Daily Kickoff: Michael Oren to enter Israeli politics? | Jewish congressional candidate proposes to girlfriend in Israel | Birthright for Israelis

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TOP TALKER: Former Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren is speculated to be considering entering politics as a possible Knesset candidate. Oren says he is “too busy defending Israel” for a political foray.

QUOTE OF THE DAY: “We are not giving in to the boycott. We are Zionist.”  — SodaStream CEO Daniel Birnbaum on the ongoing deliberations concerning whether or not to relocate the company’s controversial plant in the West Bank. The company claims that BDS has nothing to do with the possible move, instead citing financial reasons.

DRIVING THE DAY: Secretary of State John Kerry has expressed his strong support for Wednesday’s ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas, but U.S. Jewish leaders remain divided over Israel ending its campaign in Gaza and families in the South of Israel are worried about the constant instability and threat from rocket fire.

DAILY NEWS: Hamas may be behind the disappearance of missing Jewish-American teen last seen hiking outside of Jerusalem… Hezbollah calls for resistance against ISIS… Clashes with Syrian factions are breaking out on Israel’s Syrian border.

ISIS CRISIS: An American fighting with Islamic State is confirmed dead in Syria. The number of U.S. and European-passport holding citizens thought to be fighting in Syria and elsewhere has numbered in the several hundreds. This has gripped the Obama administration as it ponders what to do next in the region. The news that one of them was killed fighting underscores the threat to the U.S. homeland. Al Jazeera’s story: “An American citizen was killed during the weekend while fighting for the Islamic State insurgent group in Syria, U.S. officials confirmed on Tuesday in response to an NBC News report. It was one of the first confirmed deaths of an American in the Al-Qaeda-inspired radical group that has taken over large swathes of Syria and Iraq.

EXCLUSIVES: The Lawfare Project and Brandeis Center urge New York University to effectively address anti-Semitic intimidation and harassment by NYU Students for Justice in Palestine following the distribution of fake eviction notices to over 2,000 students in April, 2014 which went largely unpunished by the university… A female NYU student was assaulted while exiting the New York City subway Wednesday evening after enduring a slew of anti-Semitic comments.

POLITICS WATCH: Corporations and wealthy individuals are pouring unprecedented amounts of money (around $1 billion) into a variety of ballot initiatives. In Florida, Jewish billionaire Sheldon Adelson donated $2.5 million to help his friend Mel Sembler defeat a marijuana legalization initiative that was designed to boost support for Democratic former governor Charlie Crist in his upcoming race against Republican incumbent Gov. Rick Scott… In a Q&A with the Jewish Journal, LA Mayor Eric Garcettideclares: ‘My support of Israel is kind of an unshakable thing’… Jewish congressional candidate Bruce Blakeman popped the question to attorney Segal Magori in Israel at Gabriela, a kosher Italian restaurant, in front of 30 guests. PageSix reported that Blakeman has been meeting with government and Israel Defense Forces leaders while overseas.

2016 WATCH: “Three top Republican Senate candidates heaped praise on the political network built by the conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch during a secretive conference held by the brothers this past summer, according to audio of the event.” — [HuffPost]… Politico looks at Mike Pence’s Koch advantage.. In a WSJ op-ed, Rand Paul blames U.S. interventionists for the rise of ISIS.

HAPPENING TODAY: Dr. Robert and Sarah Goodman of Teaneck, New Jersey are hosting a Norpac event with Florida democratic representative Ted Deutch to discuss the U.S.-Israel relationship.

TALK OF OUR NATION: Fashion retailer Zara announced it will be discontinuing a shirt that many say looks like a concentration camp uniform. The Guardian notes that back in 2007, Zara was forced to withdraw a handbag from its stores because the design featured swastikas… According to an Episcopal chaplain at Yale, Jews have no one to blame but themselves for the rise of Anti-Semitism… The Council of Jewish Women backs call to probe UNRWA for actions during Gaza crisis.

TOP-OPS AND INTERVIEWS: Jewish columnist Bret Stephens laments the “unprecedented disarray” of US foreign policy… Former Palestinian negotiator Ghaith al Omari and Jewish former deputy U.S. Mideast peace envoy Mara Rudman write on opportunities in rebuilding Gaza… John Reed of Financial Times discusses the real winners and losers in Gaza… Yael Aronoff writes on thepsychological aspects of the war in Gaza and related diplomatic negotiations… Eric Yoffie respondsto Connie Bruck’s recent AIPAC “exposé”… Yossi Klein Halevi discusses his concerns with the prospects of a Palestinian state… Times of Israel’s Mitch Ginsberg explains the larger context of the recent conflict with Gaza… Sarah Posner explores whether liberal Zionism exists anymore.

**Good Thursday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us 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**

STARTUP NATION: Uber’s incoming President David Plouffe will enter in the midst of a variety of scandals and internal squabbling at the company… An Israeli company has developed a mini satellitethat can adjust a wayward satellite’s orbit and aid with other servicing tasks… A TLV1 segment discusses the prospects of Nazareth’s potential to be a vital hub of technological innovation… Tel Aviv based start-up Feedvisor uses big data to help companies increase their sales as much as 500% and has raisedan additional $6 million in funding.

NYT Profile: Cooper Union graduate and SoHo art pioneer Alex Katz is set to unveil a new publicly commissioned art series along the High Line in NYC. Katz was born in Brooklyn to Russian Jewish immigrants and has revitalized NYC’s SoHo art scene ” while becoming a staple of the city’s intellectual community.

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: Loews CEO Jim Tisch purchased the Southampton oceanside property that served as Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton’s love nest in the film “Something’s Gotta Give” for $41M… Larry Silverstein is attempting to re-zone a Hudson yards property and build some 1,400 residential units… David Bistricer’s Clipper Equity has purchased a Battery Park rental building for $73.6M.

SPORTS BLINK: A preliminary deal has been reached for a $200 million downtown soccer stadium. The plan was announced by the city of Las Vegas, The Cordish Companies, and Findlay Sports & Entertainment… In the world of “the other football,” Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has met with Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) to discuss prospects for a new stadium for his team in Virginia.

JEWISH CULTURE: Jewish NY Times columnist Dave Itzkoff will be writing the comprehensive biography of Robin Williams, the comedic legend who on many occasions referred to himself as an “honorary Jew.”… Jewish LGBTQ organization Keshet has received $250,000 for increased inclusivity training.

A BIRTHRIGHT EXPERIENCE, IN HEBREW?: The Israeli-American Council (IAC) has announced a partnership with Taglit Birthright Israel to launch a special Hebrew track program called IAC Shelanuaimed at connecting 18-26 year old Israeli-American Hebrew speakers in order to create future Jewish-Israeli community influencers. Registration opens September 9 for the December 2014 program.

DESSERT: Justin Bieber’s Manager Scooter Braun and wife Yael Cohen are expecting their first child … Michael Bloomberg takes the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

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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