Daily Kickoff: The Jaffa, now open | Adelson gives GOP $25M | Dustin Moskovitz becoming ‘Sheldon of the left’ | Marty Baron on his Jewish background


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TALK OF THE TOWN — Aby Rosen Creates New Hotel in Vibrant Tel Aviv — by Sarah Medford: “Thirteen years ago, property developer Aby Rosen acted on a long-held dream and purchased a historic building in the old city of Jaffa, now part of Tel Aviv, with plans to open a hotel and residence complex. The 19th-century former hospital needed restoration, but its period details—columns, arched ceilings, stained-glass windows—were exceptional. Time passed, and work inched along. Meanwhile, excavations turned up a 13th-century Saracen wall fragment, occasioning another delay.”

“Rosen has a deep-rooted affinity for Tel Aviv, where he vacationed as a child. He sees The Jaffa, which finally opened August 20, as an oasis. “Israel is very hectic,” he says. “The goal is to take the speed out.” … Rosen tapped New York’s Major Food Group to oversee Don Camillo, serving a New York–style Italian menu, and Golda’s, a classic Jewish deli. “You have the tuna melt, you just die,” Rosen says.” [WSJMagazineRobbReport]

TOP TALKER — President Trump discussed his interactions with foreign leaders regarding the most pressing issues in the Middle East in a wide-ranging interview with Reuters yesterday:

Turkey: Trump complained that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan didn’t keep his side of the bargain to release North Carolina pastor Andrew Brunson being held in Turkey after he managed to get Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to release a Turkish woman who was being held in Israel. “I got that person out for him… It can’t be a one-way street. It’s no longer a one-way street for the United States,” Trump said.

Russia: Trump said he discussed the situation in Syria and Israel’s security among other issues in his private meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, adding that he would consider lifting U.S. sanctions if Russia took positive steps on Syria or Ukraine. “I would consider it if they do something that would be good for us. But I wouldn’t consider it without that,” he said.

Iran: Trump seemed to have backtracked on meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to discuss the Iranian nuclear program. “If they want to meet that’s fine, and if they don’t want to meet, I couldn’t care less,” Trump declared. “But I have not asked to meet.” [Reuters]

— Iran unveils a new fighter jet: “Iran unveiled a new fighter jet on Tuesday in the presence of President Hassan Rouhani, state media reported.”[Reuters]

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Israel’s Finance Minister Aims to Improve Palestinian Economy — by Gwen Ackerman: “After more than three years of meetings with Palestinian officials, Moshe Kahlon is pushing a plan to build joint industrial zones, ease movement out of the West Bank and allow the Palestinian Authority to collect its own customs taxes. He will discuss the plan with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy, later this month in Washington.” [Bloomberg]

TWITTER DIPLOMACY — Jason Greenblatt tweets statement signed by Trump’s Mideast peace team: “The United States has invested more money in helping the Palestinian people than any other country in the world.”

REPORT: Trump envoy held secret meeting with Palestinian President’s son — by Barak Ravid: “President Trump’s special envoy for Middle East peace, Jason Greenblatt, held a secret meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ son last September on the margins of the UN General Assembly in New York… Tarek Abbas told Greenblatt that, unlike his father, he is against the two state solution because he thinks the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank made it impossible. Abbas’ son told the U.S. envoy he supports a one state solution with equal rights for all citizens.”

“Trump and Abbas will both be in New York this year for the General Assembly but are not expected to meet.” [Axios]

VIEW IN THE REGION — No Arab Leader Will Be Able to Accept Trump’s Peace Plan, ex-Jordanian FM Says — by Amir Tibon: Marwan Muasher, who was the Hashemite Kingdom’s foreign minister and deputy prime minister from 2002 to 2005… wrote in the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad that Jordan can block Trump’s peace plan by ending its security coordination with Israel… Muasher cautioned in his article that Trump’s plan won’t include “the minimum Arab and Palestinian demands” and that it is, in effect, a “full surrender” by the administration to the demands of Israel’s right-wing government.” [Haaretz

Muslims at haj blame Arab disunity for Jerusalem embassy move — by Muhammad Yamany and Seham El-Oraby: “Muslims at the annual haj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia criticized what they described as discordant Arab leaders for failing to block President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem… Some critics accuse Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, of surrendering Palestinian rights for the sake of its alliance with Trump and his tough stand on Iran.” [Reuters]

IN JERUSALEM — National Security Advisor John Bolton visited Yad Vashem this morning. He was accompanied by Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman. Bolton wrote in the Yad Vashem Guest Book: “In memory of the greatest tragedy which the spirit and resilience of the Jewish people has overcome, to help us prevent its like from ever happening again… to anyone.” [Pic]

New Russian Hacking Targeted Republican Groups, Microsoft Says — by David Sanger and Sheera Frenkel: “The sites appeared meant to trick people into thinking they were clicking through links managed by the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute, but were secretly redirected to web pages created by the hackers to steal passwords and other credentials… The Hudson Institute has promoted programs examining the rise of kleptocracy in governments around the world, with Russia as a prime target.” [NYTimes]

MIDTERMS — Adelsons shell out $25 million to keep Senate in GOP hands — by Theodoric Meyer: “Republican megadonors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson gave $25 million last month to the Senate Leadership Fund… The contributions are the first the Las Vegas casino magnate and his wife have made this cycle to the super PAC, which is closely aligned with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.” [Politico]

— “Priorities USA, a Democratic super PAC focusing on voter engagement and turnout, reported raising $4.1 million, with $2 million of that coming from hedge fund manager S. Donald Sussman of Paloma Partners Management Co.”[Bloomberg]

Ten big Silicon Valley money players behind this November’s U.S. midterm elections — by Theodore Schleifer: “While [Dustin] Moskovitz is a well-known figure in Silicon Valley, the Facebook co-founder had barely given money to political groups. Overnight, he became the biggest donor on the left side of Sheldon Adelson — leaving reporters and even some Democratic fundraisers at the time scrambling to figure out: “Who is this guy?” Now he doesn’t have the cloak of anonymity. Moskovitz… has an estimated net worth of about $14 billion and could very well be the next Adelson of the left if he is prepared to dig deep into his bank account. Moskovitz and his wife, Cari Tuna, have together funneled almost $5 million to Democratic groups this cycle.”[Recode]

From Illinois Playbook“Members of the Democratic National Committee are in Chicago this week for meetings to prepare for the upcoming midterm elections. They’ll be staying at the Hyatt Regency Chicago, which was co-founded by gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker’s late father. Pritzker’s cousin, Tom Pritzker, is executive chairman of the Hyatt board. J.B. has sold his stake in the hotel empire.”

SCENE LAST NIGHT — Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner in Jackson Hole for GOP fundraiser — by Bradly  Boner: “A handful of protestors shouted questions to U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner, as they boarded the Bridger Gondola at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort on Monday evening… At the end of the video, one person can be heard yelling, “Ivanka’s complicit,” before telling them to “enjoy the mountains.” [JHNewsAndGuide]

Levi Sanders Is Not His Father. He Keeps Telling That to Voters — by Sydney Ember: “I’m not a clone of my father,” Levi Sanders said in a late-night interview after the forum earlier this month. His shirt was rumpled. He looked weary. But with just weeks to go until his primary in [New Hampshire’s] First District, Mr. Sanders, 49, still cannot avoid comparisons to his father, Bernie Sanders… Oh, and one more thing: His father has not endorsed him… The younger Mr. Sanders swears he is not upset by his father’s decision not to endorse him. “He’s always believed, ever since I was little, that I have to stand up on my own.” [NYTimes]

Past divisions forgotten, Obama endorses J.B. Pritzker — by Greg Hinz: “Pritzker was invested in Hillary Clinton’s 2008 campaign, pitting himself against sister Penny Pritzker, who was for [Barack] Obama and went on to serve as commerce secretary in his Cabinet… Now that Pritzker is the Democratic nominee for governor, all apparently has been forgotten, with his campaign releasing a video endorsement by the Chicagoan who was president that could not be more flattering. “J.B. gets things done,” declares an earnest-looking Obama… “I know J.B.  I trust J.B.,” says Obama.” [CrainsChicagoVideo]

Holocaust survivor denounces Cuomo: ‘America is great’ — by Jacob Kornbluh: Republican gubernatorial hopeful Marc Molinaro and an 88-year-old Holocaust survivor joined arms on Monday to denounce New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’ recent comments that America “was never that great.” “I really think that America is great. As far as I am concerned, America was great even before I came here, and we don’t want to give that up,“ Jerry Wartski, a Manhattan real estate investor and a survivor of the Auschwitz concentration camp, told reporters.

Molinaro insisted that he was not exploiting the Holocaust to score political points. Wartski, according to Molinaro, reached out to the campaign and offered to speak out. “I think that any individual who has lived through that horror, who wishes to speak up because his governor would demean what this nation means to him, it’s certainly his right,” Molinaro told Jewish Insider[JewishInsider]

TALK OF THE NATION: Nazi collaborator Jakiw Palij is deported from U.S. to Germany — by Carlo Angerer: “The last known Nazi collaborator living in the U.S. was deported to Germany overnight. Jakiw Palij, 95, had lived in New York City for decades…  In a statement released by the White House after Palij landed in Germany early Tuesday said President Donald Trump commended the actions of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for “removing this war criminal from United States soil.” … “To protect the promise of freedom for Holocaust survivors and their families, President Trump prioritized the removal of Palij.” [NBCNews]

— “According to a source familiar with the matter, Trump told U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell to make Palij’s deportation his number one priority when he got to Berlin.” [ABCNews]

German foreign minister honors victims at Auschwitz — by Vanessa Gera: “In the first visit to the camp by a German foreign minister in 26 years, [Heiko] Maas wrote in a memorial book that Auschwitz was “hell on earth” and a “German creation,” according to Germany’s dpa news agency… The visit is particularly personal to Maas, who took over at the Foreign Ministry in March. “I went into politics because of Auschwitz,” he said at the time.” [AP]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Under PepsiCo, SodaStream’s Marketing-Savvy CEO Says He is Not Going to Pipe Down [Calcalist] • In the CBS-Viacom Legal Struggle, the Sumner Whisperer Comes Under Fire [VanityFair] • Les Moonves’ contract reveals nearly $200 million at stake if he leaves CBS [CBSNews] • RedSky buys Williamsburg development site from Thor Equities, lands $222M refi of neighborhood portfolio [TheRealDeal] • Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor Signs With D.C. Lobbying Firm Led by Former Trump Campaign Adviser [Variety] • Sam Zell’s outdoor home rental business luring investors [TheRealDeal]

Trump Complains to Donors in the Hamptons About Powell’s Rate Hikes — by Jennifer Jacobs and Saleha Mohsin: “Trump held a discussion with a small group and then made remarks to a larger group over a dinner of salad with chicken in a tent in [Howard] Lorber’s yard. It was a humid night and Trump joked that Lorber could have afforded better air conditioning.” [Bloomberg]

PROFILE — Can This Refugee Advocate Survive the ‘Stop Soros’ Crossfire? — by Erik Noel Nelson: “As an aspiring attorney, specializing in immigration interested [Tímea] Kovács partly for its complexity, because it dealt with evolving European law, rather than straightforward criminal acts… Now there are worries that her chosen vocation could make her a target of the [Hungarian “Stop Soros” anti-immigration] law, particularly given her prominence in the media… For her part, Kovács is wary of how she communicates and prefers in-person meetings. That’s not surprising since Politico reported in July that the government hired an Israeli firm to contact NGO staff — especially those associated with Soros — and recorded conversations that were later used by Orbán in the final days of April’s election campaign.” [Ozy]

PODCAST PLAYBACK — Washington Post editor Marty Baron shared his Jewish background with David Axelrod on The Axe Files podcast: “My father was born in Germany. He went to what was then Palestine. My mother was born in what was then Palestine, [which later] became Israel. They loved that country. They were in Paris a couple of years and then came to the United States.”

Axelrod: Why did they come here? Baron: “My father believed in the American dream. That’s what he wanted. He loved the opportunity of the United States. He was a true believer in all of that, and it just suited him, I guess. So he became a businessman and that’s what he was about. I, as a kid, traveled a lot with my parents. My father was in the export business, so we traveled overseas. So I got around the world, and you get exposed to lots of different kinds of people… I hope, I expect, and I believe that people are making the kinds of contributions that my parents made to this country.” [AxeFiles

ACROSS THE POND — Jeremy Corbyn’s secret trip to Israel to meet Hamas — by Eylon Levy: “Jeremy Corbyn visited Israel and the West Bank in November 2010 with an Islamist lobby group to meet senior Hamas officials, and failed to declare the funding for the trip in violation of parliamentary rules… The UK Labour Party… defended his meetings with Hamas officials…”  [i24News]

David Horovitz writes… Corbyn, who sought Israel’s demise, is an anti-Semite. Labour must kick him out: “He backed a group that called ‘to eradicate Zionism’; he’s likened Israeli policy to the Nazis’; his party can’t accept the world definition of anti-Semitism because he breaches it.

“Corbyn’s Labour has become a hothouse of anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism — in its leader’s radical hard-left image. His defense and that of his loyalists, when accused of failing to tackle the blight, is to attempt to distinguish between the two: Yes, they proudly acknowledge, Corbyn and many others in Labour are deeply critical of Israel and its policies regarding the Palestinians, but the allegations of anti-Semitism are not merely unfounded but are being deliberately manufactured in order to silence their legitimate criticisms of the Jewish state. Iranian ayatollah-style, they would have us believe that they loathe Israel but have nothing whatsoever against the Jews.” [ToI]

Speaking of Iranian views towards Jews — U.S. prosecutors announced charges Monday against two men arrested Aug. 9 and accused of acting as agents of the government of Iran, covertly monitoring a Jewish center in Chicago and American members of an Iranian opposition group in exile in behalf of the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. [ChicagoTribune]

REMEMBERING: Uri Avnery, left-wing Israeli journalist, politician and peace activist, dies at 94 — by Harrison Smith: “By all accounts, the first time an Israeli met Yasser Arafat was in July 1982, after Uri Avnery — a white-haired war veteran, left-wing politician and muckraking journalist — boarded the Palestinian leader’s armored Mercedes in the streets of West Beirut… When he died Aug. 20 at 94, at a hospital in Tel Aviv after suffering a stroke, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called him “the eternal opposition figure” in a tweet, whose struggle for free speech “paved the way for Israel as a young country.” [WashPostNYT]

DESSERT — Massive Mall Near MetLife Stadium Will Have Over 100 Restaurants — by Stefanie Tuder: “American Dream in East Rutherford has been 16 years in the making… On the food side of the $3 billion, 4.5 million-square-foot project, there will be more than 20 full-service restaurants, a Vice-branded food hall, a Kosher food hall, and about 50 grab-and-go options.”[EaterNY]

HELPFUL GOOGLE MAP OVERLAY — Manhattan Kosher Restaurant Map: A map of kosher, vegan, and vegetarian restaurants in New York City’s most densely populated borough [KosherMap]

BIRTHDAYS: Russian-born Internet entrepreneur, he co-founded Google and is the president of Google’s parent company Alphabet, Sergey Brin turns 45… Retired owner of Effective Strategy Consultants, Boynton Beach resident, Irwin Wecker turns 83… Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (with chambers in Chicago), the first woman appointed to this court, Judge Ilana Kara Diamond Rovner turns 80… President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2012, L. Rafael Reif turns 68… Israeli physician who was a member of the Knesset (1999-2003), he now serves as mayor of Ashdod (Israel’s largest port and its sixth largest city), Dr. Yehiel Lasri turns 61… Co-founder of BlueLine Grid, he was previously an Assistant US Attorney in Los Angeles (1994-2000) and a member of the Los Angeles City Council (2001-2009), Jack Weiss turns 54…

Manager of strategic partnerships for UJA-Federation of New York’s Day School Challenge Fund, she is a former litigator at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Chavie N. Kahn… Global head of public affairs at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, he held several national posts in the Republican Party (including Party Chair from 2005-2007) and the George W. Bush administration, Ken Mehlman turns 52… MLB pitcher for 9 teams in a long career (2000-2015), he was the starting pitcher in three of Team Israel’s first four games in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, all of which the team won, Jason Marquis turns 40… Senior strategist at PSB Research (PSB is a part of Y&R and WPP), named a non-partisan “Rising Star” by Campaigns & Elections magazine, Adam Rosenblatt turns 33… Associate Area Director for AIPAC in Philadelphia, Erica N. Miller turns 33… Tzippy Baitch… Lynn Sharon… James Barton… Elon Issashar


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