Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Europeans Afraid Of Upsetting Hezbollah | How the AP scooped Nazi Social Security Payments | Stef Wertheimer’s Big Dreams

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TOP TALKER: “Even Israel’s Best Friends Understand That It Is Disconnecting From Reality” by Jeffrey Goldberg: “More proof, if more proof were needed, that there is a crisis in U.S.-Israel relations, and that the crisis goes deeper than simply the dysfunctional personal relationship between Prime Minister Netanyahu’s government and the Obama Administration (or between their colorful staffs): A lead editorial in The New York Jewish Week, the flagship American Jewish newspaper, center to center-right in orientation, with many thousands of Orthodox Jews among its readers and an ardently pro-Israel editorial line, bluntly asks whether the Israeli government has become unmoored from reality.” [TheAtlantic] • Ari Shavit: “What are they smoking in Jerusalem” [Haaretz]

WSJ EDITORIAL: “Obama Belittles Israel” – “This public show of condescension makes no sense for an Administration facing multiple Mideast crises and struggling to keep the friends it has. It makes even less sense if Mr. Obama strikes a nuclear deal with Iran next month. The White House has leaked that it intends to bypass Congress to conclude a deal, but it cannot unilaterally overturn sanctions passed by Congress. Broadcasting its dislike for the Jewish state won’t instill confidence in Congress and the public that such a deal won’t mortally threaten Israel.” [WSJ]

PREVIEW: U.S. Congress to revisit Islamic State war debate after election: “With the U.S.-led coalition increasing air strikes but no signs the militants have been weakened, Congress appears ready for a broader discussion on the operations than it was prepared to hold during the run-up to the election. The temporary authorization for President Barack Obama’s plan to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels – one element of the campaign – expires on Dec. 11, so lawmakers will have to take up that issue when they return from recess on Nov. 12.” [Reuters]

RISING TENSIONS IN JERUSALEM: Sec. Kerry sent his thoughts and prayers to the U.S. citizen shot outside the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem on Wednesday. Kerry expressed his “extreme concern” for rising tensions over the Temple Mount and calls for “restraint…in words and practice” from both sides. [State Department] • Temple Mount reopens, following the site’s closure by Israel. Muslim men under 50 will be barred from entry, as is common following such incidents, and Palestinian leaders are calling for protest. [NYTimes] • Daniel Gordis in Bloomberg asserts that “Blunder or not, the attack on an unarmed rabbi (who, though right wing, had advocated that Jews and Muslims pray together on the Temple Mount, a hugely significant site for both religions) in a supposedly safe place crossed an unspoken red line. ” [Bloomberg] • Info-graph — A Closer Look at the Area in Jerusalem that was closed [NY Times]

IRAN TALKS — Iran Foils Sabotage Attempt on Heavy Water Tanks: “The independent Arman daily quoted Asghar Zarean, deputy head of Iran’s nuclear department, as saying that Iranian nuclear experts thwarted the sabotage attempt “in recent weeks” but did not provide a more specific timing. “Thanks to the full alertness of our colleagues, we were able to detect and defuse the sabotage attempt,” said Zarean, who is also in charge of security at Iran’s nuclear agency. An unidentified foreign country was behind the attempt, Zarean added without elaborating. He did not indicate what kind of result the sabotage meant to achieve. Heavy water is not radioactive but it is essential in both reactors that generate power and in those used in manufacturing nuclear weapons. Iran has only one known heavy water reactor, in the central city of Arak, which is still under construction.” [AP]

David Ignatius: An Iranian who could balance Tehran’s factions?: “Shamkhani’s rise is noteworthy because he appears to bridge the radical and moderate camps at a time when opinion in Iran is divided about a nuclear deal. Khamenei will have to bless any agreement made by Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif. “In contrast to Iranian foreign ministry officials, Shamkhani is a former Revolutionary Guard [IRGC] commander who has the clout to challenge his former comrades,” says Karim Sadjadpour, a leading Iran expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A European intelligence official agrees that Shamkhani may be “an honest broker” between Rouhani and Khamenei.”[WashPost] • Related: Lawmakers Recoil Over U.S. Détente with Iran, Distance From Israel[WSJ]

Europeans, not the Lebanese, raise questions about Hezbollah sanctions that passed the House in July: “The EU has been reluctant to break ties with the Shiite militia — it labeled Hezbollah’s so-called military wing a terrorist organization only last year under rising US pressure — and has not blacklisted the group’s bank accounts and assets. Countries such as France insist on maintaining open channels with the most powerful political force in Lebanon, while critics say European nations are afraid of blowback if they blacklist Hezbollah.” [AI Monitor]

SCENE LAST NIGHT:  The Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel (ECYP) honored House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer last evening at the Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore. The elite two-year leadership fellowship brings Baltimore high school students to Israel for four weeks in the summer where fellows are paired with Israeli teens to further historic African-American and Jewish bonds. Hoyer spoke of those bonds during much of his speech. “I say this all the time, without the Jewish community the civil rights movement would not have been succesful.”.. “No community in America upholds the values of America better than the Jewish community. America is better because of your involvement, leadership and commitment. Just as a quorum of 10 are needed for Jewish prayer, we cannot repair the world without working together.” ECYP was created in 1998 as a joint effort between Congressman Cummings and the Baltimore Jewish Council.

HAPPENING TODAY:  At 10:30 AM, the Brookings Institution hosts IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano for a discussion on the “Challenges in Nuclear Verification: The IAEA’s Role on the Iranian Nuclear Issue” [Livestream] • At 12:30 PM, the Washington Institute hosts a policy forum with Ruth Gavinson and Stuart Eizenstat to discuss “Jewish and Democratic: Implications of Israel’s Self-Description, at Home and Abroad.” [Livestream] • At 4:00 PM, Under Secretary Sherman meets with IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano, at the Department of State [State Department]

HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND: Aipac’s National Summit convenes this weekend in Dallas, Texas. Speakers include Hall of Fame Quarterback and Honorary National Summit Co-Chair Roger Staubach, Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin, Elliot Abrams, Avi Dichter, Michael Doran, Robert Ford, Yossi Klein Halevi, Ann Lewis, Eric Lynn, Dennis Ross, Bret Stephens, Einat Wilf, Rep. Joe Barton, Rep. Kay Granger, Rep. Gene Green, Rep. Pete Sessions, and Rep. Marc Veasey.

**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**

SAUSAGE MAKING: “How the AP busted Nazi suspects receiving Social Security payments”: “After three years of on-again-off-again investigation, David Rising finally sighted his quarry this summer. He was a small man, bespectacled and balding, peering over a second-story window ledge to survey his surroundings. Rising, a Berlin correspondent for The Associated Press, had traveled a long way to see this man — all the way to Osijek, a mid-size city in Croatia nestled along the banks of the Drava River. The man, Jakob Denzinger, was one of the last living subjects of a story the AP had been chipping away at for years, a story about a decades-old policy that connected American taxpayers to individuals suspected of Nazi war crimes… The tale behind the investigation — a ponderous project that required three reporters spread out over two continents — gives a look at how the AP is leveraging its year-old international investigative team and its global network of correspondents to bring ambitious stories to term.” [Poynter

PALACE INTRIGUE: “Olmert told police: Zaken turned against me because she was paid off by Sheldon Adelson” – Olmert charged that what finally made Zaken turn against him was that another businessman who opposed Olmert’s politics offered her more money. “I’m convinced she found someone to finance her,” he said. “Think for yourselves about who’s capable of financing her, someone who wants to hurt me politically.” The interrogator asked if he was referring to Jewish American casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. “You said it,” Olmert replied. “Is he making that newspaper for $150 million for no reason? Now he’s invested much less to eliminate the possibility that this prime minister [Olmert] will return to the political arena.”.. Adelson’s local representative, Dan Raviv, responded, “Sheldon Adelson knows how to appreciate a good joke, but this is a false, malicious and stupid joke … No such thing ever happened.” [Haaretz]

2016 WATCH: First presidential debate announced: “The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation announced on Thursday that it will invite GOP presidential candidates to attend a televised debate at California’s Reagan Library in September 2015.” [AP] • Hillary Clinton network to meet for strategy session [Politico]

DOWN-TICKET: “With the formalities of a lightly contested election almost out of the way, the stage is all but set for the arrival of the most anticipated political newcomer in recent Texas history. The George P. Bush era appears ready to begin. About a quarter-century after first speaking at the Republican National Convention, and two years after filing paperwork to run for a then-unspecified state position, the 38-year-old grandson and nephew of presidents is expected to easily be elected land commissioner Tuesday…Fred Zeidman, a family friend whose son Jay serves as George P.’s finance director, confirmed Bush chose to run for land commissioner because the incumbent was leaving. “Is he uniquely qualified for land commissioner? I think he’s uniquely qualified for public service, and I think this was a position that was open and available,” Zeidman said. “He was being respectful and carefully chose a position that will maintain the integrity of the statewide party.” [Houston Chronicle]

Tone of a House Race in Connecticut Between Ivy League Alumni Turns Nasty: “Mr. Greenberg resisted Mr. Rowland’s overtures and was never charged with wrongdoing. Yet Ms. Esty rarely misses a chance to demand that Mr. Greenberg “come clean” about his ties to the disgraced governor..The bulk of the research dwells on lawsuits filed against Mr. Greenberg or affiliates in his real estate business.The dossier also states that Mr. Greenberg “identifies as Jewish,” a remark he found offensive, especially paired with its repeated assertions that he was a “shady” landlord. As a real estate investor, Mr. Greenberg has amassed a large portfolio of properties in New York and Connecticut, ranging from Manhattan co-ops to suburban shopping centers.” [NY Times]

Mike Bloomberg & Shimon Peres snagged a photo today. Bloomberg’s Instagram caption? “My friend Shimon Peres asked my advice about retiring today. I told him just one word: Don’t.”[Instagram]

FORBES: “Israeli Billionaire Wants to Make A Religion Out of Industry in the Middle East” by Robert Lenzner: “The sturdy 88 year old Israeli industrialist, Stef Wertheimer, became a billionaires due to a combination of his warrior drive and a passionate dream of turning agrarian Israel into a world-class industrial power. Now that Iscar, the company Wertheimer founded in the early 1950s and today the globe’s second largest producer of metal-cutting tools belongs to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway at a total cost of $5 billion, Wertheimer spends about 110 percent of his time promoting his personal idealistic vision of Zionism– turning desert into industrial plant and making sure that Palestinian entrepreneurs and unemployed poorer citizens share in the future business of Israel. Wertheimer was in New York this week to underscore the frustrations he has met in scoring his dream big-time.” [Forbes] • “The Israeli who built a $9 billion empire in the jungles of Brazil” [Haaretz]

STARTUP NATION: Tensions Aside, U.S. Department of Defense to award Israeli start-up with $100K [ToI] • Israeli Startups Need Incentive to Stay Home, Seroussi Says [Businessweek]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Teva is optimistic that U.S. top court to rule in favor of MS drug patent [Reuters] • Haunted? Galbut’s South Shore Hospital and 4 other vacant buildings “cast a scary shadow across South Florida” [Miami Herald] •Israeli-American bank owner richest woman in the Middle East [i24] • Profit of Leon Black-led Apollo plunges on weakness in private equity [NY Times]

TOP OPS: Liel Leibovitz – “We Owe Ruby Rivlin an Apology: Israel’s new president was considered by most in the media to be a hardliner. How did so many get it so wrong for so long?” [Tablet] • Tad Toube: The Legacy That Polish Jews Deserve [WSJ] • Roger Cohen: An Old Man in Prague — The Discretion of Nicholas Winton: “A London stockbroker, born into a family of German Jewish immigrants who had changed their name from Wertheim and converted to Christianity, he rescued 669 children, most of them Jews, from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia in 1939.” [NYTimes]

NYPOST HEADLINE — “White Jew Tries To Apply For Fellowship For Minority Journalists”: “Freelance journalist Evan Gahr, who is white and Jewish, is trying to apply for an $85,000 one-year investigative journalism fellowship run by BuzzFeed and the Columbia Journalism School seeking to find “journalists of color and other diverse backgrounds.” Gahr said that at one point he e-mailed BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith and offered to start visiting a tanning salon so he might qualify. In his last brief phone conversation with Smith, he said Smith simply hung up the phone.” [NYPost]

SPORTS BLINK: Israeli coach Blatt falls in NBA debut [TOI] • Josh Harris, Sixers and Devils ownership groups close to adding soccer to their portfolio per report [NJ]

HOLLYWOOD: Seth Rogen to Play Apple Co-Founder Wozniak in Steve Jobs Biopic [Variety]

—Jon Stewart confirms ‘Meet the Press’ job offer [Politico]

DESSERT: Bar Bolonat Offers an Irreverent Take on Israeli Food [WSJ]

BIRTHDAYS: Pencils of Promise Founder Adam Braun turns 31.

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**

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