Daily Kickoff: From Bibi to Biden, yesterday was a busy one for Jewish leaders | Rand Paul is “trying to dance at two weddings” | Nats on Yom Kippur
DRIVING THE DAY: At 11:35 AM, President Obama meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu at the White House. Secretary Kerry will join the meeting. “Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit is a demonstration of the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel, and our close consultations on a range of regional issues,” says the White House schedule.
Pick Your Preview: Rebecca Shimoni Stoil – “A surprisingly gentle run-up to the Netanyahu-Obama meeting” [ToI] • Chemi Shalev – “Obama looks forward to chat with Netanyahu with all the eagerness of a dentist’s appointment” [Haaretz]
Why is this year different from all other…? “The biggest change this year, Mr. Netanyahu noted in his speech last week to the United Nations General Assembly, is that Israel is now lined up with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states in its enmity for Iran and the Islamic State, often referred to as ISIS. That new alignment, he said, might provide a foundation for revived peace talks with the Palestinians. “To achieve that peace, we must look not only to Jerusalem and Ramallah, but also to Cairo, to Amman, Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and elsewhere,” Mr. Netanyahu said. On Wednesday, he will be able to test his ideas on a weary, preoccupied Mr. Obama.” [NYT]
SCENE LAST NIGHT: Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden hosted a large group of Jewish leaders, including many ‘Jewish Insiders’, at their Naval Observatory residence last evening for a poolside reception celebrating the Jewish community. Dr. Biden introduced her husband who began his 15 minute talk by thanking the many individuals in attendance without whom “I would not be living in this house today.” The Veep joked that perhaps he would have been a successful businessman instead. Throughout the speech, Biden addressed specific individuals in the crowd including the ADL’s Abe Foxman, U.S. Ambassador Dan Shapiro, and Rabbis Shemtov. “The Jewish community is always there and has always cared, more so than any other community.” The VP sought to reassure the crowd that, “although my guy gets beaten up from time to time…”, there is no one more committed to Israel’s security and to ensuring that Iran does not get nuclear weapons.
Heard: “It’s unfortunate, the world has some bad people, but we’ve actually gotten really good at sanctions” — Treasury Secretary Jack Lew telling top leaders concerned about loosening sanctions in a potential deal with Iran.
Spotted: Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, U.S. Amb. Dan Shapiro, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, Abe Foxman, Jeffrey Goldberg, Howard Kohr, Bob Cohen, Jonathan Kessler, Howard Friedman, Alan Solow, Jerry Silverman, William Daroff, Rabbi Steve Gutow, Sarah Arkin, Dor Shapira, Jacob Baime, Ezra Friedlander, Rabbi Abraham Shemtov, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Abba Cohen, Rabbi David Zweibel, David Makovsky, Nathan Diament, Allen Fagin, Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, Rabbi Bill Gershon, Tony Blinken, Jeremy Ben-Ami, Wayne Firestone, U.S. Trade Rep. Mike Froman, and White House Director of Outreach for the National Security Council Matt Nosanchuk.
Spotted: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, former Senator Joe Lieberman, Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer, Natan Sharansky, Malcolm Hoenlein, Robert Sugarman, Abe Foxman, Mort Zuckerman, Ronald Lauder, Amb. Ron Prosor, Richard Stone, Bob Cohen, Jerry Silverman, William Daroff, Josh Block, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Rabbi Rick Jacobs, David Lobl, Consul General Ido Aharoni, and Mort Klein.
Conspicuously Absent: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio. Apparently, others noticed as well and the Prime Minister and Mayor are now scheduled to meet sometime later this week.
Kornbluh Scoop: Netanyahu had dinner on Monday night with around 20 friends in Weehawken, New Jersey, among them Mort Zuckerman, Bob Rechnitz, and Professor Alan Dershowitz. [JP]
Dimon Pep Talk Consoles Eric Cantor on Way to Wall Street: “Eric Cantor sat in his Washington office in June after one of the biggest upsets in congressional history, getting encouragement from JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s Jamie Dimon, head of the largest U.S. bank. Dimon talked about being fired from another bank by his mentor before rebounding to an even better seat, according to two people who were there. He reassured the Virginia Republican that his career would be just fine, too. He was right. Cantor, 51, started this month as a managing director and vice chairman of New York-based investment bank Moelis & Co. (MC), where he’ll earn more than $3.4 million by the end of next year.” [Bloomberg]
2016 WATCH — RAND PAUL “DANCING AT TWO WEDDINGS” : “For months, Paul has carefully calibrated his public and private efforts to appeal to the Republican Party’s foreign policy elite… Yet he is headed to Greenville, N.C., to campaign Wednesday alongside Rep. Walter Jones, one of the most isolationist voices in the GOP, an outspoken antiwar lawmaker and a close friend of his father, Ron Paul… The same hawkish wing of the GOP that Paul has been methodically courting, or at least trying to assuage, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars earlier this year trying to depose Jones from office… ‘He’s trying to dance at two weddings, and I just don’t think it’s working,’ said Noah Pollak, executive director for the Emergency Committee for Israel, which spent more than $300,000 against Jones. ‘Rand is really caught in the middle.'” [NJ]
PROFILE: “Can Scott Walker Unite the Republicans?” by Robert Draper: “America’s most divisive governor is fighting for his political life in Wisconsin, deadlocked in one of the year’s most consequential races. If he loses, he’s just another casualty of Republican stubbornness. But if he pulls it out, he’ll become an instant contender for the White House—a guy who stokes the fire-breathers on the far-right while soothing the GOP establishment. Robert Draper goes on the trail with the man who has plans for turning America red (if he can only hold on to his job)” [GQ]
2016 WATCH — CHRIS CHRISTIE BLASTS OBAMA : “Likely 2016 presidential hopeful Chris Christie slammed President Barack Obama for a ’60 Minutes’ interview in which the president said the United States had underestimated the threat of the Islamic State in the Mideast, accusing the commander in chief of dodging responsibility. [Politico] • “President Obama is winning on a foreign policy issue — for a change” [WashPost]
CLINTON-SWAP: Last night, Hillary Clinton elected to skip a high-dollar fundraiser for democratic Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown hosted by David & June Trone and Jaime & Andrew Schwartzberg, sending Bill instead. [BaltSun]
2014 WATCH: Who’s in the lead for FL governor? They forgot to ask the Jews: “Two new polls conflict in the Florida governor’s race — a state Chamber of Commerce poll showing Republican Gov. Rick Scott with a narrow but statistically significant lead, and a SurveyUSA poll showing Democratic challenger and former Gov. Charlie Crist in the lead… Pollsters noted the outcome could have been influenced by the fact that the polling was done during the Jewish holy week, which could have affected whether voters were home to receive polling phone calls.” [TBO]
Deceased Congressman had active anti-Semitic ties: “According to one obituary, after his release from prison, [James] Traficant “lived a quiet life on his farm.” In reality, however, he was far from quiet. He was a regular columnist for the American Free Press (AFP), a conspiracy-oriented anti-Semitic newspaper, attended extremist events, and expressed anti-Semitic views… His strong support of Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk drew the approval of white supremacists and anti-Semites. Later, during his trial, Traficant sought to remove Jewish jurors, saying that “I have concern about certain political and religious organizations who have targeted me.” [ADL]
STARTUP NATION: “LifeBond Ltd ., an Israeli company in clinical trials with biocompatible devices for tissue repair, has raised around half of a $25 million Series D to further develop its products, the company said. The funding was provided by existing investors Pitango Venture Capital, Giza Venture Capital , Aurum Ventures MKI, GlenRock Israel and former Omrix Biopharmaceuticals Chief Executive Robert Taub” [PEVC] • “Wix, which offers a user-friendly DIY platform for setting up websites, today announced the opening of a new development center in the Beersheva high tech park.” [Globes]
STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: Brothers David & Alan Tisch’s App at 6 Weeks: The “most hyped about fashion app ever,” Spring, is doing quite well 6 weeks in. “Raising $7.5 million in capital from backers like Group Arnault, Proenza Schouler CEO Shirley Cook, Google Ventures and Theory’s Andrew Rosen, it also had the early support of some of the fashion and tech industries’ biggest players.” [Fashionista]
REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Jared Kushner’s addition of six lavish penthouses on top of the Puck Building is looking like a success so far with the first one selling for $28 million before any of the units had even been listed publicly. Now, another of the Puck Penthouses has hit the market asking $35.1 million, and a third — the smallest of the penthouses at 4,895-square-feet and the first one to be listed back in January — has returned with its price increased from $21 million to $22 million.” [Curbed] • “Lichtenstein’s Lightstone turns hefty profit on sale of Fulton St. site” [RealDeal] • “With Nationals in full swing, Lerner makes his pitch for the FBI at Landover” [WP]
SPORTS BLINK: “How Jewish fans and rabbis reacted to the Nats’ Yom Kippur game times” by Dan Steinberg: “A certain segment of Jewish Nats fans has been worried about the Yom Kippur issue for week: How would the holiest holiday on the Jewish calendar intersect with first two games of Washington’s NLDS? For most Jewish fans, the choice will be pretty clear: If you want to go to a 3:07 game, you’re not going to make it to services on time. And if you want to follow Yom Kippur in a traditional fashion, the Saturday game is also likely out.” [WashPost]
YOM KIPPUR, DAY OF BIKES: “It’s Yom Kippur, the holiest day on the Jewish calendar, and even in largely secular Tel Aviv, everyone stays off the roads out of respect for the day’s sanctity. Everyone, that is, except cyclists, for whom Yom Kippur has come to represent another kind of day: the day of the bike. Indeed, when Yom Kippur begins at sundown on Friday, the city will be swarmed with bikers, whizzing through the city’s hushed streets.” [NYT]
NFL: Chiefs safety Husain Abdullah should not have been penalized: “Abdullah, a Muslim who sat out the 2012 season to go on a pilgrimage, told reporters after the game he believed he was flagged for first sliding to his knees – not performing the Sajdah, a religious prostration. But the NFL moved quickly to clarify the situation. “Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1 (d) states ‘players are prohibited from engaging in any celebrations or demonstrations while on the ground.’ However, the officiating mechanic in this situation is not to flag a player who goes to the ground as part of religious expression, and as a result, there should have been no penalty on the play.” [USA Today]
DESSERT: “How did 12-year-old Eitan Bernath of Teaneck come to be on the Food Network’s popular cooking show ‘Chopped’? For Eitan, a student at Yavneh Academy in Paramus, cooking is more than just a hobby. Struggling for the right word, the fledgling chef — whose website, cookwithchefeitan.com, will launch this week — described his relationship with the culinary arts as a ‘passion.'” [NJJS]
Masbia included in list of “7 groups making communities more compassionate” – “Masbia serves up dignity with dinner to hundreds of hungry New Yorkers every day. Instead of long lines and a tedious intake process, diners at this soup kitchen are greeted by a friendly host and ushered to a private table for a delicious three-course kosher meal… “It’s a restaurant with no cash register,” says executive director Alexander Rapaport. When Rapaport began Masbia, his goal was to provide kosher food in a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. “Doing it with dignity means people will come,” he says, and he’s right. Every day, more than 500 people come to Masbia’s three locations. This year alone, the growing organization expects to serve more than 1 million meals.” [CSMonitor]