• Julia Salazar ‘hopeful’ she will ove...

    Monday, September 17, 2018

    Julia Salazar, the presumptive State Senator of New York’s 18th District, feels vindicated after winning the Democratic primary last Thursday, despite a series of controversies.  “I feel vindicated, yeah,” Salazar…

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  • Woodward book details Trump’s Saudi summit

    Wednesday, September 12, 2018

    NOW AVAILABLE ― Excerpts of Bob Woodward’s new book titled Fear: Trump in the White House:  When Derek Harvey, Trump’s top Middle East adviser on the National Security Council, warned the White House about the threat from Hezbollah…

    Read More

  • Cynthia Nixon condemns Cuomo over mailer

    Sunday, September 9, 2018

    On BDS, Nixon says she’s not a supporter but supports the rights of those who are NEW YORK — New York gubernatorial candidate, Cynthia Nixon lashed out at…

    Read More

  • David Friedman and Alan Dershowitz joined Trump...

    Thursday, September 6, 2018

    Israelis and U.S. Jews should be ‘optimistic’ about the Trump administration succeeding in brokering a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians, President Donald Trump said during a…

    Read More

  • Saban and Singer host dinner with Trump peace te...

    Wednesday, September 5, 2018

    Ahead of the United Nations General Assembly, Haim Saban and Paul Singer convened a private dinner on Tuesday evening in New York City featuring U.S. Ambassador to the…

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  • Wendy Sherman reflects on diplomatic career in n...

    Tuesday, September 4, 2018

    Wendy Sherman, former Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs and chief U.S. negotiator for the Iran nuclear deal, discusses her decades-long career in the State Department and her role in…

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  • Norm Eisen on new book ‘The Last Palace’

    Tuesday, September 4, 2018

    INTERVIEW — Norm Eisen, former White House ethics czar and ambassador to the Czech Republic, discussed his new book titled The Last Palace: Europe’s Turbulent Century in Five…

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  • John Kerry’s new book details his relation...

    Friday, August 31, 2018

    An exclusive sneak peek at former Secretary of State John Kerry’s upcoming book titled Every Day Is Extra.    In the book set to be released on September 4, a copy of which was…

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  • Amb. David Friedman on Trump’s peace plan

    Wednesday, August 29, 2018

    ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman on a conference call with the American Jewish Congress: “There’s no schedule [for the rollout of Trump’s peace plan]. I…

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  • Interview with NJ House candidate Tom Malinowski

    Friday, August 24, 2018

    ROAD TO THE MIDTERMS — Interview with Tom Malinowski, a Democratic challenger in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District, running against Republican Congressman Leonard Lance: Malinowski served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights,…

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Sep
21

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Daily Kickoff: Bradley Tusk dishes on Schumer’s craving for press and Bloomberg’s campaigns | Putting the Talmud online | Gordon Ramsay in Jerusalem

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TALK OF OUR NATION — The quest to put the Talmud online — by Noah Smith: “When Joshua Foer, author of “Moonwalking With Einstein” and creator of the travel website Atlas Obscura, sat down one day to find a modern, complete English translation online of the Talmud, or Jewish Oral Law, he came up mostly empty, save for some pirated PDFs and a host of anti-Semitic sites. Frustrated, he called a friend he had met a decade earlier on a trip to Israel, Brett Lockspeiser, an engineer who had worked at Google, to see what he thought about putting English translations of the Talmud and other foundational texts of Judaism in one place online that anyone could access free.”

“I saw a really historic opportunity to do something huge,” Foer said in a phone interview… Last year, after years of work and negotiations, Foer and Lockspeiser finally succeeded in their quest. Through a nonprofit they created called Sefaria, the men are bringing the Talmud online in modern English, and free of charge.” [WashPost]

HOLIDAY HEADLINE — Canadian who moved to Israel invents ‘Airbnb for sukkahs’ [CJNews]

Jewish-American Journalist Thomas Friedman — There’s a Crisis Between U.S. Jewry and Israel: “Giving an example for the widening fissure he sees between Israel and the world’s second largest Jewish community, Friedman told [Makor Rishon] how his shul unanimously decided to stop its annual fundraising for Israel Bonds after the controversy surrounding the egalitarian prayer space in the Western Wall, which was meant to allow Jews from different streams of Judaism to pray in a mixed environment… “This wasn’t the rabbi’s decision, but ours,” Friedman said. “There was no resistance against it in the [shul] management.”

“Friedman said he supported the move because “If Israel doesn’t respect what we do in the diaspora, and our way of life, why should we raise money for it?” claiming that similar decisions were made in many other shuls across the U.S. “We weren’t the first and were very much not alone in that situation,” he said. Friedman insists, however, that he is not boycotting Israel, and noted he and his wife donated a scholarship to three Jewish Stanford students so they could visit it.” [Haaretz

ON SHELVES TODAY — Strategist and venture capitalist Bradley Tusk, who worked for Chuck Schumer, Michael Bloomberg, former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, among others, is out with a new book titled The Fixer: My Adventures Saving Startups from Death by Politics.

PODCAST PLAYBACK — Tusk reviewed his book on the Charlie Brennan show on KMOX ― On what led him to testify against his former boss Rod Blagojevich: “Blagojevich once asked me to extort Rahm Emanuel. who now is the mayor of Chicago, and Rahm’s brother, Ari Emanuel, who’s one of the biggest Hollywood legends out there, because Rod had promised Rahm $2 million for an athletic facility in Rahm’s district. Rahm was a congressman from Chicago at the time, and then said, ‘I’m not giving him this money until Rahm’s brother Ari holds the fundraiser for me.’ Obviously, you can’t connect a government grant with a personal political fundraiser. Rahm had called me to ask kind of what the holdup was. I asked Rod. Rod said, ‘Tell him I want my fundraiser,’ and luckily I realized I can’t do that. And so instead, I put a stop to it and reported it, and then had to testify to it in both corruption trials. But, clearly it was the right thing to do, otherwise, I’d be sitting with him in jail right now.”

Tusk on managing Bloomberg’s 2009 reelection campaign: “Anthony Weiner was actually our biggest competition in 2009 for mayor. This is before his scandals, so he could have won. I talk in the book about how we really had to just viciously knock him out of the race, and do all kinds of things. Like, for example, he used to play hockey every Tuesday night in Manhattan, and we knew eventually he’d be in goal one night when his peers were in Washington voting on something. So we hid a photographer in the stands every Tuesday night. And then finally one night, some vote came up in the House, people were voting, Anthony was busy playing hockey. We took a picture, gave it to The New York Post. Front page next day: ‘Puck Off.’ A lot of those things persuaded Anthony not to run against Mike.”

“And then this other piece in the book around 2016 and we really put together a campaign for Mike to run for President as an independent. He ultimately chose not to, and the book really gets into sort of how and why. Probably a mistake in retrospect, but to have a guy who has the kind of resources and credibility to at least seriously consider it and make it credible was a lot of fun. Sadly, he didn’t go for it, but people are now talking about 2020.”

On Schumer vs. Hillary: “Chuck Schumer’s known as the most media-hungry politician in America. And Chuck is one of these guys, if he was a running back, it’d be three yards and a cloud of dust, right? And, really kind of clawed his way from State Assembly of New York, to Congress, to the House of Representatives, to the Senate. And finally, he was in a place, as a senior senator from New York, where he could get as much attention as he wanted, which all works until the junior senator is also the most famous woman in the world. Hillary, of course, didn’t pay any of those dues. She just went from the White House, bought a house in New York, ran for Senate and won. We would have to do 50 press conferences to get as much attention as she would get by just taking the wrong elevator in the Senate building. And it drove [Schumer] crazy. A lot of my job became finding ways to screw with her, and really make her entry into the Senate difficult. And even though that had nothing to do with serving the people of New York and it had nothing to do with Chuck’s duties as Senator, he just was so jealous of her he couldn’t help it.” [KMOX]

Tusk on a possible Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign on Axios’ Pro Rata podcast with Dan Primack: “I think the only real distinction between what you saw in 2016 and what you’re hearing now is the realization that the country at the moment is so partisan that, whereas an independent run in 2016 might have been feasible, it would be really tough in 2020. And I think that’s what he’s really been saying. Whether or not he chooses to run is still a totally open question.” [Axios

DRIVING THE WEEK — Trump to shift focus on weapons of mass destruction amid rift with allies over the Iran nuclear deal — by Mark Landler and Gardiner Harris: “The White House backed off a plan to devote the Security Council session to Iran, responding to protests from European officials, who feared that it would showcase divisions over the nuclear deal, which they continue to honor. Mr. Trump’s aides also worried that it could backfire on him by giving Iran’s leaders a platform to confront him. Now the meeting will be devoted to countering weapons of mass destruction.”

“Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, plans to attend the General Assembly, but Mr. Trump is not actively seeking a meeting with him, according to a senior administration official. That does not rule out the possibility that the two men could run into each other.”

“While the Europeans are relieved that Mr. Trump tweaked the agenda of the Security Council session to take the spotlight off Iran, they scheduled their own meeting for Monday during which foreign ministers from the other signatories to the deal — Britain, France, Germany, the European Union, Russia, China and Iran — will pledge their fealty to it.” [NYTimes]

On Wednesday, Trump will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York, among other world leaders, the White House announced yesterday.

HEARD YESTERDAY — U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in a press briefing: “What I can tell you is that this is the week we all wait for, where we can all put U.S. interests in the spotlight, make it a really big prominent thing with all the administration coming in. They are going to come and do their thing and we’re all going try to see if we can get some good peace and security agreements passed.” [Video]

“Haley said a large team of American officials, including Mr. Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and other top advisers, would roam the U.N. to tackle a host of issues, from non-proliferation to counter-narcotics and migration issues. [WSJ]

HAPPENING ON TUESDAY — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir, and Special Envoy on Iran Brian Hook are among featured speakers at the United Against Nuclear Iran annual summit held at the Westin Grand Central in Manhattan.

REPORT — IDF chief warns US steps could harm Israel, inflame West Bank: “IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot warned the Security-Cabinet at the beginning of the week that there is a more than moderate chance that a violent conflagration could erupt in the West Bank, adding that the US decision to choke the Palestinian Authority (PA) of financial funds is counterproductive for Israel and could inflame matters in the area…” [Ynet] • Avigdor Lieberman angered by leak of West Bank security warning [NG]

Netanyahu support for Trump on UNRWA exposes political-military divide — by Joshua Mitnick: “Every single Israeli government has permitted UNRWA to operate. When it is so enmeshed in Palestinian society, ordering an abrupt aid cut can lead to catastrophic consequences for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” says Peter Lerner, a reserve Israeli military spokesman who also was the spokesman for the army agency that liaises with UNRWA. “The instability risked by the UNRWA cut could require the IDF to mobilize more forces in the West Bank and create more friction with the civilian population,” Mr. Lerner says. “The military will have to deal with counter-terrorism, and it will divert focus from Israel’s biggest threats: Iran and Hezbollah.” [CSMonitor]

WAR OF WORDS — Hezbollah leader and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu exchanged harsh rhetoric over a possible conflict yesterday. In a speech, Hassan Nasrallah claimed Israeli strikes in Syria to prevent Hezbollah from acquiring precise missiles have been proven ineffective. “I tell Israel no matter what it did to cut the route, it is over. It has already been achieved,” he said, adding that Hezbollah “now possesses precision missiles and non-precision and weapons capabilities.”

Netanyahu responded in kind later in the day: “I heard Hezbollah’s bravado. It came from the same person who said after 2006 [Second Lebanon War] that if he knew what Israel’s response would be to the kidnapping of our three soldiers, he would have thought to consider twice whether to do it. So today I suggest that he think not twice but twenty times because if he confronts us he will get a crushing blow that he cannot even imagine.”

MIDTERMS — GOP congressman jokes about Ruth Bader Ginsburg being groped, by Abraham Lincoln — by Reis Thebault: “In his opening statements at an election debate Thursday, a South Carolina congressman kicked things off with a joke. “Did y’all hear this latest late-breaking news on the Kavanaugh hearings?” Rep. Ralph Norman (R) asked the audience at a Kiwanis club in his district. “Ruth Bader Ginsburg came out saying she was groped by Abraham Lincoln.” The opening remark prompted scattered laughter inside the room, but Democratic observers — in South Carolina and elsewhere — didn’t find it funny.” [WashPost

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), who recently came under firefor attending a fundraiser with an alleged Holocaust denier in July, this week endorsed an alt-right activist criticized for anti-Semitism, Mother Jones reported. Gracey Larrea-Van Der Mark, a candidate for a school board seat in Huntington Beach, California, attended an alt-right protest in 2017 against a meeting that she described as being run by “elderly Jewish people.” One of her YouTube channel playlists dubbed “Holocaust hoax?” includes half-a-dozen anti-Semitic videos.

— Rohrabacher’s Democratic challenger, Harley Rouda, in a statement: “Dana’s embrace of a school board candidate who professes bigoted ideas, who associates with white supremacists and anti-Semites, means Dana is embracing hate.”

DONOR CIRCUIT — Bill Maher gives $2 million to House and Senate Democratic super PACs — by Maggie Severns: “Comedian Bill Maher was among several wealthy backers of Democratic causes in August, donating $2 million to super PACs affiliated with House and Senate Democrats… Newsweb Corporation Chairman Fred Eychaner donated a total of $8 million to House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC, making him the biggest single donor to the groups in August. Billionaire financier George Soros donated a combined $2.8 million, and real estate broker George Marcus donated $2 million. Seth Klarman… also donated a combined $2 million to House Majority PAC and Senate Majority PAC in August. Maher also has some company from the Hollywood set: Director Steven Spielberg also donated a total of $400,000 to the groups.” [Politico]

Batya Ungar-Sargon writes… “How Trump Turned American Jews — And Their Money — Away From Israel: Of course, leaving the Republican Party is hardly leaving Israel. But it does mean that these billionaires will not be putting their money in what many view as the most pro-Israel administration the U.S. has seen in generations… And in an age when Senator Bernie Sanders is taking Israel to task over Gaza, presumptive congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez won’t commit to a two-state solution, and newly elected congresswoman Rashida Tlaib is pushing for withdrawing aid, the Democratic party is increasingly willing to criticize the Israel government and hold it to account. It’s this party that American Jewish billionaires are flocking to and bringing their money — thanks to Trump.” [Forward]

Rashida Tlaib Isn’t Waiting Until She Gets to Congress to Help Other Women — by Celeste Katz: “First thing I did was—I wanted to go uplift other women, and I went to go help Ilhan,” Tlaib says of Ilhan Omar, a Minnesota Democrat whose Congressional primary win, which came a week after Tlaib’s, gives her a chance to be the first Somali American Muslim woman in the House. Of course, using her newfound star power to illuminate the campaigns of others isn’t just about shared religious faith for Tlaib, who grew up in Detroit as the eldest of 14—yes, 14—kids born to Palestinian immigrant parents. It’s about class. It’s about community.” [Glamour]

— Ilhan Omar, running to for Keith Ellison’s seat in Minnesota, was asked on The Intercept’s Deconstructed podcast whether on issues of foreign policy, on issues of war and peace, on issues of Middle East, Israel, “do you think you’re going to be forced to kind of moderate your lines and take a quieter…? Omar replied: “No, I am very clear about where my values are when it comes to the Middle East, when it comes to war, when it comes to, you know, the kind of foreign policy we should be engaging in.” [TheIntercept]

After Cynthia Nixon’s Loss, Working Families Party Ponders Its Next Step — by Jimmy Vielkind: “Rebecca Katz, an adviser to [Cynthia] Nixon, said the actor remained concerned about a mail advertisement sent by the New York State Democratic Committee that accused Ms. Nixon of being “silent on the rise of anti-Semitism.” “Before the Democrats can truly be united, Governor Cuomo has to take responsibility for the mailer, say the accusations it contained were 100% false and apologize to Cynthia,” Ms. Katz said.” [WSJ]

INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE — Stephen Miller wins again: Haley, other foes excluded from immigration meeting — by Dan De Luce and Julia Ainsley: “Over the past several months, former officials and humanitarian organizations say, Miller restricted who would take part in the deliberations, while ensuring like-minded associates were in key positions at the State Department. Unlike last year’s deliberations on refugees, U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and her office were excluded from the inter-agency discussions on the issue and did not attend last Friday’s meeting where the cap was set, even though her staff argued she should be included, current and former officials said.” [NBCNews]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT — Hackers Went after Disgraced GOP Fundraiser. Now He Is After Them — by David Kirkpatrick: “[Elliott] Broidy… is not going quietly. His lawyers said this week that, after more than 80 subpoenas and months of cyber-forensic analysis, they had managed to identify as many as 1,200 other individuals targeted by the same cyber criminals. The list of names the lawyers have compiled, they argue, will bolster Mr. Broidy’s case that the rulers of Qatar… had targeted him for his advocacy against them.” [NYTimes

MUELLER WATCH — Michael Cohen spoke to Mueller team for hours; asked about Russia, possible collusion, pardon — by George Stephanopoulos, Eliana Larramendia and James Hill: “Michael Cohen has participated over the last month in multiple interview sessions lasting for hours with investigators from the office of special counsel, Robert Mueller… The special counsel’s questioning of Cohen… has focused primarily on all aspects of Trump’s dealings with Russia… Investigators were also interested in knowing, the sources say, whether Trump or any of his associates discussed the possibility of a pardon with Cohen.” [ABCNews

** 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 **

STARTUP — Sneaker “stock market” co-founded by Dan Gilbert rockets to success — by Adam Finkel: “The roots of StockX began when Dan Gilbert, observant of his son’s interests, had the inkling of an idea to create a sneaker stock market. Gilbert asked serial entrepreneur Greg Schwartz of Bloomfield Hills to take the lead on this effort… Shortly after Gilbert brought Schwartz into the idea, they realized they needed more than just business, e-commerce and technology expertise. They needed an expert in the sneaker culture and they found that in Josh Luber, 40, who became a co-founder of the business and its CEO.” [TheJewishNews]

SPOTLIGHT — How An App Funded By Sheldon Adelson Is Covertly Influencing The Online Conversation About Israel — by Ishmael N. Daro: “The app was developed by the Interdisciplinary Centre in Herzliya, the Israeli university that hosted the “war room” in 2014, as well as by two American non-profits, the Israeli-American Council and the Maccabee Task Force. All three are supported financially by Sheldon Adelson… Act.IL has been promoted by the Israeli government, including on a website run by the Ministry of Strategic Affairs… The founder and CEO of Act.IL, Yarden Ben Yosef, is a former army intelligence officer who told the Forward last year that he is in regular contact with the country’s military and security establishment over the app’s content, and that Act.IL is largely staffed by former intelligence officers. Despite these links, however, both Act.IL and the Israeli government deny any formal relationship.” [BuzzFeed]

SPOTTED IN JERUSALEM — Celebrity chef and TV star Gordon Ramsay was spotted touring the Old City of Jerusalem yesterday. “First time in Jerusalem, and this place is crazy – crazy!” Ramsay said in his Instagram story. According to Ynet, Ramsay is in Jerusalem filming a campaign for the NICE software company which is headquartered in Ra’anana. [JPostVideo]

SPORTS BLINK — Israeli NASCAR driver hopes to show his country in a new light — by Joe Marusak: “Israeli NASCAR driver Alon Day hopes TV viewers get a new impression of his country when they tune in to Saturday’s Cup series race at Richmond Raceway. The 26-year-old Day will make his 2018 Cup series debut driving the BK Racing No. 23 Best Bully Sticks Toyota Camry in the Federated Auto Parts 400. He is the first NASCAR driver from Israel to compete in the Cup series, according to a news release from his sponsor.”[CharlotteObserver]

HEADLINE — Neighbors broke agreement, continued construction on Jewish holidays — by Priscilla DeGregory: “An Upper East Side man is suing his neighbors for not stopping construction during the Jewish holidays. Jacques Blinbaum claims in his Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit that he signed a contract in January with his neighbors — Hong Kong fashion exec Alfred K. T. Chan and Chan’s wife, Fiona Cibani — allowing them access to his property… As part of the agreement, the couple agreed to halt construction during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, the suit says. But work continued on Sept. 10 and 11…” [NYPost]

REMEMBERING — Alan Abel, professional hoaxer and ‘20th-century court jester,’ dies at 94 — by Harrison Smith: “Mr. Abel, 94, died Sept. 14 at his home in Southbury, Conn. — nearly 40 years after he managed to fake his own death and get it printed in the New York Times… He worked as a concert drummer and percussionist before becoming a full-time hoax artist… Among his earliest hoaxes was a political campaign for one “Yetta Bronstein,” a fictitious Jewish homemaker from the Bronx who sought the presidency in 1964 and 1968. With the slogans “Put a mother in the White House” and “Vote for Yetta and things will get betta,” Bronstein — voiced by Mr. Abel’s wife and frequent collaborator, Jeanne Abel — ran on a platform that included replacing congressmen’s salaries with commissions and putting truth serum into the Senate water fountain.” [WashPost]

DESSERT — A Guide to the Sleeper Hits of the Jewish Deli — by Rachel Myerson: “So here’s a fun confession: my favorite Thursday night activity is to get high, dress up in my most modest ensemble, and gorge myself on cheap, stodgy Jewish food in Hasidic neighborhoods after dark. For those seeking a similar dose of sentimental nosh—or simply seeking nourishing, unpretentious eats, allow me to introduce you to the true stand-outs of the Ashkenazi kitchen that your deli probably doesn’t deliver — Cholent, Vorschmak, Holishkes, Potato Kugel and Yaptzik, P’tcha.” [Munchies]

A store that’s a Charlotte tradition is moving, and making other big changes too — by Kathleen Purvis: “Gleiberman’s Kosher Mart, a Charlotte institution for kosher meat and products, is moving to a new location with some more changes… Kosher Mart started on Independence Boulevard in 1990, the only full-service kosher market in the Carolinas.” [CharlotteObserver]

New deli Kosher Palate brings barbecue, sandwiches and more to Far North Dallas: “Looking for a place to score kosher barbecue and sandwiches? This new Dallas deli has you covered. Called Kosher Palate, the newcomer is located in Far North Dallas.” [Hoodline]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: One of the highest grossing Hollywood box office producers of all time, plus the producer of many commercially successful TV shows, Jerry Bruckheimer turns 75… 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 64… Member of the Knesset for the Likud party since 2003, Yisrael Katz turns 63… One-half the renowned film-making team of the Coen Brothers, Ethan Jesse Coen turns 61… Attorney, author, conservative talk show host and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, Mark R. Levin turns 61… Russian oligarch Leonid Nevzlin turns 59… Emmy Award-winning talk show host, actress and producer, Ricki Lake turns 50… Editor of Kveller, she was previously the managing editor of the Real Deal’s Luxury Listings magazine, Lisa Keys turns 42… Assistant Director at TAMID Group (organizes internships in Israel for American business students), Nathan Gilson turns 28… SVP at polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Anna Greenberg Ph.D… Mia Appelbaum… iCenter’s Scott Frankel

SATURDAY: Former Commissioner of the National Basketball Association, David Stern turns 76… Brooklyn-resident, Jay Kanter turns 73… President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles (1992-2009), now a consultant at the LA-based Glazer Foundation, John Fishel turns 70… Nobel Prize laureate, astrophysicist and professor of physics at UC-Berkeley, Saul Perlmutter turns 59… Member of Knesset since 2003, has held multiple Israeli cabinet portfolios, and, until 2017, he was the chairman of the Labor party, Isaac “Bougie” Herzog turns 58… Director of development at the Los Angeles Conservancy, Elizabeth “Liz” Leshin turns 58… Managing director of Calico Real Estate and president of Community Veterinary Partners, both based in Philadelphia, he is a past trustee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Daniel Eisenstadt turns 49… Writer-at-large for The New York Times focused on the personalities in business, politics and media, she is the author of “Chasing Hillary,” Amy Chozick turns 40… Deputy editor of Tablet magazine and host of “Unorthodox,” its weekly podcast, Stephanie Taylor Butnick turns 31… Former Senior Writer at the Jewish Journal and Jewish Insider, now manager of scripted video content at Forward Publishing, Jared Sichel turns 29…

SUNDAY: President of Chanel, the French fashion house (1986-2004), he continues to be Chanel’s Vice Chairman of the Board, Arie L. Kopelmanturns 80… Business Manager for Los Angeles Cardiovascular Medical Group, Angela Maddahi turns 58… Vice chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America, she is a Birmingham, Alabama resident, Sheryl W. Kimerling turns 57… Co-owner of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, Todd Ricketts turns 49… Former US Ambassador to the EU following a Supreme Court clerkship and a White House career, now a managing director at the Institute of International Finance, Kristen Silverberg turns 48… President of Santa Monica-based PR firm, Tower26, she was the director of communications for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti (2015-2017), Naomi Seligmanturns 46… Washington bureau reporter for The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt turns 35… Saber fencing champion, he represented the US at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Eli Dershwitz turns 23… Israeli ambassador to Mexico, Jonathan Peled

Sep
20

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Daily Kickoff: Previewing UNGA — Trump vs. Iran | Cory Booker’s mom echoes a Jewish mother | Lloyd Blankfein skips Red Sox lunch due to Yom Kippur

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Over Yom Kippur… Russia blamed Israel for the loss of a Russian military plane shot down by Syrian forces. Putin and Netanyahu worked to defuse further tensions and Israel’s Air Force Chief is heading to Moscow to offer the Russians more information on the incident… Prime Minister Theresa May pledged on Monday to protect British Jewish identity and Israel’s right to defend itself… Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked the DOJ to determine if John Kerry violated federal laws meeting with Iranian officials… Elliott Broidy’s lawyers claim Qatari hackers have been conducting phishing attacks since at least 2014 against Syrian human rights activists, Egyptian soccer players, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and his wife Debbie, among others… It turns out New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign manager and top aides knew about the content in the anti-Cynthia Nixon mailer before Larry Schwartz signed off on it… Julia Salazar told Jewish Insider she’s ‘hopeful’ she will overcome recent controversies… and the Daily Mail photographed Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump on their way to Yom Kippur services…

PREVIEWING UNGA — Iran to try to divide Trump from allies at UN gathering — by Nahal Toosi, David Herszenhorn and Matthew Karnitschnig: “Donald Trump sees next week’s main session of the United Nations General Assembly as a chance to condemn Iran for spreading what he’s called “chaos and terror” through the Middle East… Trump’s speech to the General Assembly, set for September 25, will include tough anti-Iran language, an administration official confirmed. And Iran’s behavior is still expected to come up during the U.N. Security Council session Trump will chair, tentatively set for September 26.” [PoliticoEU] • Macron to Meet Trump, Rouhani at UN Next Week, Aides Say [Bloomberg

U.S. seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran —  by Lesley Wroughton: “The United States is seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran to include Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its regional behavior, the U.S. special envoy for Iran said on Wednesday ahead of U.N. meetings in New York next week… “The new deal that we hope to be able to sign with Iran, and it will not be a personal agreement between two governments like the last one, we seek a treaty,” envoy Brian Hook told an audience at the Hudson Institute think tank.” [Reuters]

— Trump Hit Iran With Oil Sanctions. So Far, They’re Working — by Clifford Krauss: “Nearly two months before American oil sanctions go into effect, Iran’s crude exports are plummeting. International oil companies, including those from countries that are still committed to the nuclear agreement, are bailing out of deals with Tehran.” [NYTimes]

Abbas to hold Middle East meeting in New York: “Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has invited Middle East envoys, foreign ministers and Security Council diplomats to a meeting in New York next week to discuss prospects for peace, the Palestinian ambassador said Wednesday.” [AFP]

REPORT — “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to swap the slot for his UN General Assembly address with the President of Cyprus in order to speak during Israeli prime time and before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas… Channel 10 reports that while the Cypriot leader was said to have agreed to the trade, UN organizers rejected the move.” [ToI

Despite Rising Tensions, Trump Administration Says Palestinian Authority Fighting Terrorism — by Amir Tibon: “The annual “country reports on terrorism” document for 2017 compliments the Palestinian government in Ramallah for constraining the activities of Hamas and other terror groups, and for arresting terrorists who planned attacks against Israelis. This year’s report is the first one to be published fully under the guidance of the Trump administration.” [Haaretz]

Roula Khalaf writes… “Israel and the Arab states make eyes at each other. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are increasingly being marginalized or ignored: In a recent conversation I had with an Israeli official, the Palestinians were mentioned once or twice, and almost in passing. In Fear, journalist Bob Woodward’s book on Donald Trump’s White House, they don’t feature at all… Israeli officials are right to point to a shift in the mood music and to a quiet expansion of covert co-operation with Arab states… All sides prefer to stay mum on the details but the whispers are that, under the radar, intelligence and technological co-operation is taking place.” [FinancialTimes]

Tom Friedman: “If a Kushner-Trump plan embraced the Arab-Palestinian minimums, Bibi would have to either reject it — exposing his real position — or jettison some of his far-right political supporters and form a new government prepared to negotiate on the U.S. terms. He could definitely do the latter — if he wanted.” [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE REGION — Jordan Scrambles to Recoup Funds for Palestinians Lost to U.S. Cuts — by Felicia Schwartz: “Jordan has embarked on an overseas lobbying campaign to replace funding that the Trump administration pulled last month… from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency… Last week Jordan convened a meeting of the Arab League in Egypt to solicit more funds. Saudi Arabia and others pledged support but not additional money. Next week, Jordan will host a conference with Sweden, Germany, Japan and others on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.”

“A Trump administration official said the U.S. welcomes efforts by Jordan and others to solicit additional funds for Unrwa, but said such initiatives won’t succeed.” [WSJ]

Ambassador David Friedman tweets this morning: “The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is “eligible to receive a monthly salary” as compensation for his incarceration. This practice is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.”

Turkey’s Erdogan Is All Over East Jerusalem — by Jonathan Ferziger: “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is all over east Jerusalem. Muslim worshipers raise his picture at Friday prayers, restaurants display the Turkish flag on their walls, and tens of thousands of his citizens have been sent to the Israeli-controlled holy city on pilgrimages to prevent its “Judaization.” … Erdogan’s presence there has fueled concern in Jordan that he may challenge its historic guardianship over the eighth-century Al Aqsa complex.” [Bloomberg]

2020 WATCH — Cory Booker’s got a lot of love to give, and he’s betting that’s what it will take to win in 2020 — by Jonathan Van Meter: “Booker’s singleness, coming more than a century later, is another way he stands out from other presidential candidates… Booker’s mother, Carolyn, has made peace with her son’s life choices. “I would love for him to have someone to share his life with,” she says. “I remain hopeful for that. But I figured out a long time ago that this is Cory’s calling. We just have to sit back and give him the support that he needs to do it in the way that he can best serve that calling.” Lots of people around Booker talk like that, almost as if he’s chosen the priesthood — the single, relentlessly optimistic, middle-aged man who lives a rather monkish existence in his “crappy” basement apartment in the capital or his humble townhouse with his brother’s family.” [NYMag

MIDTERMS — Tightening Texas race boosts Democrats’ hopes of taking Senate — by Chris Kahn: “The Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics Poll released on Wednesday of several competitive U.S. Senate races… [showed] U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas had a 2-percentage-point lead over [Ted] Cruz among likely voters in the state… The poll also showed Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, with a 1-percentage-point lead over Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson… The poll showed Nevada U.S. Senator Dean Heller holding a 3-percentage-point lead over Democratic U.S. Representative Jacky Rosen.” [Reuters]

— Ted Cruz slams Beto O’Rourke over Israel vote: “In speeches throughout Texas, Cruz is now consistently bringing up O’Rourke’s 2014 vote against sending $225 million in additional funding to Israel for its missile defense system called Iron Dome.” [HoustonChronicle]

— Marc Stanley, former chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council, writes… “It’s not kosher to say Beto O’Rourke doesn’t support Israel: O’Rourke has an outstanding record on Israel. As a member of Congress, he has consistently voted for foreign aid to Israel. He also supports joint US-Israel missile-defense systems. That is despite casting one “no” vote on a defense appropriations bill, which was nothing more than a protest against rushing appropriations votes without debate. It was not a vote against assistance for Israel, which O’Rourke supports. That is why he intentionally voted toward the end of the roll call, knowing that the bill would pass without his vote.” [JPost]

Anti-Semitic Mailer Dogs Cuomo, Even After Big Victory — by Jesse McKinley: “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo might have assumed that his big win in last week’s Democratic primary would end talk about the last-minute piece of campaign mail that falsely suggested his opponent, Cynthia Nixon, was ambivalent about anti-Semitism. He was mistaken. Nearly a week after Mr. Cuomo’s impressive victory, the mailer was once again stirring up questions on Wednesday about who among the governor’s inner circle had known of it, as well as providing a renewed talking point for Marcus J. Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor.” [NYTimes]

Julia Salazar ‘hopeful’ she will overcome controversies — by Jacob Kornbluh: “I feel vindicated, yeah,” Salazar told Jewish Insider at the Brooklyn Dems’ post-primary breakfast Monday morning. “I feel I overcame a lot in the last few weeks.” Though she was skeptical that the Jewish community would fully embrace her after facing scrutiny for false statements regarding her Jewish identity, Salazar said she was “hopeful” that the Jewish community in her district will accept her as their representative. [JewishInsider]

Andrew Gillum campaign says attacks casting him as anti-Israel are ‘irresponsible’ — by David Smiley: “Gillum, who spoke on the issues Sunday during a visit to Miami Beach, says that he’s been against the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement during the entirety of his gubernatorial run, despite what he calls inaccurate reports of a shifting stance. A campaign spokesman for the Tallahassee mayor also explained that Gillum’s association with organizations that back the BDS movement or oppose anti-boycott legislation shouldn’t be construed as support for those positions…”[MiamiHerald• Sheriff Scott Israel helping Andrew Gillum raise money in governor’s campaign [SunSentinel]

New racial controversy batters DeSantis — by Marc Caputo: “A Republican activist who donated more than $20,000 to Ron DeSantis and lined up a speech for him at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club called President Obama a “F—- MUSLIM N—-” on Twitter recently, in addition to other inflammatory remarks… Alembik’s criticisms of Islam and support of Israel found a home at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in February where he organized a gala for a conservative group called “Truth About Israel.” Alembik said he was able to get DeSantis to attend the event because they’ve known each other for years.”[Politico]

** 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: The Redstone Family Legal Drama May Be About to Explode [VanityFair] • Bob Bakish on How Disney-Fox Helps Viacom and His Phone Call With CBS Corp.’s Acting CEO[HollywoodReporter] • WeWork Surpasses JPMorgan as Biggest Occupier of Manhattan Office Space [WSJ]  In the Wake of Disaster, Mitchell Rales’ Art Paradise Bloomed [Bloomberg] • Saddled With $42M in Debt, Seasons Kosher Supermarket Files for Bankruptcy [CommercialObserver] • Marketing Analytics Startup Singular Raises $30 Million [CTech

STARTUP NATION — Digital Marketplace Freightos Gains $45 Million in New Funding Round — by Erica Phillips: “Digital freight-booking marketplace Freightos has raised nearly $45 million in a Series C funding round to expand its technology and geographic reach and develop financial instruments for the container shipping business… “It’s very much about a strategic relationship,” said Zvi Schreiber, Freightos’s chief executive. Freightos plans to work with Singapore Exchange to deliver its container shipping index on a daily basis.” [WSJ]

De Blasio has secret meeting with Red Sox management — by Kevin Dugan and Yoav Gonen: “Mayor Bill de Blasio met secretly with Red Sox brass for a 90-minute lunch on Wednesday at the downtown offices of Goldman Sachs… Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein — a Yankees fan who years ago hawked hot dogs at Yankees Stadium — was not at the meeting because of the Jewish holiday, sources said.” [NYPost]

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Inks Book Deal: “Emanuel’s book, entitled “The Nation City: Why Mayors Run the World,” will be released in the spring of 2020, publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced Tuesday. The book will focus on “effective governing in a time of historic gridlock,” a statement from the publisher said… The book is the first glimpse Emanuel has revealed of his plans for the future after he leaves office in May 2019.” [NBCChicago]

MEDIA WATCH — Annie Karni Joins The Times as a White House Correspondent: “We’re thrilled to announce that Annie Karni will become a White House correspondent, and will join our formidable team of Peter Baker, Julie Davis, Maggie Haberman, Mark Landler, Katie Rogers and Mike Shear… At Politico, Annie traveled with the president to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Britain and Finland and was the author of a wide range of features and exclusives… Like Maggie, Annie is a graduate of a formidable school of journalism — the New York tabloids.” [NYT]

Marc Benioff Explains Why He Is Buying Time Magazine — by David Streitfeld: “While having a massage late Sunday, the West Coast-based tech billionaire discussed via text message why he was entering the East Coast-based media industry by acquiring Time Inc.’s flagship publication… Marc Benioff, the chief executive of the software company Salesforce, and his wife, Lynne, said on Sunday that they had agreed to buy Time magazine from Meredith Corporation for $190 million in cash.” [NYTRecode]

— Is the Shofar … an Instrument of Technological Disruption? “While Mr. Zuckerberg was blowing his shofar before a virtual crowd, Mr. Benioff, 54, was blowing his own, in a synagogue, before a congregation at the ornate-domed Temple Emanu-El in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. Backed by a talented guitarist, the holy ark and a toddler wielding a purple plastic horn, Mr. Benioff raised what looked like the shofar of all shofars: a long, curled, hollowed-out horn. With cheeks and chest full, he exhaled a tekiah-gedolah as well as any of the talis-draped rabbis beside him.” [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Charlotte Jews answer SOS from Wilmington: Send kosher food! —by Tim Funk: “On Tuesday morning, a helicopter loaded with 150 pounds of food — including kosher chicken, kosher yogurt, cream cheese, and “honey cakes,” traditional treats for a sweet Jewish New Year — took off for the airport in Wilmington. When it arrived at about 1:30 p.m. — just hours before Yom Kipper was to begin at sundown — [Rabbi Moshe] Leiblich was there to pick it up… The rabbi spent the rest of the daylight hours Tuesday driving roads that were still passable, delivering ready-to-eat meals to Jewish families getting ready for the holiday.” [CharlotteObserver]

Town accused of bias against Orthodox Jews settles lawsuit: “A New Jersey town has agreed to repeal an ordinance that state officials said discriminated against Orthodox Jews. The moves, announced Monday, resolve a lawsuit the state attorney general’s office filed against Mahwah last October. The town had already repealed an ordinance that barred out-of-state residents from using its parks. Officials agreed that repeal will remain in effect.” [AP]

TALK OF OUR NATION — A Glimpse Inside the Hidden World of Hasidic Women —by Sarah Maslin Nir: “Sharon Pulwer was lost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, shortly after moving here from Israel to study photography, when she came across the black hats and modest clothes of religious Jews in New York City… Ms. Pulwer, now 24, had stumbled upon members of Chabad-Lubavitch… As she learned more, Ms. Pulwer became intrigued by the community’s adherence to biblical precepts that strictly delimit the roles of men and women… Eager to learn, she approached a group outside 770 Eastern Parkway, unaware it was the world headquarters of the movement, and was surprised to find herself welcomed in as an observer.” [NYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK — Tomer Hemed stars in QPR win after Yom Kippur fast — by Ben Weich: “Israeli footballer Tomer Hemed came off the bench to help Queens Park Rangers to a 2-0 win over Millwall on Wednesday night – despite the fact he was still fasting for Yom Kippur when the game kicked off. Hemed, who joined the West London club on loan in August, started the match on the bench… His manager, Steve McClaren, told Sky Sports before the match that Hemed would eat during the first half, and come on as a substitute if needed.” [TheJC]

Mavericks and Mark Cuban Sanctioned by N.B.A. Over Handling of Sexual Harassment — by Scott Cacciola: “Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will pay $10 million to women’s leadership and domestic-violence organizations under an agreement with the N.B.A. announced Wednesday to address sexual harassment and other improper conduct among employees in the team’s front office.” [NYTimes]

— Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted out ESPN’s story on Cuban and the Mavericks: “Fine work by Rachel Nichols on a very serious matter.”

DESSERT — Vegan Bon Chocolatier Opens in Bay Harbor Islands — by Hannah Sentenac: “The next time your chocolate craving kicks in, Bon Chocolatiers in Bay Harbor Islands is happy to help. The newly opened all-vegan and kosher confectioner sells chocolate bars… and other sweet treats. The almost-too-pretty-to-eat, colorful creations were dreamed up by Parisian couple Deborah and Yoann Andreu.” [MiamiNewTimes]

Baked in Baltimore to open in former Goldman’s Kosher Bakery site —by Lorraine Mirabella: “A bakery business with Washington roots has acquired the former Goldman’s Kosher Bakery site in Northwest Baltimore. Baked in Baltimore will open Saturday at 6848 Reisterstown Road, where the 52-year-old, family-owned Goldman’s had operated since 1973 before closing in January. The new business… was co-founded by attorney and entrepreneur April N. Richardson, who grew up in Baltimore and also operates DC Sweet Potato Cakes.” [BaltimoreSun]

Pastrami Plus to open second Long Island location, in Franklin Square  — by Jim Merritt: “There’s a slice of good news on the kosher-style deli front: Pastrami Plus, the little delicatessen in East Meadow known for its warm, peppery pastrami and multi-flavor knishes, is expanding to a new location down the pike in Franklin Square. Sal Gawish, an immigrant from Egypt who learned the business at Grabstein’s in Canarsie, Brooklyn, and also worked at Bellmore’s now-defunct Bellcrest kosher deli, opened the East Meadow store in 2003.” [Newsday]

BIRTHDAYS: Journalist and author Martin Tolchin turns 90… Florida real estate developer who acquired 785 acres of mostly swamp land in South Florida for $6 million in 1967 and converted it into Aventura and Turnberry Isle Resort, Donald Soffer turns 86… Author, television personality and philanthropist, she is the widow of Aaron Spelling, Carole Gene “Candy” Spelling turns 73… Long-time SVP at Booz-Allen after a career that included two White House staff positions, former CEO of Special Olympics International, Bruce Pasternack turns 71… Businessman, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, co-founder of Broadcom and owner of the Anaheim Ducks, Henry Samueli turns 64… Rabbi of Congregation Beit Torat Chaim of Jakarta, Indonesia and the founder and director of Outreach Judaism, Rabbi Tovia Singer turns 58…

Civil rights attorney, author and legal analyst on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News and MSNBC, Lisa Bloom turns 57… Founder of PFAP Consulting, Melissa Jane Kronfeld, Ph.D. turns 36… National security, homeland security and foreign policy advisor to Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), James Mazol turns 32… Associate director of the Middle East Program at the DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, previously a political assistant at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, Emily Grunewald turns 31… Director of membership for the Sacramento-based California Solar & Storage Association, Carter Lavin turns 30… Business development associate at ActionIQ, Alison Bogdonoff turns 29… OneTable’s Zoe Plotsky… Isabel Tsesarsky… Bloomberg LP’s legal reporter, Drew Singer… Lauren Ackerman

Sep
17

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Daily Kickoff: Top donors Seth Klarman, Les Wexner abandon GOP | Camp David at 40: Interview with Stu Eizenstat

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DRIVING THE CONVO — Seth Klarman in a rare interview with NYTimes op-ed staff editor Bari Weiss: “I’m kind of a loner. One of the reasons I’m willing to come out of my shell and talk to you is because I think democracy is at stake. And maybe I’ll be able to convince some other people of that. And get them to support Democrats in 2018. We need to turn the House and Senate as a check on Donald Trump and his runaway presidency… I’m stretching far beyond what I usually do. By the election, I think I’ll have spent between $18 and $20 million.”

Klarman on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “In a lot of ways I’m actually excited about somebody like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez coming along because it’s a way of younger people and people of color and people who are different finding their voice and being part of the process.”

Among the Democratic candidates Klarman has given money to: Reps. Joe Kennedy (MA), Conor Lamb (PA), Beto O’Rourke (TX) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY).

Klarman on 2020: “What if it came down to a choice between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? While a President Sanders would be “appalling,” he says Mr. Sanders is “not unhinged” and so he would pull the lever for him.”

Why it matters: “There are many people who are similarly situated to Seth Klarman — wealthy, hawkish, socially liberal, fiscally conservative types who felt politically homeless long before Mr. Trump came onto the scene.”

Klarman’s creds: “Paul Singer, one of the most influential hedge fund managers in the country, told me that if he was going to invest in any fund other than the one he himself manages, “the only one would be Seth’s.” Used copies of a book about investing that Mr. Klarman wrote in 1991 go for more than $650 on Amazon.” [NYTimes]

FLASHBACK — October 2017: Billionaire Republicans Privately Diss Trump: “Frequent GOP donor Seth Klarman, CEO of $30 billion Baupost Group hedge fund, had already warned his investors about Trump’s protectionist policies and the deficits his tax plan would produce… “The president is a threat to democracy. He has attacked journalists and he’s threatening to take away NBC’s license,” Klarman said… People don’t focus on this but Nazi Germany had a constitution before Hitler came to power and at the end of the war they had the exact same constitution. It lasted all the way through, but democracy didn’t.” [NYMag]

Les Wexner renounces Republican Party affiliation after Obama stops in Columbus —by Suzanne Goldsmith: “I just decided I’m no longer a Republican,” said L Brands CEO Leslie H. Wexner, speaking during a panel discussion about civility at Miranova’s Ivory Room billed as a “Columbus Partnership and YPO Leadership Summit.” “I’m an independent,” he said. “I won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party. I’ve been a Republican since college, joined the Young Republican Club at Ohio State.” … Wexner recalled [Trump’s comments following the Charlottesville protests], which he said caused him to lose sleep. “I have to do something because the leader of our country is behaving poorly,” Wexner recalled thinking.” [Dispatch]

Shalom Lipner tweets“The subtext here is that both Wexner and Klarman have stellar records of support for transformative Israeli and Jewish communal initiatives. That they would break with the GOP over Trump speaks volumes about how they perceive his impact on both Israel and the Jewish community.”

RJC’s Matt Brooks tells us… “There is no question that folks have very strong feelings both pro and con for this administration (as many did under Obama as well). Very few are neutral on the Trump Administration. As such it’s not surprising that some GOP donors have decided not to give. However we are also seeing many new donors and people significantly increasing their support to the GOP because of the strong pro-Israel actions of this President including moving the Embassy, ending the Iran deal and cutting off funding for UNRWA and the PA. The RJC is on track to have one of its strongest revenue years ever.”

INBOX — Jewish People Policy Institute’s 2018 reportMidterm elections results could deepen crisis in Israel’s relations with the Democratic Party and undermine bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.

“The report also relates to a deepening frustration in the Trump administration with the lack of appreciation American Jews have shown for the steps taken by the president to improve Israel’s political and security reality. A Senior official in the administration emphasized to JPPI, “We can take justified criticism, but if Obama had transferred the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the American Jewish community would have been united in applauding him!”

Chemi Shalev writes… “Israel’s Irreconcilable Differences With U.S. Jews and the Democratic Party May Soon Lead to Final Divorce: Israel will ultimately and inevitably pay a steep price for its foolhardy neglect of the liberal world. The first accounting may come as early as November 6, if the U.S. Congress falls into the hands of a reinvigorated Democratic Party, depleted of its pro-Israeli stalwarts, increasingly beholden to its liberal, left-wing flank, eager to flex its muscles and to start exacting its revenge.” [Haaretz]

2020 WATCH — Bloomberg May Run for President as a Democrat. His Views on Policing and #MeToo Could Be a Problem — by Alexander Burns and Sydney Ember: “After a gun control-themed event in a Seattle community center Friday, [Michael] Bloomberg… said in an interview that he now firmly believes only a major-party nominee can win the White House. If he were to run, Mr. Bloomberg said it would be as a Democrat, and he left open the door to changing his party registration in the coming months. “It’s impossible to conceive that I could run as a Republican — things like choice, so many of the issues, I’m just way away from where the Republican Party is today,” Mr. Bloomberg said… Mr. Bloomberg said he had no specific timeline for deciding on a presidential run: “I’m working on this Nov. 6 election, and after that I’ll take a look at it.” [NYTimes]

CAMP DAVID AT 40 — Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Camp David Accords, a framework signed by then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, after 13 days of talks at Camp David. The accords, later cemented by a peace treaty in 1979, led to peace between Israel and Egypt for four decades.

INTERVIEW — Stuart “Stu” Eizenstat, who was among Jimmy Carter’s closest aides, shared a behind-the-scenes account of the Camp David talks — which he describes in his recently published book titled “President Carter: The White House Years  — in a phone interview with Jewish Insider‘s Jacob Kornbluh.

“Camp David was 13 agonizing days and nights,” according to Eizenstat. “Carter drafted 20 separate peace agreements. He negotiated separately with Begin and Sadat because they were like two scorpions in a bottle. They could not be in the same room and they weren’t, except at the very first day of Camp David and the last when the deal was done. He worked with the delegations, the staff people, which was very unusual for a president to negotiate with somebody other than the head of states. Then he added two personal touches. The first was on the first Sunday of the 13 days. He took Sadat and Begin in his presidential limo to the Gettysburg battlefield to dramatize the fact that five wars between Egypt and Israel were enough. It led to two very emotional scenes, which I describe in my book. One is that Sadat, who was a general, started talking about [George] Pickett’s charge and how that was a turning point in the whole war. Begin, who was of course not a general, but who was a great historian, then broke out extemporaneously and recited Abraham Lincoln’s entire Gettysburg Address.”

“The second shows how Carter studied intelligence reports about Sadat and Begin. So the last Sunday, the 13th day, we were close, but not quite there with an agreement. Prime Minister Begin said to the Carter, ‘Mr. President, I cannot, will not make any more compromises. I ask you to get a car to take me back to Washington. I’ve got an El Al plane already waiting for me at Andrews Air Force Base. I’m leaving. My bags are packed.’ Carter, realizing this failure after 13 days would totally undercut Sadat’s historic trip to Jerusalem, took a desperate personal touch. That is knowing the Begin had a great love for his eight grandchildren. He got the names of each of the eight and personally inscribed their names on photographs of Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David. He walked over to Begin’s cabin and hand delivered it, and saw Begin’s lips quiver and his eyes tear as he read each of their names signed by the president. He said, ‘Mr. President, I’ll make one last try.’ Almost 40 years later, that treaty is the center of Israeli security.”

HEARD THIS MORNING — Fred Kempe, President of the Atlantic Council, to MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski: The Camp David peace accords “was almost upset by a little girl at Camp David named Mika Brzezinski. I was reading the memoirs of her father (Zbigniew Brzezinski) over the weekend, and apparently, you were in a golf cart with Amy Carter, and you almost ran down the Israeli Prime Minister, and it was only the security guard of Amy Carter that avoided an international crisis at that point.” Picture of Mika in the golf cart at Camp David [Pic]

Kempe on what sets apart the Camp David Accords from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process: “I think three things set that apart, and they don’t exist right now. The first is you have Menachem Begin on the Israeli side, Anwar Sadat on the Egyptian side, and they were both strong leaders who wanted to get something done. In Benjamin Netanyahu [on the Israeli side] and Mahmoud Abbas, on the Palestinian side, you don’t have that. You had President Carter, who was willing to get deeply involved with details and come up with creative solutions during those 13 days in Camp David and elsewhere when things got blocked. And then the third thing, Menachem Begin was willing to give up territory. He was willing to give up the Sinai. He didn’t see any Biblical connection, any historical connection. So he wanted to hold on to West Bank, and the way to do that was giving up Sinai.”

Israeli-American Fatally Stabbed in the West Bank — by Felicia Schwartz: “The man, Ari Fuld, was a right-wing pro-Israel activist who had a following on social media. He was killed at a shopping mall near the Gush Etzion junction that has been the site of similar incidents in recent years. The junction and mall are frequented by both Israelis and Palestinians… “Ari Fuld was a passionate defender of Israel and an American patriot,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Twitter. “He represented the best of both countries and will be deeply missed.” [WSJ]

TRUMP’S BIG STICK ― The Trump administration’s most recent move to end funding of peace-building programs for Palestinians and Israelis drew a rare public rebuke from diplomatsMiddle East experts, and Jewish groups alike. On Friday, USAID notified Congress that it would not issue the last $10 million payment of the $26 million that had already been budgeted in FY2017 for the Conflict Management and Mitigation Program. On Sunday, the Palestinian Authority’s representative to DC, Husam Zomlot, said the U.S. has revoked his and family’s visas and closed the PLO’s bank accounts in Washington, DC.

— “The closure of the PLO offices in Washington was shocking,” a Palestinian official told Israel Hayom. “We didn’t think Trump would go so far as to shut down the official Palestinian mission in the U.S.”

VIEW FROM RAMALLAH — US has no plan for Middle East peace, says senior Palestinian: “I don’t think they will ever introduce a plan,” [Saeb] Erekat said in Jericho. “The whole world is rejecting their ideas. They are already implementing their plan by changing the terms of reference.”[TheGuardian]  

— In an interview with Ben Caspit, Erekat hinted Abbas will return the Palestinian Authority keys back to Israel in an upcoming speech at the end of the month. Erekat also recounted the conversations he had with Trump and Jared Kushner in 2017, blaming Israel and the Administration for the impasse in the Middle East peace process.

Aaron David Miller tweets“Over a 20 year period under Rs and Ds, we did some really dumb things on Arab-Israeli peacemaking. But nothing — I mean nothing – comes close to the policies being pursued by the Trump Administration which are cruel, confused, and counterproductive for all sides.”

Jackson Diehl: “Apparently Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, real estate developers turned would-be Middle East peace brokers, believe squeezing the Palestinians will induce them to be more reasonable, like wayward subcontractors. Longtime veterans of Mideast diplomacy will tell you the opposite result is far more likely — but then, the pros are excluded from this initiative.” [WashPost]

INSIDE THE ADMIN — Fraying Ties With Trump Put Jim Mattis’s Fate in Doubt — by Helene Cooper: “Mr. Mattis has begun questioning the efficacy of Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal — a move that, again, was made against his advice. Mr. Mattis has told aides that he has yet to see any difference in Iran’s behavior since Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement between world powers and Tehran. Mr. Mattis famously was pushed out of his job as head of United States Central Command in 2013 because he was viewed as too much of a hawk on Iran policy during the Obama administration. But now, in the Trump administration, Mr. Mattis makes his arguments on Iran from the left of Mr. Bolton, Ms. Ricardel and the president himself.” [NYTimes

Peter Beinart writes… “America Needs an Entirely New Foreign Policy for the Trump Age: On North Korea, Russia, and nato, Democrats in Congress sound a lot like the Never Trump hawks who once called them appeasers. But the more Washington Democrats echo GOP or ex-GOP hawks, the more they distance themselves from their party’s own base…”[TheAtlantic

MIDTERMS — DCCC makes Perry Gershon race a top-tier contest — by David Schwartz: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Friday moved Democrat Perry Gershon’s bid to unseat Rep. Lee Zeldin to its top tier of targeted races. DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján cited Gershon’s fundraising, campaign infrastructure and “deep ties to the community he aims to serve” in a statement announcing the move to the “Red-to-Blue Program,” which includes 82 seats… “I’m happy to see the national party has come to understand the momentum we have and recognize it,” Gershon said Friday.” [Newsday]

PROFILE ― America’s anger paradox: Voters want the anger to stop but can’t stop being angry — by Greg Jaffe: “[Elissa] Slotkin’s race (for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District), which nonpartisan groups rate as a toss-up, is a view into perhaps the biggest paradox of the Trump era. Voters say they are tired of the anger and polarization emanating from Washington. They say they crave compromise. Yet these same voters view the rival party with disdain and frequently punish politicians for reaching across partisan lines. They want the anger to stop but can’t stop being angry… She knows that her ability to navigate this contradiction will determine whether she wins this November in a district that President Trump carried by seven percentage points. To prevail, Slotkin needs to peel off some Trump voters. These days that means she must do more than just convince them she’s the better candidate.”[WashPost

MUELLER WATCH — ‘Senior Israel official’ mentioned in Paul Manafort court document by Special Counsel Robert Mueller: “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sought to turn what he termed “Obama jews” against former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko as part of his lobbying work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, according to a Friday indictment prosecutors filed in federal court… Prosecutors say he collaborated with an Israeli official to spread the story that Tymoshenko was allied with anti-Semitic causes to make the administration believe “the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on election day if he does nothing.” [BusinessInsiderNYT]

— “Manafort is cooperating, so I’m sure Mueller knows the name,” [Alan] Dershowitz said… “You don’t put a person’s name in an indictment unless they did something wrong,” he explained. “It was perfectly reasonable for an Israeli to be willing to hear information about potential anti-Semitism,” Dershowitz added… “The senior Israeli official probably didn’t know that Manafort was engaged in unregistered lobbying activities.” [Haaretz]

— “The indictment does not elaborate on the identity of the Israeli official. However, in October 2012, [Avigdor] Lieberman, who was then serving as the foreign minister, published a statement that was identical in nature to the statement contained in the indictment. Lieberman denied having any connection with the issue and maintains that he never spoke to Manafort or met with him.” [Ynet]

On Sunday, Lieberman called on Israel’s Justice Ministry to open a probe into the identity of the top official embroiled in the case of Paul Manafort.”[Haaretz]

Possible connection? The late Arthur Finkelstein, who had a longtime relationship with Manafort, also served as a political strategist to Lieberman, who ran in 2013 on a joint list with Netanyahu’s Likud. Finkelstein also advised Netanyahu in 1996 and 1999. Finklestein later worked with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after being recommended by Netanyahu.

** Good Monday 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: Time Magazine Sold to Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff for $190 Million [WSJNYTimes] • Post-Moonves, Shari Redstone Faces a New Legal Threat: Her Father [VanityFair] • Roman Abramovich transfers $92M of property to ex [NYPost] • Amazon Go could be 200x bigger in a decade: Joe Sitt [TheRealDeal] • WeWork hosts a pitch night to stock its in-house stores [NewYorker]

MEDIA WATCH — Who’s Left Covering Brooklyn With the Big Newspapers in Retreat? —by Scott Nover: “[Liena] Zagare’s vantage point at bklyner puts her very much on the front lines of local-news reporting in Brooklyn… Zagare was born in the Latvian capital city of Riga, then under Soviet control, and studied at the London School of Economics before launching a career at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation. She met her husband, Ben Smith, now the editor in chief of BuzzFeed News, at a conference in Riga that he was covering and she was attending. They were both 22, and it was Smith’s third day reporting for The Baltic Times. Once they had relocated to New York a few years later, Smith encouraged her to start writing about her surroundings in the early days of blogging.” [TheAtlantic]

TALK OF THE TOWN — As Other Disloyal Democrats Suffer, Simcha Felder Perseveres — by Zoe Greenberg: “Across the state, Mr. Felder has been painted by his critics as a traitor and a turncoat, a rogue Democrat who sits with the Republicans, giving them a one-vote majority in the State Senate… Mr. Felder’s continued power in the State Senate may not last, if the Democrats manage to flip a Republican-held seat in the midterm elections… But in Brooklyn, his constituents did not seem to care what the governor, or anyone else for that matter, had to say about their local leader. As Josh Mehlman, chairman of the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition said, “The community is solidly behind Simcha Felder.” [NYTimes]

Eight Decades of Ethnic Dilemmas: Iconic sociologist Nathan Glazer on the problems of group identity, affirmative action and Donald Trump — by Jason Willick: “Mr. Glazer is a critic of President Trump, but a temperate one… He believes anti-Semitism in the U.S. has been all but eliminated in his lifetime, and adds: “I don’t see it connected to Trump—if his daughter marries a Jew and converts, if his grandchildren are being raised as Jews and no one cares.” As for open racists and anti-Semites who describe themselves as “alt-right”: “I don’t think anybody in the alt-right these days is going to get elected.”

“Mr. Glazer thinks today’s campus activists are characterized by a “discomfort at discussion that looks seriously” at important social issues—just as the Berkeley revolts, in their later stages, ended up seeking to silence opposing ideas. Yet he thinks today’s student protesters are likely to be less successful than their 1960s predecessors in pushing society leftward. Perhaps instead they will put off sympathizers and thereby help produce more centrists like Mr. Glazer.” [WSJ]

Baptist pastor starts nonprofit to restore post-Holocaust cemeteries — by Vanessa Gera and Dmitry Vlasov: “For years now, [Steven] Reece, an ordained Southern Baptist minister from Texas, has been cleaning Jewish cemeteries and erecting memorial plaques at mass grave sites in Poland, and recently Ukraine…The 63-year-old American says cleaning up old cemeteries is his way, as a Christian, of honoring Holocaust victims while supporting the surviving Jewish communities here… Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said that initially, some were puzzled by Reece. “Steven is so unique, we’re not used to people like that,” he said. “But as soon as I met him I realized that he was the real thing,” Schudrich added.” [AP]

PHOTO — New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman posted a picture of him praying at the Western Wall on Instagram with a note marking the High Holy Days“It’s a very special time of year for both Pats nation and Jewish people all over the world with both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I’m usually in such an active mode around this time but this year I’m being more reflective and grateful. I’m so blessed to have a loving family, an incredible daughter and amazing support from the best fans in the world. Remember to let the people you love know that you love them and always be grateful for what you have. שנה טובה.” [Pic]

REMEMBERING: Walter Mischel, psychologist who created ‘marshmallow test,’ dies at 88 — by  Emily Langer: “Walter Mischel was born Feb. 22, 1930, to a Jewish family in Vienna. His home was not far from that of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. “Even as a young child I was aware of his presence,” Dr. Mischel once told the British Psychological Society, “and I suspect at some level I became quite interested in what makes people tick.” Dr. Mischel’s family enjoyed a comfortable life until the rise of Nazism. His father, a businessman who had suffered from polio, was made to limp through the streets without his cane. Dr. Mischel recalled being humiliated by members of the Hitler Youth who tread on his new shoes. The experience, he told the Guardian, planted in him a desire to understand “the enabling conditions that allow people to go from being victims to being victors.” [WashPost]

DESSERT — Federal Bureau of Prisons Preps for Yom Kippur in Wake of Hurricane Florence: “Some Jewish federal prisoners wanna keep things kosher for Yom Kippur … and the Federal Bureau of Prisons is accommodating, especially for facilities affected by Hurricane Florence… Jewish prisoners in all facilities around the country will have access to kosher food, but the $21,799 is specifically earmarked for prisons in the path of Florence.” [TMZ]

This chef’s looking to his roots to put a new twist on soul food — by Samantha Max: “Michael Twitty doesn’t cook the same macaroni and cheese his mom taught him to make. It’s loaded with cream cheese and sour cream, and anyone who’s eaten at a Kosher deli might say it tastes kind of like noodle kugel. The chef and author has adapted and transformed a lot of the foods he grew up cooking with his mother and grandmother in the D.C. suburbs, blending together his African-American and Southern roots with his Jewish identity to create cuisine as rich in tradition as it is in taste.” [Macon]

BIRTHDAYS: Founder and marketer of the Oreck Corporation, manufacturers of vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, David Irving Oreck(family name was originally Oreckovsky) turns 95… Newberry award winning author of many young adult books, some with Jewish themes, Gail CarsonLevine turns 71… Rochester attorney, he served as the Executive Director of the philanthropic leadership group at UJA-Federation of NYC (2001-2003) and was a board member of the Rochester Jewish Federation, Frank Hagelbergturns 70… Professional tennis player who achieved a world ranking of No. 5 in 1980, Harold Solomon turns 66… Comedian, writer and actress, frequent guest of Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, Rita Rudner turns 65… Israeli businessman and former IAF pilot, with real estate holdings in Israel and NYC, he is the founder and chairman of NYC-based Alto Real Estate Funds and chair of the Israel Advertising Federation, Mody Kidon turns 64…

Glasgow-born, senior rabbi of Masorti Judaism in the UK, rabbi of the New North London Synagogue with approximately 2,400 members, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg turns 61… Professor of Economics at Princeton, formerly Assistant Treasury Secretary and then chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger turns 58… Washington columnist for the British daily newspaper, The Guardian, author of two books on the Obama presidency, he was an EVP and executive editor of MSNBC’s website, Richard Wolffe turns 50… Former regional communications director and spokesperson for President Obama, now at Blue Engine Message & Media, Adam Abrams turns 37…

Rand Paul aide reads Trump letter at Jewish wedding

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

President Donald Trump sent a personal letter congratulating a Jewish bride and groom on Tuesday. Shlomo Segal and Devorah Ganz were married last night at Ateres Chynka hall…

Kafe Knesset for December 18

Monday, December 18, 2017

Hate to say I told you so: Right-wing Twitter broke out in calls of “I told you so” this morning following the Politico story on Obama, Hezbollah and…

House committee advances Jordan MOU amidst rare Congressional critique of Amman

Friday, December 15, 2017

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee unanimously passed legislation that would re-authorize a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen U.S. defense ties with Jordan….

Lawmakers on Abbas’ cancellation of Pence meeting

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

WASHINGTON – After President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas informed the White House on Sunday that it would be canceling…

Kafe Knesset for December 6

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Jerusalem is holding its breath: Excitement is building ahead of the Presidential address on Jerusalem this evening, but the Israeli PM is waiting to see what exactly will…

Kafe Knesset for December 4

Monday, December 4, 2017

Embassy watch: While the PMO is still keeping its distance from the explosive Jerusalem Embassy move or recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, some of Bibi’s senior ministers…