Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Is the “pro-Israel” label counterproductive? | Uber hires Plouffe as ‘campaign manager’ | GQ Mag on “Orthodox Hit Squad” | The #FatJew

TOP TALKER: “David Plouffe joins Uber as ‘campaign manager'” by Mike Allen: “David Plouffe, the former campaign manager and White House adviser to President Barack Obama, is taking his political secret sauce to Uber late next month as senior vice president of policy and strategy, Uber CEO Travis Kalanick told POLITICO in an interview Tuesday. Plouffe, 47, will be one of the top few executives at the booming transportation disruptor, in charge of global branding, communications and policy – as Kalanick put it, Uber’s “campaign manager.” [Politico]

TOP-OP: “Who Will Stand Up for the Christians” by Ronald S. Lauder in the New York Times: “WHY is the world silent while Christians are being slaughtered in the Middle East and Africa? In Europe and in the United States, we have witnessed demonstrations over the tragic deaths of Palestinians who have been used as human shields by Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. The United Nations has held inquiries and focuses its anger on Israel for defending itself against that same terrorist organization. But the barbarous slaughter of thousands upon thousands of Christians is met with relative indifference…. This bond between Jews and Christians makes complete sense. We share much more than most religions. We read the same Bible, and share a moral and ethical core. Now, sadly, we share a kind of suffering: Christians are dying because of their beliefs, because they are defenseless and because the world is indifferent to their suffering. Good people must join together and stop this revolting wave of violence… The Jewish people understand all too well what can happen when the world is silent. This campaign of death must be stopped.” [NYTimes]

ARAB BANK TRIAL: “Hamas official tells umbrella Hamas-funding group they are ‘room full of terrorists'” by Frank Runyeon and Yonah Jeremy Bob: “In one of the key moments of the Arab Bank terrorism-finance trial, plaintiffs showed a video on Tuesday in which a top Hamas official told a conference of the Union of Good, the umbrella Hamas-funding group, that they were a room full of terrorists. Hamas expert Dr. Matthew Levitt, who may be the key witness in the case, testified that the Saudi Committee, to which Arab Bank transferred a great deal of money, is essentially an alter ego of Hamas’s Union of Good in a “web of charity organizations” providing cover for the funds’ terrorist purposes. On Thursday, 297 plaintiffs and Arab Bank defense lawyers made opening statements in what could be a watershed terrorist finance trial, with the plaintiffs telling the jury that “you will see bank records in black and white that say ‘Hamas’” as proof that the bank knew it was being used to fund terrorism.” [JPost]

“Secretive Army of Hamas Emerges From Shadows in Gaza: Conflict Has Brought Qassam Brigade, Guerrilla Army of Hamas, Into Battle Against Israel” by Nicholas Casey and Adam Entous: “The conflict in the Gaza Strip has brought the secretive guerrilla army of Hamas out of the shadows and into battle against Israel’s military for only the second time. When the brigade’s fighters are killed, Hamas street organizers eulogize them as heroes, posting images of them in fatigues and toting rockets. And families in the Gaza Strip are coming to terms with never-before-discussed identities of sons and neighbors.” [WSJ] — ‘Israel killed Hamas commander’s wife and daughter’ [ToI] — Abbas due in Doha to meet Emir of Qatar and Meshaal” [Reuters] — “Qatar threatened to expel Mashaal if he agreed to Egypt deal” [ToI] — Hamas fired rockets at off-shore Israeli gas well [Reuters]

EXTREME MAKEOVER [PRO] ISRAEL EDITION: “The ‘Pro-Israel’ tagline, in need of a makeover” by Sara Greenberg: “When is the last time you heard someone self-identify as “pro-Greece,” “pro-Canada,” or “pro-Brazil”? While it is possible, and common, to hear people describe themselves as pro-democracy, pro-human rights, pro-[INSERT HERE ANY CAUSE OR MOVEMENT], it is unusual to hear someone say he or she is “pro” a specific country. People are from a country, people support a country, people can be “pro” or “anti” the current government of a country. However, once a nation state exists, it is almost unheard of to be “pro” or “anti” that state’s existence. Unless that state – a state representing 0.01% of the world’s population – is Israel.”

“Being “pro-Israel” does not mean that you are anti-Palestinian. The majority of Israelis continue to favor a two-state solution and Israel’s goal remains, after ensuring security for its people, to live peacefully with its neighbors… To attend one of these “pro-Israel” rallies [this summer] was not to be “anti-Palestinian.” It’s not a choice between Israel and the Palestinians, at least in the “pro-Israel” camp… Unfortunately the same cannot be said about the “pro-Palestine” movement… On today’s university campus, where the current of universalism flows, it is important to expose labels for what they really are. It is important to explain that being “pro-Israel” does not mean that you are choosing sides. Instead, to support Israel is to be “pro-peace,” “pro-democracy,” and “pro-human rights.” The “pro-Israel” community cannot control the messaging and activity of the “anti-Israel” community. But it can control its own. Perhaps the “pro-Israel” label should go. After all, Israel is a country, not a cause.” [ToI]

Manhattan borough president shows solidarity with Israel visit: In a show of solidarity following weeks of war, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer flew to Israel on Tuesday for a two-day visit to express her and her constituents’ overwhelming support for the nation during and after Operation Protective Edge. The trip, arranged in coordination with the West Side COJO, and Face of Israel, includes meetings with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Bank of Israel Dep.- Gov. Dr. Nadine Baudot-Trajtenberg, representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office and wounded soldiers.” [JPost]

FIRST LOOK: “The Orthodox Hit Squad” by Matthew Shaer in the September issue of GQ Magazine: “Under Jewish law, a woman who wants out of her marriage can’t just call 1-800-DIVORCE. The man has to initiate. And sometimes he needs a little… persuasion. Maybe a visit from henchmen with cattle prods. Or the old Taser-to-the-balls trick. After a few hours of this kind of torture, the stubborn husband will sign pretty much anything. One powerful rabbi (yes, a rabbi!) has allegedly employed this system for decades, operating with total impunity—until now” [Available at NewsStands]

**Good Wednesday 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**

BUSINESS BRIEFS“Delek extends Phoenix sale deadline 45 days: The Gaza operation delayed the arrival of Jared Kushner in Israel” [Globes] — Steve Ballmer Exits Microsoft’s Board As He Shifts Focus To NBA [Bloomberg] — “Paul Singer’s Argentine money trail leads to Madison Avenue” [NYPost] — “Al Jazeera Calls Al Gore Lawsuit ‘Ordinary Commercial Dispute'” [WSJ] — “PCMR and Talisker seem to be wide apart in bond numbers” [ParkRecord] — “Sam Zell, Ex-Partner Face Off in Emerging Markets” [WSJ] — “Azrieli Group transfers control to kin of David Azrieli” [Reuters]
SPORTS BLINK: “Glazers rule out selling Manchester United for at least five years” by Jamie Jackson: “The Glazers have no plans to sell Manchester United in the near future, with the club’s controversial American owners determined to be in place for at least the next five years. The news will not be well received by those supporters who harbour on-going discontent at the family’s ownership model, which heaped around £700m of debt on to the club when Malcolm Glazer bought it in 2005.”[TheGuardian] — “Harvard Wall Streeters Buy Minor-League Dragons for $40 Million” [Bloomberg]
Op-Eds: David Horwitz: “Cynical, Israel-loathing Hamas cannot be easily deterred” [ToI] — Barak Ravid: “As Gaza truce talks fail, Israel must turn to UN” [Haaretz] — Jeff Robbins: “The U.N.’s Gaza probe rotten to core” [BostonHerald] — Shai Franklin: “Andrew Cuomo’s Visit to Israel barely qualifies as his first “overseas” trip” [JP] — Ezra Friedlander: “As Governor of the State of New York, Cuomo’s visit is symbolic” [YWN] — Chemi Shalev: “American Jewish leaders fiddle while Israeli democracy burns” [Haaretz]
BOOK EXCERPT: How Nixon Saved the State of Israel by Roger Stone: “Nixon would play a pivotal role in protecting the Jewish state. He recognized that the defeat of Israel was unthinkable for U.S. interests. Nixon went to Congress to request authorization for emergency aid for Israel despite the Gulf States announcing a price increase of 70 percent in the wake of the Arab assault. After Nixon went to Congress for authorization, the Gulf States responded vigorously, announcing a total boycott of the United States, causing the oil shock of 1973.The Gulf States’ retaliation entrenched the opposition of many who had fought to slow (Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Kissinger) or halt (Secretary of Defense Schlesinger) the shipment of weapons to the Israelis. Nixon hit the roof when he learned that Kissinger was delaying the airlift because of a concern that it would offend the Russians… Over the course of the airlift 567 missions were flown, delivering more than 22,000 tons of supplies, and an additional 90,000 tons were delivered to Israel by sea. Later in her life, Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir would admit that upon hearing of the airlift during a cabinet meeting, she began to cry..”

— Actions Matter: After Nixon saved Israel with U.S. aid in the Yom Kippur War, Chaim Herzog, Israel’s sixth president, said this of Nixon’s ugly comments about Jews revealed in the White House tapes: “He supplied arms and unflinching support when our very existence would have been in danger without them. Let his comments be set against his actions. His words may have raised eyebrows but not his actions. And I’ll choose actions over words any day of the week.” In 1972, Yitzhak Rabin, then serving as Israel’s ambassador in Washington, was accused of taking sides in the U.S. election after saying in an Israeli radio interview that no president in American history had been more committed to Israel’s security than Nixon…” [Free Beacon]

VIRAL: “Instagram Sensation ‘Fat Jew’ Is Making Big Bucks With His Crazy Antics” by Nick Williams: “”Up until a year ago I was pretty much just getting paid to be an idiot,” says 30-year-old Josh Ostrovsky, better-known as comic and Instagram sensation The Fat Jew. These days, he’s an idiot with a very bright future… After amassing half a million Instagram followers — including Katy Perry and Snoop Dogg — by, say, posing with Jamie Foxx at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards in nothing but underwear and a robe, New York-based Ostrovsky has sold scripted TV shows to Comedy Central and Amazon and lined up a book deal. He is also fielding offers from brands willing to shell out up to $2,500 for product placement in his Instagram snaps or for him to make an appearance at their events.” [Billboard]

DESSERT: Jews Talk Up ‘Hummus’ Bucket Challenge: A 26-year-old IDF soldier, Corey Feldman, and two peers decided to eschew ice entirely and create the “Hamas vs. Hummus” challenge. In a video, three IDF soldiers in full uniform smear their faces with hummus, nominating others (and offering the option of donating to the Friends of the IDF charity instead, in case nominees are hummus averse). “Hamas is bad, hummus is good,” says one soldier astutely, his cheeks lathered beige. [JTA]

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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