Daily Kickoff: Tensions remain over Congress’ role in MOU | In Kushner, Trump finds a kindred spirit | Amb Dermer looks forward to working with Bannon

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Tensions Remain Over Congress’s Perceived Weakened Role in Aid Deal to Israel” by Aaron Magid: After Trump’s resounding electoral victory, Washington experts on Israel remain cautious that the real-estate mogul turned Commander-In-Chief will dramatically boost financial assistance to the Jewish state. David Makovsky told Jewish Insider, “It is wrong to view the incoming Trump as a gravy train for Israel.” Citing the current divide within the Republican Party on the role of American involvement in the Middle East, Makovsky added, “There is a fiscal side of Trump who feels that America has limited resources and our friends should not be exploiting” that generosity… Given the economic woes facing many Trump supporters, offering Israel with more aid—beyond the $38 billion—is not likely to occur during the beginning of the next administration, explained Dan Arbell.

Democratic Rep. Gene Green supported providing Jerusalem with $38 billion, but he objected to the clause preventing the Jewish state from lobbying for additional missile defense funds. Green told Jewish Insider, “I think Israel and anyone else ought to be able to access elected officials.” Although some have argued that a Trump Administration would be more favorable to amending these clauses of the MOU given his perceived support for the Jewish state, Green questioned whether the President-elect would in fact adopt more pro-Israel policies.

Rep. Brendan Boyle also criticized part of the agreement that required Israel to return any money Congress provided over the MOU limit in 2017 and 2018. “Given the tremendously dangerous situation that Israel faces on a number of its borders, it is impossible to anticipate in the next year or two what their needs will be let alone over the next 10 years,” Boyle told Jewish Insider. The Pennsylvania legislator noted that over the past 16 years—during both the Bush and Obama Administrations—there has been a perception of a “creeping power” moving from the legislative to executive branch, especially in areas related to Foreign Policy. [JewishInsider]

JUST IN: “Trump taps conservative Kansas congressman for CIA” by Deb Riechmann:“Trump has offered the CIA director job to Mike Pompeo, a conservative Republican congressman from Kansas who has heavily criticized the Iran deal.” [AP]

Pompeo tweeted yesterday: “I look forward to rolling back this disastrous deal with the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism.” [Twitter

LongRead: “Obama Reckons With a Trump Presidency” by David Remnick: “Obama told staff members that he had talked Trump through the rudiments of forming a cabinet and policies, including the Iran nuclear deal, counter-terrorism policy, health care—and that the President-elect’s grasp of such matters was, as the debates had made plain, modest at best. Trump, despite his habitual bluster, seemed awed by what he was being told and about to encounter. Denis McDonough strolled by with some friends and family. The day before, the person Trump sent to debrief him about how to staff and run a White House was his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. They had taken a walk on the South Lawn. I asked McDonough how it was going, and he gave me a death-skull grin. “Everything’s great!” he said. He clenched his teeth and grinned harder in self-mockery.”

— “Obama has a similar view about the Iran nuclear agreement, despite Trump’s regular denunciations of it. “We actually have over a year of proof, and you’ve got the Israeli military and intelligence community acknowledging that, in fact, it has worked,” he said. The agreement has not changed “some of the more obnoxious behavior of Iran,” but it has insured that Iran does not now have “breakout capacity,” the ability to build a weapon in a short window of time. “So, given that proof, I don’t think that it is inconceivable that Republican leaders look and they say, ‘This thing worked. Obama is no longer in office. This is not something that our base is hankering to undo, and we may quietly leave it in place.’”” [NewYorker]

“Trump’s embrace of Bannon sparks divisions, angst among Jewish groups” by Greg Jaffe:“There are lots of questions and concerns and a lot I would like to say,” said a senior executive of a group focused on the U.S.-Israeli relationship, who like some other Jewish organizational leaders, spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject. “But I have a mission and a job to do, and I can’t blow it up.” [WashPost

Bari Weiss: “Steve Bannon’s Heart Doesn’t Matter. His Actions Do.” [TabletMag]

Chemi Shalev: “If Liberal Jews Are the Targets of Trump-inspired anti-Semitism, Is It Really anti-Semitism?” [Haaretz

Rep. Steve King tells Sahil Kapur: “Bannon went to work for Andrew Breitbart. He and I called Andrew Breitbart a mutual, mutual friend. Andrew was Jewish, for one thing… A disproportionate number of minorities surround Steve Bannon in his life. And so you cannot possibly know this man, look at this man, and conceive of uttering the words that he’s a white nationalist. He absolutely is not.” [Twitter]

Jonathan Greenblatt tells Breitbart’s Adelle Nazarian: “Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa. I said he “presided the premier website of the Alt Right.” So am I wrong about what the alt-right is, do you think? Is the alt-right not about white nationalism? I guess what I would just do, is just go back to Steve Bannon’s words, where he said that “Breitbart had become the platform for the alt-right.” So this says “premier website.” This says, “the platform.” So, I guess we can dispute whether “premier” website means the same thing or something different than “the platform.” I think it essentially means the same thing.” [Twitter]

HEARD YESTERDAY – Jonathan Greenblatt at ADL’s “Never is Now” inaugural conference in NY: “Because it rolled on for so long, it’s hard to remember just how unique the election was, and not just because of the candidates themselves. The harassment and hate that bubbled up around the campaigns was unlike anything we have seen in recent history… The American Jewish community has not seen this level of anti-Semitism in mainstream political and public discourse since the 1930s…  There recently have been reports that the new Administration plans to force Muslim-Americans to register for some sort of master government list. Look, Islamic extremism is a threat to us all. But as Jews, we know what it means to be registered and tagged, held out as different from our fellow citizens… I pledge to you right here and now, because I care about the fight against anti-Semitism, that if one day in these United States, if one day Muslim-Americans will be forced to register their identities, then that is the day that this proud Jew will register as a Muslim.”

Investor Chris Sacca tweets: “Jonathan is a friend who I already admired. But this raises my respect for him to another level.” [Twitter]

Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation, on Black Lives Matters’ platform singling out Israel: “I imagine we will be asked for money, and I think we will consider their behavior, and in this example, a behavior which is not acceptable.”

Tablet’s Yair Rosenberg, a victim of anti-Semitic hate on Twitter: “To believe [threats] just stays on Twitter, I don’t think it is something we can really sustain. If you see it on Twitter you probably should worry a little more about it.”

NYT’s Jonathan Weisman: “The messages I’ve gotten since the election are all now ‘we’re coming to get you, we won… now we get to impose our will.”

TRANSITION WATCH: “David Petraeus in the running to be Trump’s secretary of state” by Julian Borger and David Smith: “The former US army general and CIA director who was prosecuted for mishandling classified information – has entered the race to become Donald Trump’s secretary of state, diplomatic sources said on Thursday… The former British prime minister Tony Blair is reported to have met Kushner in New York this week, but did not pass on details of the meeting to the British embassy.” [Guardian

“Trump considering Mitt Romney for secretary of state” by Eric Beech: “Trump is considering Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, for secretary of state, NBC News reported on Thursday, citing unnamed sources. Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, is due to meet Trump on Sunday to discuss the position, NBC News said.” [Reuters

Phil Rosen to Jewish Insider: “Romney would make a fantastic SEC State. He would take the State Department to heights never seen before. As for myself I followed Romney to the ends of the earth in ’12. Would be honored to do it again anytime he would ask. And a Trump-Romney team would be a real dream team.”

Tevi Troy emails us: “I backed Romney pretty hard for president, so I thought he could do that job. Kal v’chomer (all the more so), I think he could be Sec of State.”

Norm Eisen: “Giuliani X 100 better than Bolton but Mitt X 1000 better than Giuliani. In economic diplomacy (=US jobs) he would be superstar.” [Twitter

“Trump Discusses Russia, Iran in Meeting with Henry Kissinger” by Jacob Kornbluh:“President-elect Trump and Dr. Kissinger have known each other for years and had a great meeting,” Trump’s transition team said in a readout after the meeting. “They discussed China, Russia, Iran, the EU and other events and issues around the world. “I have tremendous respect for Dr. Kissinger and appreciate him sharing his thoughts with me,” added Trump in a statement.” [JewishInsider

“Israeli ambassador Ron Dermer vouches for Trump, Bannon” by Matthes Nussbaum:“Israel has no doubt that President-elect Trump is a true friend of Israel,” Dermer told reporters. “We have no doubt that Vice President-elect Mike Pence is a true friend of Israel, he’s one of Israel’s greatest friends in the Congress, one of the most pro-Israel governors in the country. And we look forward to working with the Trump administration with all of the members of the Trump administration including Steve Bannon and making the U.S.-Israel alliance stronger than ever.” [Politico; JI] Video [CSPAN]

Gil Hoffman‏: “Exclusive: Heard from good source who spoke to multiple people on Trump transition team that next US ambassador to Israel = Gov. Mike Huckabee.” [Twitter

“Moskowitz says she will not serve as Trump education secretary” by Eliza Shapiro: “At this time, I will not be entertaining any prospective opportunities,” Moskowitz told reporters at an unrelated news conference outside City Hall. “I will work with him and whoever he selects as education secretary,” she said, adding that she is “troubled by what I see as a sort of rooting for Trump’s failure.” [PoliticoNY

“Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law, Jared Kushner, Tests Legal Path to White House Job” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Maggie Haberman: “Mr. Trump is urging his son-in-law to join him in the White House, according to one of the people briefed… Mr. Kushner has consulted with at least one lawyer and believes that by forgoing a salary and putting his investment fund, his real estate holdings and The New York Observer into a blind trust, he would not be bound by federal nepotism rules, according to one of the people briefed.”

— The anti-nepotism law “would seem to block out Kushner flatly,” said Norman L. Eisen, who served as Mr. Obama’s ethics counsel during his transition and at the White House. If Mr. Trump were to try to skirt it by having Mr. Kushner advise him in a volunteer capacity, he added, he “would be treading upon very serious statutory and constitutional grounds…. When push comes to shove, on the very hardest calls that confront a president, you want the president’s adviser to remember that their oath or affirmation to the Constitution comes first, before family ties,” Mr. Eisen said. “You need to be able to say no. You need to be able to hold the line. You need to be able to threaten to resign, and you need to be able to actually resign. You can’t resign from being somebody’s son-in-law.”” [NYTimes]

“In Jared Kushner, Trump finds a kindred spirit” by Annie Karni: “One Trump insider described Kushner as “the most powerful person after Donald himself” on the campaign and now in the transition team, because “nobody wants to cross the family.” Kushner has recently lost a noticeable amount of weight, as he has become subsumed in the frantic day-to-day. But he appears to be along for the ride… Over the past year, Kushner took on some of the most sensitive and high-stakes campaign tasks. He became Trump’s designated go-between for billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, who now sits on the president-elect’s inauguration team… Kushner, the grandson of Holocaust survivors and a supporter of gay rights, has emerged as a moderate voice in Trump’s circle… Kushner is all in with his father-in-law, and so is his immediate Orthodox Jewish family, who insiders describe as “big believers in Donald.” In general, Kushner also serves as a secure line for people who want to get in touch with Trump, including people who wanted to support the campaign but were fearful of going public with it.” [Politico]

“The Bitter Feud Behind the Law That Could Keep Jared Kushner Out of the White House” by Josh Zeitz: “Even if LBJ signed the law out of personal animus, there’s a reason that Congress passed it by a comfortable margin. And it’s a reason worth remembering today. Presidents enjoy enough power and access to talent without needing to resort to nepotism—and as we can see from RFK’s appointment, all family members—though personally loyal to the president—are not necessarily fit to hold high office.”[PoliticoMag]

“Bill Clinton makes first appearance since Hillary’s loss” by Mara Siegler: “Bill Clinton made his first appearance since wife Hillary lost the election, and was escorted by Secret Service agents into MoMA for the premiere of “Lion,” with Harvey Weinstein. “We suffered a nightmare as a country,” Democratic donor Weinstein told the crowd. But he added of Bubba, “As long as my friend is here with me and with the American people, then I don’t think we’re gonna have to worry. We are gonna have to fight — but at least we have somebody who is an inspiration.”” [NYPost

“House votes to prohibit sale of commercial aircraft to Iran” by Richard Lardner: “By a 243-174 vote on Thursday, lawmakers passed a bill to prohibit the Treasury Department from issuing the licenses American banks would need to complete the transactions. The House action seeks to counter the Obama administration’s decision to grant aviation giants Boeing and Airbus permission to sell the planes to Tehran.” [AP

“U.S., Iran clash over Tehran’s testing of limit in nuclear deal” by Francois Murphy: “The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which is policing the deal, said Iran’s overstepping of the limit on its stock of a sensitive material for the second time this year risked undermining countries’ support for the agreement. The victory of Donald Trump – a vocal critic of the deal – also raised the question of whether his country would continue to support the accord.” [Reuters

“Bolton calls regime change the ‘only long-term solution’ in Iran” by Madeline Conway:“The ayatollahs are the principal threat to international peace and security in the Middle East,” Bolton told Breitbart News Daily, a radio program run by the hard-right website with close ties to Donald Trump. “Now, their ouster won’t bring sweetness and light to the region, that’s for sure, but it will eliminate the principal threat.” [Politico

**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

SPOTLIGHT: “Israel’s Magal sees Mexican wall as no barrier to business” by John Reed:“While controversy rages in the US and Mexico over President-elect Donald Trump’s plan to build “a wall” along the two countries’ border, an Israeli company is quietly positioning itself for a boom in new business. Saar Koursh, the company’s chief executive, told the Financial Times that Magal was hoping to supply the US with border sensors, cameras, and other equipment if the president-elect makes good on his promise to build a wall.” [FinancialTimes]

MEDIA WATCH: “Mark Halperin And John Heilemann’s Bloomberg Politics Show To End” by Michael Calderone: “Halperin and Heilemann, who joined in May 2014 and served as co-managing editors of Bloomberg Politics, will continue to host the show daily until Dec. 2. Bloomberg will produce four hourlong specials previewing Trump’s presidency and then cover the event on Jan. 20. The two journalists will cease day-to-day roles with the company, but according to the memo are in discussions to “play a role at Bloomberg as contributors and columnists.”” [HuffPost

“Ruth Gruber, who accompanied 1,000 Jews to the shores of the United States during the Holocaust, dies at 105” by Emily Langer: “Aboard the ship, Dr. Gruber assumed the only rank that commands more respect than general: that of a mother. The refugees, some of them too old to walk, actually called her “Mother Ruth.” Fluent in German and Yiddish, she organized English lessons, cared for the seasick and taught at least one refugee her first English song — “You Are My Sunshine,” the Boston Globe reported. Together they made the two-week journey without attack, and the refugees arrived in the United States “safe beyond their most roseate dreams,” according to a New York Times account at the time… In her 70s, she was the only foreign correspondent to observe Operation Moses, the airlift of Ethiopian Jews to Israel during famine. Ruth Gruber was born in Brooklyn (the “shtetl” of Williamsburg, she called it) on Sept. 30, 1911, to Russian Jewish immigrants.” [WashPost; NYTimes

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Tales from the Mitzvah Tank” by Allan Ripp: “A few months ago, I popped into a Winnebago parked at the corner of 57th Street and Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, right across from Tiffany and Bergdorf Goodman. This was the Mitzvah Tank, a roving synagogue on wheels operated by the Chabad Lubavitch movement. The “tank” brings old-school Judaism to high-traffic parts of New York. In five minutes or less, anyone can drop by for a quick blessing and some Talmudic wisdom.” [WSJ]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week — 2013 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera: I often wonder what drives me to choose the wine I will drink at any given juncture. This is true when dining at a restaurant or sampling from my own cellar. Of course the mood, company and food all have an influence – though I am counterintuitively least swayed by the food. I have found that when the mood is either romantic or challenging that I gravitate towards a Spanish wine. The past several years has seen the Kosher Spanish wine market blossom.

Recently I opened a 2013 Capcanes La Flor del Flor de Primavera. It is a deep purple – of late I have been focusing a lot on the hues or the wines I drink. It is lush and velvety on the palate. The Grenache grape is full of tart fruit berries taken too soon off the bush. Let the wine breathe for an hour before digging in. This wine can be consumed with most foods, though it is very special with some Osso Buco. I would drink it without any food at all. This wine will keep you happy for days. [CellerCapcanes; Kosher]

BIRTHDAYS: Israeli theoretical physicist, who at age 27 became a professor and then later President of the Weizmann Institute, Haim Harari turns 76… Lecturer at Boston University School of Law, formerly SVP and General Counsel of Fidelity Management & Research Company, Eric D. Roiter turns 68… Reporter at the New York Times, Sheryl Stolberg turns 55… Philanthropist and pro-Israel activist Laurie Luskin… Richard Gorman… Talia Fadis… Roland Tovar… Roberta Goldstein… Shira Dicker

Professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Leeds, Polish born Zygmunt Bauman turns 91… Award winning television and radio host including the eponymous “Larry King Live” nightly show on CNN from 1985 to 2010, Larry King (born Lawrence Harvey Zeiger) turns 83… Retired New York State Supreme Court judge, whose tenure on the television program “The People’s Court” was far shorter than that of his wife “Judge Judy,” Jerry Sheindlin turns 83… Professor of Chemistry at Stanford University, Richard Zare turns 77… Fashion designer Calvin Klein turns 74… Following a 27-year career as a Professor at Princeton, she became President of the University of Pennsylvania, Amy Gutmann turns 67… Los Angeles based real estate investor, Sydney Cetner turns 67… Hollywood screenwriter, producer, director, and lyricist, best known as the writer of “Being John Malkovich,” Charlie Kaufmanturns 58… Angel investor, investment banker and President of Sunrise Financial Group, Nathan Lowturns 56… Author of over 30 books, television host and Chabad Rabbi in Oxford, England (1988-99), Shmuley Boteach turns 50… Executive Editor of Time Magazine’s digital platforms, Sam Jacobs… Vice President of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation and director of its Washington, DC office, Lisa Eisen… Senior Director of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation, Seth Cohen

Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden turns 74… Actor, comedy writer and producer, best known for creating and performing the satirical stuntman character Super Dave Osborne, Bob Einstein turns 74… Singer and songwriter best known for writing and performing the song “Spirit in the Sky,” Norman Greenbaum turns 74… U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2005-2006), currently a senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, John Bolton turns 68… White House official in both the Bush 41 and Bush 43 administrations, now a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, Jay Lefkowitz turns 54… Billionaire hedge fund manager, founder and president of Greenlight Capital, David Einhorn turns 48… Attorney in Goulston & Storrs Boston-based real estate practice, Zev D. Gewurz turns 45… Bloomberg TV’s senior markets correspondent Julie Hyman turns 40… Politico’s writer for its daily newsletter, New York Health Care, who covers NYC politics, focusing on hospitals and health care, Dan Goldberg… Political consultant and opposition research specialist for the DNC and for Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, founder of Beehive Research, Devorah Adler… Benjamin Gonsher turns 37… Michael Jankelowitz… James Goldman

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Daily Kickoff: ADL vs. ZOA | Will Jared Kushner get a security clearance? | How Ari Emanuel & Patrick Whitesell Are Building The Future Of Hollywood

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: ADL vs. ZOA — The surprising election of Donald Trump and the President-Elect’s appointment of Steve Bannon as chief strategist in the White House has pitted two Jewish organizations – The Anti-Defamation League and Zionist Organization of America – against one another.

The Timing: Both the ADL and the ZOA are holding their respective events at the Grand Hyatt in NYC this weekend.

The ADL is kicking off its inaugural “Never is Now!” two-day summit today to address some of the most urgent challenges facing the Jewish community after the tumultuous presidential election. The ZOA is holding their annual Louis Brandeis award dinner on Sunday, and has invited Bannon to attend the event in defiance of the ADL, which has criticized Bannon’s appointment for condoning anti-Semitism as head of Breitbart.

Late yesterday, ZOA announced in a press release that former ADL head Abe Foxman will attend their dinner.

In the evening, Foxman emailed the following statement using an ADL Media email address: “I have decided not to attend the ZOA dinner in New York where my friend Bernie Marcus is being honored. ZOA manipulated and abused my trust when they announced my decision to attend without my permission because they have politicized this event. My intention was solely to be in attendance to honor Bernie Marcus, and not to make any political statement.”

Breitbart News: “Anti-Defamation League Denies Credentials to Jewish Journalist:Nazarian, who is Jewish, has covered antisemitism extensively in her assignments for Breitbart News, focusing on the recent wave of antisemitic incidents on college campuses across California… Nevertheless, the ADL denied credentials to Nazarian — a Jewish journalist with sterling credentials — for no apparent reason.” [Breitbart

“ADL Sees Online Fundraising Boom After Election” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Last Wednesday, the day after the surprising election results, the ADL received a 50X increase in online donations, mostly from new donors. According to the Jewish civil rights/human relations group, about 75 percent of donations are from first-time donors. Major donors are also making six-figure commitments, increasing their annual contributions in light of the election… “We are heartened by the outpouring of support that we and reportedly other nonprofit organizations in this field have received over the past week,” ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt told Jewish Insider. “They are a testament to the fact that Americans are united against anti-Semitism, hate and prejudice in all forms and will step up and show up in order to fight bigotry.”” [JewishInsider

TOP TALKER: “Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner Will Not Seek Security Clearances, Sources Say” by Maggie Haberman: “Neither Ivanka Trump, President-elect Donald J. Trump’s daughter, nor her husband, Jared Kushner, has applied for a security clearance, nor do they intend to, according to two people close to the Trump transition… “It’s appropriate for whoever’s going to get the presidential daily briefing to have a security clearance,” Ms. Conway, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager, said. “It’s not just appropriate, necessary.” But transition officials said Mr. Kushner had not sat in any security briefings and had no plans to.” [NYTimes

Alternative headline – “Trump Team Requests Security Clearance for Jared Kushner” by Justin Fishel, John Santucci and Candace Smith: “Trump’s presidential transition team has requested a security clearance for the president-elect’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, sources close to Trump team and the intelligence community confirm to ABC.” [ABCNews

“Donald Trump’s Son-in-Law Could Get Key White House Role” by Monica Langley:“Kushner is being pushed to join the president’s inner circle by new White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and presidential counselor Stephen Bannon… He is weighing formally joining his father-in-law in the White House, people familiar with the transition say. The 35-year-old Mr. Kushner would have a role in the White House along the lines of senior adviser or special counsel.” [WSJ

— “People involved in the transition said Kushner is orchestrating nearly everythingalongside Trump and Pence, from personnel to the administration’s initial policy agenda.” [WashPost

Ross Barkan: “Never thought I’d tweet this (!!) but Jared Kushner is the de facto president of the United States.” [Twitter

Kellyanne Conway on CBS This Morning: “I spoke with Jared last night and again this morning actually. He has not sought out a national security clearance, he has not applied for any job. But he obviously is incredibly important to his father-in-law President-Elect Trump and was a big, big part of our election victory, frankly. Jared’s been intimately involved with the campaign and the strategy from day one. And I’m sure that he and his– and his wife and her brothers will continue to be very supportive. But– time will tell– in terms of the positions that different people still get.”

“Schumer is next top Senate Democrat, adds Sanders to leadership ranks” by Ed O’Keefe and Mike DeBonis: “Schumer promised a “bigger, bolder, sharper-edged economic message” in his first remarks after his election… In a gesture to his party’s progressive wing, Schumer added Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) to a junior role in his newly expanded leadership team. The New York Democrat and his leadership team were elected unanimously by the caucus, aides said… He is the first Jewish man and first New Yorker to serve as a Senate leader.” [WashPost

“Schumer, Kushner to come together for New York business event” by Annie Karni: “New York business connections may be the first thing to bridge the divide between the incoming Donald Trump administration and Democrats on the Hill. The Partnership for New York City — a local business group that represents 300 New York-based CEOs — is hosting a talk with Sen. Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader-elect, and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, who has become one of the most powerful advisers running his transition team, on Dec. 16 at its annual meeting.” [Politico

TRANSITION WATCH: “Gaffney denies NYT, WSJ reports that he’s a Trump adviser” by Michael Crowley: “An unattributed quote appeared in the press yesterday indicating that I had been appointed to the Trump transition team,” Gaffney told POLITICO in a statement. “In fact, I had not been contacted by anyone from the team and appreciate the campaign’s clarification today that the previous day’s reports were inaccurate. I look forward to helping the President-elect and the national security-minded team he is assembling in whatever way I can.” [Politico

“Arab allies no longer reassured by Donald Trump” by Margaret Brennan: “The perception that former New York City Mayor and Secretary of State contender Rudy Giuliani is anti-Palestinian adds to their trepidation. He famously had Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat forcibly removed from Lincoln Center in 1995 during a concert for world leaders. The ardent pro-Israel beliefs of Bannon, as well as transition team member Sheldon Adelson, add to worry that the Trump administration might move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to the disputed city of Jerusalem. Their support for the recent expansion of Israeli settlements further into the Palestinian-held West Bank (strongly condemned by the Obama administration) already has European and Arab diplomats worried that it could irreparably damage the chance of carving out a two-state solution and peace deal.” [CBSNews

“Charter leader Eva Moskowitz in the mix for Trump education secretary” by Eliza Shapiro:“Moskowitz, the CEO of New York City’s largest and most controversial charter school network, is in the running to become president-elect Donald Trump’s education secretary, a Trump aide confirmed Wednesday morning… The very fact that Moskowitz isn’t shooting down the rumors could have political implications for the longtime Democrat, who has long had ambitions of running for mayor of New York City.” [PoliticoNY

SPOTTED at Trump Tower yesterday: Moshe Lax, a business partner of Ivanka Trump [Pic] • Michael Glassner, Steve Mnuchin, Boris Epshteyn and Patriots owner Bob Kraft. Trump also met with Eva Moskowitz and Steve Feinberg, according to the transition team.

–Happening Today: Trump will be meeting with Henry Kissinger today.

Tal Shalev scoop: Trump offered Netanyahu to meet in NYC before the inauguration. But the Prime Minister pointed to protocol to avoid embarrassing President Obama before he leaves office. According to two Israeli officials, in their phone call last Wednesday, Trump offered to meet ‘as soon as possible.’ Netanyahu “elegantly declined” the invitation. [WallaNews

“Candidate Trump’s embrace of Israeli policies may ease once he’s president” by Oren Dorell: “Jonathan Schanzer… said there is also a risk of upending quiet diplomacy that has been proceeding between Israel and its Arab neighbors. Much of that has been prompted by the common perceived threat from Iran. “By all accounts the Arab world has been engaging with Israel more than it ever has,” Schanzer said. “Sudden moves on the Israel-Palestinian front could scuttle any developments that have been made.”” [USAToday

“Trump presidency bodes ill for Israel-Palestine peace process” by Peter Beaumont: “With president-elect likely to be either maximalist pro-Israel or isolationist, the question is whether stagnant process can survive.” [TheGuardian]

“Israel’s Parliament Gives Preliminary Approval to Pro-Settlement Bill” by Rory Jones:“Israel’s parliament gave preliminary approval to a bill that would legalize settlements on Palestinian land in the West Bank, a legislative victory welcomed by Jewish settlers and conservative lawmakers emboldened by Donald Trump’s U.S. election victory. The approval came despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s opposition to the bill. He nonetheless voted in favor of the legislation, which would retroactively make legal those Jewish settlements built in the Israeli-occupied territory in violation of current Israeli law and, some say, in breach of international law.” [WSJ]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “De Blasio Urges Trump to Speak Out Amid Rise In Anti-Semitism” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Part of why I think it’s so important to remind the President-elect and his team that there are deep fears and concerns out there is because the wrong messages can encourage hateful acts,” de Blasio told Jewish Insider after the meeting. “So, I certainly made clear that I think sending a message of unity is crucial.” [JewishInsider• Hate Crimes Jump 30 Percent in 2016, NYPD Stats Show [DNAInfo

Peter Beinart: “America’s Most Influential Jewish Groups Have Prioritized Netanyahu Over U.S. Jews’ Safety: America’s most influential Jewish leaders have decided that in order to keep Jews safe, they will ignore Donald Trump’s assault on America’s most vulnerable communities” [Haaretz]

Recap of our political panel earlier this week at the GA — Republican Jewish ‘Insiders’ Discuss Donald Trump’s Victory [JewishInsider

“U.S. Senate leader says Iran sanctions renewal will pass” by Patricia Zengerle: “We’re going to take up the House bill,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters at the Senate’s weekly Republican leadership news conference. “… And we’re going to pass it.” [Reuters

“Top Senate Democrat challenges Trump on Russia, Iran” by Julian Pecquet: “On Iran, Cardin said he expects the Senate to pass a clear 10-year extension of the expiring Iran Sanctions Act, which would allow the US to “snap back” sanctions on Iran’s energy sector if Tehran violates the nuclear deal. Cardin, who voted against the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, however, challenged Trump to work with the international community to strengthen the deal, rather than unilaterally rip it up. “During the debate over the Iran nuclear agreement, I don’t know of a member of Congress who felt that the preferred option was anything other than an agreement with Iran. That was a much better option than using the military option,” Cardin said.” [AlMonitor] • U.N. nuclear watchdog criticizes Iran for overstepping deal limit [Reuters]

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SPOTLIGHT: “Bankers celebrate dawn of Trump era” by Ben White: “A populist candidate who railed against shady financial interests on the campaign trail is now putting together an administration that looks like an investment banker’s dream. Former Goldman Sachs banker Steven Mnuchin has been seen at Trump Tower amid rumors that he’s the leading candidate for Treasury secretary. Billionaire investor Wilbur Ross appears headed to the Commerce Department. Steve Bannon, another Goldman alum, will work steps from the Oval Office. If Mnuchin drops out, as some rumors suggest he may, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon remains a possibility as Treasury secretary, and will serve as an outside adviser if he doesn’t get the job.” [Politico]

“Icahn lauds ‘consensus builder’ Trump, says rally may be overdone” by Jennifer Ablan and Jonathan Stempel: “Icahn, who said he has posted 28 percent annualized returns as an investor, says he regularly talks with legislators in Washington, who complain that the current system prevents them from getting things done. “It’s just a major problem,” said Icahn, who like Trump is from New York. “I was a poor kid from Queens and I made all this money. I love the country, it’s just a lot of the people I don’t like.”” [Reuters]

“Chasing millennials and profits, Univision restructures and lays off at least 200″ by Margaret Sullivan: “Univision is privately held. Its chairman is billionaire investor Haim Saban.”[WashPost]

“Mark Zuckerberg Hacked For The Third Time This Year” by Lee Mathews: “Their target this time: Zuckerberg’s Pinterest account. This is the second time they’ve broken in. OurMine first hacked Zuckerberg back in June, gaining access to both his Twitter account and that same Pinterest account… The hackers also claim to have discovered Zuckerberg’s Twitter password but were unable to sign in.” [Forbes]

HOLLYWOOD: “Superagents Patrick Whitesell And Ari Emanuel Are Building The Future Of Hollywood” by Nicole LaPorte: “It’s a swampy August night in Las Vegas… Amid the arena’s Bud Light–infused fervor, the two most powerful dealmakers in Hollywood sit cageside as if they own the place. Which they do: Patrick Whitesell and Ari Emanuel, co-CEOs of über–talent agency WME-IMG… Whitesell, 51, and Emanuel, 55, are no strangers to confrontation, usually on behalf of their clients… What the UFC deal represents, though, is something entirely different, a new and even more audacious strategic strike that aims to challenge the core assumptions of the entertainment industry. Because this time, instead of just helping others create projects, they’ve made a major, multibillion-dollar leap into owning content themselves.”

Emanuel, typically a whirling dervish known for his speed phone calls, remains seated alongside Whitesell, transfixed by the action in the cage. Such stillness is uncharacteristic (Emanuel has treadmill desks installed in all his offices), but he is enraptured by the drama of two human beings tearing each other apart. His attention is diverted only once: when he swings around in his $8,000 seat to introduce onetime heavyweight champion Mike Tyson to his teenage son Ezra.” [FastCompany]

DESSERT: “Jerusalem’s Latest Argument Over History Is About Fried Innards” by Isabel Kershner: “In Jerusalem, where arguments about history are a municipal pastime, a debate has been revived about the origins of a local delicacy. Jerusalem’s bustling Mahane Yehuda Market has long been a late-night culinary destination for Middle Eastern standbys like hummus and falafel, as well as more recent additions like burgers and burritos. But there is one dish that is considered authentic: a local concoction known in Hebrew as Meorav Yerushalmi, or Jerusalem mixed grill, made of kosher innards that might otherwise end up in the garbage. The recent death of a shuk food legend, Haim Piro, at 73, revived an old argument over who invented the market’s signature dish.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Biochemist who was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Medicine, Stanley Cohen turns 94… Original creator and producer of Saturday Night Live, more recently producer of The Tonight Show, Lorne Michaels (born Lorne Lipowitz) turns 72… Global Editorial Director of Huffington Post, Howard Fineman turns 68… CEO of Feeding America, a nationwide network of 200 food banks, South African born Diana Aviv turns 65… Attorney and business executive who once played on the South African national teams in both cricket and field hockey, Mandy Yachad turns 56… National Security Advisor, formerly US Ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice turns 52… Nationl security reporter for The Wall Street Journal, Felicia Schwartz turns 25… Daniel Gastaldi… Halie Soifer… “The Travelling Rabbi” of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies who serves 13 sub-Saharan countries, Moshe Silberhaft… Zack Teichman

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Daily Kickoff: Michael Lewis on how Kahneman & Tversky Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down | Kushner said to oust Christie allies

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TOP TALKER: “Donald Trump Requests Security Clearance for Son-in-Law Jared Kushner” by Andrea Mitchell: “Multiple sources tell NBC News Trump received his first briefing on Tuesday and designated both Kushner and Ret. Gen. Michael Flynn as his staff-level companions for the briefings going forward. While Flynn has the necessary security clearance, Kushner does not, and it could take weeks — or even longer — for him to receive it… While it’s unclear when Kushner would receive security clearance, the legality of such a move is murky as well, as it raises questions about whether Trump is contravening the anti-nepotism law that bars presidents from appointing family members to cabinet positions or formal government jobs.” [NBCNews]

John Podhoretz: “Suddenly I feel like defending Trump. So he asked if Jared could get security clearance. Why the hell can’t he ASK?” [Twitter]

“Trump Transition Slows as Kushner Said to Oust Christie Allies” by Jennifer Jacobs:“Power struggles inside Donald Trump’s transition team are hobbling efforts to form a new government — including what some say is an effort by the president-elect’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to clear out the ranks of loyalists to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. As U.S. Attorney for New Jersey, Christie in 2004 prosecuted Kushner’s father, Charles, for tax evasion, witness tampering and illegal campaign contributions.” [Bloomberg]

“Firings and Discord Put Trump Transition Team in a State of Disarray” by Julie Hirschfeld, Mark Mazzetti and Maggie Haberman: “Prominent American allies were in the meantime scrambling to figure out how and when to contact Mr. Trump. At times, they have been patched through to him in his luxury office tower with little warning… President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt was the first to reach Mr. Trump for such a call last Wednesday, followed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel not long afterward. But that was about 24 hours before Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain got through.” [NYTimes]

— Trump’s morning tweetstorm: “The failing NY Times story is so totally wrong on transition. It is going so smoothly. Also, I have spoken to many foreign leaders. I have recieved and taken calls from many foreign leaders despite what the failing NYtimes said… I am always available to them. NY Times is just upset that they looked like fools in their coverage of me.” [Twitter

“This Is How Steve Bannon Sees The Entire World” by J. Lester Feder: “The soon-to-be White House chief strategist laid out a global vision in a rare 2014 talk, one where he said racism in the far right gets “washed out” and called Vladimir Putin a kleptocrat. BuzzFeed News publishes the complete transcript for the first time.” [BuzzFeed]

“Steve Bannon to Attend ZOA Annual Gala in NY” by Jacob Kornbluh: “ZOA President Mort Klein told Jewish Insider that Bannon was offered to speak at the dinner but no arrangements have been made at this point. “I think Bannon was grateful that I defended him against this ludicrous charge of anti-Semitism,” Klein said. “That’s why he is coming, I guess.”  Trump’s Israel advisors, David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, are also expected to attend, according to Klein.” [JewishInsider]

Bernie Marcus, Home Depot co-founder and RJC board member, emails… “I have known Steve Bannon for years. I have been shocked and saddened to see the recent personal attacks on Steve. Nothing could be further from the truth. The person that is being demonized in the media is not the person I know. These attacks on Steve are nothing more than an attempt to undermine the incoming Trump Administration. I have known Steve to be a passionate Zionist and supporter of Israel who felt so strongly about this that he opened a Breitbart office in Israel to ensure that the true pro-Israel story would get out. What is being done to Steve Bannon is a shonda.”

“Iran’s top leaders move to calm concerns over Trump election” by Nasser Karimi:“President Hassan Rouhani said the country will remain committed and loyal to the deal, regardless of the outcome of the U.S. election. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran was indifferent to the result of the U.S. vote, insisting the Iranian nation was “not worried” about the future and was ready for any fallout from the U.S. election.” [AP]

“House reauthorizes Iran sanctions bill, sets Syria sanctions” by Patricia Zengerle: “The House of Representatives voted 419 to one for a 10-year reauthorization of the Iran Sanctions Act… It must still be passed by the Senate and signed by President Barack Obama in order to become law. “Even after a hard-fought election here at home and power changing hands, American leadership on the global stage won’t falter,” said Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, a bill sponsor. There was no immediate word from Senate leaders on when the ISA… might be taken up in that chamber.” [Reuters

AIPAC in statement: “Congress, along with the current and incoming administrations, must exercise robust oversight of Iran’s behavior and respond to violations of the JCPOA, U.S. law or United Nations Security Council resolutions with certain, swift and severe penalties.”

HEARD YESTERDAY — Netanyahu discusses possible UN Resolution and Trump in live satellite Q&A session at the GA: “One thing is certain, that trying to impose peace from the outside won’t. So I very much hope that President Obama will continue the policy that he enunciated, which wasn’t only his policy. It was the longstanding policy of the United States, and I look forward also to working with President-Elect Trump when he becomes President and his administration to further the twin interests of peace and security. These are interests of Israel and the United States but they’ll be achieved by direct negotiations between the parties without preconditions.” [JewishInsider

“Lieberman: Israel Should Reach Deal With Trump” by Barak Ravid: “Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman told journalists Wednesday that Israel should try and reach a deal with the Trump administration according to which Israel will freeze construction in isolated West Bank settlements in return to U.S. recognition of the settlement blocs and give its consent to construction within them. Lieberman also stated that Trump’s advisors conveyed messages to Israel over the past few days asking that Israel refrain from establishing facts on the ground before the new president enters office.” [Haaretz]

“Trump donated toward settlement evacuees” by Ofer Petersburg: “Trump assisted the Israeli government to establish infrastructure for new communities for Israelis being evacuated from the settlements in the Sinai in the1980s and from Gaza in 2005, Yedioth Ahronoth has learned… According to various estimations, Trump’s financial donations amounted to millions of shekels… It also turns out that the tycoon-turned-politician contributed some of his wealth in 1980 toward evacuating settlements in the Sinai and his name appears on a list of donors in the Hevel Shalom region which absorbed the evacuees from Sinai and Gaza.” [Ynet

TRANSITION WATCH: “Trump faces growing tension with key Republicans over national security issues” by Jerry Markon: “A former U.S. official with ties to the Trump team described the ousters of Rogers and others as a “bloodletting of anybody that associated in any way on the transition with Christie,” and said that the departures were engineered by two Trump loyalists who have taken control of who will get national security posts in the administration: retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner… [Eliot] Cohen, who last week had urged career officials to serve in Trump’s administration, said in an interview that a longtime friend and senior transition team official had asked him to submit names of possible national security appointees. After he suggested several people, Cohen said, his friend emailed him back in terms he described as “very weird, very disturbing… It was accusations that ‘you guys are trying to insinuate yourselves into the administration…all of YOU LOST.’…it became clear to me that they view jobs as lollipops, things you give out to good boys and girls,” said Cohen.”

— “Cohen also said the transition official was “completely dismissive” of concerns raised about Trump’s appointment of Bannon, who Trump’s advisors have strongly defended. His friend’s email conveyed the feeling that ‘we’re so glad to see the bicoastal elites get theirs,’” added Cohen.”[WashPost

“Power battles bog down Trump transition” by Eli Stokols: “According to two sources inside Trump Tower, the president-elect himself was leaning toward naming Bannon as chief of staff—until Kushner stepped in, raising concerns about putting the anti-establishment, alt-right figure in a position that holds so much symbolic and strategic importance…  In the 48 hours since the announcement, the firestorm of criticism over the Bannon appointment—exactly what Kushner was worried about and attempted to blunt by giving him a title other than chief of staff—has dominated the nation’s airwaves.”[Politico]

“Law Prof Alan Dershowitz: ‘No Evidence’ That Steve Bannon is Anti-Semitic” by Rachel Stockman: “The only evidence is testimony of angry wife which he disputes,” Dershowitz told, “I haven’t seen any evidence of anti-Semitism at Breitbart either.” [LawNewz]

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach publishes an open letter to ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt about Bannon: “Even the ADL opposed the Iran deal and Breitbart stood with the pro-Israel community in making the argument against an agreement that legally gives Iran nuclear weapons in little over a decade.” [TheHill] • Boteach was spotted yesterday at Trump Tower for the second straight day [Pic]

Rosie Gray: “Scooplet: sources close to the ADL say over the last week they’ve taken in 50x the normal number of donations, more than 80% new donors.” [Twitter

“Secretary of State Giuliani? He’s the Leading Choice, Trump Aides Say” by Mark Landler and Maggie Haberman: “Mr. Giuliani is not the only candidate for secretary of state, people close to the transition said… Mr. Giuliani appears to be lobbying aggressively for the State Department position, and Mr. Trump seems inclined to reward his loyalty.” [NYTimes]

“Donald Trump’s Transition Team Reshaped” by Michael Bender, Damian Paletta and Jay Solomon: “Frank Gaffney, a Reagan administration veteran, was brought in to assist on national security issues… Giuliani was targeted by Kentucky Sen.Rand Paul. The Republican senator, who has tried to block previous presidential appointments, criticized the former New York mayor for calling for the bombing of Iran in 2015. He also said he opposed former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who was also under consideration for the job. The pair represents “the most bellicose interventionist wing of any party,” Mr. Paul told Reason magazine.” [WSJ] • Meet Frank Gaffney, the anti-Muslim gadfly reportedly advising Donald Trump’s transition team [WashPost]

“Senator Lindsey Graham Says He Would Support Rudy Giuliani as Trump’s Secretary of State” by Joe Perticone: “John Bolton and I‘ve been friends for 20 years. If he picks John Bolton, then I would support John Bolton. If he picks Rudy, I’d support Rudy because I think both of them are competent and capable.” [IJR

Eva Moskowitz for Secretary of Education? — “Trump and Pence also discussed Success Academy boss and charter school champion Eva Moskowitz as a possible education secretary. A source with knowledge of the situation told the Daily News that a Moskowitz appointment had “been floated but was not going to happen.”” [DailyNews]

“Sheldon Adelson, Steve Wynn join Donald Trump’s inauguration team” by Fredreka Schouten: “Lew Eisenberg, who helped lead joint fundraising for Trump’s general-election campaign and the Republican National Committee, is joining Texas businessman Roy Bailey as finance co-chairmen of the group. [Steve] Wynn, [Sheldon] Adelson and his physician wife Miriam Adelson are among 17 “finance vice chairs” announced Tuesday. Others include gambling titan Phil Ruffin, Wisconsin roofing magnate Diane Hendricks… Florida real-estate developer Mel Sembler and Gail Icahn, wife of billionaire investor Carl Icahn… former RNC finance chairman Ron Weiser… and Laurie J. Perlmutter, the wife of Marvel Entertainment chief executive Isaac Perlmutter, who gave $5 million to a pro-Trump super PAC days before the election. ” [USAToday; WashPost]

Jeffrey Katzenberg Pens Open Letter to Hollywood After Trump Victory: “He’s made statements and appointments that are concerning and troubling, but clearly there is a different tone and demeanor. This gives us some reason to believe that President Trump may be more reasonable than Candidate Trump.” [THR

“Democrats move to more aggressive stance against Trump” by Abby Phillip and John Wagner: “Debate about the best way forward consumed a group of top donors, such as billionaire investor George Soros, who gathered for a three-day meeting this week at a luxury hotel in Washington. Soros told fellow liberal donors on Tuesday that he believes Trump is a would-be dictator, adding that he was confident that America’s institutions would serve as a check on the new president’s power — as long as a vigorous opposition is in place to push back against his policies, according to someone familiar with his remarks. In a question-and-answer session with Democracy Alliance President Gara LaMarche, the billionaire investor ticked off a list of urgent priorities for the left, including protecting Muslims and refugees who could be targeted by the new administration and strengthening groups that could challenge Trump on constitutional issues.” [WashPost

“Top Dem donor: Back people of color in leadership races” by Ken Vogel and Daniel Strauss: “[Susan] Sandler, who serves on the board of the Democracy Alliance club of major liberal donors, on Sunday emailed club members and other major contributors, urging them to focus on “changing the composition and character of who we lift up to run for office and to be decision makers in our campaigns” so that Democrats are better able to reach the “people of color and progressive whites that elected Barack Obama twice to turn out in large numbers.” Sandler, in the email, went on to describe a new group she’s launching called Democracy in Color, which will aim to “make the Democratic Party more accountable and effective.”” [Politico]

“Schumer under pressure to add Sanders to leadership team” by Alexander Bolton:“Sanders’s allies say he would be a good choice for the third-ranking position because he had phenomenal success mobilizing voters during the Democratic presidential primaries. That showed he knows how to put together a message that resonates, they argue.” [TheHill] • Some Jewish Leaders Question Schumer’s Backing Of Israel Critic Rep. Keith Ellison For DNC Chair [CBSNewYork]

“A $2 billion election, by the numbers” by Eli Watkins: “The other largest Democratic donors after him were Donald Sussman and Fred Eychaner, who dropped $39,134,400 and $34,274,991, respectively. The three largest Republican donors were Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson with $47,357,200, GOP powerbroker and Trump ally Robert Mercer with $23,539,900 and Paul Singer with $23,027,164.” [CNN]

TALK OF THE STATE: “J.B. Pritzker considering run for governor” by Shia Kapos: “J.B. Pritzker, once rumored to be in line for a Cabinet job in a Hillary Clinton presidency, has been approached by Democratic leaders about running for Illinois governor. The Chicago venture capitalist is a billionaire and wouldn’t be burdened by financial concerns in competing with Gov. Bruce Rauner, another wealthy Chicago businessman.” [SunTimes]

**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: Israel Comes to the Aid of the Faltering Palestinian Economy [WSJ] • All3Media, BBC Worldwide Join Barry Diller’s Vimeo as Partners [HollywoodReporter] • Glencore Unit in Congo Made Undisclosed Payments to Businessman Accused of Bribery [WSJ] • Josh Kushner’s Obamacare Startup, Oscar, Has $45 Million Loss in Three States [Bloomberg]

“Ivanka Trump Blurs the Line Between Professional and Political” by Vanessa Friedman: “A group of journalists received an email from Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, the upscale brand Ms. Trump founded in 2007, entitled “Style Alert” and touting “Ivanka Trump wearing her favorite bangle from the Metropolis Collection on ‘60 Minutes.’” A day later, Abigail Klem, president of the Ivanka Trump brand, said: “This notification was sent by a well-intentioned marketing employee at one of our companies who was following customary protocol, and who, like many of us, is still making adjustments post-election.” [NYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK: “3 NBA Teams Reportedly Stop Staying At Donald Trump Hotels” by Ron Dicker: “The Milwaukee Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies and Dallas Mavericks will no longer stay at Trump-branded hotels in New York City and Chicago, ESPN reported. Another Eastern Conference team is under contract to stay at the Trump SoHo this season but will switch next year. Both Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and Milwaukee Bucks co-owner Marc Lasry backed Hillary Clinton in the election.” [HuffPost]

SPOTTED: “Shaw Crushes Wedding Horah… Just Jewin’ It, Baby!” by TMZ Sports: “It went down at the Salter/Markowitz wedding in Miami this weekend … where Shaq was a guest of Jamie Salter’s, the father of the groom and his partner at Authentic Brands Group. We’re told the entire party was poppin’ until around 2:30 AM (oy vey) and at one point Shaq took to the dance floor — but instead of his tried-and-true pop-locking routine, he got cultural … and Horah’d it up.” [TMZ]

LongRead: “How Two Trailblazing Psychologists Turned the World of Decision Science Upside Down” by Michael Lewis: “After his book Moneyball became a best-seller, Michael Lewis learned that many of the ideas it presented to the general public had actually been introduced decades earlier by a pair of Israeli psychologists: Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky. In an adaptation from his new book, Lewis investigates their story, and the intense bond between these radically different men.” [VanityFair]

TOP TALKER: “A Call to Prayer, or Noise Pollution? Israel Targets Mosque Loudspeakers” by Peter Baker: “Five times a day, starting well before dawn, these loudspeakers broadcast the muezzin’s call to prayer in Lod, a city of Arabs and Jews near Ben-Gurion International Airport, and therein lies one more friction point in a country full of them. One group’s expression of faith is another’s noise pollution, and Israel’s government is planning a crackdown.” [NYTimes]

SCENE YESTERDAY on the sidelines of the GA in DC — Top Federation leaders inscribed several letters into the “Washington Torah,” sponsored by American Friends of Lubavitch (Chabad) and written by Rabbi Faitel Lewin. This is the first Torah ever to be written entirely within Washington, DC as part of the special “Year of Hakhel,” according to Rabbi Levi Shemtov. SPOTTED: Jerry Silverman, Eric Goldstein, Jodi Schwartz, Deputy Consul General Amir Sagie, Cindy Shapira, David Butler, Lee Wunch, Richard Sandler, William and Heidi Daroff. [Pic

BIRTHDAYS: After 15 seasons in the NBA, now an owner and player for Hapoel Jerusalem, Amar’e Stoudemire turns 34… Executive Director of the Republican Jewish Coalition since 1990, Matt Brooksturns 51… Ordained at HUC-JIR, now Dean of Auburn Theological Seminary in New York, Justus Baird… Roxanne White… Susan Brooks… Senior Fellow for energy and the environment at the Council on Foreign Relations, Michael A. Levi

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Former Cruz Spox: Sheldon Could Sit Out Trump/Hillary Matchup

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Pro-Israel megadonors like Sheldon Adelson and others would likely sit out the general election if Donald Trump is the Republican Party’s nominee, former Cruz spokesperson, Rick Tyler suggested…

House Members Introduce Bill to Ensure Resolution for Jewish Refugees

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC – A group of bipartisan lawmakers are taking action on the issue of Jewish refugees from Middle Eastern, North African, and Gulf countries, making sure a…

Top Senate Dems Hit Obama’s Objection to Anti-BDS Provisions on Settlements

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Senate Democratic leaders defied President Obama’s objection to the anti-BDS language in the Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 he signed into law last week. The…

NY Republicans Call on State Assembly to Pass Anti-BDS Legislation

Sunday, February 28, 2016

NEW YORK – New York State Republican lawmakers on Sunday called on the Democratic majority in the New York Assembly to pass legislation that would prohibit state contracting…

A Congressman, Israeli Ambassador and Hall of Fame Running Back Celebrate Black History Month

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Approximately one hundred and fifty guests of the Israeli Embassy and the Elijah Cummings Youth Leadership Program in Israel (ECYP) gathered in the lower level of the U.S….

Obama Signs Anti-BDS Bill, Objects to Pro-Settlement Provisions

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

President Barack Obama reiterated his strong opposition to the BDS movement as he signed the “Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015” on Wednesday despite the inclusion…