Daily Kickoff: Iran ships uranium to Russia | Hedge Funds struggle | Town & Country profiles Ivanka Trump | Who’s Who in St. Bart’s for NYE

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IRAN DEAL: “Iran Ships Off Uranium as Part of Nuclear Agreement” by Asa Fitch and Laurence Norman: “Iran dispatched a shipment of more than 25,000 pounds of low-enriched uranium to Russia on Monday, clearing an important hurdle in the implementation of a historic nuclear deal with the U.S. and five other world powers, Secretary of State John Kerry said.” [WSJNYTimes]

“Senate GOP wants to block Obama from lifting Iran sanctions” by Jordain Carney: “Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) has introduced legislation that would block lifting sanctions until after the administration handed over a wide-ranging report on military aspects of Iran’s nuclear program and certified to Congress that any military-related activity tied to the program has ended.” [TheHill]

Rep. Jerry Nadler Op: “Hold Iran to account for bad behavior” [CNN]

“Attorney General decides not to pursue Barak for spilling Iran attack details: Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has decided not to open a criminal investigation into former prime minister and defense minister Ehud Barak for tapes revealed on Channel 2 in the summer in which Barak can be heard speaking to the authors of his biography about a cabinet decision in which plans to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities were cancelled.” [JPost]

“A Reduced Prison Sentence for Ehud Olmert” by Krishnadev Calamur: “Israel’s Supreme Court reduced former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s prison sentence from six years to 18 months after overturning the main bribery charge against him. The ruling is a partial victory for Olmert though he will still be the first former Israeli Prime Minister to go to prison.” [TheAtlanticAPNYTimes• Shmuel Rosner’s 3 comments [JewishJournal]

DIPLOMACY: “Israel and Brazil at Impasse Over Ambassador Appointment” by Isabel Kershner and Vinod Sreeharsha: “It has been more than four months since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the appointment of Dani Dayan, the former chairman of an organization that represents Jewish settlers in the West Bank, and the Brazilian government has yet to approve his nomination, indicating its displeasure.” [NYTimesViceNews]

2016 WATCH: Jeb in Florida — “In response to a question on diplomatic relations with Cuba, he said that on his first day in office he’d move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv — something neither his father nor brother did — and said he’d end diplomatic relations with Cuba.” [SunSentinel]

LongRead: “Inside the Cruz Campaign” by Binyamin Rose: “Breakfast ingested, Cruz situated himself in the backseat and asked the rabbi how his morning was going. Rabbi Reichman, who starts his day with a diet of daf yomi, expounded on that day’s daf that delved into the concept of the mashuach milchamah, the Kohein who exhorts the Jewish People into battle. Cruz, the son of an evangelical Christian preacher, listened intently as the discussion progressed to the differences between a discretionary war of conquest (milchemes reshus) and an obligatory war (milchemes mitzvah). Later that morning, Cruz worked his newfound knowledge into his presentation on the challenges facing America today, saying there are times when waging war is a “mitzvah,” especially when standing up for one’s deeply held principles.”

“As Cruz’s unofficial liaison to the Jewish community, Nick Muzin believes strongly that Cruz is also the answer for politically conservative Jewish voters who think that Israel’s special relationship with the US has eroded in the past eight years under President Obama… Now a seasoned Washington political operative, with a track record of helping underdog candidates get elected, Muzin says the Cruz campaign is far more concerned with how the senator’s positions and actions play on Main Street than on J Street.” [Mishpacha]

Philip Bump: “Bill Kristol is ‘semi-serious’ about launching a new third party. That’s a bad idea.” [WashPost]

George Soros OpEd — The terrorists and demagogues want us to be scared. We mustn’t give in: “Jihadi terrorist groups such as Islamic State and al-Qaida have discovered the achilles heel of our western societies: the fear of death. Through horrific attacks and macabre videos, the publicists of Isis magnify this fear, leading otherwise sensible people in hitherto open societies to abandon their reason… How can it be stopped and reversed? Abandoning the values and principles underlying open societies and giving in to an anti-Muslim impulse dictated by fear certainly is not the answer, though it may be difficult to resist the temptation. I experienced this personally when I watched the last Republican presidential debate; I could stop myself only by remembering that it must be irrational to follow the wishes of your enemies.” [TheGuardian]

Eli Lake: “How Bush’s War on Terror Ensnared Obama” [BloombergView]

Matthew Levitt: “As Argentinian ‘truth commission’ ends before it starts, time to investigate Iranian agents” [TheHill]

BOOK REVIEW: Jordan Hirsch emails us re his WSJ review of a new book on Entebbe… “In “Operation Thunderbolt,” British historian Saul David retells the most storied terror attack and rescue in the 20th century: the Entebbe hijacking. Relying on extensive interviews with the captors, kidnapped and rescuers, he retraces the tale in a tick-tock trek from military bunkers in Tel Aviv to the dusty air terminal where the hostages were kept. It’s a thrilling read that captures the menace and the romance of Entebbe. But in wondering whether the rescue made peace with the Palestinians less likely, David veers off course. The opposite is true; terror groups thrive on victory, as subsequent prisoners swaps have brutally borne out.” [WSJ]

**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**

FIRST LOOK: “Ivanka Trump Talks Being a Mogul, a Mother, and More” by Tim Teeman:“With the presidential election entering its next phase, Ivanka Trump has turned into one of her father’s greatest assets. Though she has tried to stay on the sidelines, her emergence as a modern-day superwoman—and soon-to-be mother of three—gives his detractors the reassurance that he has gotten at least one thing supremely right.”

“For Kushner, who comes from an Orthodox family, Ivanka converted to Judaism (apparently from Presbyterianism, according to Donald’s campaign trail talk), though she declines to talk about it. “I will tell you that our Friday evenings are for just our family,” she says of their Shabbat observance, for which she cooks the weekly meal. Still, she finds time for friends. “We’ve had really useful conversations about running a company,” says Leandra Medine… “She’s also very thoughtful—she sent a Happy Purim card to me and my husband.” [Town&CountryMag]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Donald Trump’s relatives sell Setai unit to Nakash family: $7M” [RealDeal] • “Wish List for a New Chairman at Carnegie Hall” [NYTimes] • “Sumner Redstone dumps one grandson for another” [NYPost] • “Chetrit, Cornell swap West 34th Street properties with Cohen” [RealDeal]

SPOTLIGHT: “Hedge Funds Struggle With Steep Losses and High Expectations” by Alexandra Stevenson and Matthew Goldstein: “When David Einhorn, the founder of Greenlight Capital, plays host to his investors at the American Museum of Natural History in January, his guests will sip cocktails and dine under a 94-foot blue whale in the Milstein Hall. William A. Ackman will hold court one week later, at the New York Public Library at Bryant Park, where investors in his Pershing Square Capital Management will mingle in the historic halls of marble, wood and gold. The lavish settings will be the same as in years past, but the circumstances will be strikingly different: Both billionaire hedge fund managers, and many of their peers, will be under pressure to explain to their investors how they lost so much money this year.” [NYTimes]

St. Bart’s Scene: “Superyacht Showdown: Who’s Who in St. Bart’s for New Year’s Eve” by Jim Dobson: “This year’s New Year’s Eve Superyacht showdown fronts the harbor of Gustavia, St. Bart’s capital. Every year the french-speaking Caribbean island hosts the best holiday parties on private yachts and in the exclusive beach clubs.” Yacht owners include Roman Abramovich, David Geffen, Leslie Wexner, Ronald Perelman, Len Blavatnik, Mort Zuckerman. [Forbes]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Chicago leaders offer olive branch to Emanuel” by Manu Raju: “Protesters may be taking to the streets and demanding Emanuel’s resignation, but many in the Illinois political establishment are more resistant to join the fray. The state’s congressional delegation has stayed mum on Emanuel’s future, and many aldermen on the Chicago City Council — including in the black caucus — have yet to call on him to resign. A new bill in the state legislature in Springfield to let Chicago voters recall Emanuel has won only scant support and is opposed by powerful Democratic leaders. In short, Emanuel seems safe — for now.” [CNN]

BIRTHDAYS: Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein turns 42… Politico’s Katie Glueck… Actor Kevin Weisman turns 45… Gary Rosen (DC)… Linda Zweig…

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