Sep
20

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Daily Kickoff: Previewing UNGA — Trump vs. Iran | Cory Booker’s mom echoes a Jewish mother | Lloyd Blankfein skips Red Sox lunch due to Yom Kippur

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Over Yom Kippur… Russia blamed Israel for the loss of a Russian military plane shot down by Syrian forces. Putin and Netanyahu worked to defuse further tensions and Israel’s Air Force Chief is heading to Moscow to offer the Russians more information on the incident… Prime Minister Theresa May pledged on Monday to protect British Jewish identity and Israel’s right to defend itself… Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked the DOJ to determine if John Kerry violated federal laws meeting with Iranian officials… Elliott Broidy’s lawyers claim Qatari hackers have been conducting phishing attacks since at least 2014 against Syrian human rights activists, Egyptian soccer players, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and his wife Debbie, among others… It turns out New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s campaign manager and top aides knew about the content in the anti-Cynthia Nixon mailer before Larry Schwartz signed off on it… Julia Salazar told Jewish Insider she’s ‘hopeful’ she will overcome recent controversies… and the Daily Mail photographed Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump on their way to Yom Kippur services…

PREVIEWING UNGA — Iran to try to divide Trump from allies at UN gathering — by Nahal Toosi, David Herszenhorn and Matthew Karnitschnig: “Donald Trump sees next week’s main session of the United Nations General Assembly as a chance to condemn Iran for spreading what he’s called “chaos and terror” through the Middle East… Trump’s speech to the General Assembly, set for September 25, will include tough anti-Iran language, an administration official confirmed. And Iran’s behavior is still expected to come up during the U.N. Security Council session Trump will chair, tentatively set for September 26.” [PoliticoEU] • Macron to Meet Trump, Rouhani at UN Next Week, Aides Say [Bloomberg

U.S. seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran —  by Lesley Wroughton: “The United States is seeking to negotiate a treaty with Iran to include Tehran’s ballistic missile program and its regional behavior, the U.S. special envoy for Iran said on Wednesday ahead of U.N. meetings in New York next week… “The new deal that we hope to be able to sign with Iran, and it will not be a personal agreement between two governments like the last one, we seek a treaty,” envoy Brian Hook told an audience at the Hudson Institute think tank.” [Reuters]

— Trump Hit Iran With Oil Sanctions. So Far, They’re Working — by Clifford Krauss: “Nearly two months before American oil sanctions go into effect, Iran’s crude exports are plummeting. International oil companies, including those from countries that are still committed to the nuclear agreement, are bailing out of deals with Tehran.” [NYTimes]

Abbas to hold Middle East meeting in New York: “Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has invited Middle East envoys, foreign ministers and Security Council diplomats to a meeting in New York next week to discuss prospects for peace, the Palestinian ambassador said Wednesday.” [AFP]

REPORT — “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to swap the slot for his UN General Assembly address with the President of Cyprus in order to speak during Israeli prime time and before Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas… Channel 10 reports that while the Cypriot leader was said to have agreed to the trade, UN organizers rejected the move.” [ToI

Despite Rising Tensions, Trump Administration Says Palestinian Authority Fighting Terrorism — by Amir Tibon: “The annual “country reports on terrorism” document for 2017 compliments the Palestinian government in Ramallah for constraining the activities of Hamas and other terror groups, and for arresting terrorists who planned attacks against Israelis. This year’s report is the first one to be published fully under the guidance of the Trump administration.” [Haaretz]

Roula Khalaf writes… “Israel and the Arab states make eyes at each other. Meanwhile, the Palestinians are increasingly being marginalized or ignored: In a recent conversation I had with an Israeli official, the Palestinians were mentioned once or twice, and almost in passing. In Fear, journalist Bob Woodward’s book on Donald Trump’s White House, they don’t feature at all… Israeli officials are right to point to a shift in the mood music and to a quiet expansion of covert co-operation with Arab states… All sides prefer to stay mum on the details but the whispers are that, under the radar, intelligence and technological co-operation is taking place.” [FinancialTimes]

Tom Friedman: “If a Kushner-Trump plan embraced the Arab-Palestinian minimums, Bibi would have to either reject it — exposing his real position — or jettison some of his far-right political supporters and form a new government prepared to negotiate on the U.S. terms. He could definitely do the latter — if he wanted.” [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE REGION — Jordan Scrambles to Recoup Funds for Palestinians Lost to U.S. Cuts — by Felicia Schwartz: “Jordan has embarked on an overseas lobbying campaign to replace funding that the Trump administration pulled last month… from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency… Last week Jordan convened a meeting of the Arab League in Egypt to solicit more funds. Saudi Arabia and others pledged support but not additional money. Next week, Jordan will host a conference with Sweden, Germany, Japan and others on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York.”

“A Trump administration official said the U.S. welcomes efforts by Jordan and others to solicit additional funds for Unrwa, but said such initiatives won’t succeed.” [WSJ]

Ambassador David Friedman tweets this morning: “The Palestinian Prisoner Affairs Commission has confirmed that the family of the terrorist who murdered Ari Fuld is “eligible to receive a monthly salary” as compensation for his incarceration. This practice is unconscionable and must stop if there is to be any hope for peace.”

Turkey’s Erdogan Is All Over East Jerusalem — by Jonathan Ferziger: “Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is all over east Jerusalem. Muslim worshipers raise his picture at Friday prayers, restaurants display the Turkish flag on their walls, and tens of thousands of his citizens have been sent to the Israeli-controlled holy city on pilgrimages to prevent its “Judaization.” … Erdogan’s presence there has fueled concern in Jordan that he may challenge its historic guardianship over the eighth-century Al Aqsa complex.” [Bloomberg]

2020 WATCH — Cory Booker’s got a lot of love to give, and he’s betting that’s what it will take to win in 2020 — by Jonathan Van Meter: “Booker’s singleness, coming more than a century later, is another way he stands out from other presidential candidates… Booker’s mother, Carolyn, has made peace with her son’s life choices. “I would love for him to have someone to share his life with,” she says. “I remain hopeful for that. But I figured out a long time ago that this is Cory’s calling. We just have to sit back and give him the support that he needs to do it in the way that he can best serve that calling.” Lots of people around Booker talk like that, almost as if he’s chosen the priesthood — the single, relentlessly optimistic, middle-aged man who lives a rather monkish existence in his “crappy” basement apartment in the capital or his humble townhouse with his brother’s family.” [NYMag

MIDTERMS — Tightening Texas race boosts Democrats’ hopes of taking Senate — by Chris Kahn: “The Reuters/Ipsos/UVA Center for Politics Poll released on Wednesday of several competitive U.S. Senate races… [showed] U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas had a 2-percentage-point lead over [Ted] Cruz among likely voters in the state… The poll also showed Florida’s Republican governor, Rick Scott, with a 1-percentage-point lead over Democratic U.S. Senator Bill Nelson… The poll showed Nevada U.S. Senator Dean Heller holding a 3-percentage-point lead over Democratic U.S. Representative Jacky Rosen.” [Reuters]

— Ted Cruz slams Beto O’Rourke over Israel vote: “In speeches throughout Texas, Cruz is now consistently bringing up O’Rourke’s 2014 vote against sending $225 million in additional funding to Israel for its missile defense system called Iron Dome.” [HoustonChronicle]

— Marc Stanley, former chair of the National Jewish Democratic Council, writes… “It’s not kosher to say Beto O’Rourke doesn’t support Israel: O’Rourke has an outstanding record on Israel. As a member of Congress, he has consistently voted for foreign aid to Israel. He also supports joint US-Israel missile-defense systems. That is despite casting one “no” vote on a defense appropriations bill, which was nothing more than a protest against rushing appropriations votes without debate. It was not a vote against assistance for Israel, which O’Rourke supports. That is why he intentionally voted toward the end of the roll call, knowing that the bill would pass without his vote.” [JPost]

Anti-Semitic Mailer Dogs Cuomo, Even After Big Victory — by Jesse McKinley: “Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo might have assumed that his big win in last week’s Democratic primary would end talk about the last-minute piece of campaign mail that falsely suggested his opponent, Cynthia Nixon, was ambivalent about anti-Semitism. He was mistaken. Nearly a week after Mr. Cuomo’s impressive victory, the mailer was once again stirring up questions on Wednesday about who among the governor’s inner circle had known of it, as well as providing a renewed talking point for Marcus J. Molinaro, the Republican candidate for governor.” [NYTimes]

Julia Salazar ‘hopeful’ she will overcome controversies — by Jacob Kornbluh: “I feel vindicated, yeah,” Salazar told Jewish Insider at the Brooklyn Dems’ post-primary breakfast Monday morning. “I feel I overcame a lot in the last few weeks.” Though she was skeptical that the Jewish community would fully embrace her after facing scrutiny for false statements regarding her Jewish identity, Salazar said she was “hopeful” that the Jewish community in her district will accept her as their representative. [JewishInsider]

Andrew Gillum campaign says attacks casting him as anti-Israel are ‘irresponsible’ — by David Smiley: “Gillum, who spoke on the issues Sunday during a visit to Miami Beach, says that he’s been against the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement during the entirety of his gubernatorial run, despite what he calls inaccurate reports of a shifting stance. A campaign spokesman for the Tallahassee mayor also explained that Gillum’s association with organizations that back the BDS movement or oppose anti-boycott legislation shouldn’t be construed as support for those positions…”[MiamiHerald• Sheriff Scott Israel helping Andrew Gillum raise money in governor’s campaign [SunSentinel]

New racial controversy batters DeSantis — by Marc Caputo: “A Republican activist who donated more than $20,000 to Ron DeSantis and lined up a speech for him at President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago club called President Obama a “F—- MUSLIM N—-” on Twitter recently, in addition to other inflammatory remarks… Alembik’s criticisms of Islam and support of Israel found a home at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago in February where he organized a gala for a conservative group called “Truth About Israel.” Alembik said he was able to get DeSantis to attend the event because they’ve known each other for years.”[Politico]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: The Redstone Family Legal Drama May Be About to Explode [VanityFair] • Bob Bakish on How Disney-Fox Helps Viacom and His Phone Call With CBS Corp.’s Acting CEO[HollywoodReporter] • WeWork Surpasses JPMorgan as Biggest Occupier of Manhattan Office Space [WSJ]  In the Wake of Disaster, Mitchell Rales’ Art Paradise Bloomed [Bloomberg] • Saddled With $42M in Debt, Seasons Kosher Supermarket Files for Bankruptcy [CommercialObserver] • Marketing Analytics Startup Singular Raises $30 Million [CTech

STARTUP NATION — Digital Marketplace Freightos Gains $45 Million in New Funding Round — by Erica Phillips: “Digital freight-booking marketplace Freightos has raised nearly $45 million in a Series C funding round to expand its technology and geographic reach and develop financial instruments for the container shipping business… “It’s very much about a strategic relationship,” said Zvi Schreiber, Freightos’s chief executive. Freightos plans to work with Singapore Exchange to deliver its container shipping index on a daily basis.” [WSJ]

De Blasio has secret meeting with Red Sox management — by Kevin Dugan and Yoav Gonen: “Mayor Bill de Blasio met secretly with Red Sox brass for a 90-minute lunch on Wednesday at the downtown offices of Goldman Sachs… Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein — a Yankees fan who years ago hawked hot dogs at Yankees Stadium — was not at the meeting because of the Jewish holiday, sources said.” [NYPost]

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Inks Book Deal: “Emanuel’s book, entitled “The Nation City: Why Mayors Run the World,” will be released in the spring of 2020, publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced Tuesday. The book will focus on “effective governing in a time of historic gridlock,” a statement from the publisher said… The book is the first glimpse Emanuel has revealed of his plans for the future after he leaves office in May 2019.” [NBCChicago]

MEDIA WATCH — Annie Karni Joins The Times as a White House Correspondent: “We’re thrilled to announce that Annie Karni will become a White House correspondent, and will join our formidable team of Peter Baker, Julie Davis, Maggie Haberman, Mark Landler, Katie Rogers and Mike Shear… At Politico, Annie traveled with the president to Saudi Arabia, Israel, Britain and Finland and was the author of a wide range of features and exclusives… Like Maggie, Annie is a graduate of a formidable school of journalism — the New York tabloids.” [NYT]

Marc Benioff Explains Why He Is Buying Time Magazine — by David Streitfeld: “While having a massage late Sunday, the West Coast-based tech billionaire discussed via text message why he was entering the East Coast-based media industry by acquiring Time Inc.’s flagship publication… Marc Benioff, the chief executive of the software company Salesforce, and his wife, Lynne, said on Sunday that they had agreed to buy Time magazine from Meredith Corporation for $190 million in cash.” [NYTRecode]

— Is the Shofar … an Instrument of Technological Disruption? “While Mr. Zuckerberg was blowing his shofar before a virtual crowd, Mr. Benioff, 54, was blowing his own, in a synagogue, before a congregation at the ornate-domed Temple Emanu-El in the Presidio Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. Backed by a talented guitarist, the holy ark and a toddler wielding a purple plastic horn, Mr. Benioff raised what looked like the shofar of all shofars: a long, curled, hollowed-out horn. With cheeks and chest full, he exhaled a tekiah-gedolah as well as any of the talis-draped rabbis beside him.” [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Charlotte Jews answer SOS from Wilmington: Send kosher food! —by Tim Funk: “On Tuesday morning, a helicopter loaded with 150 pounds of food — including kosher chicken, kosher yogurt, cream cheese, and “honey cakes,” traditional treats for a sweet Jewish New Year — took off for the airport in Wilmington. When it arrived at about 1:30 p.m. — just hours before Yom Kipper was to begin at sundown — [Rabbi Moshe] Leiblich was there to pick it up… The rabbi spent the rest of the daylight hours Tuesday driving roads that were still passable, delivering ready-to-eat meals to Jewish families getting ready for the holiday.” [CharlotteObserver]

Town accused of bias against Orthodox Jews settles lawsuit: “A New Jersey town has agreed to repeal an ordinance that state officials said discriminated against Orthodox Jews. The moves, announced Monday, resolve a lawsuit the state attorney general’s office filed against Mahwah last October. The town had already repealed an ordinance that barred out-of-state residents from using its parks. Officials agreed that repeal will remain in effect.” [AP]

TALK OF OUR NATION — A Glimpse Inside the Hidden World of Hasidic Women —by Sarah Maslin Nir: “Sharon Pulwer was lost in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, shortly after moving here from Israel to study photography, when she came across the black hats and modest clothes of religious Jews in New York City… Ms. Pulwer, now 24, had stumbled upon members of Chabad-Lubavitch… As she learned more, Ms. Pulwer became intrigued by the community’s adherence to biblical precepts that strictly delimit the roles of men and women… Eager to learn, she approached a group outside 770 Eastern Parkway, unaware it was the world headquarters of the movement, and was surprised to find herself welcomed in as an observer.” [NYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK — Tomer Hemed stars in QPR win after Yom Kippur fast — by Ben Weich: “Israeli footballer Tomer Hemed came off the bench to help Queens Park Rangers to a 2-0 win over Millwall on Wednesday night – despite the fact he was still fasting for Yom Kippur when the game kicked off. Hemed, who joined the West London club on loan in August, started the match on the bench… His manager, Steve McClaren, told Sky Sports before the match that Hemed would eat during the first half, and come on as a substitute if needed.” [TheJC]

Mavericks and Mark Cuban Sanctioned by N.B.A. Over Handling of Sexual Harassment — by Scott Cacciola: “Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, will pay $10 million to women’s leadership and domestic-violence organizations under an agreement with the N.B.A. announced Wednesday to address sexual harassment and other improper conduct among employees in the team’s front office.” [NYTimes]

— Disney CEO Bob Iger tweeted out ESPN’s story on Cuban and the Mavericks: “Fine work by Rachel Nichols on a very serious matter.”

DESSERT — Vegan Bon Chocolatier Opens in Bay Harbor Islands — by Hannah Sentenac: “The next time your chocolate craving kicks in, Bon Chocolatiers in Bay Harbor Islands is happy to help. The newly opened all-vegan and kosher confectioner sells chocolate bars… and other sweet treats. The almost-too-pretty-to-eat, colorful creations were dreamed up by Parisian couple Deborah and Yoann Andreu.” [MiamiNewTimes]

Baked in Baltimore to open in former Goldman’s Kosher Bakery site —by Lorraine Mirabella: “A bakery business with Washington roots has acquired the former Goldman’s Kosher Bakery site in Northwest Baltimore. Baked in Baltimore will open Saturday at 6848 Reisterstown Road, where the 52-year-old, family-owned Goldman’s had operated since 1973 before closing in January. The new business… was co-founded by attorney and entrepreneur April N. Richardson, who grew up in Baltimore and also operates DC Sweet Potato Cakes.” [BaltimoreSun]

Pastrami Plus to open second Long Island location, in Franklin Square  — by Jim Merritt: “There’s a slice of good news on the kosher-style deli front: Pastrami Plus, the little delicatessen in East Meadow known for its warm, peppery pastrami and multi-flavor knishes, is expanding to a new location down the pike in Franklin Square. Sal Gawish, an immigrant from Egypt who learned the business at Grabstein’s in Canarsie, Brooklyn, and also worked at Bellmore’s now-defunct Bellcrest kosher deli, opened the East Meadow store in 2003.” [Newsday]

BIRTHDAYS: Journalist and author Martin Tolchin turns 90… Florida real estate developer who acquired 785 acres of mostly swamp land in South Florida for $6 million in 1967 and converted it into Aventura and Turnberry Isle Resort, Donald Soffer turns 86… Author, television personality and philanthropist, she is the widow of Aaron Spelling, Carole Gene “Candy” Spelling turns 73… Long-time SVP at Booz-Allen after a career that included two White House staff positions, former CEO of Special Olympics International, Bruce Pasternack turns 71… Businessman, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, co-founder of Broadcom and owner of the Anaheim Ducks, Henry Samueli turns 64… Rabbi of Congregation Beit Torat Chaim of Jakarta, Indonesia and the founder and director of Outreach Judaism, Rabbi Tovia Singer turns 58…

Civil rights attorney, author and legal analyst on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News and MSNBC, Lisa Bloom turns 57… Founder of PFAP Consulting, Melissa Jane Kronfeld, Ph.D. turns 36… National security, homeland security and foreign policy advisor to Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS), James Mazol turns 32… Associate director of the Middle East Program at the DC-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, previously a political assistant at the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, Emily Grunewald turns 31… Director of membership for the Sacramento-based California Solar & Storage Association, Carter Lavin turns 30… Business development associate at ActionIQ, Alison Bogdonoff turns 29… OneTable’s Zoe Plotsky… Isabel Tsesarsky… Bloomberg LP’s legal reporter, Drew Singer… Lauren Ackerman

Sep
17

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Daily Kickoff: Top donors Seth Klarman, Les Wexner abandon GOP | Camp David at 40: Interview with Stu Eizenstat

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DRIVING THE CONVO — Seth Klarman in a rare interview with NYTimes op-ed staff editor Bari Weiss: “I’m kind of a loner. One of the reasons I’m willing to come out of my shell and talk to you is because I think democracy is at stake. And maybe I’ll be able to convince some other people of that. And get them to support Democrats in 2018. We need to turn the House and Senate as a check on Donald Trump and his runaway presidency… I’m stretching far beyond what I usually do. By the election, I think I’ll have spent between $18 and $20 million.”

Klarman on Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: “In a lot of ways I’m actually excited about somebody like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez coming along because it’s a way of younger people and people of color and people who are different finding their voice and being part of the process.”

Among the Democratic candidates Klarman has given money to: Reps. Joe Kennedy (MA), Conor Lamb (PA), Beto O’Rourke (TX) and Kirsten Gillibrand (NY).

Klarman on 2020: “What if it came down to a choice between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders? While a President Sanders would be “appalling,” he says Mr. Sanders is “not unhinged” and so he would pull the lever for him.”

Why it matters: “There are many people who are similarly situated to Seth Klarman — wealthy, hawkish, socially liberal, fiscally conservative types who felt politically homeless long before Mr. Trump came onto the scene.”

Klarman’s creds: “Paul Singer, one of the most influential hedge fund managers in the country, told me that if he was going to invest in any fund other than the one he himself manages, “the only one would be Seth’s.” Used copies of a book about investing that Mr. Klarman wrote in 1991 go for more than $650 on Amazon.” [NYTimes]

FLASHBACK — October 2017: Billionaire Republicans Privately Diss Trump: “Frequent GOP donor Seth Klarman, CEO of $30 billion Baupost Group hedge fund, had already warned his investors about Trump’s protectionist policies and the deficits his tax plan would produce… “The president is a threat to democracy. He has attacked journalists and he’s threatening to take away NBC’s license,” Klarman said… People don’t focus on this but Nazi Germany had a constitution before Hitler came to power and at the end of the war they had the exact same constitution. It lasted all the way through, but democracy didn’t.” [NYMag]

Les Wexner renounces Republican Party affiliation after Obama stops in Columbus —by Suzanne Goldsmith: “I just decided I’m no longer a Republican,” said L Brands CEO Leslie H. Wexner, speaking during a panel discussion about civility at Miranova’s Ivory Room billed as a “Columbus Partnership and YPO Leadership Summit.” “I’m an independent,” he said. “I won’t support this nonsense in the Republican Party. I’ve been a Republican since college, joined the Young Republican Club at Ohio State.” … Wexner recalled [Trump’s comments following the Charlottesville protests], which he said caused him to lose sleep. “I have to do something because the leader of our country is behaving poorly,” Wexner recalled thinking.” [Dispatch]

Shalom Lipner tweets“The subtext here is that both Wexner and Klarman have stellar records of support for transformative Israeli and Jewish communal initiatives. That they would break with the GOP over Trump speaks volumes about how they perceive his impact on both Israel and the Jewish community.”

RJC’s Matt Brooks tells us… “There is no question that folks have very strong feelings both pro and con for this administration (as many did under Obama as well). Very few are neutral on the Trump Administration. As such it’s not surprising that some GOP donors have decided not to give. However we are also seeing many new donors and people significantly increasing their support to the GOP because of the strong pro-Israel actions of this President including moving the Embassy, ending the Iran deal and cutting off funding for UNRWA and the PA. The RJC is on track to have one of its strongest revenue years ever.”

INBOX — Jewish People Policy Institute’s 2018 reportMidterm elections results could deepen crisis in Israel’s relations with the Democratic Party and undermine bipartisan support for Israel in Congress.

“The report also relates to a deepening frustration in the Trump administration with the lack of appreciation American Jews have shown for the steps taken by the president to improve Israel’s political and security reality. A Senior official in the administration emphasized to JPPI, “We can take justified criticism, but if Obama had transferred the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, the American Jewish community would have been united in applauding him!”

Chemi Shalev writes… “Israel’s Irreconcilable Differences With U.S. Jews and the Democratic Party May Soon Lead to Final Divorce: Israel will ultimately and inevitably pay a steep price for its foolhardy neglect of the liberal world. The first accounting may come as early as November 6, if the U.S. Congress falls into the hands of a reinvigorated Democratic Party, depleted of its pro-Israeli stalwarts, increasingly beholden to its liberal, left-wing flank, eager to flex its muscles and to start exacting its revenge.” [Haaretz]

2020 WATCH — Bloomberg May Run for President as a Democrat. His Views on Policing and #MeToo Could Be a Problem — by Alexander Burns and Sydney Ember: “After a gun control-themed event in a Seattle community center Friday, [Michael] Bloomberg… said in an interview that he now firmly believes only a major-party nominee can win the White House. If he were to run, Mr. Bloomberg said it would be as a Democrat, and he left open the door to changing his party registration in the coming months. “It’s impossible to conceive that I could run as a Republican — things like choice, so many of the issues, I’m just way away from where the Republican Party is today,” Mr. Bloomberg said… Mr. Bloomberg said he had no specific timeline for deciding on a presidential run: “I’m working on this Nov. 6 election, and after that I’ll take a look at it.” [NYTimes]

CAMP DAVID AT 40 — Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Camp David Accords, a framework signed by then Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, after 13 days of talks at Camp David. The accords, later cemented by a peace treaty in 1979, led to peace between Israel and Egypt for four decades.

INTERVIEW — Stuart “Stu” Eizenstat, who was among Jimmy Carter’s closest aides, shared a behind-the-scenes account of the Camp David talks — which he describes in his recently published book titled “President Carter: The White House Years  — in a phone interview with Jewish Insider‘s Jacob Kornbluh.

“Camp David was 13 agonizing days and nights,” according to Eizenstat. “Carter drafted 20 separate peace agreements. He negotiated separately with Begin and Sadat because they were like two scorpions in a bottle. They could not be in the same room and they weren’t, except at the very first day of Camp David and the last when the deal was done. He worked with the delegations, the staff people, which was very unusual for a president to negotiate with somebody other than the head of states. Then he added two personal touches. The first was on the first Sunday of the 13 days. He took Sadat and Begin in his presidential limo to the Gettysburg battlefield to dramatize the fact that five wars between Egypt and Israel were enough. It led to two very emotional scenes, which I describe in my book. One is that Sadat, who was a general, started talking about [George] Pickett’s charge and how that was a turning point in the whole war. Begin, who was of course not a general, but who was a great historian, then broke out extemporaneously and recited Abraham Lincoln’s entire Gettysburg Address.”

“The second shows how Carter studied intelligence reports about Sadat and Begin. So the last Sunday, the 13th day, we were close, but not quite there with an agreement. Prime Minister Begin said to the Carter, ‘Mr. President, I cannot, will not make any more compromises. I ask you to get a car to take me back to Washington. I’ve got an El Al plane already waiting for me at Andrews Air Force Base. I’m leaving. My bags are packed.’ Carter, realizing this failure after 13 days would totally undercut Sadat’s historic trip to Jerusalem, took a desperate personal touch. That is knowing the Begin had a great love for his eight grandchildren. He got the names of each of the eight and personally inscribed their names on photographs of Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David. He walked over to Begin’s cabin and hand delivered it, and saw Begin’s lips quiver and his eyes tear as he read each of their names signed by the president. He said, ‘Mr. President, I’ll make one last try.’ Almost 40 years later, that treaty is the center of Israeli security.”

HEARD THIS MORNING — Fred Kempe, President of the Atlantic Council, to MSNBC’s Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski: The Camp David peace accords “was almost upset by a little girl at Camp David named Mika Brzezinski. I was reading the memoirs of her father (Zbigniew Brzezinski) over the weekend, and apparently, you were in a golf cart with Amy Carter, and you almost ran down the Israeli Prime Minister, and it was only the security guard of Amy Carter that avoided an international crisis at that point.” Picture of Mika in the golf cart at Camp David [Pic]

Kempe on what sets apart the Camp David Accords from the Israeli-Palestinian peace process: “I think three things set that apart, and they don’t exist right now. The first is you have Menachem Begin on the Israeli side, Anwar Sadat on the Egyptian side, and they were both strong leaders who wanted to get something done. In Benjamin Netanyahu [on the Israeli side] and Mahmoud Abbas, on the Palestinian side, you don’t have that. You had President Carter, who was willing to get deeply involved with details and come up with creative solutions during those 13 days in Camp David and elsewhere when things got blocked. And then the third thing, Menachem Begin was willing to give up territory. He was willing to give up the Sinai. He didn’t see any Biblical connection, any historical connection. So he wanted to hold on to West Bank, and the way to do that was giving up Sinai.”

Israeli-American Fatally Stabbed in the West Bank — by Felicia Schwartz: “The man, Ari Fuld, was a right-wing pro-Israel activist who had a following on social media. He was killed at a shopping mall near the Gush Etzion junction that has been the site of similar incidents in recent years. The junction and mall are frequented by both Israelis and Palestinians… “Ari Fuld was a passionate defender of Israel and an American patriot,” U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman said on Twitter. “He represented the best of both countries and will be deeply missed.” [WSJ]

TRUMP’S BIG STICK ― The Trump administration’s most recent move to end funding of peace-building programs for Palestinians and Israelis drew a rare public rebuke from diplomatsMiddle East experts, and Jewish groups alike. On Friday, USAID notified Congress that it would not issue the last $10 million payment of the $26 million that had already been budgeted in FY2017 for the Conflict Management and Mitigation Program. On Sunday, the Palestinian Authority’s representative to DC, Husam Zomlot, said the U.S. has revoked his and family’s visas and closed the PLO’s bank accounts in Washington, DC.

— “The closure of the PLO offices in Washington was shocking,” a Palestinian official told Israel Hayom. “We didn’t think Trump would go so far as to shut down the official Palestinian mission in the U.S.”

VIEW FROM RAMALLAH — US has no plan for Middle East peace, says senior Palestinian: “I don’t think they will ever introduce a plan,” [Saeb] Erekat said in Jericho. “The whole world is rejecting their ideas. They are already implementing their plan by changing the terms of reference.”[TheGuardian]  

— In an interview with Ben Caspit, Erekat hinted Abbas will return the Palestinian Authority keys back to Israel in an upcoming speech at the end of the month. Erekat also recounted the conversations he had with Trump and Jared Kushner in 2017, blaming Israel and the Administration for the impasse in the Middle East peace process.

Aaron David Miller tweets“Over a 20 year period under Rs and Ds, we did some really dumb things on Arab-Israeli peacemaking. But nothing — I mean nothing – comes close to the policies being pursued by the Trump Administration which are cruel, confused, and counterproductive for all sides.”

Jackson Diehl: “Apparently Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, real estate developers turned would-be Middle East peace brokers, believe squeezing the Palestinians will induce them to be more reasonable, like wayward subcontractors. Longtime veterans of Mideast diplomacy will tell you the opposite result is far more likely — but then, the pros are excluded from this initiative.” [WashPost]

INSIDE THE ADMIN — Fraying Ties With Trump Put Jim Mattis’s Fate in Doubt — by Helene Cooper: “Mr. Mattis has begun questioning the efficacy of Mr. Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal — a move that, again, was made against his advice. Mr. Mattis has told aides that he has yet to see any difference in Iran’s behavior since Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement between world powers and Tehran. Mr. Mattis famously was pushed out of his job as head of United States Central Command in 2013 because he was viewed as too much of a hawk on Iran policy during the Obama administration. But now, in the Trump administration, Mr. Mattis makes his arguments on Iran from the left of Mr. Bolton, Ms. Ricardel and the president himself.” [NYTimes

Peter Beinart writes… “America Needs an Entirely New Foreign Policy for the Trump Age: On North Korea, Russia, and nato, Democrats in Congress sound a lot like the Never Trump hawks who once called them appeasers. But the more Washington Democrats echo GOP or ex-GOP hawks, the more they distance themselves from their party’s own base…”[TheAtlantic

MIDTERMS — DCCC makes Perry Gershon race a top-tier contest — by David Schwartz: “The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee on Friday moved Democrat Perry Gershon’s bid to unseat Rep. Lee Zeldin to its top tier of targeted races. DCCC Chairman Ben Ray Luján cited Gershon’s fundraising, campaign infrastructure and “deep ties to the community he aims to serve” in a statement announcing the move to the “Red-to-Blue Program,” which includes 82 seats… “I’m happy to see the national party has come to understand the momentum we have and recognize it,” Gershon said Friday.” [Newsday]

PROFILE ― America’s anger paradox: Voters want the anger to stop but can’t stop being angry — by Greg Jaffe: “[Elissa] Slotkin’s race (for Michigan’s 8th Congressional District), which nonpartisan groups rate as a toss-up, is a view into perhaps the biggest paradox of the Trump era. Voters say they are tired of the anger and polarization emanating from Washington. They say they crave compromise. Yet these same voters view the rival party with disdain and frequently punish politicians for reaching across partisan lines. They want the anger to stop but can’t stop being angry… She knows that her ability to navigate this contradiction will determine whether she wins this November in a district that President Trump carried by seven percentage points. To prevail, Slotkin needs to peel off some Trump voters. These days that means she must do more than just convince them she’s the better candidate.”[WashPost

MUELLER WATCH — ‘Senior Israel official’ mentioned in Paul Manafort court document by Special Counsel Robert Mueller: “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort sought to turn what he termed “Obama jews” against former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko as part of his lobbying work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, according to a Friday indictment prosecutors filed in federal court… Prosecutors say he collaborated with an Israeli official to spread the story that Tymoshenko was allied with anti-Semitic causes to make the administration believe “the Jewish community will take this out on Obama on election day if he does nothing.” [BusinessInsiderNYT]

— “Manafort is cooperating, so I’m sure Mueller knows the name,” [Alan] Dershowitz said… “You don’t put a person’s name in an indictment unless they did something wrong,” he explained. “It was perfectly reasonable for an Israeli to be willing to hear information about potential anti-Semitism,” Dershowitz added… “The senior Israeli official probably didn’t know that Manafort was engaged in unregistered lobbying activities.” [Haaretz]

— “The indictment does not elaborate on the identity of the Israeli official. However, in October 2012, [Avigdor] Lieberman, who was then serving as the foreign minister, published a statement that was identical in nature to the statement contained in the indictment. Lieberman denied having any connection with the issue and maintains that he never spoke to Manafort or met with him.” [Ynet]

On Sunday, Lieberman called on Israel’s Justice Ministry to open a probe into the identity of the top official embroiled in the case of Paul Manafort.”[Haaretz]

Possible connection? The late Arthur Finkelstein, who had a longtime relationship with Manafort, also served as a political strategist to Lieberman, who ran in 2013 on a joint list with Netanyahu’s Likud. Finkelstein also advised Netanyahu in 1996 and 1999. Finklestein later worked with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban after being recommended by Netanyahu.

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Time Magazine Sold to Salesforce Founder Marc Benioff for $190 Million [WSJNYTimes] • Post-Moonves, Shari Redstone Faces a New Legal Threat: Her Father [VanityFair] • Roman Abramovich transfers $92M of property to ex [NYPost] • Amazon Go could be 200x bigger in a decade: Joe Sitt [TheRealDeal] • WeWork hosts a pitch night to stock its in-house stores [NewYorker]

MEDIA WATCH — Who’s Left Covering Brooklyn With the Big Newspapers in Retreat? —by Scott Nover: “[Liena] Zagare’s vantage point at bklyner puts her very much on the front lines of local-news reporting in Brooklyn… Zagare was born in the Latvian capital city of Riga, then under Soviet control, and studied at the London School of Economics before launching a career at the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation. She met her husband, Ben Smith, now the editor in chief of BuzzFeed News, at a conference in Riga that he was covering and she was attending. They were both 22, and it was Smith’s third day reporting for The Baltic Times. Once they had relocated to New York a few years later, Smith encouraged her to start writing about her surroundings in the early days of blogging.” [TheAtlantic]

TALK OF THE TOWN — As Other Disloyal Democrats Suffer, Simcha Felder Perseveres — by Zoe Greenberg: “Across the state, Mr. Felder has been painted by his critics as a traitor and a turncoat, a rogue Democrat who sits with the Republicans, giving them a one-vote majority in the State Senate… Mr. Felder’s continued power in the State Senate may not last, if the Democrats manage to flip a Republican-held seat in the midterm elections… But in Brooklyn, his constituents did not seem to care what the governor, or anyone else for that matter, had to say about their local leader. As Josh Mehlman, chairman of the Flatbush Jewish Community Coalition said, “The community is solidly behind Simcha Felder.” [NYTimes]

Eight Decades of Ethnic Dilemmas: Iconic sociologist Nathan Glazer on the problems of group identity, affirmative action and Donald Trump — by Jason Willick: “Mr. Glazer is a critic of President Trump, but a temperate one… He believes anti-Semitism in the U.S. has been all but eliminated in his lifetime, and adds: “I don’t see it connected to Trump—if his daughter marries a Jew and converts, if his grandchildren are being raised as Jews and no one cares.” As for open racists and anti-Semites who describe themselves as “alt-right”: “I don’t think anybody in the alt-right these days is going to get elected.”

“Mr. Glazer thinks today’s campus activists are characterized by a “discomfort at discussion that looks seriously” at important social issues—just as the Berkeley revolts, in their later stages, ended up seeking to silence opposing ideas. Yet he thinks today’s student protesters are likely to be less successful than their 1960s predecessors in pushing society leftward. Perhaps instead they will put off sympathizers and thereby help produce more centrists like Mr. Glazer.” [WSJ]

Baptist pastor starts nonprofit to restore post-Holocaust cemeteries — by Vanessa Gera and Dmitry Vlasov: “For years now, [Steven] Reece, an ordained Southern Baptist minister from Texas, has been cleaning Jewish cemeteries and erecting memorial plaques at mass grave sites in Poland, and recently Ukraine…The 63-year-old American says cleaning up old cemeteries is his way, as a Christian, of honoring Holocaust victims while supporting the surviving Jewish communities here… Poland’s Chief Rabbi Michael Schudrich said that initially, some were puzzled by Reece. “Steven is so unique, we’re not used to people like that,” he said. “But as soon as I met him I realized that he was the real thing,” Schudrich added.” [AP]

PHOTO — New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman posted a picture of him praying at the Western Wall on Instagram with a note marking the High Holy Days“It’s a very special time of year for both Pats nation and Jewish people all over the world with both Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I’m usually in such an active mode around this time but this year I’m being more reflective and grateful. I’m so blessed to have a loving family, an incredible daughter and amazing support from the best fans in the world. Remember to let the people you love know that you love them and always be grateful for what you have. שנה טובה.” [Pic]

REMEMBERING: Walter Mischel, psychologist who created ‘marshmallow test,’ dies at 88 — by  Emily Langer: “Walter Mischel was born Feb. 22, 1930, to a Jewish family in Vienna. His home was not far from that of Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis. “Even as a young child I was aware of his presence,” Dr. Mischel once told the British Psychological Society, “and I suspect at some level I became quite interested in what makes people tick.” Dr. Mischel’s family enjoyed a comfortable life until the rise of Nazism. His father, a businessman who had suffered from polio, was made to limp through the streets without his cane. Dr. Mischel recalled being humiliated by members of the Hitler Youth who tread on his new shoes. The experience, he told the Guardian, planted in him a desire to understand “the enabling conditions that allow people to go from being victims to being victors.” [WashPost]

DESSERT — Federal Bureau of Prisons Preps for Yom Kippur in Wake of Hurricane Florence: “Some Jewish federal prisoners wanna keep things kosher for Yom Kippur … and the Federal Bureau of Prisons is accommodating, especially for facilities affected by Hurricane Florence… Jewish prisoners in all facilities around the country will have access to kosher food, but the $21,799 is specifically earmarked for prisons in the path of Florence.” [TMZ]

This chef’s looking to his roots to put a new twist on soul food — by Samantha Max: “Michael Twitty doesn’t cook the same macaroni and cheese his mom taught him to make. It’s loaded with cream cheese and sour cream, and anyone who’s eaten at a Kosher deli might say it tastes kind of like noodle kugel. The chef and author has adapted and transformed a lot of the foods he grew up cooking with his mother and grandmother in the D.C. suburbs, blending together his African-American and Southern roots with his Jewish identity to create cuisine as rich in tradition as it is in taste.” [Macon]

BIRTHDAYS: Founder and marketer of the Oreck Corporation, manufacturers of vacuum cleaners and air purifiers, David Irving Oreck(family name was originally Oreckovsky) turns 95… Newberry award winning author of many young adult books, some with Jewish themes, Gail CarsonLevine turns 71… Rochester attorney, he served as the Executive Director of the philanthropic leadership group at UJA-Federation of NYC (2001-2003) and was a board member of the Rochester Jewish Federation, Frank Hagelbergturns 70… Professional tennis player who achieved a world ranking of No. 5 in 1980, Harold Solomon turns 66… Comedian, writer and actress, frequent guest of Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show, Rita Rudner turns 65… Israeli businessman and former IAF pilot, with real estate holdings in Israel and NYC, he is the founder and chairman of NYC-based Alto Real Estate Funds and chair of the Israel Advertising Federation, Mody Kidon turns 64…

Glasgow-born, senior rabbi of Masorti Judaism in the UK, rabbi of the New North London Synagogue with approximately 2,400 members, Rabbi Jonathan Wittenberg turns 61… Professor of Economics at Princeton, formerly Assistant Treasury Secretary and then chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, Alan Krueger turns 58… Washington columnist for the British daily newspaper, The Guardian, author of two books on the Obama presidency, he was an EVP and executive editor of MSNBC’s website, Richard Wolffe turns 50… Former regional communications director and spokesperson for President Obama, now at Blue Engine Message & Media, Adam Abrams turns 37…

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Daily Kickoff: Inside Mnuchin’s ‘resistance’ to Trump’s Iran strategy | Watch Paul Ryan’s ‘Shana Tova’ | Fish Fridays in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint

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ULTIMATE DEAL WATCH — Kushner Says Punishing Palestinians Won’t Hurt Chance for Peace Deal — by Mark Landler: “Speaking on Thursday, 25 years to the day after the Oslo peace accords were signed on the White House lawn… Mr. Kushner said President Trump had actually improved the chances for peace by stripping away the “false realities” that surround Middle East peacemaking… “All we’re doing is dealing with things as we see them and not being scared out of doing the right thing. I think, as a result, you have a much higher chance of actually achieving a real peace.”

“Mr. Kushner… also insisted that the rift between the Palestinians and Washington was not unbridgeable… “In every negotiation I’ve ever been in,” he said, “before somebody gets to ‘yes,’ their answer is ‘no.’” [NYTimes]

U.S. expects some Israeli criticism of parts of coming Mideast plan: envoy — by Matt Spetalnick and Steve Holland: “In an interview with Reuters, Jason Greenblatt… said U.S. negotiators had entered the “pre-launch phase” of the plan… But he declined to specify a time frame… “We’re going to have to defend the plan to Israelis and Palestinians. We are ready for criticism from all sides, but we believe this is the best path forward for everyone,” he said.” [Reuters]

HEARD YESTERDAY — State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert at a press briefing: “We’re trying a different approach, seeing if this is going to work. We are committed to it. We have people on the ground who are working to this effort each and every day and we remain optimistic and committed to working on this… We will unveil [the plan] when we are ready to unveil it.”

REPORT — Trump tempts Palestinians back to talks with $5b carrot — by Dan Zaken: “The US is offering the Palestinian Authority $5 billion to return to the negotiating table…  According to diplomats, Trump approved the concept and the amount of the budget – $5 billion from the administration and a similar amount from the European Union and the Persian Gulf states.” [Globes

Jason Greenblatt tweets“Fact: False. When the peace plan is released, if the PA is serious about peace & wants to improve Palestinian lives, the PA should want to review the plan & engage. It is an absurd idea to pay $5b for a party to “return to the negotiating table.” How would that accomplish peace??”

Kushner on U.S. aid to the Palestinians: “Nobody is entitled to America’s foreign aid.” [NYT]

Former Ambassador Martin Indyk writes… “The Day Israeli-Palestinian Peace Seemed Within Reach: Perhaps when Mahmoud Abbas, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Donald Trump leave the scene, it will be time to try again. Perhaps then someone will dig up the video of that magical day in September 1993, when peace seemed within reach, and when an American president promised Israelis and Palestinians “the quiet miracle of a normal life.” [TheAtlantic

TRANSITION — Martin Indyk is joining the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) as a distinguished fellow and director of executive education, a new initiative aimed to provide tailored educational offerings to corporate members. Indyk served as the John C. Whitehead Distinguished Fellow in International Diplomacy in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings.

OP — Senator Bernie Sanders writes in an op-ed that it is “hard to imagine that Israel’s Netanyahu government would have moved to pass the recent ‘nation-state law,’ which essentially codifies the second-class status of Israel’s non-Jewish citizens, if Benjamin Netanyahu didn’t know Trump would have his back.”

Sanders on Adelson: “Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson gives generously to rightwing causes in both the United States and Israel, promoting a shared agenda of intolerance and illiberalism in both countries.” [TheGuardian]

PALACE INTRIGUE — The day after Bob Woodward’s book — Gabriel Sherman details President Trump’s current state of mind and the people who are paying a price for the bombshell book, based on West Wing and outside sources:

Trump is furious at former economic adviser Gary Cohn… Trump’s relationship with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, which was already strained, has become almost nonexistent… One of the only people Trump continues to trust is Stephen Miller… Ivanka Trump is even worried about impeachment…

Ivanka and Jared Kushner continue to agitate for Trump to replace Chief of Staff John Kelly with a more pliable manager. Ivanka recently asked a friend about Republican political adviser and former lobbyist Wayne Berman… Another name Ivanka has discussed is former federal prosecutor Matt Whitaker, currently serving as Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff. [VanityFair]

INSIDE THE ADMIN — It’s Trump vs. Trumpworld Over North Korea — by Susan Glasser: “In recent days, I spoke with a half-dozen former U.S. government officials and Allied diplomats who have been briefed by Trump Administration officials on the state of play with North Korea since Trump’s Singapore summit with Kim. All acknowledged what one called the “frustratingly slow” progress with the post-Singapore discussions, and described a Trump Administration whose top officials remain deeply skeptical of the course being pursued by the President, with even the usual bureaucratic turf battles being subordinated to the shared concern over Trump’s very public embrace of Kim.” [NewYorker]

Inside Steven Mnuchin’s ‘resistance’ to Trump’s Iran strategy — by Josh Rogin: “Several administration officials claim that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has found another way to “resist” the president’s maximum-pressure strategy on Iran: simply neglect to give the president a document he requested several weeks ago… Following a July 26 Principals Committee meeting on Iran, the Treasury Department was tasked with producing an options memo laying out possible sanctions on SWIFT, its board members or their banks. Almost two months later, the document is missing in action — which prevents Trump from making a decision.”

“Even if SWIFT capitulates, there’s no assurance Iran will negotiate. Trump’s maximum-pressure strategy may fail. But we’ll never know if that’s the case if Trump isn’t able to actually implement maximum pressure, said Richard Goldberg, who wrote the original SWIFT sanctions legislation as an aide to Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.). “The only hope for the president’s strategy to succeed is getting SWIFT to disconnect all the Iranian banks,” he said. “And if the Treasury Department waffles one iota on that mission, they are setting the president up for failure.” [WashPost]

President Trump tweets“John Kerry had illegal meetings with the very hostile Iranian Regime, which can only serve to undercut our great work to the detriment of the American people. He told them to wait out the Trump Administration! Was he registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act? BAD!”

ON THE HILL — The House approved a bipartisan bill yesterday that would elevate the position of Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism to the rank of Ambassador (appointed by the President and requiring Senate confirmation) and prohibit the person from being double-hatted with another portfolio of issues. It would also impose a legal limit on the time in which the Administration can continue to leave the post of the U.S. Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism without a designated appointee. The legislation was introduced by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who co-sponsored the Global Anti-Semitism Review Act in 2004.

Ira Forman, who held the position until the end of President Barack Obama’s term, tells us… “I think this is a good thing. I am particularly happy that Congress made clear that once the legislation is passed that the administration has 90 days to appoint a special envoy. I don’t have any reason to believe that the administration is purposely not doing this, but I think anything that can be done to emphasize the importance of filling this position sooner than later is great. This is an issue that has largely been bipartisan and I hope that it continues to be bipartisan.”

Watch — House Speaker Paul Ryan wishes Politico’s Jake Sherman a “Shana Tova” at the weekly GOP press conference on the Hill [Video]

NEW YORK PRIMARY RESULTS — Governor Andrew Cuomo sailed to victory in his bid for a 3rd term, beating Cynthia Nixon and her anti-establishment ticket by 32 points. Despite ruling out a 2020 presidential run during the primary, Cuomo’s win places him back into the 2020 mix.

Julia Salazar overcomes controversy to notch another victory for democratic socialists: “For the national media, this was a rollercoaster — but through it all, Salazar tried to refocus the campaign on her leftist platform for addressing local issues, particularly the ballooning cost of housing in Brooklyn. It’s a message seems to have resonated, and is more evidence that the socialist left is a force to be reckoned with in the Democratic Party.” [Vox]

Democratic Insurgents Topple 6 New York Senate Incumbents — by Vivian Wang: “The most high-profile casualty was Senator Jeffrey D. Klein of the Bronx, the former head of the I.D.C. In that role, he was for years one of Albany’s most powerful players, sharing leadership of the chamber with his counterparts in the Republican conference and participating in the state’s secretive budget negotiations. But on Thursday, he was defeated by Alessandra Biaggi, a lawyer and former aide to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.” [NYTimes] • “Klein… did not appear to address supporters at Maestro’s Caterers in Morris Park.” [NorwoodNews]

Simcha Felder Wins District 17 State Senate Race: “Felder sparked outrage among Democrats this year when decided to caucus with Republicans after the disbandment of the Independent Democratic Conference. But ultimately Blake Morris was unable to defeat the well-established Felder, who had the Hasidic community and more than $500,000 in campaign donations behind him.” [Patch]

MIDTERMS — Two Republican Congressmen, Dana Rohrabacher (CA) and Matt Gaetz (FL), were seen with an alleged Holocaust denier this summer, after being criticized in the past for associating with the individual, according to a report by Mother Jones’ David Corn. Charles Johnson, who denied the Holocaust in a 2017 Reddit Ask Me Anything, attended a fundraiser for Gaetz’s reelection campaign held on a yacht in Newport Beach, California, on July 20. Rohrabacher also attended and spoke at the event, according to the report. The fundraiser was hosted by Alfred Balitzer and Rod Wilson, founders of Pacific Research & Strategies Inc. In a June 21 Facebook post, Johnson referred to Rohrabacher as “my friend and adopted congressman.”

— Rohrabacher is facing a tough reelection bid against Democratic challenger Harley Rouda. A newly released New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll shows Rohrabacher and Rouda tied at 45 percent.

2020 WATCH — Michael Bloomberg set to run for Democrats against Trump for presidency in 2020 —by David Charter: “Michael Bloomberg… is preparing to run for president as a Democrat, The Times understands… “Mike Bloomberg told me he is going to run in 2020,” a source said. “He has the money to see it through while other candidates knock themselves out.” [TheTimes

** 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: Josh Luber, Greg Schwartz and Dan Gilbert’s StockX raises $44M from GV and Battery to expand marketplace internationally [TechCrunch] • Steven Mnuchin Asks $32.5 Million for Longtime Manhattan Home [WSJ] • Ari Emanuel’s Endeavor, Always Looks to Grow, Starts Podcast Division [NYT] • Leslie Wexner’s L Brands close down Henri Bendel stores [WSJ]

Spotlight — Michael Steinhardt accused of inappropriate remarks to female Hillel employees: “Billionaire philanthropist Michael Steinhardt is the subject of an internal investigation by Hillel International for making inappropriate sexual remarks to two female employees, The New York Jewish Week reported.” [JTA]

— “Details of Hillel’s investigation remain hazy. Steinhardt’s own attorney, Tom Clare, said in a statement to the Forward that, contrary to the Jewish Week’s reporting, Hillel told him that its investigation was not focused on Steinhardt.” [Forward]

Netanyahu Aide Steps Aside After Sexual Assault Allegations — by David Halbfinger: “It was [David] Keyes’s behavior toward young women that resulted in measures being taken to insulate them from his advances, according to interviews. That is why he was curbed from the Wall Street Journal’s opinion section… in November 2013. The section’s deputy editor at the time, Bret Stephens… said he gave Mr. Keyes a dressing-down, calling him a “disgrace to men” and “a disgrace as a Jew.” On Nov. 2, 2016, after an Israeli reporter began inquiring about Mr. Keyes, Mr. Stephens said he contacted Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, warning him that Mr. Keyes posed a risk to women in Israeli government offices.” [NYTimes]

Eurovision Song Contest Set For Tel Aviv in 2019 — by Robert Mitchell: “The 64th edition of the annual international song competition will be broadcast around the world from the Expo Tel Aviv International Convention Center in Israel with semi-final shows on May 14 and 16, and the final broadcast May 18 next year.” [Variety]

ACROSS THE POND — Labour antisemitism row was created by Israel to distract from ‘atrocities’, trade union boss suggests — by Benjamin Kentish: “Mark Serwotka, who leads the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) and is a staunch supporter of Jeremy Corbyn, told a fringe event at the Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference that the Jewish state could have “created a story that does not exist” in order to distract attention from “atrocities” he said it has committed.” [TheIndependent

Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks during a debate on anti-Semitism at the House of Lords: “Anti-Semitism, or any hate, become dangerous when three things happen. First, when it moves from the fringes of politics to a mainstream party and its leadership. Second, when the party sees that its popularity with the general public is not harmed thereby. And three, when those who stand up to protest are vilified and abused for doing so. All three factors exist in Britain now. I never thought I would see this in my lifetime. That is why I cannot stay silent. For it is not only Jews who are at risk. So too is our humanity.” [Video]

SCENE LAST NIGHT — The Algemeiner held it’s 5th annual J100 Gala last night at Capitale in New York City. Honorees at the event included Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, actress Sharon Stone, and Richard and Monique Chera. The publication also announced its annual J100 list of “the top 100 people positively influencing Jewish life.”

SPOTTED: Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan, Einat Dayan, Andrew Gross, Howard Lorber, Dovid and Mushka Efune, Ira and Ingeborg Rennert, Amb. Miroslav Rames, Arthel Neville, Keren Brosh, Malcolm Hoenlein, Ron Agam, Stanley and Cookie Chera, Siggy Flicker, Ross Cameron, Mark Dubowitz, Joan Nathan, Thane Rosenbaum, Ruchie Freier, Winnie Grinspoon, George Klein, Mark Levenson, Bob and Amy Book, Samuel Schear, Ken Kurson, Ofir Dayan, Ben Brafman, Yehuda Meshi Zahav, Jeff Wiesenfeld, Avi Posnick, Rabbi Benjamin Goldschmidt and Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt.

IDEA — Let’s bring back the Sabbath as a radical act against ‘total work’ — by William Black: “As a boy in late-1940s Memphis, my dad got a nickel every Friday evening to come by the home of a Russian Jewish immigrant named Harry Levenson and turn on his lights, since the Torah forbids lighting a fire in your home on the Sabbath… When taken seriously, the Sabbath has the power to restructure not only the calendar but also the entire political economy. In place of an economy built upon the profit motive – the ever-present need for more, in fact the need for there to never be enough – the Sabbath puts forward an economy built upon the belief that there is enough. But few who observe the Sabbath are willing to consider its full implications, and therefore few who do not observe it have reason to find any value in it.” [Aeon]

DISPATCH — Anshel Pfeffer reports from Rosh Hashanah in Uman, Ukraine: “I realized that I may be standing by the grave of a Hasidic rabbi, in a dreary backwater of what was once the Jewish Pale of Settlement, but most of the Jews surrounding me were not Ashkenazim. They were descended from families who had lived not long ago in the Maghreb, Yemen, Ethiopia, Iran and Iraq and every other non-European diaspora that ever existed. If I was writing for one of the more enlightened American Jewish publications, I would say that a majority of pilgrims at Uman are Jews of color. Jews of every color.” [Haaretz]

DESSERT — For Five Hours on Fridays, Fish Factory Is a Hot Spot — by Charles Passy: “If you visit Acme Smoked Fish’s headquarters in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint neighborhood on Friday morning, you’ll find a scene that is anything but corporate. This loxapalooza is a weekly event that goes by the formal name Fish Friday… Acme now calls itself the largest producer of smoked fish in the country. The company expects the lines for Fish Friday to be even longer this Friday, which comes a few days before Yom Kippur… Moshe Shmueli, a 32-year-old resident of Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood, said Fish Friday is about more than a deal. “It’s the atmosphere,” he said.” [WSJ

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan says she had ‘a very strange Jewish upbringing’ —by Josefin Dolsten: “I had a very strange Jewish upbringing actually,” Kagan, 58, told journalist Dahlia Lithwick… “You would think Lincoln Square Synagogue, she comes from a Modern Orthodox family. Actually, my family didn’t really know what it was… [We] kept a kosher home so that my grandparents would eat there, but otherwise we were the kind of Jews who kept a kosher home and then went out and ordered shrimp at the Chinese restaurant,” the jurist recalled.” [JTA

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: CEO of MDC Holdings, Chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and AIPAC board member, Larry A. Mizel turns 76… Actor, writer and director with a fifty year career in film and TV, first known for his role in the original Star Trek television series, Walter Koenigturns 82… Founder of Vermont-based Kidrobot, a retailer of art toys, apparel and accessories, and Ello, an ad-free social network, Paul Budnitz turns 51… President of Strauss Media Strategies since 1996, during the Clinton administration he became the first-ever White House Radio Director, Richard Strauss turns 49… Managing director at NYC-based corporate communications firm Kekst and Company, he is also a past president of the Young Israel of New Rochelle, Mark A. Semer turns 48…

Comedian, television actor, writer and producer, Elon Gold turns 48… Public relations professional, formerly of ABC News, Courtney Cohen Flantzerturns 40… Staff writer at The Atlantic, Russell Berman turns 35… New York Times metro reporter, Matt Flegenheimer turns 30… Founder and owner of ARA Capital, a British firm with holdings in e-commerce and energy, he is the son of billionaire Roman Abramovich, Arkadiy Abramovich turns 25… Los Angeles based attorney working as a contracts manager at East West Bank, Roxana Pourshalimi… Senior national political reporter for Bloomberg, Jennifer Jacobs… Amy Kauffman

SATURDAY: CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein turns 64… Borscht Belt comedian known as “The Master of Malaprop,” Norm Crosby turns 91… 1969 Nobel Prize laureate in Physics and professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, Murray Gell-Mann turns 89… Professor of Education at Wheelock College in Boston, Diane Levin turns 71… NYC-based composer and multi-instrument musician, Ned Rothenberg turns 62… Former Quantitative research scientist at hedge fund Renaissance Technologies, David Magerman turns 50… NPR’s Media Correspondent, David Folkenflik turns 49…

Vice President of Leadership at Anti-Defamation League, Deborah Leipzigturns 42… Chicago public school teacher, event organizer and fundraiser, Shayla Rosen turns 40… Graduate of The Ohio State University, now a fellow there for the Israel on Campus Coalition, Tomer Elias turns 31… VP of business development at Rockville, Maryland based PW Communications where she has worked to help Israeli firms sell to the U.S. government, Amanda Bresler turns 30… Politico’s New York City education reporter, Eliza Shapiro turns 28…

SUNDAY: Argentinian physician, author of controversial books on gender relations, Esther Vilar (born Esther Katzen) turns 83… Defense policy advisor to Presidents Reagan, Bush 41 and Bush 43 and member of a number of DC based think tanks, Richard Perle turns 77… Montebello, California resident, Jon Olesen turns 74… Founder and CEO of OurCrowd, Jonathan Medvedturns 63… Senior account executive at The Forward, Fern Wallach turns 62… Award winning illusionist, David Copperfield (born David Seth Kotkin) turns 62… Candidate for Congress from Wisconsin in 2018, he was the VP of political affairs and political director for J Street, he is a nephew of former US Senator Herb Kohl, Dan Kohl turns 53…

Rosh Yeshiva of the Modern Orthodox Yeshivat Chovevei Torah Rabbinical School in Riverdale, New York, Rabbi Dov Linzer turns 52… Long-form magazine writer, featured in publications including Politico Magazine, New York Magazine, GQ Magazine and The New Republic, Jason Zengerle turns 45… Israel’s only Olympic Gold medalist (to date), Bronze in Atlanta 1996; Gold in Athens 2004, windsurfer Gal Fridman turns 43… Jerusalem-born founder and chairman of “Over The Rainbow – the Zionist Movement,” a World Zionist Congress faction, Tzvi (Tziki) Avisar turns 40… Associate Director at education consulting firm EAB, she was previously at both Hillel and AIPAC, Suzy Goldenkranz

Kafe Knesset for October 3

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Palestinian party pooper: As the Palestinian government convened in Gaza for the first time since 2014, the Israeli PM poured cold water over the latest reconciliation attempts in…

Kafe Knesset for September 29

Friday, September 29, 2017

Rawabi – the background story: Israel rejected an American request to transfer planning authorities to the Palestinians in order to complete the construction of the main access road…

Kafe Knesset for September 28

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Settlements staying put: Netanyahu relayed a very clear message in his speech at the national ceremony honoring the 50tth anniversary of the return to Judea, Samaria, Jordan Valley…

Kafe Knesset for September 27

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Israel versus Palestinians 0-1: The Israeli diplomatic efforts against the PA’s attempts to gain international recognition suffered a severe blow this morning in Beijing. Interpol’s General Assembly, meeting…

Kafe Knesset for September 26

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The tragic news of the Har Adar terror attack took over the agenda of the weekly cabinet meeting, which was postponed from Sunday and convened this morning. The…

Kafe Knesset for September 25

Monday, September 25, 2017

Trump’s mystery peace plan: Jason Greenblatt is on his way back to Israel for another round of peace talks followed by a family Sukkot holiday, and the Israeli…