Daily Kickoff: Ted Deutch to run for US Senate? | Jeffrey Goldberg’s new book on Middle East | Joseph Berger’s book | Israeli Cannabis | Sandler Bday

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QUOTE OF THE DAY: “Mr. Obama finds his own past statements coming back to haunt him. Time and again, he has expressed assessments of the world that in the harsh glare of hindsight look out of kilter with the changed reality he now confronts.” — Peter Baker (See Top-Ops)

PRIMARIES TODAY: There are primaries today in New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Delaware. In Massachusetts we’ll be watching two Jewish candidates for Governor – Steve Grossman, the state treasurer and past chairman of the DNC and AIPAC, and Don Berwick who are running against the favorite Martha Coakley. Also on our radar is former Obama White House aide, Eric Lesser, a Jewish candidate for State Senate in the 1st Hampden-Hampshire District. In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo and running mate Kathy Hochul have been aggressively pursuing the Jewish vote by, among other things, taking a high profile trip to Israel, lining up endorsements from Jewish leaders, and visiting Jewish neighborhoods to get out the vote.

MIDTERM ENDORSEMENTS & FUNDERS: Mitt Romney backs Elan Carr, long-shot Jewish contender for Henry Waxman’s seat. Carr, a first-time candidate, military veteran and son of Israeli immigrants, has attracted attention to his race, despite the long odds of his defeating state Sen. Ted Lieu. [LA Times] • Lora and Jeff Drezner are hosting Kentucky democratic candidate for Senate, Alison Lundergan Grimes, this evening at their house in Potomac, Maryland. Senators Barbara Mikulski, Ben Cardin, and Congressman Chris Van Hollen are expected to attend. [Politico]

HOUSE OF BLOOD: ISIS has left quite a devastating mark on the Middle East, wreaking terrible bloody havoc in Iraq and Syria, and ramping up recruitment efforts in an attempt to spread its influence to other parts of the region and the world. Along with gruesome beheadings of journalists and genocidal attempts at eradicating all who don’t conform to their specific standards of Islam, reports indicate that over 700 children have been killed by ISIS this year. The UN’s new Human Rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, in his inaugural address to the Council, called the caliphate ISIS is trying to form one which “would be a harsh, mean-spirited house of blood, where no shade would be offered, nor shelter given to any non-Takfiri in their midst.” The US is already engaging in targeted airstrikes in the region to protect local minorities, and over 40 countries have offered some form of assistance in the fight against ISIS, according to a State Department Official — Israel, for its part, has been sending satellite footage of the region, among other intel. Fully eradicating the group (mainly by training local militaries to defend themselves) may take three years or more, according to Pentagon officials. [Times of IsraelANSANY Times]

COSTLY COMMUNICATIONS ERROR: New revelations Tuesday about Hamas’ alleged August 1 cease-fire violation shed light on a behind-the-scenes miscommunication between Israel and the chief mediators of the 72-hour cease-fire agreement, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. [Israel Hayom]

ARAB BANK TRIAL: Arab Bank chairman Sabih al-Masri testified yesterday that his bank was “clean” and had not funnelled any money to Hamas. A lawsuit which was first filed 10 years ago “accuses the Jordan-based bank of knowingly maintaining accounts for operatives of the militant Islamist group and financing millions in payments for the families of suicide bombers and those imprisoned or injured during the Palestinian uprising that began in 2000.” [Reuters]

GOLDBERG’S NEW MIDDLE EAST BOOK: “Simon & Schuster has acquired Jeffrey Goldberg’s book that will look at the Middle East through the prism of President Obama’s years in power, Simon & Schuster’s Publisher Jonathan Karp announced today. The work will explain what Goldberg refers to as “the diabolical complexities” of America’s involvement in the Middle East. “My hope is that this book will be a visceral, lively, and contemporaneous account of the work of a president,” said Goldberg, who has conducted several newsworthy one-on-one interviews with President Obama and numerous Middle East leaders, including King Abdullah II of Jordan, Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, and former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi. “I’ve been curious for a long time about why the Middle East defeats presidents, and it is instructive and fascinating to watch President Obama try to escape the fate of many of his predecessors.” [Politico]

NEW BERGER BOOK OUT TODAY: “The Pious Ones: The World of Hasidim and Their Battles with America: As the population of ultra-Orthodox Jews in the United States increases to astonishing proportions, veteran New York Times journalist Joseph Berger takes us inside the notoriously insular world of the Hasidim to explore their origins, beliefs, and struggles—and the social and political implications of their expanding presence in America.” [Amazon]

BuzzFeed Scoop: “At Jewish Event, Jill Biden Says She’s Praying “For A Lasting Peace in Gaza” [BuzzFeed]

LONG-READ: “The Blame Game” by Batya Ungar-Sargon. How the Media Gets It Wrong, Blaming Orthodox Jews for School-district Strife in Monsey. New York State starves schools of money. In East Ramapo, Orthodox Jews—and special-needs children—get the blame. [Tablet Mag]

WHY DO WE SIGN FOR THINGS?: A Rabbi, A Lawyer And A MasterCard Exec Explain: “Signing is a very old ritual, according to Rabbi Pinchas Allouche. He’s a scholar of the Talmud, a collection of Jewish texts that’s over 1,000 years old. The Talmud not only mentions signatures; it has rules for them. “A scribble is prohibited,” Allouche says. The name has to be legible. “Just yesterday, when signing a Toys R Us receipt, I thought of the Talmud,” he says. In ancient times, a signature was required for all kinds of economic transactions. If you wanted to buy a goat, you had to sign a document. And just like with credit cards today, sometimes you had to sign even for smaller purchases. According to the Talmud, Allouche says, “the law that applies to one cent is the same law that applies to a thousand gold coins. In other words, we consider every purchase as a big one.” [NPR]

HAPPENING TODAY: At 10AM, a House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee Hearing on “Hamas’ Benefactors: A Network of Terror. Chairman Ros-Lehtinen: “The purpose of this hearing is to allow Members to take an in-depth look at the financing capabilities of Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization.” Witnesses include Jonathan Schanzer, Avi Jorisch, and Steven A. Cook… At 12:30PM, MK Rabbi Dov Lipman will speak about the prospects for unity in Israel at a UJA-Federation of New York luncheon… At 3PM, Israeli Opposition Leader Isaac Herzog speaks at Brookings in DC on “After the Truce: Israel’s Security in a Volatile Middle East”…

TOP-OPS AND INTERVIEWS: Peter Baker asserts that Obama has lost much credibility on issues relating to the Middle East, and may have difficulty fully selling his plan for defeating ISIS in tomorrow’s speech. [NY Times] • George Mitchell argues that America is the only power that can push peace between Israel, Palestinians. [BostonGlobe] • Former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren Urges Withdrawal from Judea-Samaria at the Herzliya conference [INS] • Michael Freund writes that Gwyneth Paltrow is the daughter of a Jewish father and a non-Jewish mother, which means that she is the classic example of what rabbinical literature refers to as “Zera Yisrael” [JPost]

 
**Good Tuesday 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**

2016 WATCH: A group of top foreign policy officials has been quietly grooming Republican presidential hopefuls since the end of Romney’s 2012 campaign. The “John Hay Initiative,” founded by Eliot Cohen, former State Department counselor; Eric Edelman, former undersecretary of defense for policy; and Brian Hook, former assistant secretary of state for international organization affairs, is finally coming into the public eye, and will be holding its first public event on September 17th with Sen Marco Rubio in Washington, D.C.; the potential 2016 hopeful will lead a discussion on national security. [The Daily Beast] • Ted Deutch could be the future for Florida democrats as increasingly more than a few eyes are turning toward him for a Senate bid in 2016 or 2018. [Sunshine State News]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Facebook’s market value has increased to over $200 billion, increasing founder Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth to around $34.5 billion. [Bloomberg] • Diller IAC’s Tinder settles fast with co-founder in harassment suit; Justin Manteen is no longer with the company [BuzzFeed] • Barry Rosenstein, founder of hedge fund Jana Partners, will be joining the board of directors of Walgreens, the company announced today. [NY Times] • Grand Central landlord Andrew Penson and his firm, Argent Ventures, are opposed to NYC plans requiring extensive rezoning of the area, which they claim would require taxpayers to “give away hundreds of millions of dollars in public rights without any transparency or public accounting.” [Capital New York]

STARTUP NATION: Israeli company LivePerson, which is used by major corporations such as Home Depot and Bank of America to connect customer service representatives in real-time, has just finished four years of consecutive quarterly growth. [Reuters] — Doctor-prescribed joints might one day become a relic of the past if Israeli cannabis technology venture Syqe Medical Ltd. has its way. [Wall Street Journal]

TALK OF OUR NATION: The deputy lord mayor of Cardiff, Wales, made comments suggesting that Hamas merely fired “toy rockets” into Israel during the recent conflict with Israel, causing Israel’s honorary consul to Wales to call for his resignation [Haaretz] • Also in Wales, President Obama urged Turkey’s president Tayyip Ergodan to address the rising tide of anti-Semitism in his country. [Times of Israel] • Fighting back against growing tides of anti-Semitism, German Jews are showing the locals that Jewish identity means more than remembering the Holocaust. Berliners are gearing up for the annual Jüdische Kulturtage, a festival of Jewish culture and heritage which, apart from ramped-up security, shows no signs of slowing down the annual celebration of good music, great food, abundant drinks, chic nightlife, and Jewish culture galore. [Deutsche Welle]

RISING STAR: “Growing up in New Orleans, Chloe Valdary kept kosher, studied the Jewish Bible and celebrated Jewish holidays with festive meals. In recent years she has become an outspoken pro-Israel campus activist, contributing regularly to the Jewish press, and speaking and posting widely about the merits of the Jewish state on social media.” [Times of Israel] [Jewish Journal]

INTERFAITH: “Meet the Muslims who sacrificed themselves to save Jews and fight Nazis in World War II” by Michael Wolfe: One of the jobs of documentary film is to rescue stories that fall out of the history books. Khan’s account, and others like it, seems at odds with the history of the modern Middle East, whose combatants — whether Arab, Turkish, Iranian or Israeli — may want for their own reasons to bury stories about Muslim-Jewish collaboration. But these tales should be remembered and honored. It is my sincere hope that with the story of Noor Inayat Khan, we have done just that.” [WashPost]

SPORTS BLINK: “Any activity of normalization in sports with the Zionist enemy is a crime against humanity,” said Jibril Rajoub, the deputy secretary of the Fatah Central Committee and the head of the Palestinian Supreme Council for Sport and Youth Affairs, concerning an upcoming series of soccer games in Southern Israel between over 600 Israeli and Palestinian children orgnized by the Peres Center for Peace. Many other Palestinian officials have held similar sentiments. [Times of Israel]

DESSERT: “Newcomers Enhance Bay Area’s Small Kosher Dining Scene” by Alix Wall: “San Francisco is widely considered one of the best dining destinations in the country, if not the world. That is, unless you keep kosher. If you observe the Jewish dietary laws– meaning the meat must be slaughtered according to Jewish law, and dairy and meat cannot be served in the same dish, and pork and shellfish are forbidden– it’s another story. Many Jewish tourists – and new Bay Area residents alike– are flummoxed to learn that there are only four actual kosher restaurants in the entire Bay Area, three of them Israeli-style meat, and one of them Chinese vegan, and even this is up for debate… In the past few years, a few entrepreneurial types have stepped in to expand the existing options. Not with brick-and-mortar establishments, but with delivery service and small-scale catering and pop-up dinners, looking to appeal to those kosher diners who are looking for something beyond the usual falafel and shwarma.” [KQED]

BIRTHDAYS: Actor-comedian Adam Sandler turns 48… Tech entrepreneur Ben Lang…

That’s all folks; have a great day!
**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email  editor@jewishinsider.com**


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