Daily Kickoff: Amb. Friedman to talk Temple Mount with Trump in the Oval Office today | Erekat slams the White House | BDays: Mark Cuban, Leon Black

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Ed note: There will no Daily Kickoff tomorrow in observance of Tisha B’Av, the Fast of the Ninth of Av, commemorating the destruction of the Temple. 

TOP TALKER: Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri on Why the Middle East Hated Obama But Loves Trump” by Susan Glasser: “The unfortunate consequence of not acting” there, [Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-] Hariri argues, has been Russia’s restoration as a regional heavyweight, the resurrection of Bashar al-Assad’s bloody regime in Syria and the failure to produce an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. “Clarity,” the prime minister says, and the hope for a more decisive approach is the reason why he and other Arab leaders prefer Trump, despite the bombast and uncertainty the first six months of his presidency has unleashed… and Hariri repeatedly brought up concessions Obama made toward Tehran to get his nuclear deal as an example of how the U.S. lost its way in the region… Hariri also faults Obama for the big gap between the “inspirational” words in his 2009 Cairo speech suggesting a new American approach to the region – and the “nothing” that came of Obama’s efforts to forge peace between Israel and the Palestinians.” [Politico]

“Inside Iran’s Mission To Dominate The Middle East: Iran has enlisted tens of thousands of young Shiite men into an armed network that is challenging the US across the Middle East. The Trump administration is not prepared” by Borzou Daragahi: “It’s a huge threat,” said retired Brig. Gen. Yossi Kuperwasser, a former adviser to Israel’s ministry of strategic affairs and chief of the research division at the Israeli Defense Force’s Military Intelligence branch. “The fact that we have F-16s and F-35s is not relevant to this problem.” … The US’s regional allies have poured resources into monitoring Iran’s militias. They use both electronic surveillance and networks of informers across the region. “Israel knows what Iran is building, who they’re working with, what the training is, and where the training is,” said Kuperwasser. “We keep trying to find ways to start slow them down so when the big war starts they have less capability.” [BuzzFeed]

DRIVING THE DAY: “Trump’s New Chief Has One Key Asset: Ivanka and Kushner’s Nod” by Toluse Olorunnipa and Margaret Talev: “President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, senior advisers with unfettered access to the Oval Office, supported [John] Kelly’s selection as chief of staff after losing confidence in Priebus… Trump’s daughter and son-in-law have committed to work with Kelly to create more order around the president, a White House official said. While it’s unlikely that the walk-in privileges of Trump’s children will be curtailed, other senior officials may lose their direct line to the president… While Ivanka Trump and Kushner have committed their support to Kelly, Trump’s choice, another administration official noted that their more natural allies among those floated to replace Priebus would have been economic adviser Gary Cohn or deputy national security adviser Dina Powell, from the globalist camp.” [Bloomberg

“New order at WH front and center as Kelly takes helm” by Eli Watkins: “When asked whether first daughter Ivanka Trump and her husband Jared Kushner would lose the direct access to the President that they enjoy and go through Kelly, a White House source would only say: “Jared and Ivanka are very supportive of him (Kelly) coming in and have a tremendous amount of admiration for him and will follow his lead on how he wants things done.” Pressed on that point, the source said: “They will follow his lead. They want this to work.” ” [CNN]

“Ivanka and Jared find their limits in Trump’s White House” by Annie Karni and Eliana Johnson: “President Donald Trump’s daughter and son-in-law had been double-teaming for weeks to persuade him to oust chief of staff Reince Priebus, pushing for a new chief who could “professionalize the West Wing,” according to multiple White House officials… That victory followed Trump’s appointment a week earlier of financier Anthony Scaramucci, a campaign surrogate and donor, as communications director, a move the couple also strongly supported. But if Ivanka Trump and Kushner… remain influential voices with Trump on personnel decisions, they have so far had little effect on his policies. Last week they were blindsided by the president’s tweet saying he planned to ban transgender people from serving in the military… Meanwhile, she desperately wants to lower expectations of what she can achieve in an administration where she views herself as one person on a large team — even though other White House officials said she still has access to the president whenever she desires it.” [Politico]

JI EXCLUSIVE: Erekat criticizes Trump admin’s handling of recent crisis — by Aaron Magid: Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat criticized the Trump administration’s mediation efforts in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict during an interview with Jewish Insider yesterday. Erekat complained specifically about the US response to the recent Temple Mount crisis. “We don’t understand how no U.S. officials came out with any word of sympathy for the Palestinian people that have been attacked and killed by occupation forces, including settlers,” he declared… Erekat’s remarks represent the highest level criticism from the Palestinian Authority of the Trump administration since February.

A senior White House official responded to Erekat… “As tensions in the region continue to lower, rhetoric like this is neither valid nor helpful towards everyone’s ultimate goal of achieving peace.” [JewishInsider]

REPORT: “Israel radio correspondent Gal Berger reports that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is offering millions of shekels in Palestinian Authority grants to East Jerusalem residents who took part in the protests and riots over the Temple Mount since the July 14 terror attack that sparked two weeks of tension.” [ToI]

NY Post editorial… Palestinian Authority now uses half of all foreign aid to reward terror: “The total, $344 million, equals 49.6 percent of all foreign aid to the PA. In other words, cash from Uncle Sam, Europe and even Israel is subsidizing “welfare for terrorists.” … The PA budget is a clear “no” to Trump’s demand. Ball’s in your court, Mr. President.” [NYPost]

Happening today: President Trump is meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman in the Oval Office at 11:30 am.

JI experts on lessons learned from the Temple Mount crisis and its impact on Trump’s ‘Ultimate Deal’ — by Aaron Magid: “The administration invited Abbas to White House to meet the President in exchange for nothing. His conduct since then suggested that they made a bad bet,” explained Elliot Abrams, a former top official in the George W. Bush administration. “He incited violence in the crisis over the Temple Mount… I would hope that the administration would let him know that all of this has been seen and understood and that it has gone a long way to destroy confidence as a reliable interlocutor and that the next time an administration representative meets with him, they let him know there will be no meetings at the top levels like the President or Secretary of State.”

The Trump administration should adopt a “much more hands on approach: starting to make the phone calls to the leadership and relevant players early on and not wait until things gets out of hand before intervening,” said Dan Arbell, a former senior Israeli diplomat. “The idea is to keep the ball moving forward because if you don’t then you end up in crisis situations that only bring setbacks. People are waiting to see whether this talk of an ultimate deal is actually something real or just a campaign promise that is not being delivered.”

Frank Lowenstein, the top Middle East envoy during the end of the Obama administration: “If there is anything that the Trump administration may have seen in the months that they have been working on, it is they have been running into the roadblocks that we ran into from both sides. They are going to have to make a decision how they want to proceed: is it really worth investing time, energy and political capital on something that the parties themselves don’t appear to be genuinely committed to moving forward.” [JewishInsider]

“Team Trump’s quiet Mideast success” by Jonathan Tobin: “Whatever good Jared Kushner and US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt may have done in securing the safe return to Israel of an embassy security guard, this shouldn’t tempt Trump to think the time is ripe for another round of major diplomacy. The last thing the region needs is another American effort to broker a final peace plan that is hopelessly out of reach… The smartest thing [Trump] can do now is to turn his attention to the chaos in Washington, not Jerusalem.”[NYPost]

“The EU, headed by France and Germany, could replace US on Mideast” by Uri Savir: “According to the [EU] official, one can assume that if the United States does not launch a regionally-backed two-state solution process, Merkel (assuming she wins as expected in the upcoming elections) and Macron, together with EU headquarters, will launch a European initiative on the terms of reference for a two-state solution and a peace conference to be convened in Brussels… According to a senior Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs official, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is certain that Trump will block such a European initiative… “We see Europe as hostile to Israeli interests and pro-Palestinian. The European leadership is probably frustrated to have been marginalized by the Trump administration.”” [Al-Monitor

COMING SOON: “Tillerson wants fewer US diplomats, fewer meetings at UN summit” by Colum Lynch: “President Donald Trump does plan to address other world leaders at the U.N, General Assembly, and he will be accompanied by other top advisors, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka Trump, who stopped by U.N. headquarters Friday for a private lunch with U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres. But the ranks of professional diplomats, aides and officials that attend the event to promote American policy priorities on a range of issues will be thinned out… Two officials said that the State Department is seeking to keep a ceiling down to about 300 people, including everyone from the President to support staff that schedule meetings and copy speeches back at the hotel.” [FP]

“How Schumer Held Democrats Together Through a Health Care Maelstrom” by Jennifer Steinhauer: “I take what’s given me,” Mr. Schumer, 66, said in a (shoeless) interview in his Capitol Hill office right off the Senate floor… “We’re in the minority, so we’re not making policy,” Mr. Schumer said. “We have to know when to dance and when to fight. The Trump administration has made it harder to dance.” … Mr. Schumer’s schmoozing abilities have been important. “He knows who I am,” said Senator Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia… “I tell him when I think he is moving too far to the left,” Mr. Manchin said, as when Mr. Schumer pushed to filibuster to block Mr. Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. “There were no conversations with Harry.” [NYTimes

LongRead: “Bernie Sanders’s campaign isn’t over: In Trump’s America, the Independent senator is fighting to win back the heartland for Democrats” by Benjamin Wallace-Wells: “Sanders, who is seventy-five, may be too old to run again in 2020, but his barnstorming has a purpose—to deepen the connection to progressive ideas in rural America, to develop an attachment that might outlast him. At recent events, one of his biggest applause lines was that the “Republicans did not win the election so much as Democrats lost it.” Progressives do not have much of a foothold in this country. What they have is Bernie Sanders… Sanders is an old man who often finds himself speaking to young audiences. They are not necessarily looking for encouragement. “My wife tells me my speeches are so bleak that they have to pass out tranquillizers at the door,” he said at an event that evening at Brixton Academy, a music venue in South London.” [NewYorker]

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SPOTLIGHT: “A 32-year-old investor with ties to Elon Musk wants to upend America with his crazy, utopian plan for the future” by Chris Weller: “Much like one of his notable colleagues, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Sam Altman is set on turning the ideal into the practical… “I have a very strong vision of where I’d like to see the world go,” Altman said. “And I don’t think it gets there by startups alone.” … In May, rumors began to swirl that Altman’s political interests had compelled him to run for California governor in 2018. He seemed to be making a familiar transition from the private world into the public spotlight… But Altman ultimately went a different route. In mid-July he put the rumors to bed by issuing an open call on his blog for similar-minded political candidates that he could support. He could offer money, connections, and tech to help them get into the governor’s office.” [BusinessInsider

“By harnessing Israeliness, WeWork joins the ranks of Uber, Airbnb” by Inbal Orpaz: ““As a child who lived in a lot of places, one of the hardest things for me was to join a new community. It was hardest at the kibbutz, but that was also one of the most impressive communities. I remember how much fun it was to be a child in the kibbutz,” says [Adam] Neumann, noting that sometimes he calls WeWork “Kibbutz 2.0.” Neumann’s partner in establishing the company grew up in a commune as well. Perhaps it was not by chance that the two got together to establish a business based on shared values. “We are making a capitalist kibbutz,” added Neumann, qualifying the metaphor. “I remember from my childhood that not everyone worked the same number of hours.” … WeWorks chief brand director is Neumann’s wife, Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, who was part of the company from its inception. She also is a filmmaker, studied yoga and she introduced Neumann to the world of kabbala.” [Haaretz]

SPOTTED: Ira Rennert’s flight from New Jersey to Tel Aviv disguised as a Sikorsky S-76C helicopter on the flight map [Pich/t Avi Scharf

KAFE KNESSET — Bibi’s Dog’s life — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: While the country is engaged in serious debates about issues like the Temple Mount tensions, the police probes involving the PM and the Elor Azaria trial, the lawmakers will be discussing a totally different topics – dogs, or more specifically – the Netanyahu family dog, Kaiya. The MKs will vote on a new bill, which seeks to change the quarantine procedures for dogs and other pets who are involved in biting incidents. The bill is known as the “Kaiya bill,” as it was submitted by Likud MK Sharen Haskel last year, after “the First Dog” bit her during a Likud gathering and then was put in a detention facility, as the law dictates. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

ACROSS THE POND: Columnist fired over ‘anti-Semitic’ SundayTimes article: “A Sunday Times columnist “will not write again” for the newspaper after one of his articles was branded “anti-Semitic” and “disgraceful.” In the piece, Kevin Myers suggested BBC presenters Claudia Winkleman and Vanessa Feltz earned high salaries because they were Jewish. Editor Martin Ivens said the piece, which appeared in the Irish edition and online, should not have been published. Mr Ivens has also apologised personally to the two women. A News UK spokesman said the column included “unacceptable comments both to Jewish people and to women in the workplace.” Mr Ivens offered the paper’s “sincere apology, both for the remarks and the error of judgement that led to publication.”” [BBC

MEDIA WATCH: “Katie Couric Signs With WME” by A. J. Katz: “Katie Couric is parting ways with her longtime agent Alan Berger at CAA, and will join arch rival agency WME. TVNewser has learned that her new team at WME will consist of Ari Emanuel, Jon Rosen, Bradley Singer, Maggie Pisacane, Suzanne Gluck and Ben Davis. The iconic TV (and now web) newser currently serves as Yahoo News chief global anchor, a role created exclusively for her in 2013.”[TVNewserTHR]

“Is The New York Times vs. The Washington Post vs. Trump the Last Great Newspaper War?” by James Warren: “The Times’s foundational accomplishment is that, against great odds, it has maintained the support of a fifth generation of family ownership in the Sulzbergers. The key members include thirtysomething cousins A. G. Sulzberger, who will eventually take over the company from his father, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and Sam Dolnick, an assistant editor whose accomplishments include overseeing a podcast phenomenon called “The Daily 360,” which averages half a million downloads a day. It verges on the inconceivable that a family business would endure this long, especially amid industry decline and a languishing stock price—and, as has been the case elsewhere, an understandable impulse by some members to cash out. But Sulzberger and Dolnick, who are among the members known internally as “the princelings,” aren’t going anywhere. The family remains “genuinely close” to the paper, Dolnick said. His cousin, A.G., conceded that the notion of family control may seem archaic. Not to him. Not to them.”[VanityFair]

BOOK REVIEW: “Recalling the Jewish men who fled the Nazis then returned to fight them” by David M. Shribman: “On both sides of the Atlantic, the war was fought in part by bureaucrats. There were the Nazis who categorized the Jews as a dangerous race doomed to extinction. Then there were the Americans who categorized Jewish refugees as enemy aliens, ineligible to fight their onetime tormentors — until sanity prevailed as it became clear that the newcomer’s language and cultural familiarity would be assets to the Allies. “We were fighting an American war, and we were also fighting an intensely personal war,’’ said Guy Stern, one of these emigre warriors… Hoping to take revenge on the Nazis, or hoping to right an eternal wrong in Europe, or hoping to save other Jews from death, or simply hoping to use their wartime assignments as a way to find lost and imperiled family members, they were dispatched, or smuggled, into Europe, this time working with American personnel, this time with a mission greater than self-preservation.”[BostonGlobe

“One Last Party for the Agent and Bon Vivant Ed Victor” by Jacob Bernstein: “The memorial at the Upper East Side apartment of Tina Brown and Harold Evans for the literary agent Ed Victor felt like a cocktail party. And that was fitting, given that the man receiving tribute had distinguished himself as a bon vivant on both sides of the Atlantic. This Bronx-born son of Russian Jewish immigrants rose to Commander of the Order of the British Empire before his death in June at age 77… When Mr. Victor’s cancer returned this year and he wound up in the hospital for what turned out to be the last time, he told his wife, Carol Ryan: “If this is it, I’m O.K. I’ve had a great life.” He also gave instructions about what should follow after his death. Not a funeral. Not a memorial service. “A party,” Mr. Evans said.” [NYTimes

BIRTHDAYS: District Attorney for Manhattan for 35 years (1975-2009), Robert M. Morgenthau turns 98… Graduate of Yale Law School in 1951, he served as Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights (1985-1992), chairman of the American Jewish International Relations Institute, Ambassador Richard Schifter turns 94… Investment banker, chairman and president of Blum Capital, he is married to US Senator Dianne Feinstein, Richard C. Blum turns 82… Retired chairman and CEO of the British retailer Marks and Spencer, he is an emeritus governor of the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Sir Richard Greenbury turns 81… Actress, who went on to become CEO of Paramount Pictures and president of production at 20th Century Fox, Sherry Lansing turns 73… Nobel laureate in Economics in 1997, known for his quantitative analysis of options pricing, long-time professor at both Harvard and MIT, Robert C. Merton turns 73… Scholar, professor, rabbi, writer and filmmaker, who specializes in the study of the Holocaust, Michael Berenbaum turns 72… Founder of the private equity firm Apollo Global Management, in 2015 he bought a 16th century copy of the Babylonian Talmud for $9.3 million, Leon David Black turns 66… Author of 31 best selling mystery novels, many with Jewish themes, Faye Kellerman turns 65…

Manhattan-based criminal defense and civil rights lawyer, radio talk show host and television commentator, Ronald L. Kuby turns 61… Businessman, television personality and owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cubanturns 59… Director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California, Dan Schnur turns 54… Born into a practicing Catholic family in Nazareth, Israel, investor and owner of the Detroit Pistons, Tom Gores turns 53… Writer, journalist and graduate of Ramaz School, Harvard College and Yale Law School, known for her best-selling memoir “Prozac Nation,” Elizabeth Wurtzel turns 50… MLB outfielder (1998-2010), the first player known as the “Hebrew Hammer,” he coached for Team Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier, now director of player development for the LA Dodgers, Gabe Kapler turns 42… Political activist and the founder and president of Stand Up America, a progressive advocacy community, he is also the president of Hudson River Ventures, Sean “Simcha” Eldridge turns 31… Senior manager of corporate communications at Samsung Electronics North America, Danielle Meister Cohen turns 29… Aryeh Canter turns 27… Helene Miller-Walsh, Jewish wife of former Congressman Joe Walsh (R-Illinois-8)… Adam Rosenberg… David Goldenberg… Richard Rosenstein (h/ts Playbook)…

TUESDAY BIRTHDAYS: Former US Ambassador to Israel (2011-2017), Daniel B. Shapiro turns 48… Tech entrepreneur Ari Zoldan turns 41… Founder and CEO of Moishe House, David Cygielman turns 36… Staffer for Hillary Clinton in her Senate and State Department posts, now at NYC PR firm DKC, David Helfenbein turns 31… Director of New York Government Relations at Agudath Israel of America since 2017, previously Executive Director of the Boro Park Jewish Community Council, Yeruchim Silber… Treasurer of the Harvard Law School Republicans, a student-run organization, he is spending his 2017 summer interning at at the office of the White House Counsel, Asher Perez… Vice President for Social Entrepreneurship at Hillel International, Sheila Katz… Culver City, California resident, Allene Prince… Founder and chairman of NYC-based Midtown Equities, a major developer of nationwide real estate projects, he started his career as the owner of a record label and then as a video game publisher, Joseph Cayre turns 76… Israeli born businessman and film producer, later CEO of Marvel Studios, Avi Arad turns 69… President of Brandeis University from 1994-2010, he is now a professor at Brandeis and the president of the Cleveland-based Mandel Foundation, Jehuda Reinharz turns 73…

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Daily Kickoff: Somehow the Middle East seems more sane… | Bibi’s settlement exchange proposal | Larry David & Bernie Sanders are actually cousins

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MEDIA WATCH: “Emerson Collective Acquires Majority Stake in The Atlantic” by Gillian White: “David G. Bradley, the chairman and owner of Atlantic Media, is announcing this morning that he is selling a majority stake in The Atlantic to Emerson Collective, an organization led by philanthropist and investor Laurene Powell Jobs. Bradley will retain a minority stake in The Atlantic and will continue as chairman and operating partner for at least three to five years. In a letter to his staff, Bradley wrote that Emerson Collective will most likely assume full ownership of The Atlantic within five years. Bradley, who bought The Atlantic in 1999 for $10 million from Mortimer Zuckerman, is credited with transforming the Boston-based monthly magazine of politics, arts, and letters into a profitable digital-journalism and live-events company of global reach.”

“Bradley also announced that the current leadership team of The Atlantic—Bob Cohn, its president; Hayley Romer, its publisher; and Jeffrey Goldberg, its editor in chief—would remain in place. Peter Lattman, who leads Emerson’s media efforts, and was a financial reporter at The New York Times and then the paper’s media editor, will retain his position there and become vice chairman of The Atlantic.” [TheAtlantic]

Leon, the media ‘shadchan’ — from David Bradley’s memo to staff: “It was a friend of many of us here, Leon Wieseltier, who first put me onto the possibility that Laurene might come to love The Atlantic as I have. For its part, Emerson Collective had begun to invest in serious journalism for its own sake. And, as to Laurene personally, Leon said, “If she were to take an interest in The Atlantic, it would be for all the right reasons.” In a January meeting in Washington, Laurene first took an interest.” [Axios]

TOP TALKER: “McMaster Fires Iran Hawk From NSC” by Kate Brannen: “National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster has removed Derek Harvey, the top Middle East advisor on the National Security Council (NSC), from his post Thursday… Harvey had been picked for his role on the NSC by McMaster’s predecessor, retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn. After Trump reluctantly removed Flynn in February, a handful of Flynn’s people left, but Harvey and others remained in their jobs… Harvey was also known for being a hawk on Iran and had been pushing proposals to expand the U.S. military mission in Syria to go after Iranian proxy forces more aggressively. Defense Secretary James Mattis had pushed back on these proposals.”[FPTWS]  

“More Turmoil at the National Security Council” by Rosie Gray: “In a emailed statement on Thursday afternoon, Harvey [wrote]… “I  treasure having had the opportunity to support committed and visionary leaders such as Mrs. K.T. McFarland, Mr. Jared Kushner, and Mr. Steve Bannon, and consummate professionals like Mr. Jason Greenblatt and Ms. Dina Powell.”” [TheAtlantic]

“Trump Seeks Way to Declare Iran in Violation of Nuclear Deal” by David Sanger: “American officials have already told allies they should be prepared to join in reopening negotiations with Iran or expect that the United States may abandon the agreement, as it did the Paris climate accord… Mr. Trump had expected to be presented with options for how to get out of the deal, according to two officials, and in the words of one of them, “he had a bit of a meltdown when that wasn’t one of the choices.”” [NYTimes]

“The Desperation of Our Diplomats” by Roger Cohen: “As William Burns, a former deputy secretary of state and the president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, put it to me, “Beneath the surface, there’s nothing at all that’s normal.” Hard power and soft power are complementary. Cut out one and American leverage is lost. Wendy Sherman, an under secretary of state in the Obama administration, said, “Whether witting or not, this is not just the disruption of the State Department, it’s the destruction, and the minimization of the role of diplomacy in our national security.” … An American jewel is at stake… But now, at a time of growing great-power rivalry, a diminished State Department leaves a vacuum Russia and China will fill.”[NYTimes]

DRIVING THE DAY: “The Palestinian plot to end-run Trump at the UN” by Benny Avni: On Friday, the United Nations General Assembly will vote on a resolution to change the way a Palestinian-centered agency is financed. For years, only a fraction of the funds for the UN Relief and Work Agency, which is dedicated exclusively to benefit Palestinians, came from UN budgets… The resolution, sponsored by a large group of countries sympathetic to the Palestinians, will recommend “a gradual increase in the support provided to [UNRWA] from the regular budget of the UN” by next year. Plus, mandatory fees in the past could only fund the salaries of non-Palestinian workers; the new resolution removes that restriction as well.” [NYPost

Happening Today: President Trump is meeting with U.S. Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in the Oval Office at 11am.

JI INTERVIEW —  Representative John Faso (R-NY) discussed his experience as a New York lawmaker and his upcoming first trip to Israel in an interview with JI’s Aaron Magid. Faso will be visiting Israel for the first time in August on a trip for freshman members sponsored by the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable organization affiliated with AIPAC. Given the increasing momentum in Congress for the Taylor Force Act, legislation that would sever US economic aid to the Palestinian Authority if they continue payments to families of terrorists, Faso signaled his support for the effort. “The PA, by subsidizing the people who commit horrific crimes and by subsidizing the families of deceased terrorists, sends a terrible signal. I do think that we need to take action against support to the PA that is directly in contrast to interests of peace. Certainly, those PA subsidies meet that criteria.”

Faso on the two state solution: “In theory, it sounds good. But, in order for there to be a two state solution, there needs to be a state on the other side of Israel that is capable of actually functioning and negotiating. It was Abba Eban who famously said: ‘The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity.’ The Palestinians have had multiple opportunities for peace and stability and they have failed to ever take up the cause seriously.”[JewishInsider]

PALACE INTRIGUE: “Anthony Scaramucci’s Uncensored Rant: Foul Words and Threats to Have Priebus Fired” by Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman: “In a vulgarity-laced telephone call with a New Yorker writer reported on the magazine’s website on Thursday evening, Mr. Scaramucci railed against Mr. Priebus and Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, both of whom opposed his hiring last week… Whether Mr. Scaramucci will turn out to be Cain or Abel, it was clear that his appointment has added another layer of drama and dissent to a White House suffused in it — and revived the perpetual questions about Mr. Priebus’s fate… Mr. Priebus finds himself isolated inside the White House. He has lost the support of Mr. Trump’s family, and other senior aides have long bristled at his demeanor or suspected he was trying to undermine them.” [NYTimesNewYorker]

“Scaramucci declares war on Priebus, Bannon” by Josh Dawsey: “If this is less of a s—show because Anthony Scaramucci is imposing some discipline and getting things done, that’s good for the country. It’s good for the country to have a functioning government even if you disagree vehemently,” said Stu Loeser, a friend and former press secretary to Michael Bloomberg. “Anthony is helping the president and will continue to help the president.” Loeser’s comments came before Scaramucci’s New Yorker interview published.”[Politico• Mooch to lower profile after New Yorker fracas [Axios

Dan Shapiro‏: “Insane. Out of control. Madness. Can’t wait to get back to the calm and sanity of the Middle East.” [Twitter

— Aaron David Miller replies: “That’s most depressing comment I’ve heard in days. To even imagine that broken, angry, dysfunctional place compares favorably with us…..” [Twitter

“What Cain and Abel Tell Us About the War Between Priebus and Scaramucci” by Joel Baden: “The Scaramucci/Priebus drama is really about something bigger: The conflict between traditional Republican politics and the new Trumpian attitude. It could also represent the clash of styles between Priebus’ aw-shucks Midwesternism and Scaramucci’s New York brashness. Either way, one potential lesson of the biblical story is the same: When the two sides come to blows, no one really ends up winning.” [Politico

“Rahm Emanuel says White House drama is ‘undermining Trump’” by Lynn Sweet: “All this drama is undermining Trump… I don’t think the drama, somewhat initiated by the president, is helping,” Emanuel told me… When Emanuel was chief of staff, “I couldn’t do my job and help the president move his agenda if people thought there was a gulf between him and me. And he and I would never do that.” [ChicagoSunTimes

Bret Stephens: President Trump’s Lies Leading Us to a ‘World of Anthony Weiners’ — “The tragedy of Trump’s victory and everything he’s done as president is he demonstrates that shamelessness works. He sold his shamelessness to the american people as fearlessness, and they believed it. if you don’t say ‘I made a mistake,’ if you don’t acknowledge error, if you kind of move forward, you’re going to get away with it. That’s what the presidency is showing us with Trump. We’re on our way to the world of Anthony Weiners.” [Mediaite]

BIBI’S BIG DEAL — “Benjamin Netanyahu discussed settlement exchange plan with US” by Herb Keinon: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed with Washington in recent weeks the idea of redrawing the borders in any future agreement with the Palestinians, incorporating the major settlement blocs into Israel, while drawing out the heavily populated Israeli-Arab area of Wadi Ara and making it part of a future Palestinian state… The discussions, first reported by Channel 2, mean that Netanyahu – in conversations with US President Donald Trump’s advisers Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt – has adopted a proposal put forward years ago by Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.” [JPost

WH official emails us: “This may have been one of many ideas discussed several weeks ago in the context of a peace agreement and not in the context of a separate annexation.”

Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who proposed this at the UN in 2010, tweets: “Welcome to the club.” [Twitter

“Palestinians declare victory over Israel in crisis over holy site” by Ruth Eglash and William Booth: “The decision by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to back down over the increased security measures… was seen by both Israelis and Palestinians as a capitulation. Some said Netanyahu did the right and smart thing by de-escalating the tension, but members of his own government criticized him for what they saw as weakness in the face of Palestinian opposition and violence.” [WashPost• Netanyahu Says Palestinian Killer of Three Israelis Should Be Executed[Haaretz

Jason Greenblatt in a statement: “The United States welcomes the efforts undertaken to de-escalate tensions in Jerusalem today. We believe that calm and security will create the best opportunity to return to dialogue and the pursuit of peace. President Trump, Jared Kushner and I, in full coordination with Secretary Rex Tillerson, Ambassador David Friedman, Consul General Don Blome and the State Department, as well as General HR McMaster and the National Security Council, have been and will remain engaged as we continue to monitor the situation closely.”

HEARD YESTERDAY — State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert insisted the administration did not pressure Israel to remove the metal detectors from the Temple Mount: “Israel’s security is among our top priorities. We would never pressure Israel into making a security decision for political purposes…  We would not get involved in a decision like that. It’s their decision. We recognize that the sides have to be willing to work together on this.”

ON THE HILL — The Senate overwhelmingly passed sanctions legislation against Russia, Iran and North Korea yesterday. The veto-proof bipartisan vote (98-2) is similar to Tuesday’s 419-3 vote in the House of Representatives. Senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Rand Paul (R-KY) voted against the bill. Sanders said on Twitter that while he supported sanctions on Russia and North Korea, he opposed the bill because he worries “very much about President Trump’s approach to Iran.”

Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he cannot imagine Trump vetoing the legislation. “It’s just not a good way to start a presidency to veto something and then be soundly overridden,” he said. “The bill does not violate the 2015 nuclear deal in any way,” AIPAC said in a statement, urging Trump to sign it into law.

On a conference call hosted by J Street yesterday, Israeli Major General (ret.) Amram Mitzna tells JI’s Jacob Kornbluh… “The Prime Minister (Benjamin Netanyahu) has been very silent compared to his speeches before the nuclear agreement was signed. I assume that Israel is in a silent way supporting the idea that the current deal is better than abandoning the deal. It seems to me that Mr. Netanyahu is a little bit worried – he doesn’t know what kind of action the U.S. administration will take, and he understands that he is not able to deal with the current administration the same way he dealt with the Obama administration. Therefore he prefers to sit on the sidelines and see where the wind blows.”

** 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: Apollo raises $24.6 billion for largest private equity fund ever [BIBloomberg] • Patrick Drahi’s Altice sees sales, profit growth with a boost from US business [FinancialTimes] • Alex Sapir fails to take control of ASRR Capital in stock buyout [TRD• Car-collecting mogul Dezer, a Trump pal, caught up in penny-ante lawsuit over condo mortgage [MiamiHerald] • Soros-Backed U.K. Fiber Broadband Challenger Raises $130 Million [Bloomberg] • Startup uses Israeli tech to launch security app for the ultra-wealthy [BizJournals

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Not your grandfather’s schvitz: Gary Barnett bringing infrared saunas to OMS” by E.B. Solomont: “In the arms race for the hottest new condominium amenity, Extell Development is bringing infrared saunas to its forthcoming One Manhattan Square project. The Gary Barnett-led firm said it is the first New York developer to offer residents the chic therapy — which uses radiant heat to warm the body’s core, stimulating the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems to help eliminate toxins. It’s a health benefit, but also a way for Extell to elevate the overall experience at the Lower East Side condo, said senior vice president of development Raizy Haas.” [RealDeal]

“This Hamptons trailer park is a billionaire hotspot” by Jennifer Gould Keil: “On the surface, it could be your typical trailer park, with its boring rows of modular mobile homes squeezed onto tiny plots of land. But Montauk Shores features something other trailer parks don’t: million-dollar views — and billionaire residents. Owning a trailer at the park has become the ultimate status symbol for the tony Long Island town’s summering rich and famous, many of whom use their relatively modest mobile digs as a second pad to escape with the family or even as a glorified changing room after a long day of romping in Montauk’s waves. So many wealthy people have infiltrated the trailer park that it now has its own “Billionaires’ Corner,’’ a local Realtor said. There’s Vitaminwater co-founder Darius Bikoff, hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb, film producer Karen Lauder…” [NYPost]

“Inside Trump International Hotel, the Mecca of Trump-ism” by Irina Aleksander’: “Two Hasidic guys waited to check in. One was talking on a flip phone. The other slapped the counter and said, “Okay, where’s Trump?”” [GQ

“Why Does the Kremlin Care So Much About the Magnitsky Act?” by Julia Ioffe: “In all of the drama over the Russian interference in America’s 2016 election, it’s easy to forget just how corrupt Russia is, and how much corruption and money flows still determine the official course of action. The Magnitsky Act so angered the Russians because it targeted what really mattered to them; it went after Russian elites’ raison d’être… The law hit the mark so precisely and painfully that the elite lashed out fiercely enough to do what neither the Magnitsky Act nor the 2014 sanctions did: They targeted their own, most vulnerable citizens—as if they haven’t stolen from them enough.” [TheAtlantic

PROFILE: “The Settler Leader Who’s Even Charming Liberals as Israel’s Top Man in New York” by Amir TIbon: “When [URJ’s Rick] Jacobs first heard that Netanyahu was planning to send [Dani] Dayan to New York, he told the prime minister over the phone that it would be a major mistake… Jacobs complained that instead of sending to New York “someone who will help lower the flames” and repair the damage that the Netanyahu-Obama era had done to Israel’s relationship with liberal American Jews, Netanyahu was “doing the exact opposite.” Netanyahu listened carefully and asked Jacobs to give the new consul general a chance. “He’ll surprise you,” the prime minister said. Jacobs doubted it, but when Dayan arrived in New York, Jacobs agreed to meet with him at the consulate and discuss possible cooperation. “I remember arriving to the meeting, sitting there with my hands crossed, and thinking to myself — this isn’t going to work,” Jacobs recalled this week. But after spending more than an hour with Dayan, he began to realize that maybe this time the prime minister was right.” [Haaretz]

“Ahead of nationwide release, Al Gore presents an ‘Inconvenient’ sequel at SF Jewish Film Festival” by Lisa Klug: “The new 88-minute documentary is the project of local Jewish filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk. For two years, this married couple followed Gore around the globe, from Greenland to Miami to Paris and parts in between… Having a documentary team shadow Gore for two years did not prepare him for witnessing this passionate portrait of an environmental crusader and policy wonk. “An awful lot surprised me because Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk traveled with me for two years,” Gore told The Times of Israel. “And as you see in the movie, some of the experiences were so emotional and I actually forgot that they were there filming.”” [ToI

HOLLYWOOD: “Larry David Reveals How Lorne Michaels and Ari Emanuel Recruited Him to Play Bernie Sanders on ‘SNL’” by Daniel Holloway: “This Bernie Sanders thing,” David said. “During the first debate between Bernie and Hillary, [‘SNL’ creator] Lorne Michaels got emails and calls during the debate, saying that I should be doing Bernie Sanders.” After the debate, “[WME-IMG co-CEO] Ari Emanuel called me up and said, ‘What did you think?’ And every time I watched Bernie Sanders, I would repeat everything that he said, because I know that I can talk like that. So I started talking to Ari, the agent, I started talking to him like Bernie… Then I said, ‘You know, it would be a good thing for “Saturday Night Live”,’ not thinking in a million years.” … It was also revealed during the panel that David and Sanders are related. Sanders learned of the connection when filming an upcoming episode of PBS’ “Finding Your Roots.” … David did not say exactly how the two are related, specifying only that Sanders is “a third cousin or something.” [Variety]

“These Two Muslim and Jewish U.S. Comedians Are Standing Up for Peace” by Debra Nussbaum Cohen: “Dean Obeidallah is an American Muslim known for his Sirius FM radio talk show… He was appearing with his friend and former neighbor Scott Blakeman, a longtime comic who’s an American Jew with a Reform background. The pair performed at the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, Long Island, trying to tailor what they said to their audience. Blakeman worked hard to avoid mentioning President Donald Trump to the largely wealthy and politically conservative congregation – which wasn’t easy for the political comedian.. “Fifteen years ago, the main focus of our act was to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace,” said Blakeman. “Now, since Trump, both Islamophobia and anti-Semitism have been emboldened. I’ve been doing political comedy a long time and I’ve never seen politics seep into things like this.”” [Haaretz]

ACROSS THE POND: “British anti-Semitic incidents at record high, charity says” by Cassandra Garrison: “There were 767 anti-Semitic incidents, mainly abusive behavior or assault, in the first six months of 2017, the Community Security Trust (CST) reported, a 30 percent increase from the same period in 2016. “Some of this may be down to improved reporting, but it is sadly clear that the overall situation has deteriorated,” said CST Chief Executive David Delew. “Anti-Semitism is having an increasing impact on the lives of British Jews and the hatred and anger that lies behind it is spreading.””[Reuters

SPORTS BLINK: “‘He’s a real pioneer’: Israeli college football player adjusts to life in the U.S.” by Samantha Pell: “Born and raised in Jerusalem, [Yaniv] Kovalski is viewed by many as the first of his kind. He earned a partial football scholarship from Stonehill, the first player from the Kraft Family Israel Football League — the country’s first full-contact tackle football league, sponsored by New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft — to do so at a U.S. college football program. Kovalski is seen as a pioneer to his peers as they try to build a pipeline from Israeli football to the United States. “In 10 years, I would love to have plenty of Yaniv Kovalskis,” said Ehud Sharon, chief information officer of American Football in Israel. “That’s definitely the goal that we are setting up. He’s a real pioneer.”” [WashPost]

“Giants’ Jewish rookie lineman gets late-night kosher snacks” by Paul Schwartz: “Adam Bisnowaty will have some kosher late-night snacks to munch on during training camp and share with his fellow offensive linemen, courtesy of Manischewitz. That famous purveyor of kosher products is sending the Giants rookie all sorts of goodies after learning of Bisnowaty’s Jewish heritage in Monday’s Post. The Manischewitz Company’s Twitter account Thursday night posted a picture of assorted Jewish delicacies, such as potato pancakes, matzo ball soup mix, an assortment of matzo varieties and its famous Tam Tams crackers, promising Bisnowaty “all of this is on its way to you.’’ … The Giants rookie chronicled for The Post his Jewish roots and showed off the tattoo inside his left arm, inscribed in Hebrew, that translates as “I am that I am,’’ a verse from Exodus 3:14.” [NYPost

SCENE IN ISRAEL: Haim Saban and his wife Cheryl attended a groundbreaking ceremony in the northern Galilee earlier this week for a new memorial center for fallen Israeli Druze soldiers. The Sabans are funding construction of the FIDF Druze Soldiers Heritage Center. [Pic

DESSERT: “A Jerusalem Restaurant With Italian and Israeli Influences” by Gabriella Gershenson: “One of the first things you see when you arrive at Anna, an Italian restaurant in the heart of Jerusalem, is a still life of ingredients: a basket of kohlrabi, a bowl of olives and confited garlic cloves, pots of fresh herbs arranged artfully on the pass. The tableau is a fitting tribute to the place. The restaurant is on the top floor of the 19th-century villa where the artist Anna Ticho lived and worked. When she died in 1980, she left her home to the Israel Museum. After a renovation, the chef Moshiko Gamlieli opened Anna in May 2016. The restaurant is kosher, and the Italian menu, which focuses on fish and dairy (omitting meat to comply with kosher law), aims to be accessible.” [NYTimes]

WINE OF THE WEEK — Recanati Marawi 2015 — by Yitz Applbaum: It is not often that someone comes into your office in the middle of the workday and offers you a glass of wine. It is even less common for that wine to be made from an Israeli grape varietal that has a 2,000 year old history.  This surprise gift was compliments of my new friend, Peter, who not only has a great passion for Israeli wines, but the palate, intellect and soul to go with it.

The Recanati Malawi 2015 is produced from 100 percent Marawi grape which is indigenous to the Bethlehem/Hebron area. The Marawi grape has been growing in that area for thousands of years. Ariel University has recently begun a project to resurrect usage of this varietal for wine making. The outcome is quite remarkable. The wine provides a Chenin Blanc like experience. In this case, the grapes are aged for six months in French oak. This gives the soft fruity grape a bit of a tangy taste in the mid-palate without taking away from the peach and floral finish. This wine is drinkable right now. Serve slightly chilled and eat with goat cheese, figs and olives. If you have the image in your mind’s eye, try and imagine the Hebron Hills. It is a great experience. [RecanatiWinery

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAYSurvivor of Auschwitz-Birkenau as a teen, he emigrated to Israel and became an artist, his work, mostly Holocaust themed, appears in the Israel Museum, Yad Vashem and the US Capitol, Yehuda Bacon turns 88… Chicago radio news personality who provides opinion segments for WGN Radio, from 1973 to 2013 he was a television news anchor in Chicago, Walter Jacobson turns 80… Former US District Court Judge in Manhattan (1988-2006), then US Attorney General (2007-2009), now of counsel at the international law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton, Michael Mukasey turns 76… Swedish industrialist, chairman of the Nobel Foundation (manager of the Nobel Prize) from 2005 to 2013, his father was the chairman of the Swedish branch of the World Jewish Congress, Marcus Storch Ph.D. turns 75… In 1986 she became first woman in the IDF to hold the rank of Brigadier General, she was a member of Knesset (2006-2009) and now serves on multiple for-profit and non-profit boards, Amira Dotan turns 70… President of the Council on Foreign Relations since July 2003 and previously a State Department official, Richard N. Haass turns 66… Sports columnist, commentator and author of 36 sports-related books, John Feinstein turns 61… Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic who currently writes for the Los Angeles Times, Jonathan Gold turns 57… French-Israeli hairdresser and entrepreneur, Michel Mercier turns 56… Sports executive, attorney and former president of basketball operations for the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves (2009-2013), David Kahn turns 56… Co-founder and CEO of the personal genomics and biotechnology company 23andMe, Anne Wojcickiturns 44… CEO of  NYC-based Xukuma, LLC (a consulting firm), Jennifer Lew Goldstone turns 44… Managing Partner at Resolute Venture Partners and former White House liaison to the Jewish community, Jay Zeidman turns 34… Director of baseball research and development for the Washington Nationals, Sam Mondry-Cohen turns 30… Political Reporter at BuzzFeed, Ruby Cramer… Partner and managing director of private investment bank DH Capital, he serves on the boards of American Jewish World Service and Hazon, Marty Friedman Larry Gordon

SATURDAYBillionaire banker and energy executive, he is the chairman of BOK Financial Corporation in Tulsa, Oklahoma, George Kaiser turns 75… Newspaper columnist for the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronoth, Meir Shalevturns 69… Denver-based trial lawyer (formerly a prosecutor, now a criminal defense attorney), film producer and author of both fiction and nonfiction, Kenneth Eichner turns 63… Economics journalist and author, now back at the New York Times, Peter S. Goodman turns 51… Twin brothers, Los Angeles based philanthropists and businessmen, Shlomo Yehuda Rechnitzand Yisroel Zev Rechnitz turn 46… Vice President for Community Engagement at BBYO, Jayme David turns 40… Director of the Straus Center at Yeshiva University, he is also the Rabbi of NYC’s Congregation Shearith Israel (often called The Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue), Rabbi Meir Soloveichik turns 40… National investigative specialist at The E.W. Scripps Company, formerly a reporter for the New York Times, Aaron Kessler turns 38… Rabbi Levi Welton turns 34… Former Obama White House aide, now a venture capital investor for Steve Case, Herbie Ziskend turns 32… Director of Israel and Jewish Advocacy at the Baltimore Jewish Council, Adrienne Potter Yoe… and her twin sister, Moira Yoe, who works in NYC on corporate social responsibility at Prudential Financial and is a member of the Global Shapers Community (an initiative of the World Economic Forum), both turn 30… Uriel Wassner turns 23… Deputy Editor at Politico Pro, Carol Eisenberg… Assistant editor of The Agenda at Politico, previously a staff writer at The New Republic, Danny Vinik (h/ts Playbook)… Jason Levin

SUNDAY: Co-founder and now chairman emeritus of the tax-preparation company H&R Block, Henry Wollman Bloch turns 95… Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1992 to 2015, Allan Huber “Bud” Selig turns 83… Of Counsel to the law firm of Hatton, Petrie & Stackler in Aliso Viejo, CA, Ronald E. Stackler turns 80… Film director over many decades, writer, actor, producer, critic and film historian, Peter Bogdanovich turns 78… The first woman justice on the Nebraska Supreme Court, when she was 14 years old she won two gold medals and a silver medal as a swimmer at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, Justice Lindsey Miller-Lerman turns 70… Actor, director and producer, Ken Olin turns 63… Billionaire businessman, philanthropist and investor, of Uzbek Bukhari background, known as the “King of Diamonds,” Lev Leviev turns 61… Born in Moldova, made aliyah in her late 20s, elected as Mayor of Arad in 2010 and re-elected in 2014, now serving in the Knesset for the Kulanu party, Tali Ploskov turns 55… Former Southwest Regional political director for AIPAC, now campaign manager for Trump-Pence in 2020, Michael Glassner turns 54… A descendant of the French branch of the Rothschild family, he is the chairman of the Edmond de Rothschild Group, a private Swiss bank established by his father, Benjamin de Rothschild turns 54… Emmy Award winning actress, comedienne and producer, Lisa Kudrowturns 54… Best-selling non-fiction author, contributing editor at Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone magazines, he is a co-creator of the HBO series “Vinyl,” Rich Cohen turns 49… District director for Congressman Jerrold L. Nadler [D-NY10], Robert Gottheim turns 46… Childhood actor, he served as a law clerk in 2008 for Justices O’Connor and Ginsburg, the only blind person to clerk for the US Supreme Court, now a motivational speaker, author and entrepreneur,Isaac Lidsky turns 38… News reporter and producer at Southern California public radio station KCRW, where he produces “DnA: Design and Architecture,” Avishay Artsy turns 37… New Media editor at the Times of Israel, Sarah Tuttle-Singer turns 36… Director of policy and public affairs for the Jewish Community of Denmark, Jonas Herzberg Karpantschof turns 35… 2017 graduate from Elon University with majors in political science and international studies, Joshua Weintraub

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REPORT: “U.S. seeks to test Iran deal with more inspections” by Josh Lederman and Matt Lee: “The Trump administration is pushing for inspections of suspicious Iranian military sites in a bid to test the strength of the nuclear deal that President Donald Trump desperately wants to cancel, senior U.S. officials said… The inspections requests, which Iran would likely resist, could play heavily into Trump’s much-anticipated decision about whether to stick with the deal he’s long derided. If Iran refuses inspections, Trump would finally have a solid basis to say Iran is breaching the deal… To that end, the administration is seeking to force Iran to let in IAEA inspectors to military sites where the U.S. intelligence community believes the Islamic Republic may be cheating on the deal, several officials said.” [AP]

“Al Aqsa Mosque Boycott Is Called Off After Israel Removes Security Measures” by Isabel Kershner: “Muslim leaders announced on Thursdaythat the faithful could resume praying at the Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem after Israel… had the last traces of security infrastructure near the entrances to the holy site removed before dawn… Amjad Idris, 21, a municipal worker from East Jerusalem, said that the crisis should end and that the Palestinians had won. “All is good,” he said. “What the Israelis put up yesterday has gone today.””[NYTimes]

Avi Issacharoff tweets: “Temple Mount issues won’t be over soon. All the ghosts are out” [Twitter]

“Jordan’s King: Netanyahu Exploited Israeli Embassy Shooting for Political Gain” by Barak Ravid: “Jordan’s King Abdullah II said on Thursday that the way Israel deals with its security guard who shot two Jordanian citizens outside the Israeli embassy in Jordan last week would directly affect relations between the two countries. The king, speaking after returning from a vacation in the U.S., strongly criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying that he exploited the crisis at the Amman embassy to amass personal political capital.” [Haaretz]

KAFE KNESSET — Lapid attacks Dermer — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid joined the chorus of critics of Netanyahu’s decision-making process and stated that “this was a clear case of politics defeating policy.” Meeting with Israeli diplomatic correspondents this morning, Lapid gave an extensive briefing on all of the burning matters of the hour, focusing on Bibi’s handling of foreign policy, including the relationship with the US. “We are losing the Democratic Party and losing bipartisanship, and more and more Democrats are treating us like a branch of the GOP,” Lapid said, directing specific criticism towards Israel’s Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer. “It begins with the PM, but Dermer does everything he says and is also involved in designing the policy. It’s inappropriate that the Israeli Ambassador to the US takes part in Republican gatherings, without even trying to pretend he cares about bipartisanship,” Lapid said. “Dermer has caused us a lot of damage. He was a persona non grata in Obama’s White House, and is unacceptable to the liberal parts of the Democratic Party.”

Al-Jazeera out? Lapid may be using Dermer as a scapegoat, but Netanyahu needed someone else to blame for his woes, so he went for the usual suspect, the media. Netanyahu criticized Al-Jazeera, specifically, for their videos twisting the facts of the situation on the Temple Mount. Al-Jazeera blamed Israel, forgetting that this wave of violence began when Muslim worshippers smuggled weapons onto the site and killed two Israeli policemen. Netanyahu wrote that “Al-Jazeera doesn’t stop provoking violence around the Temple Mount. I asked law enforcement several times to close Al-Jazeera’s office in Jerusalem. If this does not happen because of legal interpretations, I will act to pass the necessary laws to remove Al-Jazeera from Israel.” Looks like the Saudis and UAE aren’t the only ones who want to shut the Qatari outlet down. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

— “Saudi Arabia said King Salman had been in contact with the United States and other world powers to try to defuse the tensions and had “stressed the need for the return of calm.”” [Reuters]

“Jordan walks a tightrope in Jerusalem” by Daniel Shapiro: “To help manage these crises, which inevitably recur, the Trump administration will need to know not only how to cut elegant deals, like this week’s, but also to keep the pressure on allies such as Jordan to do all within their power to prevent and dampen the next round.” [CNN]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: The White House pushed back against criticism that the Trump administration — namely the President and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — were slow to respond to the now almost two-week-long Temple Mount crisis. “Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt and Ambassador Friedman were fully engaged starting in the middle of last week and have continued to be engaged throughout,” a White House official tells us. “Some combination of them have spoken to Abbas, Bibi, King Abdullah and other high level officials in the region. Jason went to Jerusalem and then Amman and back to Jerusalem where he still is. There is a focus on trying to resolve the situation. Jason met with Saeb [Erekat] yesterday. Everyone is deeply involved and having conversations. President Trump has been kept up to speed and has been giving directions to the team as well. He is also involved as well as the NSC and General McMaster. It has definitely been a coordinated process.”

–The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes reports: “Derek Harvey, top Trump adviser on Middle East, is out at NSC, effective today. May take a position elsewhere in the admin.”

BUT REX: “Trump regularly undercuts Secretary of State Tillerson — and it takes a toll” by Oren Dorell: “Tillerson’s name did not come up during a 75-minute interview this week with a senior U.S. diplomat about the American role of a dispute between Palestinians and Israel over Israel’s security measures on the Temple Mount… Instead, U.S. consulate staff in Jerusalem and Trump’s Middle East envoy, Jason Greenblatt, have dealt directly with the White House, where Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, is directing U.S.-Israel policy, said the diplomat, who is familiar with the discussion.” [USAToday

“A double standard for Trump on Israel” by Rob Eshman: “What if Barack Obama had said nothing about the indescribably awful photos of the Salomon family murder scene? His Jewish detractors would have pilloried him — and rightly so. The contrast points to something more and more apparent: a double standard applied by the pro-Israel community to Trump and his predecessor. Three weeks ago, Trump recertified Iran’s compliance with the Iran nuclear deal… Did Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fly to Washington and speak to Congress to publicly condemn Trump? Did Trump’s Jewish supporters call him a traitor to Israel and an Iranian puppet? Nope. Double standard.” [JewishJournal]

THE SHELDON BIBI MEDIA BATTLE CONTINUES — Yesterday, Sheldon Adelson’s Yisrael Hayom wrote on its front page that Netanyahu’s agreeing to get rid of metal detectors outside the Temple Mount was weak. Today, right-wing news site NRG, which is also owned by Adelson, reported that sources close to Netanyahu were badmouthing the Shin Bet security agency. The Prime Minister’s Office took the unusual step of sending a strongly-worded denial to its whole mailing list, calling the report in the Adelson-owned outlet “fictitious.” [KafeKnesset]

“Tillerson faces fights on eliminating envoys” by Nahal Toosi: On Thursday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider legislation that will give lawmakers a greater say over how special envoy jobs are filled. In the meantime, as word spreads that Tillerson has left certain envoy positions vacant or is mulling cutting them altogether, a slew of critics have emerged to protest. Jewish organizations and many lawmakers are furious that Tillerson hasn’t yet named a new special envoy to combat anti-Semitism… The Trump team’s failure to appoint an envoy dedicated to combating anti-Semitism—a role mandated by Congress—has stirred anger across the political spectrum. Last week, the Anti-Defamation League delivered a petition with thousands of signatures demanding that Tillerson fill the slot.”[Politico]

NOMINATION: Yesterday, President Trump announced the nomination of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback to be Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom at the State Department. Rabbi David Saperstein, who headed the Office for International Religious Freedom until January 2017, was the first non-Christian to hold the post.

Rob Wasinger, Brownback’s former chief of staff in the Senate and manager of his 2008 presidential campaign, tells JI’s Jacob Kornbluh… “The President could not have found a better advocate for international religious freedom than Sam Brownback. Sam has a deep and abiding commitment to ensuring religious freedom around the world; and he will be a great addition to the State Department team.”

TOP TALKER: “Jared Kushner’s Dream Team Goes Full Speed” by Emily Jane Fox: “By the time Kushner stood at the dais Monday, and delivered what was generally a nonplussing performance, something shifted. It was the first time that the machinery Kushner has built around him was able to fire on all cylinders, and for the moment, it worked. After three hours with the Congressional Intelligence committee on Tuesday, it appeared that he might move past the darkest moment in his short political career. “In my opinion, Kushner was very forthcoming,” Democratic congressman Jim Himes said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe… “It was a very refreshing change of tone from the tone we’re getting out of the Oval Office, where the president is saying this is a hoax. Kushner took this very, very seriously.” The sentiments were echoed by the top Democrat on the panel, Adam Schiff.” [VanityFair• Partisan tensions flare after Kushner interview [Politico

DRIVING THE DAY — “Trump Bows to Religious Right, Bans Trans Troops” by Asawin Suebsaeng, Kimberly Dozier, Spencer Ackerman and Emma Kerr: “The more socially liberal factions of Trump’s inner circle—including his family members and staffers Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner—have been opposed to all the anti-LGBT initiatives of this administration. However, they quickly determined that their “political capital be spent elsewhere,” as one senior White House official characterized it, given that their advice on LGBT issues has been routinely overruled, if not overlooked, by this administration and President Trump.” [DailyBeast]

“Furious Gay Rights Advocates See Trump’s ‘True Colors’” by Maggie Haberman: “Where’s Jared?” President of the Human Rights Campaign Chad Griffin asked. “Where’s Ivanka?” [NYTimes]

“Trump Just Banned Transgender Soldiers, Claiming They Make Us Less Safe. Israel Begs to Differ” by Yair Rosenberg: “Israel—a tiny country surrounded by enemies that has been repeatedly targeted for extermination, leaving it with no margin for error—has drafted transgender soldiers since 2013. Today, the Israel Defense Forces covers the costs of gender reassignment surgery for its recruits. While the IDF allows exemptions from mandatory service for medical, cultural, and religious reasons, it does not consider being transgender a disability or liability… Trump likes to assert that he is very pro-Israel. If that is genuinely the case, he might want to learn a thing or two from the Jewish state’s treatment of transgender people, in and out of the military.” [Tablet]

ON THE HILL — Graham asks if AIPAC should register as a foreign agent — by Aaron Magid: During a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Adam Hickey, a senior U.S. Department of Justice official, whether AIPAC should “register as a foreign agent.” The South Carolina lawmaker explained his question by adding, “They come up here in droves: lobbying Congress to do things, in their view good for the U.S.-Israel relationship. I know they have a lot of contacts in Israel. Should somebody like that be a foreign agent?”

Graham: “I’m not suggesting that AIPAC is doing anything wrong,quite the contrary, they are a group of Americans who have banded together to maximize their influence to speak about something important to them that involves a foreign ally so I think the AIPAC model is a good thing and that’s not my concern because they are very transparent,” Graham said. “They have conventions, and we all know how the game is played there, so I just want to make sure that lobbying on behalf of a foreign government or a U.S. relationship with a foreign government is not a bad thing as long as you do it right.”

Kevin Bishop, Graham’s Communications Director, tells us… “Graham was not criticizing AIPAC in any way.” [JewishInsider]

Republican and Democratic Senators explain their positions on the Israel Anti Boycott Act — by Aaron Magid: “I frequently disagree with the ACLU,” said Senator Todd Young (R-IN). “I think it’s consistent with our first amendment freedoms. There are always limits on every right that we have. I don’t think this tramples on the Constitution. The [state] of Israel has been on the receiving end in international forums and increasingly on public universities of a pressure campaign to relent to their international critics. One of which is anti-Semitism and to distract from internal challenges. I think this bill is a necessary corrective to all those actions.” Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) emphasized, “The BDS movement has moved far beyond the notion of free speech into hatred and anti-semitic territory. That’s why I believe it’s important that we push back as strongly as possible against any such movement… I strongly support efforts to combat the BDS movement.”

For Senator James Risch (R-ID), the cause of fighting BDS is straightforward. “I think anti-Semitism is despicable and I think this legislation goes a long way to put that back on the shelf where it belongs,” he said.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA): “This is a dispute that I’m trying to resolve for myself. The ACLU’s position causes me concern. I have heard others argue that they are reading the bill wrong. Maybe that’s the case and maybe there’s something that could be added that could clarify that the free speech issues are not of concern… We had a SFRC Dems meeting about this yesterday. We are not expecting immediate action about this, but we are going to try and resolve this concern. Even the proponents of the bill: we don’t want to get into these free speech issues. So whether or not the ACLU position is right or wrong, I haven’t sat down with all of the statutes myself. We’ll continue to work on it.”[JewishInsider]

“U.S. lawmakers reach deal for Senate vote on Russia sanctions” by Patricia Zengerle: “Senator Bob Corker, a Republican, said the Senate would move to approve sanctions on Russia and Iran it passed six weeks ago… The sanctions package passed the House of Representatives by an overwhelming 419-3 on Wednesday and is expected to garner similar support in the Senate. That would easily overcome a veto by Trump.” [Reuters

“When the White House Lies About You” by Bret Stephens: “[Dan] Scavino’s failure to correct the record on something as minute as my exchange with Pompeo suggests he’ll lie about anything. And this is the guy who stands at the heart of the Trump administration’s social media operation — the most demagogic enterprise of our time… If Anthony Scaramucci is serious about cleaning house in his new shop, dismissing Scavino should be a priority. I’ll take it instead of the apology I’m still owed.” [NYTimes]

“Scaramucci name drops ‘Cain and Abel’ when talking about Priebus” by Louis Nelson: ““If you want to talk about the chief of staff, we have had odds. We have had differences. When I said we were brothers from the podium, that’s because we’re rough on each other. Some brothers are like Cain and Abel. Other brothers can fight with each other and get along,” [Anthony] Scaramucci said Thursday during a phone interview on CNN’s “New Day.” “I don’t know if this is reparable or not, that will be up to the president.” In the Book of Genesis, Cain killed Abel.” [Politico]

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: “Lawyers upon lawyers upon lawyers: In Trump World, everyone has an attorney” by Ben Terris: “Over the years, attorneys would play a bigger and bigger role in Trump’s life, and [Roy] Cohn’s never-back-down strategy would become his mantra… “When we first started doing deals, he’d read everything,” Jonathan A. Bernstein, a former attorney for one of the Trump Organization’s top law firms, Dreyer and Traub, said… “When he got busy and trusted more, he read less and less and let the lawyers be the lawyers.” … In time came Michael Cohen, once known as “Trump’s pit bull,” who worked for the Trump Organization… There was Marc Kasowitz, who until recently was heading up the outside legal response to the Russia investigation… There’s Jay Sekulow, the former lead attorney for Jews for Jesus and a radio talk-show personality, who represents Trump personally… The lawyers are everywhere, but it’s not entirely clear that Trump or his family are interested at all in taking advice… “It’s utter chaos,” a lawyer who has worked with many of Trump’s lawyers said. “Sometimes it can be like no one knows who is in charge.”” [WashPost

STATE-SIDE: “Friedman breezes to Massachusetts state Senate seat” by Aaron Curtis: “Cindy Friedman, the former chief of staff to the late Sen. Kenneth Donnelly, will fill the seat of her former boss after easily winning the special election Tuesday over Green-Rainbow party candidate Ian Jackson… The spot became vacant when Donnelly died in April after battling a brain tumor. He was 66. During her campaign, Friedman has identified her focus as health care, the environment and education.” [LowellSun]

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Elliott wins more time to beat Berkshire Hathaway’s Oncor deal [Reuters• This Israeli Startup — WalkMe — Netted $75 Million to Wring The Most Out of Your Software [Fortune• WeWork launches dedicated China business backed by $500M from investors • [TechCrunch]• Netflix producing Israeli spy thriller ‘The Angel’ to premiere next year [JPost] • Slack just got a $5 billion valuation in a mega funding round led by SoftBank and Accel [BusinessInsider]

START UP NATION: “Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Are Getting Their First Startup Fund” by Gwen Ackerman: “With a target of $5 million, the 12Angels fund is meant to encourage the slow but steady inroads the ultra-Orthodox, or haredi, community is making into an industry dominated by veterans of elite Israeli military units. Its first investment, of $150,000, was supplemented by the head of Facebook Israel, the chief scientist’s office and another fund… Some of Israel’s top executives — including the country manager of Facebook Israel, Adi Soffer Teeni; Chemi Peres, managing general partner of Pitango Venture Capital, and Dov Moran, founder of M-Systems Flash Disk Pioneers Ltd. — have invested their own money in the fund. The government is also investing in haredi entrepreneurs, eager to keep Israel a global tech hub that now produces about a third of the country’s economic output.” [Bloomberg

“Viral Facebook star to hold Jewish-Arab Jerusalem meetup” by Amy Spiro: This Friday afternoon in Jerusalem is bound to be tense… “It seems like the whole world is either with Israel or with Palestine,” [Nuseir] Yassin, who goes by “Nas” on his hugely popular Facebook page Nas Daily, told The Jerusalem Post… “It seems like there is nobody that is actually in the middle, because the only loud people are the ones in the extreme.” So, amid threats of riots and violence, Yassin, 25, has invited all of his local fans to an event at the First Station – timed to start after Muslim prayers finish but before Shabbat begins – and buses end… The Harvard graduate and native of Arrabe in the Lower Galilee decided last year… to give up his New York hi-tech job and travel the world. Since then, he’s lived a nomadic lifestyle, exploring the globe and posting one-minute videos on Facebook for his close to two million followers.” [JPost

“Review: In Two Israeli Plays, the Promise of Peace Keeps Receding” by Alexis Soloski: “We know how to wage war. When waging peace, the strategies are less certain. That tenuous battle has inspired two fitfully involving Israeli plays at this year’s Lincoln Center Festival: an adaptation of David Grossman’s novel “To the End of the Land,” produced by Ha’Bima National Theater and the Cameri Theater of Tel Aviv, and “Yitzhak Rabin: Chronicle of an Assassination,” directed by the filmmaker Amos Gitai… At least Mr. Gitai doesn’t overstress the parallels between Israel in 1995 and the current American moment. The piece’s themes and resonances — the fragility of concord, the manifest dangers of extremist rhetoric — are blunt enough.” [NYTimes

HOLLYWOOD: “Bill Clinton, James Patterson Courting Spielberg, Clooney to Adapt ‘President’ Book” by Rebecca Ford and Kim Masters: “Sources say that [Bill] Clinton and Patterson themselves will meet with interested producers this week. J.J. Abrams, Steven Spielberg and George Clooney are among those who will be taking in-person meetings with the pair… The project would be the first book-to-film adaptation for Clinton, who has written three books since leaving office in January 2001.” [THR

TONIGHT IN DC — “Peter Himmelman: ‘A Glimpse of Something Richer’” by Keith Valcourt: “The term multifaceted has never applied to one person more so than to Peter Himmelman, who is a singer, songwriter, motivational speaker, children’s artist, poet and even the voice of a therapy bear. Thirty years (and 37-plus albums in) Mr. Himmelman, who also happens to be Bob Dylan’s son-in-law, continues to motivate creativity with his own work and through his organization Big Muse. He and his band are on the road supporting his latest CD, the particularly solid “There Is No Calamity.” Mr. Himmelman will perform at The Hamilton Thursday evening.”

“Q: What is the one thing you need on tour? Himmelman: I have a special diet. I only eat kosher food, so that is always something to think about and consider. Q: Since you only eat kosher, where do you dine in D.C.? A: Well, there might be a kosher place. Probably not. I usually just go into a grocery store. I like to cook. If it is a long time on the road, I will bring some heating elements and pots and pans and make my own. A lot of men don’t cook. I was sort of a latchkey kid, so it was “cook or die” in a certain way.” [WashTimes]

MEDIA WATCH: “Trump Is Failing As A President. But He’s Succeeding As Reality TV” by Ben Smith and Kate Aurthur: “That moment-by-moment insight into the inner lives of the cast of Survivor: White House doesn’t always include those on-camera revelations… More often, the confessionals come through leaks from the supporting characters: We know about Steve Bannon’s enmity for Jared Kushner, and his complex and shifting relationship with Reince Priebus. We know about Sean Spicer’s frustration, Rex Tillerson’s pique. Everyone is mad at Don Jr.! It’s an emotional mess… And the recent rise of Anthony Scaramucci marks a kind of recognition that this is a show… Trump may not, yet, have figured out how to be president — but he has monopolized our attention, dominated the narrative and the story, and it would be mistake to dismiss that power.” [BuzzFeed

TALK OF THIS TOWN: “Making a move, Bais Abe rabbi looks toward future at D.C. synagogue” by Eric Berger: “If Rabbi Hyim Shafner encounters Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, at Kesher Israel in Washington, D.C., he already has a line planned: “Hmmm… are you related to the Teaneck Trumps?” Shafner is preparing to become head rabbi at Kesher Israel after he leaves Bais Abraham Congregation, a modern Orthodox synagogue in University City, later this summer… Shafner will not be joining a congregation that is still in shock, said Leon Wieseltier, a member of the search committee. “This is not about healing; we have healed,” said Wieseltier, who has been a member for 20 years… Over a Shabbat at Kesher, Shafner’s “learning was obvious” and he was “uncommonly warm and solicitous. He just seemed to be enthusiastic about human relations,” said Wieseltier… Shafner said one of the first things he heard from Kesher Israel members was “you can never talk about politics from the pulpit because everyone wants to leave that aside for Shabbat.”” [STLJewishLight

“West Side Judaica Plans To Close After 83 Years, Owner Says” by Gus Saltonstall: “West Side Judaica on Broadway between 88th and 89th Streets plans to close after 83 years, owner Yaakov Saltzer told us. He couldn’t specify when the store would close, but said “I can’t afford the rent and the Internet,” referring to the Internet’s effect on book sales. A tipster had told us that Saltzer said he plans to close sometime in the next couple of months.” [WestSideRag] h/t Your Daily Biscuit

Future development in Surfside, Florida to accommodate Orthodox Jews” by Sergio Carmona: “Menachem Boymelgreen, the Eden Residences’ developer, said the development is expected to break ground in four to six months and completed at the end of 2019. He explained the features that will make this project accommodating to Orthodox Jews. “The kitchens are all specialty kitchens created with two sinks, two ovens, two dishwashers and two stove tops,” Boymelgreen noted. “Every unit has a private front garden or roof top deck which would be perfect for a sukkah [for the Jewish holiday of Sukkot]. We have two pools and two gyms in the building, one for men and one for woman which will adhere to the rules of Tzniut.” [SunSentinel]

DESSERT: “Philly’s acclaimed Israeli restaurant Zahav settles class-action suit” by Michael Tanenbaum: “Philadelphia’s powerhouse Israeli restaurant Zahav, the jewel of Steve Cook and Michael Solomonov’s CookNSolo family, has agreed to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by a former server who challenged the restaurant’s pooling of tips. Zahav will to pay a total of $230,000 to 41 current and former employees of the Old City restaurant, according to court documents obtained by the Associated Press.” [PhillyVoice]

“KFC Won’t Let Franchisees Serve Halal Meat, and Now One Is Suing” by Whitney Filloon: “A KFC franchisee in Chicago is suing the chain after being told he cannot serve halal buckets of chicken. Afzal Lokhandwala owns and operates eight KFC stores in the Chicago area, and says he’s been serving certified halal chicken for more than a decade, according to Courthouse News. Now, however, KFC is enforcing a policy the company says it’s had in place since 2009, which prohibits franchisees from making religious claims about the chain’s food.” [Eater]

BIRTHDAYS: Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations Stephen M. Greenberg turns 73… Television producer of many popular sitcoms in the 1970s and later founder of the progressive advocacy group, People for the American Way,  Norman Lear turns 95… Former CIA Director (1995-1996) and Deputy Secretary of Defense (1994-1995), now a professor at MIT and on the boards of multiple Fortune 500 companies, John M. Deutch turns 79… Editor, producer and director at Israel’s Channel 1 TV where he co-directed the science show and was the education reporter, he is best known for his documentaries of Israel’s intelligence agencies, Yarin Kimor turns 65… Comedienne, writer, producer and actress, she was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman over twenty-five times, Carol Leifer turns 61… VP of global communications, marketing and public policy at Facebook since 2008, he previously held a similar position at Google, Elliot Schrage turns 57… Member of the Hungarian Parliament (1990-2009) and member of the European Parliament since 2009, Tamás Deutsch turns 51… Journalist at the Christian Science Monitor since 1981 and now its Washington Bureau Chief, Linda Feldmann… Chief of Staff of the House Republican Conference, Jeremy Deutsch… Media relations specialist, previously an intern at the Israeli Embassy in Washington and a research assistant at the Rothenberg Political Report, Benjamin Rothenberg

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