Daily Kickoff: Kerry told to wait re: visiting Israel | Meet the Orthodox Jewish owners of Kentucky Derby winner American Pharaoh | ‘Power Schmoozing’

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BREAKING: “Liberman announces he won’t join Netanyahu government” by Jonathan Beck: “In an address to the press announcing his decision to join the opposition rather than the coalition, Avigdor Liberman says that the government Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is building is not “national” but opportunist and conformist.” [ToI]

DRIVING THE WEEK: “Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio face defeat on Iran” by Burgess Everett: “The Senate is set to resume work Monday on the long-considered bill, but lawmakers in both parties agree debate on the measure has run its course, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is widely expected to wrap up consideration of the time-sensitive bill and free it from parliamentary gridlock.” [Politico] • “McConnell’s tough choice on Iran” [TheHill]

WSJ Editorial: “Corker-Cardin’s Good Compromise: Senators Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have proposed amendments that, while defensible on their merits, would give Democrats the political excuse many of them seek to vote against the bill. Corker-Cardin is the best bet for censuring Mr. Obama’s misbegotten diplomacy, and giving his successor a fighting chance to reverse it.” [WSJ]

“Obama’s New Answers on Iran Fall Flat” by Josh Rogin: “Matt Levitt, a former Treasury official who moderated the April 29 event with Lew, said that once sanctions are suspended, especially the multilateral sanctions, there’s no easy way to put them back into place… The speeches by Lew and Biden constituted the administration’s most assertive effort to date to detail their thinking about how sanctions will be lifted. The two officials seemed to be eager to get ahead of any and all the criticisms they are anticipating. But they did not.” [BV]

Kerry tries to calm Israel: “Speaking to Israel’s Channel 10 television, Kerry said the deal wouldn’t affect American options to counter any possible effort by Iran to build atomic weapons. “I say to every Israeli that today we have the ability to stop them if they decided to move quickly to a bomb and I absolutely guarantee that in the future we will have the ability to know what they are doing so that we can still stop them if they decided to move to a bomb,” Kerry said.” [AP] • U.S. oil delegation to visit Iran this week [Reuters] • “Ice Cream With Raspberries, Iranian-Style” [WSJ]

“Netanyahu rebuffed Kerry’s request to visit in recent days” by Stuart Winer: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told US Secretary of State John Kerry to hold off from visiting Israel earlier this year because the Israeli leader was busy trying to form a coalition, Channel 2 reported on Sunday.” [ToI]

Sen. Portman visits Netanyahu in Israel: The Prime Minister told Sen. Portman, “I welcome you here in that spirit of friendship between Israel and the United States. That doesn’t mean we don’t have differences of view. On the matter of the pending Iran deal, we view things differently. We think that the goal of the Iran deal should not be just to reach any deal. It should be to block Iran’s path to the bomb. And to block Iran’s path to the bomb, we need a deal that prevents Iran from having what is given to it in Lausanne… So we think we need a different deal, a better deal and there are those who tell us that this will not endanger Israel. I have to tell you as the Prime Minister of Israel responsible for Israel’s security, it endangers Israel, it endangers the region, it endangers the world, the entire world in my opinion. So I think it’s very important to insist on a better deal.” [Transcript]

“Ohio Senator says obstacles to Iran oversight can be overcome” by Gil Hoffman: “The unanimous passage of the bill in committee indicates the trip did not have a negative impact,” Portman said. “Netanyahu’s speech was useful to raise the visibility of the issue. Let’s face it. Congress has a lot on its plate. It was helpful just to raise awareness about the significant threat Iran poses. It’s important for Congress to face up to this issue.” Besides Iran, Portman’s trip dealt with other regional issues… and also focused on his efforts to fight BDS against Israel, which he was involved in when he was a US trade representative.”

–On Israeli David Blatt coaching for Cleveland in the NBA: “We love David Blatt,” he said. “He has been unbelievable in putting together the chemistry of a first-class team. I’m really pumped up. Blatt has been awesome. We’re really happy to have him in Cleveland.” [JPost]

2016 WATCH: “Hollywood bundlers are losing the spotlight” by Todd S. Purdum: “Here’s the deal,” said one such donor. “I have to tell you, there is such a lack of enthusiasm for Hillary it’s really kind of stunning. We’re raising our $2,700, but that’s all we’re doing. Nobody’s called us… For their part, Katzenberg and Spahn have also thrown their full weight behind Priorities USA, the main super PAC supporting Clinton. But the PAC’s early fundraising was reported to be sluggish, and its efforts have been hampered by factional infighting.” [Politico] • “The Clintons, a luxury jet and their $100 million donor from Canada” [WashPost]

The Doctor Is In: “Ben Carson Says He’ll Seek 2016 G.O.P. Nomination” by Trip Gabriel:“Mr. Carson, who appeared on the political scene just two years ago and gained attention among conservatives for a speech highly critical of President Obama, planned a formal announcement of his candidacy on Monday in his native Detroit… He spent five hours at the conservative Heritage Foundation recently taking tutorials on domestic and foreign policy.” [NYTimes]

“How Orthodox Money Is Reshaping Republican Politics” by Nathan Guttman: “Black yarmulke donors such as Roberts are no longer a rare sight in the Republican Party. For years, donors such as California venture capitalist Isaac “Yitz” Applebaum or telecom executive Howard Jonas were reliable mainstays from Modern Orthodox communities. Now, the push is on to register the more conservative elements of the Orthodox community.” [Forward]

LAST NIGHT: “Inside the Texas ‘Draw Muhammed’ Event as Shots Rang Out” by Randy R. Potts: “Get inside the conference room now!” a man in camouflage yelled at me. Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, had just wrapped up her “Draw Muhammad” cartoon contest at the Curtis Culwell Center with a short speech, and I had just stepped outside the room. Several others in the hallway rushed with me to the door and, back in the conference room, the doors were immediately closed. Then a camo-clad security guard with a rifle got up on stage and announced that a cop and two suspects had been shot.” [DailyBeast] • Who is Pamela Geller? [WashPost]

HAPPENING TODAY: The Anti-Defamation League holds their National Leadership Summit at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. Speakers include Aaron David Miller, Danielle Pletka, Natan Sachs, Amy Pope, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, ESPN’s Michael Wilbon, CBS’ Bob Schieffer, Amb. Dennis Ross, Elliott Abrams, Leo Wieseltier and Sen. Cory Booker. Senators John McCain and Ben Cardin will speak to the group tomorrow morning. 

**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**

SILICON VALLEY SPOTLIGHT: “Since its founding in 2009, Andreessen Horowitz has become a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm by adhering to a simple mantra: It’s all about the talent.” [NYTimes]

Ben Lerer on what he’s learned from 10 years at Thrillest: “One of Lerer’s primary goals in starting Thrillist was to circumnavigate the normal 9-to-5 career, but he readily admits to being ill-prepared for the commitment. “A lot of the moves we’ve made in the business that have powered us forward wouldn’t have been possible had we not come into this thing as naively as we did,” says Lerer. “We had nothing to lose, and so I think a lot of our success has been based on us being offensively minded versus defensively minded.” [FastCompany]

TALK OF THE VALLEY: “Clinton courts Silicon Valley” by Tony Romm: “Sheryl Sandberg, the Facebook chief operating officer who’s gained national attention through her “Lean In” book, is a major Clinton ally. So too is Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff, who’s put forward considerable early cash to boost Clinton’s candidacy. Her team is currently canvassing California for additional tech backers, and Clinton has started speaking publicly about tech issues, from science education to the challenges faced by women in tech fields.” [Politico]

“Survey Monkey CEO David Goldberg, Husband of Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Dies: David Goldberg, the chief executive of online-questionnaire provider SurveyMonkey and husband of Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, died suddenly Friday night. He was 47 years old. Over the weekend, hundreds of friends and former colleagues paid tribute to Mr. Goldberg on Facebook and Twitter, sharing photos, videos and stories about his mentorship, poker playing and marriage to Ms. Sandberg. Many referred to him by his nickname, Goldie.” [WSJ]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Sapir’s hulking Art Deco skyscraper at 11 Madison Ave. next to Madison Square Park has hit the market and could fetch north of $2 billion” [Crains] • “Q&A with Ezra Katz on smart deals, real estate cycles and philanthropy” [MiamiHerald] • “Another midtown project could reach the heavens, God willing” by Joe Anuta: “A sale of the Calvary Baptist Church and the Salisbury Hotel at 123 W. 57th St. would add a sizable piece to Gary Barnett’s Extell Development’s years-long effort to amass a number of contiguous properties there, and would allow it to potentially build a third high-rise on the same block as its 1,000-foot-tall One57 and the 1,400-foot-tall Steinway Tower being built by JDS Development.” [Crains]

60 MINUTES PROFILE — David Rubenstein’s Jewish Guilt: “Jewish guilt is an incredibly powerful force. I worked hard but made more money than I need and deserve. I don’t really feel I’m much more intelligent, focused or able than so many other people who haven’t made the kind of money I’ve been fortunate enough to make. I don’t think I deserve any particular praise for it. I’m really happy to give away the money and it’s much more pleasurable to give it away than to make it honestly.” [CBS

Sony Pictures CEO Michael Lynton: Dealing With Studio Hack Was “Sort of Like the Titanic” — by Paul Bond: “Sort of like the Titanic. I wouldn’t call that an ‘experience,’ ” Lynton quipped, before adding: “It was unique, and I don’t think there’s a great deal to be learned … What we experienced at Sony I think is not a lesson. Well, there are other lessons having to do with email.” [HollywoodReporter]

HAPPENING TONIGHT: “On Monday, as twilight falls on Fifth Avenue, more than 500 Oscar-winning actresses and actors, Wall Street titans, Silicon Valley wunderkinds, fashion designers and Hollywood players will walk up a 150-yard red carpet leading into the Metropolitan Museum of Art for what has become, over the last decade, the undisputed party of the year on the New York social schedule.” [NYTimes] • “Obama fundraiser could create traffic nightmare for Met Gala” [NYPost]

SATURDAY NIGHT SCENE: “As Spectacle Circuit Hits Vegas, the Main Event Isn’t Boxing — It’s Power Schmoozing” by Andy Wang: “There’s this thing I like to call the Spectacle Circuit, which serves as kind of a world tour for many of the most important and wealthy people on the planet. The Spectacle Circuit includes events like the Super Bowl and Art Basel and Cannes and the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix and, yes, Las Vegas during CES or ICSC. The pinnacle of the Spectacle Circuit had to be this past weekend in Vegas.” [ObserverESPN]

SPORTS BLINK: Orthodox Jewish Owners Win Kentucky Derby: “American Pharoah’s win Saturday in the Kentucky Derby was also a win for Teaneck, N.J., home of the brown colt’s owner, Ahmed Zayat. Away from the track, Zayat, an Orthodox Jew, continues to run several other businesses in Egypt. He’s also known for his philanthropy to Jewish causes, including a $500,000 donation to The Frisch School, a Jewish school in Paramus, which named an athletic center after him… “God made me prosperous,” said Zayat, who has four children, ages 12 to 23. “I worked very hard for my money. I have been successful. But at the end of the day, you need to give back.” [NJ]

–Zayat Stables also owns two other horses named ‘Maimonides’ and ‘Mordi’s Miracle’ [ZayatStables]

STARTUP NATION: “10 Israeli startups to watch in 2015” [TheNextWeb]

BOOK REVIEW: “They Bombed the British” by Michael Doran: “Between 1917 and 1947 in Mandate Palestine, the Irgun and its splinter group, the Lehi, were determined to oust the British and establish Jewish independence by whatever means necessary. Bruce Hoffman’s “Anonymous Soldiers” is a gripping narrative history of that struggle. Its major contribution is to demonstrate that the Irgun-led insurgency played a larger role in paving the way for Israel’s founding than we previously believed.” [WSJ]

“Israeli President Says Ethiopian Protest Exposes ‘Wound'” by Aron Heller: “Reuven Rivlin spoke a day after thousands of Ethiopian protesters clashed with police in Tel Aviv in an unprecedented scene of unrest and anger. The clashes reflected widespread frustration in the Ethiopian community, which three decades after it first arrived in Israel, has become an underclass plagued by poverty, crime and unemployment.” [AP]

“Among the crowd on the freeway were two haredi men who were stuck in traffic on the way from Jerusalem. One of them, Shlomi, said he understands the protesters and that “my heart’s with them, it’s not right what they go through.” Minutes later, he and his friend were joined by several Ethiopian Israeli men as they formed a minyan to recite the Mincha afternoon prayers on the side of the Ayalon freeway, facing east toward the gridlocked traffic and Jerusalem.” [JPost]

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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