Daily Kickoff: Netanyahu urged to cut deal with Obama | Meet Michelle Obama’s speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz | BDays: Wieseltier, Blavatnik & Trump

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Ed note: Today’s Daily Kickoff was crafted in Jaffa, Israel. From visiting refugees in South Tel Aviv to meeting with the ultra-Orthodox community in Bnai Brak (this morning’s itinerary), we’re spending the week with a group of young American Jewish leaders, led by friends Jeff Swartz and David Cygielman, exploring the civic challenges facing Israeli society. 

**Join us for Friday Night in Aspen: On July 1st, Jewish Insider will host a Friday Night Dinner, nourished by OneTable, on the sidelines of the Aspen Ideas Festival in downtown Aspen. The dinner will feature a conversation between thought leading JI readers (TBA soon) along with an upscale Israeli/California wine tasting courtesy of Yitz Applbaum, our weekly wine columnist. Details and request for RSVP here**

TOP TALKER: “Donald Trump Suggests Obama May Be Sympathetic To Islamic Terrorism” by Sam Stein: “[Obama] doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands,” Trump said of the president’s response to the nightclub shooting. “It’s one or the other. And either one is unacceptable… We are led by a man who is either not tough, not smart, or he has something else in mind. And the something else in mind, people can’t believe it.” [HuffPost]

“I was referring to the fact that at times President Obama seems more in support of Muslims than Israel,” Donald Trump says in statement to Bloomberg Politics sent by spokeswoman Hope Hicks. “For example the Iran deal, which was one of the worst deals in history, gave $150 billion dollars to a radical regime, which will allow them to fund terrorist activities as well as pursue their stated goal of ‘full annihilation and destruction’ of Israel. It is great for Iran and bad for Israel and the United States.” [Bloomberg]

CNBC’s John Harwood tweets: “ex-Bush national security aide Dan Senor, after Trump suggested Obama complicity: “should be serious concern” over giving Trump classified briefings” [Twitter]

“Trump Will Be ‘Greatly Strengthened’ by Orlando Shooting, Says Former Israeli Ambassador to U.S.” by Allison Kaplan Sommer: “If the motive had been hatred against LGBT community, it would benefit Hillary Clinton. But since it is turning out that the motive is jihadist Islam, it will serve Donald Trump. He’ll be greatly strengthened by it,” said Kulanu MK Michael Oren. “Just his name alone – “Ameen Seddique” – a Moslem name, the son of Afghan immigrants who apparently maintained connections of some sort to extremist Islamic organizations, that in itself will greatly influence the presidential race.” [Haaretz]

“Hillary Clinton Pledges to Defeat ISIS After Orlando Attack” by Andrew Rafferty: “The attack in Orlando makes it all the more clear, we cannot contain this threat, we must defeat it,” Clinton said. Though she declared it was “not a day for politics,” Clinton took a clear shot at GOP rival Donald Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., saying the community is best prepared to identify the warning signs of radicalization. “Inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric and threatening to ban the families and friends of Muslim-Americans, as well as millions of Muslim business people and tourists from entering our country, hurts the vast majority of Muslims who love freedom and hate terror,” Clinton said. [NBCNews]

“How Hillary and Bernie can come to terms” by Anthony Weiner: “During my days as Sanders’ colleague in Congress, I recall him being a solid “yes” vote on the many votes that reinforced our strong relationship with the Jewish state. But his representatives to the convention’s platform committee, Cornel West and James Zogby, signal that he wants to challenge the Democratic Party’s long and deep commitment to our sole true ally in the Middle East. He should drop this effort, and Hillary should not give an inch.” [DailyNews]

“Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to Meet as Democrats Head for Truce” by Sam Frizell: “Clinton aides are playing at appeasement, hoping not to aggravate the Vermont Senator before the convention… There have been some tense moments, however. At a Democratic Party hearing last week held by the 15-person committee drafting the party’s platform, Sanders surrogate and activist Dr. Cornel West had a heated exchange with Clinton surrogate Robert Wexler, a former Florida Congressman, over the party’s stance toward Israel. “A commitment to security for our precious Jewish brothers and sisters in Israel can never be predicated on an occupation of precious Palestinians,” West said. “I would oppose the use of the word occupation for the very reason it undermines our common objective,” Wexler argued back.” [TimeMag]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Netanyahu Urged by Some Advisers to Cut Military Deal With Obama” by Jonathan Ferziger: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and his aides are watching the U.S. election with confusion and concern, unsure of Donald Trump and uneasy over Hillary Clinton. Some advisers are therefore urging him to seal a military aid package with someone he has long mistrusted — President Barack Obama.” [Bloomberg]

Former Amb. Zalman Shoval: “It should be tied up now. It is risky for Israel to let the existing agreement run out without knowing the drift of the future administration.”

Aaron David Miller: “I just think it looks really bad for the prime minister to leave this particular file open. He lost the Iran deal, he’s got nothing to show for what was supposed to be the most skillful and willful effort on the part of an Israeli prime minister to keep the Iranians away from the bomb. Even though it may be clear to the Israeli public that he didn’t get everything he needed, he has a stake in going ahead.”

“World in chaos, Israel gets singular focus at UN rights body” by Jamey Keaten: “Israel, which trumpets its bona fides as a democracy in a difficult neighborhood full of enemies, is crying foul. And it is not entirely alone: Other critics, notably the United States, also decry what they see as an entrenched bias in United Nations institutions and an obsession with the Palestinian issue at the expense of other crises around the globe.” [AP] • “Israel elected to head permanent U.N. committee for first time”[Reuters]

KAFE KNESSET by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The 16th annual Herzliya Conference, which will address challenges in Israel and globally, kicks off today. This year, for the first time, the first night of the conference will be held not in Herzliya, but in Jerusalem, where President Reuven Rivlin will delivery a headline-making speech at his residence. At last year’s conference, Rivlin spoke about his vision for Israel’s future, in a speech that came to be known as “the four tribes speech,” explaining that Israel is no longer a majority-minority society, but rather, a mix of four prominent groups (secular, religious, haredi and Arab). As host of tonight’s event, Rivlin will probably add another layer to his thoughts from last year.

Another speech worth waiting for is from former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who is slated to give his first public address on Thursday since his resignation last month. His predecessor, Ehud Barak, will speak a few hours later. Both have been quite vocal in their critique of Prime Minister Netanyahu in recent weeks.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, met this morning for the first time with the local ambassadors of all NATO member countries, at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem. The gathering was organized by Danish Ambassador to Israel, Jesper Vahr, who was chief of staff for NATO Secretary General Anders Fohg Rasmussen before being sent to Tel Aviv. Netanyahu offered Israel’s assistance in NATO’s anti-terrorism efforts, and once again stressed the connection between the attacks in Orlando, Paris, Brussels and other Western cities, and those occurring in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.

PROFILE: “What’s on Michelle Obama’s mind? Meet the speechwriter who puts it into words” by Krissah Thompson: “When Sarah Hurwitz sits down at her laptop, she puts on her noise-blocking headphones and imagines Michelle Obama’s exacting voice in her head. Hurwitz, the first lady’s head speechwriter, has written for the Obamas for eight years and for Michelle Obama exclusively for nearly seven. The two have worked so closely together that nearly every word the first lady has spoken in public has been written or edited by Hurwitz.”

“The hours are long; there always seems to be some important event looming. Hurwitz has made efforts to focus on her personal life by taking classes on Judaism and exercising regularly — although her time on the elliptical is sometimes interrupted by a burst of inspiration, and she will jump off the machine and tap out an email to herself with an idea of how to turn something the first lady brought up in a meeting into prose.” [WashPost]

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “KKR: An Inside View of Henry Kravis’s PE Powerhouse” [Bloomberg] • “Selig shrinks plan for tower on old Federal Reserve Building” [SeattleTimesCurbed• “Joe Sitt’s Thor Seals $525M Manhattan Deal” [CPExecutive] • “New coalition says it will spend big bucks to stop north Jersey casinos” [NJ] • “New lawsuit between tenants rattles swanky 740 Park Ave” [NYPost] • “French Billionaires Strike Again in Israel’s Telecom Market” [Bloomberg

SPOTLIGHT: “Silicon Valley’s Audacious Plan to Create a New Stock Exchange” by Ellen Huet and Brad Stone: “Five years ago, when Eric Ries was working on the book that would become his best-selling entrepreneurship manifesto “The Lean Startup,” he floated a provocative idea in the epilogue: Someone should build a new, “long-term” stock exchange… “It ruined my credibility for everything that had come before,” Ries said he was told. Now Ries is laying the groundwork to prove his early skeptics wrong. To bring the Long-Term Stock Exchange to life, he’s assembled a team of about 20 engineers, finance executives and attorneys and raised a seed round from more than 30 investors.” [Bloomberg]

MEDIA WATCH: “Hobbled Gawker’s Critics Include Jews – And Anti-Semites” by Andrew Silow-Carroll: “Journalists like to comfort themselves with the old axiom that if each side of a conflict thinks you favor the other, you’re doing something right. Gawker Media, the aggressive gossip blog and mini-media empire now facing a fight for its financial life, boasts enemies on all sides. In fact, Gawker has had the distinction of being accused of anti-Semitism and being the frequent target of anti-Semites.”[JTA/Haaretz]

“Hundreds allege Donald Trump doesn’t pay his bills” by Steve Reilly: “In the interview, Trump repeatedly said the cases were “a long time ago.” However, even as he campaigns for the presidency, new cases are continuing. Just last month, Trump Miami Resort Management LLC settled with 48 servers at his Miami golf resort over failing to pay overtime for a special event. The settlements averaged about $800 for each worker and as high as $3,000 for one, according to court records. Some workers put in 20-hour days over the 10-day Passover event at Trump National Doral Miami, the lawsuit contends. Trump’s team initially argued a contractor hired the workers, and he wasn’t responsible, and counter-sued the contractor demanding payment.” [USAToday]

BIRTHDAYS: Writer, editor and senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, Leon Wieseltier turns 64… Russian-born billionaire and philanthropist, now a UK resident, Leonard “Len” Blavatnik turns 59… Donald Trump turns 70… Political activist and outspoken critic of Islam, Pamela Geller turns 58… Principal of M+R Strategic Services, Bill Wasserman… Rabbi Levi Shemtov (birthweek)…

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Daily Kickoff: Trump advisor criticizes AIPAC’s apology | Who is attending Bilderberg? | Soros is trading again | How Diller built a travel empire

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DEEP DIVE: “A Brief Introduction to the Pro-Holocaust Twitterverse” by Jeffrey Goldberg: “I’m of two minds about alt-right online anti-Semitism. On the one hand, as someone who has written about issues concerning Jews and Israel for a number of decades now (I won’t name the number), my skin is thick like a rhino’s. Anti-semitism is not new, or shocking, to me, though I am still sometimes surprised by the speed at which social media amplifies it… On the other hand, I don’t want to mitigate the damage done by the far-right. I’ve met people who are traumatized by the explosion of on-line anti-Semitism, as well as physical-world anti-Semitism—for instance, the young woman I met last night at the Sixth and I Synagogue in downtown Washington who told me that a man in a Trump hat called her a “kike” on the Metro—and so monitoring this phenomenon seems like a worthwhile endeavor.” [TheAtlantic]

“New York Times editor quits Twitter over anti-Semitic tweets” by Tom Kludt: “Inundated with anti-Semitic tweets and frustrated by Twitter’s initial response, New York Times editor Jon Weisman is packing up and leaving the social media platform. Weisman said Wednesday — in a tweet — that he will be “moving to Facebook where at least people need to use their real names and can’t hide behind fakery to spread their hate.”” [CNNMoney]

Trump’s Twitter Consultant: “How a golf caddie became Trump’s campaign confidant” by Chris Moody: “Regarding the issue of retweeting accounts with histories of supporting white supremacy, Scavino acknowledged that Trump has been made aware of the problem, but defended the practice by insisting that Trump doesn’t have time to check on such things before hitting the “Send” button. “He’s not clicking on peoples’ profiles. He doesn’t read their bios,” Scavino said. But what of the account called “@WhiteGenocideTM” a Twitter user with a common rallying crying of white supremacists in the title? “He’s aware of it now,” Scavino said. “Let’s put it this way: He’ll see a message. He’s not reading the handles, necessarily. A lot of it gets blown out of proportion in my opinion only because here you have a man that wants to communicate with the American people, OK? And he’s doing that.” [CNN]

Trump advisor Jason Greenblatt on AIPAC: “Greenblatt also shared his perspective as the Jewish adviser who was figuratively standing next to Trump the day after Trump addressed the AIPAC conference, when Lillian Pinkus, AIPAC’s president, condemned his speech in strong and even tearful terms. She was referring to one word Trump uttered—“yay”—after the GOP candidate noted that this was President Barack Obama’s last year in office. She doubly condemned the audience’s 30 seconds of applause that followed Trump’s statement. “We are disappointed that so many people applauded a sentiment that we neither agree with or condone,” Pinkus said.”

“While he doesn’t think Trump is likely to hold a grudge when there is a serious topic such as Israel on the table, Greenblatt felt that AIPAC made a serious error in judgment. “It was wrong of AIPAC to do that. I would not have made that decision if I were them,” he said. Greenblatt qualified his comments by noting that the Republican nomination was, in March, still very much up in the air. “When they issued the apology, you remember, there were a lot of other candidates on the stage. And then, very quickly, he won. I am not sure they anticipated that. But it’s a question they should have asked themselves,” said Greenblatt.” [JNS]

“Trump son-in-law emerges as quiet force” by Steve Peoples and Jonathan Lemire: “Kushner’s growing influence in recent weeks, as described by several people with direct knowledge of his role, has included the selection and vetting of potential running mates, planning for his father-in-law’s transition to the White House, the campaign’s nascent push to incorporate voter data into its strategy, fundraising, and the development of major policies.” [AP]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Talk grows of replacing Trump at GOP convention” by Jon Ward: “David French, a conservative writer who considered running as an anti-Trump independent candidate, told Yahoo News that Trump shouldn’t take his convention nomination for granted. “If Trump continues to be cocky, saying, ‘I can do whatever I want and do whatever I want because I own these people, there’s a limit to that,” French said. “I’m sorry, but there is.”

“I want to support the nominee of the party, but I think the party ought to change the nominee. Because we’re going to get killed with this nominee,” Hugh Hewitt, a nationally syndicated conservative radio talk show host, said. “They ought to get together and let the convention decide. And if Donald Trump pulls over a makeover in the next four to five weeks, great, they can keep him.” [YahooBuzzFeed]

“Donald Trump Softens His Tone, and the G.O.P. Hopes It Will Last” by Ashley Parker and Maggie Haberman: “[The] speech doesn’t change much,” said Dan Senor, who supported Senator Marco Rubio of Florida in the primaries and who has been an adviser to Speaker Paul D. Ryan. “Even tonight, there are conversations that maybe, just maybe, he says these offensive things because he actually believes them.” [NYTimes]

“Trump Seeks Campaign Cash from New York Real-Estate Buddies” by Zachary Mider: “Trump called the group “the biggest real estate people in the country” during an interview at Trump Tower before the meeting. Those expected to attend included the billionaire Richard LeFrak and Howard Lorber, both of whom Trump has known for decades and has called his closest friends. Others included Steve Roth and Michael Fascitelli, the current and former chief executives of Vornado Realty Trust, and Steve Witkoff, who once worked for a law firm that represented Trump and later started his own real-estate company.” [Bloomberg]

“Trump Says ‘No Reason’ to Raise $1 Billion for Campaign” by Michael Bender and Jennifer Jacobs: “There’s no reason to raise that,” Trump said about raising $1 billion. “I just don’t think I need nearly as much money as other people need because I get so much publicity. I get so many invitations to be on television. I get so many interviews, if I want them.” [BloombergPolitico]

HAPPENING THIS WEEKEND — PLOTTING? Reince and Paul Ryan to Summit With Romney: “RNC chairman Reince Priebus and House Speaker Paul Ryan are among the attendees for Mitt Romney’s annual Utah retreat starting tomorrow, bringing together the #NeverTrump movement with GOP leaders who’ve said they will vote for the presumptive nominee. While not specifically billed as an anti-Trump event, Romney’s “Experts and Enthusiasts” event will feature speeches from people like Romney and Nebraska Sen. Ben Sassse, who’ve refused to back The Donald. Anti-Trump donors like CEO Meg Whitman and hedge-fund manager Paul Singer will also be in attendance, leading insiders to wonder whether the event will be used to evangelize against the controversial nominee.” [DailyBeastCNN]

The world’s most elite conference this year will discuss something called “the precariat” — by Jason Karaian: “For when Davos isn’t exclusive enough, there is Bilderberg. The Bilderberg Meeting is an annual gathering of world leaders, executives, and assorted grandees, established in 1954 and named for the Dutch hotel where the secretive group first gathered. Amid heavy security, around 130 people—including three prime ministers and 30 CEOs—will hold talks on the world’s most pressing issues this week.” [Quartz]

Attendees include Henry Kissinger, Sen. Lindsey Graham, Alex Karp, Peter Thiel, Henry Kravis, Marie-Josée Kravis, David Petraeus, Eric Schmidt, Niall Ferguson, and Sam Altman. See the full list [Bilderberg]

Eli Lake: “U.S. Taxpayers Are Funding Iran’s Military Expansion” [BloombergView]

“Sanders Picks Controversial Israel Critic to Testify Before Dem Platform Committee” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Sanders selected Matthew Duss, president of the DC-based Foundation for Middle East Peace, and known in part for his criticism of Israel, to testify on his behalf before the party’s platform committee this week, Jewish Insider has learned… “I’m honored to be able to share my views, and look forward to a friendly and constructive dialog,” he said in an email to Jewish Insider.” [JewishInsider]

“Hamas Is Ready for War with Israel” by David Patrikarakos: “The Gaza Strip may still lie in rubble, but Hamas operatives are convinced that they are ready for another battle.” [ForeignPolicy]

KAFE KNESSET by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The attack in Tel Aviv’s Sarona Market yesterday caught Prime Minister Netanyahu while he was flying back to Israel from his state visit to Moscow. From Ben Gurion Airport, Netanyahu rushed straight to his Tel Aviv office, for a long security discussion that ended after 2 AM. He also went to visit the site of the attack, right across the street from the IDF headquarters and the defense ministry.

This morning, Sarona Market was empty in the early hours, but towards 11AM, people started returning to the shopping district. Television and radio stations moved their broadcasts to its grounds, and a string of politicians arrived to express their support for the businesses that were hit by the attack. Among the visitors was the new defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, for whom this event will be a first test on the job. For months, Lieberman slammed the Israeli government’s response to the Palestinian wave of terror, and called for adopting much harsher methods. His tough talk made his favorability in opinion polls spike, but now – sitting in the 14th floor at the defense ministry’s tower – it might be difficult for him to translate words into actions.

The security cabinet was convened shortly before 1PM local time. Minister of Transportation Israel Katz, a powerful Likud operative, told us that the time has come for the Israeli government to start deporting the families of terrorists from the West Bank into Syria or Gaza, in order to intmidate future assailants. This step was already proposed by other Likud ministers in the past, but was never approved, mainly for legal reasons.

**Good Thursday 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: Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker announces new Investment Advisory Council including Westfield Co-CEO & Tribe Media President Peter Lowy [Commerce• “Oral History of Online Travel: Barry Diller’s Deals Built A Travel Empire” [Skift] • “Extell sues Port Authority to gain insight into bidding process” [RealDeal] • “Las Vegas Review-Journal Magically Reverses Pro-Marijuana Views After Sheldon Adelson Buys Paper” [DailyCaller• “Isaac Chetrit, Charles Aini to expand Garment District retail building into hotel” [RealDeal• “Y Combinator’s Sam Altman Got Kicked Out of the Ritz For Violating Its Dress Code” [VanityFair]

SPOTLIGHT: “A Bearish George Soros Is Trading Again” by Gregory Zuckerman: “After a long hiatus, George Soros has returned to trading, lured by opportunities to profit from what he sees as coming economic troubles. Worried about the outlook for the global economy and concerned that large market shifts may be at hand, the billionaire hedge-fund founder and philanthropist recently directed a series of big, bearish investments, according to people close to the matter.” [WSJ]

STARTUP NATION: “Video startup SundaySky just raised a $30 million investment – this is why it’s a big deal” by Gedalzyah Reback: “Israeli video startup SundaySky raised a Series D funding round on Wednesday led by Viola Private Equity and brought in new cash from Carmel Ventures, Comcast Ventures, Japan-based NTT DOCOMO Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners and Globespan Capital Partners. SundaySky predicates its business on using videos to greet new customers when they visit a business’s website (or more specifically, when they look for information).” [GeekTime]

“Israeli archaeologists rush to dig at Cave of Skulls before looters take everything” by William Booth and Ruth Eglash: “Amir Ganor is an Israeli cop, but not the kind who chases car thieves or bank robbers. Ganor is a Jewish Indiana Jones, an archaeologist gumshoe, but instead of a coiled bullwhip at his side, he shoves a pistol into his pants and manhandles jeeps through seemingly impassable goat trails. Today the target of Ganor’s investigation is a remarkable cavern located high in the pitiless mountains above the Dead Sea.” [WashPost]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “100 Years of Jewish Fashion Design” by Elizabeth Paton: “In 1900, a Jewish Lithuanian immigrant named Meshe David Osinsky arrived in Britain alone at the age of 19. He set up a clothes-peddling business, adopted the name Montague Burton and then opened a tailoring store in Chesterfield, a northern industrial town. By 1939, Burton had 595 retailers across the country offering made-to-measure suits for men.”

“Just in time for the men’s wear season, his story is one of dozens finally being told in “Moses, Mods and Mr. Fish,” a small but powerful exhibition on display through June 19 at the Jewish Museum London, in the borough of Camden Town, which aims to document the role of Jewish designers in shaping the male wardrobe over the last century, including Moss Bros. and Marks & Spencer.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Jerusalem born actress Natalie Portman turns 35… Formerly IDF’s Chief of Staff Benjamin “Benny” Gantz turns 57… Standup comedian Jackie Mason turns 88… Joe Biden’s Deputy Press Secretary, Stephen Spector… Writer of both film scripts and Broadway screenplays, Aaron Sorkin turns 55… Former Pentagon and State Department official, Kenneth Adelman turns 70… Journalist, Marvin Kalb, who after 30 years at CBS became the founding director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center, turns 86…

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Editor-in-Chief of The Algemeiner newspaper Dovid Efune… Former Attorney General and then Governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer turns 57… Emmy Award winning TV journalist who has worked for CBS, ABC, NBC, CNN and PBS, Jeff Greenfield turns 73… Historian, novelist, music critic and syndicated columnist, Nat Hentoff turns 91… Author of award-winning books about her experiences before, during and after the Holocaust, Aranka Davidowitz Siegal turns 86… State Department’s Matt Nosanchuk… J Street’s Jeremy Ben-Ami… Jennifer Rubin… American Eagle CEO Jay Schottenstein…

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Daily Kickoff: “You got your nuts, we have our nuts” — Steve Israel tells Dan Senor | Adam Pritzker’s conglomerate plans | Bob Kraft’s Birthday Bash

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ABOUT LAST NIGHT: “Hillary Clinton Made History, but Bernie Sanders Stubbornly Ignored It” by Michael Barbaro and Yamiche Alcindor: “Revolutions rarely give way to gracious expressions of defeat. And so, despite the crushing California results that rolled in for him on Tuesday night, despite the insurmountable delegate math and the growing pleas that he end his quest for the White House, Senator Bernie Sanders took to the stage in Santa Monica and basked, bragged and vowed to fight on.” [NYTimes]

NYC Councilman David Greenfield told us at Clinton’s election night party in Brooklyn: “I was thrilled to witness history tonight and proud that Jewish communities across America came together to support Secretary Clinton.”

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: The top headlines in Israel this morning are about Hillary Clinton’s historic achievement, and some Israeli politicians aren’t shying away from congratulating her for it. MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union), the Israeli woman who came closest to the prime minister’s office in recent years, tweeted that Clinton’s breaking of the “glass ceiling” is an important moment for women all around the world. Her colleague Merav Michaeli, a prominent feminist, added: “HER! But this isn’t just about her, it’s about all of us.”

One individual who is generally expected to remain silent on the presidential elections over the coming months is Prime Minister Netanyahu. A senior Likud source tells us that Netanyahu is “determined” to stay out of the race, and is “aware of the fact that he made some mistakes in 2012, which created the wrong impression of Israeli involvement in the process. He won’t repeat them.” Time will tell if this assessment holds.

MILLENNIAL CHALLENGERS FALL SHORT: Jewish 25 year-old candidates for Congress, Erin Schrode (CA-2) and Alex Law (NJ-1), came up short in their respective Democratic primaries yesterday. Rep. Donald Norcross defeated Law with 69.7% to 30.3% while Schrode received 8.1% to incumbent Rep. Jared Huffman’s 68.8% and Republican Dale Mensing’s 16.3%.

–Schrode tells the NYTimes: “I’m a lifelong activist. Public service is my mission. That will not die on June 8, or November 8, or two years from now, or four years from now.” After all, her life’s motto has always been: “Do something. Start somewhere. Begin today.” [NYTimes]

–Alex Law: “We’re gonna see close to 60,000 votes in this primary. We planned to get 18,000 votes and we will. We spent $3.50/vote and they spent about $46/vote. The reality is we did something that no other campaign has been able to do in South Jersey.” [PolitickerNJ]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) and Republican strategist Dan Senor debated whose party is better for U.S. Jews: Senor suggested that the appointment of Dr. Cornel West and James Zogby to the Democratic platform committee is proof that the future of the Democratic Party is being shaped by the progressive energy that believes in standing against Israel. Rep. Israel, for his part, insisted that the anti-Israel and pro-BDS voices within his party are “nuts” and are not the face of the Democratic Party. “If you have some nuts, some crazies, to suggest that the Democratic Party’s energy is behind them is tantamount to suggesting that Republican Party energy is behind the use of concentration camps symbols to vilify American-Jewish journalists. You got your nuts, we have our nuts; but the mainstream is holding steady on Israel and on the broad range of other critical Jewish values,” Israel summed up.

Israel also drew equivalence between Senor bucking his party’s presumptive nominee and his vote against the Iran deal last year. “I voted against the Iran deal, not out of politics but out of my DNA. I said that to the president in a twenty-five minute phone conversation.. Having a nuclear bomb, it’s bad. If the bomb can only explode in your face, that’s not such a problem for us. But if the warhead can be mounted on a missile and reach Israel, that’s unacceptable. This deal was absolutely silent on Iran’s missile capabilities.”[JewishInsider]

J Street Wants Dem Platform to Articulate ‘New Consensus’ on Israel” by Jacob Kornbluh: “The Democratic Party could avoid a floor fight over its platform at the convention by agreeing on a “consensus” approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, J Street president Jeremy Ben-Ami said on Tuesday. “We urge the committee to approach its work as a valuable opportunity for the Democratic Party to articulate a new consensus about America’s approach to the conflict,” Ben-Ami said during a conference call with reporters.” [JewishInsider]

Spotted on Capitol Hill yesterday: Alex Soros introducing Rep. Keith Ellison, a member of the Democratic Party Platform Committee, at Bend the Arc’s 1st National Conference [Pic]

“New Israeli defense minister: A hardliner the U.S. can ‘do business with'” by Elise Labott: “David Makovsky, who served on Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace negotiating team, remembers Liberman as a “pragmatic” foreign minister and an ally Kerry’s in quest for peace — a stark contrast to Ya’alon, who reportedly said Kerry’s diplomatic efforts were done out of “obsession” and a “messianic” sense. “Netanyahu couldn’t have offered some of the concessions he was willing to make without Liberman’s support,” Makovsky said.” [CNN]

William Galston: “A Political Earthquake in Israel: Netanyahu now may face his most serious challenge since taking office in 2009” [WSJ]

Headline: “Israel’s Netanyahu frequents Russia as U.S. influence in Mideast recedes” [Reuters] • Watch Bibi & Putin at the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia last night [Facebook]

“Asked About Trump, Vulnerable Republican Calls Obama a Racist” by Eli Yokley: “New York freshman Rep. Lee Zeldin said Tuesday that Donald Trump’s comments about the federal judge overseeing a legal challenge to Trump University were racist – but added he’s not the only one. “So if he, internally, felt superior because he is white and he’s not Hispanic — if he felt superior because he was white and he wasn’t black or he was Christian and not Jewish — you could start getting into the weeds internally as far as a person’s character goes. But quite frankly, what I have seen through the years is an offensive micro-targeting on policy and rhetoric of campaigns. People want votes. When you’re micro-targeting a community, and you are putting blacks together and Hispanics together, and certain economic messages and positions on issues, quite frankly, with the way I define racism, I see it in a lot of policies and statements that have taken place,” Zeldin said. “You can easily argue that the president of the United States is a racist with his policies and his rhetoric.”” [MorningConsultWashPost]

ON THE HILL: “Senate Bill Would Help Recover Art Stolen by Nazis” by Emmarie Huetteman: “A bipartisan collection of senators said on Tuesday that it was their moral obligation to ensure that Holocaust victims could recover art confiscated from them during World War II and, in many cases, still hanging in museums and private collections more than 70 years later. At a hearing on Tuesday, Ronald S. Lauder, the president of the World Jewish Congress, told a panel of senators that the pain inflicted by the Nazis was worsened by the participation of so many in an art theft he called “probably the greatest in history.”” [NYTimes]

Rep. Ted Deutch emails us this morning… “Last night, the House spoke out in support of Holocaust Survivors by unanimously approving a resolution I introduced with my Florida colleague Rep. Ros-Lehtinen calling on the German Government to fulfill its moral obligation to Survivors. We are directing this power message to the negotiators currently meeting to address funding gaps. This is our last opportunity to ensure that every Survivor’s needs are met in full.” [Bill• Watch Ted’s passionate speech on the House floor [YouTube]

**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 says con men stole millions from global companies” [AP] • “Israeli Tycoon Leviev Asks Banks to Delay Repayment of Private Debt” [Haaretz] • “The Man Who Destroyed Montauk”[VanityFair] • “Nakash Group’s Herbert Samuel Jerusalem Hotel is Now Open” [JewishVoice] • “Room change? John Pritzker’s tommie hotels exits NYC” [RealDeal] • “YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki on Transforming the Video Service” [WSJ] • “Alan Tisch’s Shopping app Spring’s redesign could be a game-changer” [Mashable]

STARTUP SPOTLIGHT: “Can America Build Its Own LVMH?” by Vanessa Friedman: “On the second floor of a classic cast-iron building in SoHo… along one wall is a rail of discreet white and black and marinière striped linen and silk, cotton and denim; culottes, shirtdresses, tunics and cashmeres. With price tags attached… It’s an experiment, and that rail is Stage Three of a long-term plan to do what has never really been done before in American fashion: create a conglomerate of brands all born, if not permanently housed, under one roof. The experiment is being conducted by Adam Pritzker, a positive-thinking spritelike 31-year-old scion of the billionaire Hyatt hotel family, and Vanessa Traina, the famously chic 31-year-old daughter of the romance novelist Danielle Steel. It started in 2013, when Mr. Pritzker founded Assembled Brands.” [NYTimes]

MEDIA WATCH: “Buzzfeed chairman hosting Obama at Democratic fundraiser” by Brian Stelter: “On the same week that BuzzFeed’s CEO terminated an advertising deal with the Republican National Committee, BuzzFeed’s chairman is hosting a fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee. BuzzFeed says the two actions are completely unrelated, and there is no evidence to the contrary. But the disclosure about the DNC fundraiser is bound to raise eyebrows among Republicans. President Obama will be headlining the DNC fundraiser on Wednesday. It will be held at the Manhattan home of Kenneth Lerer and his wife, Katherine Sailer.” [CNN]

STARTUP NATION: “Global VC Firm Accel Hires Facebook Exec to Expand Into Israel” by Gwen Ackerman: “Israeli-born Nir Blumberger will leave his executive post at Facebook Inc. to join Accel as a venture partner and open an office in Tel Aviv to focus on an ecosystem the global venture capital firm said is flourishing with bold ideas and mature entrepreneurs.” [BloombergBusinessInsider]

PROFILE: “Meet the acting coach who trains Israel’s diplomats, politicians” by Marissa Newman: “Before they sat down in front of the cameras in television studios in Israel and abroad, numerous Israeli diplomats and politicians have sat down with Michelle Stein Teer. A Rhetoric and Communication adviser and lecturer at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) and Bar-Ilan University, Stein Teer instructs them on how to construct soundbites — “start from the end. From your main message” — where to look, to avoid passive tense, to start with a positive message and shift to the negatives, and to ignore advice to keep their hands on the table throughout an interview.” [ToI]

JAFFA RISING: “The ancient port city is now luring vacationers and second-home buyers with a 21st-century vibe” by Nathan Jeffay: “Steeped in layer after layer of history, Jaffa has long been on the itineraries of diaspora Jewish travelers, who enjoy its stunning port and its boutiques and cafés. But now, it is also an increasingly popular choice for vacations and second homes. One of the most ambitious attempts to cater to the high-end market in the city… is in full swing at an old Christian complex. Once finished, the complex will be part of the W Hotels collection.” [JewishWeek]

“Inside Fundraising at Birthright Israel” by Paul Suchecki: “The trips average around $3,000 each, and the budget of the Birthright Israel Foundation in 2015 was about $95 million. Who pays for all this? The foundation’s president, David Fisher, explained… “”We have individual donors who give us as much as $2.5 million dollars a year, lots of family foundations,” Fisher said. In recent years, the Shimon ben Joseph Foundation, the Marcus Foundation, the Schusterman Family Foundation, the Steinhardt Foundation, the Jacobson Family Trust, and the Klarman Family Foundation have donated a million dollars and more. The biggest funder of all to Birthright Israel has been the foundation of Sheldon and Miriam Adelson, which has contributed over $90 million to the organization since 2009.” [InsidePhilanthropy

DESSERT: “The Next Big Bagel Reveal From the West Wing” by Jane Eisner: “It was at the end of our discussion Monday in her White House office, about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and U.N. resolutions and so forth. So I needed to inject some Jewish warmth and humor into the room. I asked her about her favorite bagel. “Poppyseed.” “No, really?” I replied. “You know that is his.” “No I didn’t know that. I had no idea!” And this is when she laughed. Not just laughed – but leaned forward in her chair and clapped and smiled. Clearly, the answer to getting ahead in the Obama administration is to share a secret affinity for doughy round bread with little black seeds.” [Forward]

“Very close call for Bob Kraft’s 75th birthday bash!” by Gayle Fee: “Patriots boss Bob Kraft, who was feted and fawned over by 300 of his nearest and dearest at a 75th birthday surprise bash last weekend, almost found out about the super-secret soiree because one former player read the invite wrong! The ex-player, who shall remain nameless, couldn’t make it to the bash, which featured entertainment by Jon Bon Jovi and comedian Tracy Morgan in a hangar at Hanscom Air Force Base. So he wanted to call up and apologize and wish Bob a happy birthday. Luckily, the player’s S.O. caught him before he blew the whole surprise out of the water.”

“The party also featured a video of some “untold stories” of Kraft’s life narrated by Charlie Rose… Toasting Bob in the A-list crowd were Pats QB/QT Tom Brady (but no Mrs. Brady, who was out of town) and his teammates Matthew Slater, Jerod Mayo and Julian Edelman and past Pats Ty Law, Scott Zolak and Andre Tippett; Pats coach Bill Belichick; CBS boss Les Moonves; Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg; uber-agent Ari Emanuel; Viacom big Shari Redstone; casino mogul Sheldon Adelson; NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer; Fidelity cheese Abigail Johnson; Harvard prez Drew Faust; MIT prez L. Rafael Reif; Verizon head Lowell McAdam; Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi; Digital Sky Technologies’ Yuri Milner; Activision Blizzard main man Bobby Kotick; Honeywell honcho Dave Cote; Marvel Entertainment’s Ike Perlmutter; private equity bigs Leon Black and Steve Schwarzman, comedian Lenny Clarke; Ricki Lander; and many more.” [BostonHerald]

BIRTHDAYS: A wonderful JI reader Jill Rachesky (h/t Karen Davidson)… Dasha Zhukova, philanthropist and founder of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, turns 35… Comedian and actor, originally of the comedy team of Stiller and Meara, later of both Seinfeld and King of Queens, Jerry Stiller turns 89… Hebrew University mathematics professor and Nobel Prize laureate in Economics, Robert Aumann turns 86… Guru of alternative / holistic / integrative medicine, Dr. Andrew Weil turns 74… Detective novelist, best known for creating the character of V.I. Warshawski, Sara Paretsky turns 69… The Juilliard School’s classical pianist, teacher and performer, Emanuel Ax (child of Holocaust survivors) turns 67… Winner of many Emmy and SAG awards, star of the recently concluded TV series “The Good Wife,” Julianna  Margulies turns 50…

Former Congresswoman, survivor of an assassination attempt near Tucson in 2011, Gabrielle Giffords turns 46… Actor, starring in USA Network’s “Royal Pains,” Mark Feuerstein turns 45… Offensive tackle for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, Hebrew name “Mendel,” Mitchell Schwartz turns 27… South African businessman and philanthropist, formerly the Chairman of De Beers, Nicky Oppenheimer turns 71… Jewish Federation of Chicago’s Patti Frazin…

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Backlash to Laura Rozen’s Jewish Senators Tweet

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Four Jewish #Senate committee chairs–Levin, Feinstein, Boxer, Wyden–write against @SenatorMenendez #Iran bill http://t.co/Yu20EeMal6 — Laura Rozen (@lrozen) December 20, 2013   . @lrozen You are burying the lead:…

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar (L) and Israel Meir Lau, former Chief Rabbi of Israel.

Who says Qataris & Israelis can’t get along?

Thursday, December 12, 2013

In an article this week, the Times of Israel asked “Can Israel and Qatar learn to be friends again?” The answer may be yes as the Jewish luxury…

Jewish Billionaire Mort Zuckerman: Life is better than any fantasy

Monday, December 9, 2013

Mort Zuckerman is known as a billionaire, real estate magnate, media mogul and philanthropist. Not bad for a guy who says he came here from Canada without much…


Joint Distribution Committee Centennial Celebration in DC

Monday, December 9, 2013

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, celebrating its 100th anniversary, held its opening dinner tonight at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.  …

Netanyahu at Saban 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Watch Netanyahu’s Speech Here I am pleased to be joining you today, even if I’m doing it by remote satellite. I remember the Willard Hotel when I came…

Video: John Kerry at Saban 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the Saban Forum in Washington, DC on December 7, 2013. SECRETARY KERRY: (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Tamara, for…