Nov
8

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Daily Kickoff: Forbes on Josh Harris — “it all started with wrestling” | Rep. Goodlatte skeptical of anti-Semitism bill | Pantanowitz’s Brainternet

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SPOTLIGHT: “The Case Of Wilbur Ross’ Phantom $2 Billion” by Dan Alexander: “Fresh off a tour through Thailand, Laos and China, United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. picked up the phone on a Sundayafternoon in October to discuss something deeply personal: how much money he has. A year earlier, Forbes had listed his net worth at $2.9 billion on The Forbes 400, a number Ross claimed was far too low: He maintained he was closer to $3.7 billion. Now, after examining the financial-disclosure forms he filed after his nomination to President Donald Trump’s Cabinet, which showed less than $700 million in assets, Forbes was intent on removing him entirely.”

“Ross protested, citing trusts for his family that he said he did not have to disclose in federal filings. “You’re apparently not counting those, which are more than $2 billion,” he said. When asked for documentation, the 79-year-old demurred, citing “privacy issues.” Told that Forbes nonetheless planned to remove him from the list for the first time in 13 years, he responded: “As long as you explain that the reason is that assets were put into trust, I’m fine with that.” And when did he make the transfer that allowed him to not disclose over $2 billion? “Between the election and the nomination.” So began the mystery of Wilbur Ross’ missing $2 billion. And after one month of digging, Forbes is confident it has found the answer: That money never existed. It seems clear that Ross lied to us, the latest in an apparent sequence of fibs, exaggerations, omissions, fabrications and whoppers that have been going on with Forbes since 2004.” [Forbes]

PARADISE PAPERS: “How Business Titans, Pop Stars and Royals Hide Their Wealth” by Scott Shane, Spencer Woodman and Michael Forsythen: “Appleby had 31,000 American clients, the most common nationality by far. The firm’s files include a who’s who of the nation’s wealthiest citizens: prominent Democrats like James Simons, George Soros, and Penny Pritzker, commerce secretary in the Obama administration; and high-profile Republican supporters of President Trump, including Sheldon Adelson, the casino magnate, and Carl Icahn, the private equity investor.” [NYTimes

ONE YEAR LATER: “Ivanka and Jared’s First Year in Washington Has Not Gone as Expected” by Emily Jane Fox: “It has now been a year since the Trump-Kushners walked out onto the stage of the Midtown Hilton, after midnight, to the astonishing reality that Donald Trump would become the next president of the United States. The historic election commenced an equally extraordinary opportunity for two scions who had built their own careers largely upon their parents’ success. After the election, the two proceeded apace. Despite anti-nepotism laws and looming conflicts of interests, the couple quickly determined that they would re-route their ambitions through the White House, impervious to any sort of significant public-relations setback.”

“President Trump himself has repeatedly reminded the couple of what a nice life they had in New York, before they were “getting killed” by the press in D.C., several sources have said… Nonetheless, the couple has been insisting to friends in recent weeks that their family has settled in well in Washington and that they’re focused on what the administration should prioritize in 2018, according to three people who have spoken with them.” [VanityFair]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Jared Kushner, Mohammed bin Salman, and Benjamin Netanyahu Are Up to Something” by Dov Zakheim: “Trump has given his son-in-law overall leadership on the peace process between Israel and the Arabs, and he is reportedly a welcome guest in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office. Given [Jared] Kushner’s role, did Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman signal his plans when Kushner last met with him — and did Kushner then inform his father-in-law? And if so, how far will Washington, or more precisely, the White House, go to back up the Saudis if their confrontation with Iran gets hot? Or will Israel serve as Trump’s proxy? With this president, this crown prince, and the current prime minister of Israel, anything is possible.” [FP] • Abbas speaks with Saudi king about US peace efforts, reconciliation [JPost]

“The Saudi Crown Prince Is Gambling Everything on Three Major Experiments” by Hussein Ibish: “The Hariri resignation is likely tied to significant gains made by Iran and its key ally, Lebanese Hezbollah, in securing, along with their Iraqi allies and clients, key areas in northern and western Iraq… and in eastern Syria… These developments are a potential strategic game-changer in the Middle East, and the Saudi response, apparently, is to go after Iran and Hezbollah in their central and original locus of power in the Arab world: Lebanon. With the removal of Hariri, who is perceived in Riyadh as having been too accommodating to Hezbollah, the prospect of an all-out political war to destabilize Hezbollah’s dominance of the Lebanese state seems set.” [TheAtlantic]

In newly revealed recording, Kerry blames Israel for stalled peace talks: “Israel’s Channel 10 on Tuesday published a recording, purportedly made at a conference in Dubai during this past year, in which [John] Kerry can be heard praising the Palestinian Authority for its commitment to nonviolence… “The Palestinians have done an extraordinary job of remaining committed to nonviolence. And in fact, when the [knife] intifada took place they delivered nonviolence in the West Bank,” Kerry says. “This is overlooked by the general [Israeli] population because it is not a topic of discussion. Why? Because the majority of the cabinet currently in the current Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state,” he adds.” [JNS]

REPORT: “Israeli envoy to US questioned in Netanyahu graft probe” by Raoul Wootliff:“[Ambassador Ron] Dermer, considered a close associate of Netanyahu, confirmed to police that, on the direction of the prime minister, he asked then-secretary of state John Kerry to help organize a visa for Arnon Milchan, Hadashot news (formerly Channel 2) reported Tuesday… The television station also reported that the US State Department is preventing Israeli investigators from gathering testimony from former US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro over the visa request.” [ToI]

KAFE KNESSET — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Dermer is the last in a long list of Netanyahu’s advisors who have found themselves part of the several probes… The Dermer report prompted Netanyahu to issue a response attributed to “sources close to the PM,” in which he first admits that he acted to help Milchan with the US visa, but claims that he did it for the sake of the security of Israel. “The wave of lewd and illegal leaks continues – this time in an attempt to discredit the Prime Minister only because he fulfilled his obligation to safeguard the security of the State of Israel,” the sources said. “The reason that Milchan’s visa was denied was media reports about his contribution to Israeli security. It is inconceivable that a person who helped Israel’s security would be harmed by this contribution and that a Prime Minister in Israel would remain indifferent to it. The Prime Minister also addressed foreign governments in the matter of Meir Dagan and others who contributed to the security of Israel.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

SIGHTING: Israeli PM was spotted leaving exclusive Mayfair nightclub LouLou’s — by Charlie Bayliss: “Benjamin Netanyahu was flanked by bodyguards as he made his way out the West London nightclub, which has been host to Princes William and Harry, Mick Jagger, Kate Moss and George Clooney… The exact nature of the 68-year-old’s visit to the nightclub is unknown, but he had been in London to celebrate the centenary of the Balfour declaration – which paved the way for a Jewish state.” [DailyMail]

ON THE HILL — House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte signals skepticism about anti-Semitism bill — by Aaron Magid: In a contentious debate yesterday before the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) appeared to demonstrate concern regarding the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act. In December of 2016, the Senate unanimously passed the bill introduced by Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC). However, the House legislation, sponsored by Representatives Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Peter Roskam (R-IL), has remained stalled in the jurisdiction of the Judiciary Committee, headed by Goodlatte, and never received a vote…

Goodlatte revealed his preference to delay the bill and noted that President Donald Trump nominated Kenneth Marcus, an advocate for the usage of the State Department’s definition of anti-Semitism, to the Department of Justice’s civil rights division. Goodlatte asked that if he is confirmed, “Might it be best to wait and see the results of using such a definition before Congress codifies the statute?” [JewishInsider]

–Jake Sherman tweets: “In Playbook — other Virginia news — House Judiciary chairman  BOB GOODLATTE thought to be retiring.” [Twitter]

In letter, Congress slams Tillerson for closing sanctions office — by Aaron Magid: In a bipartisan rebuke of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, 27 members of Congress are urging the State Department to preserve the office of the Coordinator for Sanctions Policy. According to the letter, first obtained by Jewish Insider, the lawmakers note that restoring the office “would also demonstrate this administration’s commitment to a comprehensive and coordinated interagency sanctions policy.” [JewishInsider]

HAPPENING TODAY — At 10:00 AM: The House Subcommittee on National Security will hold a hearing to discuss the benefits and challenges of relocating the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel-Aviv to the capital of Jerusalem. John Bolton, Mort Klein, Dore Gold, Eugene Kontorovich, and Michael Koplow will testify. [CSPAN]

HEADLINE: “Despite Trump’s misgivings, nuclear negotiator and watchdog say Iran deal works” by Carol Morello: “As Congress contemplates what actions to take, [Federica] Mogherini said she is talking with lawmakers to ensure that any changes would not violate the existing agreement. “I got clear indications that the intention is to keep the United States compliant with the agreement,” she told reporters at a news conference. Mogherini also pushed back against widespread criticism of the deal’s “sunset provisions” of varying lengths… “Article 3 says Iran will never develop a nuclear weapon,” she said.” [WashPost]

ELECTION RECAP — by Jacob Kornbluh: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio became the first Democratic mayor to win reelection since Ed Koch. In the race to replace outgoing Councilman David Greenfield in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Borough Park/Flatbush, Kalman Yeger defeated his opponent Yoni Hikind, the son of Assemblyman Dov Hikind, by a 2-1 margin. In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy easily beat Republican Kim Guadagno by 14 points. Of note, Murphy was supported in the town of Lakewood, New Jersey, a community that previously  voted for Christie and Trump. In Virginia, the Democratic candidate for Governor, Ralph Northam scored a big win. In Pennsylvania, Democrat Larry Krasner was elected Philadelphia District Attorney.

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Murray Koffler, Shoppers Drug Mart founder, dies at 93 [TheStarGlobe&Mail] • Heather Reisman’s Indigo Books & Music has announced plans to expand to the US [NewsaramaHuffPost] • For Black Cube, a network of for-hire ex-Israeli spies, information is big money [LATimes] • Carl Icahn, the Car Guy: Why He Bets on Hertz, Lyft and Pep Boys [Bloomberg• New York Observer’s 2017 Content Kings [Observer] • How Schwarzman, Leon Black and A-Rod Spent Their Monday Night [Bloomberg]

PROFILE: “It All Started With Wrestling, Says Billionaire Owner of Philadelphia 76ers” by Jennifer Wang: “Billionaire financier Josh Harris wears many hats. At his “day job,” he serves as the senior managing director of private equity giant Apollo Global Management, a $242 billion (assets) firm that he cofounded in 1990. When he’s off the clock, he checks in on his trio of professional sports teams: the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, NHL’s New Jersey Devils, and English Premier League’s Crystal Palace F.C. An avid athlete, he also invests in nutrition and fitness research and participates in marathons and triathlons.”

The Wall Street veteran credits his past as a wrestler for his legendary work ethics. A native of Chevy Chase, Maryland, Harris always played sports growing up — Little League, basketball, soccer — but a chance encounter with wrestling when he was 9-years-old got him hooked. “I had never done it, but I won this tournament at my [summer] camp,” says Harris. “So when you’re 9 and that happens, you get all excited.” [Forbes]

RISING STAR: “How This Bioengineer Linked a Human Brain to the Internet” by Tafline Laylin: “Before meeting Adam Pantanowitz in a ritzy alcove of Johannesburg, my brain is buzzing — and for good reason. At 33, the Wits University lecturer has designed an interface that connects the human brain to the internet. I’m thinking: Why would you do that, unless you’re an evil genius in a sci-fi movie? Only Pantanowitz’s intentions are sound and, dare I say, noble. By using his Brainternet — a device he first conceived of four years ago but just recently developed with two senior biomedical engineering students — he’s made it possible to convert brain waves into signals and stream them into cyberspace, a tech that offers practical, health-based applications.” [Ozy]

STARTUP NATION: “An Israeli startup claims Apple said it could copy the startup’s camera technology with few consequences” by Jan Wolfe: “An Israeli startup has sued Apple, accusing the iPhone maker of copying its patented smartphone camera technology. Tel Aviv-based Corephotonics… said its patented dual-camera technology for mobile devices was incorporated by Apple in the iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus without its authorization. According to the lawsuit, Corephotonics Chief Executive David Mendlovic approached Apple about a partnership. Apple praised the startup’s technology but refused to license it.” [BusinessInsider]

“Real estate startup Compass nabs $100M at a $1.8B valuation” by Ingrid Lunden: “Ori Allon’s  real-estate startup Compass is announcing that it has raised another $100 million — money that it plans to use to expand its sales and rental listings service to every major city in the U.S., as well as build new CRM technology to integrate client, listings and transactions data. The Series E values the company at a whopping $1.8 billion.” [TechCrunch• Tel Aviv-based User-Based Marketing Startup Yotpo raises $51 Million [CTech]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Jerusalem protests look to preserve ultra-Orthodox lifestyle” by Associated Press’ Aron Heller: “Experts say tomorrow’s ultra-Orthodox will look much different from the community that mainstream Israel fears today. “If you are expecting everything to change tomorrow morning — that is not going to happen. But if this is done quietly and it is not forced upon us, it will happen on its own,” said Gidon Katz, an ultra-Orthodox Jew who runs and advertising and public relations agency in Jerusalem… Gilad Malach, an institute researcher who specializes in the community, said such fears are exaggerated. He believes the modernizing effect will make the Haredi community far more educated and employable, much the way ultra-Orthodox communities in the United States and Europe have adapted.” [AP]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Baltimore County votes to keep schools closed on Jewish holidays” by Talia Richman: “The Baltimore County school board voted Tuesday to approve an academic calendar that keeps schools closed next year on the Jewish High Holy Days… The 9-3 vote follows the order of Gov. Larry Hogan that public schools in Maryland begin after Labor Day and end by June 15. The requirement, aimed at extending the summer and boosting state tourism, has forced some districts to compress their academic calendars.”[BaltimoreSun]

“Kiryas Joel to become ‘Palm Tree,’ the first Haredi town in America” by Yair Ettinger: “In a referendum in the town of Monroe… a majority of residents voted to separate from the well-known village of Satmar Hassidic sect Jews, Kiryas Joel. The Yiddish-speaking village, founded in the 1970s, will become a separate town in 2020, which will be the first Haredi city in the United States. The city will be called Palm Tree, an English translation of the Rebbe’s surname – Teitelbaum.” [JPost]

BIRTHDAYS: United States Attorney for New Jersey (1971-1973), then US District Court Judge (1973-1987), now a criminal defense attorney, Herbert Jay Stern turns 81… Actress, comedian and writer, she played the recurring role of Doris Klompus on Seinfeld, Annie Korzen turns 79… Vice Chairman and CEO of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, he was a senior White House aide to President Bill Clinton (1993-1998), Ira Magaziner turns 70… Senior Advisor for Global Government Affairs to the Blackstone Group, Wayne Berman turns 61… Chartered Financial Analyst in the San Francisco Bay Area, Michael Sosebee turns 61… Michelle Silverstein turns 60… Major General in the IDF, his military career (1977-2012) included heading the Southern Command, now the Minister of Construction and member of Knesset for the Kulanu party, Yoav Galant turns 59…

Manhattan attorney, Charles “Chesky” Wertman turns 55… Senior Director of Bono’s The ONE Campaign, Laurie Moskowitz turns 53… Past President of University Women at the American Jewish University in Los Angeles,Allison Gingold turns 49… Popular Israeli female vocalist in the Mizrahi music genre, Zehava Ben turns 49… Teacher, writer, editor and diversity consultant, she is the CEO of Boston-based Dimensions Educational Consulting, she founded and led Ayecha (a nonprofit advocacy group for Jews of color), Yavilah McCoy turns 45… Allan Waxman

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Nov
7

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Daily Kickoff: Interview with Danny Danon | The Mooch going to Israel | Natalie Portman awarded Genesis Prize | Tel Aviv, ‘Vegan capital of the world’

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TOP TALKER: “Harvey Weinstein’s Army of Spies: The film executive hired private investigators, including ex-Mossad agents, to track actresses and journalists” by Ronan Farrow: “In the fall of 2016, Harvey Weinstein… began to hire private security agencies to collect information on the women and the journalists trying to expose the allegations… The firms that Weinstein hired included Kroll, which is one of the world’s largest corporate-intelligence companies, and Black Cube, an enterprise run largely by former officers of Mossad and other Israeli intelligence agencies. Black Cube, which has branches in Tel Aviv, London, and Paris, offers its clients the skills of operatives “highly experienced and trained in Israel’s elite military and governmental intelligence units,” according to its literature. Two private investigators from Black Cube, using false identities, met with the actress Rose McGowan, who eventually publicly accused Weinstein of rape, to extract information from her…”

“‘Last fall, Weinstein began mentioning Black Cube by name in conversations with his associates and attorneys. The agency had made a name for itself digging up information for companies in Israel, Europe, and the U.S. that led to successful legal judgments against business rivals. But the firm has also faced legal questions about its employees’ use of fake identities and other tactics… One [contract]. dated July 11, 2017… states that the project’s “primary objectives” are to “provide intelligence which will help the Client’s efforts to completely stop the publication of a new negative article in a leading NY newspaper” and to “obtain additional content of a book which currently being written and includes harmful negative information on and about the Client,” who is identified as Weinstein in multiple documents. (In one e-mail, a Black Cube executive asks lawyers retained by the agency to refer to Weinstein as “the end client” or “Mr. X,” noting that referring to him by name “will make him extremely angry.”).” [NewYorker

KAFE KNESSET — The Submarine Affair — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: After two days of guessing and hinting as to whom the Police detained in their investigation of the Submarine Affair, the court-imposed gag order expired this morning. The headlines broke the news revealing the identity of the last Netanyahu confidant to visit the Police investigation rooms: Isaac Molcho. Molcho was arrested on Sunday and has been questioned for over 20 hours, two days in a row, on suspicion of fraud and breach of trust as part of the File 3000, a/k/a the Submarine Affair.

The Molcho interrogation occurred while his partner, lawyer David Shimron, was questioned in a separate room. Shimron represented the German shipyard ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel. According to media reports, Molcho claimed he had no connection to the affair whatsoever, but his addition to the long list of Netanyahu associates involved in various criminal affairs is notable, and also sheds light on his decision to retire from his job as Bibi’s special envoy, just last week. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

INTRIGUE: “Why is the head of the OU Kashrut department in Qatar?” by Yair Ettinger: “A small group of Jewish leaders is currently visiting the Gulf state… The senior rabbinic figure on the delegation is Menachem Genack… head of the Orthodox Union’s (OU) Kashrut Division. The trip was organized by Nick Muzin, a prominent Jewish Republican operative who is on retainer by the Persian Gulf nation to establish ties with the American Jewish community. The group is scheduled to meet with the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Allen Fagin, the OU’s Executive Vice President, said that Genack’s visit was private and was not connected to his work with the Jewish organization.” [JPost

JI INTERVIEW — Danny Danon, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN — by Jacob Kornbluh: So has the UN job tamed the once Likud hardliner? “Absolutely,” Danon tells Jewish Insider in an interview at his 2nd Avenue office. “I understand world diplomacy much better because that is what I do all day. You deal with global issues all day long, so your understanding is much better, but I didn’t change my values…” Contrasting the Obama administration and the Trump administration, Danon said, “I was sitting in the Security Council when the U.S. allowed the shameful resolution to pass in last December. It was a low moment between Israel and the US that the U.S. actually pushed for that resolution to pass. And today we have a great friend, Ambassador Haley, who stands with Israel.”

While in the U.S., Danon meets quite regularly with American Jewish business leaders and donors, but insists that he is not following Bibi’s model of using the position to develop personal alliances since he has already served as a Knesset Member and in the cabinet. “I know the Jewish community from before and I’m also a little bit older than the Prime Minister when he was in this position,” Danon explained. “I had connections with donors in the past. And actually, to be frank, we met on more occasions when I was in Israel. I’m in New York now. I don’t get to travel a lot outside of New York.”

Lightning Round: Favorite activity in private time? “I enjoy walking in Central Park on Shabbat, when it’s not too cold. I like to walk fast. I can allow myself to jog a little bit.” Favorite Broadway play? “I would say Fiddler on the Roof was the most exciting one I saw.” Favorite New York dish? “Deli sandwiches. You don’t get them in Israel.” Read the full interview here [JewishInsider]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) discussed the need for bipartisanship on Israel even in the age of Trump during a panel at the final session of the IAC conference: “I can’t think of anything more important than making sure that support for Israel continues to be a bipartisan objective because Israel has one friend in the world and Israel will be in much worse shape if Israel has only one half of one friend in the world. There is a Trump derangement syndrome [within the Democratic Party] – that whenever Trump says anything we have to be the opposite… We have to make sure that America is pro-Israel regardless of who is in Congress and who is in the White House and resist the Trump derangement syndrome.”

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC): “We have a new president with Donald Trump whose first focus is not on some type of vague peace process. His focus is to establish and maintain a strong relationship with the State of Israel, and it’s so refreshing that instead of focusing on something that can’t even be identified, that we have a president who has made it clear that he wants to work with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu… Hey, President Trump is for Israel, and he wants to reverse the tragic lack of veto that occurred last December.”

Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer: Trump’s speechaddressing the Iran nuclear deal “was the second best day since I have been ambassador.”

Dermer on the peace process: “I’m more optimistic now because I see a change in the region. The Arab governments are in a different place than they were five years ago, certainly ten years or 15 years ago, because they see our interests as being aligned with theirs… Many things are happening underneath the surface, many remarkable things.”

“Egypt’s al-Sisi says Israelis ‘can be convinced of peace'” by Roi Kais: “We are trying, together with all sides who can contribute their part to this issue. The United States is the main world power that can steer the peace process toward a better future,” the Egyptian president said during the interview with the Arabic London-based [Asharq Al-Awsat] newspaper… “We, the Arabs, can convince public opinion in Israel of the advantages of peace…  The region is in need of peace because its absence has cost the region a high price and is draining its energy.” [Ynet]

“As Trump Goes, So Goes Netanyahu: Why is a master political survivor like the Israeli prime minister mimicking the moves of the rookie U.S. president?” by Daniel Gordis: “Netanyahu has clearly noted that Trump’s tactics are working… Trump’s unpredictability is also an enormous challenge for Netanyahu as he seeks to protect Israel in a turbulent region that the president clearly does not understand. It seems that the prime minister has opted for fawning as a protection against any future dustup with the American president. It is clever, and in the short run, it may work for Israel. But the dangers of this strategy are far-reaching. Trump’s attacks on the press, the judiciary and even America’s culture of civility will do damage, but that can be undone by the leaders who will follow. Israel’s democracy, however, is not two-and-a-half centuries old; it is less than 70.” [BloombergView]

DRIVING THE CONVO: “‘Game of Thrones’ Comes to Saudi Arabia” by Elliott Abrams: “Crown Prince Mohammed has spoken of a more modern Saudi Arabia, at least when it comes to the role of religion and the rights of women… But political liberalization is not in the cards… Few were in doubt about Crown Prince Mohammed’s ambition. Now there will be equal certainty about his determination. Those who think he’s going to fail, or hope he does, are on notice. This modernizer thinks the path forward is an absolute monarchy. Get out of his way.” [NYTimes]

“Is Saudi Arabia Pushing Israel Into War With Hezbollah and Iran?” by Daniel B. Shapiro: “With Assad clearly having survived the challenge posed by Saudi-backed rebels, the Saudi leadership may hope to move its confrontation with Iran from Syria to Lebanon. By pulling Hariri out of his office, they may hope to ensure that Hezbollah gets stuck with the blame and responsibility for Lebanon’s challenges… That could, the Saudis may believe, lead Hezbollah to seek an accelerated confrontation with Israel as a means of unifying Lebanese support for their dominance.” [Haaretz]

REPORT — Israel aligns with Saudis against Iran in Lebanon: “According to Channel 10, following Hariri’s resignation, Israel’s Foreign Ministry sent a message to all Israeli embassies around the world, instructing them to appeal to the highest political echelons in their host countries, asking that the nations of the world oppose the interference in Lebanon’s internal politics by the Hezbollah terrorist organization. The directive is unusual as it involves the internal politics of another country… The Foreign Ministry also asked Israel’s ambassadors to convey an unusual message of support for Saudi Arabia in light of the war it is engaged in against Iranian proxies in Yemen.” [INNTwitter] • Iran’s foreign minister blames Jared Kushner for fueling Middle East turmoil [BI]

THE MOOCH GOES TO ISRAEL — OJC Announces Executive VIP Tour of Israel with Wall Street Mogul Anthony Scaramucci: “The Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce… has announced that it will host a trip to Israel on Sunday, November 19th through Wednesday, November 22nd. Former WH comms director Anthony Scaramucci will be a guest on the trip… “Our excitement to partner with Anthony Scaramucci in this quest knows no bounds,” says Duvi Honig, Founder and CEO of the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce.” [JewishPress]

** 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: Activist William Ackman Loses Bid for ADP Board Seats [WSJBusinessInsider] • Signature Bank’s Scott Shay: What You Should Know Before Joining a Board [Entrepreneur] • Jon Steinberg’s Cheddar and WeWork form remote studio partnership [Axios] • Isaac Chetrit shopping Diamond District buildings for $200M [RealDeal]

MEDIA WATCH: “21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Disney” by David Faber: “21st Century Fox has been holding talks to sell most of the company to Walt Disney Co., leaving behind a media company tightly focused on news and sports, according to people familiar with the situation.” [CNBC] • Disney CEO Bob Iger Would Forever Secure His Legacy With Fox Deal [TheStreet]

HOLLYWOOD: “Natalie Portman Honored in Israel With ‘Jewish Nobel Prize'” by Josef Federman: “Natalie Portman has been awarded Israel’s 2018 Genesis Prize in recognition of her commitment to social causes and deep connection to her Jewish and Israeli roots… The $1 million award, known as “the Jewish Nobel Prize,” is granted each year to a person recognized as an inspiration to the next generation of Jews through professional achievement and commitment to Jewish values. The Oscar-winning actress said she was “deeply touched and humbled” by the recognition.” [AP]

TALK OF THE NATION: “The Quiet Religious-Freedom Fight That Is Remaking America” by Emma Green: “Seventeen years ago, Congress unanimously passed a law, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, to prevent cities and towns from using zoning as a weapon against groups that want space to worship. At the time, everyone cheered a rare moment of legislative success. In practice, though, few congregations have the time, knowledge, money, or energy to pursue the legal process set up by RLUIPA, leaving many in a desperate limbo with no place to pray…”

“The congressional testimony on RLUIPA  includes alarming anecdotes about local officials acting with hostility toward religious bodies. One New Jersey lawyer recounted a hearing on an Orthodox Jewish group’s zoning application where an objector stood up, turned to the yarmulke-wearing crowd, and said, “Hitler should have killed more of you.” These cases of outright bias get the most attention from the U.S. Department of Justice, which has the power to enforce RLUIPA.” [TheAtlantic]

TRANSITION — Eric Trager‏ joined the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s majority staff as the professional staff member covering the Middle East and North Africa. [Twitter]

DESSERT: “What happened to the big Jewish delis in Chicago?” by Louisa Chu: “”I think, in the next couple of years, we’re going to start seeing an influx of maybe not-so-traditional Jewish delis,” said [Max] Stern. “Places where you can get classic deli sandwiches and some other things. More of a modern ‘world’ deli instead of just a modern Jewish deli.” … Chicago has never been known as a deli town, but Chicagoland has in fact sustained dozens of neighborhood delis in the city and suburbs for decades. If the new generation of deli owners and diners has its say, we may yet become a “newish” Jewish-style delicatessen destination.” [ChicagoTribune]

“This is the vegan capital of the world” by Jasmine Phull: “In Tel Aviv, “there is a real emphasis on freshness of produce,” says vegan restaurant owner Merav Barzilay. Though he founded Meshek Barzilay on an organic farm 15 years ago, he says it was an easy choice to move to the city. Tel Aviv’s proximity to fresh vegetables “means a customer can eat a tomato the same day it was picked in the field.” [Independent]

BIRTHDAYS: Neuropsychiatrist, a 1944 graduate of Yeshiva of Flatbush and 2009 Nobel Prize laureate in Medicine, Eric Kandel turns 88… United States Senator from Minnesota (1978-1991) and now on the boards of AIPAC and JINSA, Rudy Boschwitz turns 87… Stage, screen and television actor, Barry Newman turns 79… MIT professor in electrical engineering and computer science, Barbara Liskov turns 78… Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (2002-2010), the last four years of which he served as Vice Chairman, Donald Kohn turns 75… University Professor of the Humanities at Harvard, expert on Shakespeare and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Stephen Greenblatt turns 74… Professor of music at the Norwegian Academy of Music and founding member of jazz ensemble Moscow Art Trio,Mikhail Alperin turns 61… Canadian entrepreneur and CEO of Canadian Arctic luxury apparel company, Canada Goose, Dani Reiss turns 44…

Senior director of corporate reputation at GE, she was previously a deputy press secretary in the Obama White House (2014-2017), Jennifer B. Friedmanturns 37… RN at Johns Hopkins Hospital following multiple media stints, Avi Zenilman turns 33… Campaign reporter at Politico, focused on House and Senate races, she was formerly a news assistant at the New York Times, Elena Schneider turns 27… Toronto-native, he is the founder and CEO of Count Me In, a global youth empowerment organization, Shane Feldman turns 23… Co-Founder and CEO at NYX Technologies, Tomer Aharonovitch… Principal at Foothill Enterprises, Mary Streit

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Daily Kickoff: Paradise Papers | Adelson wants IAC to be AIPAC alternative but do Israeli-Americans? | WeWork’s WeGrow school pilots at Chabad in NYC

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION — PARADISE PAPERS: “The world’s biggest businesses, heads of state and global figures in politics, entertainment and sport who have sheltered their wealth in secretive tax havens are being revealed this week in a major new investigation into Britain’s offshore empires. The details come from a leak of 13.4m files that expose the global environments in which tax abuses can thrive – and the complex and seemingly artificial ways the wealthiest corporations can legally protect their wealth.” [TheGuardian]

“Paradise Papers: Leaks Show Wilbur Ross Hid Ties to Putin Cronies” by Richard Engel and Aggelos Petropoulos: “Ross — a billionaire industrialist — retains an interest in a shipping company, Navigator Holdings, that was partially owned by his former investment company. One of Navigator’s most important business relationships is with a Russian energy firm controlled, in turn, by Putin’s son-in-law and other members of the Russian president’s inner circle… Ross, through a Commerce Department spokesperson, issued a statement saying that he recuses himself as secretary from any matters regarding transoceanic shipping.” [NBCNews]

“Kremlin Cash Behind Billionaire’s Twitter and Facebook Investments” by Jesse Drucker: “Leaked files show that a state-controlled bank in Moscow helped to fuel Yuri Milner’s ascent in Silicon Valley, where the Russia investigation has put tech companies under scrutiny… Milner has also been active beyond Silicon Valley. He is a founder of the Breakthrough Prize, a series of lucrative scientific awards. And in July 2015, he was one of several high-profile investors in Cadre, a New York-based real estate technology company founded by Jared Kushner and his brother, Joshua. He said he was introduced to the company through an early investor whose name he did not remember. He said he met Jared Kushner only once, at a conference in Aspen, Colo.” [NYTimes] • Yuri Milner says he was not working for Russia to turn social media against U.S. democracy [Recode

— Flashback to 2011: How Russian Tycoon Yuri Milner Bought His Way Into Silicon Valley [Wired]

“Everything you need to know about Glencore, Dan Gertler and their interest in DRC” by Ben Doherty: “The world’s largest mining company, Glencore, secretly loaned tens of millions of dollars to an Israeli billionaire after it enlisted him to secure a controversial mining agreement in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Paradise Papers reveal. The documents show in forensic detail how the mining magnate Dan Gertler held Glencore’s imprimatur as key negotiator with DRC authorities.” [TheGuardianTheTimes]

“Papadopoulos And Flynn Client Both Tied To Israeli Energy Consortium” by Borzou Daragahi: “Last year, while serving as a Trump foreign policy adviser, [George] Papadopoulos appeared on an Israeli energy conference panel that included Yigal Landau, CEO of Ratio Oil Exploration, one of several Israeli and US firms that are part of the consortium exploiting Leviathan…. Ratio had a business relationship with Kamil Ekim Alptekin. The Dutch-Turkish businessman has been subpoenaed by Mueller’s investigators in connection to his hiring of [Mike] Flynn’s consulting firm… While there is no evidence of a connection between the panel and the energy deal, Alptekin’s firm Inovo and Ratio signed a consulting deal on April 13 last year.” [BuzzFeed]

TOP TALKER: “The Saudi crown prince just made a very risky power play” by David Ignatius: “Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he’s cracking down on corruption. But the sweeping arrests of cabinet ministers and senior princes Saturday night looked to many astonished Arab observers like a bold but risky consolidation of power. MBS is emboldened by strong support from President Trump and his inner circle, who see him as a kindred disrupter of the status quo — at once a wealthy tycoon and a populist insurgent. It was probably no accident that last month, Jared Kushner, Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law, made a personal visit to Riyadh. The two princes are said to have stayed up until nearly 4 a.m. several nights, swapping stories and planning strategy.” [WashPost]

“US optimistic about Mideast peace deal” by Uri Savir: “According to a senior US diplomat, the administration conveyed to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that it will not intervene against the new Palestinian agreement and that it demands the disarming of Hamas, yet not overnight… According to the American source, the US administration goal is to keep on one side a very pro-Israel line, and on the other to advance rapprochement with Egypt (and Saudi Arabia) as a counterbalance to Iran. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is scheduled to visit Riyadh again in the coming days.” [Al-Monitor

“Netanyahu rejects one-state solution, says settlements are a ‘side issue’” by Raphael Ahren: “No, I don’t want a one-state solution, I’ll be clear about that. And I’m unabashed about saying that,” [Netanyahu replied to BBC] interviewer Andrew Marr’s question about the death of the two-state solution. “But I want to make sure that what we have next to us is something that will not threaten our lives… I think you have to be more specific and say no, what we want is the recognition, finally, after a hundred years, after the Balfour Declaration, finally recognize the Jewish state.”

“Asked for his opinion of Trump, Netanyahu focused on the president’s view on Iran. “I think he has leadership qualities and I think sees in the Middle East something different,” the prime minister said… [Trump] “sees Iran as the problem,” Netanyahu said.” [ToIBBC]

As US prepares to leave UNESCO, envoy urges deep reforms: “The chief U.S. envoy at UNESCO says anti-Israel bias and opaque bureaucracy are hobbling the U.N. cultural agency and is urging deep reforms. Chris Hegadorn made the appeal Saturday at the agency’s Paris headquarters… Hegadorn said the decision to leave “wasn’t taken lightly” but was necessary because of budget reasons, UNESCO’s inclusion of Palestine as a member and countries using the agency to advance their political agendas.” [AP]

HEARD THE OTHER NIGHT — U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley at the Israeli-American Council’s (IAC) annual gathering in Washington, DC: “The same day we announced our withdrawal from UNESCO, Israel announced it would also withdraw. At first glance, it would seem like this should have been an even easier call for Israel than it was for America… The same reasoning that led Israel to withdraw from UNESCO could be applied to just about every UN organization, including the General Assembly. To its great credit, Israel has stayed committed to the United Nations. This small nation shows the collected nations of the world more deference and respect than they deserve. And the reason is because Israel knows it needs to stay and fight for its interests – and for its survival.”

Israel’s Education Minister Naftali Bennett in a discussion with Jewish Journal Editor-in-Chief David Suissa on the Israeli-Diaspora relationship last night: “One of the first weeks I was living in Manhattan with my wife, we came upon a sign saying ‘Come to the Beginner’s Minyan,” and it was a very different experience from Israel. No one looked at the color of my yarmulke or what my wife was wearing, it was just a feeling of – if you are Jewish, you are welcome. That’s something we need to bring to Israel.”

“Breaking With Script, Adelson Portrays IAC As A Hardline AIPAC Alternative” by Josh Nathan-Kazis: “In blunt remarks Sunday night, Sheldon Adelson erased any doubt about his intentions for the Israeli-American Council, the nationwide group into which he has pumped more than $10 million over the past three years: He’s building a harder-line alternative to AIPAC.” [Forward]

“Adelson Has Hijacked the Israeli-American Community for His Hard-right Agenda” by Chemi Shalev: “For cash-strapped groups such as the Israeli Scouts Movement in America, the possibility of surviving with the help of Adelson’s handouts was an offer they could not refuse. For homesick Israelis seeking a genuine taste of home, the IAC’s galas and activities were irresistible… The only remaining question is how the thousands of Israelis who naively joined IAC and its activities out of a mistaken belief that it is only a benevolent apolitical group will react, now that they have been apprised of their true purpose. Even though many hold views that are diametrically opposed to Adelson’s, they are now, as his wife Miriam said, “our soldiers.” [Haaretz]

TALK OF THE REGION: “Lebanon’s Prime Minister resigns, plunging nation into new political crisis” by Chandrika Narayan: “In a televised address from Riyadh, [Saad] Hariri said he feared an assassination plot and accused Iran of meddling in the region, causing “devastation and chaos.” “Iran controls the region and the decision-making in both Syria and Iraq,” he said… Iran dismissed the reports, accusing the United States and Saudi Arabia of orchestrating the resignation.” [CNN]

PROFILE: “Is Tom Cotton the Future of Trumpism?” by Jeffrey Toobin: ““I told the President in July that he shouldn’t certify that Iran was complying with the agreement,” Cotton told me. “Putting aside the issue of technical compliance or noncompliance, it’s clear that the agreement is not in our national interest.” Following Trump’s action, Cotton joined forces with Senator Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, on a proposal that, if passed, would likely lead to the termination of the Iran nuclear deal and the reimposition of American sanctions…”

“Cotton appears to be a hybrid of insurgent and oldguard, who can play successfully to the warring constituencies of the Republican Party. As Bannon put it, “How many guys in town can give a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations and also get kudos in the pages of Breitbart? The answer is, one guy.”” [NewYorker]

“Bannon Protégée Gets a New Job in the White House—and It’s Not Going Well” by Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng: “In the months since (Bannon’s ouster), [Julia] Hahn has managed to hold on. But her position in the Trump administration has changed. Previously, she had worked as an aide to Bannon, advising on immigration policy… But her boss’s departure killed the specific office she worked for, and she quickly started expressing her wish to be transitioned into a communications role… It appears she got her wish. According to a source familiar with her situation, the former Breitbart rabble-rouser has, for the past few weeks, been working with the White House comms team, with a focus on outreach to conservative media outlets… Hahn also still works closely with Miller, particularly when pitching outlets on immigration-related stories.” [DailyBeast]

DRIVING THE WEEK: A Bob Menendez-shaped cloud” by Jonathan Swan: “The jury could reach a decision any day now, and the case looms large over the Senate… This is a huge deal for the Senate and there will be many open questions if Menendez is convicted. What happens if Menendez appeals it? What will Mitch McConnell, who will play a key role, do? How will Chuck Schumer and Menendez’s Democratic colleagues respond? Would they call for Menendez to step down?” [Axios

STATE VISIT: Missouri Gov. Greitens headed to Israel for trade mission: “Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is going on a trade mission to Israel. Greitens [left] Sunday for the trip to meet with government officials and leaders in business and education… Greitens is Missouri’s first Jewish governor. The Hawthorn Foundation and Republican Jewish Coalition are paying for the trip.” [AP]

KAFE KNESSET — The noose tightens around Bibi — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Netanyahu never really gets any quality time off. And, as has happened in the past, his historic visit to London was disrupted by some legal news from home that surely did not make him happy. Early yesterday morning, the police detained his lawyer, David Shimron, and another close associate whose name is still protected by a gag order, for a 15 hour interrogation about File 3000, a/k/a the Submarine Affair.

This morning, the Israel Securities Agency’s investigation team announced its recommendation to indict two Netanyahu allies for fraud, violation of conflicts of interest rules and insider information sharing: One of the two men indicted is Shlomo Filber, Netanyahu’s confidant and Communications Ministry Director-General. The other person indicted is telecommunications tycoon, Shaul Alovitch, the owner of Bezeq, the Israeli telephone monopoly, and its subsidiaries, satellite TV company YES and major news site and e-mail provider Walla. Neyanyahu himself is also set to be questioned again any day now, and his rivals are doing their best to make sure the public knows the noose around him is tightening. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: Toyota seeks more investments in Israeli auto tech, robotics [Reuters] • Chemi Peres: Israel’s Tech Ecosystem Has Matured[Calcalist] • Altice Jumps Into U.S. Wireless Business in Deal With Sprint[Bloomberg]

SPOTLIGHT: “WeWork Founder Hopes Her New School Will Help 5-Year-Olds Pursue Their Life’s Purpose” by David Lidsky: “When Rebekah Neumann and her husband Adam, WeWork’s founder and CEO, evaluated first-grade options for their daughter—”looking at schools both here [in New York City] and on the West Coast, by the way”—their dissatisfaction grew. In a matter of months, “we came up with this concept for the pilot class, gathered friends and families, and we launched,” she says of her new school for children in kindergarten through fifth grade… Seven children, ages 5, 6, and 8, are enrolled in WeGrow’s pilot class, which is currently running at a Chabad school in New York City. The program joins the growing ranks of “micro schools,” educational institutions that offer a modified Montessori-style program for students of different ages in a shared, multi-purpose space.” [FastCompanyBloomberg]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Macklowe vs. Macklowe: Courtroom tales from real estate’s biggest divorce — and how it could disrupt an empire” by E.B. Solomont: “Justice Laura Drager, the judge handling the ongoing trial, has promised to split the Macklowes’ holdings 50-50. But what Harry is worth, and what Linda is owed, is a matter of fiery debate. It’s Solomon splitting the baby, real estate edition… Michael Stutman, a divorce attorney who’s not involved in the case, agreed. “The judge doesn’t have a scalpel,” he said. “She has a chainsaw.”” [TRD]

“Trump will arrive as charities flee Mar-a-Lago” by Terry Spencer: “The organizer of a gala supporting the group The Truth About Israel relocated his event to Mar-a-Lago from a nearby resort, grabbing the Feb. 25 slot vacated by supporters of an Israeli medical charity. Steven M. Alembik said he moved his benefit specifically because the other charities bolted. “This is ridiculous,” Alembik said of the cancellations. “The president has Israel’s back like no other president since the days of Ronald Reagan. He supports Israel, we support him. It’s that simple.” He said he has sold all 700 tickets, which cost $750 each.” [AP]

TALK OF THE NATION: “EPA Director Scott Pruitt Cites Bible for Industry-Led Science Boards and Gets the Bible Exactly Wrong” by Jay Michaelson: “Environmental Protection Agency Director Scott Pruitt… made an unexpected biblical reference at a recent event regarding the agency’s science advisory boards…. “In the Book of Joshua there is a story about Joshua leading the people of Israel into the promised land after Moses passed away. And Joshua says to the people of Israel choose this day whom you’re going to serve… This is sort of like the ‘Joshua Principle’ that as it relates to grants to this agency, you are going to have to choose either service on the committee to provide counsel to us in an independent fashion or you can choose grants, but you cannot do both. That’s the fair and great thing to do.” Pruitt’s account of Scripture is correct. His interpretation of it, however, is 180 degrees backward… The passage Pruitt is citing is Joshua 24:15, which comes at the very end of the book… after the conquest of the land of Israel, which had been home to the Amorites, Perrizites, Canaanites, Hittites, and others, before Joshua’s armies annihilated them.” [DailyBeast

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Want to Help? Do Your Research Before You Donate” by John Hanc: “A supporter of Jewish causes, Dr. [Craig] Granowitz said that he had not normally given to disaster relief efforts. But this time he was moved to action. He contacted a rabbi he knew in New York and was referred to Rabbi Mendel Zarchi at Chabad of Puerto Rico… Dr. Granowitz managed to phone Rabbi Zarchi, who at the moment he got the call was helping to distribute portable generators to residents. Rabbi Zarchi described to Dr. Granowitz the desperate conditions on the island and how he had not been home in weeks as he worked to coordinate relief efforts.” [NYTimes]

“Traditional meets modern in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox art” by Mordechai Goldman: “A new ultra-Orthodox art gallery will shortly open in the Geula neighborhood, the heart of ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem, demonstrating the change in Israel’s ultra-Orthodox sector’s outlook on art. Until a few decades ago, there was hardly any connection between art and the ultra-Orthodox. While there was ultra-Orthodox art, it was not a means to express a personal perspective or tell a story and certainly not a medium for protest and criticism.” [AlMonitor]

LOCAL ELECTIONS: “Underground Yiddish War Rocks Orthodox Brooklyn City Council Race” by Josh Nathan-Kazis: “This is possibly one of the most nasty and personal campaigns I’ve seen,” said Michael Fragin, an Orthodox political analyst… “WhatsApp has taken over the political discourse,” said Jacob Kornbluh, a political correspondent for the news website Jewish Insider. “The campaigns feel that in order to drive the message, they have to invest in this… You can never trace to where it came from.”[Forward] • The fight for Borough Park is among this election year’s nastiest[Politico]

SNL DEBATE: “Larry David’s Holocaust joke on SNL: Bad taste, or just bad comedy?” by Avi Selk: “Nearly through with his routine, David clasped his hands together on the stage and segued from the topic of sexual assaulters to Holocaust victims. “I’ve always, always, been obsessed with women, and I’ve often wondered — if I’d grown up in Poland when Hitler came to power and was sent to a concentration camp, would I still be checking out women in the camp?” said David, whose family is Jewish. “I think I would!” David said, and launched into an impression that the Times of Israel would later summarize as “picking up women in concentration camps during the Holocaust.” … “He managed to be offensive, insensitive and unfunny all at same time,” wrote the Anti-Defamation League’s chief executive, Jonathan Greenblatt. “Quite a feat.”” [WashPost]

“Larry David Goes One Cringe Too Far” by Thane Rosenbaum: “Larry David may have finally gone one cringe too far.  Surely, he didn’t violate any laws… But after all these years, shouldn’t the Holocaust be able to take a joke?  Actually, it can’t, and what’s more, it shouldn’t have to.” [JewishJournal]

Rabbi David Wolpe tweets: “Larry David joking about how a starved, shaved & beaten woman might still reject him. I’m helpless with laughter.” [Twitter]

ALSO SATURDAY NIGHT: Sen. Roy Blunt and his wife Abigail hosted a bar mitzvah for their son Charlie in DC. h/t Danny Ayalon [Pic]

SIGHTING — Conan O’Brien on Facebook: “Walking through Central Park and ran into kids from a Jewish school in Toronto. No cameras on the Sabbath, so I’m posting this.” [Pic]

DESSERT: “Will Trader Joe’s Get Americans Hooked on Bamba?” by Karen Chernick: ““We were aware of the popularity of the product and the fact that it was difficult to find in the U.S.,” says Kenya Friend-Daniel, the public relations director of Trader Joe’s. “We wanted to make this popular snack available to our customers and give them the chance to enjoy it. Part of that is making it recognizable to them.” The familiar name easily identifies Trader Joe’s Bamba as the crunchy snack produced by Osem, but the package design is a Middle East-meets-West amalgamation.” [Eater]

“This fall, Israeli chef Eyal Shani brings his renowned restaurant chain, Miznon, to New York’s Chelsea Market” by Anatoly Michaello:“Eyal Shani, one of Israel’s most acclaimed and eccentric chefs, has built an empire on humble ingredients—tomatoes sliced like sashimi, bespoke pita sandwiches, oven-baked heads of cauliflower blistered and wrapped in paper—at his raucous restaurants in Tel Aviv, Paris, Vienna and Melbourne. This month he makes his New York debut, launching a 180-seat outpost of Miznon, his everything-in-a-pita chain, inside Chelsea Market. The chef, who taught himself to cook in the galley of an Israeli missile ship sailing in the Indian Ocean, nearly moved to New York years ago—but he blew his tryout for Tribeca’s Layla by insisting on making pigeon stock with Evian (“water that came from God,” he says).” [WSJMag]

BIRTHDAYS: Investor, commentator, political adviser and author of Start-Up Nation, Dan Senor turns 46… Belgian theoretical physicist, a Holocaust survivor and 2013 Nobel prize laureate, François Englert turns 85… President and CEO of American Jewish World Service (1998-2016), formerly Manhattan borough president, Ruth Messinger turns 77… Chairman of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (2002-2011) and Vice Chair of NYC’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority (2006-2012), Andrew Saulturns 71… Former aide to President Bill Clinton and a long-time advisor to Hillary Clinton, Sidney Blumenthal turns 69… Research scientist at NYU’s Langone Medical Center, Barbara Volsky turns 67… Actress best known for her lead role in the 1984 film “Footloose” and the television series “Fame,” Lori Singer turns 60… COO/Managing Director of the NFL Players Association, Ira Fishman turns 60… Founder of Nourish Snack, she is the health and nutrition expert on The Today Show and author of 12 New York Times best sellers, Joy Bauer turns 54… Vice Chairman and CEO of Genie Oil E&P and CEO of Genie Israel Holdings Ltd., he was previously Chairman and CEO of IDT Energy, Geoffrey Rochwarger turns 47… South Florida entrepreneur, Earl J. Campos-Devine

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PHOTO: REUTERS

Kafe Knesset for October 25

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

TKO on PM immunity: The Bayit Yehudi party put the kibosh on the controversial bill to give sitting prime ministers immunity from criminal investigations. After days of MKs…

via Twitter/@Netanyahu

Kafe Knesset for October 24

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Pickles and politics: Both PM Netanyahu’s speech and President Rivlin’s speech at the Knesset winter session’s opening meeting yesterday made big waves. Netanyahu’s speech was based around a…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Kafe Knesset for October 23

Monday, October 23, 2017

Welcome back, Knesset: After a three-month summer recess, the Knesset has returned to regular work. As always, the afternoon plenum meeting will be full of pomp and circumstance,…

PHOTO: REUTERS

Kafe Knesset for October 19

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Mr. Liberman Goes to Washington: Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman departed last night on a four-day visit to Washington, DC and New York City. This is the second time…

PHOTO: POOL/REUTERS

Kafe Knesset for October 18

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Hamas not welcome: Last night the Security Cabinet concluded a two-day session debating the reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. A joint statement was issued describing Israel’s new “red…

Via Twitter/@NTarnopolsky

Kafe Knesset for October 17

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

To evacuate or not to evacuate? New Labor chair Avi Gabbay has been making headlines for a few days now with a series of statements signaling an apparent…