Daily Kickoff: When Jeb rescued Ethiopian Jews | WSJ: Why Is This Seder Different From All Other Seders? Scotch | Acela 2016 Watch: Cruz, O’Malley

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What Jeb Supporters Are Reading — “When Jeb Bush helped launch a covert mission to rescue Ethiopian Jews from starvation” by Alex Leary: “In 1984, Bush heard from a Miami attorney Ron Krongold about Ethiopian Jews who had fled their homeland due to famine for a refugee camp in Sudan. Bush, according to a report a decade later in the Herald, tipped off his Vice President father and the U.S. got involved in a top-secret mission, “Operation Moses,” to rescue them. Thousands of people were airlifted to Israel, though the U.S. involvement dealt with hundreds of those, according to news reports at the time.” [TampaBayTimes]

—A Jewish Republican operative told us yesterday that the issue with “the Baker stuff” is, not so much that he’s officially a campaign advisor but, that the episode reminds potential supporters of the Bush 41/Baker foreign policy regarding Israel combined with the belief that Jeb is more like 41 than 43 when it comes to foreign policy.

“Jeb and the Neocon Trap” by Matt Lewis: “Are the neoconservatives turning on Jeb Bush? It would be ironic, considering the men his brother turned to for foreign policy advice. It would also be highly problematic—since foreign policy establishment hawks should represent one of Bush’s few natural constituencies on the right. But it’s hard to observe recent developments and not suspect something is afoot… If Jeb really wants to win the nomination, he might have to drop Jim Baker like a bad habit.” [DailyBeast]

Spotted: Ted Cruz, returning to DC last night from a fundraising marathon in NYC, on Acela Express…

—And Martin O’Malley: @NDiament — “Benefits of @Amtrak & early days of #2016 campaign – chatting w/ @GovernorOMalley on way to NYC” [Twitter]

Rep. Steve Israel: “Democrats support Israel—it’s ludicrous to suggest otherwise.” [PoliticoMag]

“Ambassador Tries to Bridge Gap With U.S., but on Israel’s Terms” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis, Ashley Parker: “The gathering was part of a bid by Mr. Dermer, 43, the American-born former Republican operative who is so close to Mr. Netanyahu that he is often referred to as “Bibi’s brain,” to smooth tensions that have flared up in recent weeks between the United States and Israel. But an apology tour it is not. If anything, Mr. Dermer is intensifying his efforts to thwart the nuclear deal with Iran that Mr. Obama is working hard to close within days.” [NYTimes]

Abe Foxman Op: “Restarting the U.S.-Israel Relationship Depends on Palestinians Too: Let me be clear: I wish Mr. Netanyahu would do more to solidify relations with Israel’s ally in America and to stand up to those in Israel who seek to make impossible a Palestinian state. None of this, however, justifies what we are hearing from the Obama administration. Their reactions raise deeper questions about their intentions and perspectives.” [HuffPost]

Aaron David Miller: “The Obama-Bibi Two-State Two-Step: The soap opera of the special relationship has gotten even more dramatic. But when it comes to Palestinian statehood, the United States and Israel are just playing games.” [ForeignPolicy]

—Happening Tonight: Obama-Bibi Kvetch Session/Happy Hour — “Are you annoyed/frustrated/infuriated/confused by one or both of these men? Join Tablet this Thursday at Black Door in Manhattan for happy hour.” [TabletMag]

“Netanyahu Told to Mend Ties With Washington” by Jodi Rudoren: “Israel’s president on Wednesday officially handed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the task of forming a new government, saying its first priority was to repair relations with the United States and indirectly chiding Mr. Netanyahu for his Election Day warning that Arab citizens were flocking to polling places in “droves.” [NYTimes]

On This Day In… 1979: “The Camp David peace treaty was signed by Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat at the White House.” [AP]

IRAN TALKS: “Iran Stalls U.N. Probe Into Its Atomic Past” by Jay Solomon and Laurence Norman: “Talks over Iran’s nuclear program have hit a stumbling block a week before a key deadline because Tehran has failed to cooperate with a United Nations probe into whether it tried to build atomic weapons in the past, say people close to the negotiations.” [WSJ]

“U.S. wants detailed deal with Iran but hints at flexibility” by Louis Charbonneau: “The United States wants major powers to reach a detailed political understanding with Iran by March 31 to clear the path for a long-term nuclear accord, a senior U.S. official said, while hinting that Washington could be flexible on its format.” [Reuters] • Iran’s latest nuclear deal demand is ‘out of the question’ [BusinessInsider] • “Iran Has a Little Surprise for Oil Market” [Bloomberg]

“Cutting losses on Iran nuclear deal, Israel eyes small print” by Dan Williams and John Irish: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has begun to signal that Israel could resign itself to an Iranian nuclear deal that would leave its enemy with some uranium enrichment capability, a compromise he has long opposed. But faced with Western impatience and White House wrath over the calls to avoid a “very bad deal” – while offering no detailed alternative of his own – Netanyahu and his envoys are now engaging with negotiators on the small print of what Israel hopes will be a better agreement.” [Reuters] • “Iran Comes to the Israeli Border” [ForeignPolicy]

“Why Iran’s Hardliners Fear a Deal” by Sadegh Zibakalam: “If there is a deal over the next week, as the two sides approach their end-of-March deadline, it will severely undermine the ideology that has been in place since the beginning of the Iranian Islamic Republic in 1979, and which regime hardliners have used to great effect to consolidate their power: anti-Americanism as a legitimizing force.” [PoliticoMag]

John Bolton: “To Stop Iran’s Bomb, Bomb Iran: An attack need not destroy all of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, but by breaking key links in the nuclear-fuel cycle, it could set back its program by three to five years. The United States could do a thorough job of destruction, but Israel alone can do what’s necessary. Such action should be combined with vigorous American support for Iran’s opposition, aimed at regime change in Tehran.” [NYTimes]

TOP TWEET: @JeffreyGoldberg — “Negotiating with the Iranians in Switzerland, bombing their allies in Yemen, bombing their enemies in Syria and Iraq. Makes sense.” [Twitter]

2016 TOP READS: “Hillary Clinton’s New, No-Drama Fundraising Machine” by Ruby Cramer: “The man behind Clinton’s campaign fundraising will run a very different kind of operation from Clinton 2008 and Obama 2012. New names, no general election money upfront, and a tightly controlled structure that directly reports to him.” [BuzzFeed]

“Is Joe Biden ready for Joe?” by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “The vice president isn’t exactly running for president, but Clinton’s email missteps have focused new attention on the possibility that he might.” [Politico]

“In 2016 campaign, the lament of the not quite rich enough” by Matea Gold and Tom Hamburger: “At this point in the 2012 presidential race, Terry Neese was in hot demand… This year, no potential White House contender has called. “They are only going to people who are multi-multimillionaires and billionaires and raising big money first,” said Neese… Bundlers who used to carry platinum status have been downgraded, forced to temporarily watch the money race from the sidelines. They’ve been eclipsed by the uber-wealthy, who can dash off a seven-figure check to a super PAC without blinking. Who needs a bundler when you have a billionaire?” [WashPost]

“Kelley Paul gets ready for her media blizzard” by Lisa Belkin: “Rand Paul has always looked younger than he is, Kelley says, and she almost didn’t date him as a result. They first met at a backyard oyster roast in 1988, when she was a few years out of college and working in Atlanta, writing brochures and direct mail for Sprint. Her first thought was that he was cute — for a teenager.” [YahooPolitics]

Pritzker Profile: “Meet a Real Madam Secretary” by Neil Parmar: “Since her swearing in less than two years ago, Penny Pritzker has used her nearly three decades of private-sector experience to tackle issues facing businesses and entrepreneurs — and that, in turn, affect America’s workers.” [Ozy]

**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 SPOTLIGHT: “Meerkat raises cash from Greylock and Hollywood” by Erin Griffith: “In just three weeks, [Israeli startup] Meerkat has worked Silicon Valley into a fever-pitch. The livestreaming app went viral just before the South by Southwest festival and more or less “won” the event.” [Fortune• “As Twitter Introduces Periscope, Tech Titans Bet on Live Streaming” [NYTimes]

WSJ FRONT PAGE: “Why Is This Seder Different From All Other Seders? Scotch” by Lucette Lagnado: “Next week, Darren Findling will observe the start of Passover by sitting with his wife and children for a Seder… A few days before that, the Detroit-area lawyer is attending a very different kind of Seder, where he plans to down some Scotch, eat grilled steak, and chill out with the guys. The goal is simple: to teach men about the Passover Seder, including how to run one, and engage them more in the Jewish faith.” [WSJ]

CAMPUS BEAT: “UCLA donors and alumni —  concerned and upset, but mostly supportive” by Jared Sichel: “A series of incidents covered in the media, including national news outlets, has highlighted growing anti-Israel and even potentially anti-Semitic tensions on campus. But while most Jewish UCLA alumni and donors in Los Angeles, including Witkin, are alarmed by these incidents at UCLA and at other public California universities, most, unlike Witkin, are maintaining their financial support of their alma mater.” [JewishJournal]

“Can You Still Be Jewish on the British Left?” by Josh Glancy: “When liberal British Jews hear of organizations like the PSC applauding a call to destroy Balfour’s damned legacy, that doesn’t feel like a constructive critique of Israel and its policies—the kind that could be justly leveled at both Britain and America in recent history; it feels like blind rage and deep loathing.” [TabletMag]

“Turkey unveils Great Synagogue as Jewish population fades” by Ayla Jean Yackley: “When the domes of Edirne’s abandoned Great Synagogue caved in, Rifat Mitrani, the town’s last Jew, knew it spelled the end of nearly two millennia of Jewish heritage in this Turkish town… Now a five-year, $2.5 million government project has restored the synagogue’s lead-clad domes and resplendent interior ahead of its Thursday re-opening, the first temple to open in Turkey in two generations, but one without worshippers.” [Reuters]

Humans of New York: “My grandparents aren’t religious at all. They told my mother: ‘You can bring home a white man, a black man, an asian man, or a hispanic man. Just please don’t bring home a Chasid. So she brought home a Chasid.” [Instagram]

Birthdays: Larry Page turns 42… Mahmoud Abbas turns 80…


That’s all folks; have a great day!

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