Daily Kickoff: Eric Cantor to Wall Street | Stephens asks “Why is Obama not also calm toward Israel?” | Erekat in DC | Members of Congress in Israel
TOP TWEET: @SenatorMenendez — “Deeply moved by @AuschwitzMuseum in Poland. Laying wreaths for Jews and all innocent lives lost in the #Holocaust” Picture/Tweet
SCENE LAST NIGHT: The wedding of Ariel Melool and Shayna Bennett, daughter of Agudath Israel of America board member Chaskel Bennett, was well attended by members of the larger tri-state community. Notable guests included Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), State Senator Simcha Felder, Malcolm Hoenlien, Ezra Friedlander, Mark Levine and Chaim Deutsch of the NYC Jewish Caucus, and Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel and Leon Goldenberg of Agudath Israel of America.
DRIVING THE DAY: Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and intelligence cief Majid Faraj will meet with Secretary of State John Kerry today to present a plan demanding a firm timetable for ending Israeli presense in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
HAPPENING TODAY: Congressmen Ed Royce (R-CA), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Eliot Engel (D-NY), Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, are holding a conference call today at 2 PM EST to discuss their joint visit to Israel and the evolving nature of the US-Israel relationship.
DAILY NEWS:The US-Israel relationship was the biggest casualty of this summer’s clashes between Israel and Hamas, posits Haviv Rettig Gur in The Times of Israel. “The simple fact that Israeli and American officials had so much trouble conducting joint diplomatic policy at such a critical moment for Israel demonstrates the pitfalls of the almost-permanent crisis of trust between Jerusalem and Washington,” he writes. • The Israeli cabinet is deeply divided on the issue of peace talks. “As opposed to what is commonly thought, policy on the peace process is what could threaten the stability of the coalition, not the 2015 budget,” noted Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
ISIS CRISIS: In the latest round of Middle East rationality, ISIS has announced that their next target is none other than The Pope, for “bearing false witness” against Islam. The Vatican has taken the remarks in stride, but Italy has issued a terror alert and is beefing up security across the country as a precautionary measure. • A report issued today from Amnesty International says the group is guilty of “ethnic cleansing” and “despicable crimes,” including transforming areas of the Middle East into “blood-soaked killing fields [their] brutal campaign to obliterate all trace of non-Arabs and non-Sunni Muslims.”
STATE VISIT: Congressmen Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY) met with Netanyahu yesterday. The three discussed Israel’s vital role in providing stability in the Middle East, as well as the rising threat of ISIS and the impending UN investigation following Operation Protective Edge.
TALK OF OUR NATION: Israel is set to tighten its fiscal belt following the assessment that this summer’s conflict cost the country over $2.5 billion. Virtually every government sector, exempting the military and Shin Bet, will face budget cuts to offset the wartime spending. While many experts estimate the conflict will cause as much as a 0.5% decline in GDP growth, Netanyahu emphasizes that “security comes first.” • Israeli News station Channel 2 will be splitting into two stations with 24/7 coverage beginning on March 31, 2014.
TOP-OPS AND INTERVIEWS: Tevi Troy and Scott Gottlieb stress the importance of the US taking active steps to help stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa, as well as the large impact US-led efforts could have. • Bret Stephens is flummoxed by why President Obama presents a calm demeanor in the face of all global crises and yet claims to be “enraged” at Israel. • David Feith writes that “defenders of Hamas practice the bigotry of low expectations.”
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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Real estate mogul Jared Kushner is running into regulatory issues surrounding his attempt to purchase Israeli company Phoenix Insurance. The main obstacle for the Kushner group is obtaining an Israeli insurance license. • Israeli marketing services provider and game creator XLM Media has announced their acquisition of ExciteAd Digital Marketing Ltd for (up to) $19 million.
RISING STAR: Alex Iskold is on a mission to turn NYC into a true hub of technological innovation. He has developed an algorithm which assesses whether tech startups are a good fit for NYC, and is using it to try and turn the NYC startup scene into an environment that rivals other technology powerhouse cities. Iskold is currently managing director at Techstars, a leading global tech accelerator. Techstars will hold an open house in NYC on September 11th to “discuss the program and application process.”
JEWISH CULTURE:The Jewish-American Feld Entertainment company, who are responsible for the Ringling Bros., Barnum & Bailey Circus, and Disney on Ice, have put together a new sensational performance act, “Marvel Universe Live.” The performances will feature many beloved comic book characters, many of them created by Jews. The show is set to tour through May 2016.
BIRTHDAYS: Lee Wunsch, President and CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston.
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