Daily Kickoff: Netanyahu government engaging J Street | How Larry King got his name | Aiden Clinton Mezvinsky | Singapore’s secret kosher restaurant
Ed note: Today’s Daily Kickoff was crafted back stateside in NYC, although working WiFi on United Airlines overnight from TLV would have been helpful. At least the cockpit sent us sporadic updates on the Cavs Warriors Game 7. Speaking of planes, one insider told us over the weekend they’ve never seen Ben Gurion packed with more private jets. We’ll attribute it to a confluence of high profile events over the weekend including the Edelstein-Nevzlin wedding, Herzliya Conference, the Harris bar mitzvah, and the upcoming Genesis Prize ceremony.
**Leon Wieseltier & Julia Ioffe to join us for Friday Night in Aspen — will you? On July 1st, Jewish Insider will host a Friday Night Dinner, nourished by OneTable, on the sidelines of the Aspen Ideas Festival in downtown Aspen. The dinner will feature a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Julia Ioffe along with an upscale Israeli/California wine tasting courtesy of our weekly wine columnist Yitz Applbaum. Individual tickets for the Ideas Festival are on sale now. Details and request for invitation to the dinner here**
DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Uranium Provides New Clue on Iran’s Past Nuclear Arms Work” by Jay Solomon: “The Obama administration has concluded that uranium particles discovered last year at a secretive Iranian military base likely were tied to the country’s past, covert nuclear weapons program, current and former officials said, a finding that contradicts Tehran’s longstanding denials that it was pursuing a bomb… Critics on Capitol Hill believe the Obama administration played down the extent of Tehran’s nuclear work to advance President Barack Obama’s signature foreign policy initiative.” [WSJ]
COMING ATTRACTION: “Netanyahu to Meet Kerry Next Week Amid Concerns Over French Initiative, Quartet Report” by Barak Ravid: “Netanyahu is expected to meet next week with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in a European capital, against the backdrop of the French peace initiative and a Quartet report likely to severely criticize Israeli policies in the West Bank. A senior Israeli official said Netanyahu spoke with Kerry by telephone on Friday and they decided to meet face-to-face, though no exact date or venue has as yet been set.” [Haaretz; ToI]
State Visit: New Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will meet with Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter at the Pentagon. Lieberman will also meet with the U.S. Armed Services Committee and the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee. On Wednesday, he will attend a ceremony in Dallas honoring the development of Lockheed Martin’s F-35 fighter jet and visit to the local factory of the Israeli weapons manufacturer Elbit Systems.
“The White House missile aid objection: An MOU negotiating tactic?” by Michael Wilner: “The remaining negotiation is not over defining Israel’s security needs, but over concrete dollar figures: Over how much funding Israel will be guaranteed each year. And part of that calculation requires both sides to settle on an amount of missile defense aid to incorporate into the MOU – a figure that was not included in the previous MOU, left instead to be renegotiated every year by Congress into the National Defense Authorization Act. Failing to object to Congress’s quadrupling of the president’s missile defense budget – which was proposed at $147m. – would have had a direct consequence on the MOU talks, as it would have effectively been an administration concession that Israel needs hundreds of millions more than had previously been negotiated.” [JPost]
TOP TALKER: “Israel Wants Help Fighting BDS — and It’s Turning to J Street” by J.J. Goldberg: “The Israeli cabinet member charged with coordinating anti-boycott efforts, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan, met on June 13 in Jerusalem with the director of J Street’s Israel office, Yael Patir. The meeting was described by Erdan in a June 16 speech on combating boycotts at the annual Herzliya Conference. The Erdan-Patir meeting was the first ever between a minister of the Netanyahu government and a representative of J Street… “Anyone who can’t meet with J Street can’t be helpful in fighting anti-Israel delegitimization,” said Gidi Grinstein, head of the Reut Institute.” [Forward]
“Is Israel a Pariah? Not According to Its New Friends” by Eli Lake: “Both sides of this fight give the impression that Israel is becoming a pariah. And yet BDS has failed as both an economic and diplomatic weapon.” [BloombergView]
2016 TALK: “Trump Suggests Israeli Model of Racial Profiling” by Jacob Kornbluh: “I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” Trump said on CBS Face the Nation. “You know, I hate the concept of profiling. But we have to start using common sense and we have to use our heads. We really have to look at profiling. We have to look at it seriously.” Trump cited Israel as as a model: “You look at Israel and you look at others and they do it and they do it successfully.”[JewishInsider; Reuters]
“Who’s Advising Donald Trump on Foreign Policy? It’s Hard to Say” by Alex Seitz-Wald:“Several former officials are rumored to have been brought into Trump’s circle. If you’re parsing his statements like a Talmudic scholar, you can detect differences,” said Peter Feaver, a former National Security Council staffer under George W. Bush and a professor at Duke University. “Everybody has told them they need to get more serious. I think there’s no interest in that inside the campaign,” said Danielle Pletka.” [NBCNews]
“Here’s what people around the world think of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump” by Jason Aldag: “The Post’s Ruth Eglash went to Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market and found that Israelis are more concerned about U.S.-Israel ties than about any particular candidate. The people she interviewed wanted the next president to support their country, regardless of who it is. One woman said she hoped the next leader would do a better job than President Obama at achieving what she called “quiet” in the region.” [WashPost]
HAPPENING TODAY: “Harvey Weinstein hosting star-studded fundraiser for Hillary” by Emily Smith: “Harvey Weinstein is throwing a starry fundraiser for Hillary Clinton on Monday with co-hosts Leo DiCaprio, Jennifer Lopez, Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick… Hillary has a lunch earlier Monday that will be hosted by Alan Patricof, and another dinner at the end of the night at hedge funder Marc Lasry’s home on the Upper East Side.” [NYPost]
REACTIONS — Kenneth Baer: “Will Hillary take off from campaigning in 8 days for her grandson’s bris? Of course, Trump skipped his grandson’s bris.” [Twitter] • Naftali Bennett: “MAZAL TOV from Israel.” [Twitter] • Jacob Kornbluh: “bubba and bubbe Clinton” [Twitter]
KAFE KNESSET by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Many Israelis consider the work week at the Knesset enviable: Sunday, Thursday and Friday are generally off-days, leaving a condensed three-day schedule of sessions from Monday to Wednesday. Today, however, the Israeli parliament’s hallways are expected to be empty as early as 5 PM, since two hours later, almost all 120 members will arrive at the party thrown by Knesset Chairman Yuli Edelstein in celebration of his recent marriage to Irina Nevzlin. The ceremony will take place at the prestigious Ronit Farm north of Tel Aviv. Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to attend.
The focus of Netanyahu’s public statements this week has been Israel’s decision to send fire-fighting planes and equipment to her neighbors in Cyprus, as the island country is struggling against a severe wildfire in its northwest. Netanyahu referred to this development in his opening remarks at the cabinet meeting yesterday, and also put out two press releases about it.
This relatively small development is especially noteworthy because next week, Israel and Turkey are expected to finally sign an agreement that will put an end to the six year-long crisis between the two countries, and normalize their relations once again. Perhaps the warming ties with Turkey are what’s driving the Prime Minister to publicly emphasize Israel’s close relationship with Cyprus and Greece. Relations with both countries have warmed over the last few years, and Netanyahu doesn’t want to lose them once it’s back to normal with their regional rival, Turkey.
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “The Rudin Family’s New Firm Offers Tech to Run Buildings” [WSJ] • “One Struggling Israeli Businessman Does a Deal, but Tycoons Still Owe Billions” [Haaretz] • “Facebook Co-Founder Saverin Takes a Shine to Singapore Underdog” [Bloomberg] • “Henry Kissinger’s brother says ex-staffers left mansion in ruins” [NYPost] • “Meet Uber’s Political Genius” [VanityFair] • “Kushner Companies taps Laurent Morali as president” [RealDeal] • “Michael Steinhardt: Markets will continue to rise” [Globes]
STARTUP NATION: “American High-tech Guru Killed in Tel Aviv Accident Remembered as ‘Honest, Generous Person'” by Allison Kaplan Sommer and Inbal Orpaz: “Alan Weinkrantz, a high-tech public relations executive and startup communications strategist based in both San Antonio, Texas and Israel was one of the victims of the tragic accident in Tel Aviv on Saturday when a car slammed into a restaurant… Police were quick to put out the word that the incident was an accident and not a terror attack.” [Haaretz; ToI]
@Mottel writes… “Alan was one of the most incredibly loving, kind, sweet and caring people I’ve ever been fortunate enough to meet. We spent a good deal of time talking, and when we were done, he exclaimed out loud to me, “You remind me of . . . my bubby.” He meant that warm feeling of connection, Jewish pride and love that one gets from a bubby . . . and while I don’t know what in me made him say that, I can definitely say that I saw it in him.” [Instagram]
REMEMBERING: “Richard Wyman, philanthropist and executive at Hochschild Kohn, dies” by Carrie Wells: “Maurice Richard Wyman, who helped run the iconic Hochschild Kohn department store in downtown Baltimore and donated millions to various local charities, died at home in Baltimore Tuesday of lung cancer. He was 87.” [TheSun]
SPOTLIGHT: “Larry King on His Path From Brooklyn to Beverly Hills” by Marc Myers: “I left Brooklyn for Miami in 1957, when I was 23. My first job was at WAHR as a disc jockey. But 10 minutes before I went on for the first time, the general manager said that my name, Zeiger, was too ethnic. In his office, the newspaper was open on a table. He looked at the paper, at an ad for King’s Wholesale Liquors. He said, “How about Larry King?” I had always been ambitious, but once I was on the air that day, nothing came out of my mouth.” [WSJ]
TRANSITION: “Mike Allen, Politico’s Newsletter Pioneer, Is Handing Over the Reins” by Jim Rutenberg: “Jake Sherman has covered Capitol Hill for Politico since 2009. Anna Palmer has covered Congress and was a co-author of Politico’s newsletter specializing in lobbying, called Politico Influence. Daniel Lippman, 26, who has been helping Mr. Allen with Playbook since 2014 — and is a peripatetic emailer and scene-maker himself — will assist them.” [NYTimes]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “All The Murals At Coney Art Walls Are Now Completed” by Scott Lynch: “As promised by co-curators Jeffrey Deitch and Thor Equities CEO Joseph Sitt, all of the 21 new murals at the open-air gallery Coney Art Walls were completed in time for the Mermaid Parade over the weekend.” [Gothamist]
DESSERT: “One of a kind: Singapore’s only kosher restaurant” by Glenn Ong:“Singapore’s first and only kosher eatery, Awafi Restaurant, has no Jewish staff. It is managed by two Singaporeans on behalf of the Jewish Welfare Board, and its kitchen is staffed by four to five locals. Save for a brief mention by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in a recent state visit to Israel, the restaurant is a closely guarded secret – there is hardly any information about it on the Internet and around its premises, and in order to gain access, you will need to exchange your identity card for a visitor’s pass or sticker. Your bags will also be checked, and you may even need to leave them at the security post before you enter.” [TheMiddleGround]
BIRTHDAYS: Academy Award, SAG and Golden Globe award winning actor, Martin Landau turns 88… Politico’s White House and Justice Department reporter, Josh Gerstein… Kahal’s Alex Jakubowski (yesterday)… mllnnl’s David Yarus (yesterday)…
**Join us for Friday Night in Aspen: On July 1st, Jewish Insider will host a Friday Night Dinner, nourished by OneTable, on the sidelines of the Aspen Ideas Festival in downtown Aspen. The dinner will feature a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Julia Ioffe along with an upscale Israeli/California wine tasting courtesy of our weekly wine columnist Yitz Applbaum. Details and request for invitation here**