Daily Kickoff: Carson claims gun rights would have saved Jews during Holocaust | de Blasio to visit Israel | Families That May Decide The Election

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FIRST LOOK: “The 50 Families That May Decide The Election” in Town & Country Magazine’s November Issue: The Bundlers — “Neidich: If you wanted to know where and when you could shell out four figures for a snapshot of yourself with Hillary in the Hamptons last summer, all you had to do was ask philanthropist Brooke Garber Neidich… Kravis: KKR cofounder Henry and Marie-Josee netted Jeb more than $4 million on one February evening… Saban: Haim and Cheryl routinely open their checkbooks and homes for Democratic candidates… Katzenberg: Before becoming one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, Jeffrey served as an aide to New York mayor John Lindsay, and his wife Marilyn was a Bronx schoolteacher. Now they’re the biggest Democratic bundlers in the country.”

The Godfathers — “They prefer to do their political work behind the scenes, often not even on behalf of particular candidates, using their power to quietly shape history: Bloomberg, Sandler, Soros, Sulzberger, and Donald & Frederick Kagan.”

Nouveau Politico — Campaign finance reform? Not if they can help it. And guess what? They can. Adelson: “In the 2012 election alone, Sheldon and Miriam–who is her husband’s true partner in political and philanthropic spending–doled out $92 million. And Sheldon’s daughter Shelly now attends conservative events in preparation for one day running the family’s political giving.” Braman: “Norman and his wife Irma, along with their daughters Debra Wechsler and Suzi Lustgarten, are big philanthropists and Israel supporters, and close longtime friends of the Rubios. Future headline: “President Rubio Chooses Norman Braman as Ambassador to Israel.””

Chicago Mafia — Rahm, Ezekiel and Ari Emanuel… Pritzker… Crown: “The billionaire family — which made much of its money and connections via defense contracts — has long been a deep-pocketed friend to both parties, though patriarch Lester’s plea for Jewish voters to support Obama in 2008 was perhaps his most overtly influential stroke.”

Split Tickets — It might be best to avoid these Thanksgiving dinner tables. Ellison: “Oracle founder Larry has become a major player on the Republican national stage. Meanwhile, his film producer daughter Megan populates her Twitter feed with praise for Jon Stewart and gun control.” …On Newsstands Now

CAMPAIGN FINANCE: “Ted Cruz Raised $12.2 Million in Quarter, Eclipsing GOP Rival Marco Rubio” by Rebecca Ballhaus and Patrick O’Connor: “Cruz’s quarterly take nearly matched his second-quarter number and brings his total raised this year to more than $26 million. It also spotlights his fundraising prowess, as he raised about twice as much cash in the period as Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who stands higher in the GOP polls and also released figures Thursday.” [WSJ]

2016 WATCH: “Carson: Gun Control Prompted the Holocaust” by Jacob Kornbluh: “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said in an interview with Wolf Blitzer on CNN. “There’s a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.” [JIWashPostCNN]

ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt: “Ben Carson has a right to his views on gun control, but the notion that Hitler’s gun-control policy contributed to the Holocaust is historically inaccurate. The small number of personal firearms available to Germany’s Jews in 1938 could in no way have stopped the totalitarian power of the Nazi German state.”

Carson responded this morning: In an appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” Carson called Greenblatt’s response “total foolishness.” “I’d be happy to discuss that in depth with anybody. But it is well known that in many places where tyranny has taken over, they first disarmed the people. There’s a reason that they disarm people. They don’t just do it arbitrarily,” he told host George Stephanopoulos. [JI]

URJ’s Mark Pelavin: “GOP shouldn’t squander chance to reach non-Orthodox Jews:  If candidates want to reach a greater numbers of American Jews — including larger numbers of Jewish Republicans — they would do well to take the URJ up on the invitation to attend its candidates forum in Orlando. Just as Democratic candidates shouldn’t take for granted that Jews automatically will vote for Democrats, Republican candidates shouldn’t assume that non-Orthodox Jews will not vote for Republicans.” [TheHill]

–Which Republican candidate, if any, is most likely to show up to the URJ’s forum in November? According to a source, it’s Donald Trump.

Marco Rubio Op-Ed: “Why America Must Stand with Israel Right Now” [Medium]

Ted Cruz: “The U.S. and International Community Must Hold Palestinians Accountable for Terror” [Statement]

Israel On High Alert: “A rash of attacks by individual Palestinians and one by an Israeli threatened to escalate and spread throughout the country Friday as police struggled to control spiraling tensions after days of violence.” [APReuters] • “Netanyahu: No ‘Magic Solution’ to Lone Terror Attacks” [DefenseNews• Interview: “Jerusalem Mayor Defends Gun Display” [AP]

“Man without a plan: Palestinians don’t hate Abbas, but they’re tired of him” by William Booth: “The Palestinian Authority president is struggling to lead, or just survive, as his popularity plummets and Israelis taunt him as being either weak or an inciter, while his own people, especially the youths, have turned away in frustration.” [WashPost]

Malcolm Hoenlein on Nachum Segal Radio this morning regarding the U.S. delegation at Bibi’s U.N. speech: “I’ve looked into it, I’ve spoken to [ambassador Samantha] Powers about it, and the fact is that the U.S. Ambassador did not attend any speeches and did plan to attend the prime minister’s speech. But there was an emergency national security council meeting, it was because of a particular development, and Powers was called away for it. There was no walkout.” But Hoenlein added, “the problem was with the optics. It was the question of how did the other countries read it. When they saw the absence, did they look for Samantha Powers? The optics that it created, the impression that resulted of it is of concern.”

Explaining the Toxic Obama-Netanyahu Marriage — Dennis Ross talks to Jeffrey Goldberg:“Ross, in our conversation, said he does not believe Netanyahu is racist, and he also said that Rice doesn’t believe that Netanyahu is racist. Ross also went out of his way to praise Rice for vigorously defending Israel while serving as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, but he told me that he places her in the camp of foreign policy experts who see Israel as a burden: “Susan represents a mindset and a constituency that has existed in every administration… every administration has had within the national-security apparatus a constituency that looked at Israel as a problem.” Rice, he said, has been unwaveringly suspicious of Netanyahu’s intentions, and that she felt Netanyahu and his ministers have tried to undermine Obama numerous times.” [TheAtlantic]

DRIVING THE DAY: “Obama Administration Ends Pentagon Program to Train Syrian Rebels” [NYTimesBV]

TOP TALKER: “U.S. officials say Russian missiles heading for Syria landed in Iran” [CNN]

**Good Friday 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: “Billionaire Bill Gross sues Pimco for $200m” by Ken Sweet: “Billionaire bond investor Bill Gross has sued his former employer, Pimco, for more than $200 million for breach of contract and plotting to oust him from the firm he founded more than four decades ago.” [AP• “Israel’s Delek buys $66 mln stake in North Sea oil producer Ithaca” [Reuters]

PROFILE: “Penny Pritzker Tackles Tough Assignments as Commerce Secretary” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “HAVANA — Penny Pritzker, the commerce secretary and billionaire entrepreneur who travels the world in her private Gulfstream jet, was here this week to try to meld Cuban socialism with American capitalism. It was not always a comfortable fit.” [NYT]

SPOTLIGHT: “Does America Still Want the American Dream?” by Amanda Kolson Hurley: “In 2017, its developers say, the American Dream will open with “the largest mix of indoor facilities in the world,” according to its slick website, offering millions of visitors “the ultimate family experience.” For years, the big question in New Jersey was whether this thing would ever be built. The answer appears to be yes. So the question now is a different one: Does a giant shopping mall represent anyone’s American dream anymore?” Ironically, Triple Five, the group that came up with the project’s all-American name, was founded by Jacob Ghermezian, an Iranian Jewish rug merchant who’d immigrated to Canada and set up as an importer of Persian rugs.” [TheAtlantic]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Charter School Leader Eva Moskowitz Not Running for Mayor of New York City: Ms. Moskowitz, a Democrat, said her decision was “not based on winnability” or her “estimation of the importance of the job,” but the fact that she can effect more change running her network of schools. “I don’t know too many people who’ve run for mayor by opening up schools,” she said. Instead, Ms. Moskowitz said she wanted to do for education “what Apple did for the iPhone.” [WSJ]

“Bill de Blasio to Travel to Israel Next Week, a Tradition for New York Mayors” by Michael Grynbaum: “The mayor is expected to depart next Thursday for Jerusalem, where he will speak about combating anti-Semitism to a gathering of mayors sponsored by the American Jewish Congress and other Jewish groups. Airfare, lodging and expenses for Mr. de Blasio and his aides will be paid by an Israeli investor and entrepreneur, Baruch Eliezer Gross, who was introduced to Mr. de Blasio through mutual friends, according to the mayor’s aides.” [NYTJI]

“Tel Aviv Gets Glamorous” by Debra Kamin: “There have always been two Tel Avivs: the city of the locals, its pulsing backstreets packed with cafés and culture, and the city of tourists, confined to a string of beachfront chain hotels. Now they’re merging, thanks to chef-driven restaurants like HaBasta and North Abraxas, and thriving dance, music, and art scenes that are attracting a clientele with deep pockets and international tastes.” [Town&Country]

LongRead: “How a Concentration Camp Survivor and an American Huckster Created the Magic Crystals of Miracle-Gro” [AtlasObscura]

DESSERT: “An Israeli-led water purification company teamed up with Boston’s Harpoon Brewery and created a limited edition pale ale made with water from the Charles River.” [TabletMag]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “I just spent a glorious afternoon at the Flam winery with a great friend… The setting was peaceful and very Napa-like in both its scenery and scent. The wines were all wonderful but the one I wish to share with you is the Rosé. In part, I’m choosing to write about the Rosé because of its uniqueness and in part because  Rosés are often disrespected, and this wine deserves to be taken seriously. You often hear people compare Rosé to juices or soda pop, neither is true for the Flam Rosé. The wine is flowery, soft and supple. It had great tones of watermelon and peach with some slight acidity which helped make the wine more complex.  It has a full finish although the taste does not linger. The 2013 Flam Rose is made from 70% Cab Franc, 17% Syrah and 13% Cabernet Sauvignon. It pairs well with fruits, cheeses or turkey. The Rosé should be served chilled, but not too cold, and ideally consumed on a spring day.”

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Amb. Ron Prosor turns 57… Friend of the Tribe: Brian Lamb turns 74… Richard Marpet… Marc Widelock… David Benkof… Andrew Eisen… Mark Pearlman (yesterday)…

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