Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: With Cohn likely out, Kevin Warsh new favorite for Fed Chair | Amos Yadlin on last night’s strike in Syria | Tel Aviv’s graffiti tours

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TOP TALKER: “President Trump Unlikely to Nominate Gary Cohn to Become Fed Chairman” by Michael C. Bender, Harriet Torry and Nick Timiraos: “The shift in Mr. Cohn’s prospects for the top Fed job arises largely from his criticism of Mr. Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, Va., the people familiar with the matter said… White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said Mr. Cohn is “focused on his responsibilities…” Mr. Cohn may have doomed his chances for the top Fed job with comments he made to the Financial Times last month, according to people close to the president… Mr. Trump wasn’t aware such a blunt critique was coming… One White House official said the president visibly bristles at the mention of his economic adviser… A White House official said that Mr. Cohn… may be able to repair his relationship with the president.” [WSJ

Jake Tapper: “GOP source close to the White House tells me: Cohn “more likely to get electric chair than Fed Chair.”” [Twitter]

Mike Allen: “White House insiders have been telling us the favorite for Fed chair is Kevin Warsh, an economic official in the George W. Bush White House, and member of the Fed board from 2006 until 2011.” [Axios]

–Worth noting: Warsh is the son-in-law of Trump whisperer Ronald Lauder.

HEARD THIS MORNING — Ousted White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon on Gary Cohn’s criticism of Trump in an interview with 60 Minutes: “My problem, and I told General Kelly this – when you side with a man, you side with him. I was proud to come out and try to defend President Trump in the media that day… You can tell him, ‘Hey, maybe you can do it a better way.’ But… If you’re going to break with him, resign. The stuff that was leaked out that week by certain members of the White House I thought was unacceptable… I’m talking – obviously, about Gary Cohn and some other people. That if you don’t like what he’s doing and you don’t agree with it, you have an obligation to resign.” [CBSNews]

PROFILE: “Donald Trump told Nikki Haley she could speak her mind. She’s doing just that” by Elise Labott: “One of her biggest goals when she arrived at the UN was to fight what she viewed as an anti-Israel bias. In March, at their annual conference, she told the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC “there is a new sheriff in town,” winning applause from the crowd. Danny Danon, Israel’s ambassador to the UN, credits Haley with “ushering in a new era of support for Israel at the UN.” … “The public support has made a huge difference for us,” Danon told me. “I think that member states and the UN agencies now understand they should recalculate their approach.”

“Critics argue that Haley is simply pandering to pro-Israel groups that are important to GOP politics. More than one State Department official has rolled their eyes over what they call Haley’s unabashed support for Israel. Even a senator who supports Haley said her work on the issue “is a bit much” for a UN ambassador. But Haley told me she sees an expansive role for herself. “It is what you want it to be,” she said of the ambassadorship. “I’ve found this is a place where you can move foreign policy. I didn’t not think that before. But this is a place where you can negotiate and this is a place where you can move the ball. I don’t think that has been tapped as much as what I’m attempting to do.” [CNN]

ON THE HILL — Amendment cutting US aid to UNRWA & UNHRC advances — by Aaron Magid: An amendment from Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) that would sever U.S. aid to the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) has been advanced by the House Rules Committee. The amendment would also end funding to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) and United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. The measure will now head to a floor wide vote. An informed Republican staffer told Jewish Insider that this will be the first time in many years that a floor wide vote — possibly as early as today — will proceed on defunding UNRWA.” [JewishInsider]

“U.S. Congressman Proposes $12 Million to Support Israel’s Ethiopian Community” by Amir Tibon: “The amendment was proposed on Tuesday by Rep. Alcee Hastings, a Democratic lawmaker and a member of the House Rules Committee… According to Hastings, Israeli organizations that work with the Ethiopian sector “do not have sufficient resources to meet the needs of these communities,” even after the recent addition of Israeli government funding.” [Haaretz

THE DAILY KUSHNER: “Lacking a Point Person on China, U.S. Risks Aggravating Tensions” by Mark Landler: “Jared Kushner’s involvement in China has waned; he did not accept an invitation from the Chinese to go to Beijing this month for a visit that some expected would be in preparation for Mr. Trump’s state visit in November… White House officials said no visit was ever scheduled, and hence, none was canceled. Mr. Kushner’s initially prominent role on China policy, they said, ebbed naturally as other officials, including Mr. Tillerson and Mr. Mnuchin, settled into their jobs. Mr. Kushner, they said, remains involved in economic and trade issues regarding China. Some attribute Mr. Kushner’s lower visibility to his overflowing agenda — he is trying to broker a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, not to mention overhauling the federal bureaucracy.” [NYTimes

NEW DEETS: “Trump to speak with Israeli, Palestinian leaders at UN next week” by Margaret Brennan: “A White House official confirmed that two presidential advisers leading the peace initiative, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, would accompany the president to the annual [UNGA] gathering… “Everyone understands how complicated, difficult and challenging this task is, and that it will take time, but we are all feeling hopeful after all of our meetings last month,” a White House official said.” [CBSNews

“Abbas Scales Back Israeli-Palestinian Security Coordination as He Preps for Diplomatic Confrontation” by Amos Harel: “Abbas is thinking about renewing the Palestinian Authority’s applications for acceptance into a host of international organizations. He’ll also be taking a hard line in his address to the UN General Assembly… Security coordination between Israel and the PA hasn’t recovered since the last Israeli-Palestinian meltdown.”[Haaretz]

Netanyahu expresses concern over the PA’s collapse — by Aaron Magid: In a meeting with Members of Congress last month, Prime Minister Netanyahu expressed “concern” for the collapse of the Palestinian Authority, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY) told Jewish Insider on Wednesday.

An Israeli official familiar with the meeting tells us: “It’s not our assessment that the PA is about to collapse. The focus of the meeting was on the importance of the PA recognizing  Israel as a Jewish state, ending their payments to terrorists and stopping the glorification of mass murderers.”

DRIVING THE CONVO: “In Deal With Democrats, Trump Makes a Sudden Turn” by Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman: “Mr. Trump often invites his daughter Ivanka Trump into meetings to signal their conclusion — or to keep his interlocutors off balance. When she entered the Oval Office toward the end of the discussion on Wednesday, the Republicans in the room reacted with expressions that two people present described as astonishment. [Paul] Ryan… coolly told colleagues that he had come to expect such surprises… A chastened Mr. Mnuchin left the room, in what one witness described as a state of shell shock.” [NYTimes

“The ‘Ivanka drop-by’: Trump’s not-so-secret meeting trick” by Betsy Klein: “Ivanka Trump… “entered the Oval Office to ‘say hello’ and the meeting careened off-topic,” a congressional source briefed on the meeting told CNN’s Deirdre Walsh. Some Republican leaders were “visibly annoyed by Ivanka’s presence,” the source said.” [CNN

IN THE SPOTLIGHT… “Michael Cohen Would Take a Bullet for Donald Trump” by Emile Jane Fox: “The word “loyal” came up more than a dozen times in the course of our conversations. During a telephone discussion a few days earlier, Cohen joked that maybe if he saw the president in a white sheet at a Klan rally, then he would think twice about lending his support. (Afterward making the comment, Cohen, who is Jewish and the child of a Holocaust survivor, clarified that he was speaking in jest, and that neither he nor the president condone white supremacy.)… He is glad that Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, are still there, though he said he warned them not to go down to Washington. “ “They’re under attack also… and I told them it would be ugly for them and I recommended that they not go in. I remember both of them telling me that ‘dad needs our help,’” he said. “Unfortunately, my prediction was correct… There’s things that came out about Jared and his real estate and the finances. This is a family that tries to stay under the radar in terms of their business and I’m sure Charlie [Kushner] is not happy right now at all.”” [VanityFair]

REPORT: “Syria Says Israel Bombed a Military Base” by Ben Hubbard: “Syria accused Israel on Thursday of conducting an overnight strike on a military base said by analysts to house chemical weapons and advanced missiles. The Syrian military reported the attack, saying it killed two people near the town of Masyaf in western Syria and caused unspecified material damage. Israeli officials did not comment on the strike, but a Syrian monitoring group and a former Israeli official said it had targeted a research site that produced chemical weapons.” [NYTimes]

KAFE KNESSET — Mum’s the word — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Israeli officials, as always, kept mum this morning as the country woke up to news of an air strike on a military factory in Syria. But former officials did weigh in – Amos Yadlin, former IDF intelligence chief, published a series of tweets these morning. “The strike reported last night is not routine,” Yadlin informed. “It targeted a Syrian military – scientific center for the development and manufacture of, among other things, precision missiles which will have a significant role in the next round of conflict. The factory that was targeted in Masyaf produces the chemical weapons and barrel bombs that have killed thousands of Syrian civilians.”

“The strike reported last night is not routine,” Yadlin informed. “It targeted a Syrian military – scientific center for the development and manufacture of, among other things, precision missiles which will have a significant role in the next round of conflict. The factory that was targeted in Masyaf produces the chemical weapons and barrel bombs that have killed thousands of Syrian civilians.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

“Iran keeping watchful eye on Iraqi Kurdistan, Israel” by Mahmut Bozarslan: “Israel is among the countries interested in Iraqi Kurdistan affairs. Iran openly opposes the [Kurdish independence] referendum, but Israel declares its support. Their differences have generated speculation that Iran’s military moves are actually against Israel. Political analyst Siddik Hasan Sukru of Erbil is among those who believe claims of Israeli involvement… Sukru insists… that Iran’s priority is to undermine the influence of Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Kurdish region. “Iran’s concern is not about the independence of Kurdistan, but about Israel. Israel’s relations with the Kurdistan region are developing by the day… This is why Iran is on alert: The steps it is taking are against Israel,” Sukru said.” [Al-Monitor]

IRAN DEAL — “France’s foreign minister worried by Trump’s stance on Iran nuclear deal” by John Irish: “The agreement which was passed two years ago enables Iran to give up on a nuclear weapon and so avoid proliferation. We have to guarantee this stance,” Jean-Yves Le Drian said during a visit to Science-Po university in Paris. “I am worried at this moment in time by the position of President Trump, who could put into question this accord. And if this accord is put into question then voices in Iran will speak up to say: ‘Let’s also have a nuclear weapon.’” [Reuters]

NYTimes editorial… A Devious Threat to a Nuclear Deal: “Ms. Haley misleads further when she argues that it would not constitute an American withdrawal from the deal if Mr. Trump didn’t certify Iranian compliance. That kind of spin will convince no one, and it won’t protect Mr. Trump for being blamed for whatever follows, including outrage from France, Britain, Germany, Russia and China, which are also parties to the agreement.” [NYTimes

“How Trump Can Reject the Iran Deal Without Actually Killing It” by Eli Lake: “If Iranian compliance is not certified, Trump may be able to have the best of both worlds. He could signal to his supporters that he is keeping his campaign promise by instructing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to rule against Iran. And yet he still would not have killed the nuclear deal; he would simply have punted to Congress.” [BloombergView

Today in Jerusalem, Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Iowa Governor Kimberly Kay Reynolds, who is leading a 10-day trip to Israel. The two discussed ways to advance cooperation between Israel and Iowa especially in water, technology and agriculture. The Iowa delegation will sign two inter-university agreements, with Tel Aviv University and the Volcani Center. [PicDesMoinesRegister

Henry Kissinger and Tony Blair to keynote memorial for Peres — by Raphael Ahren: “Prime Minister Netanyahu will miss a series of memorial events for former president Shimon Peres next week, as he is traveling to Latin America. Instead, President Reuven Rivlin, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger and ex-UK prime minister Tony Blair are scheduled to deliver keynote speeches at events marking one year since the elder statesman’s passing… Kissinger… is scheduled to speak at an event at the Peres Center in Jaffa to be attended by “senior security officials, the Peres family and close friends, and honored guests from Israel and abroad,” according to the center.” [ToI

2018 WATCH: “Gov hopeful Biss dumps alderman as running mate over Israel remarks” by Tina Sfondeles: “Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss has dropped running mate Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa from his ticket amid backlash over comments the rookie alderman made about Israel… “Carlos Ramirez-Rosa and I have reached a difficult decision about our ticket. As of today, I’ll be moving forward with a new running mate,” Biss said in a statement. “Growing up with an Israeli mother, grandparents who survived the Holocaust, and great-grandparents who did not survive, issues related to the safety and security of the Jewish people are deeply personal to me.”” [CHSunTimes] • Read Ramirez-Rosa’s statement here [Facebook]

“In Illinois, a Democrat chooses a socialist running mate, then dumps him” by David Weigel: “In short order, endorsers began criticizing or dumping Biss, and volunteers in some parts of Illinois bolted his campaign. (“Worse than Palin IMO. At least McCain stuck with her,” said one Illinois Democratic source.) The Chicago branch of Our Revolution, Sanders’s political network, issued a statement of “disappointment and shock” with Biss’s move.” [WashPost]

HAPPENING TODAY: Former UN Ambassador John Bolton will headline a fundraiser in Chicago in support of Jeremy Wynes, who’s running for the House of Representatives in Illinois’ 10th Congressional District. Bolton announced his endorsement yesterday. Additionally, the John Bolton PAC will contribute $10,000 to the Wynes campaign.

2020 WATCH: “Pro-Israel group slams Booker in new ad” by Gabriel DeBenedetti“The conservative Committee for Israel nonprofit group is launching a television broadside against Democratic New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker on Wednesday, assailing him for voting against a measure that would scale back funding to the Palestinian Authority. “Stabbings, shootings, suicide bombings. Israelis and Americans killed by Palestinian terrorists, and we’re paying for it… Finally, Democrats and Republicans are coming together to stop it,” says the narrator of the 30-second ad, produced by the organization previously known as the Emergency Committee for Israel… “But not Cory Booker. He ran here as a friend to Israel. Just four years later he’s eyeing a run for president and throwing Israel under the bus. Call Booker. Tell him we noticed.” [Politico

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Goldman’s Blankfein on Markets: ‘Things Have Been Going Up for Too Long’ [WSJ] • Xerion CEO Daniel Arbess on U.S. Economy, Corporate Profits [Bloomberg] • Soros kid’s divorce may cost him his art collection [NYPost] • Sale of Brooklyn Housing Complex Would Benefit Trump [NYTimes] • Madoff Investors Recover 72% of Losses With New Trustee Deal [Bloomberg• Why WeWork Thinks It’s Worth $20 Billion[Wired• Emails show clash between Trump appointees and Facebook over Zuckerberg glacier visit [WashPost

“Silicon Valley’s Politics: Liberal, With One Big Exception” by Farhad Manjoo: “You would think that people with enough money to influence the political system would obviously use that influence to increase social and economic inequality in ways that benefit them,” said David Broockman, an assistant professor of political economy at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business… “What’s surprising to us,” he continued, “is that you could find this group that says, ‘Actually, our taxes should go up and more money should go to things like universal health care, or that we should do more to protect the environment’ — but at the same time believes that regulations and labor unions are a problem.” [NYTimes]

OPINION: “Cult of Bibi has damaged American Israel advocacy” by Ben Judah: “There is something of a Bibi cult of personality in the pro-Israel world that exists in Washington. Initiatives have confused being pro-Israel with being pro-Bibi… But above all, the Bibi cult has blinded pro-Israel advocacy towards Israel itself. Not only has this increasingly blinkered pro-Israel Washington from the Israeli strategic and diplomatic thinking beyond the Prime Minister’s office. The Bibi cult has blinded the pro-Israel community to the overwhelmingly liberal US Jewish community. It is not for nothing the next generation of Jewish billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg or Google’s Sergey Brin are not as close to Israel advocacy as their predecessors.” [TheJC]

Rebuttal from Lahav Harkov: “It’s simple: Netanyahu has been PM for 8 years. That’s why it looks like mainstream pro-Israel organizations are pro-Netanyahu.” [Twitter]

KAFE KNESSET continued — Channel 20, out? Bibi’s beloved Channel 20 may soon be shut down. The channel, to some extent, aspires to be Israel’s version of Fox News, with media personality and critic of the left-wing, Shimon Riklin, serving as the fawning Sean Hannity to Netanyahu’s Trump. The channel was never actually meant to be a news channel. It was granted a government issued broadcast license as a “Heritage” (read: Jewish) channel. Since it is in violation of its license, Cable and Satellite Authority chairwoman Yifat Ben Chai-Sagiv recommended to foreclose on the channel’s NIS 4 million deposit. According to the law, this step, which has never been taken by the regulator in the past, is the legal precursor to shuttering the channel.

This problem would have never come up if Netanyahu had followed through on his policy proposal from when he was still Communications Minister, to open up the Israeli media to the free market instead of the government regulating what channels can be opened… Likud Minister Gilad Erdan pointed out that Channels 2 and 10 violated their licenses many times and were not shut down. Communications Minister Ayoob Kara told Kafe Knesset: “Channel 20 will not be shut down. Everyone has freedom of expression – not just the Left. [The regulator] can’t just let the Left stay open and not the Right. There are problems with the conditions of the license, and they will be dealt with according to law.” [KafeKnesset]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Study finds more than half of young Jews have ‘no religion’” by Shmuel Rosner: “The PRRI survey found that among the 2.3 percent of Americans who identify as Jews, about a third are “cultural Jews.” The study found that among those under age 30, fewer than half, 47 percent, identified as religiously Jewish while 53 percent are Jews of no religion… In sharp contrast, more than three-quarters (78 percent) of Jewish seniors (age 65 or older) are religiously Jewish, while 22 percent identify as culturally Jewish… Note how among young Jews the Orthodox group has already surpassed the Conservative group and is getting close to the Reform group. Also note that close to half of all younger Jews do not belong to any denomination.” [JewishJournal]

“Why Did Israel Let Mengele Go?” by Ronen Bergman: “Documents and interviews reveal that contrary to popular belief, for most of the time that [Josef] Mengele was in hiding, the Mossad wasn’t looking for him at all — or placed finding him far down its to-do list… The Mossad began pursuing Mengele in 1960 based on tips from Simon Wiesenthal, the celebrated Nazi hunter… On July 23, 1962, the Mossad operative Zvi Aharoni (who had identified Eichmann two years earlier) was on a dirt road by the farm where Mengele was believed to be hiding when he encountered a group of men — including one who looked exactly like the fugitive. The Mossad’s South American station chief cabled the headquarters in Israel… But the head of the Mossad at the time, Isser Harel, ordered the matter dropped.” [NYTimes

“The Best Way to See Tel Aviv — Through Graffiti” by Merav Savir“For [Elinoy] Kisslove, it’s important that people see art instead of vandalism. Her aim is to “open people’s eyes beyond the stigma and to introduce them to a world they didn’t know before.” She watches how tourgoers react to the graffiti and uses it as inspiration for her own — she refuses, though, to point out which pieces are hers. Some of Tel Aviv’s graffiti artists, who also prefer to remain anonymous, have provided Kisslove with information about their pieces. A few even stop to talk to the groups when they are caught in the act.” [Ozy

MEDIA WATCH: “TMZ Veteran Who Split With Site’s Founder Emerges as a Rival” by Brooks Barnes: “The Blast is financed by Banijay Group, which is based in France and has become one of the world’s largest independent television production and distribution companies…We weren’t sitting around plotting to launch the next entertainment news site,” said David Goldberg, the chief executive of Banijay Studios North America. “But when talent becomes available, you have to be prepared to jump.” … [Harvey] Levin, 67, essentially created [Mike] Walters… In 2005, when Mr. Levin and Telepictures, now a division of Warner Bros., teamed up to create TMZ.com, Mr. Walters was one of the site’s first employees.” [NYTimes

DESSERT: “Aaron Franklin Made Kosher Brisket, and More A.M. Intel” by Nadia Chaudhury: “Since Franklin Barbecue is temporarily closed because of that fire, pitmaster Aaron Franklin cooked up some kosher brisket for Izzy’s BBQ Addiction, kosher pitmaster Ari White of Wandering Que, and Texas Monthly barbecue editor Daniel Vaughn. He used a new pit outside of Franklin Barbecue.” [AustinEater

BIRTHDAYS: Palm Beach, Florida resident, formerly of Pound Ridge, Purchase and Rye, New York, the school at the Westchester (NY) Jewish Center bears her name, Beverly Cannold turns 92… Member of the UK’s House of Lords, he was a managing director of Marks and Spencer and is now active in many Jewish and other charities, Baron Andrew Zelig Stone turns 75… Political columnist for Time Magazine and author of the novel “Primary Colors,” Joe Klein turns 71… Color commentator for New York Yankees radio broadcasts, Suzyn Waldman turns 71… Billionaire owner and CEO of Gristedes Foods, the largest grocery chain in Manhattan, John Catsimatidis turns 69… Pulitzer Prize winning former national correspondent for the Los Angeles Times, now Director of Literary Journalism at UC-Irvine, Barry Siegel turns 68… Minneapolis area school counselor and language arts teacher, Sandra Sevig turns 68… Russian-born Chairman of the Mathematics Department at UCSD, formerly professor at both Yale and University of Chicago, Efim Zelmanov turns 62…

Global co-chair of the Israel practice in the Washington, D.C. office of Latham & Watkins where he is primarily a healthcare and life sciences partner, Stuart Kurlander turns 55… Bahraini Ambassador to the US (2008-2013) after four years in the Bahraini Parliament (2005-2008), both firsts for a Jewish woman, Houda Ezra Ebrahim Nonoo turns 53… Associate professor at George Washington University, author, lecturer, and community scholar of Manhattan’s Jewish Center, Dr. Erica Brown turns 51… Award winning writer at The Wall Street Journal and author of three best-selling books (book topics are John Paulson, fracking and, most recently, athletes overcoming challenges), Gregory Zuckerman turns 51… Screenwriter, producer and director of many succesful films and TV shows, Alex Kurtzman turns 44… Author of two New York Times best sellers and Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon turns 44… Contributing Editor at the Columbia Journalism Review, previously National Political Editor at the Washington Post, Maralee Schwartz… Executive assistant at the Republican Jewish Coalition, Karen McCormick

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