Daily Kickoff: Republican Jewish Coalition calls for “greater moral clarity” | Mort Klein won’t end campaign against McMaster | Cuban’s new venture

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EXODUS: “After Trump Hedges His Condemnation of Hate, C.E.O.s Organize a Mass Defection” by David Gelles, Landon Thomas Jr., Andrew Ross Sorkin and Kate Kelly: “As the group disintegrated, Stephen A. Schwarzman, the chief executive of the Blackstone Group, was kept in the loop. Mr. Schwarzman was one of Mr. Trump’s closest business confidants and the chairman of the policy forum, but he was also outraged by the president’s remarks. On Tuesday evening, he called Jared Kushner… to inform him that the policy forum was falling apart. At the same time, Mr. Schwarzman began drafting a statement about disbanding the group… During the 40-minute phone call (on Wed.), Mr. Schwarzman did not press for continued allegiance to the president…. After the decision was final, Mr. Schwarzman called the White House to let Mr. Trump know… Shortly thereafter, the president claimed on Twitter that he was disbanding the advisory groups.” [NYTimesCNNMoney]

C-SUITE REACTION: “Apple CEO Tim Cook Shares Tech Giant’s Plan to Fight Racism after Trump’s Charlottesville Remarks” by Sofia Lotto Persio: “Cook pledged $1 million each in donations to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a nonprofit legal advocacy organization for civil rights, and the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), an NGO fighting against anti-Semitism. “We will also match two-for-one our employees’ donations to these and several other human rights groups, between now and September 30,” Cook wrote.” [NewsweekBuzzFeed]

Mark Zuckerberg writes on Facebook… “The last few days have been hard to process. I know a lot of us have been asking where this hate comes from. As a Jew, it’s something I’ve wondered much of my life. It’s a disgrace that we still need to say that neo-Nazis and white supremacists are wrong — as if this is somehow not obvious… There may always be some evil in the world, and maybe we can’t do anything about that. But there’s too much polarization in our culture, and we can do something about that.” [Facebook

Starbucks’ Howard Schultz at a company wide forum: “I come to you as an American, as a Jew, as a parent, as a grandparent, as an almost 40-year partner of this company,” Schultz said to open the event. “I come to you with profound, profound concern about the lack of character, morality, humanity and what this might mean for young children and young generations.” [BusinessInsider]

REACTION FROM JEWISH LEADERS: “Rabbi That Oversaw Ivanka Trump’s Conversion to Judaism Slams Trump on Charlottesville Response” by Yashar Ali: “In a letter sent to members of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun this evening, Rabbi Emeritus Haskel Lookstein (who oversaw Ivanka’s conversion), along with his successors Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz and Rabbi Elie Weinstock, said… “While we avoid politics, we are deeply troubled by the moral equivalency and equivocation President Trump has offered in his response to this act of violence.”” [NYMag]

Rabbi David Wolpe: “The week has been painful and dispiriting. The single, simple truth is that seeing one’s President hesitate, even for an instant, to condemn, anathematize and revile Nazis is soul crushing… For the simple truth is that anyone, left or right, who equivocates, who “on the other hands” this question, has debased themselves. If you love our country, if you are Jewish and love your people, if you care for the decency of our flag and its integrity, if you cherish the remarkable, scarred history of this nation, you have to say “this is wrong.” And you have to call on the President to do what Jews call teshuva — repentance.” [Facebook]

RJC, Orthodox Groups Reject Trump’s ‘Both Sides’ Remarks: In a rare statement issued yesterday, the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership, RJC National Chairman Senator Norm Coleman and Executive Director Matt Brooks, implored Trump “to provide greater moral clarity in rejecting racism, bigotry, and antisemitism.” The Rabbinical Council of America, a leading organization of Orthodox Jewish rabbis in North America, called the failure to unequivocally reject hatred and racism “a failing of moral leadership.”

Appearing on i24News, Orthodox Union (OU) President Moshe Bane said he was “a bit confused” by Trump’s response to the weekend events in Charlottesville, Virginia. “It seems very inconsistent with his general sensitivities to bias crimes, hatred and terrorism,” Bane noted. “We are assuming – for our purposes – that he really didn’t mean the moral equivalency that he suggested because if he did, that would be totally unacceptable and abhorrent to us.”

Rabbi Avi Shafran, a spokesperson for Agudath Israel, tells us… “While, as the president said, there were violent individuals in both camps, there is obviously no comparison between a group of people who gather to espouse a philosophy of hatred and exclusion and a group that gathered to oppose that odious message. Had the president ended his addressing of the Charlottesville issue with his second set of remarks, it would have been a much clearer message than the one he left us with on Tuesday night. I don’t think he is either a racist or an anti-Semite, but it’s important to not give comfort, intentionally or inadvertently, to such lowly elements of society.” [JewishInsiderWashPost]

POLLING: “Nearly two-thirds of Americans consider the attack that led to loss of life in Charlottesville an act of “domestic terrorism,” a view that spans partisan lines. But President Trump’s response to Charlottesville finds more division. He gets majority disapproval overall for his response to the events, while 67% of Republicans approve.” [CBSNews]

WHERE’S JAVANKA? — “Trump helicopter seen landing at Twin Farms in Barnard” by Anne Galloway: “The 1989 Sikorsky S-76B was sighted on Monday by neighbors in the small Windsor County town as it hovered over Twin Farms. The Trump helicopter was captured in a cellphone photograph and posted on Instagram on Monday. The blurry image is identical to a photograph of the aircraft at the West Lebanon, New Hampshire, airport that appeared in the Valley News the same day… The timing coincides with reports that the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner were visiting Vermont… An employee who answered the phone at Twin Farms said no one by the name of Trump or Kushner was staying at the resort. “I wouldn’t be able to tell you anyway,” he said.” [VTDigger] • Ivanka Trump silent after her father causes outrage at press conference [CNN

INSIDE THE ADMIN: “Trump Comments on Race Open Breach with C.E.O.s, Military and G.O.P.” by Michael Shear, Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman: “Most incensed among Mr. Trump’s top advisers… was Gary D. Cohn, the director of the National Economic Council, who told people around him that he was offended, as a Jew and as an American, by the president’s reaction to the violence in Charlottesville. The relationship between the president and Mr. Cohn, who stood next to Mr. Trump during the news conference, seems to have suffered a serious blow. Although White House aides denied that he was planning to quit, they acknowledged that Mr. Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs executive, was upset with the president’s lack of discipline… Steven Mnuchin, the secretary of the Treasury, who is also Jewish, stood silently behind Mr. Trump… Mr. Mnuchin has not said anything publicly about the president’s remarks… Michael D. Cohen, the president’s longtime personal lawyer, who is Jewish, defended Mr. Trump in response to a reporter’s question on Wednesday.” [NYTimes

“Trump Aides Agonize Over Future in White House Reeling on Race” by Saleha Mohsin, Justin Sink and Margaret Talev: “As Treasury Department aides filtered in for a routine meeting on Wednesday, there was one main issue to be discussed: Secretary Steven Mnuchin does not stand with Donald Trump on the topic of neo-Nazis.” [Bloomberg]

Secretary of Veterans Affairs David Shulkin at a press briefing yesterday in Bedminster, NJ: “It is a dishonor to our country’s veterans to allow the Nazis and the white supremacists to go unchallenged. And I am strongly against them, and I believe that we have to all speak up as Americans… I think the president has done a good job of speaking for himself. He’s made clear his comments. He’s denounced bigotry, hatred, violence, Nazis, white supremacists, and I think that he can speak for himself.” [Video]

“White House aides wrestle with Trump’s race comments” by Josh Dawsey: “Trump… was in “good spirits” on Tuesday night, according to a White House adviser who spoke to him. The adviser said the president felt the news conference went much better than his statement on Monday… Chief strategist Steve Bannon… was thrilled with the remarks, according to a friend of Bannon… In an attempt to shore up support for Trump, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller was planning to hold a call with surrogates later on Wednesday.” [PoliticoAxios]

“Steve Bannon, Unrepentant” by Robert Kuttner: “Bannon was in high spirits… and minced no words describing his efforts to neutralize his rivals at the Departments of Defense, State, and Treasury… “That’s a fight I fight every day here,” he said. “We’re still fighting. There’s Treasury and [National Economic Council chair] Gary Cohn and Goldman Sachs lobbying.” … He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element… These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added… “The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”” [AmericanProspect] • Steve Bannon thought he wasn’t giving an interview [Axios]

Trump chimes in: “The public is learning (even more so) how dishonest the Fake News is. They totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!” [Twitter

VIEW FROM JERUSALEM — Rivlin urges US Jews to ‘be strong’ after deadly Charlottesville rally: “At this difficult time I want to express my support and solidarity, and that of all the Israeli people, with you and your communities,” the president (Reuven Rivlin) [said] in a letter to Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations. “The very idea that in our time we would see a Nazi flag — perhaps the most vicious symbol of anti-Semitism — paraded in the streets of the world’s greatest democracy, and Israel’s most cherished and greatest ally is almost beyond belief.” [ToI]

“Netanyahu criticized for response to Charlottesville” by Ilan Ben Zion: “A growing chorus of opposition politicians, commentators and even coalition partners has urged Netanyahu to take a stronger stance, even at the risk of antagonizing the president… But Netanyahu’s reluctance to speak out on such an important issue has set him apart from the growing ranks of Israeli leaders who have been outspoken in their anger, and risks alienating Jewish American leaders already estranged by certain Israeli policies.” [AP]

KAFE KNESSET — Alternative Realities — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: The front pages of the two biggest Israeli newspapers – Noni Mozes’s Yediot Aharonot and Sheldon Adelson’s Israel Hayom, are many times mirror images of each other. The two newspapers present two alternative depictions of the same reality with the structure reversed as in a mirror. Typically, this comes into focus on things that have to do with Bibi, as Yedioth tends to present a more critical account of the PM, and Israel Hayom is usually much more supportive.

This morning, however, the striking differences between the two popular newspapers had to do with President Trump, and the ongoing criticism of his reaction to the Charlottesville demonstrations. “Shame” read the headline of Yediot, which spread a photo of the president on the whole front page accompanied by two editorials headlined “Horror show,” and “Who is maintaining silence,” which criticized Netanyahu for not denouncing the President. At the same time, on the front page of Israel Hayom there was no mention of the US drama and the backlash that the President’s “both sides” comments have elicited this week. Instead Israel Israel Hayom’s report about POTUS was placed modestly on page 24, as a side column accompanying news of Hope Hick’s appointment as the new White House communications manager.

Following a raucous Twitter uproar, Israel Hayom’s editor, Boaz Bismuth went on Army Radio to explain and said “it is unfair that papers are making up stories about Trump, and it is not right and unjust that Israeli papers are turning this friend into an enemy.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

ON THE HILL — Democratic House Members Pramila Jayapal (WA), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ), and Jerrold Nadler (NY) introduced a censure resolution yesterday against President Donald Trump for “his failure to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism.”

“Donald Trump’s attempt to create a moral equivalency between white supremacist, KKK, neo-Nazi groups and those counter-protesting the ‘Unite the Right’ rally is morally repugnant and completely unacceptable,” Nadler told JI’s Aaron Magid. “Congressional leaders from both sides of the political aisle have decried the President for failing to provide adequate condemnation, and with President Trump’s re-assertion that “both sides” were to blame, Congress must publicly censure and condemn the President for his conduct.”

“Charlottesville and the Gasps of Weak Fascism” by Eli Lake: “So far, though, there is little evidence to show Trump’s tolerance for these thugs has made white supremacism any more tolerable in our politics… It’s frightening to see these reptiles crawl out from under their rocks and march. But we should never lose sight of how much ground they have lost… The Tiki-torch bearing bigots who marched with swastikas and rebel flags are indeed fascists. But they are weak fascists. Much like Hamas in Gaza or the Islamic Courts Union in Somalia, if the white supremacists had real political power, they would use it to eliminate their rivals. But they don’t.” [BloombergView

DRIVING THE DAY: A senior Israeli security delegation – led by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen – will meet with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Deputy National Security Advisor Dina Powell, and Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt in Washington, DC.

SCENE YESTERDAY: Jason Greenblatt welcomed 12 students from Gaza who are participating in the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program to the White House. Greenblatt thanked the Israeli government for helping him get travel permits for these students. [Pic

“PA officials expect Kushner to present confidence-building measures” by Daniel Siryoti: “Officials in the Trump administration have hinted that… Jared Kushner, will provide Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas with certain guarantees or pledges when he visits the region later this month, a senior Palestinian official close to Abbas told Israel Hayom… Some Palestinian officials assume they include confidence-building measures.”[IsraleHayom]

TOP TALKER — ZOA’s Klein Vows Not to Stop Campaign Against McMaster — by Jacob Kornbluh: Klein, who is on a speaking tour in Europe, insisted in a phone conversation yesterday that he did not consult with Adelson before launching his aggressive campaign against McMaster and that “Sheldon never said he endorsed McMaster. He’s made it clear that he does not take a position about McMaster. Sheldon simply said that he did not ask ZOA to do a campaign against him, that this had nothing to do with him,” said Klein. “He did not ask us to do this campaign. I haven’t even spoken to Sheldon about this. We do many projects without asking our donors.” He also insisted that he did not coordinate his attacks against McMaster with White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

Klein also said that he “knows for a fact that Adelson did not ask that Bannon be fired.” Asked if he would stop his campaign against McMaster if Bannon called him to do so, Klein said he would only oblige if he’s provided with “new information that showed that he is a friend of Israel and wants to fight Iran.” [JewishInsider] • Right-Wing War Against McMaster Spills Over Into Israel [FP

“As Leak Probes Abound, Tillerson Promotes Diplomat Who Passed Classified Info To AIPAC” by John Hudson: “David Satterfield, a long time Middle East hand with extensive experience in the region, has been named Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, a State Department official told BuzzFeed News. In 2005, federal prosecutors said Satterfield provided classified national security secrets to a top lobbyist for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee… Advocates of Satterfield note that he was never charged in the incident and that interacting with AIPAC officials was a normal part of being a diplomat given the lobby’s outsize influence in shaping US policy…. “I wouldn’t describe him as an ardent Israel booster but I’d say he certainly believes it’s in American national interest to be a friend with Israel,” [Steven] Rosen told BuzzFeed News in an interview.” [BuzzFeed]

REPORT: “Iran building long-range rocket factory in Syria: Israeli TV” by Ori Lewis: “An Israeli television report said on Tuesday that Iran is building a facility in northwest Syria to manufacture long-range rockets… The Channel 2 television news report showed images it said were taken by an Israeli satellite showing a site in northwest Syria near the Mediterranean coastal town of Baniyas, saying some of the construction indicated explosives would be stored there.” [Reuters]

SPOTLIGHT: “Rahm Emanuel rehabs his national profile” by Natasha Korecki and Kristen East: “18 months after fighting off resignation calls and protests in the streets, the Chicago mayor has rediscovered his national voice… He’s on CNN. He’s on The New York Times’ op-ed pages. He’s dispensing advice to top House Democrats on national campaign strategy. He’s jetting off to Milan and London to forge mayoral alliances while brashly picking fights with New York. The biggest headlines have come from Emanuel’s decision to become the first big-city mayor to legally challenge Trump’s immigration policies… And on Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions fueled the feud by repeatedly calling out Emanuel during a 30-minute speech in Miami on sanctuary cities… Emanuel shot back… “In a week in which the Trump administration is being forced to answer questions about neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and the KKK, they could not have picked a worse time to resume their attack on the immigrants who see America as a beacon of hope,” Emanuel said.” [Politico]

2020 WATCH: “LA Mayor Garcetti headed to NH to campaign for Joyce Craig in Manchester” by John DiStaso and Adam Sexton:“Amid speculation that he may run for president in 2020, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti will visit New Hampshire on Aug. 28 to help Manchester mayoral candidate Joyce Craig… In July 2016, he received national exposure by speaking at the Democratic National Convention. At the convention, Garcetti introduced himself by saying, “I am just your average Mexican-American, Jewish-Italian.” … A Twitter group has set up an account hoping to draft Garcetti to run for president. But he has said that he is not currently focused on a presidential candidacy.” [WMURLATimes]  

** 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 BRIEF: “Goldman Sachs Banker Claims Race Discrimination in Lawsuit” by Chris Dolmetsch and Jordyn Holman: “Rebecca Allen, a 32-year-old wealth manager at Goldman Sachs Group Inc., sued the bank and one of its managers, claiming she was discriminated against because she is black and Jewish.” [Bloomberg]

“Mark Cuban Wants to Buy Back Name for New Chat Venture” by Kevin McLaughlin: “Cuban wants to build a Twitter-like conversational platform for people to use cryptocurrency tokens to pay to talk with public figures and other influential people. For example, a person could ask Mr. Cuban for his view on President Donald Trump’s response to the violence in Charlottesville this weekend, “pay” for his attention, and then engage him in a one-on-one conversation, said the person.”[TheInformation(behind a paywall)

“The Void CEO: Star Wars can make VR accessible” by Dean Takahashi: “I interviewed [Cliff] Plumer… as he was finishing up a visit to Israel for the Beyond Reality event, which took VR leaders on a tour of Israel’s VR and augmented reality research centers… Plumer: “One, I’ve always been interested in visiting Israel. I’ve seen a lot of amazing technology come out of this country. It was an opportunity to come over here and meet some people, meet some companies, and just see the country and the culture. It was hard to pass up. It worked out well. I haven’t been disappointed.” There’s a lot of AR and VR technology in development in Israel. Plumer: “It’s impressive. I hadn’t known the depth of the support that the tech community gets here, both privately and from the government.”” [VentureBeat]

MEDIA WATCH: Cloudflare CEO on Terminating Service to Neo-Nazi Site — by Kate Conger: “This was my decision. This is not Cloudflare’s general policy now, going forward,” Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told Gizmodo… “I realized there was no way we were going to have that conversation with people calling us Nazis,” Prince said. “The Daily Stormer site was bragging on their bulletin boards about how Cloudflare was one of them and that is the opposite of everything we believe. That was the tipping point for me.” [Gizmodo]

“Apple Pay Is Cutting Off White Supremacists” by Ryan Mac and Blake Montgomery: “Uber, Facebook, Twitter, MailChimp, and WordPress have all taken varying levels of action against white supremacists on their platforms in the wake of Charlottesville. Airbnb banned people tied to white supremacist groups who attempted to use its site to book lodging for the rally last week… Apple removed Apple Pay capabilities from little-known sites… Discover said in a statement to BuzzFeed News, “In light of recent events, we are terminating merchant agreements with hate groups, given the violence incited by their extremist views.”” [BuzzFeed]

“Charlottesville White Supremacists Missed the Jewish Connection to Their Polos” by Chavie Lieber: “Jewish immigrants in the United States often entered the garment trade, and in the late 1800s, Jewish designers in New England began perpetuating the preppy style, as the aesthetic had become sought-after… Following World War II, when the production of French fashion houses like Chanel and Dior was halted, American designers began rising to prominence. By the mid-1960s, Jewish-Americans like Hannah Golofski of Anne Klein and Ralph Lauren were building powerful empires predicated on the preppy look. They helped prep trickle down from the wealthy elites to mainstream consumers… That the polo shirt has become the uniform of white supremacy is jarring not only because it gives this group a look of polished normalcy, but also because the preppy aesthetic is tied up in the complicated history of what it means to be Jewish in America.” [Racked]

“The ‘last Jewish gangster’ speaks about his 60 years in the mob” by Michael Levin: “His name is Myron Sugerman, and he is the last Jewish gangster from the era of the world of his fathers, from Meyer to Myron… He’s written a memoir titled “The Chronicles of the Last Jewish Gangster from Meyer to Myron.” The book tells the story of a man who grew up at the feet of some of the most famous Jewish, Italian and Irish gangsters, and understood the traditions of that world… Sugerman today is in big demand by synagogues and Jewish federations throughout the United States. He speaks on the history of the Jewish Mob (with help from Italians and Irish) and their remarkable contributions for the betterment of the welfare of the Jewish people both here in the United States during the 1930s — fighting anti-Semitism and the American Nazi Party, and in the 1940s after WWII securing illegal weapons and providing cash for both the Haganah and the Irgun in Palestine, pre-state Israel in the struggle for Jewish statehood.” [NYDailyNews]

“After the Hobby Lobby scandal, a spotlight on antiquities sales in Israel” by Religion News Service: “Israel is the only country in the Middle East that permits state-licensed antiquities dealers to sell ancient artifacts. This, critics say, encourages unscrupulous people around the region to loot and smuggle valuable items via licensed Israeli dealers… Amir Ganor, head of the Antiquities Authority’s looting prevention division, believes the recently tightened Antiquities Law is having a significant effect on illegal sales. “In 2000 there were 120 licensed dealers; today there are only 37,” Ganor said, pointing to Antique-Net, a new system through which they must list and upload photographs of every item in their inventory. Only after the Antiquities Authority approves a sale will it be transferred to the buyer’s inventory list.”[USAToday]

“Go Netanyahu, Go – For Your Sake and Israel’s” by Gil Troy: “Clearly, [Bill] Clinton’s strategy – and now Trump’s – shaped Netanyahu’s performance last week, rousing Likud partisans. From Netanyahu’s perspective, these tactics worked for others, they should work for him, too… But here’s the key: Clinton survived but his scandal hurt America. Trump won but he sullied democracy. Netanyahu may now subject Israel to months of political paralysis, leaving years of increased cynicism as his legacy. If he is innocent, it’s a valuable battle to fight. But Netanyahu knows if he is guilty or innocent. And if he is guilty, this man who has repeatedly warned the world about the threats Israel faces must avoid threatening his country’s democratic legitimacy and national security.” [HuffPost

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Queens Museum accepts deal after backlash from UN ambassador” by Yoav Gonen: “Facing an uproar over its decision to renege on a deal to rent out the city-owned Queens Museum building for a celebration of Israel’s 70th anniversary, the institution on Wednesday said it will allow the event to proceed. Danny Danon, Israel’s UN ambassador, said the Israeli Mission had reached a deal with the museum in June for the Nov. 29 event and all was fine until it became public… On Monday, museum Director Laura Raicovich had notified the Israelis that she was yanking the deal because the museum board didn’t want to host a “political event,” Danon said.” [NYPost]

TRANSITION: Ambassador Daniel B. Shapiro, former United States Ambassador to Israel, will join Columbia/Barnard Hillel, the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life, as a visiting scholar in residence for the 2017-18 academic year. Shapiro will spend time on campus in the fall and spring semesters and will meet with groups of students who visit Israel over winter and spring break. [BarnardHillel]

BIRTHDAYS: Co-founder of Oracle Corporation, he was its CEO from its founding until September 2014 and was recently listed by Forbes as the fifth-wealthiest person in the US with a fortune of $60.6 billion, Larry Ellison turns 73… Former CEO and current Chairman of J.Crew Group, he was previously the CEO of Gap Inc. and a director at Apple Inc. (1999 to 2015), Millard “Mickey” S. Drexler turns 73… US Senator from Minnesota from 2003 until 2009, losing his 2008 reelection bid to Al Franken by 312 votes (out of over 3 million cast), Norm Coleman (family name was originally Goldman) turns 68… Chairman, president and CEO of Continental Airlines at the time of its merger into United Airlines in 2010, he then held those same three roles at United until 2015, Jeffery Alan “Jeff” Smisek turns 63… Founder and managing partner of SBNY, a first and second stage venture capital firm, he is a past president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, Jordan Levy turns 62… Communications coordinator at Temple Beth El in Longmeadow, Massachusetts since 2013, Deborah Peskin turns 56… Member of Knesset since 2015 for the Zionist Union party, prior to her Knesset service she was a leading Israeli criminal defense attorney, Revital Swid turns 50… Israeli journalist who serves as the Arab affairs correspondent and head of the Arab desk at Israeli News Channel 10, he also anchors a program on Channel 20 related to Judaism and spirituality, Zvi Yehezkeli turns 47… Program coordinator in AIPAC’s NYC office, Amanda Horwitz turns 25… Deputy regional political director at AIPAC for the Southern Pacific region, Aaron Taxy… Sonya Culler… Eli Diamond… Gabriel Berger… John Kohan

BIRTHWEEK: CEO of digital marketing agency 360i (an award-winning agency with offices in NYC, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, London, Toronto, Tokyo and São Paulo), Sarah Hofstetter turns 43…

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Daily Kickoff: Eric Cantor blasts Trump’s remarks: “there’s no moral equivalence” | Abe Foxman: This is Javanka’s ‘Mordechai and Esther’ moment

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DRIVING THE CONVO: “Trump Gives White Supremacists an Unequivocal Boost“ by Glenn Thrush and Maggie Haberman: “President Trump buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations — equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend… Members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private. National Economic Council Chairman Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin, who are Jewish, stood by uncomfortably… No sooner had he delivered the Monday statement than he began railing privately to his staff about the press. He fumed to aides about how unfairly he was being treated… He felt he had already given too much ground to his opponents, the official said.”

“Eric Cantor, a former Republican congressman from Virginia… said the president needed to have spoken out earlier. “It really did demand a statement at the very beginning,” said Mr. Cantor, who is Jewish. He added that efforts by the president to equate the actions of the counter-protesters… with the neo-Nazis and the driver of the car that murdered a protester were “unacceptable.” “There’s no moral equivalence,” Mr. Cantor said.” [NYTimesDailyBeast] • Read the full text of Trump’s comments[Politico]

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-NY): “These two sides are not equal. They are different. I would add, though, that it is not right to suggest that President Trump is wrong for acknowledging the fact that criminals on both sides showed up for the purpose of being violent. That particular observation is completely true.”[Newsday]

HOW IT PLAYED: “With New Remarks on Charlottesville, Trump Leaves Himself Isolated” by Gerald F. Seib: “Even Candidate Trump may never have left himself quite so isolated as President Trump did with a remarkable news conference inside Trump Tower on Tuesday afternoon.” [WSJ

RJC STATEMENT: “We regret that we continue to be faced with these issues, but the RJC will never shy away from our role of standing up to racists, fascists, and Nazis.”

Norm Eisen: “Trump’s comments just now were the single most disgraceful by an American president in my lifetime.” [Twitter]

Martin Sweet, who served as Marco Rubio’s Director of Jewish Outreach in 2016, emails us… “The moral equivalence that we all roundly reject when it rears its ugly head regarding Israel (“we urge restraint on both sides…”) is wrong there and it is wrong regarding Charlottesville. Those on the side of moral clarity are on the right side of history.”

HEARD YESTERDAY — Wolf Blitzer on CNN’s Situation Room: “My parents came to this country after the Holocaust. All four of my grandparents were murdered during the Holocaust. And what I don’t understand is — the President of the U.S. has a daughter who is Jewish, a son-in-law who is Jewish, grandchildren who are Jewish. His son-in-law, his grandparents were Holocaust survivors. I don’t understand how [Trump] isn’t moved by that to simply condemn this group shouting out ‘Jews will not replace us.’”[YouTube] h/t Brian Stelter

Abe Foxman: Now is Jared and Ivanka’s ‘Mordechai and Esther’ Moment — by Jacob Kornbluh: “This is a dark moment for those of us who remember what hatred can do. As a Holocaust survivor, I never thought that I would witness the day that a president of the United States would rationalize away Nazism, its hatred, its violence, and find excuses for it,” said Foxman, who now serves as Director of Center for the Study of Anti-Semitism at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. “For him to have seen the torch parade and the epithets against his daughter, his grandchildren, his son-in-law, and stand up and say both sides are equal? Shame, shame, shame.”

Recognizing that Trump has a tendency of doubling down on irrational behavior when being pushed into a corner, Foxman said now might be the time for Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner to take matters into their own hands and step into the roles of Mordechai and Esther. “Trump loves his daughter. She is the apple of his eye, and I saw him, he likes his son-in-law, but he certainly loves his grandchildren,” Foxman explained. “They need to sit down with him, and say to him, face-to-face, ‘Do you understand what message you’re sending to your grandchildren? That it’s okay for people to march down and yell get rid of the Jews, we don’t want the Jews. And you say this is nothing..’ People have said, ‘Well maybe Jared …’ Jared’s grandparents are Holocaust survivors. People say, ‘Well, maybe they were put there to be Esther or Mordechai.’ Well, maybe they have.” [JewishInsider

WHERE IS JAVANKA? — by Annie Karni: “A White House official said the couple are currently on a long-planned, two-day trip to Vermont and are expected back in Bedminster, New Jersey, on Thursday, when they will rejoin the president.” [Politico

“Leon Wieseltier on Charlottesville: ‘The Darkness Is Now in the Light’” by Marilyn Cooper: “This man (Trump) is either amoral or immoral, it’s hard to decide which… It’s hard for me to think of a question that would be easier to get right than that, but somehow he just can’t. He screws it up every time… Those Jews who supported Trump should welcome the season of introspection that the month of Elul inaugurates. They made a terrible mistake. Jews should respond by offering and displaying our solidarity to those groups in this country who really are threatened by the Trump presidency—meaning immigrants, refugees, Muslims and Mexicans.” [MomentMag

Washington Post editorial… “The nation can only weep: Tuesday was a great day for David Duke and racists everywhere. The president of the United States all but declared that he has their backs.” [WashPost

“Why the Charlottesville Marchers Were Obsessed With Jews” by Emma Green: “In the world sketched by white supremacists, Jews hover malevolently in the background, pulling strings, controlling events, acting as an all-powerful force backing and enabling the other targets of their hate. That’s clear in statements made by people like Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who proudly marched with other white supremacists in Charlottesville. Jewish Zionists, he complained to a gathered crowd, control the media and American political system.” [TheAtlantic

KAFE KNESSET — View from Israel: Just one side — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: POTUS’ blaming “both sides” drew strong criticism in Israel. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked – displaying a misunderstanding of American Constitutional law – said “neo Nazis in the US must be put on trial. This was not the intention of the American Constitution. A democratic state cannot show tolerance towards such phenomena.” Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid took issue with the idea of creating moral equivalence between the neo-Nazis and counter-protesters, saying “There are not two sides. When neo Nazis march in Charlottesville and scream slogans against Jews and in support of white supremacy, the condemnation has to be unambiguous.” Similarly, former Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said “with racism, anti-Semitism and Nazism there are no two sides. There is good, and there is bad. Period. The battle against anti-Semitism must be a joint one, with Israel as the state of the Jewish People, and leaders in places in which it raises its ugly head.”

Livni didn’t miss an opportunity to criticize Netanyahu for waiting three days to come out against the neo Nazis, saying: “We must stand up against such phenomena immediately, and without hesitation.” But someone else in the Netanyahu home had a different view. Yair Netanyahu wrote on his newly-active Facebook account that “the neo Nazis scums (sic) in Virginia hate me and my country. But they belong to the past… However the thugs of Antifa and BLM who hate my country (and America too in my view) just as much are getting stronger and stronger.” And Likud firebrand Oren Hazan, who never misses a chance to declare his undying love for Trump, said POTUS was right and “extremism and violence on all sides are prohibited and should be denounced!” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

THE DAILY KUSHNER: “Jared and Ivanka Aren’t Pushing Bannon Out—Yet” by Emily Jane Fox: “Back then, it was no secret that [Jared and Ivanka] wanted Bannon out of the West Wing. Now, however, they are not actively pushing him out the door, one person familiar with the situation told me. Bannon’s current influence within the West Wing doesn’t amount to much, and those kinds of staffing decisions are now made by Kelly, whose appointment they fully supported… The episode in Charlottesville underscores most profoundly not only how Trump keeps his uneasy coalition in fragile condition, but also how Ivanka and Kushner are able to balance their support of the president, and their boss, with their other beliefs and interests. “[VanityFair

“Banish Bannon? Trump weighs his options as top aides feud” by John Walcott and Jeff Mason: “A source close to the ZOA bristled at the suggestion that Bannon was influencing its approach and said it would not tone down the campaign against McMaster, despite entreaties by Bannon to do so. “We find it remarkably offensive that anyone would suggest that Steve Bannon or anyone else tells us what to say or what not to say,” the source said. “It makes me feel awful that he’s getting blamed for this, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”” [Reuters

“Firing Steve Bannon Won’t Change Donald Trump” by Ryan Lizza:“Despite showing it off to a few other reporters and me, Bannon tried to keep the whiteboard’s contents secret. That plan was blown in [May], when a visitor posted a picture of himself and Bannon in front of the whiteboard, and the board became a sensation online and among late-night comedians, generating dozens of memes and jokes. Trump was furious at the leak, perhaps because the writing was so messy, and the whiteboard was subsequently erased and redrawn with a cleaner and more professional look.” [NewYorker]

UN WATCH: “Israel Seeks UN’s Respect in Campaign for Security Council Seat” by Kambiz Foroohar: “Israel is working to rally enough votes in the 193-member General Assembly to defeat either Germany or Belgium in a three-way race for two spots on the UN’s most powerful body… One Israeli official said the election may become a political landmine for Netanyahu domestically amid his legal troubles. Failure to win the UN seat would let rivals call him foolish for seeking acceptance in a club he has long denounced as hostile to Israel, according to the official… Don’t count Israel out, said Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations. One potential twist: With the balloting conducted in secret, Saudi Arabia and its Sunni neighbors might cast their ballots for Israel on the bet it would take a tough stand against their common archenemy Iran.” [Bloomberg

IRAN DEAL: “U.S. envoy says Iran cannot ‘hold world hostage’ with nuclear deal” by Michelle Nichols: “U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday Iran must be held responsible for “its missile launches, support for terrorism, disregard for human rights, and violations of U.N. Security Council resolutions… Iran cannot be allowed to use the nuclear deal to hold the world hostage … The nuclear deal must not become ‘too big to fail’,” Haley said in a statement, adding that new U.S. sanctions were unrelated to the Iran nuclear deal.” [Reuters]

“Trump Reminded Threats Work Differently in Diplomacy Than in Real Estate” by David Sanger: “Mr. Trump has made clear he would like to exit from the Iran deal as fast as he can… Some in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps would also like to see the deal collapse, so they can resume their nuclear activities. [Hassan] Rouhani has no interest in watching the agreement dissolve… But Mr. Rouhani’s statements to Iranian lawmakers were driven by a domestic imperative not to be seen giving in to American threats to pull out of the deal or renegotiate or widen it… Several other Iranian officials have recently threatened to restart industrial-scale uranium enrichment. Ali Akbar Salehi, the president of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and a key negotiator of the deal, said the country could go up to 20 percent enrichment of uranium to “surprise the Americans and their supporters.”” [NYTimes]

FOGGY BOTTOM POLICY: State Dept annual report critiques Israeli actions in West Bank — by Aaron Magid: In a move likely to upset conservative supporters of President Donald Trump, a new State Department report released yesterday criticized both Israeli and Palestinian policies in what they referred to as “Israel and the Occupied Territories.” “In some cases the Palestinians killed reportedly did not pose a threat to life at the time they were shot, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) published reports saying that Israeli security forces committed unlawful killings,” the State Department noted in its annual International Religious Freedom report.  While pointing out numerous cases of Palestinian terror attacks against Israeli civilians, the State Department also faulted the Israeli government for not prosecuting Jewish assailants who strike Palestinian targets. “Many “price tag” attacks reportedly continued to go unprosecuted.” [JewishInsider]

“Abbas sends greeting to North Korea’s Kim Jong-un” by Elior Levy: “In an official letter to Kim Jong-un, Abbas said the Korean people “sacrificed the most precious sacrifices for its freedom and honor” and expressed his appreciation to the support North Korea has shown the Palestinian people in their fight for freed.” [Ynet]

Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt met with PLO Representative to DC Husam Zomlot at the White House yesterday ahead of the U.S. delegation’s trip to the region. Zomlot “reaffirmed the full readiness of the Palestinian leadership to support President Trump’s efforts to reach a comprehensive solution to the Palestinian-Israeli issue,” the PLO delegation said in a readout. [Facebook]

“Is Trump’s Middle East Peace Effort Dead in the Water?” by Daniel Shapiro: “Trump and his team have essentially three options: First, keep up the usual diplomatic dance: visits, shuttle talks, speaking about achieving the “ultimate deal,” and capitalizing on the alignment of Israeli and Sunni Arab states’ interests to achieve a regional political opening. The problem? No one buys it. Such efforts, even well-intentioned, will soon look phony and worn, like they are just buying time. Second, walk away. Trump could argue that there is nothing to be done, that the United States has more urgent business to attend to, that circumstances are not favorable for renewed talks… This approach might be the most honest. It also might kill the two-state solution once and for all. Third, refocus their work on taking steps to manage the conflict and keep a two-state solution alive for when better leadership circumstances emerge in the future.” [FP

ANTI-BOYCOTT ACT: “Another Democratic Congressman Drops Support for Controversial anti-BDS Bill” by Amir Tibon: “Speaking at a town hall meeting, Rep. Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington, said that he intends to withdraw his support because the bill is “more complicated” than how it was originally presented to him. “I do not support a boycott and divestment campaign against Israel,” he clarified, stating that the change in his position… is a result of its “very complicated” language, which comes “very close” to punishing American citizens for choosing to boycott Israel.”[Haaretz

SCENE YESTERDAY: Missouri Governor Eric Greitens And Israeli Ambassador Participate In Business Roundtable — by Jill Enders: “Greitens hosted the Israeli Ambassador to the United States, Ron Dermer during his visit to the St. Louis area. They participated in a business roundtable at the Danforth Plant Science Center in Creve Couer… “Missouri is one of the leaders in agriculture technology today as is the state of Israel. So part of the discussion is how we can enhance those relationships in agriculture technology.” said Greitens… “I frankly did not know how important agriculture and ag tech is to this economy. I think if we’re not the best in the world, we’re one of the best in the world in that area.” said Dermer “I think Israel is going to be a great resource.” Dermer added.” [STL

COMING SOON: Registration open for governor-led trade mission to Jordan and Israel: “World Trade Center Utah is currently accepting registrants for a governor-led trade mission to Jordan and Israel Oct. 22 through 26. “The trade mission to Jordan and Israel presents a unique opportunity for companies to explore business opportunities in the Middle East,” Derek B. Miller, president and CEO of the organization, said in a statement.” [DeseretNews

** 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: Westfield hits Milan as it upgrades its shopping centre portfolio [SMH] • LionTree CEO Aryeh Bourkoff Expects More Cross-Border Telecom Deals [Bloomberg] • Blue Apron jumps after Gary Rosenstein’s Jana Partners, that pushed Whole Foods into Amazon’s arms, buys a stake[CNBC] • Kushner Cos faces lawsuit claiming rent overcharging in New York[Reuters] • Alice Rogoff borrowed, but it wasn’t enough to save newspaper[MRA

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Eva Moskowitz sends letter calling Success board chair’s comments ‘indefensible’ — but also defending his record” by Monica Disare: “In the letter, Moskowitz used strong language to condemn Daniel Loeb’s comments… Moskowitz called the comments “indefensible,” “insensitive” and “hurtful,” a more aggressive rebuke than her previous statement. Yet she also defended Loeb’s track record in the letter, pointing out his commitment to Success and various social causes. A spokeswoman for Success Academy confirmed that Loeb remains the board’s chairman. ” [Chalkbeat]

MEDIA WATCH: “Down the Breitbart Hole” by Wil Hylton: “Breitbart often disparages its political opponents as ‘‘globalists’’ and ‘‘corporatists,’’ which is easy to interpret as an anti-Semitic dog whistle… When a Breitbart article appeared two weeks ago linking McMaster to a foundation financed by George Soros, the website Slate quickly posted a response arguing that it ‘‘makes sense’’ for Breitbart to think ‘‘the worst thing it could possibly reveal about H. R. McMaster is that he has a thirdhand connection to a Jewish guy.’’ No criticism of Breitbart irritates its leadership more than the charge of anti-Semitism. That’s partly because many of the top figures at Breitbart, including Andrew Breitbart, Larry Solov and the entire editorial team when the site relaunched in 2012 — Joel Pollak, Ben Shapiro and Alex Marlow — were all of Jewish descent, but also because a fundamental commitment on the site is to a borderline fanatical advocacy for Israel.” [NYTimes]

“David Steinberg celebrates birthday with wife and head honchos” by Ian Mohr: “Comic David Steinberg and his producer wife, Robyn Todd, were seen celebrating Steinberg’s birthday at Primola on the Upper East Side with good friends… A spy said of the birthday boy — a director on HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and executive producer with Todd of Discovery’s revived “Cash Cab” — “David was still glowing over the attendance at his performance at the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival” in and around Jamestown, NY, this month.” [PageSix

BIRTHDAYS: Former member of Congress (1991-1997) and both houses of the New Jersey Legislature (NJ General Assembly 1982-1987 and NJ Senate 1987-1991), Richard Alan “Dick” Zimmer turns 73… Sportscaster who is known as the “Voice of the Dallas Cowboys,” he has broadcast the Cowboys since 1976, Brad Sham turns 68… Co-founder and managing director of Rock Creek Global Advisors, previously White House Chief of Staff (2006-2009) following three years as OMB Director (2003-2006), Joshua Brewster “Josh” Bolten turns 63… Gerald Platt turns 63… Commander of the Israeli Air Force (2004-2008) and CEO of El Al (2010-2014), General Eliezer Shkediturns 60… Senior partner in the Denver office of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and an AIPAC board member, Steven C. Demby turns 59… Sports journalist and executive, she spent 17 years on-air at ESPN/ABC and CBS covering everything from Super Bowls to NBA and MLB playoffs, now she is a VP at Campus Insiders, Bonnie Bernstein turns 47… Senior staff writer for Politico Magazine and editor-at-large of The Agenda, Miami Beach resident, Michael Grunwald turns 47…

Senior editor of Kol HaBirah (a Jewish newspaper that serves the Washington and Baltimore Jewish communities), Kami Troy turns 43 (h/t Tevi)… Co-founder and co-CEO of The Creative Counsel, South Africa’s largest advertising agency, in 2014 he was named by GQ as one of the Best Dressed Men of the Year, Gil Oved turns 42… Events Director for the Republican Governors Association, Patricia W. “Tricia” Moffatt turns 39… Producer for CBS’s Emmy Award-winning daytime talk show “The Talk,” Matthew Silversteinturns 36… Executive assistant to the ambassador at the Embassy of Israel in Washington, Galit Tassi… Analyst on the brand strategy team at Blackrock, he was the founder of the University of Michigan program Music Matters and served as an intern at the White House National Economic Council, Phillip Schermer… Staffer in the New England office of J Street, after interning there for 3 semesters while he was at Brandeis University, Cooper Boyar… Ellen Weissfeld

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Daily Kickoff: JI Feature — Inside Senator Corker’s unique foreign policy doctrine | Sheldon stands with McMaster | Spotted at Ron Perelman’s bash

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JI PROFILE: Inside Senator Bob Corker’s Realist Doctrine — by Aaron Magid: It was a rare and dramatic moment of Congressional foreign policy activism. On June 26, Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, singlehandedly blocked all U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia and five other Arab regimes until the public feud between those countries and Qatar ended. With no resolution in sight, Corker’s decision to withhold consent has prevented the White House from shoring up military ties with Saudi Arabia. Corker’s move came just two weeks after 47 of his Senate colleagues objected to arms sales to Riyadh in a tight vote, with many citing human rights violations and the country’s “indiscriminate killing” in Yemen. At the time, Corker insisted that Saudi Arabia had not intentionally bombed civilians and sided with 52 other lawmakers to proceed with the arms deal.

The rollercoaster month highlighted how a lawmaker from Tennessee, with a worldview distinct from the neoconservatives who typically dominate GOP foreign policy, wields significant influence over U.S. diplomacy. Welcome to Senator Bob Corker’s realpolitik foreign policy doctrine: maintaining strong ties with U.S. allies while rejecting arguments to prioritize human rights concerns when implementing sensitive international agreements.

During a recent sit-down interview with Jewish Insider in his Senate office, the affable Corker explained that he is neither “an ideologue or a neo-con” but rather a “pragmatic realist.” “I am a business guy and want to constantly figure out ways of advancing our national interest, but I am not locked into an ideological frame,” he said. Corker has tried to adopt a more realpolitik strategy putting aside ideological concerns in favor of maintaining productive ties with both Israel, its neighboring Arab states and international institutions. He declined to co-sponsor legislation that would defund the United Nations after the passage of UNSC 2334 as well as legislation demanding the transfer of the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. At the same time, Corker marshalled support in recent months to advance the Taylor Force Act out of committee.

Last month, Corker met with Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt. Recalling the discussion, Corker appeared to lack the Trump administration’s enthusiasm to invest the White House’s limited resources on Israeli-Palestinian talks. “It’s interesting to me that they are pursuing it, but there are a lot of other issues that I think could be resolved and are resolvable. I don’t think this one, in the short term, is one of those,” Corker asserted. While some in the Trump administration may be trying to secure the “ultimate deal” for ideological reasons, Corker’s focus on pragmatic goals in the turbulent Middle East highlights his realism doctrine.

Jared Kushner tells us: “Senator Corker is a leading voice on some of the most serious issues facing our country and provides valuable guidance, advice and input both when he agrees and disagrees with us. It has been a tremendous honor to work with him on various projects including the President’s first international trip.”

When Corker initially entered Congress, “he questioned the value of being in the Senate,” noted Norm Coleman, who currently serves as Chairman of the Republican Jewish Coalition. “I don’t know if he found the Senate that exciting: there was a lot of talk and not a lot of action.” Yet, Corker’s rise to Chairman of Foreign Relations has now offered him a substantive and influential role in shaping U.S. foreign policy. Read the full profile on Sen. Corker here [JewishInsider]

KAFE KNESSET — Eyes on Pyongyang — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Israeli media has been following the US-North Korea standoff quite closely in recent days. Most politicians, however, are keeping a distance from the topic, and have not responded to inquiries on the latest events. Likud minister Tzahi Hanegbi explained earlier this week that “we do not want to be dragged into the North Korea clash. We trust that the US leadership will know how to deal with the North Korean aggression, which is just like Iranian aggression.”

Kulanu Deputy Minister and former Israeli Ambassador to the US Michael Oren told Kafe Knesset today that “everyone is looking at the situation. We are and the Iranians are as well. Israel has an interest in the US taking a strong stand against the North Korean nuclear program. North Korea is an enemy country and supports our enemies. North Korea built the Syrian nuclear reactor. Syria is a close ally of Iran, therefore Iran is a North Korean ally. Israel has an interest in what happens because of the Iranian nuclear program. The North Koreans have violated international agreements just like the Iranians are trying to, and because it affects our allies Japan and South Korea.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

NEW DETAILS: “Headed by Mossad Chief, Israeli Defense Delegation to Fly to Washington for White House Talks on Syria” by Barak Ravid: “The delegation will be headed by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, and he will be joined by the head of the Israel Defense Forces Military Intelligence, Maj. Gen. Herzl Halevi, as well as the head of the Defense Ministry’s political-security department, Zohar Palti… “Talks will focus on Israel’s security needs vis-a-vis Syria and Lebanon, and will not deal with the Israeli-Palestinian peace process,” [a] White House official said. “The delegation’s arrival in Washington is a powerful sign of the trust between Israel and McMaster.”” [Haaretz] • Has US sacrificed Israel for Syria deal? [AlMonitor]

“The Pentagon Fills Hezbollah’s Shopping List” by Tony Badran: “Yet even in the fever-dreams of Hezbollah’s bunker-bound leader, Hassan Nasrallah, it seems unlikely that anyone in the group imagined that the Pentagon would simply ship the advanced American gear they sought to obtain to Lebanon, gratis. But On Monday, US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth Richard revealed that the Pentagon has done exactly that – or near enough to make Hassan Nasrallah jump for joy inside his bunker. In remarks delivered at the Port of Beirut, Ambassador Richard reviewed the material contents of a $100 million contribution that the US is making to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), which last month provided support to Hezbollah in a joint military operation in northeastern Lebanon.” [TabletMag]

“Tony Blair’s Middle East envoy work secretly bankrolled by wealthy Arab state” by Edward Malnick: “Tony Blair’s work as a Middle East envoy trying to solve the Israeli Palestinian conflict was secretly funded by a wealthy Arab state which also employed him as a paid adviser, leaked emails seen by the Telegraph reveal. The United Arab Emirates quietly financed Mr Blair’s London office while he also received millions in consultancy fees from the state and the sovereign wealth fund of its capital, Abu Dhabi… A spokeswoman for the former Labour leader said he received the money to bankroll the travel expenses of him and his staff. But she insisted there was no conflict of interest between this and the work he did as envoy for the Office of the Quartet.” [TelegraphDailyMail]

TOP TALKER: “Bannon in Limbo as Trump Faces Growing Calls for the Strategist’s Ouster” by Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush: “Mr. Trump has now relegated [Steve] Bannon to a kind of internal exile… At a recent dinner at the White House with [Jared] Kushner and [John] Kelly, before Mr. Trump decamped for a working vacation at his private golf club in Bedminster, N.J., the president listened while one of the guests, Mr. Murdoch, a founder of Fox News, said Mr. Bannon had to go. Mr. Trump offered little pushback, according to a person familiar with the conversation, and vented his frustrations about Mr. Bannon… Mr. Bannon’s ability to hang on as Mr. Trump’s in-house populist is in part because of his connections to a handful of ultrarich political patrons, including Sheldon G. Adelson, the pro-Israel, Las Vegas-based casino magnate.”

“Mr. Bannon’s protégé, chief speechwriter and policy director, Stephen Miller… has become one of the president’s favorite aides. Despite his image in the news media as a confrontational ideologue, Mr. Miller has proved to be a deft operator who has ingratiated himself to Mr. Kushner. Still, Mr. Bannon is a survivor… This spring, as Mr. Kushner pressured Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Bannon, the president shot back at his son-in-law. He was not going to get rid of him, he said, just because Mr. Kushner wanted him to go.” [NYTimes

“Sheldon Adelson comes out in support of H.R. McMaster” by Jonathan Swan: “Andy Abboud, who represents Adelson, tells me: “Sheldon Adelson has nothing to do with the ZOA campaign against McMaster. Had no knowledge of it. And has provided zero support, and is perfectly comfortable with the role that McMaster is playing.” … Klein is increasingly isolated in his opposition to McMaster. His only senior ally inside the White House is Bannon; the rest of the senior staff has united in disgust at the outside campaign against McMaster. David Friedman, Trump’s staunchly pro-Israel ambassador, is vouching for McMaster, though he was unable to convince Klein.” [Axios

Abboud tells CNN… “[Adelson] has heard from many people that McMaster is good on many Israeli issues… He hasn’t spoken to Mort Klein about it.”[CNN

–Klein is currently on a speaking tour in Europe and could not immediately be reached for comment.

DRIVING THE CONVO: “Trump Condemns Racists but Creates New Uproar” by Glenn Thrush: “Racism is evil,” said Mr. Trump, delivering a statement from the White House at a hastily arranged appearance meant to halt the growing political threat posed by the unrest. “And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the K.K.K., neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans.” … Shortly before leaving the capital, Mr. Trump attacked the news media for blowing the episode out of proportion.” [NYTimes

“What Donald Trump didn’t say when he talked about white supremacists” by Juana Summers: “Yet the statement also lacked one powerful — and critical — component: Trump failed to specifically reject support of the white nationalists, racists and bigots who say they back him… This was a missed opportunity for the White House. But — unfortunately — the President will likely soon have another opportunity, as the white nationalist Richard Spencer has announced his plans to hold another rally in Charlottesville.”[CNN]

VIVID RECAP: VICE News Tonight correspondent Elle Reeve went behind the scenes with white nationalist leaders, including Christopher Cantwell, Robert Ray, David Duke, and Matthew Heimbach—as well as counter-protesters. VICE News Tonight also spoke with residents of Charlottesville, members of the Black Lives Matter movement, and the Charlottesville Police. [Video]

“Trump Adviser Schwarzman Condemns Hatred After Virginia Violence” by Melissa Mittelman: “Blackstone Group LP’s Steve Schwarzman, who leads one of President Donald Trump’s business advisory forums, called for efforts to “heal” wounds… “Bigotry, hatred and extremism are an affront to core American values and have no place in this country,” Schwarzman said in an emailed statement Monday. “Encouraging tolerance and understanding must be a core national imperative and I will work to further that goal.” … On Saturday, at a party in East Hampton raising money for Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Schwarzman questioned criticism of Trump’s response, saying he didn’t think the president’s comment faulting “many sides” for the violence was far-reaching.” [Bloomberg

ADL ‘troubled’ by Trump’s reluctance to denounce Alt-Right — by Jacob Kornbluh: During a press call yesterday, ADL CEO Jason Greenblatt cautioned that Trump’s statements “are no longer sufficient.” He criticized Trump for sending a message to “white supremacists and extremists rallying around his rhetoric” and for “his unwillingness to consistently and forcefully denounce their behavior.” Trump’s rhetoric, Greenblatt added, “was not a subtle dog whistle, but like a bullhorn and a signal for them to try and rise and take a seat at the center of the public conversation.”

Greenblatt tells us… “We have seen a pattern of the President equivocating in the face of intolerance, and an unwillingness to call out white supremacists, to name neo-Nazis, or to attack the alt-right. Let’s just say it’s hard to understand what his intentions are. I can’t discern what’s in his head or in his heart. At the ADL, we can only deal with the impact. And the impact is an uptick in anti-Semitic incidents. The impact is an increased tempo of white supremacist activity across the country. The impact is as we saw this weekend, unbridled violence from the worst elements of society. And so we find it very troubling that it has taken so long and it has been a serial issue.”[JewishInsider

HEARD YESTERDAY – Van Jones on CNN’s AC360: “You have the father of a Jewish daughter in the White House, and some of the worst anti-Jewish and anti-black statements I’ve ever heard were pouring out of Charlottesville from these white supremacist groups. [Trump] had a rare opportunity – as the father of a Jewish daughter – to step forward and speak personally — personally about his feelings, and he didn’t do it, today or before.”

“Explaining Trump’s Charlottesville Behavior” by John Podhoretz: “Trump was not only feeding his inexhaustible maw for attention. He was reaching a group of disaffected Americans entirely on the margins of American life, politically and culturally and organizationally. The dedicated prole-media audience, which might make up 5 or 6 percent of the electorate, is not enough to make a base. But it’s enough to make a nucleus. And what they knew is that he didn’t dismiss them. They knew he was listening to them. They knew he wanted to talk to them, wanted to hear from them.” [CommentaryMag]

ANTI-BOYCOTT ACT: “Why some Jewish groups aren’t happy with Cory Booker” by Jonathan Salant: “Almost half the Senate, 49 of 100 lawmakers, are sponsoring the bill, as are 254 of 435 House members. Only four of New Jersey’s 14 members of Congress, Booker and Reps. Bill Pascrell Jr. (D-9th Dist.), Donald Payne Jr. (D-10th Dist.) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12th Dist.), are not on board. Booker, who has called BDS “an anti-Jewish movement,” is reviewing the legislation, spokesman Jeff Giertz said.”[NJAdvance]

SCENE YESTERDAY: Arkansas Treasurer Dennis Milligan Meets With Israeli Ambassador: “Treasurer of State Dennis Milligan met with Ron Dermer, Ambassador of Israel to the United States, on Monday in separate events… Milligan attended a private luncheon in Little Rock hosted by the Jewish Federation of Arkansas, and then attended a ceremonial bill signing later that afternoon with Governor Asa Hutchinson and members of the State Board of Finance. “Soon after I took office, we were approached by representatives from an Israeli development corporation about the potential of bringing legislation to Arkansas that would allow the state to invest in bonds backed by Israel. We connected the representatives to Sen. Rapert, and through that connection, Act 644 was born,” Milligan said. Act 644 expands Arkansas’ investment opportunities to include the State of Israel.”[BoonevilleDemocratArkansasOnline]

“Daughter of US Ambassador David Friedman makes aliyah” by Raphael Ahren: “Talia Friedman, a nurse in her 20s, boarded an aliyah flight in New York on Monday… “As a father, I celebrate my daughter Talia’s realization of a life long dream to become part of the State of Israel,” Ambassador Friedman told The Times of Israel on Monday evening. “Our entire family is bursting with pride at Talia’s vision and determination to help strengthen Medinat Yisrael [the State of Israel] — one of America’s strongest and most important allies.” … Friedman is not the only member of US President Donald Trump’s team to have children moving to Israel this month. Jason Greenblatt… on Sunday tweeted that his triplets are headed to the Jewish state for a gap year program of Jewish studies.” [ToIJPost]

“Steve Israel Explains How Republicans Tried – and Failed – to Turn Jewish Voters Against the Democrats” by Amir Tibon: “When asked to sum up Obama’s legacy on the United States’ relationship with the Jewish state, [Steve] Israel used the words “conflicted” and “complicated.” His reasons: “The optics of the relationship were not good. The appearance was not positive. The headlines were all about tensions and disputes… This created an enormous sense of frustration for me, because I would go to town hall meetings and hear people accuse the administration of being anti-Israel, when in fact there were unprecedented levels of cooperation between Israel and the United States on the defense and intelligence fronts.” … As for President Donald Trump’s Israel policy, the former Congressman said it’s still too early to pass judgement… “I’m an outspoken critic of Trump and his policies on many issues, but with regards to Israel, I think he deserves more time to articulate a policy and implement it.”” [Haaretz]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: With 66M Monthly Visits, Yaron Ben Shaul’s HomeTalk Is On Its Way To Become The Next Houzz [Forbes] • Israeli Billionaire Beny Steinmetz Detained in Investigation [NYTimesReuters] • Montage’s Alan Fuerstman Is Hoping To Continue His Magic Touch With Pendry [Forbes] • Israel Medical Marijuana: Joint Panel Approves Government-Run Export Plan [IBTimes]

STARTUP NATION: “The tech industry is hiring Israeli engineers as fast as the army can produce them” by John Detrixhe: “There are about 90 Israeli companies listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange, the most of any non-US nation apart from China. The sheer number of big foreign companies setting up shop in the country may eventually damage the startup sector, though, by snapping up the best engineers, choking off the supply of talent to innovative upstarts.” [QZ]

MEDIA WATCH: “Google cuts ties with neo-Nazi site for ‘inciting violence’” by Yaron Steinbuch: “Google has joined web hosting company GoDaddy in revoking the domain registration of the neo-Nazi website after it posted an article mocking an anti-hate crusader killed in Charlottesville… The Daily Stormer moved its registration to Alphabet Inc’s Google Domains… The domain was registered with Google a little before 11 a.m. EST and the company announced plans to revoke it at 1:56 p.m. EST.”[NYPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN — New York Gets Tougher on Community Center Bomb Threats: “New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed into law new penalties for those who make bomb threats against community centers. The Democratic governor approved the legislation Monday.” [AP

“Boston Holocaust Memorial vandalized again, 1 arrested” by Macy Corica: “A witness tells Boston 25 News someone threw a rock at the memorial, shattering the glass. Police say the teen was detained by two bystanders until officers arrived. He will be charged with willful and malicious destruction of property… It was just over a month and a half ago when the memorial was vandalized… The memorial was recently rededicated after the damaged glass was replaced.” [Fox25

“Outrage as Swiss hotel orders ‘Jewish guests’ to shower before swimming” by Nina Larson: “A Swiss hotel that posted signs telling Jewish clients to shower before using the pool and restricting their access to the facility’s freezer has unleashed outrage and official complaints from Israel… Paradies manager Ruth Thomann, who signed the notices, meanwhile insisted to Swiss daily 20Minutes that she was not an anti-Semite, and acknowledged that her “choice of words was a mistake.” She explained to the Blick daily that the apartment hotel currently had a lot of Jewish clients, and that other guests had complained that some of them did not shower before using the pool and had asked her to do something.” [AFP]

HOLLYWOOD: “Elizabeth Reaser joins Netflix’s ‘Haunting of Hill House’ Series” by Kate Stanhope: “Grey’s Anatomy grad Elizabeth Reaser and Kate Siegel (Hush) have all joined the drama, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. Reaser, who will next be seen in NBC’s Law & Order True Crime: The Menendez Murders, is also known for her work in the Twilight films, The Good Wife and Mad Men. She is repped by UTA and Stone Genow. Siegel, whose other credits include Castle and Mob City, is repped by TCA/Jed Root.” [HollywoodReporter]

HAMPTONS SCENE: J-Rod hit the Hamptons’ hottest party” by Emily Smith: “J-Rod  (Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez) hung out… at the bash at Ronald Perelman’s estate the Creeks in East Hampton… Also there were power brokers such as Patriots owner Bob Kraft, Harvey Weinstein, Discovery Communications’ David Zaslav, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Blackstone’s Stephen Schwarzman, LionTree’s Aryeh Bourkoff, former Viacom boss Tom Freston, who was seen huddling with Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes.” [PageSixVanityFair]

BIRTHDAYS: Founder of Slim-Fast which he sold to Unilever in 2000 for $2.1 billion, S. Daniel Abraham turns 93… Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice Stephen Breyer turns 79… Irvin Farberturns 87… Treasurer of the Jewish Agency and the World Zionist Organization, Chaim Chesler turns 68… Principal of Atlas Philanthropy, a consulting firm assisting charitable organizations with fundraising projects, Margot Atlasturns 48… Senior Director of Programming at MassChallenge (a global non-profit startup accelerator), Rachel Spekman turns 34… Director of communications, marketing strategy and content for Lemonade, a VC-backed startup in the peer to peer insurance industry, Yael Wissner-Levy turns 33… Product designer at Weight Watchers, Talia Siegel turns 26… Global growth and experimentation manager at UberEATS, Ezra Mosseri turns 24… Real estate and business law attorney in the Baltimore law firm of Abramoff Neuberger, Meir Neuberger… Joe Farry… Sel Gerber… David Summer

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