Daily Kickoff: Lindsey Graham – “I’d have the first all-Jewish cabinet” | Israeli artist gives Hillary a makeover | Forward drops ‘Jewish’ & ‘Daily’

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TALK OF OUR NATION: “After Israeli Elections, US Zionists Cast Votes Of Their Own” by Rachel Zoll: “The World Zionist Congress – a global Zionist body that formed more than a century ago but retains significant influence in Israel – is holding elections for U.S. delegates to its global assembly. At stake is leadership of an organization that helps manage agencies in Israel with budgets in the hundreds of millions of dollars.”

“Rabbis and leaders of Zionist groups have spent weeks trying to drum up interest in the election through synagogue visits, conference appearances, Facebook and Twitter postings, email blasts and robocalls. Every American Jew who turns 18 by June 30 is eligible to vote if they agree to the World Zionist Organization principles – known as the Jerusalem Program – and pay an administrative fee of $5 or $10. Voters can cast ballots by mail and online until April 30.” [AP]

“Israeli President Gives Netanyahu Until May 6 to Form Government” by Jodi Rudoren: “It is not unusual for an Israeli leader to request an extension and use the full 42 days provided under the law to form a coalition, as negotiators use the ticking clock to increase their leverage.” [NYTimes]

“Obama Urges ‘Creative’ Talks to Bridge Divide With Iran on Sanctions” by Peter Baker and Rick Gladstone: “Mr. Obama suggested that negotiators seek a solution that would seem “more acceptable” to Iran’s political constituencies, while preserving leverage to force the government to abide by the deal. Rather than the timing and structure of sanctions relief, he said his priority was creating a system for reimposing the punitive measures if Iran is caught cheating.” [NYTimesWSJ]

WSJ Editorial: “Whatever the Ayatollah Wants: President Obama keeps giving and giving and giving. The word “snap-back” in any such arrangement is spin to sell a deal, not a realistic description of the process. Mr. Obama nonetheless said on Friday that “I’m confident” the negotiations on sanctions “will be successful.” Look for more U.S. concessions on sanctions as the June deadline approaches.” [WSJ]

“Iranian Commander Rejects Nuclear Inspections at Military Bases” by David Lerman: “They will not even be permitted to inspect the most normal military site in their dreams,” said Brigadier General Hossein Salami, deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, according to the state-run Press TV news channel. “Visiting a military base by a foreign inspector would mean the occupation of our land because all our defense secrets are there,” Salami said. “Even talking about the subject means national humiliation.” [Bloomberg]

Zarif Op-Ed — ‘A Message From Iran’: “The Iranian people have shown their resolve by choosing to engage with dignity. It is time for the United States and its Western allies to make the choice between cooperation and confrontation, between negotiations and grandstanding, and between agreement and coercion. Iran has been clear: The purview of our constructive engagement extends far beyond nuclear negotiations.” [NYTimes]

TOP-OP: “When did America forget that it’s America?” by Natan Sharansky: “On a number of occasions during the negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, the Israeli government has appealed to the United States and its allies to demand a change in Tehran’s aggressive behavior. If Iran wishes to be treated as a normal state, Israel has said, then it should start acting like one. Unfortunately, these appeals have been summarily dismissed. As a former Soviet dissident, I cannot help but compare this approach to that of the United States during its decades-long negotiations with the Soviet Union, which at the time was a global superpower and a existential threat to the free world. The differences are striking and revealing.” [WashPost]

Mort Zuckerman: Obama “Has Lost A Lot Of Support In The Jewish Community” [RealClearPolitics]

“Rand Paul slams GOP foreign policy hawks” by James Hohmann: “There’s a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now — maybe more,” the Kentucky senator told hundreds of activists at a GOP cattle call that has drawn every major presidential aspirant. “This is something, if you watch closely, that will separate me from many other Republicans. The other Republicans will criticize Hillary Clinton and the president for their foreign policy, but they would have done the same thing – just 10 times over!” [Politico] • “Gov. Bobby Jindal said Saturday the United States may need to bomb Iran before it is too late to stop the country from developing a nuclear weapon.” [Politico]

Lindsey Graham on Rand Paul: “Rand Paul is one step behind ‘leading from behind.’ Even Obama is more aggressive. Rand Paul is behind Obama, not just Hillary Clinton.” [MorningJoe]

“Lindsey Graham on 2016, Immigration and Israel” by Beth Reinhard: “On the biggest challenge facing his potential 2016 campaign: “The means. If I put together a finance team that will make me financially competitive enough to stay in this thing… I may have the first all-Jewish cabinet in America because of the pro-Israel funding. [Chuckles.]  Bottom line is, I’ve got a lot of support from the pro-Israel funding. Can I raise enough hard money to get through Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina with a staff about 75?” [WSJ• Graham eyes May announcement [Politico] • Graham: ‘Snowball’s chance in Hell’ Congress approves Iran deal” [TheHill]

“Biden Still Biding” — by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “Biden told the members of the New Democrat Coalition PAC he was looking at on Friday that they didn’t have much reason to worry: First of all, Obama’s “not going to sign an agreement that does not have the most intrusive inspection regime in the history of any agreement,” and few of the sanctions are going anywhere soon, despite Iranian claims to the contrary. “If at the front end, they expect there to be total sanction relief or significant sanction relief, there will be no deal. This will be, ‘You have to earn it,’” he said.” [Politico]

Fundraising for Hillary: “Hillary’s finance team will go on a fund-raising road trip next week, holding a series of meetings with hundreds of small donors on the East Coast as a way to engage supporters ahead of larger planned events aimed at those who are expected to bundle donations and collect a larger number of checks. The meetings — in Washington, Virginia, Maryland and New York — reflect the desire of the Clinton campaign to be inclusive and have a slow ramp-up, without major fund-raisers scheduled until May.” [NYTimesBuzzFeed]

–In Florida: “Democratic campaign professionals see Hillary Clinton as likely stronger than Obama with white Florida voters, women, Jewish voters and seniors. Before long, they expect, Florida will be seeing a lot of the former first lady and her campaign team.” [TampaBayTimes

“New Book, ‘Clinton Cash,’ Questions Foreign Donations to Foundation” by Amy Chozik:“The book, a copy of which was obtained by The New York Times, asserts that foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.” [NYTimes]

HIPSTER 2016: “Israeli artist gives Hillary Clinton a makeover” by Brigit Katz: “Israeli artist Amit Shimoni has put forth his own version of Clinton’s image shake-up, reimagining the presidential hopeful as a beaming hipster. The portrait of Clinton is the latest installment of SHEPSTORY, an illustrated series by Shimoni that pays tribute to the enduring legacies of powerful women by rendering them in the styles of the young and hip.” [NYTimes]

SPOTLIGHT ON NORMAN BRAMAN: “Billionaire Norman Braman has a fondness for the Florida senator — and an intense distaste for Jeb Bush” [Politico] • “Marco Rubio will have the resources necessary to run a first-class campaign, that’s already been determined,” said billionaire Florida auto dealer Norman Braman, a former Jeb Bush supporter who is now one of Rubio’s highest-silhouette donors.” [Reuters]

Paul Singer for Rubio? “It had been reported that New York hedge fund manager Paul Singer was among Rubio’s early top money men. But a Singer spokesperson denied those reports, telling Reuters, “Mr. Singer is enthusiastic about the strong GOP field, but has not yet settled on any one candidate.” [Reuters]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer spoke at Meor’s 10th Anniversary Dinner at Met Life Stadium and wished honoree Howard Friedman, former President of AIPAC, a happy birthday. [Twitter]

**Good Monday 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**

THE NEW FORWARD: “The Jewish Daily Forward Is Assimilating: It’s not your great-grandfather’s Forvertz anymore” by Matthew Kassel: The Jewish Daily Forward, which turns 118 next week, is assimilating to meet the diverse reality of modern American Judaism, moving ahead with a slew of changes that its editors hope will appeal to a wider audience… It is also dropping the “Jewish” and “Daily” from its name, going from here on out as the Forward. “This is much more than a cosmetic change,” said Jane Eisner, the Forward’s editor in chief, in an interview with the Observer. “It really grew out of a year and a half long process of trying to understand who we are, who are readers are, who are readers ought to to be.” [ObserverNiemanLab]

NYTimes Editorial: “Anti-Semitism in the Soccer Stands: An ugly vein of soccer fan excess — the chanting of anti-Semitic slurs — recently disgraced a Dutch soccer game, prompting officials of the home team, Utrecht, to apologize for shocking outcries from the stands like “Hamas, Hamas, Jews to the gas” and “Jews burn the best!”… It is absurd to claim, as some soccer apologists do, that this is no more than the usual rough give-and-take of pumped-up, and sometimes liquored-up, spectators. The history of anti-Semitism in Europe is too deep and too raw not to see the problem for the hate-mongering it is.” [NYTimes]

Shmuley Boteach: “When even the New York Times starts writing about anti-Semitism.. on its front pages, it’s time to sit up and take notice.” [Observer]

Roger Cohen: “Muslims and Jews on the Seine: The five million Muslims of France and the 500,000 Jews of France eye each other with unease. Muslims complain that questioning the Holocaust is forbidden by law but insulting the Prophet Muhammad is not. Muslims, often encountering daily prejudice, are susceptible to old libels about Jewish wealth, influence and power… Jews see a fanatical Islamist ideology that, as demonstrated in Paris, targets Western freedoms and Jews equally.” [NYTimes]

TOP TALKER: “Poland summons US envoy over FBI head’s Holocaust comments” by Monika Scislowska: “Poland’s Foreign Ministry urgently summoned U.S. Ambassador Stephen Mull on Sunday to “protest and demand an apology,” saying the head of the FBI suggested that Poles were accomplices in the Holocaust… In the article, Comey said, “In their minds, the murderers and accomplices of Germany, and Poland, and Hungary, and so many, many other places didn’t do something evil. They convinced themselves it was the right thing to do, the thing they had to do.” [AP]

LongRead: “The Trader in the Wild” by Chip Brown: “Kate Matrosova was a classic overachiever and, at 32, had everything to live for. Still she set out alone into the mountains of New Hampshire—and a deadly storm.” JI Angle? “In 2008 she moved to… West Palm Beach, Fla. Matrosova’s job helping manage the billion-dollar portfolio of S. Daniel Abraham, founder of Slim-Fast weight-loss products, left her time for long lunches.” [BusinessWeek]

“Shopping Mall Billionaire, Jewish Philanthropist Alfred Taubman Dies At Age 91: A. Alfred Taubman — his first name was Adolph — was born January 31, 1924, in Michigan to German Jewish immigrants who hit hard times during the Great Depression. When he noticed in the 1950s that Americans were moving to the suburbs, he thought they would need centralized places to shop. It was a brilliant innovation. In addition to his sons, Robert and William, he is survived by a daughter, Gayle Taubman Kalisman, who is co-chair of the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute’s advisory board, two stepchildren, and his second wife, Judith Mazor Rounick, a former Miss Israel.” [CNNTimeMagForbes]

“Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, modern Orthodox visionary, dies at 81” by Lahav Harkov: “Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein, the head of a prestigious religious-Zionist yeshiva and an Israel Prize winner for his contributions to rabbinic scholarship, died on Monday at the age of 81. Lichtenstein, who earned his doctorate in English literature from Harvard University, was considered a giant in the modern Orthodox world.” [JPost]

BOOK REVIEW: ‘The Road to Character,’ by David Brooks: “David Brooks’s gift — as he might put it in his swift, engaging way — is for making obscure but potent social studies research accessible and even startling, for seeing consistency as the hobgoblin of little minds and for ranging as widely across the private domain as the public… Brooks writes at times like a watered-down version of the great, and compulsively aphoristic, mid-20th-­century Jewish thinker Abraham Joshua Heschel.” [NYTimes]

EXIT INTERVIEW: “Jon Stewart: Why I quit The Daily Show” by Hadley Freeman: “He describes his decision to quit The Daily Show, the American satirical news programme he has hosted for 16 years, as something closer to the end of a long-term relationship. “It’s not like I thought the show wasn’t working any more, or that I didn’t know how to do it. It was more, ‘Yup, it’s working. But I’m not getting the same satisfaction.’” He slaps his hands on his desk, conclusively.” [TheGuardian]

HOLLYWOOD + SILICON VALLEY: “HBO’s ‘Silicon Valley’ really built a ‘Bro app’ based off the Israeli Yo app” [BusinessInsider]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “Josh Kushner’s Oscar Raises $145M At A $1.5B Valuation To Build A New Healthcare, Insurance Giant” [TechCrunch] • “Roman Abramovich invested $15 million in Israeli music sharing start-up Music Messenger” [Globes]


That’s all folks; have a great day!

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