Daily Kickoff: POTUS on Iran – “A military solution will not fix it” | Lee Zeldin profile | 99-Year-Old Wall St. Veteran Shares Secrets of Her Success

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TOP TALKER: President Obama’s Channel 2 Interview: “I care very much about the people of Israel as well, and in my mind, it is very much in Israel’s interest to make sure that Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapon.  And I can, I think, demonstrate — not based on any hope, but on facts and evid.ence and analysis — that the best way to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon is a verifiable, tough agreement.  A military solution will not fix it, even if the United States participates. It would temporarily slow down an Iranian nuclear program, but it will not eliminate it.” [TranscriptChannel2]

Eli Lake: “As bad as it would be for President Obama to reach a nuclear agreement with Iran while four Americans remained in jail, it would also be dangerous if Iran released the Americans as part of such a deal. The U.S. government has some experience in this when it comes to Iran. As Ledeen knows from firsthand experience, when the Reagan administration gave Israeli arms to Iran in exchange for European and American hostages held by Hezbollah in Lebanon, it emboldened the Iranians. The deal taught them that terrorism and hostage taking can work.” [BloombergView]

“Is U.S. about to lose its best shot at freeing Americans in Iran?” by Nahal Toosi: “The talks are due to end in just weeks, and there’s no sign Iran is willing to free the Americans. That has left some of the detainees’ advocates, including some lawmakers, increasingly worried that the U.S. is about to squander an unusual opening, with no fresh strategy in place.” [Politico]

“Where the Obama-Netanyahu relationship went wrong” by Ron Kampeas: “The interviews with Axelrod and Wexler are part of a series of recent conversations with top figures in the Obama camp, including the president himself, that offer new details about the breakdown in the relationship between the U.S. president and the Israeli prime minister – and lay bare just how troubled that relationship has become… Haim Saban described the relationship between Netanyahu and Obama as like “oil and water” and said the crisis in relations is not in the future; it is here already. In a recent private meeting with the president, Saban noted, Obama described the Palestinians as “oppressed people in occupied territories.” [JewishJournal]

“The Lone Republican Jew in Congress: ‘Iran is playing our president like a string quartet'” by Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt: “Zeldin dismisses the President’s recent address at Adas Israel synagogue in Washington, D.C. as “weak.” He has accused Obama of compromising in the Iran nuclear talks in favor of short-sighted domestic support. “Actions speak louder than words,” he wrote in an email later. “If President Obama knows how to strengthen America’s bond with our strongest ally and combat anti-Semitism, now is the time to pursue policies that will achieve those results.” [Haaretz]

Micah Halpern: “That Barack Obama sat down with Jeffrey Goldberg was for me an “aha” moment. It was Jeffrey Goldberg, in the Atlantic, who gave the White House a huge black eye last October on the subject of tensions between Washington and Jerusalem. It was Goldberg who quoted a senior White House official saying, “The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickensh*t.” We were told at the time that this was a huge embarrassment for the White House. Told that heads would roll because of the statement. So by all Washington rules, the White House and the president should have left Goldberg and the Atlantic out in the cold. Instead, just months later, presidential ego prevails and the ugly truth emerges.” [Observer]

Rob Eshman: “I’ve held off writing about President Barack Obama’s speech at Adas Israel Congregation late last month, but I’ve certainly read everything we Jews have written about it. And here’s my conclusion: We can really be a bunch of ingrates… You must know the old joke about the Jewish mother down at the beach who watches her child slip under the waves. She prays fervently to God for the boy to be saved, and her prayers are answered — he washes up on shore, perfectly healthy. At which point the mother looks up to the heavens and points out, “He had a hat.” All this carping, criticism and correction is truly our “he had a hat” moment.” [JewishJournal]

2016 WATCH: “NY Democrats push Bloomberg to run for president” by Michael Goodwin: “One visitor to the former mayor came away cautiously optimistic after a 30-minute meeting, noting that Bloomberg didn’t throw him out of the office or start fiddling with his smartphone.” [NYPost] • H/T (@KSheekey)

“Hillary Clinton’s jam-packed fundraising schedule” by Gabriel Debenedetti: “Hillary Clinton has an aggressive fundraising schedule featuring at least 26 donor events across the country over the next month — including stops in states she hasn’t yet visited as a candidate.” [Politico]

“Big Obama Fundraiser to Hold Event for Hillary Clinton” by Peter Nicholas: “David L. Cohen, senior executive vice president of Comcast Corp., and his wife Rhonda will host a reception for Mrs. Clinton on Friday, June 26, a copy of the invitation shows.” [WSJ]

“Chris Hughes, Publisher of The New Republican, and Sean ‘Simcha’ Eldridge to Hold a Fundraiser for Hillary Clinton” by Maggie Haberman: “Chris Hughes, the publisher of The New Republic, and his husband, Sean Eldridge, will hold a fund-raiser for Hillary Rodham Clinton’s presidential campaign, two people briefed on the invitation said. The event will be held on June 30 at the couple’s Lower Manhattan home, the people said.” [NYTimes]

“Hillary Clinton is heading back for Hollywood cash. The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate is set to take part in three Los Angeles-area fundraisers on June 19. The first is a $2,700-per-person event hosted by Westfield Corp. co-CEO Peter Lowy and his wife, Janine.” [HollywoodReporterVariety] • (Disclaimer: Peter Lowy is chairman of Tribe Media Corp.)

LongRead: “The inside story of how the Clintons built a $2 billion global empire: Chevy Chase was on the plane with Bill Clinton. So was a former president of Brazil. The founders of Google. A former president of Mexico. And John Cusack. They were all going to Davos, the Swiss resort that holds an annual conclave of the wealthy and powerful. The jet — arranged by a Saudi businessman — provided a luxurious living-room setting for a rolling discussion: Couldn’t the big names at Davos be doing more to solve the world’s big problems? In the background, a Clinton staff member named Doug Band had an idea that would change the ex-president’s life. “Only Bill Clinton could bring a group like this together,” Band thought. Bill Clinton didn’t need Davos. He could do this himself.” [WashPost]

Obvious Read: “Why online gambling is so central to Lindsey Graham’s 2016 hopes” [WashPost]

“Here’s where Lindsey Graham gets his campaign money” by Rick Newman: “Last year, developer Larry Mizel donated $100,000 to West Main Street Values, a so-called super PAC that supports Graham, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Sam Fox, a businessman and former ambassador, gave the group $50,000 in 2013. And megadonor Sheldon Adelson has given Graham modest amounts during the last couple of years, which ought to make the casino magnate a top target for Graham and his 2016 money raisers.” [Yahoo]

HAPPENING TODAY: The Orthodox Union’s annual Leadership Advocacy Mission takes place today in Washington, D.C. The group is expected to hear from White House officials, Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer, French Amb, Gerard Araud, and Senators Marco Rubio, Cory Booker, Rob Portman, Chuck Schumer, Ben Cardin, Bob Menendez, Kirsten Gillibrand, James Lankford, and John Hoeven.

**Good Wednesday 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**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “A 99-Year-Old Wall Street Veteran Reveals the Secrets of Her Success” by Dakin Campbell: “As she nears 100, Irene Bergman has some advice for enjoying a long career on Wall Street: Don’t do anything stupid. As one of the oldest working professionals in an industry run by men half her age, Bergman offers a rare perspective. She recalls the small private firms founded by German Jews of the 19th century that came to define Wall Street before their partnership model gave way to public listings, and honor succumbed to an ever-fiercer push for profit.”

Her career was a near-realization of a dream she had as a teenager. In an essay at the time, she wrote that she wanted to follow her father, a private banker, onto the Berlin Stock Exchange. He made that world seem so “lively,” she said. She would have been the first woman to attain that position. Those aspirations stalled when the Nazis chased her Jewish family from Germany and then Holland. They came to the U.S. In 1942, Bergman began working as a secretary at a bank. Fifteen years later, she joined Hallgarten & Co., a member of the New York Stock Exchange.” [Bloomberg]

SPOTLIGHT: “Noah Kraft’s Sci-Fi Earbuds Put a Volume Knob On The Real World” by David Pierce: “Doppler Labs just moved into a new office in San Francisco, and it’s a mess. The fridge is empty, and there are half-unpacked boxes everywhere. But the team has bigger things to worry about. Doppler’s new product, a set of earbuds called Here that let you adjust the world’s sounds to your exact liking, is launching in two weeks. CEO Noah Kraft calls it “superhuman hearing 1.0.” [WiredMag] • Jewish nightlife duo Jason Strauss and Noah Tepperberg are early backers of Kraft’s project.

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Rikers Inquiry Expands to Include Union Chief’s Financial Dealings” by Michael Winerip and Michael Schwirtz: “Federal prosecutors have opened a new front in their investigation of Rikers Island, embarking on a far-reaching examination of the financial dealings of Norman Seabrook, the powerful president of New York City’s correction officers’ union. The subpoena also demanded records concerning the union’s financial dealings with a disparate group of people and institutions, including Koehler & Isaacs, the union’s longtime law firm; the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organization based in Los Angeles that focuses on Holocaust research; two hedge funds; and Philip Banks III… “My trip to Israel was immensely spiritually rewarding to me,” Mr. Seabrook said.” [NYTimes]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “City Point Project in Brooklyn Gets Unlikely Partner in Gary Barnett’s Extell” [NYTimes• “American Dream Meadowlands developer Ghermezian receives third delay to apply for tax break” [NorthJersey] • “News Corp. and 21st Century Fox take step toward World Trade Center move with Larry Silverstein” [NYPost] • “Pier Village owner Jared Kushner talks about development plans” [APP] • “Wynwood property triples in values as Thor Equities pays $27M” [BizJournal] • “Brad Grey Quietly Sells Bel Air Estate to Sam Nazarian” [Variety]

SCENE THE OTHER NIGHT — Bill Rudin’s 60th Birthday Party: “Rudin had agreed to celebrate his 60th birthday at the Battery Conservancy’s annual gala, held in the Lower Manhattan park it manages, and like so many Americans drawn to the spot, he had a story to tell. His great-grandparents arrived at Castle Clinton in the 1880s, two years apart. They later ran a dry-goods store on Chrystie Street and produced nine children. They also saved enough to buy their first piece of land, now home to a Lexington Avenue office building owned by Rudin Management Co… During cocktails, Rudin took his granddaugther Elle on the carousel and her face lit up. Mort Zuckerman said he couldn’t wait to take his 6-year-old daughter there.” [Bloomberg]

PROFILE: “The Spy Who Bent a Million Spoons: Israeli mentalist Uri Geller’s mind-over-matter philosophy of life” by Tal Kra-Oz [TabletMag]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “The Big Question” by Erica Brown: “In this past month’s Atlantic Monthly, “The Big Question” for June was: “Which Current Behavior Will be Most Unthinkable 100 Years from Now?” What a great Jewish question to pose to a Jewish brain trust! So, I made my own temporary think tank. Brandeis professor Jonathan Sarna thinks that a century from now, “in most synagogues and temples, the announcement ‘please open your prayer book to page __’ will be unthinkable. Prayer books will by then have been replaced by electronic devices.” The Orthodox Union’s executive director for public policy, Nathan Diament, said, “It will be unthinkable that we once had such a costly and decentralized Jewish education system under which the costs of, and barriers to, providing Jewish education were left to be set by independent schools and borne by individual families — rather than being truly a communal enterprise.” [JewishWeek]

Ted & Annette Lerner named Washington Life Magazine top philanthropists: “Though raised in the D.C. area, Lerner spreads his charitable giving across the globe. He gave $10 million to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to build a sports center while also donating to various Jewish day schools and organizations in the area as well as the Holocaust Museum.” [WashingtonLife]

“Kraft family gives $1 million to U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum” by Jon Palmer: “A release from the museum said that the gift, from the Robert and Myra Kraft Family Foundation, was part of a larger fundraising campaign led by Night author and honorary chair Elie Wiesel to “keep Holocaust memory alive as a relevant, transformative force in the 21st century.” [Boston]

**A message from Lee Wunsch, President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston:“The recent historic rainstorm in Houston severely affected a relatively small area of Houston in and around the Braes Bayou – neighborhoods where many Jewish families live. Several Jewish organizations were damaged by flood waters including United Orthodox Synagogue and the recently renovated JCC teen center, among others.”

“A week into the cleanup, the situation is overwhelming and frightening for those who lost cars, furniture, clothes, photographs and papers. Many now realize that they must move out of their homes in order to begin reconstruction. Recovery will take many months as people try to put their lives back in order. To help the Jewish Federation of Greater Houston provide assistance to those most vulnerable in our community, please go here: [HoustonJewish]**

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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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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