Daily Kickoff: Bibi Wants Hamas To Stay In Power? | Morning Joe Turns On Israel | DC’s Biggest (Jewish) Dem Fundraiser | IRS Targets Expats In Israel

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DEEP DIVE: “Showtime for Israel’s Vocativ” by Johana Bhuiyan in Capital New York:“Vocativ, the news organization that promises to mine the “deep web” for stories of global interest that cannot be found using traditional reporting methods, is advancing its television operation. The digital media company is poised to announce a deal to produce an eight-episode television series for the Showtime network, several sources with knowledge of the deal have told Capital… Navigating the new media landscape is not Mati Kochavi‘s first profession. The Israeli-born entrepreneur-turned-new-media founder founded A.G.T. International, also known as Asia Global Technologies, in 2007… “When I was a kid the two things you read about [in the news] were politicians and big businesses,” Kochavi said. …“who do you call when you want to know what’s happening with millions of people? It’s not something traditional journalism can do anymore. What people feel in the streets and what their emotions are: it’s much more complicated.” [CapNY]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Child credit scam prompts U.S. tax crackdown on expats in Israel” by Steven Scheer and Tova Cohen: “It was called the “Israel Project”, an operation by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) that has uncovered false claims for child tax credits involving an estimated tens of millions of dollars filed by  U.S. citizens living in Israel. About 200,000 American citizens live in Israel, one of the largest U.S. expatriate communities, and in a separate inquiry, U.S. regulators are investigating whether Israeli banks helped American clients evade U.S. taxes, mostly at Swiss subsidiaries… As a result of the child credit scam, many Americans in Israel who made legitimate claims have faced costly audits by the IRS. These require claimants to prove they meet conditions for getting the money, including that they are legitimately employed and that their children are also U.S. citizens.”[Reuters] — U.S. embassy  in Tel Aviv not issuing tourist visa [Haaretz]

WHAT THE WEST WING IS READING: Top-Op – “How to Think About the New Middle East: What the Obama administration gets wrong about the world’s most volatile region” by former Obama admin official Dennis Ross [PoliticoMag]

NYTimes A1: “Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent” by David D. Kirkpatrick: “Battling Palestinian militants in Gaza two years ago, Israel found itself pressed from all sides by unfriendly Arab neighbors to end the fighting. Not this time… “The reading here is that, aside from Hamas and Qatar, most of the Arab governments are either indifferent or willing to follow the leadership of Egypt,” said Martin Kramer, president of Shalem College in Jerusalem and an American-Israeli scholar of Islamist and Arab politics. “No one in the Arab world is going to the Americans and telling them, ‘Stop it now,’ ” as Saudi Arabia did, for example, in response to earlier Israeli crackdowns on the Palestinians, he said. “That gives the Israelis leeway.” [NYTimes]

ELI LAKE & JOSH ROGIN: “Why Netanyahu wants Hamas to stay in power”: “The problem for Israel is that it’s stuck. Many top U.S. officials now concede that as bad as Hamas is for both Palestinians and Israelis, it’s the least bad alternative. Israel’s ideal outcome would be for Hamas to capitulate to Israel’s demands to disarm and reform into a defanged version of its current self—a troublesome but manageable part of a larger Palestinian political infrastructure. But if Hamas won’t bend, it might break, and that would be the worst possible outcome for Israel, said Aaron David Miller.[DailyBeast] — “Why Hamas stores its weapons inside hospitals, mosques and schools” [WashPost]

FRIENDLY FIRE CONTINUES: John Kerry, reportedly, was deeply offended and taken aback by the Israeli cabinet’s rejection of his cease-fire proposal and the backlash he faced.. According to a report in the French weekly Le Canard Enchaine, Kerry called Netanyahu “a stubborn head who refuses to understand anything” in a private meeting on Saturday between the US diplomat and the French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius. [i24News] State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf lashed out during a press conference against “respected voices in Israel talking about the secretary of state, claiming that he supports Hamas, which is offensive and absurd.” Harf singled out Israeli journalists for criticism, arguing that “that kind of criticism coming from any ally, certainly Israel, just really has no place in this discussion.. criticism was so disappointing given the hours all of us have spent with the secretary in Jerusalem, trying to get Middle East peace, trying to protect Israel’s security.” [INN]

— “Kerry Criticsm Came From Press, Israeli Public,.” – Ambassador Ron Dermer on MSNBC”s “Morning Joe” program: “There were two Haaretz journalists who, I think, had the most withering criticism of the secretary, and to believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu is writing talking points for a Haaretz journalist is like thinking that President Obama is writing talking points for [Bill] O’Reilly and [Sean] Hannity. So, this is the Israeli press that’s speaking up.. One of the reasons why I think the secretary had a problem, not from the prime minister, but from the public, was that he was trying to advance a sustainable cease-fire, and we appreciate his efforts to do so. This is definitely not coming from the prime minister, I can assure you of that.” [The Hill]

— Related: MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, Host of ‘Morning Jew’: Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, the daughter of infamous Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzezinski, had quite a slip of the tongue Wednesday morning. After interviewing Israel’s Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer, turning to a commercial break, Brzezinski said “keep it right here on Morning Jew.. eh.. Joe.” [Free Beacon] — Joe Scarborough turns on Israel: “Joe Scarborough on Thursday had harsh words for Israel’s actions in Gaza, saying the country was engaging in “indiscriminate” killing.” [Politico]

TIME MAGAZINE TALKS TO JOE LIEBERMAN – On Obama/Kerry cease-fire flop: “I do feelthat the Obama administration has gone off the track in the efforts to broker a ceasefire..  Because I think those efforts, if they had been pushed any harder would have really allowed Hamas to emerge from this much stronger than they went into it and they began this… And the last proposal made by Secretary Kerry .. would have strengthened Hamas and weakened Israel. .. I think it was a mistake.. On Rand Paul & 2016: “There is a certain attrition happening on the Republican side, mostly among the so-called libertarians and to a certain extent among tea party people who are so focused on reducing taxes that they seem more willing than Republicans have in recent years to cut back on support of America’s defense. There is a kind neo-isolationism, certainly a retrenchment from internationalism going on in both parties and to me it’s troubling. It’s troubling for the future of the country.”

— On His Recent YU Appointment: “Richard Joel, the president of YU, reached out to me last year about wanting to do something in my name at YU in public policy. For the obvious reason, I suppose, that I am both an Orthodox Jew and I was involved in public service. I was touched and honored by that. Because I hoped and still do that it’s going to be a permanent, endowed chair, but then they surprised me toward the end of the process asking me to be the first occupant of the chair, which I’ll do for a while as long as it’s working for me and the students, but i’m exciting about it. It’s very much part time. I’m going to give three public lectures in the fall semester in various schools of the university, probably starting with one Yeshiva College, one at Stern [College for Women], and then one at Cardozo [Law School]. And then in the second semester I will teach an undergraduate course in public policy, public service. So I’m looking forward to it .. I view this as an opportunity both to try to inform students today about public policy, but also to hopefully attract some of them into public service.” [TIME]


**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**


PROFILE: Jewish Fundraiser Parlays Link to House Democrat Into Juggernaut: “Randall Broz owns Washington’s longest list of House Democratic fundraising clients. He doesn’t advertise. He mostly stays out of newspapers. He doesn’t use Twitter, and only has a skeletal website. What Broz has developed, though, is a relationship with Representative James Clyburn, the third-ranking House Democrat…. A 37-year-old Pennsylvania native who runs road races as a hobby, Broz comes from a Jewish family, and his parents worked in the travel industry. He got a taste of politics at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he was a member of the college Senate.” [Bloomberg]

2016 WATCH: “Mark Cuban for president?” by S.E. Cupp – #FirstJewishPresident?: “I’m sure you think you know him. He’s everywhere: on that TV show; courtside; making headlines for saying something, er, colorful; tweeting to his 2.3 million followers… What I soon realized, as will you if you keep reading, is that Cuban will not be put in a box. Obamacare? He loves it. Rand Paul? Not so much. Raise the minimum wage? Yep. Equal pay? Not so fast. Would he ever enter politics? His response is not suitable for print.” [CNN] — “Elizabeth Warren’s Biggest Donors Warn Her Not to Run for President” [DailyBeast]

BEDFELLOWS: “When Sheldon Met Bill” by Jon Ralston: “Thirty years ago, one future billionaire asked another future billionaire to give a speech. One was early in his career as the architect of an annual convention; the other was early in his career as the leader of an up-and-coming company. One was one his way to becoming the most famous name in gaming; the other was on his way to becoming the most famous name in computers… So it is perhaps no surprise—even if the two men have little else in common, aside from their massive wealth—that 30 years later, Bill Gates picked up the phone to call Sheldon Adelson with a proposition of his own.” [PoliticoMag]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Elliot Bohm and Marc Ackerman’s CardCash buys gift card rival [NJBiz] — First Data acquiring Gyft gift card app; Kutcher & Oseary held stakes [AJC] — Adam Posnack, Convertible Sales Chief at FBR, Dies at 47 [Bloomberg] — Barnett’s Extell inks contract for Upper West Side synagogue [RealDeal] — Schottenstein’s upscale apartment development opens in Mason [BizJournal] Bucks owners Lasry, Edens raising $84.5M from minority investors [BizJournal] — Teva Activist Claims Symbolic Win as Directors Pressured [Bloomberg

ON THE HILL: The House Foreign Affairs Committee, chaired by U.S. Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), passed on Wednesday several foreign affairs measures including legislation to support Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile defense system and the $5M Naftali Frenkel Award, passed last night in the Senate. [JP Updates]  The House passed a bipartisan resolution calling for the permanent demilitarization of Gaza and denouncing the use of civilians as human shields by Hamas. The resolution was authored by Reps.Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Ted Deutch (D-FL). [Press Release]

—White House Cites Lack of Iron Dome Funding in Supplemental Veto Threat: “The White House said Wednesday that it “strongly opposes” a Republican-crafted emergency spending bill, in part because it contains no funds for an Israeli missile defense system.” [DefenseNews]

WAPO/ABC POLL: 39 percent approve President Obama’s handling of the increasing tensions in Gaza and 52 percent disapprove, including 33% who “strongly disapprove.” Only 2/3 of Democratic Party voters (65%) approve of Obama’s efforts to bring an end to the fighting and a stop to the firing of rockets into Israel, significantly below the number approving of him on foreign policy overall (77 percent). 78% of Republicans, as well as 59% of Independents disapprove the president’s handling of the situation.[WashPost]

NYTimes A1: “Suicide Bomber From U.S. Came Home Before Attack” by Michael S. Schmidt and Mark Mazzetti: “When Moner Mohammad Abusalha drove a truck packed with explosives into a restaurant in northern Syria in May, American authorities conceded that they knew little about how a young man who grew up a basketball-obsessed teenager in a Florida gated community had become a suicide bomber… And they have never publicly acknowledged the startling discovery they made weeks into their investigation: that after receiving training by an extremist group in Syria, Mr. Abusalha had returned to the United States for several months before leaving the country for the last time.” [NYTimes] — Hezbollah Commander Killed In Iraq (Where U.S., Hezbollah, & Iran are all aiding Maliki – h/t @Doranimated) [Reuters]

32 NATIONS BACK JUDAISM’S YOM KIPPUR AS UN HOLIDAY: “The letter to the assembly’s Committee on Conferences, circulated on Wednesday, says the U.N. “recognizes the major festivals of many of the world’s main religions, yet Judaism is not represented.” The 32 ambassadors who signed the letters were from the U.S., Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Bahamas, Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Dominica, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Ivory Coast, Malawi, Micronesia, Monaco, Nauru, Nigeria, Palau, Panama, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Seychelles, South Sudan, Suriname, Togo, Uruguay and Vanuatu.” [AP] — “Israel Faces Latin American Backlash: Some Governments Recall Diplomats, Issue Strongly-Worded Statements” [WSJ]

NOTABLE & QUOTABLE: Eric Hoffer on Israel, 1968: “The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out thousands, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it, Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey drove out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese—and no one says a word about refugees. But in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations when victorious on the battlefield dictate peace terms. But when Israel is victorious, it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in this world.” [WSJ]

BIRTHDAYS: Robert Morgenthau, former Manhattan district attorney, turns 95… Mark Cuban turns 56… Helene Miller-Walsh, wife of former Rep. Joe Walsh.

DESSERT: “Silver kippa presented to donors who protect United Hatzalah volunteers”: “US donors are protecting United Hatzalah volunteers as they give first aid to civilian injured, and to show his appreciation, UH president Eli Beer has presented the contributors with silver-colored Iron Dome kippot. The skullcap was designed by Beer, with the kippa and dome’s double meaning. (In Hebrew, a literal translation of the anti-rocket system is “iron yarmulke.”) Jay Schottenstein, the multi-billionaire chairman of American Eagle Outfitters, who is a major philanthropist for Jewish causes, and his friendBob Book, were the first to donate 200 sets of protective gear to UH volunteers working around the country saving people wounded by rocket fire or shrapnel. The kits consist of ceramic flack jackets, helmets and other equipment so the volunteers will be protected when they are rescuing people in the field.” [JPost]

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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