Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: David Greenfield Profile | Ghermezian’s AppBoy raises $15M | Ellison to host Rand | 1 NFL & 1 NBA player to take day off for Yom Kippur

TOP TWEET: “Really interesting, President Obama was quick to shut down flights to Isreal [sic] but is totally unwilling to shut down flights from West Africa!” — @realDonaldTrump

THE REALITY OF CIVILIAN CASUALTIES: Alan Dershowitz on the Obama administration’s latest change of tune: “When Israel acted in self-defense this summer against Hamas rocket and tunnel attacks, the Obama administration criticized the Israeli army for ‘not doing enough’ to reduce civilian casualties. When pressed about what more Israel could do—especially when Hamas fired its rockets and dug its terror tunnels in densely populated areas, deliberately using humans as shields—the Obama administration declined to provide specifics. Now the Obama administration has exempted itself from its own ‘near certainty’ standard in its attacks against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. In a statement on Sept. 30 responding to questions by Michael Isikoff at Yahoo News, the administration said that in fighting Islamic State, also known as ISIS, the U.S. military can no longer comply with Mr. Obama’s vow last year to observe ‘the highest standard we can meet.'” [WSJ]

WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING: Around 2:30 AM EST, Netanyahu’s plane touched down in Tel Aviv. [h/t @BarakRavid]

NETANYAHU ACCEPTED PLAN FOR PALESTINIAN STATE: “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Israel Radio late Thursday that he had agreed to an American framework proposal whereby Israel would negotiate peace with the Palestinians on the basis of the ’67 cease-fire lines with territorial swaps. The framework, which was drawn up by US Secretary of State John Kerry as part of Washington’s efforts to re-start the stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, was not presented after negotiations broke down. Both sides accused one another of sabotaging the nine-month talks with unilateral steps.” Switching stations and topics, Netanyahu told NPR “that Hamas (the Palestinian militant group on Israel’s doorstep) is as bad as ISIS (not much farther away) and that Iran is the gravest threat of all — Iran, the very country with which the United States, his most important ally, has been trying to make a nuclear deal. The prime minister highlighted one way he hopes to alleviate nearly all these problems. He hopes to bring Arab nations more forthrightly onto Israel’s side. Arab countries, he said, “no longer view Israel as an enemy but a potential partner.”” [JPost ; NPR]

—“Did Adelson Meeting Upset White House?” – “When asked by Israel Radio whether White House officials were angry that Netanyahu  met in New York with key Republican donor Sheldon Adelson, the premier said that he also met with many Jewish figures who are prominent donors to the Democratic Party as well and that there was no link between his Adelson meeting and the American reaction.” [ibid]

PROFILE — DAVID DOESN’T DO DINNER: “If New York City real estate developers want [Councilman] David Greenfield’s ear, they’ll have to make the trek downtown to City Hall. While developers often attempt to wine and dine the chair of the City Council’s Land Use Committee, they can expect the man who now holds that powerful position to decline most social invitations. ‘I’m not big on the socializing aspect,’ Greenfield said. ‘I’m concerned about what that leads to. I have an open-door policy, but that’s in my office.’ Greenfield said he spends about half of his workweek on land-use duties.”

“The 36-year-old Orthodox Jewish lawyer, who formerly practiced corporate law at Rosenman & Colin, considers himself politically moderate and, in the context of the committee, very much a middleman between conflicting interests. ‘He has to walk a very thin line between long-term solutions to affordable housing needs and the demands of the development community, because the latter is creating jobs,’ said Democratic strategist and lobbyist Hank Sheinkopf. ‘It’s not an easy time to be in that position.'”

“Although Greenfield is not Sephardic, he served as executive vice president of the Sephardic Community Federation and has ties to the local Sephardic community, many of whom are Syrian and involved in real estate. In his bid for City Council, he received donations from Aurora Capital’s Robert Cayre, Century 21 store owners the Gindi family and the Hidary family, which owns Hidrock Realty. A spokesperson for the Hidarys said the family contributed to Greenfield’s campaign because of his ‘commitment, hard work and devotion to his district in Brooklyn,’ noting that the donations occurred prior to his entry into the real estate world.” [TRD]

2016 WATCH: Larry Ellison To Host Republican Fundraiser With Rand Paul: “The $1,500-per-person NRSC fundraiser will be held in the former Oracle CEO’s California home, according to an invitation obtained by BuzzFeed News, and will also be attended by Sen. Orrin Hatch and Rep. Steve Daines. Hosts must give $32,400 and co-hosts must contribute $15,000.” [BuzzFeed]

IRAN TALKS: U.S. House members press Kerry on nuclear talks with Iran: “Three hundred and fifty-four members – four-fifths – of the U.S. House of Representatives signed a letter pressing Secretary of State John Kerry to lean harder on Iran in talks over its nuclear program. The letter was released on Thursday after Israel warned Washington not to go easy on Tehran.” [Reuters] — Jeremy Bernstein on “The Simple Math of an Iranian Nuclear Bomb” [TabletMag]

ONE WRONG VOTE: Nathan Guttman on the quick and forceful reaction of the pro-Israel community to Congressman Beto O’Rourke voting against increased Iron Dome funding this summer: “It took only one wrong vote to teach a freshman Democrat from Texas how sensitive, and even wrathful, the Jewish community can be when it comes to Israel.” [Forward]

**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**

DEEP DIVE: Why Is Government Seeking To Kill United Against Nuclear Iran Lawsuit? – “In September the Justice Department under President Obama disclosed that another nongovernmental lobbying group had somehow gained possession of highly sensitive, classified information. But in this case the government is protecting United Against Nuclear Iran, a group that has worked closely with the Jewish community, by moving to quash a private civil suit against it. The Justice Department is doing so on the grounds that trying the case will reveal the secret information in UANI’s possession. But legal experts observing the case are riveted by the unprecedented nature of the government’s intervention.” [Forward]

TOP TALKER – PANETTA SLAMS OBAMA: “The President’s White House staff was controlling, insular, and often ignored the advice of its senior national security officials, former Defense Secretary and CIA Director Leon Panetta charges in his yet-to-be-released memoir. The result, Panetta says: botched U.S. policies from Syria to Iraq to Afghanistan. Panetta — whose new book, Worthy Choices, is set to be released Oct. 7 — is particularly tough on his former boss on the issue of Syria. President Obama had called the use of chemical weapons there a “red line.” So when the Syrian military used chemical weapons in August 2013 to kill an estimated 1,400 people, Obama decided to strike. But then the President abruptly reversed himself — without consulting his national security Cabinet members.” [DailyBeast]

LONG-READ: “In a wide ranging interview, Ruth Bader Ginsburg talks about her popularity on Tumblr, Jazzercise — and oh yes, the future of democracy.” [NewRepublic]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “App optimization company Appboy Inc. has raised $15 million in a round that reflects investors’ enthusiasm for mobile-marketing services. The New York-based startup allows marketers to gather data about their app users and then, based on usage and spending patterns, find better ways to engage them. Appboy Chief Executive and co-founder Mark Ghermezian said investor enthusiasm for his New York-based startup was high.” [WSJ]

BUSINESS BRIEF: “When the Rockefeller family announced in September that their charitable foundation would sell off all its would sell off fossil fuel assets, the heirs to America’s quintessential oil baron added major heft to a growing divestment campaign. That campaign could stumble in the Jewish community, where the largest family foundation has deep, ongoing ties to fossil fuel extraction. Lynn and Stacy Schusterman aren’t quite Rockefellers, but their charitable foundation is larger than the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, and their wealth is just as rooted in oil. The family is extensively involved in hydraulic fracturing and in deepwater drilling, two particularly controversial and risky oil and gas extraction techniques.” [Forward]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “After the housing market tanked, real estate investors began snapping up foreclosures at bargain prices, betting they could rent them for a tidy profit and sell them when the market recovered. But not David Lichtenstein, 53. He went after the land, convinced it would yield better returns for his New York firm, the Lightstone Group, a privately-held real estate company he founded in 1988.” [WP] • “Real estate impresario Michael Shvo, who embodied the excess of the last real estate boom, burst onto the development scene last spring with three high-profile projects in Manhattan. The move was something of a departure for the 42-year-old Israeli émigré, who famously ascended the ranks at Douglas Elliman (logging $300 million in sales as the firm’s top-producing broker in 2003 after only four years in the business), before notoriously parting ways with the brokerage to start the Shvo Group in 2004. ” [TRD]  • “The Wilfs, a family of real estate barons from New Jersey, offer an excellent example of that rarefied subspecies known as the 21st-century N.F.L. owner.” [NYT]

REAL DEAL JOINS BUSINESSWEEK WITH A BARNETT PROFILE OF THEIR OWN: “Barnett, who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish community on the Lower East Side and is the son of a prominent Talmud scholar, said that part of the reason that he has been so vocal on the poor door is that he wants people to understand why the separate entrances are being used. ‘We’re not in the business of discriminating against people’, he said. ‘We never have and we never will be.’ Not only are separate entrances mandated, they also help investors breathe easier, Barnett said.”… “We’ve been lucky,” Barnett said of his successes. Now though, faced with soaring land costs, Extell is becoming more cautious, he said. Still, the company is at the mercy of the market, and Barnett is praying that its strength continues. “This Rosh Hashanah,” he said, “we will be davening.” [TRD]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Yom Kippur, which begins Friday at sunset, is the most important date on the Jewish calendar. So in advance of the High Holy Day service, rabbis around the world sometimes pick each other’s brains to make sure they deliver on the year’s most important sermon. The rabbis in the Hecht family have an advantage: They have more than 125 brains to pick. The Rabbis Hecht serve as pulpit rabbis, run schools and head charities. There’s a scribe in the bunch, and a shohet, a ritual slaughterer. All are members of Chabad, the Hasidic movement famous for its outreach efforts on the streets of Manhattan, the hills of Nepal and any place with a Jew in between. Likewise, Hechts span the globe—hosting Sabbath dinners each week from Hanoi to the Rio Grande Valley—though the majority live in the New York area, where they have been for six generations.” [WSJ] • “The Yom Kippur fast may start Friday at sundown, but New York Jews have been salivating about their Saturday night break-fast meals for weeks.” [NYPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN: A Brooklyn coffee shop owner is tired of Jews ruining his neighborhood with their “greed and dominance.” [Gawker]

SPORTS BLINK: “On Saturday, NBA player Gal Mekel will not be practicing with the Mavericks, who are in the beginning of training camp. At sundown on Friday to sundown Saturday, Mekel will take a day off to observe the holiest of Jewish holidays, Yom Kippur.” Geoff Schwartz, 340-pound New York Giants guard, is also fasting. [ST ; ESPN] • “Just “a Christian looking for a mitzvah” or is he trying a pull a “fast” one? A ticket-hungry Nationals fan is ladling out some guilt to try to get into this weekend’s playoff games: The stub-seeker is reminding local Jews to observe Yom Kippur and will be happy to attend in their stead — for the season-ticket-holder face value of $1, of course.” [NYPost]

DESSERT: “21 Things That Only Ever Happen On Yom Kippur” [BuzzFeed] • Meet Buzzfeed’s “22 Goyim who must be stopped.” [BuzzFeed]

That’s all folks; have a great day!
**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email  editor@jewishinsider.com**

Subscribe now to
the Daily Kickoff

The politics and business news you need to stay up to date, delivered daily in a must-read newsletter.