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Daily Kickoff: Khaled Mashaal “The Man Who Haunts Israel” from 5 Star Hotels | Senate Candidate: “Iron Dome helps prevent tunneling” | Bike4Chai today

TOP TALKER: “U.S. denies report that Obama told Bibi he trusts Turkey, Qatar as mediators” by Herb Keinon in the Jerusalem Post: “President Obama told Prime Minister Netanyahu in a phone conversation that Israel must immediately stop all military activities in Gaza, and said Jerusalem was not in a position to pick the mediators of a cease-fire, Channel 1 reported Tuesday night.” [JPost]

—Israeli media reported that a “senior US official” leaked the audio recording of the telephone conversation between Obama and Netanyahu to Channel One.

—TOP TWEET: @Yair_Rosenberg: “JOE BIDEN’S HOUSE OF CARDS PLAN TO THE PRESIDENCY – 1. Leak fake trasncript to sabotage Middle East foreign policy. 2. ??? 3. World domination.” [Twitter]

TIME MAG PROFILE: “The Man Who Haunts Israel: Khaled Mashaal was nearly assassinated by Benjamin Netanyahu. Then Israel’s Prime Minister was forced to bring the Hamas leader back to life. Now their deadly history hangs over the conflict that roils the Middle East” by Michael Crowley: “Khaled Mashaal lay dying in a hospital bed as poison flowed through his bloodstream, slowly shutting down his respiratory system. With a machine pumping air into his lungs, he had, at best, a few days to live. An antidote could save the Hamas leader’s life. But the only person who could provide it was the very man who had tried to kill him: Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.”

“As the clock ticked down over four days in late September 1997, with Mashaal unconscious and steadily deteriorating, Netanyahu faced an excruciating choice. The Mossad agents who had sprayed poison into the Palestinian’s ear on a street in Amman, Jordan — in retribution for a series of suicide attacks within Israel — had been captured while fleeing. Jordan’s King Hussein vowed to put the Israelis on trial if Mashaal expired. The agents would likely face execution if convicted. Desperate to avert an international crisis that would derail his efforts to broker peace deals between Israel and its Arab enemies, President Bill Clinton intervened, insisting that Netanyahu, then serving the first of his two tenures as Israel’s prime minister, provide the antidote. The Israeli leader grudgingly complied, even traveling to Amman to issue a personal apology to the King. Mashaal was revived, his stature forever enhanced as “the living martyr.” Instead of killing one of Israel’s most despised enemies, Netanyahu had resurrected him.”[TimeMagazine]

NEWSWEEK COVER STORY: “Exodus: Why Europe’s Jews Are Fleeing Once Again” by Adam LeBor: “France has suffered the worst violence, but anti-Semitism is spiking across Europe, fuelled by the war in Gaza. In Britain, the Community Security Trust (CST) says there were around 100 anti-Semitic incidents in July, double the usual  number. The CST has issued a security alert for Jewish institutions. In Berlin a crowd of anti-Israel protesters had to be prevented from attacking a synagogue. In Liege, Belgium, a café owner put up a sign saying dogs were welcome, but Jews were not allowed… Yet for many French and European Jews, the violence comes as no surprise. Seventy years after the Holocaust, from Amiens to Athens, the world’s oldest hatred flourishes anew. For some, opposition to Israeli policies is now a justification for open hatred of Jews…” [Newsweek]

**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**

MIDTERMS: OOPS! Alison Lundergan Grimes call your office – The Iron Dome is a missile defense system, doesn’t prevent tunneling: “As foreign policy inches its way into a debate that has largely focused on the economy, Grimes was asked about congressional efforts to aid Israel’s missile defense system, known as the Iron Dome. “Obviously, Israel is one of our strongest allies in the Middle East, and she has the right to defend herself,” Grimes said. “But the loss of life, especially the innocent civilians in Gaza, is a tragedy. The Iron Dome has been a big reason why Israel has been able to withstand the terrorists that have tried to tunnel their way in.” [Herald-Leader]

EXIT: “Eric Cantor’s final days” by Jake Sherman and Anna Palmer in Politico: “This is what the end looks like for House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. The Virginia Republican will soon trade his grand second-floor Capitol suite — with its massive conference room and flat-screen televisions displaying a Twitter feed — for a smaller hideaway elsewhere in the building… It’s an anticlimactic end to Cantor’s meteoric rise. His tenure as majority leader — defined in part by opposition to Obamacare and moments of friction with fellow GOP leaders — will close quietly on Thursday. One of the most dominant figures on Capitol Hill until his shocking primary loss in June, Cantor will spend the rest of this Congress as a member of the GOP rank and file.” [Politico]

ON THE HILL: Lawmakers Struggle To Seal $225M Iron Dome Package: “Democrats and Republicans in Congress vowed urgent support Tuesday for a $225 million missile defense package for Israel, boosting the likelihood that legislation will clear Congress before lawmakers begin a monthlong vacation at week’s end.” [AP] — Senate Passes Ted Cruz’s Naftali Frenkel Reward Bill by Unanimous Consent [JPupdates]

—“Syrian Defector Will Show Grisly Photos to Congress” by John Hudson: “The Syrian defector known as “Caesar,” who smuggled out thousands of graphic photographs documenting President Bashar al-Assad’s brutal crackdown on his own people, will appear before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, Foreign Policy has learned. The briefing will be televised and open to the press, but due to security concerns related to Caesar’s safety, the Syrian defector’s face will be covered.”[TheCable] — ICYMI: “Mystery Defector Known as ‘Caeser’ Appears in Washington With Evidence of Assad’s Atrocities” [DailyBeast]

—IRAN TALKS: “Lawmakers Voice Skepticism on Iran Nuclear Deal” by David E. Sanger:“The Obama administration officials engaged in nuclear negotiations with Iran ran into a wall of skepticism at two congressional hearings on Tuesday, with members of both parties insisting on a vote on any final agreement with the Tehran government and administration officials strongly hinting that they have little intention of complying.” [NYTimes]

—U.S., Israel Fear Pickup in Iranian Support of Hamas: “Iran’s support for the Palestinian militant group Hamas has diminished significantly in the past three years, limiting Tehran’s influence over talks to end the war in the Gaza Strip, according to U.S. and Israeli officials… But the longer the war between Israel and Hamas drags on, these officials said, there’s growing concern that Tehran could try to increase arms shipments to Hamas.” [WSJ] — Hamas invites Hezbollah to join in fighting against Israel [JPost]

2016 WATCH: “Sen. Rubio Delivered Senate Floor Speech on the Conflict in Gaza” [YouTube] — Rubio: “There’s a Cease-Fire When Hamas Ceases to Exist” [FreeBeacon]

—“Party For Chris Christie Supporters Draws (Jewish) Business Leaders” by Heather Haddon in the Wall Street Journal: “A thank you party for Republican donors and supporters to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie drew names from both sides of the Hudson River to the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. Monday night. Republican donors who attended included The Home Depot co-founder Kenneth Langone, investor Paul Singer and financier Lewis Eisenberg from New York City, along with New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, attorney Lawrence Bathgate and real estate developer Jon Hanson from New Jersey.” [WSJ] — RELATED: “Is Christie dead man walking or comeback kid?” [Politico]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “The Greatest Deal of All Time: Apollo’s Leon Black, Marc Rowan, Joshua Harris and Len Blavatnik” [Forbes] — “Cohen Still Beating Hedge Funds After Shutting Down SAC” [Bloomberg] — Jewish Billionaire Art Collectors Into Arts Philanthropy [InsidePhilanthropy] — Major League Baseball, O’s & Lerner’s Nats Embroiled in Explosive Legal War Over TV Deals [HollywoodReporter] — Jeff Sutton gets $95M loan for Harlem retail project [Observer] — Chelsea Hotel’s Joseph Chetrit sued over $250K painting [RealDeal]

STARTUP NATION: “Mobileye Leads Israeli IPO Rush as Deals Bypass Rockets” by Gabrielle Coppola in Bloomberg: “Mobileye is seeking to raise $638 million in what will be the biggest U.S. IPO ever by an Israeli company, valuing the Jerusalem-based maker of technology that helps stop car accidents at $4.9 billion. Four biotechnology companies, led by Vascular Biogenics Ltd., are raising a total of $223 million this week.” [Bloomberg] — Israel’s Jinni Opens NYC Digs [MC]

—“The Pint-Size Military Base Above the Penthouse – Teams of IDF soldiers have turned Tel Aviv’s tallest buildings into sky-scanning lookout points to protect the people below” by Debra Kamin[ToI]

TOP-OPS: Lee Smith: “John Kerry Has Hamas’ Back: So, Who Has Israel’s – AIPAC, the so-called Jewish Lobby, has no influence in the White House and is scared to speak out” [TabletMag] — Jonathan Chait: “Why I Have Become Less Pro-Israel” [NYMag] — Haviv Rettig Gur: “The war of the doves” [ToI] — Amy Klein: “Liberal U.S. Jews sitting on couches, alone” [Haaretz] — AP Analysis: “Amid War, Endgames In Gaza Emerge” [AP] — Washington Post Editorial: “The U.S. push for a Gaza cease-fire should empower moderate Palestinians” [WashPost] — Chantal Low: “Rocket Fire Rants” [Medium]

TURKISH PM ERDOGAN RETURNING JEWISH AMERICAN AWARD: “Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is returning an award given to him by a Jewish American group in 2004, after the group asked for it back because of comments he made regarding the conflict in Gaza. Turkey’s ambassador to the U.S., Serdar Kilic, wrote to Jack Rosen, president of the American Jewish Congress, on Erdogan’s behalf. Kilic said Erdogan would be glad to return the award because of Israel’s actions in Gaza.” [ABC News]

—“Jewish groups get $12M of $13M in federal funding for protecting nonprofits”: “The Department of Homeland Security allocated to Jewish institutions $12 million, or 94 percent, of $13 million in funds for securing nonprofits. The Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington office director, William Daroff, said… that the allocation made sense particularly in light of an intensification of threats on Jewish community targets in the United States and overseas.” [JTA]

THE J STREET DILEMMA: “J Street’s Gaza War Support Wins ‘Moderate’ Praise — But Alienates Some Backers” by Josh Nathan-Kazis: “This time around, J Street has taken a radically different position, sticking close to other mainstream Jewish groups. J Street has asserted Israel’s right to defend itself, and has condemned Hamas while expressing concern for Palestinian and Israeli civilians. The more moderate approach has won the group praise from some former critics, while threatening to alienate core activists. It has left American Zionists critical of the war without any established Jewish organizations on their side, as both Americans for Peace Now and Ameinu have also chosen not to criticize the invasion.” [Forward]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Jewish group says gun remarks ‘idiotic, simplistic and wrong” by Mike Carter in the Seattle Times: “The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle has called for the resignation of a National Rifle Association lobbyist who reportedly linked gun control to the Holocaust.”[SeaTimes]

SIMCHA! – “Camp Offers Sick Jewish Children—and Their Families—a Vacation From Illness” by Tova Ross in Tablet: “Every summer, on a rustic 125-acre campus in Glen Spey, N.Y., Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special host more than 400 Jewish boys and girls with cancer and other chronic medical conditions. Campers age 4 through 20 attend one of the four two-week sessions at Camp Simcha (for children with cancer) and Camp Simcha Special (for children with chronic conditions like cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, and rare genetic diseases) run under the auspices of Chai Lifeline, a nonprofit organization for Jewish families affected by serious childhood illness.” [TabletMag]

—HAPPENING TODAY: Bike4Chai, a two day, 180 mile ride to support kids with cancer and other illnesses, kicks off today. The 335 riders have raised close to $4M. [Bike4Chai]

HAPPENING TONIGHT: Canada-Israel rally in Jerusalem: “Jerry Grafstein, a former senator for Metro Toronto, is hosting a Canada-Israel Solidarity Rally at the David Citadel Hotel at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, including an appearance by Canadian Ambassador Vivian Bercovici. The event will include a broadcasted appearance by Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird and Canadian members of Parliament.”[JPost]

BIRTHDAYS: Lev Leviev turns 58 … Jonas Karpantschof, program director at the World Jewish Congress (H/T Alex Jakubowski)

DESSERT: “Jerusalem Film Festival Head Explains Why Palestinians Won’t Show Films at the Festival” by Laya Maheshwari in IndieWire: “By any metric, the CEO of the Jerusalem Cinematheque has had an eventful first year at her new job. The Cinematheque was founded in 1973 by Lia van Leer, who served as director for the theatre and the festival for decades. Once she retired, the post kept changing hands, the body’s budget deficit grew to alarming levels and the employees turned angrier. During this turmoil, the Cinematheque’s flagship event, the Jerusalem Film Festival, suffered.”[IndieWire]

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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