Daily Kickoff: Remembering Elie Wiesel | Kushner, the quiet fixer | Striker who quit MLS & found success in Israel | How Haym Solomon saved America
SPOTLIGHT: “The Broker Who Saved America” by Joshua Brown: “You know Hancock and Washington and Franklin and Jefferson. You might even know Greene and Knox, Henry and Hale. And we know you know Hamilton, pretty tough to escape that one these days! But it is very unlikely that you know the name Haym Solomon. This is unfortunate, because he’s the guy who arranged financing to keep the Continental Army alive during its darkest days, finding the money to keep the revolution going when many were ready to throw in the towel.”
“Haym Solomon is born to a sephardic Jewish family in Poland in 1740. He travels widely through the banking and finance capitals of western Europe, learning a thing or two and then moving on. He arrives penniless in New York City via England as the colonies are on the cusp of revolution. His expertise with money, along with his ability to converse in several European languages, makes him extremely valuable to overseas traders – he becomes a financial broker to New York’s bustling merchant community.” [ReformedBroker]
SCENE THE OTHER NIGHT — from Playbook: “OUT AND ABOUT IN ASPEN: JewishInsider.com, along with OneTable, hosted a Shabbat dinner for Aspen locals, festival attendees and speakers at the Downtown Aspen JCC. Guests enjoyed a farm-to-table menu of a mushroom and leek tart, grilled wild salmon and paonia peach soup poached with Moscato wine. Venture capitalist Yitz Applbaum led an upscale kosher wine tasting and Leon Wieseltier and Julia Ioffe led the dinner conversation.” [Politico; Pics]
Leon’s line: “If Merrick Garland is appointed to the Supreme Court, there will be four Jews on it. Eventually, there won’t be any goyim” (laughter)
Spotted: Aliza Kline, Karen Davidson, Terry Kassel, Emily Reaser, Lisa Singer, Larry Singer, David Suissa, Norm Brownstein, Isaac & Hilda Applbaum, ADL’s Jonathan & Marjan Greenblatt, Alan & Karen Berkowitz, Russ Robinson, Howard Cohen, Ronnie Footlick, Gidi & Betty Grinstein, Jennifer Grossman, Marc & Shelah Moller, Deborah Hochberg, Jesse & Elana Mendelson, Rabbi Mendel Mintz, Zoe Plotsky, Scott Bratt, Julia Malkin, Shira & Joe Lipsey, Ed Levy & Linda Dresner, Zoe Goldfarb, Erica Greenblatt, Alana Herbst, Rob & Marcie Orley, Gerald & Barbara Hines.
HEARD AT ASPEN IDEAS: Jeffrey Rosen and Jeffrey Goldberg discussing Louis Brandeis — Rosen: “In December of 1910, Brandeis meets Jacob de Haas, who is the American secretary of Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, and de Haas has come to interview him about regulatory reform and just mentions off-handedly Lewis Dembitz. Dembitz is Brandeis’s revered uncle, his mother’s brother and the only Orthodox Jew in the family. So when Brandeis hears Lewis Dembitz was a noble Jew, he is intrigued and says, ‘De Haas, teach me more.’ And de Haas says, in addition to being one of the only three Jews to vote for Abraham Lincoln at the Republican convention in 1860, Dembitz is an ardent Zionist. So Brandeis’s passion for facts is kindled; he starts to read, he learns about Zionism, and three years later he becomes the head of the American Zionist Movement. And then he applies his incredible organizational power and his passion for facts in organizing, and the slogan is, ‘Men! Money! Discipline!’ He raises millions of dollars.”
“Then he has to confront a dilemma: how can he make a case for Zionism that is consistent with Americanism… So then he decides, far from being inconsistent Zionism is consistent with Americanism. Jews don’t have to move to Palestine, they just have to support the existence of a homeland for the Jews in Palestine because every nationality needs a majority that has its own country.” • Louis D. Brandeis: American Prophet [Amazon]
FROM THE WEEKEND: “Elie Wiesel Is Recalled at Funeral for a Legacy Beyond His Moral Voice” by Sarah Maslin Nir and Annie Correal: “Inside the Orthodox Fifth Avenue Synagogue, about 100 people attended a ceremony that not only reflected Mr. Wiesel as a man of extraordinary scholarship and influence who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his life’s work, but also remembered him as a friend, a mentor, a husband, a father, a grandfather. In a wheelchair, his widow, Marion, listened as Mr. Wiesel was eulogized by his son Elisha, a partner at Goldman Sachs… “He was not just a leader for the Jewish people, but for mankind,” Ronald Lauder, a businessman and philanthropist, said after the service. “I would not be who I am without him. What he taught me is that we have to stand up to indifference. He would say, ‘The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.’” [NYTimes; USAToday]
Trump recently met with Wiesel for three hours: “At a funeral service for Mr. Wiesel on Sunday, Ted Koppel revealed that Mr. Wiesel recently had lunch with Mr. Trump at the candidate’s invitation, according to two people at the memorial. “I am sure he did not love Donald Trump,” said Francine Klagsbrun, an author and a friend of Mr. Wiesel’s. “I am sure he would not be voting for Trump,” she said. “But he was just an open person who was open to everybody.”” [NYTimes]
TOP TALKER: “Trump draws rebuke for his tweet with an image of Clinton and a Star of David” by David Weigel: “It was so close to the message that Republicans say they want from Donald Trump: a tweet describing Hillary Clinton as “crooked” and the “most corrupt candidate ever”… But the image that Trump chose to illustrate his point, which portrayed a red Star of David shape slapped onto a bed of $100 bills, had origins in the online white-supremacist movement.” [WashPost; JewishInsider]
“Corey Lewandowski Says Trump Can’t Be Anti-Semitic Because He Has Jewish Friends” by Alana Horowitz Satlin: “Whether it’s the senior executives of his private corporation, whether it’s the CFO or the CTO or his chief legal counsel — he has a long and storied history” of supporting “the people of Israel.” Lewandowski also pointed out the presumptive GOP nominee allowed Jewish people to be members of his Palm Beach tennis club.” [HuffPost]
LONGREAD: “The Hillary Confidant You Can’t Escape” by James Warren: “Some people consider Sidney Blumenthal a canny adviser. To others, he appears a meddlesome opportunist. Now he has published a big book on Lincoln. But as his countless e-mails suggest, he is as connected to Clintonworld as he was 20 years ago.” [VanityFair]
PROFILE: “The Quiet Fixer in Donald Trump’s Campaign? His Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner” by Michael Barbaro and Jonathan Mahler: “When the Israeli ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer, wanted to communicate with Donald J. Trump, he ended up on two occasions in the Manhattan office of a young man with no government experience, no political background and no official title in the Trump campaign: Jared Kushner. Mr. Kushner held court at length with Mr. Dermer, doing his best to engage in the same sort of high-level conversation that the ambassador conducted with career diplomats and policy experts from Hillary Clinton’s campaign… Mr. Kushner believes that his father-in-law’s respect for his Jewish faith is sincere, his friends said, and that the issue is not worth addressing.” [NYTimes]
“Adviser: Trump ‘not going to get rid of’ Iran deal” by Mark Hensch: “No, he’s not going to get rid of an agreement that has the institutional signature of the United States,” Walid Phares told The Daily Caller. “He is a man of institutions. But he’s going to look back at it in the institutional way. So he is not going to implement it as is, he is going to revise it after negotiating one on one with Iran or with a series of allies.” [TheHill]
Headlines: “Israelis’ Favorite Thing About Donald Trump? His Style (to Put It Bluntly)” [NYTimes] • “In Trump, GOP activists see opening to move party right on Israel” [CNN] • “Chief Rabbi Lau: Ivanka Trump conversion legitimate” [ArutzSheva]
KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Prime Minister Netanyahu’s trip to Africa began yesterday with an emotional landing in Entebbe, Uganda, where a ceremony was held commemorating 40 years since the famous Israeli rescue operation there, in which the Prime Minister’s older brother, Yoni, was killed. Netanyahu addressed the personal and national importance of that mission, which was ordered at the time by then Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, and since then has remained the most geographically distant operation ever carried out by the IDF. After the ceremony, Netanyahu met with leaders of six different African nations, at the summer palace of Ugandan president Museveni, with fine views of Lake Victoria.
This marks the first visit of an Israeli PM to Africa in more than two decades. The last one to do so was Rabin, who in 1993, at the end of a visit to China and Indonesia, stopped briefly in Kenya – the same country which is hosting Netanyahu today. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta told Netanyahu this morning that his country will make an effort to allow Israel to become an observer-state at the African Union, a status currently held by a number of non-African states and also by the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu thanked Kenyatta for the offer, and spoke at length at a joint press conference about the two countries’ joint fight against terrorism. Tomorrow he will continue to Rwanda and Ethiopia.
Back at the Knesset, meanwhile, the chatter in the corridors is all about rumors and speculations regarding a new criminal probe against Netanyahu. Nobody knows the exact details of the case, which is handled under a veil of secrecy – only a handful of the top justice and police brass are involved and informed – but the common knowledge is that this time, it’s big. Last night, Channel 2 News reported that the investigation involves possible illegal contributions from foreign businessmen. This is the fourth Netanyahu affair currently being examined by the legal system – in addition to the Bibi-tours probe, the PM residence expenses investigation, and Netanyahu’s alleged connection with French fraudster Arnaud Mimran.
Netanyahu himself reacted to the reports on his way from Uganda to Kenya and dismissed them as “rubbish,” claiming that every time he leaves for a visit abroad “there’s some talk about an investigation.”
“Benjamin Netanyahu Traces Path to Power Back to Entebbe, and Lost Brother” by Jeffrey Gettleman and Isabel Kershner: “In a rare and unusually reflective interview, Mr. Netanyahu said he frequently held “hypothetical” conversations with Yonatan, a legendary figure in Israel who was cut down in his prime exactly 40 years ago as a young commando leading a daring hostage rescue in Entebbe, Uganda.” [NYTimes]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Larry Mizel in advanced talks to buy Israel’s Karish and Tanin gas fields” [Globes] • “Lakewood goes luxe: Trendy, Orthodox, And Very High-End. This Isn’t The Lakewood You Thought You Knew” [APP] • “Anne Wojcicki’s 23andMe Sells Data for Drug Search” [MITTechReview]• “Brand-Name Drug Makers Wary of Letting Generic Rival Teva Join Their Club” [NYTimes] • “Bond Sales Just Keep Coming in Israeli Market Starved of Options” [Bloomberg] • “Bank of Israel buying ‘hundreds of millions’ of dollars” [Reuters] • “Israel’s public security minister blames Facebook after recent West Bank attacks” [ReCode]
STARTUP NATION: “This Israeli Drone Ship May Be Small But It Packs A Big Torpedo” by Tyler Rogoway: “The idea is that a small swarm of these craft—well, just two right now—can be controlled from a single workstation, deployed either ashore or on a ship. From there, tasks such as harbor patrol and force protection, mine detection, search and rescue and even anti-submarine warfare can be conducted with maximum efficiency.” [TheDrive]
MEDIA WATCH: “Plane piloted by Alaska Dispatch News owner crashes in Halibut Cove” by Annie Zak: “Alice Rogoff, publisher and owner of the state’s largest newspaper, was flying the aircraft. In a statement, Brent Cole, an attorney for Rogoff, said she was “involved in an aircraft incident” after an aborted landing. “She is physically fine,” the statement said.” [ADN]
TRANSITIONS — Jared Sichel emails… “After over 3 great years with the Jewish Journal, I’m leaving the reporting world to join PragerU, a video production site created by Dennis Prager. I’m fortunate to have worked with such wonderful people at the Jewish Journal, and to have had the opportunity to work with the supremely talented Jewish Insider team.”
SPORTS BLINK: “Aaron Schoenfeld: the striker who quit MLS and found success in Israel” by Bryan Kay: “The lanky striker found life tough in Columbus. But then he moved to the Israeli Premier League, started scoring goals, and has been linked with an Israel call-up” [TheGuardian]
WEEKEND WEDDING — Kara Genderson, Daniel Conston: “The bride, 30, is a geriatric social worker at the Hebrew Home of Greater Washington, in Rockville, Md. Mr. Conston, 31, is a consultant and a creator of advertisements, in Washington, for Republican candidates and organizations. The couple met in 2013 at fund-raising gala for the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington.” [NYTimes]
INBOX — Rich Goldberg, Roxie Zeller: “Sen. Mark Kirk and Gov. Bruce Rauner joined Rich Goldberg, Rauner’s Chief of Staff, as he married Roxie Zeller at the swank Hilton Orrington/Evanston with more than 200 guests. Protected by state police they, and the governor, celebrated the betrothal at a Jewish Orthodox ceremony officiated by the local rabbi in the community (where they met at an unexpected Shabbat meal). Entertained by a 9 piece band, Rich and Roxie were joined by their family and friends, coming from Skokie, DC, and Scotland.”
Spotted: Gov. Bruce Rauner, First Lady Diana Rauner, Sen. Mark Kirk, Mark Dubowitz, Noah Pollak, Omri Ceren, Robert Zarate, Stephanie Edelman, Joel Mowbray, Adam Kredo, Mike and Barret Zolnierowicz, Lance Trover, Sarah Clamp, Mike Schrimpf, Aaron Winters, Andria Winters, Ed Murphy, Nancy Kimme, Rich Miller, Eric Elk, Lester Munson, Aaron Keyak, Avi Goldgraber.
BIRTHDAYS: Investment banker who led President Obama’s auto industry rescue Steven Rattner turns 64… Author and founding Senior Vice President of Jerusalem’s Shalem College Daniel Gordis turns 57… Schusterman Foundation’s Kate Belza… Marc Moss… Pulitzer Prize winner, author and chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times, David E. Sanger turns 56… Founder and leader of Israel’s Yisrael Beiteinu party, and recently appointed Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman turns 58… Israeli born jazz pianist and recording artist, on the faculty of the New England Conservatory of Music, Eyran Katsenelenbogen turns 51… Grammy award winning folk rock singer, Marc Cohn turns 57… Born in Leningrad, now living NYC where he teaches at Columbia, author and satirist, Gary Shteyngart turns 44…