DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Trump Faces Battle to Undo Iran Nuclear Deal” by Jay Solomon: “Donald Trump as president will be positioned to swiftly pull the U.S. out of the Obama administration’s landmark nuclear agreement with Iran, as he suggested during his campaign. A much harder task for Mr. Trump, however, is to convince other global powers to join him and dismantle a deal that President Barack Obama says has diminished the threat of another war in the Mideast and opened a path for reduced tensions in the region.” [WSJ]
“‘Never Trump’ GOP preparing to work with Trump to squeeze Iran” by Josh Rogin: “There are several issues that I can work with the new president on, the Iran deal being number one,” Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who voted for independent candidate Evan McMullin, told me. “Trump has been right about the Iran deal, it needs to be renegotiated. I’m going to create leverage for him.” The strategy is to tighten the noose on Iran such that if and when President Trump tries to renegotiate the Iran deal, as he promised to do on the campaign trail, the Iranians will be under more pressure to come to the table.” [WashPost]
“Making the Iran Nuclear Deal Great Again” by Eli Lake: “If Hillary Clinton had won the election, the excess heavy water would likely remain in the non-compliance category. But Donald Trump will be the next president, and he has promised to enforce the 2015 deal with vigor… it’s worth asking who is to blame if the Iranians do walk away from the agreement because the U.S. president actually enforces its terms. Will it be Trump or Iran who has wrecked Obama’s foreign policy legacy?” [BloombergView]
“Obama Administration Loosens Nuclear Deal After Iran Violates It” by Jenna Lifhits:“[State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark] Toner said he was not going to “use the ‘v word'” to describe Iran’s possession of excess heavy water, since the country “owned up” to its error. “If Iran refused to abide by that limit, or obfuscated or tried to hide the ball…then that would be a major concern, and that could be considered a violation,” Toner continued. “But they’re not.” [WeeklyStandard]
“Trump foreign policy adviser: Trump will demand changes to the Iran nuclear deal” by Andrew Kaczynski: “Ripping up is maybe a too strong of word, he’s gonna take that agreement, it’s been done before in international context, and then review it,” [Walid] Phares said on BBC radio Thursday. “He will take the agreement, review it, send it to Congress, demand from the Iranians to restore few issues or change few issues, and there will be a discussion. It could be a tense discussion but the agreement as is right now — $150 billion to the Iranian regime without receiving much in return and increasing intervention in four countries — that is not going to be accepted by a Trump administration.”[CNN]
TOP TALKER: “Adviser says Trump won’t rip up Iran deal, signals he may not move embassy” by Joshua Davidovich: “Appearing to walk back statements made by president-elect and other advisers, Walid Phares says nuclear pact will be ‘renegotiated,’ US mission will only be moved to Jerusalem under ‘consensus,’ brokering Israeli-Palestinian peace deal will be top priority.” [ToI]
“Goldberg: Are you surprised?
Kissinger: I thought Hillary would win.
JG: Do you feel better about Trump’s competence, or his seriousness?
HK: We should stop debating that question. He is the president-elect. We must give him an opportunity to develop his philosophy.
JG: Are you going to help him?
HK: I will not reach out to him, but that has been my approach to every president since I left office. If he asks me to come see him, I will.” [TheAtlantic]
TRANSITION: “Trump and Obama Hold Cordial 90-Minute Meeting in Oval Office” by Julie Hirschfeld Davis: “Mr. Trump’s trip was surreal for many Republicans and Democrats in Washington, who never expected to see the real estate executive and reality television star in an Oval Office meeting to begin preparations to lead the most powerful nation in the world. Mr. Trump, whose campaign drew support from white supremacist groups, sat just in front of a bust of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Oval Office…. In December, Mr. Obama’s team plans to hold the first of two war-gaming exercises to prepare Mr. Trump and his staff for a potential national security crisis. The second simulation for Mr. Trump is set for January, days before he officially gains access to the nuclear codes.”[NYTimes] • Obama meets his nemesis [Politico]
— “During Obama and Trump’s press availability, Kushner snapped photos with his iPhone.” [WashPost]
“Kushner takes a walk with McDonough, stoking chief of staff speculation: The private talk stokes speculation that Kushner could be in the running to be Trump’s chief of staff, after having served as his shadow campaign manager throughout the presidential race.” [Politico]
Bannon, Priebus top candidates for White House chief of staff” by Eric Beech: “Priebus is said to be viewed favorably by Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner, the newspaper said.” [Reuters]
“Defense lawyer Mukasey on Trump’s short list to replace Bharara” by Kevin Dugan: “The 49-year-old is a favorite of Donald Trump’s, sources said. Mukasey previously served as the deputy chief appellate attorney for the Manhattan federal prosecutor. When reached for comment, Mukasey said he was flattered but had no plans to leave his current job.” [NYPost]
“Trump team warns Obama not to make major moves on foreign policy” by Nahal Toosi:“Obama and his aides shouldn’t go seeking new adventures or pushing through policies that clearly don’t match with Trump’s, he added. That includes efforts to bring peace to the Israelis and Palestinians — even if those initiatives are symbolic at best. Trump, for one, has made it very clear he will support Israel and its preferences… Obama administration officials will likely do everything they can to maintain the integrity of the Iran nuclear deal, but that is one area in which Trump can single-handedly undermine all of their efforts.” [Politico]
Trump to Israel Hayom: “I love and respect Israel and its citizens. Israel and America share so many of the same values, such as freedom of speech, freedom of worship, and the importance of creating opportunities for all citizens to pursue their dreams. I look forward to strengthening the unbreakable bond between our great nations. I know very well that Israel is the one true democracy and defender of human rights in the Middle East and a beacon of hope to countless people. I believe that my administration can play a significant role in helping the parties to achieve a just, lasting peace — which must be negotiated between the parties themselves, and not imposed on them by others. Israel and the Jewish people deserve no less.” [IsraelHayom]
“Israeli officials worried about President-elect Trump’s lack of ‘coherent’ Middle East policy” by Glenn Blain: “Trump doesn’t see the Middle East as a good investment and it’s reasonable to assume he will seek to reduce American involvement in the region… Trump’s declarations do not necessarily point to a coherent policy on this issue. On the one hand he has expressed support for the settlements and for moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, but in other statements he said that he wants to remain neutral and that the two sides should reach a deal themselves.” [NYDailyNews; Haaretz] • How Trump Could Reshape the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict [ABC7]
“Danon: Trump will bring Israel enthusiasm to the White House” by Danielle Ziri: “He loves Israel, he likes the Prime Minister of Israel and he also talked a lot about his family connection, his personal connection to Israel,” Danon continued. “I think that he will bring this enthusiasm to the White House.” [JPost]
Aaron David Miller: “These two leaders’ personalities suggest it’s only a matter of time before Mr. Trump and Mr. Netanyahu are annoying one another, or possibly worse.” [WSJ]
JI INTERVIEW with Norm Coleman, former Minnesota U.S. Senator from Minnesota, who refused to support his party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, for president. “Nobody saw it coming. It certainly shook the world with this victory,” Coleman told us in a phone interview.
On future of the U.S.-Israel relationship: “The folks in the Middle East have been counting down the days till Obama is gone. The personal relationship with the Prime Minister, negotiating with Iran without telling our allies, a sense of our allies, both in the Gulf States as well as Israel, that the president wasn’t there to have their back, that he was more focused on the Iran deal than on their needs, and just the deal itself – all that is coming to end. And it’s certainly not going to be a continuation of the Clinton policy, it’s going to be a different policy, and folks are looking forward to that.”
On Trump’s Israel policy: “I think what you will see with Trump is he’s somebody who says what he thinks in spite of what other people react to that, and therefore, I have no doubt that he will follow through on his promises. You know, through his son-in-law (Jared Kushner), he has some very close connections with the pro-Israel community, incredibly close ties. I think that, in the end, will bode well for those of us who are deeply concerned about the U.S.-Israel relationship and about the security in the region.”
On how the #NeverTrump wing will react to a President Trump: “I would hope that the beauty of American democracy is that when our leader is chosen, that we then try and find ways to work with that leader because it is in America’s interest. I will certainly do all in my power to work with the president and help him be successful because if he’s successful, America is going to be successful. That’s the way I have always operated… He’s in the driver’s seat, and he’s leading the parade.” [JewishInsider]
More of our conversation with former ADL Director Abe Foxman — On Trump’s policy on Israel: “For Israel, unpredictability is not good, and in the beginning he was unpredictable and that was a little scary. But as time went on and he filled out the Israel card with positions etc, I think there’s a greater comfort, except on the issue of a one-state solution. I think that’s something for Israel to decide, not an issue for a candidate for president or even the president. I don’t think most of us wanted Obama to tell Israel what to do. I don’t think we are going to want Donald Trump to tell Israel what to do. We want him to listen, to be an ally, a partner. I think that will happen. What you are seeing now, is it was political. A one-state solution in their platform, I am not sure served the best interest of Israel.”
On moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem: “Our failure was not to get the American government to move its embassy 50-60 years ago, and every year that went by, it became more difficult because there was a higher price to pay. My view is, I would do this thing gradually. I would open a residence in Jerusalem for the Ambassador. I would have an official office in both places. I would move it gradually because after 70 year of this horrific double standard, it may be too traumatic to do it immediately. That’s why all the promises from our good friends, in the past, when it came to a reality, it was too much of a risk of what the consequences may be, especially in such a radical Middle East as we live in today where any excuse could wind up in violence. I would move the process gradually rather than as a dramatic act. At this point, what’s important is the continued support of Israel.
On Obama taking action at the UN: “Seventy percent of the Jewish community still voted Democratic, so there’s a future that the Obamas and Bidens care about. We do have an impact in the future. I don’t see any success coming out of an Obama action. Maybe we have been overhyping this anxiety because I don’t see it being in the interest the Obama legacy, and for American diplomacy. I don’t see any success except to upset a lot of people – for what?” [JewishInsider]
TOP READS: “The View From Trump Tower” by David Brooks: “If your social circles are like mine, you spent Tuesday night swapping miserable texts. Not all, but many of my friends and family members were outraged, stunned, disgusted and devastated. This is victory for white supremacy, people wrote, for misogyny, nativism and authoritarianism. Fascism is descending. Those emotional reactions were a fitting first-night response to the greatest political shock of our lifetimes. Still, this is probably not the best mentality for the coming era.”
“Which is why I’ve been thinking we need a third party that is social/open. This compassionate globalist party would support the free trade and skilled immigration that fuel growth. But it would also flood the zone for those challenged in the high-skill global economy — offering programs to rebuild community, foster economic security and boost mobility. It would integrate the white working class and minority groups by emphasizing that we are all part of a single American idea. Trump’s bigotry, dishonesty and promise-breaking will have to be denounced. We can’t go morally numb. But he needs to be replaced with a program that addresses the problems that fueled his assent. After all, the guy will probably resign or be impeached within a year. The future is closer than you think.” [NYTimes]
“Dealing with Shock” by David Suissa: “Having Donald Trump as President of the United States may be the most shocking political news story of my adult life. I don’t care who you voted for. I don’t care if you’re far left or alt right, or if you’re Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist or evangelical Christian, or if you’re Hispanic, Asian or Armenian. Shock is shock. And the notion of Donald Trump as the leader of the free world is worthy of shock.” [JewishJournal]
Graydon Carter on Trump’s “Only in America” Election Win: “Only in America could a man who offended Hispanics, Muslims, Jews, and African-Americans, as well as women, babies, and the handicapped, become the Republican nominee for president… Only in America could a man who kept a volume of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside rule over the second-largest Jewish population in the world… Do not tell me America is no longer a land of opportunity.” [VanityFair]
“Schumer, Sanders back Muslim lawmaker for top Democratic Party post” by Ron Kampeas: “Ellison, who has indicated he would be interested in the post but who has yet to declare, has been a sharp critic of Israel, but has also reached out to pro-Israel groups.” [JTA]
“DNC Staffer Screams At Donna Brazile For Helping Elect Donald Trump” by Jennifer Bendery: “Donna Brazile, the interim leader of the Democratic National Committee, was giving what one attendee described as “a rip-roaring speech” to about 150 employees, about the need to have hope for wins going forward, when a staffer identified only as Zach stood up with a question. “Why should we trust you as chair to lead us through this?” he asked, according to two people in the room. “You backed a flawed candidate, and your friend [former DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz] plotted through this to support your own gain and yourself.”” [HuffPost]
“Jews Outperform Top Democratic Party’s Base” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Among Jewish voters, Clinton managed to maintain, but also slightly increase her share of the vote — 71 percent compared with 69 percent for Obama — while the number of Jewish voters supporting Donald Trump (24 percent) was significantly less than the 31 percent Mitt Romney received in 2012… “The election result is what it is,” Keyak said. “However, while underperformed among other top Democratic base constituencies when compared to President Obama’s reelection – including among African-Americans, Latinos, and union households – the strong Jewish vote was a thin ray of light for an otherwise dark night.””[JewishInsider]
“Lubavitch Crown Heights an Island For Trump Amid Sea of Clinton Supporters” by Rachel Holliday Smith: “A clear connection between the Republican candidate and the Lubavitch community — through his son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka, who visited the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s grave last weekend, and Rudy Giuliani, who is “loved” and trusted by the Hasidic community in the neighborhood, he said — helped, too. “People feel safe knowing that Trump’s immediate circle has roots in our community and friendships in our community,” [Yaacov] Behrman said.” [DNAInfo] • In Democratic Stronghold of New York City, Trump Finds Support Among Orthodox Jews [NYTimes]
TALK OF THE TOWN: “U.S. Synagogues Invite Grieving Jews to Sit Shiva Together After Trump Victory” by Debra Nussbaum Cohen: “Farther downtown, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum was planning a similar event at Congregation Beth Simchat Torah, where she held one for staff in the afternoon. “People feel shock, fear, anxiety and grief. It really feels like we need to sit shiva this week,” she told Haaretz.” [Haaretz] • “Playground swastikas in Aspen make strong impression” [AspenTimes]
“This Is Good Facebook: Mother and Daughter Hikers Run Into Hillary Clinton in the Woods” by Madison Malone Kircher: “Gerster decided to take her daughter and dog for a walk in the woods in Chappaqua, New York, today. “I’ve been feeling so heartbroken since yesterday’s election and decided what better way to relax than take my girls hiking,” Gerster wrote. But instead of just finding some temporary peace in nature, Gerster wound up running into Hillary Clinton.” [NYMag]
SPOTLIGHT: “The Unexpected Management Genius of Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg” by Adam Lashinsky: “The first time I interviewed Mark Zuckerberg, back in 2005, he was all of 21 years old and could have passed for 16. He had recently dropped out of Harvard to move his startup to Silicon Valley and was obviously enjoying the novelty of being called CEO… Zuckerberg is rightly recognized for his outsize success. Nevertheless, he is surprisingly underappreciated for his business acumen.”
“Yes, he has delegated the commercial aspects of Facebook to Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s polished chief operating officer, a Harvard MBA who is 15 years Zuckerberg’s senior. Sandberg’s presence has fostered an “adult supervision” narrative familiar to the Valley. But unlike, say, the Google founders, who turned over the CEO job to Eric Schmidt for a decade, Zuckerberg has remained chief executive throughout Facebook’s 12-year sprint to greatness.” [Fortune] • Zuckerberg: The idea that fake news on Facebook influenced election result is “bogus” [FastCompany]
STARTUP NATION: “New Israeli machine to standardize diamond grading” by Audrey Horowitz: “Sarine Technologies Ltd. said its system, currently in advanced large-scale testing in India and expected to be marketed toward mid-2017, will revolutionize the global diamond industry by enhancing consumer trust in each diamond’s valuation. The system will simplify the clarity grading process and provide accurate and objective mapping of the polished diamond, said chief executive and executive director Uzi Levami. Roland Lorie, chief executive of the International Gemological Institute, a global diamond certification body, inspected the new machine on Thursday.” [AP]
“Meet Eric Greitens, Missouri’s First Jewish Governor” by Armin Rosen: “It’s not out of the question that Greitens could eventually add “first Jewish president” to an already impressive resume, especially given the success of a certain other ideologically flexible political newcomer.” [Tablet]
TALK OF OUR NATION — Four Organizations Merge to Lead Next Stage of Jewish Innovation: “UpStart, Bikkurim, and Joshua Venture Group are consolidating into a single organization – UpStart – to serve as the central resource for Jewish innovation. The newly envisioned UpStart will also include the current U.S.-based programs of PresenTense. The four organizations currently provide the Jewish community’s leading support services for innovators and organizations looking to tackle today’s Jewish challenges with new ways of thinking, and to create meaningful access points to Jewish life.” [eJewishPhil]
BROADWAY: “What It’s Like to Make It in Showbiz With Your Best Friend” by Michael Paulson: “They went viral before going viral was a thing — their undergraduate years coincided with the birth of Facebook, and the first song cycle Benj Pasek and Justin Paul wrote, called “Edges,” was discovered, shared and performed by musical theater majors around the country. Now, at the age of 31, after a decade of being touted as promising, up-and-coming, and ones-to-watch, Pasek and Paul have arrived. Their first original musical, “Dear Evan Hansen,” a daringly heart-wrenching show that explores the charged interplay between collective grief and social media after a misconstrued high school suicide, begins previews Monday, Nov. 14 and is generating prize chatter even before it opens on Broadway Dec. 4.” [NYTimes]
SCENE THE OTHER NIGHT: “Natalie Portman Honored at Emotional Night for the Israel Film Festival Gala” by Alex Cramer: “Over 500 guests, including dozens of actors and filmmakers, came together Wednesday night in the grand ballroom of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for a gala awards dinner to celebrate the 30th Annual Israeli Film Festival. A somber Portman, following Donald Trump’s presidential election win the night before, dedicated most of her speech to the topic and told the crowd, “Let us look into each other’s hearts, express our own and use our curiosity against future simplification and fanaticism.”” [HollywoodReporter]
WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS: Former US Ambassador to the Czech Republic (2011-2014), now a Visiting Fellow at Brookings Institution, Norm Eisen turns 56… Attorney in Los Angeles, Gerald Neiter turns 83… Democratic US Senator from California since 1993, Barbara Boxer turns 76… Author and Senior Fellow at USC’s Annenberg School, Morley Winograd turns 74 (h/t Playbook)… Television personality (host of Double Dare), comedian and talk show host, Marc Summers (born Marc Berkowitz) turns 65… President at American Built-in Closets in South Florida, Perry Birman turns 59… Talk show host Zev Brenner turns 58… Russian born billionaire, entrepreneur, venture capitalist and physicist, Yuri Milner turns 55… Emmy Award and People’s Choice Award winning television producer, Max Mutchnick turns 51… Shula Kantor…
Professor of History at Columbia University and expert on Japan, Carol Gluck turns 75… Sportscaster for NBC since 2006, after 29 years at ABC, Al Michaels turns 72… Author of young-adult fiction and winner of the National Book Award for “Challenger Deep,” Neal Shusterman turns 54… Author, journalist and former political advisor to Al Gore and Bill Clinton, Naomi Wolf turns 54… Director of President Obama’s National Economic Council after a stint as acting director of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeffrey Zients turns 50… Israeli fashion model and actress, Nina Brosh turns 41… Matthew Berkman turns 32… Bernard Wachsman… Dave Weinberg…
Israeli businessman Nochi Dankner turns 62… Harold Waldenberg turns 96… Philosopher and professor at CUNY since 2002, formerly professor at Princeton University (1977-2002), Saul Kripketurns 76… AIPAC national lay leader Kevin Pailet… Communications Director at Christians United For Israel, Ari Morgenstern… Somali-born activist who has servd in the Dutch parliament and as a fellow of the American Enterprise Institute, Ayaan Hirsi Ali turns 47…
DRIVING THE DAY: “After campaign rancor, Obama and Trump to meet at White House” by Jeff Mason & Steve Holland: “President Barack Obama will host President-elect Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday in their first public step toward a transition of power after a bitterly fought election campaign that ended with the Republican businessman’s surprise victory. Obama campaigned vigorously… and called Trump both temperamentally unfit for the presidency and dangerously unprepared to have access to U.S. nuclear codes. They will seek to put that history behind them, at least for the cameras, during a meeting in the Oval Office at 11 a.m. First lady Michelle Obama will also meet privately with Trump’s wife, Melania, in the White House residence.” [Reuters; WSJ]
Question on some JI readers’ minds — When Obama and Trump discuss the transition period, will any talk of Obama’s plans for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process come up? When we asked Trump’s Israel advisor David Friedman this morning, he responded: “Sorry, can’t discuss details of their discussion.”
THE DAY AFTER — More Questions For Our Readers On Trump’s Win (1) Are you concerned about a rise in anti-Semitism? (2) How will Trump’s win affect the Jewish community in America? (3) What effect will Netanyahu’s cozying up to Trump today have on pro-Israel progressive outreach? We asked some prominent JI readers to respond to these questions. Here are their replies… includes comments from Alan Dershowitz, Abe Foxman, Daniel Gordis, Leon Wieseltier…
Q: Are you concerned about a rise in anti-Semitism?
“Alt-Right Internet Trolls Are Already Emboldened By Trump’s Victory” by Joseph Bernstein: “On the Twitter timeline of the mainstream liberal commentator Peter Beinart, hardly a Twitter warrior, where he has been retweeting responses to his anodyne observations about Trump’s low support among Jews. Among them: “Jews are always jews first, in whatever host Nation they are parasitising,” and “you don’t have a home nobody wants you. In the ovens u go.”” [BuzzFeed]
Former ADL Director Abe Foxman tells us: “Revolutions usually don’t have good consequences for the Jewish community. But I think in this revolution, the good news is it’s not about us. We were not an issue in the election, although some wanted to make Jews an issue. Israel was not an issue, The Iran deal was out there. But this revolution happened without us. We were not central. Not even Jewish money was a major thing. I think that’s a good thing.”
“The bad thing is that for this revolution to happen it had to break taboos. What worries me is Trumpism – the ugly element in out society. What Trump did was break taboos, all kind of taboos. And when you break that kind of taboos, you give a certain hechsher (license) to the bigots that are there. But now we are talking about Donald Trump the president, a leader, and not a candidate. I am optimistic. And I think what we heard in his victory speech, we will continue to hear because what motivates people like him is that they want to lead, and now he’s got to lead everybody.”
Leon Wieseltier: “The Trump campaign’s malign neglect of the anti-Semitic words and images in its midst was contemptible, and no amount of visits by Ivanka and Jared to the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s grave will absolve it. But the chief threat from the Trump right is not to Jews. It is to Muslims and Mexicans, to immigrants, to African Americans, to all the ‘others’ in our society. We must have zero tolerance for anti-Semitism, obviously; but we must not mistake every expression of it for a dire emergency. This ugliness is not primarily about us. At this moment we owe our solidarity to the main targets of the Trumpist bigots.”
Alan Dershowitz: “It may embolden anti-Semites of the alt-right.”
Daniel Gordis: “No one knows what this means for anything. Trump himself has no idea. America will lurch conservative, that much is clear. But what that will look like is anyone’s guess. That is also true of the anti-Semitism issue. There were undeniable anti-Semitic tropes in his campaign. The question isn’t whether Trump himself is anti-Semitic. It almost doesn’t matter. What matters is that his election legitimates a mode of discourse and a set of beliefs among others. There has never, in all of Jewish history, been a society that was mean and hateful that despised some minorities that didn’t eventually get to the Jews. Which is why the fact that Ivanka is Jewish could not possibly matter less.”
Q: How will life look like for the Jewish community with a President Trump?
Wieseltier: “Pretty much the way it looks now. This is — still! — America: we pursue our religious and communal lives regardless of who the president is. Trump’s presidency will polarize our community, which is as it should be. The Jewish right will follow the Israeli right into the dangerous illusion that the two-state solution is now a thing of the past. The Pesach seder in the White House will include shemurah matzah.”
Dershowitz: “Life will probably not change for most Jews.”
Gordis: “As divided and mean spirited as we all knew America is, it’s much worse than we allowed ourselves to think. Such societies have never been good to or for the Jews. The openness, tolerance and gentility which made Jewish flourishing in America possible has now ended, at least for a while. Jewish accomplishment, success and access will not end overnight, but if this persists for the long haul, it is not at all unlikely that the golden era of American Jewish life has begun to wane.”
Diane von Furstenberg emails: “Today is the first day of the rest of our lives. We must believe that our future is in our hands. More than ever we must believe in good and the good of people. More than ever we must study, learn, be open minded, be generous and have compassion. More than ever we must be an example of good and influence the good. Whatever voice we have, we must use it to influence others so that our country celebrates what we cherish about it…its openness and inclusiveness.”
–Related: From October 2015, “Barry Diller Says He’ll Leave the Country If Donald Trump Wins the White House” [Bloomberg]
Q: What effect will Netanyahu’s cozying up to Trump today have on pro-Israel progressive outreach?
Dershowitz: “Every leader of every country will try to establish good relations with Trump. To single out Netanyahu for criticism is to apply a double standard.”
Wieseltier: “Of course it’s bad. Everything Netanyahu does is bad for gaining progressive support for Israel. Alienating vast precincts of American Jewry is one of his greatest skills. Meanwhile, the Israeli-Palestinian problem will only get worse.”
Gordis: “American progressives have the luxury of preaching at Israel from the safety of their American perches. Israelis – and Bibi – have the responsibility to stay alive. Bibi clearly would have preferred Hillary – “the devil you know.” Having gotten Trump, though, Netanyahu has to worry about Israel’s security, with the US now in the hands of an inexperienced, not terribly smart, easily offended leader with no policies in mind. Even the Palestinians are cozying up to Trump; it would be suicidal for Netanyahu to be doing anything else.”
RJC’s Matt Brooks explained in a conference call why the organization was silent on Trump during the election: “When this was a race about Donald Trump, Donald Trump was losing, when this was a race about Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton was losing. And so every we did, all of our messaging was designed to get a message out about Hillary Clinton. The favorability numbers for Donald Trump were pretty bad in the Jewish community, and of those people who had a favorable impression of Trump, a lot of them were already voting for him. So to be waving a banner which by definition was going to repel a lot of the persuadable voters that we were trying to reach, we felt that was strategically and tactically counterproductive.”
JI INTERVIEW with RJC Board Member Michael Epstein: “This is our opportunity to demonstrate some deliverables. We Republicans have no excuses. Either we demonstrate that our way of government works. And we show it to the millennials in the country who have no idea that capitalism works and socialism doesn’t work.”
“Trump deserves credit with the victory but he was fortunate to be running against a candidate any of our guys could have beaten… The divisiveness in our country was about to destroy the republic… This is the social media election. But I don’t think Trump we’ll be tweeting in the White House.”
On anti-Semitic trolls empowered by Trump: “The Republicans have to continue to disempower them. The far left has these issues too, especially on some college campuses. The Democrats have not disempowered them the way they should… I didn’t think Trump’s closing ad was anti-Semitic. We Jews are small in number but great in influence, we work hard and have great intellect. Are we supposed to shy away from that? Jews can be oversensitive to those things but the ad wasn’t anti-Semitic.”
On whether some Republicans will continue to critique Trump: “We’re all free thinkers. We just need to be at the table.”
On whether Trump has learned from his mistakes at RJC’s forum last December? “The candidate that spoke to us last December is a different man than the one who is now President-elect. He’s been awaken to a number of issues and understands nuance… The RJC will now be united in support of him.”
Q: Who could Trump appoint to make you feel more comfortable about his foreign policy decisions?
Epstein: “John Bolton and Mike Doran.”
Q: Would he listen to them?
Epstein: “I don’t know.”
Q: Does that concern you?
Epstein: “I think that people, I’m assuming that people rise to the job.”
HEARD LAST NIGHT: “Biden: Strong Support for Israel Will Continue Under Trump ” by Jacob Kornbluh: “A number of our friends in the community are anxious about what it will mean for America’s commitment to Israel,” Biden said about the election of Donald Trump as the next president during a speech at the World Jewish Congress’ annual Theodor Herzl Award in Manhattan. “I stand here to tell you that I have no doubt, none whatsoever, that in the Trump administration, there will be no diminution of support as a consequence of this transition.” Biden added that even if the new administration would be inclined to reduce military aid to Israel, “which it is not,” Congress “would never let it happen. The American would never let it happen.” [JewishInsider; Politico]
“Trump invites Netanyahu to meeting ‘at the first opportunity’: Israel” by Ori Lewis:“Netanyahu spoke to newly elected U.S. President Donald Trump by phone on Wednesday and Trump invited him to a meeting “at the first opportunity”, Netanyahu’s office said. The conversation was “hearty and warm” and regional issues were discussed, the office said.” [Reuters; Haaretz] • Gil Hoffman:The lesson of Trump and Netanyahu – Fighting against the media works [JPost] • Republican Leader in Israel: Moving U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem Is Trump’s Litmus Test’ [Haaretz]
Netanyahu also spoke by telephone with Hillary Clinton and thanked her for supporting Israel, according to the PMO. He told her that she has an open invitation to visit Israel.
“World Is About to Find Out What Donald Trump Really Believes” by David Sanger, Maggie Haberman and Binyamin Appelbaum: “It is a view of American power that spills over into his approach to national security. He sees little long-term benefit from funding efforts to eliminate the root causes of terrorism. His mind goes to military solutions first. Few statements were more often repeated, or more heartfelt, than his vow to bomb the Islamic State, and “take the oil.” “ [NYTimes] • Eli Lake: Will Donald Trump Go Rogue in the War on Terror? [BloombergView]
“Iran-Deal Sanctions Relief Could Be Overturned With ‘Stroke of a Pen’” by Samuel Rubenfeld: “The next president could easily make a determination to withdraw the U.S. from the JCPOA. Similarly, the sanctions relief that was enacted on Jan. 16 was done through executive orders and administrative rulemaking, all of which could be overturned with the stroke of a pen,” said Douglas Jacobson, a partner at the international-trade focused law firm Jacobson Burton Kelley PLLC.” [WSJ]
“ADL Congratulates Trump: ‘American Democracy at Work’” by Jacob Kornbluh: “We congratulate President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence on last night’s election victory,” ADL National Chair Marvin Nathan and ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt, said in a joint statement. “This is American democracy at work. The voters have spoken, Secretary Clinton has conceded, and the civil transition of power is underway.” [JewishInsider]
ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt responds to David Friedman’s criticism of group’s statements during the election: “The Anti-Defamation League has never taken sides in elections. For the more than 100 years, we have called out anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry whenever we see it and wherever its source. This is not a matter of politics, but of principles. As President-elect Trump said last night, ‘it is time for us to come together as one united people,’ and we look forward to working with the new Administration — and all Americans –toward that goal.”
“Can a Divided America Heal?” by Erica Brown: “I think about Donald Trump’s first days of leadership. I wonder, President-elect, who will your advisers be? Only you can decide if you will continue the bold swagger of power or opt for the civilizing influence of persuasion. This country’s deep political divide requires more than reaching across the aisle. It’s almost like reaching across the universe.”[Tablet]
The Jewish Federations of North America sends letter to Trump, offering assistance in the transition period and beyond [Scribd] AIPAC: “This election once again demonstrates that support for Israel transcends partisan differences.” [PressRelease]
“Clinton Won Overwhelming Majority of Jewish-American Vote, Polls Say” by Judy Maltz:“Non-Orthodox Jews supported Clinton at higher rates than Orthodox Jews, but the Democratic candidate came out ahead even in this sub-group. According to the poll, 76 percent of Reform Jews voted for Clinton, as opposed to 21 percent for Trump; 71 percent of Conservative Jews voted for Clinton, as opposed to 25 percent for Trump; and 56 percent of Orthodox Jews voted for Clinton, as opposed to 39 percent for Trump.” [Haaretz; JewishInsider]
Nathan Diament: “What Does Trump Victory Mean For The Jewish Agenda? “Mr. Trump making good on his firm commitment to finally relocate the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem may send the most useful message to Israel’s enemies in decades… The president-elect must immediately charge his transition team with planning specific steps they will aggressively undertake in the first days of his administration to rein in Iran on the nuclear front and also confront Iran on its expansive sponsorship of terrorism.” [NYJewishWeek]
TOP TALKER: “Icahn Left Trump Victory Party to Bet $1 Billion on Stocks” by Beth Jinks and Erik Schatzker: “Speaking earlier in a phone interview on CNBC, Icahn reiterated that he has no interest in taking on the role of Treasury secretary in Trump’s administration. “I don’t think I’d be the right guy to fit into Washington, you know, I’m not an establishment guy,” Icahn said. “I never worked for anybody in my life.”” [Bloomberg]
“Republican foreign policy veterans in quandary over Trump” by Matt Spetalnick and Arshad Mohammed: “I don’t expect to be asked. I wouldn’t serve. But there are others who will. It will be a matter of individual conscience,” said Eliot Cohen, who served as counselor to former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and helped spearhead the March letter… Dov Zakheim, a former Pentagon undersecretary who signed one of the dissent letters, said Trump would have to reach out beyond his circle of supporters to find enough qualified people to fill many important jobs. “He will want to show that he is not dividing the Republican party, so he will extend an olive branch to those in the party who opposed him,” Zakheim said. Asked whether he expected to be offered a post, he said: “I have no idea, as it’s not up to me.”” [Reuters; DailyBeast]
“Trump maps out a new administration to bring a seismic shift to Washington” by Philip Rucker:“Who would be the face of the White House in the press secretary role? Boris Epshteyn, a Trump surrogate who appeared frequently on cable television and anchored the campaign’s Facebook Live broadcasts? Jason Miller, the campaign’s senior communications adviser? Or [Sean Spicer, a more familiar face for the Washington press corps?” [WashPost]
**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 firstname.lastname@example.org
HAPPENING NOW: “The entrepreneurial elite are preparing for a “Davos meets Burning Man” conference on a giant ship” by Olivia Goldhill: “Forget TED. Davos is old news. The next generation of thought leadership, Summit at Sea, takes place in international waters… There’s something about sailing the ocean blue that creates an inspirational setting for discovery, explains Rosenthal. Plus, the very limited cell service and wifi while at sea forces the 3,000 guests and 200-odd speakers to put away their phones and focus on being present, he adds.” [Quartz]
PROFILE: “Giving Us the Business” by Eytan Kobre: “Whether he’s reporting for the Wall Street Journal about financial scandals or writing books about the decade’s biggest business stories, Orthodox journalist and author Greg Zuckerman always makes it personal.” [MishpachaMag]
BIRTHDAYS: Lyricist and songwriter for TV, film and stage, who together with her husband, won three Academy Awards for Best Original Song, Marilyn Bergman turns 87… CNN news anchor whose first day on the job was September 11, 2001, longtime reporter for ABC, Aaron Brown turns 68… ESPN’s SportsCenter anchor, Linda Cohn turns 57… Bar-Ilan University Professor and social historian, ordained by Yeshiva University, Adam Ferziger turns 52… Murray Kurtzberg… Senior Rabbi of Leo Baeck Temple in Los Angeles, Ken Chasen… Chief Communications Officer for the New York City Housing Authority, Jean B. Weinberg… Senior Investigative Reporter at ABC News, Josh Margolin… Executive Editor at Foreign Policy Magazine, Benjamin Pauker…
ABOUT LAST NIGHT — Questions On Our Mind After Trump’s Upset Victory: (1) What does this mean for the U.S. – Israel relationship? (2) Will the Obama Administration now push for an Israeli Palestinian peace effort at the UN in their remaining weeks? (3) What’s the state of the Iran agreement going forward? (4) Will AIPAC and Trump get along, especially after the organization’s unprecedented apology over Trump’s remarks at their last policy conference? (5) Who will be Trump’s Ambassador to Israel? (6) Will that Ambassador work from Jerusalem? (7) Why was Jared Kushner not given a shoutout on stage last night from his father-in-law? Seperately, Trump noted the presence of his daughter-in-law Lara, who is Jewish, and married to Eric Trump.
We asked some prominent JI readers to respond to these questions. Here are their replies… includes comments from Yossi Klein Halevi, Ken Weinstein, Mindy Finn, Noam Neusner, Ari Harow, Tevi Troy, Aaron David Miller, Jeff Ballabon, David Siegel, and Trump advisor David Friedman…
Q: Will the Obama Administration now push activity at the UN?
Hudson Institute’s Ken Weinstein: “The prestige of the Obama administration has been dealt a serious blow by the Trump victory, especially given the political capital spent by the President, the First Lady and the Vice President on behalf of Clinton. This particular moment of a lame duck presidency is definitely not the time for pushing a Palestinian state at the UN.”
Noam Neusner: “There would have to be something to achieve out of some kind of anti-Israel UN gambit — at this stage, there aren’t many Democrats who would give Obama cover for abandoning Israel. He has no political juice — it just disappeared.”
Netanyahu’s former Chief of Staff Ari Harow: “I don’t believe they will. With the incoming Trump administration most likely to take a different approach to the UN, any such activity would be for naught.”
Yossi Klein Halevi: “If Obama does go to the UN, it will be a fit of pique that will have no positive consequences. It would be Obama throwing a temper tantrum. If I were Obama waking up to the news today, the last thing on my mind would be the Palestinian issue. Obama is looking at the ruin of Obamacare, at a very shaky Iran deal, and some other of his key initiatives. If he goes to the UN, he will just be compounding his failure on the peace process.”
Tevi Troy: “I’m generally not a fan of outgoing presidents pushing new policy agendas after the president-elect is determined. In the Bush administration, for example, Chief of Staff Josh Bolten told cabinet secretaries to stop new regulatory efforts in July of 2008, months before the election took place. That said, it wouldn’t shock me if President Obama took steps out the door to handcuff President-elect Trump and to put Israel in a more difficult situation vis a vis the UN. I hope he resists the temptation.”
Q: What does this mean for the U.S. – Israel relationship?
Interesting to note: A JI reader emailed us this morning, “Israeli Amb. Ron Dermer is a big winner… This will be much more of his environment… Dermer worked together with Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, at Frank Luntz’s shop back in the day.”
Aaron David Miller: “With so much of its governance in a box, a Trump Administration will adopt a kind of if ‘it ain’t broke don’t try to fix it’ mentality to any relationship that isn’t in need of immediate attention. Relations post Obama are likely to improve as Trump’s hostility to the Iran nuclear deal increases and any pressure on Israel with respect to the Palestinian issue diminishes, Expect Netanyahu to come to the White House before Passover.”
Neusner: “Probably a neutral event from a relationship point of view. If Trump is inconsistent and provocative, it would be bad for Israel and the US both in the Middle East.”
Weinstein: “Netanyahu is one of the few big foreign winners of the 2016 election. He will have a sympathetic ally and ear in President Trump, one who doesn’t believe that the key to Middle East peace is a Palestinian state. Trump can start to help repair other rifts caused by the policies of President Obama, especially with regards to Iran.”
Harow: “There is most definitely a belief that the Trump administration will show greater understanding for Israeli concerns, be it on the Iranian nuclear issue, the Palestinian conflict, and the war on terror. An interesting point to remember is that after serving as Prime Minister for over a decade, this is the first time Netanyahu will work with a Republican president.”
Klein Halevi: “Trump, as we know has very thin skin, and does not take slights, whether real or intended, well. The great danger in navigating the relationship with this president is to avoid personal complications. Trump is not about ideology, or even policy, but about emotion. We’re going to have to tread carefully, not to insult or provoke this president, and develop a good working relationship. The fact that Trump has Jewish family members is potentially of special significance for a leader for whom everything is personal.”
“For me, this is not ultimately about Israel. It is about the fate of the world. We are part of this world, and many Jews have a tendency to think of Israel in isolation of the fate of the rest of the world. And as it happens, we are part of humanity, and where humanity goes the state of Israel goes. And so whether Trump moves the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or not, there are much deeper questions about world stability and global economy. What was so disturbing to me as an Israeli, watching this election, was that it reminded me of Israel in the 1990’s, where Left and Right saw each other as illegitimate and that led to a political assassination. Democrats and Republicans saw each other’s candidate as an existential threat to America, and I am deeply afraid for the mental health of the country I grew up in. I am feeling the fragility of America society, as an Israeli, and I am terrified.”
Jeff Ballabon: “It’s an understatement to say that Donald Trump and his team are a breath of fresh air. I worked with Trump’s advisors on the revolutionary Republican platform and they clearly understand the issues better than any diplomatic or policy team I’ve worked with or observed in 25 years. They are independent, they understand that Israel is our ally, that Israel is not legally or morally an occupier anywhere in the indigenous Jewish homeland and that Jews should have the right to live freely, in peace and security, including in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria. Finally, they respect Israel’s sovereignty and so will resist any international pressure on Israel to sacrifice its security to please the rest of the world.”
Troy: “I am hopeful that the Trump election leads to an improvement in the US Israel relationship. Clearly, these were a rocky eight years under Obama for that special friendship.”
Former Israeli Consul Gen. David Siegel: “I have no doubt that President-elect Trump will be a great friend and ally to Israel and will work closely with Israel to advance our shared interests for a secure, stable and peaceful Middle East.”
Q: What will the relationship between a Trump administration and AIPAC look like especially after the unprecedented apology from AIPAC over Trump’s speech during the last policy conference?
–Worth Noting: AIPAC national board member David Cordish is friendly with Trump and publicly introduced the President-elect at a Maryland GOP dinner in the summer of 2015. In the video we captured at the time, Cordish describes how Ivanka was the matchmaker for his son, Reed Cordish and Margaret Katz. Trump and David Cordish first met when Trump sued Cordish Co. over a Florida casino project. The judge pushed for mediation, Trump and Cordish met in-person, worked things out and became friends.
–Key Player: Michael Glassner, who we profiled last year, was spotted standing on stage at Trump’s victory party last night. Glassner served as AIPAC’s Southwest Regional Political Director immediately prior to joining the Trump campaign.
Weinstein: “AIPAC was able to get along with President Obama. It should be able to rally around U.S. Middle East policies that are tilted more favorably towards Israel. Given the way he ran his campaign, a President Trump may be less dependent on the ability of AIPAC members to raise political funds. But AIPAC should still be able to build strong bridges to Trump and his team, regardless of the apology. J Street, on the other hand, will be entering the political wilderness, without a sympathetic White House and without committee chairs in Congress to push its agenda.”
Troy: “AIPAC clearly have some work to do following the controversy surrounding Trump’s speech to them. The lesson for both AIPAC and attendees for the future should be that the annual conference is an opportunity to hear the views of the different presidential candidates, and that all candidates should be given a respectful opportunity to state their views.”
Ballabon: “Trump’s advisors clearly have both the US’s and Israel’s best interests at heart and I think any organization that shares those priorities will be welcome. But the episode itself, which troubled so many of AIPAC’s biggest supporters as well, revealed the need for some serious internal rethinking about that organization’s mission and priorities. If they are primarily focused on pleasing their American Jewish base, they may find themselves at odds not only with a significant majority of Israelis on key issues – like Judea and Samaria and the so-called “Two-State Solution” – but also with a Trump administration team that has direct ties to Israel at least as deep and personal as anyone at AIPAC.”
Q: State of the Iran nuclear agreement going forward?
According to a Reuters report: “Say goodbye to the Iran deal,” said Richard Nephew, a former U.S. negotiator with Iran now at Columbia University. “There is very little likelihood that it stays, either because of a deliberate decision to tear it up by Trump, or steps that the U.S. takes which prompt an Iranian walk back.” The spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Behrouz Kamalvandi, was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency: “Iran is prepared for any change,” adding that Iran would try to stand by the deal.”
Neusner: “Obama doesn’t have anything that assures policy continuation on anything — the Iran agreement was never put to a vote. Assuming Trump meant what he said, he will probably walk away from it.”
Weinstein: “Trump has made overturning the Iran deal a centerpiece of his campaign. Unfortunately, much of the disastrous deal cannot be overturned: the cash given to Iran and the reversal of sanctions. But a Trump administration could work more closely with traditional Sunni allies and Israel to put greater pressure on Iran to confront its regional ambitions that have been largely unchecked. I can’t imagine that Trump would react as passively as Obama has in handling aggression by the Iranian navy.”
Harow: “Netanyahu made it clear in his speech to Congress and in public statements since that the Iran agreement is bad for Israel, bad for the U.S., and bad for the world. This has not changed. A revaluation of the Iran agreement by the new administration would be a welcome development.”
Q: How will the #NeverTrump wing react to a President Trump?
Ballabon: “Some #NeverTrump’s are principled and some are posturing. I’ve been hearing all along that many people who were assertively self-declared #NeverTrumps had also quietly submitted their resumes for the Trump campaign team or transition team. And some were crumbling even as the results were coming in last night, while others doubled down. So I think there will be many different reactions. We’ll have to wait to see if anything practical or significant survives or can be built by the remnants.”
Weinstein: “Serious think tankers will heed the call of patriotic service and join the Trump-Pence administration. Others will refuse. Those who have criticized the President-elect repeatedly are unlikely to be asked to join the administration. The extent to which advisors have influence will determine how many go in and how many stay.”
Mindy Finn, Evan McMullin’s running mate: “A President Trump that continues to stand for things that Donald Trump has stood for throughout this campaign? I disagree with him on several measures, namely the very important ones. One that he wants to expand the size of government, expand executive power and the role of the executive. He’s already become too powerful. He demeans and disrespects immigrants and people who don’t look like him – people from different faiths and background, and women. I oppose all those things, and if those are the things that Donald Trump stands for, then yes! I will continue to oppose him.”
Neusner: “Overall, it’s a rebuke to lots of people — especially those like me who opposed Trump in the primaries and who didn’t vote for him in the general. His political argument won. He changed the map. Now he has to prove he can govern. If he does — even as a big government nationalist with modest conservative instincts. — he will forever change the party. That might not leave room in it for someone like me, but that is far from settled. I will fight for ideas and sometimes against the party leaders, just as Buckley did under Eisenhower.”
Q: Will David Friedman serve as the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel?
Friedman tells us: “I hope he makes that choice, but it’s his choice to make.”
Worth rereading: Trump Advisors Issue Position Paper on Israel [JewishInsider]
STATEMENTS — Netanyahu: “I congratulate Donald Trump on being elected the 45th President of the United States of America. President-elect Trump is a true friend of the State of Israel, and I look forward to working with him to advance security, stability and peace in our region… I am confident that President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the unique alliance between our two countries and bring it to ever greater heights.”
RJC’s Matt Brooks: “The RJC could not be happier with the election of Donald Trump and our Senate and House majorities. Whether it’s the millions of dollars we have raised, the paid advertisements, and the door-to-door grass roots activities, we are proud of all we have done to assist all our candidates in their victories. After a long, grueling campaign, it’s time for the nation to come together. While there are bound to be bruises on both sides of the aisle – Republicans, Democrats, and Independents must move forward and heal our differences, for the good of the country.”
“US ambassador to Israel calls on Trump to uphold Iran deal” by Raphael Ahren: “The nuclear pact, brokered under American leadership between six world powers and Iran last year, has been “very successful in doing exactly what it was designed to do, and that is to block systematically each pathway Iran had to achieve a nuclear weapon,” Dan Shapiro said. “Obviously we recommend the next administration continue [honoring the agreement], because it does fulfill that function.” Shapiro added, “There is no disagreement between the US and Israeli experts about Iran’s adherence to the terms of the agreement.”
— “Asked whether Israelis can expect Shapiro to be the last U.S. Ambassador to Israel to work from Tel Aviv instead of Jerusalem, Shapiro replied: “Every US administration that has looked at the question has determined that the embassy is where it should be. I can’t speculate beyond that.” Shapiro also did not say whether Trump’s victory increased the likelihood of the outgoing administration backing a Palestine-related resolution at the United Nations Security Council.” [ToI] Video [Facebook]
Ron Prosor tells the NYTimes: “Ron Prosor, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, said a Trump victory spelled “the end of political correctness” — long viewed by Israel as a diplomatic bugbear in its dealings with the world over the Palestinian issue. Mr. Prosor also seemed satisfied that there would be “no free lunches” for Iran under a Trump presidency, and that Iran would be called to account for any violations of the nuclear accord, which the Israeli government vehemently opposed.” [NYTimes]
Israeli Right hails Trump: ‘The era of a Palestinian state is over’: “Education Minister Naftali Bennett said “the era of a Palestinian state is over. Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause. This is the position of the President-elect, as written in his platform, and it should be our policy, plain and simple,” he wrote. Speaking in the Knesset plenum, Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud) gave his congratulations to Trump on Wednesday morning: “I am confident that the longstanding friendship and alliance between the United States and Israel will remain strong during Mr. Trump’s term in office,” he said… Edelstein gave his address in English, an irregular step for Israeli politicians speaking in the Knesset.” [JPost]
“Inside Trump’s Stunning Upset Victory ” by Alex Isenstadt, Eli Stokols, Shane Goldmacher and Ken Vogel: “Inside Trump Tower, Trump’s children and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were losing patience with Lewandowski, who seemed to be devoting the bulk of his time to undermining Manafort. .. Manafort, meanwhile, was having problems of his own… He had also been losing the confidence of Trump’s family, especially Kushner, who by now was gaining influence in the campaign. “Paul’s losing his edge,” Kushner told a fellow aide one day. On Aug. 19, Manafort abruptly announced his resignation. And that’s when the campaign started to turn around for Trump.” [Politico]
EXIT POLL: Hillary got 71 percent of the Jewish vote to Trump’s 24 percent [NYTimes] In New York’s 48th Assembly District (Borough Park), Trump got 69 percent of the vote, while Hillary got 27 percent, according to unofficial results. As many as 524 people chose a write-in candidate after Assemblyman Dov Hikind urged voters to write in Paul Ryan for president.
“Trump Supporters Over the Moon at Campaign Party as Republicans Stun the World” by Danna Harman: “I was told by the Republicans in Israel that I should just come here and they would let me in,” he explained. “And I felt we needed a big Israel flag because Trump is great for Israel too,” he explained. “Your Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu loves Trump because he is strong, and he understands that is what is needed in this world today,” Michael Klamen, a jeweler from Florida offered, upon seeing the flag.” [Haaretz]
“This Orthodox Jewish immigrant dedicated his vote to a slain Muslim American soldier” by Sarah Pulliam Bailey: “An Orthodox Jewish immigrant’s tweet went viral on Tuesday after he posted a photo of himself with his ballot next to a photo of Army Capt. Humayun Khan, a Muslim American soldier who was killed in 2004 while serving in Iraq. Yosef Rapaport, who does independent media consulting, said that he woke up on Election Day and decided to dedicate his vote to Khan. “I would probably not agree politically with Capt. Khan if he met me and we talked about world affairs,” Rapaport said. “I don’t know. I can’t be sure. That doesn’t diminish one iota the deep respect I have for him and his family for what they did for America. We owe them our deepest respect.” Rapaport declined to say who he voted for, but he said leans left.” [WashPost]
Peter Beinart: “I Still Love America. But, After Trump’s Victory, I Don’t Trust It: I’ve never felt less American and more Jewish. As an American, a white one, I’ve always felt safe. I’ve always assumed my country would be stable… As an American, I’m totally unprepared… I’m not leaving America. It’s my country. I have to fight – every American Jew has to fight – to protect the American Muslims who right now must be terrified beyond belief. I have to fight the dozens of American Nazis who have descended on my Twitter feed to celebrate their victory. I still love America to my core. But I don’t trust it in the same way.” [Haaretz]
TRENDING READ: “An American Tragedy” by David Remnick: “Trump is vulgarity unbounded, a knowledge-free national leader who will not only set markets tumbling but will strike fear into the hearts of the vulnerable, the weak, and, above all, the many varieties of Other whom he has so deeply insulted. The African-American Other. The Hispanic Other. The female Other. The Jewish and Muslim Other. The most hopeful way to look at this grievous event—and it’s a stretch—is that this election and the years to follow will be a test of the strength, or the fragility, of American institutions. It will be a test of our seriousness and resolve.” [NewYorker]
“How the stampede for big money enabled Donald Trump’s rise” by Matea Gold: “This cycle was a good illustration that money is one tool that impacts public opinion, but the media have a larger megaphone than any campaign is able to buy — and candidates and the dynamics of the field matter,” said Charlie Spies, a Republican campaign finance lawyer who served as counsel for Bush’s super PAC.”[WashPost]
“Schumer, as expected, to run for Democratic leader” by Burgess Everett and John Bresnahan: “Schumer will be the first Jewish party leader in the Senate and the first New Yorker to serve as Democratic leader. Schumer won a landslide victory to a fourth term and will lead his party alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who intends to seek the GOP leader job next week regardless of who controls the Senate.” [Politico]
“Republican Eric Greitens next Missouri governor” by Kurt Erickson: “Greitens, a Maryland Heights native and 1992 graduate of Parkway North High School, becomes Missouri’s first Jewish governor.” [STLToday] • RJC: “We are proud to have a Jewish Republican leading the great state of Missouri. Awesome job Eric Greitens! [Twitter]
“Controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio loses” by Theodore Schleifer: “Arpaio called himself “America’s toughest sheriff” and was known for his tough stance on immigration in the border state.”[CNN] • George Soros spent $2M to defeat Arpaio [Twitter]
BUSINESS BRIEFS: Icahn Doubles Down on Hertz as Missed Earnings Punish Stock [Bloomberg]• MyHeritage launches DNA testing service to help you uncover your family’s history [TechCrunch]• Seen At 11: Israeli ‘OrCam’ Brings Back Quality Of Life For Many Suffering From Loss Of Vision[CBSLocal]
BIRTHDAYS: British businessman and philanthropist, formerly Chairman of Lloyds TSB a major UK bank, Sir Maurice Victor Blank turns 74… Political consultant and fundraiser, founded “No Labels” in 2010 to solve problems across the partisan divide, Nancy Jacobson turns 54… Senior producer at NBC Nightly News, Joel Seidman… British Conservative politician and businessman, David Wolfson, Baron Wolfson of Sunningdale, turns 81… Founding Executive Director of OneTable, Aliza Klein… Chairman and CEO of Los Angeles public affairs firm Cerrell Associates, Hal Dash… Executive Director at Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, Samara Hutman…
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