Daily Kickoff: Uproar over Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon | How a Rabbi led Viacom’s settlement talks | Hollywood’s Bar Mitzvah Competition

JI_logoCP2

Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends.

DRIVING THE DAY: For those of you attending the Jewish Federations General Assembly in D.C., Jewish Insider is hosting a panel featuring several Republican Jewish ‘Insiders’ discussing last week’s election results, the U.S.-Israel relationship under a Trump administration, and its impact on the Jewish community in America. The panel at 12:30PM will be held at the press stage and moderated by JI’s Jacob Kornbluh. Panelists include the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Matt Brooks, Lisa Spies, along with former Bush 43 White House Jewish Liaisons Tevi Troy, Noam Neusner and Jeffrey Berkowitz.

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Trump picks Priebus as White House chief of staff, Bannon as top adviser” by Jim Acosta, Dana Bash & Tal Kopan: “Donald Trump named two top advisers to his administration Sunday, tapping Republican Party Chairman Reince Priebus to be his new chief of staff and Steve Bannon, the Trump campaign CEO and executive chairman of Breitbart News, as chief strategist and senior counselor.” [CNN]

— “It is also a reflection of who has the ear of the president-elect: his children, and especially his eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, and her husband, Jared Kushner. Both had argued that the chief of staff job should not be held by someone too controversial, according to several people familiar with the decision-making inside the transition effort. Mr. Kushner is likely to wield great influence over the new president regardless of whether he holds a formal title. Mr. Kushner, who has no experience in politics or government, often has the final word in advising Mr. Trump.” [NYTimes] • Jared Kushner was instrumental in getting Trump elected — what comes next for him? [TRD]

“Mr. Bannon’s selection demonstrated the power of grass-roots activists who backed Mr. Trump’s candidacy. Some of them have long traded in the conspiracy theories and sometimes racist messages of Breitbart News, the website that Mr. Bannon ran for much of the past decade. The site has accused President Obama of “importing more hating Muslims”; compared Planned Parenthood’s work to the Holocaust; called the conservative commentator Bill Kristol a “renegade Jew.”” [NYTimes]

ADL “strongly opposes” Bannon’s appointment — Jonathan Greenblatt: “The ADL strongly opposes the appointment of Steve Bannon as senior advisor and chief strategist in the White House. It is a sad day when a man who president over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’”

The National Jewish Democratic Council emails… “Enough is enough. We had planned to withhold judgment on the president-elect, giving him time to make his administration appointments, but his choice of Steve Bannon as chief strategist and senior advisor is wrong. As CEO of Breitbart News, Bannon gave voice to white supremacists and the alt-right. His racism and anti-Semitism have no place in the White House, and he must step down.”

Jonathan Franks: “Sources: AIPAC is privately apoplectic about Steve Bannon appointment.”[Twitter]

“Gingrich: Possible top Trump aide worked in finance, so not anti-Semitic” by Eric Cortellessa: “On the Sunday morning CBS show Face the Nation, Gingrich was asked by host John Dickerson to respond to an essay in the conservative magazine National Review about the fringe of anti-Semites who supported Trump’s improbable rise to the White House. Gingrich retorted by calling the piece “garbage” and added that Bannon has worked for Goldman Sachs and in the Hollywood film production industry — references to two arenas highly associated with Jews.” [ToI]

Hunter Walker reports… “The source also suggested that, in person, Bannon, who made much of his fortune on royalties from the television show “Seinfeld,” can be somewhat insensitive. To illustrate their point, the source described being somewhat disturbed by comments Bannon made during their initial encounter. “In my first conversation with him, he was talking about how Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David are brilliant business people, like complimenting Jews for their business sense,” the source said with a sigh.” [YahooNews]

“Journalism in the Age of Trump” by Dylan Byers: “NYT reporter and CNN contributor Maggie Haberman writes that she “came home to find a strange orange envelope in the mail. It contained three pages of anti-Semitism, replete with an illustration of someone wielding a sword and warnings about the ‘prophecy’ against Judaism.” Her home address had been posted online on a list of reporters who were “doxxed” by Trump supporters.” [ReliableSources]

Fox News’ Pete Hegseth: George Soros-Funded Protests Are ‘Anti-Semitic’: “These are Communists. These are anarchists. They’re anti-Semitic,” he said of the protesters, failing to mention that Soros himself is Jewish and survived Nazi-occupied Hungary.” [DailyBeast

“Soros bands with donors to resist Trump, ‘take back power'” by Kenneth Vogel: “George Soros and other rich liberals who spent tens of millions of dollars trying to elect Hillary Clinton are gathering in Washington for a three-day, closed door meeting to retool the big-money left to fight back against Donald Trump.” [Politico]

TRANSITION WATCH — David Corn tweets: “Newt Gingrich just told me he is not going to be Secretary of State. Why? “Because I don’t want to be.”” [Twitter]

Heard on 60 Minutes: “Ivanka Trump vowed she would not become a part of her father’s administration in an interview aired on Sunday. Ivanka, 35, told host Lesley Stahl she was ‘very passionate’ about advocating for women – ‘but not in a formal administrative capacity.’ ‘I’m going to be a daughter. But I’ve – I’ve said throughout the campaign that I am very passionate about certain issues. And that I want to fight for them,’ she said.” [DailyMail/CBS]

“Gay foreign affairs guru on Trump’s list for UN ambassador” by Carl Campanile: “Grenell has been a critic of the Iran nuke deal and slammed the Obama administration, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, for failing to put Boko Haram on the terror list. Grenell is pro-Israel. “Ric Grenell has proven to be stridently pro-Israel,” said Arthur Schwartz, a strategist for Jewish American groups that back Israel… Like Trump, Grenell is also a prolific tweeter.” [NYPost

“Carl Icahn supports Trump but doesn’t agree with all of his policies” by Ahiza Garcia:“While Trump has praised Icahn and insisted that the U.S. needs someone like him in the White House, Icahn himself said he has no desire to assume the role of Treasury secretary. “I’m not gonna go to Washington,” the 80-year-old Icahn said. “My personality is such I’ve never worked for anyone in my life and I’m not gonna start now at my age.”” [CNNMoney

“Can Trump broaden his government beyond loyalists — and does he want to?” by Philip Rucker, Dana Priest and Karen DeYoung: “Eliot Cohen, who served as counselor to former secretary of state Condoleezza Rice, was a driving force behind an open letter last spring, eventually signed by 122 Republican national security leaders who opposed Trump’s candidacy and pledged not to serve in a Trump administration. In an essay titled “To An Anxious Friend,” published Thursday in the American Interest, Cohen advised career military, diplomatic and intelligence officials to “continue to do their jobs.” “The government has to be staffed,” wrote Cohen… They should say yes, he said, “with two conditions . . . that they keep a signed but undated letter of resignation in their desk . . . and that they not recant a word of what they have said thus far.”” [WashPost

“A Newly Vibrant Washington Fears That Trump Will Drain Its Culture” by Jason Horowitz: “Others around town signed up for free tension-relieving sessions at yoga studios, or meditated on emails from their progressive rabbis reminding them of the Jewish mantra “Od lo avda tikvateinu,” or, “We have not yet lost our hope.” Reports abounded of federal workers and nonprofit employees crying at their desks, scanning the web for out-of-town rentals or accepting the free hugs on offer in Farragut Square.” [NYTimes] • h/t Howard Mortman

“Hillary Clinton’s Jewish Outreach Director Moving to Israel” by Judy Maltz: “According to several acquaintances, the move had been on the agenda even before the presidential election. She is engaged to marry her Israeli boyfriend, they said. The acquaintances also said Bard has yet to line up a job in Israel.” [Haaretz

“Netanyahu, Bennett clash over settlement policy in wake of Trump victory” by Raoul Wootliff and Stuart Winer: “Speaking at the weekly cabinet meeting, Netanyahu warned ministers that while the president-elect and his team have been unequivocal in their “deep friendship” for the Jewish state, Israeli politicians should refrain from speculating on future US policy and leave diplomacy to the proper channels — after the next Washington administration is installed. Netanyahu’s admonishment came after Bennett, who chairs the pro-settlement Jewish Home Party, asserted in a radio interview earlier in the day that Trump would follow Israel’s lead in dealing with the Palestinians and suggested that his election presents an opportunity for Netanyahu to publicly abandon the two-state solution for resolving the conflict with the Palestinians. Bennett said that one way to show Israel’s true intentions would be to pass a bill recognizing illegal settler outposts.” [ToI

In an interview with the WSJ, Trump reiterates interest in brokering peace deal: “On a different foreign hot spot, the Israel-Palestine situation, which Mr. Trump called “the war that never ends,” he said he hoped to help craft a resolution between them. “That’s the ultimate deal,” Mr. Trump said. “As a deal maker, I’d like to do…the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”” [WSJ

“Palestinian UN Envoy: If Trump Moves Embassy to Jerusalem We’ll ‘Make His Life Miserable’” by Barak Ravid: “If people attack us by moving the embassy to Jerusalem, which is a violation of Security Council resolutions, it is a violation of resolution 181 of the UN general assembly that was drafted by the U.S. … it means they are showing belligerency towards us … If they do that nobody should blame us for unleashing all of the weapons that we have in the UN to defend ourselves and we have a lot of weapons in the UN,” [Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations, Riyad] Mansour said. “I can make their lives miserable everyday with precipitating a veto on my admission as a member state.”[Haaretz]

— RJC’s Matt Brooks: “Comments like that may make Donald Trump even more determined to move the US embassy to Jerusalem.” [Twitter

Malcolm Hoenlein on the “Community Matters” radio program in New York: “If history is a guide, we would’ve already had 11 embassies in Jerusalem from all the candidates who promised us they are going to move the embassy to Jerusalem. Now, he may really want to move in that direction. There is property that they own already for an embassy. It will take time to construct it and to implement that decision — it could happen at one time – but the question that will be asked is: it is really worth the confrontation that it is likely to elicit, maybe in the Arab world? On the other hand, you can’t be intimidated… And it will be in West Jerusalem. It doesn’t have to be in East Jerusalem to recognize Jerusalem as the capital, without getting into the territorial issue.”

“Melania Trump to Sara Netanyahu: I look forward to your visit” by Tovah Lazaroff: “Mrs. Trump said that she looks forward to our visit at the first opportunity, and that there will be wonderful relations between our countries and our families,” Netanyahu wrote. “They discussed the great importance of emphasizing family time as part of their role as mothers in order to enable their children to grow up in a normal way like all their friends.” [JPost]

“How Donald Trump Will Divide American and Israeli Jews” by Shmuel Rosner: “If all goes well, Israelis are going to love the Trump administration… If his policies match his campaign rhetoric, Israelis, with time, will grow to like him. American Jews, meanwhile, will seethe… They lay bare the fact that American Jews and Israeli Jews have different sets of priorities and values.” [NYTimes

“Trump’s Israeli friend (and donor)” by Itamar Eichner: “Ten days before the election, Ivanka phoned [Israeli businessman in Miami Yaakov] Shaham, and the Israeli made a six-figure contribution. Shaham refused to specify the amount beyond its figure. He’s not the only Israeli who donated to Trump: Real-estate mogul Michael Dezer, who built some properties together with the president-elect, also made an over-$100,000 donation. “Trump didn’t ask us for a donation. We offered it to him of our own initiative,” Shaham pointed out. “Last Wednesday, six days before the election. I had a private breakfast with him. We were five couples with his entire team and his Jewish son-in-law in Miami. A three-hour-long breakfast.” [Ynet

“The year when money won nobody nothing” by Theodore Schleifer: “Take Michael Vlock. “Until you repudiate Trump, you have lost me,” the Connecticut investor wrote to Republican National Committee chair Reince Priebus in an email this past June, shared with CNN. “The damage that Trump has done and continues to inflict on the party and its future is incalculable.” Priebus did indeed lose one of his most generous donors… “I certainly sleep better at night for it. Am I disappointed in the outcome? Of course I am,” said Vlock. “Am I pissed? Yeah. Am I ever going to support people who aggressively supported or campaigned with Donald Trump? Absolutely not. Never.”” [CNN

“After Election, Commander in Chief Soothes White House Workers” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “A cocktail party later that day for senior officials and cabinet members past and present felt “like sitting shiva,” one attendee said, referring to the weeklong Jewish mourning ritual in which friends and family grieve over a steady stream of refreshments. Through it all, Mr. Obama has played the role of consoler in chief, pulling staff members into the Oval Office or dropping in on their meetings to buck them up, reassure them and tell them that this, too, shall pass.” [NYTimes]

Heard yesterday on ABC’s This Week program – Bill Kristol comes to grips with election outcome: “If he behaves well, personally, and morally, if he disassociates himself from forces that he unfortunately coddled and even fostered a little in this campaign, if he is responsible about the way in which he goes about his policy, initiatives on immigration and ObamaCare, trade and other areas, he has a huge opportunity, because the truth is there is a lot that can be done.” [Transcript]

TOP READS — “Freedom from Iraq: How the GOP Can End the War over the War” by Jordan Chandler Hirsch: “To move beyond the Iraq War, Republican foreign-policy elites must begin by overcoming their decade-long discomfort with it. Learning from the war should not mean re-litigating it or in­dulg­ing in breast-beating self-flagellation that cheapens the sacrifices of thousands who deserve our gratitude. But they should accept what the war looks like to most Americans. In a word, it looks like a disaster.” [NationalReview]

“Stay angry. That’s the only way to uphold principles in Trump’s America” by Leon Wieseltier: “It is not elitist to respect Muslims and Mexicans and African Americans and women and immigrants and Jews, and a blue collar is not a moral pass. A college education is not a requirement for, nor a guarantee of, a moral compass: There are educated members of the American elite who spectacularly lack one, such as the man who was elected president Tuesday. And there are “poorly educated” Americans who abundantly express kindness and solidarity for Americans unlike themselves. Neither the elites nor the masses have a monopoly on qualities of character.” [WashPost]

“The Democrats Screwed Up” by Frank Bruni: “From the presidential race on down, Democrats adopted a strategy of inclusiveness that excluded a hefty share of Americans and consigned many to a “basket of deplorables” who aren’t all deplorable. Some are hurt. Some are confused. Liberals miss this by being illiberal. They shame not just the racists and sexists who deserve it but all who disagree. Political correctness has morphed into a moral purity that may feel exhilarating but isn’t remotely tactical. It’s a handmaiden to smugness and sanctimony, undermining its own goals.” [NYTimes]

WSJ editorial — “Ending Aid to Terrorists: “In his eulogy recently for Israeli statesman Shimon Peres, President Obama spoke of the “unfinished business” of Israeli-Palestinian peace. Now he or Donald Trump have an opportunity to advance the cause—by backing legislation to stop the flow of U.S. tax dollars to Palestinian terrorists…. Senators Lindsey Graham,Dan Coats and Roy Blunt have introduced a bill called the Taylor Force Act, after the 28-year-old U.S. Army veteran stabbed to death in March by a Palestinian in the Israeli city of Jaffa… Mr. Obama is unlikely to act in his final days, but the Trump Administration and new Congress could send a powerful message by passing the Taylor Force Act.”[WSJ]

**Good Monday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us with your friends & tell them to sign up at [JI]. Have a tip, scoop, or op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Anything from hard news and punditry to the lighter stuff, including event coverage, job transitions, or even special birthdays, is much appreciated. Email editor@jewishinsider.com

SPOTLIGHT: “Redstone Family’s Next Generation Takes On Bigger Roles, Influence in National Amusements” by Keach Hagey: “As the battle for control of the $40 billion media empire spanning Viacom Inc. and CBS Corp. was escalating over the summer, the 30-year-old grandson of controlling shareholder Sumner Redstone secretly reached out to Viacom’s embattled chief executive, Philippe Dauman, to begin settlement talks. Tyler Korff, a lawyer and rabbi, grew up knowing Mr. Dauman and worked alongside him as a fellow director of National Amusements Inc…”

“Mr. Korff’s leadership in the settlement talks is one of several moves by the younger generation of Redstones into more prominent roles in the family business. His sister, Kimberlee Korff Ostheimer, 34, a lawyer who formerly worked for the Legal Aid Society and is now primarily caring for her two young children and focusing on philanthropy, was elected to the National Amusements board in late May. Their brother, Brandon Korff, 32, managing partner of real-estate developer Panoply Properties, became a National Amusements director in late September.” [WSJ] • Happening this week: Kellyanne Conway, Elizabeth Warren to Appear at WSJ CEO Council Event [WSJ]

STARTUP NATION: “As Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Enter The Workforce, High-Tech Beckons” by Lauren Frayer: “In his ultra-Orthodox enclave of Jerusalem, Yosef Eharman is juggling Bible study, family life — and his first job, at age 33… Eharman got help from KamaTech, a company that helps integrate ultra-Orthodox into the Israeli workforce and specifically into the high-tech sector. It gets funding from big tech giants — Cisco, Intel, IBM, Google, among others — and also the Israeli government, which is pushing to better integrate the ultra-Orthodox into Israel’s mainstream.” [NPR]

MEDIA WATCH: “New York Observer Ending Print Edition” by Michael Grynbaum: “The issue printed this last Wednesday was the paper’s last, Joseph Meyer, chairman and chief executive of Observer Media, the paper’s parent company, said in an interview on Friday… Mr. Meyer, in the interview, said the decision to close The Observer’s print edition was a natural outgrowth of the paper’s shift toward a national audience and the decline in print advertising that has afflicted the industry. Mr. Meyer, who is Mr. Kushner’s brother-in-law, said the decision had been two years in the making and was not related to Mr. Trump’s election this week. Mr. Kushner, who is aiding Mr. Trump’s presidential transition, was not available to comment.” [NYTimes

REMEMBERING: “Leonard Cohen, the bard of modern Judaism” by Julie Zauzmer: “Raised in a family full of Talmudic scholars and synagogue founders, Cohen remained deeply connected to his Jewish faith throughout his life and became likely the most prominent Jewish songwriter of the modern era. A few others — Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Billy Joel — came from Jewish backgrounds but largely left the faith. Only Cohen wrote such popular music in such a distinctly Jewish voice.” [WashPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Hollywood’s Battles for the Best Bar Mitzvah: $5M Budgets, Justin Bieber and Camels” by Carson Griffith: “Top-tier planners cite budgets that range between $50,000 and $4 million, with the average being $300,000. “With the entertainment industry, not only are the checkbooks more capable of meeting desires, the requests and expectations are even greater than the checkbooks,” says Moller, who explains why the bar for L.A. bar mitzvahs is high: “Not only are they trying to outdo one another, but they’re trying to outdo the Grammys and the Emmys, because these are normal things that are on these families’ social calendars.”” [HollywoodReporter]

WEEKEND WEDDING: Ashley Gold, tech reporter at POLITICO, married Eli Glazier of Toole Design Group at Rodef Shalom Congregation in Pittsburgh on Saturday. Pool report from Miranda Green: “Guests sipped on specialty cocktails ‘the boozy newsie’ and the ‘soused cyclist’ and drank Commonplace coffee while dancing to a live band. The night was capped off with a traditional Pittsburgh cookie table with cookies baked by guests.” [Pic] • h/t Playbook

SCENE LAST NIGHT IN NYC: StandwithUS held its 2nd annual gala at Gotham Hall in Manhattan. Former Israeli Defense Minister Bogie Yaalon discussed U.S.-Israel relations, the Iran deal, and the threat of Islamic terror in a conversation with with Dr. Eric Mandel. Jewish comedian Elon Gold entertained the crowd with jokes about Israelis and the presidential election. SPOTTED: Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan. Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Rep. Nita Lowey, Shimon Mercer-Wood, Ian Cutler, Avi Posnick, Dovid and Mushky Efune, Danielle Ziri, and Sam Schear.

BIRTHDAYS: Cellist and professor at Moscow Conservatoire, Natalia Gutman turns 74… Former professional bodybuilder who played for two seasons with the New York Jets, Mike Katz turns 72… British Labour party member of Parliament since 1997, Louise Ellman turns 71… Democratic member of the New York State Assembly from Brooklyn since 2001, Steven H. Cymbrowitz turns 63… US Secretary of State (2005-2009), now on the faculties of Stanford University and the Hoover Institution, Condoleezza Rice turns 62… Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama throughout his eight year term, Valerie Jarrett turns 60… Deputy National Security Advisor for President Barack Obama, Ben Rhodes turns 39… Senior Director at Albright Stonebridge Group, previously speechwriter for Secretaries of Defense Chuck Hagel and Leon Panetta, Jacob Freedman… Co-Chair of Jewish Funders Network, board member of the Israel Campus Coalition and the Jewish Agency, Dorothy Tananbaum… Los Angeles businessman and political activist, Stanley Treitel… Edward Klein… Cynthia Shaw

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]


Comments are closed.