Daily Kickoff: Report — David Friedman scolds Israeli MKs for requesting U.S. recognition of Golan | Pardon for Milken? | Provocative Miami deli


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FIRST LOOK — Leonard Bernstein Through His Daughter’s Eyes — by David Denby: “Jamie Bernstein, Leonard Bernstein’s firstborn daughter, has written a memoir of her family, a family that her overwhelming dad—loving, inspired, and sometimes insufferable—dominated for decades… “Famous Father Girl: A Memoir of Growing Up Bernstein” is… a story of encompassing family love, Jewish-American style, with all its glories and corrosions…”

“Bernstein, one might say, liberated the Jewish body from the constraints felt by the immigrant generation, including his father, Sam, who relinquished his severe, stiff-collar demeanor only when celebrating the High Holidays with the Boston Hasidim. For Lenny, every day was a High Holiday. Most of the audience and his collaborators got used to his turbo-mobile style, or found it beautiful, even thrilling.” [NewYorker]

CHANGING THE TIDE — British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urgedthe UN Human Rights Council to reform its treatment of Israel ahead of a possible U.S withdrawal from the 47-member council. “We share the view that the dedicated Agenda Item 7 focused solely on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace, and unless things change we shall vote next year against all resolutions introduced under Item 7,” Johnson said during the opening of the 38th council session. Johnson added that the council had an important role to play in “the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under the right agenda item.”

Diplomats from the United States mission in Geneva attended the start of the session, but diplomats have told The Associated Press that a U.S. withdrawal from the 47-member council could come as early as Tuesday.

U.K. organizing international meeting to discuss Trump’s Mideast peace plan — by Barak Ravid: “The U.K is organizing a meeting of Foreign Ministers from the main European powers and leading Arab states with President Trump’s peace team, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt… The aim of the meeting will be to present parameters the European and Arab countries expect to see in the Trump administration peace plan in order for them to support it.” [Axios

DRIVING THE WEEK — Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt will travel to Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia this week to discuss the “next stages of the peace effort” and “get some ideas from players in the region about some remaining questions the White House peace team has,” according to a NSC spokesperson. The U.S. peace negotiating team will also discuss the situation in Gaza, and reportedly ask Gulf states to invest up to $1 billion in Gaza’s economy. Kushner, Greenblatt and Ambassador Nikki Haley met on Friday with UN secretary-general António Guterres in New York to discuss the Administration’s peace efforts, the Gaza situation, and recent UN moves.

VIEW FROM RAMALLAH — Trump Envoys’ Middle East Trip ‘Waste of Time,’ Palestinians Say — by Fadwa Hodali: “Peace proposals that ignore “the resolutions of the Arab summits, resolutions of the UN Security Council, and international legitimacy, primarily the approval of the Palestinian people and the president’s signature, will be doomed to failure,” Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement.” [Bloomberg]

— Palestinian Authority leader under pressure to ‘end Trump boycott’ — by Daniel Siryoti: “Palestinian officials told Israel Hayom Sunday that officials in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt and Jordan, as well as top officials in the Palestinian Authority itself, are pressuring Abbas to meet with the American envoys.” [IsraelHayom]

Amid Trump’s Mideast push, an abandoned building reminds Palestinians of past failures — by F. Brinley Bruton and Lawahez Jabari: “Pigeons inhabit the main hall of what should have been a Palestinian parliament… Tough weeds choke the driveway leading to the building’s entrance and mounds of ruined desk chairs sit in piles in the underground parking lot. This shell, in the Jerusalem suburb of Abu Dis, was built after the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords had raised hopes that Palestinians would soon have an independent state alongside Israel. Today, the hulking monument to dashed dreams has gained renewed significance amid rumors that Abu Dis will be the Palestinian capital envisioned in President Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” aimed at ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” [NBCNews]

TOP TALKER — Trump ambassador blocks scrutiny of Israel” by Nahal Toosi: “Last October, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, emailed State Department colleagues with a firm message: Don’t second-guess the Israeli military… In the email to colleagues, he rejected the idea that his embassy needed to enhance its scrutiny of military aid, saying he did “not believe we should extend the new [guidelines] to Israel at this time.” “Israel is a democracy whose army does not engage in gross violations of human rights,” Friedman wrote…” [Politico]

US envoy scolds Israeli MKs for demanding US recognition of Golan — report — by Stuart Winer: “According to a Hebrew-language report from the Kan public broadcaster on Sunday, Friedman met recently with some MKs and admonished them over the public call for a change in US policy vis-a-vis the Golan Heights… In private conversations, Friedman allegedly told the politicians that, instead of being grateful after the US recognized Jerusalem and made the momentous move of its embassy to the city, the Israelis immediately asked for more, displaying what he termed “ingratitude.” [ToI

THE DAILY KUSHNER — A Financier’s Profit-Minded Mission to Open a Channel Between Kushner and North Korea — by Mark Mazzetti and Mark Landler: “An American financier approached the Trump administration last summer with an unusual proposition: The North Korean government wanted to talk to Jared Kushner… The financier, Gabriel Schulze, explained that a top North Korean official was seeking a back channel to explore a meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un… As a member of the president’s family, officials in Pyongyang judged, Mr. Kushner would have the ear of his father-in-law… Mr. Kushner did not play a direct role in back-channel negotiations with North Korean officials… He instead notified Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director at the time, about Mr. Schulze’s outreach and requested that the agency be in charge of the discussions.” [NYTimes

New details from Emily Jane Fox’s upcoming book titled ‘Born Trump’ — by Annie Karni: “Charles Kushner is portrayed as simultaneously controlling and loving to his family. Part of how Charles Kushner maintains control over his children and grandchildren, Fox writes, is by showering them with his wealth. Jared Kushner’s parents have purchased multimillion-dollar apartments in Manhattan for each of their grandchildren, she writes. For now, the apartments sit in a trust called “Kinderlach,” the Yiddish word for “children.” Fox writes that Ivanka Trump also refers to Seryl and Charles as “mom” and “dad” — a detail that is unlikely to go unnoticed by or to please her actual father.” [Politico]

REPORT — Yair Netanyahu allegedly behind PM’s Mexico tweet — by Eli Senyor: “The prime minister’s son Yair Netanyahu is apparently the one responsible for the controversial tweet from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s account in support of US President Donald Trump’s plans to build a border wall with Mexico in order to stop illegal immigration… According to testimonies gathered by the police, the contentious tweet was posted despite opposition from the prime minister’s advisors. Among those who opposed the tweet were Netanyahu’s former foreign policy adviser Dr. Jonathan Schachter and current chief of staff Yoav Horowitz.” [Ynet] 

TALK OF THE REGION — Prince William visit ends royal ‘boycott’ of Israel — by Anshel Pfeffer: “Officially, Israel is treating the visit “with great enthusiasm”, but even before he arrives there have been gripes in the Israeli media about the official wording of his itinerary… It refers to the Old City of Jerusalem as being part of the “Occupied Palestinian Territories.” … Last-minute talks are underway on the possibility that the prince will pay a visit to the Jewish holy site of the Western, or Wailing, Wall… Israelis are keen to see Prince William there as well, as a tacit recognition of their historical connection to the site where the Jewish temple of Jerusalem stood 2,000 years ago.” [TheTimes]

Elliott Abrams writes… “The British Foreign Office Uses a Royal Visit to Israel to Stir Ill Will: To call a visit to the Old City instead a visit to “Occupied Palestinian territory” is deeply and probably intentionally offensive—and plain wrong… The visit by Prince William has been damaged by the Foreign Office, but it is still a step forward after 70 years of refusals to make an official visit at all. One hopes that during the prince’s visit to Israel, someone . . . will tell him what was the fate of east Jerusalem before Israel conquered it in 1967: no access at all for Jews, no protection for Jewish holy sites, [and] vast destruction of Jewish holy and historic locations.” [MosaicMag

TALK AT THE UN — In new report, UN secretary-general warns of new Gaza war — by Barak Ravid: “A new report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres set to be published later this week sounds the alarm about the harsh humanitarian crisis in Gaza and warns of a new war between Israel and Hamas. The report was a byproduct of UN Security Council Resolution 2334 on the Israeli settlements which passed on December 2016… United States Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley… put pressure on Guterres not to publish a report as the resolution demands. She succeeded in preventing its publication for 17 months, but after pressure from France and other members of the Security Council, Guterres decided to publish the document.” [Axios]

CNN reporter given Islamic Jihad terror tunnel tour: “We use them as a shield against heavy missiles fired by F-35 and F-16 aircraft, as well as helicopters, so that our fighters can move and play their role to defend the Palestinian people” one Islamic Jihad member, Abu Abdallah, tells CNN, with his face covered… The reporter is then blindfolded before being driven on to the next site of his tour. Standing beside a mortar launching system, [Ian] Lee is briefed by Abdallah.” [YnetVideo]

TRUMP VS. SCHUMER — President Trump attacked Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer in a tweet yesterday over Schumer’s criticism of the Singapore summit last week: “Thank you Chuck, but are you sure you got that right? No more nuclear testing or rockets flying all over the place, blew up launch sites. Hostages already back, hero remains coming home & much more!”

HEARD YESTERDAY — Chuck Schumer responded to Trump in an interview on the Cats Roundtable radio program: “I opposed the Iran agreement because I thought it wasn’t strong enough. Well, it seems that what we’re doing with North Korea is even weaker than what Obama did with Iran, so far. The beginnings are not auspicious, I would say.”

Schumer on Trump’s Iran deal exit: “I opposed the deal. I didn’t think it was strong enough. I thought the inspection regime was weak. I certainly want to see a stronger one in North Korea than the one that was proposed in Iran, where we depended on the European nations before we could inspect any new places. And I don’t trust the Europeans, particularly when it comes to Israel… It would have been far more better if we had all of our allies with us, and we had leverage over them but we didn’t use it.” [CatsRoundtable]

Israel Forms Team With U.S. to Enforce Iran Sanctions — by Avi Waksman: “The United States has formed a joint team with Israel to enforce economic sanctions against Tehran… An agreement forming the team was reached by officials in Washington with Shai Babad, the Israeli Finance Ministry’s director general, and Eran Nitzan, Israel’s economic attache in Washington.” [Haaretz]

Israel says indicts ex-cabinet minister over alleged spying for Iran — by Jeffrey Heller: “In a statement, the Shin Bet said Gonen Segev, who served as energy minister in the mid-1990s and had been living in Nigeria, “was recruited by Iranian intelligence and served as an agent.” He was arrested during a visit to Equatorial Guinea in May and extradited to Israel, where he was indicted on Friday.” [Reuters

Ex-IDF intel chief: Trump moves will bring Israel closer to war — by Yonah Jeremy Bob: “Speaking at a Tel Aviv University conference on national security and cyber issues, [former IDF intelligence chief Amos] Yadlin said the North Korea summit will push Iran to renew its uranium enrichment and eventually pursue a nuclear bomb.”

“Sitting on a panel with Yadlin, former US Senator Joseph Lieberman was asked what he would advise if Iran tried to break out toward a nuclear bomb. He said, “The sanctions are working so far.” … “Iran didn’t expect Trump to pull out,” Lieberman said. “They thought it was a campaign promise… It is not impossible that there could be an uprising against the regime. I think that is the ultimate answer.” However, he added, “If Iran tries breaking out of the NPT [Non-Proliferation Treaty], I really cannot predict what the president would do.” Lieberman said he would recommend “taking military action or letting Israel do it.” [JPost]

Michael Doran and Peter Rough write… “Time to Make Up After Fighting Over Iran: Europe is deluded to interpret the withdrawal as a fit of Trumpian caprice… Mr. Trump should now make it an urgent priority to dispel this image. Specifically, he should unite his top echelon of officials—[James] Mattis, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Energy Secretary Rick Perry —in a diplomatic offensive to defend the U.S. position to their European counterparts… The U.S. must also remind the Europeans that if economic sanctions and diplomacy don’t curb Iran’s behavior, the only alternative is military action. That cannot be Europe’s preference—and no one can make that argument more persuasively than Mr. Mattis, whom some have taken to calling “Moderate Dog.”” [WSJ]

DRIVING THE CONVO — Former CIA Chief Compares Trump’s Border Policies to Nazi Germany: “Former CIA and NSA chief Michael Hayden on Saturday compared President Trump’s immigration policies to that of Nazi Germany in an ominous Twitter post. “Other governments have separated mothers and children,” Harden wrote next to a black-and-white photo of Auschwitz. Hayden has joined a growing chorus of criticism over the policy of separating migrant families at the border.” [DailyBeast]

Norm Eisen tweets“That is like what was said to my mother and her family when they were separated by the authorities—at Auschwitz.”

Abe Foxman, a Holocaust survivor and former National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, emails us… “The current atrocity stands on its own and we don’t need to analogize it to the separation of families at a death camp in order to understand the pain inflicted by the current policy on families.”

INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE — “Slow-moving White House communications shakeup sinks morale” by Nancy Cook: “One of the few to have benefited from the restructuring is Julia Hahn, a protégé of former White House strategist Steve Bannon. Hahn has temporarily taken over the communications portfolio of recently departed aide Kelly Sadler and now sends out talking points and messages to White House allies… Hahn was installed in this new temporary role through the nudging of White House senior adviser Stephen Miller, to make sure White House allies are receiving talking points and statistics on immigration that line up with the hard-line approach he and the president have decided to take.” [Politico

2020 WATCH — Cory Booker eyes 2020 while crisscrossing the country for the midterms — by Eric Bradner: “In the year-and-a-half since President Donald Trump was elected, Booker has spent about half his weekends on the road, visiting most states where a Democratic senator is facing a tough re-election fight… In an interview aboard the Acela, Booker says he’ll make a decision about whether to run for president at the end of this year. “I’m not going to play coy. I’m sure after the midterm elections, I’ll give it a look,” Booker said…” [CNN

** 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: Kushner Cos.’ Indebted Manhattan Tower May Get $700 Million Injection From Brookfield [Bloomberg] • US targets Israeli businessman Dan Gertler with fresh sanctions [FinancialTimes] • Glencore to Resume Payments to Sanctioned Billionaire Gertler [WSJ] Michael Cohen’s In-Laws Look to Sell Units in Trump World Tower Building[Bloomberg] • El Al to launch flight school in the US, moving away from Israel Air Force [JPost] • Waze founder now offers app to navigate VAT refund process [ToI]

MEDIA WATCH: “Katie Couric Lines Up Video Series for ‘theSkimm’ Backed by P&G” by Keach Hagey: “Katie Couric Media, which over the past year has produced things like Ms. Couric’s podcast and a documentary series that aired on the on the National Geographic Channel, is expanding with funding from roughly a dozen investors… Ms. Couric and her husband, John Molner, are the controlling investors.” [WSJ]

SPOTLIGHT — Larry Silverstein Flees the ‘Old Fogeys’ of Midtown — by Stefanos Chen: “Why, after 33 years of living in a Park Avenue high rise, has New York developer Larry A. Silverstein decided to leave Midtown for Lower Manhattan? “It was full of old fogeys,” Mr. Silverstein, 87, said recently about his longtime home… “I felt it was a wonderful opportunity to come down to an area we had just finished, with a population that is all young,” said Mr. Silverstein… Last month, he and his wife, Klara, moved into an 80th-floor penthouse at 30 Park Place, an 82-story limestone tower completed by Silverstein Properties in 2016… “In the beginning, people thought we were crazy,” Mrs. Silverstein said about their move… But it has brought them closer to their daughter, Lisa Silverstein, an executive vice president at Silverstein Properties, who lives in the tower with her family. It has also meant a much shorter commute for Mr. Silverstein, who is spry at 87.” [NYTimes

Trump Insiders Seek Pardon for ‘Junk Bond King’ Michael Milken — by Greg Farrell, Katherine Burton and John Gittelsohn: “Some of President Donald Trump’s closest confidants have urged him to pardon Michael Milken, the 1980s “junk bond king” who has unsuccessfully sought for decades to reverse his securities fraud conviction… The idea of a Milken pardon is being supported by Anthony Scaramucci… Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin; and Trump son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner… Another advocate is Rudy Giuliani… Although it’s unclear where Milken, 71, may fall on any priority list, he can count many advocates in Trump’s circle. His annual Milken Institute Global Conference, known as Davos of the West, attracts U.S. cabinet members… former presidents and prime ministers.” [Bloomberg

CONFERENCE CIRCUIT: I Went To A Conference Full of Conservatives Who Hated My Guts — And Told Me So — by Scaachi Koul: “While US conservatives have Breitbart, Canadian conservatives have the Rebel, which publishes stories like “Islam and the Left working in tandem: How did we get here?” and “VICE debunked: Conservatives ARE hotter!” The Rebel positions itself as just slightly out of the mainstream. Its writers rarely engage directly in blatant racism or white supremacy — partially because founder Ezra Levant is Jewish, and many of the Rebel’s supporters are pro-Israel…” [BuzzFeed

A New Movement Rises to Take Back Higher Education: On Friday, Heterodox Academy hosted its first annual Open Mind Conference, sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Lubetzky Family Foundation, Dan Loeb, Cliff and Lauren Asness, The Paul E. Singer Foundation, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. Speakers included UChicago President Robert Zimmer, the NYT’s Bari Weiss, former University of California President Mark Yudof, Hillel’s Tamara Mann Tweel, and more.

Emily Esfahani Smith writes… “As encouraging as these initiatives are, there’s a more fundamental shift that needs to take place—a rethinking of identity politics. Rather than promoting a “common-enemy identity politics” that admonishes white people and others with “privilege,” [Jonathan] Haidt said Friday, professors and administrators should embrace a “common-humanity identity politics.” Isn’t that what liberal education is all about?” [WSJ]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Massachusetts High School Apologizes After Nazi Quote Is Printed in Yearbook — by Mihir Zaveri: “A Massachusetts high school student captioned his senior photo in the school’s yearbook with a quote generally attributed to the Nazi leaders Joseph Goebbels and Adolf Hitler, the school’s principal said in an apologetic letter to parents this week. Hundreds of copies of the yearbook had been printed and distributed to students at Andover High School in Massachusetts before the school became aware of the problem and stopped selling the yearbook. The school is now offering to replace the page or cover the quote up with a sticker… It’s not Andover High School’s first brush with anti-Semitism this past school year. In December, several swastikas were found carved into desks, including some in classes with Jewish teachers.” [NYTimes]

Cuomo Affixes Mezuzah Gifted by Yeshivah to Governor’s Mansion — by Yochonon Donn: “Gov. Andrew Cuomo tweeted a picture on Friday of the light green mezuzah gifted to him by students of the Hebrew Academy of the Five Towns and Rockaway (HAFTR) when he was there on Wednesday to present one of the first security grant checks…” [Hamodia]

Bret Stephens writes… “Charles Krauthammer’s Democratic Vocation: If the great theme of his work is the defense of what we proudly used to call Western civilization, the great theme of his life is the cultivation of a civilized mind. With every commentary, he taught us how such a mind worked. Charles’s parting letter is, appropriately, about gratitude. “I am grateful,” he writes, “to have played a small role in the conversations that have helped guide this extraordinary nation’s destiny.” Not so small, Charles. To those who read, watched, knew, or felt they knew you… you showed what it means to be a man of independent mind and sound judgment, up for the defense of the things we hold dearest, the things that matter.” [NYTimes]

DESSERT — This Deli Serves Aggressively Un-Kosher Food in Miami’s Most Jewish Neighborhood — by Zachary Fagenson: “Some stopped in to voice their displeasure. “I had a woman come in the very first couple of weeks screaming at me that I should be kosher,” he said. Others have been more diplomatic. “Sometimes they’re super polite—it’s like they’re Canadian,” Marcus said. And some competing restaurant owners, like Jason Ansellem, whose family’s nearby Harbour Bistro deals in kosher charcuterie including beef-based prosciutto and bacon, said Marcus pushes them to keep up with more current cooking.” [Munchies]

BIRTHDAYS: Former assistant to President Trump, a principal of the Baltimore-based Cordish Companies real estate and gaming empire, Reed Sanders Cordish turns 44… Talent manager and music industry mogul, he owns two record labels and represents musical artists including Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, Scott Samuel “Scooter” Braun turns 37… Chicago-based attorney, author of a treatise on real estate law, he served as an Alderman on the Chicago City Council (1975-1979), Solomon Gutstein turns 84… Lake Worth, Florida resident, Shlomo Nezer turns 71… Croatian entrepreneur, previously the Minister of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship in the Croatian Government (1995-1997), Davor Stern turns 71… Rabbi at Temple Isaiah and the JCC in Palm Springs, CA, previously in congregations in Israel and Stockholm, Rabbi David James Lazar turns 61… Rebecca Diamond

Best-selling author and journalist, through 2017 she was Chief Content Officer of Gannett and Editor in Chief of USA Today, she was previously WSJ’s Deputy Managing Editor, Joanne Lipman… Executive of the William Pears Group, a large UK real estate firm founded by his father and grandfather, Trevor Steven Pears (family name was Schleicher) turns 54… Television producer and writer, best known for his work on The Mindy Project, Speechless and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, he is currently under an overall deal with ABC Studios, Jeremy Bronson turns 38… Baseball pitcher, a first round pick of the NY Yankees in 2008, he pitched for Team Israel in the 2017 World Baseball Classic and during the qualifier round in 2016, Jeremy Bleich turns 31… Law clerk in the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, Esther Lifshitzturns 31… Rachel Hazan


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