Daily Kickoff: Debate Recap | RJC attacks Democrats on Israel | Jewish Dems blast Paul Ryan | Commerce Sec. Pritzker visits Jewish roots in Ukraine

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DEBATE RECAP: “Rubio earns top spot” by Jacob Kornbluh: “If I were a fly on the wall in the Adelson living room tonight, I would’ve heard Sheldon telling his wife Miriam that the deal is closed, Rubio has it… even though foreign policy wasn’t even mentioned once during the entire debate.” [JewishJournal]

“Marco’s bull run” by Ben White: “When Wall Street wakes up Thursday morning, an already perceptible shift in establishment momentum toward Marco Rubio — and away from Jeb Bush — could become a torrent.” [Politico]

Nate Silver: “Yeah, Jeb Bush Is Probably Toast” [FiveThirtyEight]

Debate Mentions — Businessmen who received shoutouts: Carly Fiorina was asked about Tom Perkins‘ comments that the wealthy should get more votes than the poor. Fiorina responded: “Well, this is one of the reasons why Tom Perkins and I had disagreements in the boardroom, Becky.” In related comments, Perkins had also compared the rich to the Jewish victims of the Nazis.

Donald Trump was accused of being very critical of Mark Zuckerberg. Trump: “I was not at all critical of him. I was not at all.” Moderator: “Where did I read this and come up with this that you were..” Trump: “Probably, I don’t know — you people write the stuff. I don’t know where you…”

Huckabee mentioned Bernie Madoff. “Tell me what’s different between the government and Bernie Madolf, who sits in prison today for doing less than what the government has done to the people on social security and Medicare in this country.”

Kasich quotes Talmud: “Absolutely, you can still change the world. And, you know the old inscription, if you save one life, you’ve changed the world.”

Mentions of Iran? Only one and it came from Donald Trump: “Our country doesn’t win anymore. We used to win, we don’t win anymore. We lose on trade. We lose with ISIS. We lose with one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen negotiated of any kind, that’s our recent catastrophe with Iran. We don’t win.”

Mentions of Israel? None. [Transcript]

Israel did receive one mention in the undercard debate from George Pataki: “I would also look at what we’re doing at the federal level and put in place what Israel has done: a — one federal agency dealing with cybersecurity and charged with working across silos to make sure we have the best technology.” [Transcript

Reader Reactions from officially undecided GOP Insiders — Tevi Troy: “Interesting how both Cruz and Rubio are both more forceful in this debate, and both made hard-hitting attacks against the mainstream media. I think Jeb got stronger in the second half of the debate. Not sure about the regulating fantasy football answer, though. Also, no one has mentioned Israel. Ann Coulter must be thrilled.”

Michael David Epstein, RJC Board Member and former Scott Walker supporter, who is still undecided: “I think Rubio and Cruz both helped themselves, Bush is fading, and Trump should stay in the real estate business.”

Strategist Michael Fragin: “The story line of the debate was the moderators. They were not ready for prime time and the candidates were. It started off promising when they were challenging the specious economic plans of Carson and Trump but then went to gotcha questions and lost control. Cruz drew blood by fighting with them and then it was open season on the “liberal” moderators. Winners not in order- Rubio, Christie, Cruz, Carly, Huckabee. Losers not in order- Jeb, Carson, Trump, Paul, Kasich.

Jeb supporter Fred Zeidman: “I think CNBC turned this into reality TV. This was supposed to be substantive and we ended up in a scrum again.”

Rubio supporter Phil Rosen: “Really proud of Senator Rubio tonight. He was clearly the standout performer tonight. And he did it under very trying conditions i.e. CNBC trying it’s very best to damage the senator with embarrassing but irrelevant questions. I contrast that with the gentleness shown Hillary last week by the moderators and her so-called opponents in the Democratic debate (or should I say infomercial). Harwood and his team failed to hurt Marco. Instead he fought back and won. And won big. Jeb tried to hurt him as well. And failed miserably.”

Lee Smith: “Why Donald Trump Is the King of American Loser-dom” [TabletMag]

Peter Beinart (on our O’Malley story from earlier this week): “Recognizing that Palestinians are dying too, as did Democrat hopeful Martin O’Malley, shouldn’t be controversial. But in the 2016 presidential campaign it’s risky merely to acknowledge the suffering of both sides.” [Haaretz]

Nathan Guttman: “Why Does Ben Carson Keep Talking About the Nazis?” [Forward]

TOP TALKER: “Conservative group: Democratic Party is no longer pro-Israel” by Jonathan Swan: “A lot of people believe what I’m going to say, and unfortunately no one has had the courage to say it,” says Matthew Brooks, the executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “We as a Jewish community have to take a long, hard step back and acknowledge the reality … that today there is one pro-Israel party and that is the Republican Party.” Asked whether he felt that the current Democratic Party poses a threat to Israel, Brooks looked down at his chair and said nothing for more than 30 seconds. Brooks eventually said: “I would not say that the Democratic Party is a threat to Israel.” [TheHill]

“Jewish Dems Blast Ryan Over Promises to Freedom Caucus” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Stosh Cotler, CEO of Bend the Arc, a Jewish social justice group, blasted Ryan for promising to block immigration reform from coming up for a vote while President Obama remains in office. Greg Rosenbaum, chairman of the NJDC, told Jewish Insider: “That Ryan decided to move even further right by capitulating to the so-called House Freedom Caucus, and one of their specific demands on blocking immigration reform, only shows that the Republican-controlled congress is going to alienate Jewish voters even more under Speaker Ryan.”

“The Democrats’ assertion that the House under Speaker Ryan will “alienate” Jewish voters was countered by Tevi Troy. “Ryan will be a good friend to Israel and to the American Jewish community as Speaker, and it would be best to come together as a community to welcome him to the new role,” Troy told Jewish Insider. “I am excited to have the outspokenly pro-Israel Paul Ryan serve as Speaker. His mentor was Jack Kemp, who successfully pushed for the GOP to be the pro-Israel party it is today,” he added.” [JewishInsider]

MoveOn is circulating a petition to “disinvite Netanyahu from Center for American Progress.” [Petition]h/t @JessicaSchulb

HAPPENING TODAY: At 11:45am, the Hudson Institute hosts a panel on “What Does the Latest Wave of Violence in Israel Portend? A Conversation with George Deek” [Hudson]

American University hosts a conference on ““Reinventing Israel: Transformations of Israeli Society in the 21st Century” [American]

“A Teacher Killed by Palestinians, Recalled as a Man of Peace” by Jodi Rudoren: “Richard Lakin’s funeral on Wednesday was touching in the tiny, usual ways. There were also hints at the unusual circumstances of his death. The United States ambassador to Israel sitting in the chapel’s last row, the former member of Israel’s Parliament helping fill the grave with dirt. And the son, Micah Avni, asking in his eulogy, “How is it that such a beautiful person is struck down in such a brutal and horrific manner?” [NYTimes]

Rabbi David Wolpe: “The kaddish was for Richard Lakin, but it was for all of us, for the dreams that have died and the promise that is mourned, again and again, by a people that so desperately wants to live in peace.” [JewishJournal]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “How Mark Zuckerberg got schooled” [Fortune] • “Ex-Goldman Sachs president to become co-CEO of TPG Capital” [Fortune] • “ESPN CEO slams Barry Diller: He should ‘acquaint himself with the facts before he flaps his lips in public'” [BusinessInsider] • “Israeli Alber Elbaz Leaving Lanvin as Fashion’s Slippery Slope Claims Another Designer” [NYTimes] • “Celebrity jeweler latest to move amid Diamond District upheaval” [NYPost]

“U.S. commerce secretary visits her Jewish roots in Ukraine: During her working visit to Ukraine, Penny Pritzker also visited a Jewish school in the town of Belaya Tserkov, located 43 miles west of Bolshi Prytsky, according to the report, which was based on information given to Regnum by Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.” [JTA] • Pritzker also announced in a speech that she is visiting Ukraine with executives from NCH Capital, a firm run by Jewish brothers-in-law George Rohr and Moris Tabacinic.

TALK OF THE TOWN: “How the 1 Percent Says ‘Boo!’” by Guy Trebay: “There are goblins, crones, witches, zombies, skeletons, ghouls, ghosts and bats and — for the last few years outside the East 74th Street house owned by Marc Lasry, a co-founder of Avenue Capital — bloodied life-size dummies hung from a balcony.” [NYTimes]

Inbox — “Remembering Charles Baum: In the mid ’70s through late ’90s, he was a partner at Shapiro, Robinson & Associates, advising professional athletes, including Eddie Murray, Brooks Robinson, Cal Ripken Jr., Willie Mays Aikens, and Kirby Puckett. Upon moving to Baltimore, he became quickly ingrained in the city’s civic and philanthropic community. He was the Investment Committee chair of the Associated Jewish Charities of Baltimore and was serving as its President at the time of his death.” [NYTimes]

DESSERT: “What this symbol that’s on nearly half of your food actually means” h/t Dave Weinberg [BusinessInsider]

Etgar Keret: “Going Vegetarian in Israel” [NYTimesMag]

BIRTHDAYS: Drew Rosenhaus turns 49… David Remnick turns 57… Larry Berlin (yesterday)…

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