israel’s most important trade partner), there is also genuine sorrow in Jerus​alem​ about the resignation of British PM Cameron, who was considered a good friend of Israel, despite disagreements on the nuclear deal with Iran and on the Palestinian issue. Government ministers and members of Knesset thanked him for his friendship. Avi Dic​ht​er (Likud), head of the Knesset’s ​Security and ​Fo​reign ​Affairs Committee​ added that​ “I hope his connection to Israel will last for many more years, and I’m confident the future leadership of Britain will continue to support Israel.”

Meanwhile, opposition leader Isaac Herzog is visiting London today, to attend a memorial event for the late Lord George Weidenfeld, who was a family friend of the Hezogs. He will be the first high-ranking Israeli official​ ​to meet British political leaders in the aftermath of the vote, and will probably report back some of what he hears to his political opponents in the government. ​It will be interesting to see if political disagreements can be set aside at this moment of crisis.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon told an Israeli radio station that the UK leaving the EU will result in difficulties for Israel since Britain as a good friend of Israel had influence over EU decision-making.

Michael Eisenberg writes… ”The world is quickly breaking down into Progressives and Culturalists. The progressives see the world as flat, equal, all the same, connected, global, multi-cultural and peaceful. The Culturalists want to preserve the culture they grew up with and associate with. They think that there are differences between people; there are still threats in the world, tradition matters and religion (for the most part) as well. What we should worry about is the stark differences between these two camps.”[Medium]

Bill Kristol tweets: “Polls consistently underestimating right-wing support — Cameron & Bibi, now Brexit. So if polls show Clinton up 5, could Trump be even?” [Twitter]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “John Kerry to launch new bid for Israeli-Palestinian talks” by Elise Labott: “Secretary of State John Kerry plans to make a last-ditch effort this weekend to convince Israel to restart stalled peace talks before President Barack Obama leaves office, CNN has learned. The bid, which will occur at a meeting Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Rome. ”The secretary is going to explore whether he can move Netanyahu to yes on negotiations over a two-state solution,” one senior State Department official said. “We don’t know if we are going to get there.” [CNN]

“Mahmoud Abbas Claims Rabbis Urged Israel to Poison Palestinians’ Water” by Diaa Hadid: ”Echoing anti-Semitic claims that led to the mass killings of European Jews in medieval times, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority accused rabbis in Israel of calling on their government to poison the water used by Palestinians. He made the unsubstantiated allegation during a speech to the European Parliament on Thursday.” [NYTimesReuters]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Itzhak Perlman received the Genesis Prize at the Jerusalem Theatre in Jerusalem last night. He joked that it is truly the “Jewish Nobel,” because the recipient is immediately expected to use the award’s dollars for tzedakah. Helen Mirren emceed the event and regaled the crowd with stories of her time on a kibbutz near the Golan Heights just after the Six Day War.

SPOTTED: Prime Minister Benjamin and Sara Netanyahu, Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein and Irina Nevzlin, Natan Sharansky, Michael Fridman, Stan and Erina Polovets, Jill Weber Smith, Zvika Hauser, Hillel’s Yasha Moz, Alan Gill, Angelica Berrie, Lynn Schusterman, David Gappell, Sandy Cardin, Lisa Eisen, Justin Korda, Daniel Bonner, Andres Spokoiny, Andy Borans, Jay Feldman, Eric Fingerhut, Jeremy Moskowitz, Sheila Katz, Mordy Walfish, Avi Mayer, Shalom Lipner, German Kahn, Peter Aven, Ron Prosor, Avraham Infeld, Peter Aven, David Keyes, Myka and David Cygielman, Rivka Kidron, Cary Summers, Eli Groner, Danny Gillerman, Ilia Salita.

TOP TALKER: “Israeli Court Rejects Conversion by Rabbi Who Wed Ivanka Trump” by Isabel Kershner: ”Critics of Israel’s chief rabbinate have long complained that scores of American converts to Judaism have trouble getting approval to marry in Israel. Now, one such case with a celebrity connection could break open the rabbinate’s longstanding secrecy over which foreign rabbis are approved to conduct conversions. The case raises the question of whether Ivanka Trump… would be accepted as Jewish herself in all quarters in Israel.” [NYTimes]

2016 RoundUp by Jacob Kornbluh – On his way to attend a ribbon cutting ceremony at his golf course in Scotland, Donald Trump announced he has fully depleted the nearly $50 million dollars he loaned to his campaign “in order to Make America Great Again.” Steve Mnuchin told CNBC Trump raised about $10 million at fundraising events and another $6 million through online donations since Tuesday. Nathan Guttman asks: where is Sheldon Adelson’s promised cash? Lisa Spies tells The Forward that Trump has yet to establish a Jewish outreach operation that could work with Jewish donors and, more importantly, has not yet reached out personally to top Jewish donors to ask for their funding. • “The country is ready to vote for him, if he doesn’t blow it,” Giuliani told The Jerusalem Post during a visit to Israel. • Marco Rubio, appearing on CNN, defended his support of Trump, saying that one of his issues with Clinton are that “she continues to believe the deal with Iran is a good idea.

Trump’s Israel advisor David Friedman tells Haaretz that he “expects” Trump would support Israel’s annexing parts of the West Bank. Friedman also revealed that as part of his job he has already met with Israeli government representatives in Jerusalem.

In an interview with Jewish Insider, Friedman clarified his comments: “My reference to the annexation of the West Bank was to those areas which all sides have agreed would be part of Israel under any circumstances. They are predominantly if not exclusively inhabited by Jews, most of whom work inside the Green Line. My expectation is that if no agreement is reached by the parties, these areas (and perhaps others) will eventually be annexed by Israel. While I have not dealt with Mr. Trump on this specific issue, I think he would agree. Assuming no progress is made and Israel is unable to find a peace partner and Israel determined to unilaterally annex places like the Gush with a commitment to continue to explore opportunities for peace, I don’t think Mr. Trump would object.” [JewishInsider]

Despite Bernie indicating he gave up, Sanders, Clinton appointees issue joint call for changes to Dem platform on Israel: “Some have speculated about divisions within our party over the future of American foreign policy in the Middle East. The truth is that when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, we’re on the exact same page,” Reps. Keith Ellison and Luis Gutierrez said in an email sent out by J Street on Thursday. “This view is not controversial. And we’re certainly not the only ones who feel this way.” [JewishInsider]

From one of the more than a dozen pro-Israel Dems who received a call from the HRC campaign yesterday, but who refused to speak on the record about a private call: “Every time J Street does this they’re making an in-kind donation to the Donald Trump campaign. J Street needs to stop convincing members of Congress that they’re doing the right thing by preemptively rejecting what will be the most progressive Democratic platform in history. Luis [Gutierrez] made a mistake here and he’ll have to fix it, but Jeremy [Ben-Ami] and his board should have known better. If Trump wins because of this, J Street will never be forgiven.”

Alan Abbey tells us: “Both the Democrat and Republican parties are facing pressure from their farthest edges regarding statements on Israel. On the one hand, this is a healthy move. Such positions are regular features of domestic Israeli debate, and no true friend of Israel should be concerned over healthy, honest disagreements. Even if the more extreme positions get chiseled into the respective platforms, an unlikely possibility, their presence will only harden already-held positions. Democratic Party supporters of Israel are not going to jump ship to Donald Trump over a few line items in the party platform, nor will Republicans who believe in a two-state solution migrate to Hillary Clinton for that alone. If the two presumptive candidates were closer in appeal and tone, perhaps wedge issues such as Israel could sway votes.”

“Republicans: We Don’t Want To Work For President Trump. But Someone Has To” by Jessica Schulberg: “Mitchell Reiss described Trump as “intellectually and temperamentally unqualified to become president. But should he become president, I do think that nobody should reflexively eliminate the option of working in a Trump administration,” Reiss continued. “You have to do what’s best for the country.” [HuffPost]

Dov Zakheim tells us: “I think what they are doing is basically looking for jobs. Trump has not shown the slightest inclination to follow anybody’s advice except for his immediate family and whoever works for his enterprises. Sure, let’s see – were he to get elected and were he to put together a cabinet, whether he would listen to advice. But the president we have today doesn’t listen to much advice other than his immediate circle. How do we know it will be different with Trump? For somebody who signed the letter, all of a sudden to say, ‘Well if he’s elected and in the national interest I am going to go and serve the country,’ it rings a little bit hollow. If he demonstrates real change, which I don’t believe he will, that’s maybe a different story.”

“Prominent GOP Neoconservative to Fundraise for Hillary Clinton” by John Hudson: “Robert Kagan, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, will speak at a Hillary for America fundraiser in Washington’s Logan Circle neighborhood on July 21.” [ForeignPolicy]

“Don’t Mess With Neera Tanden, Hillary’s Twitter-Loving, Self-Appointed Secretary of Defense” by Jason Zengerle: ”A longtime supporter of and advisor to Hillary Clinton, Neera Tanden is expected by many to play a key role in any future Clinton administration—maybe even as Hillary’s White House Chief of Staff. In the meantime, she’s taken on a self-appointed role as one of Clinton’s most pugnacious defenders on Twitter.” [GQ]

**Good Friday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Boeing’s historic deal with Iran rests on shaky foundations [AP• Barry Sternlicht’s Starwood Capital looks to sell all three 1 Hotels properties; valued at $800M [RealDeal] •  Heshy Jacob, Last of the Lower East Side Power Brokers, Dies at 71 [Forward] • A conversation with Menin Hospitality’s Keith Menin [RealDeal] • How will Israeli innovation play into the global robotics industry? [TechCrunch]

STARTUP NATION: “TechCrunch Comes to Tel Aviv, hosts Meet-Up” by Jack Brook: “Kobi Marenko had been waiting a year for the sixty seconds when he would publicly unveil his new company, Arbe Robotics, at the first ever Israeli TechCrunch Meet-Up and Pitch-Off in Tel Aviv on Wednesday night. Marenko, one of ten entrepreneurs selected from a pool of 150 applicants to pitch his company in under a minute, walked confidently on stage, carrying a regular drone in one hand and a small radar device in the other. “Here is a groundbreaking radar, the first made for drones,” he said, addressing a panel of TechCrunch editors. “It can see obstacles 200 meters [away], in 360 degrees, and offers us the ability to see cables of electricity, cranes, trees, things that are not mapped. With this technology, Amazon can deliver goods inside a crowded city without being afraid of crashes.” [JPost]

“After Fleeing the Nazis, a Legacy That Won’t Run Dry” by Seth Siegel: ”How does one overcome almost unimaginable horror and trauma? For Holocaust survivors Howard and Lottie Marcus, the healing came, in part, from the hope that they could help to provide refuge for other Jews who might find themselves at risk. But after restarting their broken lives in America, this modest couple could never have imagined that they would end up giving what is likely the largest single charitable gift in Israel’s history—$400 million—to be announced June 24.” [WSJ]

DESSERT — “The Blond” by Nicolas Niarchos: “The Blond, created by the restaurant-and-property baron Aby Rosen, is apparently the season’s new “it” bar for the in crowd. The entrance smells aggressively of cologne; the path to the bathroom is lined with vaguely suggestive art work hung Petersburg-style.”[NewYorker]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Former Israeli Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon turns 66… Steven Mitzner … Peter Grossman… South African businessman and philanthropist, now living in London, Sir Donald Gordon turns 86… Former Secretary of Labor (1993-97), author and professor at UC Berkeley, Robert Reich turns 70… Singer and songwriter Ariel Pink, born Ariel Marcus Rosenberg, turns 38… Washington Institute’s Ronie Gazit (h/t Ian Byrne)…

Mora Segal… CNN’s Betsy Klein… Nobel Prize laureate in Physics, affiliated with the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois, Alexei Alexeyevich Abrikosov turns 88… Chef, author and CNN host, Anthony Bourdain turns 60… Isaac Snyder… Sheldon Sandler… Helen Chernikoff… Once the wealthiest of all Russian oligarchs, then a prisoner in Russia and now living in exile in Switzerland, Mikhail Khodorkovsky turns 53… Founder of Reut Gidi Grinstein… Asher Mayerson… Long time play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants, Hank Greenwald turns 81…

**Join us for Friday Night in Aspen: On July 1st, Jewish Insider will host a Friday Night Dinner, nourished by OneTable, on the sidelines of the Aspen Ideas Festival in downtown Aspen. The dinner will feature a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Julia Ioffe along with an upscale Israeli/California wine tasting courtesy of our weekly wine columnist Yitz Applbaum. Details and request for invitation here**

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Jun
23

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Daily Kickoff: Boeing’s Man Who Pushed For Deal With Iran | Meet Biotech CEO Rachel Haurwitz | Israel’s $1B railway to boost business with neighbors

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FIRST LOOK — Israel’s first F-35 unveiled at Lockheed Martin: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and an IAF delegation welcomed the first of thirty three F-35 fighter jets at a Lockheed Martin factory in Fort Worth, Texas. Thanking President Obama, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Congress, Lieberman stressed the special bond shared by Israel and America, despite “some disagreements, some disputes, with the U.S. on the political level regarding some solutions with our neighbors.” U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro, cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi, Texas Governor Greg Abbott and Texas House Rep. Craig Goldman were present as well.

“Obama Wants to Stop Subsidizing Israel’s Defense Industry” by Eli Lake: ”President Barack Obama is now looking to end this U.S. subsidy of Israel’s defense sector, according to U.S. and Israeli officials. They say the “offshore procurement” provision, unique to Israel’s aid package, is one of the last obstacles to completing an agreement to extend aid until 2029. Obama would like to phase out the agreement that allows Israel to spend 26 percent of U.S. annual aid at home. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, so far, disagrees.”

“Former Israeli ambassador to Washington Michael Oren, has urged Netanyahu to go slow. Elliott Abrams told me he agrees with Oren. “If you do it this year, you will give Obama a talking point for why he is the best person for Israeli security, ever,” he said. “And Obama will misuse that in his last months in office to produce his parameters for the peace talks.” Abrams has a point. Obama has been doing this since he came into office.” [BloombergView]

Peres slams Israeli critics of Obama: It wouldn’t hurt us to say thank you: ”Yesterday was a very important day in the history of Israel,” Peres stated. “The United States handed over to us one of the best planes in the world. The F-35, which will add great power to our air force.” Peres said that at times like these, “We must stand up and say thank you to the United States and to US President Barack Obama, who granted us what America has not granted to any other nation.” [JPost]

“Baratz appointed to PM’s PR chief through roundabout appointment” by Itamar Eichner:“Netanyahu has found a solution to circumvent an obstacle which has brought about the rejection of Dr. Ran Baratz’s appointment as head of public diplomacy in the Prime Minister’s Office by the Civil Service Commission. Baratz was instead appointed to be a senior consultant in the PMO, and will receive 95 percent of a full director general’s salary. In essence, Baratz will be conducting the same duties which fell under his purview in the role previously intended for him: formulating PR strategy, writing speeches, and assembling briefings.” [YNetNews]

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: A rare, semi-historic make-up meeting occurred last night, as Naftali Bennett, leader of the Jewish Home party, arrived at the home of Rabbi Shalom Cohen, the spiritual leader of the Orthodox Shas Party to pay his condolences for the passing of Cohen’s wife earlier this week. Three years ago, Cohen described the leadership of the national-religious sector in Israel, including Bennett, as “Amalek,” the biggest biblical enemy of the Jewish people. “Are these people even Jews?” he asked at the time in a sermon, fueling existing tensions between the national religious and Orthodox publics.

At the time, Bennett was engaged in a political “bromance” with Yair Lapid, who ran on an anti-Haredi platform, sparking rage and anger from Shas and UTJ. But in recent months, Bennett has turned the page, forging a warm alliance with Yaakov Litzman, health minister and UTJ head. The two have been cooperating on legislative issues. Bennett’s first meeting with Rabbi Cohen since entering the political scene is another sign of this new reality. “I love all Jews. Certainly that includes the national-religious community. Even if at times what I said sounded harsh, it’s coming from love,” Cohen told Bennett.

DEEP DIVE: “Boeing’s Man Pushed for the Iran Nuclear Deal—and Now the Company Is Selling $25 Billion Worth of Planes to Tehran” by Betsy Woodruff: “The American aerospace giant isn’t exactly publicizing the fact that it paid a lobbying firm to “monitor” the nuclear agreement that made its $25 billion sale to Tehran possible. Or that Boeing has on its payroll a former top Clinton administration official who used his clout to garner support in the corridors of powers for the Iran deal. Thomas Pickering, one of the country’s most respected diplomats and a former ambassador to Israel and the United Nations, has been quietly taking money from Boeing while vocally supporting the Iran nuclear deal.” [DailyBeast]

2016 RoundUp — by Jacob Kornbluh: Seeking to reboot his campaign, Donald Trump launched a blistering attack on Hillary Clinton’s record and character, slamming her as a “world class liar” who raked in personal profits from her tenure at the State Department. Asserting that Israel has been mistreated by the Obama administration, Trump added, “Thanks to Hillary Clinton, Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East, and on the road to nuclear weapons,” whereas before she came into office, “Iran was being choked by sanctions.” Trump’s advisor David Friedman, speaking to Channel 2 News, vowed that Trump would increase military aid should MOU negotiations with the Obama administration hit a wall. Clinton responded by calling his remarks “outlandish lies and conspiracy theories.” Speaking in North Carolina, Clinton outlined her own economic plan as an alternative to Trump’s “reckless ideas that will run up our debt and cause another economic crash.”

Ari Fleischer: “Finally. Trump gives powerful well-delivered take down on what’s wrong w Hillary. Parts were uplifting. Parts were tough. Finally. Well done.” [Twitter]

Chemi Shalev: “This was Trump at his “presidential” best, the one that is supposed to extricate his campaign from the deep morass that he sunk it in.. The main problem is that the man who took to the podium in New York on Wednesday wasn’t really Trump.” [Haaretz]

“Meet Jared Kushner” by Jane C. Timm: “Donald Trump’s speech Wednesday attacking rival Hillary Clinton and the corresponding website LyingCrookedHillary.com was the brainchild of an unlikely adviser: son-in-law Jared Kushner.” [NBCNews]

INBOX – Prominent, Bipartisan Group of Business Leaders Endorse Hillary Clinton for President: Names include Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff, IAC’s Barry Diller, Qualcomm’s Irwin Jacobs and Paul Jacobs, Box CEO Aaron Levie, Westfield CEO Peter Lowy, Rebecca Minkoff, Zynga Co-Founder Mark Pincus, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, and 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki.

Meanwhile, Bernie Sanders appears to be close to conceding defeat to Hillary Clinton. “It doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee,” Sanders said during a taped C-SPAN interview. Sanders is expected to address supporters on “where we go from here” in New York today. His spokesman Michael Briggs said the speech will not include a concession but will address the kinds of policies Sanders will push the party to enact.

**Good Thursday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: U.S. Investigates Credit Suisse Over Possible Client Tax Evasion at Israeli Unit [WSJ] • Gas Explorers Begin Work to Develop Israel’s Leviathan Field [Bloomberg] • Traders set to act after vote on Brexit [FinancialTimes] • Kraft’s plan for a Dorchester soccer stadium faces stiff competition [BostonGlobe• Chetrit’s $1B mixed-use Miami River project to launch sales this summer [RealDeal• Tel Aviv-based Kwik raises $3 million to take on Amazon Dash buttons [TechCrunch]

BREXIT — “Big Lie: That Voting ‘Leave’ Is Bad for Israel” by Seth Lipsky: ”If Europe is so hostile to Israel as U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron insists it is, why would any friend of the Jewish state want to be part of the EU in the first place?” [Haaretz]

SPOTLIGHT: “Israel Builds Railway in Hope of Boosting Commerce With Arab Neighbors” by Orr Hirschauge and Rory Jones: ”More than a hundred years ago, the Ottoman Empire built a railway line that shuttled goods on steam locomotives from the Mediterranean Sea to the souks of Damascus and the Saudi holy city of Medina. Now Israel is poised to open new tracks tracing the old line between the port city of Haifa and a terminal 5 miles short of the Jordanian border. The effort is a bid to boost moribund commerce with the country’s Arab neighbors. But they have officially given the project a frosty reception, hampering its prospects even as trade flourishes along the route.” [WSJ]

PROFILE: “At 31, she runs one of the hottest biotech companies in the country” by Andrew Joseph: “The question on the test was about CRISPR, but Rachel Haurwitz, then a graduate student at the University of California, Berkeley, botched it. She had never heard the term. Less than a decade later, Haurwitz is the CEO of Caribou Biosciences, one of the leading companies pursuing commercial applications of CRISPR, a remarkable gene-editing tool that could help scientists develop new medical treatments and advance other industries.” [StatNewsh/t ReDef

MEDIA WATCH: “Alice Rogoff’s Alaskan news empire faces legal woes” by Emily Heil: ”No one said being a media mogul was easy. Alice Rogoff, the wife of Washington-based billionaire financier David Rubenstein, is facing legal and business challenges in her improbable quest to build a news empire in Alaska. She’s being sued by a former lieutenant, who claimed in a court filing last week that he is owed more than $1 million. (Weird detail: The contract he cites was drawn up on a cocktail napkin in pen.)” [WashPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Rabbi Rules Against Top Kosher Restaurateur” by Hannah Dreyfus:“Rabbi Hershel Schachter, a Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshiva University and a renowned halachic authority in the broader Orthodox world, announced in a ruling dated June 14 that restaurateur Joseph Allaham owes the synagogue “at least $1,473,286.” The synagogue’s total claim against Allaham was $1.9 million.” [JewishWeek]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Tunisia’s last Jewish community dream of a move to Israel ‘en masse’” by Daniella Cheslow: “Cracked tombstones litter the cemetery behind Djerba’s Great Synagogue, but it was not vandals who broke them. Hundreds of Jewish families have moved away from this Tunisian island community in the past five decades, digging up their relatives’ remains to take with them and leaving only the slabs of marble behind… This flight of the dead foreshadows a bleak future for the Jews of Djerba, who trace their arrival on this North African island to more than two millennia ago, after the sacking of the First Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BC.” [TheGuardian]

“You Should Know… Rachel Giattino” by Jared Feldschreiber: “Rachel Giattino is a millennial leader, and a productive one at that. Giattino was hired in August 2012 as the first paid employee of Gather the Jews, a Washington organization that gives people in their 20s and 30s information about local events. Through her contacts there, she landed her current position as program officer at the Emanuel J. Friedman Philanthropies in Washington.” [WashingtonJewishWeek]

BIRTHDAYS: Music Director of the Metropolitan Opera, for 40 years, the grandson of a synagogue cantor, James Levine turns 73… Actress, singer Marielle Jaffe turns 27… Real estate developer and co-founder of Tishman Speyer, Jerry Speyer turns 76… President & CEO of Amplify Public Affairs, Robin Strongin… Josh Lauder… Yale Strom…

**Join us for Friday Night in Aspen: On July 1st, Jewish Insider will host a Friday Night Dinner, nourished by OneTable, on the sidelines of the Aspen Ideas Festival in downtown Aspen. The dinner will feature a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Julia Ioffe along with an upscale Israeli/California wine tasting courtesy of our weekly wine columnist Yitz Applbaum. Details and request for invitation here**

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]
Jun
22

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Daily Kickoff: Boeing signs deal with Iran | Start-Up Nation Slowing Down? | Arnon Milchan on the movie business, Shimon Peres & Israel | Casspi BDay

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IRAN DEAL: “Boeing Signs Deal to Sell Jets to Iran’s State Airline” by Robert Wall: ”Boeing Co. Tuesday said it had signed a tentative agreement to sell jetliners to Iran, in what would be one of the Islamic Republic’s biggest deals with a U.S. manufacturer since trade sanctions on Tehran were eased. The proposed agreement, which drew swift opposition from those concerned about business dealings with Iran, comes after months of talks between Boeing and Iran Air.” [WSJNYTimes]

State Department’s John Kirby: “I can tell you that the State Department welcomes Boeing’s announcement of this deal with Iran Air, which involves the type of permissible business activity envisioned in the JCPOA. Boeing has been in close contact with the State Department regarding this deal.”[Transcript]

FDD’s Emanuele Ottolenghi writes in The Hill: ”Beyond the risks that their planes could be used by Iranian entities to support Assad or perhaps other brutal regimes, there are financial risks involved in these deals, including the threat of lawsuits from attorneys trying to collect $50 billion of outstanding judgments for victims of Iranian terrorism. These could create reputational nightmares, if not costly legal battles. For Boeing and others associated with this deal, the risks may very well outweigh the rewards.” [TheHill]

“Trump Slams Clinton Over Boeing Deal with Iran” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, would not have been allowed to enter into these negotiations with Boeing without Clinton’s disastrous Iran Nuclear Deal,” the Trump campaign said in a news release. “This is another example of Clinton’s pay-to-play governing style. She will cut deals with our foreign adversaries as long as they are willing to line her pockets.” [JewishInsider]

2016 ROUNDUP — by Jacob Kornbluh: Trump met yesterday with more than 1000 conservative Christian and evangelical leaders, where he fielded questions about faith, social issues, and Israel. He “vigorously defended Israel” and said, “I can’t imagine that Bibi likes Obama so much,” according to Breitbart News. “I’m 100 percent for Israel,¨ Trump told the evangelical crowd. Gary Bauer, who supported Cruz, told Politico he is planning a more formal endorsement in the coming weeks.

Outside the venue, dozens protested Trump’s campaign rhetoric in a vigil organized by Bend the Arc Action. Following the event, the Trump campaign released a list of people named to his evangelical executive advisory board, including former Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. The presumptive Republican nominee also shrugged off his campaign funding lag and announced new hires to expand campaign operations. Citing his personal wealth, Trump hinted he may self fund. Fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told GOP donors on a conference that Trump will double staff and “compete fiercely” in NY. Lewandowski also praised Sheldon Adelson.

Dan Senor to Charlie Rose: ”Donald Trump Has A Donald Trump Problem, Not A Corey Lewandowski Problem” [YouTube]

Donor Advice from Charlie & Lisa Spies: Charles Spies suggested Trump should invest between $100 to $200 million to jump-start his campaign and win over big donors. His wife, Lisa, said Trump should start reaching out directly to donors. “No donors that I deal with — and I deal with national Jewish and women donors — none of them has gotten a phone call. None. Not one,” Lisa Spies told The Washington Post. “To raise money, you have to ask for money. It’s that simple.”

PLATFORM DEBATE: “Are Republicans Facing a Nasty Platform Battle of Their Own Over Israel?” by Nathan Guttman: ”The Iron Dome Alliance, a new fundraising organization whose name pays tribute to Israel’s mobile rocket defense system, is leading the Republican charge to change their party’s stance on the two-state solution: one for Israelis, one for Palestinians. The party supports it, albeit cautiously; the Iron Dome Alliance wants to leave the question of Israel’s security entirely in Israel’s hands.” [Forward]

“In defeat, Sanders begins changing the Democratic Party” by Dave Weigel: “Sanders’ allies on the drafting platform committee have struggled to get the party to endorse new language on Israel’s relationship with the Palestinians. But in conversations with Clinton delegates, there have been reasons for optimism on the rest of the Sanders policy planks — Medicare for all, for example — and on reform of superdelegates.” [WashPost]

Former Rep. Henry Waxman emails… “Those who litigate the particulars of a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians by fighting for controversial language in the Democratic platform are severely misguided. Make no mistake: Inserting unnecessarily contentious changes to the platform would serve only to hurt our nominee in November and undermine the prospect of a two-state solution during the next administration.”

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The Knesset is sizzling ever since the beginning of the week over a secret document held by the Israeli police’s head of investigations department, which could turn into political dynamite: The document contains information about possible alleged criminal activities by each and every one of the 120 members of the Israeli parliament. The vast majority of these possible crimes were never officially investigated, making the document’s very existence very strange, and raising allegations by politicians that it was essentially an “extortion list” used against different politicians.

The document was first exposed by Israeli channel 10, and ever since, everyone in the Knesset is searching for rumors about its contents: who did what, where, when and with who else. However, according to recent reports, only one member of Knesset is actually listed in the document as an actual suspect – and that member just so happens to be minister of interior security, Gilad Erdan (Likud) who is responsible for the police. Erdan hasn’t responded to these reports, and it should be noted he has never been formally investigated by the police.

Besides the sheer joy of gossiping, the document raises real concerns about the fact that the police seem to have systematically been gathering information against the country’s legislators. Today, the chief of police, Roni Elsheikh, appointed by Erdan earlier this year (with strong backing by prime minister Netanyahu), will arrive at the Knesset to answer some tough questions about the affair. Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit denied any wrongdoing was done by the police, and reassured the public that any information about suspicions against politicians be directly transferred to his office before any further steps are taken.

**Good Wednesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI].  Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Patrick Drahi’s Altice Closes Buy of Cablevision: Altice USA is now the fourth-largest broadband provider in the U.S.” [WSJ] • “Salesforce also made a bid for LinkedIn, CEO Benioff confirms” [ReCode] • ”Israeli disaster recovery startup Zerto scores $20M in Series E follow-on” [GeekTime]

STARTUP NATION: “Israel Tech-Hub Status Hampered by Growth Slump, Talent Drought” by Gwen Ackerman: “Israel’s long-held status as a hotbed of tech innovation is under threat. Despite record venture capital investment last year in young technology companies, growth in the so-called “startup nation” is slowing… Alphabet Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt warned Israeli entrepreneurs and investors in Tel Aviv this month that Beijing and northern Europe were becoming “worthy competitors” for the title of “startup nation.” [Bloomberg]

SPOTLIGHT: “New York’s newest ride-hail app is feeding off drivers’ desperation” by Johana Bhuiyan: ”New York’s newest ride-hail app is everything drivers have ever wanted: A partner, a good listener and — just maybe — a steady stream of cash. the company has reserved one billion of the company’s shares for drivers and plans to issue 25 million shares per quarter depending on how much each person drives for Juno. The company, founded by Viber co-founder Talmon Marco who sold the company to Rakuten for $900 million, has also nabbed 10,000 square feet of office space on the 84th floor of One World Trade Center, where Marco is paying at least $750,000 for a year-long lease.” [ReCode]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: The UJA-Federation of New York honored Jerry W. Levin at their Banking and Finance Event at the Pierre in NYC. Outgoing Israeli Consul Gen. Ido Aharoni introduced Levin by likening him to a pillar. “Like a pillar, he’s always there, always calm, patient, doesn’t make a lot of noise and serves as a model to others.” Levin presented Aharoni with a Shinola watch from Detroit joking that “Ido has worked for the Israeli government for 25 years and there’s no way he can afford a house with enough walls to hang all the certificates he’s received at farewell parties in recent weeks.” Levin concluded, “I want to thank all the salmon that gave their life — whether baked, grilled or sushi — this UJA benefit season. We appreciate your dedication.” (laughter)

Spotted: Alisa & Dan Doctoroff, Eric Goldstein, Dan Arbess, Carol Levin, Yiddish Singer Elmore James, Gidi & Betty Grinstein, Mitchell Davidson, Chavie Kahn & Heshy Kofman, Michael Miller, John Shapiro, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Rabbi Marc Schneier, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, and Rabbi Shmuley Boteach.

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Indian State Grants Jews Minority Status” by Shefali Anand:“India’s Jews cheered after the Maharashtra state government on Tuesday granted them official status as a “minority” community. “It’s long overdue” given that Jews have been in India for more than 2000 years, said Erza Moses, managing trustee of the Shaar Hashamaim synagogue in Thane, a suburb of Mumbai.”[WSJ]

HOLLYWOOD: A Rare Interview With Megaproducer Arnon Milchan: What He Spent on ‘The Revenant’ and Why “the Movie Business Stinks” — by Stephen Galloway: “The movie business stinks. If somebody asked me, “What’s a good way to make money?” I would say, “Stay away from the movie business, period.” Take Revenant: You take the cost, you add P&A [prints and advertising] and the distribution fee — you have $300 million behind one movie. This past year we had Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip and Big Short and Aloha [and Unfinished Business], too — we had five movies out on the same day, almost. That’s $1.5 billion. All you pray is to break even or make a little bit. If I took all that money and put it in the bank, I’d make five times more, without risk. But I’m a junkie.”

So you still travel all the time? ”I love it. I follow the sun. Israelis and Jews like myself don’t like to be cold.” Besides Murdoch, who else do you admire? “I just talked to [former Israeli President] Shimon Peres, who’s 92. We were talking about some peace process, hopefully one day. I said, “It’s so depressing.” He said, “Don’t look down. If you never looked up to the sky, you’d have no chance to see the stars. Look at your shoes, you only see your shoes.” [HollywoodReporter]

BIRTHDAYS: Israeli born NBA player Omri Casspi turns 28… UJA President Alisa Doctoroff… Program director for the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Rafi M. Rone… United States Senator from California since 1992, Dianne Feinstein turns 83… UK judge, who chaired high profile hearings on ethics in the media, Sir Brian Henry Leveson turns 73…

**Join us for Friday Night in Aspen: On July 1st, Jewish Insider will host a Friday Night Dinner, nourished by OneTable, on the sidelines of the Aspen Ideas Festival in downtown Aspen. The dinner will feature a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Julia Ioffe along with an upscale Israeli/California wine tasting courtesy of our weekly wine columnist Yitz Applbaum. Details and request for invitation here**

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]
PHOTO: REUTERS

Advisor: Trump Would Support Israeli Annexation of Settlement Blocs

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Donald Trump, if elected as president in the fall, would likely support Israeli annexation of large settlement blocs in the West Bank if the stalemate in the peace…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Sanders, Clinton Appointees Issue Joint Call for Changes to Dem Platform on Israel

Thursday, June 23, 2016

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PHOTO: REUTERS

Trump Tells Evangelicals: Obama Has ‘Forsaken’ Israel

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Donald Trump pumped up his pro-Israel credentials in a meeting with more than 1000 conservative Christian and evangelical leaders in New York City on Tuesday. Fielding questions about…

via Twitter

Jewish Group Leads Anti-Trump Protests Nationwide

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Hundreds of Jewish activists, led by Bend the Arc Jewish Action, a Jewish social justice organization, gathered in vigils in cities across the nation as part of a…

NY13 – Wright Campaign Fires Staffer Who Tweeted Anti-Semitic Charge

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

NEW YORK – Congressional candidate Keith Wright told a TV audience on Monday that a staffer who posted a series of tweets sparking anti-Semitic charged accusations against one…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Poll of Israelis: Hillary Leads Trump 45-31

Friday, June 17, 2016

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