Daily Kickoff: Clinton, Trump meet Bibi ahead of debate | Bibi responds to Lindsey Graham’s criticism | Israel advances to World Baseball Classic
Trump campaign readout: “Mr. Trump agreed that the military assistance provided to Israel and missile defense cooperation with Israel are an excellent investment for America… Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed at length Israel’s successful experience with a security fence that helped secure its borders… He agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State. Finally, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.” [JewishInsider; AP]
“Trump hitches a ride on Bibi’s coattails” by Michael Crowley:”Some observers were surprised that neither Trump’s statement nor a briefer one from Netanyahu’s office mentioned the growing worry in Israel that President Barack Obama, before leaving office, might seek a United Nations resolution outlining the parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. “It’s striking that there was no mention of that,” said Dennis Ross.” [Politico] • Donald Trump backs away from two-state solution after meeting Benjamin Netanyahu on eve of presidential debate [Telegraph]
Clinton Reaffirms Opposition to UNSC Resolution in Meeting with Netanyahu: “The Secretary reaffirmed her commitment to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity,” the campaign said. “Secretary Clinton reaffirmed her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the UN Security Council” and “stressed her commitment to countering attempts to delegitimize Israel, including through the BDS movement.” [JewishInsider; NBCNews]
Aaron David Miller tells us: “Trump Tower is clearly where he feels at home. And it’s hardly a shocker that Bibi would want to portray a good meeting. Remember the Seinfeld episode, ‘a show about nothing’? That’s what these meetings with Trump and Clinton are. Regardless of what’s said or not in these meetings, within six months of the election, one of the two candidates and Netanyahu will be annoying the hell out of one another.”
DRIVING THE DAY: “Clinton, Trump buff foreign policy bona fides on debate eve” by Lisa Lerer and Jill Colvin: “The meeting was designed to put Israel on good footing with the next U.S. president. But it also served to showcase the candidates’ expertise in foreign policy in the shadow of their first debate Monday, six weeks before Election Day. Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, often says that Trump does not know enough about the world and lacks the temperament to be president. Trump has argued that he has extensive experience with foreign policy through his career as a business executive and blames Clinton for many of the nation’s stumbles in foreign policy.” [AP]
Chemi Shalev: “The timing of the meetings is also a bit weird, on the eve of the first and potentially decisive debate that will take place Monday night at Hofstra University in Long Island. The rendezvous with Netanyahu, less than 48 hours before the debate, cuts off Clinton’s studious preparations, though this might not bother Trump, who is said by advisers to be relying on the feelings of his guts and the quickness of his mouth in the upcoming showdown.” [Haaretz]
“Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Answers the Twitterverse with #AskRivlin Hashtag” by Naomi Zeveloff: “Journalist Jacob Kornbluh asked Rivlin if he would be more likely to accept a medal of honor from a future American president Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Rivlin answered rather diplomatically, saying “any American president” would continue the tradition of the strong U.S.-Israeli relationship.” [Forward; Twitter]
“Israel PM hopes Obama won’t make final push for Palestinians” by Josef Federman:“Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that the issue didn’t come up in this week’s meeting with Obama in New York. But he noted the president has previously vetoed anti-Israel measures at the United Nations and said peace would not be achieved through speeches. Netanyahu said he “can only hope that this consistent approach of the Americans continues until the end of his presidency.”” [AP]
Netanyahu responds to Graham’s criticism in an interview with Tal Shalev: “I accept it with love. Lindsey is one of Israel’s biggest supporters and he wanted to give more. It’s interesting because he couldn’t have added the billions that Israeli critics are talking about, for a simple reason: it isn’t there. In the United States, there are budgetary limitations. So the increase that he could have brought with tremendous efforts is just about a hundred million dollars in the next two years. That is not exactly the billions that were talked about. We’ve almost reached the ceiling.” [WallaNews]
KAFE KNESSET — Bibi departs back to Israel — by Tal Shalev & Amir Tibon: Late last night, Netanyahu departed NYC after an eventful day meeting with both presidential candidates. Scarred by the 2012 Mitt Romney debacle, the Prime M inister’s Office did all it c ould to maintain “balance . ” T eam Trump approached the PMO requesting a meeting, and Netanyahu’s bureau immediately contacted Clinton’s campaign to coordinate a similar get together. Unlike other world leaders, who came to Netanyahu’s ” London Hotel ” to meet him, the P rime M inister offered to meet the candidates in their own hotels and headquarters – Trump Tower and the W Hotel in Union Square, respectively – aware of the fact the looming debate night created a rather tight schedule.
The PMO issued nearly identical statements after the meetings, stating only that the PM met with the respective candidates, for an hour and 20 minutes (Trump) and an hour (Clinton), and “presented Israel’s positions on regional issues related to Israel’s security, and its efforts to achieve peace and stability in the area, and thanked [them] for their friendship and support for Israel .” Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, sat in both meetings, alongside Jared Kushner in the Trump gathering and Jake Sullivan with Clinton. Netanyahu told Kafe Knesset: “I am confident that whoever the next president is, Israel will have a friend in the White House”.
It wasn’t only business this weekend: the Netanyahu’s had some time for weekend relaxation, touring Central Park, dining at Cipriani’s, and the highlight – on Broadway, watching “Hamilton , ” President Obama’s favorite musical.
Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan summed up Netanyahu’s trip to NYC: “It was a very successful visit despite the fact – or maybe because – it was completely without drama. The commentators that predicted a tense meeting with President Obama (some of them even hoped for it) were totally disappointed by a very cordial meeting. The PM succeeded in accepting the invitations to meet both presidential candidates without being seen at all as meddling in domestic politics. Finally , the UNGA speech and the excellent event with the African leaders were outstanding. In short, a very successful trip . ”
REPORT: “Benjamin Netanyahu booed by audience at ‘Hamilton’” — by Page Six Team:“There was a revolutionary spirit both on the stage and in the audience at “Hamilton” on Saturday night. “The show started late because of his arrival — the heightened security slowed down seating,” said a theatergoer. “But he still entered and sat down before the lights went down, so everyone was focused on him. There was a lot of applause when he walked in, but definitely a few loud boos.”” [PageSix]
JI’s Jacob Kornbluh filing from #IACinDC: The 3rd annual Israeli American Council National Conference took place this weekend at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. In plenary and breakout sessions – both in Hebrew and English – thousands of activists, policymakers, diplomats, journalists, Jewish communal leaders, and business innovators from the U.S. and Israel discussed the pressing issues of the day.
Spotted at Birthright-hosted reception to honor Sheldon and Miriam Adelson: Gidi Mark, Shawn Evenhaim, Phil Rosen, Daniel Kraus, Allen Fagin, Chaya Glasner, Rabbi Dave Felsenthal, Tami Goldberg, Chaim Yosef Greenberg, Adam Yormack, David Ben Hooren, Aliza Kline, and Jonathan Boiskin.
Sheldon on why IAC was established: “I was wondering about the lack of Israeli-American integration into the American Jewish community because nobody really knows how many there are, but there are estimates of 600,000 to a million. That is a very big number that has not been patched together to work for their true interest… We want to work together with other organizations. We want to work with AIPAC; we are not competing with them. If there was an IAC before the second world war, the Holocaust would not have happened because we would’ve been a powerful force to lobby the U.S. to take the steps to save the Jewish people of Europe.”
Ambassador Dani Dayan on the Jewish identity of Israel: “The Jewish state, I would define it as a state of the Jews, for the Jews and by the Jews. A Jewish state, in my view, is a state that when a Jewish community in Ethiopia is in danger, the prime minister of that state calls the CEO of its flight carrier, El Al, orders him to strip the seats of its aircraft, to paralyze its whole commercial fleet of the country, add to that a few herculeses, and send it in 36 hours to rescue that Jewish community and bring them to Zion. That is the definition of a Jewish state because we will do that only for Jews, and we do not expect from any other country to it for a Jewish community but us – ourselves.”
Minister Yoav Galant on the connection between Israel and American Jewry: “There are only two places in the world Jews can call their home and feel equal, safe and comfortable, and live their lives as they please — Israel and North America. It’s important that Israelis living abroad preserve their identity, not assimilate and maintain their connection with Israel.”
Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Iran deal: “I hope we elect someone president of the United States who reverses that agreement. I can’t speak for anyone else. I oppose the agreement because I would never ever put nuclear material in the hands of a proven, homicidal, theologically-motivated maniac. And I consider putting nuclear weapons in the hands of a country that is dedicated to the extermination of the state of Israel, not being a friend of Israel. If someone is threatening to kill me and my family and you give them weapons, I don’t think you’re my friend.”
“After prepping Trump for debate, Giuliani says US should abandon two-state solution” by Michael Wilner: “You can make peace between the two of them, but you can’t treat them the same,” said Giuliani, condemning moral equivalence between the two parties. The US, he said, should “reject the whole notion of a two-state solution in Israel… It’s not in the interest of Israel to have a terrorist state on its border. It would not be the interests of my country to create a new haven for terrorists.”[JPost] • Trump adviser: Israel can annex West Bank and remain Jewish [TimesofIsrael]
Schumer Warns Against Using UN as Forum to Pressure Israel: “The U.S. must always come to the aid of our friend Israel at the UN,” Schumer said. “The U.S. should never use the United Nations as a forum to put pressure on Israel any kind of an agreement… Since the days of ‘Zionism equals racism,’ the UN has been an anti-Israel forum. Friends of Israel should not trust it.” [JewishInsider]
HEARD AT — The National Iranian American Council Conference: “Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes JewSplaining to NIACouncil – get out and be visible on your issues, like Jews are about Israel” [Twitter]
OVER THE WEEKEND — “Trump campaign quarrels over money woes” by Alex Isenstadt: “Last Thursday, Trump’s top brass, including Mnuchin, chief operating officer Eli Miller, Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner gathered in Trump Tower with Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Katie Walsh… Kushner, who is regularly in touch with Walsh and party chairman Reince Priebus, argued that the committee had proven itself to be responsive.” [Politico]
“Sheldon Adelson to give $25m boost to Trump Super Pac” by Peter Stone: “Adelson plans to donate as much as $25m to a Super Pac supporting Donald Trump – five times what he had been expected to contribute. Adelson will give the money to Future45 for ads attacking Hillary Clinton and backing Donald Trump, the Guardian has learned.” [Guardian]
“Bush national security adviser endorses Clinton” by Rebecca Morin: “Donald P. Gregg, national security adviser to George H.W. Bush during his tenure as vice president, said he believes Clinton would be an “extremely good president.”” [Politico]
“Video: Zaydes and Bubbes Urge Grandkids to Stop Trump” by Jacob Kornbluh:“Aimed at millennials – a key voting bloc unenthused about both presidential candidates, Bend the Arc Jewish Action released a video featuring a handful of bubbes and zaydes threatening their grandchildren to haunt their Tinder profile and leak ‘Game of Thrones’ spoilers if they choose to stay home on Election Day. “This is probably one of the most important elections because there’s so much at stake,” one grandmother emphasizes in the video. “We have seen this before. We saw it in Germany and we don’t want to see it here,” another one says.” [JewishInsider]
Holocaust historian Saul Friedlander ‘will quit US’ if Trump is elected President: “The 83-year-old Israeli-American writer, who escaped the Nazis by being hidden in a Catholic boarding school in France, described Trump as a “dangerous crazy.” He said the controversial Republican candidate could win November’s election because of Hillary Clinton’s “tendency to lie and to hide things.”” [AFP]
“Brown signs anti-BDS measure into law” by Eitan Arom: “Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a much-debated bill targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel on Sept. 24… While the bill’s advocates had forecasted a signature from the governor, Brown made no public statements about it. So when news of the signing broke on a Shabbat afternoon, it came as something of a surprise.” [JewishJournal]
STARTUP NATION: “Intel’s office of the future is a micromanaging monster” by Vlad Savov: “Intel is building an ambitious new office building in Israel’s Petah Tikva, which will house 2,500 employees and serve as a showcase for the chipmaker’s latest IoT technologies. Judging by the promo video from Intel, the building will also be a horrible nag that micromanages employees’ sleep, work commute, exercise, and even what they have for lunch. It’s a bureaucrat’s dream and a regular human’s nightmare.” [TheVerge]
ACROSS THE POND: “Sadiq Khan to stamp out Labour’s anti-semitism as Jeremy Corbyn’s views on Jewish attitudes spark fury” by Nigel Nelson: “Mr Khan has vowed to spearhead a drive to stop the party being anti-semitic, just as Mr Corbyn’s views on ‘dishonest’ Jewish attitudes have caused further uproar. Writing for the Holocaust Educational Trust today, the capital’s mayor says: “Whenever anti-semitism rears its ugly head, I’ll be the first to call it out, condemn it and then work to stamp it out.. and that includes within the Labour Party.” [Mirror] • Head of Jewish Labour group: party is in crisis over antisemitism [Guardian]
Larry Sanders, Bernie’s Brother, Is Running for David Cameron’s Seat in Parliament” by Sewell Chan: “Mr. Sanders, 82, was chosen on Thursday night by the Green Party as its nominee in anOct. 20 special election in the constituency of Witney, about 67 miles west of London… “The underlying issues will be the one that Bernard raises, which is the fact that we’ve had growing inequality for the last 30 or 40 years, which means the bulk of the wealth and income has gone to the very richest people,” Larry Sanders told Buzzfeed UK.” [NYTimes]
“Millions in chains, belated reckoning: Why the new National Museum of African American History and Culture matters” by Howard Wolfson: “It’s hard to escape the Holocaust in Berlin. The ghosts are everywhere, and they demand your attention: The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The Topography of Terror. The Book Burning Memorial. Are they sufficient? Of course not. Six million such memorials would not be sufficient. But they do represent an attempt to acknowledge complicity — and if they are only proof of a guilty conscience, better a guilty conscience than none at all. This is especially clear when you contrast the way the Holocaust is remembered in Germany with the disgraceful way slavery, and its immediate legacy of lynching and Jim Crow oppression, is ignored in the United States.” [DailyNews]
HOLLYWOOD: “Rachel Weisz and Deborah Lipstad” by Tad Friend: “The actress sits down with the professor, who was sued for libel for calling David Irving a Holocaust denier, and whom Weisz plays in “Denial.”” [NewYorker]
TALK OF OUR NATION: “Jewish and Chinese: Explaining a Shared Identity” by Chris Buckley: “The ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng, in central China, was experiencing a cultural and religious revival until a recent government clampdown, which has brought a ban on collective worship and forced out foreign Jewish groups.” [NYTimes]
LongRead — How Iran Is Building Its Censorship-Friendly Domestic Internet: “In promoting the strengthened infrastructure, officials have publicly invited Google and Telegram to host servers inside Iran. Thus far, these offers have not been accepted. As those companies understand, and officials openly acknowledge, doing so comes with a catch — it requires compliance with Iranian law. Lacking Google’s cooperation, Iranian authorities have supported the creation of local variant, named Aparat, that has met with particular success.” [BackChannel]
SPORTS BLINK: “Israel drops Great Britain for 1st Classic berth” by Barry Bloom: “The Israelis have made it to the elite 16 of the World Baseball Classic, vanquishing an extra-inning elimination loss that has haunted them since 2012. With Sunday night’s 9-1 victory over Great Britain ending the Brooklyn qualifier at MCU Park, Israel will move on to play in Pool B at Seoul, beginning March 7 against host South Korea, Chinese Taipei and The Netherlands, completing the field of 16 nations for next year’s fourth Classic.” [MLB]
“Home Teams Are Israeli, but Turf Is in West Bank” by Peter Baker: “A conflict over where Israel officially begins and ends has hit a raw nerve on both sides of the murky line, intensified by athletic fervor and community pride. After all, if nothing else, one thing Israelis and Palestinians share is a passion for soccer.” [NYTimes; AP]
BIRTHDAYS: Vice Chairman and a Director of Capital International, Inc. and long-time Board Chair of the Hudson Institute, Walter Phillips Stern turns 88… CEO of Israel Longhorn Project, dedicated to bringing Texas Longhorn Cattle home to Israel, Robin Rosenblatt turns 68… Senior political adviser to President Bill Clinton during his second term and co-author of a NY Times best-seller on the future of politics in the United States, Doug Sosnik turns 60… Historian, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Kagan turns 58… Former Communications Director for NY Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Jane Harman, now heading a NYC based PR firm, Risa Beth Heller tuns 37… Barry Mandel… Chief of Staff to Ohio Senator Rob Portman, following a long career as a DC lobbyist, Mark Isakowitz…