Daily Kickoff: U.S. official – “There will be a price” | Israel Defender Kerry’s “enthusiasm could be blunted” | Obama’s Joseph-esque superpower wish

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HEARD LAST NIGHT: AIPAC held its annual Northeast Gala at the Midtown Hilton in New York City with plenty of national and local NYC politicians in attendance. The featured program of the evening was a panel discussion featuring Sen. Lindsey Graham and former Sen. Joe Lieberman. Graham was running a few minutes late from LaGuardia so Lieberman began the discussion without him saying, “I want to thank Lindsey Graham for being late because he gives me something that I lost two years ago when I left the United States Senate: The opportunity to filibuster (laughter). Listen, Lindsey is good buthe’s not that good that we’re gonna treat him like Elijah the Prophet tonight. He’s coming.” Lieberman on Saudi King Abdullah: “The King said to me the first time we met, “Joe, I can tell that you and I are going to be friends… because you’re a man of religion, and so am I.”

—“King Abdullah, Who Nudged Saudi Arabia Forward, Dies at 90: King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who came to the throne in old age and earned a reputation as a cautious reformer even as the Arab Spring revolts toppled heads of state and Islamic State militants threatened the Muslim establishment that he represented, died, Saudi officials said Friday. He was 90.” [NYTimes] • “Death of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah roils oil market” [Fortune] • “VP Biden will lead a delegation to Saudi Arabia to pay respect and offer condolences to King Abdullah’s family & nation” [Twitter] • “Saudi’s New King, Salman, A Force For Unity In Royal Family” [AP]

Slight Change In Plans: @SpeakerBoehner — “At his request, PM @Netanyahu of #Israel will now address joint mtg of Congress on March 3 so he can attend @AIPAC conference in DC.” [Twitter]

NO BLAIR HOUSE FOR BIBI: “Obama to pass on meeting Netanyahu during Washington visit” by Julia Pace: “On Thursday, the White House said President Barack Obama would not meet the prime minister when he comes to the U.S. to address a joint session of Congress. The official White House explanation was that Netanyahu’s visit fell too close to the Israeli election and the Obama administration wanted to avoid the appearance of taking sides.” [APNYTimes]

“There will be a price” — senior American official to Barak Ravid: “We thought we’ve seen everything,” a senior American official said. “But Bibi managed to surprise even us. There are things you simply don’t do. He spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.”[Haaretz]

—Kerry: “Secretary of State John F. Kerry has made nearly 50 calls in the past month to world leaders on issues such issues as the U.N. Security Council Resolution on Palestine and a probe by the International Criminal Court. “The bilateral relationship is unshakable,” said a source close to Kerry. “But playing politics with that relationship could blunt Secretary Kerry’s enthusiasm for being Israel’s primary defender.” Kerry met for more than two hours on Tuesday with Israel’s ambassador to the United States, who never mentioned the invitation from Boehner or the prospect of a Netanyahu visit this spring. “The secretary’s patience is not infinite,” said the source close to Kerry, who was granted anonymity to speak frankly about the strained relations caused by the visit.” [WashPost]

—Israeli Foreign Ministry Staffer’s Reaction: “Soon after the invitation hit the news, an Israeli diplomatic source in Washington described its effect as “shock and awe.” Another senior official in the Israeli Foreign Ministry told me, “Today, more than ever, I would like to be on the line during the phone call between Ambassador Shapiro and Prime Minister Netanyahu and his staff… The Americans’ main problem now is that they cannot humiliate Dermer any more than he already has been humiliated. Netanyahu’s personal envoy to the White House, Attorney Yitzhak Molcho, can only meet with Susan Rice on condition that “he doesn’t bring Dermer with him.” [AlMonitor] • Grain of salt: Israel’s Foreign Ministry and Amb. Dermer have not had the best of relations, perhaps dating back to the Ministry’s strike earlier this year and Dermer’s lack of participation with it or even the overall technicalroadblocks and leaks Ministry staffers put in Dermer’s way as he began the job. Regardless, the Al Monitor piece, relying heavily on quotes from FM staffers, should probably be read with some of that context in mind.

—White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough to Mike Allen: “I think the way the president has always seen is that the relationship with Israel is something that’s above partisan politics, and that’s a way we’ll continue to approach this… One of the things I’m quite proud of in my time with Tom Donilon and the National Security Council is the establishment of a consultative group with our Israeli counterparts, to make sure that we’re getting together on a very regular basis to work through… That’s what we’ll continue to do on this and, you know, it’s not a question of anger so much as a question of making sure that we’re continuing to apply that historic and traditional view of our relationship, particularly at such a difficult time.” [Politico]

TWEET DU JOUR: @MarkLandler — “Bibi was once punished by Israeli voters for alienating a US president (Clinton). Now, alienating the president is a vote-getting strategy.” [Twitter]

—@RobLowe: “Hold up. Is it true that a woman who eats cereal out of a bathtub gets to meet with the President and the Prime Minister of Isreal does not?” [Twitter]

—@RosieGray: “tbt when Netanyahu accused Peres of using a visit to the US to bolster his re-election campaign [AP]” [Twitter]

“Republicans stuck between two paths on Iran: Two key Senate committees will soon move separate proposals, one to increase sanctions and the other to require congressional approval of any Iran deal. The lead sponsors of those bills — Republican Sens. Mark Kirk of Illinois and Bob Corker ofTennessee, respectively — are racing to rack up supporters and recruit Democratic co-sponsors in what is quickly emerging as a turf war of sorts between the Banking Committee and the Foreign Relations Committee. In the middle of it all are Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and his leadership team, who are closely monitoring the legislative developments. Senior Republicans and sources familiar with the process said both proposals would get floor votes in some fashion and portions of them could be merged into a final product, perhaps one as an amendment to another.” [Politico] • Peggy Noonan: “A Republic of Disrespect” [WSJ] • WSJ Editorial: “No Confidence Votes on Iran” [WSJ]

White House: “Statement by the President on the UN General Assembly Meeting on the Rise of Anti-Semitism: Earlier this week in my State of the Union address, I affirmed our commitment and responsibility as Americans to speak out against the deplorable resurgence of anti-Semitism in certain parts of the world. Today, the United States is joining partners from around the world in doing just that. At the request of the United States and 36 other nations, the United Nations General Assembly will gather to discuss the growing scourge of anti-Semitism. It is the first such meeting of the General Assembly, and an important moment both in confronting this global challenge, and in our ongoing work to promote the universal rights and fundamental freedoms memorialized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights… Every nation, every region, and every community must do its part. I call on the members of the UN General Assembly to lend their voice to this struggle, and pledge the unwavering support of the United States as we wage this fight together.” [PressRelease]

—Ambassador Samantha Power: “Frankly, it is deeply concerning that even as anti-Semitism is rising in Europe, a third fewer countries are participating in the 2014 conference than took part in the 2004 conference; and only one in three of the countries that sent a foreign minister or other cabinet level official in 2004 has sent one at that level to this conference. Now this is not meant in any way to disrespect the high-ranking officials who are here today or the members of parliament who have such an important role to play in this cause. But it does beg the question: Doesn’t this issue – at the very least – merit the same show of solidarity and commitment from governments today as it did a decade ago?” [Transcript] • “Quotes from UN General Assembly meeting on anti-Semitism” [AP]

—Video: Rep. Ted Deutch Addresses U.N. General Assembly on Anti-Semitism [YouTube]

MUST WATCH: Councilman David Greenfield Denounces Ant-Semitic Outburst in NYC Council Chamber [YouTubeNYPostCBS]

**Good Friday 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: “Meet the many people who love to talk about the Clintons–as long as they’re anonymous” [WashPost] • “Here’s How Hillary Will Distance Herself From Obama”[NationalJournal• “Romney advisers to meet in Boston Friday” [BostonGlobe]

—“Is ‘Libertarian Girl’ Rand Paul’s Problem Waiting to Happen?” by Olivia Nuzzi in the Daily Beast: “Marianne Copenhaver is a 27-year-old from Ohio, who advertises herself as a “political activist, graphic designer, digital strategist.” Paul hired her about a month ago to do Web design and social-media outreach. She told me that the Las Vegas trip was the first time she had accompanied Paul on the road… “Copenhaver’s recent Facebook posts are filled with vehement attacks on the GOP’s foreign policy on Iran, Russia, the Islamic State, Syria, and Israel.” [DailyBeast]

ISRAELEX: “Israel elections 101: Could merger of Arab parties create a power-broker?” [CSMonitor

DAVOS SCENE: “An Israeli Cyber Warrior Puts a Scare Into CEOs at Davos” by Peter Coy:“How scared are chief executives about cyber attacks after the incursion into Sony’s network? Scared enough that dozens of top brass, including Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat, showed up for a Davos breakfast with an Israeli cybersecurity expert who talked about defending against attackers armed with what he called the digital equivalent of an F-16 fighter jet. The advice came from Nadav Zafrir, former commander of the Israel Defense Forces’ technology and intelligence unit, 8200, and founder of the IDF’s Cyber Command.”

“If people with guns stormed Davos, he said, the Swiss Army would come to the rescue. But if cyber terrorists attacked some company’s installation in Davos, the Swiss government would not be there to help. The bottom line: “In the end of the day you’re on your own, and you have to accept that. … I tell my kids, ‘Don’t get mad at reality.'” Zafrir was joined by Avi Hasson, chief scientist of the Israeli Economy Ministry. The session was moderated by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman and sponsored by Start-Up Nation Central, which promotes Israeli technology. Aside from Corbat, attendees includedJames Tisch, president and CEO of Loews; David Rubinstein, co-founder of Carlyle Group; venture capitalist Jim Breyer, the founder and CEO of Breyer Capital and a partner in Accel Partners; and Paul Singer, founder of Elliott Management, a hedge fund company. Singer is also a co-founder of Start-Up Nation Central.” [Bloomberg]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Aaron Levie’s Box Said To Price IPO At $14 Per Share, Will Raise $175M at $1.67B Valuation” [TechCrunch] — “Jim Cramer: The Box IPO, Call Your Broker Immediately” [CNBC] (h/t Justin Hefter) • “Amazon to Buy Israeli Chip Developer” [NYTimesWSJ] • “Josh Kushner’s Health Insurance Startup Oscar Eyes Entry Into California By Next Year” [TechCrunch] • “After stormy start, better days lie ahead for Nazarian and SLS Las Vegas?” [VegasSun] • “Coney Island Residents Vehemently Oppose Rubin Schron’s 40-Story Tower Proposal” [Curbed] • Leonard Lauder’s advice: “Never ask for permission, but beg for forgiveness” [Forbes] • “An interview with the (Jewish) founders of Campus Job, the site that’s gonna get you college kids your next job” [BroBible] • “Interview: SIXTY Hotels CEO Jason Pomeranc on the New Boutique Stay” [Skift]

If the New York Times says it… “Power Lunches Are Out. Crumbs in the Keyboard Are In” by John Koblin: “The media machers were there. But a younger set of dealmakers most definitely was not. The thought of hourslong, sometimes vodka-soaked lunches is a wee bit foreign to the newestgeneration of media stars. “I almost resent having to go out to lunch,” said Ben Lerer, a co-founder of the website Thrillist and a managing director of Lerer Hippeau Ventures… The online leaders of new media are not flocking to power canteens like Michael’s or the Four Seasons. The get-togethers and deals that otherwise would have been made between noon and 2 p.m. are now made elsewhere, at all hours: conference rooms; over coffee, cocktails or breakfast; on Skype, Gchat or email. The status conferred upon those who get the best seat in the house is not necessary or even valuable to this crew, which measures its clout in retweets and followers, not table position.” [NYTimes]

POWER TURN: “Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s arrest marks stunning career turn that threatens to expose his darkest secrets: Known for his cryptic public comments and frugal, no-frills lifestyle, Silver, 70, must now contend with the biggest scandal of his life and a legal process that threatens to expose his darkest secrets. “We are talking about one of the most powerful men in the state beingpartially disabled going into the legislative session,” said veteran Democratic strategist Hank Sheinkopf. “Shelly is not a talkative fellow, but this will be very difficult for him to bear and the public discussion and the whispering behind him will be very painful,” Sheinkopf said.” [DailyNews] • “Charity with ties to Sheldon Silver puts out a call for help” [NYPost]

TRANSITIONS: Rauner picks former Hawaii governor as COO: “Gov. Bruce Rauner is tapping former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to serve in his administration. A spokesman for Rauner confirmed Thursday that Lingle will be the Republican governor’s chief operating officer. Rauner describes the 61-year-old Lingle as a “superstar” former governor who served eight years in office. Lingle was elected as Hawaii’s governor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. She is a Republican who lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 2012.” [ABC20Jewish Angle

TALK OF THE TOWN: “J Street U takes on Jewish community’s ‘hypocrisy’ on occupation” by Chemi Shalev: “J Street U will no longer make do with “Pro-Israel, Pro-Peace” activities on U.S.campuses and is setting its sights on the American Jewish community as a whole. The student body of the left-wing J Street lobby group intends to act against what it describes as the community’s “hypocrisy” and to galvanize it to speak out against settlements and occupation that “endanger the future of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.” [Haaretz]

ON THIS DATE IN… (via the AP): 1950 – “The Israeli Knesset approved a resolution proclaiming Jerusalem the capital of Israel.” [AP]

TALK OF OUR NATION: New York Times Magazine on “The Orthodox Sex Guru” by Daniel Bergner: (Disclaimer: This is not a topic we ordinarily address in the Daily Kickoff, but as part of our service — which includes letting you know whenever the national media covers a story involving the Jewish community — we are simply making you, the reader, aware of the prominent placement of this article in the NYTimes Magazine. As with all content included in the Daily Kickoff, a mention and/or a link does not indicate an endorsement. Again, whether you agree, and especially if you disagree, with the content of this article we are simply bringing the placement of it to your attention. In other words, coverage of the coverage) [NYTimesMag]

Rabbi Shmuley: “Fed up with a never-ending river of Jewish tears” [NYObserver]

Politics and the Parsha — presented by Howie Beigelman: “Men of factious tempers, of local prejudices, or of sinister designs, may, by intrigue, by corruption, or by other means, first obtain the suffrages, and then betray the interests, of the people.”—James Madison, Federalist No. 10. Moses demands again of the Pharaoh that he release the Jewish slaves. Cowed by the plagues, Pharaoh begins negotiations. “Who will go?” “Everyone,” replies Moses. Old and young. Men, and women. Believers and atheists. Priests and common slaves. But the Pharaoh is insistent. He will only release the men. Moses is equally unyielding. All, or none. These are two classic political power plays. Pharaoh is pitting interestgroups one against the other in a classic divide and conquer. Moses is building a coalition of allies. Moses and Pharaoh teach us a lesson for the ages.” [JewishLink]

President Obama’s superpower wish is kinda Joseph-esque… “President Obama wants what his wife calls a “nerdy” new superpower: The ability to speak any language. In part of his bid to push his State of the Union message to new audiences, Obama spoke with three popular YouTube hosts with big video audiences on Thursday. Bethany Mota, known for crafting videos, asked the President what superpower he would like. Obama first answered traditionally: “I guess the flying thing seems pretty cool – as long as you could stay warm.” But he added that although First Lady Michelle Obama said “this is really nerdy,” he “would love to love to be able to speak any language. Anybody I met, anywhere in the world, I could just talk in their language. To me that would be really cool.” [DailyNews]

—Biblical Backstory: “Pharaoh conferred power on Joseph, Pharaoh’s astrologers questioned whether Pharaoh would set in power over them a slave whom his master bought for 20 pieces of silver. Pharaoh replied to them that he discerned royal characteristics in Joseph. Pharaoh’s astrologers said to Pharaoh that in that case, Joseph must be able to speak the 70 languages of the world. That night, the angel Gabriel came to teach Joseph the 70 languages, but Joseph could not learn them. Thereupon Gabriel added a letter from God’s Name to Joseph’s name, and Joseph was able to learn the languages, as Psalm 81:6 reports, “He appointed it in Joseph for a testimony, when he went out over the land of Egypt, where I (Joseph) heard a language that I knew not.” The next day, in whatever language Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, Joseph was able to reply to Pharaoh.” [Wikipedia]

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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