Daily Kickoff: Aspen Dinner Tonight | Bibi’s tough spot on Quartet report | Adelson attends Shapiro’s July 4th party
Ed note: Today’s Daily Kickoff was crafted watching Attorney Gen. Loretta Lynch make news at the Aspen Ideas Festival this morning. Talk of former President Bill Clinton visiting Lynch on her plane in Phoenix dominated the conversation. Jonathan Capehart asked Lynch what advice she wished her predecessor Eric Holder had given her. To which she replied, “where the lock on the plane door was” (laughter)… Looking forward to our OneTable dinner in Aspen this evening featuring a conversation between Leon Wieseltier and Julia Ioffe, along with a wine tasting by Yitz Applbaum. Enjoy July 4th weekend and we’ll be back on the other side!
TOP TALKER: “Quartet Releases Report on Impasse in Israeli-Palestinian Peace: ‘Two-state Solution in Danger'” by Barak Ravid: “The report calls on the Palestinian Authority to stop incitement, step up efforts to stop terrorism and condemn attacks against Israelis. It calls on Israel to stop settlement construction and put a stop to the gradual takeover of Area C in the West Bank.” [Haaretz]
Aaron David Miller tweets: “NYT: Language in Quartet report will be indication of how hard Obama will push Israel on settlements. No it won’t” [Twitter]
We asked Aaron David Miller to elaborate. He wrote us back… “Mr. Obama’s most important goal between now and November is electing Mrs. Clinton. So the question is why would he seek to pick unproductive fights with Mr. Netanyahu that are certain to provide Republicans with arguments to hammer her and the Democratic president? If pressuring Israel would produce a breakthrough in the semi-comatose peace process, maybe. But we live here on planet earth not in a galaxy far far away.”
KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The horrifying terror attack yesterday near Hebron, in which 13 year old Halel Ariel was murdered by a 17 year old Palestinian, has put Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a tough situation.
On the one hand, many on the Israeli right — including ministers in his government and possible Netanyahu challenger Gideon Sa’ar — have called on him to authorize new building projects in the settlements as a response to this attack. Netanyahu himself paid a condolence visit to the family of the slain teenage girl, but didn’t make any public reference to new building plans.
On the other hand, the International Quartet issued its long-awaited report on the state of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, more than two days late, containing strong warnings against Israel’s settlement policy (and also against Palestinian incitement). Authorizing new building at this delicate moment could give further momentum to the report, which is the opposite of what Netanyahu wants to achieve. It could also intensify the violence in the West Bank, which despite yesterday’s horror and another deadly attack carried out today, has generally receded.
Netanyahu will fly out next Monday to a four-day visit in Africa, the first such visit in more than two decades. One half of Kafe Knesset will accompany him and update from the ground as the PM rushes through four countries – Uganda, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Kenya – in 96 hours.
SCENE LAST NIGHT: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Mrs. Sara Netanyahu attended the Fourth of July event at US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro’s residence. “My friends, I spent a significant part of my life in the United States,” the Prime Minister told the crowd. “I studied there, I worked there, my beloved father taught there, and my English ain’t too bad either. I know what a unique nation America is. I’m deeply grateful for the political and military support America has given Israel over the years and indeed just now. We came from the air-force cadets, and we saw our magnificent young men and women flying those machines. They’re American machines.” [Facebook]
SPOTTED: Sheldon Adelson, Bogie Ya’alon, Avigdor Lieberman, Isaac Herzog, Avi Mayer, William Daroff, Alan & Judy Gross, Congressman Ted Deutch, Ken Bob, Michael & Susie Gelman, David Halpern, Hadar Susskind, MK Michael Oren, LTC Peter Lerner, David Saranga, Jason Pearlman, Laura Kam, Jeremy Issacharoff, Uri Pilichowski, Austrian Amb. to Israel Martin Weiss, Lior Weintraub, Casey Austin, Aba & Pamela Claman, Becky Caspi, and Scott Lasensky.
2016 WATCH: “In NH, Trump Denounces ‘Nasty’ Anti-Israel Comment” by Jacob Kornbluh:“During a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire, an audience member asked Trump to comment on his opposition to “wasting our military in the Middle East on behalf of Zionist Israel.” “Lemme just tell you: Israel is a very, very important ally of the United States and we are going to protect them one hundred percent,” Trump responded. After rejecting the man’s comments, Trump remarked: “That was a tough question on Israel. That was nasty. Whoa!” [JewishInsider; CNN]
“Trump super-PACs finding it hard to collect on pledges” by Michael Isikoff: “Nor, for that matter, has casino mogul and big-dollar GOP donor Sheldon Adelson, who last month was reportedly ready to back Trump — and spend up to $100 million — on his own super-PAC. But to date, there has been no sign that Adelson has cut a single check to any super-PAC backing Trump.” [Yahoo]
“Donald Trump Campaign Hires Las Vegas Sands Relative Michael Abboud as Communications Coordinator” by David Sheldon: “Abboud is the nephew of Andy Abboud, the Las Vegas Sands senior vice president of government relations and community development. Las Vegas Sands is owned by billionaire Sheldon Adelson who has pledged $100 million to Trump’s efforts. According to the Trump campaign, Abboud will “execute the campaign’s rapid response and daily messaging.” The 26-year-old will also provide Trump with briefings and breaking news stories. Andy Abboud is one of Adelson’s right-hand men. Though it’s obviously not publicly disclosed, many in the political arena might believe Adelson nudged Trump to hire Abboud.” [CasinoOrg]
“Trump parts ways with newly hired digital strategist” by Shane Goldmacher and Darren Samuelsohn: “Vincent Harris, an Austin-based Republican digital strategist, issued a series of posts Thursday on Twitter explaining that he and his firm had “completed our various creative projects” for the presumptive Republican nominee. His social media posts followed a report in Fast Company that he had been fired for leaking the news of his own hiring. “We were not fired,” Harris countered on Twitter.”[Politico]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: Eric Cantor: Here’s the challenge that the Brexit vote poses now for world leaders [CNBC] • “Israel’s Financial Trial of the Decade” [Haaretz] • “Judge Hears Arguments in Viacom CEO’s Suit Against Sumner Redstone” [WSJ]
PROFILE: “People skills, political savvy propel ‘Jewish kid from the Bronx’ toward top California post” by Christopher Cadelago: “A tough taskmaster who has served as the Southern California point man for powerful politicians, Bauman has endeared himself to partisans though his loyalty, persistence and stem-winding speeches delivered with New York attitude. The son of an Army officer and registered nurse, Bauman is a self-described ‘Jewish kid from the Bronx.’” [SacBee]
HEARD AT ASPEN: At panel on free speech, the ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt joked: “I am excited about our panel that Michael (Roth) is going to do with us on Jews controlling the media at the Ideas Festival 2017.” Jeffrey Goldberg: “It’s going to be in the Greenwald pavilion, by the way.”
Greenblatt on free speech on campus: “At the ADL, we are fierce advocates for the first amendment, and we deeply believe in academic freedom. I think there is something a little bit different, though, about the freedom to express your opinion and the freedom to threaten others, and creating an environment that is open to different ideas and creating a hostile environment. So that’s where we draw a line at the ADL, when sort of expressing ideas becomes actually issuing threats. We have seen incidents where pro-Israel speakers, for example, have been shouted down or prevented from speaking, which is ironic because obviously that is limiting their freedom of speech. And we have seen where some of these – and I am talking about something very narrow for a moment – these anti-Israel demonstrations mutate into things like swastikas on Jewish fraternities or Jewish students being physically intimidated. That’s a really big problem, and we think it’s unacceptable.” [YouTube]
Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “One of the great wineries to visit in Israel is the Carmel winery. It is impossible not to get enveloped in the long remarkable history of this winery when sitting at its large wooden tables or in its deep vaults while drinking great wines. One wine which has helped to bridge the gap between the Old World and New World style of wine production (in Israel) is the Carmel Kayoumi Shiraz 2011.”
“The wine is made from predominantly Shiraz grapes with a touch of Viognier. The grapes are grown on the foothills of the Meron mountain in one of Israel’s most exceptional vineyards. The wine is aged in both aged and new French oak. The best word I can use for this wine is balanced. There is a consistent acidity and mix of flavors from open to finish. I sense mostly blueberries and coffee overtones. It is an elegant wine. It makes one think that it is not a traditional harsh Shiraz, but a very well-integrated tannic and fruity experience. Drink now, with beef and smoked meat preferably.” [CarmelWines]
TRANSITIONS: Shalom Lipner emails… “After 26+ rewarding years, under seven consecutive Israeli prime ministers – if I count each of them only once! – I’ve decided that the time has arrived for me to retire from Government service.”
Jed Shein emails… “Today is my last day working at the Embassy of Israel. While I’m looking forward to the next stage of my career, I’m also looking back fondly on all that we accomplished over the past six years.”
INBOX: “Martin J. Sweet and Anat Hakim have a lot of nachas from finding out that U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) has nominated their daughter, Elli Sweet, as a United States Senate Page for the fall semester. Sweet has been a top student at New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois, and has volunteered for both the Bruce Rauner gubernatorial campaign in 2014 and Marco Rubio presidential campaign in 2016.”
WEEKEND WEDDING: Abby Chiat, daughter of Elayne and Larry Chiat, and Daniel Solow, son of Andrea and Alan Solow, will be married Sunday night. Rabbi Irwin Kula will officiate. Daniel is an assistant athletic director and director of the Wildcat fund at Northwestern University.
WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of Tribe Media Rob Eshman… Nobel laureate in Economics and co-creator of the Black-Scholes model for valuing options and other derivatives, Myron Scholes turns 75… Adam Siegel… Former US Ambassador to Israel and Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs, now at Brookings, Martin Indyk turns 65… Born in a DP Camp to her Holocaust survivor parents, Rosalie Silberman Abella, who became the first Jewish woman to serve on the Canadian Supreme Court, turns 70…
Nobel laureate in Medicine, a professor at Columbia University and a molecular biologist, Richard Axel turns 70… Co-creator of the “Seinfeld” television series and creator of HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” comedian and producer Larry David turns 69… Health and pharma editor for Reuters, Michele Gershberg… Motivational speaker, media personality and RXR Realty’s Senior Director, Charlie Harary turns 39… CEO of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation, and formerly a State Department Special Envoy on Anti-Semitism, Hannah Rosenthal turns 65…
Civil rights attorney known for many high profile cases, Gloria Allred (born Gloria Rachel Bloom) turns 75… AIPAC Fellow Suzanne Greene… Pini Herman… Member of the UK’s House of Lords, Baron Anthony Paul Lester turns 80… Winner of the Israel Prize, professor of mathematics at both Hebrew U and Rutgers, Saharon Shelah turns 71…