Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: FAA’s Tel Aviv Ban Politically Motivated? | Be Like Mike! – Bloomberg Blasts FAA & Flies El-Al To Israel | Paul Graham Enrages Israelis

FAA Bans U.S. Airlines From Flying to Tel Aviv Amid Conflict: NBC News Correspondent Kate Snow Filed A Report From Ben Gurion Airport Last Night [NBCnews] — Who’s Flying; Who’s Not – “British Airways Defies Advisory, Keeps Tel Aviv Service” [Bloomberg]

Kerry Arrives in Israel for Cease-Fire Talks: “The American diplomat is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during stops in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Ramallah.” [WSJ]

TOP TWEET: @JoshRogin – “John Kerry has landed in Tel Aviv. Did he not hear about the FAA safety warning?” [Twitter]

KICKOFF FACTS OF LIFE: Rockets have been flying well past Ben Gurion Airport since the conflict began, including to the northern port city of Haifa. Given that a commercial airliner was actually shot down above Eastern Ukraine this past week, one has to wonder why the FAA is suddenly jumping into the Israeli-Palestinian fray first. The timing of the FAA announcement could not be more politically motivated as Kerry flies, into Ben Gurion himself, trying to pressure Bibi into accepting (another) cease-fire on even worse terms. Israel’s supposed best friend should not be leading on travel bans to Tel Aviv. If recent history is any sign, Bibi is even less likely to give in when public pressure is applied.

BE LIKE MIKE: Mike Bloomberg Announces Israel-Bound Flight In Response to FAA Ban:“This evening [Tuesday] I will be flying on El Al to Tel Aviv to show solidarity with the Israeli people and to demonstrate that it is safe to fly in and out of Israel. Ben Gurion is the best protected airport in the world and El Al flights have been regularly flying in and out of it safely. The flight restrictions are a mistake that hands Hamas an undeserved victory and should be lifted immediately. I strongly urge the FAA to reverse course and permit US airlines to fly to Israel.” [Statement] — Bloomberg will be accompanied by one aide and, during his brief stay, plans to meet with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu [Capital NY]

— Netanyahu asks Kerry to Intervene: Prime Minister Netanyahu asked US Secretary of State John Kerry on Tuesday to help restore US commercial flights to Israel. A senior Obama administration official said, “We’re not going to overrule the FAA, period. If the FAA says this crosses our tripwires, we’re not going to say ‘Don’t warn civil aviation.. When a rocket lands a mile from that airport, that kind of trips their wire.” [Reuters] — Dermer on CNN: “From what I understand, the FAA decision was a procedural decision. I’m confident once our FAA and your FAA meet, and they understand the situation, they’ll resume the flights, because the airport is very well protected.” [The Lead] — “There is no reason for these companies to stop flights,” Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz said. “They have given a prize to terror.” [WSJ]

RAMIFICATIONS: “Youth Group Stuck in Israel After Flights Are Halted” [NYTimes] — “Tel Aviv Flight Ban Removes Link for New York Jews” [WSJ] — “Birthright Is Still Leading Trips To Israel Despite The War In Gaza” [BuzzFeed]

STARTUP NATION: Jon Medved, founder & CEO of OurCrowd, told Bloomberg News that the bulk of Israel’s economy is ‘business as usual.’ [Bloomberg] — WSJ: “Tel Aviv’s Tech Hub Scrambles Amid Disruptions” by Orr Hirschauge, Amir Mizroch, and Lisa Fleisher: “The fighting between Israel and Hamas hasn’t significantly slowed the tempo of this city of beach-side meetings and late-night schmoozing. But air-raid sirens, sometimes heard in the most peaceful of times, are now frequent. Restaurants and bars remain active, although retreats to bomb shelters have become necessary.” [WSJ]

—A Start-Up Guru Enrages Israeli Techies: “Looks like “RTs aren’t endorsements” doesn’t apply to major geopolitical conflicts yet, because one Silicon Valley guru, Y Combinator founder Paul Graham, is in hot water with Israeli start-ups over some tweets that suggested that he was skeptical of Israel’s actions in Gaza. “I will not support Y Combinator in Israel,” wrote Roi Carthy, an Israeli venture capitalist, in response to some of Graham’s tweets. Y Combinator, which has helped companies like Airbnb and Dropbox achieve billion-dollar status, periodically scouts for Israeli start-ups, but may have a harder time with locals like Carthy running interference.” [NYMag]

WAY TO GO: U.S. Senate sets $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome in emergency bill: “U.S. Senate Democrats included $225 million for Israel’s Iron Dome rocket interception system in an emergency funding bill on Tuesday that also cut $1 billion from President Barack Obama’s request for $3.7 billion to deal with thousands of undocumented child immigrants. “Israel is an essential American ally and needs these assets to defend itself,” said Maryland Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski, chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, in a statement.” [Reuters]

IRAN NUCLEAR TALKS TO RESUME… IN EARLY SEPTEMBER: Iran said on Wednesday nuclear talks with six world powers would resume in early September, according to state television, after both sides agreed to continue talking for four more months to try to reach a final agreement on Tehran’s nuclear program. [Reuters] — IAEA worried about slow progress in Iran nuclear probe: “The U.N. nuclear watchdog is concerned about Iran’s current lack of engagement with an investigation into its suspected atomic bomb research, ahead of a deadline next month for Tehran to step up cooperation, diplomatic sources said on Tuesday.” [Reuters] — Iraqi Leader Maliki Loses Backing of Shite Figure and Iran for New Term: “Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is losing political support for his bid for a third term from core backers, including the country’s Shiite religious establishment and ally Iran, say Iraqi officials.” [WSJ] — HEZBOLLAH TO HAMAS: ‘You’re On Your Own’ [DailyBeast]

TOP-OPS: Sohrab Ahmari: “Pro-Palestinian Riots Rock Europe: The cognitive dissonance of protestors who profess to support human rights but also back Hezbollah” [WSJ] — Alan Dershowitz:“Death knell for J Street” [JPost] — Daniel Gordis: “Say thank you — it’s the Jewish thing to do”[ToI] — Bruce Thorton: “The Incoherent Excuses for Hating Israel” [FrontPageMag] — Henry Siegman: “Israel Provoked This War” [PoliticoMag] — Jeff Jacoby: “Democrats losing moral clarity on Israel” [BostonGlobe] — Haviv Rettig Gur: “Did Birthright kill Max?” [ToI]

WH POOL REPORT: “On his arrival at a mansion owned by Bruce and Ann Blume in the Seattle neighborhood of Lake Washington, Obama was met with two dozen demonstrators protesting Israel’s incursion into Gaza chanting, “Free Palestine” and “Killing children is a crime.” [Bloomberg]

MUST WATCH: Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer talked with reporters yesterday at a “Monitor Breakfast” held by the Christian Science Monitor at the St. Regis Hotel. The Israeli ambassador to the U.S. talked about the conflict between Israel and Palestine and the Israeli military campaign in Gaza.” [C-SPAN]

HAPPENING TODAY: “Top leaders of the Orthodox Union will travel to Washington, DC on Wednesday (July 23) for meetings with senior Congressional leaders and White House officials. The main topic for the meetings will, of course, be the current defensive operation being conducted by Israel against Hamas terrorists.”

**Good Wednesday 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**

GENESIS PRIZE ANNOUNCES GENERATION CHALLENGE LAUNCH EVENTS: “We are excited to launch the Genesis Generation Challenge on Friday, August 1st. We will award 10 winning teams $100,000, match winning teams with mentors, and provide opportunities for the winners to convene and learn from one another. We are holding two launch events in August. International Launch Event in New York City at Bloomberg Philanthropies on August 12th and in DC at the Sixth&I Synagogue on August 13th.”

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Dan Borislow, Whose MajicJack Changed Telephone, Dies at 52: “Dan Borislow, whose “MagicJack,” peddled in television infomercials, helped pioneer free phone calls through the Internet, has died. He was 52. His death was confirmed by Brad Shewmake, a spokesman for MagicJack Vocaltec Ltd., the maker of the device. Borislow was the founder and former chief executive officer of the company, based in Netanya, Israel, and West Palm Beach, Florida.” [Bloomberg]

Facebook founder Zuckerberg will be called by feds for trial: “Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg will be called by the feds to testify at trial against a man accused of doctoring documents in a botched attempt to own half of the social-network giant, prosecutors said Tuesday.” [NYPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN: Heirs of Brooklyn man sue Florida couple for $60 million for ‘ancient’ Bible: “A bad fight is breaking out over the Good Book. A judge with the wisdom of Solomon will have to determine the rightful owners of an “ancient” Bible that’s now at the center of a $60 million lawsuit. The heirs of a Brooklyn man who bequeathed to them the holy tome filed the big-bucks suit against a Florida couple who allegedly found the priceless heirloom in a suitcase and is refusing to return it.” [DailyNews]

LONGREAD: “Celebrity Rabbi, Heal Thyself: The Trials of Shmuley Boteach – “Rabbi, sexpert, Michael Jackson pal—has led many lives. But none of them can obliterate his past.” [TabletMag]

SPORTS BLINK: Stoudemire Postpones Israeli Basketball Camp Amid Crisis: “New York Knicks forward Amar’e Stoudemire postponed a basketball camp he was set to host in Tel Aviv because of security concerns stemming from Israel’s conflict with Gaza militants. Stoudemire, who has been vocal in stressing his Jewish roots since visiting Israel in 2010, was set to hold his basketball academy in Tel Aviv from July 27-31.” [Bloomberg]

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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