Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Joe Lieberman joins Yeshiva U | Israeli Programmers Code In Shelters | Israeli UFC Fighter Goes Home To Rejoin Army | CNN on J Street

TOP TALKER: “For New Post at Yeshiva, Lieberman Is a Natural” by Ariel Kaminer: “When Yeshiva University went looking for someone to fill its new Joseph Lieberman Chair in Public Policy and Public Service, one candidate stood out from all the rest. A man who represented Connecticut in the United States Senate for 24 years and nearly became the country’s first Jewish vice president. A man named Joseph I. Lieberman. Speaking by phone from Switzerland, where he was traveling on business, Mr. Lieberman, 72, said that about a year ago, Richard M. Joel, the president of the university, approached him about “starting something in my name at Y.U. to really try to help inform or draw the students there — particularly undergraduates — to study public policy and think about being engaged in public service.” Ira and Ingeborg Rennert, the billionaire couple best known outside the business world for the 66,000-square-foot house they built in the Hamptons, donated the money for the endowed chair.” [NYTimes]

DRIVING THE DAY: “Kerry presents new cease-fire proposal. Hamas, Israel to respond Friday” by Barak Ravid and Jack Khoury: “International efforts to achieve a cease-fire in the Gaza Strip are approaching the critical point. A senior Israeli official said that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has drafted a new cease-fire proposal and presented it to both sides. Kerry, who will leave Cairo Friday afternoon and return to Washington, is awaiting an answer from the Qatari and Turkish foreign ministers as to how Khaled Meshal, the head of Hamas’ political wing, has responded to his proposal.”

CEASE-FIRE CONTAINS FOLLOWING ELEMENTS: 1. “A one-week, temporary cease-fire, starting Sunday, during which IDF troops will not leave the Gaza Strip entirely and will continue to locate and destroy Hamas tunnels. 2. During this cease-fire, Israel and Hamas will begin negotiations on a more permanent arrangement, with Egyptian mediation. 3. The U.S., the UN secretary-general and the European Union will provide guarantees to both sides that the negotiations will deal with the issues important to them – for Israel, disarming Gaza of its rockets and tunnels, and for Hamas, ending the blockade of Gaza and repairing the damage the Strip has suffered.” [Haaretz]

—“Cease-fire Brokers Grapple With How to Rebuild Gaza” by Nicholas Casey, Jay Solomon, and Joshua Mitnick in the WSJ: “As the U.S. and its allies press for a halt to fighting in Gaza, they face a vexing question: how to rebuild the Palestinian territory and open its borders without posing a threat to Israel’s security. Israel is prepared to support massive investment to rebuild Gaza, but only in return for the disarming of Gaza’s Hamas rulers and other militant groups, according to a former negotiator familiar with the Israeli government position. That proposition is virtually certain to be rejected by Hamas.” [WSJ]

ROUNDUP: Israel Swears In New President Amid Gaza War [AP] — Israel Hits 30 Gaza Homes, Kills Senior Militant [AP] — Viral: “Jews and Arabs Refuse to Be Enemies, Unite for Peace Amid Gaza Conflict” [Mashable] — IDF: Terrorists opened fire from vicinity of UN-run Gaza school [JPost] — MUST WATCH: Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer Slams CNN’s Coverage of Conflict: “You do your viewers a disservice” [YouTube] [FreeBeacon]

“FAA lands in Mideast conflict” by Kathryn A. Wolfe in Politico: “The Federal Aviation Administration’s 36-hour ban on U.S. airline flights in and out of Tel Aviv ended by early Thursday morning, but it provoked a counterattack from the likes of Michael Bloomberg and Sen. Ted Cruz that threatens to stir up days or weeks more wrangling about the Obama administration’s policies toward Israel. President Obama defended the decision as a “prudent action” in a CNBC interview Thursday, a day after Cruz denounced it as an “economic boycott on Israel.” The dispute showed how even a domestic agency with a seemingly straightforward mission — keeping Americans safe in the skies — isn’t immune from the intractable politics of the Middle East.” [Politico]

FAA Ban was not political, says Obama: During an interview with CNBC, the network’s Steve Liesman asked the president if he thinks it’s now safe to travel to Israel. “This is just a purely technical question, we have not made decisions when it comes to airline safety based on… not just politics but noteven based on our strong alliance with Israel, we have to just look at the facts..” [YouTube]

Cruz Demands Answers From FAA: “Sen. Ted Cruz vowed Thursday to continue blocking confirmation of a series of ambassadorial and other diplomatic nominees despite the Federal Aviation Administration lifting a ban on U.S. airline flights to Israel. “There are still serious questions as to the decision-making that went in to the ban on flights and whether it was driven by political consideration at the White House or by objective expert opinion at the agency,” the Texas senator said Thursday.” [AP]

CNN DEEP DIVE: “J Street challenges the Israel lobby from within” by Jeremy Diamond [CNN]

HAPPENING MONDAY: The Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations will hold a solidarity event at the National Press Club in Washington, DC to “let the people of Israel know that they are not alone as they face the continuing onslaught of terrorist attacks, with missiles launched at civilian populations by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.” Members of Congess and Obama Administration officials are expected to attend along with Jewish leaders from across the country.

SCENE ON THE HILL: U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Ben Cardin (D-MD) Kelly Ayotte (R-NH)  and Marco Rubio (R-FL) held a press conference at the Senate Radio-TV Gallery to announce a new Senate resolution urging the Obama administration to ensure that any cease fire does not leave Israel vulnerable to attacks from rockets or via tunnels. Watch video of Schumer’s remarks [YouTube] Watch video of Sen. Cruz Senate floor remarks [YouTube]

MIDTERMS: Charlie Spies To The Rescue! – “U.S. Senate candidate Land discloses joint account, but questions remain”: “Republican U.S. Senate candidate Terri Lynn Land’s campaign insisted Thursday that her nearly $3 million in contributions to herself are legal and proper, even as Michigan Democrats called on state and federal authorities to investigate. Land’s legal counsel, Charlie Spies, said he is confident the campaign is on safe legal ground.” [DetroitFreePress]

**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**

LONGREAD: How Dan Shipper and Justin Meltzer Sold Their First Startup While Still In School: “From the moment Dan Shipper (on the left, above) stepped foot on the University of Pennsylvania’s campus, he knew he wanted to learn how to build a real software business with paying customers and steady revenue. He passed with flying colors last month when he both graduated from school and sold his company Firefly (the first company backed by Dorm Room Fund (run by Penn Students Talia Goldberg, Steve Krouse, Isaac Sukin, and Stephanie Weiner) to Pegasystems for multiple millions… In its first 10 months, Firefly brought in $11,000 in revenue — total. While Shipper and his co-founder Justin Meltzer were sure the company solved a concrete problem — allowing two people to collaboratively browse the same webpage without any special software — sales weren’t promising. It would have been a valid decision to throw in the towel at that point, he says.” [FirstRoundReview]

STARTUP NATION: “As Rockets Fly, Israeli Programmers Code in Bomb Shelters”: “When air-raid sirens sounded across central Israel this week, programmers at BioCatch Ltd. joined thousands of their neighbors in rushing to the bomb shelter. Unlike most others, the BioCatch team made sure they had their laptops in hand. “We have no alternative but to keep going,” said Benny Rosenbaum, chief executive officer of BioCatch, a cyber-security startup whose coders spent their time in the shelter working on a project for a Brazilian client…. With thousands of Hamas rockets targeting Israel and many flights into the country canceled due to the fighting, technology workers have had to find creative ways to adapt.”[Bloomberg]

AROUND THE WORLD: “With Friends Like These, ISIS Is Doomed” by Jacob Siegel in the Daily Beast: “The Islamic State is no longer a juggernaut, it’s a motley alliance of factions just waiting to betray each other.” [DailyBeast]

—Officials to CNN: “ISIS blows up Jonah;s tomb in Iraq” by Mohammed Tawfeeq: “If you blink during the video, you might miss the moment Jonah’s tomb in Mosul, Iraq, explodes… CNN could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the video, which was posted to YouTube. The holy site is thought to be the burial place of the prophet Jonah, who was swallowed by a whale or fish in both the Islamic and Judeo-Christian traditions.” [CNN]

—Jewish Group Wants Turkish PM To Return Award: “A Jewish American group is asking Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to return an award it gave him in 2004, accusing the Turkish leader of “dangerous rhetoric” and “inciting violence against the Jewish people.” In an open letter to Erdogan Thursday, Jack Rosen, the president of the American Jewish Congress, said Erdogan had become “arguably the most virulent anti-Israel leader in the world.” [AP]

—French Jews living in fear, minister says: “Many members of France’s Jewish community are living in fear after pro-Palestinian protests in recent weeks were marred by violence and use of anti-Semitic language, the country’s foreign minister said on Thursday. France has both the largest Jewish and Muslim populations in Europe and flare-ups in the Middle East have often in the past added to tensions between the two communities.” [Reuters]

TOP TWEET: @HillelNeuer: “Deeply concerned that violent anti-Israel riots threaten to turn the West Bank into Paris.” [Twitter]

TOP-OPS: Michael Oren: “Israel must be permitted to crush Hamas” [WashPost] — Dore Gold: “Hamas may be alienating other Arabs, but it’s making new friends in the West” [WashPost] — William McGurn: “Obama’s Israel Legacy: A Hostile Democratic Party” [NYPost] — James T. Conway: “The Moral Chasm Between Israel and Hamas” [WSJ] — Roger Cohen: “The Shared Destiny of Israel and Gaza” [NYTimes] — Noam Chomsky vs. Sen. Al Franken: “Behind the odd progressive divide between senators, intellectuals on Gaza” [Salon] — Arnold Eisen in the WSJ’s Houses of Worship Column: “Wanted: Converts to Judaism” [WSJ] — Jill W. Smith: “Why Michael Bloomberg is a Powerful Friend of Israel” [eJewishPhil]

TODAY IN HISTORY (via the AP): 1994 – “Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan’s King Hussein signed a declaration at the White House ending their countries’ 46-year state of war.”

SPORTS BLINK: Israeli UFC fighter headed home after Saturday bout ‘to protect’ his country: “A 15-hour flight awaits Noad Lahat on Sunday morning, only hours after he faces Steven Siler on Saturday in a three-round featherweight bout at UFC Fight Night 12 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. He’s headed to war, to join his countrymen in the seemingly never-ending struggle to defend Israel. He was born in Alfei Menashe, Samaria, Israel, and has lived his entire life in the country except for those periods since 2009 when he’s lived in San Jose during his mixed martial arts training camps. His preparations for the bout with Siler, though, have been more difficult than normal. He doesn’t want to be in the gym. He doesn’t want to be in the U.S. His heart and mind are thousands of miles away, on the other side of the world, where his countrymen are fighting the Palestinians in Gaza.” [Yahoo]

—News Bucks Owners Lasry, Edens retain Adam Mendelsohn as PR consultant: “As the new owners of the Milwaukee Bucks gear up for a new-arena initiative, they have retained a public affairs executive who was former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s deputy chief of staff and worked on behalf of the Sacramento Kings efforts to build an arena. Adam Mendelsohn’s hiring comes at a key point when Lasry and Edens are preparing a community relations and governmental relations campaign to generate voter support for likely public funding of a new arena. No specific proposal has emerged, but the most-discussed possibility is a sales tax.” [BizJournal]

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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