Daily Kickoff: Meet the U.S. Senate candidate married to a Rabbi | Sneak Peek of DC’s Bible Museum | The secret, kosher origins of fruit roll-ups


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2018 WATCH — The Army Pilot, Married to a Rabbi, Seeking Corker’s Senate Seat in Tennessee — by JI’s Aaron Magid: By most measures, the southern state of Tennessee would appear to be a significant challenge for any Democrat in the upcoming 2018 U.S. Senate race. Nonetheless, with incumbent Senator Bob Corker announcing his retirement last month — the chances for any new candidate slightly rose. It is into this vacuum that James Mackler has emerged: a Jewish Army veteran during the war in Iraq who, if elected, would likely be the first U.S. Senator married to a Rabbi. His wife, Shana Goldstein Mackler, is the rabbi at the Reform Temple Ohabai Sholom in Nashville. “If I can serve my community as a U.S. Senator, half as well as my wife serves her community as a member of the clergy, I will be doing great,” Mackler told Jewish Insider.

After September 11, Mackler — citing inspiration from his grandfather who fought in World War II — left his law practice and enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served as a blackhawk pilot for the 101st Airborne Division before departing to Iraq in 2005. Mackler ties his military service to his support for the U.S. – Israel relationship. “As someone who joined the Army after 9/11 at a time of conflict, I have tremendous respect for Israelis who serve universally understanding for them there is always an existential threat to their nation. The fact that the US has such a strong democratic partner in the Middle East is so meaningful to me as a Jew and also as a service member and as an American.” Read the full interview here [JewishInsider]

“Corker: Trump criticism had been ‘building for some time'” by Manu Raju: “Look I’ve been expressing concerns for some time and it’s built over time,” [Bob] Corker said Monday. “I’ve had private dinners, I’ve had private phone calls, I’ve tried to intervene on topics that I thought things were going in a different direction and are not going to be good for our country.” … Despite the flap, Trump needs Corker — who is chairman of the foreign relations committee — to help usher through new legislation on the Iran nuclear accord… In order to win over support in Congress, particularly from Democrats, Corker contended that the Trump administration needs to allay fears from Europe that the legislation would not blow up the nuclear accord with Iran.” [CNN

Ali Rogin‏: “Bob Corker says he’s shared legislative language on possible Iran bill changes with SFRC Dem counterpart Senator [Ben] Cardin.” [Twitter]

ON THE HILL — Sen. Schatz: “No way” Corker-Cotton bill passes — by Aaron Magid: Despite increased talk on Capitol Hill to strengthen sanctions against Iran, Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) dismissed the possibility that legislation targeting Tehran sponsored by Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) will advance into law. Last week, the Republican Senators revealed their intention to amend the Iran Nuclear Agreement Review Act (INARA) by reimposing nuclear sanctions if Iran came within a year of obtaining nuclear weapons, eliminating the sunset provisions. “There is no way this will pass,” Schatz told Jewish Insider on Monday. “It is crazy because Iran got what it wanted (initial sanctions relief), so Iran will be cheerleading anything that allows the U.S to break the deal because then they get their money and nuclear program too. It’s the worst of all worlds.”

In contrast to an Iran sanctions bill introduced by Senators Corker and Ben Cardin (D-MD) which passed overwhelmingly (98-2) earlier this year, the Corker Cotton legislation has not garnered sponsorship from any Democrats. The bill will require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster and will need to attract backing from at least eight Democrats. Even Democratic lawmakers who voted against the JCPOA in 2015 have argued against decertification and in favor of preserving the nuclear agreement. “We will not buy into the false premise that it is Congress’ role to legislate solutions to problems of [Trump’s] own making,” Cardin said last week. [JewishInsider]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Trump hints at withdrawing from the nuclear deal at the start of a cabinet meeting: “I feel strongly about what I did. I’m tired of being taken advantage of as a nation… and we’ll see what phase two is. Phase two might be positive, and it might be very negative. It might be a total termination. That’s a very real possibility; some would say that’s a greater possibility. But it could also could turn out to be very positive. We’ll see what happens. I thought the tone of the Iranian leaders was very modified, and I was happy to see that, but I don’t know if that means anything. They’re great negotiators.”

“Donald Trump should pursue bigger, better Iran deal” – by YJ Fischer, former assistant coordinator for Iran nuclear implementation at the State Department during the Obama administration“In the early days of implementation of the nuclear agreement, it was my job to travel around the world explaining to international banks and companies that they could now invest in Iran, even encouraging them to do so… The Obama administration was concerned that the Iranians would withdraw from the agreement unless they saw real economic benefits from sanctions relief. It turns out we didn’t have to worry. The Iranians were so desperate for an economic boost, they’d take whatever they could get — and still would… We shouldn’t walk away from the nuclear agreement, but we should get more for U.S. companies and regional security. Now is the time to go back to the negotiating table to get more for more.” [USAToday]

BIBI STEALS HILLARY’S LINE — Netanyahu tells Zarif to delete his Twitter account: “In a video message posted to Twitter Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had some choice words for Iran’s foreign minister: “Delete your account.” Netanyahu made the order after… Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that all Iranians are part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and give their support. Netanyahu… said he would “love to know what the Iranian people think of that tweet. Sadly, the regime bans them from using Twitter. Ironic, don’t you think?”” [FoxNews]

“Trump making history by seeking changes to Iran deal, Israel’s intelligence minister says” by Ruth Eglash: “Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz… who has ambitions to become Israel’s next prime minister — compared the landmark nuclear accord… to a modern-day equivalent of the infamous Munich Agreement in 1938… “The threat from Iran is serious. I compare the nuclear deal to the Munich Agreement. I am not saying that Trump is like [former British prime minister] Winston Churchill, but I believe if Churchill had had the chance to cancel or change the agreement [Churchill’s predecessor Neville] Chamberlain reached with Hitler, then we might have prevented what happened after that,” Katz said.” [WashPost

“Trump’s Iran Strategy Looks Ominously Familiar” by Philip Gordon: “The similarities with the 2003 Iraq war are striking, starting with the president’s manipulation of facts and intelligence to suit his political purposes… Another striking similarity to 2002 is the role being played by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu… Netanyahu, however, would perhaps be a more reliable expert witness today had he not testified to Congress in 2002 that there was “no question whatsoever” that Saddam Hussein was developing nuclear weapons and if he had not “guaranteed” that an invasion of Iraq would have “enormous positive reverberations on the region,” especially on Iran.”[PoliticoMag]

“If Trump Wants to Confront Iran, He Should Start in Kirkuk” by Ranj Alaadin: “The Peshmerga dominated Kirkuk because the Iraqi army collapsed and withdrew from the province in 2014, when the Islamic State launched its offensive. If the oil-rich territory had remained under Kurdish control, it would have dramatically altered the relationship between Baghdad and Erbil… For Iran, an emboldened Kurdistan is tantamount to a stronger United States, which is in the process of building permanent military bases in Kurdistan.” [FP]

“Israel Moves Ahead on West Bank Settlements, but Guardedly” by Isabel Kershner and David Halbfinger: “In restricting the number of final approvals now… [Netanyahu’s] government may also be taking into account some other Israeli priorities. Among them are the campaign against Iran and the joint interests he has been pushing with Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, with which Israel has no formal diplomatic relations… Based on several meetings he had with Mr. Netanyahu, [Oded] Revivi (chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council) believes the Trump administration has not really drawn clear lines about what settlement it could live with. “They said to the prime minister, ‘We are not going to put any limits on you, but just make sure that what you do doesn’t get us upset,’ Mr. Revivi said.” [NYTimes

KAFE KNESSET — To evacuate or not to evacuate? — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: New Labor chair Avi Gabbay has been making headlines for a few days now with a series of statements signaling an apparent “wink at the right” in an attempt to appeal to non-traditional Labor voters. Gabbay declared that he will not sit in a government with the Joint Arab List – which, of course, none of his predecessors have done either. He also doubted the notion of a Palestinian partner in the peace process in different public appearances earlier this week. Yesterday Gabbay made waves with another political hot potato: settlements. “If you make a peace agreement, then you can find solutions that do not require evacuation,” Gabbay said in an interview on Channel 2.  Gabbay added that he believes that the “dynamics and terminology we use in terms of making a peace agreement – which includes evacuation – is not necessarily correct.”

This is not the first time Gabbay presented this position, but it prompted a series of strong reactions from all around the political system. Right-wing politicians depicted Gabbay’s statements as proof of the settlers’ ideological victory. Left-wing figures blasted Gabbay for trying to appease the settlers. Tzipi Livni, Gabbay’s partner in the Zionist Union, sent out an SMS message stressing that Gabbay’s stance does not reflect her “Hatnua” party’s position, nor that of the Zionist Union, while Labor MK Itzik Shmuli tweeted that “separation into two states is an existential interest that will require painful concessions and evacuation of territory.” Other Labor MKs were less combative but did stress the traditional Labor distinction between settlement blocs and isolated settlements. Meretz MK Ilan Gilon accused Gabbay of “forgetting that he was chosen to head the alternative camp to the Likud, and that there is no political solution that does not include a territorial compromise.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

“Unity deal could allow Hamas leader to become PA president” by Daniel Siryoti: “A cunning plan to pave the way for senior Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal to win the Palestinian Authority presidency after current President Mahmoud Abbas may have been the true aim behind Hamas’ willingness to compromise… One of the main articles in the intra-Palestinian reconciliation agreement deals with the option for significant reforms to both to the PLO and Hamas in the future that would allow Hamas to join the PLO. Such a move would pave the way for Mashaal to declare his candidacy.” [IsraelHayom] • Netanyahu: Israel Won’t Cut Ties With Palestinian Authority Over Unity Deal With Hamas [Haaretz]

“Unesco Shmunesco” by Shmuel Rosner: “Enter President Trump. An Israeli strategy 70 years in the making is suddenly severely undermined… Mr. Netanyahu then announced that when the United States quits Unesco, Israel will follow suit. It has no alternative. Israel can’t possibly let the United States leave an organization over anti-Israel bias and still remain a member itself… But the truth is, Israel would prefer to continue its longtime strategy at the United Nations: staying a member and fighting for Israel’s interests.”[NYTimes]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Hillel International Threatened to Cut Ties With Israeli Government Over Database of U.S. Jewish Students” by Judy Maltz: “Hillel International, the largest Jewish student organization in the world, threatened to end its partnership with the Israeli government if it didn’t immediately drop its plan to create a database of all Jewish students in the United States. This ultimatum forced the Diaspora Affairs Ministry to suspend the project late Sunday night… The proposed database was meant to help the Israeli government reach out to Jewish students in the United States and try to engage them more effectively.” [Haaretz

“Scaramucci-backed outlet runs online poll on ‘how many Jews were killed’ in Holocaust” by Rebecca Savransky: “A Twitter account linked to former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci’s so-called news outlet tweeted out a poll Tuesday about how many Jews were killed in the Holocaust. The tweet was taken down about an hour after it was posted, and The Scaramucci Post apologized if it offended anyone. “The intent of the poll was to highlight ignorance of the basic facts of the Holocaust. I take full responsibility for it,” the account tweeted.” [TheHill]

SNEAK PEEK: “D.C.’s huge new Museum of the Bible includes lots of tech — but not a lot of Jesus” by Michelle Boorstein, Julie Zauzmer and Sarah Pulliam Bailey: “The Museum of the Bible, a massive new institution opening next month just south of the Mall, is just as notable for what it ­includes — vivid walk-through re-creations of the ancient world, one of the world’s largest private collections of Torahs… A sensory room with images of animals, minor-key music and creaking boat sounds meant to evoke the “chaos” on board Noah’s Ark… With the input of Jewish scholars, they added lines to the script of a film to be shown at the museum so it includes not just Protestant biblical interpretation but also more context about the development of the rabbinical Talmud.” [WashPost]

TOP TALKER: “McCain, in speech, denounces ‘spurious nationalism'” by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “The Arizona Republican, his voice wavering at points after a program celebrating his life and service in the military and Congress — former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz at one point called him “a founding father of our time”… “To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems,” McCain said, “is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.” … In his introduction, Schultz echoed the themes of the evening. “There are some who question what this nation has become, our commitment to our founding values,” he said. “Perhaps they do not know where to look.” The answer, Schultz said, is McCain.” [Politico]

“Upswingers and Downswingers” by David Brooks: “Politics gets nasty in these “hatchet” periods because downswingers have a tropism toward ethnic and identity politics… Downswinging populists are taking over the Republican Party… The best thing upswingers can do in these times is to respect the downswinger critique — we’re in this moment for a reason — without falling for its ultimate pessimism. But the global populist tide is not going to be held off just by passing a new tax cut or a few other bills. There has to be economic, social and political solidarity with those left behind, as well as penance from those who did the leaving. There has to be a convincing story of where we are in history.” [NYTimes

NEXT GEN POLITICS: “Levin mum on re-election bid” by Melissa Nann Burke: “Longtime Rep. Sandy Levin has delayed announcing whether he’ll run for another term in Congress, fueling speculation that the 86-year-old Royal Oak Democrat might retire… Among the other potential successors to Levin is his son, Andy Levin, who lives in Bloomfield Township and is reportedly mulling a run for governor.” [DetroitNews]

“Dan Koh has a lot of high-profile donors from the world of sports and business” by Nik DeCosta-Klipa: “Dan Koh, the 32-year-old Andover native who previously served as Boston Mayor Marty Walsh’s chief of staff, turned more than a few heads earlier this month when he announced he raised $755,000 in just the first month of his congressional campaign. Seth Klarman, who runs a local investment firm and is New England’s top Republican donor, donated $2,700 to Koh. So did local power broker John Fish, the CEO of Suffolk Construction… Josh Kushner — who is the “liberal brother” of President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and runs a technology investment firm in New York — donated the maximum as well… Josh Kraft, the CEO of the Girls & Boys Club of Boston and son of Patriots owner Robert Kraft, gave $500.” [Boston]

** Good Tuesday 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: Microsoft adding former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to board [CNBC] • Work on Israel-Cyprus-Greece electricity link to start 2018 [ABCNews] • Redstone’s Ex-Companion Sues His Daughter, Grandson [WSJ] • The Mystery Of Wilbur Ross’ Missing Billions [Forbes]

STARTUP NATION: “In Israel Ultra-Orthodox Women Emerge as Tech Entrepreneurs” by Gwen Ackerman: “Avital Beck, 35, who has six children and a doctorate in molecular biology, co-founded her company MilkStrip so she could hold a challenging job and have flexible hours to spend time with her children. “Because most senior jobs in the tech industry are so inflexible, it just made sense to found my own company,” Beck said. Similarly, Tikva Schmidt, a software systems architect with 10 children, founded TIDE Technology, an outsourcing firm offering software architecture and development solutions, to provide high-level jobs for haredi women, while allowing them to raise their children.” [Bloomberg]

HOLLYWOOD: “Katzenberg Predicts Movie Studios Will Embrace Bite-Sized Entertainment” by Erich Schwartzel: “In an interview at The Wall Street Journal’s D.Live technology conference, [Jeffrey] Katzenberg said his company, WndrCo LLC, is building a venture that will cater to younger consumers and their mobile-first method of consuming entertainment… He envisions bite-sized entertainment that is easily watched on the phone at much higher production values than the videos found on YouTube Inc… The content will launch on an app-based service aimed at consumers aged 18 to 34 years old, with plans to cater to more demographics down the road.” [WSJ]

“Jeffrey Katzenberg: Harvey Weinstein Is a Monster, But Didn’t Act Alone” by Janko Roettgers: “Former Dreamworks chairman Jeffrey Katzenberg repudiated his former colleague Harvey Weinstein at Wall Street Journal’s WSJ.D Live conference… but also said that Weinstein couldn‘t have acted alone… “Make no mistake about it: He is a monster,” Katzenberg said. However, Weinstein had not been a lone actor, but had instead been protected by other men around him. “There is a pack of wolves.” [VarietyCNET]

“‘Beautiful Girls’ Scribe Scott Rosenberg On A Complicated Legacy With Harvey Weinstein” by Mike Fleming Jr: “Screenwriter Scott Rosenberg just wrote a thought provoking post on his Facebook account about his early days at Miramax Films,. There, he wrote the memorable movies Beautiful Girls and Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, and was part of that period when Harvey Weinstein became the center of the indie universe… “Everybody-f***ing-knew. But everybody was just having too good a time. And doing remarkable work; making remarkable movies. As the old joke goes: We needed the eggs. Okay, maybe we didn’t NEED them. But we really, really, really, really LIKED them eggs. So we were willing to overlook what the Golden Goose was up to, in the murky shadows behind the barn.” [Deadline]

“Mayim Bialik Responds to Backlash Over Harvey Weinstein Op-Ed” by Joe Otterson: “[It] has become clear to me that there are people who think I implied or overtly stated that you can be protected from assault by the clothing that you wear or the behavior that you exhibit,” Bialik said in a Facebook Live video with the New York Times. “That is absolutely not what my intention was and I think it is safe for me to start this conversation by saying there is no way to avoid being the victim of assault by what you wear or the way you behave.” [Variety]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Fire-damaged Hagafen Cellars kosher winery reopens tasting room” by Sue Fishkoff: “The tasting room reopened this morning at Hagafen Cellars, the only kosher winery in the Napa Valley and Sonoma, although the property sustained heavy damage last week from the Atlas Peak fire. “As of today, we are open,” owner and winemaker Ernie Weir told J. by phone on Oct. 16. “The tasting room was impacted, but not so much that we can’t open. We’re waiting now for our first tourist.” Asked what the public can do to help, Weir didn’t hesitate. “Come visit,” he urged. “Keep the Napa and Sonoma wine business going.” [JWeekly]

“[Florida] Gov. Scott wants to give Jewish schools $1 million for security” by Kyra Gurney: “Gov. Rick Scott… announced the proposal… at Katz Hillel Day School of Boca Raton. The funds would help Florida’s Jewish day schools pay for video cameras, bulletproof glass, alarm systems and other safety equipment to protect thousands of students… “Every Florida student deserves to have the opportunity to learn in a safe and comfortable setting,” Scott said. “After Florida’s Jewish community received hateful threats last year, we saw the need to provide additional security so the children that attend Jewish Day Schools can learn without having to worry about feeling threatened.”” [MiamiHerald

SCENE YESTERDAY IN JERUSALEM — President Reuven Rivlin met with Rabbi Dr. Ari Berman, President of Yeshiva University in New York at his residence in Jerusalem. YU faculty member and former Ambassador Danny Ayalon also attended the meeting. [Pic

DESSERT: “The Surprising, Secret Origins of Fruit Roll-Ups” by Gabriella Gershenson: “To stay in business, the Shalhoubs quickly rethought who they should be selling their product to. “I was talking to my dad and I was like, ‘Dad, look, it’s a traditional Middle Eastern treat for Arab people, but Arabs aren’t a growing population,’” says Ray. “‘We have to do something different.’” By his assessment, the growing populations were Jewish and Hispanic. Ultimately, they went after kosher business because of some cultural and geographical commonality with the Arab population. A friend introduced the Shalhoubs to Kof-K Kosher Supervision, then a budding certifier of kosher foods, now an international powerhouse whose clients include Pepsi and ConAgra. “We were one of their first accounts and we’ve been with them since 1977,” says Ray. Joray found its footing, and has since become synonymous with kosher treats, Jewish delicatessens, and specialty shops. “Once you develop a reputation and trust within the kosher community, people are very loyal,” says Ray.” [Thrillist]

BIRTHDAYS: Rheumatologist and founder of the San Diego Arthritis Medical Clinic in 1975, Dr. Michael Keller turns 72… Rochester, NY resident, Peggy Futerman turns 60… Rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University, he is a son of Professor Isadore Twersky and a a grandson of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, he also serves as the Rebbe of the Talne hasidic dynasty, Rabbi Mayer E. Twersky turns 57… Professor of economics at Harvard who served as a member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2012-2014), Jeremy Chaim Stein turns 57… Hedge fund manager, he is the co-founder of AQR Capital Management, Cliff Asness turns 51… Founder of Maniv Investments and Maniv Mobility (Israel’s first venture capital fund dedicated exclusively to the new mobility future), Michael Granoff turns 49… Author and staff writer at The New Yorker magazine, Ariel Levy turns 43…  Ken Baer, founder of Crosscut Strategies and former Obama WH OMB associate director (h/t Playbook)… Born in Haifa, raised in Sunnyvale, California, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Quixey, a search startup for apps (2009-2017), Tomer Kagan turns 34…

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Daily Kickoff: Trump attacks Schumer on Iran deal — “tell that to Israel, Chuck!” | Susan Rice tweets shade at AIPAC | Why Les Wexner favors Columbus


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OVERNIGHT: Israeli military strikes anti-aircraft battery in Syria: “The Israeli military said it struck and destroyed an anti-aircraft battery deep in Syria on Monday after it had opened fire on Israeli jets flying over Lebanon — the first such incident of Syrian forces targeting Israeli planes since the civil war began in 2011. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Israeli planes were on a routine reconnaissance mission near the Lebanese-Syrian border when they came under fire. They were not hit and returned to base safely… Russian forces in Syria were notified in real time, Conricus said.”[AP]

“The Coming Confrontation Between Israel and Iran” by Elliott Abrams: “If Iran does indeed plan to establish a large and permanent military footprint in Syria—complete with permanent naval and air bases and a major ground force—Israel will have fateful decisions to make. Such an Iranian presence on the Mediterranean and on Israel’s border would change the military balance in the region and fundamentally change Israel’s security situation.” [TheAtlantic]

Long-Read: “The Danger of President Pence” by Jane Mayer: “Before Pence took over the transition team, [Chris] Christie had warned Trump not to give a high-level job to the retired general Michael Flynn… On November 11, 2016, Christie was chairing a transition meeting, when, according to four sources, Flynn walked in with an ally, General Keith Kellogg. “Gentlemen, can I help you?” Christie asked. Ivanka Trump, who was a member of the transition team’s executive council, announced that she had invited them. Christie tried to reclaim control of the meeting, but Ivanka took over. Praising Flynn’s “amazing loyalty to my father,” she turned to him and asked, “General, what job do you want?” A participant at the meeting said, “It was like Princess Ivanka had laid the sword on Flynn’s shoulders and said, ‘Rise and go forth.’ ”

“(A source close to Ivanka didn’t deny the account, but said that it exaggerated her role, and that she was merely trying to show appreciation for Flynn’s support.) … A few hours later, Christie was deposed. Kushner, he felt, had humiliated him a second time. Bannon, who was given the job of dismissing him, admitted to Christie that Kushner had been against him all along, for personal reasons.” [NewYorker]

“Back online after Shabbat” — Ivanka Trump posted on Snapchat Saturdayevening recapping her day speaking at the World Bank IMF Annual Meetings [Pic]

Ivanka and Jared Kushner hosted children from Chai Lifeline at the White House last week: “Honored to spend yesterday afternoon bowling with these amazing kids. Thank you for visiting us at the White House!” [Instagram]

COMING SOON: “Vice President Mike Pence will be the guest of honor at an Israeli gathering celebrating seventy years since the November 29, 1947 United Nations vote that called for the establishment of a Jewish State. Pence will be the keynote speaker at the event hosted by Israel’s permanent mission to the United Nations. The celebration will take place in New York’s Queens Museum, in the same building which served as the UN headquarters from 1946 to 1950. The Israeli delegation said that during the celebration, the hall will be redesigned to appear in its original state from 1947.” [JPost]

DRIVING THE CONVO: “Trump national security team preaches calm over Iran deal but warns U.S. might still leave” by Anne Gearan and John Wagner: “Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said that the president’s threat to cancel the Iran deal “set out a marker” for the United States and its allies to fix what he called “a weak deal that is being weakly monitored.” … McMaster insisted that “the president’s not walking away from the deal yet” and wants to see “some real change.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said… “If we don’t see improvement, there is no sense in staying in, and he has every intention of walking out.”” [WashPost

WHAT’S NEXT? “Trump leaves Republicans with heavy lift on Iran deal” by Richard Lardner: “Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Friday he’ll reserve judgment on any legislation but has “serious doubts about whether it is even possible to fix such a dangerously flawed agreement.” … Taking the lead will be the Republican whom Trump has been feuding with — Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee… Corker promised an open legislative process. “You’re going to see all this evolve in daylight,” he said, adding that the bill could be introduced in the next two weeks… The legislation would… reduce from four to two the number of times a year Trump is required to certify to Congress that Iran is complying with the terms of the agreement. It would also rid the deal of sunset provisions.” [AP]

“The president leaves Congress to fix the mess he’s made on Iran” by Josh Rogin: “The president’s plan doesn’t make sense,” said Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “Negotiating additional terms to the nuclear deal requires a coalition of international partners, not unilateral congressional action.” Democrats know they are being set up to take the fall if Congress fails to act. They expect Trump to accuse them of being weak on Iran. Nevertheless, Senate Democratic aides said, they don’t want to be complicit in a process that could lead to the United States being in violation of the agreement.” [WashPost

POTUS tweets this morning: “Dem Senator Schumer hated the Iran deal made by President Obama, but now that I am involved, he is OK with it. Tell that to Israel, Chuck!” [Twitter]

BOLTON BACK? — “Nikki Haley was Trump’s Iran whisperer” by Eliana Johnson: “Haley’s role was described by a half-dozen administration officials who took part in the Iran policy review. While many of the president’s Cabinet members, aides and advisers work to restrain his impulses, when it came to the Iran deal Haley did the opposite… Haley wasn’t alone. The fingerprints of former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton… were also on Trump’s Friday address in the form of a warning that Trump… could still cancel the deal “at any time.” The line was added to Trump’s speech after Bolton, despite Kelly’s recent edict, reached the president by phone on Thursday afternoon from Las Vegas, where Bolton was visiting with Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson… The former U.N. ambassador supports a full U.S. withdrawal from the deal, something he told Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, during a meeting earlier this week.” [Politico

“Trump’s Boldest Foreign Policy Move Today Wasn’t Decertifying The Iran Deal” by John Hudson and Borzou Daragahi: “Another move Trump took on Friday could have a far more sweeping impact on US foreign policy in the Middle East: Labeling the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as terrorists under an obscure Treasury Department designation… In a speech ahead of the designation, Trump heralded the move – the first time Washington has labeled the military branch of another country as terrorists… The main backers of a blanket terrorist designation of the IRGC include John Bolton, the former US ambassador to the UN, and Mark Dubowitz, the executive director of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies… Dubowitz… has become newly relevant in a US administration seeking more ideas for ways to clamp down on Iran. He has met repeatedly with top White House and State Department officials, including Brian Hook, the director of policy planning and Tillerson’s de facto right-hand man.” [BuzzFeed

VIEW FROM JERUSALEM — “Netanyahu commends Trump’s Iran deal, gives U.S. leverage” by Megan Henney: “Since the Iran deal was signed, Iran has been like a tiger unleashed from its cage,” Netanyahu told FOX Business’ Maria Bartiromo. “It’s not joining the community of nations, it’s devouring nations left and right. Refusing to go along with a bad deal is a good thing, an important thing, even a historic thing that’s certainly important for world peace.” [FoxBusinessCBN]  

— Netanyahu on Face the Nation: “I suggest that, you know, when Israel and the key Arab states agree on something, you know, you should pay attention… Remember I stood in the U.N. a few years ago and I drew that red line? That’s before the deal. They didn’t cross it because they knew what the stakes are. And Iran today knows that if they do what you just said, they’re going to get crippling sanctions on their head. The U.S. alone can do that.” [CBSNews

Susan Rice tweets ‘BS’ to AIPAC’s praise of Trump’s Iran policy speech — by Daniel Roth: “Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice tweeted a short but stinging response to one of the most powerful pro-Israel lobbying groups in the nation after the organization praised the President’s latest speech on Iran. Rice, who served in the Obama administration, tweeted ‘BS’ to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) praising Donald Trump’s remarks.” [DailyMail]

Flashback to 2015 — Susan Rice speaking at AIPAC’s Policy Conference: “It’s great to be back at AIPAC.” [Transcript

HEARD YESTERDAY — Hillary Clinton on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS: “I think it’s very dangerous… I know that Iran plays a game of aggressiveness and undermining of our interests and the interests in the region — there’s no argument about that. But my point has been and remains, I would much rather deal with Iran’s other bad behavior while not worrying at this moment about their nuclear program getting up and going again. And why on earth would we want two nuclear challenges in Iran and North Korea at the same time?” [CNN]

“UNESCO Gets First Jewish Director, Day After U.S. Leaves Over ‘Anti-Israel’ Bias” by Robbie Gramer and Colum Lynch: “A day after the United States and Israel pulled out of the U.N. culture and education body citing anti-Israel bias, UNESCO elected its first ever Jewish director general. Audrey Azoulay, France’s former culture minister, eked out a win over Qatar’s candidate and frontrunner Hamad bin Abdoulaziz Al-Kawari… U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley didn’t mince words when she outlined the U.S. withdrawal in a statement released on Thursday: “Its extreme politicization has become a chronic embarrassment,” she said, citing a “long line of foolish actions” including designating the Israeli-occupied ancient city of Hebron as a Palestinian world heritage site… UNESCO’s outgoing director general, Irina Bokova… acknowledged that the U.S. departure, coupled with that of Israel, is “a blow to the organization. It will certainly take its toll.”” [FP

ON THE HILL — Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) plan to introduce a resolution “reaffirming the deep historical connection between the Jewish people and the city of Jerusalem.” The resolution also condemns UNESCO for the anti-Israel resolutions it has passed in recent years. “The Trump Administration has demonstrated strong moral clarity in deciding to withdraw and continuing to withhold U.S. taxpayer dollars from UNESCO as a result of its relentless hostility towards our close ally Israel,” Cruz said.

“U.S. Exit From UNESCO Took Israel by Surprise, Was Uncoordinated” by Barak Ravid: “Senior officials in Jerusalem confirmed that Israel learned of U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s decision to quit UNESCO from a report posted on the website of Foreign Policy very late Wednesday night. In its wake, Israeli diplomats at the embassy in Washington, the UN and at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters asked their American counterparts for clarification. Only late Thursday morning was Israel told that in a few hours the State Department would announce the U.S. departure from UNESCO. Senior U.S. officials confirmed that Washington was not proactive about informing Israel of its decision.” [Haaretz

“One of Netanyahu’s closest allies is turning into a major Trump critic — and it may signal a shift in Israel’ by Peter Jacobs: “Ze’ev Elkin, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and one of the prime minister’s closest allies, has made waves in recent weeks with comments critical of Trump. “It seems that the floodgates have been opened and Israel’s patience with Trump is running out,” The Jerusalem Post’s chief political correspondent Gil Hoffman wrote Friday… The minister also said that Netanyahu has not rebuked him for his criticism of the US president. Israeli ministers have not received guidelines “to watch their words” on Trump, as is sometimes the case regarding important US decisions, Hoffman reported. Other top Likud members have now also started to criticize Trump.” [BusinessInsider]

“US launches $10 million water project in West Bank” by AFP: “Jason Greenblatt was among officials launching the project in the historic city near the Dead Sea… At Sunday’s event, Greenblatt did not comment on White House peace efforts… “The US administration and President Trump personally remain committed to a just and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis, and a central element of that peace is a thriving economy and real opportunities for Palestinians throughout the West Bank and Gaza,” US Consul General Donald Blome said.” [ToI

WHITE HOUSE DEPARTURE: “Matt Saunders, who was special assistant to Jason Greenblatt, President’s Trump’s special representative for international negotiations, has left the White House. Friday was his last day and Saunders is figuring out his next steps.” [Playbook]

2020 WATCH — Trump campaign spent $1M in legal fees in last quarter: “Trump Victory, a joint fundraising committee that courts big donors, disclosed nine contributors who gave more than $50,000 — including billionaire Ronald Perelman, Madison Square Garden Company Chief Executive Officer James Dolan, and real estate developers Richard and James LeFrak — after Sept. 20, when the party said it was using money from the legal account to pay law firms involved in the Russian investigation.” [FoxNews]

KAFE KNESSET — Bibi versus the Police — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: With the continued corruption investigations against Netanyahu, the Prime Minister decided to take his responses up a notch. He’s not only blaming the “Fake News Media,” but he also cast aspersions on the Police. On Saturday night, a Facebook post went up on Netanyahu’s page that is still a hot topic in Israel today. The PM pointed out that the Police spent millions of shekels to pay media adviser Lior Chorev – who worked with Kadima and Kulanu in the past – and connecting it to leaks to the press about the probes. Chorev called the accusations “delusional.”

The opposition, unsurprisingly, went wild, accusing Netanyahu of undermining the rule of law. Herzog said Netanyahu is “inciting and dividing for his own personal interest at the expense of the unity of the nation and harming the symbols of law and government.” And the unofficial opposition, Ehud Barak, tweeted that “Netanyahu is panicking and attacking his investigators who are investigating him with courage and integrity.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

** 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 **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: 12 Israelis making a mark on Boston’s tech scene[Israel21c] • Kushner Plan for Fifth Avenue Tower Is Being Blocked by Partner [Bloomberg• Eli Broad, Patron of Los Angeles, to Step Down From His Philanthropy [NYTimes• Could Jeffrey Soffer’s JW Marriott Nashville become downtown’s largest hotel? [Tennessean] • It’s the Aby Rosen show at 100 East 53rd St, or it’s curtains [RealDeal] • Eva Moskowitz plans to double the number of Success Academy schools [ChalkBeat

TALK OF THE TOWN: “An Alternate Universe of Shopping, in Ohio” by David Gelles: Les Wexner, a Columbus native, remembers that when he attended Ohio State University in the late 1950s, his professors told him an unusual fact: Columbus was a major test market for consumer goods companies. When corporations wanted to see if a new soap or detergent would have broad appeal, they came to Columbus. A few years later, Mr. Wexner opened his first women’s clothing store in town, calling it The Limited. As the company expanded, he took his education to heart, trying out new styles and store designs in his hometown before rolling them out to new markets. The strategy worked. The Limited grew into a retail behemoth.” [NYTimes]

“The Kibbutz Movement Adapts to a Capitalist Israel” by Rory Jones: “Today, most kibbutzim have undergone some form of privatization. Many members now earn salaries outside the kibbutz but pay taxes for the community’s upkeep. New members can take out mortgages with banks and buy land on the kibbutz for their homes… Some young Israelis are now again drawn to the kibbutzim—some to secure cheaper housing outside hot markets like Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, others to find a sense of community that can feel absent in impersonal cities. The population of the kibbutzim has increased by nearly 50,000 over the past 10 years.” [WSJ]

“Are Borough Park’s insular days numbered?” by Eddie Small: “Josh Zegen, co-founder of the Manhattan-based real estate firm Madison Realty Capital, said Borough Park’s insularity can make it difficult for developers to break into the neighborhood without a strong community connection. “Even though I’m Jewish, in many ways [I] would have to partner with someone in that community to be able to really develop to what the community would want,” he said.” [RealDealMag]

PROFILE: “Kevin Durant’s Killer Crossover” by Matthew Shaer: “Durant’s interest in business began around 2013, the year he parted ways with his agent and signed with Rich Kleiman at Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports. Durant and Kleiman came from radically different backgrounds: Kleiman, a native of Manhattan, got his start in the music industry, managing acts such as Mark Ronson. Just 35 when he and Durant started working together, Kleiman was voluble and gleefully profane—an Ari Emanuel on the make. Durant liked him immediately, and he paid attention when Kleiman advised him to be more proactive with his wealth.” [FastCompany]

“How Adam Pritzker Is Building an American Fashion Conglomerate of Brands That Makes Sense” by Dhani Mau: “In 2013, after co-founding and raising millions for tech-education platform General Assembly, Adam Pritzker started Assembled Brands, a “modern holding company” for small fashion and lifestyle brands. “I was interested in providing tools to entrepreneurs to help them advance their careers and I felt that gap had, in a certain sense, been filled in the technology sector,” he told me backstage after a panel at Friday’s Fashion Tech Forum in Los Angeles. “I didn’t know what I could add whereas in this industry I really had a sense of what I could add because I felt like small designers of products, across the board, really were very underserved.” [Fashionista]

Axios interviewed Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg last Thursday: Sandberg argued that Facebook isn’t a media company, “at our heart we’re a tech company… we don’t hire  journalists.” In highlighting Facebook’s positive impact, Sandberg gave a shoutout to Sheryl Olitzky’s Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom which fosters relationships between Muslim and Jewish women — on Facebook and offline — to build bridges and fight hate, negative stereotyping and prejudice. [AxiosFacebook]

MEDIA WATCH — Michael Bloomberg at HubWeek in Boston on his argument with Arthur Sulzberger: “On journalism and Trump: “I said to the New York Times publisher a few weeks ago (that) he helped get Donald Trump elected. Why? Because he had Donald Trump in the righthand column of the front page of the New York Times virtually every single day. And Arthur Sulzberger said, well, we had to explain to the public what he was saying and why he was wrong or right or whatever. And I said, no, Arthur, you didn’t have to do it on the front page every day…. He got free publicity because the news business today is so focused on, desperate to, whether it’s on print or over the internet, to get enough eyeballs and clicks that they can stay in business.”” [Bizjournals]

TOP TALKER: Mayim Bialik: Being a Feminist in Harvey Weinstein’s World: “I entered the Hollywood machine in 1986 as a prominent-nosed, awkward, geeky, Jewish 11-year-old — basically a scrawnier version of the person I am today. Back then we didn’t have the internet or social media or reality TV, but I didn’t need any of that to understand that I didn’t look or act like other girls in my industry, and that I was immersing myself in a business that rewarded physical beauty and sex appeal above all else.” [NYTimes• The Big Bang Theory star’s op-ed about Harvey Weinstein sparks outrage on Twitter[BI]

“Born in Auschwitz, Israeli Artist, 102, Harnesses the Dark and the Light” by Isabel Kershner: “Born Gusta Wolf to a Hasidic family, [Tova] Berlinski has fond memories of growing up in Oswiecim, where about half the 12,000 residents were Jewish… She met Elec, from nearby Sosnowiec, where her father had a furniture store, through their activities in Beitar, the right-wing Zionist youth movement. Ten days after marrying, they set off for what was then the British Mandate of Palestine, to join the pioneers working to establish Israel… It has been more than 20 years since her solo “Black Flowers” exhibition was held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem, one of the peaks of a long career. But this month, Ms. Berlinski, now a widow, is emerging once again into the limelight, with a tribute exhibition and sale of her works at ArtSpace, a small gallery in the leafy neighborhood of German Colony in Jerusalem, where she has lived for more than 50 years.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Child of Holocaust survivors who was born in a displaced persons camp in Gunzberg, Germany, he is the National President of the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), Morton A. Klein turns 70… Israeli attorney, chairman of Maccabi Tel Aviv Basketball since 1969 (regular winner of the Israeli championship and six-time winner of European cup titles), he won the 2011 Israel Prize for sports, Shimon Mizrahi turns 78… Retired CFO of the airline industry’s ticket transaction settlement firm, Airlines Reporting Corporation, Chicago resident, Alfred Altschul turns 78… Film director, producer, screenwriter and creator of the The Naked Gun franchise, David Zucker turns 70… Best selling French novelist, one of whose books was made into Steven Spielberg’s “Just like Heaven,” Marc Levy turns 56… Avi Finkturns 32… Founder of The Gramlist, Brandon Perlman

BIRTHWEEK (yesterday): Media mogul, top Democratic bundler and producer of Power Rangers, Haim Saban turned 73… Retiring Vice Chairman of the US Federal Reserve (2014-2017), after an 8 year term at the helm of the Bank of Israel, Stanley Fischer turned 74… Real estate developer and owner of MLB’s Washington Nationals, Ted Lerner turned 92… NYC communications strategist Stu Loeser

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Daily Kickoff: How happy will Israel be if Trump scraps the Iran deal? | Inside Jared and Ivanka’s bipartisan dinners | Gal Gadot debuts as SNL host


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DRIVING THE DAY: “How Columbus Day Fell Victim to Its Own Success” by Yoni Appelbaum: “Today is Columbus Day, a solemn occasion marked by parades, pageantry, and buckets of fake blood splashed on statues of its namesake. Activists have turned the commemoration of Columbus’ landfall in the New World into an annual protest against “the celebration of genocide.” What the protesters may not know, however, is that the holiday they are protesting once played a crucial role in forging a society capable of listening to their concerns. This is the curious tale of how Columbus Day fell victim to its own remarkable success.”

“In 1934, Congress voted to recognize Columbus Day as a federal holiday. The success of the Catholic and Italian communities in laying claim to the great discoverer, and with him to their own place in the New World, led others to follow suit. Some Jews suggested that Columbus had been financed or accompanied by marranos, or even that Columbus himself was secretly Jewish. No, others replied, Columbus was actually Greek, Catalan, Portugese, Polish, or even Norwegian. It is not necessary to grant credence to any of these claims in order to take their motives seriously. The elevation of Columbus into a patriotic icon suggested to immigrants that they might demand full acceptance, and not mere toleration.” [TheAtlantic]

SPOTLIGHT: “Stephen Miller, the Powerful Survivor on the President’s Right Flank” by Matt Flegenheimer: “Miller has emerged in recent days as the driving force behind the administration’s insistence on a wish list of hard-right proposals as part of any deal with Democrats to protect young undocumented immigrants from deportation… As the surviving watchman on the president’s right flank since the removal in August of Stephen K. Bannon as chief strategist, Mr. Miller also remains a key craftsman in speechwriting at the White House… Mr. Miller’s journey to this point… is a triumph of unbending convictions and at least occasional contrivance. It is a story of beliefs that congealed early in a home that he helped nudge to the right of its blue-state ZIP code…”

“At Santa Monica Synagogue, the Millers proved an awkward fit in the largely liberal Reform congregation, according to people who knew them then. The younger Mr. Miller — true to form — established himself as the perpetually debate-ready boy who most enjoyed taking on all comers in 10th-grade confirmation class. A group photo, with Mr. Miller grinning from the back row in a prayer shawl, still hangs in the hall. “We did our best here,” said Mr. Miller’s rabbi, Jeff Marx, “to teach Jewish ethics and talk about our need to reach out to the strangers, to those less fortunate than we are.” [NYTimes]

DRIVING THE WEEK — President Trump is reportedly expected to decertify Iranian compliance with the nuclear deal this week ahead of the October 15thdeadline. The expected move will force Congress to act within 90 days or else the JCPOA will collapse.

REPUBLICANS RALLYING BEHIND: “Cotton to the Defense” by Susan Glasser: “[Tom] Cotton appears to be on the winning side, pushing Trump to adopt the formula his administration has now settled on of refusing to re-certify the Iran deal to Congress but holding off – for now – asking Congress to blow it up by imposing new sanctions. Iran “is on the president’s mind right now, probably more than anything,” Cotton says… Beyond the rhetoric, though, Cotton acknowledges the idea is not “to re-impose sanctions immediately”… but instead give “coercive diplomacy” time to work. Cotton envisions Trump using the threat of imminent congressional action – Cotton declines to say how long, but suggests a deadline of “weeks or months” – to get U.S. allies in Europe and the Mideast on board with a plan to revisit the deal with Iran and secure more concessions on areas such as Iranian ballistic missile development… and ending the so-called “sunset clause” after which Iran might be free to resume its nuclear program.” [Politico

DEMS NOT ON BOARD: “Sen. Chris Murphy: Pulling out of Iran deal a ‘self-inflicted wound’” by Eli Watkins: “The President is about to impose on himself and this country a dramatic self-inflicted wound because by pulling out of this agreement, Iran will go back onto a path to develop a nuclear weapon,” the Connecticut Democrat said on CNN’s State of the Union. [CNN]

COMPLICATING MATTERS: “Trump derides Corker for Iran deal; Corker strikes back” by Doina Chiacu and Patricia Zengerle: “Trump blamed Senator Bob Corker for the Iran nuclear deal on Sunday in a series of derisive Twitter posts… “Bob Corker gave us the Iran Deal, & that’s about it,” Trump posted on Twitter later on Sunday.” [Reuters• Bob Corker Says Trump’s Recklessness Threatens ‘World War III’ [NYTimes

“Trump’s tweetstorm against Corker may cost him a key policy ally” by Karoun Demirjian: “One of Republicans’ key aims is to address the rampant GOP complaint that the deal only delays Iran pathway to a nuclear bomb for a decade or so, instead of erasing it forever. But to do this, they need the support of Democrats… If there is any Republican on Capitol Hill who stands a chance of persuading Democrats to come on board, it is Corker… He worked with ranking Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin (Md.) to design the law that gave Congress a chance to review the Iran deal in 2015… He again negotiated with Cardin and other Democrats to build bipartisan support for more stringent non-nuclear sanctions, which Congress passed this summer.” [WashPost

“It’s What Bob Corker Does Next That Counts” by James Fallows: “If he believes what he says, then as the chairman of the relevant committee in the Senate he has important tools to use. He can issue subpoenas and summon executive branch witnesses as soon as he can get his colleagues back in town. He can draft legislation about the procedure, the grounds, and the justifications before the U.S. commits troops to war. He could urge his colleagues toward the next step through their stages-of-tragedy relationship with Trump.” [TheAtlantic]

VIEW FROM JERUSALEM: “Israel opposed the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal. But how happy will Israel be if Trump really scraps it?” by Noga Tarnopolsky: “In the words of Yoaz Hendel, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s former director of communications, “we’re in the same dilemma the U.S. administration is in… This deal caused us very significant damage… but it’s spilled milk. If Trump certifies the deal, we have a borderline nuclear nation at our border… But if he decertifies, we’re back where we were in the old days, where the only way to change the regional situation is a military strike.” [LATimes]

“The Iran Nuclear Deal Isn’t Worth Saving” by Deputy Minister Michael Oren: “The agreement’s apologists say that altering or negating the agreement will irreparably harm America’s prestige. Yet it is difficult to see how America’s status is served by a refusal to stand up to Iran’s complicity in the massacre of half a million Syrians and its efforts to annihilate American allies… Revisiting the agreement will send an unequivocal message to the world… The weakness of the Iran deal invites wars, it will say, while displays of strength prevent them. It will say that the United States is truly unwilling to accept a nuclear Iran — not now, not in a decade, not ever.” [NYTimes

“Trump’s Iran Ploy Could Isolate Washington, Implicate Netanyahu and Divide American Jews” by Chemi Shalev: “A harsh confrontation between the deal’s supporters and opponents could develop, in which Israel would find itself on the losing side, as it was in 2015. The Jewish community, whose fear of Iran is only eclipsed by its loathing for Trump, will be torn apart once again. And if the decertification actually leads to new sanctions that derail the deal and spark conflict or even war between the US and Tehran, Israel will be accused of pushing America too far, as it was during George W. Bush’s Iraq war.” [Haaretz

JERUSALEM EMBASSY UPDATE — Trump tells Mike Huckabee on TBN that he wants to give peace a chance before moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem: “We’re going to make a decision in the not too distant future… We’re gonna work [toward a peace deal in Israel]… I want to give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem… The Middle East when I took over was a mess, and it’s much less of a mess now but we have problems…If we can make peace between the Palestinians and Israel, I think it’ll lead to ultimately peace in the Middle East, which has to happen.” [Video

“Is Trump Ruining the U.S.-Israeli Relationship? Why Tel Aviv Is Getting Nervous” by Shalom Lipner: “Trump may yet alter his current course and fulfill any or all of his pledges. Israel could find itself with a U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, a decertified Iran deal, a disbanded UNRWA, and an enhanced ceasefire in Syria. It should be careful what it wishes for, because any resulting problems could not then be laid at Washington’s feet. They will be on Jerusalem’s shoulders.” [ForeignAffairs

ON THE HILL — by Aaron Magid: The Senate unanimously passed legislation on Thursday that tightens sanctions against Hezbollah. Introduced by Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), S. 1595 imposes additional financial penalties against foreign individuals and companies that provide support for entities known to recruit or fundraise for Hezbollah. AIPAC had placed the Hezbollah sanctions bills on its legislative priorities list for 2017. “This legislation serves as another reminder that Democrats and Republicans are united in our commitment to confronting this (Hezbollah’s) threatening and unacceptable behavior,” said Shaheen.

REXIT UPDATE: “CIA director Pompeo considered to replace Tillerson” by Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan: “Pompeo personally delivers the President’s Daily Brief, making him one of the few people Trump spends a great deal of time with on a daily basis… Pompeo would have credibility with world leaders, who’d know he was a legit part of the president’s inner circle — something no one thinks about Tillerson…  Insiders say Trump’s relationship with Tillerson is broken beyond repair.” [Axios

LongRead: “Rex Tillerson at the Breaking Point: Will Donald Trump let the Secretary of State do his job?” by Dexter Filkins: “As Tillerson has struggled with diplomatic crises in North Korea, Iran, Qatar, and elsewhere, Trump has contradicted and even embarrassed him, usually by emphasizing America’s willingness to use force instead of diplomacy. In a further slight, he has given Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, a broad portfolio of international responsibilities typically reserved for the Secretary of State. Tillerson, for his part, shows little evidence of holding his Commander-in-Chief in high regard…”

“According to the senior Administration official, Nikki Haley, the U.N. Ambassador, is seen as the most effective diplomat in the crisis;twice she has rallied unanimous support for tighter sanctions at the U.N. Security Council… “Nikki’s getting it done,” the official told me. “She’s bringing home the bacon.” This has apparently fed an enmity between Tillerson and Haley. “Rex hates her,” the official said. “He f***ing hates her.”” [NewYorker

JARED INSIDER: “Jared and Ivanka’s bipartisan dinners” by Jonathan Swan: “Jared and Ivanka have been working with the White House Office of Legislative Affairs to host dinners with Democratic and Republican members of Congress at their home in the upscale D.C. neighborhood of Kalorama… Capitol Hill sources told me that last Tuesday night, four senators visited Chez Javanka to talk about criminal justice reform: one Republican senator, Mike Lee, and three Democrats: Dick Durbin, Sheldon Whitehouse, and Amy Klobuchar. A source with knowledge of the event told me a handful of White House officials also attended, including Reed Cordish — a friend of Kushner’s and assistant to the president… Kushner is especially passionate about this issue… Kushner said he got a first-hand taste of the challenges of the criminal justice system when his father, Charles Kushner, was sentenced to two years in prison after pleading guilty to tax evasion.” [Axios]

–Scooting to Sukkot! Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner escort their three children to synagogue to celebrate the Jewish holiday [DailyMail]

“Ex-Silver top aide Rapfogel no longer working for Kushner” by Ken Lovett: “Judy Rapfogel, who was the long-time chief of staff for disgraced former Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, is no longer working for the company of President Trump’s son-in-law, sources say. Rapfogel in April 2016 went to work as a property manager for Kushner Companies.” [NYDailyNews

2020 WATCH: “For Disney Chief Robert Iger, an Unlikely Political Turn” by Jim Rutenberg: “Mr. Iger’s name has been bandied about for months by those who track politics… Mr. Trump was the head of a private company who had himself for a boss. Mr. Iger runs a public company, with shareholders and a board to answer to. That makes a run a trickier proposition, though the Disney stock price, four times higher than it was when Mr. Iger took over in 2005, could give him some leeway.And as the overseer of such a sprawling company, Mr. Iger could see any number of unexpected issues pop up during a campaign… I have no idea whether Mr. Iger will run. It’s probably too early even for him to know. But the speculation says something about the political moment — that during a presidency that lives and breathes in the media space, a major media executive is just as viable a White House challenger as any sitting senator.” [NYTimes

“The ‘Resistance,’ Raising Big Money, Upends Liberal Politics” by Ken Vogel: “Indivisible has also received funding from the tech entrepreneur Reid Hoffman, as well as foundations or coalitions tied to Democracy Alliance donors, including the San Francisco mortgage billionaire Herbert Sandler, the New York real estate heiress Patricia Bauman and the oil heiress Leah Hunt-Hendrix. An advocacy group funded by the billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros… is considering a donation in the low six figures to Indivisible. Mr. Soros has already donated to a host of nonprofit groups playing key roles in the anti-Trump movement, including the Center for Community Change, Color of Change and Local Progress.” [NYTimes]

** 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 **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: P&G vs. Nelson Peltz: The Most-Expensive Shareholder War Ever [WSJ] • Bill Ackman takes a hit from Herbalife short as stock soars [NYPost] • Tisch teams up with Cordish for new $65 million Loews hotel planned for St Louis Ballpark Village [STLToday] • Hotel mogul Steve Wynn: Las Vegas shooter had ‘vanilla profile’ [Politico

“Silicon Valley’s Next Target for Disruption Is Socks” by Sarah McBride: “The closest thing Stance has to a tech visionary is Avi Cohen. He grew up on a kibbutz in Israel, where his father ran a sock factory and taught him how to use knitting machines. Kearl hired Cohen in 2014 from Delta-Galil Industries Ltd., an Israeli contractor that makes socks for Nike and other well-known brands. Cohen has three knitting patents to his name. As chief technology officer at Stance, Cohen worked on the company’s signature touches, such as a sock with a flat seam across the toe to avoid chafing.” [Bloomberg

“How blockchain could end, instead of enable, money laundering” by Roy Keidar: “An Israeli District Court recently ruled that Israeli banks are not obligated to provide financial services to companies whose primary business is trading in cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin or Ethereum. The Court reasoned that banks should not have to assume the risks associated with providing a financial platform to these digital currency businesses when the leading Israeli authorities on the subject, namely the Central Bank, the Securities Authority, and the Anti-Money Laundering and Terror Financing Authority, themselves have been struggling to delineate clear measures to minimize them.” [VentureBeat]

TOP TALKER: “Harvey Weinstein Is Fired After Sexual Harassment Reports” by Maggie Astor: “In light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days, the directors of The Weinstein Company — Robert Weinstein, Lance Maerov, Richard Koenigsberg and Tarak Ben Ammar — have determined, and have informed Harvey Weinstein, that his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately,” the company’s board said in a statement on Sundaynight.” [NYTimes• Without Harvey Weinstein, Is There a Weinstein Company [NYTimes

MEDIA WATCH: “Anti-Semitism’s Rise Gives The Forward New Resolve” by Jaclyn Peiser: “There’s something different happening now,” Jane Eisner, The Forward’s editor in chief, said in a recent interview in her office… “And here I’m speaking not just as a journalist, but as a close observer of the American Jewish scene. I feel it’s my responsibility as a writer and editor to illuminate that for people.” … But Ms. Eisner, who became editor in chief in 2008, cautioned members of her staff against letting their emotions overtake their journalistic principles. “When we were just a Yiddish publication or when we were just in print in English, we were just speaking to a self-selected group,” she said. Now, [Dan] Friedman said, “we live in the age of social media, where everyone in the world is potentially just one click away from reading The Forward.” [NYTimes]

“Congressman suggests Charlottesville was George Soros–backed conspiracy” by Elspeth Reeve: “Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar suggested the participants in the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville in August may have been… funded by George Soros, whom Gosar accused of having “turned in his own people to the Nazis.” … VICE News reached out to Soros’ Open Society Foundations for comment. A spokeswoman responded: “George Soros survived the Nazi occupation of Hungary, and he has spent his life supporting efforts to ensure that such terrifying authoritarianism never takes root again.”” [ViceNews

KAFE KNESSET — Family Man — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Israelis are very familiar with Bibi’s family story… but last night Americans got to see the Prime Minister’s softer side in an interview making waves in both countries. TMZ’s Harvey Levin interviewed Netanyahu for his Fox News show OBJECTified. The PM’s family came into focus repeatedly. Bibi teared up when talking about his brother Yoni and how he had to tell his parents that their son had been killed in action.

The Prime Minister said that his sons keep him in the loop on what people are saying about him on the Internet. Netanyahu also described the family’s Shabbat meals, at which they discuss the weekly Torah portion, and the rules are no politics and no phones. Netanyahu, who is known to complain about the “fake news” media, complained about the “instant referendum” of the Internet: “What happens is that you have political leaders who are constantly bombarded by polarized opinions and I don’t think that’s a good thing.” [KafeKnesset] • Watch the full interview here [Video]

“At Columbia, NY consul’s daughter joins campus battle over Israel” by Raphael Ahren: “In September 2007, Iran’s then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech at Columbia University in New York. Exactly a decade later, Ofir Dayan, a freshman at the school, asked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu if he’d be willing to do to the same… How did Netanyahu react? “He was receptive,” Dayan responded diplomatically. “He said it’s possible.” … Dayan, 23, is the only daughter of Israel’s consul-general in New York, Dani Dayan… She pitched her idea of him speaking to Columbia University at a second meeting during a Shabbat dinner the prime minister hosted in his New York hotel.” [ToI]

“Meet the Anglos who whisper in the ears of Israel’s leaders” by Gil Hoffman: “The director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, one of the most powerful posts in the country, is Eli Groner, who was raised in Binghamton, New York, and is a former writer and editor at The Jerusalem Post. Netanyahu’s foreign policy adviser, Dr. Jonathan Schachter, made aliya from Chicago. The prime minister’s spokesman for the foreign press is David Keyes, who is from Los Angeles and lived in New York… “Israel truly is a land of opportunity,” Keyes said. “Serving the prime minister and the state is a unique honor. I encourage all Israelis, and particularly new immigrants, to get involved.” … Yair Zivan, 32, has been the foreign policy adviser and international media spokesperson for Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid since 2014….. Zivan described his role as helping Lapid’s outreach to the wider world.” [JPost]

With Hebrew monologue, Gal Gadot debuts as SNL host: “Israeli superstar actress Gal Gadot opened the second episode of Saturday Night Live’s 43rd season Saturday with a Hebrew monologue cheekily mocking the “nice but not very intelligent” writers who she said tried to have her eat hummus in every sketch… “Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know that this might be a big mistake. The writers here clearly know nothing about Israel. In every sketch they have me eating hummus. I mean, I like hummus, but come on. They’re nice, but they’re not very sophisticated,” she said in Hebrew. “I think they believe that I’m the actual Wonder Woman.”” [ToI

SPORTS BLINK — NFL star Julian Edelman to read from his new children’s book at Newton JCC: “The New England Patriots wide receiver is out for the season with an injury and is scheduled to perform a special reading of his new book, “Flying High,” on Tuesday at the Jewish Community Center in Newton, Massachusetts. Edelman’s appearance is part of PJ Library, a global Jewish children’s book program. Edelman’s father is Jewish but his mother is not. Edelman reconnected with his Jewish heritage during a 2015 trip to Israel.” [AP]

DESSERT: “As Kosher Five Star Hotels Emerge: The Rise of the Orthodox Bourgeoisie” by Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt: “People want an experience, but with kosher food,” Wagner tells me. “It’s fueled by people who have, thank God, disposable income. As an observant Jew, you see the same advertisements that everyone else sees, of a beach in the Maldives, and you say, why can’t I go there too? It’s a general trend — the same that happens in the non-Jewish market, will happen in the Jewish market, too. We don’t live in a vacuum.” [Forward]

SCENE LAST NIGHT IN DC — More than 100 friends and family joined Avi Goldgraber, Aaron Keyak and their three-month-old daughter Shira for their annual Sukkot celebration. SPOTTED: Noam Neusner, Laurie Moskowitz, Steve Rabinowitz, Jessica Schwartz, Rep. Brad Schneider’s Legislative Director; Arabella’s Jeremy Bernton, Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti, Anne Kristol; Slate’s Josh Keating, Hudson Insititute’s Ken Weinstein, Amy Kaufman, AIPAC’s Miriam Fischer, Eric Wachter, Finsbury VP and a Kushner family spox; IAC’s Abby Cable, Rachel Snyder, senior adviser of Rep. Steny Hoyer; David Weiman, Nancy Weiman, Vicki Keyak, Shalom’s Justin Dekelbaum, Deloitte’s Ali Dekelbaum, Josh Cohen, Noa Rabinowitz, Kesher Israel’s Rabbi Hyim Shafner and Sara Winkelman; Arie Lipnick, USA Today’s Sara Sorcher, Corey Jacobson, Rep. Ted Lieu’s Legislative Director; Shari Diamond, Drew Cooper, David and Jessica Ribner, Evolent’s Biodun Kajopaiye, Steve Orrin, Susan Werner, TOI’s Eric Cortellessa, ACEEE’s Naomi Baum, and Professor Saul Newman.

BIRTHDAYS: Founder, executive chairman, and now retired CEO of C-SPAN, known for his unique interviewing style, Brian Lamb turns 76… Charles “Chuck” Miller turns 72… Burbank, California resident, Richard Marpetturns 70… Chicago attorney who was an early fundraiser for Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, he served as US Ambassador to Canada (2009-2013) and is now an executive at Bank of Montreal, David Jacobson turns 66… Commissioner of Major League Soccer since 1999, Don Garber tuns 60… Director of Jewish learning at the Brandeis School of San Francisco, Debby Arzt-Mor turns 55… Member of the Knesset since 2013 for the Yesh Atid party, Karin Elharar Hartstein turns 46… Best-selling author, motivational speaker and marketing consultant, his 2010 TED Talk about leadership is one of the most popular talks of all time, Simon Sinek turns 44… Teacher, lecturer, activist, and author, since 2004 he has been the rabbi at Ohev Shalom Synagogue in Washington, DC, Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld turns 43…

Musician and singer, the protégé of her late father, singer-songwriter Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, Neshama Carlebach turns 43… Senior director of business development at Denver-based energy firm Nexus BSP, he is also chair of Denver’s Jewish Community Relations Council, Ben Lusher turns 34… Pacific Northwest regional political director for AIPAC, David Meyersonturns 33… Associate on the public affairs team of SKDKnickerbocker, working  on corporate, advocacy and nonprofit clients in the NYC office, Julia Schechter turns 25… 2016 graduate of Barnard College where she was a member of the TAMID Israel Investment Group at Columbia, now a supply chain analyst in NYC, Kayla Levinson turns 24… VP of Tel Aviv-based collaborative work space Urban Place, Daniel Rubin… Chaya Notik

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State Dept Annual Report Critiques Israeli Actions in West Bank

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

WASHINGTON – In a move likely to upset conservative supporters of President Donald Trump, a new State Department report released on Tuesday criticized both Israeli and Palestinian policies…


Kafe Knesset for August 16

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Just one side: President Trump’s controversial press conference, backtracking from his condemnation of white supremacists in Charlottesville in favor of blaming “both sides,”drew strong criticism in Israel. Justice…

Photo Credit: Shahar Azran/Facebook Nefesh B'Nefesh

Kafe Knesset for August 15

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Eyes on Pyongyang: The Israeli media has been following the US-North Korea standoff quite closely in recent days. Several media outlets have sent special correspondents to report from…


Kafe Knesset for August 14

Monday, August 14, 2017

The dramatic anti-Semitic images from the Charlottesville white supremacist rally took over Saturday’s headlines in Israel, but prompted only minimal reactions from Israeli politicians. The only official government…


Kafe Knesset for August 11

Friday, August 11, 2017

A witch hunt? Israelis are not buying it: Another roller coaster week of intense public engagement with Netanyahu’s legal and criminal affairs has come to an end. Everyone…


Kafe Knesset for August 10

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The Trumpification of Bibi: It appears that Netanyahu is more emboldened in the Trump era. He seems to be asking himself, ‘If Trump can get away with these…