Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Tough Loss for Margolies; Leno to Israel; JDate Rebranding; Senate Likely To Vote On Stanley Fischer To Central Bank Board Today

Inside Look: “Conflict bubbles: Inside SodaStream’s factory”: In March of 2012, members of the Park Slope Food Co-op in Brooklyn voted against boycotting Israeli goods. The vote had been precipitated by the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions, or BDS, movement, which seeks to use economic and political pressure to force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank. It was mostly symbolic: there were only a handful of Israeli products sold at the co-op, including tapenade, organic paprika, kosher marshmallows, and a sleek, home-carbonation machine called SodaStream.

–At the time, SodaStream was not a household name. Then in January the company, which is headquartered near Tel Aviv and has a factory in the West Bank settlement of Ma’ale Adumim, 10 minutes by car from Jerusalem, was catapulted into the national news after Fox canceled a SodaStream ad planned for the Super Bowl. Allegedly, the ad was killed because it included a jab at two of the game’s sponsors, Coke and Pepsi. But the flare-up quickly turned political, and in a matter of days, if not hours, it had become a proxy battle pitting Israel’s most hostile critics against its most impassioned defenders. SodaStream was no longer about homemade seltzer. It was about the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, the plight of the Palestinians, and even the right of the Jewish state to exist at all.” [TheVerge]

Clinton Jewish in-law loses House primary: “State Rep. Brendan Boyle easily won the Democratic primary in Pennsylvania’s 13th District on Tuesday, handily defeating Clinton in-law and former Rep. Marjorie Margolies, despite the help she received from the Clintons. Margolies, initially seen as the frontrunner, has run what many in the state see as a lackluster campaign. Both Bill and Hillary Clinton hosted fundraisers, and he appeared in her final ad of the primary, in which he exhorted supporters: “[S]he’ll make you proud, she’ll vote right.” At a fundraiser hosted by Lynn de Forester Rothschild last week for Margolies, Hillary Clinton joked about them sharing a grandchild in the future, one attendee said. But Margolies wasn’t at the event — she cited a need to be in her would-be district — and it felt mostly like a kick-off for Clinton’s own political future, the attendee said. Clinton allies are aware the defeat will be read as a black mark on their political brand: The former first couple did just enough toward the end so they couldn’t be accused of deserting her completely.” [Politico]

Former Romney Chief Strategist, Stuart Stevens Tweets: “Wonder if Al Gore looks at #PA13 and thinks, “Know how it feels. If that Clinton thing had worked better for me, I’d have my own library.””[Twitter]

‘Ready for Hillary’ Chicago fundraiser has several Jewish hosts: Mayor Rahm Emanuel is the featured guest at a June 5th fundraiser for the Ready for Hillary SuperPac in Chicago. Hosts include Alan and Andrea Solow, who the Washington Post described as “Obama bundlers and prominent national Jewish leaders.” [WashPost]

Hillary’s Choice: Clinton seeks to differentiate herself from Obama on Mideast, by Ron Kampeas: “The June 10 release of “Hard Choices” is widely perceived as Clinton’s opening salvo for a 2016 run for the Democratic presidential nod, the prize Obama took from her in a bitter 2008 primary election. As her Jewish campaign goes forward, a source close to Clinton said, she and others close to her will subtly introduce three areas of Middle East policy in which her 2008 differences with Obama were validated over time. They include two postures that got her into trouble with the Democratic base in 2008 and helped contribute to her defeat: Her stated opposition during the primaries to meeting with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s then-president, and her support as a U.S. senator from New York for legislation that would have designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a terrorist group. The third difference to be highlighted is Clinton’s opposition during the ’08 campaign to participating in Durban II — the 2009 reprise of the 2001 U.N. anti-racism conference that devolved into an anti-Israel free-for-all. Obama would not commit during the campaign to boycotting the ’09 conference… Clinton will face fierce resistance from Republicans to any bid to differentiate herself from Obama.” [JTA]

Happening Today: Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman will speak at 8:45 a.m. on the United States’ role in the global economy at Zions Bank’s 13th annual Trade and Business Conference at the Salt Lake Marriott at City Creek. [SaltLakeTribune]

Alan Dershowitz to Christie: “Go Meet Bibi!” NJ Governor Chris Christie’s road to the White House is becoming filled with potholes and barriers. After a march stumble at the Republican Jewish coalition, Christie Sunday evening speech at a Jewish event in NY is drawing more criticism from pro-Israelis and well as prominent Jewish Democrats… Prof. Alan Dershowitz: “It’s almost as if Gov. Christie went into his vest pocket and picked out, ‘Oh, I think I’ll make speech number seven, stump speech.’ It was very critical of Obama, very critical of the current administration. It didn’t seem particularly appropriate . . . [It] seemed more appropriate to a political campaign than to a Jewish charitable event…. Dershowitz said he would urge Christie to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he is serious about seeking the GOP presidential nomination in 2016. “Everybody benefits from sitting down with Bibi Netanyahu. Bibi Netanyahu has been my friend since 1973. We don’t agree about everything, but I wouldn’t dream of taking a trip to Israel without sitting down with [him],”[Newsmax]

Menendez pulling back Iran bill – tactical: “Informed sources tell me Menendez pulling of pro-Israel Strategic Partnership bill only temporary as sides try to thrash out compromise.” [Chemi Shalev] The sources added however that the standoff is another manifestation of the ongoing distrust of both the Israeli government and its supporters in Washington of the P5+1 talks with Tehran over Iran’s nuclear program…

— A deal that I frankly am very nervous about: At American Friend of Likud gala on Sunday, Senator Rob Menendez reiterated that Israel’s right to self-determination in its ancient homeland derives not from the Holocaust as has been put forth by others but by the clear, historical and moral right of the Jewish people to live and thrive in the Jewish State of Israel.  It was also clear from his comments that the U.S. Congress recognizes the very real threats that a nuclear Iran poses not only to Israel, the one true democratic U.S. ally in the Middle East, but to the West at large and that only a genuine deal, the “right” deal, designed to completely destroy Iran’s nuclear aspirations is what is absolutely necessary today. [AFLVideo of Menendez’ remarks [YouTube] Transcript [PDF File

 Iran and IAEA end nuclear talks, no early sign of breakthrough [Reuters] End of mandate for EU’s Ashton raises questions over Iran talks. [More Reuters] — What Sanctions!? Pando Daily: Startup Rising Iran – “With a group of a dozen similarly curious CEOs from the US, UK, and Canada we just returned after ten days from traveling from Tehran to Shiraz, touring this extraordinary culture and evolving society. Little of what we saw on the ground is what we see in the Western media.” [Pando]

Senate Clears Path to Confirmation Vote on Fischer to Fed Board: “The Senate voted Tuesday to advance the nomination of Stanley Fischer to join the Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors. Mr. Fischer passed the procedural hurdle on a 62-35 vote, with all the opposition coming from Republicans. The Senate is expected to vote to confirm him to the central bank’s board Wednesday. The Senate will separately vote later to confirm him to the post of the board’s vice chairman, but the timing of that vote remains uncertain, according to a Senate Democratic aide. Mr. Fischer formerly ran Israel’s central bank for eight years and served as a top official at the International Monetary Fund. He was approved by the Senate Banking Committee on a voice vote late last month.” [WSJ]

**Good Morning! 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**

State Visit: Jay Leno arrives in Israel: “American comedy icon Jay Leno landed in Tel Aviv on Tuesday for his first visit to Israel. The former ‘Tonight Show’ host arrived two days before he is set to emcee a ceremony in Jerusalem honoring former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg with the inaugural Genesis Prize which recognizes the achievements of individuals who “embody the character of the Jewish people” through a commitment to Israel, the Jewish community and Jewish values.” [JPost] — Leno was spotted a few hours later at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem by fellow guests who posted their selfies with the comedian on social media. Leno also met with Netanyahu earlier today [JPost]

Top Tweet: @NarendraModi, India’s New Prime Minister: “I spoke to PM Netanyahu. We value our friendship with Israel & will script a golden chapter in the history of India-Israel relations.” [Twitter]

AIPAC Job Listing: Israel Seminars Director at the American Israel Education Foundation in DC: “AIEF is seeking a dynamic, articulate and savvy professional with excellent communication, people and staff management skills to fill the position of Israel Seminars Director.  In this senior position, the Trips Director, working with Departmental stakeholders, will oversee the development, coordination and execution of educational seminars to Israel sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation.  He/she will serve as the principal point of contact with AIEF in Jerusalem on trip objectives, focus and programmatic elements. The Director will also be responsible for developing and implementing a significant trip alumni educational program.” [PowerJobs]

Jewish Policy Center announces new director of policy: “The Jewish Policy Center is pleased to announce that Gabriel Scheinmann has joined the organization as Director of Policy. He will focus on national security and defense issues, while expanding the JPC’s influence among policymakers and in government.” [PressRelease]

New Orthodox Union Head Wants More Unified Organization: “Q: It is said the kashrut division brings in tens of millions of dollars each year. How does that impact your fundraising efforts?A: The kashrut division supervises 800,000 products in over 8,000 plants in 95 countries. Several thousand of those plants are in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America. Everyday of the week we have people in places that you and I can’t spell. It’s an extraordinary operation. I think the impact of this is primarily in the perception that as a result of kashrut’s revenue our programs are all fully funded, which is nowhere near the case. It represents less than half our costs. And when we talk about costs, we are talking about the current state of our programming, which is woefully inadequate to accomplish the mission of many of the programs we have taken on.” [JewishWeek]

Reports of mass exodus of Ukrainian Jews are ‘nonsense,’ says Alan Gill, new head of the American Joint Distribution Committee: ““We’re talking about a few hundred thousand Jews who live there, possibly up to 350,000,” he said. “People do think about leaving, but at the same time, the Jews are staying. This is their home. This is where they’ve been for decades, in some cases centuries. So we’re talking about a complicated situation. Immigration isn’t an easy thing to do, even in a time of great distress. If we look at how many have come to Israel in recent months, they’re small numbers compared with the total population. The fact is that people aren’t leaving in droves. And they could – they could get up and leave today. So it’s time for us to sober up about this and get real.” [Haaretz] — Daily Beast: 74% of Jews Say They Would Leave France [DB]

TOP-ED: Tough To Be An American Jew And a Peace Maker: Netanyahu’s associates are accusing Martin Indyk of hypocritical behavior and reminding him of his Jewishness, simply because he tried to help advance agreement between Israel and Palestinians. Our prime ministers and their close associates never liked negotiating with senior officials in the American administration who are of Jewish descent. “Never liked” is a polite definition. Quite a few times they despised the officials sitting in front of them as authorized representatives of the United States. [Shimon Shiffer] — Naftali Bennett WSJ OpEd: A New Plan for Peace in Palestine – Dismantle the security barrier in the West Bank. Let most Palestinians who live there govern themselves [WSJ]

READ: Video Renews Questions on Death of Young Palestinians [NYTimesUS to Israel: Investigate killing of Palestinian teens [Ynet] Michael Wilner Analysis: Why July matters [JPost] — Yair Rosenberg: Israel Spent $1,250 To Lobby America in 2013, So Why Is Everyone Obsessed With The Israel Lobby? [TabletMag] — Eli Lake: Al Qaeda’s American Fighters In Syria Are Coming Home – And U.S. Intelligence Can’t Find Them [DailyBeast]

Jonathan Sarna, a leading scholar of American Jewish history and a professor at Brandeis University, is in critical condition at Yale New Haven hospital “It’s a serious situation, but we are all hoping for the best,” said Sylvia Barack Fishman, also a professor at Brandeis. [Forward] The level of concern about the health of historian Jonathan Sarna shows that Sarna is something special. Sarna is more than a walking encyclopedia of the American Jewish experience. He is a part of what makes American Jewish history vibrant and vital. [Paul Berger]

MAZEL TOV to the Wilf family on landing the 2018 Super Bowl at their new stadium in Minneapolis… [Times Colonist]

Midtown Conjoined Twin Towers: Larry Silverstein site spurs plan for two-tower bridged structure nearly as tall as Empire State Building. [NY Daily News]

JDate Crowdsourced Its Ad Copy for Biggest Rebrand in 17 years, Wanted more of a millennial vibe: “JDate is running billboards in New York City’s Times Square and a highly trafficked Los Angeles location with “Find Mr. Right to Left” ad copy, which came out of a recent social media contest. Brooklyn, N.Y. comedian Jonathan Morvay was the amateur copywriter who submitted the tagline, as he and two other authors of winning entries will receive a free year on the dating service (a $300 value) for their efforts. Morvay’s work will augment the company’s first major rebranding effort in 17 years—dubbed “Get Chosen”—and his copy will appear in the Jewish dating service’s digital and broadcast ads for the foreseeable future. The company is shifting its messaging away from “someone else’s romantic success stories” to more of a “me right now” vibe that’s aimed at millennials. And while it’s a rebranding effort at heart, it’s also very much designed to spike paid subscriptions.  Spark Networks, which owns the digital service along with ChristianMingle.com, dedicates roughly $3.4 million annually on JDate’s advertising.” [AdWeek]

StartUp NationYahoo Close to Acquiring Video-Streaming Startup RayV [WSJ] — Israeli StartUp Yevvo allows people and companies to provide live video feeds to their followers. CEO & co-founder Ben Rubin went on Bloomberg to discuss it [Bloomberg] — Check Point Launches Cyber Intelligence Marketplace [InfoSecurity] — Woodside Terminates Leviathan Deal To Buy Part Of A Large Israeli Offshore Natural-Gas Discovery Offshore [WSJ]

Top Eat: Kosher steakhouse Char Bar, formerly known as Eli’s, set to open next month in Foggy Bottom: “Char Bar, a new kosher restaurant, is opening at 2142 L Street NW next month. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of The Winston House, an apartment building north of George Washington University. Founder and principal partner Sina Soumekhian says the 3,000-square foot restaurant seats 75. It offers a variety of meat, from steak to ribs, cooked over an open grill. A small wine bar will feature a variety of Israeli wines. “There aren’t that many kosher restaurants in the District of Columbia,” said Soumekhian, whose opinion is that the ones that opened, and subsequently closed, were either “too fancy, too pricey and/or not serving the needs of the demographic.”

–Soumekhian, whose co-partner in the venture is Marc Zweben, says he expects Char Bar to attract residents of The Winston House and nearby neighborhoods, visitors, and metro-area residents who come into the city for a night out–and not just those who keep kosher. “You cannot have just kosher eaters” for a kosher restaurant to be successful, he says. “You have to offer a nice place to go and eat at reasonable prices.” Besides the dining area, Char Bar has a take-out area where prepared food is sold by the pound and a food market with a separate entrance. The food market is called Char Bar Eli’s Market, named after Eli’s Restaurant at 1253 20th Street NW. Soumekhian owned Eli’s Restaurant for the past nine years but closed it recently because the building in which it was located is being redeveloped.”[ElevationDC]

That’s all folks, have a great Wednesday!

**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email  editor@jewishinsider.com**

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