Daily Kickoff: Experts on North Korea summit; comparing and contrasting with the Iran deal | Beinart on expecting a ‘radical’ Bernie on Israel in 2020


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DRIVING THE DAY — President Donald Trump concluded a 5-hour summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore by proclaimingsuccess in getting Kim to agree to begin dismantling his nuclear program. “Yesterday’s conflict does not have to be tomorrow’s war,” Trump said at a news conference following the talks and a signing ceremony of a “comprehensive” agreement to work towards the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Trump remembers Otto Warmbier, the Jewish American student who died after his captivity in North Korea: “Otto Warmbier is a very special person and he will be for a long time in my life. His parents are good friends of mine. I think without Otto, this would not have happened. Something happened from that day. It was a terrible thing. It was brutal. But a lot of people started to focus in what was going on, including North Korea. I really think Otto is someone who did not die in vain. I told that to his parents… He had a lot to do with us being here today.” [Video]

— Trump refused to answer a question posed by Israeli reporter, Moav Vardi, regarding the concern that he’s given Kim Jon Un the legitimacy he’s been craving. “I understand them much better than you do,” Trump said as he waved off the question. [Video]

HOW IT PLAYED — Trump’s North Korean gamble ends with trust but little verify — by Kevin Liptak: “Nearly five hours of unprecedented and surreal talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un culminated… with fulsome declarations of a new friendship but just vague pledges of nuclear disarmament.” [CNN

Elliott Abrams tells us… “I think it is impossible to know whether this will work. It may be the start of a real change in North Korea’s policy, or it may be just another trick. In previous administrations, the joint statements have been more specific, but North Korea lied and violated them. This time the statement is vague, but there is a personal element present and a different North Korean leader. At this juncture, the only actual concrete concession was by the United States — stopping military exercises. I’d like to see some concrete North Korean action soon.”

Martin Indyk emails us… “The devil is in the details but, as Churchill said, ‘It’s better to jaw-jaw than war-war.’ If Trump has persuaded Kim to give up his nukes it will be a major achievement, with global consequences, including in the Middle East.”

Former Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken writes… “The Best Model for a Nuclear Deal With North Korea? Iran: The administration may find merit in an interim agreement that requires North Korea to disclose all of its programs, freeze its enrichment… in return for limited economic relief. That would buy time to negotiate a more comprehensive deal… That’s the approach Mr. Obama took with Iran… As part of the team that produced the Iran agreement, I hear the lesser angels of my nature rooting for failure in Singapore. But the national interest trumps schadenfreude, so I’m hoping for success — as long as it’s not “the worst deal ever.”” [NYTimes]

HEARD ON MORNING JOE — Wendy Sherman, who was North Korea policy coordinator in the Clinton administration and led the Obama administration’s negotiating team on the Iran deal: “We have not only been here before, but we have been here before with much greater specificity.” Mika Brzezinski: Mike Pompeo did say they would take whatever they did put together to the Senate. Any regrets not doing that with the Iran deal? Sherman: “No regrets. Congress did get to decide on the Iran deal… And the other thing about these very complicated reciprocated agreements — the Iran deal was 110 pages — is that a treaty doesn’t make it easy to look at reciprocal depths and pull back if necessary. So the Congress did get to decide on the Iran deal. It was an interesting process, and so I am all for them having to take this as a treaty to the Senate, but they will fail if they do so.”

In an interview aired today, ABC News chief anchor George Stephanopoulos asked Trump: You’ve set the bar for nuclear agreements by criticizing the Iran nuclear deal, said it’s the worst deal ever made. Does that mean that any deal with North Korea has to be tougher than the Iran deal?

Trump: “I don’t think a deal could be softer. First of all, we’re not paying $150 billion, OK, we’re paying nothing from that standpoint other than, you will see what happens.” [ABCNews]

How Trump Made Diplomacy Great Again — by Blake Hounshell: “Several Obama administration officials I spoke with, including Jake Sullivan, the former State Department policy planning chief… were circumspect in their critique of Trump’s summit with Kim. All doubted that Trump will strike a truly serious bargain, but most expect him to reap political benefits from the pageantry of the summit no matter what. And they don’t seem prepared to get payback from the Obama years: When I asked Sullivan if he would criticize Trump for, say, shaking hands with Kim, he paused thoughtfully for a few seconds and then said, “No.”” [PoliticoMag]

VIEW FROM JERUSALEM — Dore Gold, former Director-General of Israel’s Foreign Ministry, emails us… “Many see the JCPOA with Iran as a disaster. It is also assumed that President Trump is not going to replicate the terms of the Iran deal with North Korea. So there is more room for hope that Singapore will lead to a more stable outcome. The demand for denuclearization in the Korean deal has implications for Iran, which was allowed to keep uranium enrichment under the JCPOA and might not have an easy time retaining that in a future negotiation.”

ON THE GROUND — Israeli Intel: Trump’s Pressure on Iran Working Better Than Expected — by Amos Harel: “Israeli intelligence officials have the impression that the double economic pressure, domestically and from abroad, is accelerating the division at the top of the [Iranian] regime between the conservative camp and the more moderate one. Part of the dispute involves the question of Iranian foreign aid to terrorist and guerrilla organizations across the Middle East… According to this analysis, the leadership in Tehran is also worried about the pressure on it in Syria to reach a deal reducing its military presence there.” [Haaretz]

PODCAST PLAYBACK — Tom Donilon, former National Security Advisor under President Barack Obama, on The Axe Files podcast with David Axelrod: “The sanctions will never be as effective as they were. We had the world engaged in a pressure campaign on Iran, including the Chinese and Russians. It will be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, for us to put together that kind of campaign again. And at some point, if you can’t put together that kind of campaign that brought them to the table, you will be confronted with that choice that makes military action more likely… I think we will look back at it and see [the pulling out of the Iran nuclear agreement] as the worst mistake since the Iraq war in the Middle East.” [AxeFiles]

Trump Administration officials define the Trump doctrine in conversations with The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg: “The third-best encapsulation of the Trump Doctrine, as outlined by a senior administration official over lunch a few weeks ago, is this: “No Friends, No Enemies.” … The administration officials, and friends of Trump, I’ve spoken with in recent days believe… that Trump is rebuilding American power after an eight-year period of willful dissipation. “People criticize [Trump] for being opposed to everything Obama did, but we’re justified in canceling out his policies,” one friend of Trump’s told me. This friend described the Trump Doctrine in the simplest way possible. “There’s the Obama Doctrine, and the ‘F*** Obama’ Doctrine,” he said. “We’re the ‘F*** Obama’ Doctrine.”” [TheAtlantic]

David Brooks writes… “Donald Trump Is Not Playing by Your Rules: What Trump did to the G-7 is essentially the same thing he did to the G.O.P. He simply refused to play by everybody else’s rules and he effectively changed the game. Trump is really good at destroying systems people have lost faith in… The grand project for those of us who believe in a high-level, civilized world order is to find ways to restore social trust… As Jonathan Sacks writes in his 2007 book, “The Home We Build Together,” there’s only one historically proven way for people to build community across difference. It’s when they build things together.” [NYTimes]

Peter Beinart writes… “Bernie Sanders’ Criticism Of Israel Is Radical. And He’s Taking It Mainstream: Sanders is betting that the political ground has shifted. In a sense, he’s doing in the Democratic Party what Trump has done inside the GOP… He knows that Netanyahu’s opposition to the two state solution, and his support for the Iraq War, and his battles with Barack Obama, and his bromance with Trump, have deeply eroded support for Israel among African Americans, progressives and the young. He knows that his likely 2020 competitors are moving left on issue after issue… But he knows that when it comes to Israel, those competitors are constrained by their fears of the American Jewish establishment. Bernie Sanders, who now stands a better chance of becoming president than any Jew in American history, is not afraid.”[Forward]

DHS Secretary Nielsen is first Cabinet member to host meeting at Jerusalem embassy — by Samuel Chamberlain: “Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen met with her Israeli counterpart Israeli Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs Gilad Erdan Monday in the first meeting hosted by an American Cabinet member at the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem… Nielsen tweeted that it was a “distinct honor” to host the first Cabinet-level meeting at the new embassy.” [FoxNews]

AT THE KNESSET — On Monday, legislation to hold back tax revenue to the Palestinian Authority on condition they cease payments to terrorists passed its first reading at the Knesset. Two additional readings are expected in the coming weeks.

Sander Gerber, who orchestrated similar legislation in the U.S. known as the Taylor Force Act, tells us: “The Stern legislation is significant for two reasons beyond the Taylor Force Act. First, the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is Avi Dichter, a former head of the Shabak, who understands the value of the Palestinian security service cooperation better than anyone else. He was very firm that there should be no waiver on the reduction of tax revenues ($370M) rebated to the PA. This amount dwarfs the impact of the TFA, but also should conclusively demonstrate that stopping Pay for Slay is more important than preserving the PA security services. Secondly, the escrowed monies will be used to satisfy victims judgements against the PA from Israeli courts. It was high time that Israel took a stance, and now the process has moved significantly.”

** Good Tuesday 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: Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump made at least $82 million in outside income last year while serving in the White House, filings show [WashPostWSJ] • Henry Kravis’ KKR announces $9.9B deal to buy Envision Healthcare [NYPost• Quicken Loans makes it kosher for Orthodox Jews to take out a mortgage [JTA• Ori Allon in talks to buy Boston Celtics stake [Globes] • Why Bozoma Saint John Left Uber After One Year to Become CMO of Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor [AdWeek]

SPOTLIGHT: “It’s Billionaires at the Gate as Ultra-Rich Muscle In on Private Equity” by Simone Foxman and Sonali Basak: “Around the globe, bankers are vying for the world’s hyper-wealthy as never before. And they are holding out investments that are tantalizingly off-limits to the rest of us, behind a velvet rope of bespoke investment banking. Over at JPMorgan, bankers in April arranged financing for an acquisition of Texas-based food company C.H. Guenther & Son by PPC Partners. The investment company is controlled by the Pritzker family, one of America’s richest clans… Credit Suisse, which has also advised PPC, went as far as to organize an event in Detroit to nurture ties with Daniel Gilbert, the founder of Quicken Loans Inc.” [Bloomberg]

STARTUP NATION — Startup With Israeli Intelligence Bona Fides Offers Defense Against Fake News — by Raphael Kahan and Asaf Shalev: “After years of experience mounting digital influence campaign in business and politics, a handful of Israeli entrepreneurs switched sides and founded Cyabra Strategy Ltd., a startup promising to help politicians and brands defend themselves from digital attacks involving fake news and disinformation.” [Calcalist]

MEDIA WATCH: “Laurene Powell Jobs is investing in media, education, sports and more. What does she want?” by David Montgomery: “Last year, Powell Jobs unleashed a series of dramatic moves across a three-dimensional chessboard of American culture. In July, Emerson Collective purchased a majority stake in the Atlantic, a 161-year-old pillar of the journalistic establishment. In September, an arm of the collective and Hollywood’s Entertainment Industry Foundation co-opted the four major networks in prime time to simultaneously present an hour of live television, featuring dozens of celebrities inviting the nation to reconceive high school… In October, she bought the second-largest stake — about 20 percent — in the estimated $2.5 billion holding company that owns the NBA’s Wizards, the NHL’s Capitals, Capital One Arena and several other sports ventures.” [WashPost]

HOLLYWOOD — Gal Gadot To Star With Dwayne Johnson In ‘Red Notice’ — by Mike Fleming Jr.: “Gal Gadot has closed a deal to star opposite Dwayne Johnson in Red Notice…  This will mark Gadot’s first starring role outside the DC universe since she joined the A-list on Wonder Woman.” [Deadline]

Roseanne Barr apologizes to George Soros for calling him a Nazi — by Tyler McCarthy: “Roseanne Barr has issued yet another apology. This time, she’s walking back comments she made about George Soros, most notably calling him a Nazi… “I apologize sincerely to @georgesoros. His family was persecuted by The Nazis & survived The Holocaust only because of the strength & resourcefulness of his father. Learn more of the truth about this,” she wrote, linking to an article about Soros’ family from Open Society Foundations.”[FoxNews]

ROYAL VISIT — Prince William to visit Yad Vashem with Chief Rabbi Mirvis as Israel trip itinerary announced — by Daniel Sugarman: “Prince William is to visit Yad Vashem and the Peres Center for Peace on his Israel trip, as well as meeting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, Kensington Palace has announced. The  Duke of Cambridge will arrive in the evening on June 25, after visiting Jordan… The program also includes “allowing His Royal Highness to understand and pay respect to the religions and history of the region”, suggesting he might visit the Kotel and the Temple Mount.” [TheJC

Shalom Lipner writes… “When Fighting BDS Helps BDS: Israel and its friends make the valid argument that culture must not be held hostage to politics, and that politically-motivated discrimination against Israeli consumers is unfair. In fact, artists play an important role in promoting dialogue; when they bypass Israel, they forfeit a genuine opportunity to advance the cause of reconciliation. It is beyond absurd that members of the Israeli government should now be the ones infecting the arts with a political virus.” [Forward]

DESSERT: “George Hill finds his sweet spot in sauerkraut company” by Marc Spears: “A tall guy who looked and sounded like Cleveland Cavaliers guard George Hill sat in the Cleveland Kraut booth at the Natural Products Expo West Convention. The nametag confirmed it was indeed Hill, a minority stakeholder who spent an off day in Los Angeles in March pitching his healthy probiotic sauerkraut to prospective buyers.” [TheUndefeated

BIRTHDAYS: President and CEO of Showtime, David Nevins turns 52… EVP of American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad), Rabbi Levi Shemtovturns 50… Founder and managing partner of the investment firm Thrive Capital, he is the co-founder of Oscar Health and the brother of Jared Kushner, Joshua Kushner turns 33… Sportscaster for NBA games on TNT, has also been the play-by-play announcer of multiple Super Bowls, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup Finals and the World Series, Marv Albert (born Marvin Philip Aufrichtig) turns 77… Israeli statesman and scholar who has served in multiple ministerial and leadership positions in the Israeli government including 20 years as a member of the Knesset (1988-2008), Yossi Beilin turns 70… Rabbi at Temple Beth El in Santa Cruz County, California (1976-2016), now emeritus, Richard Litvak, a/k/a Rabbi Rick, turns 68… British Conservative Party member of Parliament since 1992, Michael Fabricant turns 68…

Director of Education at Beacon Bay Dental, Kenneth Nussen turns 63… Board member of the Central Reserve Bank of Peru since 2011, he was previously Peru’s Agriculture Minister, José Chlimper Ackerman turns 63…  Rosslyn, VA-based editor of Politico, Carrie Budoff Brown turns 42… Communications director for US Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) since 2014, Eliezer O. (“Eli”) Zupnick turns 35… Deputy Director of the Truman National Security Project’s Partnership for a New American Economy, Hanna Siegel turns 33… Software engineer and co-creator of the Mozilla Firefox internet browser, Blake Aaron Ross turns 33… Canadian tech entrepreneur, television personality and venture capitalist, Michele Romanow turns 33… Attorney since 2012, in 2017 he joined the law firm of Boies Schiller Flexner as an associate, Zachary Louis Baron turns 32… DC-based reporter with BuzzFeed News, Alexis Rose Levinson turns 30… Transportation planner in the Silver Spring office of Toole Design Group focused on bicycle and pedestrian master plans, Eli Glazier turns 28… University of Southern California student, campus representative of PETA, active in USC’s Hillel Foundation, Tessa Nesis turns 25…


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