Aug
22

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: Ahead of Kushner’s visit, Bibi goes to Sochi; “The Russians set the facts on the ground in Syria” | Abbas’ 45 day ultimatum for talks

  Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends 

JI INTERVIEW — Rep. Lloyd Smucker (R-PA) discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and President Trump’s response to the Charlottesville protests in an interview with JI’s Aaron Magid: Fresh off a trip to Israel, Smucker slammed Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah for justifying payments to families of terrorists in a meeting with the Republican Congressional delegation. “It was absolutely amazing when asked about the payments to families of terrorists, that were either imprisoned or killed, [Hamdallah] tried to justify it. We were very disappointed in his approach and explanations with that particular issue,” Smucker said. He expressed strong backing for the Taylor Force Act. “It’s very clear that those payments are being made. For the PA to incentivize terrorism, essentially, is completely unacceptable.”

Smucker on Charlottesville: “What we saw in Charlottesville was particularly horrifying after just coming from Israel and visiting the Holocaust museum (Yad Vashem). We should be absolutely unequivocal in our denunciation of these groups: they are simply not acceptable. It is unbelievable that there are still groups in our country today that believe they are better than others based on the color of their skin or religion. The President will speak for himself. I obviously cannot tell you what he was thinking when he said [there were fine people on both sides], but I think it’s important for the American people to hear from its leaders that we will not stand for this type of activity.” Read the full interview here [JewishInsider

DRIVING THE CONVO — President Trump used his primetime address to the nation last night to clean up his “both sides” comments in response to the Charlottesville protests: “Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry, and no tolerance for hate. The young men and women we sent to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.” [CSPAN]

HEARD YESTERDAY — House Speaker Paul Ryan during a CNN Town Hall: “I do believe that [Trump] messed up in his comments on Tuesday, when it sounded like a moral equivocation, or at the very least moral ambiguity, when we need extreme moral clarity… And I’m pleased with the things he just said tonight to add clarity to the confusion that I think he gave us on Tuesday.”

CNN host Jake Tapper: “I think the issue.. is the reluctance to criticize President Trump for specifically saying things like ‘very fine people were marching in that rally’ that had swastikas and anti-Semitic signs and there were not any ‘very fine people’ in that rally… It wasn’t morally ambiguous. It was morally wrong.”

Ryan: “I have a hard time believing, if you’re standing in a crowd to protest something and you see, you know, all these anti-Semitic slogans… that you’re good with that and you’re a good person… You’re not a good person if you’re there… And that’s why I think it was not only morally ambiguous, it was equivocating. And that was wrong.  That’s why I think it was very, very important that he has since then cleared that up.” [CNN

“Ryan says Trump messed up but opposes censure” by Scott Bauer: “Ryan was asked at a town hall organized by CNN in his Wisconsin congressional district whether he would back the resolution that comes following Trump’s comments about the Charlottesville, Virginia, rally. The question came from Rabbi Dena Feingold, the sister of former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, who grew up in the same city as Ryan. Ryan said censuring Trump would be “counterproductive.” “If we descend this issue into some partisan hack-fest, bickering between one another … what good does that do to unify this country?” Ryan said, adding that it would be the “worst thing we could do.”” [AP

TRUMP EFFECT: “Donations to Anti-Defamation League surge in US” by AFP: “ADL spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara said donations like the one from James Murdoch — head of Fox News, who last week announced a million-dollar donation — as well as those from corporations like Apple, Uber and MGM Resorts yielded a rise of “1,000%” last week, compared to the weekly average donations since the beginning of the year… On Monday, the big bank J.P. Morgan also joined the ranks of the donors, Alcantara said. The bank announced a million dollar-gift to be shared by the ADL and the Southern Poverty Law Center.” [Yahoo

Rep. Jerry Nadler on race and anti-Semitism in the age of Trump — Off Message with Edward-Isaac Dovere: “As for the Jewish aides to the administration who defend Trump, including his daughter and son-in-law Jared Kushner… Nadler says they need to get real. “I don’t care what Jared Kushner said about the fact that Donald Trump loves, loves him and Ivanka and other people,” Nadler said. “He was willing to traffic in anti-Semitism. He was willing to use anti-Semitic imagery. And then, when caught up in it, refused to repudiate it, and denied that it was what it clearly was.”” [Politico]

“President Trump Maintains Support in New York City’s Religious Communities” by Stephen Nessen: “Members of New York City’s Evangelical and Hasidic communities turned out to vote for Donald Trump for president, and they continue to support him, despite his tepid and mixed responses to white supremacists who rally in his name… In Borough Park, Brooklyn, which gave Trump 68 percent of the vote, many in the ultra-orthodox community also said the president had done enough to condemn hate groups. “He said KKK is not good, whatever, he did what he has to do,” Chaim Shmedra, 24, said. “He could criticize more, but he’s doing a great job.””[WNYC] • Orthodox Resistance to Trump Grows — In Secret Social Media Groups [Forward]

INSIDE THE ADMIN: “Is It Time for Trump Aides to Resign?” by Eliot A. Cohen: “Gary Cohn is a Jewish philanthropist: He paid a price, not in emotional discomfort but in his integrity, in staying silent while the president made excuses for anti-Semites shouting slogans that hark back to Hitler’s brown shirts. One’s country can ask those who volunteer to serve it in uniform to put their lives on the line… But the hazards of battle do not require surrendering your soul: just the reverse, risking it all can mean reaffirming your highest values. The country does not, however, have the right to ask you to sacrifice your moral core, what makes you who you are.” [TheAtlantic] • Gary Cohn, Trump Agoniste, Contemplates the End [VanityFair]

“Trump Official Once Praised a Defender of Holocaust Deniers; Now she’s in charge of family planning policy” by David Corn: “Earlier this year, President Donald Trump appointed Teresa Manning, a leading anti-abortion activist, to be a deputy assistant secretary at the Department of Health and Human Services… But there was one item in her résumé that did not receive attention: She had once praised a defender of Holocaust deniers… In the preface to Back to the Drawing Board, Manning… called contributors to the book “statesmen, scholars, doctors, lawyers, judges, activists, and mothers.” And at [a 2003] conference, she remarked that they included “people that I have respected and admired my entire professional life.” Presumably, her accolades applied to [Joe] Sobran, whose controversial association with Holocaust deniers and whose “contextually anti-Semitic” writings were publicly known within conservative circles at the time.” [MotherJones]

“Why the White House Needs Another Bannon” by Tevi Troy: “Trump likes to think of himself as the whole show—his own strategist, his own communications guru, his own political whisperer… But this is one area in which Trump really does need the help: He doesn’t have the patience, the background, or the interest to be able to articulate a consistent conservative-friendly vision and to get other conservatives on board. Bannon’s absence means the White House lacks someone who can attempt to create a coherent narrative for the administration’s efforts… Not filling the role would be a self-inflicted wound, while filling the role with the wrong person would be a missed opportunity.” [PoliticoMag

DRIVING THE WEEK: “Kushner in Middle East for peace talks” by Annie Karni: “While everyone was busy gazing into the solar eclipse on Monday, White House adviser Jared Kushner had quietly snuck away to the Middle East… Accompanying Kushner on Tuesday in the Gulf states were deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell, and Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt… A White House aide and an outside adviser familiar with the trip planning said Kushner departed on Sunday and is set to arrive in Israel Wednesday night for meetings on Thursday. The traveling American delegation was meeting with leaders from the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia in the days before. It was not clear why the White House would announce the trip but then keep the details of Kushner’s departure under wraps.” [Politico]

“PA to give Trump team ultimatum on peace plan” by Shlomi Eldar: “A senior Palestinian source… said a decision had been reached after lengthy negotiations at top PA levels… to present Kushner and Greenblatt with a clear ultimatum: Unless progress is made within 45 days on launching talks with the Israelis, the Palestinians will consider themselves no longer committed to the US channel and will turn to an alternative plan on which they have been working for the past two years… The Palestinians understand that the current occupant of the Oval Office tends to act impulsively, and such a move could prompt him to take out his anger on Abbas — but “we have no choice,” said the source.” [Al-Monitor

KAFE KNESSET — Dasvidaniya, Bibi — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Netanyahu is preparing for a day trip to Sochi, Russia. There, he will be meeting President Putin tomorrow for the sixth time in the past two years, and the second meeting in 2017. Iran, of course, will top the agenda for the meeting. President Putin will hear about Jerusalem’s concerns arising out of the diplomatic attempts to end the fighting in Syria. These diplomatic efforts are creating, according to Israeli officials, an Iranian territorial contiguity between Tehran and the Mediterranean.

The meeting with Putin comes against the backdrop of a clear disappointment in Jerusalem with the Trump administration and its level of attention to Israeli interests. “The Americans are sympathetic, but they are not willing to back words with deeds. We are not in the administration’s priorities. They are preoccupied with other issues, and there is a feeling that they have very limited attention span,” a senior Israeli Minister told Kafe Knesset. The Minister explained that the American vacuum over Syria – which was created in the Obama administration but has also been transformed into a Trump government policy – “has given increased importance to the strategic dialogue with the Kremlin, especially after Russia increased its military involvement in Syria. This has required close military coordination with the Russians to prevent friction. The Russians fill the American void and they are the ones who determine the facts on the ground. We want to make sure that the facts on the ground do not hurt us.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset — featuring Bibi’s privacy and the latest with the Kotel — here[JewishInsider]

“U.S. pushing to quash U.N. ‘blacklist’ of firms doing business in Israeli settlements” by Anne Gearan: “The Trump administration is urging the United Nations not to publish what it calls a “blacklist” of international firms that do business in Israeli settlements… “The United States has been adamantly opposed to this resolution from the start” and has fought against it before several U.N. bodies, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said… “We have made clear our opposition regarding the creation of a database of businesses operating in Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, and we have not participated and will not participate in its creation or contribute to its content,” she said. In a statement Monday, Israel’s U.N. ambassador, Danny Danon, called the [U.N. Human Rights Council] moves toward publication of the list “an expression of modern anti-Semitism.”” [WashPost

IRAN DEAL: “Iran Says Can Produce Highly Enriched Uranium in Days if U.S. Quits Deal” by Bozorgmehr Sharafedin: “Iran can resume production of highly enriched uranium within five days if the nuclear deal it struck with world powers in 2015 is revoked, Iran’s atomic chief was quoted by state media as saying on Tuesday… “The president’s warning was not baseless,” Head of Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi said…  “If we decide, we can reach 20 percent (uranium) enrichment within five days in Fordow (underground nuclear plant),” he added.” [Reuters]

2018 WATCH: Police Investigate Alleged Twitter Hack of Senate Candidate: “The Michigan State Police is investigating after Republican U.S. Senate candidate Lena Epstein said someone hacked her campaign’s Twitter account last week and “liked” posts from former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke. Epstein, who is Jewish, has said any suggestion that she supports “this type of hateful ideology is extremely disturbing.”” [USNews

2020 WATCH: “How potential 2020 Democrats are honing their foreign policy chops” by Jeremy Herb: “[Cory] Booker’s seat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is another path for senators harboring presidential ambitions — it’s the committee Obama served on ahead of his 2008 run. In the early months of the Trump administration, the panel gave Booker a seat at the table for some of the most contentious confirmation hearings, including those of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson… and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman… When Friedman testified, Booker elicited an apology for the nominee’s comments suggesting Obama was anti-Semitic and that Kaine was an Israel basher.” [CNN

“Nikki Haley says she had ‘personal’ talk with Trump about Charlottesville” by Diamond Naga: “Well, I had a personal conversation with the president about Charlottesville, and I will leave it at that,” Haley said on CNN… But when asked afterward, she would not confirm or deny whether Trump understood he made a mistake with his racially charged comments. “The president clarified so that no one can question that he’s opposed to bigotry and hate in this country.” [Politico]

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

BUSINESS BRIEF: Jim Crown’s Aspen Skiing, KSL Capital venture adds Utah’s Deer Valley to growing resort portfolio [DenverPost] • Ghermezian’s Meadowlands ‘American Dream’ Project To Be Complete By 2019[CBSNorthJersey] • Gary Barnett’s luxury condo tower rises on ‘gritty’ South Street [NYPost] • ASRR to buy out partner in Surfside condo project[TRD] • Israel’s TowerJazz to set up China chip plant with Tacoma Semi[Reuters] • Paul Singer’s Black Knight Unhorses Warren Buffett [DealBreaker]

“Billionaire Moguls Join Musk, Bezos in Race to Outer Space” by Tom Metcalf: “While technology tycoons dominate, the list also includes casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who’s backing SpaceIL — a lunar mission.”[Bloomberg]

STARTUP NATION: “After Imperva And Mobileye, Here’s What’s Next For Israeli Startups” by Peter Cohan: “What’s most interesting to me is that at least one company — run by Israel’s most prolific info sec company founder, Shlomo Kramer, is that Israel is beginning to develop enough talent in marketing and sales that his latest company is able to operate out of Israel instead of being run from Silicon Valley. Tel Aviv is the center of Israel’s startup scene even though its top talent is educated 52 miles away at Haifa’s Technion. As Edouard Cukierman, Managing Partner and Founder of Catalyst Funds, said in an August 10 interview, “When I was at the Technion, the joke was ‘What is the nicest place in Haifa? The highway to Tel Aviv.’ Entrepreneurs want to be in Tel Aviv — it’s a place of fun; whereas Haifa is a serious place for studying.””[Forbes]

MEDIA WATCH: “Digital media veteran Ross Levinsohn takes over the LA Times as it fires top editors” by Peter Kafka: “Ross Levinsohn has worked at all kinds of media companies, but he’s never managed a newspaper before. Now he’ll run a big one: He’s the new publisher and CEO of the Los Angeles Times. Levinsohn made his digital reputation by helping News Corp acquire Myspace way back in 2005, a move that kicked off a wave of digital M&A. And he tried to buy Hulu multiple times, while working for multiple organizations. In 2013, he went to work for Guggenheim Partners, which owned several media trade publications, and planned on writing big checks to bulk that group up.” [ReCode]

TOP TALKER: “Louise Linton’s Couture Draws Ire on Instagram, and She Lashes Back” by Maggie Haberman and Mikayla Bouchard: “The wife of the Treasury secretary on Monday night took a page from President Trump’s social media playbook for punching down. Louise Linton, the labels-loving wife of Steven Mnuchin, replied condescendingly to an Instagram poster about her lifestyle and belittled the woman, Jenni Miller, a mother of three from Portland, Ore., for having less money than she does. The brouhaha began when Ms. Linton posted a photograph of herself disembarking a military jet emblazoned with official government markings. She had joined her husband on a quick trip to Kentucky with the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell.” [NYTimesNYPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN: Jewish congregation reflects on letter by George Washington: “An annual letter reading at the nation’s oldest synagogue in Newport took on new relevance in the aftermath of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. The letter was written nearly 230 years ago by George Washington and addressed to Newport’s Jewish community. It promised that the country would give “bigotry no sanction, no persecution no assistance.” … Former Harvard University Dean Martha Minow asked members of the congregation to stand up for their beliefs.” [AP

“Asian American doctor: White nationalist patients refused my care over race” by Kristine Phillips: “John Henning Schumann, a Jewish doctor, said he’s had encounters with patients that sometimes result in awkward conversations. “I’ve been asked point-blank by patients if I’m Jewish,” Schumann wrote last week in a column published by NPR…  Sometimes, after saying that he is Jewish, patients surprise him with their response: “Good. I always like Jewish doctors, because they’re the smart ones.” Schumann said that “positive prejudice” is better than the alternative, and he often takes the compliment.” [WashPost

BIRTHDAYS: Philanthropist and hedge fund manager, specializing in acquiring distressed debt, Paul Elliott Singer turns 73… Chairwoman of Israel’s Strauss Group, a large dairy and food company, Ofra Strauss turns 57… Emmy Award winning television news journalist, formerly the weekend anchor of CBS Evening News, Morton Dean (born Morton Dubitsky) turns 82… Former Chief of Staff to the Vice President Dick Cheney, Scooter Libbyturns 67… Portland, Oregon’s Marque Lampert Scherer turns 67… Chairman of Israel Military Industries (now know as IMI Systems), he was a member of the Knesset for the Yisrael Beiteinu party (2006-2015) and served in multiple cabinet posts, Yitzhak Aharonovich turns 67… Encino, California’s Robin Elcott turns 61… Former MLB outfielder, then investment banker, fundraiser for both Obama presidential campaigns, more recently he was the US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa (2015-2017), Ambassador Mark Gilbert turns 61… Former investment banker who left his job to run a Los Angeles-based homeless service provider, he is now a professor at USC and a trustee of Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, Adlai W. Wertman turns 58…  Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Paul E. Singer Foundation, Deborah Hochberg… Deputy mayor of Lawrence, NY, political consultant and investor, Michael Fragin turns 44… Project coordinator for “The Conversation: Jewish In America,” an annual invitation-only gathering sponsored by The Jewish Week, Rachel Saifer Goldman… Associate Director in the Atlanta regional office of Christians United for Israel, Shari Dollinger Magnus turns 40… Joyce Fox… Margie Berkowitz

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]

Aug
21

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: Bannon allies accuse Kushner of blocking Jerusalem embassy move | What Adelson replied to Mort Klein | Why Icahn resigned as WH advisor

 Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends 

LongRead: “Carl Icahn’s Failed Raid on Washington” by Patrick Radden Keefe: “If you squint, Trump and Icahn look alike. Both grew up in Queens and have an outer-borough chip on their shoulders. Both first came to tabloid prominence against the gaudy backdrop of the nineteen-eighties. Both are brash, plainspoken street fighters, examples of an American archetype: the populist rich guy. But Trump comes from the wealthy enclave of Jamaica Estates, whereas Icahn grew up in a lower-middle-class family in Bayswater. His mother, Bella, was a schoolteacher; his father, Michael, was a failed opera singer who, even though he was an atheist, became the cantor in a local synagogue, because he loved the music. Carl was an only child, born toward the end of the Depression, in 1936. Throughout his youth, his father railed against the robber barons, condemning the concentration of extreme wealth.”

“Icahn is a serious chess player; as a young man, he considered becoming a chess master but decided not to, because there was no money in it. He paid his way through Princeton, in part, with poker earnings, and he has played the game with Leon Black, the founder of Apollo Global Management; Sam Waksal, the ImClone founder, who went to prison for insider trading; and the onetime junk-bond king Michael Milken, who has also done time for white-collar crime. “Waksal, Milken, Ivan Boesky,” the former Icahn employee said. “Carl has never got into trouble. But he’s played with everyone who did.” In his business dealings, Icahn is a master of the bluff. “Carl views the legal norms as a starting point for a negotiation, rather than a moral compass,” a financier who has faced off against him told me.”

“In the nineties, when Icahn was fighting for control of Marvel Comics, the company’s C.E.O., a veteran of the Israeli Army, likened dealing with him to negotiating with terrorists. Icahn prefers to describe himself in more righteous terms, as a warrior for stockholders who have been disenfranchised by inattentive corporate boards and myopic executives.”

“Icahn and Trump maintained a loose friendship during the ensuing decades, one that was hardly as intimate as Trump likes to make it sound. The very notion of a relationship that transcends mercenary self-interest may be alien to Icahn. Once, in a court proceeding, he said, “If the price is right, we are going to sell. I think that’s true of everything you have, except maybe your kids and possibly your wife.” “Possibly?” the judge asked. “Possibly,” Icahn said, adding, “Don’t tell my wife.”

Norm Eisen, who served as Obama’s Special Counsel for Ethics and Government Reform, argues that Icahn is “not just an outside kibbitzer” but a formal adviser who should be subject to constraints. “He gets a title,” Eisen said… On Friday, August 18th, four days after the White House disavowed Icahn to me, he tweeted, “Today, with President Trump’s blessing, I ceased to act as special advisor to the President on issues relating to regulatory reform.”” [NewYorker]

TOP TALKER: “Steve Bannon Readies His Revenge: The war on Jared Kushner is about to go nuclear” by Gabriel Sherman: “Bannon, who was the only West Wing advisor to publicly support the president’s response to the violence in Charlottesville, is especially galled at being scapegoated as an anti-Semite in its wake… Bannon’s allies lay out a more complicated backstory. Bannon, they say, lobbied Trump aggressively to move America’s embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but was blocked by Kushner. And, according to three Bannon allies, Bannon pushed a tougher line against the Palestinians than Kushner did. In May, when Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited the White House, Bannon stayed home. “I’m not going to breathe the same air as that terrorist,” Bannon texted a friend.” [VanityFair

BEHIND THE SCENES: “Bannon Was Set for a Graceful Exit. Then Came Charlottesville” by Jeremy Peters and Maggie Haberman: “New York real estate investor friends told Mr. Trump that the situation with Mr. Bannon was untenable: Steve Roth on Monday, Tom Barrack on Tuesday and Richard LeFrak on Wednesday… With little process to speak of, tensions over policy swelled. Ideological differences devolved into caustic personality clashes. Perhaps nowhere was the mutual disgust thicker than between Mr. Bannon and Mr. Trump’s daughter and son-in-law. Mr. Bannon openly complained to White House colleagues that he resented how Ms. Trump would try to undo some of the major policy initiatives that he and Mr. Trump agreed were important to the president’s economic nationalist agenda, like withdrawing from the Paris climate accords. In this sense, he was relieved when Mr. Kelly took over and put in place a structure that kept other aides from freelancing.”

“Those days are over when Ivanka can run in and lay her head on the desk and cry,” he told multiple people. Mr. Bannon made little secret of the fact that he believed “Javanka,” as he referred to the couple behind their backs, had naïve political instincts and were going to alienate Mr. Trump’s core coalition of white working-class voters… He also advised that ideological softening would buy the president no good will from Democrats or independent voters, whom Mr. Kushner and Ms. Trump believe Mr. Trump still has a chance of reaching. “They hate the very mention of his name,” Mr. Bannon told them. “There is no constituency for this.” His advice for the president: “You’ve got the base. And you grow the base by getting” things done.”” [NYTimes

QUITE THE HEADLINE — “How Jewish convert Ivanka got ‘Bannon the Barbarian’ to go” by Caroline Graham: “A source said: ‘Jared and Ivanka helped push him out. They were concerned about how they were being viewed by the Jewish community.’” [DailyMail

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach now says ‘Bannon and I are not close buddies’ — by Aaron Magid: Boteach had been a vocal supporter of Bannon. In May, his tweet – a selfie with Bannon in front of a whiteboard with a to do list at the White House – went viral. But on Friday, Boteach claimed, “Bannon and I aren’t close buddies.”  Boteach emphasized, “I have many issues where I have serious disagreements with Bannon but I have always found him — in the occasions that I have had the opportunity to speak with him — to be very open to hearing ideas that are different to his.” [JewishInsider

SHELDON BACKS MORT — A day after Mort Klein, President of the Zionist Organization of America, claimed that media reports about Sheldon Adelson disavowing his campaign against McMaster were “fake news” and “rubbish,” Klein emailed Sheldon and Miriam Adelson: “You “disavow” my reports on McMaster are hurtful. Are they accurate?”

On Friday morning, Adelson replied to Klein via his assistant Betty Yurcich… “I am sorry that you feel hurtful but I never used the word “disavowed.” I don’t know enough about the McMaster case nor do I want to say I know about your attack and that I supported it financially and morally.”

“Up until recent articles, I had no knowledge of anything about McMaster – just what I read in the newspaper. Yesterday I spoke with Safra Katz, who told me about a dinner she had with him recently and it certainly enlightened me quite a bit.”

“The word “disavow” came from the reporter who prepared it. Quotes that I was “perfectly comfortable” are inaccurate. My representative never used that phrase. What I do know is that Morton Klein is the strongest Zionist I know and carries on campaigns for what he sincerely and profoundly cares about. Politics is your full time job. It’s not my full time job. I can’t get involved in every campaign and every debate. Now that I have talked to somebody with personal experience with McMaster, I support your efforts. Not that I am looking to get deeply involved in this debate. Sheldon G. Adelson”

Worth noting: Agree with Klein or not, emailing your top donor that his comments ‘are hurtful’ takes guts. It might not be a smart fundraising tactic but it shows a level of sincerity that many other organizational leaders lack.

DRIVING THE WEEK: “Arab foreign ministers welcome US Mideast mediation” by AFP: “The Palestinian, Egyptian and Jordanian foreign ministers expressed support Saturday for US Middle East peace efforts at a Cairo meeting ahead of a White House delegation visit to the region… They “look forward to the US administration intensifying its efforts in the coming period.”” [Yahoo

“Abbas: I Met Trump’s Envoys 20 Times and Still Don’t Understand Their Peace Plan” by Barak Ravid: “I have met with Trump envoys about 20 times since the beginning of his term as president of the United States,” [Palestinian President Mahmoud] Abbas [told a Meretz party delegation.] “Every time they repeatedly stressed to me how much they believe and are committed to a two-state solution and a halt to construction in the settlements. I have pleaded with them to say the same thing to Netanyahu, but they refrained… I can’t understand their conduct with us,” he said… adding that “Inside [Trump’s] country, there is chaos in the administration.” [Haaretz

“Israeli opposition says Abbas tried to resume security ties with Israel” by Dan Williams: “We recently communicated with them (Israeli security officials) in an attempt to resume some kind of cooperation… But they have not returned an answer, something that has prevented progress in thawing ties,” [Abbas] was quoted as saying… A Netanyahu aide, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said: “These reported remarks are simply incorrect.”[Reuters

“‘Grave concern’ in Israel in light of US positions on Syria” by Ronen Bergman: “There is “grave concern” in Israel after a delegation of high ranking Israeli defense officials sent to Washington was not able to secure a commitment from the Americans to ensure any agreement to end the war in Syria would include the evacuation of Iranian military forces from the country… Israeli intelligence officials said the delegation “presented sensitive, credible and highly disturbing intelligence information,” backed by documents and photographs, which showed the ever-growing spread of Iranian influence in Syria… The Israeli defense officials’ talks with their American counterparts were described as detailed and professional, while the atmosphere was described as friendly… The delegation members, who returned to Israel over the weekend, reported they noticed “a kind of embarrassment and lack of a clear position in the American administration… As far as they’re concerned, the matter is still wide open.” [Ynet

“Has US sacrificed Israel for Syria deal?” by Ben Caspit: “One minister told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity, “The United States threw Israel under the bus for the second time in a row. The first time was the nuclear agreement with Iran, the second time is now… What is most worrisome is that this time, it was President Donald Trump who threw us to the four winds — though viewed as Israel’s great friend. It turns out that when it comes to actions and not just talk, he didn’t deliver the goods.” [Al-Monitor]

Washington Post editorial… Trump may be planning to make a very bad decision on the Iran deal: “Despite much heated rhetoric, the Trump administration is doing little to counter Iranian aggression… In only one area has the Islamic Republic’s toxic ambition been relatively contained: the production of material for use in nuclear warheads… Yet perversely, Mr. Trump is matching his passivity toward Iran’s regional meddling with an apparent determination to torpedo the nuclear pact.” [WashPost]

“Former CIA deputy director: Trump is politicizing the US intelligence-gathering process” by John Bowden: “In an interview with CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” former CIA Deputy Chief David Cohen said that Trump’s conclusion that Iran had violated the nuclear deal… was “disconcerting.” … “What the president has said is that in his judgment, Iran is not complying, and then he has asked a group in the White House to provide him with justification, with intelligence to support his preconceived notion that Iran is not complying with the nuclear deal,” Cohen said.” [TheHill

“Hezbollah Is Running Rings Around U.N. Monitors in Lebanon” by Danny Danon: “Over the past year alone, we have shared with the Security Council new information detailing how border towns have become Hezbollah strongholds… We also shared with the council intelligence revealing how the Iranians use civilian airlines to smuggle dangerous arms into southern Lebanon… To rectify this situation, and avoid a new conflict, the Security Council must make real changes to Unifil’s mandate.” [WSJ

DRIVING THE CONVO: “Seeking Reset, Trump Dines With Some of His Biggest Donors” by Maggie Haberman and Ken Vogel: “Other donors also were invited to Thursday’s dinner but did not attend, including Paul Singer, the New York hedge fund billionaire. He declined the invitation weeks ago because he was going to be on vacation… Mr. Singer also is a major donor to Jewish causes, including the Republican Jewish Coalition, which criticized Mr. Trump this week over his response to the events in Charlottesville… Mr. Singer’s representatives did not respond to a request for comment on whether he felt similarly about Mr. Trump’s response.” [NYTimes]

“Melania Trump Is Starting to Step Into the Void Left by Ivanka and Jared” by Asawin Suebsaeng and Sam Stein: “It was not lost on insiders or the public that she, not her husband or her husband’s daughter or son-in-law, was the first to react publicly to the violence in Charlottesville following a gathering of neo-Nazis and white supremacists… So far… Javanka has produced vanishingly few concrete policy wins and done little to keep the Trump presidency from going off the rails. Often, they’re on vacation during the moments of peak crisis… “She actually is what Ivanka [Trump] has cultivated an image of,” said a senior White House official.” [DailyBeast]

“Mnuchin tells Yale classmates: Trump does not equate neo-Nazis with peaceful protesters” by Yeganeh Torbati: “[Steven] Mnuchin, who is Jewish, added: “While I find it hard to believe I should have to defend myself on this, or the president, I feel compelled to let you know that the president in no way, shape or form, believes that neo-Nazi and other hate groups who endorse violence are equivalent to groups that demonstrate in peaceful and lawful ways… I don’t believe the allegations against the president are accurate, and I believe that having highly talented men and women in our country surrounding the president in his administration should be reassuring to you and all the American people,” he said.” [ReutersNYTimes

“President Jabberwock and the Jewish Right” by Bret Stephens: “The president’s Jewish supporters are left to wonder why the Iran deal remains in force, the United States Embassy is still in Tel Aviv, Bashar al-Assad is stronger than ever, the Israeli government is outraged by the deals the administration has cut with Russia at Israel’s strategic expense, and Jared Kushner has not proved a worthy strategic heir to Henry Kissinger…  If conservatism is supposed to teach anything, it’s that, even in politics, character counts above everything. Trump’s Jewish supporters, like so many on the right, ignored the lesson. After Charlottesville, they’ve discovered too late that the price of that support will fall, as it so often has, disproportionately on them.” [NYTimes

Jewish Dems Launch New National Group — by Jacob Kornbluh: The new group, The Jewish Democratic Council of America, was originally set to launch in October in place of the present National Jewish Democratic Council (NJDC) and the Jews for Progress PAC. However, President Donald Trump’s response to the Charlottesville protests compelled the founders of the JDCA to accelerate the timeline. “Clearly today, there seems to be a calling for a rebuilding of Jewish Democrats’ vision in politics – to elect people that will support local and state national policies that are supportive of the Jewish community’s values,” Former Congressman Ron Klein, Acting Chairman of the new organization, explained. [JewishInsider

VIEW FROM JERUSALEM: “Israeli minister: Efforts to portray Trump as anti-Semitic are pathetic: “Efforts to portray Trump as anti-Semitic are pathetic,” [Economy and Industry Minister Eli] Cohen said, adding that of all the U.S. presidents, Trump is “one of the most sympathetic toward Israel.”” [IsraelHayom] • Israel Minister: Preserving Ties With Trump Bigger Priority Than Denouncing Neo-Nazis [HuffPost

ANTI-BOYCOTT ACT: “Pro-Israel group asks RI delegation to support bill to quash boycotts of Israel” by Patrick Anderson: “Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse “has not taken a position on the bill,” said spokeswoman Meaghan McCabe in an email… Sen. Jack Reed’s office did not respond to requests for comment on the current federal boycott bill.”[ProvidenceJournal]

COMING SOON: “Michael Bloomberg is the new Clinton” by Mike Allen: “Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg plans to bring together more than 30 heads of state and 100 CEOs in New York on Sept. 20, in conjunction with the United Nations General Assembly, as part of a plan to move into the elite space once held by the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting… Former President Bill Clinton, who has said he wants other organizations to join him in the CGI mission, will speak at Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Global Business Forum in an unofficial handoff.” [Axios]

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

BUSINESS BRIEF: Mobileye Co-founder Quits Hebrew University in Dispute Over Royalties [Haaretz• Israeli investors, close to selling the biggest hotel complex in Bucharest [RomaniaInsider] • Shell to Mull Buying Israeli, Cyprus Gas for Egypt Plant [Bloomberg] • Jared Kushner’s firm seeks arrest of Maryland tenants to collect debt [BaltimoreSun

SPOTLIGHT: “The Benefits of Standing by the President” by Jessica Silver-Greenberg, Ben Protess and Michael Corkery: “Interviews with four people briefed on the deal revealed that the Saudis had been discussing a possible partnership with a number of other firms as well, and formally decided on Blackstone… only after [Stephen] Schwarzman had started advising the president. In addition to Mr. Schwarzman’s prominence, the Saudi sovereign wealth fund was drawn to the firm’s record of generating huge investment returns and building new business lines, from real estate to hedge funds… While Mr. Schwarzman’s support for the president caused a public relations headache for Blackstone this past week, friends say he is not the type of corporate leader to express regrets about taking on a prominent role in Washington… Mr. Schwarzman speaks with Mr. Trump as much as once a week, typically about the economy though also about social policy.” [NYTimes

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Fear, resolve and more security at Charlottesville’s temple” by Ben Finley: “We were in a different world than where we had been previously,” [Diane Gartner] Hillman, 69, said Friday, as a stream of people entered the synagogue, now guarded by three police officers out front… Many people in Charlottesville who aren’t Jewish have come to Beth Israel to show their solidarity, [Cale] Jaffe said. “What gives me hope going forward is knowing so many people in the larger Charlottesville community feel that way and are there with us.” [AP

MEDIA WATCH: “The Rise And Rise And Rise Of Israel’s Right-Wing Media” by Miriam Berger: “Erel Segal has an agenda and he wants you to know it. The forty-six-year-old Israeli is the charismatic and pugnacious host of a nightly news show called “The Patriots” on a new channel trying to model itself after Fox News… “The Israeli media is clearly biased against the government and the right wing,” the fast talking Segal told BuzzFeed News. “Now it’s much more healthy and reasonable that a media person should be without a mask. Everyone knows that I belong to the right wing. But I’m fair about it.” “Nobody,” he said “believes in objectivity anymore.” [BuzzFeed]

“Benjamin Netanyahu, Perennial Underdog” by Natan Sachs: “The never-ending, cynical invocation of the political base’s grievances—something Netanyahu and others have now perfected—had severe consequences for Israeli society and politics. Even as he secured political power, Netanyahu preferred to play the role of leader of the opposition, to perpetuate a sense of victimhood among his supporters rather than transform his numerous political victories into agency, empowerment and, above all, responsibility.” [TheAtlantic

KAFE KNESSET — Labor’s after its leader, already — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: A month and a half after his surprise against-all-odds victory in the Labor leadership primaries, Avi Gabbay is launching his first insiders political battle. Gabbay is on the way to a mega-clash with the party establishment. Yesterday, Gabbay announced a series of proposed changes to the party’s constitution. The proposed changes are aimed mainly at bolstering Gabbay’s control of the party and reducing the power of the party apparatus. The main focus of the changes – which will be brought to a vote at a party convention in the coming weeks – is to cut off authority from the party’s general secretary, who was democratically elected just half a year ago, and to allow Gabbay to personally appoint 4 or 5 people to the party’s Knesset slate for the next election, and not the party members… Eran Hermoni, the party secretary-general is already launching a counter effort to ensure Gabbay’s plans do not succeed. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

“Arthur Finkelstein, Innovative, Influential Conservative Strategist, Dies at 72” by Sam Roberts: “As a gay, Jewish libertarian, Mr. Finkelstein helped elect homophobic candidates, once polled South Carolinians on whether they would support a rival candidate identified as a Jewish immigrant, and supported gay rights and abortion rights as what the political consultant Roger Stone, another of his protégés, called, in a phone interview, “a situational conservative.” … He later choreographed campaigns by his friend Ronald S. Lauder, the cosmetics heir, against Rudolph W. Giuliani in the 1989 Republican mayoral primary… and in Israel, where he was recruited by supporters of Mr. Netanyahu and other conservative candidates of the Likud Party.”[NYTimes• Arthur Finkelstein, the Man Who Saved Netanyahu’s Career – and Forever Changed Israeli Politics [Haaretz

“Jerry Lewis, comedy king and master of slapstick, dies at 91” by Adam Bernstein: “He was born Jerome Levitch on March 16, 1926, in Newark, the son of Jewish vaudevillians who performed at New York-area resorts… After quitting high school in 1942 — he said it was because of the flagrant anti-Semitism of his principal in Irvington, N.J. — Mr. Lewis honed his “record act,” a routine in which he mimed lyrics of operatic and popular songs playing on a phonograph.” [WashPost

“The Costs of Workplace Rudeness” by Jennifer Breheny Wallace: “In a 2015 study pub­lished in the jour­nal Pe­di­atrics, 24 teams of doc­tors and nurses spe­cial­iz­ing in neona­tal in­ten­sive care at four hos­pi­tals in Is­rael par­tic­i­pated in a sim­u­la­tion that in­volved a preterm in­fant (a man-nequin) suf­fer­ing from a med­ical com­pli­ca­tion. The teams were ran­domly as­signed to re­ceive rude treat­ment—an “ex­pert” from the U.S. made dis­parag­ing re­marks, sug­gest­ing that they “wouldn’t last a week” in his de­part­ment—or neu­tral treat­ment. Performance in the simulation was scored by judges unaware of these conditions. “The results were scary,” says Dr. Erez. “The teams exposed to rudeness gave the wrong diagnosis, didn’t resuscitate or ventilate appropriately, didn’t communicate well, gave the wrong medications and made other serious mistakes.”” [WSJ]

TRANSITION: Rich Goldberg, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s former chief of staff and often known as the “architect of Iran sanctions” while working for Sen. Mark Kirk, is launching a Chicago-based strategic consulting firm. The new firm, RG Solutions, will offer communications and crisis management consulting services to a wide range of corporate, non-profit and political clients. h/t Chicago Sun Times

CLARIFICATION: In Thursday’s Daily Kickoff, we included news of Ambassador Dan Shapiro joining Columbia/Barnard Hillel, the Kraft Center for Jewish Student Life, as a visiting scholar in residence for the 2017-18 academic year. While Shapiro will spend time on campus in the fall and spring semesters, he will continue to live in Israel for the next year and also continue in his role as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at INSS.

DESSERT: “Africans Have Heated Views About Rice, Just Ask Mark Zuckerberg” by Joe Parkinson: “Mr. Zuckerberg’s apparent endorsement of Nigerian jollof while visiting Lagos last summer set off a storm of celebrations in Nigeria and howls of protest elsewhere in the region. “I was told not to compare the jollof rice of neighboring countries,” Mr. Zuckberg said, after tasting the Nigerian variety. “But it was awesome.” Now a new TV show, “The Jollof Rice Challenge,” will try to settle the dispute once and for all, putting chefs from 10 nations head to head in a Lagos contest being billed as Pop Idol meets MasterChef.” [WSJ

BIRTHDAYS: Russian-born Internet entrepreneur, he co-founded Google and is the president of Google’s parent company Alphabet, Forbes estimates his net worth at $45 billion, Sergey Brin turns 44… Retired owner of Effective Strategy Consultants, Boynton Beach resident, Irwin Wecker turns 82… Judge on the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit (with chambers in Chicago), the first woman appointed to this court, Judge Ilana Kara Diamond Rovner turns 79… President of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology since 2012, L. Rafael Reif turns 67… Israeli physician who was a member of the Knesset (1999-2003), he now serves as mayor of Ashdod (Israel’s largest port and its sixth largest city), Dr. Yehiel Lasri turns 60… Co-founder of BlueLine Grid, he was previously an Assistant US Attorney in Los Angeles (1994-2000) and a member of the Los Angeles City Council (2001-2009), Jack Weiss turns 53… Manager of strategic partnerships for UJA-Federation of New York’s Day School Challenge Fund, she is a former litigator at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, Chavie N. Kahn… Global head of public affairs at Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, he held several national posts in the Republican Party (including Party Chair from 2005-2007) and the George W. Bush administration, Ken Mehlman turns 51… MLB pitcher for 8 teams in a long career (2000-2015), he was the starting picher in three of Team Israel’s first four games in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, all of which the team won, Jason Marquis turns 39… Senior strategist at PSB Research (PSB is a part of Y&R and WPP), named a non-partisan “Rising Star” by Campaigns & Elections magazine, Adam Rosenblatt turns 32… Associate Area Director for AIPAC in Philadelphia, previously she worked for AIPAC in Washington, Erica N. Miller turns 32… Tzippy Baitch… Lynn Sharon… Elon Issashar

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]

Aug
18

Author:

Comment

Daily Kickoff: James Murdoch pledges $1M to ADL | J.K. Rowling on Trump: ‘He actually did bring Mideast together’ | Meet the Miami Marlins’ new owners

Have our people email your people. Share this sign up link with your friends 

THE TRUMP EFFECT: “James Murdoch Pledges $1 Million to Anti-Defamation League as Trump Protest” by Maggie Haberman: “James Murdoch, the chief executive of 21st Century Fox and the son of a frequent ally of President Trump’s, condemned the president’s performance after the violence in Charlottesville, Va… In an email on Thursday… Mr. Murdoch said that he and his wife, Kathryn, plan to donate $1 million to the Anti-Defamation League, urging others to follow suit. “We hardly ever talk about our charitable giving, but in this case I wanted to tell you and encourage you to be generous too. Many of you are supporters of the Anti-Defamation League already — now is a great time to give more,” he wrote.” [NYTimes

“It is all the more notable, however, because of Murdoch’s father’s relationship with the president. Rupert Murdoch, the executive chairman of 21st Century Fox, speaks with the president several times a week… 21st Century Fox is also the parent company of Fox News, which has been aggressively pro-Trump on its most-watched shows. The younger Murdoch begins his letter by saying he was writing “in a personal capacity, as a concerned citizen and a father,” but he went on to highlight how his business had tried to contribute to a diverse and tolerant society.” [CNNMoney]

THE DAILY KUSHNER: “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner face pressure to speak out on anti-Semitism” by David Smith: “The couple are practising Modern Orthodox Jews and have been able to separate expressions of their faith from their White House roles as advisers to the president. So far. “That’s the question swirling around the Jewish community since November 9,” said Rabbi Shira Stutman of the Sixth & I Historic synagogue in Washington. “It’s also the Jewish school they go to, it’s also the Jewish preschool they go to. The community has taken the tack of letting them be. Who knows if this is what will set people over the edge?”

“Since moving from New York, Ivanka and Jared have attended the TheSHUL of the Nation’s Capital… Rabbi Levi Shemtov gave a speech before Ivanka and Jared first arrived, urging congregants to avoid political confrontations, and there have been no incidents… Shemtov himself declined to comment on Thursday. “Once someone steps over the threshold of our synagogue, I’d prefer to respect their privacy,” he said. Arnold Resnicoff, a rabbi and military veteran due to give a prayer at the opening of the pro-forma session of the House of Representatives on Friday, said he thought confrontations at the TheSHUL of the Nation’s Capital were unlikely… “I think they would respect Jared and Ivanka and not put the sins of the father on them.” [TheGuardian]

“Billionaire Ally of Putin Socialized With Kushner, Ivanka Trump” by Stephanie Baker, Irina Reznik and  Katya Kazakina: “In 2014, the Kushners spent four days in Russia at the invitation of [Roman] Abramovich’s wife, Dasha Zhukova. The couples sat at the same table along with a few other people during a high-powered fundraising dinner for Moscow’s Jewish Museum. Kushner also was invested in an online art business of which Zhukova is a founding partner. Ivanka Trump, Kushner and his brother, Joshua, have accompanied Zhukova to sporting events in the New York area… Kushner and Abramovich have never met one-on-one or alone with their wives, according to the person familiar with the situation… The dinner they attended with the Kushners attracted powerful Russian billionaires and leading businessmen. A spokesman for Abramovich said the billionaire hasn’t interacted with Kushner since then… This month, Abramovich and Zhukova announced they’re separating after 10 years.” [Bloomberg]

“PLO: ‘It’s now or never’ for Trump’s Mideast peace push” by Josh Rogin: “Jared Kushner’s trip to the Middle East next week will be a do-or-die moment in the Trump administration’s nascent Middle East peace process initiative, according to the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s representative in Washington… “It’s now or never,” [Husam] Zomlot said. “This is the time and this is the opportunity … we are hanging on this opportunity … we want it to succeed.” … Ahead of the meetings, the PLO is laying out a public position for what it wants: specifically, that the Trump administration clearly and unequivocally endorse the two-state solution. He communicated that directly to [Jason] Greenblatt in a meeting at the White House earlier this week… Congress is moving forward with [the Taylor Force Act]… But that funding program is “nonnegotiable,” said Zomlot. “We are not going to get past it.””

“The White House is keeping expectations low ahead of Kushner’s trip… Kushner and his team are not likely to make any big announcements next week or give the Palestinians the clarity they are seeking on the way forward… On the greater question of whether a peace deal is even possible under the current conditions, Zomlot said all eyes are on Trump. “[Trump] thinks it is possible,” he said. “Even if it’s not, it’s good he thinks so.””[WashPost]

SCENE YESTERDAY: A senior Israeli security delegation led by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen met with the U.S. National Security team led by NSA H. R. McMaster at the White House. Other participants included Mideast envoy Jason Greenblatt, Dina Powell, Victoria Coates, Thomas Bossert, and Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer [PicMcMaster and his wife Katie also hosted the U.S. and Israeli delegations at their home for dinner [Pic]

“J.K. Rowling Just Pointed Out One Surprising Result of Trump’s Remarks” by Raisa Bruner: On Thursday, the Harry Potter author and prolific Twitter user shared a screen grab of a TV channel broadcast in which the chyron is nothing short of surprising: “Iran and Israel condemn Trump’s comments,” it reads. “Unbelievable. He actually did bring the Middle East together,” Rowling dryly commented on the image in her tweet… For the two nations to agree on something — in this case, Trump’s comments on the violent events in Charlottesville — is noteworthy.” [TIME]

DRIVING THE CONVO: “Republican Sen. Bob Corker: Trump has not shown ‘competence’ needed to lead ” by Michael Collins: “The president has not yet been able to demonstrate the stability, nor some of the competence, that he needs to demonstrate in order for him to be successful — and our nation and our world needs for him to be successful, whether you are Republican or Democrat,” the Tennessee Republican said at a Rotary Club meeting in Chattanooga. Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he fears the nation will be in peril unless Trump makes radical changes at the White House… Corker, who often advises Trump on foreign policy, has at times been both supportive and critical of Trump.” [USAToday]

— Read Aaron Magid’s profile of Corker from earlier this week — Inside Senator Bob Corker’s Realist Doctrine: “Jared Kushner… told Jewish Insider in an emailed statement, “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.”” [JewishInsider]

HEARD THIS MORNING — Rep Lee Zeldin on CNN’s New Day: “Speaking for myself for sure — I’m Jewish — I have zero tolerance whatsoever for any individual who associates themselves with KKK and Nazism… The President made statements that you can say are raw, rough around the edges, politically incorrect… There are parts of what the president said that you can say are factually inaccurate. There are other parts that are hard truths. But as far as the factually inaccurate piece, I don’t know of anyone who would be there, who would associate themselves with that particular protest, who are good people.”

Trump’s relationship with the RJC becomes more complicated — by Matthew Nussbaum: “Matt Brooks, executive director of the RJC, would not say whether members plan any further steps to warn the president… Brooks also would not disclose any conversations with Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who sits on the RJC’s board but has not personally weighed in. Still, some Republican strategists are nervous about turning off a group that regularly votes, raises money and donates to candidates. “Getting this right is life and death for the Republican Party,” said Rick Tyler, a Trump critic and former communications director for Sen. Ted Cruz, who aggressively courted Republican Jews in his own 2016 presidential bid. “The Republican Jewish community provides a lot of support for the Republican Party, particularly financial support.”

“Fred Zeidman, a member of the RJC board of directors and a former George W. Bush appointee to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, praised his group’s leadership for taking a stand… “We know the issues that evolve from remaining silent, and we can’t remain silent,” he told Politico on Thursday. “We know what happens when we remain silent.”” [Politico

— “World Jewish Congress president Ronald Lauder, who has been one of Trump’s most prominent defenders, declined to comment through a spokesman.” [AP]

A Lauder spokesman tells us… “Mr. Lauder believes that President Trump should and will continue to condemn all racist and bigoted groups.”

INSIDE THE ADMIN: “Steve Bannon Detonates His Trump Survival Plan, Worrying Allies” by Adrian Carrasquillo: “Bannon, an ally said, was very angry that Cohn was telling the press about how uncomfortable he was with Trump’s Tuesday comments. “Bannon felt it was the opposite, he thought it was great,” the source relayed… Bannon’s lack of powerful allies was evident after a public feud with Jared Kushner in the spring. The former Breitbart mogul… told people behind Kushner’s back that “hopefully Jared will go down in things pertaining to Russia,” or real estate holdings… Were Bannon to go, with Kushner, Cohn, and McMaster ascendant, the first Bannon ally put it more simply. “Would we even be a movement anymore?”” [BuzzFeed

POLLING: “American voters say 59 – 32 percent that Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump should not continue to work in the White House. Republicans say 62 – 26 percent the First Family should remain, but every other group says no.” [Quinnipiac]

An Open Letter to Steve Mnuchin From Members of the Yale College Class of 1985: “We can be Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, Greens, and a number of other things and still be friends, classmates, and patriots, but we cannot be Nazis and white supremacists… We call upon you, as our friend, our classmate, and as a fellow American, to resign in protest of President Trump’s support of Nazism and white supremacy.” [Letter]

EXODUS DAY 3: “Trump Abandons Plan for Council on Infrastructure” by Mark Niquette: “President Donald Trump will not move forward with a planned Advisory Council on Infrastructure… Trump had tapped New York developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth, whom he described as friends, to lead the infrastructure panel, which he established by an executive order on July 19. But he had not announced any formal appointments to it.” [Bloomberg] • Members of White House presidential arts commission resign to protest Trump’s comments [WashPost]

“Three fundraising giants cancel plans for galas at Mar-a-Lago” by Drew Harwell and David Fahrenthold: “The American Friends of Magen David Adom, which raises money for Israel’s equivalent of the Red Cross, also said it would not hold its 2018 gala at the club ‘after considerable deliberation,’ though it did not give a reason. The charity had one of Mar-a-Lago’s biggest events last season, with about 600 people in attendance.” [WashPostAP

“Ernst & Young Chairman on Advising Trump: A Balancing Act” by Michael Rapoport: “In an internal memo sent to EY employees late Wednesday, Chairman and CEO Mark Weinberger said that “as much as I believe in engagement and dialogue,” it was “appropriate” for him and other CEOs to disband the Strategic and Policy Forum on which they had served… He added that “I was also disappointed by President Trump’s reaction to these events. I believe leaders should unite rather than divide people.”” [WSJ]

THE OTHER SIDE: “The Left’s Blind Spot: Anti-Semitism” by Phoebe Maltz Bovy: “And yet, despite this preponderance of evidence, there was a certain silence surrounding anti-Semitism over the weekend. “In addition to the horror of watching those hateful humans march in broad daylight without fearing any consequences,” Lily Herman wrote at Refinery29, “I found it disturbing that many people, including liberals and progressives, didn’t acknowledge the hateful anti-Semitic comments made by these Nazis. In some cases, they tried to argue that they didn’t happen.” She pointed out that Senator Bernie Sanders tweeted about the “provocative effort by Neo-Nazis to foment racism” without mentioning anti-Semitism. “This strange in-between of calling out Nazis without directly acknowledging their hate towards Jews made me heave a very, very long sigh.”” [NewRepublic

“Trump Isn’t The Only One Lying About What Happened In Charlottesville” by Ben Shapiro: “The lack of honesty on both sides will only deepen our polarization. If the Left insists on siding with Antifa over Trump, they’ll drive more conservatives into the arms of the alt-right; if the right insists on siding with the alt-right over the non-Antifa counter-protesters, they’ll drive more Leftists into the arms of Antifa.” [Forward

STATE-SIDE: “The only Republican in California’s Jewish Caucus quits over Trump criticism” by Eitan Arom: “The only Republican in the California Legislative Jewish Caucus has resigned after it released a statement strongly condemning President Donald Trump’s rhetoric. State Sen. Jeff Stone of Riverside County said in an Aug. 17 statement that the group “has clearly become a vehicle for a Legislative Caucus that receives state resources to merely criticize our duly elected President.” … Stone said, “When I was invited to join the Jewish Caucus, I was expressly told that it was a nonpartisan Caucus, and the issues we were going to be involved with would focus on promoting the interests of the Jewish people in California and around the world. Since the election of President Trump, it seems that there has been a divergence from the Caucus’ original mission.”” [JewishJournal

** A sponsored message from the Schusterman Foundation, OneTable and Repair the World: Come #TogetherAtTheTable this weekend for a celebration of unity and diversity in the face of fear and division. Pledge to host or attend a grassroots Shabbat dinner in your city now. Download discussion guides. Share with your networks. More than 60 partner organizations have joined and are spreading the #TogetherAtTheTable movement. [OneTable] **

COMING SOON: United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) will host its second annual Iran Summit, on September 19 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. The event will coincide with President Donald Trump and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speeches on the opening day of the UN General Assembly. Speakers include General (Ret) David Petraeus, David Petraeus, HRH Prince Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, Joe Lieberman, John Bolton, Dennis Ross, former Governors Jeb Bush and Bill Richardson; Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, former Congressman Steve Israel, and former Senator Mark Kirk.

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

BUSINESS BRIEF: IDT Corporation: Revisiting The Sum-Of-The-Parts Ahead Of The Upcoming Spin-Off [SeekingAlpha] • As Buy Calls Mount, Tel Aviv-based Wix Poised to Leave Dog Days Behind [Bloomberg] • A defense company put a machine gun on a drone and is currently in testing with the Israeli army [TechCrunch• Houston Mayor Turner pushing for direct flights to Israel [Chron]

“The Wall Street bigwigs joining Jeter in buying the Marlins” by Richard Johnson: “Lead investor Bruce Sherman co-founded money management firm Private Capital Management, which he sold to Legg Mason for $1.3 billion. The list includes Doug Kimmelman and Peter Labbat of Energy Capital Partners, Viking Global co-founder David Ott… Others are more entrepreneurial. Chris Mettler is the founder of CompareCards, which rates credit cards, and Ari Ackerman founded Bunk1, a provider of parent-engagement software for summer camps. Ackerman sold Bunk1 to Togetherwork, which is backed by Aquiline Capital Partners LLC, in April for undisclosed terms. The price was high enough to make Ackerman a part-owner in the Marlins.” [PageSix

“Silicon Valley billionaire Stewart Butterfield voices support for universal basic income” by Ben Chapman: “Now Slack chief executive Stewart Butterfield has thrown his weight behind the basic income movement, joining such illustrious company as Bill Gates, Tesla boss Elon Musk, and Y Combinator president Sam Altman… He went on to suggest that the billions spent on university education around the world each year would be put to better use if given directly to individuals as an unconditional payment.” [Independent

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Following months of criticism, Eva Moskowitz distances herself from Trump” by Eliza Shapiro: “Success Academy CEO Eva Moskowitz distanced herself from President Donald Trump on Thursday, following ten months of relentless criticism from staff, board members and colleagues… “In retrospect, I should have been more outspoken so that no one would possibly think that either Success Academy or I was tacitly supporting President Trump’s policies, which are contrary to the values of respect, caring, and concern that are central to our mission,” Moskowitz wrote in Thursday’s letter… “I am deeply distressed both by the hateful violence in Charlottesville and by President Trump’s refusal to clearly denounce it,” she said.” [Politico]

FIRST DAY: Aryeh Lightstone formally started his job yesterday as a senior advisor to U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman. Friedman tweeted: “First day of work for my Senior Advisor Aryeh Lightstone. First Meeting, the legendary Natan Sharansky – What a Start!” [Pic]

KAFE KNESSET — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: As usual, the Barcelona terror attack was widely and quickly denounced by everyone in the Israeli political system. But the Prime Minister appeared to be putting in an extra effort to be part of the story. An hour after the attack occurred, Netanyahu arrived at the Foreign Ministry for a special video conference and consultation with the Israeli ambassador in Spain and his diplomatic team. Barcelona is a popular tourist destination and there are thousands of Israelis there this August weekend. This provides Israel with a special reason for concern, but there was also a PR cloud over Netanyahu’s unusual media blitz over the event. The Prime Minister’s Office issued numerous updates and statements and even a video of the PM’s special meeting. Given the criminal cloud surrounding him these days, Netanyahu is thirsty for any diplomatic security agenda he can get. It enables him to project “business as usual” in the wake of all of his legal affairs. Bibi’s diplomatic efforts emphasize his strong sense of statesmanship, which is unmatched by any of his political rivals. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

“Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner recovering from cancer” by Barry Svrluga: “Regardless of where the Washington Nationals sit in the standings… there has long been a night-to-night constant at Nationals Park: Mark Lerner, one of the club’s principal owners and the only son of family patriarch Ted, sitting in the first row, Nationals hat on his head, monitoring the action from the on-deck circle to the outfield seats… But over the past several months… Lerner’s front-row perch has sat empty, conspicuously vacant… Thursday night, in a letter to The Washington Post, Lerner revealed the reason for his absence: Lerner had cancer in his left leg, and though he is now cancer-free, complications following surgery and radiation treatment left doctors with little choice but to amputate the leg last week.” [WashPost]

WINE OF THE WEEK — Tzora Vineyards: Judean Hills Blanc 2016 — by Yitz Applbaum: There are only a few wineries in Israel that have managed to foster a consistent theme across all of their wines. For Tzora Vineyards the consistent theme that I have observed across all of their offerings is that the drinker notices the strong relationship between the grape in a given wine and the taste of that wine. The wine producers are true to the grape, all the while managing to bring a friendliness to the wine. The correlation the winemakers created between the grape and the flavor creates a unique fruit experience. Each bottle is memorable.

The 2016 Judean Hills Blanc is 90% Chardonnay and 10% Sauvignon Blanc grapes. While the Chardonnay is dominant the Sauvignon Blanc is still noticeable. There is a dryness on the front of the palate which rings of apricots and seaweed. The mid palate experience is all Chardonnay with great melon overtones. The finish is where one notices the Sauvignon Blanc with a citrus bite and some acidity. This wine goes perfectly well with blue cheese and sharp aged cheddar. This wine will last for some time. As is the case with most Tzora Vineyard wines, they sell out quickly, so stock up on this wine. [TzoraVineyards

BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAYPresident of Baltimore’s Seabark Insurance Agency, Jerome Seaman turns 84…  Former two-term mayor of San Diego (the first Jewish mayor of San Diego), now CEO of the Child Abuse Prevention Foundation in San Diego, Susan G. Golding turns 72… President at C O Benefit Connections, Raphael Schwartz turns 62… Labor law attorney representing employers, he is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart, Stuart Douglas Tochner turns 58… CEO of the Future of Privacy Forum, a DC-based think tank and advocacy group focused on issues of data privacy, he was previously a member of the New York State Assembly (1994-1997), Jules Polonetsky turns 52… Economist and senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, previously chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Obama administration, Jason Furman turns 47… Sarah Bronson turns 45… Partner in the DC-based law firm of Covington & Burling, he was previously general counsel and deputy staff director of the US House Armed Services Committee, Roger Zakheim turns 40… Born in St. Catharines, Ontario, he made aliyah in 2008, he is now a fellow at the The Jewish People Policy Institute, Noah Slepkov turns 36…

SATURDAY: 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton turns 71… One of the first venture capitalists in Silicon Valley, he was an early investor in Intel, Apple Computer, Scientific Data Systems and Teledyne, Arthur Rock turns 91… Member of the South Dakota House of Representatives (2001-2005) and then a member of the South Dakota Senate (2005-2007 and 2009-2013), Stanford “Stan” M. Adelstein turns 86… President of Ono Academic College in Israel, she was the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations (2008-2010), Gabriela Shalev turns 76… Co-founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, Marc J. Rowan turns 55… Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (2009-2013), he was a law clerk for Justices William J. Brennan Jr. and David H. Souter, now a Managing Director at the Carlyle Group, Julius Genachowski turns 55… Managing editor of The New York Times, prior to joining the Times in 1998, he was a correspondent for the Wall Street Journal and the Dallas Morning News, Joseph Kahn turns 53… Partner and talent agent in the motion picture department at William Morris Endeavor, he is very active in the contemporary art world as a collector, Dan Aloni turns 53… Former member of Knesset (2003-2006), he is the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, Omri Sharon turns 53… Actress and producer, best known for her starring role as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the TNT crime drama “The Closer,” Kyra Sedgwick turns 52… Borough President of Queens since 2014, she was previously a member of the New York State Assembly (1994-1999) and the New York City Council (2002-2009), Melinda R. Katz turns 52… Founder and CEO of The Friedlander Group, Ezra Friedlander turns 49… Businessman and investor, he and a partner successfully managed a hedge fund for his father Carl Icahn, Brett Icahn turns 38… Managing partner of Handmade Capital and founder of Liveset, a digital platform for streaming live concerts, Ross Hinkle turns 38… Private equity investor, Jewish communal leader Yehuda L. Neuberger… Program Associate at Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Cassandra Federbusz… Jerry Epstein

SUNDAYSecretary of Labor for the State of Kansas, she was a member of the Kansas House of Representatives (2001-2012), Lana Goodman Gordon turns 67… Senior director at NYC-based investment bank Maxim Group, he is also president of American Friends of Yeshivat Dvar Yerushalayim and a board member of ZOA, Jay Knopf turns 61… Member of Congress (D-IL-10) who first won his seat in 2012, lost it in 2014 and won the seat back in 2016, Brad Schneider turns 56… US Trade Representative (2013-2017) and other high ranking postings in Democratic administrations, now at the Council on Foreign Relations, a friend and classmate of President Obama at Harvard, Michael Froman turns 55… Moroccan-born billionaire, he is the founder and controlling shareholder of the Altice Group (one of the world’s largest telecoms firms including NY-based Cablevision), Patrick Drahi turns 54… British Ambassador to Israel (2010-2015), the first Jewish UK ambassador to be posted to Tel Aviv, he is now director of cyber security and information assurance in the British Cabinet Office, Matthew Gould turns 46… VP of communications at DC-based First Focus (a nonpartisan advocacy organization for children and families), he was previously at Project On Government Oversight, Ari Goldberg turns 44… Deputy director and one of the founders of the Jerusalem Season of Culture, a summer music festival that showcases Jerusalem, Karen Brunwasser turns 41… VP managing the Iowa office of Cornerstone Government Affairs and President of the Jewish Federation of Greater Des Moines, David Ryan Adelman turns 36… Real estate agent, author and television personality as an original cast member on the show Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles on the Bravo television network, Joshua Daniel “Josh” Flagg turns 32… Phoebe Bryan

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]

From the Archives: Hillary Lauds Jewish Advocacy for Women, Addresses Peace Process

Sunday, March 27, 2016

An unseen video published by the Shalom Hartman Institute on Sunday shows an emotional Hillary Clinton addressing women’s issues and the need to take risks for peace, in…

At AIPAC, Presidential Hopefuls Highlight Palestinians Rewarding of Terror

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The theme at AIPAC’s annual policy conference was ‘Come Together.’ But aside from affirming their commitment to a strong U.S.-Israel alliance, the U.S. presidential candidates addressing the 18,000…

Trump Reveals Members of Foreign Policy Team

Monday, March 21, 2016

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday revealed a partial list of foreign policy experts who advise his campaign on foreign policy matters. In a meeting with The…

Trump Previews AIPAC Speech: Peace Deal ‘Would Be in Israel’s Interests’

Sunday, March 20, 2016

A peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians would be in Israel’s interests, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday. In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on…

Rubio: Criticism of Israel is New Face of Anti-Semitism

Monday, March 14, 2016

Israel has a special purpose. It was created as a homeland for the Jewish people to ensure they do not face annihilation, Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said…

Rich Roberts Details ‘Disingenuous’ Donor Call to Stop Trump

Monday, March 14, 2016

A prominent Republican donor is voicing his disapproval of a campaign led by top Republican donors to deny Donald Trump the 1,237 delegates necessary to secure the Republican…