Daily Kickoff: Yair Lapid talks Trump and peace in DC | Jason Kander running for Mayor | Hearst’s Carey stepping down | BDay: Alan Solow


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DRIVING THE DAY — Voters in New York, Utah, Oklahoma, Maryland, and Colorado head to the polls today for Republican and Democratic primaries [Vox]

RACES TO WATCH — In New York: Five Democratic candidates are competing to challenge incumbent Republican Congressman Lee Zeldin (R-NY01) in the fall. crowded field of Democratic candidates are also vying to take on Representatives John Faso (R-NY19) and Elise Stefanik (R-NY21). Former Congressman and Trump supporter Michael Grimm is facing off against Rep. Don Donovan (R-NY11) who received the backing of President Trump in the contested primary. A Grimm upset would increase the odds of Democratic hopeful Max Rose who himself is competing in a six-way primary. Veteran incumbents Carolyn Maloney (D-NY12) and Eliot Engel (D)-NY16) are also facing primary challengers in their reelection bids.

In Utah: Former Governor and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney is expected to clinch the Republican nomination to replace retiring Senator Orin Hatch.

In Maryland: The two front-runners in the Democratic primary for governor are former NAACP President and CEO Ben Jealous and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker. Jealous’ running mate is Susan Turnbull, a former vice chair of the DNC and former chair of Jewish Women International.

“A big-money challenger roils Southeast Baltimore’s election with focus on crime, safety — by Yvonne Wenger: “From mailboxes to doorways, billboards to yard signs, Baltimore’s 46th District has been flooded with the image and name of Nate Loewentheil — a political newcomer who has ties to President Barack Obama and who is hoping to win his first elective office by knocking off one of three incumbent state delegates.”[BaltimoreSun]

2018 WATCH — This Jewish Republican Might Just Flip His New Jersey District… To Blue — by Ari Feldman: “Seth Grossman, 69, is the Republican candidate for the U.S. House in New Jersey’s 2nd district. In recent weeks he’s gained national attention for making Trumpian tactics the core of his campaign, decrying “diversity,” mocking Kwanzaa and denigrating Islam. With state Republicans distancing themselves — and their dollars — from him, it’s not clear that the strategy will have the desired effect…” [Forward]

Megadonor Sheldon Adelson rewards GOP candidates in tight races who opposed Iran deal – by Brian Schwartz: “A week after President Donald Trump announced he was withdrawing from the Iran nuclear agreement, billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson rewarded five GOP candidates with campaign donations. They all had one thing in common: they had adamantly opposed the Obama-era agreement… Nevada Republican Senator Dean Heller, Virginia Congresswoman Barbara Comstock, California Congresswoman Mimi Walters, Utah Congresswoman Mia Love and Republican candidate for Congress in Nevada’s fourth district Cresent Hardy all received campaign contributions from Adelson in May.” [CNBC]

Kander sets his sights on city hall instead of the White House — by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “Jason Kander, the former Missouri secretary of state and failed 2016 Senate candidate, officially announced that he’ll be running for Kansas City mayor, becoming the first of potential Democratic White House contenders to pull the plug… Kander said he plans to scale back political travel that had made him a regular presence in Iowa and New Hampshire.”[Politico]

ROYAL VISIT — Britain’s Prince William, in Jerusalem, honors Holocaust victims, meets Netanyahu — by Dan Williams: “Wearing a black Jewish skullcap, William, second in line to the throne, laid a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance at the Yad Vashem memorial… “Terrifying,” William said, viewing a display at the memorial’s museum of shoes taken by the Nazis from Jews at a death camp. “(I’m) trying to comprehend the scale.” After the tour, the prince was welcomed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at their official residence in Jerusalem… Later in the day, the prince will see President Reuven Rivlin before heading to Jaffa and Tel Aviv on the Mediterranean coast to meet young people participating in a football-based youth program.” [Reuters]

Prince William is first British royal to make official trip to Israel, on visit that will also take him to Palestinian territories — by Ruth Eglash: “Even before his arrival, the visit courted controversy. Israeli politicians expressed frustration that the royal itinerary listed the holy sites in Jerusalem’s Old City as being located in the “Occupied Palestinian Territories,” and Palestinians decried the omission of the word “occupied” from the Hebrew translation of the schedule… In a briefing with journalists Monday, Britain’s consul general in East Jerusalem, Philip Hall, said such terminology has been used for decades, in keeping with United Nations resolutions… “We know that this is not a time when we can celebrate progress in the Middle East peace. We believe that engagement is at least as important in challenging times as it is in good times and perhaps even more so,” said Hall.” [WashPost

HEARD AT THE ASPEN IDEAS FESTIVAL — Kori Schake, Deputy-Director General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, on a panel discussing Trump’s foreign policy: Tactical achievements like the Jerusalem Embassy move “may politicize Israel in a way that we haven’t seen before.”[Pic]

Jeffrey Rosen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Constitution Center, on how social media represents the opposite of the constitution: “It’s an irony that Hamilton is the rap star of the moment – because this is the man who wants a president for life and a Senate for life, and is really afraid of rule by the mob. Madison definitely wants majorities to form, but he designs all these cooling mechanisms so they can’t form fast. So that’s why this is relevant to social media. Brexit votes, Twitter polls and instant decisions are the opposite of what the Constitution is trying to create. The central fear is faction. How does Madison define a faction? In Federalist 10: A faction is a majority or a minority animated by passion rather than reason, and directed toward self-interest rather than the public good.”

“Madison has a couple ways of preventing factions from forming. First of all, representation — no direct democracy as in Athens, no initiative or referendum. Second, checks and balances, and separation of powers… But most importantly, the size of the American Republic… The fact that America is so big means that it’ll be really hard for factions to organize quickly, to discover each other, to plan their nefarious schemes and to oppress minorities or majorities. And then finally, he’s looking ahead and focuses on new media technologies, in particular, the broadside press which is just getting up and running in the late 18th century…”

“And it’s obvious, as I described these cooling mechanisms and the emphasis on geography as an antidote to faction, that all of this is now up for grabs, and we should run through the various things that have destroyed these cooling mechanisms. But the most obvious one is social media which makes possible a geographically dispersed factions, motivated by passion rather than reason, to organize quickly, to vote quickly, and to oppress minorities without passion being given a chance to defuse.” [Video]

SCENE YESTERDAY — Leonard A. Lauder highlighted selections from his Whitney collection The Art of Protest at the Aspen Ideas Festival. 32 protest posters from the 1960s and 1970s are on display at the Paepcke Gallery on the Aspen Institute’s campus. “Preserving the art of protest is one of the most important things we can do to protect our democracy,” Lauder emphasized at the event. [Pic]

David Brooks writes… “Republican or Conservative, You Have to Choose: The never-Trumpers are having an interesting debate over the question, Is it time to leave the Republican Party? George Will and Steve Schmidt say yes: The Trumpian rot is all the way down. Bill Kristol says not so fast: Once Donald Trump falls, the party could be brought back to health, and the fight has to be within the party as well as without it… At his essence Trump is an assault on the sacred order that conservatives hold dear — the habits and institutions that cultivate sympathy, honesty, faithfulness and friendship. Today you can be a conservative or a Republican, but you can’t be both. The new threats to the sacred space demand a fundamental rethinking for conservatives. You can’t do that rethinking if you are imprisoned in a partisan mind-set or if you dismiss half of Americans because they are on the “other team.” [NYTimes]

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Trump claims ‘a lot of progress’ has been made in the Middle East — At the beginning of his meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office, President Trump was asked by reporters what are the chances of peace in the Middle East. “We’re doing very well in the Middle East,” Trump said. “His Majesty knows a lot of progress has been made in the Middle East, and it really started with the end of the horrible Iran deal. That deal was a disaster, and things are a lot different since we ended that.” [Video]

The White House said in a readout following the meeting that Trump emphasized his commitment “to work to achieve a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Jordanian statement“Discussing the peace process, His Majesty stressed that the two-state solution which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on Palestinian national soil with East Jerusalem as its capital, is the only way to end the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and it is the cornerstone for achieving security and stability in the entire region. The King underlined the importance of stepping up efforts to push the peace process forward by relaunching serious and effective negotiations between the Palestinians and the Israelis, leading to just and lasting peace. His Majesty noted the United States’ important role in this regard.”

Michael Wilner‏ tweets“Reports are circulating in the region that MBS and Netanyahu met in Amman during Kushner and Greenblatt’s visit there. A senior administration official tells me the US side was not aware of any such meeting, does not believe it took place, and did not facilitate it if it did.”

DRIVING THE CONVO — Ilan Goldenberg, a former Obama administration official, writes… “Kushner’s Peace Plan Is a Disaster Waiting to Happen: Under the less damaging scenario, the United States would put out a balanced proposal consistent with international understanding of the situation and U.S. policy for the past generation… The problem is that there is no point in putting out this plan again… The increasingly likely scenario is that the administration instead proposes a plan that is more favorable to Israel… This approach… would box in center-left Israeli politicians who would see the Trump plan as unrealistic. However, they would not be in a position to oppose a U.S. proposal because it would be too good for Israel. An even more pernicious possibility is that if the Palestinians were to reject either of these plans — especially one accepted by Israel —it could then become the basis for the Israeli government to once again make the case that it has no partner on the Palestinian side and therefore begin the process of annexing large chunks of the West Bank.” [ForeignPolicy]

Philip Gordon and Prem Kumar write… “Jared Kushner’s Middle East Fantasy: In our own extensive discussions with Abbas and his negotiating team as White House Middle East advisers during the Obama administration, we found them deterred most of all by the fear they could not sell further concessions to their people… And that problem is even greater today… Because of these trends, the next Palestinian leader will almost certainly be less rather than more ready to make concessions—if he even supports a peace process at all… Kushner’s second fantasy is the idea that he and the administration he represents are better placed to succeed than all their failed predecessors… But while it is already clear that Trump is a terrible dealmaker who has yet to conclude any significant international agreement… Middle East peace may be the issue on which he is least well-placed to succeed.” [TheAtlantic]

Dennis Ross to Globes: “I hope that the plan will be seen as credible so that there can be a response from serious Arab leaders. If the Saudis, the Egyptians, the Jordanians, the Emirates and the Moroccans were to collectively say that having looked at the plan — even if they have questions — they think it’s a serious basis for negotiations, that will affect the international reality. It will affect the Europeans, and it will also put the Palestinians in a position where they will need to respond in some fashion. Based on the discussions I have had with them, I am convinced that what they are trying to put together is serious and it’s genuine. Ultimately we have to see what’s in the plan. Once we see the plan we will see if the process, which I think was a serious one, gives us a chance to go someplace.” [Video]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Knesset Member Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid Party and a leading challenger to Netanyahu, discussed Trump’s peace efforts, his push for U.S. recognition of Golan, and U.S.-Israel relations in an interview with Tamara Cofman Wittes at the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. [Pic]

Lapid of Trump’s Middle East peace efforts: “Nobody was using the words ‘peace plan’ for quite a while now, and whether or not it’s good or bad, whether or not it’s the right timing, it is always better to be proactive… Nobody really knows what exactly is going to be in this ‘Ultimate Deal’ paper that they’re going to put out. But having a peace plan and the fact that from the little that we know — that they were, for example, discussing Abu Dis which is a neighborhood outside Jerusalem as the future Palestinian capital — is maybe enraging the Palestinians, but this is a discussion about the two-state solution. This is coming back to the language of the two-state solution.”

Lapid on who is to blame for the lack of Democrats at the Jerusalem Embassy opening ceremony: “When I sat there at the event and looked around me, I saw more pastors than Reform Jews… That night I came home, I called my friend Ted Deutch (D-FL). I said, ‘Are you crazy? I know you were all for the embassy move. How come you didn’t come?’ And he said, ‘Well, I called them and I wanted to come, but nobody answered the phone.’ Now, the Israeli government had to have the list, they had to know who was invited and who was not invited, and the fact that nobody got up and said hey, we have to have some Democrats here — Israel is a bipartisan issue — is a huge mistake.”[Video

Lapid asks US lawmakers to recognize Israeli sovereignty of Golan Heights — by Eric Cortellessa: “It’s time for the world to recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights,” [Yair Lapid] told reporters… “It’s ours and always has been. It’s not like the West Bank or anything.” … In a roundtable discussion with a small group of reporters, organized by the Washington-based Israel Project, Lapid said he was not meeting with any members of the Trump administration… Lapid’s Washington itinerary included meetings with Republicans Senators Lindsey Graham and Tom Cotton, and Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. He will also meet with other members of the Democratic caucus, in a gathering organized by Florida Rep. Ted Deutch.”[ToI

Diplomats get undiplomatic about Trump — by Jonathan Swan: “While transatlantic relationships are strained, Trump’s Middle Eastern relationships — with the deliberate exception of Iran — are flourishing. Gulf leaders and the Israelis love Trump, support his aggressive attitude towards Iran, and are relieved Barack Obama is no longer president. I met yesterday with Yair Lapid — chairman of Israel’s centrist Yesh Atid party — and Lapid said Trump is on his way to being the most popular American president ever in Israel.” [Axios

Israel reportedly agrees to set up seaport for Gaza in Cyprus — by Stuart Winer: “Israel has reportedly agreed to set up a floating dock in Cyprus to receive goods bound for the Gaza Strip as a way to ease the rehabilitation of the ailing Palestinian enclave… Israel intends to put together a working plan in the coming months and then pitch it directly to the public in Gaza, bypassing the Hamas rulers of the coastal territory, Hadashot TV news reported Monday.” [ToI]

New Protests in Tehran Pose Fresh Challenge to Iran’s Rulers — by Aresu Eqbali: “Hundreds protested in the Iranian capital on Monday while merchants in the city’s oldest bazaar shut their shops to protest economic woes and a collapsing currency as the U.S. restores sanctions.” [WSJ

DIPLOMACY DEPARTMENT — Pompeo on What Trump Wants — by Walter Russell Mead: “Mr. Pompeo says his most important daily task is to understand what the president is thinking. As he prepared for the job, “I spoke to every living former secretary of state,” Mr. Pompeo says. “They gave me two or three big ideas about things you needed to do to successfully deliver on American foreign policy. Not one of them got out of their top two without saying that a deep understanding and good relationship with the commander in chief—with the person whose foreign policy you’re implementing—is absolutely central.”” [WSJ]

How Mike Pompeo Trumpified the State Department — by Abigail Tracey: “Within the reinforced-concrete walls of the Harry S. Truman Building, insiders say, Pompeo has made superficial changes that have improved morale… Behind the scenes, however, Pompeo is quietly overseeing the Trumpification of the State Department. Instead of using his clout in the West Wing to depoliticize the agency, whose budget Trump had threatened to cut, Pompeo has presided over an ideological crackdown on civil servants. Staffers are paralyzed, the current administration staffer told me, “nervous about not knowing how far they can go, not wanting to push the envelope, not wanting to get ahead of the Seventh Floor.” [VanityFair]

** 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: David Carey, Hearst Magazines President, Is Stepping Down [WSJ] • The Wall Street Billionaires Who Bailed Out Harvard’s Endowment [Bloomberg] • Fifth Acquisition Deal for Israeli Insurer Phoenix May Go Up in Flames [CTech]

The Stock Market Loophole That Screws The Little Guy — by Felix Salmon: “In recent years, however, investors have started playing the same game by buying shares in private companies, in similar hope of a massive payday… Another example is Josh Kushner, Jared’s brother. His Thrive Capital invested $150 million into GitHub in 2015, before it was sold to Microsoft for $7.5 billion earlier this month. About $30 million of Kushner’s money was a direct investment into the company, but the vast majority of the investment, some $120 million, was pieced together… by buying up insiders’ stock on the secret secondary market. It was Kushner’s largest and most successful investment… Kushner’s $30 million helped GitHub get to its impressive exit; his $120 million didn’t.” [Wired]

PROFILE — The $5bn tech boss who grew up without electricity — by Daniel Thomas: “Stewart Butterfield spent the first five years of his life living on a commune in remote Canada after his father fled the US to avoid serving in the Vietnam War… “My parents were definitely hippies,” says Mr Butterfield, whose mother and father had named him Dharma. “They wanted to live off the land, but it turns out there was a lot of work involved, so we moved back to the city.” After the family relocated to Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, Mr Butterfield saw his first computer when he was seven, and taught himself to program from that very young age… Fast-forward to today and 46-year-old Stewart Butterfield… has an estimated personal fortune of $650m… Regarding the future, Mr Butterfield says that, unlike Flickr, he has no intention of leaving Slack. “So many things had to go right get to this position – amazing luck was involved – and I am not so smart that I can just make it happen again,” he says.” [BBC]

At London’s Art Auctions, the Middle Is Where the Action Is — by Kelly Crow: “Other trophies failed to draw bids, including an earthen-colored Joan Miro from 1933 that previously belonged to artist Alexander Calder and was being sold by auto billionaire Norman Braman’s art foundation. Sotheby’s hoped to sell it for at least $10.6 million.” [WSJ]

STATE-SIDE: New Arkansas legislation takes aim at boycotting Israel — by John Lovett: “Among the many new laws that Arkansas legislators approved last year was a requirement that contractors bidding on state jobs sign a pledge they are not boycotting Israel… A Fort Smith architect bidding on a state job in west central Arkansas with the Arkansas Division of Building Authority brought the new law to the Times Record’s attention with the note that the firm has “no political axe to grind with either Israel or Palestinians, but this is a rather remarkable thing to require a citizen in order to get a job.” The architect was required to submit a signed copy of an “Anti-Boycott of Israel Certification” to its general conditions and public funds contract as a stipulation for getting the award. The Israel Anti-Boycott Act was introduced into the U.S. Senate on March 23, 2017, but still not been passed the Senate, House or the president’s desk to become law.” [AP]

HEARD YESTERDAY — New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson at the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York annual meeting held at the offices of UJA of New York in Midtown: “The BDS movement is pernicious, misguided, and flat out wrong. I really think that it is incredibly important in a city that has the largest Jewish community outside of Israel… I think it is so important that New York be the leader against the BDS movement. And the reason why I believe that is because the BDS movement is really about tricking people… BDS is about conflict. BDS is about harming people who have been harmed.” [Video]

SPOTTED LAST NIGHT — at a VIP LGBT reception, marking Pride Month, hosted by Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan’s at his residence in NYC: Deputy Consul General Amir Sagie, Chen Arielli, Nizar Helawy, Marcy Kahn, Judge Michael Sonberg, Matthew Skinner, Mark Labadorf, Alex Michelle, Yuval David, Andy Mirer, Jacob Velleman, Assaf Weiss, Dirk McCall, Gabriel Lewenstein, Matthew McMorrow, Peter Fox, Fred Karger, Ryan Karben, Andrew Gross, Shani Dilian, and Sivan Aloni. [Pic]

TWEET DU JOUR — via @MediaComGlobal“We recruited Judaism’s rabbinical authority to raise awareness of a forgotten biblical decree, which increased @Gillette’s share in the Orthodox community by 4x as much! Here is our @Cannes_Lions Media Lions award winner ‘I Don’t Roll on Shabbos‘”

BIRTHDAYS: British Labour party member of Parliament for 42 years (1966-1970 and again from 1979-2017), David Winnick turns 85… Long time play-by-play announcer for the San Francisco Giants, he retired in 1996, Howard “Hank” Greenwald turns 83… Co-host of NPR’s All Things Considered from 1987 until January 2018, Robert Siegel turns 71… Partner in Resolute Consulting, he is an attorney and public affairs strategist, he was Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (2009-2011), Alan Solow turns 64… Creator of #TheProgram, founder and CEO of ZMC (originally known as Zelnick Media Capital), previously CEO of media firms including 20th Century Fox and record label BMG Entertainment, Strauss Zelnick turns 61… VP for academic affairs at Loyola University Maryland, a psychologist known for her work on sleep patterns and behavioral well-being, Amy Ruth Wolfson, Ph.D. turns 58… Once the wealthiest of all Russian oligarchs, then a prisoner in Russia and now living in exile in Switzerland, Mikhail Khodorkovsky turns 55…

Novelist and journalist, most notable as the author of the Magicians trilogy, he was the book critic and lead technology writer at Time magazine (2002-2016),Lev Grossman… and his twin brother, author and video game designer, Austin Grossman both turn 49… President and founder of Reut Institute, a Tel Aviv-based nonpartisan and nonprofit policy think tank, Gidi Grinsteinturns 48… Political commentator, comedian and talk show host, Dave Rubinturns 42… Senior manager of corporate communications at American Airlines since 2015, Ross Feinstein turns 36… Associate in Mayer Brown’s DC office, focused on international trade and Congressional lobbying, Michael “Mickey” Leibner turns 30 (h/ts Playbook)… Staff assistant and policy advisor for the Office of Public Engagement in the Obama White House, now an advisor to the Chicago City Treasurer, Asher J. Mayerson turns 25… David Marks… Robert Levin


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