Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: AIPAC ‘Source’ Talks To Reuters | Hillary makes surprise appearance at Elie Wiesel event | Business Profiles: Dan Porter; David Werner

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IRAN TALKS: “Powerful U.S. pro-Israel lobby holds fire as Iran deadline looms”, by Matt Spetalnick & Patricia Zengerle: “As the United States and other powers negotiate down to the wire on a nuclear deal with Iran, one voice has been unusually quiet – the main pro-Israel lobby in Washington… They failed earlier this year in a full-scale push for further sanctions that the White House said would have derailed the talks. With growing signs that Monday’s deadline for an Iran deal may be extended, AIPAC is looking past these talks and weighing how to respond to the outcome amid a changing political environment in Washington. “There’s nothing to lobby for … until we see what’s addressed in Vienna,” said a source close to AIPAC. “But after that, the question is whether you’ll see an intense push to engage with Congress. It could be the lull before the storm.”

“AIPAC is likely to find the Republican-led Congress that takes office in January more receptive to tougher measures against Tehran and President Barack Obama less likely to have the votes to sustain a veto against fresh sanctions. AIPAC, which has about 100,000 members, is widely credited with helping to ensure that Israel remains a top recipient of U.S. foreign aid and is accustomed to seeing most congressional measures it favors pass almost unopposed. This summer it helped engineer a $225 million funding increase for Israel’s Iron Dome defense system to protect against Hamas cross-border rocket fire in the Gaza war. But the group has kept its army of lobbyists largely on the sidelines during the current Iran talks, a dramatic shift from other times, when it blanketed Congress.”

“The low-key approach may reflect a desire to avoid further antagonizing the U.S. government, Israel’s most important ally, at a time of strained relations. AIPAC is also struggling with internal divisions over what some critics see as a tilt toward the Republican party by the group, which could jeopardize its bipartisan principles. An AIPAC source dismissed this concern, saying: “Everything we do, we approach in a bipartisan fashion.” If Washington agrees to another extension with Iran, AIPAC and Israel’s friends in Congress will face a decision whether to give diplomacy more time or seek new sanctions. Obama has previously insisted that more sanctions would antagonize Iran and collapse the negotiations.” [Reuters]

“U.S. Lays Out Limits It Seeks in Iran Nuclear Talks”, Michael Gordon, New York Times:“American officials say the agreement should slow the Iranian nuclear program enough that it would take Iran at least a year to make enough material for a nuclear bomb if it decided to ignore the accord. “Our goal is to shut off each pathway sufficient that we know we have a breakout time of a minimum of a year,” Secretary of State John Kerry said.” [NYT]

“A Nuclear Deal Is Likely to Hit Hurdles in Iran,” Thomas Erdbrink in NY Times: “In Iran, the final decision on a nuclear deal lies with Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the supreme leader. And if history is an accurate guide, the real debate over an accord, should one be reached, will not begin to unfold until after it is announced. When that debate gets underway, the voices of the hard-liners — the clerics, Revolutionary Guards commanders, conservative lawmakers and others who are by and large closest to the supreme leader — will be raised against any compromise on Iran’s right to enrich uranium.” [NYT]

“As Deadline Looms, Lawmakers Wary Of Iran Talks,” Michael Crittenden in WSJ: “A group of 43 Senate Republicans led by Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Marco Rubio of Florida said in a letter to President Barack Obama… that they would seek to ramp up pressure on Iran—likely through sanctions —in the months ahead if Iranian officials fail to give up their nuclear ambitions… The top two members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Reps. Ed Royce (R., Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D., N.Y.), accused Iranian officials of “stonewalling” the International Atomic Energy Agency about its previous efforts.”[WSJ]

TOP TALKER — OBAMA’S IMMIGRATION SPEECH — “Obama Shows Limits of Power With Actions on Immigration,” by Jonathan Allen: President Barack Obama did more than just announce that he’ll use executive power to prevent deportations. He showed fellow Democrats, recalcitrant Republicans and the American public that he won’t play the lame duck.” [Bloomberg]

—Jewish Council for Public Affairs: “The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), which has been dedicated to a just immigration system since its creation 70 years ago, supports the result of the President’s actions and reaffirms it call on Congress to pass permanent and comprehensive immigration reforms.” • National Jewish Democratic Council: “NJDC commends the President for choosing action over inaction and hopes that Congress will follow suit in passing overall comprehensive immigration reform.”

—2016 WATCH — Republicans Differ Over Criticism Of Obama’s Unilateral Action: “New Jersey Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, for example, are playing it safe, criticizing the president over the process of doing an unilateral action but not going out of their way to object to the specifics of the legislation. Likewise, Kentucky Sen. Rand, in his statement, sharply criticized Obama over the procedure, calling it a constitutional overreach, but didn’t address the substance of the policy itself.”[DailyCaller] •  Hillary’s Take: “Thanks to POTUS for taking action on immigration in the face of inaction. Now let’s turn to permanent bipartisan reform. #ImmigrationAction” [TPM]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Hillary Clinton made a surprise appearance at an event at the 92nd Street Y honoring Elie Wiesel‘s 18oth speech at the site. Special guests included “former United States SenatorJoe Lieberman, award-winning television journalist Jeff Greenfield, Nobel Laureate Eric Kandeland The Jewish Week’s Gary Rosenblatt, with performances by Grammy Award-winning violinistPinchas Zukerman and the internationally acclaimed Young People’s Chorus of NYC.” [92Y]

HAPPENING TODAY: “A Powwow for Hillary” will be held in midtown Manhattan today. “Top donors attending Friday’s event include Marc Stanley; a prominent Texas lawyer and chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council; Amber and Steve Mostyn, two trial lawyers from Houston; investor Sandy Robertson; Barbara Lee, the president and founder of the Barbara Lee Family Foundation; and Ronald Feldman, who owns an art gallery in New York.” [Politico]

HAPPENING SUNDAY: The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) will hold its annual dinner at the Grand Hyatt in NYC; lineup includes Sen. Ted CruzMort Zuckerman, Dr. Miriam & Sheldon AdelsonAlan Dershowitz, Pastor John Hagee, Home Depot founder Bernie MarcusMichael Levin[ZOA] • Organizers say Sunday’s Chabad dinner will be the largest sit-down dinner in NYC.[News12]

LETTER FROM JERUSALEM: The Age of the Lone Wolf Intifada: “There’s a Palestinian uprising going on, but it won’t be like any we’ve ever had. After years of relative quiet, Jerusalem has been seething since July, when a Palestinian teenager was burned alive in revenge for the murder of three Jewish Israelis in the occupied West Bank. Riots erupted in his neighborhood, Shuafat, and have continued ever since. Over the last month residents of East Jerusalem have carried out a rash of shootings and hit-and-run attacks.” [PoliticoMag] • “Israel says Hamas planned to assassinate Lieberman in West Bank” [Reuters] 

US lawmakers warn Abbas: Curb incitement or risk American aid to PA: “This aid is predicated on the Palestinian Authority’s commitment to countering terrorism and pursuing a comprehensive peace with Israel,” said the letter sent Thursday signed by Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY), the chairman of the US House of Representatives Appropriations Committee, Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY), the ranking Democrat on the committee and Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), the chairwoman of its foreign operations subcommittee.” [JPost]

**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**

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “He Sold ‘Draw Something’ For — $200M — Now Dan Porter Is Back With A New Startup” by Allyson Shontell in Busines Insider: “Dan Porter left Zynga in April 2013, almost exactly one year after it acquired his startup, OMGPOP, for ~$US200 million. After the acquisition, users promptly lost interest in the game. Zynga later shut down its entire New York operation, and Porter agreed to leave…  He and a group of former OMGPOP-ers have launched a new mobile startup, Tally, that’s backed by WME. Porter will remain head of digital at the parent company while trying to get Tally off the ground. It launches on iOS today. Tally is like a mobile-first Twitter that’s more niche. It organizes content around hashtags (#technology, #mindblown, etc) rather than people, so you don’t have to read off-topic posts from influencers if you don’t want to. Posts are voted up or down by the community, adding a Reddit element to the Twitter-like feed.” [BI] • The first sentence of Porter’s Wikipedia page is “Daniel Jonathan Porter (born June 13, 1966) is a Jewish American Internet entrepreneur.”[Wikipedia]

DAVID WERNER PROFILE: “T-Shirt-Toting Brooklynite Is NYC’s Top Property Buyer” by David Levitt: “A red accordion folder that David Werner brings when he’s negotiating a property deal contains two T-shirts. One, with a frowny face, says “Free Aggravation.” The other, with a smiley face, says “Aggravation Free.” Werner tells landlords the latter is what to expect if they make a deal with him, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. A large cash deposit and a quick closing — often that’s enough for a seller to call off a full marketing campaign and accept his offer. His tactics have helped the Brooklyn-based investor acquire two Manhattan office towers this year for almost $2.4 billion and become the biggest buyer of New York real estate this year…”

“Werner, who lives in Brooklyn’s Borough Park section, is one of a small group of Orthodox Jews from New York’s outer boroughs who trade in high-profile real estate while avoiding the spotlight. Werner, 60, is a religious man who almost never gives interviews. His determination to keep a low profile is derived from the Jewish notion of “ein hora,” literally “evil eye” in Yiddish, according to two people close to him, who provided details for this story and asked not to be named because of Werner’s wishes to be private.”[Bloomberg]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Look How Uber’s Investors Including Josh Kopelman & Andreeson Horowitz Also Funded Some Of Its Biggest Critics [Forbes] • With the help of Ben Horowitz, rapper Ryan Leslie wants to reinvent the record label for the new music economy [Pando] • “Getting Mark Zuckerberg to buy a Tel Aviv penthouse” [Haaretz• Silver Lake looks to turn Ari Emanuel’s WME into gold [FinancialTimes]• Barry Diller’s Aereo Seeks Bankruptcy After Losing Supreme Court Fight [Bloomberg]

REMEMBERING SAMUEL KLEIN: “Samuel Klein, the Polish-born founder of Brazil’s largest home-appliance retailer, has died, the company said in a statement. He was 91. Born in 1923 in a village near Lublin, Klein was one of nine children born to a Jewish family taken by the Nazis to the Treblinka concentration camp. He, his father and one brother survived. His mother and other siblings perished in Treblinka. He survived two years at the Majdanek concentration camp in Lublin from where he escaped in 1944. He survived two years at the Majdanek concentration camp in Lublin from where he escaped in 1944. After a few years living in Germany, he arrived in Brazil in 1952 and settled in the Sao Paulo industrial suburb of Sao Caetano where he sold clothing door-to-door, allowing customers to pay for merchandise in monthly installments.” [AP

STARTUP NATION — Jeff Pulver Emails JI: ““Accepting Change: Letting yourself fall in the flow of your life: While my current situation is not life threatening, it has been life altering. The following are my musings of dealing with a life-changing event. Imagine being in the top physical shape of your life. Years of training, rebooting your body. You changed your food habits, you had adopted exercise habits. You found yourself enjoying working out and making the gym a daily part of your life. Through your own journey you were able to drop 120+ pounds and rebooted your body chemistry so that you were no longer a health risk to yourself or to your loved ones. Just hours away from being a part of a 10k race which was the first organized race you had entered in your life. It wasn’t about winning the race, that already happened when you entered. All you wanted to do was complete it.”

“Six hours before leaving for the race, while waiting to have lunch with two friends on the beach in Tel Aviv, you go from sitting outside at the table to being inside an ambulance. Imagine having no memory of experiencing a five-minute seizure during which time, while seated, you dislocated your right shoulder, fractured two bones in the shoulder and tore the muscle from the bone. All you know is that you went from feeling pretty relaxed in a conversation to experiencing intense pain and not realizing for a while that you were in an ambulance or that 30 minutes of your life had gone by. And at the same moment, life was immediately different. You were no longer independent. You could not live alone or do for yourself. You were dependent on your friends and family to survive. You were living on pain meds. In my case, I am forever grateful for the friends who came to my support who took me to the hosipital and who cared for me like my family when this happened to me on October 28, 2014. Friends who were with me 24/7 at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv and those who visited with me at the Sheraton in Tel Aviv before flying back to New York. I think Yossi Vardi summed it up the best when after I thanked him for all of his help while I was in the hospital; his reply was “This is why friends were invented.”… One thing for certain, I will complete my physical therapy and I will travel again and I will live alone again. Not sure when that will be. And I will run in the Tel Aviv 10K night run. Running for myself and running for everyone else who wanted to be part of that race but wasn’t able to join in.”

S*** ISRAELIS SAY: ““I’ve been in a lot of malls in my life and this is the worst ever,” said Shefer, a native of Israel who sports long blond hair, a tan and a hoop in his left ear.” [Bloomberg]

HOLLYWOOD: Justin Bieber spent the evening with a rabbi at Westside Jewish Community Center in Los Angeles [X17]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Chuck ‘Shomer’ Schumer turns 64. Scarlett Johansson turns 30. Dan Snyder turns 50.

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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