Daily Kickoff: Lindsey Graham in Israel says “Trump’s foreign policy worse than Obama’s” | Uber’s Secretive Israeli Competitor | First Jewish Tartan

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PODCAST QUOTE: “Who Would Bibi Vote For?” by David Rothkopf with Yochi Dreazen, Kori Schake, and David Sanger — Schake: “There does seem to be one possible continuity in a potential Trump administration which is that he likes authoritarian strong men and maybe in a weird way that provides the basis for a better relationship with Netanyahu.” Rothkopf: “Wow, she went to the Trump Netanyahu comparison.” Schake: “I didn’t make a Trump Netanyahu comparison but I do think that Trump would admire the strength with which Netanyahu perseveres despite unpopularity and finds new options for himself with the Russians or others when we prove unreliable.” Rothkopf: “They do have in common kind of racist of tendencies and a dependency on walls.” Schake: “I would like the record to reflect that is was David who made the Netanyahu Trump comparison, not me.” [ForeignPolicy]

HEARD LAST NIGHT at GOP Town Hall on CNN: “Donald Trump, Ted Cruz and John Kasich all stepped back from their earlier pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee.” [CNN]

Trump suggests Japan, South Korea and Saudi Arabia should be allowed to develop nuclear weapons if that means they could defend themselves independently from their adversaries. “Maybe it’s going to have to be time to change, because so many people, you have Pakistan has it, you have China has it. Iran is going to have it within 10 years… At some point we have to say, you know what, we’re better off if Japan protects itself against this maniac in North Korea, we’re better off, frankly, if South Korea is going to start to protect itself,” he explained. Can I be honest with you? It’s going to happen, anyway. It’s only a question of time.” Adding, “When you see all of the money that our country is spending on military, we’re not spending it for ourselves; we’re protecting all of these nations all over the world.  We can’t afford to do it anymore.” [CBSNews]

Anderson Cooper asks Trump about his new grandson’s name: “His name is Theodore. Any chance you’re going to call him Cryin’ Ted? Trump: No, I don’t think so… Theodore Roosevelt is somebody Jared and Ivanka have long studied and respected, and it’s Theodore James. Tough, strong, and it’s Theodore James, and that’s what they really had in mind.”

John Kasich: “I’ll give you another one that I can’t believe. The president of the United States – the first thing he did is he wouldn’t meet with our friend Netanyahu. OK, that was the first meeting he snubbed. Now, he’s snubbed another one. He’s snubbed a meeting with the president of Turkey. Do you know how important it is for to us have good relations with Turkey? They’re the gateway to the East.” [CNN]

“Why Islamism Isn’t Like Communism” by Jeffrey Goldberg: “There is, of course, a legitimate critique to be made of President Obama’s rhetorical approach to terrorism. He is, in my view, so worried about activating panic, or xenophobia, that he will sometimes over-calibrate his remarks, erring on the side of Spockian rationality… But the lack of satisfying rhetoric on Obama’s part should not be confused for a lack of strategy. He is, after all, killing jihadists at a frenetic pace (these targeted killings receive comparatively little coverage in the press, at least when compared to the coverage of Donald Trump’s complaints about Obama’s prosecution of the war on ISIS), and there is a national security-oriented rationale to his limited use of heated anti-ISIS rhetoric. One of the president’s goals in this fight is to avoid enlarging the pool of adversaries.” [TheAtlantic]

–Happening Tonight: At 7PM at Sixth&I Synagogue in D.C., “The Atlantic’s National Correspondent and foreign policy expert Jeffrey Goldberg talks to Atlantic Editor in Chief James Bennet about “The Obama Doctrine,” Goldberg’s newly-published, historic account of President Obama’s worldview.” [Sixth&I]

Lindsey Graham in Israel: “Trump’s foreign policy worse than Obama’s” by Herb Keinon: “If the US presidential race comes down to Hillary Clinton vs. Donald Trump, Israel should “pull for Congress,” an institution that “has Israel’s back more than any other institution,” South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said Tuesday in Jerusalem. “If you can tell me what Trump is going to do, then you should write a book. One thing I can tell you about Donald Trump is that his foreign policy, to me, has been gibberish. To me, it is worse than Obama.”

As for Clinton, Graham said she has been part of an “antagonistic Obama administration,” and has been in the camp that has “put pressure disproportionately on Israel regarding the settlements.” At the same time, he said Clinton has been “helpful” at times in that respect, and “I think you would see her more willing to reject the UN Security Council taking over the peace process – at least that is what she said at AIPAC.” [JPost]

David Ignatius: “Economic sanctions have become the “silver bullet” of American foreign policy over the past decade, because they’re cheaper and more effective in compelling adversaries than traditional military power. But Treasury Secretary Jack Lew warns of a “risk of overuse” that could neuter the sanctions weapon and harm America… Lew’s larger point is that sanctions won’t work if countries don’t get the reward they were promised — in the removal of sanctions — once they accede to U.S. demands.”[WashPost• “Lew Defends Sanctions, but Cautions on Overuse” [NYTimes]

“Iran missile tests were ‘in defiance of’ U.N. resolution” by Louis Charbonneau: “By launching nuclear-capable missiles Iran has defied a United Nations Security Council resolution that endorsed last year’s historic nuclear deal, the United States and its European allies said in a joint letter seen by Reuters on Tuesday.” [Reuters]

“Senator asks State to investigate Israeli human rights ‘violations’” by Nahal Toosi: “Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) and 10 House members have asked the Obama administration to investigate claims that the Israeli and Egyptian security forces have committed “gross violations of human rights” — allegations that if proved could affect U.S. military aid to the countries.” [PoliticoLetter] • Signatures include Rep. Hank Johnson, Rep. Raul Grijalva, Rep. Andre Carson, Rep. Betty McCollum, Rep. Jim McDermott, Rep. Jim McGovern, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Chellie Pingree, and Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson.

“Qatar Wants to Buy Dozens of U.S. Warplanes. Why Won’t Washington Sell Them?” by Dan De Luce: “Israel has privately expressed reservations about the deal because of Qatar’s relationships with Islamist groups like the Taliban and Hamas and because of concerns that Israel’s military superiority in the region could be undercut by the sale, congressional aides and former U.S. officials said. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf nations have voiced similar concerns about Qatar’s ties to terrorist groups and its increasingly warm relationship with Tehran.”

“Faced with a politically fraught dilemma that could either antagonize Qatar or Israel and other Persian Gulf allies, the White House has been unable to make a decision… Several U.S. lawmakers, including those with staunch pro-Israel views, have been puzzled by the delay on the Qatar sale — as well as a pending deal with Kuwait — and urged the administration to move forward on both deals. The memorandum reportedly could offer up to $50 billion worth of U.S. military aid to Israel over a decade, but the sale of dozens of fighter jets to Qatar could give the Israelis a rationale to press for bolstering the assistance further, experts said.” [ForeignPolicy]

“Obama’s Jewish liaison, earning thanks for a thankless job, says goodbye” by Ron Kampeas: “One email said: “Matt. Best of luck. You were always gracious and a wonderful listener. Obama is fortunate to have you.” That was from Morton Klein, the president of the Zionist Organization of America and one of the Obama administration’s most lacerating critics.” [JTA]

“Soros inaccurately floated as Kasich backer in pro-Cruz ad” by Julie Bykowicz: “Soros is named in $500,000 worth of advertising in next-to-vote Wisconsin, with allies of GOP candidate Ted Cruz charging that he’s linked to rival John Kasich. The ad hit the airwaves Tuesday and continues through the state’s election next week. Scott Bessent, who was chief investment officer at Soros Fund Management until the end of last year, gave $200,000 to the pro-Kasich super PAC New Day for America. Matt David called the pro-Cruz ad claims “absurd.” “It’s like saying a contribution from the Cavs owner Dan Gilbert is a contribution from LeBron James,” David said.” [AP]

**Good Wednesday 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: U.S. firms target investment in Israeli cannabis R&D” [Reuters] • “How one hedge fund made $2 billion from Argentina’s economic collapse” [WashPost• “Ron Perelman’s Revlon Ploy, Take 2” [Bloomberg] • “U.S. Oil Industry Giant Paid Millions To A Company At The Center Of Huge Corruption Scandal” [HuffPost] • “Martin Selig’s 36-Story Tower Plans at 3rd & Lenora Adds Apartments” [Curbed] • “Even More Bling: Jacob the Jeweler Picks Up Another 432 Park Pad” [Observer] • “How Superagents Michael Ovitz and Ron Meyer Divorced CAA and Landed Their Own Movie Studios” [VanityFair]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “Meet the Secretive Startup Trying to Steal Uber’s Top Drivers” by Polina Marinova: “If anyone has a chance against Uber, Juno founder Talmon Marco isn’t a bad bet. The Israeli-born entrepreneur has struck gold in difficult markets before: two years ago, he sold Viber, the popular messaging app he created, for a cool $900 million. He claims Juno will take a low 10% commission on every ride (Uber takes 20%) and offer drivers equity in the company. Drivers who work for multiple ridesharing companies will be contractors, and drivers who work solely for Juno are eligible to be full-time employees.” [Fortune]

STARTUP NATION: “Start Up Nation v. Stop Us Nation” by Michael Eisenberg: “I am sincerely worried that a day may come in which my fiduciary duty will force me to encourage Israeli entrepreneurs to register their companies in Delaware. I don’t want to do that. I am worried that foreign companies will find doing business here ill advised. None of us want that. I am worried that the bright people of Start Up Nation are just continually fed up with the mediocre bureaucrats and politicians in Stop Us Nation.” [Medium]

FIRST PERSON — Isadore Sharp’s Story: “How the Founder of Four Seasons Stumbled Into the Hotel Business” by Dinah Eng: “I never thought about going into business. My parents were immigrants who had moved from Poland to Israel in the 1920s, then to Canada, where I was born in 1931. Downtown Toronto back then was a Jewish ghetto, and my father built houses. My mother would take in boarders, and if someone liked the house, she’d sell it. So we moved 15 times by the time I was 16.”

“Many parts of our lives are circumscribed by chance events and coincidences. In 1955 a friend decided to build a small motel and hired me to do it. I thought, If a motel on a limited-access highway was successful, why wouldn’t it work downtown? We charged $10 to $12 a night, a far cry from what we charge today… The world is now full of terror, and at no other time in our lives have we had such uncertainty. Business is able to bring people together across barriers because commerce benefits everyone.”[FortuneMag]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “First official Jewish tartan unveiled” by Chris McCall: “Jews around the world with a love of all things Scottish will now able to dress in an official kosher tartan. The distinctive blue and white design was created by Mendel Jacobs, the only Scottish-born Rabbi living north of the border, and has been registered with the Scottish Tartans Authority.” [ScotsmanDailyMail]

“Cuba’s prisoner, Alan Gross: ‘I was an involuntary catalyst’ — by Glenn Thrush: “The 66-year-old New York native says he’s never been a spy, for the U.S. or Israel, and his late-2009 arrest for sharing telecom and Internet gear with Havana’s small Jewish community was the Cuban regime’s attempt to gain leverage for a prisoner swap. His first year was his worst: Confined to a secure ward in a military hospital, he was threatened with torture, denied decent food and reading material of any kind, while having only limited contact with outsiders.” [Politico]

HOLLYWOOD: “Patty Duke’s Jewish Moment” by Rob Eshman: “Patty Duke, who died March 29 at the age of 69, was a remarkable actress and a pioneering crusader for mental health awareness… Catching up on the life of a woman I knew mostly through her sitcom appearances, I came across another little fact: she once used her beautiful voice to perform the Israeli folksong “Dona Dona” on the Ed Sullivan Show.” [JewishJournal]

BIRTHDAYS: Harvard Professor of Economics and winner of the Israel Prize, Elhanan Helpman, turns 70… Huffington Post reporter Jessica Schulberg… Eighteen:22 founder Robert J. Saferstein… Actress Mili Avital turns 44… Chess grandmaster and former three time Soviet champion, Larissa Volpert, turns 90… Film and TV director Michael Lehmann turns 59… Comedian and actor Paul Reiser turns 59… Haaretz journalist Donna Harman… Lois Goldberg… Zelda Greenberg…

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