Daily Kickoff: Lindsey Graham, White House fight over MOU with Israel | Ivanka credits Emma Watson for Rabbinic Proverb | The Collegiate Sock Fairy
TOP TALKER: “U.S.-Israel deal held up over dispute with Lindsey Graham” by Josh Rogin:“After long and arduous negotiations, Israel and the Obama administration have agreed on a landmark military aid package that would increase U.S. aid to Israel over the next 10 years. But the White House is reluctant to sign the deal because officials are upset one leading lawmaker won’t go along: Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.)… Graham, the chairman of the Senate appropriations subcommittee that oversees the foreign affairs budget, has already marked up a bill that would give Israel $3.4 billion next year, more than the number the White House negotiated.”
“The administration hasn’t complained to Graham directly; it told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about its problem, and he talked to Graham about it in a phone call last month. “The Israeli prime minister told me the administration is refusing to sign the MOU until I agree to change my appropriation markup back to $3.1 billion,” Graham said. “I said, ‘Tell the administration to go F themselves.’ ” What’s more, during the negotiations, the administration advocated for a provision that would bar the Israeli government from lobbying Congress for additional money for the life of the MOU, Graham said. “I’m offended that the administration would try to take over the appropriations process. If they don’t like what I’m doing, they can veto the bill,” Graham said.” [WashPost]
U.S. Amb. Dan Shapiro speaking Sunday: “A defense agreement between Israel and the United States is expected to be signed in the coming days, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro saidSunday. Speaking to a conference at the Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Shapiro said the agreement would provide for Israel’s defense needs until 2029 and constitutes the largest aid grant the United States has ever given a foreign country. Shapiro’s remarks were the first public comments on the aid package by any official Israeli or American source in several weeks.” [Haaretz]
KAFE KNESSET — Bibi probably staying away from DC — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: As Netanyahu’s annual visit to the Big Apple approaches, his team has a busy schedule to craft. The highlight of the trip, as usual, will be the Prime Minister’s address to the UN General Assembly, slated to take placenext Thursday at noon. Netanyahu’s office is still trying to organize a “sidelines” meeting with President Obama, as well. In recent weeks, Jerusalem tried to set up the meeting in DC, but the White House was less enthusiastic, according to Israeli sources.
Netanyahu had hoped to officially mark the signing of the MOU in a joint meeting with President Obama, but one last stumbling block is stalling the conclusion of the intense negotiations… While Jerusalem agreed to the White House’s demand that it not ask for additional funding from Congress, Senator Lind se y Graham refuses to abide by this deal, stating C ongress is not party to the agreement. Netanyahu himself told a group of reporters last week that Graham is the reason for the delay, Kafe Knesset has learned. “Everything has been agreed upon between us and the White House, b ut Lindsey Graham is delaying the final announcement because he refuses to withdraw proposals for additional funding ,” he said.
Without a scheduled Oval Office visit, it appears Netanyahu will skip Washington D.C. on this trip , despite an invitation to address the Israeli- A merican Council’s annual conference kicking off the following weekend . In addition to missing Obama on this visit, the Prime Minister will probably not be seeing Sheldon and Miriam Adelson either. The couple is slated to attend the IAC event, but a source tells us they will likely not be in NYC during the General Assembly, which they traditionally attend as Netanyahu’s guests of honor.
“U.S. condemns Netanyahu’s charge that Palestinians want to ‘ethnically cleanse’ Jews from West Bank” by William Booth: “U.S. officials condemned a provocative video posted Friday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that accused the Palestinians of wanting to commit “ethnic cleansing” by ridding the West Bank of Jews… Robert Danin, former senior U.S. State Department official and peace negotiator, told The Washington Post: “My sense is that by saying there will be ‘no ethnic cleansing of Jews’ in the West Bank, Netanyahu is positioning himself for possible future negotiation with the Palestinians. While showing he is tough, he is also trying to establish a principle: Just as there have been and will continue to be Arab citizens of Israel, so, too, should there be the right for Jews to remain in a future West Bank state.” [WashPost; Haaretz]
“Ivanka Trump Credits Emma Watson For Famous Rabbinic Proverb In Instagram Post” by Daniel Marans: “Ivanka Trump raised some eyebrows with an Instagram post on Friday crediting actress Emma Watson for a famous quote by the rabbinic sage Hillel. “If not me, who? If not now, when? ― Emma Watson,” a graphic posted by Trump’s account said. (It was also posted on Trump’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.)” [HuffPost]
Yair Rosenberg tweets: “Uh, Ivanka Trump, as an Orthodox Jew, you should know this was not coined by Emma Watson” and… “This is what happens when you let Melania’s speechwriter run your Instagram account” [Twitter]
“Chelsea Clinton promises to stay friends with Ivanka after election” by Jesse Byrnes: “We were friends long before this election. We will be friends long after this election,” Clinton said on ABC’s “The View.” “Our friendship didn’t start in politics, it certainly is not going to end because of politics,” Clinton continued. “I have tremendous respect for Ivanka. I love her family.” [TheHill]
“Hillary Clinton’s Pneumonia Jolts the Presidential Race” by Peter Nicholas and Janet Hook: “I can’t understand the Clinton operation. You have to frankly tell people what happened and do so right away,” said Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary under President George. W. Bush. “If you do that, these things really are not big deals. They only become big if it doesn’t appear you’re dealing straight.” [WSJ]
“Democratic Rep. Nadler: ‘Ideally’ Clinton should have disclosed pneumonia sooner” by Nolan D. McCaskill: “Ideally, they should have,” Nadler, a Clinton supporter, told CNN when asked if the campaign should have disclosed Clinton’s pneumonia diagnosis Saturday. “But I think in this day and age when everything about a candidate’s health or anything else is exaggerated, they thought they could avoid doing that. Unfortunately, they couldn’t. But the fact of the matter, she’s a generally healthy candidate and person. She has walking pneumonia and she’ll get over it.” [Politico]
Tevi Troy’s latest — Don’t Worry, America: The 3 A.M. Phone Call Is a Myth: “As Henry Kissinger once put it after the Apollo 13 spacecraft crisis of 1970, when as national security advisor he recognized that there was literally nothing President Nixon could do about it but he woke him up anyway for PR reasons: “We couldn’t tell the public that we had not alerted the president. … It is important the public has a sense that the president is on top of the situation.” But actual necessity? Those incidents have been few and far between.” [PoliticoMag]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: Israel’s Geopolitical Quandary on Exporting Gas [Bloomberg] • Barclays and an Israel-based start-up company have carried out what they say is the world’s first trade transaction using blockchain technology [Reuters] • Senior Facebook execs in Israel to talk about social-media incitement[JPost] • How the ‘burkini’ debate boosted sales of modest swimwear in Israel [WashPost] • Eddie Antar, Retailer and Felon Who Created Crazy Eddie, Dies at 68 [NYTimes]
SPOTLIGHT: “Why Sheldon Adelson is against daily fantasy sports” by Daniel Roberts:Yahoo Finance: “Since the NFL owners will vote on whether the Raiders can move, have you tried to talk to owners and win them over? Might they object to you being an owner because you are in the gaming industry? Sheldon Adelson: “I’ve met with [Dallas Cowboys owner] Jerry Jones and I’ve talked to [New England Patriots Owner] Bobby [Kraft]. Bob is the chairman of the committee for relocation in the NFL. He’s in favor of it. It’s an old wives’ tale that they [the NFL] say gambling is no good. I’ve read that 28 of the 32 teams have interest in fantasy sports. Well, that’s gambling. So 28 teams are involved in gambling.”
As you say, you are in the gambling business. So why are you against daily fantasy?
Adelson: “I think it exploits poor people. I was one myself. And I don’t want people that are exploitable to be exploited. I can make money in an honest way—as a form of entertainment. If people want to come and be entertained I’m very happy to provide that service. But why do I need it, the fantasy sports? We’re making money [without it]. I don’t need it. And I think it’s immoral. Anyone can get addicted to it. You could do it in the bathroom, you could do it in your kitchen, you could do it anywhere, privately or publicly. You know, this Pokémon thing, I don’t know what it is, but as I understand it, people do it in public. They’re chasing pokémon in public. It’s like that. I don’t want people to be incentivized to make it so easy to play on your cellphone. It gets young kids, just like marijuana.” [YahooFinance]
STARTUP NATION: “This guy’s startup is one of the best ideas we’ve heard in a while: helping companies test-drive startups” by Julie Bort: “An Israeli startup called prooV is building what it calls the first “proof of concept” platform, which lets an enterprise test-drive a startup’s technology before they sign a purchase order for it. Toby Olshanetsky, founder and CEO of prooV, has spent his 20-year career building enterprise software, mostly for startups, he says.” [BusinessInsider]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “The Collegiate Sock Fairy Who Warms the Feet of New York’s Homeless” by Tova Ross: “Adina Lichtman started Knock Knock Give a Sock out of her college dorm two years ago. Now, her organization has given out over 50,000 pairs of socks to homeless men and women around the U.S.” [TabletMag]
“Kids boutique accused of discrimination over limited return policy” by Dean Balsamini: “A luxury online retailer offers full refunds to “dissatisfied” shoppers — unless they live in Brooklyn. Shan and Toad, a children’s clothing boutique based in California, also won’t refund customers living in Passaic or Lakewood in New Jersey, or in upstate Monroe or Monsey. Customers in the five areas can only get store credit or exchanges. “It’s blatantly discriminatory. Those places are clearly identifiable with Jewish populations,” said Brooklyn Heights Rabbi Joseph Pastanik. Shana Laub, 31, who owns the Murrieta-based shop and is Orthodox herself, denied discriminating, saying the policy is a matter of “survival.””[NYPost]
“Nurse kissed in iconic V-J Day photo dead at 92” by Amanda Jackson:“Greta Friedman, the woman kissed by a sailor in the iconic picture taken in Times Square on V-J Day in 1945, has died, according to her son Joshua Friedman. The black-and-white photograph of Friedman, dressed in a white uniform, being embraced and kissed by a sailor to celebrate the end of World War II became an enduring image.” [CNN]
SPORTS BLINK: “Football Dream Leads Jewish Player To Catholic High School And Stanford” by Justin Breen: “Lisa Burik said her football-playing son, Lewis, “fell in love with the game from day one.” That first day was as a fifth-grade player at Welles Park, and that passion for the sport has taken Lewis to a West Side Catholic high school, even though he’s Jewish, and as a walk-on to one of the nation’s top collegiate teams even though he might never play a down in an actual game.” [DNAinfo]
WEEKEND WEDDING — Victoria Edelman, Matthew Klapper: “Rabbi Erica Gerson officiated. Senator Cory Booker participated in the exchange of vows and delivered remarks about the couple. Mrs. Klapper, 30, works in Weehawken, N.J., as an associate director and a senior recruiter for UBS, the Swiss bank… Mr. Klapper, 33, is the chief of staff to Senator Booker. He is a former firefighter in Summit, N.J. … The couple were introduced in April 2013 through JDate, after Mr. Klapper’s platoon at his firehouse signed him up as a Hanukkah gift.” [NYTimes]
BIRTHDAYS: 20 term Democratic Congressman (1975-2015) from Los Angeles, Henry Waxman turns 77… Israeli singer, songwriter and musician, who has performed around the world, Idan Raichel turns 39… Miami-based Chairman of American Principles Super PAC, Eytan Laor turns 57… Internet entrepreneur and a pioneer of VoIP telephony, Jeff Pulver turns 54… Executive Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museums of Tolerance, Rabbi Meyer H. May… Kelly Stein… Sara Greenberg… Attorney specializing in the recovery of looted artworks during the Holocaust and featured in the 2015 film “Woman in Gold,” E. Randol (Randy) Schoenberg turns 50… Sherri Jankowski… Jason Stverak, legislative director and Washington lobbyist for Christians United for Israel Action Fund (h/t Playbook)… Avital Chizhik Goldschmidt (yesterday)…