Daily Kickoff: Carl Icahn launches PAC | Adelson eyeing Atlanta | What’s Bibi’s intention with Mufti comments? | Leviev denies son was in Moscow crash

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TOP TALKER: “Washington Plans Up to $1 Billion Hike in Military Aid to Israel” by Gili Cohen: “Israeli and American teams are putting together a plan to increase annual U.S. military aid to Israel by as much as $1 billion, on top of the current $3.1 billion, a source close to the military aid process said Wednesday.” [Haaretz]

“Steinitz, US Energy Secretary Moniz to increase energy cooperation” by Sharon Udasin:“National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Minister Yuval Steinitz met with United States Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz this week in Washington, D.C., where the two officials opened a dialogue focusing on increasing cooperation in the sector between the two countries.” [JPost]

Eli Lake: “AIPAC Opens Door to Democrats Who Supported Iran Deal” [BloombergView]

“Democrats toast Iran deal” by Hannah Hess: “Just around the corner from the House Freedom Caucus’ closed-door meeting with Paul D. Ryan on Wednesday afternoon, Democrats threw a party to celebrate formal adoption of the Iran nuclear deal. White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough attended the fete, according to an HOH tipster, who spotted McDonough walking out the door with a mouthful of food shortly after 4 p.m. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew, another close confidant of the president, stopped by the party 30 minutes later.” [RollCall]

Happening Tonight: The Institute for Israel and Jewish Studies at Columbia University hosts a conversation on “The Iran Deal and the Jewish American Community” with Shai Held, Alan Solow, and Bari Weiss. [Iijs]

Happening Today: At 10am, the House Foreign Affairs Committee holds a hearing on “Words Have Consequences: Palestinian Authority Incitement to Violence” with witnesses Elliott Abrams, Jonathan Schanzer, and David Makovsky. [House.Gov]

“Kerry: ‘Cautious Measure of Optimism’ After Netanyahu Talks” by Matthew Lee: “I come directly from several hours of conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu and I would characterize that conversation as one that gave me a cautious measure of optimism that there may be some things that may be in the next couple of days put on the table which would have an impact – I hope,” Kerry said. [AP]

Abraham Cooper and Harold Brackman: “Netanyahu went too far in recent comments that Nazi collaborator Haj Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem before and during World War II, played a “central role in fomenting the Final Solution” by trying to convince Hitler to destroy the Jews during a 1941 meeting in Berlin. But Netanyahu was right on when he emphasized the Mufti’s Holocaust complicity and activities before, during, and after the war when the Mufti lied about alleged Jewish intentions to expel Muslim and Islam from Jerusalem’s Temple Mount—the same lie that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas repeats today in support of the current “knife Intifada.” [JewishJournal]

Yair Rosenberg: “It takes real talent to take the fact that a venerated Palestinian leader collaborated with Hitler and turn it into an anti-Israel storyline.” [Twitter]

Elli Fischer: “Here’s an alternate reading of Bibi’s statement about the Mufti and Hitler. The media is a cynical and fickle thing. Hyperbole and outrage generate headlines. The nuance is for the 1% that gets their news from Longreads. And Bibi just set the terms of the next news cycle: was the Mufti a Hitler-level villain, or merely a garden-variety villain? And just whose side were the Palestinians on in WWII? Bibi offended my sense of truth and history today, but in today’s media environment, I’m not sure he did the wrong thing.” [Facebook]

2016 WATCH: Caroline Glick interviews Sen. Ted Cruz in the Jerusalem Post: “It is not the role of the American government to attempt to lecture the Israeli people or dictate terms of peace. No one has a greater incentive to seek peace than the people of Israel, who have lived with the daily threat of rocket attacks, of knifings, of terrorist bombs.” [JPost]

Driving the Day: “Stakes High For Clinton, GOP As Benghazi Takes Center Stage” [AP]

Viral Watch: Bernie Sanders impersonates Larry David on Jimmy Kimmel Live [CNN]

“Howard Jonas to Host Rubio Fundraiser” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Jonas, the founder of IDT Corp., is also the CEO of Genie Energy, a company that is now drilling gas on the Golan Heights in Israel. Earlier this year, he hosted Ted Cruz over for a Sabbath dinner…” [JI]

PROFILE: “Half the Republican Field Seeks Advice From This Princeton Professor” by Melinda Henneberger: “Robert P. George is not a political consultant. “I’m not Karl Rove or David—what’s his name?—Axelrod.” In fact, he says, “Any candidate who’d ask me for campaign advice should drop out immediately, because he’s too stupid to be running for president.”… George’s wife of 32 years, Cindy, whom he met in college, is Jewish, and he’s also heavily committed to finding common ground with other believers, including Orthodox Jews, Mormons, evangelical Christians, and Muslims.” [Bloomberg]

“Justin Trudeau Is Putting the ‘Liberal’ Back in ‘Canadian Foreign Policy’” by Matthew Bondy: “After nine years of Stephen Harper’s neocon act, a new, inexperienced prime minister is going to dial back Canada’s hard power ambitions on the world stage.” [ForeignPolicy]

**Good Thursday 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: “Here’s why billionaire investor Yuri Milner has 50 TVs in his home” [BusinessInsider• “No Blow Up Is Big Enough to Tarnish Platinum Partners’ Returns” [Bloomberg• “As Viacom Struggles, Questions About Current and Future Control” [DealBook] • “Harbor Group buys Fifth Avenue retail condo for $68M” [RealDeal] • “The new poshest street in New York” [NYPost] • “Online gift-giving startup Jifiti raises $3.3M in funding round led by Evite’s owner” [BizJournals

SPOTLIGHT: “Sheldon Adelson considering $2 billion casino for downtown Atlanta” by Greg Bluestein: “Adelson made a stir when he trekked to Georgia on a quiet Thursday afternoon in September shortly after he apparently abandoned an attempt to build a casino resort in Florida. Among his missions was to push officials not to forget his company, Las Vegas Sands, if gambling is legalized. His limousine parked outside the Capitol, near a spot usually reserved for Gov. Nathan Deal’s entourage.” [AJC]

“Billionaire Carl Icahn launches $150 million super PAC” by Nick Gass: “I am starting a Super PAC with my initial commitment of $150 million to help end the crippling dysfunction in Congress,” Icahn tweeted. In a follow-up tweet, he shared the letter he sent to the House Ways and Means Committee, the Senate Finance Committee, and House and Senate minority and majority leaders. The super PAC’s first goal will be to reverse the trend of U.S. companies merging with foreign ones or relocating overseas because of high corporate taxes, Icahn said.” [Politico]

“Leviev denies his son was in Moscow crash” by Josh Dell: “We hereby express our deepest astonishment and outrage at the fact that the leading Israeli and world media published false and blatantly unfounded reports regarding the alleged involvement of the prominent businessman, Mr. Lev Leviev’s son, in a severe car accident in Russia and his subsequent leaving of the scene of the accident,” the Leviev Group’s representative said in a statement.” [JPost]

STARTUP NATION: “Israel introduces ‘innovation visas’ for startups to make foreign hires” by Gedalyah Reback: “A first batch of some 50 so-called “innovation visas” will be good for two years and given to foreign professionals employed by a select group of companies. Twelve established companies will be the first beneficiaries of the visas. Meanwhile, the program is expected to expand to allow visa holders the ability to set up new firms later.” [GeekTime]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Orthodox Jews streaming into Portland, thanks to new infrastructure” by Melissa Binder: “For now, Portland’s Orthodox community isn’t strong enough to attract newcomers on its own, but it’s enough to make the City of Roses a realistic option for families already interested in settling or staying here. “You have to be a certain kind of orthodox person. Maybe you’re in the high tech industry. Maybe they want to be a naturopath,” said Rothstein.” [OregonLive]

DESSERT: “There’s Meat In Veggie Dogs, Pork In Kosher Dogs, And Human DNA In Everything” by Adele Peters: “The first report looked at 345 samples of hot dogs and sausages from 75 different brands. In total, around 14% of the products had some sort of issue—some vegetarian products contained meat, some supposedly pork-free sausages had pork, and others were unhygienic, with traces of human DNA. Price didn’t always correlate with quality. Some of the most accurate labels belonged to some of the cheapest products.” [FastCompany]

BIRTHDAYS: Frank Lowy turns 85… OU’s Allen Fagin… Michelle Gordon…

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