Daily Kickoff: Kerry links terror attacks to settlement activity | Dem Debate Recap: Israel mentioned once | Grounded drone delivery service in Israel

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Dem Debate Recap — by Jared Sichel and Jacob Kornbluh: Jared answers his three pre-debate questions… Did one of the “other” Democrats pull a Carly Fiorina? No. The “other” that’s being talked about most is Lincoln Chafee, and it’s not because he performed well. Jim Webb certainly stood apart on foreign policy, but running to the right of the other candidates and Obama won’t help him jump much, if at all. Meanwhile, Martin O’Malley, who was the most likely to impress, spoke only two minutes more than Webb and had a forgettable performance.

What role did President Obama’s foreign policy play? Endorsed, mostly, and in Webb’s case, even when he criticized the Iran deal, Obama wasn’t mentioned by name. Aside from Clinton supporting a no-fly-zone over Syria, throughout the night she positioned herself as continuing Obama’s policies, and did not take the bait on Anderson Cooper’s question — “How would you not be a third term of President Obama”

Was it boring or uninspiring? Overall, it was certainly less entertaining than the two Republican debates (thank you Donald Trump), but this question is only important to the extent that the answer is about Joe Biden’s potential candidacy. While the debate didn’t make for great TV and while the most passionate candidate up there, Bernie Sanders, seemed to lose some of the energy he has shown on the trail (particularly on non-economic questions), Clinton stood so far from the pack, and that will weaken what had been a growing perception that the Democratic race needed Joe Biden. Clinton has been criticized a lot for seeming robotic and scripted — two things Joe Biden has never been accused of — but overall she came off as comfortable and pretty quick on her feet. [JI]

Debate Highlights — by Jacob Kornbluh: On U.S. Policy in Syria — Hillary: “We have to stand up to his bullying, and I applaud the administration because they are engaged in talks right now with the Russians to make it clear that they’ve got to be part of the solution to try to end that bloody conflict.”

O’Malley’s Gaffe: Saying he supports President Barack Obama’s policy on Syria, O’Malley got mixed up when he suggested that “Assad’s invasion of Syria” will be seen as a blunder. (He obviously meant Putin).

Webb alone on Iran: Webb, the only Democratic presidential candidate to oppose the Iran nuclear deal, maintained that the “deal allowing Iran to move forward and eventually acquire a nuclear weapon”  sent bad signals into the region “about whether we are acquiescing in Iran becoming a stronger piece of the formula in that part of the world.”

And the only one to mention Israel: The only time Israel was mentioned during the 2-hour debate was when Webb said that “the signal that we sent to the region when the Iran nuclear deal was concluded was that we are accepting Iran’s greater position on this very important balance of power, among our greatest ally Israel, and the Sunnis represented by the Saudi regime, and Iran. It was a position of weakness and I think it encouraged the acts that we’ve seen in the past several weeks.”

Candidates were asked to name America’s greatest national security threat: Chafee – chaos in the Middle East; Sanders – climate change; O’Malley – a nuclear-armed Iran, along with the threat of ISIL; Webb – China; Hillary – “the continued threat from the spread of nuclear weapons, nuclear material that can fall into the wrong hands.”

Was Sanders referencing Sheldon Adelson? “Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process by which so few have so much and so many have so little by which Wall Street’s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy? No, I don’t.”

Asked if she has made any enemies, Hillary responded: “The Iranians and “probably the Republicans.” [Transcript]

Reader Reactions: Stu Loeser — “By and large, the two frontrunners gave substantive answers to the questions they were asked instead of pivoting to pre-prepped talking points on their favorite topics. It was a little like the scenes in Aaron Sorkin shows that make political professionals say,  ‘but, no, it never really happens like that.'”

Jack Moline: “I was impressed that all of my disgreements with candidates were on matters of policy rather than personal conduct. For the most part, that seemed to be true among the candidates themselves. It is a good model for political discourse.”

David Greenfield: “Biggest winner tonight: Hillary Clinton. Biggest loser: Joe Biden. It’s tough to see a compelling reason for Biden to run after this debate.” [Twitter]

Dov Zakheim: “The National Security Answers Missing from the Democratic Debate” [ForeignPolicy]

FP Recap — by John Hudson, David Francis: “Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton was forced to defend her hawkish record on foreign policy Tuesday during her party’s first presidential debate, as rivals sought to exploit weaknesses in an area that should serve as one of the former secretary of state’s greatest strengths.” [FP]

Next GOP Las Vegas Debate on Dec. 15th… will be at Sheldon Adelson’s casino The Venetian. [Twitter]

No such thing as a free political invite… Leora Levy invites undecided donors to meet Jeb for ‘free’ — “Come meet Jeb Bush as my guest,” the e-mail from Leora Levy, obtained by the WSJ, reads. “If you are still on the fence, however, I want you to come as my guest, no charge, and if so moved by hearing from Jeb in person, donate then. The important thing is that you come!” In a telephone interview, Mrs. Levy said she hoped her appeal would help Mr. Bush break through in the broadest and most competitive GOP field in decades. [JIWSJ]

Happening Today: Phil Rosen and Ben Heller host a fundraiser for Marco Rubio at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in NYC. Co-hosts include Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, Wayne Berman, Daniel Arbess, Eliot Lauer, and Andrew Herenstein. [JI]

“Bloomberg 2016 is a billionaires’ fantasy” by Gary Silverman: “For his part, Mr Bloomberg recently told MSNBC that he was “very flattered” by the presidential talk and “very happy” running his company and working on the issue of climate change. Left unsaid was whether Mr Bloomberg could be happier still in the White House. Such denials are the stuff that dreams are made of.” [FinancialTimes]

IRAN DEAL: “U.S. to raise Iranian missile test at U.N. Security Council: A missile test announced by Iran over the weekend was an apparent violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution and Washington will raise it at the United Nations, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.” [ReutersWSJ] • “Iran shows off underground missile base” [AP• “Iran boosts oil trade via UAE ahead of sanctions relief” [Reuters]

TOP TALKER: “Kerry links wave of terrorism in Israel to settlement activity” by Michael Wilner: “A “massive increase in settlements” built by Israel in recent years has led to the “frustration” and “violence” now stoking its decades-old conflict with the Palestinians, US Secretary of State John Kerry said at Harvard University on Tuesday night.” [JPost]

Nathan Guttman: “Why America Stays Silent as Israel Violence Spirals Toward ‘Intifada'” [Forward]

On The Ground: “Israel implements new security measures to deal with ongoing violence” [CNNReuters]

Rabbi Jonathan Sacks on HuffPost Live discussing the recent terror attacks: “There has to be religious voices saying: ‘Guys, you think you’re injuring the enemy, but actually you’re injuring yourselves.’ And the end result of your violence will be your own children lose that little sliver of hope they might once have had for a free and dignified future,” Rabbi Sacks said during an appearance on HuffPost Live to discuss his new book “Not in God’s Name,” which highlights the challenges of confronting religious violence in the modern world.” [JI]

**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: “Israeli engineer designs grounded drone delivery service: The Transwheel delivery drone will never get off the ground. And that’s just how Israeli inventor Kobi Shikar designed it.” [Reuters] • “Techstars Blooms In Tel Aviv” [Forbes]

Donor of the Day: “Scholarships for Minority Students in Tel Aviv” by Melanie Grayce West: “With a recent gift of $3 million to American Friends of Tel Aviv University, Martin Whitman, 91 years old, has funded a center that awards scholarships to minority students enrolled in the university’s M.B.A. program.” [WSJ]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “This Synagogue Is Breaking Away From A 2,000 Year Old Model And Solving Judaism’s Biggest Problem” [Forbes]

“Guns ‘n’ Moses: Why more Jews are packing heat” [NYPost]

TRANSITION: “Ruth Messinger Stepping Down as Head of American Jewish World Service” by Josh Nathan-Kazis: “Ruth Messinger will step down as president of the international development group American Jewish World Service, the organization announced on October 13. Messinger, who has led the organization since 1998, will be succeeded in July 2016 by Robert Bank, the group’s current executive vice president.” [Forward]

HOLLYWOOD: “Helen Mirren to be Honored by Israel Film Festival” [Variety• “Steven Spielberg on the Cold War and Other Hollywood Front Lines” [NYT• “Inside The Jewish Lives of Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe” [DailyBeast]

SPORTS BLINK: Joe Lacob’s Warriors acquire land for San Francisco arena from Marc Benioff: “The price of the private land was about $150 million, Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff told the New York Times. The Warriors last April had purchased an option on the property in the Mission Bay neighborhood bounded by 3rd, 16th and South Streets and Terry Francois Blvd. [MercuryNews]

DESSERT: “Why Jewish Food Needs To Be On Your List Of What To Eat In Rome: The Jewish Ghetto, Rome is one of our favorite neighborhoods in Italy. Although it was created to keep the Jewish community confined, it ended up fostering a culture that has had an outsized effect on the entire city, especially with regards to food. Today food that originated in the old Ghetto sits atop every list of what to eat in Rome.” [WalksOfItaly]

BIRTHDAYS: Ralph Lauren turns 76… Isaac Mizrahi turns 54… Norman Ornstein turns 67… Marsha Grossman…

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