Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Senate Doubles Funding For Iron Dome | Hillary’s Middle East Legacy | Pew Poll Shows Americans Support Israel; Widening Partisan Gap

CEASE-FIRE COLLAPSES: “Behind the scenes of the short-lived cease-fire” by Barak Ravid in Haaretz: “Over the previous few days, the cease-fire talks had proceeded lackadaisically. The Egyptians didn’t demonstrate great interest in advancing the process, and independent initiatives like that of Quartet envoy Tony Blair never got off the ground. All that changed at about noon on Monday, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, then in Vienna for talks with Iran about its nuclear program, launched a marathon of phones calls with Netanyahu, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shukri and others.—KERRY NOT WANTED BY ANYONE: “Senior Israeli officials said that in every phone call that day, Kerry offered to fly immediately to Cairo, and perhaps even Jerusalem, to try to advance a cease-fire. But Egyptians and Israelis both politely rejected that offer, telling Kerry they are already in direct contact and didn’t need American mediation. Cairo objected to Kerry coming because it wanted to show that PresidentAbdel-Fattah al-Sissi’s new government was capable of playing Egypt’s traditional diplomatic role with regard to Gaza without outside help. Jerusalem objected because it thought Kerry’s arrival would be interpreted as American pressure on Israel, and thus as an achievement for Hamas…. Ironically, however, Kerry’s pressure to fly in pushed Egypt and Israel to accelerate their own efforts to craft a cease-fire proposal.” [Haaretz]WashPost: “Israel’s vow to strengthen attacks against Hamas in Gaza puts U.S. in tough position” by Anne Gearan: “Israeli officials, in a series of television interviews, statements and social-media venues, said Tuesday that Hamas’s rejection of a cease-fire offer validated the force it has used over eight days of conflict and made legitimate their argument for a wider military effort. The Obama administration appeared to accept that rationale, blaming the armed Islamist movement in Gaza for missing an opportunity to end the eight-day aerial assault and avoid a ground invasion. But if the recent past is any guide, the administration will soon be under pressure from European and Arab allies to call on Israel to end the military operation. Doing so now would be diplomatically delicate for the administration.” [WashPost]

REPORT: Hamas Proposes 10-Year Cease-Fire In Return For Conditions Being Met:“Channel 2 reports Hamas seeks long-term truce. Its terms are the release of Schalit deal prisoners who were re-arrested, the opening of Gaza border crossings, and an end to Israeli naval blockade of Gaza.”[JPost]

Eli Lake: “Hamas Has Already Won Its Rocket War With Israel” in the Daily Beast: “You wouldn’t know it from the images of Israeli jets bombing Gaza. But for Hamas, the current war has produced a significant victory. Hamas can claim today something it could not before this conflict began: no one in Israel is safe from their missiles…. Current and former Israeli officials told The Daily Beast… that special spy planes, part of what is known as the “Eye of the Sky Squadron,” buzz above the clouds capturing grainy video of suspected militia leaders. Not far below, hot-air balloons affixed with cameras and other sensors that can produce thermal images from a crowded market place.

“There are also drones which vacuum the wireless spectrum, picking up tweets, emails, and Skype chats. On the ground in Gaza there are fake cell towers that intercept cell phone calls by tricking a cell phone to send the signal to a base station that feeds them to Shabak’s super computers. Beneath the ground, special circuits siphon off streams of data from two fiber-optic cables that provide high speed internet inside Gaza. But all of this surveillance has not stopped Hamas from threatening all of Israel with its missiles.” [DailyBeast]

TV ROUNDS –– ‘We’re Not Perfect, But Israel Doesn’t Target Civilians” – Ambassador Ron Dermer on CNN’s “The Lead” with Jake Tapper: “We weren’t targeting any civilians. We do not target civilians, That’s the difference between us and Hamas… We’re doing everything to keep their civilians out of harm’s way. We’re not perfect. We’ve had about 1,200 strikes in Gaza – a very dense urban area…  We have nearly 3/4 of our population – the equivalent of more than 200 Million Americans – in bomb shelters. So we have to defend ourselves.” [CNN“World Has To Call Out Hamas For Human Shield Tactic” – Dermer on Post TV: “The world has to take a stand against the use of human shield. The ones who need to be blamed for putting missile batteries next to hospitals, schools and to put civilians into harms way are those who are perpetrating this war crime, and that’s Hamas. The blames for these deaths should be laid at the doorsteps of Hamas. If the international community does that, the chances of Hamas use this tactic and feeling they’ll get away with it and achieve their objectives, will go down. [Washington Post]

—“Israel Defends Its People, Hamas Puts Their People At Risk” – State Dept. Spokeswoman Jen Psaki on CNN’s “Out Front” with Erin Burnett: “Israel held back for several hours, but they do have the right to defend their own people. They have certain defense systems and abilities to protect their own country.” [CNN] — “Hamas Closed The Window For Cease-fire” – PMO Spokesperson Mark Regev on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer: “Hamas closed the diplomatic option. We woke up this morning in the hope there’d be a cease-fire and, as you reported, Israel restrained from all our activities, all action against terrorists in Gaza for a full six hours. We gave this cease-fire ourfull support. But Hamas said no to everyone. Hamas said no to the cease-fire, both in word and in deed.” [CNN— Israeli opposition leader, Isaac Herzog, endorse Netanyahu’s military strategy [CNN]

 PERES TO AP: We Have No Other Choice: President Shimon Peres said Tuesday that the killing of Palestinian civilians by air raids on Gaza presents a moral dilemma, but argued there is scant alternative.”There is a moral problem, but I don’t have a moral answer to it. “If they are shooting at us, and don’t let our mothers and their children have a full night’s sleep, what can we do? [AP]

2016 Watch — Clinton Talks Israel-Hamas Conflict on Daily Show Appearance; Stewart CUTS mentions of Hamas:  In her first comments on the broken Gaza ceasefire, Hillary Clinton toldJon Stewart on “The Daily Show” Israel has a right to defend itself:  “When I negotiated the ceasefire in November of 2012 it was right on the brink with Israel once again invading Gaza because of the rockets …and the Israelis are absolutely right in saying that they can’t just sit there and let rockets rain down.. They have a missile defense, which is working well, but that can’t be certain and now there are dronesapparently that are being launched from Gaza.” [Politico]

“Mideast crisis strains Clinton legacy” – Katie Glueck in Politico: “Hillary Clinton often points to the 2012 cease-fire between Israel and Hamas as one of her biggest accomplishments as secretary of state. She may have to add an asterisk to that story… The developments over the past several days underscore the challenge Clinton faces should she try to use her State Department record as a plank on which to run for president… William Daroff, the senior vice president for public policy at the Jewish Federations of North America, said Clinton deserves credit for 18 months of “relative peace.” “Eighteen months is better than 17 months,” Daroff said. “But there was never the expectation that this would be the peace to end all peaces.” [Politico]

TOP OPS: WashPost Editorial: “Hamas is playing a dangerous game with Gazan lives” [WashPost] — Thomas Friedman: “Order vs. Disorder, Part 2” [NYTimes] — Rep. Leonard Lance: “In good deal, Iran won’t get the bomb” [TheHill] — Rep. Ted Deutch: “It’s time to stand tall with Israel” [SunSentinel] — Allison Kaplan Sommer: “The only way Israelis can win the PR battle: Die more” [Haaretz] — Alan Johnson: “It’s time to bust the ‘Israeli blockade led to Hamas rockets’ myth” [Telegraph] — Leslie Gelb: “Here’s What the U.S. Has to Do to Deal With the Mad Middle East” [DailyBeast] — Jonathan Schanzer: “Friendless in the Middle East” [PoliticoMag] — Lee Smith: “Dawn of the Planet of Qassem Suleimani” [TabletMag]

WSJ NOTABLE & QUOTABLE: “I Stand With Israel” by Tom Doran: “In the Hobbesian nightmare that is Bashar al-Assad’s Syria, about 9,000 children have been killed since the civil war began in 2011. Nine thousand. That’s the equivalent of a large British secondary school reduced to ashes every six months. Forgive me if I’m merely being unobservant, but where is the international campaign against the Syrian regime? Is it hiding? Did campuses all over the world hold a “Syrian Genocide Week”, and I just wasn’t paying attention? I think not, somehow. This is not “criticism”, this is obsession. A part of me is tempted to voice my very real concerns about where Israeli society is headed, but after a week or two of arguing with people who will do anything but recognize terrorist aggression has dissuaded me. I still have those concerns, but somehow, I just can’t bring myself to talk about them. Not while my Israeli comrades are rushing to their bomb shelters and being blamed for it at the same time. I stand with Israel.” [WSJ]

SENATE PANEL DOUBLES MONEY FOR ISRAEL’S IRON DOME: “The Senate Appropriations defense subcommittee approved a defense spending bill on Tuesday that would provide $621.6 million for Israeli missile defense, including $351 million for the Iron Dome system that intercepts short-range rockets and mortars.” [AP]IRON DOME – THE HUMANE DEFENSIVE WEAPON – by Statement of Robert Rechnitz, Chairman of the Iron Dome Tribute: [Excerpts] “Countless lives are being saved by the Iron Dome. Each time it is deployed, the danger to life is quite literally blown out of the sky. The project to develop the Iron Dome has been a close collaboration between Israel and the United States – Two countries for which there is no higher value than the sanctity of life… The initiative came to fruition after our friends in the US Congress, led by the late Senator Daniel Inouye fought with great commitment for its implementation. Years of energetic lobbying efforts went into the eventual funding of the Iron Dome. Bringing the project to completion has required a committed bipartisan effort which continues to this day… Together, the United States and Israel have developed a cutting-edge anti-missile system which preserves life on all sides of conflict. The Iron Dome has prevented casualties from mounting in Israel and enabled Israelis to continue their lives in relative safety, in defiance of terror. In doing so, it has slowed down the potential advance towards an escalating conflict… The Iron Dome is proof that through innovative technology and shared values, it is possible to develop missiles which are a very real weapon in preserving life.” Michael Oren: ‘Thank the American People for Iron Dome’ [BrietbartCONGRESS ON IRAN TALKSKey Dem impatient on Iran nuke talks: “Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez (N.J.) is wary about giving Secretary of State John Kerry more time to reach a nuclear deal with Iran. Menendez, a sharp critic of Iran, could present a problem for the Obama administration, which has strongly hinted it will seek more time to negotiate. “If they’re not close, I’m not for extending for extension’s sake,” he said. “From all reports, they’re certainly not close to the standards that I think a majority of the Congress wants.” [TheHill]—BIPARTISAN: Senators Menendez & Graham push for 20-year inspection in Iran nuke talks: “A final agreement with Iran must put in place a long-term inspections and verification regime that lasts at least 20 years,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Robert Menendez and Sen.Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said in a letter they intend to send to President Obama this week.” [TheHill]

—PARTISAN: Senators Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Marco Rubio (R-FL) lead partisan letter to President Obama regarding Iran’s intercontinental ballistic missile program. The letter was also signed by Senators James Inhofe (R-OK), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Pat Roberts (R-KS), John Boozman (R-AR),John Barrasso (R-WY), Orrin Hatch (R-UT), John Cornyn (R-TX), Johnny Isakson (R-GA),Michael Enzi (R-WY), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Thad Cochran (R-MS), Dan Coats (R-IN), Rob Portman (R-OH), Susan Collins (R-ME), James Risch (R-ID), John McCain (R-AZ), Tim Scott(R-SC), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Mike Johanns (R-NE), Mike Lee (R-UT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC),David Vitter (R-LA), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA). [Press Release]

HAPPENING TODAY: At 10AM, House Committee on Foreign Affairs Hearing on Iran’s Destabilizing Role in the Middle East: Witnesses include Scott Modell, Ray Takeyh, and Natan Sachs.[ForeignAffairs]

**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**

Poll – America Stands With Israel: A new PEW Research poll shows 51% of Americans say that in the dispute between Israel and the Palestinians, they sympathize more with Israel. Just 14% sympathize more with the Palestinians, while 15%  sympathize with neither side and 3% sympathize with both… While 44% of Democrats express more sympathy for Israel than the Palestinians, largely unchanged from April (46%), the share of Republicans who sympathize more with Israel jumped up from 68% to 73%. The share of independents siding more with Israel than the Palestinians has slipped from 51% to 45%. [PEW]2014 MIDTERMS – The Washington Post political forecast gives Jewish Republican Lee Zeldin a 68% chance of ousting the Democratic incumbent in NY’s 1st congressional district, Rep. Tim Bishop.[Washington Post] Zeldin has raised $850,387 for this election cycle, but he had to spend $714,029 in a GOP primary. From June 5 to June 30, Zeldin raised $115,795, according to the latest filings. Incumbent Bishop has $1.1 million in the bank compared to Zeldin’s $136,359. [Newsday]Cuomo Reaches Out To Jewish Donors & Voters: “He drew individual donations from a variety of real estate, financial and entertainment elites, including $40,000 from Michael Steinhardt, $60,000 from Eli Broad, and $50,000 from Steven Spielberg & Jeffrey Katzenberg each… Seeking to shore up his standing with Jewish voters, Mr. Cuomo paid for print advertising in Long Island Jewish World, the Jewish Press, the Jewish Week, the Jewish Ledger, the Jewish World, 5 Towns Jewish Times and the Buffalo Jewish Review.” [WSJ] [NYTimes]HOLLYWOOD: Rihanna tweets ‘#FreePalestine’ and immediately deletes it. Says it was posted by mistake: Singer Rihanna tweeted “#FreePalestine,” which garnered nearly 7,000 retweets according to the Twitter analytics site Favstar, before it was deleted [BuzzFeedA source close to the singer rold TMZ, “She deleted it because it was never meant to be tweeted. She didn’t even realize it was a tweet until she started hearing from her fans.” The source says Rihanna was reading about the Middle East conflict online when she clicked a link.  The next thing she knew … her fans were asking her why she was pro-Palestine. [TMZ] Hours after her initial posting, Rihanna tweeted, “Let’s pray for peace and a swift end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict! Is there any hope?….” [E! Online— Danielle Berrin: “Rihanna, Dwight Howard and the trouble with tweeting #FreePalestine” [JewishJournal]

STARTUP NATION: Israel’s Leviathan gas deposit even bigger than previously thought: “Good news for Israel’s energy sector: The Leviathan gas deposit is 16% bigger than previously thought. Calcalist’s Lior Gutman explains what it means for Israel’s economy.” [TLV1] — Intel transferring 360 Israeli employees to Ireland [Globes] — ReWalk Robotics, maker of robotic exoskeleton, seeks to raise $57.5M with IPO [TechFlash] — Israeli digital ad company acquired by global giant Undertone [AlMonitor]

SPORTS BLINK: “Attacks in Israel Weigh Heavily on Lacrosse Team”: “Israeli forward Noach Miller is leading his team on quite a run at the world lacrosse championships, even if his mind is thousands of miles away. His squad, the one formed only four years ago, advanced to the quarterfinals with a 15-1 win over Germany on Tuesday. However, it’s hard for him and his teammates to bask in the moment as loved ones back home deal with rocket attacks from Gaza… Soon after this tournament, some of the members will be joining the Israeli Defense Forces and may be in the middle of the conflict. There are already several players who couldn’t make the trip because they were either called up for the reserves or are going through basic training.” [AP]

LONGREAD: “Despite Tel Aviv Bombings, the Fashion Show Goes On” by Vanessa Friedman [NYTimes]

Henry Kissinger, 91. undergoes heart surgery in New York: “Former U.S. Secretary of State and Nobel Peace Prize winner Henry Kissinger underwent heart surgery at a New York City hospital on Tuesday and was resting comfortably, hospital officials said. Kissinger, 91, underwent an aortic valve replacement procedure, according to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.” [Reuters]

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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