Daily Kickoff: White House compares Boris Johnson to Ron Dermer | GOP begs Adelson | Trump reneged on FIDF pledge | Natalie Portman on Judaism

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SHOTS FIRED — White House compares Boris Johnson to Israeli Amb Dermer: “White House spokesman Josh Earnest indirectly compared new British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to Israeli envoy Ron Dermer when asked if the US administration would be able to work with someone who has been vocally critical of Obama. “I got questions of this variety when Prime Minister Netanyahu had announced that Ambassador Dermer would be the Israeli envoy to the United States. What I said in that situation is what I’ll say here,” Earnest said. Earnest then went on to highlight the fact that the US and UK’s special relationship “transcends any single personality.” Johnson has referred to Obama as the “part-Kenyan President [with an] ancestral dislike of the British Empire,” and compared Hillary Clinton to “a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital.”” [ToIVideo]

Ambassador Dermer to Attend GOP & Dem Conventions: “In Philadelphia, Dermer will discuss the U.S.-Israel relationship at an event hosted by former Congressman Robert Wexler, president of the Washington-based S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, on Thursday of the Democratic convention.” [JewishInsider]

PRETTY PLEASE?! — “GOP Cleveland organizers beg Adelson for $6 million” by Alex Isenstadt and Shane Goldmacher: “In a letter to the Adelsons, obtained by Politico, the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee revealed the names of more than two dozen prominent corporations and individuals who have reneged on a collective $8.1 million in pledged donations. “We would greatly appreciate if you would consider a $6,000,000 contribution to the Cleveland 2016 Host Committee to help us cross the finish line,” states the letter, which was dated July 12. The convention begins July 18.” [Politico]

DRIVING THE DAY: “Donald Trump Postpones Naming Running Mate” by Alexander Burns, Maggie Haberman and Ashley Parker: “Trump’s presidential campaign signaled strongly on Thursday that he would name Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana as his running mate, but abruptly postponed a long-planned unveiling of the Republican ticket after an attack that left dozens dead in France. Mr. Trump said on Twitter that he was delaying his announcement after the “horrible attack” in Nice. He did not specify when the event would go forward. The delay has the potential to complicate a partnership with Mr. Pence, who must file papers in Indiana by noon on Friday withdrawing from his re-election campaign in order for Republicans to field a new candidate for the race.” [NYTimes]

HEARD LAST NIGHT: “Trump tells donors that he will announce his running mate over the weekend” by Seema Mehta: “He did not mention Pence’s name during his remarks at the fundraiser, according to a person who attended the reception at the mansion of philanthropist Carla Sands, the widow of real-estate mogul Fred Sands. About 200 donors contributed $2,700 to $449,400 per person to attend. About 60 who donated at least $25,000 or raised at least $27,000 also attended a dinner of pan-seared salmon and fresh fig salad with Trump.” [LATimes]

Dan Senor on Charlie Rose: “If the Trump campaign’s goal is to reassure conservatives and give a sense that Trump — he may be a wild card but he will have some constraints around him, I actually think Mike Pence is the safest.”

–On donors skipping Cleveland: “A good barometer for big donor support is which ones show up at the convention. If they show up at the convention, all they have to do is to donate $10,000 or more to the RNC — I don’t think Adelson shows up. But he’s supporting Trump — and donors who are excited about the candidacy, are committed to the campaign, and want to play a big role in the campaign, historically, have come to the convention. McCain, I think, had 600 or 700 major donors come to the convention. Romney had about 1,500, in 2012, come to his convention. It will be interesting to see next week who actually shows up. If they break the 100 mark of major donors who attend, I will be shocked. I think donor enthusiasm is very low right now. Even those who are supporting him, are telling me they are having the hardest time getting phone calls returned.” [Bloomberg]

Eric Cantor on Mike Pence: “I think he is actually a nice compliment to the Donald Trump candidacy; will provide some of that strong, moral compass that Mike has always provided in the House. So I think, if it’s Mike Pence, it’s a good pick.” [Bloomberg• Cantor said he’s not planning to attend the convention

“Likely Trump VP ‘cherishes Israel,’ met Netanyahu, passed anti-boycott laws” by Rebecca Shimoni Stoil: “While Trump has run afoul of some Jewish Republicans for his failure to disavow anti-Semitic imagery and rhetoric from his supporters, Pence is well-known among Republican lawmakers as a longstanding supporter of Israel. And while former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was the vice presidential hopeful with the closest ties to the largest pro-Israel Republican donor, casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, Pence himself has direct ties to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Pence also has a warm relationship with AIPAC.” [ToI]

“The Indiana Synagogues That Mike Pence Forgot” by Drew Gerber: “The man widely named as Donald Trump’s vice presidential pick was the local congressman for the area in 2009 when he told an AIPAC conference that “I know of no synagogues in my district.” Indiana-born Wendy Soltz, who has a PhD in American Jewish history, said it is typical for the average person in Indiana to not know about Jewish communities in their midst. But that it doesn’t excuse an elected official like Pence.” [Forward]

TOP TALKER: “Donald Trump once promised to donate to a charity helping Israeli soldiers. He didn’t. Somebody else paid for him” by David Fahrenthold: “In 2007, Donald Trump promised a donation to the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces, a U.S.-based charity that provides aid to Israeli military personnel and the families of fallen Israeli soldiers. He didn’t pay, a spokesman for the charity said Thursday. A 2007 story in the Jerusalem Post gave an amount for Trump’s pledge: $250,000.” [WashPost]

DEEP DIVE: “Inside the Plan to Undo the Iran Nuclear Deal” by Indira A.R. Lakshmanan: “A year after the celebration in Vienna, Mark Dubowitz hasn’t abandoned the fight. He and his allies—a constellation of pressure groups, analysts, lobbyists and lawmakers—are leading a less headline-grabbing but equally relentless challenge to Obama’s signature foreign policy legacy. Dubowitz, FDD’s executive director, still has hopes of dramatically altering the terms of the Iran deal, and he and his crew of some 20 sanctions experts, terrorism analysts, nuclear advisors, human rights researchers and Persian-speaking colleagues are working feverishly in their “wonk room,” as he calls it, in a gray office building above a Subway sandwich shop six blocks from the White House.” [PoliticoMag]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Google Buys Israeli Web Content-sharing App Developer Kifi [Haaretz] • Singer’s Elliott Takes Stake in SABMiller [FINalternatives] • Property Developers Balk at Co-Living Firms[TheInformation] • Marvel CEO countersues Toronto businessman for defamation [Globe&Mail]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Customers keep jumping into Manhattan’s Four Seasons’ decorative pool for a swim as the famous restaurant prepares to close its doors forever” by Kiri Blakeley: “‘Friday night. Disgrace and no respect from the tenant leaving,’ captioned real estate developer Aby Rosen, one of the owners of the Seagram Building, in which the eatery is located, on an Instagram post.” [DailyMailDealbreaker

FIRST LOOK — The Emails of Natalie Portman and Jonathan Safran Foer: Natalie Portman — “You know, the word “Hebrew” (ivri, as in a nationality, like Abraham the Hebrew) comes from the root for “to cross over” — la’avor. I think it’s related to Jews being nomadic people, or maybe Abraham being the first one to cross a river in the Bible? But it does feel like a state that is emblematic of our people, and maybe all people — that we are always in the midst of replacing one fulfilled desire with a new desire, accepting a new piece of knowledge with another question.”

“When I first encountered Buddhist thought in my 20s, I was so confused. I’m supposed to be content with what’s going on here and now? I realized how much Judaism for me was connected to yearning — to wanting what you don’t have — which is maybe why Israel is so complicated emotionally for Jews: It’s built into the emotional structure of our religion to yearn for a homeland we don’t have.”

So then if we have it, what do we yearn for? We say “next year in Jerusalem” as if we are still in exile. But maybe Jerusalem as an idea is never attainable — so we can keep longing for it even when we have it, like a spouse you desire eternally. You keep feeling that you can’t get them, as if it were the perpetual beginning of a flirtation. Jerusalem does have an aura. The air feels thicker there. It feels like the city, itself, is manipulating, pushing passions around.”

“I love that Erich Fromm thing about Shabbat being the ability to suspend time. The reason we aren’t allowed to move a book from one place to another on Shabbat, or turn on a light, or buy something — it’s not because it’s “work,” and work isn’t allowed on the Sabbath. It’s because those things would show the passage of time. And Shabbat is the one day when we can stop time.” [NYTStyleMag]

TOP-OP: “Jewish Baby Boom Alters Israeli-Palestinian Dynamic” by Yaroslav Trofimov [WSJ]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: “Sometimes you get very lucky and happen upon a new wine which mirrors, or almost anticipates, your mood and environment. Walking in the sunny streets of Barcelona’s old town, there is a great wine shop where I stumbled upon a remarkable kosher Spanish wine. The purveyor was kind and so I tasted and drank abundantly in this wine store – the wine that took the show was the Capcanes la Flor del Flor de Primavera 2012. Starting with its beautiful label it was an all-encompassing experience.”

“This wine is made from Grenache grapes. They are aged in predominantly in new French oak for 14 months. This wine reminds me of a rose. It is of a very vibrant color, and one is immediately put in a good mood upon smelling it.  It has a magnificent nose filled with hints of slightly sour blueberries. The mid mouth fills your palate with the taste of your first morning coffee without any of the bitterness. Go to Barcelona and feast upon this wine from early morning until late at night.” [RoyalWine]

DESSERT: “A Look At The Jewish Deli In Boston — Past And Present” by Emma-Jean Weinstein and Shira Springer: “Most estimates say the Jewish deli hit its peak all the way back in the 1930s, but we’re seeing a bit of a resurgence here in Boston. Mamaleh’s Delicatessen opened in Kendall Square this week, and Exodus Bagels and Steinbones are set to open soon.” [WBUR]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen turns 64… Nobel laureate in Physics and author of “The G-d Particle,” Leon M. Lederman turns 94… Four time winner of the World Series of Poker, Mickey Appleman turns 71… Former UK Labour Party member of Parliament, now CEO of NYC-based International Rescue Committee, David Miliband turns 51…

Former State Department official under JFK and LBJ, later VP of Continental Airlines, and then Managing Editor of the NY Times, James L. Greenfield turns 92… Billionaire, former member of Knesset, winner of the Israel Prize, real estate developer and philanthropist, Stef Wertheimer turns 90… Former high ranking civilian official in the Bush 43 Pentagon, now a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute. Douglas J. Feith turns 63… World reknowned violinist, violist, and conductor, Pinchas Zukerman turns 68… President of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group, Doug Herzog turns 57… Co-founder of both Apollo Global Management and Ares Management, and owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Tony Ressler turns 57… Chantal Low… Chicago based philanthropist, Rivka Zell… Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and screenwriter, Tony Kushner turns 60… Former White House aide (2006-2009) and now Vice President of Corporate Social Responsibility at Univision, Steven M. Levine… Former White House Jewish Liaison under Bush 43 Scott Arogeti, now at Rubicon Global… Eric Reiner, Director of Corporate Development at Dynamic Yield in NYC…

Play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Charley Steiner turns 67… Founder and CEO of Zeta Interactive, David A. Steinberg turns 46… Melanie Beatus… Senior adviser for strategic communications at Hillel International, Matt Berger… Gil Galanos, CEO at Israel & Co…

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