Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: As Egyptian Efforts Falter, Focus Shifts To UN | Amb. Shapiro = State’s Ice Bucket Ban | US Developers to Israel | Singer, Strauss BDay

MIDTERMS: This week Jason Carter, the Democratic candidate for Georgia Governor and grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, released the names of his campaign committee. Of note is the presence of a prominent board member of the American Jewish Committee, Lois Frank of Atlanta. Carter has come under pressure during the campaign to distance himself from his grandfather’s views on Israel and Hamas.

Hold up of US missile shipment to Israel reportedly resolved: “A hold up in the US supply of Hellfire missiles to Israel has been resolved and the incident “is behind us,” Israel’s Channel 10 news quoted a senior Israeli official as saying on Thursday night. The official said Israel had been assured that the suspension of the sale “was just bureaucracy.” [ToI]

AP: “Gaza Militants Kill 18 Alleged Spies For Israel” – “Gaza gunmen killed 18 alleged spies for Israel on Friday, including seven who were lined up behind a mosque and shot after midday prayers, in response to Israel’s deadly airstrikes against top Hamas military commanders… Hamas media portrayed the killings as the beginning of a new crackdown, under the rallying cry of “choking the necks of the collaborators.” It was the largest number of suspected informers killed by Hamas in a single day since it seized Gaza by force in 2007.” [AP] — “Gaza rocket strikes Israeli synagogue, wounding several people” [Reuters] — “Militants, weapons transit Gaza tunnels despite Egyptian crackdown” [Reuters]

Europe, US Mull UN Resolution On Gaza Truce: “With Egyptian efforts to end the Gaza war collapsing, the United States, Britain, France and Germany are discussing a possible Security Council resolution calling for a sustainable cease-fire and an international monitoring mission to ensure its implementation, U.N. diplomats said Thursday… Diplomats said the U.S., Israel’s main ally, had joined the European effort to produce a resolution that would call for a ceasefire and advance the goal of a durable peace. “This is not a competition,” said an American diplomat in Washington.” [AP] — “Arab states, Israel set to clash at U.N. nuclear meeting” [Reuters]

TOP-OP: “Has Hamas killed the Zionist left” by Gil Hoffman: “The number of people identifying as moderate Left slumped to record lows during Operation Protective Edge, leading the Right to label them an ‘endangered species.’” [JPost]

—Sunday Review: “The End of Liberal Zionism: Israel’s Move to the Right Challenges Diaspora Jews” by Antony Lerman: “LONDON — Liberal Zionists are at a crossroads. The original tradition of combining Zionism and liberalism — which meant ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, supporting a Palestinian state as well as a Jewish state with a permanent Jewish majority, and standing behind Israel when it was threatened — was well intentioned. But everything liberal Zionists stand for is now in doubt.” [NYTimes]

Shapiro Gets Away With Ice Bucket Challenge: AP – “US Diplomats Barred From Ice Bucket Challenge” – “By the time the cable was sent at least one high-ranking diplomat, Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro, had already participated and had challenged U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power to douse herself with ice water for the cause. But by then, Power and the other ambassadors got the memo.” [AP] — @Mozgovaya tweeted: “@MarieHarf says unlikely @AmbShapiro will be disciplined” [Twitter]

**Good Friday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us 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**

INFIGHTING: “Will urgent campus pro-Israel project fail through infighting?: JAFI head Sharansky says Diaspora Ministry’s ‘petty games’ threaten to derail first phase of major Israel-world Jewry initiative” by David Horowitz and Amanda Borschel-Dan: “Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky accused the Diaspora Affairs Ministry of unprecedented, highly damaging intervention, which threatens to derail an urgent program for stepped-up pro-Israel activism on US campuses. Sharansky told The Times of Israel Thursday that the campus project is the first phase of a major, multi-year World Jewry Joint Initiative. The initiative has its origins in talks that began two years ago between the agency and the Prime Minister’s Office about streamlining all efforts between Israel and Diaspora organizations to boost Jewish identity.” [ToI]

AP: “Some US colleges calling students back from Israel” by Stephen Singer: “Some U.S. colleges are pulling students from overseas study programs in Israel as the Gaza war rages, though the relative calm beyond the immediate battle areas is raising questions in some quarters about why they had to leave… “On the one hand, we want to introduce students to the dimensions of conflict,” said Yehuda Lukacs, director of the Center for Global Education at George Mason University in Virginia. “But this was too much because their safety and security were challenged.”.. Jonathan Sarna, president of the Association for Jewish Studies, questioned whether universities overreacted, noting Israel defended itself against most Hamas rockets with its Iron Dome air defense and its military superiority.” [AP]

QUICK READ: “The Awful Apps That Let You Vote With Your Wallet” [DailyBeast]

STARTUP NATION: Israel’s FeeX Raises $6.5M Series B To Identify Hidden Fees In Users’ Retirement Accounts: “FeeX, a service that helps users find and avoid hidden fees in their retirement accounts, announced today that it has raised $6.5 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Horizons Ventures, with participation by returning investor Blumberg Capital. This brings FeeX’s total funding so far to $9.6 million. Founded in August 2012 by Yoav ZurelDavid Weisz, and Uri Levine(the founder of navigation app Waze, which was acquired by Google for $966 million last year), FeeX uses algorithms to identify and reduce hidden advisory, investment, and expense ratio fees in investment and retirement accounts, including IRA, 401(k), 403(b), 457, and brokerage accounts. The startup claims that fees can claim a third or more of the funds in a retirement savings plan and that the average American household ends up paying $155K in hidden 401(k) fees over the lifetime of the account.” [TechCrunch] — “Li Ka-shing invests in Israeli start-up FeeX” [Globes] — “American oleh sells e-mail service Mad Mimi to GoDaddy” [ToI]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “U.S. property developers flock to Tel Aviv debt market: Four companies have raised $709 million this year and more are on their way” by Eran Azran:“The New York real–estate developer Steven Witkoff is set to join colleagues such as Joel Weiner of Zarasai Group and Gary Barnett of Extell Development in tapping the Israeli capital market for debt. His Witkoff Group, which holds a huge portfolio of office, industrial and residential properties, is weighing a bond offering that is expected to reach 500 million shekels ($141.6 million)… Lightstone Group, a New York real–estate developer controlled by David Lichtenstein, was also reported to be weighing a 500 million shekel bond sale in Tel Aviv. If it goes ahead, the offering would be the eighth by an American property developer in recent months.” [Haaretz] — “Extell Hotel Rumor Swirling Around Diamond District” [Observer] — “Real estate tech firm Hightower raises $6.5M from Kushner, elsewhere” [RealDeal]

LONGREAD: “Mugabe’s Bailout – Och-Ziff Investment Linked to Zimbabwe Despot” by Cam Simpson and Jesse Westbrook: “The Central African Mining & Exploration Co., or Camec, was listed on the AIM exchange and wasn’t afraid of doing business in chaotic places. It attracted attention in the British press because its chairman was a retired English cricket star. But by February 2008, an Israeli diamond trader named Dan Gertler had negotiated the largest individual ownership stake in the company—almost 40 percent, to be held in family trusts. He forged a close relationship with Joseph Kabila, the former army chief and current president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC, and later amassed stakes in that country’s state-owned mining ventures, along with a fortune estimated by Bloomberg to be worth $2.5 billion.”

“A panel headed by former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan last year said the DRC, among the world’s poorest countries, lost about $1.4 billion when its government underpriced assets sold to Gertler. The businessman has denied any wrongdoing, and a London-based spokesman declined to comment for this article. Not long after Gertler negotiated his stake in Camec, corporate records show, Cohen and Och-Ziff sought their own piece of the London mining company. It’s unclear just what brought Och-Ziff to the table, but a source familiar with its investment decisions, speaking on the condition of anonymity, says that Och-Ziff was primarily interested in Camec because of the DRC assets it was developing with Gertler. Attorneys representing Gertler say he played no role in bringing the hedge fund into negotiations to buy a piece of Camec.” [Businessweek]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Paul Singer turns 70… Ofra Strauss turns 54… Michael Fragin… Sergey Brin (yesterday) turned 41… Norman Braman turns 81

ON THIS DATE… (via the AP: 2005 – “The last Jewish settlers left the Gaza Strip, ending decades of Israel’s turbulent occupation.” [AP]

LOCAL SPOTLIGHT: “Pacific Spirit – A welcoming home for young Jews” by Pat Johnson:“Thanks mostly to migration from across Canada and elsewhere, Vancouver’s Jewish community is one of the fastest growing in North America. But studies indicate the overall number of people engaged with Jewish institutions in North America is declining. Community leaders have especially struggled to keep young Jews involved in the community after university and before the lifecycle events of marriage and family tend to bring some back into the fold. Numerous groups have sprung up in recent years, with varying degrees of success, to encourage Jewish 20-somethings to continue seamlessly in their cultural and religious identity. One of the more innovative is Moishe House… Behind the pleasant but otherwise nondescript façade of a house in West Point Grey is Vancouver’s Moishe House. This is the only one of its kind in Canada, but it joins a network of 63 houses in 14 countries.” [Vancourier]

DESSERT: “Kosher cream puffs at new San Francisco French bakery” by Andy Altman-Ohr:“This is not a ‘kosher bakery.’ This is a French bakery that happens to be kosher,” said Laura Athuil, 27, proprietor of Choux, a soon-to-open patisserie in San Francisco. Choux will serve 13 different flavors of cream puffs from a little shop at 247 Fillmore St., near the corner of Haight Street. Athuil, a native of France who moved from Paris to San Francisco a year and a half ago, hopes to open before the end of the month, pending two final inspections.” [JWeekly]

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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