Daily Kickoff: Trump triples down on Star of David image | Ya’alon to DC | Forbes on city of Rawabi | Orthodox beatboxers on America’s Got Talent
Ed note: We’re on Pacific time for the remainder of the week. Sorry East Coasters
DRIVING THE WEEK: “Democrats Poised for Heated Debate on Israel, Free Trade at Final Platform Meeting” by Noah Fitzgerel: “Committee member and Sanders appointee James Zogby tells ABC News that “there will be a re-do of inserting the word ‘occupation’ and ‘settlements’ into the platform” at the final meeting this week. Zogby said that a proposal to revisit the platform’s language is likely to come from the floor. Zogby also added that if a certain threshold is met after such a proposal goes up for a vote and fails, it is possible for the minority to submit a report to the national convention. He said that he is not sure whether the Sanders campaign would want to submit a report if such a scenario arises, however.” [ABCNews]
Of Note: During an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Sanders did not mention changes in language on Israel and the Palestinians in a list of demands outlined ahead of Friday’s meeting in Orlando.
TOP TALKER: “In a Defiant, Angry Speech, Donald Trump Defends Image Seen as Anti-Semitic” by Maggie Haberman, Michael Barbaro and Jonathan Mahler: “In the span of 30 minutes, an often-shouting Mr. Trump breathed new life into a controversy that was sparked on Saturday by his posting of an image on his Twitter account of a six-pointed star next to a picture of Hillary Clinton, with money seeming to rain down in the background. “‘You shouldn’t have taken it down,’ ” Mr. Trump recalled telling one of his campaign workers. “I said, ‘Too bad, you should have left it up.’ I would have rather defended it.” “That’s just a star,” Mr. Trump said repeatedly.” [NYTimes]
“Trump Triples Down On Star Of David Image” by Rosie Gray: Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt said it was “perplexing” that Trump’s campaign appears to be sourcing images from white nationalist sources. “I wish he would bring the same firmness to his rejection of anti-Semites and racists as he brings to members of the media and other candidates,” Greenblatt said. “I don’t understand why he’s courting the white nationalist vote, I’m not in politics.” [BuzzFeed]
“The Donald Trump I Know” by Jared Kushner: “My father-in-law is not an anti-Semite. It’s that simple, really. Donald Trump is not anti-Semitic and he’s not a racist. Despite the best efforts of his political opponents and a large swath of the media to hold Donald Trump accountable for the utterances of even the most fringe of his supporters—a standard to which no other candidate is ever held—the worst that his detractors can fairly say about him is that he has been careless in retweeting imagery that can be interpreted as offensive.” [Observer]
WORLD’S MOST FAMOUS SON-IN-LAW: “How Jared Kushner Became Donald Trump’s Mini-Me” by Sarah Ellison: “On some level, the specter of Kushner campaigning beside his infamous father-in-law seems rather improbable. Outside of their involvement in the real-estate business, Kushner and Trump appear to be opposites. Trump has run a campaign based, in part, on racial undertones; Kushner, on the other hand, is an observant Jew. Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for president; Kushner comes from a well-known Democratic family… One friend, Reed Cordish, who runs a Baltimore-based real-estate firm, described Kushner as “brilliant” and “a hard worker,” with “a unique mind.”” [VanityFair]
“Corker floats Ivanka for Trump’s VP” by Caitlin Yilek: “His best running mate, by the way, would be Ivanka,” Corker said Wednesday after removing himself from consideration to be Trump’s vice presidential pick. “I know that wouldn’t pass muster, probably, but I don’t know that I’ve met a more composed, brilliant, beautiful-in-every-way person,” he continued, adding that Trump’s son Eric is “equally impressive.”” [TheHill]
Josh Rogin: “When Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (Tenn.) began working with the Trump campaign only two months ago, he expressed hope that Donald Trump would “evolve” on foreign policy. But Trump and Corker never were able to agree on what a new Republican foreign policy paradigm would look like, and Trump has clearly refused to evolve.” [WashPost]
Cruz Shakes Up Senate Office, Expands Political Operation — by Eliana Johnson & Tim Alberta: “Cruz staffers learned Wednesday morning that David Polyansky — a political strategist who was senior adviser to the presidential campaign — will become chief of staff in Cruz’s Senate office, replacing Paul Teller, who will be departing to serve as senior adviser to the nonprofit groups.” [NationalReview]
Ya’alon to begin DC fellowship in September — by Gil Hoffman: “Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon will head to Washington DC in September for a month-long fellowship at the Washington Institute, sources close to him revealed. At the Washington Institute, he is also set to do research, but in addition, he is expected to use his time in the US to fund-raise for his political future. He has spoken to several political figures, including former Likud minister Gideon Sa’ar, about the possibility of forming a new party.” [JPost]
KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: To freeze or not to freeze… The State Department and EU blasted the Prime Minister for his announcement of new East Jerusalem construction earlier this week, at the same time as his coalition allies blasted him for not building fast enough. Following last weeks terror attacks in Kiryat Arba and Otniel, Netanyahu and Lieberman announced the approval of 560 units in Maale Adumim, 240 housing units in the East Jerusalem Jewish neighborhoods of Ramot and Har Homa, and 600 housing units in the Palestinian neighborhood of Beit Safafa. While the international community expressed outrage, in Israel, pressure to build came from unexpected places.
Hours later, finance minister Moshe Kahlon, leader of the center-right party Kulanu, demanded that Netanyahu lift the de-facto moratorium imposed on Jerusalem building. “We need to build, and build a lot,” he said. Kahlon, considered a moderate, is keen on lowering the housing prices in the country, complained that the freeze is causing young couples to leave and prompting negative demographic changes in the city.
Yesterday, another critic joined the chorus. Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, a Likud stalwart, told a group of party activists that would call on Netanyahu to suspend the building freeze, applying Israeli sovereignty to what he termed “Big Jerusalem,” including the satellite towns of Maale Adumin, Givaat Zeev and the Gush Etzion area. Between the external pressure to freeze and the domestic pressure to melt, Netanyahu, once again, finds himself between a rock and a hard place.
Where in the world is Bibi? Addis Ababa – The fourth and final day of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to Africa began in Ethiopia this morning at a press conference with Ethiopia’s Prime Minister, where they discussed cooperation between the two nations. Netanyahu’s arrival is a top news story here. Ethiopia will join the UN security council next year, which makes it an especially important partner for Israel. Later today, Netanyahu will deliver a speech before the Ethiopian parliament.
“Netanyahu in Rwanda: A few houses in Ma’ale Adumim not preventing peace” by Herb Keinon: Asked about the new settlement construction plans, and the US condemnation of the move, Netanyahu said, “I know the US position, it is not new and not acceptable to us. Building in Jerusalem and Ma’ale Adumim is, in all due respect, not distancing the peace.” [JPost; Haaretz] • “In Africa, Benjamin Netanyahu Looks for Friends, and U.N. Votes, for Israel” [NYTimes]
“Netanyahu denies reports of assassination attempt in Kenya” by Elias Meseret: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday denied reports of an attempt on his life in Kenya during his heavily guarded African tour this week, saying he knew “nothing” of it. He made the remarks in response to a reporter’s question following an anonymously sourced report in the Kuwaiti newspaper al-Jarida.” [AP]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Barry Diller on cord cutting: More than a threat, it’s ‘creative destruction'” [FastCompany] • “Patrick Drahi’s Altice considers sale of SFR Belgium” [FinancialTimes] • “I respect who she is and how she is but also what she represents” Max Levchin’s defense of Marissa Mayer [Pando]• CEO Heather Reisman: Indigo focusing on ‘phygital’ strategy as real estate hard to come by [FinancialPost] • “Extell sells interest in two Chelsea buildings in $29M deal” [RealDeal] • “City Changes Rules to Keep Women-Only Swim Hours at Williamsburg Pool” [dnaInfo]
SPOTLIGHT: “One Man’s Dream City Rises In The Occupied West Bank” by Monica Wang:“This is Rawabi, the first modern Palestinian planned city. Located in the West Bank, it is about 5.6 miles north of Ramallah, the administrative capital of the Palestinian Authority, and around 15.5 miles from Jerusalem. The largest Palestinian flag in existence flies on top of a flagpole outside Rawabi’s welcome center, where Palestinian-American businessman Bashar Masri likes to greet visitors to his city… “Rawabi for us is not about money-making,” Masri told me during an interview. “It’s about nation-building. Because if we don’t build in our country, who will?”” [Forbes]
“Jewish Settlers, Attacked, Needed Help. A Palestinian Doctor Didn’t Hesitate” by Diaa Hadid: “Dr. Ali Shroukh, 45, was driving with his brothers along a West Bank road on Friday when they came upon a car that had flipped over onto its roof. The vehicle — big and boxy, with room to fit many children — seemed easily identifiable as belonging to a Jewish settler. Dr. Shroukh did not realize that he was witnessing the aftermath of a terrorist attack. His instinct was simply to help.” [NYTimes]
TRANSITION: “David Siegel leaves impressive legacy as his diplomatic tenure in L.A. ends” by Tom Tugend: “Born in Burlington, Vt., and the son of a rabbi who was a founder of the Masorti (Conservative) movement in Israel, Siegel was educated in a Chabad school and in an Orthodox yeshiva in Israel, and later taught at a Reform school. His background enables Siegel to comfortably move among the denominations, and he was able to pull together a task force of rabbis who otherwise rarely interact… Sam Grundwerg, a native of Miami Beach, Fla., will succeed him in August. Coincidence or not, the two are the first American-born envoys to serve as Israel’s consul general in Los Angeles.” [JewishJournal]
DESSERT: “Orthodox Jewish beatboxers wow ‘America’s Got Talent'” by Amy Spiro: “It’s safe to say Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell, Howie Mandell and Mel B don’t see a lot of tzitzit (Jewish prayer shawls) in their roles as judges on the 11th season of America’s Got Talent. But that all changed in the episode of the eclectic TV talent competition that aired Tuesday night. Ilan Swartz-Brownstein and Josh Leviton, two Orthodox yeshiva students from Manhattan, took to the stage…” [JPost]
REMEMBERING: “Irving Gottesman, Pioneering Psychologist on Schizophrenia, Dies at 85” by Erica Goode: “Irving Gottesman, a pioneer in the field of behavioral genetics whose work on the role of heredity in schizophrenia helped transform the way people thought about the origins of serious mental illness, died on June 29 at his home in Edina, Minn., a suburb of Minneapolis. He was 85.” [NYTimes]
BIRTHDAYS: Senior Director at the Center for American Progress, formerly at CNN, Rachel Rosen… Pioneer of Israeli punk rock, nicknamed “HaMeshuga,” Rami Fortis turns 62… Early collaborator on object oriented computer programming in the 1970s, Adele Goldberg turns 71… Israeli business mogul with vast holdings in energy (Delek Group) and real estate (El-Ad Group), Yitzhak Tshuva turns 68… Shalom Klein… Birthright’s Amy Handman…