Daily Kickoff: Obama makes his case on Iran to Thomas Friedman | MK Herzog goes to Washington | Iran, Hollywood & Impact on Hillary

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QUOTE OF THE DAY — “Usually you have two Jews, three opinions… but on the Iran deal you have eight million Jews and one opinion.” — Yuval Steinitz [Twitter]

DRIVING THE DAY: “A spokesman for Israeli opposition leader Isaac Herzog says the center-left lawmaker will travel to Washington on Wednesday to discuss Israel’s concerns over the Iranian nuclear deal.” [AP]

BEHIND THE SCENES: “Three years before Tuesday’s nuclear deal with Iran, the Obama administration dispatched a pair of senior military commanders to the Middle East for a different, if equally urgent, set of negotiations. The purpose: persuading Israel to delay an imminent military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities.” [WashPost]

–“The talks that led to the historic deal over Iran’s nuclear program have proceeded on and off for a dozen years, but only truly came to life after two key decisions in 2013, both made behind closed doors — one at the White House, the other, a few months later, at Iran’s imposing presidential palace, Beit Rahbari, in central Tehran.” [LATimes]

“Obama Makes His Case on Iran Nuclear Deal” by Thomas Friedman: “In a 45-minute interview in the Cabinet Room, the president kept stressing one argument: Don’t judge me on whether this deal transforms Iran, ends Iran’s aggressive behavior toward some of its Arab neighbors or leads to détente between Shiites and Sunnis. Judge me on one thing: Does this deal prevent Iran from breaking out with a nuclear weapon for the next 10 years and is that a better outcome for America, Israel and our Arab allies than any other alternative on the table?” [NYTimes]

“Key Democrats skeptical of Iran deal” by Manu Raju and Burgess Everett: “Joe Biden was on the phone Tuesday morning with a fellow Delaware native, Democratic Sen. Chris Coons, hoping to lock down his support for the Obama administration’s sweeping nuclear accord with Iran… Coons is among a group of roughly a dozen Democratic senators who constitute President Barack Obama’s firewall on the Iran deal. In interviews with several of them Tuesday, it was clear the White House has its work cut out to shore up a veto-proof foundation.” [PoliticoBloomberg]

HOUSE SIDE: “Ben Rhodes, the president’s National Security Advisor, is slated to huddle with Jewish Democrats on Capitol Hill Thursday morning… Rep. Steve Israel, the highest-ranking Jewish Democrat in the House… “In the fall, there will be a vote on this deal, and my obligation is to review every word, sentence, and paragraph of the deal to ensure it satisfies my continued concerns,” Israel said in a statement. “Until then, you can continue to count me in the ‘skeptical’ column.” [CNN]

2016 WATCH: “Hollywood Jewish Moguls Torn on Iran Nuke Deal, Impact on Hillary Clinton” by Itay Hod: “I’ll wait to read the whole deal on the White House website before opining on the matter,” Haim Saban, media mogul and longtime backer of Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, told TheWrap. “My support of Hillary, no matter where she stands on this one issue, is unshakable.”… “The Jewish community has a good memory,” said Abe Foxman… “Hillary has made it very clear that she is an ally. She has plenty of time to distance herself from Obama.” [TheWrap] • “Iran deal holds both promise and peril for Hillary Clinton” [ReutersWSJ• “O’Malley Calls Iran Deal ‘Promising’ If It’s ‘Verifiable and Enforceable’” [JP]

Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer: “The four major problems with the Iran deal” [WashPost]

Jeffrey Goldberg: “The Single Most Important Question to Ask About the Iran Deal” [TheAtlantic]

David Makovsky and Matthew Levitt: “Keeping Iran’s Feet to the Fire” [ForeignPolicy]

WSJ’s Mary Kissel interviews Bret Stephens and Mark Dubowitz: “Did Iran Win Big in Nuclear Deal?” [WSJ]

David Wolpe: “Iranian Nuclear Deal Is a Win for Anti-Semitism” [TimeMag]

Dov Zakheim: “How Good Was the Nuke Deal for Iran? Here’s How It Reads in Tehran.” [ForeignPolicy]

David Ignatius: “After a well-crafted deal, the question is: Will Iran behave?” [WashPost]

Charles Krauthammer: “The worst agreement in U.S. diplomatic history” [WashPost]

Jeffrey Lewis: “It’s a Damn Good Deal” [ForeignPolicy]

Shane Harris: “Nuke Deal Helps Qasem Soleimani, The Top Iranian General With ‘American Blood on His Hands’” [DailyBeast]

Eli Lake: “Iran Deal Is Obama’s Middle East Exit Strategy” [BloombergView]

David Frum: Because of the Iran deal, The Rand Paul Candidacy for the Republican Nomination Is Over” [TheAtlantic]

Lobby Preview: ADL, AIPAC worried by Iran deal; J Street set to push it [ToIReuters]

TOP TWEET: @JeffreyGoldberg — “If Israel’s elected leader, and the head of the opposition, oppose the Iran deal, can J Street support it and still call itself pro-Israel?” [Twitter]

@PeterBeinart responds — “If Barack Obama + Mitt Romney both support drone program and I disagree can I still call myself pro-American? @JeffreyGoldberg — “Not the correct analogy. But you know that. @PeterBeinart — “if u still think u have right to say J St isn’t pro-Israel, write a column. Don’t think u want to go there” @JeffreyGoldberg — “If you, as an advocate, alienate most of the people for whom you say you’re advocating, are u their advocate?” @PeterBeinart – “Sure happens a lot in Tanakh” @JeffreyGoldberg — “Now all of a sudden Jeremy Ben-Ami is a prophet?”

TOP TALKER: “Birthright Alumni Group Asks Members To Lobby Against Iran Deal” by Rosie Gray: “Michael Steinhardt who co-founded Birthright is our Chairman,” Sugar wrote to BuzzFeed News in an email. “We are recognized as the alumni organization on the ground in NY but we have a separate board, separate funding etc. The email I sent was from The Alumni Community not Birthright Israel.” [BuzzFeedJewishJournal]

“Details of Ben Carson’s Campaign Fundraising” by Rebecca Ballhaus: “Among those maxed out donors are the evangelical Christian billionaires and founders of Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., Barbara and David Green… as did Kenneth Abramowitz, co-founder of New York-based venture capital firm NGN Capital.” [WSJ] • “Cubs’ Todd Ricketts to co-chair Scott Walker’s fundraising effort” [ChicagoSunTimes]

“Paul Singer, Top GOP Donors Form New Mystery PAC Focused on 2016” by Shane Goldmacher: “Singer is one of the country’s most closely watched and sought-after Republican donors. He gave more than $10 million to various federal political groups in the 2014 cycle… Singer has not yet endorsed in 2016 but has been courted heavily by Sen. Marco Rubio, among others.” [NationalJournal]

**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**

STARTUP NATION: “Meet Breezometer, Israel’s Air Quality Startup” by Ben Heubl: “Israel-based BreezoMeter wants to give you a real time air pollutant map that tells anyone what the air is like on their street, and takes the quantified-self movement to another level.” [TechCrunch] • “Israel-Based AnyClip Raises $21 Million From Roman Abramovich and Jerusalem Venture Partners to Expand Digital Video Marketing Platform” [Variety] • “Mobileye Muscles in on Google’s Driverless Future” [Bloomberg]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Gary Barnett’s Lower East Side Tower wants to raise heights again” [BizJournal] • “Aby Rosen Puts 190 Bowery Up For Sale In Apparent Flip” [Curbed] — Rosen posted a picture yesterday of the W Tel Aviv condo development [Instagram] • “Moses Strulowitz’s Bed-Stuy building collapses” [RealDeal• Ben Ashkenazy and Michael Alpert shell out $115M for Hermès building on Madison Ave. [NYPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “It Has Already Been Another Horrible Summer in the Hamptons” by Kia Makarechi: “They say that insanity is doing the same summer weekend over and over and expecting a different outcome, but, then again, New Yorkers have never been too concerned with soundness of mind. Despite a grim 2014 season of rosé shortages, Kardashian surpluses, celebrity real-estate misadventures, and a recruitment drive by the Ku Klux Klan, wealthy urbanites have again flocked to the Hamptons this summer.” [VanityFair]

SPORTS BLINK: “San Francisco 49ers star Jarryd Hayne apologises for offensive ‘anti-Jewish’ tweet: “I sincerely apologize for my tweets on July 1. I have come to understand how my words were hurtful to the Jewish community and this was not my intention. I immediately took the tweets down once I realized my words were incorrect. I have and will always accept people of all faiths. I encourage my fans around the world to do the same.” [DailyTelegraph]

DESSERT: “New Israeli restaurant chain offering full menu for NIS 10: A new Asian restaurant chain named Kinobo is bringing the Israeli low-cost revolution into full swing, offering a menu in which every item costs only NIS 10. The chain opened its first branch at the BIG Fashion mall in Ashdod on Tuesday.” [YNet]

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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