Daily Kickoff: Adelson is “the hot chick” at GOP Debate Tonight | Trump’s Jewish Doctor | Israel’s offshore gas bonanza might never materialize

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DRIVING THE DAY: Wolf Blitzer, along with Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt, will moderate the final GOP debate of 2015 for CNN and Facebook at Sheldon Adelson’s Venetian Casino in Las Vegas. The 6PM undercard debate will feature Graham, Huckabee, Santorum, and Pataki. The 8:30PM main event will include from (l-r) Kasich, Fiorina, Rubio, Carson, Trump, Cruz, Bush, Christie, and Paul. [CNN]

“Poll Finds National Security Now a Top Concern” by Janet Hook: “Heightened fear of terrorism is rippling through the electorate, thrusting national-security issues to the center of the 2016 presidential campaign, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll released on the eve of Republicans’ latest presidential debate.” [WSJ]

Zeke Miller previews: “8 Things To Watch for at the Las Vegas Republican Debate” [Time]

Behind The Scenes: “How Wolf Blitzer is preparing for the next Republican primary debate” [CNNMoney]

ADELSON PRIMARY: “Sheldon Adelson Is ‘the Hot Chick’ at the GOP Dance” by Tim Mak: “Right now he’s the hot chick at the dance,” said a source familiar with the Adelson courting process. “He’s developed a brand on this whole thing, and because of the Newt thing, he’s become one of the most courted donors in the world. I think he’s trying to protect that a little and not be haphazard about a decision. This is the Super Bowl for Sheldon—he thinks this is fascinating, he’s very much a student of politics” [DailyBeast]

“Marco Rubio is trying to win the Sheldon Adelson primary” by Alex Leary: “Tonight, Rubio will be back at Adelson’s hotel casino, looking to seal the deal with the billionaire he has carefully courted. “Rubio calls and says, ‘Hey, did you see this speech? Did you see my floor statement on Iran? What do you think I should do about this issue?’ ” a September New York magazine story quoted an unnamed Adelson friend as saying. “It’s impressive. Rubio is persistent.”” [TampaBayTimes]

Cruz vs. Rubio: “Cruz raised an estimated $110,000 Dec. 9 at a breakfast fund-raiser in Englewood sponsored by NORPAC. His contributions exceed the $100,000 NORPAC members raised for rival presidential contender Sen. Marco Rubio.” [NJJN]

“Trump Audience Member Yells Nazi Salute as Protester Removed From Las Vegas Rally” by Benjy Sarlin: “A large middle aged man shouted, “Sieg heil!” — a Nazi Germany-era salute — as the protester was taken away.” [NBCNews]

“Donald Trump’s Doctor Likes Hyperbole, Too” by Alan Rappeport: “Donald J. Trump appears to have hired the Donald J. Trump of doctors. Calling Mr. Trump’s stamina “extraordinary” and predicting that he would be the “healthiest individual ever elected to the presidency,” Dr. Harold Bornstein offered the Republican presidential candidate an immaculate bill of health. Bornstein’s social media profiles indicate that he likes pinstripe suits, has long blond hair and enjoys sun-soaked resorts. He is also active on eBay, the online auction website, where he sells a mix of colonoscopy equipment and alligator cowboy boots.” [FirstDraftPolitico

“Netanyahu tells ‘Post’ he did not not ask Trump to cancel Israel visit” by Herb Keinon:“Asked by the Post whether he thought Trump’s cancellation raised questions about Trump’s friendship toward Israel, Netanyahu replied: “Not at all.”” [JPost]

Jeb on Trump’s Canceled Israel Trip: “Of course it was canceled,” Bush said. “Who would want to see him after he created a real problem by a blanket statement that wasn’t serious?” [BusinessInsider]

“Hillary Clinton’s global expertise a test for GOP hopefuls” by Matt Viser: “Trump appears to be the only Republican candidate who has not visited the Holy Land. (There is no public evidence of Trump traveling there in the past; his campaign did not respond when asked multiple times).” [BostonGlobe]

TOP TALKER: “Tracking of Jonathan Pollard, a Paroled Spy, Requires More Explanation, Judge Says” by James C. McKinley: “The United States Parole Commission was ordered on Monday to provide a fuller explanation of its reasons for electronically tracking the movements of the convicted spy Jonathan L. Pollard, and for monitoring his computers at work and at home.” [NYTimesReuters]

IRAN DEAL: “The First Strict Implementation Test of the Iran Nuclear Deal” by Michael Singh and Simond De Galbert: “By protecting its nuclear secrets, accepting only temporary constraints on fuel-cycle work, and advancing its missile program, Iran is keeping its nuclear options open for the future. In response, the international community must keep in place the tools to challenge Iran should its pursuit of nuclear weapons resume.” [WSJ• “Iran’s Oct 10 missile test violated U.N. ban – expert panel” [Reuters]

Aaron David Miller: “It’s Time to Tell the Truth About the Long War Against Terrorism: Why saying the United States can destroy the Islamic State is worse than providing false hope.” [ForeignPolicy]

CIRCUIT: “Haaretz Moves In on AIPAC’s Turf” by Ron Kampeas: “The Israeli newspaper is inviting American Jews to conferences that reject happy talk in favor of couple’s therapy.” [ForeignPolicy]

J.J. Goldberg on HaaretzQ: “In session after session during the eight-hour gabfest, when the topics of Palestinian statehood and Israel’s occupation of the West Bank came up, they were framed in terms of Palestinian rights and interests. Israel’s needs — even the basic argument that separating from the Palestinians would make Israel safer — came as an afterthought if at all.” [Forward]

David Horovitz: “The curious incident of the flag at the Haaretz conference” [ToI]

**Good Tuesday 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: “An Israeli experiment in China” [BusinessSpectator] • “Billionaire Lasry backs junk bond fund hit with heavy redemptions” [Reuters] • “In Petition, Sumner Redstone’s Former Companion Takes Aim at Viacom Chief” [NYTimes• “Janet Yellen: An orthodox economist for unorthodox times” [Reuters• “Clarion buys 86 Trinity Place stake for $105M from Allan Fried and Michael Steinhardt’s GHC Development” [RealDeal] • “How long until Midtown loses its prominence?” [NYPost]

BURNOUT: “The offshore gas bonanza Israel was counting on might never materialize” by Josh Mitnick: “Without a big export deal, officials, executives and analysts say there’s a chance Leviathan may remain untapped. “You need to show where the money is going to come from—a contract for 15 to 20 years. Nothing short of that will produce the credit to finance” development of Leviathan, said a former Israeli gas executive who asked to remain anonymous.” [Quartz]

STARTUP NATION: “Startups Take Bite Out of Food Poisoning” by Christopher Mims:“There is SCiO from Consumer Physics of Israel, which can identify substances by measuring the spectrum of light they reflect. Its sensor has the advantage of being so small—it is basically a camera technology—that it could be incorporated directly into cellphones and other mobile devices.” [WSJ]

SPOTLIGHT: “A Mansion, a Shell Company and Resentment in Bel Air” by Louise Story: “As unapologetically extravagant as the project is its impresario — Mohamed Hadid, father of the celebrity models Gigi and Bella Hadid, and one of the city’s leading luxury developers… Silver-maned at 67, Mr. Hadid, like many of his clients, is an immigrant. Born in Israel, he moved to Virginia as a teenager with his Palestinian family and spent his early business career in the Washington, D.C., area, developing office buildings and Ritz-Carlton hotels. Central to his success even then was his ability to woo foreign financiers — French and German backers, and in particular the SAAR Foundation, a group of Saudi investors.” [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Madison Avenue kosher restaurant conflict rages on” by Steve Cuozzo: “More than two years after it started, the struggle between restaurateur Joey Allaham and his former pal, developer Joseph Chetrit, over Allaham’s Sony Building restaurant only gets more heated. In the “David and Goliath” battle — Allaham regards himself as the former — billionaire Chetrit, who bought 550 Madison Ave. from Sony in 2013, is trying to boot Allaham’s popular kosher steakhouse Prime Grill from the atrium, which Chetrit wants to redesign as part of his plan to convert the tower into condos and a hotel.” [NYPost]

LongRead: “The Siege of Miami: As temperatures climb, so, too, will sea levels” by Elizabeth Kolbert: “Miami Beach’s mayor, Philip Levine. Levine was elected in 2013, after airing a commercial that tapped into voters’ frustration with the continual flooding. It showed him preparing to paddle home from work in a kayak. “Some people get swept into office,” Levine joked when it was his turn at the mike. “I always say I got floated in.” [NewYorker]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Beit Hatfutsot (Israel’s Diaspora Museum) held their annual gala dinner at 583 Park Ave in NYC. Approximately 400 supporters attended the dinner which honored Claudio and Penny Pincus. Featured speakers included retired Gen. Eitan Ben Eliyahu, Irina Nevzlin, Amb. Alfred Moses, and Israeli Consul Gen. Ido Aharoni. Spotted: Eric Goldstein, Dorothy Tanenbaum, David and Cindy Shapira, Mike and Sofia Segal, Andres Spokoiny, Cheryl Fishbein and Philip Schatten, Robert Singer, David Ellman, Diane Troderman, Tamar Remz, Rebecca Lieberman, and Judith Stern Peck.

TALK OF OUR NATION: “In ‘Son of Saul,’ Laszlo Nemes Expands the Language of Holocaust Films” by Rachel Donadio: “How do you find a fresh perspective on the Holocaust? In his first feature, “Son of Saul,” the Hungarian director Laszlo Nemes chose to depict the enormity through the specific. For most of the 107-minute fiction film, the camera remains fixed on the face of one inmate at Auschwitz-Birkenau as he races around the death camp trying to bury a boy he believes is his son.”[NYTimes]

“Why is Hungary building a statue of a World War II-era anti-Semitic politician?” by Adam Taylor: “Balint Homan is an important figure in Hungarian history, both for his well-respected attempts to document it as an academic and his work influencing it… However, the planned statue of Homan earned a remarkable rebuke from a United States envoy this weekend, for a simple reason – Homan espoused anti-Semitic beliefs and was a Nazi-allied political leader during a period that eventually saw more than half a million Hungarian Jews killed in the Holocaust.” [WashPost]

“Evelyn Lieberman, Aide Who Moved Monica Lewinsky From White House, Dies at 71” by Sam Roberts: “Ms. Lieberman had a long résumé in and out of government. Besides serving as deputy chief of staff under Mr. Clinton, she was public affairs director for the National Urban Coalition and the Children’s Defense Fund, where she met Hillary Clinton, a board member; press secretary to Joseph R. Biden Jr., now the vice president, when he was a senator from Delaware; assistant to Mrs. Clinton’s White House chief of staff; chief operating officer of Mrs. Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign; and, most recently, chief spokeswoman for the Smithsonian Institution.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Adam Brody turns 36… Helen Slater turns 52…

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