Daily Kickoff: Lindsey Graham’s (Mostly Jewish) Finance Committee | Spotlight on Warriors’ owner Joe Lacob | Birthdays: Bob Kraft; Avigdor Lieberman

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2016 FEAT: Lindsey Graham Announces 2016 National Finance Committee: Prominent names include National Co-Chairs Safra A. Catz, CEO of Oracle; Barry Mannis, an AIPAC board member; Ronald O. Perelman, CEO of MacAndrews & Forbes; Bobby Rechnitz, Chairman of the Bomel Companies; Michael Steinhardt, major Jewish philanthropist; and Anita Zucker, CEO of the InterTech Group. Other notable names include Lenny Adelson (Sheldon’s brother), Yitz Applbaum, David Flaum, Alec Ellison, Ted Cutler, Roger Sofer, William Rosenberg and Judy & Sidney Swartz.

To Note: Not all these names appear to be exclusive to the Graham campaign. One person emailed us to say that their support is in addition to supporting a likely Jeb Bush campaign and “that many on this list are staying loyal to LG because of all that he has done and is doing for our ally Israel.”

Headline: “An Adelson Backs Lindsey Graham for President” by Adam Wollner: “But it’s not the one every Republican presidential candidate is vying for.” [NationalJournal]

Ron Perelman on Lindsey: “Lindsey Graham understands America’s leadership role in promoting an enduring peace on the global landscape. With conflicts raging in the Middle East and around the world that threaten the security of America and our allies, we need leaders with strategic purpose and moral clarity to confront these crises.” [PressRelease]

More on Perelman, who’s also good friends with Hillary Clinton — by Maggie Haberman: “A person briefed on Mr. Perelman’s decision, who requested anonymity to speak about private discussions, said that Mr. Perelman wasn’t simply donating to Mr. Graham out of friendship. He wants to “ensure a robust discussion on critical foreign policy issues,” the person said, referring to negotiations with Iran on its nuclear energy program and to the United States’ relationship with Israel.” [FirstDraft]

Tweet Du Jour: Rand Paul advisor @VincentHarris tweets “New office item! Framed @netanyahu campaign from Israel. #israelelex” [Twitter]

Schumer Story: George Soros’ son Alex posted to Instagram last week – “Fundraiser tonight for my home state senior senator, mr chuck schumer, who some people I know say isn’t progressive enough! I told chuck I would only take a pic with him if he was to the left of me, his response, “I have always been there!” [Instagram] • ICYMI: “Schumer Says Controversial Egyptian President el-Sisi Is ‘Very Good’” by Ross Barkan: “Mr. Schumer, a Democrat, was addressing Orthodox Union, an advocacy organization for Orthodox Jews, in Washington yesterday. His praise of Mr. Sisi drew applause from the audience. (Jewish Insider, a Jewish news organization, recorded his remarks.)” [Observer]

“Clinton campaign snares Box CEO Aaron Levie in courting young tech millionaires” by Sarah McBride: “The last time Hillary Clinton ran for the White House in 2008, Aaron Levie was too busy building his start-up company to pay much attention to politics. But earlier this year, the 30-year-old Levie led his company, Box, through an initial public offering, helping free a small portion of his time to support the frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. A few weeks ago, Levie, whose company is worth more than $2 billion, agreed to host a fundraiser for Clinton. Levie said he has donated only once to a candidate, Senator Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York. [Reuters]

“The Robby Mook Playbook” by Ruby Cramer: “Mook, at 28 years old, delivered the campaign’s first caucus win — and at a time when they needed it badly. He then took his playbook to Ohio, Indiana, Puerto Rico. Most of his team came with him — and they beat Obama there, too. The operative, clean-cut and unassuming, was Clinton’s most winning state director. He came out of 2008 a star.” [BuzzFeed]

Rick Perry’s Campaign Manager Jeff Miller on Perry 2016: “We were all embarrassed, by the ‘oops’ moment, obviously,” said Jeff Miller, Perry’s top adviser, referring to the debate gaffe that doomed his 2012 candidacy. “But it has made him more humble about what he didn’t know.” “He realizes now what it takes — and America loves a comeback story,” Miller said. “People are going to want to see him in action on the debate stage,” Miller echoed, promising that Perry in 2016 “will be nothing like the Rick Perry they saw in 2012.” [Politico]

HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND: “Can conservatives find their footing in Hollywood in 2016?” by Maeve Reston: “Republicans have raised plenty of money on the West Coast — albeit more quietly than their Democratic rivals. Now the Republican Jewish Coalition, with its roster of influential donors and board members, is looking to raise the profile of Hollywood conservatives at their annual gala Sunday night in Beverly Hills. Arizona Sen. John McCain, New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson will be the featured guests at the gathering, but the Republican Jewish Coalition is also hosting its own red carpet to draw attention to more conservative actors and studio executives including Raquel Welch, Angie Harmon, Jeremy Boreing and Nick Searcy. On Sunday night, the group plans to honor actor Jon Voight.” [CNN]

IRAN TALKS: “Deadline for nuclear talks with Iran may be softening” by Michael Crowley and Nahal Toosi: “With a June 30 deadline for a nuclear deal with Iran approaching, western experts and foreign allies — including a top Israeli official — are urging the Obama administration not to treat that date as sacred for fear of giving Tehran leverage in the high-stakes talks. “The Iranians are using delay tactics. It seems they want to come close to the deadline without an agreement,” Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s energy minister, who is in Washington this week for meetings with top Obama officials, told Politico on Thursday.” [Politico] • “Here’s another ominous sign a nuclear deal with Iran won’t work the way Obama wants it to” by Armin Rosen [BusinessInsider]

TOP TALKER: “Saudi Arabia and Israel Share a Common Opposition” by David E. Sanger: “In an appearance at the Washington office of the Council on Foreign Relations, a retired major general in the Saudi armed forces, Anwar Eshki, and a former Israeli ambassador close to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Dore Gold, described their common interests in opposing Iran. It was the culmination of five meetings between the two men, who both run think tanks, though Mr. Gold will become the director general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday.” [NYTimes]

Eli Lake: “Among those who follow the Middle East closely, it’s been an open secret that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in thwarting Iran. But until Thursday, actual diplomacy between the two was never officially acknowledged. Saudi Arabia still doesn’t recognize Israel’s right to exist. Israel has yet to accept a Saudi-initiated peace offer to create a Palestinian state.” [BloombergView]

Philip Gordon: “The Middle East Is Falling Apart: The harsh reality is that the Middle East today is going through a period of tectonic and destructive change. If I took away anything from two years as the White House’s coordinator for Middle East policy, it’s that U.S. policy is not the main source of this change and the U.S. has no good options for dealing with it.” [PoliticoMag]

Jeffrey Goldberg: “I talked to Eshman on Wednesday, and we both share a view that Obama’s pro-Israel critics are, for whatever reason, unable to hear the president when he says anything in line with mainstream Jewish opinion. Eshman, in our conversation, went on to say, “You don’t have to agree with everything Obama’s done, but you can acknowledge the things he says that make sense and are good for Israel in the long run. To completely disparage what he’s done is so self-defeating.” [TheAtlantic]

Seth Mandel: “It turns out Adam Sandler needs to revise his classic “Hanukkah Song.” The new line: “Barack Obama: Not a Jew.” What makes that necessary is that President Obama and some of his media courtiers seem to think he’s an honorary member of the tribe. You don’t have to be a philo-Semite to be the kind of president Israelis will embrace. But it would help if Obama understood what he claimed to represent.” [NYPost]

David Suissa: “This is the crux of the debate. The president doesn’t seem to get that a whole bunch of smart, reasonable and moderate people believe that his policies have actually hurt Israel. I don’t believe for a minute that Obama is anti-Israel or that he ever did anything deliberately to hurt Israel. Unfortunately, what we’ve seen over the past few years is that you don’t have to be anti-Israel to hurt Israel.” [JewishJournal]

“Benjamin Netanyahu: Media Manipulator” by Bernard Avishai: “While forming his new government, he extracted written pledges from potential coalition partners not to vote against any legislative initiative or regulatory decision by the minister of communications, coyly implying that he might add the post to his responsibilities as Prime Minister—which he did. This role, and these pledges, position Netanyahu to regulate cellular service and Internet providers, license private broadcast channels, and influence the management of public television and radio. His defense of Israel Hayom’s supremacy in print is trifling compared with his growing power to control greater Israel’s airwaves.” [NewYorker]

French Amb. Gerard Araud Tweets: “4th Geneva convention : settlement policy in occupied territories is illegal. It is illegal to contribute to it in any way. Why to argue about a territory recognized as occupied by 190 countries, its own population, the ICRC, 2 Gen Conv state parties conferences?” — @RobSatloff responds “Because #Israel is far from receiving the guarantees spelled out in paragraph 1ii of UNSCR 242, which governs the issue. I have high regard for @GerardAraud, who is a fine diplomat. On this issue, I believe #French policy in general is in error.” [Twitter] • “In seeming defense of Orange, French diplomat slams settlements” [ToI]

Eugene Kontorovich: “Orange’s legal advice has been bad not just on the international legal front. The CEO apparently is unaware that his statement could make it impossible for at least one major state’s pension funds to have holdings in his firm. Illinois’ pensions have recently had about $1.3 million in Orange shares (it sold them in June for unrelated reasons), and as more states pass anti-BDS laws, Orange will have to seek more of its capital in the places it has built up “trust.”” [WashPost]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Daily Mail Invests $3 Million in Israeli Native Partner Taboola ‘We’re all competing against Facebook,’ CEO Jon Steinberg says” [AdWeek] • “Meadowlands casino could open in 2016, developers say” [NJ] • “Israeli Arabs seeking greater share in country’s tech start-up success” [Reuters] • “Developers LeFrak and Soffer reveal plans, begin construction at Miami site once known as Biscayne Landing” [MiamiHerald] • “MoMA Appoints Leon Black Co-Chairman” [WSJ• “Gov. Scott Walker announces deal with Marc Lasry for new $500M Bucks arena” [AP]

WEEKEND READS: “The world’s ‘least wanted’ people: How a liberalizing nation lost control of its dark secret: it’s an apartheid state” by Saw Yan Naing and Jared Sichel: “Rohingya Muslims number around 1 million in a majority-Buddhist country of more than 53 million. No economic rights. No citizenship. Overt state persecution. Violence by Buddhist extremists that’s sanctioned and sometimes assisted by the government. Horrifying levels of poverty, starvation, lack of medical care and more. More than 100,000 Rohingyas in Rakhine state live in squalid displacement camps and ghettoized villages that are surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards, embedded in heavily Buddhist towns and cities.” [JewishJournal]

“It’s increasingly hard to keep the peace at one of the world’s holiest places” by Luke Baker: “A hundred or more Jews can arrive at the mosque some days, in large, organized groups. Last year Yossi Farenti, then Jerusalem District Police Chief, told the Israeli parliament’s Internal Affairs committee that the number of Jews visiting the site had increased 27 percent in the first half of 2014. “There is indeed a worsening in the past few years as to what happens at Temple Mount,” he said. “This is a fact. No one disagrees. You can see it in the numbers.” [Reuters/BI]

“The Complex Power Coupledom of Chris Hughes and Sean Eldridge” by Sarah Ellison:“New York’s senior senator, Chuck Schumer, huddled with House minority leader Nancy Pelosi (who danced with The New Republic’s literary editor, Leon Wieseltier, among others, during the after-dinner dance party). Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was there, as were two of Hughes’s fellow Facebook founders, Dustin Moskovitz and the company’s C.E.O., Mark Zuckerberg… Yet, in the space of two and a half years, the glitter has dulled.”

“Sean Simcha Eldridge was born in Montreal, Canada, to two physicians who moved to Ottawa Hills, Ohio, a prosperous suburb of Toledo, when he was four years old and entering kindergarten. Eldridge’s mother, Sarah Taub, was born in Israel, the daughter of Holocaust survivors who had met in a refugee camp in Italy after World War II. According to a campaign interview Eldridge gave to Tablet, an online Jewish magazine, his mother insisted that his father convert to Judaism before they married, in Montreal.” [VanityFair]

SPORTS BLINK: “Larry Ellison Is Spending a Fortune to Save American Tennis” by Ashlee Vance: “In 2011, Larry Ellison, co-founder of Oracle, paid $43 million for Porcupine Creek, a 249-acre estate here. Visitors sign a nondisclosure agreement to get past the armed guard and front gate. Ellison comes to Porcupine Creek for at least two weeks in mid-March to take in the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden, 20 minutes away. Ellison is worth an estimated $47 billion, making him the world’s seventh-wealthiest person. He bought the tournament and its facilities for $100 million in 2009 and since then has invested another $100 million, improving the event year-after-year.” [Businessweek]

“Rookie Coaches, Business Background Bring (Jewish) NBA Owners to Finals” by Rob Gloster: “Business experience gave Joe Lacob and Dan Gilbert the confidence to hire unproven rookie coaches for their National Basketball Association teams. Warriors owner Lacob plucked Steve Kerr from television. Gilbert went to Israel to lure David Blatt to the Cavaliers. Lacob, who estimates that he started 70 companies as a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said “I’m a risk-taker, no question,” he said. “Generally I err toward young management, people with a tremendous amount of aggressiveness by nature.” [Bloomberg] • “How Joe Lacob & The Golden State Warriors Courted Silicon Valley — And Why The Love Is Mutual” [Forbes]

“Ahmed Zayat’s Journey: Bankruptcy, Big Bets, and Maybe a Triple Crown” by Joe Drape:“Publicly, Mr. Zayat alternately identifies as Muslim and Jewish. In fact, Mr. Zayat, who graduated from Yeshiva University, has given amply to Jewish causes. He lives with his wife and four children in a largely modern Orthodox neighborhood of Tudor and Victorian houses known as West Englewood in Teaneck, N.J. They keep kosher, arranging menus in advance at racetracks and, if they cannot locate a hotel close by, they stay in an R.V. and walk to the track, as they did at the Preakness Stakes, to avoid driving on the Sabbath.” [NYTimes]

“7 things about Triple Crown hopeful American Pharoah — and his Jewish owner” by Gabe Friedman: “In his history-making attempt, American Pharoah may have some Jewish luck in his favor. Jockey Victor Espinoza, who is not Jewish, visited the Lubavitcher rebbe’s grave on Thursday where he prayed and presumably asked for good luck… After graduating from Yeshiva University, Zayat worked for the haredi Orthodox real estate developer Zev Wolfson.” [JTA]

NOMINATION: @TribSeeker tweets — “President @BarackObama intends to appoint Rabbi Abba Cohen to Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage” [Twitter]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Robert Kraft turns 74… Avigdor Lieberman turns 57… Eric Cantor turns 52… Eli Broad turns 82… Jonathan Kopp…

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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