Daily Kickoff: Why Gary Cohn’s Fed dream died | JINSA Scene | Philip Levine enters Florida governor’s race | Inside Noah Kraft’s Doppler Labs


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INSIDE THE ADMIN: “Inside the rise and fall of Gary Cohn’s Fed dreams” by Ben White and Nancy Cook: “The former Goldman Sachs president… was a front-runner for the Fed job until August, when he publicly broke with the president over his handling of fatal neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville… Another White House official said reports of a rift between Trump and Cohn were always overblown — and the Cohn-Trump cold war is now mostly over anyway… The pair are back talking regularly…The president is now telling people he couldn’t put Cohn at the Fed because he needs him to help Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin push a tax cut bill through Congress…”

“Cohn is telling people he never really wanted the Fed job anyway… Cohn has no immediate plans to pack up and leave the administration next year, no matter what happens with taxes, people close to him say… One person close to the process said… if the NEC director really wanted the Fed job that badly he would have kept his mouth shut about Charlottesville.” [Politico]

JARED INSIDER — “Inside the West Wing, Trump Is Apoplectic as Allies Fear Impeachment” by Gabriel Sherman: “Speaking to Steve Bannon on Tuesday, Trump blamed Jared Kushner for his role in decisions, specifically the firings of Mike Flynn and James Comey, that led to Mueller’s appointment, according to a source briefed on the call. When Roger Stone recently told Trump that Kushner was giving him bad political advice, Trump agreed… “Jared is the worst political adviser in the White House in modern history,” [Sam] Nunberg said. “I’m only saying publicly what everyone says behind the scenes at Fox News, in conservative media, and the Senate and Congress.”” [VanityFair]

“The Rise of George Papadopoulos, a Trump Adviser Who May Kill Trump’s Presidency” by Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein: “According to one acquaintance, Papadopoulos was very pro-Israel and would complain about the Obama administration’s policies toward the Middle Eastern country—sometimes saying he couldn’t believe what President Obama and his team were doing.” [DailyBeast]

REPORT — Kushner behind PA-Hamas Reconciliation: “Senior PA officials have told Israel TV that the United States – not Egypt – is responsible for the reconciliation initiative between the Palestinian Authority and Hamas in Gaza…The officials said that Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas knows that Kushner is behind the initiative, and was asked by Trump to advance the reconciliation process with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.” [JewishPressKan]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: JINSA, the Jewish Institute for National Security of America, held its 35th annual awards dinner at the Marriott Marquis in DC. The evening honored Sander Gerber, CEO of Hudson Bay Capital Management, with the Henry M. “Scoop” Jackson Distinguished Service Award for his efforts lobbying for the Taylor Force Act. The Taylor Force Act would cut off U.S. aid that directly benefits the Palestinian Authority until they cease payments to families of terrorists. Gerber was introduced by Stuart Force, the father of West Point grad Taylor Force for whom the legislation is named. Gerber recounted that when he first discovered the P.A. payments and asked other Jewish leaders about it, he was told “everyone knows and no one cares.” Gerber was not assured and recalled, “well I didn’t know and I did care.”

Rabbi Levi Shemtov delivered the invocation and the evening’s other honorees included Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Congressman Eliot L. Engel, Ranking Member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

SPOTTED: Sen. Lindsey Graham, Rep. Ted Deutch, former Sen. Norm Coleman, Rep. Ed Royce, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, Rep. Dan Donovan, Rep. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Jim Banks, Rep. Trent Franks, Rep. Brian Mast, Rep. Mike Gallagher, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, Rep. Ron Estes, Rep John Katko, Rep. Lou Bartletta, Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer, Tevi Troy, Tom Rose, Howard Friedman, Barry Jackson, Nathan Diament, Yehuda Neuberger, Josh Landes, Meir Raskas, Noah Pollak, Arie Lipnick, Mike Makovsky, Robbie Force, Tracy Gerber, Nechama Shemtov, Ali Rogin, Josh Rogin, Dovid Efune, Azerbaijan Amb. Elin Suleymanov, Dan Schneider, Matt Schlapp, Joel Mowbray, Michael Leffell, Harris Vederman, IDF’s Mickey Edelstein, Josh Block, Alex Siegel, Ike Fisher, Howard Bromberg.

COMING SOON? Walker invites Israeli leader Netanyahu to visit Wisconsin: “[Gov. Scott] Walker told reporters Wednesday that he extended the invitation to Netanyahu during his trade mission this week to Israel… Walker says Netanyahu could benefit from visiting Chicago and Milwaukee along the shores of Lake Michigan. Walker says he hopes the trip could come within the next year or so.” [AP]

US – ISRAEL RELATIONS: “Reversing course, U.S. votes against U.N. resolution condemning Cuba embargo” by Tracy Wilkinson: “The Trump administration on Wednesday voted against a United Nations resolution that condemned the half-century-old U.S. trade embargo on Cuba. Only Israel voted with the United States against the resolution.” [LATimes]

HEADLINES: “Putin is a better leader than Trump in the Middle East, according to Israelis” by Cristina Maza: “Around 52 percent of [Israelis] said Putin’s Russia has more influence in the Middle East than Trump’s America… “Trump has reserved a special place for Putin in the Middle East. The US isn’t ready to challenge Mr. Putin in Syria. It’s not willing to be really tough on Iran in Iraq and Syria, which is detrimental to [Israel’s] interests,” Aaron David Miller told Newsweek. “There is a perception that the Trump administration is risk averse and not risk ready.”” [Newsweek]

PUTIN IN TEHRAN: “Russia and Iran Boost Energy Ties, Discuss Syrian Cooperation” by Aresu Eqbali: “Putin’s visit to the Iranian capital, his first since 2015, comes at a time of intensifying efforts to end the Syrian conflict, now in its seventh year. He met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say in matters of state. Khamenei suggested Russia and Iran could combat the sanctions and isolate the U.S. by replacing the U.S. dollar with their own currencies in their transactions, according to his official website.” [WSJ]

“Boris Johnson to travel to US in bid to save Iran nuclear deal” by Patrick Wintour: “While describing the deal as an “amazing triumph of diplomacy,” the [British] foreign secretary acknowledged that it had not led to wider changes in Iranian policies in the Middle East… He went out of his way not to criticise Trump’s handling of issue, saying it was significant that he had only refused to recertify the agreement… “It was very clever piece of work. He kept the core of the [Iran nuclear deal] intact,” he said. “The fundamental trade-off on good behaviour on nuclear weapons and economic activity remains there, basically.”” [Guardian]

TOP TALKER: “Far Right Supports Israel in Ploy to Win Respectability, Europe’s Top Rabbi Warns” by Josh Lowe: “Speaking to Newsweek during a visit to London for Shabbat U.K., Pinchas Goldschmidt, president of the Conference of European Rabbis, urged his co-religionists to fight intolerance against all faiths. Rising intolerance, he said, could only spell harm for Europe’s Jewish communities. Goldschmidt, who is the also chief rabbi of Moscow, said America’s withdrawal from world affairs, and the country’s reluctance under Donald Trump to promote liberal values around the world, has created a “vacuum” in Europe that is breeding disunity… Far-right parties like Austria’s Freedom Party… make much of pro-Israel rhetoric, which their supporters use as a sign that they have shed any past associations with anti-Semitic fascism.” [Newsweek]

TERROR IN NYC: “Truck attack suspect is charged with terrorism offenses” by Colleen Long and Jennifer Peltz: “Saipov was a commercial truck driver in Ohio… In Ohio, Saipov was an argumentative young man whose career was falling apart and who was “not happy with his life,” said Mirrakhmat Muminov, a fellow truck driver from heavily Muslim Uzbekistan… He said he and Saipov would sometimes argue about politics and world affairs, including Israel and Palestine.” [AP]

ON THE HILL  — What lessons should be drawn from the New York attack? — by Aaron Magid: Following the largest terror attack in New York City since September 11, 2001, Jewish Insider’s Aaron Magid asked members of Congress what lessons they think should be learned from the tragic event?

Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC): “The lesson is that we need to change the visa lottery system and enforce laws that we have. Sadly, there has been a perception that the war on terrorism is over. No, it’s ongoing. Even the term ‘lone wolf’ is misleading. You have that many lone wolves, it means there’s a war… We have to be ever vigilant in protecting the American people. It needs to be eliminated.”

Rep. Lacy Clay (D-MO): “There needs to be some more vetting. I’m not in agreement with the change in the lottery system. I mean, what do you do? None of the countries that the ban is on, this young man was not from any of those countries. He was from Uzbekistan. Maybe we need to look at the former Soviet Union countries and start limiting their travel into the U.S. if that is where the Boston Marathon bombers were from, or that geographic area, maybe we need to do a better job of vetting there.”

Rep. Paul Cook (R-CA): “I don’t think immigration is going to solve that problem right now. I think you do have to recognize that this will be the wave of the future. We are going to have to spend more time in chat rooms. If somebody is advertising that they are going into this, I don’t like the idea of someone looking over your shoulder and ‘Big Brother’ but it’s almost at the point you have to be more intrusive than you were in the past in terms of all these networks that are breeding these types of individuals.”

Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA): “The real terrorist threat is the threat folks that are being self-radicalized here domestically. We’re not doing nearly enough to address that and counter that propaganda — to work with communities to identify folks that may be getting self-radicalized. That truly is a very difficult challenge.”

2018 WATCH: “With deep pockets and a nose for the spotlight, Miami Beach mayor enters governor’s race” by Marc Caputo: “Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine officially announced his bid for governor on Wednesday, bringing his personal fortune and knack for making headlines to a Democratic race where the three top candidates have struggled to gain traction and money… “There’s this new invention called the internet and social media,” he said… “That’s what we’re going to do: go direct to the people.”” [Politico]

“A Post-Obama Democratic Party in Search of Itself” by Robert Draper: “There are two types of Democrats,” David Krone, Harry Reid’s former chief of staff, told me… “There are killers, and there are whiners. Unfortunately, we have too many of the latter and not enough of the former.” Krone considers piety an obstacle to progressive policies. “Democrats are not that pure,” he told me, with a biting smile. “All those guys have a transactional component to them.” … In the Democratic Killers Hall of Fame, Krone places [Rahm] Emanuel and [Nancy] Pelosi. But lately, Krone observed, the party seemed to be tilting toward the whiners… The 2018 cycle, Krone argued, was no time for squeamishness. Again he cited the example of his former boss Reid, who, like many Democrats in 2010, was a heavy underdog going into his final Senate race.” [NYTimes]

** 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 **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Nasdaq to Launch a Program Supporting Israeli Growth Companies [Calcalist] • Israeli Company Develops World’s First Home Robot [TabletMag] • Check Point crashes on disappointing guidance [Globes]• Brooklyn Rezoning Could Benefit Kushner [WNYC] • Roman Abramovich Is Adjusting His Plans on the Upper East Side [Observer]

SPOTLIGHT: “Inside the Downfall of Doppler Labs” by David Pierce: “On October 23, Doppler Labs founder Noah Kraft got a Facebook notification. One of those “On This Day” pop-ups, resurfacing a post from exactly two years ago, when Kraft had appeared on CNBC to make the case for his company. “We want to put a computer, speaker, and mic in everyone’s ear,” Kraft said during the interview. “We have very lofty visions of the future, everything from real-time translation to personal assistants.” The memory stung. Because on October 23, Kraft was nine days away from shutting down Doppler Labs for good.” [WiredBusinessInsider]

PROFILE: “The Man Who Might Become the Next Face of College Sports” by Matt Foley: “Adam Zucker is yelling at you, television viewer. You may not know that his voice is booming off the walls of a 4,300-square-foot CBS Sports studio in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, but he is definitely yelling. Or, as they say in the biz, “conveying passion.” In addition to serving as lead anchor and host for shows like Inside College Football and Inside College Basketball, Zucker, 40, took over as the full-time host of CBS Sports’ pregame, halftime and postgame show in 2014. Now the face of the network’s college sports coverage, Zucker is tasked with communicating the network’s message to fans.” [Ozy]

“Here I Am, Haim: On the road in America with three Jewish sisters who rock” by Sean Cooper: “It’s dark and the crowd roars. Bright white lights flash and the sisters appear in order of age, the youngest Haim, Alana, 25, stage left, Danielle, 28, in the center, Este, the eldest at 31 to the right. They’re a strong presence, their voices booming in sweet harmony… Before the sisters, there was Mordechai Haim, their father, who grew up on Jerusalem Boulevard in Jaffa.” [TabletMag]

“With a farewell on the horizon, Zubin Mehta’s concert with the Israel Philharmonic is a triumph” by Richard Ginell: “Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra are touring North America again — which ordinarily wouldn’t be considered a milestone. But this time it might be, because Mehta has decided to step down as the orchestra’s music director for life in October 2019 — 50 years after he became its music advisor and 42 years after he became its first official music director.” [LATimes]

HEARD THE OTHER NIGHT: “Seinfeld Stars in American Friends of Magen David Adom Gala, Adelson Honored” by Ryan Torok: “Jerry Seinfeld opened the evening with only a few minutes of material — joking about how Gentiles attend events for the alcohol; Jews for the rolls — but he promised he would return at the end of the night. When he returned after 10 p.m., the funnyman captured both the mood of the fundraiser and the comic sensibility he is famous for. “It’s been a beautiful night of generosity …” he said. “Now, let’s get back to complaining.” The gala raised pledges of more than $18 million, a record for any single AFMDA event anywhere in the country… Humanitarian of the Year Honorees Sheldon and Miriam Adelson pledged $12 million to the organization, and Maurice Kanbar, creator of SKYY Vodka, pledged $5 million.” [JewishJournal]

TRAVEL: “After nine-year hiatus, non-stop flights from Miami to Israel are back with El Al” by Chabeli Herrera: “Beginning Wednesday, the airline is offering three weekly roundtrip flights on 279-seat Boeing 777-200 aircrafts for the nearly 12-hour flight to Tel Aviv. El Al is the second to bring nonstop flights from the Middle East to Miami in recent years… Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez said he’s been convinced Miami needed an Israel flight since a trip he took to the country in 2011.” [MiamiHerald]

MAZEL TOV to Norm Brownstein on receiving the 2017 Robert E. Loup Hineni Award from the Denver JCC last night: “What makes it even more meaningful is that one of the great leaders of the JCC, Bob Loup prior to his death, hand-picked Norm as the first recipient of the Robert E. Loup Hineni Award for his unparalleled contributions to our country and the Denver community.” [JCCDenver]

BIRTHWEEK: Managing Director in the DC-office of AIPAC since 2014, he was previously AIPAC’s Western States director based in Los Angeles (2002-2014), Elliot Brandt turns 49…

BIRTHDAYS: Former NASA astronaut who made five flights in the space shuttle and is currently a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT, he was NASA’s first Jewish astronaut, Jeffrey A. Hoffman turns 73… Chairman and CEO of BlackRock, the largest money-management firm in the world, Laurence Douglas “Larry” Fink turns 65… Director of Internet and media at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, Alan D. Abbey turns 63… Head of School at Weizmann Day School in Los Angeles, Lisa Feldman turns 59… Financial planner at Grant Arthur & Associates Wealth Services, he is the author of a book on the complicity of Lithuania in the Holocaust, Grant Arthur Gochin turns 54… Marc Solomon turns 53… Director of Federal Government Affairs at Microsoft, John Sampson turns 51… Actor, director, and producer, best known for playing Ross Geller in the sitcom “Friends” (1994-2004), David Schwimmer turns 51… Professor of economics at MIT, Amy Finkelstein turns 44… Denver-based radio host and nationally syndicated newspaper columnist, David Sirota turns 42… Washington Post Outlook editor, Adam B. Kushner turns 37 (h/t Playbook)… Marc Rosen turns 36… DNC’s Director of Jewish Engagement, Aaron Weinberg turns 27… Mordechai Bar-or

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Daily Kickoff: NYC terror attack kills 8, including Jewish man from Argentina | Debating Israeli Democracy | Jay Leno’s on his New Rochelle roots


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TERROR IN NYC — Manhattan Terror Attack Kills 8 and Injures 11 — by Benjamin Mueller, William Rashbaum: “A driver plowed a pickup truck down a crowded bike path along the Hudson River in Manhattan on Tuesday, killing eight people and injuring 11 before being shot by a police officer in what officials are calling the deadliest terrorist attack on New York City since Sept. 11, 2001. The rampage ended when the motorist — whom the police identified as Sayfullo Saipov, 29 — smashed into a school bus, jumped out of his truck and ran up and down the highway waving a pellet gun and paintball gun and shouting “Allahu akbar,” Arabic for “God is great,” before he was shot in the abdomen by the officer. He remained in critical condition on Tuesday evening.” [NYTimesAP

“An Inept Terror Attack in New York” by Graeme Wood: “As we mourn the dead, we should keep in mind that this attack could have been much worse. It partly resembles Nice, or the Berlin Christmas market attack. But it also resembles something more pathetic—a suicide by cop. As long as the Islamic State’s attackers are idiots like Saipov, our societies can probably handle them.” [TheAtlantic]

Jewish man among 5 Argentinians killed in New York attack: “Among the victims of Tuesday’s terror attack on a bike path near the World Trade Center in New York were five Argentinian men, one of whom was a Jewish businessman, Ariel Erlij. They were part of a group of eight friends celebrating the 30th anniversary of their high school graduation with a trip to New York City…” [ToIYWN]

Israeli PM Netanyahu tweets this morning: “To @POTUS, @NYGovCuomo & @NYCMayor: We stand with our friends in NY & all Americans following yet another horrible Islamist terror attack.” [Twitter] • Netanyahu called Gov. Andrew Cuomo this morning to convey Israel’s solidarity with the people of NY [Pic]

NOTEWORTHY — Michael Wilner: “CNN airs graphic of vehicular terrorist attacks worldwide since 2016. Does not list any in Israel, where several have occurred.” [Twitter]

— CNN Host Jake Tapper did reference Israel and Pakistan when talking about law enforcement’s concern that terrorists sometimes stage additional attacks while first responders rush to the scene.

“Trump and allies gin up a new culprit for New York terrorist attack: Chuck Schumer” by Derek Hawkins and Samantha Schmidt: “Prominent right-wing commentators and news outlets seized on an ABC7 story reporting that alleged attacker Sayfullo Saipov had come to the United States from Uzbekistan under a State Department program known as the Diversity Visa Lottery… Schumer, they claimed, was the brains behind the program and therefore, of course, bears responsibility for the attack… Trump joined the criticism with a series of tweets early Wednesday morning.” [WashPost]

Schumer responds: “President Trump, instead of politicizing and dividing America, which he always seems to do at times of national tragedy, should be focusing on the real solution — anti-terrorism funding — which he proposed cutting in his most recent budget.”

KAFE KNESSET — Fighting over unity — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Today is former Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s 22nd Yartzheit, and the day the Knesset remembers him and his assassination. There’s always heightened political tension ahead of the Rabin memorial, and this year is no exception. Politicians are heated up about Saturday night, when the annual public event in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square, the site of his assassination, will take place. This year, the rally is organized by Commanders for Israel’s Security and Darkenu, formerly known as V15, and they’ve titled it “We Remember: We are one people.” Many on the Left are angry that the word “murder” or “assassination” is not mentioned on the promotional materials, and that settlers will be speaking. One of the planned speakers, Esther Brot, who was evacuated from her home in the Ofra settlement earlier this year, said in a radio interview this morning that there was “incitement on both sides,” and mentioned that Rabin had called settlers “a cancer in the body of the nation.”

Meretz responded by calling on the organizers to disinvite Brot.Zionist Union MK Amir Peretz said it is important “not to let anyone blur the meaning of political murder… I have no intention to forget or forgive.” In the same party, MK Eitan Broshi, who had been an aide to Rabin when he was defense minister, called out his fellow left-wing politicians, saying: “Whoever wants to talk about changes in Judea and Samaria for a [peace] agreement, but isn’t able to hear people from there speak in the center of Tel Aviv should think again.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

DRIVING THE CONVO: “Is the End of Israeli Democracy Nigh? Israelis Debate Its Future” by Isabel Kershner: “Analysts say that the country is locked in a fundamental clash not between left and right but between the values of the founding generation of leaders who put the common good and the interests of the state first and a newer, more populist and partisan politics epitomized by Mr. Netanyahu’s government… Daniel Gordis, an author and senior vice president of Jerusalem’s Shalem College for the liberal arts, says he views much of what is happening in Israel “in the shadow of the Trump administration.” With all the differences in personality, Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump have resorted to similar tactics, such as decrying the mainstream news media as purveyors of “fake news.”” [NYTimes

REPORT — Netanyahu asked Trump to let Jonathan Pollard immigrate to Israel — by Peter Jacobs: “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has asked President Donald Trump to allow Jonathan Pollard — a convicted spy — to immigrate to Israel, according to Channel 2 news… Netanyahu reportedly told the Trump administration that Pollard would continue to be subject to the same restrictions if he was allowed to immigrate to Israel.” [BusinessInsiderMAKO]

SCENE IN DC: “President Trump’s senior advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt visited yesterday Saeb Erekat who is recovering from surgery in Washington.” h/t Barak David [Pic]

“Hamas cedes Gaza border crossings to Palestinian Authority control” by Nidal al-Mughrabi: “We have handed over the crossings with honesty and responsibility, without bargaining and unconditionally,” Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh said in a video address… COGAT, the Israeli military-run authority that supervises Erez and Kerem Shalom, said a meeting would be held with a PA representative to define joint working protocols and Israeli security conditions, including “the complete absence of any Hamas member or representative” at or near the crossings.” [Reuters]

DRIVING THE WEEK: “Century-old Letter Stirs Palestinian Anger Over U.K. Commemoration of Balfour” by Jonathan Ferziger and Michael Arnold: “The Israeli prime minister will depart Wednesday for events in the U.K. marking the Balfour Declaration… Joining Netanyahu at Thursday night’s commemoration will be U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who said she would mark the occasion “with pride.” Her comments touched off a storm among Palestinians, who demand an official U.K. apology for Balfour. That the issue stirs such passions a century after Balfour put pen to paper reflects the difficulty of bridging competing claims to the Holy Land. U.S. President Donald Trump is preparing to present a peace plan for the region… It might seem esoteric to protest a 100-year-old document, but the Balfour Declaration remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, said Michael Oren, an Israeli deputy cabinet minister… The letter’s fundamental point is that the Jews are a nation with a right to self-determination, something the Palestinians still don’t accept, he said.” [Bloomberg

ON THE HILL — “U.N. Support for Palestinian Lawfare Against Israel Sparks Anger on Capitol Hill” by Jenna Lifhits: “According to the U.N. Developmental Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the support will include training and technical advice so that Palestinians can “effectively access international accountability mechanisms” and “hold Israel accountable for its violations under international law.” Texas senator Ted Cruz sharply condemned the move… “This is yet another example of the U.N.’s shameful hostility towards Israel, which encourages more false attacks, accusations, and criticism of our close ally,” he told TWS. “I will continue to press all legislative options to ensure U.S. taxpayer dollars are not used to implement, facilitate, or carry out this discriminatory plan undermining Israel.”” [TWS

“Iraq bans Israeli flags after Kurds wave them at independence rallies: “The Iraqi parliament voted on Tuesday to criminalize the flying of Israeli flags after the banners were held aloft at a number of Kurdish independence rallies… Israel has been among the only countries to openly support an independent Kurdish state, and many Kurds have welcomed the support, drawing accusations from Arab leaders that the referendum was a Zionist plot.” [ToI]

HEARD YESTERDAY — State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert answering a question about the flags: “If [the Iraqis] choose to do that, that is certainly their place to do that. That would be an internal Iraqi matter. But I think the Israelis very well know how much we support them and what a strong relationship we have with the Government of Israel.”

“The Kurds Are Right Back Where They Started” by Joost Hiltermann: “Perhaps most shocking to the Kurds was Washington’s opposition to the referendum and response to the Kirkuk takeover. The KRG has received massive military support from Western nations in the fight against ISIS, raising its expectations that they would support the bid for independence. Yet the Trump administration stood by as Iraqi forces and Iran-backed militias advanced. Why, the Kurds asked, would Washington oppose their inalienable right to self-determination, one that Americans themselves once exercised, after they proved themselves to be Washington’s steadfast allies in Iraq after 2003, especially in the fight against ISIS? And why had America led them to believe they were on the path to independence, only to chastise them when they expressed this deepest aspiration?” [TheAtlantic]

COMING THIS WEEKEND: “This Powerful Adelson-funded Israel Lobby Could Soon Rival AIPAC’s Influence in Washington” by Amir Tibon: “An AIPAC official told Haaretz that AIPAC views the IAC as a “partner organization” that supports a common goal – strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship. According to the IAC, it “has a great relationship with AIPAC. Our delegation to the Policy Conference has grown every year. Some of our board members, including the chairman of our board, are AIPAC donors.” … At this week’s IAC conference, besides the three right-wing Israeli politicians and one senior official from the Trump administration, there will be at least nine other speakers who are strongly affiliated with the right in the two countries. There will be only one left-wing Israeli politician (Merav Michaeli), one U.S. expert who is considered a centrist, pro-Israel Democrat (Dennis Ross, the former adviser to Clinton and Obama), and one former lawmaker from the centrist Yesh Atid party (Ruth Calderon).” [Haaretz]

PROFILE: “Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s Legal Pit Bull” by Matt Flegenheimer: “It is not clear if President Trump and his charges fear Mr. Weissmann… It is quite clear, former colleagues and opponents say, that they should.” [NYTimes]

SPOTLIGHT: “Top Mnuchin aide’s private jet flight to Palm Beach was legal, but legal ‘does not always equate to wise,’ watchdog finds” by Lisa Rein: “[Eli] Miller mentioned to [Nelson] Peltz that he was flying to Palm Beach, Fla., that night to visit his in-laws. Peltz said he was traveling there, too, and offered him a ride in his private jet. After getting a green light from Treasury’s ethics official, Miller accepted the ride, working and emailing on the flight while Peltz slept… The propriety of this trip came under investigation by the Treasury Department’s inspector general. His conclusion: The flight to Florida was a perfectly legal “gift,” since the chief of staff and the hedge fund billionaire have been friends since they met on the Trump campaign and no Treasury business was discussed.” [WashPost

** 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 **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Israeli VC firm Carmel Ventures rebrands as Viola Ventures and launches new $200 million fund [VentureBeat] • Kåre Schultz to Start as Teva CEO Today [Calcalist] • Israel-founded Kaltura said to be eyeing Nasdaq IPO in 2018 [ToI] • Wahed raises $7 million for Halal-based investment platform [VentureBeat] • David Schottenstein’s celeb-favorite eye-wear shop to open in Midtown [NYPost• Kushner partner all but kills plan for Fifth Ave skyscraper [AP]

“Clark Valberg’s InVision picks up $100 million Series E” by Jordan Crook: “InVision, the design collaboration tool based out of New York, has today announced the close of a $100 million Series E funding round. The financing was led by Battery Ventures, with participation from existing investors Accel, Tiger Global Management, Firstmark and ICONIQ Capital, along with new investors Spark Capital and Geodesic. InVision launched back in 2011 as a tool that would simply let designers build out prototypes of websites or applications without having engineers write out all the code each time a small change is made… And with 80% of the Fortune 100 as customers — including companies like IBM, Disney, Nike, Airbnb, Facebook, Twitter and Capital One — the growing staff will have their work cut out for them.”[TechCrunchBusinessInsider]

“Jay Leno talks about being a ‘Shabbos goy’ and his New Rochelle roots” by Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy: “My grandparents spoke only Italian, my friend’s grandparents only spoke Polish and other people’s grandparents only spoke Yiddish,” he said…. Growing up in New Rochelle, Leno… claims to have even served as a “shabbos goy,” a non-Jew who performs certain tasks which a Jewish person is prohibited from doing on the Sabbath. “I was a shabbos goy. I’d help the neighbors shut things on and off,” Leno said. “On Christmas, they’d run errands and do things for us… It didn’t seem different to me because it was normal for me. It was a fun place.  It was a nice community.” [Lohud]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Police seek 2 suspects after U of Illinois menorah damaged: “The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that the weekend incident is the fourth time the menorah has been damaged since 2015. Surveillance video shows two people walking by the menorah about 10:50 p.m.Friday. Both men try to shake and move the menorah before one of them removes a branch and walks away with it.” [AP]

“A Train Called Anne Frank? German Railway Plan Prompts Outcry” by Dan Bilefsky: “73 years after she boarded that wagon, leaving behind a diary that would one day be read around the world, Deutsche Bahn has announced that it plans to name a new high-speed train after her. The idea of Germany’s state rail operator claiming one of the most enduring symbols of the Holocaust has prompted an outcry… A statement from the Anne Frank House, the museum that preserves the family’s hiding place in Amsterdam, noted that the combination of a train and her name was “painful for people who experienced these deportations and causes fresh pain for those who still bear the consequences of those times within them.”” [NYTimes]

HOLLYWOOD: “Six women accuse filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual harassment or misconduct” by Amy Kaufman and Daniel Miller: “In interviews with the Los Angeles Times, Henstridge and five other women accused Ratner of a range of sexual harassment and misconduct that allegedly took place in private homes, on movie sets or at industry events… Although some have questioned his conduct, Ratner has defenders in the industry including five former assistants who have worked closely with him throughout the years… Over the years, Ratner has received several honors for his philanthropic and humanitarian endeavors. On Sunday, the Jewish National Fund presented Ratner with its annual Tree of Life Award at a gala in Hollywood… Gal Gadot, the Israeli star of “Wonder Woman,” had been slated to give the award to Ratner, but as The Times was reporting on his alleged sexual misbehavior last week, the actress’ publicist announced she would not appear at the event because of a scheduling conflict.” [LATimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Rabbi of Baltimore’s Beth Tfiloh Congregation, Mitchell Wohlberg turns 73… Country singer, whose failed bid for Governor of Texas in 2006 won him 13% of the votes in a six-way race, Richard Samet “Kinky” Friedman turns 73… Pioneering investor in the personal computing industry, founder of Lotus and co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mitch Kapor turns 67… Senior Rabbi at Beit T’Shuvah, a nonprofit Jewish addiction treatment center and synagogue community in Los Angeles, Mark Borovitzturns 66… Senior Policy Advisor at the Department of Energy, formerly a staffer for VPOTUS Dan Quayle (1989-93), Les Novitsky turns 60… Principal at Calabasas, California-based CRC-Commercial Realty Consultants, he is a vice-chair of the real estate and construction division of the Los Angeles Jewish Federation, Brian Weisberg turns 45… Associate in the DC office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, she was a law clerk for USDC Judge Ellen Hollander in Baltimore, Clare F. Steinberg turns 29 (h/t Playbook)… Mitchell Caminerturns 24… Pitcher in the Kansas City Royals organization with a 97 mph fastball, he pitched for Team Israel at the 2017 World Baseball Classic, Gabe Cramer turns 23… Researcher and producer for CNN’s political unit, Marshall Cohen… Grassroots engagement director since 2017 for Teach NYS at the Orthodox Union’s Advocacy Center, she was previously AIPAC’s Director of South Shore Long Island, Annie Peck Watman

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Daily Kickoff: Rep. Rohrabacher defends association with Holocaust denier | Deutch, Lapid team up | Jewish Agency leaders try lobbying Israeli public


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ON THE HILL — Rep. Rohrabacher defends association with Holocaust denier — by JI’s Aaron Magid: After the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) blasted Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) for reportedly “welcoming Charles Johnson to a meeting,” the California lawmaker penned a letter to the ADL where he “welcomed support” from the known Holocaust denier on areas of mutual agreement. “I strongly disagree with him on a number of topics, which happen to be those same beliefs you mention in your letter,” Rohrabacher wrote. “That said, he also agrees with me on other very significant issues. I welcome his support on those issues of agreement and oppose this ideas on which we disagree.”

Rohrabacher asserted that Johnson arrived at the October 5 Capitol Hill meeting uninvited but “was allowed to sit in, only in the sense that no one said no and told him to go.” After receiving the California lawmaker’s letter, an ADL spokesman noted, “In the future, we hope that Rep. Rohrabacher will play a role to help ensure that Johnson, or anyone similarly associated with Holocaust denial, is excluded from future meetings with members of Congress on Capitol Hill.” [JewishInsider• Read Rohrabacher’s letter to the ADL here [Scribd]

KAFE KNESSET — Team Lapid-Deutch takes on the EU and Hezbollah — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: A week after Congress passed House Resolution 359, which calls on the EU to designate Hezbollah – in its entirety – as a terrorist organization, the bill’s sponsor Representative Ted Deutch has joined forces with Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid for a transatlantic push on the matter. “Europe, believe Hezbollah, it is precisely the terrible terror organization it says it is,” is the title of a joint article Lapid and Deutch authored yesterday in the Spanish El Pais and the Italian Corriere della Sera, two of the continent’s most widely read newspapers. Both politicians have also sent similar letters to the 27 EU ambassadors in Israel and the US. “The step is overdue and now is time for action,” they wrote, urging the EU to abandon the “false distinction” between the group’s military and political wing and to designate all of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization subject to sanctions. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

“Israel blows up Gaza tunnel, killing 8 militants, including an Islamic Jihad commander” by Noga Tarnopolsky: “It’s a tale of two tunnels, and it augurs difficulties for the Palestinian unity agreement announced to international fanfare this month. One tunnel was dug straight from the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Islamist militia Hamas, into a southern Israeli community. The Israeli army blew it up early Monday, detonating it from within Israel using as-yet unidentified “advanced technology,” according to a statement made by the army.”

“According to Israeli analysts, Israel chose a relatively restrained engagement because the tunnel was not directly linked to Hamas, an implacable foe. Late Monday, as quiet reigned, the military analyst Avi Issacharoff posted that “many people are breathing a sigh of relief this evening, both in Israel and in Gaza, including Hamas, because reports indicate the tunnel near Kissufim was controlled by Islamic Jihad, not Hamas. This reduced the possibility of escalation.”” [LATimes]

DRIVING THE DAY: “Jews of the Diaspora Bring Their Cause to the Israeli Public” by David Halbfinger: On Tuesday, 120 of the Jewish Agency’s international board of governors plan to descend on the Knesset, meeting with dozens of Israeli legislators, including some members of the ultra-Orthodox parties, in what Natan Sharansky, the former Soviet dissident who leads the Jewish Agency, called “our biggest lobbying effort ever.” “The problem is not just that the prime minister gave in to political pressure,” he said in an interview. “The ministers feel that they don’t have to pay a political price, and that’s because there’s not that much awareness” of the needs of non-Orthodox Jews… The lobbying day is to be followed by an advertising and media campaign, educational efforts in Israeli schools and trips for Israeli lawmakers and leaders to the United States “to give them a real-life glimpse of what and who we are,” said Rabbi [Rick] Jacobs.” [NYTimes]

“‘Stop Throwing Us Crumbs’, non-Orthodox Jewish Leaders Tell Netanyahu’s Representative” by Judy Maltz: “Tzachi Hanegbi, deputy minister for regional cooperation and a close confidant of the prime minister, met with members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors at the Western Wall in Jerusalem’s Old City, hoping to convince them of the need to make further compromises.” [Haaretz] • Netanyahu confirms he will speak via satellite to Jewish Federation gathering [ToI]

Sen. Chuck Schumer in a video message on Twitter: “We have new challenges. The world changes rapidly. Weapons are quicker and more deadly. Hezbollah loads up rockets in Lebanon and nobody seems to do much about it… The Israeli-American relationship is strong, but needs to be strengthened further, particularly among the young people.” [Video]

“Nigel Farage condemned over ‘Jewish lobby’ comment” by Daniel Sugarman: “Farage… took a call from someone… during a debate on Russian influence in last year’s US presidential election. “How come… no one really highlighting AIPAC and the Israeli lobby and their involvement in American politics and elections,” the caller asked. Mr Farage responded by saying Ahmed had made “a reasonable point.” He added… “They have a voice within American politics… But I don’t think anybody is suggesting that the Israeli government tried to affect the result of the American elections.” When the caller claimed Israel had Democrats and Republicans “in their pockets,” Mr Farage, the former leader of UKIP, responded: “In terms of money and influence they are a very powerful lobby.” [TheJC]

“UK’s Johnson says 1917 Jewish homeland declaration terms ‘not fully realized'” by William James: “Foreign secretary Boris Johnson said on Monday that a key proviso of a 100-year old British declaration which laid the foundations for Israel had not been fully met, striking a sympathetic tone towards the Palestinians. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is due to travel to Britain on Thursday to meet his British counterpart Theresa May and Johnson for the anniversary of the Balfour declaration… In an article written for the Daily Telegraph newspaper… Johnson described himself as a “friend of Israel”, but also said he was “deeply moved by the suffering of those affected and dislodged by its birth.”” [Reuters]

REPORT: “Saudi pressure led to US thwarting Greater Jerusalem Bill” by Roi Kais: “The [Saudi Al-Watan] newspaper quoted a senior White House official who said Saudi diplomats demanded in talks with their American counterparts that breaks be slammed on the advancement of legislation seeking to connect a number of settlements in the West Bank to Jerusalem… According to the official, Washington has the ability to stifle any move it believes could sabotage the renewal of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.”[Ynet] • UAE officials apologize to Israel judo team following handshake snub[CNN]

On Saturday, Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner returned from an unannounced visit to Saudi Arabia. The trip’s aims were not revealed, but close Trump associate Tom Barrack told Politico, “Jared has always been driven to try and solve the Israel-Palestinian dispute. The key to solving that dispute is Egypt. And the key to Egypt is Abu Dhabi and Saudi Arabia.” [LATimes]

1600 PENN AVE: “Trump’s top aides will skip Asia for tax push” by Jonathan Swan: “Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, economic adviser Gary Cohn and Ivanka Trump will hold tax-reform events in crucial states and blue House districts held by Republicans and speak with national and regional media. Ivanka canceled meetings she had arranged in China and South Korea as part of the Asia trip. She’s still visiting Japan, ahead of her father, to give a speech at the invitation of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, but will fly back over the weekend to begin the tax push.” [Axios]

“A White House Story Reveals Shifting Stance on Tax Cuts for the Rich” by Jim Tankersley: “Earlier this month, in a meeting with members of the Senate Finance Committee, Mr. Trump repeated his oft-told anecdote of a chat he had with his good friend Robert Kraft, the wealthy owner of the New England Patriots, in which Mr. Kraft implored him to cut taxes for the middle class but not the rich. Mr. Trump agreed with that notion, Democrats who attended the meeting said, and declared that his coming tax bill would be focused on the middle class and not on rich people like Mr. Trump… the Trump administration is shifting away from the president’s own words. They’re not saying the rich shouldn’t get any tax relief — they’re saying the rich deserve to get one.” [NYTimes

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: “Top campaign officials knew of Trump adviser’s outreach to Russia” by Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger: “Throughout the summer, [George] Papadopoulos met with foreign officials and gave interviews to media in other countries, sometimes describing Trump’s views on Putin or Russia. He told a group of researchers in Israel that Trump saw Putin as “a responsible actor and potential partner,” according to a column in the Jerusalem Post.” [WashPost] • Trump Campaign Adviser Who Pled Guilty to Lying to FBI Has Surprising Ties to Israeli Settlers[Haaretz

STATE VISIT — Gov. Walker meets with Israel’s Netanyahu: “Gov. Scott Walker… met with Netanyahu one-on-one in Jerusalem for an hour on Monday… They discussed issues facing Israel and how to bolster the relationship between the country and Wisconsin… Walker also participated Monday in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial and a tree-planting ceremony at the Kennedy Peace Forest. Walker plans to visit Tel Aviv on Tuesday. He’ll take part in several events aimed at developing partnerships in the water technology and technology sectors.” [AP]

** 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 **

BUSINESS BRIEFS: The Slow, Necessary Decline of Israeli Adtech [Calcalist• Meet David Rosenblatt, the e-commerce CEO who’s not afraid of Amazon [Recode] • Jake Kassan’s Watch Brand by and for Millennials[NYTimes] • The Reason Why Starbucks Coffee Sizes Aren’t Small, Medium, and Large: Howard Schultz wanted distinctive names” for the beverages to honor Italian heritage [ReadersDigest]

STARTUP NATION: “Samsung and SoftBank invest in Israeli lidar startup Innoviz Technologies” by Paul Sawers: “Innoviz Technologies, a startup that’s building solid-state lidar technology for autonomous cars, has extended its previously announced series B funding round to $73 million. Joining are Samsung Catalyst, an early stage VC fund from Samsung Electronics, and SoftBank Ventures Korea, an affiliate of SoftBank’s Korean holding company.” [VentureBeat]

“Ex-Warner Music Head Edgar Bronfman Starts a VC Firm” by Sarah McBride: “[Edgar] Bronfman Jr., now a managing partner at New York-based private equity firm Accretive LLC, is starting a venture firm with veteran investor Daniel Leff. The new firm, Waverley Capital, aims to raise a debut fund of about $100 million, targeting media investments…. “There’s almost no money in Silicon Valley going toward media,” Bronfman said.”[Bloomberg]

“J-Rod! Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez on Love, Beauty, and Redemption” by Bethany McLean: “Today, A-Rod Corp is an investment firm focused on a broad array of industries, including real estate, sports and wellness, media, and entertainment. “I don’t have your traditional formal education,” he says. “Mine comes through reading and passion and grit and collecting a lot of information from my mentors. I’ve never been afraid to say, ‘I don’t know. Can you explain that to me?’ That’s echoed by hedge-fund billionaire Marc Lasry, who has invested with Rodriguez for the last decade. “What’s interesting about Alex is that he’s a sponge,” Lasry says. “He really wants to learn.” [VanityFair]

The Israeli entrepreneur who discovered Shabbat: “In the past two years, I have begun to observe Shabbat,” WeWork founder [Adam] Neumann… told the Yediot Aharonot newspaper in an interview published Sunday. “During Shabbat I am completely cut off, there is no one to talk to, and I do not compromise about it,” he said. “At first it felt like a tough assignment, but it gives me time with my children, my wife, my friends… Shabbat arrives, we light candles, relax, friends come over, we eat a meal that we cooked beforehand. We are cut off from the rest of the world, but in reality connecting with each other. I spend more time than I ever did with my family and even phone and see my mother more. And the real magic is that the more I do it, the more successful the company is. Go figure.”” [Arutz7Kikar]

“Jewish Owned Ride Sharing Startup Strikes A Deal On ‘Shark Tank’” by Jenny Singer: “When the now 25 year-old Isaac Deutsch came to Zoli Honig in January 2015 with an idea for a free, electric, car-sharing service, Honig, now 29, told his friend, “You’re nuts! It’s not going to work.” But within one year the pair had launched WaiveCar, a service which allows users to locate a nearby electric car via an app and drive it for up to two hours for free, thanks to the paid advertisements on the car. On Sunday night’s episode, in crisp black t-shirts and matching kippot, the WaiveCar creators pitched their company with the precocious charm of two Jewish Newsies fresh from a trip to Silicon Valley.”[Forward]

“New tech, 3-D holograms preserve Holocaust survivor stories” by Don Babwin: “The interactive display is the latest version of an exhibit that’s been shown at a handful of sites including New York’s Museum of Jewish Heritage and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. But those exhibits were two-dimensional, with survivors appearing as they would on a movie or television screen. The exhibit (at the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center) in Skokie marks the first time that the voice-recognition technology powering conversations with audiences has been married to 3-D holographic technology to tell survivors’ stories.” [AP]

SPORTS BLINK: “How I Discovered My Cousin, the Dodger” by E. Randol Schoenberg: “Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson’s mom, Shelly Cahn, has a remarkable Jewish background. Shelly’s paternal great-grandfather, Leopold Cahn, was born March 13, 1864, in San Francisco. Leopold’s grandparents came from Bouxwiller in Alsace, France, and have typical Jewish surnames from that region: Cahn, Loeb, Weyl and Bamberger. And on and on. Some people like to do crossword puzzles. I like to do genealogy.” [JewishJournal]

BIRTHDAYS: Founding partner at Lanx Management, former President of AIPAC (2006-2010) and Chairman of the Orthodox Union, Howard E. (Tzvi) Friedman turns 52… Entrepreneur, bestselling author and philanthropist, founder of Pencils of Promise and MissionU, Adam Braun turns 34… Actor with a lengthy career in film, television and theatre, Ron Rifkin turns 78… British historian, born in Baghdad, emeritus professor of International Relations at Oxford, Avi Shlaim turns 72… Author, historian and journalist, formerly editor of The New York Times Book Review, Sam Tanenhaus turns 62… Journalist and author, she is a staff writer for The New Yorker and has contributed articles to Vogue, Rolling Stone and Esquire, her 1998 book was made into the award-winning movie Adaptation (2002), Susan Orlean turns 62… Finance and real estate executive, managing partner of Arel Capital, a private equity real estate firm based in NYC, previously he was the chief investment officer of Gottex Fund Management, Richard Leibovitch turns 54… British lawyer who has served in many communal roles including as CEO of the Board of Deputies of British Jews (2005-2013) and COO of World ORT (2014-2015), Marc Jonathan (Jon) Benjamin turns 53… Global marketing campaign manager for PwC, Spencer Herbst turns 26… National Director for Progressive Engagement at AIPAC, Marilyn Rosenthal… Native of Pittsburgh, Masha Shollar

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Photo credit: Avi Ohayon (GPO)

Kafe Knesset for September 13

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Haredi-IDF Bombshell: Last night, the Israeli High Court threw a wrench in Netanyahu’s coalition. The court gave the government a year to pass a new law regulating the…

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addresses a joint meeting of Congress on Capitol Hill in Washington

Kafe Knesset for September 12

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Iran, Iran, and Iran again: High on PM Netanyahu’s agenda yesterday, as he launched his historic Latin America visit in Buenos Aires, was Iran. He visited the sites…

netanyahu plane

Kafe Knesset for September 11

Monday, September 11, 2017

Neo-Nazis embrace Yair Netanyahu: The Netanyahus consider their oldest son, Yair, to be their “heir to the throne.” But if we had to compare him to the British…

via Twitter/@netanyahu

Kafe Knesset for September 8

Friday, September 8, 2017

Boom! After months of investigations, deliberations, leaks and discussions over Sara Netanyahu’s alleged criminal affairs – Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has officially announced that the PM’s wife will…

Screenshot 2017-09-06 at 1.31.37 PM

Kafe Knesset for September 7

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Mum’s the word: Israeli officials, as always, kept mum this morning as the country woke up to news of an air strike on a military factory in Syria….


Amendment cutting US aid to UNRWA & UNHRC advances

Thursday, September 7, 2017

WASHINGTON – An amendment from Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) that would sever U.S. aid to the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) — an agency that exclusively assists…