Daily Kickoff: Bibi wins | White House blitzes Hill on Iran | Israel’s Meerkat may be game changing election app | Wasserman Schultz skips Senate run

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ISRAELEX: “Benjamin Netanyahu has won a fourth term as Israel’s prime minister, with his right-wing Likud party seizing a decisive five-seat advantage in parliament over the main opposition Zionist Union party. With 99% of the ballots counted, Likud is slated to control 29 of parliament’s 120 seats to 24 for Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Union, Israel Radio reported early Wednesday.” [WSJCNN]

NYTimes Headlines: “Netanyahu Appears to Stay Ahead in Israel’s Election” — “Deep Wounds From Israel’s Bitter Race” — Editorial Board: “An Israeli Election Turns Ugly” [NYTimes]

Expect to hear this line some more: “Polls were completely accurate, it’s the voters who were wrong.” h/t Chemi Shalev [Twitter]

“Kahlon Is Mum on Whom He’ll Support” by Karen Zraick and Irit Pazner Garshowitz:“Moshe Kahlon, 54, was holding his cards close Tuesday night, saying he spoke with leaders of the two leading parties and would only make his decision after all the votes were counted… Mr. Kahlon may be a career conservative, but he also broke with Mr. Netanyahu in a public spat and started his own centrist party, called Kulanu, in December.” [NYTimesAP“Kahlon seen as leaning toward rejoining Netanyahu, but kept options open” [WSJ]

Daroff Prediction: “Oren as Deputy Foreign Minister (w/Obama portfolio)” [Twitter]

Jeffrey Goldberg: “Imagine Obama, Warren, Cruz, Romney, and Paul splitting, semi-equally, the presidential vote, and then forming a government together.” [Twitter]

David Horovitz: “Netanyahu, by contrast, has now cornered himself with a stance that puts him on a collision course even with Israel’s closest international allies… Disgruntled though they may be, bitter that the prime minister’s last-minute tactics ate into their support, the leaders of those parties will almost certainly ultimately fall into line behind Benjamin Netanyahu. How long will such a coalition hold together? How effectively will it be able to govern? Those are critical questions for another day.” [ToI]

Michael Tomasky: “Where Bibi Leads, the GOP Will Follow: A day before his apparent victory in Israel, the prime minister rejected a two-state solution. Now expect Republicans to follow him—destroying a rare point of unity with Democrats.” [DailyBeast]

“Netanyahu Change on Palestinian State Downplayed by Republicans” by Kathleen Miller:“Republican lawmakers give a collective shrug over Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statements that he will no longer pursue a two-state solution.” [Bloomberg]

IRAN TALKS: “White House blitzes Hill on Iran: Even the president himself is trying to contain Democratic defections on Iran legislation” by Manu Raju and Burgess Everett: “The lobbying effort has come from all quarters. Obama has spoken directly with Democratic senators on the Foreign Relations Committee, including Ben Cardin of Maryland. Other senators who are weighing whether to join the legislative effort, such as Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have been briefed by the likes of Samantha Power, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew have reached out directly to senators, according to sources on Capitol Hill.” [Politico] • Joe Lieberman Op: “Congress Deserves a Vote on Iran” [WSJ] • “Iran and U.S. Differ on Optimism About Nuclear Talks” [NYTimes• “Iran’s Foreign Minister, Key to Nuclear Deal, an Enigma to Many” [Bloomberg]

2016 WATCH: “Rubio ‘Absolutely’ Willing To Defy European Allies On Iran” by Julie Pace: “In an interview with The Associated Press, Rubio said the next U.S. president “should not be bound” by a potential Obama administration agreement, even if European negotiating partners stand behind the deal.” [AP]

FL SEN: “Wasserman Schultz decides against running for U.S. Senate” by Anthony Man:“U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she would run for re-election to the U.S. House, where she’s represented parts of Broward and Miami-Dade counties since 2005. And she plans to continue at the helm of the national Democratic Party as it moves into the 2016 election season and attempts to hold on to the presidency… On the Democratic side, most attention is focused on U.S. Reps. Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson.” [SunSentinel]

“‘Sheldon Adelson primary’ cranks up next month” by Kenneth Vogel: “Prospective GOP presidential candidates Ted Cruz, Mike Pence and Rick Perry are making pilgrimages to Las Vegas next month to appear before Sheldon Adelson and other major Jewish donors. The trio – as well as Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who is girding for what’s expected to be a tough 2016 reelection fight – will speak at the spring meeting of the Republican Jewish Coalition on April 25, the group announced Tuesday.” [Politico]

“New (Israeli) Live Stream App May Be 2016 Game Changer” by Caitlin Huey-Burns: “You didn’t have be in one family’s Dover, N.H., living room Friday evening to see and hear what Jeb Bush had to say about education or immigration or whatever those gathered wanted to know. You didn’t even have to wait for the tweets from the reporters who were there too. Instead, you could see for yourself, in real time, thanks to a new mobile device app. Called Meerkat, it allows users to easily live-stream and share such events.” [RealClearPolitics]

—Heard at a SXSW panel yesterday with Dan Rather and Dan Pfeiffer on the news media in the age of Snapchat: Pfeiffer, the now former White House Communications Director, predicted that just like Facebook and Twitter in 2008 and 2012 respectively, “Meerkat could well be the breakthrough technology of the 2016 campaign” [Twitter]

“Jeb Bush, 20 Years After Conversion, Is Guided by His Catholic Faith” by Michael Paulson:“Twenty years after Mr. Bush converted to Catholicism, the religion of his wife, following a difficult and unsuccessful political campaign that had put a strain on his marriage, his faith has become a central element of the way he shapes his life and frames his views on public policy. And now, as he explores a bid for the presidency, his religion has become a focal point of early appeals to evangelical activists, who are particularly important in a Republican primary that is often dominated by religious voters.” [NYTimes]

SCENE THE OTHER NIGHT: “George W. Bush full of one-liners at $60 million fundraiser at Omni” by Rodger Jones: “George W. Bush was the guest of honor at a Dallas fund-raising dinner last night for Israel Bonds, and it’s hard to imagine a more enthusiastic welcome. Yes, it was a Texas crowd, but the warmth it expressed for Bush appeared to stem from a different place — his administration’s steadfast support of Israel… The Israel Bonds gathering was a big event, held at the Omni, with hosts putting the crowd at 1,500 people. They described it as the largest fund-raising event for Israel Bonds since Israel Premier David Ben Gurion attracted 20,000 to Madison Square Garden in 1951, the launch of the bond program.” [DallasMorningNews]

SCENE LAST NIGHT… by Playbook: “House GOP Whip Steve Scalise last night hosted a member dinner with 15 of his House colleagues and was joined by Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer at Joe’s Stone Crab. Reps included: Royce, Ros-Lehtinen, Dent, McCaul, and Zeldin” [Politico]

**Good Wednesday 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**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Ghermezian’s massive mall project wins approval for Miami-Dade land deal” [MiamiHerald• “Judge Tacks On 6% Interest to Renco Jury Award” [WSJ] • “Chinese ‘bad bank’ snaps up $140M stake in Midtown tower from Aby Rosen” [DailyNews• “Revealed: Chetrit, Bistricer’s Cabrini Medical Center conversion” [RealDeal] • “After Plexiglas Falls, City Halts One57 Glass Work” [WSJ] • “The new Sotheby’s CEO has no art world experience- but we hear Dan Loeb is psyched about him anyway” [BusinessInsider]

NYPost Headline: “Heiress who gave millions to cult suing condo board for measly $160K” by Julie Marsh: “Multimillionaire Seagram heiress Sara Bronfman is suing her former condo board for a relatively measly $161,000 over a burst pipe… According to a 2010 Vanity Fair article Sara and Clare tried to conceal their payments to the secretive group NXIVM including $11 million for a 22-seat jet from their liquor magnate father Edgar Bronfman, who was worth over $2 billion when he died in 2013.” [NYPost]

STARTUP NATION: “An Interview with the Legendary Mark Suster about Investing, Israel, and the Internet of Things” by Hillel Fuld [TechNMarketing]

SPORTS BLINK: “For Harvard’s Zach Yoshor, March Madness mixes with Shabbat-playing unease” by Hillel Kuttler: “Raised in an observant home in Houston, Yoshor attended a Jewish school, the Robert Beren Academy, that doesn’t schedule games on Shabbat. Three years ago, during Yoshor’s junior year, Beren attracted national headlines when it nearly had to forfeit a state tournament semifinal originally set for a Saturday. As a member of a non-Jewish travel team in those years, Yoshor walked to Saturday games. At Harvard, though, he had to choose; basketball won out.” [JTA]

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email  editor@jewishinsider.com**


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