Daily Kickoff: MSNBC, Fox News, NPR interview Bibi | Boehner to visit Israel | Israel Election Result Complicates Life for Hillary

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TOP TALKER: “Iran Talks Stall Over Ending of Sanctions” by Laurence Norman and Jay Solomon: “As deadline nears for nuclear agreement, Tehran wants U.N. sanctions lifted right away; U.S., Europeans say ‘no way.’… The Iranians “say it’s a deal breaker. They don’t want it at all,” said a senior European diplomat involved in the Lausanne talks, referring to Iran’s position on the U.N. sanctions. “There’s no way that we would give up on that…. No way.” [WSJ] • “Obama to Iran: ‘Seize this moment'” [TheHillYouTube]

AP REPORT: “The United States and Iran are drafting elements of a nuclear deal that commits Tehran to a 40 percent cut in the number of machines it could use to make an atomic bomb, officials told The Associated Press on Thursday. In return, the Iranians would get quick relief from some crippling economic sanctions and a partial lift of a U.N. embargo on conventional arms… The sides are zeroing in on a cap of 6,000 centrifuges, officials said, down from the 6,500 they spoke of in recent weeks.” [AP] • “Democrat Rep. Brad Sherman blasts case for Iran deal: ‘Preposterous'” [TheHill]

“Senate grants Obama weeks-long reprieve on Iran bill” by Burgess Everett: “After negotiating all week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker and Robert Menendez, the committee’s top Democrat, said they will wait until mid-April before voting on legislation that would allow Congress to weigh in on a nuclear deal with Iran.” [Politico]

Paul Teller emails… “Sen. Cruz and Rep. Franks Introduce Sanction Iran, Safeguard America Act”

“Petraeus: The Islamic State isn’t our biggest problem in Iraq” by Liz Sly: Q: “What are your thoughts when you see Qassem Soleimani, the IRGC leader who funded and armed the militias who blew up U.S. troops and shelled the U.S. Embassy while you were in it, taking battlefield tours like you used to? A: Yes, “Hajji Qassem,” our old friend. I have several thoughts when I see the pictures of him, but most of those thoughts probably aren’t suitable for publication in a family newspaper like yours. The current Iranian regime is not our ally in the Middle East. It is ultimately part of the problem, not the solution… I told Soleimani that he could “pound sand.” [WashPostPolitico]

THE SAGA CONTINUES: “Boehner to visit Israel” by Barak Ravid: “Senior Israeli officials who asked to remain anonymous said Boehner will begin his visit, which has not yet been announced publicly, on March 31, heading a delegation of Republican Congress members. The officials said the final agreement for the visit was given during Netanyahu’s trip to the United States some two weeks ago.” [Haaretz;CNN]

Andrea Mitchell interviews Netanyahu: “I haven’t changed my policy. I never retracted my speech in Bar Ilan University six years ago calling for a demilitarized Palestinian state that recognizes the Jewish state.  What has changed is the reality….Abu Mazen, the Palestinian leader, refuses to recognize the Jewish State. He’s made a pact with Hamas that calls for the destruction of the Jewish State…I don’t want a one-state solution. I want a sustainable peaceful two-state solution, but for that circumstances have to change.”[MSNBCWSJ• NPR’s Steve Inskeep interviews Netanyahu [NPR• Netanyahu on ‘The Kelly File’[FoxNews]

Obama administration rejects Netanyahu backtrack on two-states: “Prime Minister Netanyahu was the prime minister three days ago as well,” responded State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki to his Thursday assurances. “We believe he changed his position three days ago.” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest reiterated the same sentiments as Foggy Bottom, telling reporters that “after the comments, it’s pretty clear that Israel is no longer committed to [a two-state solution].” [ToINYTimes]

Readout of President Obama’s call with Prime Minister Netanyahu: “President Obama spoke today by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate the Prime Minister on his party’s success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats. The President reaffirmed the United States’ long-standing commitment to a two-state solution that results in a secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestine. On Iran, the President reiterated that the United States is focused on reaching a comprehensive deal with Iran that prevents Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon and verifiably assures the international community of the exclusively peaceful nature of its nuclear program.”

Mark Knoller preview: “At noon WH briefing today, look for @PressSec to be peppered with questions about Pres Obama’s phone call yesterday with PM Netanyahu.” [Twitter]

Charles Krauthammer: “I have news for the lowing herds: There would be no peace and no Palestinian state if Isaac Herzog were prime minister either. Or Ehud Barak or Ehud Olmert for that matter. The latter two were (non-Likud) prime ministers who offered the Palestinians their own state — with its capital in Jerusalem and every Israeli settlement in the new Palestine uprooted — only to be rudely rejected.”[WashPost]

Peter Beinart: “On Wednesday, I asked a senior Obama administration official whether there was anything Benjamin Netanyahu could do to repair the damage done by his comments late in his reelection campaign. The official’s answer: “You can’t unring the bell.” Other officials, off the record, put it far, far more harshly than that.” [Haaretz• “When Bibi Won, AIPAC Lost” [TheAtlantic]

AIPAC Statement: “Unfortunately, administration spokespersons rebuffed the prime minister’s efforts to improve the understandings between Israel and the U.S. In contrast to their comments, we urge the administration to further strengthen ties with America’s most reliable and only truly democratic ally in the Middle East.”

Rabbinical Assembly Condemns Netanyahu’s Comment on Israeli Arab Voters: “Because we proudly and unreservedly continue our unflagging support for the State of Israel, its citizens and its values, we must condemn the Prime Minister’s statement, singling out Arab citizens for exercising their legitimate right to vote. It is incumbent upon Jews around the world to denounce the Prime Minister’s divisive and undemocratic statement and we do so here.”

AP: “Post-Election, A Widening US Jewish Split Over Israel” by Rachel Zoll [AP]

2016 WATCH: “Israel Election Result Complicates Life for Clinton” by Jason Horowitz:“Hillary is now likely to be under increased pressure from her own party to speak up against a government that is openly hostile to Mr. Obama. But if she criticizes Israel, she risks prompting an influential segment of more conservative Jewish Democrats to withhold their support from her presidential campaign, or even to defect to a Republican candidate in 2016… “Everyone is now going to have to pick a side,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of J Street.. That included the woman at “the forefront” of the Democratic Party, he said, who would undergo “more and more pressure.”” [NYTimes]

Watch Marco Rubio on the Senate floor: “Obama administration’s treatment of Israel is a “historic and tragic mistake” [YouTube]

“Will Republicans Still Support a Two-State Solution Even If Netanyahu Doesn’t” by Jim Rutenberg: “Netanyahu’s equivocation puts Republicans in a spot. The party has made its allegiance to Netanyahu synonymous with its steadfast support for Israel. Republicans’ support for Netanyahu and their adherence to that increasingly rare specimen, a bipartisan policy position on the Mideast, were in harmony. Now they may not be.” [NYTimesMag]

Happening This Weekend: J Street’s 5th annual national conference runs from Saturday night until Tuesday at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Speakers include… White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, James A. Baker, III, Randi Weingarten, William Burns, Saeb Erekat, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Martin Indyk, French Amb. Gerard Araud, and Rabbi Rick Jacobs.Full conference program [JStreet]

“The Specter of an Arab Israel” by Hussein Ibish in Politico Magazine: “The historic victor in this election wasn’t Netanyahu. It was the Palestinian bloc. This week’s Israeli election was historic, but not for the reasons most pundits are saying. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party may have won the vote—and the headlines—but the real story was occuring beneath Netanyahu’s feet, where the political ground shifted dramatically.”

“It was no coincidence that at the eleventh hour Netanyahu warned his right-wing base that “Arab voters are going en masse to the polls” and that, in the final tally, Palestinian political power inside the Knesset surged to unprecedented levels. If political and demographic trends continue—and there is no separate Palestinian state, another Netanyahu pre-vote pledge—the 2015 election could well come to be seen as the moment that Israel began to confront the stark choice of becoming “either a non-Jewish democracy or Jewish non-democracy,” as Thomas L. Friedman put it on Wednesday.” [PoliticoMag] • NPR interviews Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erekat [NPR]

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2016 TOP READS: “The Case for Covering Biden” [PoliticoMag] • “Kasic Looks to Republican Primaries, ‘Ohio Story’ in hand” [NYTimes] • “Clinton Charity Tapped Foreign Friends” [WSJ] • “Walker Reassures S. Carolinians That Raising Money Won’t Be a Problem” [NYTimes]

“GOP Donor Backs Anti-Semitic Claims Of Auditor Who Shot Self” by David A. Lieb: “A prominent Republican donor stepped forward Thursday to back up assertions that Missouri’s GOP chairman had made negative religious remarks about a state auditor who killed himself amid perceptions he was the target of an anti-Semitic whispering campaign.” [AP]

STARTUP NATION: “Mobileye at the vanguard of the revolution in autonomous driving” by John Reed: “Mobileye, the Israeli automotive technology company, like other makers of breakthrough products, is reverential about its mission, using terms such as “revolutionary” and “saving lives”. The company’s core product is a chip that uses painstakingly puzzled-out algorithms to interpret data fed via a camera mounted inside a car, to help it make split-second decisions on braking, its position in a lane or how to respond to traffic signs.”[FinancialTimes] • “UK fund to enable small investments in Israeli tech firms” [Reuters]

NYTimes Book Review: “Lincoln and the Jews’ Explores Bonds With a Nation’s Growing Minority” by Jennifer Schuessler: “Lincoln played an important role in turning Jews from outsiders in America to insiders,” said Jonathan D. Sarna, a historian at Brandeis University and the author, with Mr. Shapell, of the new, separately published book “Lincoln and the Jews,” which inspired the show. “It’s a subject that has really been overlooked.” [NYTimes]

HAPPY BIRTHDAY: Jeffrey Solomon… Hyman Grossman…

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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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