Daily Kickoff: Ballmer to buy NBA Clippers; Inside Look at AIEF Trip; Newsweek’s At It Again; Iran Uses John Bolton To Spy On Americans

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By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Members of the Congressional Israel Allies Caucus as well as a Knesset delegration from Israel, and members of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus celebrated ‘Jerusalem Day on The Hill’ yesterday evening at the Gold Room in the Rayburn House building. Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer addressed the crowd. Among those who attended: Reps Trent Franks, Juan Vargas, Eliot Engel, Gene Green, Brad Sherman and Doug Lamborn. Also: Israel’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) as well as MK Yehiel Bar (Labor), MK Elazar Stern (HaTnuah), MKZvulun Kalfa (Bayit Yehudi), and MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid); Josh Zarka, Minister for Congressional Affairs and Alan  Clemmons, a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives…

HAPPENING TODAY: NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, Council Member Mark Levine, and the New York City Council Jewish Caucus will host at 10a.m. a panel discussion on “Increasing Economic Ties between New York City and Israel.” Panelists will include Knesset members Yehiel Hilik Bar (Labor) and Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid).

2016 WATCHNORPAC, Howard Jonas and Nick Muzin will host a fundraiser for Sen. Ted Cruzon Sunday at Abigael’s on Broadway in NYC after Cruz participates at the Israel day parade concert. —Concert organizer, Dr. Joseph Frager, gave Arutz Sheva a preview of the political and music lineup for Sunday’s concert. Proffessor Alan Dershowitz is expected to introduce his ‘star’ student Ted Cruz. John Bolton and Danny Danon will address the crowd as well. [ArutzSheva]

TOP TALKER: Iran Is Using Neocon John Bolton to Hack Its Foes: “In Iran’s intelligence war against America, the regime has a new weapon: “John R. Bolton.” No, Iran has not turned President Bush’s former ambassador to the United Nations into a sleeper agent. Instead, hackers believed to be connected to the Tehran government are posing as Bolton on social media platforms in a scheme to get human rights activists and national security wonks to hand over their passwords and user names.

“The fake Bolton LinkedIn account provides a window into how Iran’s hackers are trying to penetrate the policy networks of their government’s adversaries. Most experts say Iran lacks the sophistication to launch the kinds of advanced cyber attacks it has suffered at the hands of the west, such as the Stuxnet worm that burrowed into the Natanz uranium enrichment facility. But the Linkedin attack and others like it exposed this week by the cyber security firm iSight Partners show how aggressive Iran’s cyber spies can be to obtain the kind of personal information that could be used to blackmail and compromise the people Iran’s regime considers its enemies in Washington.” [DailyBeast]

—Sudan says it declined Iran air defense offer after attack: “Sudan turned down an Iranian offer to set up air defences on its Red Sea coast after a 2012 air strike Khartoum blamed on Israel, fearing they would upset Iran’s regional rival Saudi Arabia, Sudan’s foreign minister was quoted as saying on Thursday.” [Reuters] —— Harold Rhode & Joseph Raskas OpEd: “Iran’s Strategy to Develop Nuclear Weapons” [Gatestone]

INSIDE LOOK: Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) is currently visiting Israel on a trip sponsored by the American Israel Educational Foundation, the charitable arm of AIPAC. Exclusive photos [Jewish Insider]

Palestinians say PM Hamdallah to visit Washington in June: “Palestinian sources said PA Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, slated to serve as premier in the anticipated unity government, will visit Washington, DC in June, Israel Radio reported. Hamdallah will meet with lawmakers and senior administration officials, according to the sources.” [AFP] — Kerry: Israel’s approach to PA unity is appropriate [ToI/PBS] — Nathan Guttman: American Dovish Groups Facing Grim New Reality After Peace Talks Collapse [Forward]

NEWSWEEK AT IT AGAIN: “Israel Eavesdropped on President Clinton’s Diplomatic Phone Calls”: “Israeli intelligence eavesdropped on phone calls between President Bill Clinton and Syria’s late strongman Hafez al-Assad during sensitive Middle East peace negotiations 15 years ago, a forthcoming book says, citing verbatim transcripts of the calls.” [Newsweek]

DE BLASIO UNDER FIRE AGAIN: “Mayor de Blasio was too distracted by well-wishers to listen when an Orthodox rabbi went on a tirade against reform and Conservative Judaism at a dinner Tuesday night, aides said. De Blasio stayed mum after Yaakov Perlow, the leading rabbi of Agudath Israel of America — a huge backer of the mayor and host of the event — blasted the secular orientation of non-Orthodox streams of Judaism. But de Blasio, who spoke at the dinner, didn’t take issue with the comments. He couldn’t understand Perlow, who spoke with a heavy accent peppered with Yiddish and Hebrew, aides said Thursday. The aides added that de Blasio was also distracted by people at the dinner who were greeting him.

—”Prominent rabbis blasted Perlow for his controversial denunciations of other Jewish denominations — but did not take issue with de Blasio’s failure to criticize Perlow. “It’s not so much what the mayor did or didn’t do,” Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, executive director of the New York Board of Rabbis, told the Daily News.“It’s the fact that a leader would make such disparaging comments about our people. The real problem is someone could make these kinds of statements to disparage 90% of the Jewish community.” Rabbi David-Seth Kirshner echoed the sentiment: “In Judaism, it’s a considered a major transgression to publicly shame a person or a group of people,” said the conservative rabbi, who leads a temple in New Jersey. “To me, if the mayor would have publicly rebuked them, he would have put himself on the same level.” [NY Daily News]

**Good Morning! 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: Westfield Founder Frank Lowy Pushes Ahead With Split [WSJ] — George Soros Scores A Win Against Gabriel’s John Paulson and Seth Klarman [ValueWalk] —— Zuckerberg gifts $120M to CA schools [AP] — Michael Bloomberg bashes liberal McCarthyism at Harvard commencement [Reuters] — A Day in the Life of Art Lawyer Joshua Roth [WSJ] — Paul Singer’s Elliot Cements Real Estate Stradegy With NYC Deal [ValueWalk]

SPORTS BLINK: From one Jewish owner to another – “Ballmer’s $2 Billion Offer Wins Clippers Bidding”: “Former Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer bought the Los Angeles Clippers for a record $2 billion as the wife of Donald Sterling pushed through the sale without gaining the approval of the embattled owner. Shelly Sterling signed a binding contract with Ballmer, according to a PR Newswire statement. She was acting under her authority as the sole trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, which owns the Clippers. “Ballmer made a tremendous, tremendous buy, he got a bargain,” former Sacramento Kings owner Joe Maloof said in a telephone interview. “There’s nothing like sports franchises in the big cities. Steve did the right thing, even if he overpaid in the short term. Long term, it’s a smart play.”[Bloomberg]

OBAMA CHALLENGED: Marc Lasry not shy about 1-on-1 challenge to Obama: “New Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry issued a challenge of sorts to President Obama during a radio interview with WKLH. Lasry, who has close ties with former President Bill Clinton and Obama, was asked if he ever had played 1-on-1 against Obama. “I have talked to him about playing,” Lasry said. “I’d say I think I would win. I can shoot the three, and I think I can drive by him.” Lasry showed a nice touch at the Cousins Center and joked that he could invite Obama to play at the Cousins Center now. And the new owner said he hopes Clinton will attend a Bucks home game, possibly the home opener.” [JournalSentinel]

START-UP NATION: Massachusetts teams up with Israel on water technology issues [BostonGlobe] — ASIA PIVOT: Israel’s Tech Industry Is Becoming All About ‘China, China, China’ [Bloomberg] — China’s Flon Medical may raise investment in Israel’s CollPlant [Reuters] — Israeli car seat stroller takes on travel woes [ToI]

WSJ HOUSES OF WORSHIP COLUMN: Shmuly Yanklowitz – “Why This Rabbi Is Swearing Off Kosher Meat” [WSJ]

TOP READ: The Almost-Forgotten Jewish Artist Who Propagandized Against Hitler: “Forty years ago, the young rabbi Irvin Ungar found himself enamored with the work of a Polish émigré illustrator, Arthur Szyk. The artist’s last name (pronounced Shik) had been known to readers of Colliers, Esquire, and Time magazines before, during, and shortly after World War II for his intricate anti-Nazi caricatures and his minutely detailed medieval-style illuminations created for biblical stories, Jewish texts, and secular literature. After his death in 1951, however, Szyk was virtually forgotten.

“But Ungar, who obsessively collected the artist’s work, set about reviving his artistic legacy: founding the Arthur Szyk Society; publishing several monographs, catalogs and newsletters; and curating and contributing to exhibitions here and abroad. A new documentary created in part by Ungar, Soldier in Art: Arthur Szyk, has screened in six film festivals and is scheduled to show at the Laemmle Theatres in West Los Angeles and Encino, May 30 through June 5.” [AtlanticMag]

That’s all folks, have a great Friday!

**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email  editor@jewishinsider.com**


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