Daily Kickoff: Abe Foxman defends Gorka’s Holocaust reference | What Teva’s plight says about the startup nation | Israel’s first single malt whiskey

JI_logoCP2

Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends 

REPORT — Boston Mag’s David Bernstein tweets: Per Dem fundraiser, 4 Senators are telling donors they are running in 2020: Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar [Twitter]

“Can Any Democratic Candidate Satisfy the Left?” by Sarah Jones: “It is the year 2017, a full three years out from the next presidential election, and yet we are already talking about 2020…” [NewRepublicQuartz]

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand writes why she withdrew support from the anti-BDS bill… “As I said publicly at a town hall, I cannot support the bill in its current form if it can be interpreted as stifling or chilling free speech… Some have suggested that I suddenly began supporting the BDS movement when I took my name off the bill. This accusation has popped up on the Internet in recent days – both from Israel’s supporters and from Israel’s detractors. This is just plain false. I cannot state this more clearly: I vehemently oppose the BDS movement, which too often is used as a pernicious vehicle for anti-Semitism; I would never support it, and I signed on to the Israel Anti-Boycott Act in order to push back against this effort to make Israel – and Israel alone – a pariah… Don’t twist my words. When I am defending my constituents’ right to protest Israel, it doesn’t mean I agree with what they’re saying.” [Forward]

THE OTHER SENATOR FROM NEW YORK… “On Israel, Trump Administration Welcomes A New Ally: Chuck Schumer” by Curt Mills: “Seeing a rare opportunity for bipartisanship, the White House is welcoming co-sponsorship by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of legislation that would cut funding to the Palestinian Authority until it “has terminated payments for acts of terrorism.” … With Schumer’s backing, and following the overwhelming vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Taylor Force Act is likely to become law.” [NationalInterest]

REPORT: Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt are expected to return to Israel and the Palestinian territories later this month, Israeli Channel 10 reported. [Nana10

“Israel, PA discreetly resume security coordination” by Shlomi Eldar: “US pressure appears to have played an even more significant role in the decision… Jason Greenblatt conveyed a clear message to [intelligence chief Majid] Faraj that a halt to the security coordination could end in disaster… It now turns out that security coordination between the sides was restored on Aug. 4, without any formal announcement and with Palestinian security forces being sworn to secrecy about the move. The next day, Israeli troops had already detained dozens of suspects in the Jalazone and Balata refugee camps in the West Bank.” [Al-Monitor]

JI CONTEST: In Jerusalem yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with a delegation of freshman Republican Members of Congress led by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. [Pic] • As with the Democrats’ visit to Jerusalem earlier this week, we’re offering shoutouts in the next Daily Kickoff to any JI readers who correctly identify at least 30 individuals in the picture with PM Netanyahu. Email Editor@JewishInsider.com

DRIVING THE CONVO: Speaking to the press yesterday, following a national security briefing, President Trump defended National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster against calls for his firing or realignment: “Yes, I do [have confidence in McMaster]. General McMaster? He’s our friend. He’s my friend and he’s a very talented man. I like him and I respect him.”

Trump addressed the Iran deal: “I don’t think they’re living up to the spirit of the agreement. President Obama in his wisdom gave them $150 billion. He gave them $1.8 billion in cash. That’s a hard one to figure. But that was his decision. I think it’s a horrible agreement. But they are not in compliance with the agreement and they certainly are not in the spirit of the agreement in compliance, and I think you’ll see some very strong things taking place if they don’t get themselves in compliance.”

“Inside the warring factions of Trump’s White House” by Marisa Schultz and Bruce Golding: “Multiple sources said Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser for strategy, also sided with McMaster. Kushner — whose wife, Ivanka Trump, is an official assistant to her dad— likes McMaster, one source said.” [NYPost] • Breitbart’s war on McMaster bites Bannon[Politico]

“The ‘Alt-right’ Plot Against McMaster, Spurred by Its Jewish Fellow Travelers” by Dov Zakheim: “It is noteworthy that Trump, known for all his blunt statements and tweets, recently recertified American adherence to the Iran deal. In addition, Trump has voiced his support for a solution to the Middle East impasse that would result in an independent Palestinian entity. McMaster is therefore not out of step with the president, but with the “alt-right” ideologues and their Jewish fellow travelers… He deserves to be supported, and not maligned, whether in the White House, the American Jewish community, or Israel.” [Haaretz] • “Inside Sheldon Adelson’s Effort to Purge McMaster” [VanityFair]

“A Top Trump Adviser Compared The North Korea Situation To The Holocaust” by Amber Jamieson and Talal Ansari: “In an interview with BBC’s Radio 4, Sebastian Gorka used an anecdote he says comes from a Holocaust survivor “who had his whole family wiped out in the death chambers of the concentration camps” to explain Trump’s fiery words against North Korea in recent days. “And he asked this elder gentleman, ‘what is your one take home? What is your one lesson learnt from the horrors of the millions killed?’ And he said, ‘it’s very simple. When a group of people repeatedly says they want to kill you, sooner or later you should take them seriously,'” said Gorka.” [BuzzFeed] • The running list of Holocaust gaffes from President Trump’s White House [NYDailyNews

Abe Foxman,  Director of Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, tells us… “I have no problem with Gorka’s reference to the  Holocaust. He is not comparing the North Korea situation to the Holocaust. He is quoting a Holocaust survivor – sharing a universal lesson of the Holocaust  – when somebody threatens to kill you take him seriously. Too many people in Europe, including the Jews of Europe, did not take Hitler seriously. Gorka is saying, take a lesson from then and take North Korea seriously.”

“Sebastian Gorka, the West Wing’s Phony Foreign-Policy Guru” by Bob Dreyfuss: “By all accounts, Gorka’s own writing and statements at the time included no anti-Semitic comments, and neither The Forward nor other reporters who’ve investigated his background in Hungary have turned up any evidence that Gorka himself participated in anything that could be called anti-Jewish. “What you can say for sure is that he was allied with people who have very extremist views,” says Péter Krekó of the Political Capital Institute in Hungary…For his part, Gorka denies any knowledge of the anti-Semitic backgrounds of his colleagues. Katharine [Cornell] Gorka says that all of the charges about her husband’s years in Hungary have been debunked. “He has never in any way been associated with the far right,” she says. “One of the reasons why we left Hungary was because of Sebastian’s discomfort with the far right.”” [RollingStone]

MEDIA WATCH: “CNN severs ties with Jeffrey Lord” by Brian Stelter: “CNN severed ties with Jeffrey Lord on Thursday, hours after he ignited controversy by tweeting the words “Sieg Heil!” at a prominent liberal activist. “Nazi salutes are indefensible,” a CNN spokesperson said in a statement. “Jeffrey Lord is no longer with the network.” Lord… has been harshly critical of the activist he tweeted at, Angelo Carusone, and the liberal group of which Carusone is president, Media Matters for America… Earlier this week the two men got into another entanglement on Twitter, specifically over Media Matters’ past financial support from George Soros.” [CNNNYTimes

THE DAILY KUSHNER: “Kushner fined for late financial report” by Anita Kumar and Ben Wieder: “Jared Kushner… was slapped with a fine by the Office of Government Ethics for late reporting of a financial transaction, according to a newly released document… The late fee can be waived if the White House’s ethics officer determines that the tardy filing was due to “extraordinary circumstances . . . which made the delay reasonably necessary,” including the agency’s failure to notify a worker of the need to file the disclosure report… Kushner will pay the fine, according to a White House official knowledgeable about the situation.” [McClatchyDC

KAFE KNESSET — A witch hunt? Israelis are not buying it — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Another roller coaster week of intense public engagement with Netanyahu’s legal and criminal affairs has come to an end. Bibi’s uphill battle to brush off the impact of the State’s Witness agreement signed by his former chief of staff, Ari Harow, last Friday was channeled into a “witch hunt” message targeting his favorite enemies – the left and mainstream media… The clear sense of political persecution captivated thousands of Likudniks attending the massive support rally on Wednesday, but for the general public, it is a different story. Several opinion polls were conducted yesterday, all showing that Netanyahu’s Trump-style claim that the media is on a witch hunt to bring him down divides Israelis.

Only 42% of Israelis polled by Channel 2 said they agreed with Bibi, while 48% said they disagreed. Asked whether Netanyahu’s heated speech strengthened or weakened their trust in the PM, 50% of the respondents said the speech had no impact, 11% said it strengthened their trust, but 27% said it worked in the opposite direction and weakened their confidence. A Channel 1 poll showed similar margins in identical questions, but had other bad news for Bibi: 67% of Israelis do not believe Netanyahu is innocent of corruption, and only 33% are sure he has done no wrong. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: WisdomTree is watching the stock market boom pass it by [Crains• Delek expected to unveil new buyer for Phoenix[Globes] • Patrick Drahi’s Altice Launches Fresh SFR Buyout Attempt [FortuneMag] • Rich Hamptons Buyers Don’t Want Mega-Mansions [Bloomberg]

STARTUP NATION: “An Israeli pharma champion sickens: “Teva’s plight has revived a debate about whether Israel is benefiting enough from its high level of investment in research and development. Hundreds of technology startups have been snapped up by global firms in recent decades, and many of them have moved abroad. Israel now has two economies, notes Eugene Kandel, the former chairman of the government’s National Economic Council and the chief executive of Start-Up Nation Central, a non-profit organisation. There is the lucrative, high-tech economy for a small share of the workforce and a second economy where most Israelis work and earn much less, he says.”[Economist

“WeWork acquires Israeli startup Unomy to boost its enterprise sales efforts” by Ryan Lawler: “Global co-working behemoth WeWork is best known for providing flexible office rentals to startups and other small businesses, but enterprise clients are becoming an increasingly large portion of its business. With that in mind, WeWork has acquired Israeli startup Unomy to help its team sell enterprise clients on the idea of opening up offices in its workspaces around the world.” [TechCrunch]

SPOTLIGHT: “Daniel Loeb, a Cuomo Donor, Makes Racial Remark About Black Leader” by Shane Goldmacher: “The hedge fund manager Daniel S. Loeb, a prominent supporter of charter schools and a major financial backer of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and congressional Republicans, accused the African-American woman who leads the Democrats in the New York State Senate of having done “more damage to people of color than anyone who has ever donned a hood.” Mr. Loeb made the reference, apparently to the Ku Klux Klan, in a posting on Facebook in response to an article in The New York Times this week in which the Democratic leader, Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins, confronted Mr. Cuomo about prejudging her based upon race and gender… After The Times reported on his Facebook remarks, Mr. Loeb deleted them late Thursday night. “I regret the language I used in expressing my passion for educational choice,” he said in a statement.” [NYTimes

“Israel’s Getting a New Wall, This One With a Twist” by Isabel Kershner: “Israel is building another wall to protect itself from its enemies. But rather than a major eyesore, much of this one will be invisible. In the coming months, military officials say, the army will be accelerating construction of a subterranean barrier around the Gaza Strip, designed to cut off tunnels running beneath the border into Israel… The approach seems to have caught on internationally. President Trump invoked Israel’s “wall” — without specifying which one — as a model for the barrier he has vowed to build along the United States’ border with Mexico.” [NYTimes]

At a site of Nazi terror, Muslim refugees reckon with Germany’s past” by Isaac Stanley-Becker and Alexandra Rojkov: ““How was it possible?” Osman Jamo asked. Yet he also wondered why the site, where barbed wire and guard towers stood dark against the brilliant sunshine of a summer afternoon in this town north of Berlin, had been preserved at all. “Maybe the Jews want to keep these places going so they can be seen as victims forever,” he said of Sachsenhausen, which was mainly used for political prisoners but by the beginning of 1945 held 11,100 Jews. Jamo’s response is not the usual reaction to Europe’s postwar conversion of concentration camps into memorials and museums, places of atonement and civic education that ask visitors never to forget the Nazi past. But this was not a typical tour — nor was Jamo a typical visitor. This was an effort to sensitize Muslim migrants to the dark history of the country that today offers them asylum. Two years ago, Jamo, 38, fled to Germany from Kobane, a Syrian city occupied by Islamic State militants in late 2014.” [WashPost]

“Russian Court Will Hear Case on Raoul Wallenberg” by Oleg Matsne: “A court in Moscow will hear a lawsuit filed against Russia’s top security agency by relatives of Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Hungarian Jews from death in Nazi extermination camps, a lawyer for the family said on Thursday… Marie Dupuy, Mr. Wallenberg’s niece, is seeking to force the F.S.B. security agency, a successor to the K.G.B., to make public documents that could shed light on his fate. She believes the documents are in the agency’s archive… Ivan Pavlov, Ms. Dupuy’s lawyer, said that predicting the outcome of the case was a “thankless job,” given the Russian government’s reluctance to re-examine the murky elements of the Soviet past.”[NYTimes]

COMING SOON: “Netflix Greenlights Drama Series From ‘Fauda’ Creators, Sets 2nd Project From Duo For Development” by Nellie Andreeva: “Lior Raz and Avi Issacharoff, whose acclaimed Israeli political thriller series Fauda streams on Netflix, are expanding their relationship with the Internet network in a big way with two English-language drama projects. The first, an untitled terrorism drama, has received a straight-to-series order with Raz also attached to star. The second, a political espionage thriller titled Hit and Run, is currently in development at the internet TV network… Both series will be executive produced by Raz and Issacharoff, along with Peter Principato, Itay Reiss and Kimberlin Belloni from Principato-Young Entertainment. Hit and Run also is exec produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman, Todd Lieberman and Laurie Zaks.” [Deadline

“Israel, the land of milk and honey _ and now whiskey?” by Ilan Ben Zion: “The country’s first whiskey distillery is preparing to release Israel’s first single malt whiskey. “It’s a young whiskey,” said Eitan Attir, the distillery’s CEO. Attir says the brew is aged for three years and two months in virgin oak and old bourbon barrels at the company’s renovated former bakery in a rugged industrial area of south Tel Aviv… “This is the first ever single malt whiskey that any distillery has released from Israel.” … Milk and Honey was founded in 2013 and began distilling small experimental batches of whiskey a year later. One hundred bottles from their first cask of Single Malt are set to be sold at an online auction starting Aug. 11.” [APReuters]

WINE OF THE WEEK — by Yitz Applbaum: “Great wine has proliferated all over Israel. The quality and variety of superlative wine has increased exponentially over the past 10 years. I just spent two hours with my son, Ariel, walking through the Jerusalem Wine Festival. Even as an avid collector and drinker of Israeli wines, I was blown away. There were magnums of blush-wine flowing like water, I was even exposed to blueberry and blackberry wines. What heavenly bouquets! There were wines from every corner of our beautiful land. Some grapes grown on mountain tops, others in desert valleys. It is hard for me to imagine how I will ever get to taste all of the amazing  new wines coming out of Israel, but tomorrow I will start my journey. Stay tuned for next week’s column where I will review some great new wines from the festival.”

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAYVenture capitalist and wine columnist for Jewish Insider, Isaac “Yitz” Applbaum turns 57… Conservative political and cultural commentator for The New York Times, David Brooks turns 56… Massachusetts attorney who is also a co-editor of a number of egalitarian Jewish prayer books, C. Peter R. Gossels turns 87… CEO of CBS Records (1975-1990), Walter Yetnikoff turns 84… Member of the US House of Representatives (D-NY-16) (1973-1981) when she was succeeded by Chuck Schumer, she also served as Brooklyn DA (1982-1989) and NYC Comptroller (1990-1993), Elizabeth Holtzman turns 76… Baltimore-born billionaire financier and philanthropist, best known as co-founder and co-chief executive officer of The Carlyle Group, David Rubenstein turns 68… US Trade Representative, the country’s top trade negotiator (1997-2001), now the chair of the international trade group at WilmerHale, Ambassador Charlene Barshefsky turns 67… Senior counsel for benefits and employment at the DC-based law firm of Keightley & Ashner, Linda E. Rosenzweig turns 65… Carolyn Dorfman turns 62… CEO, chairman and major shareholder of the Russian gas company Novatek, reported to be the second wealthiest Russian oligarch ($18.2 billion, per Forbes) Leonid Viktorovich Mikhelson turns 62… Member of the Massachusetts Senate (2011-2017), he is the founder of Cape Air (an airline started on Cape Cod but that now has 43 domestic and international destinations), Daniel A. “Dan” Wolf turns 60… Former yeshiva student and then IDF tank commander, member of Knesset since 2015 for the Likud party, David “Dudu” Amsalem turns 57… Chief of the Shin Bet (Israel’s internal security service) since May 2016, Nadav Argaman turns 57… Emmy nominated producer at NBC’s Meet the Press, Ilana Marcus Drimmer turns 46… MLB pitcher (1994-2002) for seven teams, he was the pitching coach for Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic in South Korea and Japan, Andrew Lorraine turns 45… Ukrainian-born and San Francisco-raised, a magna cum laude graduate of Columbia University with a comparative literature degree, she writes for the New York Times and many other publications, Yelena Shuster turns 30… Medical student in the class of 2018 at University of Pennsylvania Medical School, Sara Ginzberg turns 26 (h/ts Playbook)… Jacob Segal of Standard Management… Daniel Weitz

SATURDAYBillionaire Hungarian-American investor, business magnate, currency trader, philanthropist and political activist, George Soros (born György Schwartz) turns 87… Novelist, playwright and screenwriter, winner of two Academy Awards for his screenplays, William Goldman turns 86… NYC-born historian and author, held academic positions in the UK and Australia, he was president of the Jewish Historical Society of England (2002-2004), William Rubinstein turns 71… Attorney in Ontario, Canada who served as president of the Canadian Jewish Congress (1989-1992), Lester Scheiningerturns 70… US diplomat, Karyn Allison Posner-Mullen turns 66… Director of management operations at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Fredi Bleeker Franks turns 65… Buenos Aires-born, immigrated to Israel at age 18, member of Knesset since 2015 from the Yesh Atid party, Haim Yellin turns 59… British-born Israeli journalist and the founding editor of The Times of Israel, David Horovitz turns 55… Raised in in Santiago, Chile, now Rabbi at Brookline’s Temple Beth Zion, Claudia Kreiman turns 43… SVP for development and communications at NYC’s Educational Alliance, Anya Hoerburger turns 40… Red Banyan Group’s DC principal, Jarad Geldnerturns 34… Customer Success Manager at NYC-based Dynamic Yield, David Fine… Jay Chernikoff… Ariel Applbaum

SUNDAYChair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System since 2014, Janet Yellen turns 71… Long-time DC reporter Trude Feldmanturns 93… Member of the New York State Assembly from Queens (1987-2011) and then the County Clerk of Queens County, Audrey Pheffer turns 76… Retired CPA and senior executive in Los Angeles, now serving as a mentor and volunteer at SCORE, a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration, Morton Algaze turns 74… Board member of the Beverly Hills Synagogue, Ruth Fay Kellerman turns 59… Michael Landau turns 52… President of Accessibility Partners, a Maryland firm that hires people with disabilities for tech jobs, she is also the founder of a non-profit Support the Girls, Dana Marlowe turns 41… Professor of Government at Harvard University, he was the Director of the Harvard Center for Jewish Studies (2012-2015), Eric M. Nelson turns 40… Strategy and projects associate at Nadav Foundation, formerly an associate director of APCO Worldwide, David Angel… Elaine Hall… Jonathan Gerber… Jodie Singer

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]


Comments are closed.