Daily Kickoff: Bernie’s kibbutz revealed | Nevada Dem caucus overlooks Sabbath observers | Ben Brafman on Capitol Hill yesterday

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FAST FORWARD: “A New U.S. President Won’t Mean a New Bibi” by Aaron David Miller:“To hear the presidential candidates tell it — regardless of their political party — you’d think we’re on the verge of a new and glorious age in U.S.-Israeli relations no matter who succeeds President Barack Obama… Here’s a news flash for those pro-Israel voters who think that getting rid of Obama is going to return U.S.-Israeli ties to the good old days. Despite the pro-Israel rhetoric of the campaign, the next president isn’t going to enter the promised land of tension-free U.S.-Israeli relations. It won’t be Obamaland anymore. But my guess is that within six months — a year tops — the next president and Netanyahu will be annoying the hell out of one another. And here’s why.” [ForeignPolicy]

Seth Lipsky: “Zionism at Home Amongst the Republicans’ Foreign Policy Realists: Will Trump’s emerging foreign policy adopt the ‘realism’ that such anti-Israel agitators as Professors Mearsheimer and Walt have made almost synonymous with anti-Zionism?” [Haaretz]

Asher Schechter’s 2016 Logic: “The Worst Best Friend: Why Hillary Clinton Will Not Be Good for Israel in the Long Term: Hillary Clinton is seen as “better” for Israel because she never challenges it. But Israel desperately needs to be challenged. To put it simply, she is too good of a friend, which makes her not a friend at all.” [Haaretz]

HIGHLIGHTS From Last Night’s Democratic Debate: Hillary on Sanders’ foreign policy —“A group of national security experts, military intelligence experts, issued a very concerning statement about Senator Sanders’s views on foreign policy and national security, pointing out some of the comments he has made on these issues, such as inviting Iranian troops into Syria to try to resolve the conflict there; putting them right at the doorstep of Israel. Asking Saudi Arabia and Iran to work together, when they can’t stand each other and are engaged in a proxy battle right at this moment…”

Sanders responded: “In terms of Iran and in terms of Saudi Arabia, of course they hate each other. That’s no great secret. But John Kerry, who is I think doing a very good job, has tried to at least get these people in the room together because both of them are being threatened by ISIS.”

Hillary on Sanders calling for normalizing relations with Iran: “I’m very pleased we got that nuclear agreement. It puts a lid on the nuclear weapons program. We have to enforce it, there have to be consequences attached to it. But that is not our only problem with Iran. We have to figure out how to deal with Iran as the principal state sponsor of terrorism in the world. They are destabilizing governments in the region. They continue to support Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon against Israel… If we were to normalize relations right now, we would remove one of the biggest pieces of leverage we have to try to influence and change Iranian behavior. The president doesn’t think we should. I certainly don’t think we should.”

Sanders: “Please don’t suggest that I think we normalize relations with Tehran tomorrow. We don’t. But I would like to see us move forward, and hopefully some day that will happen. And I would say if I might, Madam Secretary — and you can correct me if I’m wrong. When you ran against Senator Obama you thought him naive because he thought it was a good idea to talk to our enemies. I think those are exactly the people you have to talk to and you have to negotiate with.”

Hillary: “I certainly recall, the question was to meet with without conditions. And you’re right, I was against that. I was against it then, I would be against it now. Part of diplomacy, the hard work of diplomacy is trying to extract whatever concessions you can get, and giving something the other side wants. Of course you’ve got to try to make peace with, and work with those who are your adversaries, but you don’t just rush in, open the door, and say, “Here I am. Let’s talk and make a deal.” That’s not the way it works. We set conditions on Iran. We worked hard to get them established, and to be enforced, and then we talked. That’s what I did with the President, so he and I are on the very same page.” [Video]

HOW IT PLAYED: “Sanders and Clinton face off over future of Iran relationship” [MSNBC] • “Sanders slams Clinton’s foreign policy judgment” [WashTimes] • “Bernie Sanders’ Foreign Policy Flaws Showed Big Time, And It’s Hillary Clinton’s Win” [Bustle] • “Clinton says Sanders proposed Iranian troops in Syria” [Politifact]

TOP TALKER: “Mystery Solved? Bernie’s Kibbutz Revealed” by Jacob Kornbluh: “On Thursday, Yossi Melman, a veteran Israeli journalist, tweeted that Sanders revealed the name of the Kibbutz during an interview over two decades ago. “It was reported that B. Sanders refused to say in which kibbutz he stayed in 60′s in Israel. In [a] 1990 interview, he told me Shaar Haamakim,” Melman tweeted on Thursday. Melman provided Jewish Insider with a copy of the interview (in Hebrew).” [JewishInsider]

“Bernie Sanders Made Jewish History, Yet No One Seems To Be Kvelling” by Sam Stein: “For the state’s small Jewish population — Nafshi claims there is only one other person in Concord who wears a kippah “and he just moved to Florida” — this has sparked a mix of emotions. Like the handful of other New Hampshire Jews interviewed for this piece (and yes, it was a reportorial feat to find that many), Nafshi feels an obvious sense of pride that Sanders has broken barriers… But it is not so much pride in Bernie himself as it is in the place Judaism now occupies in the American cultural fabric.” [HuffPost]

Top Tweet: @HotlineJosh — “If you can’t find any Jews in New Hampshire, you aren’t looking hard. Heck, a rabbi even asked HRC question at town hall!” [Twitter]

PICK YOUR INTERVIEW: “Meet the Rabbi Who Asked Hillary Clinton a Question — and Got Whole Nation Thinking” by Nathan Guttman [Forward] • “How a New Hampshire rabbi opened Hillary Clinton’s heart – in his own words” by Ron Kampeas [JTA]

“Bernie Sanders could be the first Jewish president. Does he care?” by Gregory Krieg: “We are at the point where a Jew running for office is entirely no big deal,” Steve Rabinowitz told CNN. “Nationally, we’re there. We’re so much there that for a lot of Jews the fact that Bernie Sanders does not more embrace his Jewish identity is an issue rather than the idea that he might do better if he hid it more.”.. “It’s akin to the fact that there are now three Jewish justices on the Supreme Court whereas decades ago, people would have said there’s one Jewish seat on the Supreme Court,” Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union’s Advocacy Center, said of Sanders and the changed environment for Jews in politics.” [CNN]

“Nevada Democratic caucus overlooks Sabbath observers” by Ben Botkin: “Observant Jews and Seventh-day Adventists who want to caucus with Nevada Democrats on Feb. 20 are out of luck. Jewish clergy said the timing of the caucus disenfranchises those who want to participate and pointed out that other high-profile early-state caucuses and primaries don’t fall on a Saturday. “Saturday at 11 a.m. is the best time to increase access as much as possible for Democrats across Nevada to participate in our First in the West caucuses,” said Stewart Boss, spokesman for the Nevada State Democratic Party. “Keeping this date is critical to preserving our early-state status in the presidential nominating calendar.” [ReviewJournal]

DEEP DIVE: “Meet the lobbyists, donors and bundlers behind Hillary’s $157 million juggernaut” by Michael Isikoff: “Blankfein, who has described himself as a friend of Hillary Clinton, has lent a helping financial hand to the Clinton family: He (along with two other former Goldman executives) is among the investors in Eaglevale Partners, the hedge fund founded in 2011 by Marc Mezvinsky, husband of Chelsea Clinton… Lasry is among Clinton’s most steadfast Wall Street backers, with close personal ties to her family. He has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to the Clinton Foundation, hired Chelsea Clinton at his Avenue Capital hedge fund, invested (along with Blankfein) in son-in-law Mezvinsky’s fund and made his corporate jet available to Clinton while she was senator.” [YahooPolitics• “Clinton blasts Wall Street, but still draws millions in contributions” [WashPost]

“Rubio, Jeb Spar Over Hezbollah Sanctions Bill” by Jacob Kornbluh: “On Thursday, Rubio pushed back against the attacks leveled against his inexperience and lack of accomplishments. “I’m proud of what I done in public service,” Rubio said, listing his legislative accomplishments, including imposing additional sanctions on Hezbollah, a measure that passed the Senate in November… Jeb Bush’s campaign rushed to dismiss Rubio’s signature on the bill to impose sanctions on Hezbollah, noting that he didn’t even show up to vote on the Senate floor. Rubio was in New York City for a fundraiser.” [JewishInsider]

“Amid criticism from Trump and Rubio, Bush defends Obama’s mosque visit” by Ed O’Keefe: “I don’t think its divisive to go speak in a mosque, I’m surprised it took his eighth year to do it,” Jeb told reporters on Thursday. “The bigger issue is what have you done to deal with ISIS. It’s important to recognize that peace-loving Muslims that are American citizens are as American as you and I are, but at the same time this president’s been derelict in his duties to destroy the caliphate, which is creating the frictions,” he said.” [WashPostCNN]

WSJ Editorial: “Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio gave President Obama a hard time for his speech Wednesday at the Islamic Society of Baltimore, and we wonder if the Florida Senator read it. The speech was one of Mr. Obama’s best attempts to fulfill the promise he made in 2008 to promote racial and political comity.” [WSJ]

At prayer breakfast, Obama cites rescuers, Jewish fight for civil rights: “When Syrian refugees seek the sanctuary of our shores, it’s the faithful from synagogues, mosques, temples, and churches who welcome them, the first to offer blankets and food and open their homes,” he said to the gathering organized by a Christian group and drawing many leading U.S. lawmakers and other influential people… Obama recounted the heroism of Sgt. Roddie Edmonds, a POW who refused to reveal to a German commandant during World War II which troops under his command were Jewish.” [JTACSPAN]

Carly Fiorina during a campaign rally in Manchester, NH, Friday morning: “I really was struck by the fact that President Obama went to visit a Mosque. Good for him. But I have never heard President Obama stand up and talk about the endless acts of violence against Jewish synagogues in this country.” [CSPAN]

Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel suggested on Thursday that Ohio Governor John Kasich will not be in the race for president much longer. “By the time we get to the convention in Cleveland, he won’t be in the race anymore,” Mandel, who is National Finance Co-Chairman for the Marco Rubio campaign, said during an interview with Michael Fragin on “Spin Class,” a New York-based online radio show focusing on Jewish politics. [JewishInsider]

–Mandel’s spokesman Seth Unger: “Since endorsing Marco last spring, Treasurer Mandel has made it clear that he’s pro-Marco Rubio, not anti-John Kasich. By virtue of believing that Marco is going to be our nominee and next President, Josh obviously thinks that all the candidates will be behind Marco by the time the convention rolls around.” [Cleveland]

Also on Spin Class, Cruz advisor Nick Muzin commented on Senator Tim Scott’s endorsement of Rubio: “Sen. Scott is a personal friend of mine. He was my mentor. He is how I got my start in politics. And, obviously, I would have liked him to endorse Sen. Cruz. But I respect the decision he made.”

**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: “In Iran, State-Backed Companies Win From Lifted Sanctions” [NYTimes] • “Viacom’s Dauman prevails in showdown with Shari Redstone” [NYPost] • “Carlos Slim Undecided About Relisting His $80 Million Landmark New York Mansion He Bought From Tamir Sapir” [Forbes] • “New Plans to Unmask Secret Buyers Rattle Real Estate Power Players” [Curbed] • “4 Game-Changing Hotels in Tel Aviv” [AFar]

INSIDE LOOK: “Israel’s Only Bottle Factory Turns Desert Sand Into Mountains of Glass” by Attila Nagy: “Here, at the Phoenicia Glass Works Ltd. in the town of Yeruham, a million bottles and containers are produced every day for beverage giants such as Coca Cola and Pepsi, as well as Israeli wineries and olive oil companies. Thanks to Asscociated Press photographer Oded Balilty we can have a rare peek inside this dazzling place.” [Gizmodo]

HEADLINE: “Students At Fancypants $63,280-Per-Year College Seek Ben & Jerry’s Ban Because Of Israel” [DailyCaller]

MEDIA WATCH: “Sheldon Adelson tightens grip on Review-Journal” by Ken Doctor: “After a brief spell of normalcy seemed to return to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, all bets are now off. A new publisher has appeared overnight at the paper, a new editor will be installed as soon as Friday, and, sources tell me, stories involving new owner Sheldon Adelson are being reviewed, changed or killed almost daily. Further, the newsroom is abuzz with word of a list of a half a dozen or so journalists whose work has rubbed Adelson the wrong way over the years, and who may soon be targeted for departure.” [CapitalNY]

PROFILE: “A Democratic Diplomat, at Ease With Both Guerrillas and the G.O.P.” by William Neuman: “Not every private equity executive has a pair of battle-scarred AK-47s hanging on his office wall. But Bernard Aronson does, reminders of an eventful career as a leading diplomat and negotiator in Latin America… News outlets in Colombia reported that Mr. Aronson was at the historic meeting, and a name card was set out for him at the table with the presidents. But he was not there. It was Yom Kippur, the holy Day of Atonement in the Jewish faith, and Mr. Aronson, who is Jewish, was at home, fasting. “It was my Sandy Koufax moment,” he joked… Aronson grew up in Rye, N.Y. His father, Arnold, was a key figure in the civil rights movement, playing a critical role in mobilizing Jewish and white supporters.” [NYTimes]

Ben Brafman on Capitol Hill: “After his client refused to do anything but plead the Fifth during congressional testimony on Thursday, Ben Brafman — the lawyer representing former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli — took to CNBC to defend his client. “I think they invited him just to embarrass him,” he said, comparing his position to that of Robert Duvall’s character in “The Godfather: Part II.” [BusinessInsiderCNN]

SPORTS BLINK: “Inside Peyton Manning’s secret investigation into Al Jazeera documentary” by Will Hobson and Justin Wm. Moyer: “Manning’s investigative team did nothing that would interfere with subsequent investigations, said Ari Fleischer, the former White House press secretary and crisis management consultant Manning has hired. Manning’s pre-emptive investigation, Fleischer said, was a “natural reaction” to being asked to respond to anonymous allegations. “Our thinking was it would be very helpful to find whoever it was who was making up lies about Peyton, and figure out why someone would fabricate information like this,” Fleischer said.” [WashPost]

DESSERT: “Kosher food at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center” by Michael Klein: “Aramark, with Kosher Concessions LLC, is setting up a stand at the Wells Fargo Center behind Section 120/121, next to the Flyers Fan Experience, for all arena events starting Feb. 8.” [Philly]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Director Michael Mann turns 73… Actor Jonathan Freeman turns 66… Linda Hurwitz… Steven I. Weiss… Harvey Block… Schusterman’s Adam Simon… Rachael Fenton, Major Gift Officer at U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum… French-Israeli singer-songwriter, Yael Naim, turns 38… Professor of Political Economy at Carnegie Mellon, Allan H. Meltzer, turns 88…

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