Daily Kickoff: Bibi hosts D.C. guests | NYT: “Can Israel & Arab States be Friends?” | Steve Goldberg profile | Gerald Hines, a Master at Sharing Risk
KAFE KNESSET — Bibi meets friends from DC — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The PM took some time off from his summer vacation in Caesarea yesterday, hosting a bipartisan delegation of think tank experts that included former senior Bush and Obama administration officials such as Dennis Ross, Philip Gordon, Rob Danin and James Jeffrey. The group has been touring the Middle East in the past week, exploring regional developments. After stops in Riyadh and Ankara, where they met Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the group proceeded to Israel and the Palestinian Authority, against the backdrop of recent attempts to convene an Israeli-Palestinian peace summit under Egyptian and Russian auspices.
Besides Netanyahu, the delegation also met with Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz; and they will meet the leader of the opposition, Isaac Herzog, later today.
During the meeting, Netanyahu presented the group with his latest diplomatic vision, emphasizing his belief in a regional process with Arab states as the only way to solve the conflict. He reiterated his willingness to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas anytime, anywhere. Netanyahu expressed his satisfaction with the nearly completed negotiations over the MOU. However, he raised his concern that after the election, President Obama will feel free to make a final move on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the UN Security Council, and that signing the MOU could make that easier for Obama to do.
A senior Israeli official told Jewish Insider that while the delegation was comprised of mostly “has beens,” Netanyahu considers them all important and influential: “There is a high probability that some of these people will fill substantial posts in the next administration, whomever wins the race to the White House.”
NYTimes Editorial: Can Israel and the Arab States Be Friends? — “There is evidence that ties between Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states and Israel are not only improving but, after developing in secret over many years, could evolve into a more explicit alliance as a result of their mutual distrust of Iran. Better relations among these neighbors could put the chaotic Middle East on a more positive course. They could also leave the Palestinians in the dust, a worrisome prospect.” [NYTimes]
Dr. Dore Gold tweets: “Yes, and peace with Arab states will spread to Palestinians as well.” [Twitter]
Hillel Neuer: “Peaceful relations between Israel & Arab states have never been better, so NYT figured out why that is a “danger.”” [Twitter]
Spotted in Playbook: “U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro grabbing a beer yesterday evening with Under Secretary of State Tom Shannon on the patio at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. They clinked glasses filled with Goldstar beer.” [Politico]
“Will Rahm Emanuel be US’s next ambassador to Israel? Not so fast, says Chicago mayor” by Herb Keinon: “Crain’s Chicago Business columnist Greg Hinz reported “an absolute delicious piece of gossip floating around that, up to a point, makes some sense: The next US ambassador to Israel could be one Rahm Emanuel.” Asked about the possibility at a news conference later the same day, Emanuel termed it “ridiculous,” adding that he hasn’t been asked and that he is not interested.” [JPost] h/t Daroff
Over The Weekend — “Clinton Leads Trump by 43 Points Among Jewish Voters in Florida” by Jacob Kornbluh: “According to the poll, conducted by Jim Gerstein from GBA Strategies, Clinton is supported by 66 percent of Jewish voters, while Trump is supported by 23 percent. Trump’s image among Jewish voters is underwater by 50 percent. Only 21 percent view the father of Ivanka Trump and former Grand Marshal at the Israel Day Parade favorably. A whopping 71 percent have an unfavorable view of him. Clinton is viewed favorably by 57 percent of Jewish voters and unfavorably by 33 percent. The only group Trump is doing well is among Orthodox Jewish voters (6 percent of the Florida Jewish electorate). According to the poll, Trump leads Clinton 66-22 percent among Orthodox Jews. Among all non-Orthodox voters, Clinton leads Trump 77-22.” [JewishInsider; NewRepublic]
Yair Rosenberg: “If Trump is bleeding previously-Republican voters in one of the more conservative-leaning Jewish constituencies in America, just two months before election day, it spells trouble for him nationwide.” [TabletMag]
JI Interview with Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL): “People have short memories and forget that just in December of last year Trump stood in front of the RJC and said, ‘You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money.’ And then went on to say, ‘You want to control your own politicians.’ That came and went, and I don’t think it got the attention it deserved. Although, obviously, all of this has sort of settled in. That was one when he couldn’t disavow David Duke, when he refused to acknowledge that his Twitter account uses images of the most anti-Semitic social media.”
“And then add to that – and I think this is probably after the poll was done – the fact that the candidate who says he’s going to have a policy of extreme vetting, apparently failed to used that own policy when hiring a campaign manager (Steven Bannon, who was hired as the campaign’s CEO). He’s got a campaign manager who, as it has been reported, didn’t want his kids to go to school with Jews and he doesn’t like Jews. So, all of that together and then couple that with the community’s longstanding relationship with Secretary Clinton, I don’t think it’s any surprise that those numbers are there, and I expect that the numbers would be even bigger on Election Day.”
“The irony is that in the poll those who support Trump are willing to ignore everything that has been said over the course of this campaign with the hope that perhaps in the coming weeks leading up to the election he may finally get to a point that is less concerning, less reckless, and more responsible. But there’s absolutely no reason to think that that’s the case. Simply being able to deliver a speech from a teleprompter doesn’t negate months and months of concerning statements about the way that Trump would behave as President of the United States.”
Q: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu is coming to New York next month. Do you expect any progress on a new MOU?
TD: “I don’t know yet what meetings will be taking place when he comes but I certainly view it as an opportunity to try to move the MOU talks to their conclusion. I think it would send a very positive message to everyone around the world about the strength of the U.S.-Israel relationship… I hope that there is some progress and that it gets wrapped up soon. I’ve made that clear both to our administration and to the Prime Minister, and I would love to wait and see what happens on this trip.”
“Donald Trump Appears to Take Sheldon Adelson’s Advice on Humility” by Jonathan Martin and Maggie Haberman: “Trump met privately last week with Sheldon G. Adelson… Meeting in his suite in New York’s St. Regis hotel, Mr. Adelson, the chief executive of Las Vegas Sands and one of the Republican Party’s largest donors, told Mr. Trump that he was committed to his campaign, but urged the brash candidate to demonstrate a measure of humility, according to five Republicans briefed on the conversation who were not authorized to discuss it publicly. The conversation took place last Wednesday, the day before Mr. Trump used a rally in Charlotte, N.C., to say, without offering any specific examples, that he had regrets over “saying the wrong thing.”” [NYTimes]
“Turned off by Trump: Republican mega-donors focus on congressional races” by Peter Stone: “Three fundraising sources with good ties to Adelson said he is focused on trying to keep control of Congress, though he could donate to Trump if his gaffes are eliminated and his poll numbers improve.”[TheGuardian]
PROFILE: “A Republican Who Thinks Trump Is Playing Too Nice” by Ben Smith: “And in Israel last year, a wave of [Steve] Goldberg’s phone calls on behalf of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party made headlines on election day for referring to the American president as “Hussein Obama.” … Goldberg had hoped to get in on the Trump campaign. When we met earlier in the summer, he showed me some reassuring texts from Manafort, suggesting that some kind of gig was in the works. Even last Friday, he told me, “I really hope Paul does get empowered.” His Netanyahu connection also gives him a line into the mercurial casino magnate and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson, who is Netanyahu’s key patron, and who was the subject of reports earlier this summer that he would finance a pro-Trump super PAC, one of many things that hasn’t come through for The Donald.” [BuzzFeed]
TOP TALKER: “Ex-wife says Trump campaign CEO made anti-Semitic remarks” by Brian Melley and Jill Colvin: “An ex-wife of Donald Trump’s new campaign CEO, Stephen Bannon, said Bannon made anti-Semitic remarks when the two battled over sending their daughters to private school nearly a decade ago, according to court papers reviewed Friday by The Associated Press. Piccard said her ex-husband had objected to sending their twin daughters to an elite Los Angeles academy because he “didn’t want the girls going to school with Jews.” “He said he doesn’t like Jews and that he doesn’t like the way they raise their kids to be ‘whiney brats,'” Piccard said in a 2007 court filing. Alexandra Preate, a spokeswoman for Bannon, denied Friday night that he made anti-Semitic remarks about the private school. “He never said that,” Preate said.” [AP]
Are Trump’s grass roots Jewish supporters the election’s dark horse?” by Sean Savage:“[Ken] Abramowitz said he grades politicians on three issues; their ability to grow the economy, protect our culture and protect our nation. “Trump would get a ‘B,’” he said. “I’m hoping over the next few weeks, he evolves. As he gets more input on issues, he has the ability to reach an ‘A.’ Hillary would get an ‘F.’ She has no chance of upgrading herself.” [JNS]
Heard on CNN — John Berman: “Just to be clear, he said last night to a New Hampshire station he doesn’t want racists to vote for him, so at least a form of repudiation here. You have not committed to voting for him yet. Is it better than a 50/50 chance you think you’ll vote for Donald Trump?” Charlie Spies: “Look, we have two bad options. I think if he wasn’t making this whole policy mishmash, we’d be talking about Hillary Clinton scandals with the Clinton Foundation. I don’t like either of my options. But I hope that — for the sake of the down-ballot tickets, I think it’s critical the Republicans keep the Senate, and we can’t have Trump get crushed if we’re going to keep the Senate. So he has to straighten out his campaign and do a better job of articulating commonsense policies.”
“Streisand: Clinton is the ‘Yentl’ of politics, will do ‘whatever’ to elect her” by Paul Bedard:“I was trying to make my first movie, Yentl, and man after man in Hollywood told me I was just an actress — I could never direct and produce a film. So many of us — especially women — know how it feels to be told, “No, you can’t.” It’s easy to believe that about ourselves. It’s harder to believe the truth: that we have power, and we can use it. Hillary Clinton is the proof.” [WashExaminer]
IRAN DEAL — Sen. Michael Bennet discusses his support for the Iran nuclear deal: “I think the deal is going well, so far. Obviously, we have to be vigilant.… And the people opposed to the deal I think need to answer the American people on what would have happened if the deal had not been struck. And I think what would have happened is Iran would have built a bomb in secret to try to catch the attention of the United States Congress and they would have used the proceeds from the lifting of sanctions. What Donald Trump doesn’t seem to understand is the money was not in the U.S., so they would have had the benefit of sanctions relief, and I think they would have built the bomb in secret.”[DenverPost] • Iran deploys Russian-made S-300 missiles at its Fordow nuclear site [Reuters]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: Chemi Peres makes predictions for Israel’s tech scene [TechCrunch] • Only in Palm Beach: The $95 Million Tear-Down [NYTimes] • Warned of a Crash, Start-Ups in Silicon Valley Narrow Their Focus [NYTimes]
SPOTLIGHT: “This Skyscraper Billionaire Is a Master at Sharing Risk” by Tom Metcalf:“Gerald Hines, the 91-year-old real estate developer, has always been known for his belief in the striking and iconic. He built the Lipstick Building in Manhattan, helped develop Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s Jersey City tower and today is constructing the tallest skyscraper in San Francisco. Hines Group today is a far cry from the one-man outfit Gerald Hines founded in Houston in 1957.” [Bloomberg; RealDeal]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “Israel wants to bulldoze this ramshackle village, but Europe is providing life support” by William Booth in Susiya, West Bank: “For a quick reality check on the current stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, there’s no better place to visit than this little village of miserable huts and sheep pens in the middle of nowhere. Israel’s military authority in the West Bank wants to demolish the Palestinian community, contending that the ramshackle structures, made of old tires and weathered tarpaulins, were built without permits and must come down.” [WashPost]
Challenge Flag: “Following HonestReporting’s requests, the Washington Post has made a subtle yet necessary correction to the paragraph in question, which has removed the word “government.” However, there is no acknowledgment anywhere that a correction has been made or that an error was committed in the first instance.” [HonestReporting]
LongRead: “When LBJ and Goldwater Agreed to Keep Race Out of the Campaign” by Mark Updegrove: “Unlike many of the “no” votes, Goldwater’s assertion of states’ rights was not a smokescreen for personal racism—far from it. Personally, Goldwater, half-Jewish on his father’s side, loathed segregation. He ended it at his family’s department stores, and vigorously pursued banning it in both Phoenix’s public schools and the Arizona National Guard.” [PoliticoMag]
Tevi Troy’s latest: “How Presidents Can Blow It During a National Disaster: The expansion of federal capacities, public expectations and media scrutiny are shaping the response to the Louisiana floods, Zika and other crises.” [WSJ]
DESSERT: “Four Seasons Dessert With Barry Diller” by David Fowler: “In 1990, as a young advertising copywriter, I was summoned to the Four Seasons restaurant for a job interview with Barry Diller. The moguls kept coming, kissing the ring. When we finished, Mr. Diller just stood up, and we walked out. Did he realize we’d walked out on the check? Should I mention it? Blessedly, I said nothing. Only later did I realize I’d witnessed dessert at a Four Seasons power lunch. You didn’t wait for the check. A bill got sent to somebody, somewhere. You simply walked out like you owned the place. Which, pretty much, the moguls who dined there did.” [NYTimes]
BIRTHDAYS: U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Joseph ‘Jack’ Lew turns 61… Former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1995-99), Robert Rubin turns 78… Longtime movie and television actor, Elliott Gould (born Elliott Goldstein) turns 78… CEO of the Consumer Technology Association and author of the New York Times best-seller “Ninja Innovation,” Gary Shapiro turns 60… Election law guru and head of the DC office of Clark Hill PLC, Charlie Spies… Philanthropist and hotel / real estate mogul, co-founder of Dog Tag Bakery, Connie Milstein… Senior Counsel at the Federal Communications Commission, Amy L. Nathan… Joe Lissak… Warren Stern…