Oct
9

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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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Oct
3

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Daily Kickoff: Scooter Braun’s hit factory | Katzenberg’s big ask | New scholarships in honor of Dave Goldberg | Is Likud ready to divide Jerusalem?

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TOP TALKER: “How a Las Vegas newspaper quickly mobilized to cover a tragedy” by Paul Farhi: “In the immediate aftermath of what has turned out to be the deadliest mass shooting in recent American history, Las Vegas’s leading newspaper, the Review-Journal, became the eyes on the episode for much of the world… The paper marshaled about 50 of its 140 journalists Sunday night and dozens more on Monday, said Editor in Chief Keith Moyer… Despite staff turnover in recent years, the Review-Journal still maintains the largest newsroom in the state, he said… He suggested the paper’s reporting of the shooting may counter the narrative that sprang up around it after Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson bought it in late 2015… On Monday, Moyer said: “Sheldon Adelson doesn’t have anything to do with our coverage. People thought he was dictating our coverage. We don’t hear from Sheldon Adelson.”” [WashPost

— “Donations are adding up to help the victims and loved ones impacted by the Las Vegas shooting… Shelley Adelson, a daughter of a casino mogul, also donated $10,000.” [WXYZ]

“Jews Console Victims With Song And Prayers — And Seek Answers After Las Vegas Massacre” by Josh Nathan-Kazis: “Rabbi Levi Harlig journeyed to a Las Vegas hospital on Monday on a mission of mercy for one of the hundreds of victims of Sunday night’s massacre on the city’s famed Strip. Harlig sat and sang Jewish songs with the husband and mother-in-law of Natalie Grumet, a Jewish California resident who was injured in the shooting that targeted a sprawling country music festival. Across Las Vegas and the country, Jewish communities were counting heads, making sure their members were accounted for…” [Forward

PROFILE: “Scooter Braun’s Hit Factory: The top talent manager has shaped the careers of worldwide stars from Justin Bieber to Ariana Grande. Now the man behind the music is evaluating his own next act” by Alex Bhattacharji: “As more than 250 million viewers across the globe watched the One Love Manchester concert, Braun strode onstage and addressed the crowd of 55,000 at Manchester’s Old Trafford Cricket Ground. After a series of thank-yous, Braun choked up paying tribute to the courage of those who came out just a day after another terror attack, this one on London Bridge. “You looked fear right in the face and said, ‘No—we are Manchester, and the world is watching,’ ” Braun said, his image projected on a pair of four-story-high screens. “Hatred will never win! Fear will never divide us!” Although the concert was its own defiant statement of unity, the event needed some sort of benediction, which Braun delivered extemporaneously except for the help of a few notes on his iPhone. “I planned to prepare, but I never had 15 minutes to myself,” he says.”

“Growing up in Greenwich, Connecticut, Braun, whose given name is Scott, initially hated the nickname Scooter. Braun has since embraced it. “The combination of names describes me well,” he says. “Scooter is very playful, and Braun is strong, serious.” … Braun was a star on the basketball team and class president each of his last three years at Greenwich High. “I was the first Jew to win class president at the school, and someone carved a swastika into my car,” Braun recalls. He got into several fistfights over anti-Semitic remarks, but only when they were directed at other kids—never him.”

“Around the end of 2004, Braun wrote to Mark Zuckerberg at his Harvard email about TheFacebook, as it was called at the time. “I was the biggest college party promoter in the country,” Braun says, “and I wanted to leverage it to help my parties blow up.” Zuckerberg referred Braun to Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, and the two went back and forth for several months about an equity stake. Braun proposed that he and a friend, NBA forward Drew Gooden, invest $100,000 in return for 10 percent of the company (which would be worth about $50 billion today). Braun says he would have flown to Boston to meet with Zuckerberg and Saverin but one of the reasons he didn’t go is that he didn’t want to risk seeing his high school sweetheart, who’d broken his heart and was attending Boston College.” [WSJMagazine]

DRIVING THE CONVO — The White House yesterday expressed support for the Palestinian Authority-Hamas reconciliation.Following Palestinian Prime Minister Rami al-Hamdallah’s visit to Gaza, U.S. Mideast Envoy Jason Greenblatt released a statement welcoming Palestinian efforts to fully assume governance in Gaza. “We will be watching these developments closely, while pressing forward with the Palestinian Authority, Israel, and international donors to try to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza,” Greenblatt said. “The United States stresses that any Palestinian government must unambiguously and explicitly commit to nonviolence, recognition of the State of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and obligations between the parties, and peaceful negotiations.”

KAFE KNESSET — Palestinian party pooper — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: As the Palestinian government convened in Gaza for the first time since 2014, the Israeli PM poured cold water over the latest reconciliation attempts in his first comments on the issue today. “We expect anyone who talks about a peace process to recognize the State of Israel and of course to recognize the Jewish State and will not accept an imaginary reconciliation in which the Palestinians reconcile with each other at the expense of our existence. To those who want to make such a reconciliation, it’s very simple: recognize the State of Israel, dismantle the Hamas military wing of Hamas, cut ties with Iran and others who call for our destruction,” Netanyahu said, just a few hours after PA President Abbas also presented his conditions for  the reconciliation process, giving it low chances of actually succeeding.

Meanwhile, after months of silence, the right wing is starting to openly criticize the Trump administration for the settlements restrictions and semi-official freeze on the ground. Likud minister Ze’ev Elkin said in an interview to Sheldon Adelson’s NRG website: “This administration is far friendlier to Israel, but unfortunately, the only thing that has not changed is the negative perception of Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria. On this matter, the administration continues with the Obama tradition. We need to explain to them that there are matters of supreme national interest, such as building in Hebron,” Elkin said. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

–Israel’s prime minister on Tuesday pledged to build thousands of new homes in one of the West Bank’s biggest Jewish settlements and annex it to Israel [AP]

PA’s Zomlot calls for US forces in the West Bank — by Aaron Magid: Husam Zomlot, head of the PLO’s General Delegation to the U.S., called for U.S. soldiers to provide security in the West Bank during the implementation of a final status peace deal. “We demand a third party presence. We even welcome American forces to be our guard… The Marines would represent for us a third party.” Commenting on President Donald Trump’s meeting last month with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas in New York, Zomlot said, “each time we leave the meeting, we leave it with a sense of renewed hope and a sense of renewed inspiration.” The senior Palestinian diplomat added that Trump was in a “listening and attentive mood.”

When asked about the likely passage of the Taylor Force Act, Zomlot declared “We were given a choice by Congress that we should cease these payments, and we choose our people, proudly so.” He added that during the beginning of the Trump administration, the Palestinian leadership offered to set up a trilateral committee with the U.S. and Israelis to deal with the payment issue but were rebuffed. [JewishInsider

“Is Netanyahu’s party ready to divide Jerusalem?” by Ben Caspit: “In the September meeting, [MK] Anat Berko presented detailed maps to Netanyahu in which the city was divided into geographic and political regions… According to her plan, almost all the Palestinian neighborhoods in East Jerusalem would be transferred to Palestinian control. In the first stage, they would be under Palestinian civil rule with Israeli security control, like area B of the West Bank. In the final stage, they would have area A status, that is full Palestinian control. This would decrease Jerusalem’s population by 300,000 Palestinians… A storm erupted at the Likud ministers’ first weekly gathering following the meeting, with members asking Netanyahu whether the news of it was true and whether he supports the plan for partitioning Jerusalem. Netanyahu hurriedly backtracked from the plan.” [Al-Monitor]

“Trump’s Envoy Was Not Wrong on Israeli Settlements” by Eli Lake: “It seems clear that Israel will keep some West Bank territory,” said Elliott Abrams… “There will be land swaps in any conceivable final status agreement. That is U.S. policy. Ambassador Friedman said nothing that deviates from that policy.” … A senior U.S. official who works on Middle East peace negotiations told me that Friedman’s remarks reflected a traditional Republican view of settlements, namely that it was unrealistic to expect Israel to relinquish the suburbs in and around Jerusalem as part of a final status deal with the Palestinians.” [BloombergView]

Amb. Friedman tells Mishpacha Magazine: “I love the job. It is a lot of fun,” he says… Friedman enjoys the president’s trust. “I spoke to him several times this past week,” Friedman says. “I’ve been back to meet with him in person a couple of times. It’s not determined by any particular schedule; it’s determined by whether there is something that we need to talk about.”

The claims in the Israel defense establishment… is that Israel was abandoned in the cease-fire agreement between Russia, Syria, and the US, leaving Israel’s north exposed to a range of Shiite militias and Iranian forces that have been allowed to remain too close to the border:

Friedman: “I can’t speak to your sources, but my contacts with Israel are at the highest levels of the government and from my perspective, that’s not their view. The United States, prior to any meetings it has with Russia, goes out of its way to hear out Israel and to take their concerns into account, and I think they act with one voice. I think they are very coordinated. I am not aware of anything that Israel has asked the United States to do where the United States has refused.” [Mishpacha

IRAN DEAL: “Republicans might block Trump from killing Iran nuke deal” by Seung Min Kim and Elana Schor: “Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) made clear he’s undecided on whether to reimpose sanctions… “I don’t think that we should relieve Iran of its obligations,” said Flake, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee… Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) told reporters recently that he is “still looking at” the issue and remains undecided. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said she wants to see the evidence on whether Iran has been compliant with the deal or not. Other influential players, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.), don’t believe Trump should begin retreating from the deal…” [Politico] • Ex-Netanyahu national security adviser Uzi Arad urges US to keep Iran deal [Al-Monitor]

“Mossad chief: Iran ‘closer than ever before’ to Israel’s borders” by Judah Ari Gross: “According to [Yossi] Cohen… his intelligence service is “focused only on the top national, security and political priorities.” First on that list is Iran, according to Cohen. Tehran “continues with its vision of [obtaining] a significant nuclear capability, which is meant to lead it to a military nuclear capability,” he said.” [ToI] • Michael Rubin: Lifting sanctions against Iran will put Israel in mortal danger [Newsweek]

HAPPENING TODAY — The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) will host a forum titled, “Consequences of a Collapse of the Iran Nuclear Deal,” at 1:30 PM ET. Two panels will focus on what happens if President Trump decertifies Iranian compliance with the JCPOA or the U.S. withdraws from the nuclear deal. [Livestream

“Zippy Amtrak Train Gets Tangled in ‘the Swamp’” by Alex Burns:“Bill Kristol… no friend of the current White House, remains an Acela loyalist, and he has embraced the “Acela corridor” designation along with unfashionable labels like “establishment” and “globalist.” … Mr. Kristol said his affection for the train was partly tongue-in-cheek, calling it “no great shakes.” He described the Acela’s atmosphere with a gentle irony some people reserve for friends and family. “If you haven’t ridden the Acela while trying to prevent your Dunkin’ Donuts coffee from spilling,” Mr. Kristol wrote in an email, “while also pretending to ignore nearby riders, who include three McKinsey consultants energetically discussing their spreadsheets, two Europeans vividly lamenting the state of America, and a lawyer sharply berating a junior associate for his failings, have you really lived life in the New York-D.C. corridor to the full?””[NYTimes

** 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: Disney reaches agreement with Patrick Drahi’s Altice[Bizjournals] • Chernin to Court Sports Bettors With New Data and Analysis Service [WSJ] • Roman Abramovich has ploughed more cash into tech startup Truphone in £255m rights issue [CityAM] • OurCrowd Expands with Office in Spain, Partners with Spanish-Israeli VC Cardumen Capital[CrowdfundInsider]  US’s Avery Dennison invests in Israeli smart-glass startup Gauzy [ToI

STARTUP NATION: Snapchat to launch augmented reality art platform — by Josh Constine: “Snapchat plans to roll out the feature with Koons’s art around the world as seen in these photos from Las Vegas, Sydney, and Paris.  A source tells TechCrunch the feature is based on technology from Cimagine, an Israeli AR startup Snapchat acquired in December. Similar tech powers its World Lens’ like the dancing hot dog that got over 1.5 billion views on Snapchat, plus its new Sponsored World Lens ads.” [TechCrunch

“The new ‘Goldie’ scholarships — in honor of the late Dave Goldberg — will pay for students in need to have time to be students” by Kara Swisher: “Using KIPP, a national network of over 200 tuition-free, public charter schools, the program will select 15 students already planning to attend four years of college on scholarship and provide them with annual stipends of $15,000 to pay for a myriad of needs. The goal: To allow those students to focus entirely on their studies and to help remove financial pressure that can hinder their progress… . “Dave wanted kids from all backgrounds to have opportunity,” [Sheryl Sandberg] said. “We were trying to create something he would have loved.”” [RecodeFortuneMag

HOLLYWOOD: “Katzenberg’s Big Ask: $2 Billion for Short-Form Video Project” by Andrew Ross Sorkin: “[Jeffrey] Katzenberg, 66, is convinced that his new product, called New TV, can upend the format of television for mobile devices. He wants to create the next-generation version of HBO or Netflix, purpose-built for viewing on phones and tablets with short-form content of premium quality… He wants to create big, expensive productions at a cost of $100,000 a minute…. And he wants to attract A-list talent both in front of and behind the camera… To Mr. Katzenberg, the idea is too obvious not to pursue. “You have an installed base of one and a half billion people who watch 45 minutes of video on a smartphone every day,” he said. “So this is where I say to you, ‘They’re drinking water. We’re going to give it to them in a bottle.’”” [NYTimes

TALK OF THE TOWN: “$50 million gift from Cheryl and Haim Saban gives Motion Picture Academy museum a major boost” by Josh Rottenberg: “Given the usual areas of focus of their philanthropic efforts, Haim Saban admits he initially resisted the idea of contributing to the film academy’s museum when he was first approached about it by Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos, who hosted a fundraising dinner earlier this year. “I said to him, ‘Listen, you’ve got sick kids, kids who need education — send them our way. Battered women, we’re there. But a museum is not in our sweet spot, so we’re not going to do anything there,’ ” Saban told The Times in an interview on Tuesday. “He said, ‘Well, come anyway.’ I said, ‘Fine.’ You know, a free meal — why not?”

“After hearing an appeal that evening from Disney CEO Bob Iger, who chairs the museum’s capital campaign and is a friend of the Sabans, he began to come around. After discussing the idea with Cheryl, with whom he started the Saban Family Foundation in 1999, the two ultimately decided to get on board with a major gift… In recognition of the Sabans’ gift, the historic May Co. Building at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue that will be home to the museum will be renamed the Saban Building.” [LATimes

REMEMBERING: “That time Tom Petty hung out with an Orthodox rock band in Israel” by Tess Cutler: “Musician Tom Petty [passed awayon Monday]. The rock star just wrapped up a big tour, which ended on September 25 at the Hollywood Bowl, marking the 30th anniversary since he visited Israel for a Temple in Flames Tour. From the vaults: In September 1987, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers toured Israel with Bob Dylan, performing in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. A film crew followed Petty around and chronicled the experience for MTV‘s Musical Passport series, Rock Israel… “I haven’t heard any Israeli Rock ‘n’ Roll, though it must exist,” he confessed. And he soon found out, it does a la Orthodox rock band, Diaspora Yeshiva Band. “I think anyone should be able to pick up an instrument and jump around,” Petty said smiling.” [JewishJournalYouTube

BIRTHDAYS: Jerusalem-born record executive turned talent agent whose clients include Madonna and U2, author of “Jews Who Rock” regarding Jewish influences on the music industry, Guy Oseary turns 45… Professor of American literature at Monmouth College (1968-1999) and co-founder with his wife in 1994 of Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey,  Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz turns 87… Radio show host, author, political commentator and film critic, his eponymous Seattle-based nationally syndicated talk show airs throughout the U.S. on Salem Radio Network, Michael Medved turns 69… Former member of Congress (D-PA-13) (2005-2015), following her tenure as a member of the Pennsylvania Senate (1991-2005), Allyson Schwartzturns 69… Theoretical physicist, professor at Rutgers and a son of feminist author and activist Betty Friedan, he was named a MacArthur Genius Fellow in 1987, Daniel Friedan turns 69… Lisa Leff turns 60… Born in NYC to Israeli parents, music industry executive who led Def Jam, the Hip Hop genre’s top record label at the time, he then led the Warner music label and now is Global Head of Music for YouTube, Lyor Cohen turns 58… Art collector and dealer, who together with his father and brother are reputed to own $1 billion of art including over 1,000 pieces by Andy Warhol, David Mugrabi turns 46…  Rabbi of Congregation Ohr Torah in North Woodmere, NY and author of ‘We’re Almost There,” Dovid M. Cohen turns 45… Born in Jerusalem and raised in Moscow where his father is the Chief Rabbi, himself a rabbi at Park East Synagogue in Manhattan, Benjamin Goldschmidt turns 30…

BIRTHWEEK: Michelle Sara King, President & CEO of King Consults (yesterday)

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Daily Kickoff: Adam Neumann’s $20B ride with SoftBank’s CEO | Facebook leaders mark Yom Kippur | Tevi Troy for HHS? | Remembering S.I. Newhouse Jr.

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BREAKING OVERNIGHT: At least 50 dead, 200 wounded at shooting on Las Vegas Strip: “A gunman in a high-rise hotel opened fire on a country music festival on the Las Vegas Strip late Sunday, killing at least 50 people and wounded more than 200 in the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history.” [WashPost]

FIRST LOOK: “WeWork’s $20 Billion Office Party: The Crazy Bet That Could Change How The World Does Business” by Steven Bertoni: “Adam Neumann, the frenetic cofounder and CEO of WeWork, was pacing back and forth in his office in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. Softbank boss Masayoshi Son, Japan’s wealthiest man and one of the world’s great investors, had promised the 38-year-old former Israeli naval officer two hours of his time for a full-blown tour of the co-working innovator’s headquarters. And he was an hour and a half late. “Masa arrives, looks at his watch and tells me, ‘I’m so sorry, but I only have 12 minutes,'” Neumann says in a raspy voice. And after precisely 12 minutes of walk-around, Son said he had to go. But he offered Neumann a chance to join him in his car. Neumann grabbed his pitch deck and climbed into what would become a $20 billion ride.”

“Son told Neumann to put away his presentation, pulled out his iPad and started sketching the outlines of an investment. “I thought the valuation had been too high for a company its size and that someone could easily copy it,” Son tells Forbes. “But no one could. The idea was easy to talk about but hard to execute–Adam proved he can do what he says.” As the ride ended, Son signed his name on the iPad sketch, drew a line beside it and handed Neumann the pen. “Even today, I still get goose bumps thinking about it,” Neumann says.”

“There is no reason to rent office space,” says Josh Kushner, the founder of the VC firm Thrive Capital and cofounder of Oscar Health, which launched its Los Angeles market from a WeWork site… WeWork has built a complex technology and logistics system to handle all that grubbiness. For Softbank vice chairman Ron Fisher, who sits on WeWork’s board, this tech leap drove the investment, since it will allow WeWork to efficiently scale to hundreds of spaces and serve millions of members. “We did an enormous amount of financial modeling–how they can grow, the margins they can generate, the cash flows they can create,” he says. To Neumann this technology-driven efficiency will become a product all its own, something like a WeOS, which will make WeWork indispensable even to companies that don’t have an interest in co-working. Instead, WeWork will be able to design, build out and run their offices.” [Forbes]

COVER STORY: “Does Even Mark Zuckerberg Know What Facebook Is?” by Max Read: “For every direct comparison, there was an equally elaborate one: a faceless Elder God. A conquering alien fleet. There are real consequences to our inability to understand what Facebook is. Not even President-Pope-Viceroy Zuckerberg himself seemed prepared for the role Facebook has played in global politics this past year. In which case, how can we be assured that Facebook is really safeguarding democracy for us and that it’s not us who need to be safeguarding democracy against Facebook? …”

“In nearly every state he’s visited, Zuckerberg has attended religious services or met with religious leaders. In Texas, he drank coffee with pastors; in Minnesota, he ate Iftar dinner with Somalian refugees; in Charleston, he ate dinner with the entire cast of a walk-into-a-bar joke: “The reverend, rabbi, police chief, mayors, and heads of local nonprofits.” … Asked by a Facebook commenter last year if he was an atheist, Zuckerberg replied, “No. I was raised Jewish and then I went through a period where I questioned things, but now I believe religion is very important.” It was a telling way to put it. Publicly, at least, his interest in religion seems to be more sociological than existential.” [NYMag]

FACEBOOK MARKS YOM KIPPUR — Founder Mark Zuckerberg: Tonight concludes Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews when we reflect on the past year and ask forgiveness for our mistakes. For those I hurt this year, I ask forgiveness and I will try to be better. For the ways my work was used to divide people rather than bring us together, I ask forgiveness and I will work to do better. May we all be better in the year ahead, and may you all be inscribed in the book of life.” [Facebook]

— COO Sheryl Sandberg: “Dave and I joyfully created a home where our Jewish faith and history was celebrated with our children. We taught our children that a rewarding part of our tradition is the opportunity every year to renew our bonds with each other and with God. This is the way Dave led his life. No one was more willing to take responsibility for mistakes he made towards others or more decent or forgiving toward those who had hurt him. Today I honor his example and cherish his memory by owning the mistakes I have inevitably made over the past year – and asking my friends and family for their forgiveness. Whether it was a comment that offended or a time I failed to speak when I should have, I vow to try to do better next year.” [Facebook

DRIVING THE DAY: Palestinian PM arrives in Gaza for key reconciliation effort: “Rami Hamdallah drove through the Erez Crossing on Monday, heading a large delegation of Fatah officials from the West Bank trying to end a 10-year rift with Gaza’s Hamas rulers. In a significant concession, Hamas has offered to turn over all governing responsibilities to Hamdallah. But key sticking points, primarily Hamas’ refusal to disarm its powerful military wing, are likely to complicate or even derail the reconciliation efforts in the coming weeks.” [AP]

Israeli opposition leader says Trump’s eagerness for the ‘ultimate deal’ is misguided: “I think President Trump identifies it correctly,” [Isaac] Herzog said, “except, I am doubtful as to the implementation of what he intends to do.”“There are two ways to try to resolve [the Israeli-Palestinian conflict]. Step-by-step diplomacy or by one full-fledged deal. The President insists on full deal. I’m not sure it’s possible and I would go alternatively for step-by-step if possible.” [i24News

“Fatah pressures Abbas to change strategy” by Uri Savir: “A senior Israeli diplomat who was part of Netanyahu’s New York delegation told Al-Monitor that Netanyahu was double-satisfied by his visit to New York. Not only did Netanyahu feel vindicated in the case he made to Trump about the Iranian regional threat and the irrelevance of the Palestinian issue, he also senses that he now has a free pass to pursue the diplomatic policies that will keep his right-wing government intact. According to this Israeli official, one can foresee a continuation of settlement expansion, in a somewhat restrained way, and setting strict conditions for negotiations with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.” [Al-Monitor]

“Why Israel supports an independent Iraqi Kurdistan” by Ian Lee: “While Israel has gone on to establish peace with Egypt and Jordan, Seth Frantzman, a research associate at the Rubin Center for Research in International Affairs in Herzliya… sees Israel’s relationship with the Kurds as different. “Israel’s peace with Egypt and Jordan isn’t a warm peace. The average Egyptian on the street hates Israel and/or the Jews. In Jordan the feeling is [only] slightly less,” says Frantzman. “With the Kurds, there is warmth on the street level, and if they got independence it would be another country that has good relations with Israel.” [CNN]

TALK OF THE REGION: “A North Korean ship was seized off Egypt with a huge cache of weapons destined for a surprising buyer” by Joby Warrick: “A U.N. investigation uncovered a complex arrangement in which Egyptian business executives ordered millions of dollars worth of North Korean rockets for the country’s military while also taking pains to keep the transaction hidden… The incident, many details of which were never publicly revealed, prompted the latest in a series of intense, if private, U.S. complaints over Egyptian efforts to obtain banned military hardware from Pyongyang, the officials said.” [WashPost

LongRead: “How Mexico deals with Trump” by Jon Lee Anderson: “A senior White House official told me that Kushner was introduced to Mexico’s Foreign Minister [Luis] Videgaray by a close friend, who saw an opportunity to “change the dialogue a little bit” between the U.S. and Mexico. Videgaray’s current influence has less to do with his financial or electoral acumen than with his friendship with Jared Kushner. The two met during Trump’s campaign, and they have worked closely behind the scenes to ease tensions between their bosses, like consiglieres for competing Mafia families. “Jared and Videgaray pretty much run Mexico policy,” the U.S. official told me earlier this year. “It’s all pretty much just between them. There’s not really any interagency relationships going on right now.” In the State Department, he explained, career diplomats were no longer kept informed: “U.S. officials sometimes learn the latest not from their own agencies but from their Mexican counterparts—especially Videgaray.” [NewYorker]

“Should Rex Tillerson Resign?” by Aaron David Miller and Richard Sokolsky: “Belittle poor Secretary Tillerson if you must; close your eyes and make a wish that after T. Rex we’ll get another secretary who has the vision of Dean Acheson, the toughness of George Shultz, the diplomatic panache of Kissinger or the political and tactical instincts of Baker. But it’s magical thinking to believe that Tillerson’s successor could fundamentally alter the downward trajectory of the State Department or do much more to fix the world’s problems. As long as Donald Trump is president, more likely than not, the Department of State is going to remain closed for the season.” [Politico]

INSIDE THE CABINET: “VA chief took in Wimbledon, river cruise on European work trip; wife’s expenses covered by taxpayers” by Jack Gillum, Alex Horton, Drew Harwell and Lisa Rein: “Nearly three days into a trip to Europe this past July, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin had attended a Wimbledon championship tennis match, toured Westminster Abbey and taken a cruise on the Thames… Shulkin was in Europe for meetings with Danish and British officials about veterans’ health issues, so taxpayers picked up part of the tab. Yet he and his wife spent about half their time sightseeing, including shopping and touring historic sites… The federal government paid for the flights for Shulkin and his wife, Merle Bari, and provided a per-diem reimbursement for their meals and other expenses.” [WashPost

In a tweet on Friday afternoon, talk radio show host Hugh Hewitt recommended that Trump named Tevi Troy to be the new Health and Human Services Secretary to replace Tom Price, who resigned after misusing chartered planes. Troy previously served as Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services under George W. Bush (2007-2009).

FLASHBACK — by Steve Clemons in 2008: “Tevi Troy‘s business card reads “The Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services.” That’s right. He’s not one of five deputies. He’s the second highest ranking guy in the Department. I wanted to share this picture I snapped of him — way back in the back of the plane — flying economy class back from Brussels to Washington, DC. He didn’t have an “economy plus” seat even though many of those were open. Indeed, lots of business class seats were open. To his credit, Tevi Troy didn’t utter a word of complaint. He worked the entire flight.” [WashingtonNote]

JARED INSIDER: “The White House counsel reportedly almost resigned over concerns about Trump-Kushner meetings and the Russia probe” by Sonam Sheth: “[Don] McGahn was reportedly concerned that the frequency with which Trump and Kushner met could be seen as an attempt to coordinate their stories… The White House counsel was so frustrated that then chief of staff Reince Priebus and then chief strategist Steve Bannon had to urge McGahn not to resign. He ultimately decided to stay after learning that Trump had hired a legal team… tasked with handling the White House’s response to Mueller’s investigation.” [BIWSJ

“Kelly struggling to make sense of Kushner’s West Wing role” by Annie Karni and Josh Dawsey: “In recent months, according to multiple administration officials, the president has also been casually surveying people close to him about whether having his family members in the government is creating too much noise. “Baby, you’re getting killed, this is a bad deal,” Trump has told Ivanka Trump, in front of other staffers, after soaking in the criticisms of the role his daughter is playing… Privately, Trump has asked some senior staffers their thoughts on how Kushner and Ivanka Trump can withstand the personal attacks.” [Politico]

“Jared, Ivanka shrink roles to shield themselves” by Mike Allen: “With increasing legal and practical questions about their presence in the West Wing, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are trying to remain viable by shrinking their purview and making more of an effort to “stay in their lane,” associates tell us… The couple’s friends say they expect them to stay for now, although they never planned to stay all four years.” [Axios

“Trump kids’ ski vacation incurs over $300,000 in security costs” by Laura Strickler, Analisa Novak and Julianna Goldman: “The annual Aspen ski vacation taken in March by President Trump’s children, Ivanka and Eric Trump, and their families, including son-in-law Jared Kushner, left taxpayers on the hook for security costs of at least $330,000… When Ivanka Trump and Kushner took their family to a ski resort in Whistler, Canada during Passover in April, U.S. Secret Service went, too, and the cost of their portion of the trip was over $65,000.” [CBSNews]

–Spotted: “Ivanka Trump was spotted shopping for a Lulav & Etrog set for Succot in Deal, NJ. She was reportedly seen at the Etrog Center with her son Joseph, 4, and 2 secret service guards. Ivanka reportedly was just window shopping because she left without purchasing anything.” [JBN]

“Trump Weighs Ex-Fed Official as Next Chair” by Andrew Soergel: “Kevin Warsh, an ex-Federal Reserve official whose father-in-law is a friend of President Donald Trump met with the commander in chief and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday to discuss the possibility of stepping in for Fed Chair Janet Yellen when her term expires in February… Warsh is married to Jane Lauder, granddaughter of cosmetics icon Estée Lauder . His father-in-law, businessman Ronald Lauder, has been pushing the White House to have the president name his son-in-law to the central bank’s highest post, said people familiar with those conversations. Mr. Lauder declined to comment.” [USNewsWSJ]

2017 WATCH: “He’s a GOP insider and the party’s best shot to flip a seat this year. Where’s the money?” by Laura Vozzella and Fenit Nirappil: “Susan Kristol of McLean donated to the past two Republican gubernatorial nominees but said the party’s embrace of Trump inspired her to cut a $200 check for [Lt. Gov. Ralph] Northam. “I’m very disappointed in the Republican Party in general and its inability to stand up to Donald Trump’s behavior and message,” said Kristol, who is married to Bill Kristol, founder of the Weekly Standard and a fierce Trump critic. “I don’t think we should keep feeding the Republican pipeline with new officeholders if all they are going to do is toe the line and agree with every one of [Trump’s] policies.”” [WashPost

SPOTLIGHT: “As Argentine Elections Approach, Two Disturbing Mysteries Loom” by Daniel Politi: “The leftist former president, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, is running for a senate seat, hoping to make a political comeback… But the nation’s focus has already started to shift, starting with an explosive new twist in the notorious 2015 death of a prosecutor, Alberto Nisman… Now, a team of forensic experts has issued a report concluding that Mr. Nisman had been murdered…” [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: Israel’s Central Bank Fills Vacant Posts on Monetary Policy Committee: Zvi Hercowitz and Moshe Hazan were appointed to the committee for four-year terms [Reuters] • Larry Ellison’s slide clicker failed during his Oracle OpenWorld keynote [BusinessInsider] • Oracle Chairman Larry Ellison Takes Aim at Amazon [WSJ] • Amazon to open 2 Israeli R&D centers to develop Alexa Voice Shopping [ToI]

THE NEW ESTABLISHMENT — Vanity Fair’s annual list: “In 2017 it seems that everyone is in everyone else’s business, and the list foreshadows the coming battles as various industries, and the titans who captain them, increasingly weave together into one.” [VanityFair]

ANNOUNCED THIS AM: The 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael W. Young [Twitter]

Rosbash was born in Kansas City, Missouri. His parents were immigrants who had fled Nazi Germany in 1938. Rosbash’s family moved to Boston when he was two years old, and he has been an avid Red Sox fan ever since. His father was a cantor at Temple Ohabei Shalom in Brookline, Massachusetts. [Wikipedia

ON WAY TO PUERTO RICO: A delegation from the UJA-Federation of New York flew to Puerto Rico on Sunday afternoon to deliver supplies to the victims of Hurricane Maria [Pics

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Jewish group slams Mayor de Blasio’s free school lunch plan for not offering kosher foods” by Ben Chapman: “Jewish advocates say 30,000 students in yeshivas aren’t getting the free meals because none of the food is certified kosher. “The mayor is openly discriminating against students in nonpublic and religious schools,” said Allen Fagin, CEO of the Orthodox Union… “He is failing children in classrooms across his city,” Fagin added.” [NYDailyNews]

Vermont State Police: No evidence of bias when rabbi stopped: “State police and the Department of Public Safety commissioner performed an investigation of the nighttime traffic stop and found “there was no evidence from the investigation to suggest his actions were based on any type of bias or profiling,” according to a statement they issued Friday.” [WashPost]

“All of New York’s members in Congress urge Tillerson to deport Nazi living in Queens” by Reuven Blau: “Jakiw Palij, 94, who worked as a Nazi guard, should be deported from the U.S., urges a letter signed by New York’s 29-member delegation — 18 Democrats and 9 Republicans in the House and two Democrats in the Senate… the new letter… urges Tillerson to personally “step in to settle this long-standing injustice” to make sure Palij no longer lives here.” [NYDailyNews]

TALK OF OUR NATION — On Being Jewish, American and a Writer: “Now, three major voices in contemporary fiction — Joshua Cohen, Nathan Englander and Nicole Krauss — make an argument for the necessity of a Jewish novel at a time when white supremacists can be seen on TV chanting “Jews will not replace us.” All three writers were born between 1970 and 1980, and all have published books this year that grapple in some way with Jewish selfhood and, notably, its relation to Israel… Above all, though, their central concern is one of identity — of being Jewish, American and a writer, and how the order of those terms matters in 2017, if at all.” [NYTimes]

“How America’s First Jewish Commodore Saved Monticello” by Gil Troy: “In 1857 [Uriah P.] Levy became famous for championing religious equality and Jewish dignity. Barred from the navy on bogus charges of “incompetency,” Levy made his trial what some consider the first public confrontation against American anti-Semitism. “What is my case today, if you yield to this injustice, may tomorrow be that of the Roman Catholic or the Unitarian, the Episcopalian or the Methodist, the Presbyterian or the Baptist,” he warned. “There is but one safeguard, and this is to be found in an honest, wholehearted, inflexible support of the wise, the just, the impartial guarantee of the Constitution.” The court restored him to active duty, unanimously—leading to his commanding the Mediterranean fleet.” [DailyBeast]

HOLLYWOOD: “‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ Returns With a Vengeance—And a Fatwa” by Kevin Fallon: “It’s all too perfect that Curb Your Enthusiasm is returning, as Slate’s PJ Grisar points out, the night after Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement and the end of the High Holy Days’ period of reflection and apology to those we have wronged in the past year. “While the faithful may spend all Saturday fasting or repenting in temple,”Grisar writes, “the following day marks the homecoming of a modern day Jewish folk hero—one who never says sorry.”” [DailyBeast]

“We Are All Jew-ish Now” by Devorah Baum: “Religion doesn’t play any part in my life in terms of how I live my life,” the comedian Larry David has said. “But I don’t think I’ve ever gone through a day in my life without hearing someone say the word ‘Jew’ or saying it myself.” Religion does play a part in my life, but I still know what Mr. David means. For me, too, there’s something about my Jewishness that is completely disconnected from the Torah, Shabbat or the High Holy Days. Such is the modern Jewish condition. [NYTimes]

“Greta Gerwig regrets signing letter against Israeli-backed play” by Emily Smith and Ian Mohr: “Greta Gerwig — a potential Oscar frontrunner for her upcoming directorial debut “Lady Bird” — has exclusively told Page Six that it was a mistake to lend her name to a letter asking Lincoln Center to… cancel performances of “To the End of the Land,” which is being presented “with support of Israel’s Office of Cultural Affairs in North America.” …  “This past summer, a close friend asked me to lend my name to a letter,” Gerwig wrote in a statement. “I am generally careful about the causes I support, but in this case I was not… While I respect the passion and integrity of others who signed this letter, for me to put my name to something outside of my personal realm of knowledge or experience was a mistake — my mistake — and I am sorry for any confusion or hurt I may have caused.”” [PageSix

REMEMBERING: “S.I. Newhouse Jr., Who Turned Condé Nast Into a Magazine Powerhouse, Dies at 89” by Jonathan Kandell“S. I. Newhouse Jr., who as the owner of The New Yorker, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Architectural Digest… died on Sunday at his home in Manhattan… Mr. Newhouse, known as Si, and his younger brother, Donald, inherited an impressive publishing empire from their father, Samuel I. Newhouse… the son of an impoverished Russian-Jewish immigrant… Mr. Newhouse’s new concern for the bottom line extended to The New Yorker, which was losing about $20 million a year. After he installed [Tine] Brown as its editor, moving her from Vanity Fair, she helped reduce the losses by almost half and oversaw a jump in circulation of about 250,000. She stepped down in 1998 to edit a new magazine, Talk, begun by the movie producer Harvey Weinstein. Under a new editor, David Remnick, The New Yorker eventually regained its footing and edged into the black.” [NYTimes

BIRTHDAYS: Fashion designer and the creator of the Donna Karan New York and DKNY clothing labels, Donna Karan (born Donna Ivy Faske) turns 69… Portrait photographer whose work has been used on numerous album covers and magazines, Annie Leibovitz turns 68… Member of Knesset for the Labor / Zionist Union party, he is the son of former IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister Haim Bar-lev, Omer Bar-Lev turns 64… Former member of the Texas House of Representatives (1993-2012), three of his brothers are news reporters: Lee (PBS), Adam (NPR) and Jeff (NPR), Scott Hochberg turns 64… Israeli billionaire, entrepreneur and philanthropist, with interests in shipping, drilling and mining, Idan Ofer turns 62… Founder of Los Angeles-based real estate development firm, Bomel Companies, and an affiliate, Bomel Israel, Ltd., Robert Rechnitz turns 62… Venture capitalist and former chairman of the Associated: Jewish Community Federation of Baltimore, long-time member of the board of JFNA, Bruce Sholk turns 60… Chief Program Officer of the Union for Reform Judaism, Mark J. Pelavin turns 56… Former MLB left-handed relief pitcher, Scott David Schoeneweis turns 44… USC graduate (2013) who spent two years at Oxford on a Marshall Scholarship, now attending Yale Law School, Alexander Fullman turns 27…  Managing Partner of the Weinstein Law Firm and major Democratic bundler in Florida, Andrew Weinstein… Diana Epstein

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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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Monday, June 26, 2017

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