Daily Kickoff: GOP 2016 frontrunner Ben Carson to travel to Israel | Lapid to Bibi: “You live in an aquarium” | Joe Berger to retire from the NYTimes

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HOUSE PASSES US-ISRAEL STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP ACT: Last night, the House passed S. 2673, which broadens the scope of previous US-Israel Strategic Partnership legislation, including explicitly stating that “Israel is a major U.S. strategic partner.” and “ Directs the President to report to Congress regarding the feasibility and advisability of expanding U.S.-Israel cyber cooperation.” [Congress.gov]

“At a time when many around the world seek to test our resolve and our commitment to our friend and ally, passing this bill will affirm an unwavering commitment to Israel,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen(R-FL)… Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, argued the legislation served both U.S. and Israeli national security interests. “It is mutually beneficial and serves the strategic interests of both countries,” Engel said.” [TheHill]

—Jerry Silverman, CEO of JFNA: “Over the years, Israel and the United States have proven themselves to be the closest of allies. This legislation elevates cooperation in areas like energy and defense. It makes clear to the world that the two countries are strategic allies at the highest level. We thank those who worked to make this bill a reality, in particular SensBarbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO), who authored the legislation. It is truly heartening to know that Israel and the Jewish community at large will always be able to count on the United States for support.”

2016 WATCH — POSSIBLE GOP FRONTRUNNER BEN CARSON TO GO TO ISRAEL: Retired neurosurgeon and possible GOP 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson is reportedly travelling to Israel later this month “at the invitation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. While Carson doesn’t have any political experience, he is quite popular with conservatives. A CNN poll released this week shocked observers by showing Carson polling in second — only behind Mitt Romney — in a 2016 presidential poll.”[DailyCaller]

—Though enthusiasm over a Carson run is certainly building, Carson “ said that running for president ‘has not been a goal’ and called the position ‘horrible and stressful.’ ‘I’m not sure that anybody wants to put themselves in that kind of horrible and stressful situation, that has never been a goal of mine,’ Carson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Wednesday. He continued, ‘However, I do recognize that the direction of our country is not a good one… many Americans have indicated that they want me to [run], so whether I want to do it or not, I do feel an obligation to at least very seriously consider the possibility.’”[Politico]

—What does Carson’s popularity mean for the GOP? According to MSCBC’s Joe Scarborough, it indicates the GOP has no serious contender. [MorningJoe]

IRAN TALKS: “U.S. and Iran Both Attack ISIS, but Try Not to Look Like Aliies” by Tim Arango and Thomas Erdbrink: “The new military approach highlights an unusual confluence of interests in both Iraq and Syria, where Tehran and Washington find themselves fighting the same enemy in an increasingly public fashion. While there is no direct coordination between Iran and the United States, there is a de facto nonaggression pact that neither side is eager to acknowledge.” [NYTimes] • “Pentagon front-runner Carter, quietly supportive of Israel, loud on stopping Iran” [ToI]

White House Correspondent @MarkKnoller: “In presidential memorandum [yesterday], President Obama again waved the requirement that the U.S. move its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Every U.S. president has repeatedly exercised the 6-month waiver since the Jerusalem Embassy Act was enacted in 1995. Before the Embassy is moved, US presidents say the status of Jerusalem must be negotiated by Israel and the Palestinians.” Jerusalem Embassy Act [Text]

PUTIN: “Crimea’s “territory is strategically important” and for Russia it’s “like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem” is for Muslims and Jews: President Vladimir Putin attacked the U.S. andEurope for backing Ukraine and said that Crimea, which the Kremlin annexed from Ukraine in March, has “sacred meaning” as Russia’s “Jerusalem.” Crimea’s “territory is strategically important” and for Russia it’s “like the Temple Mount in Jerusalem” is for Muslims and Jews, Putin said in his annual address to parliament in Moscow today.” [Bloomberg]

Tony Blair’s Role Model? “One of the things people are going to have to get used to is: you are going to get leaders leaving office in their early 50s,” Blair says. “I have a lot of energy. I feel extremely fit. There’s no way I’m going to retire and play golf. You look at someone like Henry [Kissinger]. He’s 91 and he’s still going strong. I love that. Or Shimon Peres! These are my role models.” [VanityFair]

ISRAELI ELECTIONS: “Lapid to Netanyahu: You are out of touch, you live in an aquarium: Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid said Wednesday night he was running for prime minister, and that Benjamin Netanyahu would not form the next government. He also disparaged Netanyahu’s tenure in office, saying he had walked away from a diplomatic initiative that would have demilitarized Gaza during the summer war and constantly alienated the United States, Israel’s most important ally, “Senators call me to find out about your disparaging treatment of our best friend in the world. Go explain to them that you’re so disconnected that you think America is stuck in the ’80s. At one point you understood America, but America has changed.” [JPost]

Yesh Atid, Israel Beiteinu and Kahlon may cooperate against Netanyahu: “Yesh Atid, Israel Beiteinu and Moshe Kahlon’s new party may cooperate in the coming election to form a bloc against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, sources in Yesh Atid said yesterday. The cooperation among the three parties, whose leaders – Yair Lapid, Avigdor Lieberman and Kahlon – all loathe Netanyahu, is not certain howeverYesh Atid members refused to comment on the issue yesterday. Israel Beiteinu sources denied the rumors and said “there is no cooperation. We have good relations with all the parties. We’ll focus on a positive campaign that will convey the party’s vision and messages.” Sources close to Kahlon said they know of no cooperation with Lapid and Israel Beiteinu. “We’re managing alone,” they said. ” [Haaretz]

TOP-OPS: Daniel Gordis: “Netanyahu Loses His Grip” [BloombergView] • Leonard Saxe: “Why the Myth of Vanishing American Jewry Is Hard to Dispel” [TabletMag] • Isi Leibler: “Increasing number of Jewish Democrats disillusioned with Obama” [JPost]

NYTimes “Jewish beat” reporter Joseph Berger emails friends… “Lest you read it on Facebook or Twitter, I felt I wanted to personally let you know that I’m going to be retiring from the The Times starting Dec. 20. The paper made a generous offer to its newsroom staff and, though it was a tough decision, it seemed prudent at this stage of life to apply. I’ve had a marvelous time writing for The Times and working with some of the finest people in journalism. It will be sad to leave them and the paper. The Times has been good to me right to the last moment. I may produce some freelance pieces from time to time, so you may well hear from me on this or that story. Thank for all your help and support through the years and let’s stay in touch. Best wishes, Joe.”

Spotted by a JI tipster: Eric Cantor boarding an Acela first class car at Union Station.

 
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2016 WATCH — Reinventing Jeb Bush: “If the Republican Party is at a crossroads, Jeb Bush is right there with it. Down one path is a realignment with the emerging demographics of tomorrow. Down the other is a continuing retrenchment with the nation’s disproportionately older, disproportionately Southern, soon-to-be white minority. As he said Monday in Washington, Bush didn’t know if he’d be a “good candidate or a bad one,” but a winning Republican campaign to him looked like this: “It has to be much more uplifting, much more positive, much more willing to, you know, to be practical now in Washington … lose the primary to win the general, without violating your principles. It’s not an easy task, to be honest with you.”” [Politico]

2016 WATCH — Martin O’Malley Hires Hyers: nabs Bill de Blasio campaign manager as senior adviser: Democrat O’Malley has added Bill de Blasio’s campaign manager Bill Hyers as his senior adviser. The move is one that indicates Democrat O’Malley is pushing forward with the possibility of a presidential run despite Hillary Clinton’s impressive early lead. “Hyers is one of the top Democratic strategists nationally and oversaw de Blasio’s dark-horse primary win in 2013. He was President Barack Obama’s Pennsylvania state director in 2012 and previously worked for Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.” [Politico] • “Hillary Clinton has met with potential campaign managers” [Politico]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Noble Orders Appraiser in Perelman, Rennert Dispute [DelBizCourt] • Las Vegas Casino Regulators recommends a one-year limited license for Sam Nazarian: “Nazarian, 39, was recommended for a one-year, limited license by the Gaming Control Board following a more-than-3½-hour public hearing in Carson City that included testimony over drug use earlier this year and his dealings with an extortion suspect who cost him $3 million. Board members said they were concerned how the businessman, whose empire includes some of Southern California’s most popular nightspots and a growing line of SLS hotels, dealt with Derrick Armstrong, a Los Angeles-based convicted felon. Nazarian took full responsibility for the dealings with Armstrong. Nazarian admitted paying to Israel-born mob figure Hai Waknine $83,000 and rap music mogul Marion “Suge” Knight $90,000 because of their connections to Armstrong.” [ReviewJournal]

—Josh Kushner’s Thrive Capital Bets Big On Stripe and Razor Startup Harry’s [TechCrunchReCode]

—David Tisch, managing partner of the seed capital fund BoxGroup and former director of TechStars NYC, is joining Cornell Tech as head of the Startup Studio: “The veteran investor and entrepreneur — and member of the powerful New York family— will work closely with Cornell Tech’s Chief Entrepreneurial Officer Greg Pass, the former Twitter CTO. “David will provide our students with an unvarnished view of success and failure in early stage tech companies, and offer incisive critique and guidance for their startup ideas and entrepreneurial aspirations,” said Cornell Tech Dean Dan Huttenlocher in a statement.” [BizJournal] • David Tisch explains why Cornell Tech is so important to building NYC’s startup ecosystem [VentureBeat]

STARTUP NATION: Israeli App La’Zooz lets you share rides, make money, change the world [ToI• Israeli startup Anagog Raises $1M To Help Drivers Find Street Parking With Real-Time, Crowdsourced Data: “Anagog’s approach is probably closer to another service that began in Israel — Waze, which was acquired by Google.” [TechCrunch]

LESSONS FROM A JEWISH SOCIAL ENTREPRENEUR: “What Air Jordan Taught Adam Braun About Entrepreneurship” by Antonio Neves: “Adam Braun thinks every child should have access to a quality education. As founder of Pencils of Promise, a nonprofit that’s built more than 250 schools in Africa, Asia and Latin America, he has helped more than 30,000 students gain greater access to knowledge. Like many entrepreneurs Braun hadn’t planned to launch a nonprofit after college. Before that idea materialized, he worked at a hedge fund and the major management consultancy, Bain & Company. Before that, he traded basketball cards, visited more than 50 countries and even did a stint as an improv performer. It’s these early jobs that he credits as his most formative. Here are just a few lessons he learned from those early experiences: [INC]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Ghermezian and team spearhead efforts for the Mega-mall developers dreaming of 2016 opening” [REWeekly] • Phoenix sale to Kushner near collapse [Globes]

RISING STARS — Meet Roma and Erika Cohen, Michelle Bernstein, and Sarah Arison, Jewish stars of South Florida’s new creative class [NYPost]

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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