Daily Kickoff: Dermer at White House for Iftar dinner | Kerry Looks To Extend Iran Talks | Bill Clinton’s Jewish Joke | Amar’e Prays For Palestine

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ISRAEL AGREES TO CEASE-FIRE PLAN BUT HAMAS REJECTS THE EGYPTIAN PROPOSAL: “Israel said Tuesday its security cabinet has accepted an Egyptian proposal for a cease-fire with Hamas to end a weeklong air war over the Gaza Strip and Israeli population centers. However, in a statement released before Israel’s acceptance, the military wing of Hamas said it didn’t accept any plan to stop fighting. “For us, it is not worth the ink that wrote it,” the group said. “Our battle with the enemy is to be continued and we’ll be loyal to the blood of the martyrs.” [WSJ] — Avi Issacharoff Analysis: Egyptian ceasefire proposal leaves Hamas cornered: Either the Islamists accept near-humiliating terms, or they risk isolation and a stepped-up Israeli military assault. Could it be that Jerusalem and Cairo hatched this move together, in order to corner Hamas? [ToI—Netanyahu Warns Hamas On Rejecting Truce: “If Hamas rejects the Egyptian proposal and the rocket fire from Gaza does not cease, and that appears to be the case, we are prepared to continue and intensify our operation” [FoxNews]

—Kerry Slams Hamas For Bucking Ceasefire With Israel: “I cannot condemn strongly enough the actions of Hamas in so brazenly firing rockets in multiple numbers in the face of a goodwill effort to offer a ceasefire, in which Egypt and Israel worked together, that the international community strongly supports,” Kerry told reporters in Vienna on Tuesday morning.” [JPost]

IRAN TALKS: Kerry Cites Big Gaps In Nuclear Talks With Iran; Will Consult With D.C. About Possible Extension [AP] — Fate of the Iran Nuclear Talks Hangs on Three Questions:“Extension Is Likeliest Outcome for Now, but Regime Faces a Reckoning. 1. Does Iran consider a deal vital? 2. Who is calling the shots? “Officials say there are new signs the Iranian team may not have the full backing of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, or the powerful leaders of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.” 3. Does Iran think its strategic situation is changing for the worse? This is in many ways the broadest and most intriguing question. Iran’s calculation on whether its position is eroding in a rapidly destabilizing Middle East could go a long way in determining how eager it is to end its isolation by striking a deal.” [WSJ]

—“Iran Outlines Nuclear Deal; Accepts Limit” by David E. Sanger in the NYTimes: “Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, faced with an imminent deadline for an agreement with the West on the future of the country’s nuclear program, said in an interview on Monday that Iran could accept a deal that essentially freezes its capacity to produce nuclear fuel at current levels for several years, provided it is then treated like any other nation with a peaceful nuclear program.” [NYTimes] — National Iranian American Council released a study claiming “Iran sanctions are costing U.S. $175 billion in lost trade.” Treasury spokeswoman: “costs are well worth bearing and $175B represented less than 1% of U.S. exports over the period.” [WSJ

SCENE LAST NIGHT: President Obama hosted a White House dinner marking Ramadan last night and told the crowd of Muslim-Americans and diplomats from predominantly Muslim countries gathered in the State Dining Room that Israel has the right to defend itself. “I will say very clearly, no country can accept rocket fired indiscriminately at citizens… We’ve been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself against what I consider to be inexcusable attacks from Hamas.” The first Muslin elected to Congress, Rep.Keith Ellison (D-MN), and the Israeli ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer, were also on the guest list. According to White House aides, it was President Obama’s sixth Iftar dinner at the White House.
—Interfaith leaders launch daylong unity fast today for Mideast peace: “While the violence escalates in Israel and Gaza, a movement is taking hold that unites Jews, Muslims and others in a campaign for peace. Using the Twitter hashtag #HungryforPeace?, the cause started in Israel and gained strength in England, promoted by Yachad, a U.K.-based pro-Israel, pro-peace group. Last weekend, it was announced in temples, mosques and churches in the U.S.” [ReligionNewsService]TOP OPS: Bret Stephens: “The Palestinian Blessing” – “If you must have a nemesis, better it be a stupid one.” [WSJ] — Yoav Fromer: “The Missiles keeping Israel safe may do more long-term harm than good” …Over time, Iron Dome may do them more harm than good. What looks like a tactical miracle may, accidentally, help engender a grave strategic blunder. Technology can mislead us by providing a false sense of security. But it cannot – and must not – become a substitute for effective diplomacy. And Iron Dome’s ability to protect Israelis from periodic rocket attacks so far will never remove the strife and discontent that has produced the motivation to ruthlessly fire them in the first place.” [WashPost] — Avital Leibovich: “Reflections on Gaza From an Israeli Mother” [WSJ] — The Volokh Conspiracy: “Vox refuses to correct Max Fisher’s error re Hebron” [WashPost] — Michael Doran: “Get Tough with Tehran” [Brookings]

TOP TWEET: @realDonaldTrump: “Iran looks like it is toying with John Kerry on nuclear talks – he is begging for a deal to save face. Negotiation is just not his thing.” [Twitter]

NYPost: “Bill Clinton cracks Jewish joke to a bunch of Jewish Republicans”: “The joke — which Clinton reportedly told at the 2003 Preakness Stakes in Baltimore — describes two Jews walking by a church that is offering $100 to people who convert. “Surely the former president of the United States is not about to tell an anti-Semitic story . . . This, of course, is exactly what he does,” reported Weekly Standard online editor Daniel Halpera, author of “Clinton, Inc.” Abe, one of the Jews, takes the cash and promises to give half to his pal. “Hey! Look at the new Catholic here,” Abe’s friend says. “You got my money?” The recently converted Abe responds: “You ­f–king Jews. It’s all about the money, isn’t it?” The joke fell flat, Halper said.” [NYPost] — Report: Chuck Schumer Secretly Helped Hillary Campaign Opponent: “One person described as not keen on the idea of Clinton joining the Senate is Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), who was so fearful of being up-staged he coached Rep. Rick Lazio, Clinton’s eventual Republican opponent, on his 2000 campaign, according to Lazio.” [NYPost]

2016 Watch: “Memo to Jewish donors: Rand Paul would be good for Israel” by Lawrence Solomon in The Hill: “Had the famously libertarian Paul been president instead of Barack Obama or George W. Bush, he wouldn’t have stopped Israel from taking out Iran’s nuclear bomb capabilities when the taking was easy. Iran, as a result, would have been greatly diminished, rather than ascendant as it now is, in control of much of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon and in pursuit of others…

“Had Paul been president instead of Bill Clinton and George H. Bush, he wouldn’t have forced Israel to make the many concessions that led to the disastrous Oslo Accords, which reinstated Palestinian Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat in power, triggered intifadas that took 1,000 Israeli lives through bombs planted in buses and restaurants, and taught radicals that terrorism pays…. Jewish donors provide an outsized contribution to political parties: They represent some 20 percent of Republican and some 50 percent to 60 percent of Democratic funding, explaining why Democrats and Republicans alike vie for their support. Those donors who value Israel’s existence, and America’s security, need not fear a President Paul.” [TheHill]

—The Hippie Punching of Rand Paul: “Rick Perry attacks his isolationism. Peter King blasts his ‘blame America’ stance. John McCain might pick Hillary over him. How the Kentucky senator became his party’s favorite target” by David Freedlander in the Daily Beast: “This whole thing comes down to one Nevada billionaire,” said Rick Wilson, a GOP strategist who worked on Rudy Giuliani’s 2008 presidential campaign. “This is the Sheldon Adelson primary playing out. [Perry] is drawing a distinction between two very different visions of the party.” Adelson, a casino magnate, helped bankroll Newt Gingrich’s and later Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run, and is a fervent supporter of Israel. Hence the persistent line of attack on Paul that his lack of support for beefing up the American military would endanger the Jewish state.” [DailyBeast]


**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**


SPORTS BLINK: Knicks’ Amar’e Stoudemire Posts Pro-Palestine Photo, Allegedly Cyberbullies Israeli Journalist Over Twitter: ‘The Big Liability,’ who is allegedly part-Jewish, posted—and then deleted—an Instagram that read “Pray for Palestine,” and then reportedly proceeded to harass Becky Griffin, an Israeli-born journalist over Twitter. The Daily Beast contacted Griffin via email and she explained that the reason for her ire is that, “He should have prayed for both sides, as I tweeted,” she said, “Especially a dude who does business in Israel, owns a basketball club, and holds a camp. So hundreds of rockets that target Israeli civilians every day is not worth praying for?” The Daily Beast also reached out to Amar’e Stoudemire’s representatives but they did not respond to a request for a comment.”[DailyBeast]TALK OF THE TOWN: New York City Officials Rally For Israel, Over Loud Protests: “At a pro-Israel rally on the steps of City Hall on Monday, dozens of elected officials asserted Israel’s right to self-defense, over the sustained chants of roughly 100 pro-Palestinian protesters. The two groups competed to be heard at the event, as the protesters shouted from outside the gates at both the east and west entrances to City Hall, often overpowering the voices of the officials who were speaking on the steps. “We will not apologize for our right to defend ourselves,” said Ido Aharoni, the Israeli consul general in New York.” [CapitalNewYork]

SPOTTED: Members of Congress Charles Rangel, Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Nita Lowey, and Eliot Engel; state senators Adriano Espaillat and Brad Hoylman, assembly members Phil Goldfeder, Richard Gottfried, Helen Weinstein, and David Weprin; and council members Mark Levine, David Greenfield, Rory Lancman, Chaim Deutsch, Mark Treyger and Margaret Chin. The group also included former councilman Dominic Recchia, who is running for Congress, along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Mike Nussbaum, the publisher of the Queens Tribune.

—Local Pols’ Support of Israel ‘Absolutely’ Appropriate – NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio: During a gaggle with reporters Monday afternoon, Mayor de Blasio was asked by a reporter, “Do you think it’s appropriate for local elected officials at the city level to be weighing in on these issues?” De Blasio responded: “Absolutely. I am the mayor of the city on the earth with the largest Jewish population, anywhere on this earth. By definition – I’ve said it many times – it’s not only normal and natural, I consider it my responsibility to stand up for the state of Israel. And Israel has a right to defend itself, period… The bottom line here is Israel came under unprovoked attacks by rockets from Gaza and it has a right to defend itself. [Daily News]

Pro-Swastika Banner Doesn’t Fly With New York Beachgoers: “A small plane dragging a flittering swastika banner, set within a Star of David, left beachgoers agape at New York’s Coney Island carnival atmosphere this weekend, as a fringe religious group sought to promote its “Swastika Rehabilitation Week.” The banner outraged thousands, including those in neighboring Brighton Beach, which is often casually referred to as “Little Moscow” in Brooklyn because of its concentration of Russian Jewish immigrants.” [CSMonitor]

PROFILE: Campbell Brown goes after teacher tenure in transition from journalist to advocate: “Campbell Brown used to host a program on CNN with a tough-sounding subtitle, “No Bias. No Bull.” Brown was an equal-opportunity skeptic — “spunky-yet-shrewd,” as the New York Times once described her — who called out liberals and conservatives alike during her hour on the air each weeknight. But since the end of her CNN program in 2010, Brown has made an unusual transition. After years as a journalist, steeped in notions of fairness and balance, Brown has transformed into an advocate, taking a very public side in one of the many contentious battles over public education.

Brown, 46, has become an articulate voice and recognizable face opposing tenure, the century-old system of laws and contractual guarantees giving public-school teachers due-process rights in layoffs and terminations. Brown argues that tenure makes it difficult and expensive for school systems to remove underperforming teachers, and it protects their jobs at the expense of their students. “I’m a mom, and my view of public education begins and ends with the fundamental question: Is this good for children?” Brown says by phone from New York, where she lives. “In a situation where it’s the child or the adult, I’m going with the child….

“Brown has two children, both boys, with husband Dan Senor, whom Brown had met in Iraq while she was reporting and Senor was serving as spokesman for the Coalition Provisional Authority. (Senor, now an investment banker and columnist, was also an adviser to Mitt Romney’s 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns and is on the board of StudentsFirstNY, part of the organization founded by former D.C. schools chancellor Michelle Rhee that also favors eliminating tenure.) [WashPost]

EXIT: LinkedIn Acquires Harvard Dropout & Jewish Entrepreneur Jonah Varon’s Newsle Service: “When Harvard dropouts Axel Hansen and Jonah Varon launched Newsle in early 2011, the goal was simple: “To deliver important news about the people who matter to you.” And now, the startup will be providing that service to LinkedIn’s more than 300 million members. inkedIn announced Monday its acquisition of Newsle, a service that sends users alerts when people they know or care about appear in the news.” [BostInno

STARTUP NATION: Israeli tech firms raise $930 million in Q2 from venture capital: “Israeli private high-tech firms raised $930 million in venture capital in the second quarter, the highest quarterly amount since 2000, the Israel Venture Capital Research Center said on Tuesday.” [Reuters]

RED ALERT: “The Israeli App Saves Lives—But It Just Might Drive You Nuts” by Itay Hod:“As Operation Protective Edge enters its eighth day, more than 900 rockets have been fired from Gaza into Israeli territory, hitting Israeli cities and sending its citizens running to bomb shelters. On a good day, it can happen four to five times. On bad days, it’s hard to keep count… Red Alert—which combines up-to-the-minute, real-time information from the Israel Defense Forces and Homefront Command,  the Israeli version of Homeland Security—gives people a 15- to 90-second warning, depending on their proximity to Gaza. And it has quickly become a lifesaver. The app also is proving to be a powerful alternative news source for people around the world who are growing tired of traditional media outlets such as CNN or Fox News and want to get a taste of life in Israel under rocket fire.” [DailyBeast]

Producer says filming in Jerusalem is “absolutely exhilarating”: “Dig” will arrive this fall on USA as a six-episode thriller set in Jerusalem, starring Jason Isaacs as an FBI agent and Anne Heche as head of the local FBI office. The pilot episode was filmed on location, an experience that executive producer Tim Kring called “absolutely exhilarating.” [AP] — “Filming in Israel, television shows confront logistical and creative questions” by Alyssa Rosenberg [WashPost]

DESSERT: Schnitzel Truck Brings Kosher Food To Governor’s Island: “Visitors to Governors Island can snack on everything from Mexican barbecue to Thai fusion dishes — but until recently, those who kept kosher were out of luck. That changed when kosher food truck Schnitzi, which specializes in a variety of schnitzel and follows Jewish dietary restrictions, won the chance to serve its crunchy cutlets and specialty sauces on the island every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m… This year, with a host of new food trucks parked on the island, Trust For Governors Island, enlisted the help of Brooklyn City Councilman David Greenfield, who represents Bensonhurst, Borough Park and Midwood, to spread the word that the island was looking for a kosher food truck — and Schnitizi quickly became the front-runner.”[DNAinfo]

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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