Daily Kickoff: Christie tells Bibi to save the date for Camp David ‘venting’ session | JI readers at CES | Restauranteur’s feud with La Kosher Nostra

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LongRead: ‘We Caved’ — “What happened when Barack Obama’s idealistic rhetoric collided with the cold realities of war and dictatorship in the Middle East and beyond” — by Michael Crowley: “Many Obama supporters started out believing that the president had grand ambitions for replacing George W. Bush’s militaristic posture with a more enlightened and progressive approach to the world before coming to believe they had misread a president who was not the idealistic internationalist they had thought he was. In hindsight, it seems clear that Obama came to office far more focused on showing the world that the Bush era was over than on any coherent strategy of his own for advancing human rights or democracy.”

Egypt Debate: “Younger aides like Rhodes, Power and Antony Blinken urged Obama to get “on the right side of history” and give Mubarak a decisive push. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would later describe them, in her memoir, as being “swept up in the drama and idealism of the moment.” She, along with other elders like Gates and then-national security adviser Tom Donilon, warned of unintended consequences. Gates recalled the way Jimmy Carter withdrew his support for the embattled Shah of Iran only to see the fanatical Ayatollah Khomeini hijack Iran’s 1979 revolution. But Rhodes’ camp carried the day. Obama told Mubarak he had to go, and on February 11 the Egyptian stepped down. Afterward, a group of White House aides—including Rhodes and Denis McDonough—gathered for an impromptu party in the office of Michael McFaul, Obama’s top Russia aide. They celebrated the historic moment with beer and vodka.”

Obama on Iran: “Obama came to office determined to engage, not overthrow, Iran’s regime. The Iran Democracy Fund is no more; it has been renamed the Near East Regional Democracy Program, and Obama’s budget requests have shrunk by nearly a quarter. When mass protests erupted across Iran in June 2009, Obama mostly held his tongue. (The opposition Green Movement was brutally crushed and has never been reconstituted. Clinton has since said she regrets that the administration didn’t offer the Greens more encouragement.) The nuclear talks that culminated in last year’s deal also excluded questions like human rights and political reform, although Obama has expressed hope that they may begin a diplomatic thaw that could gradually liberalize Iranian society.” [PoliticoMag]

Aaron David Miller: “How Foreign Affairs Will Shape Obama’s Final Year–and Legacy” [WSJ]

“Petraeus Tells Haaretz: U.S. Image as War-weary Emboldens the Enemy” by Amir Oren: “With legitimate state authorities unraveling in the Mideast, the big winners are ISIS and Al-Qaida, as well as Iran, the former CIA director says. But even with chaos in the region, Israel should institute confidence-building measures vis-a-vis the Palestinians.” [Haaretz]

David Ignatius: “A political prize fight looms in Tehran” [WashPost]

2016 WATCH: “Christie Would Invite Netanyahu for ‘Venting’ Weekend at Camp David” by Jacob Kornbluh: “In a conversation with Rabbi Shmuley Boteach at the World Values Network in NYC on Thursday evening, Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie said, “I want to have Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu here, by himself, at Camp David for a long weekend. And I want to say to the Prime Minister that in the first evening together is dedicated for allowing him to vent about what it has been like over the last number of years working with President Obama. It is going to be a long evening,” Christie quipped. “That’s why I am restricting it to only one evening of the long weekend – three of four days – we would spend together.” [JewishInsider]

How It Played: “Christie Slams U.S.-Iran Nuclear Deal: candidate says Iran is a bigger threat to the U.S. than Islamic State terrorists” [WSJ] • “Christie: Iran is the biggest threat in the world” [NorthJersey] • “Chris Christie lays into ‘self-righteous’ Marco Rubio” [BusinessInsider] • “Christie: Obama Has ‘Withdrawn America From the World'” [ABCNews]

“In Interview, Jeb Touts Brother’s Legacy As Guidance on Israel, Peace Talks” by Jacob Kornbluh: In a wide-ranging interview on the campaign trail Thursday, Jeb told Jewish Insider that… “James Baker is a statesman; he’s a friend, but he’s not providing advice as it relates to Israel. I speak to my brother regularly. I think his relationship with Israel is a model of how to go about the U.S. relationship with Israel – that you don’t force Israel to negotiate with the Palestinians until they have established some degree of credibility, because they have none; until they recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State inside safe and secure borders; until they have the political legitimacy to not only commit to a deal but enforce a deal, which they don’t.” The full interview with Jeb Bush will be published over the weekend. [JewishInsider]

Hillary and Adelson: The Las Vegas Sun asked Hillary about Sheldon Adelson’s recent purchase of the Review-Journal: “Q. Over the past few weeks, the Review-Journal has been in tumult since it was purchased by the family of Sheldon Adelson. Does this all but doom your hopes of an endorsement? [Laughs.] Oh well, you know, hope springs eternal. Perhaps people will see the light about what’s best for America.” [LasVegasSun]

TOP TALKER: “U.S. State Dept. Rejects Comparison of Israeli NGO Law to U.S. Lobbying Registry: “They’re two different things altogether,” Kirby said, referring to the law approved this week by Israel’s Cabinet and the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act. Kirby did not specify the differences.”[Haaretz] • ICYMI: “Ayelet Shaked defends her NGO bill” [JTA]

Gary Rosenblatt: “The hard fact is that Israel’s leadership is moving in a direction at odds with the next generation of Americans” [JewishWeek]

Jane Eisner: “Have Liberal Jews Betrayed Israel?” [Forward]

Chemi Shalev: “In Battle for Israel, Jewish Liberals Stay Aloof but Jewish Right-wingers Go All in” [Haaretz]

**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**

CES DISPATCHES — JI readers email from Vegas: Maniv Mobility’s Michael Granoff — “This week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas was, as usual, a singular scene of hordes of techies including Millenial founders, nerdy early-adopters, and — among the crowd of nearly 200,000 — a not insignificant number of Jewish techies. One could not pass through any of the gargantuan floor displays without spotting several kippa-clad vendors and pursuers — bearing kippas of every imaginable flavor. And then of course there were the Israeli startups – foremost among them, without a doubt, the $8 billion-plus market-cap Jerusalem based automotive supplier Mobileye, which made big news announcing agreements with GM and VW to use consumer cars to create maps for future self-driving vehicles. It would be interesting to know the languages most spoken on the floors, but one would probably not be far off in speculating that Hebrew may have been third behind English and Chinese.”

Dave Weinberg, CEO of loop88: “With over 170,000 participants, this year’s Consumer Electronics Shows (CES) in Las Vegas was the biggest ever. As a marketing platform focused on helping major brands navigate Pinterest, we spent all our time at C-Space where senior executives from across the Fortune 500 learned, schmoozed and partied for three days. CES continues to be one of the few global events worth going to where serious business is done in an informal environment. Even at CES, Jewish geography can still be the most powerful network… even among rockstars and CEOs, a bunch of us were still talking UJA and Kosher.”

SPOTLIGHT: “Meet the New ‘TEDx’ of Social Action” by Zach Cutler: “TEDx spreads ideas and knowledge throughout individual communities. Tikkun Olam is the Jewish idea of “repairing the world.” Now, a new project aims to blend the two concepts to solve social issues. TOM (Tikkun Olam Makers) is a 72-hour event that brings coders, developers, engineers and doctors together with individuals with disabilities. The mission is to solve the everyday issues that the latter group faces, using new assistive technologies.” [Entrepreneur]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “How Russia Created a Jewish Tolerance Museum Even Vladimir Putin Can Tolerate” by Olga Gershenson: “Putin was so moved by this idea that he donated one month of his salary toward the creation of the museum. Shortly after this, the FSB (the Federal Security Service, formerly the KGB) pledged its support by providing documents from its archives. Close ties between the Chabad-Lubavitch leadership and Putin’s regime, as well as Putin’s widely publicized support, created the perception that the museum-in-the-making would be an officially sanctioned institution, even though it would be created with private funds.” [Forward]

Headline: “Oy vey! Being Jewish costs an extra £13,000” [TheTimesUK]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Manhattan restaurateur’s feud with ‘La Kosher Nostra’” by Julia Marsh: “Joseph Allaham — whose kosher restaurants draw celebrities like Madonna and Ricky Martin — says officials from the Lincoln Square Synagogue promised to yank the kosher certification from his eateries if he didn’t comply with their demand to go before their preferred Jewish arbitrator, according to court papers. Losing his kosher seal would be a death blow to Allaham’s food empire — which includes the kosher steakhouse Prime Grill on Madison Avenue, the Upper East Side rooftop eatery at the Bentley, and the Yorkville gourmet-food store Prime Butcher Baker — since many of his customers are religious Jews.”

“Allaham has been fighting with the modern Orthodox synagogue — where US Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan had her bat mitzvah — over a catering deal that went bad. The restaurateur claims in a new Manhattan civil suit that he agreed to help the Lincoln Square Synagogue build a new banquet hall as part of their new $50 million complex on Amsterdam Avenue and provide the catering for it. But the construction was delayed. Allaham says that cost him business, and the synagogue says he owes them $300,000 in unpaid fees for use of the hall and $1.5 million for his share of building it.” [NYPost]

“Judith S. Kaye, First Woman to Serve as New York’s Chief Judge, Dies at 77” by Sam Roberts: “Judith S. Kaye, the first woman named to the highest court in New York and the first to serve as the state’s chief judge — a job she held longer than any of her 21 male predecessors — died on Thursday at her home in Manhattan. She was 77… She was born Judith Ann Smith on Aug. 4, 1938, in Monticello, N.Y., a village in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains. Her parents, Benjamin Smith and the former Lena Cohen, were Jewish immigrants from Poland who lived on a small farm and later opened a women’s clothing store in the village.” [NYTimes]

Mike Bloomberg emails… “Judith Kaye was not only the longest serving Chief Judge in New York State history, and not only the first woman to hold the post; she was also one of the most respected judicial innovators of our time. Her early and strong support for problem-solving courts, such as the Midtown Community Court that helped clean up Times Square, played an important role in making New York a national leader in reducing crime and recidivism. I was lucky to call her a friend, and the city and state will benefit from her leadership for decades to come.”

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “One of the most serene places I have visited in Israel is the Kibbutz Tzora, located very close to Beit Shemesh. Vintner Ronnie James, may he rest in peace, was one of Israel’s great winemakers. He brought a great amount of knowledge and passion to Israel’s young wine culture when he first arrived in Israel. One of the great wines in Israel is from Kibbutz Tzora: it is called Misty Hills. The 2012 Misty Hills Vintage is made from 55 percent Cabernet and 45 percent Syrah. This wine has done what very few Israeli wines have been able to do: blend the earthy flavors of a Bordeaux on the front of the pallet, with the Napa Valley-like fruity finish. Over time when these two approaches mature and combine, I believe this will become a very powerful wine. If you can find this wine hoard it. Drink it now as it is enchanting. Put away as much as you can as it will age beautifully. Drink it with anything.” [TzoraVineyards]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Heather Podesta turns 46 (h/t/ Stephen Kessler)… Jared Kushner turns 35… Golden State Warriors owner Joe Lacob turns 6-0… David Horowitz turns 77…

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