Daily Kickoff: Ayelet Shaked profiled in The Atlantic; NYT features Neri Oxman | Schumer emails to defend Dems on Israel | Leonard Cohen’s The Flame


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BREAKING — According to Axios’ Jonathan Swan, President Trump has accepted U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s resignation although the timing of her departure is unclear. [Axios]

DEEP DIVE — Trump Campaign Aide Requested Online Manipulation Plans From Israeli Intelligence Firm — by Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman, David Kirkpatrick and Maggie Haberman: “Rick Gates first heard about Psy-Group’s work during a March 2016 meeting at the Mandarin Oriental hotel along the Washington waterfront with George Birnbaum… According to Mr. Birnbaum, Mr. Gates expressed interest during that meeting in using social media influence and manipulation as a campaign tool… Mr. Birnbaum was a protégé of Arthur J. Finkelstein, the legendary Republican political operative…  In 1996, he helped Mr. Finkelstein engineer Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory over Shimon Peres to become the prime minister of Israel.”

“It is unclear whether the Project Rome proposals describe work that would violate laws regulating foreign participation in American elections. Psy-Group hired Covington & Burling, a Washington-based law firm, to conduct a legal review. Stuart Eizenstat, a former American diplomat and a partner at the firm who participated in the legal review, declined to comment on its conclusions.” [NYTimes

ON THE CIRCUIT — What folks are buzzing about today: MODI and his breakout comedic performance last night at the off-the-record Commentary Magazine Roast of former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman.

EXCLUSIVE — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to the New York Times story about the Democratic Party’s identity crisis on Israel in an email to Jewish Insider: “Senate Democrats are very strongly pro-Israel and will remain that way. Senate Democrats led the charge to pass the Taylor Force Act, a record amount of assistance for Israel to protect herself including funds for Iron Dome and David’s Sling, and last week unanimously passed a bill out of committee condemning the use of human shields by Hamas and Hezbollah.”

Schumer added: “I will also be pushing legislation that strongly opposes BDS.”

Stu Eizenstat tells us… “The overwhelming majority of Democratic elected officials in Congress are as strongly pro-Israel as any Republican elected officials. This trend has not yet impacted on Congress, but when you see what happened in New York against [Rep. Joe] Crowley, you can begin to see that there may be a greater representation of this kind of thinking in the Democratic Congressional delegation, which does not exist today.”

“I think part of it is generational because these are younger Democrats, younger minorities who don’t have the experience of the Holocaust, of Israel’s security threats throughout the past 70 years. They tend to see Israel as this strong party. Palestinians as the weak party. They make that simple, I think overly simplistic.”

Elliott Abrams emails us… “Fringe candidates deserve attention because their views help determine just what is acceptable and what is fringe. Their views should be denounced by party leaders lest they start becoming acceptable. But I don’t accept the suggestion that this is an equally worrying trend in both parties. The Left across the world (look at the UK) is increasingly anti-Semitic and anti-Israel, and the greatest supporters of Israel in the Democratic Party are usually older than 70. There is a real possibility that in ten years the Democratic Party will no longer be a strongly pro-Israel party. Democratic Party leaders should be working hard right now on this problem.”

MIDTERMS — Glenn Grothman and Dan Kohl battle over who’s the real politician in Wisconsin congressional race — by Lee Bergquist: “Rep. Glenn Grothman, who spent 21 years in the Legislature before he was elected to Congress, believes Democrat Dan Kohl is more a pol than he is. Kohl of Mequon formerly worked for J Street, a liberal pro-Israel advocacy group in Washington, D.C… A Grothman spot released last month criticizes Kohl’s stand on not accepting PAC money, “which is interesting because his job was doling out PAC money” for J Street.” [JSOnline]

Democrat Jacky Rosen raises $7.1M for Nevada Senate bid in quarter — by Ramona Giwargis: “Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen on Monday reported raising $7.1 million from July through September in her bid to unseat Sen. Dean Heller, doubling her fundraising haul from the previous quarter.” [ReviewJournal]

Michael Bloomberg is set to host a fundraiser tonight at his Manhattan residence for Democratic Senate candidate in Tennessee, former Gov. Phil Bredesen. Yesterday on Twitter, Republican candidate Marsha Blackburn described Bloomberg as an “ultra liberal” who is spending millions “to take away our guns and destroy the values Tennesseans hold dear.”

2020 WATCH — Can Mike Bloomberg Make America Boring Again? — by Ben Smith: “The operating theory at the eco-friendly Upper East Side mansion that houses Bloomberg’s foundation [is]: that there’s space for a Democrat who wants to make America boring again. A candidate whose social media policy is “never tweet,” and whose government would be so drama-free that Americans of all political stripes… could go back to liking football. “Elections are about swings,” Bloomberg’s longtime political aide and pot-stirrer, Kevin Sheekey, told me… “About time we swing to boring with someone who can rise above the fray to chart a path forward toward greater national unity and mutual understanding.” [BuzzFeed]

HEARD IN IOWA — Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) in a speech at the Iowa Democratic Party’s fall gala in Des Moines on Saturday: “I remember the day — one of my favorite moments as an American citizen — when they did the Muslim ban… My chief of staff calls me and say, ‘Get out to Dallas Airport now. They are detaining Muslim families from other countries…’ I raced to Dallas Airport and I came into the concourse and it was full of Americans — hundreds that were there — chanting patriotic, cheering people as Muslim families left, as if Abraham was welcoming angels in the desert. When Muslim families came off that plane out of detention and walked through, the crowd erupted and cheered them. There were guys in yarmulkes and tzitzis cheering Muslim families coming into our country. That is what America looks like.” [CSPAN]

— Edward-Isaac Dovere in Des Moines: “Every Booker speech runs long—this one was 47 minutes… No one walked out with any clue where Booker stands on almost any issue, aside from a riff that talked about the Democratic commitment to Medicaid, Medicare, voting rights, civil rights, LGBTQ rights… But they did walk out saying things like “I so needed that today.” [TheAtlantic]

DRIVING THE DAY — Kanye West Expected to Visit Trump at the White House — by Maggie Haberman: “President Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, are expected to meet with the musician Kanye West on Thursday at the White House.” [NYTimes]

COMING SOON — Kim Kardashian West will be honored with the first Gift of Life Impact Award for her support for the “Hope4Adam” campaign, which in 2016 sought to find a matching donor for a young father named Adam Krief. The Gift of Life Marrow Registry’s Inaugural Gala will take place in Los Angeles on Oct. 29 at the SLS Beverly Hills.

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Abbas seeks ‘new strategy’ towards Israel, US and Hamas — by Khaled Abu Toameh: “The officials said that Abbas was now considering a number of measures that would “send a strong message” to the international community. “We’re under attack by the US administration and Israel,” the officials argued.” [JPost]

Proposal would split Israel from Palestinians – but don’t call it a peace plan — by Judah Ari Gross: “Following two years of research and consultation with figures throughout the Middle East, a leading Israeli think tank on Monday presented a comprehensive plan of action to separate Israel from the Palestinians… “There’s a window of opportunity that never existed before,” [Maj. Gen. (res.) Amos] Yadlin, who leads the Institute for National Security Studies, which produced the plan, said…”

“The INSS plan also prepares for the possibility that Trump will not be reelected in 2020 and a new, potentially more antagonistic administration will take its place and rescind the current US president’s policies.” [ToI

Jordanian King Abdullah II met with Labor Party Chair Avi Gabbay in Amman yesterday to discuss “developments in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process,” according to a statement by the  Hashemite Kingdom. “King Abdullah stressed the need to revive the peace process, based on the two-state solution.”

AYELET SHAKED PROFILE — The Woman Who Could Be Israel’s Next Leader — by Yonit Levi: “How did an unknown computer engineer transform herself into a potential prime minister in just five short years? How did a woman who once worked for Netanyahu become one of his most formidable rivals? And how did a secular woman from left-leaning Tel Aviv become the most successful spokesperson for the religious-nationalist party and the settlement movement it strongly supports?”

“Even in Israel—a land of milk, honey, and a fresh news item every 60 seconds—Shaked, just 42 years old, is a head-spinning success story. She’s far from being in the consensus; some admire her deeply, while others see her as nothing less than a danger to democracy. But even her fiercest detractors admit that she is the most effective player currently operating in Israel’s roiling political arena.” [TheAtlantic

Tom Friedman, who repeatedly praised MBS’s “significant reform process” in Saudi Arabia, writes… “Praying for Jamal Khashoggi: If Jamal has been abducted or murdered by agents of the Saudi government, it will be a disaster for M.B.S. and a tragedy for Saudi Arabia and all the Arab Gulf countries… And those of us who were ready to see both the upsides and downsides of M.B.S.’s initiatives… will conclude that the downsides have swamped the upsides and that this Saudi regime has become a threat to Saudi Arabia’s needed transformation not an engine of it.” [NYTimes

— Friedman will be in conversation this afternoon with Laura Blumenfeld for the David H. Bernstein Forum at Johns Hopkins SAIS.

** 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: Jason Karp to shut hedge fund Tourbillon, focus on health and wellness [Reuters] • Paul Taubman’s Wager on Going It Alone Is Starting to Pay Off [Bloomberg] • Elliott Management Goes on Charm Offensive [WSJ] • Wharton professor Amir Yaron chosen as Bank of Israel governor [Reuters] • Who is Triple Five Group? Canadian development giant betting big on Chicago with Vista Tower deal [RealDeal] • How New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft ended up with a Nike shoe deal [BusinessInsider]

Former Trump Aide Hope Hicks to Join Fox as Communications Chief — by Michael Grynbaum and Maggie Haberman: “Starting next year, Ms. Hicks, one of the most recognizable alumni of Mr. Trump’s White House, will become the chief communications officer of Fox, the new entity to be spun out of the Walt Disney Company’s acquisition of most of 21st Century Fox… Ms. Hicks cut her teeth in public relations at Hiltzik Strategies, the high-powered New York communications firm.” [NYTimes]

SPOTLIGHT — Who Is Neri Oxman? — by Penelope Green: “Bees in outer space are just one of the many aspirations and provocations of Dr. Oxman, a 42-year-old Israeli-born architect, computational designer and artist… Dr. Oxman is the founder of a discipline she calls material ecology, which marries the technological advances of computational design, synthetic biology and digital fabrication (otherwise known as 3-D printing) to produce compostable structures, glass objects that vary their optical and structural properties, and garments made from a single piece of silk fabric.”

“This past spring, Brad Pitt also reached out, in a visit to the Media Lab that inflamed the internet. They are not dating, Dr. Oxman said emphatically — her real-world boyfriend is William A. Ackman, the contrarian hedge funder who famously paid over $90 million for a penthouse in one of Manhattan’s supertall buildings — but she would love to do a project with Mr. Pitt in the future, she said.” [NYTimes] • Neri Oxman Never Dated Brad Pitt, but She Expertly Trolled the Paparazzi Anyway [VanityFair]

MEDIA WATCH — The battle in your ear buds: The bros of political podcasting and their quest to reinvent punditry — by Dan Zak: “A ‘Never Trumper’ who in early 2016 resigned from Breitbart, partly over objections to Stephen K. Bannon’s leadership, Ben Shapiro has become a “Sometimes Trumper” who was surprised to see Trump govern conservatively. A Harvard Law grad, Shapiro is 34, has two children under 5, writes over a dozen articles a week, and produces at least one podcast every weekday (his show gets around 20 million downloads a month).”

“In April, Westwood One began syndicating his podcast on the radio; now it’s aired by 60 affiliates. In January, he will start doing two additional hours of live radio a day, on top of the podcasting… The second episode of Fox’s “Ben Shapiro Election Special” was the highest-rated show on cable news in its time slot, and the second-highest cable show overall on Sept. 30, according to Nielsen Media Research.” [WashPost]

Gerard Butler hits Tel Aviv for premiere of ‘Hunter Killer’ — by Amy Spiro: “Scottish actor Gerard Butler arrived in Tel Aviv this week for the second time in just three months. The acclaimed actor came to Israel for the local premiere of his latest film, which was produced by Israel-American Avi Lerner’s Millenium Films. In addition to taking in the sun and the selfies, Butler attended the premiere at the Cinema City in Glilot on Monday night.” [JPost]  

CAMPUS BEAT — Bennett protests to University of Michigan over Netanyahu-Hitler comparison: “Education Minister Naftali Bennett sent a letter to the University of Michigan’s President Mark Schlissel, urging him to oppose anti-Israel hatred on campus after a lecturer compared Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Adolf Hitler… During a compulsory lecture, speaker Emory Douglas… displayed a slide that showed a picture of Netanyahu and Hitler with the words “Guilty Of Genocide” written across their faces.” [ToI]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Some of Hitler’s last relatives are living secret lives on Long Island — by Ruth Brown: “Hitler’s great-nephews Alexander, Louis and Brian Stuart-Houston — the only living descendants of the dictator’s paternal side — live quiet lives in the New York suburbs and fly American flags in their yards, according to Germany’s Bild newspaper, which came knocking at their doors recently… Although he and his brothers are all staunch Republicans, Alexander said he doesn’t care for the current president. “The last person I would say I admire is Donald Trump. He is definitely not one of my favorites,” he told the newspaper.” [NYPost

— Hitler’s American great-nephew dreamed of marrying his Jewish girlfriend but their engagement collapsed when she learned of his family’s horrific history[DailyMail]

Hasidic political power broker has inside access to mayor, new emails reveal by Reuven Blau: “[Yitzchok (Jules) Fleischer’s] role as an important go-between for [NYC Mayor Bill] de Blasio and 5,000 votes he could deliver in the Orthodox community allowed him to be a nudge to the mayor and sometimes [Chirlane] McCray. Sometimes he got to be too much, emails show. “Chirlane says you keep texting her and wanting to meet,” de Blasio emailed Fleischer on Jan. 13, 2015. “Unless that is specific to some of the work she is doing, you should stop reaching out to her and tell me what’s on your mind.” [NYDailyNews]

Weiner on track for early release — by Kaja Whitehouse: “Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner… has managed to be a model inmate at the Federal Medical Center in Devens, Mass., according to the federal Bureau of Prisons. Prison records show he is scheduled to be released in May 2019, three months ahead of his scheduled release date in August 2019.” [NYPost]

SPOTTED IN DC — at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovation and expansion of the North Campus of the Milton Gottesman Jewish Day School of the Nation’s Capital: DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, DC Councilmembers Brandon Todd and Brianne Nadeau, Steven and Chani Laufer, Principal Naomi Reem, Robert Gottesman, Ambassador Alfred H. Moses, Gil Preuss, Fern Schad, Ira Forman, Caryn Pass, Helaine Greenfeld, Jeff Coleman, Sharon Freundel, Rabbi Lyle Fishman, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld, Gil Preuss, Ilana Preuss, Scott Siff, Kinney Zalesne, Steve Rabinowitz, Laurie Moskowitz, David and Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, Monica Abrams, Miriam Szubin, and Scott Lasensky. [Pic]

DESSERT — You Have to Leave NYC to Get This Classic Jewish Deli Experience — by Rebecca Firkser: “Chad Conley, owner of Rose Foods in Portland, Maine… inspired by classic Jewish delis in Manhattan like Barney Greengrass and Russ & Daughters… serves killer bagel sandwiches over 300 miles away from the city… “NYC water’s got nothing to do with it,” Conley told me in an email… Conley says his main goal with his bagels was to actually improve upon the bagels he ate at his favorite old-school delis… Conley… feels that old-school establishments like… Jewish-American deli are due for a comeback.” [MyRecipes]

HEARD ON FRESH AIR WITH TERRY GROSS — Musician and writer Leonard Cohen died in 2016, leaving behind many unpublished poems and lyrics. His son Adam Cohen discusses The Flame, a collection of some of Leonard’s final works. [NPR]

BIRTHDAYS: Founder of C-SPAN, Brian Lamb turns 77… Charles “Chuck” Miller turns 73… Burbank, California resident, Richard Marpetturns 71… Chicago attorney who was an early fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, he served as US Ambassador to Canada (2009-2013) and is now an executive at Bank of Montreal, David Jacobson turns 67… Commissioner of Major League Soccer since 1999, Don Garber tuns 61… Director of Jewish learning at the Brandeis School of San Francisco, Debby Arzt-Mor turns 56… Member of the Knesset since 2013 for the Yesh Atid party, Karin Elharar Hartstein turns 47… Best-selling author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant, his 2010 TED Talk about leadership is one of the most popular talks of all time, Simon Sinek turns 45… Rabbi at Ohev Shalom Synagogue in Washington, DC, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld turns 44…

Musician and singer, Neshama Carlebach turns 44… VP of business development at Denver-based energy firm Nexus BSP, he is a board member of the local Federation and recently was the chair of Denver’s Jewish Community Relations Council, Ben Lusher turns 35… VP of London-based Mercury, he was previously the Pacific Northwest regional political director for AIPAC, David Meyerson turns 34… Investor relations associate at JBG Smith Properties, a publicly traded REIT, she serves on the National Council of AIPAC, Lily Goldstein turns 31… Associate on the public affairs team of SKDKnickerbocker, working on corporate, advocacy and nonprofit clients in the NYC office, Julia Schechter turns 26… Supply chain analyst in NYC, Kayla Levinson turns 25… VP of Tel Aviv-based collaborative work space Urban Place, Daniel Rubin… Chaya Notik


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