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Daily Kickoff: Sanders is first Jewish candidate to win primary — milestone? overhyped? | NYT profiles Gilad Erdan | Can Your PlayStation Stop a War?

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NH REACTIONS & SURROGATE SPIN: As last night’s results were coming in, we heard from and reached out to several JI readers for their reactions to the FITN primary.

Brad Kasten in New Hampshire with John Kasich: “This is a great night for John Kasich and for the American Jewish community. We now have a candidate who has earned our support with a long history of support and activism on behalf of our community and the State of Israel. John also has exceptional experience and a record of success at both the federal and state levels. He absolutely deserves our support and our vote.”

Jay Schottenstein tells us: “Kasich has been a great Governor and was a very effective congressman in working with both parties. It is very important to have a leader who can bring people together.”

Jay Zeidman in New Hampshire with Jeb Bush: “Governor Bush’s hard work paid off tonight. He picked up steam and is now well positioned headed in to South Carolina, home to his biggest advocate, Senator Lindsay Graham. I’m happy with the results and eager to carry the momentum to the next contest. I also can’t wait to get home to warmer weather!”

Adam Hasner at Marco Rubio’s NH party last night: “There were $15 million spent attacking Marco here in New Hampshire. Not to mention the fact, as he admitted, he didn’t have his best moment in the debate. But this is a long race and this is some sort of a reset right now. We are going to go in to South Carolina. We have a great operation and a great team on the ground and we know what we have to do to get the momentum back.”

Cruz advisor Nick Muzin writing from South Carolina: “Great result tonight. Coming on the heels of our strong win in Iowa, Ted has proven he is the only candidate who can beat Trump and unify diverse factions of the Republican party. Our campaign spent $580,000 in New Hampshire, while Jeb’s team spend over $36 million, and Marc spent $15 million. Talk about a good ROI for our donors! We’re very excited to turn to South Carolina, where our conservative message and grassroots enthusiasm will be decisive. We’ve been laying the groundwork here for some time, and look forward to making our case to the voters over the next 10 days.”

Alan Abbey on Bernie Sanders: “The fact that Bernie’s win was so easily dismissed by mainstream pundits as being a homeboy victory that was obvious is amazing, as such a statement six or even three months ago would have been dismissed as an opium-induced fantasy. The political and media establishments still underestimate him and are failing to grasp the true desires of a frustrated American electorate.”

NJDC’s Greg Rosenbaum: “First, we should note with great pride that tonight, for the first time in our nation’s history, a Jewish-American won a presidential primary. We congratulate Senator Sanders on his victory. Second, it should come as no surprise that the Jewish-American who won that victory is a Democrat, as the stark contrast between the parties’ primary campaigns highlights with each passing day…. As Jewish Democrats, we look forward to a continuing, spirited campaign for the Democratic nomination where Jewish values are indeed valued.”

Tevi Troy: “Trump’s win was long expected, but the rest of the results did not provide the much hoped for clarification regarding the rest of the field. As for the Democrats, pro-Israel voters who were not taking Sanders seriously now need to do so. On Sunday, he revealed that he gets his foreign policy advice from Israel critics J Street and James Zogby; on Tuesday, he won a resounding victory in New Hampshire. Supporters of Israel – on both sides of the aisle – need to start paying attention.”

FIRST JEWISH PRIMARY WINNER: “Feeling ‘Great’ As Prospect Of ‘First Jewish President’ Nears” by Hella Winston: “As volunteers danced to ‘Burn Baby Burn’ and chanted ‘Bernie, Bernie’ to the theme from “Rocky,” a Sanders campaign spokesman praised the win as a milestone for American Jews. “I think we can all feel great that we might have the first Jewish president,” Tad Devine told The Jewish Week at a raucous victory party after the Vermont senator became the first Jewish candidate to win a presidential primary.” [JewishWeek]

From Bernie’s victory speech: “My friends, I am the son of a Polish immigrant who came to this country speaking no English, and having no money. My father worked everyday of his life, and he never made a whole lot. My Mom and Dad, and brother and I grew up in a small three and a half room, rent controlled apartment in Brooklyn, New York. My Mother, who died at a young age, always dreamed of moving out of that apartment, getting a home of her own, but she never realized that dream. The truth is that neither one of my parents could ever have dreamed that I would be here tonight standing before you as a candidate for President of the United States.” [CSPAN]

Jacob Kornbluh: “Has Bernie’s Jewishness Been Overhyped?” [JewishInsider]

BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith tells us: “I’ve been surprised how little chatter there is! I think it’s partly because people haven’t really focused on the possibility that he might actually be president at all  — much less the first Jewish president, as well as the first non-observant Jewish president. I think if people start taking the idea of his presidency seriously, I think you’ll see both more serious chatter about what the first Jewish president would mean (and in particular what a president who comes from this part of Judaism would mean to Jews)…. and also, inevitably, more ugly anti-Semitism directed at him in an election that has already seen more overt bigotry than I’ve ever seen in national politics.”

Dov Zakheim: “Not surprised that there would be a focus on Sanders’ Jewishness given that no Jew has been elected vice president much less president. The fact that Sanders is a totally secular Jew adds to the media’s fascination with him.”

Steve Rabinowitz: “Nobody cares that Bernie is Jewish and that’s great. I just wonder some days if I enjoy more Jewish pride in Bernie’s successes this election cycle than he does. For me, Bernie doesn’t need to be more Jewishly observant or more communally involved; I only wish he showed more of a willingness to talk about his Jewish identity except when asked. He doesn’t hide from it and for my money never says the wrong thing – he just doesn’t seem to ever like or want to talk about it.  Maybe it’s a refreshing change from all the other Jewish politicians who pose for our community far beyond who they really are. I was only hoping there might be a space somewhere in between.”

HOW IT PLAYED: “Sanders is first Jewish candidate to win presidential primary” [LATimes] • “Sanders becomes first Jew to win a presidential primary” [USAToday] • “Sanders is first Jewish American to win a presidential primary” [TheGuardian• “Bernie Sanders Just Made History As The First Jew To Win A Presidential Primary” [HuffPost• “Mazel Tov to Bernie Sanders, the First Jew to Win a Presidential Primary” [NYMag]

Shmuel Rosner: “You don’t really want a Jewish President, do you?” [JewishJournal]

Michael Granoff: “When I was in New Hampshire for Joe Lieberman 12 years ago, it never occurred to me that the occasion of the first Jewish candidate winning a presidential primary would be such a cause of despair.”

Ami Eden: “Did Bernie Sanders just steal Joe Lieberman’s Jewish crown?” [JTA]

Alan Abbey: “I watched Bernie Sanders work his magic 35 years ago, and nobody should underestimate him now” [ToI]

Chemi Shalev: “When Bernie Sanders Goes Forward, anti-Semitism Will Follow” [Haaretz]

Allison Kaplan Sommer: “Bernie Sanders Is Smart to Keep His Mouth Shut About Israel” [Haaretz]

Ezra Klein: “The rise of Donald Trump is a terrifying moment in American politics” [Vox]

“Nevada’s Saturday Democratic Caucuses Excludes Observant Jews and Seventh Day Adventists” by Laura Goldman: “However, someone from Bernie Sander’s campaign, Taimus Werner-Gibbings did contact Rabbi Harlig. He told the rabbi that he will see what he can do to have a caucus on Saturday night. Sanders, being Jewish, might be more sensitive to this issue than the others.” [HuffPost]

“Hillary Clinton Gives Israeli Education Program Its Close-Up on Campaign Trail” by Naomi Zeveloff: “The story of how Clinton brought the Israeli education program to America starts with a coincidence. In 1969, an Israeli educator named Avima Lombard conceived the program as a way to help the children of North African immigrants get a head start in the Israeli school system… Less than two decades after ha-Etgar’s Israeli debut, Lombard received a grant from the Ford Foundation to expand the program to the United States. One of the first sites was in Miami. In 1985, Clinton was on a trip to Miami… when she saw an article on the new HIPPY program in The Miami Herald. “When she saw this program it just kind of yelled out to her,” said Nan Rich…” [Forward]

“Why the Media is Desperate for Bloomberg to Run” by Jack Shafer: “A vast buffet of Bloomberg stories are there for the grabbing should Bloomberg announce. Stories about his money, his New York City mayoralty, his high-voltage wonkery, his money, his wacky centrism, his media empire, his personal relationships, his money, his crusades against soda, guns and trans fat, and of course, his money. The New York press corps, already the beneficiary of a Trump candidacy that has permitted them to recycle decades of celebrity real-estate reporting into their Trump campaign coverage, will win similar residuals when Bloomberg announces.” [PoliticoMag]

PROFILE: “A Forceful Voice in Defense of Israel’s Image Abroad” by Steven Erlanger: “Gilad Erdan is one of the rising stars of the conservative Likud Party: a 45-year-old former yeshiva student, a lawyer and an adviser to two prime ministers, Ariel Sharon and Benjamin Netanyahu. For the March 2015 elections, he was No. 2 on the party list, just after Mr. Netanyahu, whom he now serves as minister of public security, strategic affairs and public diplomacy. But only after Mr. Erdan played hardball and refused initial offers. Like many aspiring young Likudniks, Mr. Erdan is no shrinking violet. In fact, in an interview in his Parliament office, he spoke so loudly across a modest desk that I thought we were in an auditorium.” [NYTimes]

“Turkish and Israeli Teams to Negotiate Reconciliation in Switzerland” by Barak Ravid: “On Tuesday afternoon, a Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization delegation, led by Malcolm Hoenlein, met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Turkey. Hoenlein, who is considered to be one of the Jewish American leaders closest to Netanyahu, notified the Prime Minister’s Bureau and the Foreign Ministry in advance of the meetings in Turkey, and was asked to relay several messages to Erdogan and Davutoglu.” [Haaretz]

Israeli, French envoys face off online” by Itamar Eichner: “Araud retweeted statements made by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius in conversations on achieving peace in Syria, which stated that “there can’t be a political negotiation when one side is murdering the other.” Israel’s ambassador in Washington, Ron Dermer,  responded in kind to Araud’s tweets, implying hypocrisy on the part of the French ambassador. “hmmm. Wonder if that wisdom will one day be applied to when Jews are being murdered in Israel,” read his sarcastic tweet.” [YNetNews]

Thomas Friedman: “They all killed the two-state solution. Let the one-state era begin. It will involve a steady low-grade civil war between Palestinians and Israelis and a growing Israeli isolation in Europe and on college campuses that the next U.S. president will have to navigate.”

“So my advice to all the candidates is: Keep talking about the fantasy Middle East. I can always use a good bedtime story to fall asleep. But get ready for the real thing. This is not your grandfather’s Israel anymore, it’s not your oil company’s Saudi Arabia anymore, it’s not your NATO’s Turkey anymore, it’s not your cabdriver’s Iran anymore and it’s not your radical chic college professor’s Palestine anymore. It’s a wholly different beast now, slouching toward Bethlehem.” [NYTimes]

**Good Wednesday 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**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Tisch Family’s Loews Buybacks Continue As Company Sees Dearth of Private Equity Deals” [WSJ] • “Israeli-owned company gets green light for £20m Camden Market upgrade”[TheJC] • “Meet the little Williamsburg building that’s home to over 1,000 LLCs: The likes of Menachem Stark, Yoel Goldman have plied their trade through 199 Lee Avenue” (h/t SAN) [RealDeal] • “Las Vegas newspaper staff feels casino giant Sheldon Adelson’s tightening grip” [LATimes] • “Sumner Redstone Revoked $70 Million Bequest to Former Companion” [NYTimes• “J.B. and M.K. Pritzker named among most generous in 2015” [Crains]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “Can Your PlayStation Stop a War?” by Derek Caelin: “Take the example of Bandura Games, an Israeli-Palestinian game company that raised more than $42,000 on the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to launch its premier product, RunZoo. The game will be a collaborative title of a genre that is popular on mobile devices in both Israel and Palestine. The game matches two players online — often from two different sides of the conflict zone — in a struggle to support each others’ escape from captivity. In the end, the player gets a peek into the likes and interests of his or her partner with data pulled from Facebook.” [ForeignPolicy]

“Three GW roommates want to give money to charity — and maybe to you” by Julie Zauzmer: “Three George Washington University students, operating out of their dorm room, have concocted a plan to give away money. The trio of roommates crafted an online sweepstakes — now with more than 98,000 entrants — with the goal of raising at least $5,000 in advertising revenue. They plan to split the proceeds between themselves, one or two lucky winners and one charitable organization. The idea for the sweepstakes site, which they named We Give Two, was born when the roommates — Max Friedman, a 20-year-old junior, and sophomores Liran Cohen and Ari Krasner, both 19 — were snowed in two weekends ago.” [WashPost]

“Jonathan Cheban opening an obnoxious school for rich kids: Jonathan Cheban is opening a school to teach rich kids about “private aviation, social media, quality of diamonds, types of caviar . . . social stuff you need to know to survive in a city like this with a lot of money.” Naturally, this elite academy, called the International School of New York, is housed in Trump Tower. We’d call it a school with no class.” [NYPostNewYouMag]

BIRTHDAYS: Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby turns 57… Howie Beigelman, Executive Director of Ohio Jewish Communities… Disney CEO Bob Iger turns 65… Israeli pop star, Ivri Lider, turns 42… Olympic champion swimmer Mark Spitz turns 66… Conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner turns 74… Former NASA astronaut, Garrett Reisman, famous for his mezuzah in the Space Station, turns 48…

** A message from American Jewish World Service: AJWS’s 30th anniversary gala in Los Angeles—March 13th, 2016—will recognize the organization’s incredible and life-changing human rights work in the developing world. The event will honor AJWS President Ruth Messinger and high-profile philanthropists and community leaders who have been instrumental in advancing AJWS’s mission, including Dr. Ezekiel J. Emanuel, and U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer. Hosted by comedian, actor, writer and producer Nick Kroll, the celebration will also pay tribute to acclaimed Mexican human rights defender Alejandra Ancheita. To attend, support or sponsor the gala, please visit [AJWS] **

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