Daily Kickoff: Israel’s Memorial Day | Jeb to visit Ramaz | Replica of Iran’s nuclear facility in Tennessee | Uber offers Hummus On Demand in Tel Aviv
HAPPENING TODAY: “One Israeli Soldier, 23 Namesakes and a Day of Remembrance” by Jodi Rudoren: “She had but one son, and he died childless at 21. Yet that boy spawned a generation. At least 23 babies on three continents have been named for her Gil’ad, a lieutenant in the Israeli Army who was killed on the first day of the Yom Kippur War in 1973… Members of the Gil’ad generation will be with her on Wednesday, Israel’s Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a solemn 24 hours in Israel; people save the barbecues for Independence Day, which is Thursday. The mourning is intimate: In a small and young country, everyone seems to have a connection to one or more of the 23,320 fighters whom Israel counts as fallen since 1860 in the conflicts that have framed its modern existence.” [NYTimes; AP]
“Debate ignites over Arab journalist’s role in Israeli independence event” by Ruth Eglash:“Lucy Aharish, 33, is the country’s first Arab Israeli woman to present the television news in Hebrew. On Wednesday, she will claim another rare title as she and 13 other Israelis being honored for achievements in their professions light torches at a ceremony marking 67 years of Israeli independence. Her participation in the Jerusalem event is a bold step for a member of the Arab population, which generally shuns Israeli Independence Day.” [WashPost]
2016 WATCH: “Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will mingle with rank-and-file Manhattan Republicans at an upper East Side meet-and-greet Thursday morning — and he’ll also stop by a Jewish day school to talk about Israeli Independence Day. The former governor will spend his time at the school meeting with students and holding a question-and-answer session with teachers and administrators, spokesman Tim Miller said.” [DailyNews] • A source with close ties to Jeb told Jewish Insider that the Jewish day school is the Ramaz School on the UES.
“Scott Walker’s foreign-policy adventure” by James Hohmann: “Recognizing this was perhaps his greatest challenge, Walker has climbed back with a new team of advisers and a willingness to wax philosophical about foreign-policy matters while on the campaign trail. In the process, he’s staking out a position as one of the most hawkish candidates in the crowded GOP field.” [Politico] – Cameos: Elliott Abrams, Bill Kristol, Kissinger and Schultz.
SCENE LAST NIGHT: The Churchill Leadership Award dinner was held last night at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC where Madeleine Albright, former US Secretary of State, received the 2015 Winston Churchill Leadership Award. According to one JI reader in attendance, “Albright’s speech seemed to offer veiled hints of what she saw as shortcomings of both Obama and Bibi by saying that America is the indispensable nation and it’s security guarantees must be sacred but adding that the metaphor of Munich has been overused.” Spotted: Tom Brokaw, Rt. Hon. David Milliband, Laurence Geller, Arthur Sulzberger, Paul Singer, Todd Ricketts, Ken Weinstein, Randolph Churchill, Larry Berlin, Annie Dickerson, Amb. Peter and Lady Westmacott, GWU President Steven Knapp, and Lisa Daftari.
IRAN TALKS: “Senate may face contentious debate on Iran nuclear bill” by Patricia Zengerle: “The U.S. Senate could plunge into a heated debate on legislation giving Congress the power to review a nuclear deal with Iran as soon as Wednesday, as some Republicans sought to change the bill to take a harder line on any agreement. Lawmakers said on Tuesday the full Senate could begin debate on Wednesday or Thursday.” [Reuters]
“In Atomic Labs Across U.S., a Race to Stop Iran” by David E. Sanger and William J. Broad:“When diplomats at the Iran talks in Switzerland pummeled Department of Energy scientists with difficult technical questions — like how to keep Iran’s nuclear plants open but ensure that the country was still a year away from building a bomb — the scientists at times turned to a secret replica of Iran’s nuclear facilities built deep in the forests of Tennessee. There inside a gleaming plant at the Oak Ridge nuclear reservation were giant centrifuges — some surrendered more than a decade ago by Libya, others built since — that helped the scientists come up with what they told President Obama were the “best reasonable” estimates of Iran’s real-life ability to race for a weapon under different scenarios.” [NYTimes]
Hudson’s Michael Doran interviewed by Vox’s Max Fisher — “This is the case against Obama’s Iran deal that everyone should hear” [Vox] • Doran: “A nuclear deal is only the beginning. The president’s goal, at the expense of America’s allies, is full-fledged détente with Iran.” [MosaicMag]
“How the regime fuels anti-Semitic discourse in Iran” by Mehdi Khalaji: “Although anti-Judaism is well known in Iranian Islamic tradition and literature (even in the works of well-known classical poets such as Saadi), this is fundamentally different from modern anti-Semitism, which was imported into Iran by leftist and Islamist intellectuals and political activists before and after the 1979 revolution. In today’s Iran, anti-Judaic and anti-Semitic discourses are sometimes mixed in textbooks, media, religious/political propaganda, and secular intellectual literature.” [BusinessInsider]
“Iran Rekindles Relations With Hamas” by Con Coughlin: “According to a senior Western intelligence official, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards during the past few months have transferred tens of millions of dollars to Hamas’s Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades. Intelligence reports show that the funds have been transferred on the direct orders of Qasem Soleimani.” [WSJ] • “Judge: Pro-Israel Group Can Post ‘Hamas Killing Jews’ Ads on Buses” [ABC News]
NYPost Editorial: “Refusing to cater to Carter is also a good way of reminding the world that the failed president, for all his public posturing (and Nobel Peace Prize ) is a private citizen with no actual standing. Luckily for Carter, Israel is letting him visit Hamas-ruled Gaza — where he’ll no doubt find people eager to pretend he’s worth taking seriously.” [NYPost]
“$286m David’s Sling funding bill introduced in House of Representatives: The bill introduced Tuesday by Reps. Derek Kilmer, D-Wash., and Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., would authorize $286 million for procurement, research and development for the midrange missile defense system, which is designed to take down missiles from more than 180 miles away.” [JTA]
STARTUP NATION: “BlackBerry Is Buying Israeli File Security and DRM Startup WatchDox for up to $150M” by Ingrid Lunden: “BlackBerry is buying WatchDox, a startup that has developed cross-platform technology for digital rights management and for enterprises to share files securely. BlackBerry is paying between $100 million and $150 million for the company, and will also leverage its 100-person team in Israel to build out its R&D operations in the country.” [TechCrunch; Reuters; WSJ] • Hummus On Demand [UberTelAviv]
SPOTLIGHT: “Israeli Quixey’s Search Engine Is For Actions Not Words” by Marcus Wohlsen for Wired Magazine’s Next List: “Tomer Kagan’s five-year-old company is using deep linking to make the stuff that happens inside apps as interconnected as the web. Instead of searching for pages, Quixey’s engine hunts for actions—buy, make a reservation, request a ride.” [WiredMag]
FIRST LOOK — Forbes May 4th Issue: “Meet Tanium, run by an Israeli father-son duo that came from out of nowhere with a more clever idea to protect networks from hackers—and now have a $1.75 billion startup with $160 million in the bank.” by Brian Solomon: “Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz, had just one question: “How the f— did you do that?” Orion Hindawi, a 35-year-old whiz born and raised in Berkeley, Calif., and his father, David, a 70-year-old immigrant from Iraq by way of Israel, have been answering questions like that since 1997. Their first startup, a device-management service called BigFix, was sold to IBM for $400 million in 2010. Their new venture, Tanium, offers a powerful and completely novel way to scan and control the security of thousands of devices at once and is in use by the likes of Visa, Amazon, Best Buy, the U.S. Department of Defense and Nasdaq.” [Forbes]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “New York Observer’s Political Power 50” by Ross Barkan, Will Bredderman and Jillian Jorgensen: “8. Jonathan Rosen; 11. Eva Moskowitz; 19. Scott Stringer; 23. William Rudin; 25. Rob Speyer; 26. Stephen Ross; 37. Bruce Ratner; 41. Avi Fink; 44. Stu Loeser. Runners Up: David Greenfield; Rabbi David Niederman. [Observer]
–Stu Loeser: “Mr. Bloomberg might be staying out of politics, but his former press secretary isn’t. Mr. Loeser, who now runs his own PR firm, speaks up on behalf of Mr. Bloomberg, organizing the PR blitz around former deputy mayor Cas Holloway’s response to a critical 911 system investigation, for example. His firm also represents another foe of Mr. de Blasio’s: the charter school boosters Families for Excellent Schools.” • We asked Stu for his thoughts on making the Observer list to which he replied, “I hate when people say something is ‘humbling’ when it’s simply not.”
–Avi Fink: “Mr. Fink is unknown beyond City Hall, but he is now one of the mayor’s more trusted advisers. A veteran operative who has worked with Mr. de Blasio since he was public advocate, Mr. Fink is a key liaison to the city’s booming Orthodox Jewish communities. As Mr. de Blasio negotiated the regulation of a controversial circumcision ritual and tried to ensure that his pre-K program could meet the needs of observant Jews, Mr. Fink was at Mr. de Blasio’s side, working through the thorny issues of religion and politics.”
TRANSITIONS: Mark Pelavin emails… “New URJ Press Secretary Lauren Theodore: Lauren worked for 16 years at Condé Nast and has extensive experience working with members of the international media community. Coming to the URJ allows he to combine with professional skills with her passion for Reform Judaism. She was raised in the Reform Movement and currently serves as an active temple member, committee leader and student at her URJ-affiliated New Jersey congregation.”
SCENE THE OTHER NIGHT: “Charter schools event a $9M success” by Emily Smith: “Wall Street leaders and political power players gathered at Cipriani 42nd Street to raise over $9 million for New York’s Success Academy Charter Schools.” Spotted: Eva Moskowitz, Edythe and Eli Broad, Dan Loeb, Joel Greenblatt, Joel Klein, Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Campbell Brown, Katie Couric, John Paulson, Bruce and Suzie Kovner. [PageSix]
“Brett Ratner, Ben Silverman Get Emotional at Anti-Defamation League Honors” by Mikey Glazer: “Brett Ratner and Ben Silverman combined their powerful movie and TV forces to headline the Anti-Defamation League’s annual Entertainment Industry Dinner raising nearly $1 million at the Beverly Hilton. Ratner highlighted the colorful phases of his Jewish life: from growing up with his great grandmother born in 1898 as his childhood roommate until his Bar Mitzvah, his mom tagging along as a personal launderette while he chose high school in Israel, and ultimately why his HBO documentary on the liberation of the concentration camps means more to him than the $2 billion in box office sales.”
–Spotted: Australian billionaire James Packer, who “had a flight to Israel to catch later on Monday, where Ratner says Packer has recently become an Israeli citizen. “He lives next door to Bibi Netanyahu,” Ratner added; Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Kevin Tsujihara, Jim Berkus, and Avi Lerner. [TheWrap]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Sports Powerhouse Wasserman Media Acquires Jason Stein’s Laundry Service” [AdAge] • “Ralph Herzka’s Meridian Capital launching investment sales division” [RealDeal] • “Met Council Vows To Stay Alive — Names New CEO” [Forward]
“Alfred Taubman funeral: A ‘great American story'” by Nathan Bomey: “Family and friends remembered mall developer, philanthropist and art giant A. Alfred Taubman as a visionary leader whose alternately demanding, caring and imposing personality revolutionized industries and touched individual lives. About a thousand people gathered at Congregation Shaarey Zedek in Southfield for a service to honor his life.” [FreePress] • “8 personal stories told at Tubman’s funeral — incl. by Leslie Wexner, Gov. Rick Snyder, Rabbi Joseph Krakoff” [FreeP]
“The Road to David Brooks’ Character” by Jane Eisner: “When we met in the gleaming lobby of the New York Times… he ushered me to an upstairs corner conference room where he had laid out a large coffee and a toasted bagel for each of us. It was a kind gesture, and I, still exhausted from a weekend of Seders, nearly lunged at the coffee. But, um, the bagel? It’s Passover, I told him. So sorry. I’m not eating bread this week.”
“If a famous and powerful newspaper columnist — he had to move up our meeting to attend a briefing at the White House — could act like a mortified teenager, it was David Brooks that morning. Despite telling him that I didn’t mind if he ate his bagel while I scribbled my notes, he scooped up both of them and then raced to deposit the forbidden food in a wastebasket at the other end of the room, apologizing profusely. I learned two things from this episode: Brooks’s kindness appears genuine. He didn’t blame an aide or a handler for messing up. He owned it.” [Forward]
“Confronting chilling truths about Poland’s wartime history” by Laurence Weinbaum: “The furious reactions to Comey’s remarks by at least some of Poland’s spirited defenders would also suggest a lack of knowledge and nuance, or something more disturbing — a disinclination to confront certain chilling truths about their country’s wartime history, as recently revealed by Polish scholars of the post-Communist generation.” [WashPost]
“A Trip To Israel Makes A Hard-Charging CEO Reconsider His Priorities” by Doug Gollan: “For a hard-charging and successful entrepreneur, a family trip to Israel reinforced that family needs to be given higher priority. In the past 15 years, Ken Austin has been associated with two successful business launches, first in 2001, as a partner of private jet card pioneer Marquis Jet, and then in 2010, as the founder of Tequila Avión. Recently, I caught up with Austin to talk about something he doesn’t spend much time on—vacations.”
“We went to Yad Vashem, the holocaust museum, and it was unbelievable. Our guide said, ‘I’ll meet you in two hours,’ and I said, ‘I know my kids, be there in an hour.’ Two hours went like a minute. They were stopping and reading. They were really moved, and kids today are not moved very easily… We also stayed on a kibbutz for one night. It was like the Catskills used to be… We were surprised that we felt as safe as we did, and the people are so warm you want to go back. Next time we would take more people. It would be great to bring my sisters and brothers—a trip to Israel is the type of thing you want to give to others.” [Forbes]
BIRTHDAYS: Vikings owner Zygi Wilf turns 65… Shmuel Rosner… Alexandra Cohen (yesterday)
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