Daily Kickoff: Fears of lasting White House — AIPAC rift | Jewish Agency leaves Diaspora initiative | Matti Friedman reviews ‘The Two-State Delusion’

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TOP TALKER: “Fears of Lasting Rift as Obama Battles Pro-Israel Group on Iran” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “The friction between Mr. Obama and AIPAC over the Iran deal has been building for months. Last week, as Mr. Obama made his way back from Africa on Air Force One, White House officials learned that AIPAC would be flying 700 members from across the country to Washington to pressure their members of Congress to reject the deal. Mr. Obama’s team asked to brief the group at the White House, and was told instead to send a representative to the downtown Washington hotel where the activists were gathering before their Capitol Hill visits, according to people familiar with the private discussions.”

“Ms. Sherman; Adam J. Szubin; and Denis R. McDonough all made presentations to the group, but were barred from taking questions to further explain it. White House officials said they were told from the start there would be no questions, while AIPAC supporters said that they would have allowed questions but that there was no time. Whatever the case, Mr. Obama took offense and later complained at the White House to AIPAC leaders that they had refused to allow Ms. Sherman and other members of his team to confront the “inaccuracies” being spread about the agreement.” [NYTimes]

An AIPAC attendee, not authorized to speak for the organization, speculated to us… “It wasn’t a friendly White House invitation in my mind. Forget about ID’ing all 700 activists and donors on the White House visitor logs, I think the White House’s main motivation was to hold the group up with security lines and long speeches from Administration officials so that we would have less time to lobby members of Congress. When AIPAC told the officials to come to the hotel instead, the White House asked for an additional Q&A period which would have further delayed us. AIPAC declined, citing lack of time, and so the White House then invited members of Congress to meet with the President that same day, conflicting with some previously scheduled AIPAC appointments.”

SUNDAY SHOWS: CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to President Obama — “Prime Minister Netanyahu has injected himself forcefully into this debate on American foreign policy in Washington. Can you recall a time when a foreign head of government has done that? Is it appropriate? Obama: “I’ll let you ask Prime Minister Netanyahu that question if he gives you an interview. I don’t recall a similar example. Obviously the relationship between the U.S. and Israel is deep, it’s profound, it’s reflected in my policies. But, as I said in the speech yesterday, on the substance the Prime Minister is wrong on this. I can show that the basic assumptions he’s made are incorrect. If, in fact, my argument is right that this is the best way for Iran to not get a nuclear weapon that is very good for Israel.” [CNN]

“Herzog to Democrats on AIPAC’s AIEF trip: I agree with Netanyahu that Iran deal is bad – but not with his approach” by Lahav Harkov: “The world powers’ deal with Iran is dangerous, but Israel cannot intervene in American politics to fight it, opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Union) said in a meeting with 24 Democratic members of the US Congress Sunday. “Every Israeli patriot would be worried about this agreement and I have major criticism of aspects of it,” he said. However, Herzog said he has no intention of intervening in American politics or telling the members of Congress how to vote, or openly challenging the US President.” [JPost]

Eli Lake: “Matt House, a spokesman for the senator this morning in an e-mail to me, confirmed that Schumer would also vote to override an expected Obama veto if the rejection measure passes Congress.” [BloombergView]

“How foreign-policy lessons from Iraq inform Obama’s Iran deal” by Fred Hiatt: “Obama ought to be worried that so many supporters of the Iraq war, like Biden, Clinton and Kerry — like me, for that matter — support the Iran deal… But if the Iraq war isn’t a single-issue litmus test for Obama, what are its lessons for foreign policy, including the Iran deal, and has the president drawn them correctly? One obvious lesson is that intelligence on nuclear capabilities is notoriously unreliable.” [WashPost]

“Trail Wraps Up For Washington Post Reporter Held In Iran” by Nasser Karimi: “Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post reporter detained in Iran more than a year ago and charged with espionage appeared in court for a final hearing on Monday, with a verdict expected in the coming days in a trial that has been condemned by the newspaper and press freedom groups.” [APCNN]

2016 WATCH: “Bernie Sanders pushes back on Obama’s comments on Iran deal opponents” by Ben Jacobs: “In an interview with CBS, Sanders pushed back on a statement Obama made in a speech at American University this week, that congressional opponents of the Iran deal were making common cause with Iranian hardliners… “I wouldn’t frame it that way,” said the independent Vermont senator. Sanders also said while it was “easy to be critical of an agreement which is not perfect,” he saw the deal as the best alternative to the conflict.” [TheGuardian• “Bernie Sanders draws 28,000 people in Portland, his campaign says — largest 2016 contender crowd by far” [WashPost]

Weekend Headline: “Second Jewish adviser off Trump team” [JTA]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Oscar’s losses are huge—and investors don’t care: How Josh Kushner’s insurance startup with only 40,000 members is worth $1.5 billion.” [Crains• “Kushner Cos. now sole owner of Monmouth Mall after $230 million deal with Vornado” [NJbiz] • “Why investors should have doubted Relativity Media’s charming wunderkind” [LATimes] • “How Jewish Billionaire Ron Lauder’s Media Empire Crumbled” [Haaretz] • Steven Freidkin Profile: “This tech wonder is not afraid to ask for help”[WashPost] • “Two Israelis Make ‘Forbes’ 100 Richest In Tech” [NoCamelsForbes]

STARTUP NATION: “How Fitness22 is making ‘millions of dollars a year’ selling iPhone apps with no marketing” by Julie Bort: “In the tight-knit startup community of Tel Aviv, Israel, a lot of people are talking about a tiny company called Fitness22. The company makes about a dozen (so far) fitness apps and charges $2 to $6 apiece for them, plus offers them in bundles for $9 to $25. All told, Fitness22 — formerly known as ClearSkyApps — has wracked up 30 million downloads so far, all on iOS, and is generating “millions of dollars a year,” it’s CEO founder Benny Shaviv confirmed.”[BusinessInsider]

DIASPORA DEAL DERAILED: “Jewish Agency leaves government Diaspora initiative” by Sam Sokol: “The Jewish Agency can no longer consider itself a part of the government’s multi-billion shekel effort to bolster Jewish identity in the Diaspora, chairman Natan Sharansky told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday. “Any and all meaningful dialogue with the organized Jewish community, as represented by the Jewish Federations of North America, Keren Hayesod, the World Zionist Organization and the Jewish Agency for Israel, has been eliminated. Rather, this undertaking has transformed simply into a funding framework for programs to be conducted by a single government ministry,” Sharansky alleged.” [JPostToIEJP]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Iberia Offers Citizenship to Descendants of Exiled Jews” by Patricia Kowsmann: “As many as 3.5 million Jews around the world are believed to have Sephardic—Hebrew for “Spanish”—roots in Spain, Portugal or both, representing about a fourth of world Jewry. Leaders in both countries say that there is no way to know how many will seek citizenship—or how many who do acquire it will settle in the Iberian countries.” [WSJ]

PROFILE: “For His Next Adventure, a Rothschild Explores Fashion” by Cody Delistraty: “On a warm day in London, David de Rothschild, an heir to a centuries-old banking fortune, was pointing at a butterfly with translucent blue wings. “Look, look at that,” he said with awe. “Nature has four and a half billion years of R&D. Incredible.”… His lineage leads back to Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who was born in the Jewish ghetto of Frankfurt in 1744 and went on to serve as the financial overseer to Crown Prince Wilhelm, who later became Wilhelm IX. Mayer taught his five sons the banking business and dispatched them across Europe. The family bank financed the Duke of Wellington’s defeat of Napoleon at Waterloo and, later in the 19th century, the railways and mining businesses at the heart of the Industrial Revolution.” [NYTimes]

BOOKS: Matti Friedman reviews “The Two-State Delusion” by Padraig O’Malley: “The idea that a collective memory renders Jewish judgment defective seems to be something acceptable to say aloud these days in connection with Israel, which is why I’ve dwelled on it. It’s important to point out not only that this observation is wrong, but that it is a patronizing ethnic smear. I don’t like the careless generalizations in Mr. O’Malley’s book or his shaky grasp of the facts. But I don’t think they have anything to do with the potato famine.” [WSJ]

SPORTS BLINK: Robert Kraft honored at Pro Football Hall of Fame for taking former NFL players to Israel [Patriots] • Watch Curtis Martin give an emotional speech in Israel during Touchdown in Israel: Mission of Excellence trip with Robert Kraft [Video]

NYTimes Story: “My stranger and I were returning from Birthright Israel trips with groups from our respective universities. Birthright Israel is a free 10-day trip to Israel for young Jewish-Americans, and I had wanted to go before I graduated. Last winter, before my final semester of college, I finally had.” [NYTimes]

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