Daily Kickoff: John Kerry’s new book details his relationship with Bibi and why the Obama admin didn’t veto UNSC 2334 | Urban renewal in Neve Shaanan


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FIRST LOOK — An exclusive sneak peek at former Secretary of State John Kerry’s upcoming book titled Every Day Is Extra  

In the book set to be released on September 4, a copy of which was obtained by Jewish Insider, Kerry writes about the failed Middle East peace initiative he undertook after becoming Secretary of State, what drove his optimism that he would succeed in solving final status issues, how both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas failed to live up to expectations, and why the Obama administration decided to abstain at the UN Security Council on UNSC 2334 in December of 2016.

Pragmatic Bibi: “What I found most promising was Prime Minister Netanyahu’s insistence to me personally that he was willing to take risks, willing even to put his government coalition at risk, to make peace if his conditions are met.” These conversations, going back years, helped Kerry convince a ‘skeptical’ President Obama that it was worth trying to reinvigorate the peace process and put Netanyahu’s “willingness to make tough compromises” to the test.

Kerry recalls Netanyahu agreeing to release pre-Oslo Palestinian prisoners to pave a way for the resumption of peace talks for 9 months after issuing an ultimatum. “I told Bibi in no uncertain terms, ‘If you’re not willing to release them, I understand — but this won’t work and I’m done with it.’ When he was confronted with this deadline, for the first time, he said, ‘Okay, let me see what I can do.'”

Bibi’s high bar: “Bibi’s attitude was ‘I’m open to solving this problem if I can have all my needs met.’ That included his political needs with his coalition… Bibi was fond of saying, ‘Take all my excuses away.’ Kerry contrasts these comments to the conversations he had with Tzipi Livni, a minister in Netanyahu’s government and now Israel’s Opposition Leader, in which she expressed Israel’s need to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict once and for all.

Kerry recounts a conversation he had with Netanyahu following President Obama’s speech to the Israeli public during his visit to Israel in 2013: “A few days later, I met with Bibi at the King David Hotel. He looked me dead in the eye and said, John, I’m willing to give this effort a try, but there are two things you should know: first, everyone in this region lies all the time and you Americans have a hard time understanding that; second, the most I can do may be less than the least Abbas could ever accept.’ That statement really stayed with me. Bibi was raising the bar, perhaps impossibly.”

How Bibi rejected Gen. John Allen’s security plan: Kerry describes in detail the plan that was presented to Israel’s then-Defense Minister Moshe Bogie Ya’alon, which included U.S. troops on the border of a future Palestinian state and Israeli troops in close proximity after a gradual withdrawal from the West Bank, ready to return “in full force within hours” if any threat emerged. But on the morning after the meeting between Kerry, Gen. Allen and the Israeli leaders, Netanyahu insisted that the IDF must maintain a long-term presence in the West Bank, the duration of which would be decided unilaterally by Israel.

“It was now clear to all of us that Bibi was not interested in actually addressing the security questions in a way that could allow for the eventual withdrawal of the IDF,” Kerry writes. “I concluded that this wasn’t about security. I wondered what Bogie Ya’alon had said to Bibi the night after we’d left… I let him know I thought he was creating an insurmountable stumbling block if he couldn’t accept the best advice of one of his ally’s most brilliant military minds. He smiled and said we’d table the discussion for now.”

The Pollard-for-peace deal: In 2014, the Obama administration considered releasing Jonathan Pollard to save the peace talks. Obama was very skeptical about releasing Pollard because he didn’t believe Netanyahu was serious about creating a Palestinian state. But he didn’t rule it out, according to Kerry, “I think more because he wanted to support me and his team than because he had any confidence Bibi would follow through.” Netanyahu, he writes, was urged to come up with a credible offer to convince Obama it was worth releasing Pollard and convince the Palestinians to agree for the extension of peace talks. “I told Bibi point-blank, ‘You’re not doing this for Abbas. You’re doing it to empower us to get what you want.'” In the end, it was Abbas who foiled the deal by announcing he was going to join several international organizations and violating the terms agreed upon with the Israelis. The move gave Netanyahu the “ammunition” he needed to blame the Palestinians for rejecting peace.

On President Obama’s decision not to veto UNSC 2334 in December of 2016“We all understood the political firestorm we would face if we didn’t veto the resolution… There were some who argued for sucking it up because it wasn’t worth the political price. President Obama wasn’t willing to make a decision that he thought was counter to U.S. interests simply because of the politics.”

— Kerry suggests that Trump’s appointment of David Friedman as U.S. Ambassador to Israel impelled Obama to act: “President-elect Trump had announced he was going to appoint an ambassador to Israel who was a hard-core proponent of the settlements and an avowed opponent of the two-state solution. At the same time, the Israelis had shown themselves to be completely disdainful of our policy by starting a process of formally legalizing outposts… We could not defend in the UN Israeli actions that amounted to a massive and unprecedented acceleration of the settlement enterprise.”

Kerry writes that following fierce Israeli criticism, he felt the need the respond, receiving Obama’s backing for a speech he later delivered at the State Department: “I remember sitting with former undersecretary of state Wendy Sherman in my office with a draft of the speech I was planning to give about the resolution. Wendy and I both have strong ties to the Jewish community. She reminded me of what we both understood: ‘Mr. Secretary, If you give this speech, you’re going to lose some friends.’ I looked out of the window of my office over the Mall in Washington and said to Wendy, ‘I understand that. But I have done a number of things in my life because I thought it was the right thing, not because it was easy.'”

OTHER NOTABLE HIGHLIGHTS — Kerry acknowledged that the warm reception President Obama received when he visited Israel in March of 2013 “made the White House wish the president had traveled there during his first term.”

— Kerry on meeting with Netanyahu after the FAA suspended flightsto Israel during Operation Protective Edge: “It was the few times I saw Bibi very subdued, absent his normal energy and bravado. To see the leader of Israel under siege like that really touched me… I saw Bibi in that moment more vulnerable than I’d ever seen him before.”

When Kerry accused Netanyahu of leaking a confidential draft of a ceasefire deal with Hamas: “We were in the middle of negotiating it based on your input. Now I see it in the press? This is outrageous,” Kerry told Bibi in a phone call. “The humanitarian cease-fire was your idea. And now you leak this document to make it sound like I am trying to advance Hamas’s position?” An “element of personal trust had been lost,” Kerry writes.

Kerry on Bibi’s 2015 speech to Congress: “As an unwavering supporter of Israel who always viewed my differences with Bibi through a political, not personal lens, I was disappointed in him… I thought we deserved better than a speech that hit below the belt.”

Kerry on the Iran nuclear deal: “We always maintained our ability to bomb Iran if they didn’t comply.”

When Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif almost blew up the Iran deal: “This is insulting. You’re trying to threaten me!” he exclaimed, getting up to leave. “Never threaten an Iranian.” A brief silence followed, before Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov broke the tension: “Or a Russian!” [Simon&Schuster]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Trump discussed Iran during at a campaign rally in Evansville, Indiana: “If you look at what’s happening to Iran, they are not too happy. When I came into office, Iran was like this big power, and it was just a question of when are they going to take over the whole Middle East… They were looking at the Mediterranean far away. They were going to take it all over. And I said you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to terminate this stupid deal made by the previous administration. And I can tell you one thing: Iran is not looking at the Mediterranean any longer. Hopefully, that will all work out between us and Iran, but they have to live by a certain set of rules.” [Video]

Trump Says Iranian Regime May Collapse Because of His Policies — by John Micklethwait, Jennifer Jacobs and Margaret Talev: “When I came into here, it was a question of when would they take over the Middle East,” Trump said Thursday in an Oval Office interview… “Now it’s a question of will they survive. It’s a big difference in one and a half years.” [Bloomberg]

Former Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal writes… “Why Republicans Stick With Trump: Since the campaign, Mr. Trump has abandoned many of his previous positions and embraced traditional conservative views… In February 2016, Mr. Trump claimed he would not take sides between Israel and the Palestinians, saying he would be “sort of a neutral guy.” Sen. Marco Rubio labeled this “an anti-Israel position.” … Yet… time and again, he has proved to be a reliable ally for Israel.” [WSJ]

TALK OF THE REGION — Trump administration to end U.S. funding to U.N. program for Palestinian refugees — by Karen DeYoung and Ruth Eglash: “The Trump administration has decided to cancel all U.S. funding of the United Nations aid program for Palestinian refugees… In an announcement to be made within the next several weeks, the administration plans to voice its disapproval of the way the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, spends the funds and to call for a sharp reduction in the number of Palestinians recognized as refugees.” [WashPost

“Elizabeth Campbell, a spokeswoman for the United Nations relief agency, said that it had not yet been informed by the Trump administration that the government intended to end all financial support.” [NYT]

U.S. Official Says ‘No Change’ Planned in Policy on Palestinian Refugees, Contrary to Reports — by Amir Tibon: “The Trump administration is currently not planning to change its policy regarding the Palestinian “right of return,” a State Department official said on Thursday. The official said… that there is “no change at this time.” [Haaretz]

Jordan to lead fundraising for U.N. Palestinian agency after U.S. cuts — by Suleiman Al-Khalidi: “Jordan said on Thursday it would lead a campaign to raise funds for the U.N. agency that supports Palestinian refugees, to help it survive after the United States cut its funding. Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said a meeting next month in New York on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly would mobilize support for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) to continue core education and health services.”[Reuters] • Germany to boost funds for Palestinians after US cut [Ynet]

FDD’s Richard Goldberg: “Lots of sudden “controversy” about reports that the Trump administration might finally pull the plug on one of the greatest scams of the last 70 years: the myth of Palestinian refugees and its institutional manifestation UNRWA. But, it’s neither controversial nor sudden… Just another important step toward peace.”

Aaron David Miller: “The administration’s recent actions reflect an intent to redefine the parameters of U.S. policy in a way that will virtually assure rejection by Palestinians and key Arab states such as Saudi Arabia, thereby relieving pressure on Israel.” [Axios

Palestinians claim US interfering in their affairs — by Liad Osmo: “Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in response to… Jason Greenblatt’s comments regarding the PA handling of the Gaza issue: “The US government is interfering in internal Palestinian affairs and we will not allow this. Greenblatt is part of a scheme to transform the Palestinian issue from one of a nation yearning for independence into a mere humanitarian issue. The nation won’t accept this,” Rudeineh said.”[Ynet]

HEARD THE OTHER DAY — Prime Minister Netanyahu at the renaming ceremony for the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center: “In the Middle East, and in many parts of the world, there is a simple truth: There is no place for the weak. The weak crumble, are slaughtered and are erased from history while the strong, for good or for ill, survive. The strong are respected, and alliances are made with the strong, and in the end, peace is made with the strong.” [Transcript]

— The excerpt, which was tweeted out by Netanyahu’s official Twitter account, drew over 1,000 responses on Twitter.

Israeli author Yossi Klein Halevi tells us… “Jewish history commands us to be strong and self-reliant. But it also forbids us from turning power into an ultimate value, which becomes a form of idolatry. We were powerless for two thousand years and were often slaughtered, but we didn’t crumble and we didn’t disappear from history, because we had an inner spiritual strength. Glorifying power debases us as a people.”

Hacking a Prince, an Emir and a Journalist to Impress a Client — by David Kirkpatrick and Azam Ahmed: “The rulers of the United Arab Emirates had been using Israeli spyware for more than a year, secretly turning the smartphones of dissidents at home or rivals abroad into surveillance devices. So when top Emirati officials were offered a pricey update of the spying technology, they wanted to make sure it worked, according to leaked emails submitted Thursday in two lawsuits against the spyware’s maker, the Israel-based NSO Group… Because Israel deems the spyware a weapon, the lawsuits note, the NSO Group and its affiliates could have sold it to the Emirates only with approval by the Israeli Defense Ministry.” [NYTimes

HAPPENING ON SUNDAY — Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte will kick off a four-day trip to Israel, the first such visit by a Philippine president since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1957. Duterte is expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin, tour Yad Vashem, and inaugurate a new Holocaust memorial in Rishon Lezion.

— David Horovitz writes… “Why are we opening our doors to him? As of this writing, Duterte is facing two complaints of murder and crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court for alleged indiscriminate killings… His government acknowledges almost 5,000 deaths and 50,000 arrests in the drug war; human rights groups put the figures far higher, and say most of those dead are the urban poor… Rodrigo Duterte will land in Israel on Sunday night — professing friendship, seeking weaponry. This man has no place here.” [ToI

BUZZ ON BALFOUR — Police say Sara Netanyahu suspect in Israel corruption case: Sara Netanyahu, wife of Israel’s prime minister, is suspected by authorities of accepting bribes in a corruption case involving Israel’s telecom giant… It was not immediately clear how Sara Netanyahu, who as the premier’s wife does not hold public office, might be charged with bribery.” [APLATimes

JARED INSIDER — Jared Kushner ramps up push for criminal justice reform — by Seung Min Kim and Anne Gearan: “Jared Kushner… is suddenly enjoying some renewed momentum on one of his prime projects — criminal justice reform — while facing major tests on a potential Mideast peace deal and a trade agreement with Mexico. The senior White House adviser with the seemingly ever-expansive portfolio spoke in a rare public setting on Thursday, making a surprise appearance on a conference call with reporters to promote criminal justice reform efforts on Capitol Hill.” [WashPost]

DRIVING THE DAY — US Canada Trade Talks Take On ‘Intense Rhythm’ — by Paul Vieira and Jacob Schlesinger: “Marathon trade talks between the U.S. and Canada moved into what Canada’s chief negotiator called “an intense rhythm,” as the two sides rushed to try to strike a deal by the Friday deadline… Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, who arrived in Washington on Tuesday, met Thursday morning with Mr. Lighthizer and Jared Kushner… Messrs. Kushner and Lighthizer have been in talks with Canadian negotiators for at least six hours a day.” [WSJ]

COMING SOON: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will receive the Henry M. Scoop Jackson Award at the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA) annual awards dinner on October 10th at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC. In recent years, the award was given to serving Senators and House members.

FOGGY BOTTOM — Satterfield emerges as leading candidate for U.S. envoy to Egypt: “David Satterfield, a veteran U.S. diplomat with deep experience in the Middle East, is the leading candidate to be nominated as U.S. ambassador to Egypt… Satterfield’s post as the top U.S. diplomat for the Middle East will end if the U.S. Senate confirms David Schenker as assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs. Satterfield has that job on an acting basis for nearly a year.” [Reuters]

Homeland Security staffer with white nationalist ties attended White House policy meetings — by Nick Miroff: “Ian M. Smith, a Department of Homeland Security analyst who resigned this week after he was confronted about his ties to white nationalist groups, attended multiple immigration policy meetings at the White House… Smith quit his job Tuesday after being questioned about personal emails he sent and received between 2014 and 2016… The messages… depict Smith engaging in friendly, casual conversations with prominent white supremacists and racists. In one email from 2015, Smith responded to a group dinner invitation whose host said his home would be “judenfrei,” a German word used by the Nazis during World War II.” [WashPostThe Atlantic]

SPOTLIGHT — Nobody Knows the Trump Organization Like Allen Weisselberg — by Shahien Nasiripour and Caleb Melby: “Weisselberg’s importance to the president eclipses his title. After more than 40 years serving the family, including Donald’s father, Fred, he’s the only person not named Trump whom the president trusts with his money… He “knows of every dime that leaves the building,” Corey Lewandowski and David Bossie wrote of Weisselberg last year.” [Bloomberg]

— “100 percent he didn’t,” Trump said Thursday in an Oval Office interview with Bloomberg News, when asked whether Weisselberg had turned on him or put him in legal jeopardy. “He’s a wonderful guy,” adding that the cooperation was related to “a very limited period of time.” [Bloomberg]

PROFILE — Why longtime Clinton strategist Mark Penn Is Sounding Trumpy — by Annie Karni: Penn is “comfortable with a comparison to Alan Dershowitz, the Democratic law professor who has become a favorite of Trump’s and a pariah on Martha’s Vineyard because of what people interpret as his vociferous defenses of the president. Dershowitz, however, doesn’t like that comparison. “Mark Penn is more involved in political assessments than I am, and his politics are slightly more conservative than mine are,” Dershowitz said in an interview. “I draw a sharp distinction between us. I would never use the term ‘Deep State.’ I attribute good faith to the Mueller investigation.” (Penn wrote a column last month titled, “The Dishonesty of the Deep State.”) [PoliticoMag]

REMEMBERING JOHN MCCAIN: Former colleagues and family members will pay tribute to the late John McCain at a ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda at 11 AM EDT. Speakers include Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. [CSPAN]

Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer will represent the Israeli government at the weekend memorials in Washington, D.C.

** Good Friday 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: There Is Only One Antidote to Silicon Valley’s Ills… Their Engineers [VanityFair] • Sheryl Sandberg is donating her entire 10% stake in her late husband’s company, SurveyMonkey, to charity after it goes public [BusinessInsider] • Sumner Redstone Goes Nationwide In Pre-Labor Day Legal Fights Over His Health [Deadline] • Bernie Sanders Is Officially Getting Under Jeff Bezos’s Skin [VanityFair] • How a business bootcamp is fostering Palestinian-Israeli collaboration [PBS

Tel Aviv Tries to Connect an Isolated Neighborhood — by Neri Zilber: “Israel’s left-wing activists and NGOs have, since the beginning of the migrant influx a decade ago, seen the Neve Shaanan neighborhood as a testing ground for liberal values, providing shelter for those fleeing war and oppression in countries like Sudan and Eritrea. Thus, despite the relative poverty of the area, there are determined sprouts of urban renewal: In August of last year, the Tel Aviv municipality helped establish a tech accelerator, co-working space, and training center for the neighborhood, The Platform… The idea for The Platform initially came from Bloomberg Philanthropies, which provided seed money for the project.” [CityLab]

A Building With Kosher Flourishes — by Jane Margolies: “A new Upper West Side co-op development called in a “kosher consultant” to advise it on how to ensure that the project would be attuned to the needs of observant Jews… To keep kosher at the strictest level, some Jews commission extensive renovations to install double kitchen sinks and two dishwashers — one for meat, the other for dairy. At the Chamberlain, at 269 West 87th Street, however, all that infrastructure is already installed… Given the building’s location, just east of West End Avenue — with its parade of Jewish families strolling to services on Saturdays, and the many synagogues, yeshivas and day schools in the area, the developers considered how to accommodate the needs of prospective buyers who might be observant Jews.” [NYT

‘Operation Finale’ and Israel’s improbable transformation — by Thane Rosenbaum: “The film [Operation Finale starring Sir Ben Kingsley] provides contemporary audiences with a reminder that targeted assassinations are not the only way to achieve international justice… Israel… could have clandestinely rid the world of Eichmann with a single bullet and avoided the condemnation it received for having abducted a citizen of a sovereign state… Operation Finale, the actual name the Israelis gave to the mission to apprehend Eichmann, was conceived as a coda to the Holocaust, a way of bringing justice to the Jewish people by putting the Holocaust itself on trial for the world to see.” [CNN]

Iran’s Jewish community is the largest in the Mideast outside Israel — by Kim Hjelmgaard: “Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian Jew, says life has improved for Jews under Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. Javedanfar left the country for Israel in 1987 as a teenager… Javedanfar said, for example, that Jewish children in Iran are no longer required to attend school on the Sabbath… He quickly pointed out: “The regime is not too concerned about its Jews as long as they don’t become involved in politics and don’t say anything positive about Israel.” [Nejat] Golshirazi the rabbi… also said Jews in Iran often enjoy extra social freedoms that Muslims do not, such as the ability to consume alcohol in a private setting…” [USAToday]

— Al Jazeera headline“Iran’s only Jewish hospital grapples with fallout of US sanctions”

REMEMBERING — Iosif Kobzon, Singer Dubbed ‘Soviet Sinatra,’ Dies at Age 80: “Iosif Kobzon, an iconic Russian crooner and political figure dubbed “the Soviet Sinatra” for his decades-long career, has died… Kobzon was born into a poor Jewish family in the eastern Ukrainian town of Chasov Yar in 1937 — in the darkest hour of purges instigated by Soviet leader Josef Stalin… He recorded albums with songs about World War II written by leading Soviet songwriters, sang opera arias as well as Russian and Ashkenazi Jewish folk songs and rediscovered dozens of popular songs dating back to the 1920s…. In 1989, Kobzon was elected to the first Soviet parliament. In the same year, as an influential member of the Soviet Jewish community, he participated in the talks that restored Soviet-Israeli diplomatic ties, which had been cut after the 1967 Mideast War.” [AP]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAYTelevision and film actor, performer, director and producer, Larry Hankin turns 78… Howard Crim turns 76… World renowned violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman turns 73… Screenwriter for television and film, Lowell Ganz turns 70…2004 Nobel laureate in Physics and professor at California Institute of Technology, Hugh David Politzer turns 69… Professor of Journalism at American University and author of six books on marriage and relationships, Iris Krasnow turns 64… Owner of thoroughbred race horses including the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, Ahmed Zayat (a/k/a Ephraim David Zayat) turns 56… Deputy Communications Director at United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, Jess Levin turns 34…

Senior director at Waxman Strategies, he was previously an account director at Racepoint Global, Nick Horowitz turns 33… Assistant counsel and manager of government relations at Cardinal Infrastructure, Bennett E. Resnik turns 30… Deputy Opinion Editor at The Forward, Laura E. Adkins… New York Times reporter in the Washington bureau covering Congress, Thomas Kaplan

SATURDAY — Harvard Law School professor (1967-2016), a scholar on constitutional and criminal law, he has represented a series of celebrity clients and is now a regular CNN contributor and political analyst, Alan Dershowitzturns 80… Conductor, author and composer, Leonard Slatkin turns 74… Israeli rock singer, lyricist and composer, he is often referred to as “The King of Israeli Rock,” Shalom Hanoch turns 72… Member of the Texas House of Representatives since 2005 and Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives since 2009 (the first Jewish Speaker in Texas), Joe Straus turns 59… EVP for worldwide corporate communications at Warner Brothers, following a DC career that included being the White House press secretary during the first two years of the Clinton administration, Dee Dee Myers turns 57…

Rabbi of Kehillat Etz Chayim of Detroit, Asher Lopatin turns 54… Clinical sciences group lead in the global product development group at Pfizer, Malca Resnick turns 54… Director of national outreach for the Jewish Institute for National Security of America since 2013, Harris Vederman turns 48… Novelist and playwright whose parents, Faye Kellerman and Jonathan Kellerman are both best-selling authors, Jesse Kellerman turns 40… Video producer at MSNBC, Amitai Perline turns 33… Linda Feldman… Nancy Finkel

SUNDAY — Los Angeles-based attorney who was part of the “Dream Team” that successfully defended OJ Simpson in 1995, he is a co-founder of two businesses, LegalZoom and RightCounsel, Robert Shapiro turns 76… Rabbi of Baltimore’s Shearith Israel Congregation since 1987, Rabbi Yaakov Hopfer turns 74… Lincolnwood, Illinois resident, Tobi Kelmer turns 72… Tech entrepreneur, he was the founder and CEO of AppliedTheory (1995-2002), now a consultant at Xynetics Group, Richard Mandelbaum turns 72… Born in a DP camp following the Holocaust, a member of the Knesset since 1999 for the United Torah Judaism party, he currently serves as Israel’s Deputy Minister of Health, Yaakov Litzman turns 70… Television producer, attorney, legal analyst and celebrity reporter, he is the founder of celebrity news website TMZ, Harvey Levin turns 68… CEO since 2000 of Lions Gate Entertainment, the leading Canadian independent film studio, Jon Feltheimer turns 67…

Retired President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, Lee Wunsch turns 66… Editor in Chief of Yahoo News, author of a book on President Obama’s war on terror, formerly Managing Editor of Newsweek, Daniel Klaidman turns 54… Washington correspondent for the Fox News Channel, James Rosen turns 50… Founder of Israeli media organization TheMarker and a deputy publisher of the Haaretz daily newspaper, he is also a clinical professor at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, Guy Rolnik turns 50… Serial entrepreneur, co-founder and chairman of Groupon and co-founder of two other public companies and a venture capital firm, Eric Lefkofsky turns 49… Refugee from Iran in 1979, now the Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust at the US Department of Justice, Makan Delrahimturns 49… Executive Producer at PBS’s Frontline, the flagship investigative journalism series at PBS, Raney Aronson-Rath turns 48… DC-based US tax policy reporter for The Wall Street Journal since 2015, he previously held similar posts at Bloomberg News and Congressional Quarterly, Richard Rubin turns 40… Seth Zweifler turns 27…

MONDAY — Pioneer of the modern cable television industry, chairman and CEO of Warner Cable Communications (1973-1983), Gustave M. Hauserturns 89… Betty Lederman turns 74… Actor, producer, author and voice artist, best known for portraying Bobby Baccalieri on The Sopranos, more recently he has appeared as a regular in CBS’s “Blue Bloods,” Steve Schirripaturns 61… Historian and progressive journalist who has written three books on the rise of the American conservative movement (focused on Goldwater, Nixon and Reagan), Eric S. “Rick” Perlstein turns 49… CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston, Avital Ingber turns 37… Venezuelan-born son of two United Nations officials, he is a digital media and political strategist who is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Left Hook Communications, Joel Kliksberg turns 34… Managing Partner of Tax Equity Advisors and former director of the DOE’s $50 billion loan programs office, Jonathan Silver


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