Sep
12

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: Bibi to meet with Jewish leaders, privately | Both parties enlist lawyer Abbe Lowell | That time Larry David cleared a man of murder

JI_logoCP2

Have our people email your people. Tell your friends to sign up for the Daily Kickoff here!

ANTI-BOYCOTT ACT: Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) told Jewish Insideryesterday that she has “not seen” the Israel Anti-Boycott Act to form an opinion about supporting the legislation. “I didn’t know they (Senators Rob Portman and Ben Cardin) had a bill. I’ll take a look at it,” she added. The legislation would expand the 1970s era laws prohibiting compliance with boycotts against Israel by foreign governments to include boycotts organized by international organizations. The California lawmaker is considered a possible candidate for the 2020 presidential election.

IRAN DEAL: “Trump to weigh more aggressive U.S. strategy on Iran – sources ” by Jonathan Landay, Arshad Mohammed and Steve Holland: “President Donald Trump is weighing a strategy that could allow more aggressive U.S. responses to Iran’s forces, its Shi‘ite Muslim proxies in Iraq and Syria, and its support for militant groups… The proposal was prepared by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other top officials, and presented to Trump at a National Security Council meeting on Friday… It could be agreed and made public before the end of September.” [Reuters]

“Focus on Iran Spurs Trump’s Bid to End Gulf Crisis” by Fiona MacDonald: “Trump told Kuwaiti officials visiting the White House last week that Gulf Arab monarchies can’t effectively counter growing Iranian regional influence if they’re busy fighting each other… The “real challenge” for the U.S. and its Gulf Cooperation Council allies is Iran, Trump told the Kuwaiti delegation… The president told his visitors he would “put an end to the dispute very soon.”” [Bloomberg] • In Persian Gulf, computer hacking now a cross-border fear [AP]

“In PR Push, Qatar Trying to Arrange Meeting With Jewish American Leaders” by Amir Tibon: “Qatar is trying to arrange meetings between its senior leadership and the heads of major Jewish American organizations during the United Nations General Assembly next week… The offer was made by Nick Muzin, a public relations adviser whom Qatar recently hired… One Jewish leader who refused to meet with the Qataris is Mort Klein… who told Haaretz on Tuesday, “It looks very much like this is a public relations attempt to moderate Qatar’s image as a country that supports and funds terrorism.”” [Haaretz

“Israel is courting Syrian ‘hearts and minds’ to keep Hezbollah away” by Loveday Morris: “Israel has now treated more than 3,000 wounded Syrians, military officials say… Israel has transferred 360 tons of food, nearly 120,000 gallons of gasoline, 90 pallets of drugs, and 50 tons of clothing as well as generators, water piping and building materials… “There was an understanding that if we weren’t there, somebody else would influence them,” [Brig. Gen. Eli] Ben-Meir said. The humanitarian motivation was “huge,” he added. “But the more it got bigger and expanded, the more it had to do with winning these hearts and minds.” Closer ties also mean richer intelligence.”[WashPost]

Elliott Abrams: Israel is protecting itself from Iran. We should, too: “Israel’s strategic situation has been seriously damaged in the last several years because there is now an Iranian presence in Syria. The Israelis are not going to go into Syria and try to drive Iran, the Shia militias, and Hezbollah out, but they are trying to establish some limits to acceptable Iranian behavior. In my view this ought to be part of U.S. policy in the region as well.” [Newsweek

“Trump supports $75m. additional aid to Israel beyond Obama-era MOU” by Michael Wilner: “During the 2016 negotiations, Israel’s leadership signed a side letter promising to return any aid appropriated by Congress exceeding the $3.1 billion set aside for this fiscal year. But Congress ignored that provision, cutting Israel an additional $75 million in aid in its latest appropriations bill. A report in the right-leaning Washington Free Beacon… claimed that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wanted Israel to return the check… But a senior State Department official said that report was incorrect. “The administration is committed to ensuring that Israel receives the assistance that has been appropriated by Congress,” the official said.” [JPost

— Flashback: Ambassador David Friedman told us last year, “Under a Trump administration… the U.S. will not be limited in its support for Israel by the terms of the MOU.” [JewishInsider

SCOOP: Our Kafe Knesset team reported last week that, unlike years past, Netanyahu is not planning to attend any public events with the Jewish community during his visit to New York and is instead only holding private meetings with Jewish community leaders. We can confirm that invites were sent yesterday for a private meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister next Sunday.

KAFE KNESSET — Iran, Iran and Iran again — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: On the top of Netanyahu’s agenda yesterday, as he launched his historic Latin America visit in Buenos Aires, was Iran. He visited the sites of the two deadly terror attacks that rocked the city’s Israeli Embassy and Jewish community center in the 1990s. “The time has come to place full and complete responsibility on Iran for the attacks,” Netanyahu said. The PM commended his host, President Mauricio Macri, for renewing the investigation of the attacks in the South American capital, after years of his predecessor’s cover-up of Iranian and Hezbollah involvement. Teheran is still the main source of global terrorism, the PM pointed out in two speeches.

The premier is probably already thinking of his big speech next week at the UN General Assembly, in which Iran is expected to be a dominant motif. Iran will also take center stage during the PM’s meeting with President Trump. Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz said yesterday that the PM’s “first mission on his trip to the US is to demand that President Donald Trump freeze, change or cancel the Iran deal, which in its current form protects Iran and leads to a future nuclear Iran.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

UNGA WATCH: “Will Abbas confront Trump?” by Shlomi Eldar: “Abbas has already made his decision, and he plans an assertive speech, which, according to [a senior Palestinian official] will reveal the “real face of Netanyahu.” “Netanyahu is a peace rejectionist, so there’s no way of advancing the diplomatic process toward a permanent arrangement with the Israelis.” This is what, according to the source, Abbas intends to say to the assembled representatives, even though it is clear to him… that such a dramatic statement would bring an end to the honeymoon period with the Trump administration… Abbas… also plans to announce that he is considering renewing… an application to the International Court of Justice at the Hague… Hussam Zumlut, the Palestinian ambassador in Washington, and [Riyad] Mansour are advocating maintaining an escape hatch and not angering the Americans too much.” [Al-Monitor]

ON THE HILL — Sanders sponsors Congressional forum on Palestinian village Susiya — by Aaron Magid: Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is sponsoring a briefing on Capitol Hill to highlight the cause of the Palestinian village, Susiya, which is designated for demolition by the Israeli Army, a Senate staffer confirmed to Jewish Insider. The California-based Rebuilding for Peace is slated to fly-in children from from the West Bank villages of Susiya and Al-Aqaba along with Gaza for the event on September 19th. While the briefing marks International Peace Day which is September 21, due to the Jewish holiday of Rosh Hashanah, it has been moved to the 19th to allow those celebrating to attend, according to a copy of the invitation. [JewishInsider]

“Senate approves resolution condemning white supremacist groups” by Jordain Carney: “The resolution — introduced last week by Sens. Mark Warner (D-Va.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.) and Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) — cleared the upper chamber by unanimous consent. The Senate measure formally condemns “the violence and domestic terrorist attack” that occurred last month around a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville… The resolution urges Trump and his Cabinet to “address the growing prevalence of those hate groups in the United States.”” [TheHill

“Trump gives new hope to Jewish push for FEMA assistance to houses of worship” by Ron Kampeas: “Churches in Texas should be entitled to reimbursement from FEMA Relief Funds for helping victims of Hurricane Harvey (just like others),” Trump said on Twitter… Nathan Diament, the Washington director of the Orthodox Union, which has led advocacy for the policy change, said that Trump needed only to order the change; there was no statute barring emergency funds from going to houses of worship… “There’s a little bit of distance between the president tweeting and actual policy,” he told JTA on Monday. “We also want it codified in legislation.” [JTATheAtlantic]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: “The Characters Who Tried to Make ‘Trump Tower Moscow’ a Reality” by Betsy Woodruff: “It was a dream years in the making—and helped along the way by two New York real estate tycoons, one of whom is considered the right-hand man of an oligarch linked to an infamous money laundering investigation.  Naturally, this man is also considered a friend of Vladimir Putin. The two tycoons—Alex Sapir and Rotem Rosen—accompanied Donald Trump on his 2013 trip to Russia, where they reportedly tried to pull strings behind the scenes with to make Trump Tower Moscow a reality.” [DailyBeast]

THE DAILY KUSHNER: “Some Trump Lawyers Wanted Kushner Out” by Peter Nicholas, Rebecca Ballhaus and Erica Orden: “Some of President Donald Trump’s lawyers earlier this summer concluded that Jared Kushner should step down as senior White House adviser because of possible legal complications related to a probe of Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election and aired concerns about him to the president… The president’s lawyers were not united in the view that Mr. Kushner should step down… Mr. Trump wasn’t persuaded that Mr. Kushner needed to leave… Mr. Kasowitz in a statement said: “I never… recommended to the President that Mr. Kushner should step down from that position and I am not aware that any other lawyers for the President made any such recommendation either.””[WSJ] • Trump lawyer Ty Cobb: Ex-White House staffers trying to sabotage Kushner [TheHill]

“Both Parties Turn to Lawyer Abbe Lowell in High-Stakes Cases” by Del Quentin Wilber: “Washington lawyer Abbe Lowell has represented high-profile clients on both sides of the political spectrum—a Republican governor, a conservative super-lobbyist and a former Democratic vice-presidential nominee—and  even played a key role in defending President Bill Clinton during his impeachment proceedings. Now, he is simultaneously representing major players in separate cases that could have big implications for both parties. Last week, Mr. Lowell launched his courtroom defense of Sen. Bob Menendez… Mr. Lowell is also representing Jared Kushner.”

“He is brilliant and organized, so taking on several wars at once doesn’t seem to faze him,” said Jack Abramoff, a conservative lobbyist whom Mr. Lowell helped obtain a plea deal that in 2008 resulted in a four-year prison term for his role in a wide-ranging corruption and influence-buying scandal. Mr. Lowell, a trim and balding 65-year-old who favors the dark-suit uniform of D.C. lawyers, declined an interview request.” [WSJ]

“Ivanka Trump had breakfast with Janet Yellen as the president considered the Fed chair’s renomination” by Jim Puzzanghera: “The president’s daughter and Yellen dined at the Fed from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. on July 17, according to Yellen’s calendar, which the Fed releases to the public with about a one month lag.” [LATimes

INSIDE THE ADMIN: “How Steve Bannon Is Preparing For War” by Tarini Parti and Adrian Carrasquillo: “A pro-Trump outside group — Great America PAC and its affiliated nonprofit, Great America Alliance — is evolving into a big-money vehicle that could be used by Bannon and his allies… casino mogul Sheldon Adelson [is] considering writing checks to the group… “Don’t discount the influence Bannon still has,” the former White House official said. The source pointed in particular to the way Bannon has publicly talked about economic adviser Gary Cohn, a frequent Breitbart target. “When he calls Cohn ‘disloyal,’ he knows what he’s doing, he knows the president is going to watch. That’s a trigger for the president.” [BuzzFeed]

Steve Bannon weighs in on Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in the White House: “In Bannon’s “60 Minutes” conversation with Charlie Rose… he said Kushner, the president’s daughter and Kushner’s wife, Ivanka Trump, and the factions within the administration “absolutely” have his support… Bannon also said he thinks Kushner and Ivanka are “terrific people.”” [CBSNews]

–Trump watched the “60 Minutes” interview and liked it, telling friends and aides he was appreciative of the praise Bannon offered for him and his policies… [WashPost]

“Gorka, Ousted Trump Adviser, Predicts More White House Shake-Ups” by Andrew Rafferty and Paul Goldman: “You don’t have to pick up a government paycheck to be in discussion with the president or helping him. And one thing about the president, if you’re loyal to him, he’s loyal to you,” Gorka [told NBC News]. Gorka also left the door open to both him and Bannon returning to the administration. “I predict… that soon, perhaps before Christmas, the president will be removing high-ranking individuals from inside his administration because he will realize who he’s surrounded with.” [NBCNews

MORE KAFE KNESSET — Gorka in Israel: Among a long list of keynote speakers at the International Institute For Counter-Terrorism conference who also mentioned Iran, was President Trump’s former advisor Sebastian Gorka. Gorka endorsed Bibi’s strategic vision. “I have become convinced there is a bigger problem than Sunni Jihadists, and unfortunately there is a nation that understands the bigger problem and has been trying to tell us since 1979 – and that is Israel. … We need to learn from our Israeli friends that Israel is and was right about the threat from the Islamic Republic of Iran”. Gorka’s invitation to the conference stirred controversy in the US, but here in Israel it was hardly noticed. Nevertheless, Gorka expressed his gratitude to the ICT director, Boaz Ganor. “When the going gets tough, that’s when you find out who your real friends are, Boaz Ganor included,” he said. [KafeKnesset]

Gorka also visited the Western Wall: A photo of Gorka with a well-fitted yarmulke was posted on Twitter by Rabbi Uri Pilichowski from Yeshivat Migdal Hatorah in Modi’in. “I drove Seb Gorka to Israel’s Western Wall in Jerusalem yesterday. I spent hours talking to him. He is a true friend of Israel & the Jews,” Pilichowski tweeted. [Pic]

** 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: Seth Klarman’s Baupost Plans to Return Some Investor Money [Bloomberg• Bradley Tusk made $100 million helping Uber conquer New York. Now he’s helping other startups disrupt the status quo [CrainsNY] • Israeli company to build US-Mexico border wall prototype[Ynet

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Pro-Charter School Group Pays State $425,000 For Failing To ID Donors” by Steve LeBlanc: “Investigators say [Families for Excellent Schools-Advocacy] raised more than $15 million from individuals and then contributed it to the Great Schools Massachusetts Ballot Question Committee in a manner intended to disguise the true source of the money. The money represented 70 percent of the $21.7 million reported received by the charter school committee… Boston hedge fund manager Seth Klarman contributed the most of any single donor: $3 million.”[WBURUSNews]

“The secret of Eva Moskowitz’s Success Academy” by Seth Mandel: “One reason for the city’s resurgence was the mayor elected amid the madness: Ed Koch, who used his larger-than-life, happy-warrior persona to give New York the psychological jolt it needed. Moskowitz notes (in her memoir out Tuesday) that Koch zeroed in on quality-of-life improvements, like the subway cars plagued with graffiti and loud music… It worked. Moskowitz, then in high school and living upstate, returned with her parents and brother… In 1999, she won a City Council seat and joined the Education Committee, where she probed for the sources of the dysfunction and mismanagement rife in the city’s schools.” [NYPost]

LESSONS FROM THE PAST: Harvey, Irma, Jose … and Noah” by David Brooks: ““Noah was righteous but not a leader,” Rabbi Jonathan Sacks observes. A leader takes responsibility for those around him and at least tries to save the world, even if people are too wicked to actually listen… Noah, by contrast, opts to withdraw from the corrupt world, in order to remain untainted… Noah is a good man, but his story is a lesson in the dangers of blind obedience. The God of the Hebrew Bible wants respect for authority and deference to law. But He doesn’t want passive surrender… Today we live amid many floods. Some, like Harvey or Irma, are natural… People are still good at acting individually to tackle problems… But we have trouble with collective action, with building new institutions, or reviving old ones, that are big enough to deal with the biggest challenges. That’s because we have trouble thinking about authority.” [NYTimes

“Why Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ Still Matters So Much to Me — And All Of Us” by Samantha Power: “I am so very sad that my children will not have the chance to talk metaphysics with the master. But let me offer another reason that God is smiling today. As our nation goes through difficult days, “Night” is a book that is firmly ingrained in that small canon of literature that kids and young adults read when they are growing up in America… So, while the void is enormous… for our world, I too am filled with profound joy knowing that my 7-year-old boy and my 4-year-old girl — like Elie’s grandkids, and their children after them — will wade into big questions for the first time with Elie Wiesel as their guide.” [Forward]

HOLLYWOOD: “Attacked by Rotten Tomatoes” by Brooks Barnes: “Hollywood is blaming a website: Rotten Tomatoes. “I think it’s the destruction of our business,” Brett Ratner, the director, producer and film financier, said at a film festival this year… Mr. Ratner’s sentiment was echoed almost daily in studio dining rooms all summer, although not for attribution, for fear of giving Rotten Tomatoes more credibility.” [NYTimes]

“In which Larry David clears a man of murder” by Radley Balko:“Okay, so maybe not Larry David himself. But the upcoming Netflix documentary “Long Shot” tells the story of how extra footage from David’s show “Curb Your Enthusiasm” confirmed the alibi of Juan Catalan, who had been accused of murdering a state’s witness in a gang-related shooting. Given David’s penchant for taking his shows meta, maybe we’ll see an episode next season about this. Of course, it would need to happen in a way that provides enormous inconvenience for David’s character.” [WashPost• Original report from 2004 [CNN]

PROFILE: “Jennifer Meyer’s Goal? ‘Jewelry You Wear All the Time’” by Rachel Felder: “There’s the fact that her father is Ron Meyer, vice chairman of NBCUniversal… But Ms. Meyer, 40, has built her business since 2005 by focusing on something that’s resonated with customers: delicate jewelry that is feminine and casual enough to wear every day… Jewelry-making was not a lifelong goal for Ms. Meyer, although as a child she did spend afternoons making rings and medallions with her paternal grandmother, Edith Meyer, who designed enamel pieces in a tiny Santa Monica apartment, its kitchen crowded with a kiln.” [NYTimes]

DESSERT: “Harry & Ida’s Opens a Luncheonette and More Food News” by Florence Fabricant: “Will and Julie Horowitz, a brother-and-sister team, have opened a financial district offshoot of Harry & Ida’s Meat & Supply, their grocery and casual dining spot in the East Village with an Old World point of view and an emphasis on local, homemade smoked and pickled foods. This branch, called Harry & Ida’s Luncheonette (the name refers to the Horowitzes’ great-grandparents), is more spacious and serves plates priced at less than $15. “We take ideas from our heritage,” Mr. Horowitz said.” [NYTimes

“What Happens When You Add a Cryptocurrency Experiment to Shabbat Dinner” by Arick Wierson: “After the Challah was passed around, Richie surprised his guests by unveiling that this Shabbos would have a specific theme—a cryptocurrency theme, to be exact. And that’s when things began to get a little odd. Welcome to the first Initial #ShabbatCoin Offering, or ‘Kosher IDO (Initial Dinner Offering).’ Shabbat Shalom!” he said.” [Observer]

BIRTHDAYS: 20 term Democratic Congressman (1975-2015) from Los Angeles, Henry Waxman turns 78… Director of Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama White House (2014-2017), he was previously Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky (2011-2014) and mayor of Louisville (1986-2011), Jerry Abramson turns 71… Governor of Kansas since 2011, he was a US Senator (1996-2011) and is now awaiting confirmation to become the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Sam Brownback turns 61… Miami based Chairman of American Principles Super PAC, Eytan Laor turns 58… Internet entrepreneur and a pioneer of VoIP telephony, Jeff Pulverturns 55… Attorney specializing in the recovery of looted artworks during the Holocaust and featured in the 2015 film “Woman in Gold,” E. Randol (Randy) Schoenberg turns 51… Sherri Jankowski turns 50… Senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, Max Boot turns 48… South Dakota native, now serving as legislative director at Christians United for Israel, Jason Stverak turns 44… Israeli singer, songwriter and musician, who has performed around the world, Idan Raichel turns 40… AIPAC’s area director for Philadelphia and South Jersey, Kelly Lauren Stein turns 31… Sara Greenberg …

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

Sep
11

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: On 9/11, learning from Danny Lewin | Larry Silverstein on rebuilding the WTC | Jon Lerner profile | JI interview with Rep. Val Demings

JI_logoCP2

Have our people email your people. Tell your friends to sign up for the Daily Kickoff here!

Ari Fleisher’s tradition: “Good morning. As I do every year on this day, I will do my best to recall what I saw on September 11, 2001. There was no Twitter then. But I will try to re-live history on twitter so others can know details of what happened behind the scenes.” [Twitter

REMEMBERING: “Learning from 9/11’s first victim” by Marco Greenberg: “On September 11, 2001, Danny Lewin, 31, my best friend, was working away on his laptop in seat 9B aboard American Airlines Flight 11 when he saw the two men sitting right in front of him — they would later be identified as Mohammad Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari — getting up and making their way to the cockpit. A veteran of the Israeli army’s most elite commando unit, Danny tried to stop them, as the 9/11 Commission report indicated, but the man seated right behind him, Satam al-Suqami, drew his knife and slit Danny’s throat, making him, as the report would eventually confirm, the first victim of the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil.”

“Danny, of course, would hate that word, victim. He had spent his entire life proving he was anything but. He believed in hard work, setting a personal example, and daring ingenuity; if you asked him, he’d tell you these are the values that have made America great… Danny was a complicated guy, with strong opinions that easily spanned the partisan spectrum and were never obvious or unreasoned, but I know he’d be outraged by seeing how rampant xenophobia, Islamophobia, racism and anti-Semitism have become in our nation, and I suspect he’d be baffled by the tendency, on the left and the right alike, to focus on the accidents of our birth instead of on our infinite human potential.” [NYDailyNews]

TOP TALKER: “Netanyahu’s son removes anti-Semitic meme from Facebook following outcry” by Ruth Eglash: “The image, posted by Yair Netanyahu on Friday, appeared to be a local take on a classic anti-Semitic cartoon suggesting that Jews control the United States. It has appeared widely on extreme alt-right websites. In this instance, it depicted his father’s perceived foes: American Jewish billionaire philanthropist and investor George Soros, outspoken former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, activist Eldad Yaniv, and Meni Naftali, a former housekeeper for the Netanyahus who successfully sued them for mistreatment. Yair Netanyahu, who goes by the name “Yair Hun” on Facebook, had captioned the meme “the food chain.” [WashPost]

KAFE KNESSET — Neo-Nazis embrace Yair Netanyahu — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: David Duke posted a tweet praising Yair, and The Daily Stormer was quite pleased with him. On Sunday, after Bibi’s statement to the press at the beginning of the weekly cabinet meeting, a reporter asked him about it, and the Prime Minister only said “this isn’t a press conference.” Last night, without a word of explanation, Yair deleted the post.

Meanwhile, the gag order on the testimony of Bibi’s former chief of staff Ari Harow is set to expire next week, and if it is indeed removed, new details are expected to emerge about Netanyahu’s alleged criminal affairs. Meanwhile, Haaretz reported today that Netanyahu tried to set Harow up with a job at Channel 10, after supporting the sale of the channel to Russian-born businessman Len Blavatnik. Blavatnik was interrogated by Israeli Police last month in London. The Channel 10 deal and Netanyahu’s contacts with Blavatnik are part of “Case 1000,” in which Netanyahu is suspected of receiving gifts and favors from LA producer Arnon Milchan and other businessmen. According to the report, Netanyahu asked Blavatnik’s people to appoint Harow, who was unemployed at the time, as chairman of the channel 10 news company. That appointment did not work out because of regulatory difficulties. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

PROFILE: “Haley’s UN Brinkmanship Comes With Advice From Low-Key Adviser” by Kambiz Foroohar: “Jon Lerner, a political strategist who helped get Haley elected twice as the Palmetto State’s governor, is the ambassador’s Washington-based deputy. While [Nikki] Haley has talked about the direct access she has to President Donald Trump, the 49-year-old Lerner serves as her eyes and ears on the ground in the nation’s capital: a critical role as Haley’s profile rises in an administration buffeted by leaks and turmoil. Lerner accompanied Haley to Vienna last month to meet International Atomic Energy Agency investigators over Iran’s compliance with the nuclear accord opposed by Trump. And he helped draft Haley’s Iran-focused speech in Washington last week…

“In a rare public comment, Lerner described himself in an email as inspired by anti-Communist movements. “My hostility to anti-American authoritarian governments that began with anti-Communism remains my primary motivation,” Lerner wrote. “That manifests itself today in places that include North Korea, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Venezuela, and Russia.”” [Bloomberg]

–Ambassador Haley will speak at the opening night of the IAC National Conference on November 3rd at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in DC. Yesterday, the IAC published a promo video featuring Haley as a “real-life Wonder Woman” [Video]

‘NEW YORK VALUES’: “Inside the Trump-Schumer marriage of convenience” by Mike Allen: “After shunning Trump for months because of possible blowback from the left, [Chuck] Schumer now has supreme leverage in December — hammer time for the debt and spending thickets that were postponed by the deal… My conversations with both sides make it clear that Trump plans to continue playing the field, and Schumer is game to make future deals with Trump as long as they suit the Democratic base.” [Axios

“Palestinians accuse Israel of sabotaging Trump-Abbas meet” by Daniel Siryoti: “The Palestinians have accused Israel of trying to sabotage U.S. efforts to hold a three-way summit… on the sidelines of the assembly… Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has agreed in principle to the summit, but demanded a prior private meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. The Palestinians say further that Trump and his team are amenable to a private meeting, but that it will only take place after Abbas’ speech at the assembly. The reason… is that the Americans want to hear what Abbas says in his speech before sitting down for a meeting, to ensure that he doesn’t incite against Israel… “This report is false. We are having productive conversations but never discussed the U.N. speech and are putting no pressure on them about the speech,” a senior White House official told Israel Hayom.” [IsraelHayom

HEARD YESTERDAY — Prime Minister Netanyahu before boarding to Latin American, U.S. trip: “I look forward to our meeting, to my meeting with President Trump, my friend, in the United States, in New York, and I want to take this opportunity to wish all our friends in the United States that they emerge safe and sound from these difficult times. This storm too shall pass and every citizen of Israel is praying for the safety of the citizens of the United States of America.” [VideoReuters

“Trump’s negotiating skills are urban legends” by Aaron David Miller: “Even Mr. Trump’s delusionary promise to deliver the “ultimate deal” — a conflict-ending accord between Israelis and Palestinians — was an amateur move. Many people, especially Israelis and Palestinians, and Trump’s negotiator son-in-law should know that the deal — or anything close — cannot possibly be achieved. Former Secretary of State James Baker wisely advised me to keep public expectations low. Mr. Trump has done the opposite and engaged in grandiosity that damages his and America’s credibility.” [CNN]

JI INTERVIEW —  Representative Val Demings (D-FL) discussed her upbringing and her recent trip to Israel in an interview with JI’s Aaron Magid. “I see myself as a living witness that dreams really do come true,” Demings said. Having personally risen out of poverty, while facing the challenges of discrimination, the Florida lawmaker added, “I feel that a major part of my job now in the US Congress is to make sure that I am providing opportunities for other people regardless of their religion, gender, how much money they have in the bank.”

Demings returned from Israel last month along with a group of Congressional Democrats led by Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD). The lawmakers participated in a Shabbat dinner with an Israeli family, and Demings was particularly inspired by one of the children who currently serves in the military. “The commitment, dedication, and service of the Israeli people were very impressive,” she said.

While meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Demings said she was unable to forget what she called Netanyahu’s “inappropriate” 2015 speech before Congress criticizing the nuclear deal with Iran… After meeting with both Israeli and Palestinian officials, Demings voiced frustration at the Trump’s unwillingness to endorse the two state solution. “The Trump administration’s lack of support for a two state solution indicates to me that he does not have clear understanding of what is going on the region and has not understood both sides what is going on in the region,” she notedRead the full interview here [JewishInsider]

IRMA: “For a Florida congressman, ‘safe room’ becomes his office” by David Cohen: “Florida Rep. Ted Deutch lost track of how many tornado warnings there were. Throughout the day Sunday, the Democratic congressman was forced to shelter from the ferocious effects of Hurricane Irma, even as he attempted to keep atop of the situation, or, as he put it, “trying to stay abreast while running back and forth to the safe room during tornado warnings.” That safe room was actually a walk-in closet in his in-laws’ residence in Boca Raton, on Florida’s Southeast side… Deutch said he and his family… had remained safe and gotten a bit more accustomed to the emergency drill as the day went along. “It was easier to find humor in it at 4 o’clock in the afternoon than 4 o’clock in the morning,” he said.” [Politico

INSIDE THE ADMIN: “New White House Chief of Staff Has an Enforcer” by Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush: “The new chief of staff has tried to shield Gary D. Cohn…  from Mr. Trump’s continuing wrath since the former Goldman Sachs executive went public with his disgust at the president’s response to the deadly violence last month in Charlottesville… [John] Kelly made a point… of throwing his arm around Mr. Cohn in solidarity, in full view of the news media, as they exited Marine One last week on the South Lawn. But he has not always been successful. Several aides said Mr. Trump is freezing out Mr. Cohn by employing a familiar tactic: refusing to make eye contact with Mr. Cohn when his adviser greets him. At a meeting on Thursdayon infrastructure at the White House with Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York… Mr. Kelly told participants that Mr. Cohn would lead the meeting. But Mr. Trump… virtually ignored him.” [NYTimes

“Former Sessions aides chart different paths in Trump’s White House” by Andrew Restuccia, Nancy Cook and Josh Dawsey: “[Stephen] Miller’s influence with the president has rarely been stronger than in the past few weeks, when, according to two administration officials, he joined with Sessions, his former boss, to convince Trump to end the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program… Two administration officials said Miller distanced himself from Sessions at the height of Trump’s anger with the former Alabama senator. Miller, according to one senior White House aide, has “risen to a status that’s beyond Sessions.” Lately, however, Kelly has sought to curb Miller’s access to Trump. White House aides have sometimes blamed Miller… for passing along bad information to the president, and he can no longer put printed-out Breitbart articles on Trump’s desk.” [Politico]

“Mueller gives White House names of 6 aides he expects to question in Russia probe” by Carol D. Leonnig, Rosalind S. Helderman and Ashley Parker: “[Robert] Mueller’s office has also told the White House that investigators may want to interview Josh Raffel, a White House spokesman who works closely with Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner. White House officials are expecting that Mueller will seek additional interviews, possibly with family members, including Kushner…  according to the people familiar with Mueller’s inquiry.” [WashPost]

IRAN DEAL: “Iran Nuclear Inspections Double Under Deal Questioned by Trump” by Jonathan Tirone: “Iran has received nearly two snap nuclear inspections a month and almost double the overall number of visits it had just five years ago… International Atomic Energy Agency monitors conducted 402 site visits and 25 snap inspections in the first 12 months since the deal was enacted in early 2016, according to data from reports to IAEA members.” [Bloomberg] • UN atomic chief says Iran meeting terms of nuclear deal [AP]

HEARD YESTERDAY ON 60 MINUTES — Charlie Rose: There’s now talk you may not try to undo the Iran nuclear deal. Steve Bannon: “Decertify? I wouldn’t bet on that.” Rose: But there is talk about that. Bannon: “There’s definitely talk. The apparatus wants him to continue to certify. President Trump wants to get out of the deal and either go make a better deal or just view it from the outside.”

“North Korea ‘secretly helped by Iran to gain nuclear weapons’, British officials fear” by Ben Riley-Smith: “The Foreign Office is investigating whether “current and former nuclear states” helped Kim Jong-Un in his drive to mount nuclear warheads on missiles.  Senior Whitehall sources told The Sunday Telegraph it is not credible that North Korean scientists alone brought about the technological advances.  Iran is top of the list of countries suspected of giving some form of assistance, while Russia is also in the spotlight… “North Korean scientists are people of some ability, but clearly they’re not doing it entirely in a vacuum,” said one Government minister.” [Telegraph

Michael Oren: “British officials say Iran assists North Korean nuclear program. No surprise but what’s the world going to do about it?” [Twitter]

2018 WATCH: “Republican Sen. Bob Corker weighs whether to retire in 2018” by Manu Raju: “Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, the influential chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee who was once considered for a spot in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, is weighing whether to call it quits next year. Corker told CNN last week that he has not made a decision about his future, and appeared to confirm Trump’s tweet that he asked the President for political advice about whether to run for reelection. “As far as what am I going to do in the future, I’m still contemplating the future,” Corker said in an interview. “It’s a tremendous privilege to do what I do, and to weigh in on the big issues. … But I have not decided what I’m going to do in the future.” [CNN]

“Nevada treasurer’s candidacy for governor sparks attack ads” by  Colton Lochhead: “On the day of the announcement, a digital and radio ad blitz attacked [Dan] Schwartz as a candidate from a Republican super PAC with ties to GOP megadonors Joe Ricketts and… Sheldon Adelson. Schwartz’s likely primary opponent, Adam Laxalt, received $55,000 in campaign donations from the Adelson family and Sands during Laxalt’s successful 2014 bid for attorney general.” [LVReviewJournal]

2020 WATCH: “How California could jolt the 2020 presidential race” by David Siders and Gabe Debenedetti: “California is pushing forward with a plan to change the state’s primary date from June to March, a move that could scramble the 2020 presidential nominating contest and swing the early weight of the campaign to the west… The earlier primary could benefit at least two potential presidential contenders from California – U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti…” [Politico

** 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 and China sign $300 million ‘clean-tech’ trade agreement [Reuters] • Netanyahu Taking Along Israeli Business Delegation on Latam Trip [Bloomberg] • Roberto Spindel, head of the Israel – Latin American Chamber of Commerce: Netanyahu’s Latin America trip ‘too short, too late’ [JPost] • Chief executive of Israel supermarket chain arrested [FinancialTimes]

SPOTLIGHT: “Larry Silverstein on rebuilding the World Trade Center after 9/11” by Sarina Trangle: “When we first acquired the Twin Towers … about six weeks before 9/11, never dreamed as to what was going to happen … I have now been at this, the rebuilding, for the last 16 years of my life. So it’s been the passion of my life. We’ve come a very long way. You can see the buildings that we’ve erected down here… It didn’t because very quickly after 9/11, I just in my mind concluded that we needed to rebuild the trade center to defeat the terrorists and their attacks — what they sought to do to us on 9/11. Not to have rebuilt would have been a terrible tragedy because then, effectively, they would have won.” [AMNY]

MEDIA WATCH: “How fake news in the Middle East is a powder keg waiting to blow” by Bethan McKernan: “It is common for Lebanese to share news updates and other messages via WhatsApp and SMS, copying and pasting the text to others in their contact lists. Given the context, however, one fake news story which circulated recently raised more than a few eyebrows. “Urgent”, read the message, which purported to be from Reuters news agency. “Hezbollah kidnaps top-ranking Mossad intelligence officers in Israel’s elite class.” The Arabic text went on to quote an unnamed Israeli intelligence officer who said that Israel had decided to attack Hezbollah in Lebanon as a result of the Mossad kidnappings.” [Independent

“Why ‘Fauda’ Is the Best-Kept Secret on Netflix” by Itay Hod: ““Fauda” has become a favorite among Hollywood A-listers… Conan O’Brien, who is currently shooting a special in Israel, filmed a skit with [Lior] Raz, telling the “Fauda” crew that he is a “huge fan.” While few expect a TV show to erase years of animosity between Israelis and Palestinians, “Fauda” has given both sides a little bit of hope…“‘Fauda’ has achieved something  remarkable,” Itay Stern, who covers entertainment for Israeli newspaper Haaretz, told TheWrap. “On one hand, it allows us to look at ourselves from the point of view of the commando soldiers. But it also exposed people to how the other side is thinking.” … Asked what viewers should expect next season, Raz kept his cards close to his vest… The show may not lead to the next Oslo Accord, but it’s already made Raz a hot commodity in Hollywood.” [TheWrap

“The Israeli Film Condemned by Israel’s Cultural Minister Is a Fascinating Look at Grief” Jordan Hoffman: “Foxtrot, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday, begins with a ring at the front door, and young mother Dafna (Sarah Adler) fainting when she sees who it is. The two soldiers know exactly what to do… They’ve come to inform Dafna and Michael (Lior Ashkenazi, the hardest working man in the Israeli film industry right now) that their son has died in the line of duty. The next thirty minutes are a terse and precise procedural. With Dafna doped-up in the next room, Michael tries to keep it together in his elegantly furnished home as handlers explain what will happen next. Then, a miracle. It’s all been a mistake. A soldier was killed, but it isn’t their son, just someone with the same name.” [VanityFair

SPORTS BLINK: “Watch Victor Daviet snowboard in Israel” [Transworld

DESSERT: “This Israeli Startup is Making Edible NYC and Other City Maps Out of Chocolate” by Matt Coneybeare: “Founded by Anat Errell and Liat Zvi, Tamtik is an Israeli startup that is looking to bring edible maps of New York City, Tel Aviv, London and other cities to life, each made from gourmet chocolate… The company has launched a Kickstarter campaign where they are seeking a modest $10,000 of pre-orders to get the ball rolling… Tamtik has already raised about 25% of the funding for the urban chocolate maps.”[ViewingNYC

“Looking for the Last of the Power Lunchers: Are the city’s power lunchers gone forever, or just sipping fruit smoothies at Google?” by Simon van Zuylen-Wood: “At any given lunch hour at Davio’s, you’re likely to spot shopping-center mogul Stephen Karp, auto tycoon Herb Chambers, or hedge-fund master of the universe Seth Klarman. John Kerry, when he was secretary of state, was known to usher delegations of foreign diplomats into one of the restaurant’s discreet private dining rooms. Robert Kraft, meanwhile, beelines for the ever-desirable Table 60, which is visible from Arlington Street and offers a panoramic view of the dining room.” [BostonMag]

MAZEL TOV: “Stephanie Taylor Butnick and Benjamin Zachary Cohen were married Sept. 9 at the Old Westbury Golf and Country Club in Old Westbury, N.Y… The bride, 29, is the deputy editor of Tablet magazine… and host of “Unorthodox,” its weekly podcast… The groom, also 29, is a sports reporter for The Wall Street Journal in New York.” [NYTimes

BIRTHDAYS: Founder and president of Appaloosa Management, a global hedge fund based in Short Hills, New Jersey, David Tepper turns 60… Three time winner of an Academy Award as a lyricist and songwriter, Alan Bergmanturns 92… De Pere, Wisconsin resident, Janis Kohlenberg turns 78… French physicist who was awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for Physics, Serge Harocheturns 73… Pediatric nephrologist practicing at the Children’s National Medical Center, Dr. Jonathan Heiliczer turns 67… Member of the New Jersey General Assembly since 2006, Gary Schaer turns 66… Co-executive producer of an 8-hour documentary series on climate change for National Geographic Channel, formerly of ABC and CBS, Jon Meyersohn turns 61… Agoura Hills, California resident, Marian Rubinstein turns 60… Manager of the UK hedge fund, Brevan Howard Asset Management LLP, former director of the Conservative Friends of Israel, Alan Howard turns 54…

London-based, British-French financier and author, he is the CEO and founding partner of Stanhope Capital, the asset management and advisory group, Daniel Pinto turns 51… CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Mark Dubowitz turns 49… Israeli journalist, political commentator and investigative reporter, his reports have formed the basis for a number of the pending investigations aimed at PM Netanyahu and his aides, Raviv Drucker turns 47… Executive director at JP Morgan Chase, Daniel E. Berger turns 44… CEO of  government relations firm S4Group, LLC, Yehiel Mark Kalish turns 42… Graduate of Harvard now attending Cardozo Law School, Jessica S. Setless… Journalist whose essays and reports have appeared in the NY Times, Salon, Tablet, the Forward and Haaretz, Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt… Udi Ben Zeev

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

Sep
8

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: Sen. Booker now supports Taylor Force Act | Sara Netanyahu to be indicted | Contrasting North Korea and Osirak | Yasmin Lukatz interview

JI_logoCP2

JI EXCLUSIVE — After amendment, Sen. Cory Booker now supports Taylor Force Act — by Aaron Magid: With a significant change in the latest version of the Taylor Force Act, Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) will now support the effort — to cut off U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority until they cease payments to families of terrorists — after an amendment was agreed to on Thursday by the Appropriations Committee, a Booker aide told Jewish Insider. The New Jersey lawmaker was one of only four Senators to vote against the Taylor Force Act in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month. On Thursday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) included the Taylor Force Act in the Fiscal Year 2018 State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Bill.

In the updated version advanced out of the Appropriations Committee on Thursday, the text clarifies that the U.S. funding to the West Bank and Gaza would only be severed for assistance that “directly benefits the Palestinian Authority.” U.S. funding towards humanitarian projects assisting Palestinians would now be permitted, a key demand by Booker who was concerned about the impact of cutting off U.S. aid to Palestinians not involved with committing acts of terrorism… Given the scarcity of floor time in the Senate, it appears more likely that the Taylor Force Act will go to the floor through the annual Appropriations bill rather than in a standalone bill. [JewishInsider]

HEARD YESTERDAY: During a press conference with the Emir of Kuwait, President Donald Trump expressed hope that the administration’s effort to reach a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would bear fruit but was less confident than in the past. “I believe that the relationships that we have with both can help,” the President explained. ”I think the Palestinians would like to see it happen. I think the Israelis would like to see it happen. And usually, when you have two groups that would like to see something happen, good things can happen. So I think there is a chance that there could be peace.”

BUT…  “But again, I say that a little bit reluctantly.  We’re going to give it our best. We have tremendous talent working on that particular transaction. As you know, David Friedman, the ambassador, is very much involved. We have a great group of people. We’ll see what happens.” [Video]

“U.S. Rebukes Ambassador to Israel: ‘No Policy Shift’ Regarding Occupied Territories” by Amir TIbon: “Friedman said in an interview to the Jerusalem Post last week that the Israeli left-wing is opposing the “alleged occupation” of the West Bank… Heather Nauert, the State Department’s spokeswoman, was asked about Friedman’s choice of words on Thursday and replied: “Our position on that hasn’t changed. The comment does not represent a shift in U.S. policy.” When asked why the sitting American ambassador in Israel therefore used those words, she repeated the same answer, signaling that if Friedman intended to question the status of the West Bank, such an intention does not represent official American policy.” [Haaretz

“Bashing the media is how Trump tries to bond with world leaders” by Callum Borchers: “President Trump used a familiar bonding activity to commiserate with the emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Ahmed al-Sabah, during Thursday’s joint news conference at the White House. The two men shared a laugh at the media’s expense… We’ve seen this before. Trump had barely stepped off Air Force One in Tel Aviv in May when he and the Netanyahus, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin and wife Sara, broke the ice by complaining about negative media coverage in their respective countries. “The majority of the people in Israel, unlike the media, they love us,” Sara Netanyahu told Trump…. “We have something very much in common,” Trump said.” [WashPost]

NO REXIT, FOR NOW: “Tillerson is working with China and Russia — very, very quietly” by David Ignatius: “The Tillerson approach focuses on personal diplomacy, in direct contacts with Chinese and Russian leaders, and through private channels to North Korea… Tillerson appears to have preserved a working relationship with Trump despite pointedly separating himself from the president’s controversial comments after the Charlottesville unrest. Although Trump didn’t initially like Tillerson’s statement, it’s said he was ultimately comfortable with it… On Syria, Tillerson has warned Putin that the real danger to Russian interests is increasing Iranian power there…  To counter the Iranians, Tillerson supports a quick move by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces to capture the lower Euphrates Valley. Trump’s boisterous, sometimes belligerent manner and Tillerson’s reticence are an unlikely combination, and many observers have doubted the relationship can last. But Tillerson seems to roll with the punches — and tweets.” [WashPost

“Israel Has a Playbook for Dealing With North Korea” by Zev Chafets: “North Korea is now truly dangerous — unlike Iraq and Syria, it already has nuclear weapons — and it won’t get less so as time goes on. Trump has said this in no uncertain terms… But if the American president does back down, if Kim Jong Un stays in power, keeps his nuclear warheads and ballistic weapons, and gets away with threatening the U.S. and its allies with nuclear destruction, every friend and foe of Washington will be revisiting its strategic playbook. For Israel, so far away from Korea yet so close to Iranian aggression, that book begins with the Begin Doctrine.” [BloombergView

LongRead: “The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea” by Evan Osnos: “Another option is akin to Israel’s 1981 stealth attack on the Osirak nuclear reactor, the linchpin of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear-weapons development, which set back Iraq’s pursuit of nuclear weapons by at least a decade. “That’s a textbook case of a preventive war,” the senior Administration official told me. But the comparison between Osirak and North Korea is limited. In 1981, Iraq had yet to make a bomb, and it had just one major nuclear target, which was isolated in the desert and relatively easy to eliminate. North Korea already has dozens of usable nuclear warheads, distributed across an unknown number of facilities, many of them hidden underground. Even destroying their missiles on the launch pad has become much harder, because the North has developed mobile launchers and solid-fuel missiles, which can be rolled out and fired with far less advance notice than older liquid-fuel missiles.” [NewYorker]

“Airstrikes on Syrian Military Sites Renew Focus on Chemical Weapons” by David Halbfinger and Ben Hubbard: “Yaakov Amidror, a former Israeli national security adviser, said the strike on Thursday went a step further. “The big change now is that somebody decided to go to another level of hitting: to the producing stage,” he said in an interview. As is common with strikes in Syria, Israeli officials declined to comment on it. But Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman…  said in a radio interview on Thursday that Israel was determined to resist Iran’s influence in the region. “Everything will be done to prevent the existence of a Shiite corridor from Tehran to Damascus,” he said.”[NYTimes]

— “A U.S. official… confirmed that the Israelis carried out the strike.The United States had no involvement in it and was assessing the situation, the official said.” [WashPost]

Wall Street Journal editorial… The Next Middle East War: “Israel may have to make more such strikes in Syria because Iran isn’t likely to give up on this strategic opening… The danger of a proxy war or even a direct war between Iran and Israel is growing, and it will increase as Iran’s presence builds in Syria. Mr. Trump may not like it, but he needs a strategy for post-ISIS Syria that contains Iran if he doesn’t want the U.S. to be pulled back into another Middle East war.” [WSJ

JARED INSIDER: “Trump DACA decision followed months of meetings involving senior Democrat” by Richard Cowan: “No. 2 Senate Democrat Dick Durbin has had multiple conversations with Jared Kushner and other top White House officials about how to protect young immigrants known as “Dreamers” from deportation, the lawmaker said on Thursday. Durbin, in an interview with Reuters, described Kushner as a conduit to his father-in-law… Kushner… held private meetings at the White House with Durbin and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham in April and July… Besides the White House meetings, Durbin said there were telephone calls with Kushner… Durbin said that Kushner invited Trump aide Stephen Miller to attend one of the White House meetings because of his experience as a Senate aide to Jeff Sessions.” [Reuters]

“Trump Is Disgusted by White Supremacists, Paul Ryan Says, Because His Grandchildren Are Jewish” by Harriet Sinclair: “I really think he’s disgusted by these people,” [Paul] Ryan told the Times. “And from the conversations I’ve had with him, I know he’s disgusted by these people. I mean, good grief, his kids, his grandkids are Jewish,” he added. “So I think he’s disgusted by these people.” [Newsweek]

SCHUMER HONEYMOON: “Trump, jovial after debt deal, turns meeting into a freewheeling affair” by Josh Dawsey: “In an Oval Office meeting with the New York and New Jersey congressional delegations, he repeatedly shook Schumer’s hand and kept him after for a private session, his third chat with the Democrat in 30 hours… During the meeting, he repeatedly told the room how happy he was to work with Schumer on a debt deal, a move that has angered many Republicans.” [Politico

ON THE HILL — ANTI-BOYCOTT ACT: “Alan Dershowitz… told the Washington Free Beacon that Senator Gillibrand’s concerns about the Israel Anti-Boycott Act could be settled with the simple addition of a line stating “no provision of this law shall be construed in a manner that violates the First Amendment.”” [FreeBeacon]

2018 WATCH: “New primary challenger to Feinstein emerges” by Carla Marinucci: “Add another name to the list of progressive Democrats seriously considering a primary challenge to California’s senior Senator Dianne Feinstein: wealthy financial entrepreneur Joseph N. Sanberg. Sanberg, 38 – co-founder of Aspiration, a socially-conscious investment firm, and a founding investor in Blue Apron… Sanberg had been mulling a governor’s run… Now, sources close to Sanberg say he is being strongly encouraged to make a play for the Senate — and take Feinstein on from the left.” [Politico]

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Yasmin Lukatz, the daughter of Miriam Adelson, established the Israel Collaboration Network that connects the Israeli start-up community to Silicon Valley [TheMarker] • Las Vegas Sands Gives Billionaire CEO Adelson 400% Salary Bump [Bloomberg] • Michael Dell extols the benefits of going private, a year after Dell-EMC mega merger [USAToday• Israeli drone maker Airobotics raises $32.5 million in private funds  [Reuters] • David Schottenstein teams up with celebrities on sunglasses venture [ColumbusDispatch] • Israel Story podcast on why the Better Place electric car generated such excitement and inspired such devotion, and why its ultimate demise was so devastating [IsraelStory]

Michael Dell: ‘I’m Glad I Went and Met With the President’: “Dell said, as a Jewish American, he was horrified to see what happened Charlottesville… In the following days, Dell said he was in communication with other business leaders about how to respond – and then events changed. “As we were having that conversation, the president decided to just dissolve the councils,” he said.” [Newsmax

KAFE KNESSET — Boom! — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: After months of investigations, deliberations, leaks and discussions over Sara Netanyahu’s alleged criminal affairs – Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has officially announced that the PM’s wife will be indicted, She will be charged with fraud and breach of trust for allegedly diverting public funds for her own private uses. According to the AG’s statement, during 2010-2013, Netanyahu ordered hundreds of meals prepared by chefs as well as take-out meals worth NIS 360,000 (over $100,000) while employing a full-time official cook at the PM’s Residence. Netanyahu has a “partner in crime” who will also be indicted.

Ezra Saidoff, the former deputy director-general in the Prime Minister’s Office, will also be charged. Saidoff is alleged to have helped Mrs. Netanyahu present a “false representation” that there was no full-time cook at the residence. This enabled billing the external food orders to the State. Saidoff also allegedly falsified invoices to chefs and waiters invited to the residence, in order to pay more for the outside personnel and meals. The original investigation against Sara Netanyahu included three additional affairs – the electrician affair, the “father’s homecare” affair, and the garden furniture affair – all of which the AG decided not to pursue.

The indictment will not be formally issued until Sara Netanyahu goes through a hearing, but one can only imagine the atmosphere on Balfour Street this morning. At least the Netanyahus have something to look forward to. On Sunday evening, they will be taking off for an 11 day overseas trip, starting with a historic first-ever visit by an Israeli PM to Latin America. The trip will conclude in their favorite city – New York City. However, criminal news is likely to follow them abroad as well. On September 17th – the same date Netanyahu is slated to meet President Trump – the gag order expires concerning the testimony of Bibi’s former chief of staff, Ari Harow. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

PREVIEW: “Shimon Peres, in Memoir, Takes on Israel Past and Future” by Isabel Kershner: “Mr. Peres completed work on the book in his final weeks, Chemi Peres said, using it as “his last voice” … Mr. Peres sat and recorded the memoir in English to reach as wide an audience as possible, in the hope, his son said, of inspiring future leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs… The book by no means offers a full accounting or reckoning. Mr. Peres simply does not grapple with the more contentious episodes… “My father was the greatest optimist on earth,” Chemi Peres said. “He believed that the future was the only thing that mattered because the past cannot be changed.” The book, he added, was not meant to settle disputes or disagreements.” [NYTimesThe book, “No Room For Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination and the Making of Modern Israel,” will be published on Sept. 12.

“Doctors Could Do Nothing to Help Palestinian With Rare ‘Tree Man’ Disease. Then Israel Stepped In” by Benny Johnson: “Muhammad Taluli lives in Palestinian-controlled Gaza and suffers from an extremely rare skin disease called epidermodysplasia verruciformis or “Tree Man” disease… He had traveled to doctors throughout the region for help with no luck. Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian doctors all shrugged their shoulders… Then, as a last resort, Palestinian and Israeli officials agreed to admit Taluli to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Medical Center… The prospects of a difficult surgery did not stop the Jewish doctors from operating on the Muslim man… Taluli is now home in Gaza, back with his six children and free of his debilitating disease for the first time in 10 years. He returns with a large assortment of medications used to treat his skin disease. They were all personally paid for by the Jewish doctors who operated on him.” [IJR]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Rabbi says state trooper held him at gunpoint in ‘traumatizing’ ordeal” by Reuven Fenton: “The family’s horror began Aug. 7 along I-91 north near Fairlee, Vermont, Rabbi Berl Fink’s wife Sarah told The Post. Berl, who was driving, was ordered out of their 2004 Toyota Camry at gunpoint by Trooper Justin Thompson around 11:30 p.m., as their two teen kids looked on, she said… Now, the family is threatening to sue the Vermont State Police for civil rights violations. Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind said he was “appalled” over the incident and called on Vermont Gov. Phil Scott to investigate the Finks’ allegations.” [NYPost

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Philanthropist, owner of L Brands (which includes Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works), Leslie H. “Les” Wexner turns 80… United States Senator from Vermont and 2016 presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders turns 76… Pharma executive Samuel D. Waksalturns 70… Chairman of Douglas Elliman and its parent company, NYSE listed Vector Group, also chairman of Nathan’s Famous, Howard Mark Lorberturns 69… Owner of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, Jeffrey Lurie turns 66… Born in Casablanca, made aliyah in 1962, co-chair of the Jewish National Fund starting in 2012, he was previously a member of Knesset for the Likud (2003-2005) and then the Kadima party (2005-2012), Eli Aflalo turns 65… CEO of Weight Watchers since July 2017, she was the CEO of Home Shopping Network (2006-2017) after stints as an executive at Ralph Lauren (1991-2000) and then Nike (2000-2006), Mindy Grossman turns 60… British physician, neuroscientist and engineer, Professor of Engineering at the University of Cambridge, Daniel Wolpert turns 54… Billionaire, born in Azerbaijan (then part of the Soviet Union), he is reported to be the most successful real estate developer in Russia owning many luxury hotels and shopping centers, Zarakh Iliev turns 51… Australian businessman James Douglas Packer turns 50… Rabbi of Beth Sholom Congregation in Elkins Park, PA, Rabbi Andrea Merow turns 48… Aspen, Colorado resident, Adam Goldsmith turns 48… Founder in 2010 of Atlanta-based JewishGPS, LLC, designed to help guide Jewish organizations in a variety of aspects of Jewish education, Robyn Faintich turns 44… Principal and co-founder of Berlin Rosen, Jonathan Rosen turns 39… Yale University student Gabby Deutch… and her twin sister at Vanderbilt, Serena Deutch, daughters of Congressman Ted Deutch, both turn 21… The Jewish Agency’s Gilad Peled… Jay Abarbanel… Philip Ehrensaft

SATURDAY: President of Israel since 2014, former Speaker of the Knesset from 2003 to 2006, Reuven Rivlin turns 78… Real estate investor and manager, he operates seven hotels, resorts and retreats with 6,300 rooms in the Orlando metropolitan area, Harris Rosen turns 78… President of the Middle East Forum and publisher of its Middle East Quarterly journal, Daniel Pipesturns 68… Fourth president of Yeshiva University (2003-2017), Richard Joelturns 67… A founder of the Shas party, previously Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem (1983-1998) and a member of Knesset (1999-2015), he also served as a rabbi in Mexico City and Brooklyn in the 1970s, Nissim Mordechai Ze’ev turns 66… Founding president of Shalem College in Jerusalem, where he continues to teach the history of the Middle East, he is also a visiting fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Martin Kramer turns 63… Editorial director of Schocken Books (the Judaica imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, which is part of Penguin Random House), Altie Karper turns 61… Israeli businesswoman and philanthropist, reported to be the wealthiest woman in the Middle East, her holdings include Bank Hapoalim, Shari Arison turns 60… CFO since April 2017 of New Science Ventures, a NYC-based VC firm, Lloyd Eric Appel turns 54… Actor, comedian, screenwriter, film producer and musician, famous for “The Chanukah Song,” Adam Sandler turns 51… Born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland, member of Knesset for the Yesh Atid party (2013-2015), author of three books, he is now a radio host and political correspondent, Dov Lipman turns 46… Global lead at McKinsey & Company’s public and social sector practice advanced analytics group, he is the founder and former CEO of Measuring Success, Sacha Frédéric Litman turns 44… Founder of the Silverstein Group, Rustin Silverstein turns 41… SVP of Tiedemann Wealth Management since August 2017, he was previously a US Treasury official posted to Africa, Europe and the Middle East, Michael B. Greenwald turns 34… Co-founder of Mapme, now working on Spoke (a startup service desk app), Ben Lang… Beverly Hills resident, Barbara Schechter… Suzy Stone

SUNDAY: CEO of Shamrock Holdings, Roy Disney’s private investment company, he has served in leadership roles on the boards of Walt Disney Company, Tadiran, USC, HUC-JIR and the LA Jewish Federation, Stanley Gold turns 75… Huntington Beach, California resident, Dianne Varon turns 77… Attorney focused principally on the areas of futures and derivatives law, he was EVP and General Counsel at Chicago’s futures broker Rosenthal Collins Group, Gerald Fishman turns 75… Coordinator of the Youth Advisory Council at Independence, Missouri’s Truman Heartland Community Foundation, Henri Goettel turns 71… Houston attorney, Republican party activist, publisher of the Texas Conservative Review, he has served on the boards of AIPAC and Jewish Federations of North America, Gary M. Pollandturns 67… Denver attorney and politician, he served in the Colorado House of Representatives (2003-2011), Joel Judd turns 65… Award-winning journalist who has worked at Forbes, Time and Fortune magazines, he is now the editor of Mideast Dig, Richard Behar turns 57… Founder and CEO of NYC-based hedge fund JS Capital Management LLC, he is the son of George Soros, Jonathan Soros turns 47… Director of the Mid Atlantic Region of Agudath Israel, Ariel Sadwin turns 42… PR strategist Josh Nass turns 26… Jennifer Meyer

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

PHOTO: REUTERS

Kafe Knesset for September 1

Friday, September 1, 2017

The BB-Sheldon Hotline: So just how close are Bibi and Sheldon and what is the extent of the PM’s involvement in Adelson’s freebie, Israel Hayom? That was the…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Kafe Knesset for August 31

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bibi against Meni Naftali: PM Netanyahu’s Rosh Hashana toast was, as promised, quite a show. Two thousand Likud activists gathered at the Avenue Conference Center near the Ben…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Kafe Knesset for August 30

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Bibi launches Rosh Hashana toast season: It is that time of the year again, as the Jewish New Year approaches. Politicians are starting to make the rounds with…

Greenblatt meeting with Netanyahu on Tuesday - photo by Haim Zach/GPO

Kafe Knesset for August 29

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Greenblatt’s tour: The President’s special envoy, Jason Greenblatt, stayed on after the senior White House delegation visited the region last week. According to senior Israeli sources, Greenblatt is…

Photo: Amos Ben Gershom GPO

Kafe Knesset for August 28

Monday, August 28, 2017

Guterres in Jerusalem: The UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres arrived in Israel yesterday for his first visit to the region. His first meeting was last night, as he…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Kafe Knesset for August 25

Friday, August 25, 2017

Trump-Netanyahu Instagram diplomacy: The Kushner-Greenblatt-Powell short visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah hardly made headlines this morning. The niceties of the Kushner-Netanyahu meeting, and the smiles in the Ramallah…