Daily Kickoff: Obama’s OpEd In Haaretz | Zuckerberg’s Immigration Push Is Failing | Mazal Tov – Scooter Braun & Yael Cohen | Livni, Kampeas BDays

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ISRAEL LAUNCHES ‘PROTECTIVE EDGE’ GAZA OFFENSIVE: How it’s playing, Pick your headline – “Israel Steps Up Offensive Against Hamas in Gaza” [NYTimes] — “Gaza Rockets Barrage Israel Readying for Possible Escalation” [Bloomberg] — Israel Launches Military Offensive Against Gaza Militants [AP] [Reuters] — As Israel prepares for wider campaign on Gaza, US signals limited support [JPost] — Israel eyes ground op in Gaza; Netanyahu: Gloves Are Off [ToI] — Israel issues warning as rocket fire maintained [IrishTimes] — Palestinian Rioters Bomb Jerusalem Light Rail [FreeBeacon] — #BBCtrending: Are #GazaUnderAttack images accurate? [BBC]President Obama Penned An Exclusive OpEd For Haaretz This Morning For Their One Day Conference on Peace: On the recent escalation in the region: “As a father myself, I cannot imagine the pain endured by the parents of Naftali Fraenkel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach, who were tragically kidnapped and murdered in June.  I am also heartbroken by the senseless abduction and murder of Mohammed Hussein Abu Khdeir, whose life was stolen from him and his family… At this dangerous moment, all parties must protect the innocent and act with reasonableness and restraint, not vengeance and retribution… On Israel’s security: As I’ve said time and again, neither I nor the United States will ever waver in our commitment to the security of Israel and the Israeli people… Over the past five years, we’ve expanded our cooperation and today, as Israel’s leaders have affirmed, the security relationship between Israel and the United States is stronger than ever… Budgets in Washington are tight, but our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad… Across the board, our unprecedented security cooperation is making Israel safer, and American investments in Israel’s cutting-edge defense systems like the Arrow interceptor system and Iron Dome are saving lives…”

— On Iran: “We are attempting to peacefully address a major threat to global and regional security, including the security of Israel. We have been clear that any agreement must provide concrete, verifiable assurances that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful, and we have consulted closely with Israel throughout this process. As we draw near to the deadline for negotiations, we do not yet know if these talks will succeed, but our bottom line has not changed. We are determined to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and we are keeping every option on the table to accomplish that goal…”

—- On peace: “The United States will never give up on the hope of a lasting peace, which is the only path to true security for Israel… Peace is necessary because it’s the only way to ensure a secure and democratic future for the Jewish state of Israel. While walls and missile defense systems can help protect against some threats, true safety will only come with a comprehensive negotiated settlement…  Just as the Israeli people have the right to live in the historic homeland of the Jewish people, the Palestinian people deserve the right to self-determination… Both parties must be willing to take risks for peace. But at the end of the day, we know where negotiations must lead—two states for two peoples. Refusing to compromise or cooperate with one another won’t do anything to increase security for either the Israeli or the Palestinian people. The only solution is a democratic, Jewish state living side-by-side in peace and security with a viable, independent Palestinian state… When the political will exists to recommit to serious negotiations, the United States will be there, ready to do our part. [Haaretz]

Jeffrey Goldberg Tweets: “Obama Haaretz op-ed appears day after Hamas fired 100 rockets at Israeli civilian targets.” [Twitter]

OP-EDS: Abbas: “I am totally committed to the vision of a two-state solution, normalization and peace with our neighbor – Israel. This is the reason I have joined Pope Francis – together with President Peres – in prayer for peace. My people want peace.. This is the sacred obligation of Israelis and Palestinians alike to our children. [Haaretz] — Saudi Prince Turki Al Faisal: Peace would be possible with the Arab Peace Initiative at its core [Haaretz] — NYTimes Editorial Board: Can Israeli and Palestinian Leaders End the Revenge Attacks? [NYTimes] — Lee Smith: How John Kerry’s Failed Peace Negotiations Set Off The Spiral of Violence Between Israel and the Palestinians [TabletMag] — Benny Avni: “Playing to the refs: Palestinians’ problem with peace [NYPost]

HAPPENING TODAY: Haaretz Conference on Peace in Tel Aviv: Former Congressman Robert Wexler: “There is no other issue besides Israel that brings Republicans and Democrats together… To be a Jewish & Democratic state, Israel needs internationally recognized border.” Peter Beinart: “AIPAC doesn’t really support the two-state solution if it supports investments in settlements… If test of Jewish power fails in Israel, it fails for all of us… Any talk of delegitimization has to question what Israel’s legitimacy is based on… Nothing I ever write could ever be as critical of Jews as the Tanach — the Bible… No doubt things I write are used by people who wish to do Israel harm… Young U.S. Jews are more susceptible to appeal of one-state solution.” J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami: “Hard to argue there isn’t division among American Jews about Israel… We on center-left need to form similar bond with Israeli left… Jewish community doing a disservice to future of Jewry by boycotting J Street… I wish power & clout of Aipac would be thrown behind to promote two-state solution.” Check out the full schedule [here]Watch the live stream [here]

SCENE THE OTHER NIGHT: Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem Holds Official Grand Opening Gala: “Hotel executives from Israel and abroad gathered for the official gala opening on Sunday night of the ultra-luxurious Waldorf Astoria after a running-in period of two months… Some 700 special guests joined them at a festive reception in the Palace Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria… Formerly the Palace Hotel in the period before the establishment of the state, the property was later taken over by the state and turned into a government ministry. In 2012, the property for the Waldorf Astoria hotel and residential complex was purchased through IPC Jerusalem Ltd. by the Canadian- based Reichmann family… On Sunday evening, Hilton VP Simon Vincent was happy to host journalists and special guests, including the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theophilos III and Malcolm Hoenlein” [JPost]

BuzzFeed’s Sheera Frenkel Profiles La Familia – The Hardline Soccer Fans Accused Of Killing A Palestinian Teenager: “Moshe Aviram flashed a smile as he yelled “Death to Arabs” at a passing car on a busy street in Beit Shemesh. It was not a protest, he explained, but an “action” he would later boast about on the online forum for hardline fans of the soccer team Beitar Jerusalem. “We will carry out other actions, God willing, this is just the beginning,” he said. “We aren’t afraid to do what is needed.” Aviram is part of La Familia, a dedicated group of several thousand fans of the Jerusalem team, who take as much pride in their devout allegiance to the far-right group as they do in their anti-Palestinian chants and racist slogans. Over the weekend, police arrested six people for the kidnapping and murder of Palestinian teen Muhammed Abu Khudair. The group, they said, were all part of the La Familia, and had taken part in an anti-Palestinian rally the day before killing Abu Khudair.” [BuzzFeed] — How Soccer Hooliganism Leads to Violence Everywhere—Including Israel [TabletMag]

Eric Cantor Out of Money Following Defeat – By Politico’s Jake Sherman and John Bresnahan: Eric Cantor’s political machine has asked his House GOP colleagues to cut checks so he can wind down his once-powerful campaign committee, as well as pay his campaign staffers and cover any other related costs stemming from his stunning defeat last month… Cantor had $1.5 million in his re-election account… Cantor needs to raise approx. $150,000 to shut down his campaign committee… Doug Heye, Cantor’s deputy chief of staff, confirmed that campaign aides have solicited GOP lawmakers for donations. Cantor himself has not asked colleagues for money. [Politico]

—RJC Q2 FILING REPORT: The Republican Jewish Coalition raised $90,000 in the most recent quarter filing (4/1-6/30). They remain with $107,832.58 cash on hand. Sheldon and Miriam Adelsoneach contributed $5,000. The rest consisted from $5,000 checks by Ari Fleischer, Wayne Berman, Ronald Bloom, Michael David Epstein, David Flaum, Sam Fox, Phyllis Heideman, Mark Isakowitz, David Kaplan, George Klein, Eliot Lauer, Michael D Miller, Larry Mizel, Richard Sambol, Florence Shapiro, Walter P. Stern. The RJC contributed a total of $25,000 to various Senate and Congressional campaigns. This includes $10,000 to the Mitch McConell for Senate campaign (KY), $5K for Senator Tim Scott (SC), $5K for Rep. Tom Cotton‘s campaign for Senate (Arkansas) and $5K for Taylor Griffin, a former aide to President George W. Bush, running for congress in North Carolina’ 3rd district. [FEC]

—RJC Board Member David Flaum Among Casino Bidders Who Have Spent $11M on Lobbying New York Legislators [CapitalNewYork]


**Good Tuesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share 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 — Sen. Corker blocks Rand Paul’s Israel Act of 2014: For the second time, Sen.Rand Paul tried to get unanimous consent Monday to pass S. 2265, the Stand with Israel Act. Paul said he renewed his call for the legislation in part because of the killing of three Israeli teenagers. “The only thing that’s consistent about foreign aid is that it continues to flow,” Paul said on the Senate floor. “I don’t believe that foreign aid should go to countries that host terrorists within their government.” Sen Bob Corker said Paul’s legislation deserved the consideration of the full Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “This is an issue I really believe the committee itself should deal with first,” Corker said. [The Hill]—“Harry Reid blocking Israel Act bill,” Ted Cruz says on the Mark Levin show: “Just today, Hamas launched 80 rockets into Israel designed to murder innocent civilians.. And in my view, the U.S should not send a single penny to any unity government that has Hamas as a part of it… I think if we had a vote on it, we probably would get a majority of Senators. Which is precisely why Harry Reid, in all likelihood, would prevent a vote… “Harry Reid will not allow a vote on Iran sanctions ..because he doesn’t want to oppose the Obama administration, and the Obama administration is unwilling to stand up to Islamic terrorists effectively.”

Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration push hits brick wall: “Mark Zuckerberg’s immigration reform push had all the capital, connections and star power to merit success. But not even Silicon Valley could make this investment — and the Facebook founder’s first foray into national politics — pay off… Tech leaders poured millions into FWD.us, an immigration advocacy group that has dominated ad buys, launched elaborate hackathons and coddled conservatives in an effort to revamp the country’s immigration system. It galloped into the debate with the tech industry’s classic certainty but wound up facing the same obstacles that have halted reform for decades.” [Politico]

STARTUP NATION: Israel’s PlayBuzz Takes a Page (View) Out of BuzzFeed’s Playbook: “A tiny start-up founded by the son a former Israeli prime minister is climbing the online news pop charts by shamelessly riding the coat-tails of BuzzFeed, the online news phenomenon. Two-year-old PlayBuzz, co-founded by Chief Executive Shaul Olmert and currently employing just 16 staff, already attracts more traffic than aol and upworthy. Unlike BuzzFeed, which creates most of its content in-house, PlayBuzz employs just two writers, relying on users and independent publishers—even other news organizations—to generate the rest. Such publishers will post their content on their own site, but can also allow it to be posted and shared on PlayBuzz. Mr. Olmert says about 80% of its content is created by these publishers, who use PlayBuzz to get their content out there. Mr. Olmert, a well-known tech entrepreneur in Israel and the third son of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, has raised about $3.8 million in seed money, most of that–$3 million–from Israeli venture fund Carmel Ventures.” [WSJ Digits]

Facebook Israel’s development center is currently recruiting 20 new developers to work at Onavo with a project called internet.org, the goal of which is to connect people to the Internet [Globes] — Cyprus-based Viber, Rakuten’s corporate venture capital arm, Rakuten Ventures in Israel, announced a new $100M global venture fund [TOI— Rise of the Machines: Why the Army Wants These Israeli Bots – Video [Bloomberg] — Why Waze Is Helping Local Governments Track Users [Forbes]

SPORTS BLINK: NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo, Israelis team up to help Africa: “Israel’s Innovation: Africa, which specializes in bringing solar power to the continent, is teaming up with Mutombo to bring electricity to a hospital in his hometown, enabling caregivers to provide help to tens of thousands who currently don’t have access to decent medical care… Mutombo and eight other NBA All-Stars will travel this week to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — where Mutombo was born and raised — to inaugurate a new solar powered electricity system at the Biamba Marie Mutombo Hospital in Kinshasa, Mutombo’s hometown. It will allow doctors to conduct nighttime surgeries and provide refrigeration for medicines and vaccines.” [ToI]

WEEKEND WEDDING: Mazal Tov to Scooter Braun and Yael Cohen! Business Insider – “Justin Bieber’s Manager Scooter Braun Married F-Cancer Founder Yael Cohen In Star-Studded Ceremony: Justin Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, tied the knot Sunday with a Jewish ceremony in Whistler, Canada to Yael Cohen in front of many of the couple’s celebrity friends, including Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sophia Bush, Tom Hanks, and Rita Wilson.” Justin Bieber Posted A Video of Actor Tom Hanks Dancing Dressed Like A Rabbi [BusinessInsider]

BIRTHDAYS: JTA’s Washington Bureau Chief Ron Kampeas turns 54… Israel’s Justice Minister Tzipi Livni turns 56. 

That’s all folks, have a great Tuesday! 

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


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