Daily Kickoff: White House delays new Iran sanctions | Second coming of Khomeini | Israeli singers wildly popular in Yemen | Perelman, Bonner BDays

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COMING IN 2016: A new book by Tevi Troy on Presidents and national disasters, titled “Shall We Wake the President,” will be out in September.

DEVELOPING: “2 killed, 7 wounded in Tel Aviv shooting attack: Two people were killed and two others seriously wounded in a shooting attack in Tel Aviv just before 3 p.m. Friday. Five others were wounded — three in moderate condition and two with light injuries. Witnesses said some 15 shots were fired in the attack, apparently in semiautomatic bursts from a Kalashnikov or similar rifle.” [ToI]

“Hamas planning suicide bombings, targeting Israeli officials” by Elior Levy: “Hamas sources admit for the first time that the terror organization is planning more serious attacks within the Green Line, to be committed by sleeper cells in the West Bank.” [YNet]

“First Democratic US Senate delegation since Iran battle to arrive next week” By Herb Keinon: “New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand is slated to lead a Democratic delegation to Israel next week, the first Democratic delegation since the bruising battle over the Iran deal last summer. Gillibrand backed US President Barack Obama and voted for the deal….Jerusalem is also expecting visits over the next few months from top tier Republican presidential candidates…US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power…Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, another sign of the strong Indian-Israel ties.” [JPost]

IRAN DEAL: “White House Delays Imposing New Sanctions on Iran for Missile Program” by Jay Solomon: “U.S. officials offered no definitive timeline for when the sanctions would be imposed after the decision was made Wednesday to delay them. At one point, they were scheduled to be announced Wednesday morning in Washington, according to a notification the White House sent to Congress. Republican leaders on Thursday accused the Obama administration of losing its will to challenge Iran after Tehran countered on Thursday that it would accelerate the development of its arsenal.” [WSJReuters]

Schumer Statement: “It is essential that the United States be willing to act unilaterally on any violations and that we remain vigilant to spot and act on any violation of international agreements.”

“The Obama administration is playing a ‘game of whack-a-mole’ with Iran” by Natasha Bertrand: “If admin doesn’t target Iran & foreign banks involved in ballistic-missile $$, these actions [are a] game of whack-a-mole,” Mark Dubowitz, director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, tweeted on Wednesday. “Iran will simply set up different fronts & rely on other unsanctioned individuals to continue illicit activities.” [BusinessInsider]

NEXT UP: “The Second Coming of Khomeini” by Special Correspondent: “Hassan Khomeini, the best-known grandson of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, registered on Dec. 18 as a candidate in next year’s elections for the Assembly of Experts. The 88-member committee is charged with selecting Iran’s next supreme leader when the incumbent, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who is 76 years old and is said to be ailing, dies. The young Khomeini is the first member of his family to seek public office since the death in 1989 of his feted grandfather, who founded the Islamic Republic and served as its first supreme leader. The only question is whether the 43-year-old will be allowed to embark on a path that could eventually lead to the very top of Iran’s complex power structure.” [ForeignPolicy]

CLINTON MAIL: “Soros Regretted Supporting Obama Over Hillary” by Jacob Kornbluh: “In an email dated May 12, 2012, Neera Tanden, President of the Center for American Progress, told Hillary of a conversation she had with Soros…‘I told him I worked for you in the primaries and he said he’s been impressed that he can always call/meet with you on an issue of policy and said he hasn’t met with the President ever (though I thought he had). He then said he regretted his decision in the primary – he likes to admit mistakes when he makes them and that was one of them.’” [JewishInsiderTheHill]

“New Clinton emails reveal critiques from Israel-bashing son of adviser” by Rebecca Shimoni Stoil: “The State Department’s New Year’s Eve release of over 5,000 pages of former secretary of state and current Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton’s emails from her private server reveals correspondence with one-time adviser Sidney Blumenthal regarding Israel, with Blumenthal citing the work of his son, writer Max Blumenthal.” [ToI] • Hillary hides Blumenthal’s fingerprints: “Pls print 5 copies but w/out heading from Sid” [Twitter]

Martin Indyk sent Huma Abedin a heads-up on the range of questions he’s expected to ask Hillary during a Q&A at the Saban Forum in 2011: “If there are any you would like me to stay away from, or any that you would prefer me to ask, please let me know.” [Twitter]

Describing Sec. of Defense Leon Pennetta’s remarks at the Saban forum, in which he expressed considerable frustration with Israel, Indyk writes: “Some in the audience, like Tzipi (Livni), LOVED it. And others, like Joe Lieberman and Dan Meridor, were quite upset.”

Indyk added: “President Clinton was more subtle. His first point was that the Palestinians should take advantage of Bibi handing over the tax revenues to go back to the table and put him on the spot. He said that Bibi is quite capable of holding contradictory positions in his own mind and it was important that he be put in a position where he has to decide which position he is going to take. He spent a lot of time on Iran, explaining the complexities of the situation. He then said, “If I were you and I were going to bomb Iran, I should would want a peace process with the Palestinians going forward before I did that so everybody would know that I was trying to make peace with the Palestinians before I went to war with Iran.” Everybody in the audience nodded and applauded.”

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is a fan: At the bottom of a lengthy letter, in which he requested documents from his time at the State Department be declassified, Kissinger hand-wrote a line of praise: “I greatly admire the skill and aplomb with which you conduct our foreign policy.” [Mashable]

Malcolm Hoenlein on Hillary: Hoenlein does not believe that Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee, can be portrayed as weak on Iran: “While Hillary supported the deal, she was tougher on Iran than the president in the past and talks in absolute terms about Iran not getting nuclear weapons. We will need to see what she says going forward. She will likely carve out a position where she is tough on the issues without going against the president. Most importantly, Iran’s actions will set that agenda.” [JPost]

MEDIA WATCH: “Clinton complains of being airbrushed out of famous bin Laden raid photo” by Judy Kurtz: “In a message with the subject line, “Unbelievable” from the latest batch of emails released during her time as secretary of State, Clinton writes to her aides that the New York-based Der Zeitung newspaper “published the sit room photo w/o me (or [National Security team member Audrey Tomason]) photoshopped out perhaps because no woman should be in such a place of power or that I am dressed immodestly!!” [TheHill]

TOP-OP: Lee Smith — “Why the White House Wanted Congress To Think It Was Being Spied On By the NSA” [TabletMag]

**Good Friday 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: “Billionaire Bruce Berkowitz to force Sears CEO’s hand” [NYPostForbes] • “In 2015, Shattering Records in New York City Real Estate,” including purchases by Bill Ackman, Dmitry Rybolovlev, Len Blavatnik, Elizabeth Schwarzman Right, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Aby J. Rosen. [NYTimes] • Jerusalem City Councilman Hanan Rubin: “Double the tax on Jerusalem’s ghost flats” [ToI]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “The Sudden But Well-Deserved Fall of Rahm Emanuel” by Rick Perlstein: “It’s hard to remember a time when Rahm Emanuel wasn’t a Democratic Party superstar… Now the sins of Emanuel are finally catching up with him.” [NewYorker]

“Michael Bloomberg and His Disciples Spread City-Management Gospel” by Mara Gay and Melanie Grayce West: “Since its launch in 2014, Bloomberg Associates has set up an anticorruption hotline in Mexico City, sent teams to Rio de Janeiro to revitalize the city center there, and helped the government in Kansas City, Mo., go paperless… Much of the global tinkering is planned from within an Upper East Side mansion on East 78th Street. Behind the heavy door and past a shimmering Jeff Koons sculpture is a hive of workers at Bloomberg Philanthropies.” [WSJ]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “These singing sisters are wildly popular in Yemen. And they’re Israeli Jews” by Ruth Eglash: “With their ebony hair and Yemeni accented Arabic, singing sisters Tair, Liron and Tagel Haim would probably not seem out of place on the streets of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. But the sisters, collectively known as A-Wa, or “yes” in Arabic slang, are actually descendants of Yemeni Jews who immigrated to Israel decades ago. Today, they live in Tel Aviv.” [WashPost]

“Israel’s Nazi Art Hunters” by Debra Kamin: “In the aftermath of World War II, art looted from Jews spread across the globe — including to the world’s only Jewish state. Now, there’s an effort underway to return the pieces to their rightful owners.” [ForeignPolicy]

BOOK REVIEW: “‘Abba Eban: A Biography,’ by Asaf Siniver” by Ethan Bronner: “Having done less to shape Israel than to defend and chronicle it, Eban is a challenging choice for a biographer. Asaf Siniver, a professor of international studies at the University of Birmingham in England, has produced a clear and ­levelheaded volume.” [NYTimes]

“Hier and Hier: From yeshiva boy to global storyteller” by David Suissa: “Here is a yeshiva boy from New York’s Lower East Side who grows up to become one of the world’s most influential Jews, thanks to a special brew of smarts, chutzpah, faith and humor. Those traits are in full view in Hier’s new memoir, “Meant to Be,” which offers up hundreds of little anecdotes to paint the portrait of a big life.” [JewishJournal]

DESSERT: “Wine of the ‘Covenant’ finally found — in California” by Lisa Klug: “Jeff Morgan once worked as a journalist covering the wine industry, but after accepting a dare from established Napa Valley vintner Leslie Rudd to make an unparalleled kosher wine, he gave up his day job and joined the fun. The result was Covenant, a full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignon. Its quality not only impressed Rudd, who became Morgan’s business partner, but was so good that legendary wine critic Robert Parker named it “the greatest kosher wine on Planet Earth.” [ToI]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Ron Perelman turns 73… Daniel Bonner… Loews Corporation CEO James Tisch turns 63… former Rep. Robert Wexler, president of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace… Alana Herbst…

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