Daily Kickoff: Jon Jacobson joins hedge fund exodus | John Bolton on ‘so-called state of Palestine’ | Kvetching about Apple’s new bagel emoji

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DRIVING THE CONVO — Jon Jacobson’s Highfields Capital Hedge Fund To Return Money to Clients — by Juliet Chung: “Boston hedge fund Highfields Capital Management is returning billions in client money and converting into a family office, founder Jonathon Jacobson told investors in a letter Wednesday. “The simple reality is that, after three-and-a-half decades of sitting in front of a screen, I realized I am ready for a change,” Jacobson, 57, wrote in the two-page letter.”

“Mr. Jacobson started the $12.1 billion investment firm in 1998 after he left his post trading stocks for Harvard University’s endowment. About $2.7 billion of Highfields assets belong to Jacobson and other insiders. In an industry rife with big personalities, Mr. Jacobson and co-founder Richard Grubman, who retired in 2010, kept relatively low profiles.”

“I have no idea what the next act will entail,” Jacobson wrote toward the end of his letter. “Many of my long-time mentors and some of the people I admire most are still going strong in their 70s and 80s, and, God willing, I intend to do the same,” Mr. Jacobson wrote. [WSJBloomberg]

— Jacobson is one of the featured guests this week at Baltimore Homecoming, a gathering organized by Nate Loewentheil and JM Schapiro to bring back accomplished Baltimore natives to become more involved in the city. Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken addressed the group last night.

TRANSITION — Josh Raffel, who served as deputy communications director in the Trump White House, is joining the e-cigarette company Juul Labs as VP of corporate communications. He will be based in New York and report to chief communications officer Matt David. [Playbook]

DRIVING THE WEEK — The Senate is expected to vote on Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination for the Supreme Court this weekend after the FBI completed a limited investigation of sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh and turned over their findings to the Senate.  

Republican Congressional Candidate: Brett Kavanaugh’s Treatment Like Lynchings of ‘Innocent Jewish and Black Men’ — by Tim Marcin: “Congressional candidate Seth Grossman—a New Jersey Republican—recently said the treatment of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was akin to the lynchings of innocent black and Jewish men… “100 years ago based on unsubstantiated accusations of a single woman.” [Newsweek

INSIDE THE WHITE HOUSE ― As the Kavanaugh Drama Unfolds, Ivanka and Jared Hunker Down — by Emily Jane Fox: “In private… Ivanka has aligned herself with the position of her father and Kellyanne Conway—that while Ford deserved to be heard, Kavanaugh seems to be a good man… Sure, the Kavanaugh contretemps on Capitol Hill has Democrats and Republicans at each other’s throats… But Ivanka had panels to attend. Kushner met with Netanyahu and plugged away at trade negotiations… and Ivanka welcomed a rabbi at the White House to perform some of the customs to celebrate the Jewish holiday Sukkot.” [VanityFair]

Bret Stephens writes… “For Once, I’m Grateful for Trump: For the first time since Donald Trump entered the political fray, I find myself grateful that he’s in it. I’m reluctant to admit it and astonished to say it, especially since the president mocked Christine Blasey Ford in his ugly and gratuitous way at a rally on Tuesday… I’m grateful because Trump has not backed down in the face of the slipperiness, hypocrisy and dangerous standard-setting deployed by opponents of Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court.”[NYTimes

MIDTERMS — Conservative Group Wants You to Believe Iran’s President Endorsed Beto O’Rourke — by Gideon Resnick: “A neoconservative foreign policy group appeared to try and get audio recorded claiming erroneously that Rep. Beto O’Rourke’s (D-TX) Senate campaign was endorsed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. The campaign appears to have not made it into production, and maybe never will, as the site where the group posted a call for voice actors took down the solicitation on the grounds that the script was clearly false…” [DailyBeast]

Joe Biden In Los Angeles To Campaign For Dianne Feinstein, OC Democratic Challengers: Biden’s first stop will be at a $2,700-per-person Westside luncheon benefiting Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s re-election campaign… hosted by billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad and his wife Edythe at an undisclosed location… The former VP… is also scheduled to speak at a $5,000-per-person Beverly Hills fundraiser benefitting his political action committee American Possibilities, hosted by entertainment executive Jeffrey Katzenberg.” [CBSLA]

TRUMP DIPLOMACY — U.S. terminates 1955 treaty with Iran, calling it an ‘absolute absurdity’ — by Carol Morello: “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that the United States is terminating the Treaty of Amity reached with Iran in pre-revolutionary days, calling it an “absolute absurdity” given the tensions between the two countries. The impetus for the United States tearing up the treaty was a decision earlier Wednesday in the International Court of Justice, which ordered the Trump administration to lift some sanctions on Iran.” [WashPostCNN

White House national security adviser John Bolton says Palestine is ‘not a state’ — by Hunter Walker: “John Bolton, dismissed the Palestinian territories as a “so-called state” during an appearance in the White House press briefing on Wednesday… “The president has decided that the United States will withdraw from the optional protocol and dispute resolution to the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. This is in connection with a case brought by the so-called state of Palestine naming the United States as a defendant challenging our move of our embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Bolton said. [YahooNews]

— Bolton defended using the phrase “so-called state of Palestine” to refer to the Palestinian governing authority, rejecting suggestions that such language might undermine America’s long-standing policy goal of a two-state solution to resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict… “It is not a state now,” Bolton said. “It does not meet the customary international law test of statehood. It doesn’t control defined boundaries.” [USATodayVideo]

Bolton on Trump’s peace plan —  Reporter: When the President came out in support of a two-state solution at the U.N. last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu responded that he’s confident Israel would retain security control of the West Bank under any White House plan. Is that correct? Or are you open to a Palestinian state with no security presence from Israel inside their borders?

“We’ve been working, as you well know, on a peace plan involving Israel and the Palestinians. We’ll be rolling it out in due course when we decide it’s the most appropriate time to do it. And I’m sure that will answer your question then.”

— “Robert Malley, a former White House coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa and the Gulf during the Obama administration, said Mr. Bolton’s statement underscored “why the Trump administration is increasingly isolated on the world stage.” [NYTimes

VIEW FROM JERUSALEM — While US dithers on peace plan, Israeli right shores up support — by Mazal Mualem: “Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is taking advantage of the nebulous American attitude toward the diplomatic process with the Palestinians to benefit his own election campaign. “I don’t know how to react to a plan I haven’t seen yet and that no one had put on the table yet. What I can say is that I believe in a Jewish State,” he said during an Oct. 2nd visit to the hills of the Givat Menachem neighborhood of the settlement of Karnei Shomron. He was responding to journalists who asked what he thought about President Donald Trump’s statement, “I like two-state solution.” [Al-Monitor]

NEXT STOP — Former PLO representative to DC, Husam Zomlot has been appointed as the chief Palestinian diplomat in the U.K. after the U.S. closed the PLO mission in Washington DC and revoked Zomlot’s visa.

In an interview with Sky News, Zomlot called on Britain to “fill the vacuum” and replace the U.S. as the leading mediator between Israel and the Palestinians. “I firmly believe that Britain can help at this point in time avoid the chaos that the Trump administration is creating,” he said. Zomlot also urged the British government to recognize Palestinian statehood four years after the parliament voted overwhelmingly in support of doing so.

— Also in the UK… Theresa May attacks Jeremy Corbyn over Labour anti-Semitism in conference speech: “The Prime Minister used her Conservative Party conference keynote speech to hit out at Mr. Corbyn and his allies, highlighting the bitter row over anti-Semitism… Comparing Mr. Corbyn to his predecessors, [May] said… “Would Clement Attlee, Churchill’s trusted deputy during the Second World War, have told British Jews they didn’t know the meaning of anti-Semitism?” She added: “What has it come to when Jewish families today seriously discuss where they should go if Jeremy Corbyn becomes Prime Minister?” [JewishNews]

Merkel: Germany Making Efforts to Advance Israel-Gaza Deal — by Noa Landau: “German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday that Germany is “making efforts” to advance an Israel-Gaza deal… Merkel, who is on a snap visit to Israel, spoke shortly after visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum on Thursday…” [Haaretz

ON THE HILL — Leaders of Commanders for Israel’s Security (CIS), a network of 300 retired Israeli generals, briefed some 70 House and Senate staffers about a new CIS study on Israeli-Palestinian peace. Nimrod Novik, a Fellow at Israel Policy Forum and former advisor to Shimon Peres, Col. (Ret.) Shaul Arieli and Maj. Gen. (Res.) Avi Mizrahi presented the document which details the security and diplomatic ramifications of implementing a plan or allowing a process that runs counter to the vision of a Jewish and democratic state of Israel, according to the organizers at the Israel Policy Forum. [Pic

ON THE GROUND — Israel seen behind WhatsApp warning to Beirut residents about Hezbollah facility: “Thousands of residents in Beirut’s southern suburbs received WhatsApp messages overnight Tuesday-Wednesday, believed to have been sent by Israel, warning them that their homes are in close proximity to a Hezbollah weapons facility, Israel’s Channel 10 news reported…” [ToINana]

Hamas leader gave rare interview to Israeli newspaper. Then said he was duped — by Ruth Eglash and Hazem Balousha: “A small excerpt from the interview published Thursday on the news website of the popular Yedioth Ahronoth appears to ask Sinwar why he decided to give an interview to an Israeli newspaper, to which he answers: “Because now I see a true opportunity for change.” He also says, “A new war is in no one’s interest, certainly not our interest,” and “I don’t want any more wars.” But within hours of the excerpt appearing online, Sinwar’s office released a statement saying the journalist had interviewed him under false pretenses.” [WashPost]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: World Trade Center Builder Larry Silverstein Expands Into Real Estate Lending [Bloomberg] • Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop treated two sides of Kushner family unequally, lawsuit says[JerseyJournal] • Goldman Joins George Soros, Steve Cohen in Backing Argentine Bank-App Venture [Bloomberg] • How Michael Ovitz and Sumner Redstone changed Hollywood forever [FinancialTimes• Billionaire Barry Diller tells David Rubenstein that he never had a goal [BloombergTV]

Remember President Trump’s infrastructure council? The White House says it never actually existed — by Will Parker: “Days before his January 2017 inauguration, President Trump announced that New York City real estate developers Richard LeFrak and Steve Roth would head a new “infrastructure council.” … But by October 2017, the White House took the official position that the infrastructure council never actually existed. The claim came in response to a federal lawsuit brought by nonprofit group Food & Water Watch in July 2017.” [TheRealDeal

TALK OF OUR NATION — Chaplain helps Jewish Soldiers celebrate their faith, holidays while in Afghanistan ― by Jon Micheal Connor: “Army Chaplain (Capt.) David Becker is on a special six-week temporary duty, or TDY, to Afghanistan to minister to Soldiers of Jewish faith and to celebrate the many Jewish holidays… “They sent a rabbi to theater to travel around this country to be specifically catering to Jewish Soldiers, which I’ve had the opportunity to do,” Becker said, adding he has ministered here at Bagram Airfield, Kandahar Airfield, and in Kabul. Becker estimates there are less than a dozen rabbis on active duty in the Army. His selection was an honor, he said.” [Army]

French court orders return of looted painting to Jewish family — by Kim Willsher: “A Paris court has decreed that a Pissarro painting stolen from a French Jewish family during the German occupation must be returned to them. The painting’s American owners had appealed against an earlier ruling ordering them to hand over the work, called La Cueillette des pois (Pea Picking), saying they had bought it in good faith in 1995.” [TheGuardian]

Einstein’s ‘God letter’ to go on sale for $1mn: “A handwritten letter from Albert Einstein about his thoughts on God, religion and his search for meaning is to go on sale in New York, valued at up to $1.5 million, Christie’s said Wednesday.” [Yahoo]

Canary Mission funding was ‘one-time grant,’ says S.F. Federation ― by Dan Pine: “In response to the revelation that the Helen Diller Family Foundation had provided major funding to a controversial pro-Israel organization, the S.F.-based Jewish Community Federation asserted that the donation was a “one-time grant made in 2016” and that no more support would be forthcoming… An Oct. 3 story on the Forward website revealed that the S.F.-based Diller Foundation had given $100,000 to Canary Mission, a 3-year-old entity that identifies alleged anti-Semitic and anti-Zionist individuals and organizations as part of its mission to combat anti-Jewish and anti-Israel hate in North America.” [JWeeklyForward]

MEDIA WATCH — CNN Will Test Foray Into Live Events With ‘Citizen by CNN’ Conference — by Brian Steinberg: “The AT&T-owned cable-news network is set to launch “Citizen by CNN,” a day-long conference slated to be held Monday, October 22, at the Time Warner Center in Manhattan… The wider intent is for the conference to burnish CNN’s ability to present non-partisan coverage of politics and issues that matter to viewers.”

“Jared Kushner… and Van Jones will take part in a discussion about prison reform and working across party lines. Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi is expected to talk about the coming midterm elections and the fight to control the house with CNN’s Dana Bash. Gloria Borger will moderate a discussion called” The President, the Presidency and the Law”… Fareed Zakaria will discuss the state of current politics with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Jamie Gangel will moderate a conversation with investigative reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward. John King will give a preview of the election landscape with his signature “Magic Wall.” And former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will deliver closing remarks.” [Variety]

COMING SOON — The World Jewish Congress will honor the Rothschild family with its annual Theodor Herzl Award on November 7 at The Pierre Hotel in Manhattan. WJC President Ronald Lauder will present the award to Lord Rothschild in the presence of Baron David and Eric de Rothschild, according to a news release. Robert Kraft, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Kraft Group, will receive the Teddy Kollek Award at the event.

The Israeli-American Council (IAC) will hold its 5th annual conference on November 29-December 2 at the Diplomat Beach Resort in South Florida. Featured speakers include Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, Jewish Agency Chairman Isaac Herzog, as well as philanthropists Sheldon Adelson and Haim Saban, the IAC announced yesterday.

HAPPENING TODAY — The premiere of a new film “Hadar – The Freedom to Create,” the life of the Goldin family a year after their son Hadar was killed and captured by Hamas in Gaza and produced by Dr. Leah Goldin, will take place at the Park East Synagogue at 7 PM EDT. Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan will host a reception with Hadar’s parents Dr. Leah and Prof. Simcha Goldin and his twin brother Tzur ahead of the screening.

REMEMBERING — Leon Lederman, 96, Explorer (and Explainer) of the Subatomic World, Dies — by George Johnson: “Leon Lederman, whose ingenious experiments with particle accelerators deepened science’s understanding of the subatomic world, died early Wednesday in Rexburg, Idaho… Leon Max Lederman was born on July 15, 1922, in Manhattan, where his parents, Morris and Minna (Rosenberg) Lederman, Jewish immigrants from Russia, ran a laundry business.” [NYTimes]

Special Forces ‘icon’ who survived a Nazi concentration camp in WWII dies at 83 — by Charles Duncan: “The man who would go on to become an icon for U.S. Army Special Forces and lead American forces in Berlin as the Berlin Wall came down also spent three years as a child in a Nazi concentration camp. Maj. Gen. Sidney Shachnow died Friday at his home in Southern Pines, North Carolina…” [CharlotteObserver]

SPORTS BLINK ― Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton had fans guessing after he wore a brimless Panthers hat at his weekly press conference yesterday. Some fans speculated Newton was unveiling a Panthers yarmulke. “When you have a press conference at 4 and a bar mitzvah at 5,” another fan posted on Facebook. [Pic]

HOLLYWOOD — Talent agent and tech investor Guy Oseary announced a new philanthropic initiative he’s launching called Good Today. Formerly known as Good Street, the daily newsletter allows recipients to donate 25¢ to one of two featured charitable causes.

DESSERT — Why Bagel Snobs Shouldn’t Kvetch About the New Bagel Emoji — by Heather Schwedel: “If the recent hullaballoo over Cynthia Nixon’s bagel order proved anything, it’s that for many people, bagels serve as important signifiers of taste, which is what at least some of this emoji outcry is really about. People want to demonstrate that they, unlike those emoji rubes, know from good bagels.” [SlateGrubStreet]

Cabrito al Pastor Is the Product of Northern Mexico’s 16th-Century Jewish Roots — by Duncan Tucker: “To find out how this iconic dish came about, I sought out Juan Ramón Cárdenas, the owner of Don Artemio, an upscale restaurant in the nearby city of Saltillo… Consumption of goat in Mexico dates back to around the 16th century, Cárdenas explains, when Spanish and Portuguese settlers first introduced the animal to these shores… Back then, Cárdenas says, “the Spanish Crown didn’t allow anyone to practice any other religion than Catholicism. Some Jewish people were allowed to come to colonize northern Mexico as long as they converted to Catholicism, but if you didn’t convert and you continued practicing Judaism you would face the death penalty.” To avoid detection, the Sephardi Jewish shepherds who settled in the north stopped eating their traditional Paschal lamb and substituted it with goat kid.” [ViceMunchies]

BIRTHDAYS: Lieutenant Governor of Maryland (1987-1995) after 20 years in the Maryland Senate, Melvin A. “Mickey” Steinberg turns 85… Senior Judge of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, his father served as a rabbi in Brooklyn for 35 years, Judge Robert David Sack turns 79… Executive editor of the Los Angeles Times since mid-2018, he held key positions at Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal and served as Chief Content Officer of Time Inc., Norman Pearlstine turns 76… Israeli attorney and businessman who was Israel’s negotiator in the Middle East peace process during the term of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Dov Weissglass turns 72… Israeli journalist, author and news manager, he is currently the Director of the Israeli Government Press Office and has served as Chairman of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, Nitzan Chen turns 55… Canadian businessman, producer, impresario and philanthropist, Aubrey Dan turns 55… Film, television and stage actress, Alicia Silverstone turns 42… Akiva Gerstein… Adam Curtis… Gefen Kabik




Daily Kickoff: Mike Bloomberg gives Dems another $20M as he and Howard Schultz eye possible 2020 runs

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WHILE WE WERE AWAY… Russia delivered the S-300 system over the weekend, despite Israel’s objections… UNRWA evacuated 10 of its international senior employees from Gaza to Israel after they were harassed by local Palestinian staffers over U.S. cuts… The U.S. has begun the implementation of the MOU with Israel, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert announced on Monday… Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu canceled his participation at a UNESCO conference on anti-Semitism so as not to anger the Trump administration, Barak Ravid reported… Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi met last week with a group of a leading evangelical Christians before meeting with Netanyahu…

President Trump announced a new trade deal with Canada and Mexico to replace NAFTA… Jared Kushner, who played a “crucial role” in closing the deal, said the deal “will make a big difference for this country”… Trump personally instructed Michael Cohen to seek a restraining order against Stormy Daniels last February, the WSJ reported… The NYPD opened a hate crime probe over ‘Free Gaza’ graffiti scrawled on Upper East Side sukkah… And Ivanka Trump was photographed holding a Luluv and Etrog at the White House.

TOP TALKER — Jason Kander Withdraws From Kansas City Mayoral Race, Citing PTSD — by Dave Philipps: “Jason Kander, a war veteran who became a rising star in the Democratic Party, abruptly dropped out of the Kansas City mayoral race Tuesday, saying he needed to focus on healing from post-traumatic stress disorder. “After 11 years of trying to outrun depression and PTSD symptoms, I have finally concluded that it’s faster than me. That I have to stop running, turn around, and confront it,” he wrote in a lengthy and strikingly candid post on his Facebook page.” [NYTimes]

— In 2016, Kander told St. Louis journalist Gabe Fleisher: “I first learned about my faith from my grandparents, who are active in Kansas City’s Jewish community,” Kander said. “It didn’t become a consistent part of my daily inner life until I was serving in Afghanistan.”

Former Senator Norm Coleman, who is battling lung cancer, writes… “In advance of my fourth chemo session yesterday at Mayo I had a CT scan to determine if we were making progress… And, with joy, I can share with you that my Mayo team said the results were as good as I could have desired… I have hope that I can beat my cancer. If not cure it — beat it back to the point where my life is no longer a short-term proposition.” [Facebook]

MIDTERMS ― Michael Bloomberg jolts Senate battle with $20 million for Democrats — by Robert Costa: “Michael R. Bloomberg… will give $20 million to the main Democratic Senate super PAC this week… “Mike was extraordinarily disappointed in the Republican leadership in the Senate and feels increasingly passionate about changing it,” Bloomberg adviser Kevin Sheekey said. “And he’s already enthusiastic about the impact he’s having on House races and increasingly confident that he can contribute to a Democratic takeover.”

“The enormous sum brings Bloomberg — who has already pledged to spend $80 million to support Democratic congressional candidates — up to $100 million in spending commitments for the 2018 election cycle, firmly positioning himself in the Democratic camp as he contemplates a bid for the White House.” [WashPost]

76ers co-owner Michael Rubin fundraises for Democrat Tom Wolf: “Philadelphia 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin hosted a private dinner, we hear, at his new New York pad in support of Pennsylvania Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf. Guests at the meeting included Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Kevin Hart, Philly rappers Meek Mill and Freeway, 76ers star Joel Embiid, CNN’s Van Jones, former Giants star Tiki Barber, Clara Tsai and Steve Stoute.” [PageSix]

Texas Governor Greg Abbott takes aim at Beto O’Rourke in Fox & Friends appearance ― by Paul Cobler: “They don’t want the George Soros policies here in the state of Texas,” Abbott said, invoking a favorite target of conservatives.” [Statesman]

Progressive billionaires fall for Florida’s Gillum — by Maggie Severns and Marc Caputo: “[Andrew] Gillum’s financial fortunes changed sharply after he sat down in early May with… billionaire George Soros in California’s Berkeley Hills. At the Claremont Club & Spa… Gillum and Soros had a sprawling after-dinner conversation about Gillum’s plans to turn out progressive and non-white voters and then, if he won, to expand Medicaid, recognize the threat of man-made climate change and enact gun control legislation… Plus, he said, he could help Democrats in 2020 in a state that’s considered a must-win for Republicans. “Florida is the holy grail,” Gillum told Soros.”

“The Soros team liked what they heard. Alex Soros contributed $50,000 on March 31, and George Soros gave $100,000. George Soros doubled his money in December… and he’d continue giving after the May meeting in California. Soros and his sons have given Gillum’s political committee, Forward Florida, a total of $1.3 million.” [Politico]

Jacky Rosen Takes Lead in Nevada Senate Race Polls — by Allison Kaplan Sommer: “Jacky Rosen is closer to becoming only the third Jewish woman to serve in the U.S. Senate – and the first to be elected from a state other than California… A new CNN poll published Tuesday shows Rosen leading Heller by four points – her largest margin yet in a tight race.”[Haaretz]

Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro will co-host a fundraiser in support of Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) on Oct. 5 in Chicago.

2020 WATCH — Ex-Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz teases possible presidential run with nationwide book tour — by Kathryn Krawczyk: “Howard Schultz… is launching a nationwide book tour focused on everything but coffee, and Axios suggests it could be Schultz’s first sip of political tea… Schultz will apparently tear down big businesses’ ignorance of employee welfare in favor of cutting costs, and encourage government and businesses to collaborate as they try to better America.” [TheWeek]

— “Democrats doubt there’s room in the party’s presidential race for two corporate celebrities to the right of Bernie. So watch whether Michael Bloomberg beats Schultz into the race.” [Axios]

Trump’s 2020 dreams ― by Mike Allen and Jonathan Swan: “Trump has mused in private about Mike Bloomberg. At the end of an August interview with Bloomberg News, Trump told the journalists: “Say hello to Michael.”[Axios]

Disney CEO Bob Iger talks to Vanity Fair’s Nick Bilton about his decision not to run for president in 2020 to pursue the 21st Century Fox deal:

Are you still considering a bid for the presidency? 

Iger: “It wasn’t just something I was talking about with reporters and friends and colleagues. I was actually doing some work on it. But the primary reason I dropped it was because of this Fox deal.”

What did your family say when you told them? 

Iger: “They high-fived each other.”

Will you rethink your decision in 2024?

Iger: “Right now I’m not doing it in 2020. I am running the company through 2021. I have made no decision about what I’ll do afterward. I have thought very little about it.”

ON VANITY FAIR’S 2018 NEW ESTABLISHMENT LIST — 4. Bob Iger; 7. Mark Zuckerberg; 12. Larry Page; 18. Sheryl Sandberg; 23. Brian Roberts; 27. Richard Plepler; 36. Jonathan Gray; 44. David Zaslav; 47. David Tepper; 52. Jeff Zucker; 54. David Solomon; 61. Jeffrey Katzenberg; 75. Adam Neumann; 77. Bobby Kotick; 86. Jake Tapper; 88. Stewart Butterfield; 97. Audrey Gelman; 98. Susan Wojcicki. See the full list [VanityFair]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Hillary Clinton in an interview with Atlantic editor in chief Jeffrey Goldberg at The Atlantic Festival in Washington, DC: “I think [Trump] has thrown his lot in with many people and groups whose stated objective is white nationalism, white supremacy. I mean how could you explain what he did and why after Charlottesville? … Remember what George W. Bush did after 9/11, you know, he went to a mosque. He went to a gathering place for American Muslims in order to say, “We’re not at war with you.  We’re at war with those people who plotted and planned to drive those airplanes into the World Trade Center.” But that’s not what we got after Charlottesville. And that remains one of the most troubling episodes in this presidency.” [TheAtlantic]

Trump: Saudi king wouldn’t last 2 weeks without US support — by Jon Grambell: “We protect Saudi Arabia — would you say they’re rich?” Trump asked the cheering crowd [at a campaign rally in Southaven, Mississippi]. “And I love the king, King Salman, but I said, ‘King we’re protecting you. You might not be there for two weeks without us. You have to pay for your military, you have to pay.'” Trump didn’t elaborate on when he made the comments to Saud Arabia’s 82-year-old monarch. Trump and King Salman last shared a reported telephone call on Saturday.” [AP]

ON THE HILL — Reps. Brad Schneider (D-IL) and Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced bipartisan legislation last week to more closely examine the national and regional security consequences if Saudi Arabia obtains nuclear fuel enrichment capability.

Trump Stealthily Seeks to Choke Off Funding to U.N. Programs — by Robbie Gramer and Colum Lynch: “In early July, a U.S. State Department political appointee fired off an email to the National Security Council detailing how to thwart Congress’s intent to fund a range of United Nations international aid programs opposed by White House conservatives, including initiatives benefiting Palestinian refugees… The United States is seeking to determine that the $7 million in discretionary, voluntary contributions it provides to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) will not be spent on programs that scrutinize Israel’s human rights record or compile a list of companies that do business in Israel settlements.” [ForeignPolicy]

Poll finds Israelis extremely, and near uniquely, supportive of Trump, US policy: “The [Pew Research] poll of America’s standing in 25 countries, published Monday, shows 82 percent of Jewish Israelis have confidence in Trump’s handling of global affairs (69% among Israelis overall) while 94% of Jewish Israelis have a favorable view of the US in general (83% overall)…” [ToIPewGlobal]

Dennis Ross and David Makovsky write… “If Trump Wants the Ultimate Deal, He Must Not Repeat These Mistakes: The White House is clearly making one mistake already: It has reached out to Israelis and done exactly the opposite with the Palestinians…” [ForeignPolicy]

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and a number of her cabinet ministers are scheduled to arrive in Israel today for a series of government-to-government meetings. Netanyahu will host Merkel for dinner at his residence in Jerusalem tonight. Merkel will visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial for the third time in her career tomorrow.

Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla confirms meeting with Netanyahu: “Kalla confirmed on Tuesday he had met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in New York when they attended the annual General Session of the United Nations there. Jasuf Kalla said they discussed Palestinian issue and ways to create peace in that country. “If we want to help create peace in a country we must know both sides. Therefore, when we met and introduced each other we talked about peace,” Kalla said here on Tuesday.”[AntaraNews]

Back to old habits, Malaysia’s Mahathir calls Jews ‘hook-nosed’: “Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad described Jews as “hook-nosed” on Tuesday and blamed them for creating the troubles in the Middle East…” [Reuters]

ON THE GROUND ― On Iran, White House Criticism Grows, but U.S. Military Posture Recedes — by Nancy Youssef and Gordon Lubold: “There has been no U.S. aircraft carrier strike group in the Persian Gulf since the Theodore Roosevelt left for the Pacific in March, the longest period of time in two decades that a carrier hasn’t traveled those waters… U.S. officials said that they have enough military resources to counter Iran or others. But they acknowledged the aircraft carriers and the Patriot missile batteries also served as a show of force.”

“The concern is the president looks [like] a Twitter tiger,” said Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies… “If the rhetoric is not backed by a credible threat and a credible presence of American military power, then there is a danger that Iran will assess there is American mush, not American steel, behind the president’s tough rhetoric.” [WSJ

** 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: Israel Acts to Counter Trump’s Tax Reform [Haaretz]  • George Soros Spins Out Private Equity Team, Pledging Up to $2 Billion [Bloomberg] • Canon signs lease with the Sapir Organization for entire floor of 261 Madison Ave [NYPost] • Apollo’s Marc Rowan Gives Wharton $50 Million for Professorships [Bloomberg] • BuzzFeed News’ Ben Smith: ‘Every company needs diverse business models’ [Digiday

STARTUP NATION ― Israeli VC JVP to partner in New York City cyber center: “The New York City Economic Development Corp has selected venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) as a partner in establishing a global cybersecurity center in the city. The initiative will receive a $30 million investment from the City of New York, followed by up to $70 million in private funds… JVP Chairman Erel Margalit said at least half of its new $200 million fund will be allocated to companies in the hub.” [ReutersCalcalist]

Gal Gadot Visits ‘Jewish Heaven’, Meets Einstein and Moshe Dayan, in Simpsons Premiere — by Adrian Hennigan: “Jewish Heaven” made its second appearance in “The Simpsons” on Sunday, as the Fox animation series began its 30th season… The show also featured Gal Gadot, with the Israeli actor playing herself playing Lisa Simpson in the movie version of Bart’s experience… She is flanked by Joan Rivers, King David, Rabbi Hyman Krustofsky (Krusty the Clown’s deceased father), former Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, Albert Einstein and legendary Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan, all standing around chatting at the Jewish equivalent of the Pearly Gates.” [HaaretzVideo]

SPORTS BLINK — At Forbes’ ‘Under 30 Summit,’ Jonathan Kraft talks evolution of the Patriots and the NFL — by Nicole Yang: “[Jonathan] Kraft, one of team owner Robert Kraft’s four sons, said he was seven years old when his father came home with their initial package of Patriots season tickets… “Occasionally, we’d travel around the country and go to NFL games in other cities when the Patriots were playing,” Kraft said at the Forbes’ “Under 30 Summit” Monday. “We saw it be so different in other places. We thought if we ever had the opportunity to [buy the team], we would try to jump at it and we did.” [Boston]

PROFILE — Debbie Wosskow sold her first business — an ‘AirBnB for grownups’ — for £40m. Now she’s opened the UK’s first women-only members’ club, the AllBright, to help other women follow in her entrepreneurial footsteps. [TheJC]

CAMPUS BEAT — Israeli student at Columbia says she’s being bullied by Palestinian group — by Doree Lewak: “Ofir [Dayan], the 24-year-old daughter of Israel Consul General in New York Dani Dayan, said she is harassed and threatened over her background by the group Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), and that the school is failing to protect her. “SJP is violent,” she said. “I’m worried about my personal safety.” [NYPost]

— Students Supporting Israel (SSI) at Columbia University, together with alums and members of the Jewish community, will protest Columbia administration’s decision to not protect pro-Israel students on campus tomorrow at 4 PM EDT.

COMING SOON: New York Times opinion editor Bari Weiss is writing her first book, titled “The New Seven Dirty Words,” which will focus on the new culture of censorship and make the pitch for how to bring back an open society. The book, which sold in auction, is due out in winter 2020 and will be published by Henry Holt. [Playbook]

MEDIA WATCH — Bianna Golodryga named co-host of CBS This Morning: CBS News correspondent Bianna Golodryga is joining “CBS This Morning” as a co-host with Gayle King, Norah O’Donnell and John Dickerson. Golodryga, who has been a reporter and fill-in co-host for the broadcast since 2017, begins Wednesday and will be based in New York.

SPOTTED ON SUNDAY — at the annual Sukkah party hosted by Avi Goldgraber and Aaron Keyak in the West End neighborhood of Washington, DC: Rabbi Hyim Shafner, Jamie Kirchick, Elliot Brandt, Josh Rogin, Ali Rogin, Josh Keating, Frank Chi, Professor Ethan Porter, Steve Rabinowitz, Laurie Moskowitz, Drew Cooper, Toby Dershowitz, Dr. Miriam Fischer, Eric Wachter, Lindsey Eilon, Ethan Eilon, Shoshana Lew, Ben Schreckinger, Rachel Snyder, Matt Nosanchuk, and John Gizzi.

DESSERT — The Very Israeli Reason Why Everyone is Eating Whole Roasted Cauliflower — by Shannon Sarna: “I cannot turn around these days without running into a whole roasted cauliflower: on Pinterest, in magazines, and even at random restaurants on Long Island. Whole roasted cauliflower is everywhere, but it all started with an Israeli chef. Eyal Shani is known for many things: his antics on the popular Israeli show Master Chef, his innovative approach towards ingredients, and his global restaurant sensation Miznon. He is also credited with launching the whole roasted cauliflower craze.” [MyJewishLearning]

BIRTHDAYS: Jerusalem-born record executive turned talent agent whose clients include Madonna and U2, author of “Jews Who Rock” regarding Jewish influences on the music industry, Guy Oseary turns 46… Born in NYC to Israeli parents, music industry executive who led Def Jam, he then led the Warner music label and now is Global Head of Music for YouTube, Lyor Cohen turns 59… Venture capitalist and political strategist, he previously served as Deputy Governor of Illinois and as communications director for Senator Chuck Schumer, Bradley Tusk turns 45… Professor of American literature at Monmouth College (1968-1999) and co-founder with his wife in 1994 of Two River Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey, Dr. Robert M. Rechnitz turns 88… Radio show host, author, political commentator and film critic, his eponymous Seattle-based nationally syndicated talk show airs throughout the U.S. on Salem Radio Network, Michael Medved turns 70…

President and CEO of the Better Medicare Alliance, she is a former member of Congress (D-PA-13) (2005-2015), following her tenure as a member of the Pennsylvania Senate (1991-2005), Allyson Y. Schwartz turns 70… Theoretical physicist, professor at Rutgers and a son of feminist author and activist Betty Friedan, he was named a MacArthur Genius Fellow in 1987, Daniel Friedan turns 70… Lisa Leff turns 61… Art collector and dealer, who together with his father and brother are reputed to own $1 billion of art including over 1,000 pieces by Andy Warhol, David Mugrabi turns 47… Rabbi of Congregation Ohr Torah in North Woodmere, NY and author of ‘We’re Almost There,” Dovid M. Cohen turns 46… Assistant rabbi at Park East Synagogue in Manhattan, Benjamin Goldschmidt turns 31…




Daily Kickoff: Netanyahu reveals ‘secret atomic warehouse’ in Tehran | New book details Kushner-Christie feud | Compass nabs $400M

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AT THE UN ― Addressing the United National General Assembly yesterday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed publicly for the first time a new “secret atomic warehouse” in downtown Tehran. Netanyahu urged the IAEA to inspect the newly-disclosed atomic warehouse before the Iranians finish clearing it out. And he issued a new warning to Iran: “Israel knows what you’re doing, and Israel knows where you’re doing it… We will act against you whenever and wherever we must act to defend our state and defend our people.”

Netanyahu also accused Hezbollah of placing secret facilities to convert inaccurate projectiles into precision guided missiles near the Beirut international airport.

HOW IT PLAYED ― Drama, visual aids as Netanyahu makes nuclear claims on Iran: “In case anyone in the hall hadn’t already been paying attention, he took the unusual step of brandishing visual aids — a poster-board map, then a poster-board photo, then another poster-board map.” [AP]

— “A U.S. official… said the United States is aware of the facility Netanyahu announced and described it as a “warehouse” used to store “records and archives” from Iran’s nuclear program. A second U.S. intelligence official called Netanyahu’s comments “somewhat misleading. First, we have known about this facility for some time, and it’s full of file cabinets and paper, not aluminum tubes for centrifuges.” [Reuters]

Dennis Ross writes… “President Trump should go to President Putin and say unless you impose an agreed set of limits on what Iran can have militarily in Syria, where it can have it, and what it can and cannot bring to Syria and Lebanon, we will not only back continuing Israeli operations but may feel the need to do more in Syria ourselves.” [NYDailyNews]

ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Israeli-Palestinian Divide Deepens, With No Sign of Compromise at U.N. — by Rick Gladstone: “Jerusalem is not for sale and the Palestinian people’s rights are not up for bargaining,” Mr. Abbas said in the opening of his [UNGA] speech… He said he had patiently awaited the American president’s peace plan, but was “shocked by decisions and actions he undertook that completely contradict the role and commitment of the United States towards the peace process.” [NYTimes

Trump’s new position on two-state solution won’t budge Israelis or Palestinians ― by Oren Liebermann: “Officials in the Trump administration have said their peace plan is almost finalized and Trump predicted the proposal would be put forward within two to four months. Many Israelis expect an election in that time frame, adding another delay into the plan. But Trump’s open endorsement of a two-state solution doesn’t seem to have changed its chances of success.” [CNN]

Architect of two-state solution doubts Trump can deliver Mideast peace — by F. Brinley Bruton: “What does he know? What did he do in life?” said Yossi Beilin, a former Israeli official who conducted secret talks that resulted in the 1993 Oslo Peace Accords… “It is tragic comedy. When I saw the leader of the free world say, ‘If my son-in-law cannot solve the Israel-Palestinian problem, nobody can do that,’ I didn’t know whether to cry or to laugh.” [NBCNews]

U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in an interview with Arutz 7: “What [Trump] said (about two states) is very consistent to what he has been saying all along, meaning that whatever the parties agree to he will support… The reality is, the President has seen very little support on either side for a one-state solution, so I think his observations are correct. Ultimately, this is about an agreement, it’s not about the form of the agreement, it’s about what the agreement will be… I think people left, right, and center also want an end to the conflict. I haven’t heard anyone say that they are disappointed with the President’s observations.” [Video

Money or not, world can’t drop Palestinian refugees, says UN — by Edith Lederer: “As [UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre] Krahenbuhl sat down for an interview with The Associated Press about the agency’s future on Thursday, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told the U.N. General Assembly that UNRWA is critical to millions of his people but U.S. officials “just want to obliterate it altogether.” … At a U.N. event Thursday hosted by UNRWA and Jordan, diplomats said Kuwait pledged $42 million and the European Union pledged 40 million euros to help Palestinian refugees this year.” [AP]

HEARD YESTERDAY ― Mideast Envoy Jason Greenblatt at the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC), a conference of international donors for development assistance to the Palestinian people: “For decades we have sought ways to help the Palestinian people, but the Trump Administration will not reward provocations and violence. Insults and attacks directed at President Trump and members of the Administration will not help the Palestinian people. While some may be uncomfortable with our direct, frank message, the United States will continue speaking directly and frankly because we must tell the truth. We do this because we care about the Palestinian people and their future.”

“We will not continue to invest in temporary solutions that only prolong the cycle of suffering and violence… I urge you all to join us in being direct and frank with the Palestinian Authority about charting a new, sustainable path – one that improves all Palestinian lives.” [Transcript]

SIGHTING: Trump’s Mideast peace representatives, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt met with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu at the Loews Regency New York Hotel yesterday. [Pic]

David Horovitz writes… “Abbas’s forlorn, inflexible ‘we made no mistakes’ speech sounds like a swan song: Some in his entourage had promised that Abbas would deliver a fiery address — full of bitter threats and furious promises. Instead, he left a door open to an American role in negotiations — having ruled out any such role in previous months… But the rhetoric was tired. Abbas, most deliberately, missed his moment years ago. He still won’t agree to terms Israel can live with it. His speech sounded like a swan song.” [ToI

JARED INSIDER ― The inside story of Trump’s shambolic transition team ― from Michael Lewis’ upcoming book titled The Fifth Risk“In June [2016, Chris] Christie received a call from Trump adviser Paul Manafort. “The kid is paranoid about you,” Manafort said. The kid was Jared Kushner… Christie viewed Kushner as one of those people who thinks that, because he is rich, he must also be smart. Still, he had a certain cunning about him. And Christie soon found himself reporting everything he did to prepare for a Trump administration to an “executive committee.” The committee consisted of Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr, Eric Trump, Manafort, Steve Mnuchin and Jeff Sessions.” [TheGuardianDailyBeast]

House Intel Committee tees up release of Russia probe transcripts — by Kyle Cheney: “The House Intelligence Committee will vote Friday to publicly release dozens of transcripts of interviews… from Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Hope Hicks, Roger Stone and other longtime Trump allies and associates… At least two interviews the panel conducted of sitting lawmakers, Reps. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) and Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), do not appear on the list for public release.” [Politico]

SCOTUS WATCH — The Senate Judiciary Committee is set to vote on the confirmation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh following dramatic and emotional testimonies from the nominee and Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school. [CSPAN]

Facebook executive shows support for Kavanaugh at hearing for Trump Supreme Court nominee — by Jessica Guynn: “Joel Kaplan, Facebook’s vice president of global public policy and a close friend of President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, sat prominently among Brett Kavanaugh’s supporters during Thursday’s politically explosive Senate hearing… The presence of a top Facebook executive was controversial inside the company among whisper networks of employees.” [USAToday]

Professor Alan Dershowitz writes… “Postpone Kavanaugh confirmation until FBI can investigate accusations against him: In watching the riveting testimony of Professor Christine Blasey Ford and Kavanaugh Thursday… I was reminded of the story of the old rabbi who gave advice to quarreling married couples. The wife began by complaining that her husband paid no attention to her, abused her, insulted her and demeaned her. After listening to her complaints the rabbi said: “My daughter, you are right.” Then the husband complained about his wife being a bad cook, insulting and overly critical. The rabbi said: “My son, you’re right.” The rabbi’s student assistant turned to him and said: “But rabbi, I don’t understand. They can’t possibly both be right!” To which the rabbi responded: “My student, you’re right too.” Is it possible that both Ford and Kavanaugh are truthfully stating what they honestly believe, but that one of them is honestly mistaken?” [FoxNews]

Headline ― How to understand the Kavanaugh allegations, according to rabbis [JTA]

2018 WATCH — DeSantis campaign seeks to tie Democratic FL gubernatorial candidate to anti-Semitism — by Marc Caputo: “Last night, people in Florida with Jewish surnames started getting texts that read: “BREAKING: Andrew Gillum’s Running Mate Claimed Jews ‘Nailed’ Him To ‘The Cross’: ‘Newly-unearthed comments made by Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum’s running mate raise serious concerns about Gillum’s ever-mounting ties to blatant anti-Semitism’.” They linked to a right-wing website detailing the controversy.”

“The text messages come just a few days after a frustrated Ron DeSantis accused Gillum of having “anti-Semites around him.” … Gillum’s campaign promptly criticized “the DeSantis’ campaign smear tactics.” The DeSantis campaign response: “We’re not sure what is of concern for Andrew Gillum, since these are his running mate’s own words.” [PlaybookFlorida]

** 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: Ori Allon’s Compass nabs $400M, valuing the real estate technology startup at $4.4B [TechCrunch] • Gil Schwartz to Retire as CBS Communications Chief [Variety] • The death of once high-flying VC funds [TechCrunch] • Steve Wynn flaunts $215M super yacht at Monaco boat show [PageSix

Jewish Democratic group sues Sheldon Adelson for ‘legal sadism’ — by Ron Kampeas: “The lawsuit filed Tuesday in a federal court in New York by the National Jewish Democratic Council and its former chairman, Marc Stanley, charges [Adelson] with “legal sadism” for pursuing his lawsuit first launched in 2012, despite multiple losses in lower courts, until a federal appeals court threw it out last November… The lawsuit says that Adelson essentially ruined NJDC, driving away donors who were wary about being named in a lawsuit. Its then-director, David Harris, left the organization and politics because of the action. “Today, the NJDC exists only to recover its debt from litigation and pay its bills,” it says.” [JTA]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Brooklyn to honor Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — by Jonathan Wolfe: “A group of elected officials, legal scholars and women’s rights advocates is beginning a campaign… to rename the Brooklyn Municipal Building in Downtown Brooklyn after Justice Ginsburg to recognize her accomplishments. “She has been a clear voice for women’s rights issues and human rights issues,” said Eric Adams, the Brooklyn borough president… Justice Ginsburg grew up in Flatbush, Brooklyn, during the Depression.” [NYTimes]

STATE-SIDE — Federal court blocks state law aimed at anti-Israel boycotts: “A U.S. District Court judge in Phoenix issued a preliminary junction Wednesday, saying the law enacted in March 2016 likely violates state contractors’ free speech rights under the First Amendment. The law requires any company that contracts with state or local government submit a written certification that it isn’t currently boycotting Israel and won’t do so.” [AP]

Murphy to make 9-day trip to Germany and Israel — by Matt Arco: “[New Jersey] Gov. Phil Murphy will set off on a 9-day overseas business mission next month that includes a visit to Israel with stops in Tel Aviv and the holy city of Jerusalem… Murphy heads to Israel on Oct. 20, where he’ll spend four days mixing cultural events with business roundtables and forums… Unlike recent governors, Murphy isn’t traveling with a large entourage of staffers and members of the business community. Instead, he’ll have a trimmed-down staff and some members of Choose New Jersey.” [NJAdvance]

TRANSITION: Seth Mandel is joining the Washington Examiner as executive editor. Mandel was most recently the op-ed editor of the New York Post. h/t Playbook

SCENE YESTERDAY IN NYC  Ronald Lauder, President of World Jewish Congress, received the Sheptysky Medal at the Ukrainian Art Institute on the Upper East Side. The annual award in memory of Metropolitan Andrei Sheptysky, spiritual leader of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church who saved 150 Jewish lives by hiding them from the Nazis — presented by Borys Lozhkin, President of the Jewish Confederation of Ukraine — is bestowed to individuals who have excelled at fostering and promoting Ukrainian-Jewish understanding and cooperation. [Pic

SPOTTED: Ukrainian Consul General Oleksii Holubov, Deputy Consul General of Israel Israel Nitzan, WJC’s Robert Singer, Leon Chameidis, Izzy Tapoohi, Andrew Gross, James Temerty, Adrian Karatnycky, Inna Ioffe, Mark Botnick, and Daniel Rodomski.

SPOTTED LAST NIGHT — at the annual Sukkot celebration hosted by Crown Heights community leader Chanina Sperlin in Brooklyn: Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan, Einat Dayan, NYS Comptroller Tom DiNapoli, NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Tish James, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez, Marco Carrion, Israel Nitzan, Andrew Gross, Jason Koppel, Pinny Ringel, Zaki Tamir, Eli Cohen, Mark Appel, Eli Slavin, Jacob Goldstein, Ari Wiess, and Jesse Hamilton. [Pic]

DESSERT — Charcoal Grill & Bar now open in Fairfax with kosher eats: “Located at 7563 Beverly Blvd. in Fairfax (Los Angeles), the fresh addition is called Charcoal Grill & Bar. Billing itself as a “Taste of Jerusalem,” this newcomer brings Israeli and Middle Eastern flavors to the streets of Los Angeles, YeahThatsKosher reports.” [Hoodline]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Sociologist Immanuel Wallerstein turns 88… International Emmy award winning Scottish television producer, Sir Jeremy Isaacs turns 86… Swiss-born Governor of Vermont (1985-1991) — the first Jewish woman to govern any state — she was also the US Ambassador to Switzerland (1996-1999), Madeleine May Kunin turns 85… Physician and theoretical biologist, a former MacArthur Fellow, Stuart Kauffman turns 79… Former President of Warner Home Video, consultant on digital media technology, and former trustee of the University of Pennsylvania, Warren Lieberfarb turns 75… Billionaire French businessman who, with his brother, own the controlling interest in the House of Chanel and a number of famous vineyards, Alain Wertheimer turns 70… Pediatrician and author of the book “Winning A Debate with An Israel Hater” about the fight against BDS, Dr. Michael Harris turns 60… New York Times-bestselling author Ben Greenman turns 49… Born in the Soviet Union, he moved to Los Angeles at age 14, winner of four Olympic gold medals for the USA in swimming in 2000 and 2004, Leonid “Lenny” Krayzelburg turns 43…

SATURDAY — Professor of physics emeritus at MIT, he is a 2017 Nobel Prize laureate in Physics, Rainer Weiss turns 86… CEO of Southern California-based LinQuest Corporation, an aerospace engineering firm, Leon Biederman Ph.D. turns 71… Director of Regional Affairs and Development at AIPAC, Brian Shankman turns 46… Former staff writer at the Jewish Journal, Aron Chilewich turns 27… Associate at DC-based S-3 Public Affairs, Shawn Pasternak turns 26… Film and television actress best known for her role in the ABC comedy “The Neighbors,” Clara Mamet turns 24…

SUNDAY — Former Prime Minister of Israel (2006-2009) serving many terms in the Knesset including in various cabinet portfolios, former Mayor of Jerusalem (1993-2003), Ehud Olmert turns 73… Sanford Kadish turns 67… Allison Sommer turns 54… Member of the Knesset for the Likud party since 2009, he is currently responsible for three ministerial portfolios: Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information, Gilad Menashe Erdan turns 48… Lisa Robbins… Ari Shapiro, host of NPR’s All Things Considered, turns 40…

Kafe Knesset for October 31

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Netanyahu vs. Ha’aretz “fake news:” Ha’aretz is in the Prime Minister’s Office’s crosshairs, Kafe Knesset learned today, over a story about Netanyahu’s planned participation in the Jewish Federations…

Kafe Knesset for October 30

Monday, October 30, 2017

Hi-Tech Defense: The latest breaking story from Israel today is the destruction of a Hamas terror tunnel from Khan Yunis in southern Gaza, into Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin…

Kafe Knesset for October 26

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Happy Birthday, Daddy: Dozens of Likud ministers and MKs gathered in the cabinet room to celebrate Bibi’s 68th birthday. Perhaps because of the scandalous police investigations underway, no…

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…

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…

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,…