Daily Kickoff: Israeli flag burned in Philly | Meet the progressive Congresswoman who ‘pals around with Sheldon’ | SpaceIL vs. USA | Amar’e to Israel?
SPOTLIGHT: “Moishe Mana says he’ll give $1M to charity if Trump reveals his tax returns” by Maria Rachal: “Moishe Mana told The Hill that he would donate $1 million if Trump releases returns from the last five years by August 15. The Miami mega-developer said he would make the contribution to a charity of Donald Trump’s choice. Mana is a real estate developer and philanthropist who immigrated to the U.S. from Tel Aviv, Israel. Mana also said that unlike other Jewish, pro-Israel businessmen such as billionaire GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, he has serious concerns with Trump’s rhetoric. “It’s comfortable for us because he’s against Muslims today,” Mana said. “We always feel that nothing will happen to us, but it can come to us like a tsunami, and he opened a very dangerous door.” [TheHill; RealDeal]
DEM CONVENTION: “Jewish Dems urged to reach out to Trump-wary Jewish Republicans” by Rebecca Shimoni Stoil: “There is a unique opportunity with our Republican Jewish brothers and sisters who may not support this nominee,” Rep. Jared Polis, a Jewish member of the House of Representatives told party activists at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. Urging Jewish Democrats to talk to their counterparts, he told them, “you possibly have cousins, friends and members of your synagogue that you know to be Republicans, and they have probably supported (Mitt) Romney and (John) McCain; it’s important for us to be their conscience, and say, ‘Look, I understand you’re a Republican. But this nominee is beyond the pale.'” [JewishInsider; ToI]
KOSHER STAND SCENE: Politico’s Glenn Thrush tweets — “Anthony Weiner and Steve Israel in mid-kibbitz (near the Chabad-run kosher frank stand)” [Pic] • Former Senator Carl Levin along with New York City Councilman David Greenfield [Pic] • Jewish Insider’s Jacob Kornbluh [Pic]
REPORT: “Congressman cuts long line to grab sandwiches at DNC” by Daniel Halper and Marisa Schultz: “Manhattan Rep. Jerrold Nadler was caught cutting the line at the kosher-food stand in at the Wells Fargo Center — skipping a 30-minute wait to grab a couple of pastrami sandwiches. “He’s been here like three times,” said one of the servers. Marta Nieves, chair of the Nebraska Latino Caucus, quipped, “That is white privilege.” [NYPost]
TOP TALKER — Israeli Flag Set on Fire Outside of Convention: “A woman wearing a black bandanna on her face lit the flag on fire Tuesday night as protests continued outside of the secure zone around the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Someone stood nearby waving a Palestinian flag. Other protesters shouted “Long live the intifada!” Signs attached to the security fence also were set aflame. Firefighters put out both fires.” [AP; Philly]
NJDC tweets: “Disgusting and totally reprehensible. These protestors aren’t only wrong, but are fundamentally anti-progressive.” [Twitter]
Former Boston Red Sox Star Kevin Youkilis tweets in response: “Sad to see the hatred that still exists for Israel and Jews across the world. #StopTheHate #NeverAgain” [Twitter]
Rabbi David Wolpe — There Is No Excuse for Anti-Semitic Smears: “To apologize for “offense” is to say you are sorry that someone else feels the way they do. That is not an apology… To call Jews “termites” is base and vile. Imagine for a moment that someone were to say: “The Black Lives Matter movement are like termites undermining American democracy.” The outcry would be loud and long, and entirely justified. If the apology were as equivocal and insufficient as the congressman’s, you can bet the polemicists would be out with their sharpest knives.” [TimeMag]
HEARD LAST NIGHT — Bill Clinton mentioned Israel twice during convention speech — 1)“Hillary told me about a preschool program in Israel called HIPPY, Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters. The idea was to teach low-income parents, even those that couldn’t read, to be their children’s first teachers. She said she thought it would work in Arkansas. I said, “That’s great, what are we going to do about it?” She said, “Oh, I already did it. I called the woman who started the program in Israel, she’ll be here in about 10 days and help us get started.” Next thing you know I’m being dragged around to all these little preschool graduations…”
2) “As secretary of state, she worked hard to get strong sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program. And in what the Wall Street Journal no less called a half-court shot at the buzzer, she got Russia and China to support them… She flew all night long from Cambodia to the Middle East to get a cease-fire that would avoid a full-out shooting war between Hamas and Israel in Gaza to protect the peace of the region.” [CSPAN]
DNC Video Highlights Clinton’s Israel Record, Role on Iran Deal: “She understands that peace calls for patience,” former Israeli President Shimon Peres is quoted as saying by an on screen script, followed by footage of rockets fired into Israel and Israel’s bombardment of Gaza. “She is very formidable and indefatigable,” the campaign quotes former Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren. [JewishInsider]
“Tim Kaine backs call to boost funding for Israeli missile defense” by Kristina Wong: “A bipartisan group of senators led by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) is urging that an additional $320 million for Israeli missile defense be added to a defense bill. So far, 19 Republicans and 17 Democrats have signed on to the letter, including Hillary Clinton’s vice presidential pick, Sen. Tim Kaine.” [TheHill]
Rabbi Jack Moline writes… “I Have Known Tim Kaine for Years. He Is a True Friend of Israel and the Jewish People” [Haaretz]
Rep. Steve Cohen calls for DNC officials’ firing over Bernie Sanders emails” by Joey Garrison: “For a party to question his religion, or lack thereof, as a way to defeat that person, those people should resign and if they don’t resign they should be fired,” Cohen said, drawing applause from Tennessee’s Sanders’ delegates. “And it’s not just politics, it’s what’s right. What’s right is you don’t do those things.” [KnoxNews]
“Emails: DNC Staffers Annoyed At Having To Commemorate The Holocaust” by Peter Hasson: “Florida Rep. and then-DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz sent an email to two of her Congressional staffers as well as two DNC employees — newly-hired director of Jewish engagement Aaron Weinberg and senior communications director Ryan Banfill. “We need to do a statement from the DNC. Is there a reason we haven’t?” Wasserman Schultz asked in the email, which had the subject line “Yom Hashoah statement.” Banfill forwarded Schultz’s email to another DNC staffer, Kate Houghton. “We aren’t going to do statements for every Jewish holiday unless she wants to do them for every religious holiday and trust me, this Catholic can give you a list of them,” Houghton replied.” [DailyCaller]
“WikiLeaks emails show DNC spurned donation from horse-killer Lindemann” by Wayne Washington: “The emails indicate that the son of a Palm Beach billionaire – convicted 20 years ago for his part in a scheme to kill a show horse and collect insurance money – didn’t pass DNC muster when he sought to make a contribution to the DNC and attend an event featuring President Barack Obama. After a DNC official forwarded information on George Lindemann Jr.’s background to Robert “Bobby” Schmuck, a special assistant to the president, Schmuck made it clear Lindemann’s help should not be accepted.” [PalmBeachPost]
“George Soros rises again” by Kenneth Vogel: “Soros has donated or committed more than $25 million to boost Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates and causes, according to Federal Election Commission records and interviews with his associates and Democratic fundraising operatives. And some of his associates say they expect Soros, who amassed a fortune estimated at $24.9 billion through risky currency trades, to give even more as Election Day nears.” [Politico]
Donald Trump to hold campaign events in Denver, Colorado Springs on Friday — by John Frank: “The Republican nominee is scheduled to attend a private fundraiser in Colorado Springs, as he looks to close his campaign cash deficit compared to Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. His Colorado campaign co-chairman, Larry Mizel, is listed as a host for the event.” [DenverPost]
PROFILE: “Tulsi Gabbard: The Bernie-Endorsing Congresswoman Who Trump Fans Can Love” by Tim Mak: “Tulsi Gabbard is a Bernie supporter and a progressive darling—and yet her stances on standard liberal issues like gun rights and immigration are starting to converge with those of Donald J. Trump. She’s a lawmaker who has a soft spot for dictatorial regimes. She pals around with Sheldon Adelson. She’s declined to sign onto an assault weapons ban. She opposes admitting refugees. She a frequent fixture on Fox News, where she has slammed the president over his refusal to use the term “Islamic extremism” to refer to terror attacks.” [DailyBeast]
“Giuliani: Israeli leaders want Trump for president” by Josh Rogin: “I’ve talked to the members of the Israeli government at the highest levels. I know who they want elected here. It’s not Hillary Clinton. It’s not Obama 3,” Giuliani told me in an interview at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland. One person close to Giuliani told me that during his March meeting with Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister said he preferred Republican administrations to Democratic ones and gave Giuliani a message to personally deliver to Trump with suggestions about how Trump should talk about Israel-related policy issues. Giuliani met with Trump and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in New York following the trip and delivered the message, this person said. [WashPost]
KAFE KNESSET: Bogie vs. Bibi Round Two — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon made headlines again today by attacking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for agreeing to make concessions to the Palestinians during peace talks in 2014. Ya’alon – who has always been a hawk on the Palestinian issue – thought the concessions were dangerous and harmful.
Ya’alon’s line of attack against Netanyahu is creating an interesting challenge for the Prime Minister. On the one hand, Ya’alon has attacked him from the left, accusing Netanyahu of harming Israeli democracy, threatening the free press in Israel and appeasing racist elements within the Likud. On the other hand, Ya’alon has attacked him from the right, portraying Netanyahu as weak on national security. Netanyahu advisers ridiculed his former Defense Minister’s claims: “Soon we’ll hear that Netanyahu also accepted the Uganda plan, and it’s only because of Bogie Ya’alon that we’re still in Israel,” a source in his office said in reply.
Hovering in the background of this feud is the upcoming State Comptroller report on the last Gaza War, during which the two adversaries were still close partners. Netanyahu is worried that Ya’alon will exact revenge by feeding the report with details that – until three months ago – he didn’t plan to share.
BUSINESS BRIEFS: Health insurance company co-founded by Trump relative will slash coverage in half, affecting thousands of customers [DailyNews] • KKR’s Toughest Sell Is Its Own Shares [Bloomberg] • Abraham Leser raises $32.5M in Israeli bonds [RealDeal; Bloomberg] • SodaStream regains its fizz [Globes]
STARTUP NATION: “Taboola has splashed tens of millions of dollars on a video ad tech company to take on YouTube, Facebook, and Snapchat” by Lara O’Reilly: “Like Taboola, ConvertMedia is also a New York City/Israel-based company with an Israeli founder. Singolda and ConvertMedia CEO Yoav Naveh had known each other for a few years ahead of the deal and the companies share an investor in Pitango Venture Capital.” [BusinessInsider; TechCrunch]
“Zeek, an Israeli startup that lets you buy and sell unwanted gift vouchers, closes $9.5M Series B” by Steve O’Hear: “Originally launched out of Tel Aviv in 2014, Zeek has since expanded to the U.K., which is now a key market for the startup and part of the reason for today’s announced fund-raise. Investors nclude Blumberg Capital, Qualcomm Incorporated (via its venture investment group, Qualcomm Ventures) FJ Labs, Uri Levine, Emery Capital, Ton Ventures, Radiant Venture Capital, iAngels and Target Global.” [TechCrunch]
MOON SHOT: “Israel vs. USA: Google’s competition to go to the moon” by Oren Lieberman: “By the beginning of this year, two teams had emerged as the frontrunners: Moon Express, an American team, and SpaceIL, an Israeli team. The two teams, which are privately funded, have until December 31, 2017, to complete the mission. “The real challenge will be to run the mission in a way that will overcome all of the obstacles,” said SpaceIL CEO Eran Privman. “It’s very, very complex to send a technician to the moon to fix some wire that was unfixed,” he joked. SpaceIL designed a spacecraft where every part is multifunctional. The model sits at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion International Airport. “The advantage that we have compared to other teams that are doing this is that the space industry here in Israel is focused on very small spacecraft already today,” said Privman.” [CNNMoney]
TALK OF OUR NATION: “When Jewish Law Met Processed Food” by Nicola Twilley and Cynthia Graber: “Roughly 2 percent of Americans are Jewish, and only a small fraction of them keep kosher. Yet between one-third and one-half of all packaged food in an American supermarket has a kosher label on it. How did kosher law become big business? Through the stories of how Coca-Cola became kosher, how Jell-O became treif, or non-kosher, and how the first kosher label was invented, we see how Jewish life has adapted to industrial food, and how industrial food helped shape American Judaism in return.” [TheAtlantic]
SPORTS BLINK: “Amar’e Stoudemire Isn’t Retiring… He’s Going To Play In Israel” by Gregg Sussman: “Despite retiring from the NBA today, Amar’e isn’t quite done with playing basketball. Stoudemire, who discovered his Jewish roots six years ago, is reportedly headed to Israel to play a season or two there. Stoudemire is a majority shareholder of Hapoel Jerusalem B.C. and has expressed interest in playing for his team. Now that he has officially retired from the NBA, he has the freedom to do this. He is expected to visit Israel in day along with native Israeli Omri Casspi and will try and finalize a deal with the team he owns. That doesn’t sound like it should be much of an issue.” [SportsGrid]
BIRTHDAYS: Journalist at the Christian Science Monitor since 1981 and now its Washington Bureau Chief, Linda Feldmann… Television producer of many popular sitcoms in the 1970s and later founder of the progressive advocacy group, People for the American Way, Norman Lear turns 94… Chief of Staff of the House Republican Conference, Jeremy Deutsch… Comedienne, writer, producer and actress, winner of four Emmy Awards, Carol Leifer turns 60… Staffer at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, formerly at the Rothenberg Political Report, Ben Rothenberg…