Daily Kickoff: Why the Pew poll on Israel is faulty | ADL calls for Obama to denounce Farrakhan again | Trump’s Chilean Ambassador’s Kushner ties


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‘NO DAYLIGHT’ A TWO WAY STREET? “Israel supports Rwandan resolution, breaks with U.S.” by Barak Ravid: “Israel supported and co-sponsored a UN general assembly resolution, initiated by Rwanda, that rewrites the historical narrative regarding the 1994 genocide. Why it matters: This is against the U.S. government’s position… “One of the reasons for co-sponsoring the resolution was the deportation deal with Rwanda,” a senior Israeli official told me… U.S. diplomats in New York even asked their Israeli counterparts to press their Rwandan allies to back off from the resolution. The U.S. was amazed to find out that Israel refused to do so… Not only that — Israeli diplomats told their American counterparts that Israel has decided to co-sponsor the resolution.”

BACKSTORY: “Rwanda tabled the draft UNGA resolution two months ago in order to amend a previous resolution from 2003 which set April 7 of every year as the international remembrance day for the 1994 Rwanda genocide. The amended resolution changed the name of the remembrance day to the “International Remembrance Day for the Tutsi Genocide” — disregarding thousands of Hutu victims who were murdered… In the end the U.S. and the EU decided to drop their objections in order to avoid a vote and a public crisis with Rwanda. The resolution passed last Friday in consensus without a vote but the U.S. deputy permanent representative to the UN spoke highly critically against the resolution, warning of historical revisionism. Her Israeli colleague who spoke after her welcomed the resolution and praised it.” [Axios]

WHAT ABOUT IN POLAND? — “Israel Slams ‘Baseless’ Holocaust Legislation in Poland” by Isabel Kershner: “Legislation in Poland… would make it illegal to suggest Poland bore responsibility for atrocities committed on its soil by Nazi Germany during the occupation in World War II… The bill, which would need approval from Poland’s Senate and the president to become law, sets prison penalties for using phrases such as “Polish death camps” to refer to concentration camps set up by the Nazis in Poland… Many pointed out that the effort to outlaw mention of Polish complicity in the Holocaust coincided with International Holocaust Remembrance Day.” [NYTimes]

“Netanyahu said Sunday that his country could not tolerate a proposed law in Poland that distances Warsaw from responsibility for the Holocaust. Israel also summoned Poland’s deputy ambassador to express its outrage. At a cabinet meeting, Netanyahu said Israel has “no tolerance for the distortion of the truth, the rewriting of history and the denial of the Holocaust.” [USAToday]

“Netanyahu and Polish Counterpart Agree to Open ‘Immediate Dialogue’ on Holocaust Bill” by Noa Landau: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke on Sunday on the phone with Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki. The two leaders agreed to open “immediate dialogue” in an attempt to solve [the] crisis… and try to reach understandings on the pending legislation.” [Haaretz]

FAKE NEWS? — “Israel will pay civilians $9,000 to capture African migrants” by Abdi Latif Dahir: “In an advertisement this month, the Population and Immigration Authority said it would pay up to 30,000 Israeli shekels ($8,845) for civilians to carry out an “enterprise of national importance.” That included undertaking “enforcement tasks” against migrants that involved detecting, investigating, and arresting them… The move comes a few weeks after Israel said it would help purchase tickets, obtain travel documents, and give $3,500 to African illegal migrants to leave—threatening them with arrest if they are caught after the end of March.” [Quartz]

— Yair Rosenberg: “This is completely false. The Hebrew advertisement used as the source for this report is for hiring immigration and customs enforcement officers. Nothing to do with bounties for civilians. I guess the author of this can’t read Hebrew, or is relying on readers not being able to… You may not like that Israel is hiring more ICE officers to help investigate and deport asylum seekers. I certainly don’t. But that’s no excuse for completely making stuff like this up about paying ransoms to random civilians to go after them.” [Twitter]

HAPPENING AT NOON — President Trump will have a lunch meeting with members of the United Nations Security Council at the State Dining Room. Later, the UN delegation will inspect debris from a ballistic missile fired from Yemen into Saudi Arabia and tour the Holocaust Museum in DC.

DRIVING THE CONVO — “Long, uneasy love affair of Israel and U.S. evangelicals may have peaked” by “Loveday Morris, Michelle Boorstein and Ruth Eglash: “Education Minister Naftali Bennett… said the Israeli right is “very happy” with the relationship with U.S. evangelicals, explaining that evangelical influence on the White House has created an “era of opportunity” for Israel… But the high-water mark, ironically, comes just as younger American evangelicals are growing less attached to Israel. Recent polls have sparked anxiety among Israeli officials and Christian Zionist groups, which are trying to reverse the decline.” [WashPost]

“How Not to Measure Americans’ Support for Israel” by Tamara Cofman Wittes and Daniel Shapiro: “This poll question, asked annually by Pew since 2001, is a very poor indicator of American attitudes toward Israel. The question reads, “In the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, which side do you sympathize with more, Israel or the Palestinians?” The wording, quite obviously, asks the respondent to make a binary choice between two seemingly exclusive options. (The poll also records the number of those who volunteer an answer of “both” or “neither,” but those options are not offered by the interviewer.) The poll question is faulty because sympathy for Palestinians should not imply hostility to Israel, nor should sympathy for Israel require disregard for the fate of Palestinians.” [TheAtlantic]

TALK OF THE MIDDLE EAST — “PA President Abbas says US is punishing the Palestinians” by Shlomo Cesana and Gideon Allon: “The U.S. can no longer mediate between Israel and the Palestinians,” Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas remarked Friday… In a condolence call with Israeli lawmaker Zehava Galon… Abbas went on to say that “we are ready for negotiations and we never wanted to leave the talks, but unfortunately, no one is offering us to engage in talks, especially not the Americans,” whom he said “now seek to punish us.” [IsraelHayom]

White House advisor Jason Greenblatt tweets: “Had a very productive meeting with Netanyahu and his senior staff today to discuss peace efforts. Broke (challah) bread this past Shabbat with young & dynamic Palestinians. We enjoyed respectful, open and honest dialogue, and shared our cultures and traditions, finding common ground. This is the path to peace …. singing Shalom Aleichem that night was especially meaningful!” [Twitter

— Greenblatt will address the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) 11th Annual International Conference tomorrow morning.

Roger Cohen writes… “It’s Time for Mahmoud Abbas to Go: By dismantling Palestinian freedoms, by disempowering his people, Abbas has been undoing the foundations of statehood and sapping the energy that comes with personal agency. It is time to organize elections that might usher in younger leadership — and reveal the balance of forces in the West Bank and Gaza. The alternative is a drift to despotism under a bunch of old men long on outrage but short on everything else.” [NYTimes]

STATE OF THE UNION PREVIEW — “Will Trump Stick to the Script?” by Michael Shear and Mark Landler: “Mr. Trump can point to seminal policy shifts, like his decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as evidence of his global impact. But it is less clear how the president will address challenges like the nuclear threat from North Korea and the Iran nuclear agreement… “The president should highlight success,” said Elliott Abrams… Mr. Trump, he said, also needed to “analyze frankly the greatest threats to the United States from opponents,” which the administration has done in the National Security Strategy it issued last month.” [NYTimes]

WHY RBG WILL NOT BE ATTENDING — “Justice Ginsburg signals her intent to work for years more” by Mark Sherman and Jessica Gresko: “Soaking in her late-in-life emergence as a liberal icon, [Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg] is using the court’s monthlong break to embark on a speaking tour that is taking her from the Sundance Film Festival in Utah to law schools and synagogues on the East Coast. One talk will have her in Rhode Island on Tuesday, meaning she won’t attend the president’s State of the Union speech that night in Washington. She has a standard response for interviewers who ask how long she intends to serve. She will stay as long as she can go “full steam,” she says, and she sees as her model John Paul Stevens, who stepped down as a justice in 2010 at age 90.” [AP]

TALK OF THE NATION: “The Surprising Resilience of American Democracy” by Eliot Cohen: “My grandparents—who came to this country from lands that the president would undoubtedly term “shitholes,” left behind pogroms, and survived all that, plus World War I and the great influenza pandemic. Set against those experiences, it is an unworthy whinge to complain about what Americans are living through today. The United States has survived much worse than one contemptible president and a craven political party; its resilience is built into the bones of its political system. What it is going through now is simply a good, hard shake.” [TheAtlantic]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT… “RNC finance chair Steve Wynn resigns after sexual harassment allegations” by Alex Isenstadt: “Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn on Saturday stepped down as Republican National Committee finance chairman… The decision followed a Friday report in the Wall Street Journal alleging that Wynn engaged in sexual harassment… Wynn acknowledged the “distraction” caused by the controversy in a statement released Saturday.” [Politico]

— “Why Trump Can’t Quit Steve Wynn” by Eliana Plott: “While sources close to the president predict Trump may publicly attempt to distance himself from Wynn in the coming days, they’re less sure about how he’ll navigate their increasingly close relationship in the long run… Trump was always quick to “tease” Wynn that he “came on late” to the campaign… Yet far from keeping Wynn at a distance, Trump seemed insistent on tightening their relationship. “They became pretty close,” said former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich… Others with the president’s ear have proven reluctant to level judgment: “It’s very important to make all of these allegations subject to proof. There has to be proof and a process,” said Alan Dershowitz, who recently appeared on Fox News alongside Wynn, calling him “smart and funny and fair.”” [TheAtlantic]

“The Politics of Race and the Photo That Might Have Derailed Obama” by Vinson Cunningham: “When I saw a recently released photo, by Askia Muhammad, of Obama and a beaming Louis Farrakhan, I immediately thought of the Clinton campaign. What fun they could’ve had with this one! Muhammad took the picture, in 2005, at a gathering hosted by the Congressional Black Caucus, after Obama’s star-making turn at the 2004 Democratic National Convention but before it was clear that the Senator would offer himself as a candidate for President… After some pressure from one of the caucus’s staffers, Muhammad agreed to bury it. Now he plans to include the picture in an upcoming self-published book; Talking Points Memo asked to run the photo after learning of it from a newsletter written by the journalist Richard Prince.” [NewYorker• Dershowitz: I Wouldn’t Have Campaigned for Obama If I Knew About Farrakhan Pic [FoxNews]

ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt tweets: “In Israel catching up on news about 2005 photo of Obama & Farrakhan. Over his career, Barack Obama has denounced the bigotry of Farrakhan. Time to do so again. Leaders always should make sure that there’s no doubt: America is no place for those who advocate #antisemitism or hate.” [Twitter]

BUZZ ON BALFOUR — “Sara Netanyahu’s Aides Sued Over Her Tirades. Now, There’s a Recording” by David Halbfinger: “The recording, published on the Walla News site… was made in 2009. Mrs. Netanyahu had become angry after [a] 44-word item mentioned her obligation, as the prime minister’s wife, to perform public service — but did not cite her education credentials to her satisfaction. “I’m an educated woman!” she can be heard shouting at the publicist. “Psychologist! B.-A! M.-A! That’s it!” … Mr. Netanyahu spoke up for his wife in a pair of Facebook posts on Sunday, saying that everyone sometimes “gets angry and says a few words that he didn’t mean.”” [NYTimes• Netanyahu lashes out at media after release of wife’s recordings [JPost]

** 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: Buyout firm Leonard Green nears deal to acquire Pro Mach [Reuters] • Paul Singer’s Elliott Management takes stake in Sky [TheTimes] • Dan Loeb is ‘closely watching’ these 4 key risks — including inflation — that can stop the market rally [CNBC] • WeWork boss looks to build a highly valued community [FinancialTimes] • Former top FBI officer warns: Israeli law enforcement lax, reforms needed [ToI]

THE DAILY KUSHNER — “Trump’s Chilean Ambassador Pick Entwined in Kushner Family Deals “by Caleb Melby, David Kocieniewski and Brendan Coffey: “When the White House nominated a new ambassador to Chile this month, it touted his role running his father’s food-importing business. Not mentioned: his deep financial ties to the family of Jared Kushner. Andrew Gellert is president of Gellert Global Group and the son of George Gellert, a close friend of Jared’s father, Charles Kushner… Most prominent of their shared interests is 666 Fifth Avenue… When Jared Kushner purchased the Observer newspaper, some of the funds were from the Gellerts. At a New Jersey bank in which both families own stakes, Andrew Gellert sits on the board with Jared Kushner’s brother-in-law, David Orbach.” [Bloomberg]

THIS TOWN: “No, Ivanka Trump didn’t stop José Andrés from getting into a party. Here’s what really happened” by Helena Andrews-Dyer: “On Saturday night, Nuschese’s fellow restaurateur José Andrés claimed via Twitter that he was denied entry to an exclusive event at Cafe Milano. Andrés, who spent nearly two years in a legal battle with President Trump and has staunchly criticized the administration’s stance on immigration, took his beef a step further by suggesting that Ivanka Trump had something to do with the slight…”

“So what happened? … On Saturday, the uber-rich folk descended on Washington for the 105th Alfalfa Club dinner… This year’s feast featured punchlines delivered by former president George W. Bush, former secretary of state John F. Kerry, former secretary of state Madeleine Albright, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg… Afterward, the herd, which this year also included Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, typically thins as the VIPs head to a private after-party at Cafe Milano in Georgetown… Andrés, who attended the dinner at the Hilton where he said he even chatted briefly with Ivanka, assumed he would get in because of an “unwritten rule” on the Washington party circuit: All after-parties are fair game.” [WashPostCNN]

HOLLYWOOD: “HBO Picks Up Controversial Israel-Palestinian Doc ‘Oslo Diaries'” by Tatiana Siegel: “Directed by Mor Loushy and Daniel Sivan, the film features never-before-seen footage of meetings involving an unlikely group of negotiators — two Israeli professors and three PLO members — who met secretly in Norway… The deal plays out against the backdrop of tensions between Israelis and Palestinians as high as ever. HBO will debut the film later this year to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Oslo Accords.”[HollywoodReporter]

“Why HBO made a Holocaust documentary for kids” by Gina Salamone: “The story of 92-year-old Holocaust survivor Jack Feldman, who made it out of Auschwitz, is told through conversations with his great-grandson, Elliott Saiontz. Elliott, who was 10 at the time the film was shot and lives in Westchester, sits beside his great-grandfather on the couch… The documentary weaves archival footage and photos with animation, in between the pair’s conversations and Elliott’s narration… That lesson, Elliott says, is why he wants other kids to know his great-grandpa’s story, to stop it from happening again.”[NYDailyNews]

“The Nazi Hunter of Crete” by By Sam Rosenthal: “Crete, and Greece in general, was also in those days the site of a concerning political shift: a rise in extremist, anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, ethno-nationalist politics. A far-right party known as the Golden Dawn had been gaining strength, and by 2012 it had garnered a frightening amount of influence and power. Hans had a different name for the Golden Dawn’s constituents, though: neo-Nazis. And he had traveled to Crete to fight them… Toward the end of my stay on Crete, a week or two after Hans and the rest of our ragtag group and I had all parted ways, I caught glimpses of what it was that had drawn Hans there in the first place. A night after visiting one of the synagogues that had been set ablaze by arsonists, I passed a plaza filled with dim light and angry voices. I asked someone on the street what was happening, and he said the Nazis were meeting.” [Ozy]

“Nazi past followed Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad to his death” by Derek Hawkins: “In 1943, Ingvar Kamprad… founded a mail-order company called Ikea… His first employee was his close friend Otto Ullmann, an Austrian Jew about his age whose parents had sent him to Sweden to escape the Nazi takeover in their home country… Around the same time he started Ikea, Kamprad joined Sweden’s fascist movement. He regularly attended meetings with pro-Nazi extremist groups, maintained a long-running friendship with a leading Swedish fascist and, according to some accounts, was an active member of the Swedish version of the Hitler Youth… It’s not clear how… Kamprad kept his Nazi connections hidden from Ullmann, whose parents were murdered in the Holocaust. But, as Rabbi Dow Marmur wrote in 2013 for the Toronto Star, when the revelations were first made public in the 1990s, Ullmann was one of the first people Kamprad called to apologize.” [WashPost]

PIC OF THE DAY — Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp‏ with Judith Varnai Shorer, Israeli Consul General to the Southeastern United States, at AIPAC’s annual Atlanta event held at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium [Pic

REMEMBERING — Julia Reyes Taubman passes away after long battle of Cancer: “Julia, active in the national arts community, was a founder and board chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MoCAD)… Born and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, Julia, known best to her friends as “Julie,” was a member of the Reyes family, owners of Chicago-based food and beverage distributors Reyes Holdings LLC, one of the nation’s largest privately held companies. She married Robert Taubman in 1999.” [Fox2Detroit]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Deaths of Billionaire Toronto Couple, Barry and Honey Sherman, Were Homicides, Police Say” by Catherine Porter: “Six weeks after the bodies of Barry and Honey Sherman were found hanging in the basement of their mansion, the Toronto Police confirmed what the couple’s friends and family have maintained all along — that they died in a murder… It was another bizarre turn in a dizzying case that has captured the country’s attention. The couple’s four children, furious at the police for leaking the murder-suicide theory, hired their own team to conduct a private investigation into their parents’ deaths.” [NYTimes]

DESSERT — Made In Chicago: Milt’s Extra Innings: “Located in the storefront next door, it’s a kosher deli that employees people with developmental disabilities. “We have created this environment there. We have 13 special needs employees there now…” [Jeff] Aeder says he hopes Milt’s will lead by example… The space also showcases Aeder’s love for baseball with displays of his own Jewish baseball memorabilia. “I named the restaurant in honor of my uncle Miltie. We are located near Wrigley Field… There have been 170 Jews who have played in the Major Leagues, and the whole history is told on the walls of Milt’s Extra Innings.” [CBSChicago]

BIRTHDAYS: Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Paul Ryan turns 48… Former partner at Venable’s DC office, previously President of the JCRC of Greater Washington, Ronald Glancz turns 75… Public speaker, Rabbi Paysach Krohn turns 73… President and founding principal of Libitzky Property Companies, a developer of over seven million square feet of large industrial, mixed-use and office projects, Moses S. Libitzky turns 71… Director of the Houston chapter of the American Jewish Committee, Randy Czarlinsky turns 64… Jerry Keller turns 59… Fellow at the Claremont Institute, he was the executive director of Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (2012-2013), Larry Greenfield turns 56… Physician and an author of a New York Times bestselling book, Dr. David Agus turns 53… Founder and managing director of the NYC-based Tembo Group, Denielle Sachs turns 41 (h/t Playbook)… Israeli actress and television host, Yael Bar Zohar turns 38… Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy and a senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the US, she was the top foreign policy advisor for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign, Laura Rosenberger turns 38… Director of Global Relations at Hillel International in DC, previously the Director of Hillel in Ekaterinburg in Russia, Yasha Moz turns 33… Senior writer and editor at the Union for Reform Judaism,  a.k.a. Jane the Writer, Jane E. Herman… Avid skier Martha Baumgarten

BIRTHDAY WAS SATURDAY: EMF

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