Daily Kickoff: Ivanka ousts Lewandowski | $5B island proposal off Gaza coast | Ban Ki-Moon’s Israel visit | Inside the Mind of young Steven Spielberg
TOP TALKER: “After Months of Loyalty, Trump Finally Decided to Fire His Campaign Manager After a Bad Answer at a Meeting” by Gabriel Sherman: “At around 9:30 Monday morning, Donald Trump and his adult children gathered for a regular strategy meeting at Trump Tower… According to two sources briefed on the events, the meeting was a setup. Shortly after it began, the children peppered Lewandowski with questions, asking him to explain the campaign’s lack of infrastructure… Their father grew visibly upset as he heard the list of failures. Finally, he turned to Lewandowski and said, “What’s your plan here?” Lewandowski responded that he wanted to leak Trump’s vice-president pick. And with that, Lewandowski was out.” [NYMag]
Ivanka’s Role: “She had been critical of Lewandowski for months and this was not the first time that she had leaned on her father to part ways with his top aide. Contributing to Ivanka Trump’s recent dissatisfaction with Lewandowski were intensifying tensions between Lewandowski and Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, an influential force behind the scenes. One source said rumors swirled that Lewandowski had attempted to plant negative stories in the press about Kushner — a final straw for Ivanka Trump. It was ultimately Ivanka Trump who sat down with her father on Sunday and convinced him to let Lewandowski go — even offering an ultimatum of sorts about her own continued involvement with the campaign, according to sources with knowledge of this conversation.” [CNN; Fortune]
“Trump Jr. downplays family’s involvement in Lewandowski ouster” by Lisa Hagen: “Were we involved in talking about this with him, sure, but he’s always going to come up with his own mind,” he continued. “We left it in a good way with Corey. We’ve had a great relationship with Corey.” [TheHill]
“Sam Nunberg Welcomes Lewandowski To Fraternity Of Fired Trump Aides” by McKay Coppins: “It’s a sad day. Nobody likes to see anybody in the industry get fired,” Nunberg said. “Oh wait, Corey called 20 reporters the day I got fired.” [BuzzFeed]
VP TALK: “Wall Street donors seek to block Warren VP pick” by Ben White: “In a dozen interviews, major Democratic donors in the financial services industry said they saw little chance that Clinton would pick the liberal firebrand as her vice presidential nominee. These donors despise Warren’s attacks on the financial industry. But they also think her selection would be damaging to the economy. And they warned that if Clinton surprises them and taps Warren, big donations from the industry could vanish.” [Politico; VanityFair]
FIRST LOOK: “GOP jumps on Democratic platform feud over Israel” by Katie Glueck: “The latest salvo will come from the Republican Jewish Coalition this week… The RJC ads will target Arab-American activist James Zogby, public intellectual Cornel West and Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress. The RJC’s five-figure social media campaign characterizes the three platform committee members as “radical” Democrats who are “stridently anti-Israel,” “hand-selected member[s] of the Democratic platform committee.” All three were selected by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.” [Politico]
NYTIMES A1 — “Smugglers in West Bank Open Door to Jobs in Israel, and Violence” by James Glanz and Rami Nazzal: “The industry offers economic benefits for everyone involved: Palestinian workers earn double or quadruple the wages they can in the West Bank; Israeli contractors and restaurant owners pay less for illegal labor than for Palestinians with permits; and the smugglers collect $65 to $200 for each person that passes. Punishment for those caught is generally being sent back to the other side. The system punches a hole in Israel’s system for regulating Palestinians’ access to work inside Israel, and has security implications: Attackers like the two Palestinian men who fatally shot four people this month at a Tel Aviv cafe sneak through as well.” [NYTimes]
PROPOSAL: “Israel wants someone to build a $5 billion island off Gaza — for a seaport, hotels, airport” by William Booth and Ellen Nakashima: “The Israeli government is considering a proposal to build an artificial island off the Gaza Strip that a top official says would give Palestinians living in the besieged enclave their one and only seaport — and maybe a hotel and an international airport, too. The Israeli minister of intelligence who is promoting the plan, Israel Katz, said the Jewish state is actively seeking financial partners for the $5 billion project… “What’s special about this is that from both right, left and center, you can find supporters for this,” Katz said.” [WashPost]
KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon is coming to Israel and the Palestinian Authority next week. Kafe Knesset has learned that Secretary Ban will arrive on Monday for a 48 hour visit that will include stops in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Ramallah and Gaza. This is expected to be Ban’s farewell visit to the region, five months before the end of his tenure. In addition to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and Palestinian President Abbas, the UN Secretary General will receive an honorary degree from Tel Aviv University, and in Gaza, will see the progress of reconstruction efforts following the 2014 Gaza War.
Ban Ki Moon’s visit coincides with Netanyahu’s planned meeting with Secretary of State John Kerry, which is expected to take place next week in Europe. In both instances, the focus will be on the efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which has been frozen for more than two years. For the prime minister, the increased international involvement – including a decision yesterday by the European Union to fully embrace the ‘French Peace Initiative’ – creates a problem at home, where his coalition relies on the right-wing Jewish Home party, which is opposed to any concessions in the peace process, for its survival.
SCENE LAST NIGHT: Netanyahu and 115 other members of Knesset (everyone but Likud troublemaker Oren Hazan, and the three members of the Arab-nationalist Balad Party) were invited last night to the post-wedding party of Knesset chairman Yuli Edelstein and his wife Irina Nevzlin. A no-fly zone was enforced above the party venue north of Tel Aviv. Edelstein and Nevzlin, daughter of Russian-Israeli oligarch Leonid Nevzlin, asked the guests to make donations to IDF soldier welfare organizations in lieu of gifts. Still, some insisted on bringing gifts, including Netanyahu, who brought a special parchment with the words “beshivat tzion hayinu kecholmim” (Psalm 126), saluting Edelstein’s history as a Zionist political prisoner in the USSR.
The happy couple – with almost 20 years of age difference between them – addressed the question marks over their late blooming romance. “It’s no secret that in recent months everyone has been asking us – how are you going to get along?” Edelstein said. “My answer is that when two people complete each other with so much love you can win everything. I hope we will see the same kind of unity as a country well.”
FUNERAL COVERAGE — “American Patron of Israeli Settlers Buried in East Jerusalem” by Daniella Cheslow: “Irving Moskowitz, an American patron of ultranationalist Israeli settlers, was laid to rest in east Jerusalem on Monday. Hundreds of mourners gathered under heavy security for the funeral. The 88-year-old multimillionaire died at his home in Miami last Thursday. He was buried at a cemetery in the Mount of Olives, within view of a Jewish enclave in east Jerusalem he helped establish. The ancient Jewish cemetery, which overlooks the Old City, is home to the graves of many key figures in Jewish and Israeli history.” [AP]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “George Soros Warns Brexit May Cause Pound Plunge Worse Than Black Wednesday” [Bloomberg] • “What 5 Key British Jews Are Saying About Brexit Vote” [Forward] • “Soros, Gross, Druckenmiller, Singer, Icahn: Big-name investors turning bearish” [IrishTimes] • James Simons on the next president’s priorities [CNBC] • “KKR Raises $739 Million for First European Real Estate Fund” [Bloomberg] • “The Upper East Side’s Bernie Madoff of Landlords” [VanityFair] • “Sumner Redstone seeks to dismiss lawsuit by Viacom CEO” [AP] • “The Bizarre World of Unsolicited Mark Zuckerberg Fan Art” [Gizmodo]
STARTUP NATION: “Bill Gates among investors in new Israeli tech incubator” by Gali Weinreb: “Bill Gates has invested indirectly in a newly established technological incubator for the development of medical devices, sources inform Globes. As far as is known, this is Gates’ first-ever investment in Israel.” [Globes]
SPOTLIGHT: “Clark Valberg’s InVision raises $55M in Series D funding to make product design collaborative” by Fitz Tepper: “Collaborative prototyping and design tool InVision has raised a $55M Series D round led by Iconiq Capital, the venture firm known for investing funds for Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey, among others. Existing investors Accel Partners and FirstMark Capital also participated in the round.” [TechCrunch]
LONG-READ: “Inside the Mind of Steven Spielberg, Hollywood’s Big, Friendly Giant” by Jon Mooallem: “Imagine you are little Steven Spielberg. It’s the early 1950s. You are 7, maybe 8. You are very small in an enormous world. You feel things strongly, as all children do, and seemingly all at once. Awe, dread, wonder, joy, vulnerability, sadness—often these come crashing over you together as a single phenomenon. Later, when people recognize your gift for re-creating the sensations of childhood—when a critic describes your work as going “so deep into the special alertness, loyalty, and ardor of children that it makes you see things you had forgotten or blotted out and feel things you were embarrassed to feel”—it’s this sensitivity they’re often talking about. You are exquisitely uncomfortable with yourself. You are pimpled, wimpy, and Jewish, and you are bullied for all of it.” [Wired]
“U.S. Spies: Israeli Agent Jonathan Pollard Could Spill More Secrets—Even After 30 Years Behind Bars” by Shane Harris: “In a series of declarations filed late Friday with the U.S. Parole Commission, senior U.S. intelligence officials forcefully argued that Pollard still poses a risk to national security because if left unchecked, he could divulge U.S. secrets—and even old ones could do harm.” [DailyBeast]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “The Merchant of Venice” will be staged, for the first time, in the Venetian Jewish ghetto: “In 1516, when the Venetian authorities ordered the city’s Jews into an area near a foundry, they gave them just 48 hours to move. They also forced them to pay their new landlords 30% more rent than the outgoing Christian tenants. A Venetian word meaning “foundry” may have given rise to the term “ghetto”, which over the years has taken on wholly negative connotations. The 500th anniversary of that fateful event scarcely invites celebration. Yet it has inspired in Venice itself several intriguing, and controversial, initiatives of which the highlight is an exhibition opening at the Doge’s Palace on June 19th.” [Economist]
SPORTS BLINK: David Beckham Boasts of Jewish Granddad: “Former British soccer star David Beckham told a JCC audience in London that although he was not raised Jewish, he feels like a member of the tribe. Beckham, 41, was asked last week at a public interview at the JW3 center, “Do you see yourself as Jewish in any way?” He replied: “My grandfather was Jewish, that was on my mother’s side, so yes, I do see myself …” [Haaretz/JTA]
BIRTHDAYS: Washington Institute fellow David Makovsky turns 56… former Trump advisor Sam Nunberg… David Miller… UK cabinet minister in both the Thatcher and Major governments, Sir Malcolm Leslie Rifkind turns 70… Co-founder of the global advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi, Baron Maurice Saatchi turns 70…
**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**