Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Cantor on Biden: “The guy’s awesome” | Egerman to introduce Warren at DA meeting today | The Next Stuxnet | Kerry to meet with Bibi

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BREAKING: Sec. John Kerry will be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in Amman tonight.

IRAN TALKS: U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) issued the following statement on the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Iran: “As co-authors of bipartisan sanctions laws that compelled Iran to the negotiating table, we believe that a good deal will dismantle, not just stall, Iran’s illicit nuclear program and prevent Iran from ever becoming a threshold nuclear weapons state. This will require stringent limits on nuclear-related research, development and procurement, coming clean on all possible military dimensions (PMD) issues and a robust inspection and verification regime for decades to prevent Iran from breaking-out or covertly sneaking-out. Gradual sanctions relaxation would only occur if Iran strictly complied with all parts of the agreement. If a potential deal does not achieve these goals, we will work with our colleagues in Congress to act decisively, as we have in the past.” [PressRelease] • “How Republicans plan to thwart Obama’s Iran talks” [Politico] • “New Senate Republican Majority Wants Say in Iran Nuclear Deal” [RollCall]

SOURCES: “Final deal in Iran nuclear talks unlikely by deadline”: “Despite nearly a year of negotiations, Iran and six major powers are unlikely to meet a Nov. 24 deadline to reach a final deal to lift international sanctions on Tehran in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program, officials say. Western and Iranian officials told Reuters the two sides would probably settle for another interim agreement that builds on the limited sanctions relief agreed a year ago as they hammer away at their deep disagreements in the coming months.” [Reuters]

Iran Says it has Responded to Obama’s Letters: “This is not the first time that such a thing has taken place,” said Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, during an appearance on state television Wednesday night. [AP] • “Shamkhani also said that Israel’s influence is the “primary reason” for the slow rate of the nuclear talks, as the United States feels an “absolute commitment to satisfy” Israel. He said that the “continuation of this policy” will create obstacles in reaching a nuclear agreement.” [Al Monitor]

FIRST LOOK: “Son of Stuxnet: The Digital Hunt for Duqu, a Dangerous and Cunning U.S. – Israeli Spy Virus” by Kim Zetter in The Intercept: “As for Duqu’s intent, it was pretty clear it wasn’t a saboteur like Stuxnet, but an espionage tool. Whereas Stuxnet was a black ops mission bent on destruction, Duqu appeared to be the forward scout, sent out to collect intelligence for future assaults. Symantec suspected it was the precursor to another Stuxnet-like attack. Duqu’s life-span was limited, however; a kill date in the code forced it to self-destruct after thirty-six days, deleting all traces of itself from an infected machine.” [TheIntercept]

TOP TALKER: “Unprecedented feud rocks Israel’s defense establishment”: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned on IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz and Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen to his office on Wednesday, in light of the severe “crisis of trust” between the army and the security service revolving last summer’s operation in Gaza…In the background of the crisis is an emotional battle of accusations about whether the Shin Bet passed on warnings about the war with Hamas in Gaza this past summer and provided ongoing intelligence during the operation…Gantz’s angry letter comes on the heels of a report broadcast on Channel 2’s investigative program “Uvda” (Fact) on Tuesday. In the report, high-ranking Shin Bet officials, who were interviewed with their faces blurred, repeated the claim that they had passed on reports and warnings about Hamas’ plans to go to war against Israel months before Operation Protective Edge. Army spokesman Motti Almoz, who was also interviewed for the report, denied the statements, saying that no such information ever reached Military Intelligence.” [HaaretzIsrael HayomTOI]

DEMOCRACY? : “Sheldon Adelson’s Dismissal of Israeli Democracy Draws Silence From Groups He Backs: Abe Foxman Salvo Only Hint of Outrage Over Mogul’s Remark” by Josh Nathan-Kazis: “Mort Klein, national director of the Zionist Organization of America, which Adelson also supports, suggested that Adelson’s comments may have been an attempt at humor. “I know Sheldom for maybe 15 years,” Klein said. “This is Sheldon Adleson humor, sarcasm, an attempt at humor… Of course he’s a fervent supporter of democracy.”… This is not the first time that some Jewish charities that take Adelson’s cash appear to be avoiding discussion of his political views. “What it comes down to is, the people that work with him and for him don’t always agree with his political and israel position, but he does so much good with his money that they just go along,” said a person involved in Jewish philanthropy who asked not to be named because some of what he was relating had been told in confidence.” [Forward]

KISSINGER: “Israel Should Not Seek Final Peace Deal With Palestinians Until MidEast Chaos Subsides” by Dovid Efune: “In the meantime, he counseled, Israel should “make contributions by the understanding it shows for the psychological and historical problems of the people with which it lives in the same territory. But things cannot be accomplished in a final manner in a single negotiation.”… Kissinger’s comments were made before a crowd of 500 at the Waldorf Astoria as he received the Theodor Herzl Award from the World Jewish Congress (WJC). Other attendees at the black-tie gala included Barbara Walters who presented the honor, WJC Chairman Ronald Lauder, Ralph Lauren and Google’s Eric Schmidt.” [Algemeiner]

HAPPENING TODAY: At 7:00 PM, Peter Beinart will debate Noah Pollak at New York University on Israel and the Modern Middle East. [Facebook]

**Good Thursday 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**

2016 WATCH: “Hillary Clinton left out by liberal donor club” by Kenneth P. Vogel: “Vice President Joe Biden will join Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other leading progressives in addressing a closed-door gathering of elite liberal donors — a roster of speakers that notably doesn’t include Hillary Clinton. The annual winter meeting of the Democracy Alliance, a group of funders of liberal causes, isn’t a presidential cattle call. But speculation about the 2016 Democratic presidential race looms over the four-day gathering, which started Wednesday at Washington’s Mandarin Oriental hotel… Warren will be introduced Thursday by the Massachusetts donor who served as the national finance chairman of her Senate race, Paul Egerman. He sits on the board of directors of the Democracy Alliance and is seen as her liaison to the tight-knit world of big liberal money and likely a key player if she changed her mind and entered the race.” [Politico] • Egerman also sits on the board of J Street [JewishInsider]

—The liberal media’s not ready for Hillary: “Absent a strong challenge to Clinton from the left so far, progressive media outlets are trying to fill the void…Progressive media outlets are less attempting to prop up Warren as a potential candidate than to make sure her populist crusades — like cracking down on the banking industry — will define the debate.” [Politico]

Aide: Chris Christie not resigning to run for president: “Chris Christie has made clear to donors and potential supporters that he will not leave his job as New Jersey governor if he runs for president in 2016. “The governor is telling people that he is not going to resign,” Christie’s top political strategist Mike DuHaime told POLITICO, without elaborating.”… many chalk Christie’s non-desire to run up to a lack of campaign funds and broad appeal. However, “Christie’s most ardent supporters…[such as] Ken Langone, the billionaire co-founder of Home Depot, said Christie’s success raising over $100 million for the Republican Governors Association showed he has appeal well beyond the financial industry.” [Politico]

BI-PARTISAN: “Eric Cantor on Negotiating with Joe Biden” by Zeke Miller: “Cantor: Joe Biden is what you see. You know, he’s genuine. Yes, he’s prone to gaffes publicly, and he’ll admit that. He’s very self-deprecating like that. And I’m certainly not one who agrees with Joe Biden on all things—we probably disagree more than we agree—but from a human and relationship standpoint, the guy’s awesome.” [Time]

THE NEXT ERIC CANTOR: “Only Republican Jew in the House, Rep.-elect Zeldin will have to negotiate party’s fault lines” by Stewart Ain: “Despite his conservative credentials, Zeldin, a two-term state senator, speaks like the last nationally prominent New York Republican Jew, the late Sen. Jacob Javits. A liberal, Javits nevertheless argued for diversity within the party…. He said he, too, is unhappy with the Obama administration’s relationship with “our nation’s strongest ally – Israel. We have a president and an administration that has been less supportive than I would like.” And he said Republican support for Israel “presents an opportunity for the Republican Party to expand its outreach to Jewish Americans [so that they] consider supporting Republicans causes a little more going forward.”[JewishWeek]

STARTUP NATION: Credit Suisse to fund Israeli startups [Haaretz] • Israeli taxi drivers threaten riots over Uber [Globes] •

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Fast Car Fuels $18.3 Million Lawsuit By Victoria’s Secret CEO Leslie Wexner [Inquisitr]

SPORTS BLINK: Visa woes force NBA’s Indiana to dump Israeli Gal Mekel [HaaretzTOI]

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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