Daily Kickoff: Is Iran Sending Rockets Into Israel To Deflect Attention From Nuclear Deadline? | Wallenberg Awarded Gold Medal | Scenes at Sun Valley

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By Jacob Kornbluh & JI StaffEYE ON THE BALL – July 20th Fast Approaching: British Foreign Minister William Hague tells Austrian newspaper that significant differences remain between the six world powers and Iran in negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program. [Reuters] — Kerry expected to join Iran talks as deadline looms [AlMonitor] — IAEA: Seized nuclear material in Iraq ‘low grade’ [Reuters]

EYE OFF THE IRAN BALL: U.N. Security Council to meet today on Israel, Palestinian hostilities: “U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will brief the U.N. Security Council on Thursday on the escalating Israeli and Palestinian hostilities, which he described as a “troubling and volatile” situation. The 15-member body will meet at 10 a.m. EST on Thursday to discuss the violence that is building up to the most serious hostilities between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza since an eight-day war in 2012.”[Reuters]

‘PROTECTIVE EDGE’ — DAY 3: Map shows areas targeted by Hamas rockets (including interceptions) thus far [Twitter] — ‘Moderate’ Fatah joins Hamas and Islamic Jihad in missile launches [ToI] — WSJ A1 – Top Fold: “Gaza Rockets Reaching Deeper Into Israel” [WSJ] — Israelis in Tel Aviv remain defiantly blasé as barrages from Gaza bring conflict closer [WashPost] — A Growing Arsenal of Homegrown Rockets Encounters Israel’s Iron Dome [NYTimes] — Israel Escalates Aerial Offensive On Gaza [AP] — Netanyahu: Cease-fire with Hamas is not on Israel’s agenda [Haaretz] — Obama Administration in Disarray on Israel Crisis, Officials Say [FreeBeacon] — Failed Mideast Peace Effort Sidelines U.S. in Current Strife [WSJ] — Protesters attempt to storm Israeli embassy in Amman [JordanTimes]

TV ROUNDS — “The goal of the mission is to restore quiet to the South of Israel” – Ambassador Dermer on MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” from Capital Hill: “We have to defend our population… What do you think America, the United States, would want their government to do if more than three quarters of the population was coming under military attack? [MSNBC] — “Expect Israel to do what government would do” – Dermer on CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper”: “You should expect Israel’s government to do what any government would do… We have six million Israelis over the last two days that have had to run into bomb shelters in Israel… You can imagine what the American people would demand their government to do if two-thirds to three-quarters of the population of the country would have to run into bomb shelters… Would America use less force? The prime minister of Israel will do what he has to do to stop the rocket attacks.” [CNN]

“Israel didn’t start the war” – President Shimon Peres to CNN’s Becky Anderson: “We waited. We didn’t start the war today, they started it already several days ago. We warned them. We asked them to stop it. Stop shooting. No shooting We waited one day, two days, three days and they continued, and they spread their fire on more areas in Israel… If they will stop for example, tonight, there won’t be any grand entrance, but if they will continue, sooner or later this will be the response.” [CNN] — Former Israeli Ambassador to the United States and CNN’s Middle East commentator, Michael Oren couldn’t make it to the studio for a live interview on CNN International: Host to Oren on the phone: “You couldn’t make it, why is that?” “Oren: “Because the TV studio closed down. There were rockets fired at Tel Aviv a couple hours ago.. I was on the way to work, and all the cars pulled over to the side… ” — Michael Oren Warns: There’s No Iron Dome Against Abbas’s Moves [ToI]

 “No Moral Equivalency Between Hamas and Israel” – Sen. Chuck Schumer on Senate floor: Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), speaking Wednesday morning on the Senate floor, called out those who compare Israel’s actions in the Gaza Strip to the firing of rockets by Hamas and Palestinian terrorists. “The dangerous notion is that there’s a moral equivalence between the actions of Hamas, and those of the State of Israel,” said Schumer. “It must be said, there’s no moral equivalence between the actions, and reactions, of Israel, and Hamas and the Palestinian Authority to the violence that has occurred there.” [YouTube] — Rep. Ros-Lehtinen: The U.S needs to support Israel and Abbas must cut ties with terrorist group Hamas [YouTube]

OPTIMISTIC OP: “Why Zionism Outlives the Political Players Who Work for and Against It” or “Why Obama, Kerry, Abbas, Hamas, BDS, and Hezbollah Will All Go Poof” by Edward N. Luttwak[TabletMag]

—Other Ops: John Judis – “John Kerry’s First Peace Effort in Israel and Palestine Failed, But Now He Needs to Try Again [NewRepublic] — Matthew Levitt: “Hamas’ Not-So-Secret Weapon: Meet Salah al-Arouri, the Man Behind the Group’s Kidnapping Strategy [ForeignAffairs] — AJC’s David Harris: “To Israel’s critics – Want to be taken seriously by Israel and its friends? Here’s your moment to demonstrate your bona fides. [JPost] — Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen: “Save Freedom of Worship in the Middle East [NationalReview]

YESTERDAY ON THE HILL: Swedish-born businessman and diplomat Raoul Wallenberg was posthumously awarded a Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda. Speaker John Boehner, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority leader Mitch McConnell, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Reps Steny Hoyer, Gregory Meeks and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand spoke at the event; Rabbi Levi Shemtov delivered the invocation. [YouTube]

—At noon there was a luncheon to recognize the mission of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation and to honor the foundation’s President and Chairman, Eduardo Eurnekian, and founder, Baruch Tenembaum for their decades long commitment to preserving the memory of WallenbergSpotted in attendence: Senators Kirsten Gillibrand,  Ben Cardin,  Lindsey Graham, Johnny Isakson, Mark Kirk, Carl Levin and Ted Cruz; Reps  Doug Lamborn, Erik Paulsen, Chaka Fattah, Chris Van Hollen, Paul Gosar, Jim McDermott, Gregory Meeks, Brad Schneider, Steve Cohen, Randy Hultgren, Bob Goodlatte, Robert Pittenger, Steve Stockman, Rosa DeLauro, Jim McGovern and Dana Rohrabacher; From New York: Assmebly Speaker Shelly Silver and Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder. Vice President Joe Biden sent a personal letter, congratulating Ezra Friedlander, who spearheaded the Wallengberg medal, and Peter Rebenwurzel.

SCENE LAST NIGHT: President Barack Obama attended a DCCC fundraising event in Dallas, Texas, at the home of Marc Stanley, chairman of the National Jewish Democratic Council. Obama was joined by House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. The President spoke briefly, thanking the 50 Democratic supporters who paid anywhere from $10,000 per person to $32,000 per couple to attend the event.

SPOTTED AT SUN VALLEY: Mark Zuckerberg and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, together with their companions, enjoying a spirited conversation at a wine bar on the sidelines of Allen & Co.’s Sun Valley retreat. [Pic] — Other sights & scenes from Sun Valley [Variety]

Re. Alan Gross — U.S., Cuba Hold Migration Talks In Washington: “U.S. and Cuban officials discussed efforts to combat illegal migration, human smuggling and migratory document fraud in Washington on Wednesday, a rare moment of dialogue between countries that cut ties more than five decades ago… A U.S. State Department statement called the talks routine and said they did not indicate a change in policy toward Cuba. “In our interactions with the Cubans, the United States also regularly raises our concerns about the continued detention of Alan Gross, the poor state of human rights in Cuba and fugitives from U.S. justice,” the statement said.” [AP]

2016 WATCH: Gov. Cuomo Weighs Making Trip to Israel: “In his nearly four years in office, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has ventured beyond the borders of New York state only a handful of times. In coming months, that may change. According to people familiar with the plans, Mr. Cuomo’s administration is weighing a travel schedule that would send the governor to locations including Israel and Puerto Rico… administration officials planning the trips in recent weeks include Special Counsel Linda Lacewell, Cuomo liaison for Jewish affairs David Lobl… International travel is common for ambitious governors, particularly to Israel. Mr. Cuomo, however, hasn’t visited Israel since 2002, when he made two trips there during his bid for the Democratic nomination for governor of New York… I feel a connection, I feel a bond. It is something I would like to do personally,” Cuomo said of traveling to Israel, “and something I feel professionally the governor could do and should do.” [WSJ]

—Fresh off his recent trip to Israel, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee attacked President Obama for appearing at fundraisers when he should be dispatching the defense secretary and the secretary of state to Israel. “We need to suggest to the world that they back off, let Israel put Hamas out of business once and for all, do whatever it takes, including a ground operation in Gaza, and stop this nonsense,” Huckabee told Fox News’ Megyn Kelly. [YouTube] — Shalom, RNC! Looking for something Jewish to do? Here Ya go! [ClevelandJewishNews]

ADELSON MAKES FIFTH NEW HIRE TO FIGHT ONLINE GAMING: The casino company run by Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson has hired former Republican congressman Connie Mackand his firm Mack Strategies. Mack will be working for Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corp. on pushing his top priority: the Restoration of America’s Wire Act, a bill sponsored by Sen. Lindsey Graham that would ban all forms of gambling on the Internet. Adelson is building an arsenal of firms to work on the issue, which is divisive even within the gaming industry. [PoliticoInfluence]


**Good Thursday 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**


How Two Jewish High School Club Promoters Who Hated Each Other Built a Multi-Million Dollar Nightlife Empire: “For anyone that loves partying at the hottest venues in any major city in the world, chances are you’ve most likely frequented a place owned by Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg. This dynamic duo are the founders of Strategic Hospitality Group, the company that owns some of the most popular nightlife venues and restaurants to date, including Marquee, TAO, and LAVO. These venues collectively made close to $200 million in revenue in 2012 just for their Las Vegas locations alone. Their awards and recognitions include being honored by the Harvard Business School through a published case study on their work, as well as being named two of the 50 Most Powerful People in EDM by In The Mix in 2013… But all these accomplishments didn’t come without lots of hard work, dues being paid, and differences set aside. Although they are best friends today, Noah emphasized that they didn’t start out as friends when they started promoting clubs back in high school.” [NextShark]BUSINESS BRIEFS: Ari Emanuel’s Bad Week at IMG: CFO Peter Klein Exits. Multimillion-Dollar Kentucky Deal Flames Out: “Nobody said it was going to be easy for Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell to take over the giant sports talent agency IMG, but this week it just got significantly harder. Peter Klein, the finance executive who fronted the staggering $2.4 billion raise that was needed for William Morris Endeavor to buy IMG, has stepped down as chief financial officer after just six months in the job. Another blow came in the form of losing a multimillion-dollar contract with the University of Kentucky, which went to a start-up rival, an agency insider confirmed.” [TheWrap]

PROFILE: Yair Levy Gets Defiant – The developer says being banned from selling condos won’t stop his real estate comeback – by Katherine Clarke in the Real Deal Magazine: “Yair Levy, a native of Tel Aviv, is an investor and developer who rose to real estate prominence through several high-profile residential condo conversions during the boom, including the Sheffield, 225 Rector Place and the Park Columbus on the Upper West Side. But Levy’s roughly $400 million Manhattan real estate empire unraveled during the recession, with financial troubles and allegations of impropriety. In 2011, a state Supreme Court judge found that Levy was using the reserve fund at Rector Place for personal expenses and ordered him to pay $7.4 million in restitution. He was permanently banned him from selling condos and co-ops in New York State. Now Levy, who has denied that he stole from the fund, is getting back into the New York City real estate game… Why did you leave Tel Aviv? I had ambition.” [RealDeal]

HAARETZ ASKS “Could a Google driverless vehicle be kosher for Shabbat?” [Haaretz]

David and Alan Tisch raise $7.5 million for stealthy mobile shopping startup Spring: “The well-known New York entrepreneur David Tisch and his younger brother, Alan, have raised $7.5 million for a mobile shopping startup called Spring. The Series A funding was led by Thrive Capital the investment fund run by Josh Kushner… Now at 26 employees, Spring has built an e-commerce marketplace for stylish goods that is optimized for mobile devices.” [Fortune]

SPORTS BLINK: Donald Sterling calls his wife ‘a pig,’ says he will never sell Clippers: “A unhinged Donald Sterling called his wife a “pig” in court Wednesday, after he defiantly shouted on the witness stand that he will never sell the LA Clippers. “Make no mistake today,” Sterling shouted toward the end of his second day of testimony in an LA Superior Court trial that will determine if the sale goes through. “I will never, ever sell this team, and until I die, I will be suing the NBA for this terrible violation under antitrust.” As Shelly prepared to follow him on the stand, she tried to approach him in the front row of the courtroom, and he went ballistic. “Get away from me, you pig!” he shouted. The judge slammed the rage-­aholic and told him to make no further comments.” [NYPost]

DESSERT: Beyond Schnecken and Challah: David Magerman’s New Kosher Bakery Opens In Bala Cynwyd: “David Magerman’s Six Points Restaurant Group has just reached the halfway point of living up to its name. Following the successful 2012 debut of Citron and Rose, which ushered in a new era of upscale kosher dining, and the 2013 launch of Six Points Catering, Magerman is now staking out a claim on the kosher carbs consumed by Main Line residents with the July 8 opening of Six Points Bakery in Bala Cynwyd. The bakery, located next to Murray’s Deli on Montgomery Avenue, just a scone’s throw from Citron and Rose, is Magerman’s on-the-fly response to the numerous delays involved with getting his second restaurant, The Dairy, also on Montgomery Avenue in Narberth.” [JewishExponent]

That’s all folks, have a great Thursday! 

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


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