Sep
23

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Daily Kickoff: Hudson Institute Dinner Scene | Bibi compares Israel’s US & Russia relationships | Israel defeats Great Britain in Baseball Classic

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TOP TALKER: “Obama Kept Military Out of the Loop on Cash Payments to Iran” by Eli Lake: “Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry did not consult Secretary of Defense Ash Carter or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford. This news came out of a hearing Thursdaybefore the Senate Armed Services Committee. In response to a question from Republican Senator Ted Cruz about the cash payment to Iran, Carter made it clear that he had been out of the loop. “We weren’t involved in this,” Carter said.” [Bloomberg] • Top US general: ‘Troubling’ that Iran military will get US cash [TheHill]

“House votes to ban cash payments to Iran” by Pete Kasperowicz: “The bill, from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., is explicitly aimed at “prohibiting future ransom payments to Iran,” a move Royce said is needed to rein in the Obama administration and future governments.”It is not in the interest of the United States to have the regime have cold, hard cash,” Royce said during the floor debate on his bill.” [WashExaminer] • Paul Ryan accuses the Obama administration of coddling Iran [FoxNews]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the Hudson Institute’s 2016 Herman Kahn Award at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Roger Hertog, president of the Hertog Foundation and chairman of The Tikvah Fund, interviewed the Prime Minister for the packed crowd.

Netanyahu on Israel’s relationship with Russia and Putin: “I think Russia has variegated interests. The first interest is to make sure militant Islam does not penetrate and destabilize Russia. There are many many millions of Muslims in Russia, including in greater Moscow, I think it’s up to two million. And the concern that Russia has, which many countries have is that these populations would be radicalized. That explains what Putin is doing in Syria… The first thing is, block militant Islam at its source, especially the Daesh phenomenon. For that they make strange alliances. I have said to President Putin, the last thing we want to see … is Iranian weapons being transferred through Syrian territory to Hezbollah in Lebanon…”

“I said to Putin, about a year ago when he put his military forces in Syria. I said, ‘Look, this is our cost, these are my red lines. We have a choice. We can coordinate…’ I said, ‘We can actually have our forces shoot down each other’s planes… or we can avoid it.’ So, periodically, we have to sort of tighten the bolts, because not everything that is said at the top necessarily reaches the bottom levels, field levels. They do on the Israeli side, but they don’t necessarily always do so on the other side. So the second thing is we want to avoid a clash. What is Mr. Putin’s interest? He definitely doesn’t want that to happen. The third interest, I think, is he wants technology. He’s interested in technology… I think it is very important that we have this relationship.”

On the U.S.-Israel relationship: “I don’t think there’s an alternative to Israel’s tremendous alliance with the United States. We have flourishing relations with many countries around the world and those relationships are based on shared interests. With the United States, we certainly have shared interest. But it’s the one alliance we have, except for maybe one or two others, that is based on shared values. You can see the support of the American public for Israel. It’s up to 71 percent right now. I think the Palestinians get about 18 percent – it’s flat like an EKG of a dead person. We are going up, up and up. And I can tell you – and this may come as a shock – it’s gone up with my experience during the last year… This is the source of this tremendous alliance – it’s the identification of the American people that Israel is like the U.S. and the U.S is like Israel. This is a powerful alliance.”

From Hudson CEO Ken Weinstein’s remarks: “Usually, if it’s this time of night, on a late September evening, and I’m around a large number of Jews who’ve forked over good money for their seats, and Israel’s being discussed, there is usually a guy on the bimah, sporting a tallis and a kittel… And it ain’t me (laughter). Well, I’m pleased to note that there will be no Yom Kippur ashamnus this evening –  the Jewish equivalent of what Hudson VP Bill Luti calls the mea maxima culpa.”

SPOTTED — (better list would be who wasn’t there): Walter & Betsy Stern, Henry & Nancy Kisisnger, Amb Ron & Rhoda Dermer, Amb. Dan Shapiro, former Sen. Joe & Hadassah Lieberman, Gary Ginsberg, Elaine Chao, Steven & Tina Price, Steve & Leora Levy, Phil & Malki Rosen, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Amb. Danny Danon, Consul Gen. Dani Dayan, Lee Smith, Sarah Stern, Ira & Ingeborg Rennert, Jeffrey Berenson, Scooter Libby, Allan & Frances Tessler, George Klein, Eugene Kandel, Daniel Bonner, Chaya Glasner, Noah Pollak, Darin McKeever, William Daroff, Charlie & Lisa Spies, Scott & Jordan Arogeti, David Suissa, Yarden Golan, Michael & Shelly Kassen, Amb. Husain Haqqani, Ravenel Curry, Raanan Agus, Ken Abramowitz, Matthew Waxman, Eli Groner, Michael Miller, Malcolm Hoenlein, Morris & Nancy Offit, Sander Gerber, Jerry Levin, Cheryl Halpern, Michael Doran, Walter Russell Mead, Nick Muzin, Josh Block, Lewis Eisenberg, Joshua & Kari Levine, Michael Makovsky, Eric Kohlmann Kupper, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Rabbi Menachem Genack, Keith Sonderling, Ron Prosor, Brian Cohen, and Todd Ricketts (celebrating his bday today).

“Netanyahu calls UN ‘moral farce,’ says Israel will not accept any dictates” by Barak Ravid: “Netanyahu was harshly critical of the UN, for what he said was its “obsessive bias against Israel.” He described the General Assembly as a “disgrace,” the UN Human Rights Council as a “joke” and UNESCO, the UN’s cultural organization as a “circus.” “The UN begun as a moral force has become a moral farce,” the prime minister said. Despite his criticism, Netanyahu said that things were changing at the UN and predicted that “a decade from now an Israeli prime minister will be applauding the UN. Israel has a bright future at the UN.” More and more nations around the world see Israel as a partner, the prime minister said. “Everything will change and a lot sooner than you think,” he said. “Lay down your arms,” Netanyahu told his audience. “The war against Israel at the UN is over.” [Haaretz]


HOW IT PLAYED: Separated by One UN Speech, Netanyahu and Abbas Remain Far Apart[Bloomberg] • World Crises Push Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Off U.N. Center Stage [NYTimes] • At UN Netanyahu invites Abbas to address Knesset [AP] • Chemi Shalev: Netanyahu Does His Usual Schtick Before UN Audience With No Expectations [Haaretz] • Herb Keinon: In stark contrast to Abbas, Netanyahu radiates optimism at UN [JPost

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Yesterday, on the streets of Manhattan, a news crew for Israeli Channel 1, in town as part of Netanyahu’s travelling press, accidentally ran into Jonathan and Esther Pollard strolling on 2nd avenue. Pollard tried to avoid the cameras but eventually answered some questions. “I can say shana tova to all of my Haverim in Israel. We love them very much and we hope to be home soon, Im yirtzeh Hashem”, Pollard said, adding that “its going to take a miracle for me to come home.”

YESTERDAY IN NYC: Turkish President Erdoğan held a meeting with Jewish leaders at Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan. Leaders attending the meeting included Malcolm Hoenlein, AIPAC’s Robert Cohen, ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt, and JINSA’s Michael Makovsky, among others. [TCCB]

“Israeli minister slams ‘naive and messianic’ Obama” by Raoul Wootliff: “Hanegbi, a close confidante of the prime minister, told Army Radio that the US president was “naive and messianic” in his dealings with Israel. “At the moment Obama is not acting like the most powerful man in the world,” he said, “instead he is behaving like someone working in Hillary Clinton’s campaign office.” Hanegbi was not alone to show cracks in the relationship Thursday, US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro saying that Obama was “disappointed” in the lack of progress towards a two-state solution under the Israeli leader.”[TimesofIsrael

AJC: “Hanegbi’s inappropriate comments don’t reflect the reality of yesterday’s meeting. He should apologize to POTUS.” [Twitter

“Obama-Netanyahu meeting directed at Jewish voters” by Orly Azoulay: “These days, with such a tight race and with Trump gaining strength at Clinton’s expense, every vote counts. While the Jews traditionally vote for the Democrats, Obama is aware of the fact that an increasing number of Jews and Israelis in the Miami suburbs are attracted by Trump… Obama’s main mission is to build the bridge that will get Clinton into the White House. A bit of renewed flattery towards the Jewish vote has never done any harm: Obama provided them with an idyll.” [Ynet]

— Aaron David Miller: “A fight with Israel could prove very embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton, and might force her to distance herself from the President or appear less pro-Israel than her opponent. Either course, two months before what could be a close election, might prove costly.” [CNN]

“Trump plans post-debate fundraising blitz” by Alex Isenstadt: “Trump suffered a blow this week when Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson revealed that he would be directing $40 million to Republican groups devoted to protecting the party’s congressional majorities and just $5 million toward electing the GOP presidential nominee. Tuesday’s event will be hosted by vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and two of Trump’s children, Eric and Ivanka. It is being co-chaired by Republican fundraisers Anthony Scaramucci, a prominent Wall Street investor, and Roy Bailey, a Dallas insurance executive.”[Politico

“The billionaires strike back” by Teddy Schleifer: “Moskovitz, who sent ripples through the donor world when he pledged $20 million to a variety of liberal and Democratic Party groups, but didn’t give to Clinton TV ad powerhouse Priorities USA. While he is “primarily focused on the top” of the ticket, he described Priorities as “distinguished by focusing on TV more than anything else.” Bloomberg does not plan to give to Priorities USA either, according to Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg political adviser.”

— “The decision by Adelson to partner with the Ricketts operation is a blow to the Trump super PACs that have been trying to land him as a landmark donor… The Adelson’s gift to the pro-Trump effort — likely to be around $5 million — is substantially smaller than some had hoped, and the decision to relinquish control over their dollars to a separate donor family direct the effort is surprising.” [CNN]

“Why Aren’t Democrats Freaking Out Over Clinton’s Poll Numbers?” by David Freedlander:“Actually, I am not losing any sleep over any of this,” says Anne Hess, a Manhattan philanthropist who’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hillary Clinton. “I have great faith in the American electorate.” “I think there is a belief by many people that there is no way the country will elect someone so unfit to the presidency as Donald Trump,” says Steve Israel, a Long Island congressman who for years was tasked with electing Democrats to the House.” “I just don’t believe in the accuracy of the polls,” says Alan Patricof, a venture capitalist and longtime friend of the Clintons. “I don’t know what it is. Maybe Hillary supporters aren’t answering their phones or something.” [RollingStone]

Tevi Troy on how the Jewish vote can influence the election: “I did an analysis that showed that, going back to the 1960 campaign, when the Republicans get more than 30 percent of the Jewish vote, they tend to win those elections… The question is not, ‘Do the Jews vote for the Democrats?’ The Jews do vote for the Democrats overall. But is it going to be 80 percent, which would mean a blowout election for the Democrats, or is it more like in the 60s, which means good news for the Republicans.”[MomentMagazine]

Alan Dershowitz discusses 2016 in interview with the Jewish Chronicle’s Michael Goldfarb:“Donald Trump, whom he has met, is not an anti-Semite but is as insensitive to anti-Semitism as Jeremy Corbyn. “He’s a politician and he’s willing to accept the support of considerable numbers of anti-Semites.” Mr Dershowitz adds: “He’s a destabilizing force in a world where Israel benefits from stability.” But the one thing Mr Trump is consistent about is overturning the Iran nuclear deal. Does he not think that would a good thing? “He can’t do that. It’s not gonna happen. The deal involves other countries and they are not going to undo it.” [TheJC]

“Mark Cuban takes front-row seat for presidential debate” by Cristiano Lima: “The bombastic billionaire who’s been an outspoken critic of the Republican nominee will be sitting front-row when the two opponents square off for their first televised debate at Hofstra University Monday, Cuban revealed in a tweet Thursday night. Billing it as the “Humbling at Hofstra,” Cuban says he plans to watch closely as Clinton tries to “overwhelm” Trump.” [Politico]

“Spiritual Healing with Marla Maples, Trump’s Ex-Wife” by Olivia Nuzzi: “She goes to church on Sundays but keeps Shabbat, eats kosher, and studies Kabbalah.” [DailyBeast

“David Duke, leading ‘deplorable’ and Senate candidate, sees Trump as kindred spirit” by Todd Gillman: “Duke insisted on playing a YouTube video to frame the interview: ‘CNN, Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix.’ For 15 minutes, Duke warns of the pervasive influence of Jewish bankers, campaign donors, judges and journalists. “Are you Jewish or gentile?” he asks when the video ends, 28 seconds into what would be a two-hour conversation. “I know some Jews — there are a lot of Jews who are fair.””[DallasNews

**A message from the Israeli-American Council: The 3rd annual Israeli-American Council National Conference is this weekend! Join thousands of activists, policymakers, diplomats, journalists, Jewish communal leaders, and business innovators from the U.S. and Israel to dive deep into the most pressing issues facing the Jewish people today. All will convene in Washington, DC from 9/24-9/26.[IsraeliAmerican] **

SPOTLIGHT: “China’s Wanda Group accused of funneling foreign money into Beverly Hills ballot measure” by David Pierson: “A labor union representing hotel workers filed a complaintThursday calling on state and federal election officials to investigate the potential illegal use of foreign money in a heated Beverly Hills ballot measure that has pitted the owner of the Beverly Hilton against a builder controlled by the richest man in China. The ballot measure would allow real estate investor Beny Alagem, owner of the landmark and union-friendly Beverly Hilton, to bypass the usual public review to build a 26-story high-rise that would be the tallest building in a city averse to big developments.”[LATimes]

**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**

HOLLYWOOD: “Better-than-ever ‘Transparent’ transitions into a study of American Jewish-ness” by Hank Stuever: “In ways that are both blunt and subtle, attentive viewers of the show now understand “Transparent” as a broader, epic story about the American Jewish experience — particularly as it is lived by a family with an on-again, off-again dependence on faith.” [WashPost]

“Mel Brooks Pranks President Obama, Pretends to Pull His Pants Down” by Joi-Marie Mckenzie: “Brooks, 90, was awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts today “for a lifetime of making the world laugh,” the White House said in a statement. After Obama placed the medal around the legendary comedian’s neck, Brooks pretended to pull down the president’s pants. Some reports speculate that the filmmaker was simply pretending to fall down under the weight of the medal. Still, the moment caused many in the audience to laugh and applaud. At the end of the ceremony, Obama quipped that “Mel Brooks kind of set the tone for this thing,” adding that normally it’s “been a much more staid affair.””[ABCNews

“Hogan meets with Israeli leaders and business executives during trade mission” by Ovetta Wiggins: “Hogan (R) left for the seven-day trade mission on Monday. A group of business executives, university officials, Jewish leaders and members of the governor’s Cabinet, including Chief of Staff Craig Williams, joined him on the trip, which has included several meetings with Israeli business executives who have subsidiary operations in Maryland, an address to a group of high-tech entrepreneurs, and the signing of an academic agreement between the University of Maryland and Tel Aviv University.  Hogan met with executives from Enzymotec and its subsidiary VAYA Pharma, which recently moved its U.S. headquarters to the University of Maryland BioPark. VAYA develops lipid-based medical foods. “ [WashPost] • Israeli defense firm plans expansion of Howard County office [BaltimoreSun]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: Last night I had the privilege of doing a wine tasting for a great group of representatives from numerous Hong Kong based family offices. They were so intent on investing in Israeli hi-tech it actually took me quite some time and effort to divert their attention for long enough to help them fall in love with Israeli wines.

The wine I served was the Benhaim 2010 Cabernet Franc. This wine is a blend of 85 percent Cabernet Franc, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 percent Petite Syrah — a bold and adventurous wine. The flavor profile of the wine changes significantly as you swirl it in your mouth and give it exposure to various parts of your tongue. There are very strong hints of mocha and coffee in the mid-palate. The finish beats you up a bit, but it has a very long and lingering cherry tone that stays with you. This wine can be enjoyed now or in 5 years. It is best with smoked meats and curried chicken. [Benhaim]

SPORTS BLINK: “Israel rallies past Great Britain with 4-run 7th” by Joe Trezza: “Its heartbreaking extra-innings elimination loss in the World Baseball Classic qualifier four years ago still fresh in its minds, Israel’s mission is to qualify for the 2017 WBC and help further advance the growth of baseball in the country. Israel took its first step toward that goal Thursday, defeating Great Britain, 5-2, on the opening night of a qualifier at MCU Park in Brooklyn.” [MLB]

BIRTHDAYS: Israeli ambassador to Mexico, Jonathan Peled… Business Manager for Los Angeles Cardiovascular Medical Group, Angela Maddahi… Co-owner of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs,Todd Ricketts… Harvard student who represented the US in saber fencing at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Eli Dershwitz turns 21… US Ambassador to the EU following a Supreme Court clerkship and a White House career, now general counsel at the Institute of International Finance. Kristen Silverbergturns 46… Washington bureau reporter for The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt turns 33… Director of Communications for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Naomi Seligman

Economics Editor of the UK’s ITV News, academic, economist, best-selling author and a great-granddaughter of former British Chief Rabbi Joseph Hertz, Noreena Hertz turns 49… Presidential campaign reporter for NBC News, formerly of CNN and The Hill, Alexandra Jaffe turns 27… Michael Weiss… Yale Law graduate and Chief of Staff at Robin Hood, a non-profit sponsor of antipoverty programs, Jessica Schumer turns 32… Member of the UK’s House of Lords, expert on prison reform, Baroness Vivien Helen Stern turns 75… Israeli television anchor/host and one of the most popular Israeli singers of all time, Yardena Arazi turns 65… Pioneering woman television anchor/host of Today, The View, 20/20 and the ABC Evening News. Barbara Walters (family name Abrahams) turns 87… Yanky Rodman

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]
Sep
22

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Daily Kickoff: Bibi invites Obama to play golf in Caesarea | Profiles: Jason Pomeranc; Rebecca Kantar | Tom Brady — Middle East Peace Negotiator?

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TOP TALKER: “After Much Rancor, Obama and Netanyahu Meet, Likely for Last Time” by Mark Landler: “Their smiles said more than their words. For all the bitterness that has characterized their relationship, over issues from the Iran nuclear deal to the peace process, Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu were able to end things on a harmonious note, at least publicly… Neither man seemed keen to revisit old grievances. Mr. Netanyahu did not mention the Iran deal, which he tried to kill with thunderous speeches to the General Assembly and the United States Congress. Mr. Obama touched only gently on the growth of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which he once demanded that Mr. Netanyahu halt completely as a way to restart negotiations with the Palestinians.”

— “They’ll both be relieved that they don’t have to meet each other again,” said Martin S. Indyk, the executive vice president of the Brookings Institution. “Both have come to believe that the other is out to screw them.” Even now, Mr. Indyk said, the Israeli leader fears that Mr. Obama will vote for a United Nations Security Council resolution setting out the framework for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal as his last act of Middle East diplomacy. Mr. Obama, he said, suspects that Mr. Netanyahu will continue expanding West Bank settlements “just to spite him.” [NYTimes]

POSTGAME: A senior administration official in a press briefing: “In terms of settlements, the president raised profound U.S. concerns about the corrosive effect that that is having on the prospects of two states, which Mr. Netanyahu pushed back on.” Another senior administration official added: “They’ve never papered over their differences.”

— “[A] senior official on Netanyahu’s delegation said that the collaboration between the two is “very deep” and a “two-way street.” The official also described the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu as one of “an old couple who are learning to know each other.” According to the source, there was also no mention of a potential US veto of a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN Security Council.” [JPost]

“Netanyahu pokes at Obama’s ‘terrific golf game'” by Nolan Mccaskill: “So I want you to know, Barack, that you’ll always be a welcome guest in Israel,” the prime minister continued. “And, by the way, I don’t play golf, but right next to my home in Caesarea in Israel is a terrific golf course.” Obama responded in jest, remarking that the two will “set up a tee time” as both world leaders shook hands.” [Politico;Transcript]

HOW IT PLAYED: Obama, Netanyahu look past years of tensions in last meeting [AP] • Obama, Netanyahu Reaffirm Bonds, Even as Old Rifts Linger [WSJ] • A stormy alliance between Obama and Netanyahu reaches its end in New York [WashPost] • Obama at Netanyahu meeting: ‘He is always very candid with us’ [CNN] • Obama to Netanyahu: See You Never? [TheAtlantic] • Six takeaways from another smiling display of mutual Obama-Netanyahu frustration [TimesofIsrael]

“Obama’s tense relationship with Netanyahu colors his legacy on Israel” by Christi Parsons and Joshua Mitnick: “He is conscious that people say he is anti-Israel,” Jon Alterman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said of Obama. “He thinks that’s unfair, and this lets him leave a marker. Not only can he say he supported Israel, but he oversaw the largest military assistance package ever.” [LATimes]

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Following his meeting with POTUS,  a senior official in Netanyahu’s entourage threw the bait, stating that none of the candidates have approached them with an offer to meet, “and if they do – we will not say no.” Clinton and Trump both met with Egyptian president Sisi earlier this week, and perhaps that made Netanyahu a bit envious.

In an interesting turn of events, Netanyahu could also meet with his pal Sheldon Adelson, despite the fact that a meeting between the two wasn’t originally planned. Adelson was supposed to be out of town, as he is attending a private event in Las Vegas this week and is scheduled to appear at the IAC conference in DC, but sources close the Prime Minister told us Adelson will likely arrive in NYC on Saturday or Sunday and would meet with Netanyahu before he flies back to Israel.

“Senior Official: Netanyahu Would Meet Clinton, Trump if Asked” by Barak Ravid: “Netanyahu has not been asked by U.S. presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, to meet during his stay in New York, a senior official in his entourage said. But if such an invitation is extended, the official said, the prime minister would accept it.” [Haaretz]

“Benjamin Netanyahu needs 20 special agents to go to the bathroom” by Emily Smith: “On Tuesday, Bibi, in New York for the UN General Assembly, caused a stir at upscale restaurant Harry Cipriani at the Sherry-Netherland hotel by arriving with an over 40-strong team of buff agents from the elite Israel Security Agency, known as Shin Bet. Fellow diners, including Charlie Rose, billionaire Ronald Perelman, Barbara Winston, ­DuJour’s Jason Binn and fashion icon Iris Apfel, watched as the agents swarmed the venue.” [NYPost]

DRIVING THE DAY: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the UN General Assembly at noon [Livestream] • Peter Baker’s preview: “He may find few sympathetic ears in the hall, but they are not his only audience.” [NYTimes]

Lee Smith: “Much of the Obama administration’s political success last year is owing to the fact that it relied on various echo chambers in the media to market its policies to the American public, sometimes explaining them and often obscuring them, as it did with the Iran deal. Netanyahu seems to have at last concluded that he can’t defend himself or his country in that forum. As he did when he made a speech in Congress criticizing the Iran deal, he is taking his case straight to the American people.”[WeeklyStandard]

SCENE YESTERDAY IN DC —  A bipartisan group of senators and DHS deputy secretary Alejandro Mayorkas addressed the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Advocacy Center’s annual leadership mission to Washington, DC. Pollster Mark Mellman and commentator Matt Lewis also discussed the 2016 presidential election at a panel moderated by Nathan Diament.

Highlights — Sen. Ben Cardin: “We are a small minority in this country, from the point of view of our religion, and yet we’ve been able to have tremendous impact on the policy of America… Yes, you have friends in Congress, on both sides of the aisle. But don’t take it for granted that we will be there as you move forward. We gotta continue to work on those relationships. And yes, Jewish politics can be brutal.” • Related: “Cardin: ‘Risk factor’ to extending Iran sanctions in lame duck” [TheHill]

Lindsey Graham: “Bibi told me that Hezbollah has received 300 missiles from Iran that can jump over the Iron Dome. Congress has always had Israel’s back in a bipartisan fashion We are going to need your help now more than ever, maybe even on a Friday night.”

Cotton: Next President Should ‘Rescind’ New MOU: “This is an agreement between two current heads of states,” Cotton said. “And I believe that as soon as we have a new president, we should rescind that agreement and give one that is better for Israel and better for the United States.” [JewishInsider]

DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urged the Jewish community to “be active” in the world of security: “I come from a tradition of a lack of security. It instilled in me as a very young person was a sense of concern by virtue of my identity as a Jew. My mother, she tried to teach us not to speak of our Judaism outside of our Jewish community that was born of her tragic experience. My father was actually of a different school. He was a member of a very small Sephardic community in Cuba, and he used to talk about it all the time because no one in Cuba believed he was actually Jewish because there were only about eight of them.” [JewishInsider]

Graham tells JI he stands by criticism of Netanyahu: “I admire Bibi greatly. I think this was a mistake on his part. You inform us about what the needs are. I think they are real. I think Iran’s rise is a real threat to Israel. You have ISIl in the Sinai. He is a dear friend, I ‘ve known him for twenty years. I think Congress has been a true friend in a bipartisan fashion, and this idea that Congress is bound by this MOU is unconstitutional, flawed, and I don’t think it’s very good for Israel. So, I like Bibi, but I don’t like how this MOU has been concluded.”

Q: Have you spoke to the prime minister since the agreement was concluded?

Graham: “No, not yet.”

“The GOP’s Jewish Donors Are Abandoning Trump” by Eitan Hersh and Brian Schaffner:“In 2012, 71 percent of the $240 million that Jewish donors gave to the two major-party nominees went to President Obama’s re-election campaign; 29 percent went to Mitt Romney’s campaign… But in 2016, of the $372 million given to presidential nominees, 96 percent of all contributions went to Hillary Clinton and just 4 percent has gone to Donald Trump. In raw dollars, Jewish donors have already given Clinton nearly double the amount they gave to Obama through the whole 2012 cycle. But donations to Trump amount to a third of what was given to Romney.” [FiveThirtyEight]

“75 retired senior diplomats sign letter opposing Trump for president” by Karen DeYoung:“Dan Kurtzer, former ambassador to Egypt and to Israel, said he objected to Republican support for a measure allowing U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments, which President Obama has said he would veto. He said he signed “not for the politics part, but literally for the protection that it [the measure] would strip away” from U.S. diplomats working overseas.” [WashPost]

Thomas Friedman: “So, young people, listen up: Hillary doesn’t light your fire? O.K., I agree, she is a flawed candidate. But she can responsibly manage the affairs of state. Trump is beyond repair and won’t just light your fire — he’ll burn the house down. Ask the old spies.” [NYTimes]

Former NYC Council President Andrew Stein: “Party Loyalty Can’t Make Me Vote for Clinton: Hillary Clinton is the personification of the establishment and status quo. She voted for the war in Iraq and supported the Iran nuclear deal, two of the worst, and most dangerous, mistakes in American foreign policy during my lifetime.” [WSJ]

“Trump supporters in Israel look for every last vote” by Matthew Bell: “[William] Booth says many dual U.S.-Israeli citizens he’s talked with, especially those who resettled in Israel back in the 1960s and ’70s, are on the left side of the political spectrum and would find the idea of a Donald Trump presidency “mystifying or abhorrent.” On the other hand, Trump’s blunt talk about radical Islam and what he considers the scourge of political correctness goes over well with parts of the Israeli public. And Booth says that includes many newer arrivals from the U.S., “looking for sort of a tough anti-terrorist, maybe even anti-Arab, position.”” [USAToday]

“Anti-Defamation League Steps Up Efforts To Combat Anti-Semitism Online” by NPR staff:“Greenblatt tells NPR’s Ari Shapiro the amount of “vitriol and hatred” during this presidential election has been “staggering.” “We’ve been on the record and engaged with the Trump campaign because we were concerned about the use of these tropes and sharing these symbols. They’re deeply problematic.” [NPR]

“Don King waves Israeli flag after dropping ‘N-word’ at pro-Trump event” by Josefin Dolsten:“At the end of the speech, King picked up and waved several flags, including Israeli and American ones and a banner with Trump’s face. It is not entirely clear why King decided to bring along the Israeli flag, but research reveals the boxing promoter is both a fan of the Jewish state — and flags in general.” [JTA]

**A message from the Israeli-American Council: The 3rd annual Israeli-American Council National Conference is this week! Join thousands of activists, policymakers, diplomats, journalists, Jewish communal leaders, and business innovators from the U.S. and Israel to dive deep into the most pressing issues facing the Jewish people today. All will convene in Washington, DC from 9/24-9/26.[IsraeliAmerican] **

“US grants Airbus, Boeing a chance to sell airplanes to Iran” by Jon Gambrell: “The approval clears the way for the two plane manufacturers to access one of the last untapped aviation markets in the world. Both companies have announced separate $25-billion deals to sell aircraft to airlines in the country, although analysts are skeptical that there is demand for so many jets or available financing. The deal would be the biggest for an American company since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and U.S. Embassy takeover.” [AP]

“Arab states shelve push against Israel at U.N. nuclear watchdog” by Shadia Nasralla:“Repeated Arab-sponsored attempts to organize a conference on a Middle East nuclear weapons ban have also been fruitless, with the United States always standing with Israel against the move. This led Arab states to decide to stop striving for resolutions that merely call on, but do not order, Israel to implement nuclear control regimes such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or an IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA), Arab League Ambassador Wael Al Assad said.” [Reuters]

**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**

SPOTLIGHT: Sandoval announces he will call special session to consider Las Vegas stadium project” by Sandra Chereb and Sean Whaley: “He said the session would be some time between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13.  The funding proposal calls for an increase in the Clark County hotel room tax to finance $750 million in stadium construction costs over 33 years. The deal requires the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson, Majestic Realty and the Raiders to pay the remainder of the construction costs for the 65,000-seat dome, as well as any cost overruns. Adelson has pledged at least $650 million, while the Raiders would pay $500 million.” [ReviewJournal]

Jon Ralston tweets: “Gov will allow special to start earlier than the 10th if needed because Yom Kippur begins the 11th. Sounds like a sop to Adelson! There’s something Biblical about a date for a special session to help a powerful Jewish billionaire’s stadium dream held up by Yom Kippur.” [Twitter]

PROFILE: “Meet the boutique hotel operator looking beyond midtown for business travelers” by Cara Eisenpress: “Jason Pomeranc and his brothers opened the downtown boutique hotel 60 Thompson the night before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Their business survived the economic downturn. Now, they’re capitalizing on demand for stays at smaller, independently owned hotels. In 2000, boutiques accounted for fewer than 1% of hotel rooms in the city. Today they have more than 10% of the city’s 112,000-plus inventory, according to hotel research firm STR.” [Crains]

RISING STAR: “This 24-year-old Harvard dropout wants to rid the world of multiple-choice tests like the SAT” by Biz Carson: “Rebecca Kantar was two years into Harvard when she dropped out. As with most students, Kantar had spent most of her academic life learning information and then being quizzed on it through multiple-choice tests or essays. With the SAT celebrating its 90th birthday this year, Kantar believes it’s time for a radical update of standardized testing — one that doesn’t just reward rote memorization but one that can assess how your brain works and how you put that knowledge to use. To do so, she started Imbellus in 2015. Today, she’s announcing that the company has now raised $4 million from investors including Upfront Ventures and Thrive Capital to try to upend one of the foundations of the education system.” [BusinessInsider]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “How Jewish moms make sure their kids grow up to be mensches” by Marjorie Ingall: “These jokes rely on the Jewish mother’s reputation as a giant pain. According to popular lore, Jewish moms are smothering, guilt-mongering, boastful, monstrously narcissistic and massively neurotic. But it wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I started to closely examine these stereotypes—and to consider how they truly get Jewish moms all wrong.” [Quartz]

LongRead — Barack Obama and Doris Kearns Goodwin: The Ultimate Exit Interview: “Early in my presidency, I went to Cairo to make a speech to the Muslim world. And in the afternoon, after the speech, we took helicopters out to the pyramids. And I still remember it thinking to myself, there were a lot of people during the period when these pyramids were built who thought they were really important. And now it’s all just covered in dust and sand. Sometimes I carry with me that perspective, which tells me that my particular worries on any given day—how I’m doing in the polls or what somebody is saying about me—isn’t particularly relevant. What is relevant is: What am I building that lasts? And here in the United States, hopefully, what we’re building are not just pyramids, are not icons to one pharaoh. What we’re building is a culture and a way of living together…” [VanityFair]

SPORTS BLINK: “Tom Brady felt the Michigan love, maybe for the first time” by Kevin Van Valkenburg: “They knew getting Tom Brady to Ann Arbor might be a difficult sell. They knew, despite four Super Bowl rings and two MVPs, there were some sins he could forgive, but never forget. Brady even posed for a selfie with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a prominent Michigan alum and donor. Ross said he was texting the picture to Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “Everyone who meets him gets that look that 16-year-old girls had the first time they saw the Beatles,” Flannelly said. “But he’s so disarming. He gets people to relax. He could talk to anybody. He could fix the Middle East. You put him in the room with the Arabs and the Jews and he would get them talking until they figure it out.”” [ESPN]

“Good Bat? Cannon Arm? Jewish? Sign Him Up!” by Michael Powell: “To stay competitive, my friend Kurz and his baseball codependents pursue Jewish ballplayers with the determination of Ahab after that whale. Kurz has bona fide baseball scouts and bona fide experts of the Jewish diaspora, baseball division. The informal team includes Scott Barancik in Florida with the Jewish Baseball News and Ephraim Moxson and Shel Wallman of the Jewish Sports Review. They are the detectives of the Jewish and the athletic.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Commissioner of the National Basketball Association from 1984 through 2014, who oversaw the growth years of the league, David Stern turns 74… Nobel Prize laureate, astrophysicist and professor of physics at UC-Berkeley, Saul Perlmutter turns 57… Member of Knesset since 2003, has held multiple Israeli cabinet portfolios, and is currenty the opposition leader, Isaac “Bougie” Herzog turns 56… Former Senior Writer at the Jewish Journal and Jewish Insider, now communications director at Prager U, Jared Sichel… Daniel Eisenstadt

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Daily Kickoff: Obama to discuss settlement activity with Bibi today in NYC | Inside look at how politicians beg for big checks | OurCrowd raises $72M

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TOP TALKER: “Sheldon Adelson Focuses on Congressional Races, Despite Donald Trump’s Pleas” by Nicholas Confessore and Maggie Haberman: “Everyone reached out to him. He promised $100 million,” said Ed Rollins, an adviser to Great America, one of several outside groups supporting Mr. Trump. “At this point in time, he’s like everyone else. Now he’s going to be a player, just not to the same extent.” Mr. Adelson could easily afford to spend more for Mr. Trump in the weeks ahead. But he is rapidly running out of time to have an effect on the race, and even his contributions to Republican congressional efforts are coming late in the game, when the price of advertising is climbing drastically and there are fewer undecided voters to persuade.”

“Democratic groups, meanwhile, are enjoying almost unmatched success in persuading rich donors and unions to pour money into super PACs. Through the start of September, according to Federal Election Commission filings, the lead pro-Clinton group, Priorities USA Action, has raised $13 million from S. Donald Sussman, a wealthy financier, and another $9.5 million from the retired hedge fund billionaireGeorge Soros. S. Daniel Abraham, the billionaire founder of SlimFast, has contributed $9 million to the group. The entertainment executive Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, have contributed $10 million to the group, according to federal records.” [NYTimes; WashPost]

“GOP Super PAC to Take Aim at Battleground States” by Brody Mullins, Monica Langleyand Rebecca Ballhaus: “Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, an observant Jew, has been in frequent contact with the casino magnate, who has a keen interest in U.S.-Israeli relations… Mr. Adelson wanted to ensure his money was spent on a candidate with a shot at victory, the people familiar with his thinking said. For much of the summer, Mr. Trump trailed significantly behind Mrs. Clinton in polling… In recent weeks, Mrs. Clinton’s lead has shrunk in several polls.” [WSJAP]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Obama urges Israel end occupation and Palestinians accept Israel” by Jeff Mason: “U.S. officials have held out the possibility Obama could lay out the rough outlines of a deal – “parameters” in diplomatic parlance – after the Nov. 8 presidential election and before he leaves office in January, but many analysts doubt this would have much effect. “Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel …(and if) Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land,” Obama said.” [Reuters]

Obama on Iran: “When Iran agrees to accept constraints on its nuclear program that enhances global security and enhances Iran’s ability to work with other nations. On the other hand, when North Korea tests a bomb that endangers all of us. And any country that breaks this basic bargain must face consequences.”

DRIVING THE DAY: President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel at 1:00PM.

“Obama, Netanyahu meeting a capstone to years of testy ties” by Josh Lederman: “We’ve been concerned about continued settlement activity, the potential viability of a Palestinian state in the face of that settlement activity. We’ve raised those directly with the Israeli government,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday. “I’m sure President Obama will do so tomorrow as well.”[AP]

David Horovitz on Netanyahu’s last meeting with Obama: “While Obama will soon be preparing for life as an ex-president, Netanyahu will walk away from their New York meeting still charged with the responsibility of protecting his country for the foreseeable future. Whoever comes next, will be just fine, I think Netanyahu may say to himself when he bids farewell to the president.” [TimesofIsrael]

Aaron David Miller tells us: “The question is: is this going to be a good meeting or a bad meeting, and that’s driven, usually, by two sets of circumstances. Politics on the Israeli side and how much there is to argue about. And I would argue that that unlike many of their meetings and the harmony between them over the last eight years, it is more likely than not to be a good meeting. And that’s driven by several factors. On the Israeli side, there’s no question that the prime minister has no stake in devaluing Obama or the meeting. In large part, because he also needs to justify and make the most of what he has accomplished with the administration.

And on the president’s end, between now and November, in my judgment, Barack Obama has one overriding imperative and that is doing everything he possibly can to facilitate the election of a Democratic successor. And with 50 days to go – in what promises to be a close election – why would the president want to have a bad meeting with the Israeli prime minister. The consequences of that are going to reflect negatively on his own relationship with Netanyahu; it’s going to pose a difficult choice for Hillary Clinton because she is either going to be forced to back him or speak out against it, neither of which, frankly, is a good option for her. And it’s going to give the Republicans a number of talking points to use against Hillary, who Trump believes is an extension of Obama, to begin with.”

“For Israel, Obama’s most important speech is the one he has yet to give” by Barak Ravid:“That is why the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC has worked hard over the past few weeks, apparently at the urging of Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, to recruit senators from both parties to sign a letter to Obama on this issue. Of the 100 senators, 88 ultimately signed the letter. To achieve this impressive number of signatories, it was necessary to make the letter’s wording sufficiently vague.” [Haaretz]

“88 Senators Signed AIPAC’s New Pro-Israel Letter. Here’s Why Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse Didn’t” by Yair Rosenberg: “Both Rubio and Cruz have close ties with GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who has been funding a right-wing competitor to the bipartisan AIPAC, the Israeli American Council. Whether their absence from AIPAC’s latest initiative reflects a turn towards other more hawkish pro-Israel outlets will be worth watching.” [Tablet]

“GOP Senators Propose Legislation to Overturn Parts of New MOU” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Congress is not going to sit on the sidelines,” Graham said in a press conference on Capitol Hill. “How do you feel about the idea that a president would knock you out of the business of doing your job, going around the Congress, trying to get a president of a foreign government to collude so you don’t have the power of the purse? To the president, if you don’t like this bill, veto it,” the South Carolina Senator said defiantly. “To a senator, if you think this is too much, vote against it.” [JewishInsider;Reuters]

Jamie Lovegrove: “Graham asks Israel to tell him if they don’t need the aid because then he’ll withdraw $1.5B bill, but otherwise advises them to take it.” [Twitter]

“Barack and Bibi—Goodbye to All That?” By Dana Allin and Steven Simon: “Giuliani claimed at the Republican convention that Netanyahu and other government ministers favored Trump. Our sources say the Israeli security cabinet is divided but on the whole views Clinton as the safer course… In an increasingly violent Middle East, it behooves both countries to reconsecrate a relationship based on a shared moral and strategic vision. As a matter of moral temperament and strategic vision, Hillary Clinton would appear far more likely to make this happen.” [PoliticoMagazine]

“Trump blasts Clinton Initiative for Palestinian teacher w/ terror tie” by Geoff Earle: “Hanan al-Hroub’s husband, Omar al-Hroub, was convicted in aiding a terror attack in the West Bank city of Hebron that killed Israelis in 1980 as an accomplice who provided chemicals used in making the bomb, the Wall Street Journal reported. ‘[Yesterday’s] report that the Clinton Foundation is feting the wife of a Palestinian man convicted of helping bomb innocent Israeli citizens is deeply disturbing, especially in the wake of this weekend’s attacks,” said Trump campaign spokesman Jason Alexander in a statement.”[DailyMail; WSJ]

YESTERDAY IN NYC: Sisi meets Jewish leaders, praises Israeli cooperation in war on terror in Sinai[JPost• Ukranian President met with representatives of Jewish organizations in New York [UAGov]

**A message from the Israeli-American Council: The 3rd annual Israeli-American Council National Conference is this week! Join thousands of activists, policymakers, diplomats, journalists, Jewish communal leaders, and business innovators from the U.S. and Israel to dive deep into the most pressing issues facing the Jewish people today. All will convene in Washington, DC from 9/24-9/26.[IsraeliAmerican] **

“Scott Walker Leaks Reveal Internal Workings Of A Broken Campaign Finance System” by Paul Blumenthal: “He flew to New York City and met with Donald Trump, who gave him $15,000 (and later lied about how much he donated). He solicited money from Adelson, the Koch brothers, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, coal baron Joseph Craft, former Ambassador Mel Sembler, Morgan Stanley’s John Mack, Steve Forbes, hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon, Stanley Herzog, Harlan Crow.”[HuffPost]

— “On another trip, Walker was reminded before meeting with Carl Icahn that the New York investor’s “net worth is $14 billion, making him the 21st richest American and 61st richest man in the world.””[WashPost]

“Lindsey Graham’s Mind-Expanding Pot Journey” by James Higdon: “Graham was introduced to the problem of Dr. Reefer by Miriam Adelson, a medical doctor and an addiction researcher who is also the wife of billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson… A lawmaker looking for clarity on this issue isn’t likely to get much help from the Adelsons, who have taken seemingly contradictory positions on medical marijuana. The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation studies medical marijuana in its facility in Tel Aviv, but just two years ago, in 2014, Sheldon Adelson, one of the most prolific donors to conservative causes, gave the anti-medical marijuana campaign in Florida $5.5 million.”[PoliticoMagazine]

**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: Israel’s OurCrowd Raises $72 Million to Boost Crowdfunding Deals [Bloomberg] • Less exciting than Beyonce’s album, but maybe more rewarding, Lemonade launches new insurance plans [TechCrunch] • Millennials point to Mark Zuckerberg as their business role model [Mashable] • Galbut wants to trade land with Miami Beach for taller development heights [RealDeal• Jared Kushner may testify in Bridgegate trial [RealDeal] • An exclusive social network backed by Wall St. billionaires is opening up to the public [Yahoo]

STARTUP NATION: “Israeli tech company opens U.S. headquarters in Hunt Valley, plans to expand” by Jonathan Munshaw: “The Tel Aviv-based company currently has more than 15 employees now at its U.S. headquarters, located in Hunt Valley’s Executive Plaza. As part of the move, Nayax plans to add additional employees, according to the Maryland Department of Commerce… Nayax works with vending companies and outfits their machines with the necessary hardware, software, SIM cards and monitoring solutions to allow the machines to accept credit card payments.” [BizJournals]

“Israel defense sector faces big hit after new U.S. aid agreement” by Steven Scheer: “Israel has about 700 defense-related firms, most of them with only 50 to 150 employees. They mainly act as subcontractors to Israel’s four largest defense companies — Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel Military Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. None of the companies asked by Reuters to discuss the aid package were willing to speak on the record, mentioning concerns about future business. But several executives, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that as a result of the deal they were already considering contingency plans. One option would be for larger firms to open subsidiaries in the United States, like Elbit has done, to compensate for the loss of business. They might also acquire smaller U.S. firms. As one executive put it: “This should be translated into an opportunity for the Israeli industry, which should penetrate new markets and improve their competitive ability.” Adding the company where he works would “accelerate the process” of searching for a U.S. company to buy.” [Reuters]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Region Is Wary but Remains Resolute” by Sophia Hollander:“Elisheva Adler, 20, said she made sure she was in a train car with a conductor when she came in on the Long Island Rail Road to Touro College in Manhattan. “I didn’t want to be in an empty car by myself,” said Ms. Adler, who said she wasn’t listening to music so she could stay aware of what is happening around her. “I think it’s important to be more alert.” [WSJ]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Brexit prompts some Jewish Britons to reconcile with German roots” by Tina Bellon: “Neuberger is among a significant number of Jewish Britons whose dismay over Brexit has led them to invoke a German law allowing people stripped of German citizenship by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945, and their descendants, to have it restored. “It was Brexit that tipped me off, but now in my mid-60s I feel like I’ve made my peace with Germany and this step will only take me closer,” said Neuberger, whose mother left Germany for Britain in 1937 to escape Nazi persecution of the Jews.”[Reuters]

“Ex-roommate of Facebook founder becomes rabbi in Israel” by Daniella Cheslow: “Arie Hasit finally achieved his dream this month when, after years studying Jewish texts and passing a final exam, he was ordained at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem. For the last decade, the 33-year-old native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, has faced constant questions from peers and strangers about his life path and whether he missed an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a company that has grown into a $360 billion behemoth. Hasit admitted to occasionally wondering what might have been had he joined the tiny startup that Zuckerberg and three other suitemates were working on.” [AP]

SPORTS BLINK: “Missing From Israel’s Baseball Team: Israelis” by Yaron Weitzman:This Thursday, 28 ballplayers will step onto Brooklyn’s MCU Park baseball diamond wearing blue-and-white uniforms with “Israel” written across the chest, as they compete against Great Britain in the first round of the qualifying tournament of the World Baseball Classic, the sport’s equivalent to the World Cup. But of those 28 Team Israel players only two are Israeli citizens and both are pitchers: 37-year-old Shlomo Lipetz, and Dean Kremer, a 20-year-old Israel-American, minor leaguer for the Dodgers who was first Israeli ever drafted.” [TabletMag]

DESSERT: “Classic Rosh Hashana Desserts Get a Professional Upgrade” by Joan Nathan: “After graduating from Yale, Mr. Levin went into finance but soon switched from peddling stocks to paddling pastry crust at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Then, after joining Michael White’s Altamarea Group  — he is the executive pastry chef at Osteria Morini in Washington — he started reinventing the pastries of his childhood. In an article in 1958, Mr. Claiborne praised Mrs. Nadich, who died in 2008, for her honey cake and her teiglach, boiled knots of dough soaked in honey. “My grandmother’s honey cake was a staple at every Rosh Hashana meal,” Mr. Levin said.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Montreal native, singer, songwriter, poet and novelist, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Leonard Cohen turns 82… One of the highest grssing Hollywood box office producers of all time, plus the producer of many commercially succesful TV shows, Jerry Bruckheimer turns 73… Legal scholar whose White House position followed his 27 years at University of Chicago Law School and preceded his current post as professor at Harvard Law School, Cass Sunstein turns 62… One-half the reknowned film-making team of the Coen Brothers, Ethan Jesse Coen turns 59… Attorney, author, conservative talk show host and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, Mark R. Levin turns 59… Emmy Award-winning talk show host, actress and producer, Ricki Lake turns 48… Assistant Director at TAMID Group, Nathan GilsonScott Frankel of iCenter (h/t Dan Smith)… Mia Appelbaum… SVP at polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Anna Greenberg Ph.D….

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Video: Zaydes and Bubbes Urge Grandkids to Stop Trump

Friday, September 23, 2016

In 2008, it was Jewish grandchildren persuading their grandparents in Florida to vote for Barack Obama. In this year’s election, some concerned Jewish grandparents in the New York City…

Senator Johnny Isakson speaking at a t a bi-partisan "Tribute to the U.S. Israel Security Alliance" in 2014 - Photo Credit: Dov Lenchevsky, Shmuel Lenchevsky

INTERVIEW: Sen. Johnny Isakson Promoting Support for Israel

Friday, September 23, 2016

Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) is running for reelection for a 3rd term this year. A Quinnipiac University poll released on Friday finds the Republican incumbent leading his Democratic…

via OU/Twitter

DHS Deputy Urges Jewish Community to be More Active in World of Security

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Leaders and members of the Jewish community should play a more active role in readiness and prevention of potential security threats on the homeland, Department of Homeland Security…

Screenshot via YouTube

GOP Senators Propose Legislation to Overturn Parts of New MOU

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

A group of Republican senators on Tuesday announced they would seek to overturn certain provisions of the new $38 billion 10-year “memorandum of understanding” signed last week between…

U.S. President Barack Obama listens to comments to reporters by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after their meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington

88 Senators Urge Obama to Veto UN Resolutions on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Monday, September 19, 2016

As many as 88 U.S. senators on Monday signed a bipartisan letter urging President Barack Obama to veto any “one-sided” United Nations Security Council resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Graham Blasts Netanyahu for Snubbing Congress in New MOU

Friday, September 16, 2016

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has “pulled the rug” from under the feet of pro-Israeli members of Congress by rushing to sign the new $38 billion 10-year “memorandum…