Daily Kickoff: Trump almost killed the Iran deal yesterday | KKR’s successors | Brafman’s strange defense of Shkreli | Kosher coming to Wrigley Field

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Trump Recertifies Iran Nuclear Deal, but Only Reluctantly” by Peter Baker: “President Trump agreed on Monday to certify again that Iran is complying with an international nuclear agreement that he has strongly criticized, but only after hours of arguing with his top national security advisers, briefly upending a planned announcement as a legal deadline loomed… While Mr. Trump headed to Paris and then spent the weekend in New Jersey, his team developed a strategy that they hoped would satisfy him and planned to notify Congress and make the case publicly on Monday. But even as allies were quietly being informed, Mr. Trump balked when he heard the plan at his morning security briefing, the official said.”

“The argument continued during a separate meeting with Mr. Tillerson as Mr. Trump pressed for more action… He agreed only late in the day after a final meeting in the Oval Office, in effect telling his advisers that he was giving them another chance and this time they had to deliver.” [NYTimes]

“Trump Just Came Very Close to Killing the Iran Deal” by Eli Lake: “For a few hours on Monday afternoon, it looked like the White House was going to tell Congress it could not certify Iran was complying, without saying Iran was in breach of the pact. This would have triggered a 60-day period in which Congress could vote to re-impose the secondary sanctions lifted as a condition of the deal, or to strike it down altogether.” [Bloomberg

HEARD LAST NIGHT — A Trump administration official in a briefing with reporters: “What we are focused on right now is trying to see a change in the behavior of the Iranian regime and stopping the Iranian malign behavior… The Secretary of State and the President intend to emphasize that Iran remains one of the most dangerous threats to U.S. interests and regional stability and to highlight the range of malign activities by Iran that extend well beyond the nuclear realm… The President, Secretary of State, and the entire administration judge that Iran is unquestionably in default of the spirit of the JCPOA.” [JewishInsider]

Breaking this am — AP: “US slaps 18 Iranian individuals, groups with sanctions over ballistic missiles program, other non-nuclear behavior.” [TwitterTreasury]

AIPAC’s take: “Today’s sanctions issued by the Trump administration against entities supporting Iran’s military and missile program are an important step forward. Lawmakers must quickly complete work on the Iran sanctions legislation currently under consideration and forward it to the president to sign and implement.”

“These Are The Trump White House’s Talking Points For Why The Iran Deal Is Staying In Place” by Mark Siebel: “The Trump administration… issued tough talking points on Monday… to supporters promising that it will continue to search for ways to modify the agreement. The talking points said that the Treasury Department would impose sanctions on seven Iranian government entities and five individuals in an effort to show determination to punish Iran for what it called “malign activities” that make Iran “one of the most dangerous threats to US interests.” … The document also cites the arbitrary arrests of Americans and accuses the Obama administration of a “myopic focus” on Iran’s nuclear program that allowed the Islamic Republic to gain influence throughout the region.” [BuzzFeed] • Pence: Trump has put Iran ‘on notice’ [WashTimes

KEY TAKE —  Aaron David Miller: “Today it’s clear Trump unable to overturn Obama’s two main achievements at home/abroad. ACA and JCPOA — however flawed.” [Twitter

Dem donor Andrew Weinstein emails us… “Iran remains a disruptive force in the region and we must be vigilant in guarding against the threat that they pose. However, they are no longer a nuclear threat and that alone is an accomplishment of enormous consequence.”

VIEW FROM TEHRAN: “Iran says it has received ‘contradictory signals’ from Trump” by The Associated Press: “Mohammad Javad Zarif told the Council on Foreign Relations Monday he hasn’t communicated with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. But he said “it doesn’t mean that there can’t be (communication), because the possibilities for engagement with regard to the nuclear deal have always been open.” Zarif stressed that “Iran is serious about the nuclear deal” which “can lay the foundation, not the ceiling.” … Zarif said this “creates the impression in Iran that the United States’ hostility toward Iran will never end. And I think that can be remedied.”” [AP

HEARD YESTERDAY — WH Press Secretary Sean Spicer on Israeli criticism of Syria ceasefire: “There’s a shared interest that we have with Israel, making sure that Iran does not gain a foothold, military base-wise, in southern Syria. So while we’re going to continue those talks, obviously we want to have the productive ceasefire, but we also want to make sure that we’re not — one of our other objectives obviously remains to make sure that Iran does not gain a foothold in southern Syria.  So we need to continue to have that discussion with Prime Minister Netanyahu about his concerns, but I think there is a shared goal there.”

“Netanyahu Told Macron He’s Skeptical About Trump’s Israeli-Palestinian Peace Efforts” by Barak Ravid: “The Palestinian issue is complicated,” Netanyahu told Macron, the sources say, adding that Macron agreed but replied, “The problem is that you’re making it more complicated by building more and more in the settlements.” … Macron told Netanyahu that during Trump’s visit to Paris last week, the U.S. president spoke about his attempt to advance the peace process. Macron told Netanyahu he supports Trump’s initiative… but Netanyahu was more skeptical… “It will be complicated to move quickly with the American plan,” the sources quoted Netanyahu as saying. “I don’t know if Abbas can supply the goods because of his internal politics. But we will cooperate with Trump’s move.” [Haaretz

TAYLOR FORCE ACT: “Foreign Relations Panel to Vote to Slash Palestinian Authority Funding” by Jenna Lifhits: “It’ll be a pretty strong vote,” said Maryland Senator Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the panel. “Hopefully during this work period.” Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, the chairman of the committee, also said he expected a vote soon. “We have gotten the bill in a place where it’s going to receive overwhelming support,” he said.”[TWS

CUFI CONFERENCE — Ambassador Ron Dermer blasts ‘Fake News’ false reporting about Israel — by Jacob Kornbluh: Tonight I’d like to talk to you about Fake News,” Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer started his speech at the annual Christians United for Israel’s ‘Night to Honor Israel’ in Washington, D.C. But as the crowd roared, Dermer made a point that he was not joining President Donald Trump’s tirade against the U.S. media. “Now, some people associate fake news with the rise of President Donald Trump,” he asserted. “but Israel has been dealing with fake news day after day, month after month, year after year, and decade after decade.”

Dermer on the Taylor Force Act: “I can assure that Israel is not the slightest bit concerned that the Taylor Force will pass. Israel would be concerned if the Taylor Force Act didn’t pass. Israel believes that the United States should end economic assistance of any government that pays people to kill Jews. Period.” [JewishInsider

Conference of Presidents’ Malcolm Hoenlein rebuked UNESCO’s recent resolution on Hebron: “They have declared the Bible obsolete and irrelevant. You can take an oath on the Bible but you can’t believe those same words. They are rewriting and distorting history,” he emphasized. Assailing the BDS movement, Hoenlein asserted, “It’s time to take the ‘D’ out of ‘BDS’ because that is a much better description of this campaign.”

Former Congressman Allen West warned Trump of the consequences for failing to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem: “If you have made this a campaign promise and you have spoken about this and don’t follow through, then there is a loss of credibility.  Then, how are you seen in the eyes of someone like (Palestinian President) Mahmoud Abbas?” explained West. Moving the embassy demonstrates that “we will not be intimidated by the leader of a terrorist gang, which is what Fatah is.” [JewishInsider]

Pence reassures CUFI crowd that it’s only a matter of time until Trump moves the embassy to Jerusalem: “I promise you that the day will come when President Donald Trump will move the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem,” Pence said to loud applause. “It is not a question of if, it is only when.” Pence also reassured the crowd that while certifying Iran’s compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, the President “will not allow Iran develop a usable nuclear weapon. This is our solemn promise to the American people, to the people of Israel and to the world.” [JewishInsider]

ON THE HILL — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) praised French President Emmanuel Macron on the Senate floor yesterday for his comments over the weekend about anti-Semitism: “It is with anti-Zionism; the idea that all other peoples can seek and defend their right to self-determination but Jews cannot; that other nations have a right to exist, but the Jewish state of Israel does not. Anti-Zionism, unfortunately, continues to bubble up in many different forms… The BDS movement is a deeply biased campaign that I would say, in similar words to Mr. Macron, is a “reinvented form of anti-Semitism” because it seeks to impose boycotts on Israel and not on any other nation. I hope that states across the country continue to push back against the BDS movement, by boycotting the boycotters, as my home state of New York has done.” [YouTube]

“AIPAC Withholds Criticism of Trump’s Budget Stance on Israel Because ‘No Veto Threat’ vs. Congress” by Amir Tibon: “AIPAC denounced the Obama administration for opposing a funding increase for Israel’s missile-defense program last year but hasn’t criticized the administration of President Donald Trump for its similar stance because it did not threaten to veto Congress’ efforts on the matter, an AIPAC official told Haaretz. “The statement in 2016 was issued because of a clear veto threat by the Obama administration over this provision,” the official said. “There has been no veto threat issued by the administration over this provision this year.” [Haaretz

“Jared Kushner Isn’t Going Anywhere” by Emily Jane Fox: “Kushner is not leaving the White House for now, despite calls for him to do so. As the administration dives head-first into “Made in America Week,” its latest themed week, he will debrief with Jason Greenblatt, the president’s lead envoy in the Middle East, who recently returned from Israel, and focus on the U.S.-China diplomatic and security dialogue, which will take place mid-week.” [VanityFair]

“Embroiled in Russia crisis, Kushner presses on with Mideast peace” by Michael Wilner: “I don’t sense that there is any substantive effect of the Trump family’s involvement with Russia on the way that Israelis perceive Jared Kushner’s involvement in the Israeli-Palestinian context,” said Gilead Sher, chief of staff under former Prime Minister Ehud Barak… Several of his predecessors in the peace process wondered aloud whether he will have the bandwidth to remain engaged. “Mr. Kushner is one individual – in the end, it is the president and the credibility of his administration that matters,” said Aaron David Miller… Obviously, any time there’s an investigation, there’s a distraction. But smart people are used to having distractions,” [Alan] Dershowitz added. “Jared strikes me as a very intelligent and a very determined young man who is learning quickly on the job the complexities of the Middle East peace process.” [JPost]

HEARD YESTERDAY — CNN’s Sara Murray on The Lead with Jake Tapper: “Jared Kushner is regularly at the president’s side, whether it’s when he is considering national security decisions, meeting with foreign leaders, or in his capacity helping to figure out the Mideast peace process. And talking to experts, they say it would be basically impossible for Kushner to do his job in the White House if he did not have a full security clearance.”

Hungary’s Orban: Collaboration with Nazis was mistake, sin: “Hungary’s prime minister says his country’s collaboration with Nazi Germany during World War II was a “mistake” and a “sin” as it failed to protect its Jewish community. Viktor Orban said Tuesday that he told visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “this can never happen again,” as Hungary “will protect all its citizens.” Some 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed in the Holocaust.” [AP

KAFE KNESSET — Dispatch from Budapest — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Netanyahu expressed his gratitude for Orban’s “strong words,” but is still facing a tense meeting tomorrow evening with the local Jewish community as the government billboard campaign against George Soros is still up in the air, and some senior Jewish leaders feel they were “stabbed in the back” by Netanyahus stance on the debacle last week. Orban greeted Netanyahu with a grand honor guard and with all the respect in the world and they appear to have quite a friendly relationship. Bibi also expressed Israel’s gratitude for Hungary’s support in international forums, and that will be the leading theme tomorrow in his meetings with the V4 leaders of Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia. According to Israeli officials, the main goal of Bibi’s participation in the summit is to promote bilateral economic relations and in exchange – ensure support in the hostile multilateral international arena, primarily the EU, as each of these four countries could come into hand and block a consensus on future critical and anti-Israel resolutions. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: KKR positions successors to Henry Kravis and George Roberts [FinancialTimes] • Game of Thrones, Private Equity Style [Bloomberg] • Nelson Peltz’s Activist Attack Puts Focus on Procter & Gamble Cost Cutting [WSJ] • WeWork will launch in Japan with the help of SoftBank[TC] • Thyssenkrupp finds no signs of corruption in Israel deal [Reuters] • China is increasingly becoming key for Israel’s high-tech industry [CNBC] • David A. Steinberg’s Zeta Global acquires Boomtrain to boost marketing with machine learning [VentureBeat]

SPOTLIGHT: “The Strange Defense of Martin Shkreli” by Sheelah Kolhatkar: “On Wednesday, June 28th, the criminal-defense attorney Benjamin Brafman stood in front of a Brooklyn jury and presented an unusual argument… In late 2015, Shkreli was arrested and charged with misappropriating assets from Retrophin, a publicly traded drug company that he was running, and using those assets to conceal investor losses in separate entities, his hedge funds, MSMB Capital L.P. and MSMB Healthcare L.P. Announcing the charges, the former U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Robert Capers, said, “Shkreli essentially ran his companies like a Ponzi scheme.” Brafman’s defense seems to be that Shkreli’s investors ultimately ended up making money on their investments, and this should excuse whatever lines he crossed in the process.”

“According to the testimony of some of his investors, Shkreli finally told them that he was shutting MSMB down and offered them shares in Retrophin, the drug company he was running that had no relationship with MSMB, rather than cash to redeem their shares. Dr. Lindsay Rosenwald, one of those investors, testified that “my choice was the cash”; he never got the cash, though. Instead, Rosenwald said, he and Shkreli reached a settlement in which Rosenwald received eighty thousand shares of Retrophin. In a pattern mirrored by other investors, Rosenwald testified that he came out ahead, financially, in the end, and was able to sell the Retrophin shares for between four hundred thousand and six hundred thousand dollars, a huge increase over his initial hundred-thousand-dollar investment.” [NewYorker]

“Steven Mnuchin, Trump’s Treasury Secretary, is hurtling toward his first fiasco” by Damian Paletta: “The coming months promise to test Mnuchin… with no experience in government but plenty of experience by the president’s side, serving as campaign finance chairman. Trump attended Mnuchin’s wedding in June, and on the wall beside Mnuchin’s desk is a news clipping announcing his appointment, signed by Trump along with — in black Sharpie — “I’m very proud of you.” … People who have met with him at Treasury describe him as polite and curious, with an unabashed affection for Trump that can cloud his message… He meets weekly with Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet L. Yellen, often for breakfast or lunch, to discuss a variety of financial market issues…. Whereas Lew seemed to eschew all the security and publicity — he once stood alone at night in Union Station waiting for his wife to get off a train — Mnuchin travels differently. He was recently seen leaving a Washington custom tailor shop in the middle of a workday with a group of Secret Service agents.” [WashPost

MEDIA WATCH: “Sinclair executive defends company from ‘biased’ media in internal memo” by Hadas Gold: “While it is true that Sinclair offers commentary segments from Mark Hyman and Boris Epshtyen, this content is clearly identified as commentary and constitutes a tiny percentage of the station’s weekly broadcast content,” [Scott] Livingston wrote. “Mark and Boris’ commentaries provide a viewpoint that often gets lost in the typical national broadcast media dialogue. Boris Epshtyen worked in the Trump White House, a fact that Sinclair makes no effort to hide, and provides a unique insight that viewers can’t find anywhere else. The presence of former administrative personnel serving as news commentators is a well accepted practice in journalism.” [Politico]

SPORTS BLINK: “Kosher food coming to Wrigley Field” by Elan Kane: “Kosher Standz, a partner of the Danziger Kosher Midwest catering company, will open DanZtand on July 21, serving kosher Romanian Hot dogs, Romanian Polish Sausages, and pretzels. Kosher Standz, a partner of the Danziger Kosher Midwest catering company, will open DanZtand on July 21, serving kosher Romanian Hot dogs, Romanian Polish Sausages, and pretzels.” [ChicagoSunTimes]

DESSERT: “JJ’s Holy Cow—A New Burger Cart For The Downtown Lunch Crowd” by Paul Stremple: “A new food cart at the corner of Court and Schermerhorn Streets is serving up kosher, artisanal burgers to the downtown Brooklyn lunch crowd. JJ’s Holy Cow is a small cart making big—aka half pound—burgers while focusing on organic and, when possible, locally sourced ingredients.” [Bklyner]
BIRTHDAYS: Cognitive therapy psychiatrist and Professor Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, Aaron T. Beck turns 96… Hidden with his mother in a school attic in Poland during WW2, theoretical chemist who won the 1981 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, he has also published plays and poetry, Roald Hoffmann (born Roald Safran) turns 80… Mayor of Edmonton, Alberta (2004-2013) and Minister of Health in the Alberta provincial government (2014-2015), Stephen Mandel turns 72… Politician, legislator and former Prime Minister of Peru (2008-2009), Yehude Simon Munaro turns 70… Executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association (1985-2009) including during the 1994-95 MLB strike, now executive director of the National Hockey League Players Association, Donald Fehr turns 69… Finance and nursing home executive, attorney, founder of two banks and chairman of the Israel Discount Bank of New York (2006-2007), Leonard Grunsteinturns 65… Retired IDF Brigadier General, former Israeli Police spokesman, senior national radio broadcaster and international talk-show host, Elihu Ben-Onn turns 63… Yitz Woolf

Assistant Professor in the Cyber Science Department at the US Naval Academy and formerly an attorney at Covington & Burling, Jeffrey Michael Kosseffturns 39… Kiev-born, Australian writer, advocate, commentator and lawyer, he is the director of public affairs at the Executive Council of Australian Jewry,Alexander Ryvchin turns 34… Digital Media Associate at NYC-based The Workmen’s Circle, Lauren Friedlander … VP of development and strategy at 70 Faces Media (parent company of JTA), Shuli Karkowsky… Chairperson of the Jerusalem-based World Union of Jewish Students, Yosef Tarshish… Izi Doenyas… Rhoda Rosen… Jan Allen… Regina Brenner… Ted Rosenberg

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Daily Kickoff: US, Russia ignore Israel’s concerns in Syria | Interview with Haass | Greenfield won’t seek re-election | The Atlantic on intermarriage

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TALK OF OUR NATION: ‘We’re Headed Toward One of the Greatest Divisions in the History of the Jewish People’ — by Emma Green: “In late June, 19 rabbis gathered in New York City for an urgent meeting. It wasn’t secret, exactly, but it certainly wasn’t public. The Jewish leaders—all members of the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, except for two—were there to decide what to do about intermarriage. The question of whether Jews should be able to marry non-Jews has been a barely contained crisis for roughly as long as there have been Jews in America. The issue picks at the religion’s most sensitive scabs: Fears of assimilation mix with anxiety that Judaism is becoming irrelevant. The American traditions of self-determination and acceptance clash with Judaism’s ancient legal code. And calls for fidelity to Jewish tradition can seem hollow in the face of a young couple hoping to stand together under the chuppah.”

“To bless an intermarried union is … to in some way betray the very thing that I’ve given my life to, which is to try to maintain the Jewish tradition,” said David Wolpe, the senior rabbi at Sinai Temple in Los Angeles. “It may be beautiful, it may be loving, it may be worth celebrating on a human level. But on a Jewish level, it’s not fine, and it can’t be made fine.” Although rabbis would have to “have a heart of granite” not to feel sympathy toward young people who are in love and want to get married, “I don’t necessarily feel that someone else’s need is my obligation,” he said. “Someone else may need a rabbi to bless that union, or may want a rabbi to bless that union. It doesn’t mean that I have to do it.”

“Ultimately, we’re headed toward one of the greatest divisions in the history of the Jewish people,” said Shmuly Yanklowitz, an Orthodox rabbi who leads a Jewish study center in Phoenix. He himself grew up in an interfaith household, and still has one non-Jewish parent. “We’ve weathered the storm of many different hits, but the divide between ultra-Orthodoxy and liberal, pluralistic American Judaism is maybe irreparable,” he said. “Not only irreparable—it may actually mean that we’re no longer one people.” … As Felicia Sol put it, “There is a midwifery happening in the American Jewish community.” It’s not clear that one, united Judaism will come out at the other end.” [TheAtlantic]

KAFE KNESSET — Dispatch from Paris — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Providing the perfect summer break from ongoing scandals and affairs surrounding him and his closest confidants, Netanyahu is spending the week far away in Europe. From Paris, Netanyahu will be continuing to Hungary. Netanyahu will be the first Israeli PM to officially visit the country. However, the historic visit will be overshadowed by the growing concerns in the local Jewish community over anti-Semitic trends encouraged by the government and the ruling party. In sharp contrast to Macron, who gave a strong speech yesterday taking full responsibility for his country’s misdeeds and collaboration with the Nazis during WWII, Hungarian PM Victor Orban has been embracing Miklos Horthy, the country’s leader during that war. Orban regularly praises Horthy, who worked with the Nazis, as an exceptional statesman. And the tensions rose last week following an ad campaign by Orban’s party against Geroge Soros, which exacerbated the Jewish fears of anti-Semitism even more. Netanyahu has been trying to minimize the anti-Semitism issue in order not to harm his visit, but he did tell reporters yesterday that he intends to raise it in his meeting with Orban. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

TOP TALKER: “Israel’s War Against George Soros” by Mairav Zonszein: “As in this case with Hungary, Mr. Netanyahu is increasingly aligning Israel with illiberal, autocratic states… The ultimate cynicism of such alliances is visible in Mr. Netanyahu’s willingness to tolerate the anti-Semitism of the global right-wing nationalist camp if it will bolster the Greater Israel movement. This explains why, for instance, the Israeli government stayed silent when the Trump administration made no mention of Jews or anti-Semitism in its International Holocaust Remembrance Day statement this year. For Mr. Netanyahu, ideally there would be no daylight between Jewish identity and Israeli identity. Mr. Soros represents an obstacle to this project because he is such a high-profile figure among the communities of the Jewish diaspora that do not necessarily have a strong identification with Israel — or worse, that are critical of it. In pursuing his strategy, Mr. Netanyahu has repeatedly alienated a majority of American Jews on both political and religious grounds.” [NYTimes]

LongRead: “Inside the Secret, Strange Origins of Steve Bannons’s Nationalist Fantasia” by Joshua Green: “By 1938, Julius Evola, an Italian intellectual and the black sheep of the Traditionalist family (Bannon cited Evola in a widely circulated video of a 2014 conference at the Vatican), had struck an alliance with Benito Mussolini, and his ideas became the basis of Fascist racial theory; later, after he soured on Mussolini, Evola’s ideas gained currency in Nazi Germany. Bannon is here siding with Evola—he is going for political change as directly as possible.” The last time a Traditionalist got as close to power as Bannon, says Mark Sedgwick, “it was Evola with Mussolini—and that did not last long, as Mussolini seems to have decided that Evola lacked practical sense, and Evola decided that Mussolini lacked principle.”

“His citation of Evola has caused Bannon no end of grief. While Evola, in the end, had little effect on Mussolini or Hitler, he became an avatar of right-wing Italian terrorists in the ’70s and ’80s, and enjoys broad popularity among white supremacists such as Richard B. Spencer. It’s important to note that only a subset of Traditionalists share Evola’s views on race. Bannon explicitly rejects them, and also rejects any association with Spencer, whom he calls a self-promoting “freak” and a “goober.” [VanityFair]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION — “Netanyahu: Israel Opposes Cease-fire Deal Reached by U.S. and Russia in Southern Syria” by Barak Ravid: “Prime Minister Netanyahu told reporters after his meeting with French President Macron on Sunday that Israel opposes the cease-fire agreement in southern Syria that the United States and Russia reached because it perpetuates the Iranian presence in the country… Netanyahu discussed the cease-fire deal with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson by phone Sunday night… Netanyahu made public a major disagreement between Israel and the two great powers that had until now been kept under wraps and expressed only through quiet diplomatic channels.”

“Senior Israeli officials told Haaretz that when Jerusalem obtained the text of the deal, it discovered that in defiance of its expectations, the Americans and Russians had ignored Israel’s positions almost completely. “The agreement as it is now is very bad” one senior Israeli official said. “It doesn’t take almost any of Israel’s security interests and it creates a disturbing reality in southern Syria. The agreement doesn’t include a single explicit word about Iran, Hezbollah or the Shi’ite militias in Syria.”” [Haaretz]

“Why Trump’s Syrian Cease-fire Makes Israel Nervous” by David Makovsky: “One high-level Israeli Cabinet minister told me just before Netanyahu’s “red lines” statement that if the U.S. pulls out and enables Iran to fill the post-Raqqa vacuum, an Iranian-Israeli “collision is inevitable.””[Politico ‘Israel may need to take out Iranian bases in Syria’ [JPost

Dan Shapiro tweets: “It’s surprising that US officials, who claim they are taking Israel’s security concerns into account, would be caught so flat-footed… Senior State Dept. officials have visited Israel for such discussions, but there remain huge gaps in US personnel. Many senior Israelis have no counterpart to call. US & Israeli NSAs sat outside Trump-Bibi meeting. Rex-Bibi calls limited in handling details. Can the deal be restructured to Israel’s satisfaction? US-Russia dynamic makes that difficult & worrisome. But effort needs to be made.” [Twitter

CFR’s Richard Haass: Only ‘optimist on steroids’ believes Syrian ceasefire will hold — by Aaron Magid: In an interview with Jewish Insider, Richard Haass, President of the Council on Foreign Relations, noted, “You would have to be an optimist on steroids to think any ceasefire in Syria would hold given the number of parties involved and the stark differences in their agendas.” Haass noted the presence of Iranians, Turks, a multitude of Sunni militant organizations and the Assad regime. “There is nothing about the history in Syria to suggest that any ceasefire will hold,” he emphasized. [JewishInsider]

–Haass on Trump’s Mideast peace push: “The situation is far from being ripe for progress. Anytime that is the case there is a ceiling on what outside groups can accomplish no matter how many calories or hours they invest. I can’t think of anything that they could do that would make a meaningful difference given the state of Israeli-Palestinian politics. I would argue against any high profile mission designed to solve the conflict. I would emphasize economic development in the West Bank. I would work with the Israelis on placing some restraints on where they build settlements. I would focus a lot with Israelis, Palestinians, and Jordanians on crisis prevention in Jerusalem.”

“Iran Dominates in Iraq After U.S. ‘Handed the Country Over’” by Tim Arango: “Iran never lost sight of its mission: to dominate its neighbor so thoroughly that Iraq could never again endanger it militarily, and to use the country to effectively control a corridor from Tehran to the Mediterranean…  Eventually, analysts say, Iran could use the corridor, established on the ground through militias under its control, to ship weapons and supplies to proxies in Syria… and to Lebanon and its ally Hezbollah… Partly in an effort to contain Iran, the United States has indicated that it will keep troops behind in Iraq after the battle against the Islamic State…” [NYTimes

HEARD YESTERDAY — Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS: “The IAEA has verified, I believe, seven times now since the implementation date that Iran has implemented the deal faithfully, fully and completely. Unfortunately, we cannot make the same statement about the United States. The United States has failed to implement its part of the bargain… President Trump used his presence in Hamburg during the G-20 meeting, in order to dissuade leaders from other countries to engage in business with Iran. That is a violation of not the spirit but of the letter of the JCPOA, of the nuclear deal. I believe the United States needs to bring itself into compliance with its part of the obligation under the deal… Let me point out here, that the deal does not prevent Iran from continuing with its peaceful nuclear program.” [YouTube]

“Qatar Opens Its Doors to All, to the Dismay of Some” by Declan Walsh: “Officials from Hamas, a Palestinian militant group, work from a luxury villa near the British Embassy, and recently held a news conference in a ballroom at the pyramid-shape Sheraton hotel… Although former Secretary of State John F. Kerry publicly criticized the Hamas presence, American officials privately say they would prefer Hamas was based in Doha rather than in a hostile capital like Tehran. In keeping with its open-door approach, Doha was home to an Israeli trade office from 1996 to 2008. Although relations have soured, Qatar promises that Israel will be allowed to participate in the 2022 World Cup.” [NYTimes• UAE orchestrated hacking of Qatari government sites, sparking regional upheaval, according to U.S. intelligence officials[WashPost]

HAPPENING TODAY — “Prayer is where CUFI summit really begins, organizer says” by Benjamin Glatt: “Opening the summit on Monday will be CUFI founder and national chairman John Hagee, who will honor an IDF paratrooper who helped liberate the Eternal City in 1967… Netanyahu is also scheduled to give his thanks to Hagee… via a live satellite feed later in the day. Following a Middle East briefing with influential voices in Israeli and American foreign policy, including former US representative Col. Allen West and former US ambassador to the UN John Bolton, CUFI will hold the summit’s annual Night to Honor Israel with US Vice President Mike Pence and Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer speaking.” [JPost]

SHAKEUPS — “Trump family shakes up legal team to confront growing Russia woes” by Mike Allen: “Jay Sekulow, the outside Trump lawyer who’s doing all five Sunday shows today, will stay. Marc Kasowitz, an outside Trump lawyer whose bad press empowered his internal critics, will likely be diminished or leave the team, according to people close to POTUS.”[Axios]

“One of Jared Kushner’s lawyers in the Russia probe is ‘dropping out’” by Allan Smith: “Jamie Gorelick, who served as Deputy Attorney General in the Clinton administration, will be “wrapping up” her representation of Kushner and turning over all responsibilities to Abbe Lowell, a high-profile Washington criminal defense lawyer whom Kushner brought on late last month.” [BI]

“Fate of Kushner’s security clearance could ultimately lie with Trump” by Austin Wright and Josh Dawsey: “The security clearance process is ultimately rooted in executive authority, not law, meaning the president himself is the ultimate arbiter… Trump does have the power, if he wanted to, to demand that Kushner keep his clearance. “If the president wants someone to have a clearance and access to classified information, there’s no one to tell him no,” said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert with the Federation of American Scientists. And this is a president who is fiercely loyal to his family.” [Politico]

PRESIDENT-IN-LAW: “Startup That Got a Seat at White House Roundtable Is Part-Owned by Kushner Family” by Jean Eaglesham and Lisa Schwartz: “Seated at the rectangular table alongside the corporate luminaries, university presidents and senior White House officials was a less-prominent figure: Zachary Bookman, the 37-year-old CEO of a small startup called OpenGov… Mr. Kushner’s connection to OpenGov is through Thrive Capital, a venture-capital firm run by his brother Joshua Kushner. Thrive is one of four investors that OpenGov lists on its website… Mr. Kushner didn’t suggest the invitation to OpenGov, according to Matt Lira, who works in his innovation office. “It was my idea to invite OpenGov to our technology leadership listening session,” Mr. Lira said in a statement.”

“Mr. Kushner recently filed an amended disclosure form, which is expected to be released publicly soon, according to people close to him. It will disclose assets that Mr. Kushner didn’t report in his original filing in March, including up to $250,000 of Israeli government bonds he sold earlier this year and an art collection he jointly owns with his wife, Ivanka Trump,  the people said.” [WSJ]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT — “Trump Campaign Paid Don Jr.’s Lawyer $50,000 Two Weeks Before Email Scandal” by Lachlan Markay: “A new filing with the Federal Election Commission shows that President Trump’s reelection campaign paid $50,000 to the law offices of Alan Futerfas on June 26. That was around the time, Yahoo News reports, that the president’s legal team learned of a June 2016 email exchange in which Trump Jr., through an associate, solicited damaging information about 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton.” [DailyBeast]

“Soviet Veteran Who Met With Trump Jr. Is a Master of the Dark Arts” by Andrew Higgins and Andrew Kramer: “In a defamation lawsuit later brought by [Ashot] Egiazaryan in a New York federal court, [Rinat] Akhmetshin(the Russian-American lobbyist who met with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016) testified that [Andrey] Vavilov invited him to his home in Moscow to discuss how to derail his enemy’s asylum application… He said Mr. Vavilov… handed him a total of $70,000 to $80,000 in cash. That was the start of a concerted campaign to portray Mr. Egiazaryan as an anti-Semite in the news media and to Jewish organizations that then opposed his asylum application.” [NYTimes

NYC 2017 WATCH: “Scott Stringer endorses de Blasio for reelection — despite being a frequent critic of the mayor” by Erin Durkin: “City Controller Scott Stringer — a frequent critic of Mayor de Blasio who considered running against him — endorsed the mayor for reelection Sunday. The rival pols buried the hatchet at a joint press conference at a Manhattan park, where de Blasio also endorsed Stringer for a second term… “I’m the first to say that I don’t always make his life easy,” Stringer said. “But as Democrats we play on the same team. We agree on so much more than we would ever disagree on.””[NYDailyNews]

2020 WATCH: “Dems’ rising star meets with Clinton inner circle in Hamptons” by Emily Smith: “The Democrats’ “Great Freshman Hope,” Sen. Kamala Harris… is being fêted in Bridgehampton on Saturday at the home of MWWPR guru Michael Kempner, a staunch Clinton supporter who was one of her national-finance co-chairs and a led fund-raiser for her 2008 bid for the presidency. He was also listed as one of the top “bundlers” for Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, having raised $3 million.” [PageSix

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SPOTLIGHT: “Two VIP Billionaires Teamed Up to Run Luxury Hotels. It’s Been a Slog” by Anupreeta Das and Craig Karmin: “Bill Gates and Prince al-Waleed bought Four Seasons for $3.8 billion near a market peak, feuded over matters large and small, then made up; inside a rare partnership of giants… The first Four Seasons was a motor lodge in a rundown part of Toronto, opened in 1961 by Isadore Sharp, a son of Polish immigrants to Canada. By the time he began looking to sell the publicly traded company in 2006, Four Seasons was a renowned name in lodging, known for personalized service and top-of-the-line amenities. Rather than owning its hotels, Four Seasons forms partnerships with investors and developers, then keeps tight control by managing the properties… The three men agreed to a deal in which Cascade and Kingdom would each own 47.5% of the company, while Mr. Sharp would have the other 5% and remain chief executive for five years.” [WSJ]

WHAT’S JAKE SULLIVAN UP TO: “Lessons in disaster: A top Clinton adviser searches for meaning in a shocking loss” by Greg Jaffe: “If all had gone as planned, and as most in Washington had expected, Jake Sullivan would be hard at work just steps from the Oval Office… The conventional wisdom held that Sullivan was a lock to be the national security adviser in a Clinton administration… He divides his time between an empty think-tank office in Washington and Yale, where he lectures one day a week on law and foreign policy… On a recent evening, he was pushing open a battered orange door, climbing stairs covered with fraying carpet and striding into a dimly lit apartment where two dozen Yale Law School students were waiting to hear from him… Clinton tapped him in 2012 to help start secret talks with Iran over its nuclear program… The students peppered Sullivan with questions about the Iran negotiations.. Almost everything about his professional life is transitory, uncertain, unsettled. “I feel a keen sense of responsibility for the outcome,” he told friends in the immediate aftermath of Clinton’s defeat. Months later, the feeling had not faded.” [WashPost]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield Won’t Seek Re-Election” by Mara Gay: “New York City Councilman David Greenfield of Brooklyn says he won’t seek re-election this year… “I love being a councilman, it’s wonderful to be in the thick of things,” Mr. Greenfield said in a phone interview. “But part of the purpose of serving the public is to try to figure out where you can make the greatest impact.” Mr. Greenfield, 38 years old, said he had accepted a job as CEO and executive director of the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a New York City-based nonprofit, whose board officially voted on the position Sunday. “This is what I’m passionate about,” Mr. Greenfield said of the group’s work.” [WSJ]

–Greenfield tweets: “Met Council is premier Jewish charity in NYC. Humbled that they want me to lead it after current CEO’s retirement” [Twitter]

“Pressure From Chicago Dyke March Organizers Led to Demotion of Journalist, Claims Friend” by Noga Tarnopolsky: “Some two-and-a-half weeks after her scoop, Gretchen Rachel Hammond was relieved of her journalistic duties at the paper and moved to a full-time job on its sales desk… Miriam Churchill – a friend who accompanied Hammond to the Chicago Dyke March – recounted to Haaretz that as they prepared to leave the Piotrowski Park event at 4:30 P.M. on June 24, Hammond received a call from her boss, Windy City Times publisher Tracy Baim. Three women waving Jewish Gay Pride flags – rainbow flags emblazoned with the Star of David – had apparently been kicked out of the march, Baim told Hammond. The reporter then located the women, interviewed them and published her article. It was Baim who later demoted Hammond to another position on the LGBT weekly newspaper.” [Haaretz

“For Jews and Muslims of Morocco, a Supportive Relationship Built on a Complex History” by Yardena Schwartz: “To an outsider, nothing seemed normal about this night, as Muslims were welcomed by the Jewish community to celebrate Ramadan at their synagogue… But to the Muslims and Jews gathered here, it was a reminder of the 2,000-year-old ties that bind their communities together… André Azoulay is a Jewish senior adviser to the king of Morocco, Mohammed VI. He also served his father, King Hassan II. Explaining how Morocco has remained protective of its Jewish community despite the anti-Jewish sentiments that overtook other Muslim countries in the wake of Israel’s establishment, Azoulay said, “We are fighting for that. But it’s not just top down,” he said, referring to the king’s protection of the community. “It’s also bottom up. Judaism in Morocco is in the roots, the identity, the mindset of the Moroccan people.”” [NBCNews]

BOOK REVIEW: “A Novel Brings Israel’s Conflicts to New York” by James Wood: “Moving Kings” is a strange, superbly unsuccessful novel. There’s not a page without some vital charge—a flash of metaphor, an idiomatic originality, a bastard neologism born of nothing. You could say that it is patchworked with successes: David King in the Hamptons, Yoav and Uri in the Israeli Army, the King’s Moving crew at work in New York, Avery Luter flailing in his mother’s house. Yet these stories are more convincing than the connections, thematic and formal, offered to bind them. [Joshua] Cohen never finds that deep novelistic form, that tensile coherence, which Woolf idealized. This is a book of brilliant sentences, brilliant paragraphs, brilliant chapters. Here things flare singly, a succession of lighted matches, and do not cast a more general illumination.” [NewYorker]

HOLLYWOOD: “Bill Maher and Fran Lebowitz: When Comedy Cuts Deep” by Philip Galanes:Bill Maher My first act was all about being half-Jewish and half-Catholic: “I brought my lawyer into confession with me.” Johnny Carson made me do that joke every time I went on. But that’s what you talk about when you’re a young comedian: your personal history. It hasn’t been covered yet.” Fran Lebowitz: Stiller and Meara did that. It was their whole act. He was Jewish, and she was Irish-Catholic. And the borscht belt comics did jokes about being Jewish… FL: My grandparents were immigrants, too. To me, the really American kids were the ones whose grandparents spoke perfect English. I always noticed that. I remember once in Sunday school, the teacher said to me, “If America had a war with Israel, what side would you be on?” I was shocked by this. I’m American. I’m always on our side. BM: My mother didn’t tell us she was Jewish, and it never came up, even though my sister, my father and I would go to church every week.” [NYTimes

“Martin Landau, Oscar Winner for ‘Ed Wood,’ Dies at 89” by Mike Barnes: “Landau was born in Brooklyn on June 20, 1928. At age 17, he landed a job as a cartoonist for the New York Daily News, but he turned down a promotion and quit five years later to pursue acting. “It was an impulsive move on my part to do that,” Landau told The Jewish Journal in 2013. “To become an actor was a dream I must’ve had so deeply and so strongly because I left a lucrative, well-paying job that I could do well to become an unemployed actor. It’s crazy if you think about it. To this day, I can still hear my mother’s voice saying, ‘You did what?!’”” [THR]

— “In 2000, Landau, who is of Jewish descent, played Abraham, father of the Israelites, in “In the Beginning,” which chronicled the biblical books of Genesis and Exodus. Jacqueline Bisset played his wife, Sarah.” [LATimes

DESSERT: “How a Jewish deli run by Muslims became the symbol of a changing neighborhood” by Sarah Jacobs: “These days, in the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Bedford-Stuyvesant — or Bed-Stuy — in Brooklyn, you’ll find David’s Brisket House, a Jewish deli that has been owned by the same Muslim family for 50 years. The deli was originally kosher, owned by a Jewish family, but when its former owners put it on the market in the 1960s, it was bought by two business partners: one, a Yemenite Muslim, and the other a Yemenite Jew. The partners decided that instead of changing the menu, they would keep customers coming back for their beloved meats… The deli has stayed in the family and is now run by Riyadh Gazali, the nephew of one of the partners.” [BI]

“Why Are These 25,000 Bottles of Wine Different From All Other Wines” by Linda Gradstein: “Opening a new winery in Israel is not a simple proposition. The market is saturated, and it’s not easy to compete with Israel’s large producers like Carmel and the Golan Heights winery. It is especially difficult to sell relatively high-priced wine in the ultra-Orthodox world. Wine is used every Friday evening for the Kiddush, a blessing said at the Friday night Shabbat table, and for celebrations like weddings and circumcisions, but it is usually sweet Manischewitz-type wine, bought at the supermarket for a few dollars a bottle. The ultra-Orthodox in Israel tend to have large families and money is tight.” [VinePair]

BIRTHDAYS: CEO of her family business, Samson Resources, a Tulsa-based energy company (2000-2011) until its sale for $7.2 billion to KKR, co-chair of the Schusterman Family Foundation, Stacy Helen Schusterman turns 54… Member of the Texas House of Representatives (1955-1959) and Texas Senate (1960-1981), representing Galveston, A. R. “Babe” Schwartz turns 91… Travel writer, publisher, consumer advocate and the founder of the Frommer’s series of travel guides, he is a graduate of Yale Law School, Arthur Frommer turns 88… Israeli politician and historian, professor emeritus at Tel Aviv U., he served as a member of Knesset (1996-2002), Minister of Foreign Affairs (2000-2001) and as ambassador to Spain (1987-1991), Shlomo Ben-Ami turns 74… Emmy Award-winning play-by-play announcer for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Charley Steiner turns 68… VP and Assistant General Counsel of The Hartford and chairman emeritus of the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford, Robert K. Yass turns 66…

Baltimore-born, HUC-JIR educated, rabbi at Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park, PA, author, historian and college professor, Lance Jonathan Sussman, Ph.D. turns 63… Minister for the Environment and Energy in Australia, Joshua Anthony “Josh” Frydenberg turns 46… Founder and CEO of Zeta Interactive, David A. Steinberg turns 47… Stand-up comedian, he was a finalist on the NBC reality-talent show “Last Comic Standing” in two seasons, Gary Gulman turns 47… Senior adviser for strategic communications at Hillel International, Matthew E. Berger turns 39… Relationship manager at Morningstar, she is a Young Leadership Division board member at the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago and an MBA candidate at Northwestern’s Kellogg School, Melanie Beatus turns 27… Precocious daughter of Jared and Ivanka, Arabella Rose Kushner turns 6… Financial sector analyst at Institutional Shareholder Services since June 2017, previously at The Israel Project, Jared Sorhaindo… Steve Lebowitz

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Daily Kickoff: On 2nd anniversary of Iran deal, Hoenlein and Solow reflect | Marc Andreessen on the Israeli startup model | An Italian Jewish Rebirth

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OVERNIGHT: “2 Israeli Police Officers Killed in Attack in Old City of Jerusalem” by Isabel Kershner: “In an extraordinarily brazen assault early Friday, three Arab citizens of Israel armed with guns and knives killed two Israeli police officers guarding an entrance to Jerusalem’s holiest site for Jews and Muslims, an emotional and volatile focal point of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Police officers pursued the assailants inside the compound and exchanged fire; all three assailants were killed. The police announced that they had evacuated and closed the compound, and helicopters circled above the area after the attack. The closing of the holy site is an exceptional and potentially explosive measure; Israeli-imposed restrictions on Muslim entry to the compound have prompted spasms of rioting in Palestinian areas in the past.” [NYTimes] • Washington Post’s Ruth Marks Eglash shared graphic video of the incident [Twitter]

KAFE KNESSET — Calls to change the status quo on Temple Mount — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: After this morning’s terrorist attack on the Temple Mount, the response from the Israeli Right was that something has to change. For Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and Jerusalem Affairs Minister Ze’ev Elkin, the response was to consider tightening security. Others challenged the status quo of the past 50 years, by which the Jordanian Islamic Trust, known as the Waqf, manages the site. Culture Minister Miri Regev called to reduce the Waqf’s area of responsibility to the Al-Aksa Mosque alone, and not the entire Mount, and to open the area to all, at all times of day. Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan said Jews should be allowed to pray at the Temple Mount, which they are forbidden from doing today. Despite the calls for change, Netanyahu reassured Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the status quo would remain. Abbas had called Netanyahu to condemn the attack. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here[JewishInsider]

Donald Trump Jr. in response to the BBC’s headline — “Israelis injured in gun attack near Jerusalem holy site” — tweets: “Um, BBC World is it time for a reminder that we discussed your anti Israeli bias a few weeks ago? 2 cops killed & this is your lead? WTF?” [Twitter]

SUN VALLEY 2017: “Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump Keep Low Profile During Talks on Political Divisions, Mid-East Peace” by Brent Lang: “On Thursday, the couple were spotted at a series of panels on Middle East peace and race relations, featuring talks from Charles Barkley and King Abdullah II of Jordan. The day’s talks were described as being uplifting. King Abdullah expressed optimism that Israel and Palestine seem to be more receptive to coming to the negotiating table, raising the possibility that the conflict-riven region might finally see peace. Neither Trump nor Kushner are scheduled to speak at the event. Guests said that they were very polite, with many moguls seeking out the First Family members. “People were coming up to them,” said one guest. “They’re controversial, but no one is treating them like pariahs.”” [Variety]

“Israel’s Secret Arab Allies” by Neri Zilber: “Taken as a whole, Israeli activities in Syria, Jordan, the West Bank, Egypt and the Gulf can no longer be viewed in isolation from one another. Rather, Israel is now involved in the Arab world’s military campaigns — against both Iran and its proxies, as well as against the Islamic State. It remains to be seen whether this is merely a temporary marriage of convenience against common foes or the start of an enduring strategic realignment.” [NYTimes]

IRAN DEAL’S TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY: “Trump administration plans to certify Iranian compliance with nuclear agreement” by Karen DeYoung: “The recertification, due Monday to Congress, follows a heated internal debate between those who want to crack down on Iran now — including some White House officials and lawmakers — and Cabinet officials who are “managing other constituencies” such as European allies, and Russia and China, which signed and support the agreement… Officials cautioned that Trump, who has made clear his disdain for the accord, could decide not to sign off on the recertification between now and the Monday deadline but said that was unlikely… Next Tuesday, the administration must also comply with a separate deadline, reporting to Congress on Iran’s overall nuclear behavior and deciding whether to waive reinstituting sanctions lifted under the accord.”[WashPostTWS]  

“Sen. Tom Cotton urges Tillerson, Trump not to certify Iran deal” by Sally Persons: “The law Congress passed to hold Iran accountable requires the secretary of state and president to certify that this deal is in vital national security interest of the United States,” Mr. Cotton said on Fox News. “I simply wouldn’t certify that if I was the secretary of state or president… This is not in the vital national security interest. It undermines those interests.” … Mr. Cotton and fellow GOP Sens. Ted Cruz, David Perdue and Marco Rubio sent a letter to Mr. Tillerson as well, saying Iran has not only violated the terms of the agreement, but also progressed towards nuclearization.” [WashTimes

“The Iran Nuclear Deal Has Been a Blessing for Israel” by Carmi Gilon: “As a guardian of Israel’s security, my job was to prepare for the worst — while searching always for bold and proactive measures to head off disaster and stop threats in their tracks. The nuclear agreement is a good example of the kind of solutions to which I aspired. It has neutralized a major threat to the world, while ensuring that the United States and its allies have the tools, the information, and the leverage that they need to confront the Iranian danger and make the region, and the world, a safer place.” [FP] • Boris Johnson: Without the Iran nuclear agreement, the world would be in supreme danger [WashPost

JI VIEWPOINTS — Alan Solow, former Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: “Two years into the deal, I think that the indications are that Iran is in compliance with the terms of the JCPOA. That is beneficial to Israel and the parties to the JCPOA. I believe that there is a very high likelihood that we are going to continue to see the deal complied with and that as a result of that, and developments that will occur in the future, it is highly unlikely that Iran will try to break out and get a nuclear weapon. And if they do – either during the duration of the JCPOA or afterward – that those who oppose Iran getting a nuclear weapon will have the resources in place to prohibit that from happening. I have no regrets about supporting the Iran deal and I believe that the implementation period to date has borne out my expectations.”

Solow on what the Jewish community should learn from the Iran deal fight: “Some of the controversy over the proposed agreement was, I think, overblown and unnecessary. I always respected the views of people that were different than mine and tried to listen to them, and I remain friends with a lot of people who I had a different point of view, and I expect to remain friends with those people. I don’t think that they are going to regret the position that they took any more than I can regret the position that I took. Look, we had an honest disagreement. I hope that what people do is not regret the position that they took but that all of us continue to look at it honestly as it moves forward over the years.”

Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations: “The revelations just in the last days about what they have uncovered in Germany and the extent to which Iran has been seeking components for conventional and non-conventional missiles and their nuclear program there and elsewhere indicates that they in fact have not given up on their aspirations to have a nuclear weapon and the program didn’t end with the signing of the JCPOA. We know that they have advanced their ballistic missile program, their delivery capacity, have much faster centrifuges that are already operative or could be implemented very quickly, which means that they could cut the breakout time significantly. All of it shows that a lot has happened in the past two years. It is not that things have remained stagnant.”

Hoenlein on what the Jewish community should learn from the Iran deal fight: “I think that the assessments at the time were distorted about the role of the Jewish community. The American Jewish community by and large – there were some differences – stood in opposition to the Iran deal because they felt it didn’t go far enough, and I think a lot of those concerns have just been vindicated over time. When you ask what lessons should be learned, I don’t know what there is to be determined. One lesson that we learned is that we have to do a constant education of the American people, but by in large, the American people, the polls show that they got it. They understood it. And I think you saw some of that reaction in the last election that the people were not happy with the Iran deal. It is a myth that was created that the Jewish community was defeated or lost.”

JI’s Aaron Magid asked Republican Members of Congress what should be done about the Iran deal going forward given the assessment that they are in compliance with the JCPOA.

Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ): “Given Iran’s missile tests and the other ways Iran has acted in interests antithetical to the west, I think we should restore sanctions and maintain them until they dismantle their nuclear arms mechanism. The deal is a blight on Mr. Obama’s legacy and unfortunately it’s a shadow over the Republicans in the Senate that allowed Iran to embrace the nuclear option rather than move this towards a treaty.”

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL): “It’s been a failed agreement. They’ve continued to break the agreement, I don’t think it’s good for us. I don’t think it’s good for Israel. Something like that again should not have been done by the President. I think the first thing to do is to strike it and then start over. There ought to be stronger sanctions in place.”

Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL): “[The deal] should be renegotiated. Start from scratch.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ): “I think it will be very difficult [to renegotiate the deal] because there are other nations as well. I voted against it when I had the opportunity on the floor. The Iranians will eventually achieve the ability to deliver a nuclear weapon.”

MEDIA WATCH: “Tucker Carlson Is Doing Something Extraordinary” by Peter Beinart: “On Iran, Carlson made an argument that was considered too dovish for even mainstream Democrats to raise during the debate over the nuclear deal: He questioned whether Tehran actually endangers the United States. He told Peters that “we actually don’t face any domestic threat from Iran.” And he asked [Max] Boot to “tell me how many Americans in the United States have been murdered by terrorists backed by Iran since 9/11?”” [TheAtlantic]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION — Yesterday, Netanyahu praised the Trump administration’s objective approach to Israeli-Palestinian conflict as Trump takes credit for Mideast water deal. “This administration has a more objective approach to the conflict,” Netanyahu said in a midnight interview on Channel 20. [YouTube

“Noting ‘Trump Effect,’ Former U.S. Officials Praise Israeli-Palestinian Water Deal” by Amir Tibon: “According to [Dan] Shapiro, “probably any new administration would have that advantage, but the fear factor with Trump gives Greenblatt some added leverage. I hope he’ll use it for more than just water and electricity deals, like getting negotiations relaunched on a realistic basis.” Martin Indyk… also praised the agreement. “It was years in the making and will be years before it is implemented, but it’s a positive step in a sea of negativity – and Jason Greenblatt deserves credit for that,” he said… Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Robert Danin told Haaretz… that the agreement… “has little implications for the deal that President Trump seeks. So long as there are no real negotiations taking place, such limited steps to help the Palestinians on the ground can be advanced. But once serious negotiations begin – and that itself is a big if – then these sorts of measures are likely to become much more contentious.””[Haaretz

“A Good Story About Israelis and Palestinians” by Seth Siegel: “The biggest news out of the press conference… is that senior water officials from Israel and the Palestinian Authority shared a stage and warmly engaged with each other. It is, so to speak, a high-water mark in Israeli-Palestinian history regarding this precious resource… As the Palestinian Authority turns toward a more pragmatic approach in addressing water, but also the environmental and energy needs of their people, it will lead to an economically more secure Palestinian political entity and perhaps even to better outcomes in the larger political negotiations.” [NYTimes

Aaron David Miller emails us… “Israeli-Palestinian water talks have been the untold success story and have gone on for years. But in this case is really untethered from any notion of the ultimate deal. Indeed, Bibi might easily say you see we can cooperate without one. I wish you could say it’s a confidence builder and a bridge to a final status deal but I just don’t believe it.”

Trump told reporters on Air Force One en route to France: “I’d say the only thing more difficult than peace between Israel and the Palestinians is healthcare.” [NYTimes

ON THE HILL — State Dept Questions if Taylor Force Act ‘Accomplishes’ Objective of Stopping Terror — by Aaron Magid: “It is not clear that the Taylor Force Act as currently drafted would help accomplish these objectives,” Stuart Jones, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, said during a hearing at the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa yesterday. “For the first time in 52 years in the Palestinian prisoner payment program, the Palestinians have already cut funding to 277 Hamas affiliated former prisoners,” Jones said, calling it a “step forward.” While amendments have been proposed to the Taylor Force Act such as adding a National Security waiver or maintaining some of the humanitarian assistance, Jones insisted, “the administration is not going to take a position on those proposals.” [JewishInsider

IN THE SPOTLIGHT — “Trump Lawyer Marc Kasowitz Threatens Stranger in Emails: ‘Watch Your Back , Bitch’” by Justin Elliott: “In another email, Kasowitz wrote: “I’m Jewish. I presume you are too. Stop being afraid. Call me. Or give me your number and I will call you. I already know where you live, I’m on you.  You might as well call me. You will see me. I promise.  Bro.”” [ProPublica]

“Trump’s Lawyer Apologizes for a Profane Tirade” by Rosie Gray: “Mr. Kasowitz, who is tied up with client matters, said he intends to apologize to the writer of the email referenced in today’s ProPublica story,” Kasowitz’s spokesman Mike Sitrick said in a statement. “While no excuse, the email came at the end of a very long day that at 10 pm was not yet over. ‘The person sending that email is entitled to his opinion and I should not have responded in that inappropriate manner,’ Mr. Kasowitz said. ‘I intend to send him an email stating just that. This is one of those times where one wishes he could reverse the clock, but of course I can’t.’” [TheAtlantic

“Kushner pushed for more aggressive defense of Trump Jr. meeting” by Tara Palmeri: “[Jared] Kushner called for full-on combat… A source close to Kushner…  said that while he doesn’t have an exact plan for an overall Russia response, he was angry that there wasn’t a more robust effort from the communications team. Kushner wanted them to complain about chyrons on cable news, call reporters to update stories with White House statements, and unleash surrogates immediately. He was angry that there were no talking points offered to surrogates, the source said. One senior administration official suggested that two aides from the communications shop be dedicated just to updating chyrons… [An outside] adviser said that Spicer has privately griped about the demands from Kushner.” [Politico

“Ivanka and Jared begin the plunge from grace” by Eugene Robinson: “Among Manhattan’s progressive upper crust, Jared and Ivanka — they really are first-name-only celebrities at this point — were expected to at least temper the hard-right policy positions being pushed by other presidential advisers. If this indeed is what they are trying to do, they’ve had a negligible impact to date.” [WashPost] • Sen. Blumenthal: ‘Jared Kushner ought to resign’ [TheHill

“Donald Trump Jr.’s Russian meeting: An unusual way of conducting political research” by Fredreka Schouten: “Jeff Berkowitz, a veteran Republican opposition researcher, said the task instead should have fallen to a lower-level campaign researcher or paid consultant, rather than the candidate’s son. Berkowitz… said the revelations about the younger Trump’s meeting with the Russian also serve to underscore the bare-bones nature of his father’s unorthodox political operation… “You didn’t have gatekeepers to handle these things and decide whether it was something useful,” Berkowitz said of advance vetting of the Veselnitskaya meeting. “Everyone in politics would have taken that meeting. This is the nature of politics,” he said. But, he added: “It just should have been someone other than Donald Jr.”” [USAToday

** 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 BRIEFS: Hudson Bay Urges Sabra Holders to Reject Care Capital Deal [Bloomberg] • Patrick Drahi’s Altice Buys Portugal’s Media Capital [Variety] • Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff has a message for laid-off Microsoft workers: Work for me [BusinessInsider] • Ex-broker sues hedge fund for $5M over layoff dispute [NYPost• Steve Ballmer tells us that he is absolutely not moving the L.A. Clippers to Seattle [BusinessInsider] • First Israeli accelerator program lands in China [TechNode

“Dov Charney Couldn’t Keep American Apparel, So He Restarted It” by Matthew Townsend: “Stepping off the production floor into sparse offices reveals another familiar touch. There’s a conference room equipped with a cot, messy sheets, and a pillow. “I live in here, by the way,” Charney says. “I will not leave. This is my bed. This is my room. This is where I sleep.” He once did something similar in his American Apparel years, taking up residence at a malfunctioning distribution center.” [Bloomberg

STARTUP NATION — Marc Andreessen on the Israeli model for startups: “In our case, although we have occasionally invested in particularly special startups based outside the US, such as Transferwise and Improbable, we generally invest either in startups based entirely in the US, or startups that use what might be called the “Israeli model” of building R&D in their home country but building SG&A (sales, marketing, finance, legal, etc.) in the US. As suggested by the name, some of the best Israeli startups have been executing this model for the last 20-30 years; more recently, we are seeing founders from many other countries… pursue the same model.” [Stripe

“Taxi King now without 800 medallions — and a law license” by Julia Marsh and Danielle Furfaro: “Former “Taxi King” Gene Freidman has lost… now his law license. A Manhattan appeals panel suspended the hack honcho from the bar “until further order” in part because of bad checks he allegedly wrote. Freidman — who was stripped of 800 medallions by the Taxi & Limousine Commission in April, shortly before he was arrested for tax fraud — didn’t comply with a judicial probe into the check scheme, according to a ruling released Thursday by the Appellate Division. In addition, Freidman “failed to provide information” about a contempt motion involving Citibank, the decision states.” [NYPost

“Trump’s Russian Laundromat” by Craig Unger: “One of the developers, Tamir Sapir, had followed an unlikely path to riches. After emigrating from the Soviet Union in the 1970s, he had started out driving a cab in New York City and ended up a billionaire living in Trump Tower. His big break came when he co-founded a company that sold high-tech electronics. According to the FBI, Sapir’s partner in the firm was a “member or associate” of Ivankov’s mob in Brighton Beach. No charges were ever filed, and Sapir denied having any mob ties. “It didn’t happen,” he told The New York Times. “Everything was done in the most legitimate way.” Trump, who described Sapir as a “great friend,” bought 200 televisions from his electronics company. In 2007, he hosted the wedding of Sapir’s daughter at Mar-a-Lago, and later attended her infant son’s bris.” [NewRepublic]

Netanyahu’s spokesman David Keyes responds to Tom Friedman’s recent piece on the Israel-US Jewry relationship: “Thomas L. Friedman claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has burned bridges with American Jews. Never mind that he just ordered the accelerated expansion of a pluralistic prayer space at the Western Wall and has consistently demonstrated his passionate commitment to strengthening Israel’s relations with Jewish communities around the world. Mr. Friedman claims that Prime Minister Netanyahu “is setting himself up to be a pivotal figure in Jewish history — the leader who burned the bridges to a two-state solution.” Never mind that the Palestinian leadership turned down repeated offers for statehood, has refused to meet for direct negotiations for nearly a decade, pays terrorists hundreds of millions of dollars each year and continues to call for the disappearance of Israel.” [NYTimes

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Miami Beach teens will no longer perform with Roger Waters due to anti-Israel controversy” by Samantha Gross: “Twelve members of a Miami Beach Parks summer program were supposed to have a dress rehearsal with the band… and perform “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)” on stage alongside Waters… In a statement Thursday afternoon, however, Miami Beach spokeswoman Melissa Berthier said the teenagers would no longer be participating… Earlier on Thursday, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation accused the star of anti-Semitism ahead of his show on the Us + Them Tour at AmericanAirlines Arena, referring to the singer’s anti-Israel views.” [MiamiHerald

Voters See Anti-Semitism As a Serious Problem In U.S.: “A new Rasmussen Reports… survey finds that 65% of Likely U.S. Voters think anti-Semitism is at least a somewhat serious problem in America today, including 24% who believe it’s a Very Serious problem. Twenty-nine percent (29%) don’t believe anti-Semitism is a serious issue, with five percent (5%) who think it’s Not At all Serious.” [Rasmussen

“Tillerson says we may not need an anti-Semitism envoy. He’s wrong” by Ira Forman, Hannah Rosenthal and Jonathan Greenblatt: “It is not only the American Jewish community supporting the continuation of the special envoy’s office. Tillerson need only talk to Democrats and Republicans in Congress, to nongovernmental organizations such as Human Rights First, to our democratic allies in France, Germany and Britain, and to our professional diplomats who have served in dozens of countries where anti-Semitism has surfaced. If he were to do so, he would find essentially unanimous support for the strengthening of this office… America’s voice in the fight to counter anti-Semitism is desperately needed — now more than ever.”[WashPost

“After 500 Years, an Italian Jewish Rebirth” by Michael Ledeen: “While anti-Semitism is on the upswing in many parts of Europe, Judaism and Jews are experiencing a renaissance in Italy. The country is most strongly associated with the Roman Catholic Church, but Jews have been here for thousands of years. Given Italy’s place as a political laboratory in the Western world, its role in the revival of Judaism—particularly in the south—is worth watching.”

“Perhaps the clearest indicator of the strength and depth of Jewish popularity comes at mealtime. Jewish food, including kosher food, is suddenly chic. Restaurants in Rome’s Jewish ghetto are regularly packed. You can even get fried artichokes made “Jewish style” at takeout stands. Kosher food and wine are now regularly featured at national food fairs and can be purchased at upscale stores throughout the country. “Regular people are selling and buying Jewish food precisely because it’s Jewish,” says the Italian journalist Carla Reschia. “Food is an example, but you can see it also in literature: In a country where Jews number less than 0.1%, Jewish authors are disproportionately popular.”” [WSJ

SPORTS BLINK: “CC Sabathia vacations with Amar’e Stoudemire in Mexico” by Mara Siegler: “Yankee pitcher CC Sabathia and his wife, Amber, are vacationing with former Knicks star Amar’e Stoudemire, his wife Alexis and radio personality Angie Martinez. The athletically endowed group has been spotted all over the four-star Nizuc Resort & Spa just outside of Cancún, Mexico. “They’ve been snorkeling, zip-lining and relaxing on the beach,” says a source. “CC has been resting his arm.”” [PageSix

“‘It’s Not the Fault of the Sandwich Shop’: Readers Debate David Brooks’s Column” by Lela Moore: “David Brooks’s column “How We Are Ruining America” struck a nerve among New York Times readers, who wrote to us by the thousands to debate the social codes of the elite. Readers also took on the roles of money and education, or the lack thereof, in success. And yes, gourmet sandwiches came under fire too. Mr. Brooks’s article topped the Times’s Most Emailed list and received more than 3,200 comments… Mr. Brooks’s anecdote about taking a friend to a gourmet sandwich shop, whose menu of Italian cheeses and meats, he said, illustrated the cultural barriers between the more- and less-educated, received much criticism, snark and humor.” [NYTimes

DESSERT: “Taco Tuesday: Kosher birria tacos” by Jonathan Gold: “The food is strictly kosher – the carnitas are made from beef and duck instead of pork, the chopped carne asada has a dryish texture you may not be used to, the flour tortillas are lard-free, and you’re not going to be seeing cheese or sour cream. Also, MexiKosher is closed on Saturdays and Friday night.” [LATimes

WINE OF THE WEEK — Yatir Rosé 2016 — by Yitz Applbaum: It has been a few weeks since I have written about wines here, mostly because of extensive travel and also because I have not had any exposure to many new wines recently. The other week, I hosted a wine tasting at the OneTable/Jewish Insider Friday night dinner in Aspen, Colorado with over 100 attendees. I decided to see if I could help stimulate some interesting conversations amongst the group with an exuberant, fresh, somewhat spicy Rosé. It worked. The conversations were helped by the wine and the wine tasted better in that company.

The 2016 Yatir Rosé is a bit deeper then many Rosés to which I am accustomed. This wine is composed of 67% Grenache, 30% Mourvèdre, and 3% Viognier. It sits on the skin for 48 hours before being pressed which gives it its wonderful color. This unique blend yields sharply defined tastes of peaches, plums and overripe raspberries. Unlike many Rosés this blend creates a long finish, so it takes a bit of time to finish the first bottle. The second bottle goes down much easier.  Drink this with fresh melons, berries and raw meats. [YatirWinery]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Architect, urban designer, educator, theorist and author, he is most identified with Habitat 67, a housing complex built in conjunction with Expo 67 (the 1967 Montreal World’s Fair), Moshe Safdie turns 79… MLB pitcher (1971-1981) for the Giants, White Sox, Cubs and Orioles, now a sportscaster and author, he won the Cy Young Award and was an All Star in 1980, Steve Stone turns 70… Film producer, best known for the Lethal Weapon series and the first two Die Hard movies, Joel Silver turns 65… Film producer and a theatrical producer, in 2012 he became the first producer to have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award, Scott Rudin turns 59… Media columnist for the Chicago Tribune, he has been a working journalist since he was17 years old, Phil Rosenthal turns 54… Veteran PR, political communications and media strategist, principal at Oakland-based Full Court Press Communications, past president and now board member of the Oakland Hebrew Day School, Daniel Eli Cohen turns 48… Rapper and record producer from Brooklyn, he is the producer, founder and CEO of Uncle Howie Records, William “Bill” Braunstein, better known as “Ill Bill,” turns 45… Program analyst at Crown Family Philanthropies in Chicago, Rachel Giattino turns 27… Daniel Jeydel, Associate Director within Neo@Ogilvy celebrating his birthday in Jerusalem with REALITY Sports… Scott Shagrin… Menachem Shemtov… Susan Farrell

SATURDAY: Nobel laureate in Physics and author of “The G-d Particle, Leon M. Lederman turns 95… President and chairman of the board of the Annenberg Foundation, a multibillion-dollar charity formed by her father (Walter Annenberg), Wallis Annenberg turns 78… Member of the British House of Lords, he is a professor, medical doctor, scientist, television anchor and Labour Party politician, Baron Robert Maurice Lipson Winston turns 77… Entrepreneur and CEO of several large corporations, creator of the first cable TV shopping channel in the 1980s later purchased by QVC, now CEO of FLW (sponsor of bass fishing tournaments), Irwin L. Jacobs turns 76… Four time winner of the World Series of Poker, Mickey Appleman turns 72… One of the four Talmudic scholars who serve as Rosh Yeshiva of Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, NJ, one of the largest yeshivas in the world with more than 6,000 students, Rabbi Dovid Schustal turns 70… Congresswoman since 1989, former Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen turns 65… EVP at the Aspen Institute responsible for its policy and public programs, he was a Rhodes Scholar and he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart (1980-1981), Elliot Gerson turns 65… Partner in the California-based appellate law firm of Greines, Martin, Stein & Richland, Feris M. Greenberger turns 61… Regional Director in Florida for the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center, Miriam Baron Jankovits turns 61… Professor at the UCLA School of Law, expert in human rights, international criminal law and international trade, Richard Harold Steinberg turns 57… Member of Congress since 2011 (D-Rhode Island-1), previously mayor of Providence (2003-2011), his mother is Sabra née Peskin, David Nicola Cicilline turns 56… Anchorage-based attorney, a member of the Alaska House of Representatives since 2012, Andrew Lewis “Andy” Josephson turns 53… Former UK Labour Party member of Parliament (2001-2013) including three years as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, now CEO of NYC-based International Rescue Committee, David Miliband turns 52… Rabbi in Beverly Hills after almost seven years at the Shul on the Beach in Venice CA, blogger at ShulOnTheInternet and FinkOrSwim, Eliyahu Fink turns 36… Baltimore native, now in Denver as the West Coast Regional Director for the Israel on Campus Coalition, Jonathan Steven (“Jon”) Falk turns 29…

SUNDAY: Former State Department official under JFK and LBJ, later VP of Continental Airlines, and then Managing Editor of the NY Times, James L. Greenfield turns 93… Billionaire, former member of Knesset, winner of the Israel Prize, real estate developer and philanthropist, Stef Wertheimer turns 91… One of the three co-founders of Comcast Corporation, he served as its chief financial officer and vice chairman, Julian A. Brodsky turns 84… San Antonio-based financial advisor and real estate broker, Norman Lee Nonkenturns 70… World reknowned violinist, violist, and conductor, Pinchas Zukerman turns 69… Co-creator of the the first-ever spreadsheet program (VisiCalc), he currently serves as the Chief Technology Officer of Alpha Software, Daniel Singer “Dan” Bricklin turns 66… Former high ranking civilian official in the Bush 43 Pentagon, now a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Douglas J. Feith turns 64… Senior Rabbi at Temple Beth Avodah in Newton Centre, MA, since 1997, Rabbi Keith Stern turns 63… British solicitor advocate, he was chairman of The Jewish Chronicle, Anthony Julius turns 61… Pulitzer Prize winning playwright and screenwriter, Tony Kushner turns 61… Professor of psychology and philosophy at Tel Aviv University, Carlo Strenger turns 59… President of Viacom Music and Entertainment Group until January 2017, Doug Herzog turns 58… Co-founder of Ares Management, and owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, Tony Ressler turns 58… Owner of interests in many Israeli firms including IKEA Israel, Israel Discount Bank and the Shufersal supermarket chain, Matthew Bronfman turns 58… Canadian journalist working for CNN International and La Presse, Jonathan Mannturns 57… Chicago-based philanthropist, Victoria Rivka Zell turns 49… Former NFL offensive lineman Ariel Solomon turns 49… Israeli former professional tennis player, noted for her fitting last name for a tennis player, in 2003 she was ranked 15th in the world, Anna Smashnova turns 41… Marketing and communications strategist at Los Angeles-based Meteorite Social Impact Advisors, Steven Max Levine turns 33… Former White House Jewish Liaison in the Bush 43 administration (2006-2009), now a director in the Atlanta office of Rubicon Global, Scott Raymond Arogeti turns 33… Eric Reiner turns 26… Chief of Staff of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago, Jim Rosenberg… Legislative Director for Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15), Louise C. Bentsen… Chantal Low Katz… George Nahas

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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…