Daily Kickoff: Amb. Power on UN’s bias against Israel | Bill Clinton meets Jewish leaders | Chouake to endorse Cruz | Rising Jewish Political Stars

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TOP TALKER: “Israel Looks Beyond America” by Bret Stephens: “I’ve spent the better part of a week talking to senior officials, journalists, intellectuals and politicians from across Israel’s political spectrum. None of it was on the record, but the consistent theme is that, while the Jewish state still needs the U.S., especially in the form of military aid, it also needs to diversify its strategic partnerships.” [WSJ]

“Israel’s Gold to meet Russian FM Lavrov in Moscow” by Herb Keinon: “Foreign Ministry Director-General Dore Gold will travel to Moscow on Wednesday for a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other high-level officials. The tension between Moscow and Washington presents somewhat of a challenge for Jerusalem, which is keen on maintaining a good working relationship with Russia while at the same time not doing anything that could in any way damage its ties with the US.” [JPost]

“The Israeli PM’s Germany visit causes a ‘40 hour-long emergency’” by Polina Garaev: “Blocked streets, a relocated film premiere and traffic chaos. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s visit to Berlin, which began Monday evening, has brought disarray to the German capital currently also hosting the prestigious 66th Berlin Film Festival.” [i24News]

“France proposes Israeli-Palestinian peace conference” by Tia Goldenberg: “France has presented Israel and the Palestinians with a proposal for an international peace conference, the sides said Tuesday, but the plan received a cool response from Israel, casting doubt on the first push for peace in nearly two years.” [WashPost] • “Palestinian foreign minister Riad Al-Malki said Monday that one-on-one talks with Israel were out of the question. ‘We will never go back and sit again in a direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.'” [YahooNews]

HEARD YESTERDAY: In Tel Aviv, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nation Samantha Power, addressing students from more than 40 schools, pointed to the rejection of rescue organization ZAKA as proof of the world body’s singling out of Israel for criticism. “Bias has extended well beyond Israel as a country, Israel as an idea,” she said of the UN and particularly the UN Human Rights Council. “Israel is just not treated like other countries,” she added during a Q&A session. Israeli officials have long complained that the United Nations is biased against the Jewish state. But Power said the issue wasn’t the world body but the countries that make it up, expressing hope that it can improve. [ToI] • Video of Power’s remarks [YouTube]

Power: Iran’s Compliance with Deal – ‘Strong’ by Jacob Kornbluh: “What this deal does if implemented — and so far the implementation has been strong but it’s very early days — is it cuts off the pathways to a nuclear weapon and it gives us much more visibility into Iran’s [nuclear] program than we had before,” Power told the students. But Power cautioned that Iran’s sponsorship of global terrorism remains a threat to the region and the United States. “Iran, of course, is still a threat,” she said. “Iran is supporting terrorism. Iran is supporting parties to conflict like the Assad regime (in Syria).” [JewishInsider]

FORMER PRESIDENTS BACK ON THE TRAIL: “Bill Clinton Meets Jewish Leaders in Palm Beach” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Former President Bill Clinton met with over hundred Jewish community leaders, rabbis, elected officials, and supporters in South Florida on Monday to discuss issues important to the Jewish community and the importance of a strong U.S.-Israel relationship. The “Jewish Americans for Hillary organizing meeting” took place at the Port of Palm Beach in Riviera Beach, Florida.”[JewishInsider]

–Spotted: Sen. Bill Nelson, Congresswoman Lois Frankel, Congressman Alcee Hastings, Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, Sarah Bard, Nan Rich, Andrew Weinstein, Rabbi Mark Winer. [Pic]

Bill Clinton during campaign rally at the Port of Palm Beach: “Hillary and I have been strong supporters of the State of Israel. She got those Iran sanctions. She did the things which I think will make the future safer there.” [MiamiHerald• “Bill Clinton notes Tea Party’s pull in GOP, says ‘that’s going on now in our party’” [PalmBeachPost]

“Bill Clinton Tells Donald Trump Supporter to ‘Follow Him Like Moses to the Promised Land'” by Matthew Claiborne: “The former president was in his usual stump when a man in the crowd took off his shirt, revealing a concealed Donald Trump t-shirt… As the protester was escorted out by a Secret Service agent, the president took yet another jab at Trump. “If you want to build a wall on the Rio Grande River and you want to send the 11 million immigrants home, then you should follow him like Moses into the Promised Land,” said the former president, which caused the crowd to erupt into laughter.” [ABCNews]

George W. Bush rallies support for brother Jeb: “It is a vital that you select a candidate that is thoughtful and trustworthy,” the former president said. “Someone who says what he means and does what he says. When the American president speaks, the world listens. You can trust Jeb Bush to be measured and thoughtful on the world stage. Our enemies and allies will know that when President Jeb Bush speaks, he will follow through on his words.” [JewishInsiderCSPAN]

In an interview with Sean Hannity on Fox News, former President Bush said he found it “interesting” that foreign policy is a central campaign issue, unlike in the 2000 presidential election. “I hope the voters take a look at who’s got the clearest-eyed view of the world, and who’s got a plan to deal with those who will do us harm,” Bush told Hannity. [FoxNews]

“Rosenberg: Trump Campaign Told Me ‘Jewish Vote Wasn’t Important’” by Alan Colmes:“Monday on “The Alan Colmes Show,” Alan spoke with Rabbi Dr. Bernhard Rosenberg, the founder of Rabbi For Trump (formerly Rabbis For Trump), who recently said he would no longer support the Republican front runner for President. “A campaign worker contacted me from California, and said they were impressed with what I was doing and can they help me. She said to me, which got me very upset, that the Jewish vote wasn’t important.” [FoxNews]

FIRST LOOK — to be announced later today: NORPAC National President Ben Chouake to endorse Sen. Ted Cruz — “Since entering the Senate, Ted Cruz has made support of US-Israel relations a priority,” Dr. Chouake said. “We are fortunate that there are several candidates for president who can be expected to have a positive outlook on US-Israel relations,” he continued. “However, one of the candidates for president, Senator Ted Cruz, has clearly shown that the safety and security of the Jewish Homeland is an emotional and religious priority.” [JewishInsider]

From Florida Playbook: “J-STREET GOES FOR GOY – J-Street, the liberal Jewish counterweight to AIPAC, has made a surprise endorsement in Florida’s wild U.S. Senate race by deciding to back Rep. Patrick Murphy over Rep. Alan Grayson, who’s Jewish unlike his opponent. Today at noon, J-Street is scheduled to hold a fundraiser for Murphy at the Brodsky law Firm in Miami. One Democrat pointed out that J-Street is “ultra liberal” and would seem “more closely aligned with Grayson.” But the Senate race has become unpredictable and overwrought these days.” [Politico]

Gal Beckerman: “Bernie Sanders and a First for Jews” [NYTimes]

Stu Bykofsky: “Is America ready for a Jewish president?” [Philly]

Jonathan Chait: “Why Michael Bloomberg Could Run for President and Win” [NYMag]

Stuart Rothenberg: “Michael Bloomberg’s Road Map to the White House” [RollCall]

REMEMBERING SCALIA: “In Queens, Antonin Scalia Took Pride in Melting Pot and Confrontation” by Kim Barker: “His family moved to Elmhurst when he was 6, during World War II, into a small brick rowhouse with a small front yard on a narrow elbow of a street called O’Connell Court. It is hard to know what the neighborhood was really like, as any childhood viewed through the lens of later years tends to take on a rosy hue. But in 2008, Justice Scalia described it as “a really mishmash sort of a New York — a New York cosmopolitan neighborhood. There were Irish, German, Jewish, Italian.” He added, “It was the face of New York City.” [NYTimes]

“The Supreme Court’s Jewish gentile: My memories of Justice Scalia” by Nathan Lewin: “When there was no Jewish justice on the Supreme Court,” Antonin “Nino” Scalia told me, “I considered myself the Jewish justice.”… Scalia’s admiration for Jews and Jewish learning explains the frequent references in his opinions to the Talmud and other Jewish sources, and the significant number of Orthodox Jewish law clerks he hired. Scalia and I were the highest-ranking bachelors in our law school class… Scalia and his wife were guests in our sukkah, and he was kind enough to meet with law school classes I brought to Washington to hear Supreme Court arguments.” [JTA]

Rabbi Jack Moline writes… “My Justice Scalia stories: I was having lunch with a friend at the kosher restaurant in DC on weekday afternoon when Justice Scalia walked in with a group of clerks, quite a diverse crowd. One was wearing a kipa. He chose the restaurant so that everyone would have a full choice from the menu… Justice Scalia was a member of a weekly poker game on Friday nights. Among the other players was the father of a friend and congregant (himself not particularly observant)… The gentleman died unexpectedly and I was called on to conduct the funeral…”

“After I explained the custom of filling the grave, people lined up to participate by placing earth on the casket, including the Justice. Afterward he sought me out to thank me for the opportunity; the deceased was a dear friend and he found meaning and comfort in being part of creating a respectful memorial to him. There is no overlooking his legal perspective, but neither should it be overlooked that he believed that a life framed by principle and compassion was by far the most important thing, especially if freely chosen.” [Facebook]

**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: “ADT to Be Bought by Leon Black’s Apollo in $6.9 Billion Security Deal” [BloombergWSJ] • “Africa Israel offers ‘interim settlement’ to bondholders” [Globes] • “Hunting for Israel’s next Waze, investors start new $100 million fund” [GeekTime] • “Mark Zuckerberg’s Uphill Battle” [WSJ• “Patriots player teams up with Tampa social commerce company thanks to DSCN Capital” [BizJournals]

LongRead: “How BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti Is Building A 100-Year Media Company” by Noah Robischon: “Ask BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti about his influences, and his answer sounds like, well, a BuzzFeed post—one titled “The Three Historical References That Explain BuzzFeed Will Make You Say WTF.” Peretti first points to a company that started more than 100 years ago, Paramount Pictures, which owned a film production studio, its own cast of talent, and its own distribution channel in the form of theaters. “That allowed them to adapt and change as the market changed,” says Peretti.” [FastCompany]

RISING STARS: 18 Members of America’s Next Political Generation — “Aylon Berger, Co-Founder and Chairman, New Jersey High School Democrats; National Campaigns Director, High School Democrats of America: An outspoken advocate for a strong US-Israel relationship, Aylon has lobbied dozens of members of the House and Senate on a host of foreign policy initiatives on behalf of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Berger’s activism will remain at the forefront as the pro-Israel community continues to ramp up its efforts to engage with progressives.”

“Jeremy Cronig, President, North American Federation of Temple Youth (NFTY): Jeremy Cronig’s experience engaging millenials stems from his leadership of NFTY, the Reform Jewish Youth Movement with over 8,000 members across North America. Since his election last summer, Cronig has deepened the organization’s social justice and political focuses. Under his leadership, he has mobilized NFTY members on an international gun violence prevention campaign patterning with Everytown for Gun Safety and other organizations.” [Medium]

INBOX — David Rubenstein Donates $18.5 Million to the National Park Foundation to Restore the Lincoln Memorial: “The ideals and values of our nation’s 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, will be honored and shared for generations to come thanks to an $18.5 million gift from businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein… It is Rubenstein’s fourth gift to benefit our country’s national parks.” [PressReleaseWashPost]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Jewish shrine reminds Iraqis of religious coexistence” by Adnan Abu Zeed: “Although the tomb of Jewish Prophet Ezra was turned into an Islamic landmark over the years following the Jewish exodus in the 1950s, clerics there say they are preserving the Jewish character of the shrine.” [AlMonitor]

DESSERT: “Life After Brisket” by Sara Toth Stub: “Vegans in Israel are driven more by animal rights than by health concerns and adopt a militant stance in defense and promotion of their cause… Besides that, the movement manifests itself peacefully, with dozens of new vegan restaurants opening up and established restaurants adding vegan dishes to their menus. Arguably the strongest sign that veganism is here to stay is that the IDF now offers not only vegan food, but boots made of faux leather and berets made from fake wool. And though, until recently, the trend was most obvious in secular Tel Aviv, interest in veganism is growing among the Orthodox.” [TabletMag]

BIRTHDAYS: Billionaire Investor Car Icahn turns 8-0… Sonia Gardner, co-founder of Avenue Capital Group, turns 54… Eric McDonald…

** Market downturn? Israel VC is thriving: Last week, Jon Medved, Founder & CEO of OurCrowd, explained to CNN’s Richard Question why tech investment in 2016 makes sense. OurCrowd is a world-leading equity-based crowdfunding platform, built for accredited investors to provide venture capital funding for Israeli and  global startups. Membership in the community is vetted and offered only to people who meet the stringent accreditation criteria. Accredited investors who are accepted into the community can make minimum investments of $10,000 per deal. Watch the interview [OurCrowd] **

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