Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Congress Gets Active On Hamas, Unity-Gov’t, & Iran | 10 New Israeli StartUps in New York Each Month | Mark Egerman’s App Raises $5.5M

BIPARTISANSHIP – Senators Graham, Menendez, Ayotte and Schumer Introduce Resolution Expressing U.S. Support for Israel: Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) introduced a resolution expressing support for the State of Israel as it defends itself against unprovoked attacks from the Hamas terrorist organization. The resolution “reaffirms the United States’ support for Israel’s right to defend its citizens and… calls on PA President Mahmoud Abbas to dissolve the unity governing arrangement with Hamas and condemn the attacks on Israel.” [Press Release]—Remaining Senate support for PA unity erodes in face of rockets – After closed-door briefing with Israeli ambassador, progressive senator says ‘no peace is possible’ with Hamas as partner: “As senators submitted a bipartisan resolution in support of Israel’s right to defend its citizens in the face of rocket attacks, a key Democratic senator, Tim Kaine (D-VA), hosted Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Defense Attaché Yaacob Ayish Thursday for a briefing on the ongoing IDF operations against terror targets in Gaza.” [ToI]

Proposed U.S. Bill Would Offer $5 Million For Info On Teens’ Killers: “Lawmakers in both houses of Congress filed bills for the institution of a reward for information leading to the capture of the killers of the three Israeli teenagers. The Senate bill, written by Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Wednesday, would require the secretary of state to “offer rewards totaling up to $5,000,000 for information on the kidnapping and murder of Naftali Fraenkel, a dual United States-Israeli citizen.” A bipartisan companion bill was filed in the House of Representatives by Congressmen Douglas Lamborn (R-Colorado) and Brad Sherman (D-California). [JPost]

CONGRESS WANTS A SAY ON IRAN DEAL: “As foreign ministers huddle in Vienna to try and finalize an agreement aimed at preventing Iran from building nuclear weapons, lawmakers in Washington are demanding the Obama administration consult them on any accord… A letter signed by 344 of the 433 current House members released Thursday said  greater cooperation was needed between Congress and the White House on any final agreement among the six nations involved in the talks. Since Congress must sign off on any sanctions relief for Tehran included in the deal, lawmakers said in the letter to President Barack Obama that they wanted to be more involved in deciding what sanctions measures would be included.” [Letter] [WashingtonWire] — U.S. Sanctions Companies for Ties to Hezbollah [WSJ]

‘PROTECTIVE EDGE’ — DAY 4: Headlines – Israel Calls Up 33,000 Reserves as Clashes Continue [Bloomberg] — Lebanese Rockets Hit Israel In Offensive’s 4th Day [AP] — Lebanese army says it arrests 1 for firing on Israel [ToI] — ISIS Firing Rockets On Israel From Gaza [INS] — These Are The Rockets Hamas Has Been Shooting At Israel [BusinessInsider] — UN Chief Urges Israeli-Palestinian Cease-Fire [AP] — Video: Rockets & Revenge [ViceNews] — Protective Edge could cost NIS 8.5 billion [JPost]

OBAMA PHONES NETANYAHU: President Barack Obama offered the help of the United States on Thursday in negotiating a cease-fire to end escalating violence between Israel and Hamas. In a phone call with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Obama lent his support to Israel’s efforts to defend itself, but he also called on both Israel and the Palestinians to protect civilians and restore calm. Read the WH readout here [WhiteHouse]

TV ROUNDS — U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro on CNN with Wolf Blitzer: “We support Israel’s right to self defense… We believe that Israel’s takes responsibility to minimize civilian casualties very seriously… Nobody wants to see a ground invasion… The way this needs to end is Hamas needs to end its rocket fire against civilians in Israel.” [CNN] — Shapiro: Israel Has ‘Full US Backing’ For Ground Assault: “US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro spoke to IDF Radio on Friday morning, and committed America’s firm support for Israel if it decides to launch a ground offensive on the Hamas stronghold of Gaza. “No one wants a ground operation, and we want that Hamas would stop sending the missiles and rockets. But in any case, Israel has full American backing,” said Shapiro on the “Good Morning Israel” radio show.” [INS] —  Ground Operation – “We’re ready to go, if we need to go,” PMO spokesperson Mark Regev tells Wolf Blitzer [KPAX— “CNN’s Jake Tapper Demolishes PLO Spokesperson” [FreeBeacon]—Wolf Blitzer Tweets This AM: “Just left destroyed gas station in Ashdod near Gaza. Hamas rocket attack. My report on @CNN #NewDay 7AM ET.”

— “UN, Just Listen To The Siren” – Ambassador Ron Prosor at UNSC meeting: In an impassioned plea to the UN Security Council, Israel’s Ambassador Ron Prosor took out his phone and played the sound of an air-raid siren.“Fifteen seconds,” he told the diplomats. “That’s how much time you have to run for your life.” [JPost] Watch Video [YouTube]

NYC MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO – “Clearly Israel has a right to defend itself”: Mayor Bill de Blasio offered a strong defense of Israel amid escalating violence on Thursday. “You know, I’ve said many times, it’s a very bad situation and we have to hope for an end to the bloodshed. But clearly Israel has a right to defend itself and has been under constant rocket attack,” the mayor said.  He also said he has no “immediate plans” to visit the country. “In terms of plans, I don’t have any immediate plans [to visit]. [Capital NY— NYPost Editorial: “Andrew’s Mitzvah” – “By all means, governor, visit Israel. The sooner you do, the stronger your message. Israel could use the show of solidarity. And so could your own Democratic Party.” [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**

TOP OP: “Break the Immigration Impasse” by Sheldon Adelson, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates [NYTimes]HAPPENING TODAY AT SUN VALLEY: Michael Bloomberg to be interviewed by Willow Bay. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry interview by Charlie Rose [Deadline]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Unhappy Private-Equity Couple About to Split Up – After Years of Squabbling, TPG and Strauss Near IPO of Coffee Firm: “Private-equity firm TPG is about to extricate itself from an ill-fated investment in a coffee business owned by Israel’s Strauss family. After years of squabbling over executives, fees and even office leases as well as failed deals, the two partners are close to agreeing on terms of an initial public offering that would enable TPG to untangle itself from Strauss Coffee, according to people familiar with the matter.” [WSJ]

STARTUP NATION: PrivatEquity.buz Launches Israel Trading Platform For Start-Ups [Reuters] — Vidyo Raises Still More Money for Video Ambitions [WSJ] — ServiceNow Buys Israeli Start-Up Neebula For $100M [CBR] — Google Ventures sets up $100M Europe, Israel fund [Globes] — StartUps are the biggest spenders on Facebook ads in Israel [Businessweek] — Rockets no barrier for US-Israel tech matchmaker [ToI]

—Israeli startups flock to New York – About 10 pop up each month: “About ten new Israeli startups are added to the New York community every month, a trend Guy Franklin has been noticing for the past six months. Franklin works as an accountant at Ernst & Young but tracks Israeli startups in his spare time. When he started Israeli Mapped in NY in 2013, there were about 60 Israeli startups in New York. Now there are roughly 200… Though it’s no small undertaking to stay on top of the growing tech scene, Franklin says he “enjoys every minute” of his project — so much so that he launched Israeli Mapped in Boston less than a year ago. His motive? To change the conversation about Israel through the success of the country’s startups. [CNN]

EAT & RUN: Mark Egerman’s Restaurant App, Cover, Raises $5.5 Million In Series A: “Mark Egerman and Andrew Cove have shared more than a few meals together. Egerman and I pick the Nicoise salad for lunch at Lure Fishbar in New York’s Soho neighborhood, and he quickly starts snagging fries off Cove’s burger plate without asking. Splitting meals is what they do — professionally. Their startup, Cover, allows people to set up their payment preferences in advance and settle tabs at restaurants without pulling out their wallets. It’s like the experience of getting out at the end of an Uber ride, but for restaurants. “Everyone else is competing for eyeballs,” said Egerman, who has an enormous frizzy ’fro. “We want you to keep your phone in your pocket.” [Re/Code]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: Gary Barnett’s Extell Nordstrom Tower To Be Tallest Residential Building [RealDeal] — Harbor Group sells building in Manhattan for $250M [PilotOnline] — No high heels on the rooftop just yet, David Bistricer’s Bossert hotel delayed further [BrooklynEagle] — Hedge funder to pay $28M for Kushner’s Puck Building condo [RealDeal]

THE NETWORK STRUCTURE OF JEWISH TEXTS – by Samuel Arbesman in Wired Magazine: “Scholarship is a conversation between individuals and across the generations. And this conversation can often be mapped. We can look at who cites who in the scientific literature or we can look at who collaborates with each other. We can also look at annotations, because in this long conversation, scholars can have comments on each others’ work. This is a particularly appropriate method when it comes to Jewish texts. Many of these texts not only cite each other, but comment upon them, a sort of citation on steroids. Sefaria, is an open source database of Jewish texts and recently, Liz Shayne of UC Santa Barbara attempted to extract the relationships between the texts found there—annotations, allusions, and such—and visualize them.” [Wired]

That’s all folks, have a great Friday! 

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

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