Daily Kickoff: Zivotofsky v. Kerry | Bibi & the Midterms | Rice: “Besides, I understood he’s too busy traveling to Sheldon Adelson’s events in Vegas”

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DRIVING THE DAY – Zivotofsky v. Kerry: At 10AM this morning the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Zivotofsky v. Kerry, in which it will consider the constitutionality of a federal statute that directs the Secretary of State, upon request, to record the birthplace of a U.S. citizen born in Jerusalem as “Israel.””Ever since the founding of Israel in 1948, the U.S. has taken the position that no country has sovereignty over Jerusalem until its status is negotiated in a Middle East peace deal. Israel’s supporters in Congress, however, have tried to force a different policy, passing legislation that would move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and require the State Department to allow U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem to list Israel as their place of birth on their passports.”

“Enter Menachem Zivotofsky, born in Jerusalem 12 years ago to American parents who emigrated to Israel and now maintain dual citizenship. The Zivotofskys want their son’s place of birth on his passport to say Israel — not just Jerusalem. So they sued to force the State Department to let them do that. Three years ago, when the case first went to the Supreme Court, the justices did not issue a definitive ruling, instead opting to send the case back to the lower court for further action. But now, the case is back.” [NPRReutersAPLA Times]

PREVIEW: Yonah Jeremy Bob [JPost] • Akiva Shapiro [WSJ] • Garrett Epps [AtlanticMag] • Lyle Denniston [SCOTUSblog]

MIDTERMS: Israeli Press Focuses On Bibi’s Outlook — JPost: “For Israel, midterms spell leverage on Iran talks through Senate” by Michael Wilner: “Should the GOP succeed this week… That will be a victory in the eyes of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government, which has angered the White House in its efforts to circumvent the president on Iran, lobbying Congress for sanctions legislation Obama publicly opposes.” [JPost] • “Netanyahu rooting for Republicans in U.S. midterm elections” by Barak Ravid: “The lights will be on very late Tuesday night in the Prime Minister’s Office, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be glued to Fox News as he waits for a call from Ambassador to Washington Ron Dermer about the results of the midterm U.S. congressional elections. White House staffers don’t need the National Security Agency to guess what results Netanyahu would like to wake up to on Wednesday morning. They believe Netanyahu could integrate well in Congress as a Republican senator from Texas or North Carolina. They know that his envoy, Dermer, is investing most of his time lately meeting with Republican lawmakers.” [Haaretz]

—INTERESTING PARAGRAPH: “A few months ago U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice met with the leader of one of the major American Jewish organizations. When the latter asked Rice why she hadn’t met with Dermer. Rice responded, with her characteristic sarcasm, “He never asked to meet me.” “Besides, I understood that he’s too busy traveling to Sheldon Adelson’s events in Las Vegas.” [ibid – Haaretz]

PALACE INTRIGUE: “Deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes will likely resign from the White House”: Days ago, Channel 10 news reported that ” Israeli officials claim that Jeffrey Goldberg’s chickenshitting “senior official” is deputy NSA Ben Rhodes” [h/t Chemi Shalev]. Now, there is speculation that Rhodes, and others, might resign. “Many of the relatively few remaining stalwarts on the White House staff are exhausted, eager to resume normal lives and leaving. White House chief of staff Denis McDonough asked senior aides around Labor Day to tell him if they are going to stick around for the final two years, and he has been reaching out to possible replacements since then. Among those mentioned as likely departures are some of Obama’s closest aides: senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer and deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes. Senior counselor John Podesta, who committed to staying only a year and is expected to play a major role in Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, is scheduled to leave after the elections as well.” [Politico]”For the record, my money (and I have placed a bet) is on somebody other than @rhodes44 as the source of the chickenshit comment.” [Mike Doran, Brookings]

IRAN TALKS: “Reaching a nuclear deal with Iran is a top priority for Washington and would be a major foreign policy achievement for US President Barack Obama, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in an audio recording from early this year that was published Friday in the Washington Free Beacon.” [TOIFree Beacon] • “Layman’s Guide to Assessing Progress in Iran Talks” [Bloomberg] • “State Dept., Iran Officials Meet at Pittsburgh Business Forum” [FreeBeacon] “How the U.S., Not Iran, Is Making Concessions” [WSJ]

JERUSALEM TENSIONS: Abbas says Glick shooter will go to heaven as martyr: In a letter to the family of the shooter of Rabbi Glick, Abbas wrote that “With anger, we have received the news of the vicious assassination crime committed by the terrorists of the Israeli occupation army against [your] son Mu’taz Ibrahim Khalil Hijazi, who will go to heaven as a martyr defending the rights of our people and its holy places,” Abbas wrote in a condolence letter sent Saturday to the shooter’s family… The PA president also expressed his “sincere condolences,” and spoke of Palestinian rights to the land. Abbas’s letter was roundly condemned Sunday night by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.” [TOIArutz Sheva] • “Jerusalem train line destined to connect Jews and Arabs has widened bitter divide” [WashPost] • Report: “Netanyahu, Jordan’s King Abdullah secretly meet amid Jerusalem tensions” [Haaretz]

NYT EDITORIAL: — the US should negotiate a prisoner swap with Cuba to get Alan Gross home, improve relations: “Nearly five years ago, authorities in Cuba arrested an American government subcontractor, Alan Gross, who was working on a secretive program to expand Internet access on the island. At a time when a growing number of officials in Washington and Havana are eager to start normalizing relations, Mr. Gross’s continued imprisonment has become the chief obstacle to a diplomatic breakthrough. There is only one plausible way to remove Mr. Gross from an already complicated equation. The Obama administration should swap him for three convicted Cuban spies who have served more than 16 years in federal prison.” [NYTimes]

HAPPENING TODAY: Secretary Kerry will meet with Saeb Erekat to “discuss the way forward for the Middle East, the situation in Gaza, and lowering tensions in Jerusalem… At 10AM, the Supreme Court hears oral arguments for Zivotofsky v. Kerry… At 3PM, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace hosts a forum titled “From Hizbullah to the Islamic State” with Lina Khatib, Joseph Bahout, and Frederic Wehrey [Livestream] • 97-year-old Holocaust survivor to perform her biggest concert at Lincoln Center: Among the audience will be fellow Holocaust survivors, including a 104-year-old woman, as well as a cousin of Anne Frank. [DailyNews; h/t Jonathan Alter]

 
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MIDTERMS BEHIND THE SCENES: “Marc Elias Represents Nearly Every Senate Democrat: Roll Call profiles Marc Elias, a partner at Perkins Cole and the go-to election lawyer for Democrats. “Over the past decade, since Kerry hired him as his campaign counsel, Elias has risen to become an indispensable figure in the party. He has a second office in the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee headquarters, where he’ll spend most of Election Day “pacing around” Executive Director Guy Cecil’s office “and driving him nuts for most of the day.”.. As chairman of the political law practice at Perkins Coie, Elias oversees 18 attorneys and represents nearly every Democratic senator. The firm’s client list also includes the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Governors Association.””The 45-year-old was born in New York City, grew up on Long Island and attended high school in Suffern, a small town in suburban Rockland County. He’s one of two sons to a stay-at-home-mom and a father who worked on Wall Street before becoming a small-business owner. They were “New Deal Democrats, Jews from New York,” Elias said, laughing. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1990 with a degree in government before going to Duke, where he earned both a law degree and a master’s in political science in 1993. He joined Perkins Coie and quickly moved into the political law practice under Bob Bauer, who would go on to become campaign and White House counsel to Barack Obama, and Judy Corley, who became in-house counsel to Richard Gephardt after Republicans won the House majority in 1994.” [Roll CallJewish Insider]

MIDTERMS ROUNDUP: Shmuel Rosner on the trail – “does a Republican majority impact Israel?” [JewishJournal] • “J Street tries to shape Senate races’ take on Israel” [Politico] • Marc Benioff, Sheryl Sandberg, and Wayne Berman back Ro Khanna [Fortune] • “The Sean ‘Simcha’ Eldridge catastrophe comes full-circle” [Politico]

2016 WATCH: “After Election Day, the Isolationists Will Be Back” [Politico• “Democratic mega-donors: ‘To 2020 and Beyond'” [Politico]

Haaretz — “Sheldon Adelson discovers the limits of his power – in Israel”: “In the United States Adelson has plowed in recent years over a $100 million into the campaigns of Republican candidates. But Israeli law imposes a cap on political donations and many claim that [Adelson’s paper] Israel Hayom has simply been Adelson’s convenient loophole to support Benjamin Netanyahu… legislators from the right, left and center all see his paper as a political threat. Israel Hayom has gone into crisis mode, devoting entire spreads daily to the campaign against the law. On Monday it printed the phone numbers of seven co-sponsors, calling upon its loyal readers to swamp their offices with protest calls… Whether the law is indeed the brainchild of the shadowy local tycoon, the wily political operator Cabel or both, these Israelis may succeed where the entire U.S. Democratic Party machine has failed in curbing Adelson’s power to use his money to influence politics.” [Haaretz] • In a staff editorial, this morning’s Jerusalem Post takes a different angle alltogether, calling the proposed bill “bad, undemocratic legislation” which flies in the face of freedom of press. [JPost]

DEEP DIVE: “Sheldon Adelson Is a Philanthropist Like No Other” by Nathan Guttman:“When a storm wreaked havoc on East Coast air travel last winter, among the thousands of travelers stranded were several dozen Israeli-American teens from Washington and Philadelphia. But these youths, who were en route to the annual meeting of the Tzofim, the Israeli scouts, were luckier than the many others forced to mill about air terminals. Soon after their flight was canceled, a private executive jet landed at Baltimore-Washington International Airport to take them directly to their destination in Los Angeles. For most of the excited teens it was their first trip on a private jet. Some told their parents it was the highlight of their winter camp. All they were asked in return was not to take any photos.”

“The private jet’s owner was billionaire Sheldon Adelson. And it was an act that mirrored, in its small way, the broader goal of Adelson’s philanthropy and high-profile political giving, of which Tzofim is just a part: to be not just supportive, but also transformative… “Sheldon is an example of the new kind of philanthropy that is emerging,” said Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Foundation who, as head of a significant fund himself, follows trends in Jewish philanthropy. “It will benefit the community, but the community won’t necessarily have a say.” [Forward]

STARTUP NATION: 5 Reasons Israeli Startups Are So Successful [Tech Cocktail] • Crime Pays for Radware as Cyber-Attacks Increase: Israel Markets [Bloomberg]

BUSINESS PROFILE: “The Maestro of Midwest Revival” Matt Kaminski interviews Dan Gilbert: “Despite the rich-man accessories (sports teams, Warren Buffett as BFF), Mr. Gilbert is a no-apology, third-generation Detroit kind of guy. Employees include a few of his elementary-school pals. He speaks with a slight rasp. He stands 5-foot-7, wears his mostly dark hair slicked back and sports a grayish stubble. He has a thin smile and a warmly dry sense of humor. Joe Pesci might play him in a movie—if Joe Pesci could do working-class, Jewish self-made billionaire.” [WSJ]

Uber investors, Justin Bieber manager raise $2 million for Adam Braun’s charity “Most venture capitalists and tech entrepreneurs typically don’t spend tons of time in New York, but a bunch of them filled the giant ballroom at swank Wall Street fixture Cipriani for a charity gala last week. With at least four Uber investors amongst the attendees, the benefit raised more than $2 million for Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit that builds schools and trains teachers in Laos, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Ghana.”

“It helped that Pencils of Promise founder Adam Braun is the brother of Scooter Braun, best known as pop star Justin Bieber’s talent manager. On top of guiding the career of the Biebs, Scooter is an angel investor and has lately backed startups including Uber, Spotify, and Pinterest through his firm SB Projects…Pencils of Promise has a unique appeal in Silicon Valley. Several venture capitalists have accompanied the organization on school-building trips abroad, including Joshua Kushner, founder of Thrive Capital as well as health insurance startup Oscar, who traveled to a school in Guatemala.” [Fortune]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: Canyon Provides Construction Loan to an affiliate of The Lightstone Group for Gowanus Development [Commercial Observer] • Real estate investor Bernard Spitzer, father of former Governor Eliot Spitzer, has died [NY TimesBloombergNY Daily]

“Beauty is Power” — Helena Rubinstein exhibit set to open today @ the Jewish Museum: “In many ways, the beauty magnate, philanthropist and style icon Helena Rubinstein set the bar for the modern career woman. A contemporary of Coco Chanel, whom she often tapped for fittings and custom designs, Rubinstein was part of a wave of 20th-century entrepreneurs who encouraged women to take control of their destinies through carefully curated self-invention. With the first major retrospective of her life, “Beauty Is Power,” opening today at the Jewish Museum, the immigrant from a Polish shtetl who went on to radically alter the beauty industry will finally receive the closer look she deserves.” [NYTimes] • “Screenings honor thy Jewish film festival” [BostonGlobe]

TALK OF OUR NATION — Jews in Middle America fret about attracting Millennials: “Nearly 80% of Jews live in the 20 largest metro areas, compared to 38% of Americans on the whole, said Ira Sheskin, a geographer at the University of Miami in Florida. And while Des Moines has a lot going for it — this year Forbes magazine ranked it America’s best city for young professionals — many of the students attracted by a state-of-the-art Hillel house “aren’t going to find in Des Moines what they could find in a New York or a Chicago,” Sheskin said. Still, investing in attracting college students with a house stocked with games, television, free laundry and food in addition to Jewish-themed activities could pay off in the long term, said Steven Bayme, director of contemporary Jewish life at the Washington-based American Jewish Committee.” [USA Today]

The Town Built Out of Jewish Headstones:“Belarusian native Regina Simonenko is the go-to woman when a new headstone is discovered. Head of the Holocaust Center in Brest, Simonenko arranges the pickup driver every time there is a new find. “Each headstone tells a story,” she told me. “One headstone was found in the garden of a village house. It had been used to grind flour and a hole had been worked into it over the years. Another grave we found recently was dedicated to a woman named Golda. It was badly damaged and the dates of her life were missing, but there were clear tracings of gold in the engraving of her name.” Simonenko and the Together Plan hope to create a memorial out of the headstones “so they won’t be used for anything else in the future,” or at least to construct a protective fence to secure the graves preserved by the fortress. So far, the Together Plan has managed to pay for 400 headstones to be carefully relocated. But until more money is raised, the ultimate fate of the stones remains unclear.” [Vice]

Gate of Dachau Concentration Camp Stolen: “Security officials noticed early Sunday morning that the gate measuring 190 by 95 centimeters (75 by 37 inches) – set into a larger iron gate – was missing, police said in a statement. Whoever stole it during the night would have had to climb over another gate to reach it, they added.” [AP]

REVIEW — “The Talmud: A Biography” by Harry Freedman: “A biography of the Talmud—call it a bibliobiography—is welcome. Such a book could explain how the Talmud came to be and who reads it and why. Perhaps most important, it would explain to the uninitiated how to understand the Talmud’s complicated logic. Harry Freedman ’s “The Talmud: A Biography” addresses almost all of these subjects. But reading it is a lot like reading the Talmud, which is not necessarily a compliment.” [WSJ]

LONGREAD: “The Outcast” by Rachel Aviv in the November 10th issue of the New Yorker:“After a Hasidic man exposed child abuse in his tight-knit Brooklyn community, he found himself the target of a criminal investigation.” [NewYorker]

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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