Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Schneider, Dold are two slices of same challah on Israel | Candidate Threatens Jewish Paper | HBO’s Oliver on Ford’s Jewish Outreach

DRIVING THE DAY: “Netanyahu rebuffs U.S. criticism of Jerusalem construction as ‘disconnected from reality’: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday fervently rejected American and European criticism of his decision to advance plans for 1,060 new housing units in Jewish neighborhoods across the Green Line in Jerusalem. Netanyahu called the condemnations voiced by the international community “statements disconnected from reality, “I’ve heard claims that our construction in Jewish neighborhoods in Jerusalem distance peace,” Netanyahu said, referring to the U.S. State Department’s remarks a day earlier that such actions were “incompatible” with peace.” [Haaretz]

Obama Admin — Palestinians Who Throw Molotov Cocktails at Israelis Are Not Terrorists:“At a State Department briefing yesterday, AP reporter Matt Lee asked spokeswoman Jen Psaki whether it is appropriate to offer deepest condolences to the family of someone killed while attempting to carry out an attack on civilians. “There are reports … that [the Palestinian teenager] was throwing Molotov cocktails at cars on a highway, and I’m wondering, if that is the case, would you still have been so speedy in putting out a statement and offering your condolences to the family?” asked Lee. “The argument that is being made by some in Israel is that this kid was essentially a terrorist, and you don’t agree with that, I assume,” Lee continued. “Correct, we don’t,” replied Psaki. Lee then asked whether the fact that the teenager was buried wearing a Hamas headband was “of concern at all.” Psaki replied, “I just don’t have any more on this particular case.” [State DepartmentFree Beacon] • Molotov cocktails thrown at police in Jerusalem [Times of Israel]

TOP-OP: “Bibi and Barack on the Rocks: The White House’s resort to petty insults risks a strategic relationship” by Bret Stephens: “The real problem for the administration is that the Israelis—along with all the other disappointed allies—are learning how little it pays to be on Barack Obama’s good side. Since coming to office in 2009, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has agreed, against his own inclination and over the objections of his political base, to (1) recognize a Palestinian state; (2) enforce an unprecedented 10-month settlement freeze; (3) release scores of Palestinian prisoners held on murder charges; (4) embark on an ill-starred effort to reach a final peace deal with the Palestinians; (5) refrain from taking overt military steps against Iran; and (6) agree to every possible cease-fire during the summer’s war with Hamas.

In exchange, Mr. Kerry publicly blamed Israel for the failure of the peace effort, the White House held up the delivery of munitions at the height of the Gaza war, and Mr. Obama is hellbent on striking whatever deal the Iranians can plausibly offer him. Oh, and Mr. Kerry also attributes the rise of Islamic State to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Maybe if the Israelis grovel a bit more, Mr. Obama will oblige them by recognizing a Palestinian state as his parting act as president. Don’t discount the possibility… It’s time for some time away. Israel needs to look after its own immediate interests without the incessant interventions of an overbearing partner. The administration needs to learn that it had better act like a friend if it wants to keep a friend. It isn’t as if it has many friends left.” [WSJ]

THEORY: “The Obama administration’s decision to snub Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon by denying him meetings with top American officials may have had one more purpose beside wanting to punish him for his harsh criticism of Secretary of State John Kerry: to weaken him politically at home.”[TheCable]

Meanwhile, “Israel to buy 25 more F-35 Lockheed stealth fighters” according to Reuters:“Israel plans to buy a second batch of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter jets, bringing the total number it has on order to about 44, Israeli defence sources said on Tuesday. Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon, visiting the United States last week, placed a preliminary order for about 25 more F-35s, defence sources said without elaborating on the cost.” [Reuters]

—Washington Post: “Lebanon’s once-mighty Hezbollah is facing attacks in Syria—and also at home” – “Hezbollah has won grudging respect, even from some foes, for its tenacious guerrilla campaigns against Israel. But now Lebanon’s most powerful military organization is losing its aura of invincibility.” [WashPost]

IRAN TALKS: “Endgame for Iran nuclear talks” by Laura Rozen [Al-Monitor] • Filmmakers Clash as Rouhani Agenda Leaves Nation Divided: “At the heart of the discord between Ebrahim Hatamikia, a household name in Iran, and Abbas Kiarostami, whose films have won global recognition, is the cinematic portrayal of the 1980s war with Iraq. Hidden in the acrimonious exchanges is a tussle between those who stand by the tenets of the Islamic Republic, and draw power from proximity to the clerical establishment, and proponents of a more open, liberal Iran. Their clash symbolizes “a type of free-thinking versus the authoritative opinion of the state,” said Parviz Barati, an author of books on Iranian culture and commentator for the Shargh newspaper in Tehran. “The same friction we see between these two icons of cinema is visible within Iranian society.” [Bloomberg] • Human Rights in Iran Worsen, U.N. Investigator Says [NY Times]

2014 WATCH: “Schneider, Dold fighting for the Jewish vote in 10th District” by Lynn Sweet: “When it comes to supporting Israel, Rep. Brad Schneider, D-Ill., and his rival, former Rep. Bob Dold, R-Ill., hold positions so similar they are slices off the same loaf of challah. The two, in a rematch battle for the north suburban 10th Congressional District seat, are competing fiercely for the 11 percent or 12 percent of the likely voters in the district who are Jewish. So when Dr. Jill Biden on Monday headlined a women’s event for Schneider in the district, the campaign went for the double dip and selected as the venue Max and Benny’s, a haymish Northbrook deli known for its corned beef and kreplach.”

“Schneider, who also is for stronger Iran sanctions, made the point, “There will be a new administration in two years.” In an effort to shake Jewish support from Schneider, the National Republican Congressional Committee has been running a spot accusing “Schneider’s family” of investing in a mining company doing business with Iran. It was Schneider’s wife’s holding, and she sold the investment in 2013, when she found out about the Iran connection. That NRCC ad distorts the reality: On Israel, Schneider and Dold are slices off the same loaf of bread.” [SunTimes]

TORONTO MAYORAL: Toronto Elects John Tory as Mayor, Ending Four Years of Ford [Bloomberg] • Must Watch: HBO’s John Oliver on candidate Doug Ford’s attempts at Jewish outreach [JewishInsider]

**Good Tuesday 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**

Congressional Candidate and DA Threatens Local Jewish Newspaper: “On Friday, October 24, the Observer published an opinion piece by Ronn Torossian about Nassau County District Attorney and Congressional candidate Kathleen Rice’s scheduled appearance at the annual fundraiser for the Islamic Center of Long Island. The flyer listed on the center’s website advertises her as a speaker along with controversial Imam Siraj Wahhaj. As an unindicted conspirator in the 1993 WTC Attack and an avowed supporter of polygamy, Imam Wahhaj was an uncomfortable adjacency for a candidate who has made women’s issues a centerpiece of her campaign and whose district is home to many whose lives were affected by both World Trade Center attacks.”

“Shams Tarek, director of communications for DA Rice, contacted the Observer on Friday evening seeking an update to the story, explaining that Ms. Rice had only learned of Imam Wahhaj’s appearance from the Observer story… Meanwhile, several other news sources picked up the story, including the largest Long Island Jewish newspaper, 5 Towns Jewish Times, according to its editor Larry Gordon. The paper posted a few paragraphs from the Observer story and a link without adding any additional commentary of its own. By Saturday morning, Mr. Gordon had received an email from the DA’s communications staff claiming the piece was “totally false and needed to come down.”… Ultimately, Mr. Gordon capitulated to pressure from the DA’s office and removed the article link on 5 Town’s website, telling the Observer, “I don’t want to be the news. I want to report the news.” [Observer]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Ronald Perelman’s Scientific Games To Put Off Bridge Loan Sale [Businessweek] • Brazilian billionaires Jose Luis Cutrale and Joseph Safra snapped up US banana giant Chiquita, trumping its merger plan with Ireland’s Fyffes [AFP]

STARTUP NATION: Why Israel’s Waze is so incredibly popular in Costa Rica [WashPost] • Silicon Valley JCC calls on Israeli firms to give it a shot [Haaretz] • Startups raised more than $700m in 2014’s third quarter despite Gaza war [Haaretz] • Israel’s Matomy to buy Austria’s MobFox for $17.6 Million [WSJ]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: Moinian Group eyes $500M bond issue in Tel Aviv [The Real Deal] • Morgans Hotel Group battles Sapir group and others to hold on to Mondrian Soho [The Real Deal] • David Werner closes on Mobil Building leasehold for $855M [The Real Deal] • Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs’ Gramercy Park Hotel is up for grabs [Crain’s]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “In the Midst of Uncertainty for American Judaism, Three New Austin Rabbis Have Plans to Preserve It” [Read the Horn]

HOLLYWOOD — Jewish Shia LaBeouf Converts to Christianity with Brad Pitt’s Help After ‘Finding God’ Filming Fury: In a tell-all conversation with Interview Magazine, the star said he decided to reject Judaism and become a Christian while playing a devout Christian character on the set of his new movie, out this year… LaBeouf, who climbed to the top of the Hollywood A-List for his role in Transformers, told Interview Magazine that Fury director David Ayer and co-star Brad Pitt helped him through the conversion process. He had previously identified as being Jewish, having been born to a Jewish mother, and he had a Bar Mitzvah age 13. When contributing to a book entitled I am Jewish in 2004, the actor said it was “beneficial to be Jewish” and that he had a “personal relationship with God that happens to work within the confines of Judaism.” [International Business Times]

DESSERT: Daniel Schapiro Honors Family Name With ‘Sederade’ [ShalomLife]

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**