Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: What Israel Can Learn From Mel Gibson’s Character in ‘Ransom’ | EU Countries Warn Against Business With Settlements | Peres DC Farewell

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

Israel tells the U.S. that Kurdish independence is ‘forgone conclusion’: “Israel told the United States on Thursday that Kurdish independence in northern Iraq was a “foregone conclusion” and Israeli experts predicted the Jewish state would be quick to recognise a Kurdish state, should it emerge… Israel has maintained discreet military, intelligence and business ties with the Kurds since the 1960s, seeing in the minority ethnic group a buffer against shared Arab adversaries.” [Reuters]

Obama Seeks $500 Million To Arm Select Syrian Rebels: “Obama sent Congress a $500 million request Thursday for a Pentagon-run program that would significantly expand previous covert efforts to arm rebels fighting both the Sunni extremists and forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad. If approved by lawmakers, the program would in effect open a second front in the fight against militants spilling over Syria’s border and threatening to overwhelm neighboring Iraq.” [AP]

House gives Lebanon a pass in Hezbollah sanctions bill: “The sanctions bill, whose substance was largely unchanged, sailed through the House Foreign Affairs Committee on a unanimous voice-vote on June 26 with strong support from the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC… Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., however, offered a substitute that strips a series of nonbinding congressional “findings” from the bill that Lebanon warned could further destabilize the country, multiple sources told Al-Monitor… One of the deleted sections would have highlighted Congress’ belief that “Hezbollah’s global logistics and financial network serves as a lifeline to the organization, and enables it to consolidate power within Lebanon and provides it with the capabilities to perpetrate complex attacks internationally.” [AlMonitor]

PM Netanyahu: Impending Agreement with Iran is Very Bad: “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Thursday warned against the impending nuclear deal between Iran and the West… Speaking at the at the Israel Air Force pilots’ course graduation ceremony, Netanyahu compared the Iran agreement with the project in Syria to remove its chemical arsenal.” [INS]

France, Spain, Italy Launch BDS ‘Settlement’ Warnings: “Both Spain and Italy published advisories on Friday warning their citizens against doing business with “settlements,” just days after a similar advisory was published in the French-language section of the French Foreign Ministry website.”[INS]

Israel names two Hamas militants as key suspects in kidnappings: “Israel on Thursday named two Hamas Islamists as leading suspects in the June 12 kidnappings of three Israeli teenagers, in the most concrete report yet of results after weeks of searches in the occupied West Bank… An Israeli military spokeswoman confirmed reports that troops were seeking Marwan Kawasme and Amar Abu Aysha, militants in their 30s from the Hebron area of the occupied West Bank, both of whom have served time in Israeli prisons in the past.” [Reuters] — Security forces arrested nine Palestinian suspects overnightThursday in the West Bank, and searched 49 sites. [JPost]

PERES DC FAREWELL: Outgoing Israeli President Shimon Peres received the Congressional Gold Medal on Thursday in the presence of hundreds of Jewish leaders, Congressional representatives and diplomats… In farewell address, Peres warns Middle East order ‘falling apart’: “President of Israel for one more month, Peres spent Wednesday and Thursday on a farewell tour of Washington on his last official trip. He was greeted by no fewer than three Supreme Court justices, half of Congress, top-ranking diplomats, cabinet members, national security staff and the US president.” [JPost] “President Peres is that rare leader who is both a dreamer and a doer – talking about the future one day and then making it happen the next,” said Ambassador Ron Dermer. [FacebookAmbassador Susan Rice:“Everyone here knows that he’s eminently quotable.  He’s the inventor of the “Peres-ism.” There’s the one that every campaign manager should know, and I quote, he actually said it today, “Polls are like perfume—nice to smell, dangerous to swallow”  Especially apt in this room.  But the one that most stays with me is pretty simple.  He said, “There are no hopeless situations, only hopeless people.” At the farewell dinner .. several of the American guests appeared to approach him with tears in their eyes. This emotional display was a sign of Peres’s personal impact on the U.S.-Israel relationship and the way his departure marks the passing of an era…

Peres also received the Lantos Human Rights Prize: The prize was presented Thursday afternoon to President Peres by Vice President Joe Biden. The Lantos Human Rights Prize is awarded annually to honor the memory of late Congressman Tom Lantos and raise awareness about human rights violations and the individuals committed to fighting them throughout the world.

#BRINGBACKOURBOYS: Cruz On Senate Floor: ‘Hamas, Give Those Boys Back Now’:Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) took it to the floor of the US Senate, standing aside a huge poster with the pictures of the three abducted teenagers, to call for the safe return of Eyal Yifrach, Gil-ad Shaer and Naftali Frenkel. “Hamas, give those boys back. Hamas, give those boys back now,” pleaded Cruz. “The full weight of the world should bear down on Hamas to give them back safely and immediately,.. . If they do not, we should use all of the available means to stand unequivocally with Israel for however long it takes to find these boys and to bring them home.” Watch the full video [INS] — About 50 people attended a rally organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) to denounce the abduction of innocent children and call for their immediate release and return to their families. Attended: Ed Mangano, Nassau County Executive; Dean Skelos Co-Majority Leader, NY State Senate; State Senator Jack Martins and Assemblyman Charles D. Lavine; Consul Shahar Azani, Spokesperson for the Consulate General of Israel in New York; Arthur Katz, Chairman, JCRC-LI; Michael Miller, Executive VP/CEO, JCRC-NY and representatives of other ethnic groups. [Jewish Week]

KIDNAPPERS BEWARE: Mel Gibson’s lesson for Israel: “Never mind Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitism — or Gary Oldman’s ridiculous defense of him this week. Israel (and America) can take a bit of advice from the character Gibson played, Tom Mullen, in the 1996 film “Ransom.” In fact, the Jewish state seems to be doing just that… In the film, Mullen, an airline exec, at first contemplates paying the kidnappers $2 million to get back his young son. But then, he changes his mind. As he displays the cash on live TV, he tells the bad guys: “This is as close as you’ll ever get to it.”… For nearly two weeks now, Israel has been cracking down on Hamas.” [NYPost]

**Good Friday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share 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: UrbanSitter receives $200k from Guy Oseary’s A-Grade Investments [BW] — Jessica Tisch, NYPD’s Deputy Commissioner for Information Technology, introduced new NYPD tablets to help fight crime [WSJ] — Extell asking $65 million for Upper East Side townhouse shell [DailyNews] — Billionaire Herbert Siegel sells UES co-op for $16.5 million [TheRealDeal] — Tel Aviv shares earned %7.4% annual return over 15 years [Haaretz

STARTUP NATION: Megalim Solar Gets $820 Million for 121-Megawatt Plant in Israel [Bloomberg] — Tech education crisis pushes Intel Israel to partner [ToI] — Israel’s Financial Algorithms Gets $4B Buy Bid, Calcalist Says [Bloomberg] — Altana invests 100 million in Israel’s Landa Digital Printing [Reuters— Israel Is Building a Futuristic Transit System of Magnetic Pods [Wired]

That’s all folks, have a great Friday! 

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

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