Daily Kickoff: Iranian-Americans look to counter pro-Israel groups | Indyk and Oren debate US-Israel | Bibi hosts Mariah Carey

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2016 WATCH: Phil Rosen endorses Marco Rubio — Rosen, a co-chair of Weil Gotshal’s real estate practice and well-known Jewish leader, has officially endorsed Marco Rubio and will serve as a foreign policy advisor for the campaign. Rosen, one of Mitt Romney’s top bundlers in 2012, was highly sought after by several candidates. Rosen told Jewish Insider, “For several months I’ve been talking with most of the 2016 Republican field about their individual campaigns, paths to victory and policy positions.” Rosen noted that although he’s impressed with the candidates and finds this cycle’s field to be “light years ahead of, and better than most of, the 2012 candidates,” he made the “difficult” decision to “throw my weight behind Senator Marco Rubio.”

Rosen’s endorsement is significant for a few reasons: 1. ..it’s believed that Rosen raised around $5 million for Mitt Romney in 2012. 2. Rosen is close with Sheldon Adelson, with whom he serves on the boards of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) and Birthright Israel. Adelson is already rumored to be favoring Rubio… Adding a super-lawyer like Rosen can only help Rubio close the deal… 3. Rosen, who is very well connected in NYC fundraising circles, is believed to have deliberated between Walker and Rubio for a while.. and could, perhaps, perhaps, serves as a bellwether for others facing a similar decision. 4. Rosen donated $2,700 to Cruz for President. While donors like Rosen might admire Cruz, many are concerned about his electability and Rosen’s Rubio endorsement is a reminder of that.” [JewishInsider]

Fred Zeidman, a Houston-based RJC board member and Jewish leader, had considered staying officially neutral in 2016, due to at least three candidates with strong Lone Star State ties, but he is now joining his son Jay in publicly backing Jeb Bush. Zeidman told Jewish Insider, “Had originally considered staying neutral but, having been a Bushie for 30 years, couldn’t resist.” He added, “Jeb is a strong leader who knows how to get things done… also very strong on the U.S. role in the world, the need to rebuild alliances — especially with our good friend Israel.”

“The Benefits Of Lindsey Graham’s Plan For A Hawkish Presidential Bid” by Rosie Gray:“According to two sources recently, Sheldon Adelson and his wife Miriam are considering supporting Graham during the early part of the race. “They understand that Lindsey can’t win,” said one person close to the Adelsons. “I think he believes that he is going to be well positioned to be Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State. My guess is Sheldon’s thinking is, This doesn’t actually upset the apple cart. It gets pro-Israel issues out there and in the debate, and it positions Lindsey well for being Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State.” [BuzzFeed]

Ready for Hillary, Not Ready For NYC Real Estate — by Amy Chozick, Maggie Haberman:Marc Lasry, a hedge fund manager, a major Democratic donor and a friend of the Clintons, let the campaign’s communications director, Jennifer Palmieri, stay in his family’s Manhattan home, a penthouse on Central Park West, for a handful of nights early on. The city, he said, “is expensive, particularly for young people. We have five children, so we are used to having a lot of people around, and we’re happy to put up folks from the campaign.” [NYTimes]

SUNDAY SHOWS — Chuck Todd on NBC Meet The Press: “A super PAC backing Carly Fiorina had to change its name earlier this month from, ready for this, Carly for America to C.A.R.L.Y. for America. Are you confused? Well, I’ll explain. According to the federal election rules, a super PAC’s name cannot include the name of the candidate that they support. Just this week, by the way, there’s a group of Jewish Americans supporting Ted Cruz called Jews for Cruz. And they too were told to change its name… Well, how about Jews for Conservative Republicans Understanding Zionism for America? I think we’ll see that.” [NBC]

Ambassadors Michael Oren and Martin Indyk engage in a ‘heated debate’ on U.S. – Israel relations on Fareed Zakaria’s GPS: Indyk – “Both of us can at least agree that the relationship is in crisis, why you would want to come out and pour flames on the fire in this incendiary way is really something I find quite incomprehensible.” Oren – “One of the points I make in the book is that the Administration is very disciplined. I said this with respect… in Israel, we have a rather rambunctious democracy where every member of the cabinet is a potential prime minister and everyone has their own messaging. The Obama administration was exceedingly disciplined in its messaging. That line that you just heard, Fareed, ‘why would you want to pour a bucket of fuel on a fire?’ I have now heard from four different people that have been briefed by the Administration so I’m glad your guest [Indyk] has been appropriately briefed.” [CNNTranscript]

Leon Wieseltier responds to Michael Oren: “It is not the duty of Jewish writers to stop betraying their ancestors and cheer for Bibi. It is the duty of Jewish writers to write what they believe, whether or not they betray their ancestors. The early Zionists themselves betrayed their ancestors even as they also fulfilled them.” [TheAtlantic] • Philip Gordon, formerly of the Obama Admin, on Oren: “Bibi’s man in D.C., still spinning for the boss” [WashPost]

DRIVING THE WEEK: “Crucial Questions Remain as Iran Nuclear Talks Approach Deadline” by David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon: “With all sides now acknowledging that the talks would need to continue beyond Tuesday, once considered the absolute deadline for a final deal, officials from several nations said some of the politically difficult questions — from inspections to how fast Iran could expand its nuclear infrastructure in the waning years of an accord — are still just as vexing as they were when the 18-month negotiation odyssey began.” [NYTimes] • “Real Deadline for Iran Deal Is July 9” [BloombergView]

“Iran Wish List Led Nuclear Deal Talks With U.S.” by Jay Solomon: “Iran secretly passed to the White House beginning in late 2009 the names of prisoners it wanted released from U.S. custody, part of a wish list to test President Barack Obama’s commitment to improving ties and a move that set off years of clandestine dispatches that helped open the door to nuclear negotiations.” [WSJ]

“Iranian-Americans set up lobbying arm to counter pro-Israel groups” by Nahal Toosi: “An Iranian-American group that has actively backed the U.S.-Iran nuclear talks — and battled allegations it works for the Iranian government — will launch a lobbying arm next week, a move it casts as part of a growing push against neoconservative and right-leaning pro-Israel advocacy groups. The National Iranian American Council’s new 501(c)4 will be called NIAC Action, organizers said ahead of the official unveiling Monday. NIAC Action aims to direct money from the Iranian-American community, which is relatively well-off compared to other immigrant groups, toward more concerted political activism.” [Politico] • “Amid Iran Nuclear Talks, Non-Diplomats Compete for Attention” [AP]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Alex Karp’s Palantir Valued At $20 Billion In New Funding Round” [BuzzFeed]• “Shareholders deliver a slap to Zell” [Crains] • “At Wimbledon, a Power Broker Gambles to Reassert Its Marketing Magic” [NYTimes]

STARTUP NATION: “Meet the female alums of the Israeli Army’s elite tech training school” by Gwen Moran: “It’s no secret that women can have a hard time breaking into the tech sector. But when Nofar Diamant and Dana Gutkind interviewed for their jobs at Perion Network, a Holon, Israel-based technology company, they were snapped up immediately. They didn’t even need to sell their experience—which was convenient, since they’re not allowed to talk about it.” [FortuneMag] • “Gambling Giant William Hill to Open Accelerators in London, Tel-Aviv” [WSJ]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Marian and George Klein “broke ground” on Greenpoint Landing yesterday, a massive development mega-project that will add as many as 10 towers—totaling 22 acres and 5,500 units—to the Greenpoint waterfront” [Gothamist] • “Lloyd Goldman’s new 35-story luxury apartment building opens in Downtown Jersey City” [JerseyJournal• “Midtown office building owned by Chitrik, Sorotzkin and Deutch asking $31.5 million in bankruptcy sale” [RealDeal] • “Sean ‘Simcha’ Eldridge Wants $8.75M for Stylish Soho Loft” [Curbed] • “Graffiti Artists and Developers Draw an Alliance” [WSJ]

“Kutsher’s Country Club Reincarnates as Billionaire’s Yoga Hub” by Sangwon Yoon: “An Indian billionaire is transforming Kutsher’s Country Club, once an all-inclusive getaway for Jews, into a $250 million yoga center for wealthy New Yorkers. The 64-year-old media entrepreneur is inheriting a legacy from the Kutsher family, who operated the longest-running hotel in the “Borscht Belt” or the “Jewish Alps,” a collection of kosher resorts that launched the careers of comedians Joan Rivers and Jerry Seinfeld.” [Bloomberg]

LongRead: “Which Side Were We On? Kentucky Slavery, Mine Wars and Segregation” by Josh Nathan-Kazis: “We don’t like to admit to this part of the American Jewish past. Slave mines don’t comport with the story we like to tell, which goes: Once we were slaves on the Lower East Side, then we marched with Marin Luther King, Jr. across a bridge in Selma, now we walk free down Fifth Avenue on the first Sunday in June at the Celebrate Israel Parade. We were oppressed, and now we’re friends of the oppressed, and when blacks march in New York protesting the death of Eric Garner, or in Baltimore protesting the murder of Freddie Gray, it’s the other sort of white people they’re protesting, not us.” [Forward]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Jewish global population approaches pre-Holocaust levels: The Jewish People Policy Institute said there are currently 14.2 million Jews in the world. When factoring in individuals with one Jewish parent and others who identify as partially Jewish, the figure approaches 16.5 million — the Jewish population on the eve of the second world war.” [TheGuardian]

TOP TALKER: “Next Fight for Gay Rights: Bias in Jobs and Housing” by Erik Eckholm: “Gay rights leaders have turned their sights to what they see as the next big battle: obtaining federal, state and local legal protections in employment, housing, commerce and other arenas, just like those barring discrimination based on race, religion, sex and national origin. The proposals pit advocates against many of the same religious conservatives who opposed legalizing same-sex marriage, and who now see the protection of what they call religious liberty as their most urgent task. These opponents argue that antidiscrimination laws will inevitably be used to force religious people and institutions to violate their beliefs, whether by providing services for same-sex weddings or by employing gay men and lesbians in church-related jobs.” [NYTimes

“U.S. Jews among biggest backers of same-sex marriage, data show: Some 77 percent of American Jews expressed support for same-sex marriage, according to data gathered in 2014 by the Public Religion Research Institute. Some 47 percent of American Jews polled said they “strongly favor” allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry legally, and 30 percent said they “favor” it.” [JTA]

Not Everyone: “Jewish Group, With Hired Protesters, Opposes the Parade” by Andy Newman: “Some of the most curious costumes worn along the parade route belonged to protesters. Behind a barricade, a group of men wore the fringed Jewish prayer garment known as the tzitzit and held up anti-gay signs bearing the logo of a group calling itself the Jewish Political Action Committee. But the men were not Jewish. They were Mexican laborers, protesting because they were paid to protest, said one of the men, who would not give his name… “The rabbis said that the yeshiva boys shouldn’t come out for this because of what they would see at the parade,” Mr. Freed said.” [NYTimes]

Orthodox Union’s Statement: “Our beliefs in this regard are unalterable. At the same time, we note that Judaism teaches respect for others and we condemn discrimination against individuals. Ultimately, decisions on social policy remain with the democratic process, and today the process has spoken and we accord the process and its result the utmost respect. In the wake of today’s ruling, we now turn to the next critical question for our community… will American law continue to uphold and embody principles of religious liberty and diversity?” [PressRelease] • Russell Moore OpEd: “Why the church should neither cave nor panic about the decision on gay marriage” [WashPost]

Shmuley Boteach: “Of course, I can not hide the fact that for me as a Orthodox Rabbi the issue of gay marriage is a highly complicated one which is why I have always been in favor of civil unions for all and marriage for none. I do not believe our government should be involved in any marriages… it’s my hope that leaders in the LGBT community use this momentum to begin greater advocacy abroad, shining light on the barbaric practices of states like Iran, Qatar, and UAE where homosexuality is punished with death and many are hanged from cranes in public squares.” [Facebook]

WEEKEND WEDDING — Orit Sklar and Adam Kwasman: Kwasman, a member of the Arizona House of Representatives, and Sklar, a development director for the Faith and Freedom Coalition, were married yesterday at Naylor Hall, a historic southern mansion in Roswell, GA. Adam’s Cantor Ivor Lichterman officiated. According to their page on The Knot, “Orit and Adam were first introduced at a Republican political conference. Full time Constitutional scholar and part-time Yenta, Ilya Shapiro brought the two together at the Republican Jewish Coalition Spring meeting in 2013.” [TheKnot] • Pic from the Chuppah [Twitter]

STATE VISIT: “Netanyahu Hosts Mariah Carey at Prime Minister’s Residence” by Ari Soffer: “US pop star Maria Carey met Sunday evening with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, during her visit to Israel with her boyfriend, Australian entrepreneur James Packer. A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office described the meal as “warm and familial,” and said Carey shared photos of her four-year-old twin son and daughter, who were unable to attend the meal due to the late hour.” [INNDailyMail] • “Meet Netanyahu’s new friend: a gambling mogul and Mariah Carey’s dreamlover” [Haaretz]

BIRTHDAYS: Miami Heat Owner Micky Arison turns 66… Rabbi Steven Wernick… Mel Brooks turned 89 (yesterday)… Carl Levin turned 81 (yesterday)…

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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