Daily Kickoff: WeWork hit with critical press coverage | Sen. Carper cites ACLU for why he’s not co-sponsoring anti-BDS bill | Rabbi’s Tinder Match


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IRAN DEAL: “Tillerson Assures Trump Administration Won’t Block European Trade With Iran” by Felicia Schwartz: “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration isn’t seeking to disrupt European business deals with Iran. “The president’s been pretty clear that it’s not his intent to interfere with business deals that the Europeans may have under way with Iran,” Mr. Tillerson said in a Thursday interview in his State Department office. “He’s said it clearly: ‘That’s fine. You guys do what you want to do.’ … Tillerson said most U.S. business activity remains prohibited by sanctions that weren’t waived as part of the deal, but Mr. Trump is “not trying to interfere with what businesses want to do.” [WSJ]

“Tillerson Faults Saudi-Led Bloc for Failing to End Qatar Crisis” by Nick Wadhams: “There seems to be a real unwillingness on the part of some of the parties to want to engage,” Tillerson said in an interview Thursday in Washington. “It’s up to the leadership of the quartet when they want to engage with Qatar because Qatar has been very clear — they’re ready to engage.” Tillerson made the comment days before he embarks on a trip to the region, including stops in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, in a renewed push to resolve the dispute… “I do not have a lot of expectations for it being resolved anytime soon,” Tillerson said.” [Bloomberg]

“Netanyahu lobbies world powers to stem Iraqi Kurd setbacks” by Dan Williams: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is lobbying world powers to prevent further setbacks to Iraqi Kurds as they lose ground to Baghdad’s army, Israeli officials say. A Netanyahu government official, who declined to be named, given the sensitivity of Israel-Kurdish ties, suggested Israel had security interests in Kurdistan, given its proximity to Israel‘s enemies in Tehran and Damascus.” [Reuters]

HEARD YESTERDAY — CIA Director Mike Pompeo at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) National Security Summit: “It has been far too inexpensive for the Iranians to conduct this adventurism. We should raise the cost of that… I think we could make it even more difficult to push back against these non-nuclear activities I think is something the president is intent on doing.” Pompeo refused to proclaim Iran has violated the terms of the nuclear deal on a technical level, but asserted, “The notion that the deal would curtail Iranian adventurism or their terror threat or their malignant behavior has now… two years on, proven to be fundamentally false.” 

National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, who also spoke at the summit, insisted that if Congress fails to pass legislation to strengthen the pressure on Iran, Trump will “absolutely” terminate the deal. “This is a gift that gives over time to Iran… There’s the fundamental flaw of the sunset clause.”[Video]

ON THE HILL — Sen. Carper cites ACLU objections as motivation for declining to co-sponsor Anti-Boycott Act — by Aaron Magid: With the Israel Anti-Boycott Act receiving considerable attention on Capitol Hill, Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) revealed that the American Civil Liberty Union’s “legitimate concerns” led him to decline to co-sponsor the bill. “I have not co-sponsored the legislation,” the Delaware lawmaker told Jewish Insider. “The ACLU raises some serious concerns about free speech and possible violations of free speech, and those concerns were part of the reason why a number of us chose not to co-sponsor the legislation.”

A co-sponsor of the legislation, Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) explained that there will be changes to the measure. “There are some things that we can do with the bill to clarify language and I think Senator Cardin is working on it. The bill will evolve and there will be changes in the language. That’s part of the process, people are having input in it,” he said.

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): “Many of us who have concerns have been talking with Ben (Cardin) and his team a lot about it. I am hopeful we can work through any concerns about the bill,” he said. “I have not made a decision to oppose it. I am not a co-sponsor of it. I think we can make it better. I am not going to negotiate it in public with him (Cardin). I am sure that I don’t completely agree with the ACLU.” [JewishInsider]

STATE-SIDE: “This Texas town offers hurricane relief — if your politics are right” by Kyle Swenson: “The city of Dickinson, Tex., located about 30 miles southeast of Houston, recently posted applications online for relief grants “from the funds that were generously donated to the Dickinson Harvey Relief Fund,” the city’s website says. The application, however, includes a provision requiring applicants to promise not to boycott Israel… The text reads: “By executing this Agreement below, the Applicant verifies that the Applicant: (1) does not boycott Israel; and (2) will not boycott Israel during the term of this Agreement.” The city attorney… told a local television station he was only following a state law forbidding state agencies from doing business with Israel boycotters.” [WashPost]

PEACE PROCESS: “U.S. Sees Palestinian Unity as a Step Toward Mideast Peace” by David Halbfinger: “Notably, Israeli statements on the Palestinian reconciliation effort, including Mr. Netanyahu’s latest, appear to leave narrow but perceptible wiggle room for reaching an accommodation… Still, Mr. Greenblatt’s presence in Egypt on Thursday suggested that the United States sees the Fatah-Hamas talks as a chance, however slim, to at least move Hamas in the direction of disarming and embracing the peace process.” [NYTimes

“Netanyahu’s strategy to avoid negotiations” by Shlomi Eldar: “A senior Palestinian diplomatic source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that Netanyahu’s moves were obvious and that Abbas said as much to his American guests. “[Netanyahu] waited for an opportunity to stifle the American initiative. We saw this a long time ago,” the source said.” [AlMonitor]

“Hamas leader vows to ‘erase’ Israel instead of recognizing it” by Daniel Siryoti: “The time has passed for us to discuss whether Hamas will recognize Israel,” Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip Yahya Sinwar said in a meeting with students on Thursday, adding, “now we are discussing when we will erase Israel.” … In addition, Hamas official Basel Naim said “there is no room for American intervention in internal Palestinian matters.” [IsraelHayom]

U.S-ISRAEL RELATIONS: “Former Mossad chief: US leaks of Israeli intel not fatal to relationship” by Joe Uchill: “Tamir Pardo, the former director of Mossad, said that recent intelligence leaks would not have substantially hampered his relationship with his counterparts in the United States. “We don’t have any other choice,” Pardo told The Hill.” [TheHill]

“Israeli lawmakers walk out of summit amid anti-Israel onslaught” by Stuart Winer: “A delegation of Israeli lawmakers on Wednesday stormed out of the Inter-Parliament Union assembly in Saint Petersburg, Russia, including being heckled while trying to speak at the event… A video circulated on social media showed the speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, shouting at the Israeli MKs that they were “child killers” and to “get out of the hall” after one of them addressed the summit. The delegation was then seen leaving the room.” [ToI

MEANWHILE IN DC, TRUMP WEST WING GRACES KUWAITI AMBASSADOR — according to Politico Playbook: “Spotted at a dinner last night in honor of Melania Trump at the Kuwaiti ambassador’s residence where the first lady received an award from the Kuwait-America Foundation in an evening benefiting UNHCR: President Trump and Melania Trump, hosts Ambassador Salem al-Sabah and Reema al-Sabah, MC James Rosen, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley and Michael Haley, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Louise Linton, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and Hilary Ross, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, HR and Katie McMaster, Gary and Lisa Cohn, Dina Powell and David McCormick, Jordanian Amb. Dina Kawar, Wayne and Lea Berman, David Rubenstein.” [Playbook]

BUSH, OBAMA SPEAK UP: “George W. Bush: Bigotry and white supremacy are ‘blasphemy’ against the American creed” by Maegan Vazquez: “Our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. … This means that people from every race, religion, ethnicity can be full and equally American,” [former President George W. Bush] said during remarks at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City. “It means that bigotry and white supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed.” He added that “bigotry seems emboldened,” though he didn’t explain why.” [CNN] • Obama Condemns ‘Politics of Division’ at Murphy Rally [Observer

2020 WATCH: “John Kasich Is Meeting With Foreign Policy Experts And Keeping His 2020 Options Open” by Henry Gomez: “The Republican governor of Ohio met privately Thursday with several national security and foreign policy experts… The sources… described the discussions in Columbus as the first in a series of meetings on domestic and foreign policy and aimed at keeping Kasich current in global affairs.” [BuzzFeed]

** Good Friday 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 — No ‘Tech’ Giant Appears To Be Immune From Critical Press: “WeWork: A $20 Billion Startup Fueled by Silicon Valley Pixie Dust” by Eliot Brown: “With a valuation of more than $20 billion, or about 20 times annualized revenue, Adam Neumann‘s WeWork is the fourth most valuable U.S. startup… Others in the real-estate industry and some Silicon Valley investors say the company’s well-crafted image belies the mundane nature of its business. IWG PLC, an office-leasing company with a business model similar to WeWork’s, manages five times the square footage and has about one-eighth the market value. “If you had positioned this as a real-estate company, it wouldn’t be worth this,” said Barry Sternlicht, who runs Starwood Capital Group LLC. Mr. Neumann “dressed it up and made it into a community, and that turned it into a tech play.”

“At 6 feet 5 inches with a mop of dark hair, Mr. Neumann stands out in a crowd of suit-clad commercial landlords in New York… Multiple people who traveled overseas with him say he insisted they stay up the whole night working. “I don’t think he ever sleeps,” said Michael Eisenberg, an early WeWork investor and an adviser to Mr. Neumann who currently is a partner at venture-capital fund Aleph… Joel Schreiber, a Manhattan-based real-estate investor, said he was captivated by Mr. Neumann and his vision early on. After a three-hour conversation in 2010, the entrepreneurs offered him a 33% stake in WeWork for $15 million. “I didn’t negotiate—I said yes,” Mr. Schreiber said. “I loved Adam’s energy.”

“The CEO makes his penchant for tequila well-known. On a Monday morning in Philadelphia a few years ago, he coaxed Jared Kushner into a bar where he insisted they do shots of tequila, according to multiple people familiar with the exchange. The two had been looking at a Kushner-owned property that WeWork ended up leasing.” [WSJ]

“Deal Hurdles for WeWork: Neumann’s Style and Rich Stock Price” by Alfred Lee: “The Information spoke to executives and advisers at four companies who have discussed acquisitions with WeWork but said they declined to sell their companies. Three cited the high value of WeWork stock as a concern. Two of the four also cited Mr. Neumann’s approach during negotiations.” [TheInformation]

TALK OF THE NATION: “Digital Fascism: Anti-PC Idol-Smashing Isn’t Just a Joke” by Jacob Siegel and Angela Nagle: “The failure to see trolling for what it was, in its germinative form on 4Chan and other message boards, and in Yiannopoulos’ opportunistic appropriation, was a collapse of moral and political imagination across the spectrum. Progressives in thrall to transgressive signaling and rule-breaking praised the nascent alt-right for “fighting the power. Liberals who couldn’t imagine that trolls might be otherwise regular people who used lulz to indulge an appetite for cruelty and the irrational and vent sincere but unspeakable desires. Conservatives desperate to take back culture from the liberals, and libertarians who’d accept any allies in the battle against PC, invited Yiannopolous and others like him into their midst, who then in turn left the side door open for neo-Nazis and white nationalists. They all had a part to play in bringing us here.” [Tablet]

“At Richard Spencer’s Florida Rally, Protesters Drive Out the Alt-Right, One by One” by James Laporta: “The lecture by Spencer (at the University of Florida) would once again bring out into the open a live-action version of Internet chat rooms: full of bigotry, anonymous Twitter profiles, sporting, “Pepe the Frog” bio pictures, and modern-day white supremacists. It would be Spencer’s first planned speech on a college campus since the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.” [DailyBeast

DISPATCH FROM JERUSALEM: “White Evangelicals Used to Dominate Christian Zionism, but Not Anymore” by Emma Green: “While some Christian Zionist movements can seem actively hostile toward Jews… [2017 Feast of the Tabernacles] attendees were wary of saying that Jews should convert… At the Jerusalem March, Jewish families stood at the edge of a holding area for participants, watching men in traditional Thai costumes blowing shofars and crowds of Finnish tourists singing Jewish folk songs. They weren’t bothered. “It’s cute,” said Rivka Horowitz, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who visits the Feast every year with her family. If they were bemused at the whole spectacle, they also saw its advantages. “Usually we have rocks thrown at us,” her husband, Zev, added. “Today, we’re being thrown candy.” [TheAtlantic]

“A Rabbi Finds Love on Tinder” by Alix Strauss: “A rabbi anxiously walked into a bar. Andrew Scheer, the rabbi in question, was about to have a first date with Avital Zipper. Mr. Scheer’s vocation was frequently a deal breaker once a woman learned of it. Rabbi Scheer, 31, who is Modern Orthodox, grew up in Woodmere, N.Y., and is a Jewish chaplain for the Veterans Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System and the New York City Department of Correction. . After trying JSwipe, JCrush, JDate, even OkCupid, Rabbi Scheer seemed to have found success on Tinder. That’s when Ms. Zipper, 30, popped up on his phone, and the app showed they had five mutual friends. “He was 29 when we met and my settings started at 30, so I never would have seen his profile,” Ms. Zipper said. “We never would have met if he didn’t send me a message request… I had no idea he was a rabbi… He’s not that random banker or millennial worker who’s doing his own thing.”” [NYTimes]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Economist who earned the nickname “Dr. Doom” during his tenure as the chief economist at Salomon Brothers during the 1970s, Henry Kaufman, Ph.D. turns 90… Poet, essayist and literary critic, Robert Pinsky turns 77… Miami Beach-based real estate developer, Russell W. Galbut turns 65… Music composer for many films, winner of six Grammys and an Emmy Award, Thomas Newman turns 62… Rabbi of the Ramban Synagogue in Jerusalem’s Katamon area, Rabbi Binyamin (Benny) Lau turns 56… Russian TV and radio journalist, he is a member of the Russian Jewish Congress, Vladimir Solovyov turns  54… United States Senator from Hawaii, following 8 years as a Congressman and two years as Lieutenant Governor of Hawaii, Brian Schatz turns 45… Classical violinist and a 2008 winner of a MacArthur genius fellowship, Leila Josefowicz turns 40… Senior advisor to Massachusetts State Senator Eric P. Lesser, Michael Clark turns 28… 2016 Columbia Law grad, now an associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Evan G. Zuckerman turns 28…

SATURDAY: Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu turns 68… Emmy Award winning reality courtroom personality, “Judge Judy,” Judith Sheindlin turns 75… News anchor who worked for 36 years in Philadelphia, Larry Kane (born Lawrence Kanowitz) turns 75… Professor of Hebrew Literature and Philosophy at Harvard University, Shaye J. D. Cohenturns 69… Director of policy and government relations at Health Care For All, Brian Rosman turns 59… Philanthropist and Detroit Jewish community leader, Ethan Daniel Davidson… Russian born classical composer and pianist, emigrated to NYC at four years old, a graduate of Julliard, Lera Auerbach turns 44… Non-profit manager previously at Soaringwords and Areivim Philanthropic Group, Dori Tenenbaum turns 31… Director of Data and Evaluation at NCSY and the Orthodox Union, Dan Hazony turns 30… Jerusalem Fellow at the Salomon Center for American Jewish Thought, Eliana Rudee turns 26… Mitch Davis

SUNDAY: Australian philanthropist and Chairman of Westfield Corporation, owner of shopping malls across the globe, Frank Lowy turns 87… Founder and national director of the National Conference of Synagogue Youth (NCSY) of the Orthodox Union, he then served for close to twenty years as the EVP of the Orthodox Union, Rabbi Pinchas Stolper turns 86… EVP and chief professional officer of the Orthodox Union since 2014, he was previously chairman of NYC-based law firm Proskauer Rose, Allen Fagin turns 68… Actor who starred in many high-grossing films such as Jurassic Park, Independence Day and sequels of both of those, Jeff Goldblum turns 65… Washington insider, political pundit and communications consultant,Hilary Rosen turns 59… Bethesda, MD resident and AIPAC staffer (not the Hillel president), Eric Matthew Fingerhut turns 47… Chief of Staff of The Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, Michelle Gordonturns 46… VP in the NYC office of West End Strategy Team, Samantha Kupferman turns 34… Director of institutional advancement for NCSY’s Atlantic Seaboard region, Dana Tarley Sicherman turns 32… Journalist and writer, he covered New York City Hall and national politics for the New York Observer (2013-2016), now running for NY State Senate from  New York City, Ross Barkan turns 28… Reporter for The Jewish Journal and Tribe Media, Ryan Torok

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Daily Kickoff: Senators slam possible Hamas-Fatah unity | Israel joins countries concerned re Trump’s ‘Buy American’ order | Next Jewish Agency head?


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ON THE HILL — Senators slam potential Hamas-Fatah unity government — by JI’s Aaron Magid: “I think the Palestinian Authority (P.A.) is unifying with a terrorist organization,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Jewish Insider yesterday. “I don’t mind a unity government with people who don’t openly call for the destruction of Israel. I would be very concerned about any government that included an unreformed terrorist organization.” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, echoed Graham. “Hamas has a long history of terrorist behavior and so I am not encouraged by any government that includes Hamas,” he said. “Given their history, I don’t view it as positive.”

Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) noted that a Palestinian unity government with Hamas “would be a very toxic relationship with Israel. They would have even less of a partner to negotiate peace with if the person across the table welcomes individuals who don’t even recognize the existence of the Jewish people there.” [JewishInsider]

Statement from the White House’s Jason Greenblatt on Hamas-Fatah reconciliation: “All parties agree that it is essential that the Palestinian Authority be able to assume full, genuine, and unhindered civil and security responsibilities in Gaza and that we work together to improve the humanitarian situation for Palestinians living there. The United States reiterates the importance of adherence to the Quartet principles: any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognize the State of Israel, accept previous agreements and obligations between the parties – including to disarm terrorists – and commit to peaceful negotiations. If Hamas is to play any role in a Palestinian government, it must accept these basic requirements.” [Embassy• According to this statement: does Hamas = terrorists or not?

IN JERUSALEM… Former Israeli Defense Minister criticizes Netanyahu’s decision to boycott Palestinian unity government — by Gil Hoffman: “Former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon accused Netanyahu of giving into pressure from Bennett… “There is no reason to interfere in a Palestinian deal that is bound to fail,” Ya’alon told Army Radio… “The decision proved that politics defeated statesmanship… They proved they care more about politics than leadership.” … Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett… wrote on Twitter Wednesday that he was glad the government adopted the policies of Bayit Yehudi… “I am certain that President Trump does not want us to negotiate with a gang of terrorists,” Bennett said…” [JPost

TOP TALKER: “After Obama, Israel’s Netanyahu relishing in Trump love fest” by Aron Heller: “Widely unpopular around the world, President Donald Trump can take solace in the adulation of Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu, who showers him with praise and even holds his tongue over issues Israel might normally complain about… Beyond a confluence of interests, Trump and Netanyahu seem to share a sort-of outsider status and a gift for populist stratagems that outrage their countries’ more liberal establishments while delighting their bases…”

“There is some concern in Israel that although Netanyahu may benefit from the approach, in the long-term Israel might suffer from too tight an alignment with the mercurial American president. “The question is what will happen the day after Trump? How will Israel be perceived by siding so closely with someone who generates such antagonism?” said Yoaz Hendel, a former Netanyahu spokesman. “I’m worried that after Trump we’ll get the Democratic rebound and it may be far less empathetic to Israel.” [AP

US allies air concerns about Trump’s ‘Buy American’ order: “Israel, Hong Kong and Taiwan joined a number of U.S. allies at the World Trade Organization on Wednesday to express concerns over a Trump administration executive order that calls on U.S. authorities to “maximize” use of American-made goods, products and materials in government procurement.” [AP

ELSEWHERE — U.S. and Israeli Officials Continue Economic Cooperation and Agree to Further Deepen Relations: On October 16, U.S. and Israeli officials convened for the 32nd session of the U.S. – Israel Joint Economic Development Group (JEDG), the annual economic policy dialogue between the two countries… Participation in this year’s JEDG included Israeli Finance Ministry Director General Shai Babad (Israel Chair), Dr. Karnit Flug, Governor of the Bank of Israel, and the Israeli Ambassador to the U.S., Ron Dermer… The U.S. delegation included Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs David Malpass, Acting Assistant Secretary for Economic and Business Affairs Brian McFeeters (U.S. Co-Chairs).

KAFE KNESSET — Mr. Liberman Goes to Washington — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman departed last night on a four-day visit to Washington, DC and New York City. This is the second time Liberman has traveled to the US this year for a high-level strategic dialogue. He is slated to meet Secretary of Defense Mattis as well as National Security Advisor McMaster. According to an Israeli official – Iran and Syria will lead the agenda. Yesterday, Liberman said that “The Iranians are trying to take control of Syria, trying to establish themselves there, to be the dominant force, and we will not allow it. We are aware of this and we certainly have all the tools to deal with this challenge.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

“Russia sandwiched in Syria between Israel, Iran” by Maxim A. Suchkov: “Israel has been rather loyal to Russia’s military presence — and realizes its own gains from it — and Iran has been crucial to Russia on the ground in Syria… Moscow is, however, wary of each party trying to work Russia’s presence to the detriment of the other… Russia will need to sit down with Israel and seriously talk about whether Israel’s interests can be squared with Russia’s interests, and whether Moscow really has any leverage over Tehran.” [Al-Monitor]

“U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Escalates Confrontation With Iran” by Rick Gladstone: “The United States will not turn a blind eye to these violations,” the United Nations ambassador, Nikki R. Haley, told a Security Council meeting that had been meant to focus on developments in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ms. Haley used her speaking time instead to deliver a critique of Iran. Her remarks were among the most strident denunciations Ms. Haley has made of Iran since she became President Trump’s ambassador… “Iran hides behind its assertion of technical compliance with the nuclear deal while it brazenly violates the other limits on its behavior,” she said. “And we have allowed them to get away with it. This must stop.” [NYTimes

HAPPENING TODAY — U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley will join former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright and Condoleezza Rice at a panel discussion hosted by the George W. Bush Institute at Lincoln Center’s Fredrick P. Rose Hall in New York City. The morning forum is focused on freedom and security. Former President George W. Bush will deliver concluding remarks. [Livestream]

At 11:20am, FDD’s National Security Summit will feature conversations with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster[Livestream]

“Netanyahu’s Challenge: Help Trump Fix or Scrap the Iran Deal” by Jonathan Ferziger and Udi Segal: “The [Israeli] government is making a diplomatic push… to strengthen “snapback” mechanisms to cover sanctions for Iranian activities that aren’t directly connected to its nuclear program… “The goal should be a strategy that wins the support of European and hopefully Russian and Chinese and other international actors, rather than one that is a U.S.-Israel, go-it-alone strategy,” said Dan Shapiro… Beyond contributing intelligence, Israel “should work with the administration on a compelling diplomatic approach that demonstrates that there’s a willingness to work with other countries to build pressure on Iran, not just to dictate terms,” said Shapiro.” [Bloomberg

“Behind Schumer’s shocking switch on the Iran deal” by Seth Lipsky: “Schumer, I’m told, has been sounding out support for a new organization of conservative Democrats that could be similar to the Progressive Policy Institute, which once helped boost Bill Clinton but has been eclipsed by the left. That strikes me as a smart move… What’s the point, though, if Schumer can’t even cross the aisle to oppose an Iran deal he himself voted against?” [NYPost

ANTI-BOYCOTT ACT — Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) tells JI’s Aaron Magid: “I think they (ACLU) raise important claims, but I also know first hand based on what is happening in California that we can’t permit, allow or encourage any kind of activity that encourages hate or division in any way. I think there are some legitimate concerns about the BDS movement that have to be addressed, but obviously, the First Amendment is something that we should protect and the rights people have under the First Amendment should also be protected, so I am taking a look at it.”

SPOTTED THIS AM: Former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delivering remarks at AIPAC’s first annual private equity breakfast [Pic]

MOOCH UPDATE: “Scaramucci’s Holocaust death-poll costing him lucrative speaking gigs” by Emily Smith: “A source says a November Scaramucci speaking appearance at NYC investment firm Neuberger Berman has now been canceled… Our source said the firm feared that it could erupt into a huge commotion. The Mooch… said via e-mail that the event cancellation was due to a “schedule change.” … Of the poll he said, “We were trying to raise awareness . . . Still we made a mistake, we apologized, made a donation to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, and we are moving on.”” [PageSix]

“Roy Moore’s Foundation Received A $1,000 Donation From A Nazi Group In 2005” by Paul Blumenthal: “In 2005, the foundation run by Judge Roy Moore, now the Republican nominee for a Senate seat in Alabama, accepted a $1,000 donation from a group founded by Willis Carto, a white supremacist, Nazi supporter and World War II vet who famously said he regretted fighting for the U.S instead of Germany… There is no evidence that the nonprofit returned the check.” [HuffPost

** Good Thursday 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: “Baupost’s Klarman resists calls to wipe out Puerto Rico debt” by Svea Herbst-Bayliss: “Billionaire investor Seth Klarman on Wednesday resisted calls for Puerto Rico’s debt to be wiped out and said the island’s residents will be better off in the long run if obligations are honored. Klarman comments came in an email to investors, offering fresh details about how his $30 billion hedge fund Baupost Group sees its bet on Puerto Rican bonds after Hurricane Maria… “In the case of Puerto Rico, expunging the debt would almost certainly eliminate any ability the Commonwealth would have to borrow money in the future at reasonable rates, which will be critical to the island’s rebuilding efforts,” Klarman wrote in the email.” [Reuters]

“Mayim Bialik Apologizes for Her Controversial Harvey Weinstein Op-Ed” by Tolly Wright: “Mayim Bialik has issued an apology on social media for the New York Times op-ed she wrote last week about being a “nontraditional looking” actress in Hollywood… “Let me say clearly and explicitly that I am very sorry,” Bialik wrote on Twitter. “What you wear and how you behave does not provide any protection from assault, nor does the way you dress or act in any way make you responsible for being assaulted; you are never responsible for being assaulted.”” [Vulture]

WHO WILL BE THE NEXT JEWISH AGENCY HEAD? — by Kafe Knesset team: Nathan Sharansky still has seven months remaining in his term as Jewish Agency director, but the question of who will succeed him has been floating around for some time now. The succession question is likely to dominate the conversation during the Agency’s Board of Governors meeting in Jerusalem next week. On the first day of the conference, Likud minister Yuval Steinitz, who is the most prominent candidate mentioned so far, will be addressing the board as the Israeli government’s representative. Steinitz was invited to the event even though he was reported to be a candidate for the job…

Steinitz’s name as a candidate has been mentioned in recent weeks as part of a Likud speculation of a deal in which coalition chair David Bitan will be appointed minister instead of him. Bitan denied it on the radio, being surprisingly modest for a politician and saying he has not been in the Knesset long enough to warrant the promotion. Other names mentioned for the Jewish Agency job include former UN ambassador Ron Prosor, Mayor of Maaleh Adumim Benny Kashriel, and Israel’s NYC Consul-General Danny Dayan[JewishInsider]

“Jonathan Greenblatt wants to mend the ‘paradox’ of Israeli-Diaspora relations” by Eric Cortellessa: “Next week the ADL will host its first-ever flagship event in Israel — called “Israel 2048: Israel Social Cohesion Summit” — which will address this very theme. It will take place October 24 at the Hangar 11 event space at the Tel Aviv Port. The former Obama administration staffer stressed that the confab would aim to “foment shared understanding between the communities” and bring more of the kind of work the ADL does in the United States — like defending Jewish people and the State of Israel, and advocating policies that reflect a more tolerant, more open society — to Israel.” [ToI]

“A Trove of Yiddish Artifacts Rescued From the Nazis, and Oblivion” by Joseph Berger: “The Nazis occupying Lithuania once collected Yiddish and Hebrew books and documents… They appointed Jewish intellectuals and poets to select the choicest pearls for study. These workers, assigned to sift through a major Jewish library in Vilna, Vilnius in Lithuanian, ended up hiding thousands of books and papers from the Nazis, smuggling them out under their clothing… In 1991, a large part of the collection was found in the basement of a Vilnius church… But months ago curators at the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research in Manhattan, the successor to the Vilnius library, were told that another trove, totaling 170,000 pages, had been found, somehow overlooked in the same church basement… Among the finds… Two letters by Sholem Aleichem, the storyteller whose tales of Tevye the Milkman formed the core of “Fiddler on the Roof.”” [NYTimes]

“Jann Wenner and His Biographer Have a Falling Out” by Joe Coscarelli and Sydney Ember: “Mr. Wenner, the founder of Rolling Stone magazine, is distancing himself as much as possible from Joe Hagan, the writer who spent four years chronicling Mr. Wenner’s life… “I gave Joe time and access in the hope he would write a nuanced portrait about my life and the culture Rolling Stone chronicled,” Mr. Wenner said on Tuesday… “My hope was that this book would provide a record for future generations of that extraordinary time. Instead, he produced something deeply flawed and tawdry, rather than substantial.” Mr. Hagan said there was no reason Mr. Wenner should have been surprised by the book’s contents. “It was all on the table — there’s nothing he didn’t know,” the writer said. “He’s used to having control, and that’s a difficult thing.” [NYTimes]

SOUND BITE — At CNN Debate, Ted Cruz told Bernie Sanders: “As some might say, ‘curb your enthusiasm’. By the way, the impression Larry David does of you is spectacular.” [Video]

DESSERT: “Dallas Kosher BBQ Championship Returns October 29” by Nancy Nichols: “Kosher barbecue competitions have one obvious difference–no pork–but there are other distinctions… Because no work can be done or fires lit on the Jewish Sabbath, teams prepare the meats on Thursday night, then start cooking after sundown on Saturday. As in all KCBS competitions, the society’s judges will award official trophies for all four meats, as well as crown the grand champion and reserve grand champion, who will share $500 in cash.” [DMagazine]

BIRTHDAYS: Mayor of Jerusalem since 2008, Nir Barkat turns 58. At breakfast this morning with a visiting group of Americans, the Mayor was serenaded with ‘Happy Birthday’ [Video… Born in Vienna, Austria, oceanographer and professor emeritus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, Walter Munk turns 100… South African-born developmental biologist, professor emeritus at University College of London, Lewis Wolpert turns 88… Born in Israel during the British Mandate period, he was the long-time CEO of Aramark Corporation (1981-2015), Joseph Neubauer turns 76… Executive Director of “Second Thought: a US – Israel Initiative,” former Israeli diplomat with multiple US postings, Yoram Ettinger turns 72… Founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist turns 61… Chief Rabbi of Kiev and all of Ukraine since 1990, he has also served as a VP of the World Jewish Congress since 2009, Rabbi Yaakov Dov Bleich turns 53… Founding president and CEO of Global Policy Initiatives, he was the White House Jewish Liason in the Clinton administration, Jay Footlik turns 52… DC-based digital micro-targeting analyst, equities trader and financial marketer, Elie Litvin turns 35… Pittsburgh-based digital editor and designer, Lindsay Applebaum turns 32 (h/ts Playbook)… Michelle Fischler turns 69… Shira Moses turns 51… Evan Majzner turns 35… David Ochs turns 34…

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Daily Kickoff: Senate divided on Corker Cotton bill | A Rabbi in Congress? | Soros transfers $18B to his foundation | The Justice RBG Workout


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ON THE HILL — Senate divided on Corker Cotton Iran sanctions legislation — by JI’s Aaron Magid: Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AK) have revealed their intention to propose legislation that would amend the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) by reimposing nuclear sanctions if Iran came within a year of obtaining nuclear weapons, and thus eliminating the sunset provisions currently in place.

Moderate GOP Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) was optimistic about the Corker Cotton bill. “I talked to both of them about it. I like the direction that they are going in, but I haven’t seen the specifics yet.” Collins also appeared to back President Trump’s announcement last week. “I think it’s important to note that the President did not impose sanctions, which he could have done, nor did he withdraw from the agreement. He identified some flaws.” … When asked if he backs the legislation, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) replied, “Yes. Why not? If you are a strong supporter of Israel, if you think Iran is a rogue nation, I think both are good reasons to do it.”

While declining to address the Corker Cotton bill directly, Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) told Jewish Insider, “The greatest danger Iran poses in the immediate future is (a.) ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missiles) and (b.) support of Hezbollah and its missiles in Lebanon. We should be tough on that.” Congress has already passed sanctions this year targeting Iran for its support of terrorism and ballistic missile program adding to the uncertainty that Schumer would support new nuclear-related sanctions against Iran now.[JewishInsider]

Schumer’s responds to Trump’s attack regarding flip-flop on nuclear deal — by Marcia Kramer: “I had a great deal of misgivings about the nuclear deal and voted against it,” Schumer said at a Sunday news conference. “But now we ought to see; give it time to work.” Schumer’s position is strange to some, because it puts him at odds with many in the Jewish community. They were opposed to the treaty then… and they were pleased by Trump’s decision not to recertify it. “Decertification sends a message that the United States, hopefully with other countries as well backing them, will stand up against Iran’s aggressiveness and aggression — which continues unabated,” said Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations…

Pressed to explain his change of heart, Schumer said he places great weight on the opinions of Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Gen. Joseph Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They have said it is in the country’s national security interests to keep the treaty in place. “The worst things Iran is doing right now are not within the nuclear field, but outside it.”[CBS2

DRIVING THE DAY: “Haley to Press UN Security Council on Iran After Trump Decision” by Kambiz Foroohar: “[Nikki] Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, will use a Wednesday Security Council meeting on “the situation in the Middle East” to once again take on Tehran’s ballistic-missile program and its support for Hezbollah and Syrian ruler Bashar Al-Assad… The meeting will be the first public effort to gauge international support for the U.S. position on Iran after Trump declined to certify a 2015 nuclear deal.” [Bloomberg] • Khamenei says Iran will ‘shred’ nuclear deal if U.S. quits it [Reuters]

INSIDE THE ADMIN: “Rex Tillerson and the Unraveling of the State Department” by Jason Zengerle: “Tillerson feared the crisis (between Qatar and Gulf countries) could destabilize the region. Mattis, meanwhile, was concerned about the United States air base in Qatar… Together, the two cabinet secretaries began working to get Trump to try to broker a resolution. But other members of the Trump administration argued against such a move, especially Jared Kushner. Ever since Trump’s election, Kushner had been the focus of an intense courtship by Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, and Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi; and the two men quickly formed a close friendship with the president’s son-in-law. So close, in fact, that the crown princes convinced Kushner… of the opportunity the blockade provided to further tilt American foreign policy toward the Saudis and away from Iran, according to the Trump adviser. “Rex saw it as a crisis to solve,” the adviser says. “Jared saw it as an opportunity to seize.”” [NYTimesMag]

“Heritage Foundation considers top White House aide, Cubs co-owner as next leader” by By Robert Costa, Ashley Parker and John Wagner: “The Heritage Foundation has narrowed its search for a new president down to a shortlist of finalists, a group that includes Todd Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs… For Ricketts — a longtime Republican activists whose father Joe is the founder of TD Ameritrade and brother is Pete Ricketts, the current Nebraska governor — the posting would offer both him and his family an even greater foothold in helping shape the direction of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. Trump selected Ricketts to serve as deputy commerce secretary, but in April he withdrew his nomination from consideration…” [WashPost]

“Trump narrows Fed chairmanship list, decision may come by November” by Brian Schwartz: “President Donald Trump has narrowed down his list for the Federal Reserve chairmanship to five candidates, including former Federal Reserve Gov. Kevin Warsh… National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and current Fed Chair Janet Yellen… The long awaited decision by Trump to either keep Yellen or move on to a chairman of his own will likely be made by his trip to Asia, which is scheduled to begin on November 3… All of the candidates have met with the president about the Fed’s leadership position, while Yellen will be at the White House for her interview on Thursday…  The inclusion of Cohn is a surprising one seeing that he was considered to be virtually out of the running after he took on his boss for his response to the violence in Charlottesville.” [FoxBusiness]

THE DAILY KUSHNER: “Kushner Adds Charles Harder to Legal Team As Pressure Mounts” by Gabriel Sherman: “According to sources familiar with the matter, the person in Trump’s orbit who may have the most to be worried about in Priebus’s testimony is Jared Kushner. Priebus has knowledge of Kushner’s proximity to the controversial decision to fire Comey during a weekend at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey… Trump was accompanied for the weekend by Kushner, Ivanka Trump, and Stephen Miller… Kushner’s closeness to the discussion of firing Comey continues to be much discussed by current and former Trump administration officials, who see it as one of the main drivers of the administration’s present legal travails. Two sources familiar with the matter told me that prior to Comey’s dismissal, Kushner expressed concern to West Wing officials about the investigation. “He’s all over us,” Kushner told one official in February… “He was freaked out about Comey from day one,” one Trump adviser said.” [VanityFair

“Putin Rival Ties Kushner Meeting to Kremlin Bankers by Ari Melber, Meredith Mandell and Mirjam Lablans: “A prominent exiled Russian oligarch said… that he believes a top Russian banker was not “acting on his own behalf” when he held a controversial meeting with Jared Kushner last December. “I am almost convinced that Putin’s people have tried to influence the U.S. election in some way,” [Mikhail] Khodorkovsky told MSNBC’s Ari Melber.” [NBCNews

“Trump team’s leaks about Israel’s hack of Kaspersky Lab could further ‘damage’ ties” by Jack Moore: “The precise details of how Israel was able to hack into Kaspersky Lab’s systems were not disclosed, but what was revealed is that Israeli intelligence officers presented the NSA with evidence of Russian government hackers attempting to glean classified information about the U.S.’s covert programs… “It’s very sensitive. It could affect future collaboration, the chain of information,” says Daniel Cohen, researcher at Blavatnik Interdisciplinary Cyber Research Center (ICRC) at Tel Aviv University…. The continued leaks about the Israeli operations that appear to benefit Washington risk leaving Israel looking like Washington’s proxy in the Middle East, a view widely held by its enemies from Tehran to Damascus… The next time that Israel assists the U.S. at an intelligence level, there may be unease at how that information will be shared, whether in the Oval Office or in the press.” [Newsweek]

TOP TALKER: “Israel: No peace talks with Palestinian government reliant on Hamas” by Ori Lewis: “Pursuant to previous decisions, (Israel) will not conduct diplomatic negotiations with a Palestinian government that relies on Hamas, a terrorist organization that calls for the destruction of Israel, as long as it does not fulfill the following conditions,” the statement began… Netanyahu’s call… could hamper U.S. mediation attempts to resume peace negotiations.” [Reuters]

KAFE KNESSET — Hamas not welcome — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Last night the Security Cabinet concluded a two-day session debating the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. A joint statement was issued describing Israel’s new “red lines” vis-a-vis negotiations with the Palestinians. According to an official statement from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Cabinet decided not to hold any talks with any Palestinian government that relies on Hamas support. The statement outlined a series of Israeli conditions to acknowledging any Palestinian reconciliation process, primarily reiterating the well-known Quartet principles, but adding a few new demands to the list, such as Hamas disarmament and disengagement from Iran. The Security Cabinet stopped short of adopting the more aggressive approach proposed by Naftali Bennett, who demanded that Israel cut all ties with the PA. But right-wing ministers said the decision was a “dramatic message to the US, Egypt and the Palestinians,” bracing themselves for increased pressure on Jerusalem to re-launch a peace process with a Palestinian unity government, if it will be formed later.

Several insiders told Kafe Knesset there was broad skepticism amongst the cabinet ministers about the reconciliation process and the prospect of it actually leading to a Palestinian unity government. “There are still serious unresolved issues between Hamas and Fatah, and the road to a Palestinian unity government is still far away,” one minister said, “but it is important that everyone understands that Abbas has to make a choice — he must disarm Hamas or abandon the reconciliation process in order for us to have any contact with him.” The opposition, in a series of tweets, ridiculed the cabinet decision. Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz mockingly congratulated the Cabinet for the “brave decision to stop negotiations that don’t exist.” Joint List leader Ayman Odeh tweeted: “Netanyahu’s guide to peace negotiations: If there are divisions = no negotiations, if there is unity = no negotiations. But at his next UN speech he will still say that his hand is extended towards peace.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

MEDIA WATCH — Netanyahu welcomes Evangelical Christian press: “For many years, Israel has held a summit for Jewish media outlets, cultivating those journalists as unofficial “ambassadors” to help promote Israel’s image abroad, said Nitzan Chen, the director of Israel’s Government Press Office. “Using the same logic,” it decided to reach out to Christian media… That strong support for Israel was evident at Netanyahu’s meeting with the visiting journalists. Netanyahu, who routinely spars with local media and has accused them of reporting “fake news” in their coverage of a series of corruption scandals, received a warm welcome. “Good to see you, my friend,” said one journalist before asking a question. “There’s no fake news here.” Netanyahu’s embrace of the Christian media echoes the strategy employed by Trump.” [CBSNews]

2018 WATCH: “Could this rabbi be a first in Congress?” by Mark Oppenheimer: “Robert B. Barr, who plans to file papers today to be a Democratic candidate for the House of Representatives in Ohio’s 1st District, is notable… for being the first who seems to have a good shot at winning. If he is the eventual nominee, his opponent would be Republican incumbent Steve Chabot, who lost once already, in the Obama landslide of 2008, before reclaiming his seat in 2010. Barr, 62, is at once the most traditional rabbi (of the three) ever to run for Congress, and the least. He’s the most traditional because he has been a pulpit rabbi, at Congregation Beth Adam, outside Cincinnati, since 1980… At the same time… his Judaism is seen, by some, as well outside the mainstream… Barr founded a congregation, Beth Adam, that belongs to none of the major branches of Judaism.” [WashPost]

STEVE & SHELDON — “Bannon hits up GOP mega-donors exasperated with McConnell” by Alex Isenstadt: “[Steve] Bannon met with casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, the GOP’s most prominent donor, for several hours when he swung through Washington this month.” [Politico]

** Good Wednesday 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 **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Barry Diller takes shots at VCs, startup valuations[TC] • El Al Hopes New Dreamliner Fleet Will Solve Its Woes, but That Won’t Happen Anytime Soon [Haaretz] • Disney’s Movies Face a Big Test, and Bob Iger Likes His Chances [Bloomberg] • The Wall Street Journal ‘bumps’ into Jeffrey Katzenberg in the elevator [Video] • Israel’s Delek Group Mulling $280M Sale of Royalties From Tamar Offshore Gas Field [Haaretz] • Isaac Kassirer to buy $100M UWS portfolio [RealDeal]

“What cities fighting for an Amazon headquarters can learn from Seattle” by Patrick Sisson: “South Lake Union exists as it does today because of Amazon—that’s just a fact,” says Jordan Selig, managing director of Martin Selig Real Estate, which has the company as a tenant at its building on Elliott Avenue West. “The majority of the office and residential buildings are occupied by Amazon’s employees.” [Curbed]

STARTUP NATION: “Israeli startups beginning to see benefits of New York” by Navot Volk: “The NY marketplace is robust in terms of customers.” says Sam Gutmann, OwnBackup CEO, when asked why he decided to make the move from Israel to NYC instead of choosing the Valley… OwnBackup is a leading cloud-to-cloud backup & restore vendor… Gutman had another practical reason to choose the Big Apple over the Valley: “Our team is currently split between US and IL. The seven-hour difference between Israel and NYC means overlapping working hours rather than constantly coordinating calls with the west coast. This is a major positive factor for the remote team. It is also relatively easy to fly back and forth on the NY-IL route.” [Globes]  

SPOTLIGHT: “George Soros Transfers $18 Billion to His Foundation, Creating an Instant Giant” by Juliet Chung and Anupreeta Das: “George Soros, who built one of the world’s largest fortunes through a famous series of trades, has turned over nearly $18 billion to Open Society Foundations… Soros Fund Management LLC’s 87-year-old founder now shares influence over the firm’s strategy with an investment committee of Open Society. Mr. Soros set up the committee and is its chairman, but it is meant to survive him… Mr. Soros doesn’t plan to trade the billions that now belong to Open Society… He plans to give it most of the rest of his wealth in his lifetime or upon his death.” [WSJ]

“Book’s challenge: Can you do squats like Justice Ginsburg?” by Jessica Gresco: “Personal trainer Bryant Johnson hears it all the time: Four more years. That’s how long fans of his client, 84-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, tell him he has to keep her healthy so that a one-term President Donald Trump doesn’t get to name the liberal Justice’s replacement on the Supreme Court. Johnson’s response: Why just four years? Why not 14? … And it’s resulted in a new workout book written by Johnson, out Wednesday: “The RBG Workout: How She Stays Strong … and You Can Too!” Johnson said he hopes the book will show people: “You’re never too old to do something.” Ginsburg started working out with Johnson in 1999 after being treated for colorectal cancer. As Ginsburg tells the story, her husband told her she looked “like a survivor of a concentration camp” and needed to do something to rebuild her strength.” [AP]

“The Closing: David Greenfield” By Will Parker: “Are you a local celebrity in Brooklyn? “Kids in the neighborhood collect business cards and, apparently, mine is very valuable, especially if they can get my autograph. They stop me all the time, ask for my card, and then trade them at school. I think you can get like five cards for one Greenfield, so that’s pretty cool.”” [TRD]

SIGHTINGS — Yehiel M Kalish tweets: “When Nancy Pelosi sits down next to you on the plane! Such a nice person. Took pictures and answered questions from passengers. Very leader like!” [Pic]

At Reserve Cut Kosher Steakhouse in NYC: “It was a pleasure having Donald J Trump Jr. dine with us.” [Pic]

DESSERT: “Eating along the B line: Tasty, cheap eats on the Upper West Side” by Rachel Wharton: “Fine & Schapiro may have changed hands a few times since the Jewish deli opened in 1927, says current owner Eduard Taubes, but he’s made sure the place has stayed true to its Eastern European roots. Taubes, a Russian native who took over the reins in 1991, is a stickler for the details, making sure old cooks train new ones, that each table still gets cole slaw and pickles, and that the pastrami and corned beef for your “King Size” combo is both nicely fatty and sliced to order. Those are but a few of the New York City Jewish culinary traditions kept alive at Fine & Schapiro.” [NYDailyNews]

BIRTHDAYS: Engineer, philanthropist, co-founder and former chairman of Qualcomm, Irwin M. Jacobs turns 84… US ambassador to Morocco, the first Jewish ambassador to an Arab country (1994-1998), he was the CEO of the One Voice Movement Foundation and Peaceworks LLC, Marc Ginsberg turns 67… Principal analyst at Kiernan Group Holdings, he is a homeland security and counterterrorism expert, Joshua B Sinai, Ph.D. turns 66… Founder of Dimension Films, former co-chairman of Miramax Films, and current head of the Weinstein Company after his brother Harvey was dismissed, Robert “Bob” Weinstein turns 63… Political strategist, organizer, activist, commentator and writer, he is the president of a consulting firm, the Economic Future Group, Jonathan Tasini turns 61… Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (2009-2014), he also held high level positions at the US Treasury during the Clinton administration (1997-2001), Gary Genslerturns 60… ESPN television host, sports reporter, and anchor, Rachel Nicholsturns 44… Moscow-born journalist who emigrated to the US when she was 7 years old, she covers national security and foreign policy topics for The Atlantic, Julia Ioffe turns 35… Politico’s White House reporter, Annie Karni turns 34 (h/ts Playbook)… VP of eCommerce at Israel365, Ayal Kellman turns 32… Founder of Coalesce Advisors and former president at Birthright Israel Foundation, David Fisher… Director of Development and Academic Programs at AEI, Suzanne Gershowitz

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Courtesy of Rep.  Lloyd Smucker

Rep. Smucker Rebukes Palestinian PM for Terror Payments

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

WASHINGTON – Fresh off a trip to Israel with 32 other Republican House Members, Representative Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) slammed Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah for justifying payments to…

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Kafe Knesset for August 22

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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Friday, August 18, 2017

Bait and switch: As usual, the Barcelona terror attack was widely and quickly denounced by everyone in the Israeli political system. But the PM appeared to be putting…

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Kafe Knesset for August 17

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Jewish groups, with some members that have been more sympathetic to President Trump in recent months, have joined the widespread criticism against the President for drawing a moral…