Daily Kickoff: Why the media gets Israeli elections wrong | Rand’s tech team helped Bibi | “Hollywood’s Jewish Problem” | Berkeley’s Swastika Problem

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TOP TALKER: “U.S. support for Israel could slip after Netanyahu victory” by Jeremy Diamond and Elise Labott: “A senior administration official said that Netanyahu’s sharp tacks to the right before Tuesday’s vote — “raise very significant substantive concerns” for the White House, and that “we have to reassess our options going forward.” That official said the administration is waiting to see if Netanyahu walks back his comments. He warned, “We are in a very, very different situation than we have been in years if that is not the case.” [CNNPolitico] • “Obama aide congratulates Israelis, but not Netanyahu” [TheHill]

“From Tel Aviv to Turtle Bay” by John Hudson and Colum Lynch: “After years of blocking U.N. efforts to pressure Israelis and Palestinians into accepting a lasting two-state solution, the United States is edging closer toward supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution that would call for the resumption of political talks to conclude a final peace settlement, according to Western diplomats.” [ForeignPolicy]

TALE OF TWO PARTIES: “Republicans crow over Benjamin Netanyahu’s victory” [Politico] • “David Axelrod: Netanyahu ‘mortgaged the future’ to win” [Politico]

Eli Lake: “Israel Chose Bibi Over Barack” [BloombergView] • WSJ Editorial: “President Obama loses his bid to defeat a U.S. ally” [WSJ] • “Obama May Find It Impossible to Mend Frayed Ties to Netanyahu” [NYTimes• “Why Netanyahu victory isn’t likely to make US-Israel relations worse” [CSMonitor] • “Bibi’s victory is Kerry’s defeat” [Politico

Noah Feldman: “Historically, Israelis have been prepared to choose center-left governments and negotiate peace when the possibility seemed realistic. Otherwise, they tend to prefer the center-right. More than any other factor, this historical reality explains the defeat of the center-left.” [BloombergView]

Peter Beinart: “If Israelis have the right to vote for permanent occupation, we in the Diaspora have the right to resist it. And as this election makes clear, Israel will concede nothing on its own. This isn’t because Jewish Israelis are different than anyone else. It’s because they are the same.” [Haaretz]

Rob Eshman: “If there is one lesson American Jews will learn from Israel’s election, it’s this: they’re not us… For years the greatest myth American Jews have been telling themselves is that Israeli Jews are just like us. That works because we tend to prove this to ourselves by cherry-picking the Israel we most identify with… If the English and Americans are two people separated by a common language, Israeli and American Jews are one people separated by a common country.” [JewishJournal]

“Why the Media Always Get Israeli Elections Wrong” by Jonathan Schanzer: “The complexity of the Israeli system has often prompted pollsters to ask two key questions ahead of elections: Which party will you vote for? And who do you want to see as prime minister? The answer is not always the same. And this was apparently one of the indicators that gave Team Netanyahu hope, even as the eulogies for the prime minister began to appear in high-profile publication after publication. Indeed, fortunes can change overnight for Israeli politicians. And in this case, they did.” [PoliticoMag]

Armin Rosen: “The results of yesterday’s national elections in Israel rendered months of commentary utterly worthless… (in the interest of disclosure, neither of these pieces I wrote yesterday hold up very well, to put it mildly).” [BusinessInsider]

Ben Birnbaum: “This was Benjamin Netanyahu’s last election victory. Last night was not the end. But it was almost certainly the beginning of the end.” [NewRepublic]

“How Rand Paul’s Digital Team Helped Re-Elect Bibi” by David Weigel: “Among the victors in this week’s election are Vincent Harris and Michael Duncan, leaders of the firm who took the Likud account and used social media to organize and turn out Netanyahu’s vote. “Israeli elections make our elections look really one-dimensional,” said Duncan, in an interview from his temporary base in Tel Aviv.” [BloombergStatesman]

2016 WATCH: Rand Paul to MTV: “I don’t want the government finding out … am I Jewish, am I gay, Japanese…” (or hanging out with Mark Ronson on a late night). “I think the government should only look at my activities if I’ve been accused of a crime.” [MTV]

2016 TOP READS: “The Trials And Triumphs Of Heidi Cruz: Ted and Heidi Cruz have always had big ambitions for public service. A decade ago, uprooting her career was a difficult detour.” [BuzzFeed] • “Jeb Bush’s tie to fugitive goes against business-savvy image he promotes” [WashPost] • “Chinese Dissident Disputes Hillary Clinton’s Version Of His Escape From China” [BuzzFeed] • “A mighty fundraising operation awaits Clinton, as well as financial hurdles” [WashPost• “Jeb Bush lawyer Charlie Spies tries to stop radio ads touting Bush campaign” [Reuters] • “Defense budget debate could prove awkward for 2016 hopefuls” [Politico]

IRAN TALKS: “Iran, P5+1 tackle final hurdles to accord” by Laura Rozen: “Negotiators find themselves struggling to resolve differences over two seemingly more peripheral issues at meetings here this week. They involve the scope of research and development on centrifuges that Iran can conduct during the period of a final nuclear accord, and Iran’s desire for the lifting of UN Security Council sanctions on its nuclear program that it sees as treating Iran as a pariah state.” [AlMonitorNYTimes] • “Iran Centrifuge Test Was Error, Not Cheating, U.S. Officials Say” [Bloomberg]

HAPPENING TODAY: “Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Treasury Undersecretary Adam Szubin testify at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on the ongoing nuclear negotiations with Iran. Representative Ed Royce (R-CA) chairs the committee.” [CSPAN]

**Good Thursday 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**

STARTUP NATION: “U.S.-Israeli start-up Playbuzz, whose platform enables the distribution of content on social media, said on Wednesday it has raised $16 million in a financing round led by venture capital fund 83North. Additional funds came from Saban Capital, the investment arm of media mogul Haim Saban, as well as existing investors Carmel Ventures and FirstTime Ventures. Founded in 2012 by Shaul Olmert, son of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, and Tom Pachys, Playbuzz enables publishers, bloggers, marketers and brands to connect with audiences through quizzes, lists, surveys and rankings.” [Reuters] • “How Meerkat conquered all at SXSW” [TheVerge]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Judge rules that Samantha Perelman’s uncle must pay her $10.5M in legal fees despite loss” [DailyNews] • “Rosenstein’s Jana Sells 20% Stake to Neuberger’s Dyal” [Bloomberg] • “Progressive Group Takes Aim at Hedge Fund Managers” [Observer] • “Minnesota Vikings ownership at a glance” [ESPN] • “Don’t expect more private funding from Marc Lasry for new Milwaukee Bucks arena”[WTAQ]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Joe Sitt’s Thor pays Baruch Singer $22M for Harlem rental” [RealDeal]• “Schron’s Cammeby’s Buys 30 Park Avenue for $194M” [Observer] • “Inside Kushner’s $66M Puck penthouse” [RealDeal] • “Legendary Norman Sturner and Son David Take MHP South With 1.2M-SF Property” [Observer]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Secular Bill de Blasio Sows Confusion as New York Allows Prayer in Pre-K” by Henry Goldman: “For someone unaffiliated with any church, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio has become an unlikely advocate for the religious, from supporting the right of Orthodox Jews to use oral suction during circumcision to closing schools on Muslim holidays… “Mayor de Blasio is a populist, and he is working to accommodate all kinds of groups,” said David Pollock. “He understands that universal pre-K can’t be truly universal if there are groups that can’t access it in a way consistent with their religious beliefs.” [Bloomberg]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “We’ll Always Have Paris: How can we help Jews stay in Europe?” by William Saletan [Slate]

Hollywood: “Michael Douglas and Hollywood’s Jewish identity problem” by Jeffrey Salkin:“There is a shortage of “Jewish Jews” in the entertainment business. While we can all name our own favorite exceptions to the rule, the fact is, when it comes to Judaism and Jewish connections, much of the entertainment industry is a Judaism-free zone. When we scan the list of famous Jewish actors and actresses, we find very few who seem to do anything Jewish with their lives.” [WashPost]

CAMPUS BEAT: “UCLA Chancellor Gene Block: BDS ‘isn’t going to be sustained on this campus’”[JewishJournal• “Y.U. to merge Stern, Yeshiva colleges faculties” [JTA]

“Berkeley’s Swastika Problem: Are America’s Liberal Colleges Breeding Anti-Semitism?” by Emily Shire: “At schools where students strive to protect the rights of ethnic and racial minorities, stomp out sexual and gender discrimination, and regularly remind people to “check their privilege,” hate speech against the Jewish community has become a pernicious problem… To UC Berkeley law student Mark Donig, what is happening on college campuses like UCLA, Berkeley, and UC Davis reflects larger global patterns and attitudes toward the Jewish community. “We saw with the murders that took place in Paris” in the attack on the kosher supermarket. “The murderer was doing that to avenge the death of Palestinians, but they weren’t even Israelis. The fact that they were Jewish was enough.” [DailyBeast]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Leonard Lauder turns 82… Harvey Weinstein turns 63… Jill Abramson turns 61…

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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