Feb
27

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Daily Kickoff: 100 Senators urge Homeland Security to add Israel to Global Entry | Brooks on a generation emerging | When Golda Meir met Billy Graham

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NEXT GEN — Joe Lieberman’s granddaughter makes Aliyah: “Nesya Lieberman, the granddaughter of former United States Senator Joe Lieberman, made Aliyah today from Atlanta, Georgia through Nefesh B’Nefesh… The 20-year-old will be attending Ulpan at Kibbutz Sde Eliyahu upon her arrival to improve her Hebrew skills in preparation of beginning a year volunteering for National Service.” [IsraelNationalNews]

David Brooks writes… “A Generation Emerging From the Wreckage: I’ve been going around to campuses asking undergraduate and graduate students how they see the world… I came away from these conversations thinking that one big challenge for this generation is determining how to take good things that are happening on the local level and translate them to the national level, where the problems are. I was also struck by pervasive but subtle hunger for a change in the emotional tenor of life… Again and again, students expressed a hunger for social and emotional bonding, for a shift from guilt and accusation toward empathy… It’s not that the students are hopeless. They are dedicating their lives to social change. It’s just that they have trouble naming institutions that work.” [NYTimes

TOP TALKER — “Democrats marshal a strike force to counter Trump on national security in 2018, 2020 elections” by Anne Gearan: “Called ‘National Security Action,’ the group is more expressly political than many Democratic-leaning think tanks and policy shops, but it will not endorse candidates or make political donations, Ben Rhodes and others said… “We’re a temporary organization. Our hope is to be out of business in three years,” Rhodes said. Co-founder Jake Sullivan, a former adviser to Clinton during her 2016 campaign and earlier as secretary of state, said the group will also advise Democrats in congressional oversight of Trump… “There was a need for connective tissue,” said former senior State Department official Wendy Sherman. “It’s connecting all the progressive groups and citizens that are very concerned about America’s place in the world, about our leadership in the world and that are very concerned about the institutions that ensure the rule of law in the world and our security and prosperity.” [WashPost]

NEW DIPLOMATIC FRONT — “US opens tough Saudi nuke talks, in shadow of Iran deal” by Matt Lee and Josh Lederman: “Energy Secretary Rick Perry will lead an interagency U.S. delegation to talks with the Saudis in London on Friday… as the Arab powerhouse explores a civilian nuclear energy program, possibly without restrictions on uranium enrichment… The Saudis have indicated they might accept such curbs if a separate nuclear deal with its arch-foe Iran is tightened…” [AP]

“Europeans Dig In Against New Iran Sanctions Risking Nuclear Deal” by Nick Wadhams: “There is no problem that you can think of with Iran that would not be to the power of 100 worse if this was a nuclear-armed country,” David O’Sullivan, the European Union’s ambassador to the U.S., said Monday in a meeting with editors and reporters at Bloomberg’s Washington bureau. “So for us, the first thing to do is to make sure this country doesn’t have nuclear weapons. That’s what the deal did and does in our view, and it is working.” [Bloomberg]

Canada’s Conservatives promise to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital: “Following Donald Trump’s lead, the leader of Canada’s Conservative party has pledged to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital if the party forms a government after the next election in 2019… “Canada’s Conservatives led by Andrew Scheer will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital when we form a government in 2019,” the party said in a pledge posted on its website this weekend.” [ViceCBC]

ON THE HILL — “Senate urges Homeland Security to expand Global Entry to Israel” by Bart Jansen: Sens. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, and James Inhofe, R-Okla., announced Monday that they drafted a letter to DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen that was signed by all 100 senators urging the expansion of Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry screening to Israel… in recognition of the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the countries… “Israel’s membership in Global Entry would not only provide its passport holders a smoother visit to the U.S. but would also help to make our country safer by enhancing bilateral law enforcement cooperation,” the Senators said.” [USAToday]

TRUMP TRAIN — “Israel-focused charity praises Trump — and pays him — at Mar-a-Lago gala” by Lori Rozsa: “[Steven] Alembik had said he would send any money he raised to an Israeli charity run by Danny Ayalon, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States, although Alembik wasn’t sure how much money would be left after he paid Trump’s club for the ballroom rental, catering and other costs… Rabbi Alan Sherman and his wife, Marilyn, were also happy to be at Mar-a-Lago, even if Trump wasn’t present. Sherman was wearing a yarmulke with Trump’s photo on it. “He autographed it,” Sherman said, turning to show the signature on the back. “I met him at the airport, and he saw it and said, ‘I bet you like me a lot,’ and he signed it.”” [WashPost]

“How Anthony Scaramucci became the darling of the Orthodox Jewish community” by Katie Glueck: “I have no idea,” said Rabbi Zev Reichman, an influential rabbi from an Orthodox synagogue in New Jersey, when asked about Scaramucci’s turn in the right-leaning Jewish spotlight. “I think he’s a colorful guy, but no idea why he’s become suddenly honored at events, going to Israel. I’m wondering the same thing you are.” … But some people, such as Rabbi Duvi Honig, have gone much further in embracing “the Mooch.” … Honig, who founded the Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce and serves as its CEO, invited Scaramucci on the trip to Israel with his organization last November… Scaramucci was more free-wheeling in interviews with Jewish media on the trip, cracking jokes about circumcision and showing off his Yiddish by rattling off “three derogatory Yiddish terms for non-Jews.” … “He’s an Italian guy through and through,” [RJC’s Matt Brooks said], “but he’s got a Jewish soul.” [McClatchyDC]

DRIVING THE CONVO — “Trump stops short of full endorsement of gun proposals” by Mike DeBonis and Anne Gearan: “Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said Monday that “at the very least” Congress should pass legislation mandating universal background checks… “My Republican friends face a simple choice: Do something real on guns, or please the NRA. Doing both is impossible,” Schumer said… Democrats, meanwhile, are pushing to go further. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), who represents the district that includes the high school, introduced a bill Monday with Rep. David N. Cicilline (D-R.I.) and more than 150 other Democrats to ban semiautomatic assault-style weapons… At [a White House] meeting, Trump suggested he would act to regulate bump stocks even if Congress does not… “I’m writing that out myself. I don’t care if Congress does it or not. I’m writing it out myself, okay?” Trump said to applause from some of the governors.” [WashPost]

“No, Israeli teachers don’t bring guns to school” by Carl Campanile and Linda Massarella: “Despite repeated claims by some gun advocates, teachers in Israel are not allowed to bring guns into their classrooms, a government spokesman said Monday. “In general, personal weapons are not permitted on school premises in Israel,” Almog Elijis, a spokesman for the Israeli Consulate in New York, told The Post… “Israeli schools are protected by professional authorized security officers, not members of the teaching or administrative staff,” she said.” [NYPost]

“Senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller appears to fall asleep during White House meet on school safety” by Chris Sommerfeldt: “Photographers caught the senior White House adviser rubbing his eyes, yawning and nodding off during an hour-long Mondaymeeting… Miller, who has become one of President Trump’s most trusted advisers, appeared to be fully asleep in one of the photos.” [NYDailyNewsPic]

AP CORRECTIONS DEPT: “In a story Feb. 22 about the Florida school shooting, The Associated Press misquoted Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel in some versions of the story when he spoke about the families of the victims,” the correction said. “He said, “I’ve been to their homes where they’re sitting shiva,” not “where they sit and shiver.”” [AP]

PALACE INTRIGUE — “Ivanka Trump’s South Korea trip fuels White House tension” by Jeff Zeleny, Kevin Liptak and Kaitlan Collins: “Inside the White House, Ivanka Trump’s unique stature — along with that of her husband, Jared Kushner — is causing tension. Some of their colleagues chafe at the pair’s favorable standing… [John] Kelly was not initially enthusiastic about her South Korea trip… “This isn’t like going to Italy. The stakes are far higher and more complex,” a person close to the President said… The concerns of Kelly and others about Ms. Trump… were aired in private… Kelly has remarked privately that Ivanka is just “playing government,” one source said, and has largely brushed aside her agenda, once disregarding her child tax credit as “a pet project.”” [CNN• How Long Can John Kelly Hang On? [NYTimes]

McMaster on Thin Ice — by Elias Groll: “The rumor mill was churning by Thursday afternoon over who might replace [H. R.] McMaster, including former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton. Bolton, however, isn’t talking. Even in private conversations late in the week, he offered non-answers when asked about the position.” [ForeignPolicy

“Melania Trump Parts Ways With Adviser Amid Backlash Over Inaugural Contract” by Ken Vogel and Maggie Haberman: “The first lady, Melania Trump, has parted ways with an adviser after news about the adviser’s firm reaping $26 million in payments to help plan President Trump’s inauguration… Mr. Trump, who is notoriously tight with his money, was also enraged to learn that [Stephanie] Winston Wolkoff brought on a close friend, David Monn, to help plan inaugural events, according to people who spoke to him. Mr. Monn’s firm was paid $3.7 million… Ms. Winston Wolkoff, in an email, defended her work on the inauguration, denounced news coverage of it and challenged the characterization that her contract with Mrs. Trump’s office was terminated as a result of the news about payments from the inaugural committee… “I expect to remain a trusted source for advice and support on an informal basis,” she wrote.” [NYTimes]

“Trump’s Longtime Lawyer, Michael Cohen, Knows Way Too Much. So Why is He Still in Exile?” by Brandy Zadrozny and Asawin Suebsaeng: “The week of Donald Trump’s inauguration, Cohen said the president elect asked him to stay on as his “personal attorney.” Cohen said he was “honored” at the request, but others inside the campaign have said the longtime aide-de-camp was expecting an official White House post… There are some signs that Cohen’s exile from the administration is no longer so absolute. Though he may not be at the White House physically, he is serving as a helping hand on Trump-world odd jobs and pet projects… White House officials continue to describe him as a “non-entity” and a goofy “character,” according to a senior Trump aide.” [DailyBeast

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Investigators eye possible $100 Million construction fraud in which subcontractors paid bribes and kickbacks to Turner and Bloomberg executives to land work in a “pay-to-play” scheme [NYTimes• Washington City Paper owner Mark Ein says local media can still succeed [Recode• How a Deal to Sell the Weinstein Company Fell Apart [NYTimes

“How Softbank, World’s Biggest Tech Investor, Throws Around Its Cash” by Mayumi Negishi: In January 2016, with WeWork’s valuation at $10 billion, [Masayoshi] Son met CEO Adam Neumann and was intrigued by his vision of how work would evolve… A year later, Mr. Son was considering investing more than $1 billion, the Journal reported. Most SoftBank directors were opposed, telling him they didn’t understand why SoftBank should invest in what they viewed as essentially a real-estate company… Some SoftBank executives thought WeWork’s valuation, then $17 billion, was excessive, says one. Mr. Son prevailed, leading SoftBank and the Vision Fund to invest $4.4 billion in WeWork in 2017, boosting its valuation to around $20 billion.” [WSJ] • WeWork, With $900 Million in Sales, Finds Cheaper Ways to Expand[Bloomberg]

STARTUP NATION — “Daimler, MizMaa invest in Israeli tech startup Anagog” by Maria Sheahan: “German carmaker Daimler and U.S. venture capital firm MizMaa Ventures took part in a round of financing for Tel Aviv-based start-up Anagog Ltd, Daimler said on Monday, without providing financial details… Anagog has developed software that analyses user behavior directly in the mobile phone, using sensors, and then predicts future scenarios on the basis of artificial intelligence.” [Reuters]

SPOTLIGHT — “Warren Buffett’s Big Bet On Israel” by Karl Kaufman: “What is it about Israel that Buffett finds attractive? “I’m not Jewish, but Israel reminds me of the United States after its birth,” said Buffett in an interview. “The determination, motivation, intelligence and initiative of its people are remarkable and extraordinary. I’m a big believer in Israel’s economy.”” [Forbes]

“Goldman Sachs exec DJs at Brooklyn hot spot” by Mara Siegler: “Goldman Sachs co-president David Solomon isn’t too broken up about the recent arrest of his former assistant for stealing $1.2 million of vintage wine from Solomon’s cellar. The millionaire Wall Street titan — who goes by the DJ name “D-Sol” after hours — spun tunes at Schimanski in Williamsburg on Saturday night for three hours with SiriusXM’s Liquid Todd.”[PageSix]

PROFILE — THE TALK WITH DANIELLE LAUDER: “All great things begin with a vision…a dream,” Estée Lauder once said. Before setting the standard in 1946 for the entire beauty industry, by launching beauty company that will last for decades, Estee Lauder, in her own words, “dreamed of being an actress — name in lights, flowers, handsome men.” Although she is no longer with us,  she seems to be fulfilling that dream through her great granddaughter, Danielle Lauder. A young actress Danielle for a long time did not know that her grandmother wanted to be an actress. Danielle’s passion for acting is likely the result of nature versus nurture, but there is no doubt this rising star’s command of all things cosmetic is definitely genetic.” [JolieGazette

MEDIA WATCH — “CNN Boss Jeff Zucker Calls on Regulators to Probe Google, Facebook” by Stewart Clarke: “In a Google and Facebook world, monetization of digital and mobile continues to be more difficult than we would have expected or liked,” Zucker said, Monday, in a keynote address at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. “I think we need help from the advertising world and from the technology world to find new ways to monetize digital content, otherwise good journalism will go away.” [Variety]

“Backfires and Explosions at The New York Times as a Possible Future Chief Re-Invents the Paper’s Opinion Pages” by Joe Pompeo: “Perhaps the most notable uproar was the one following the hiring of [Bret] Stephens last April. In response to his April 28 Times debut—an op-ed trafficking in the climate-science skepticism that has made Stephens, despite his anti-Trump bona fides, such a hard pill to swallow for many Times loyalists—the Times received more than 600 letters, “an unusually large outpouring,” it said. [Arthur] Sulzberger Jr. had to personally make an appeal to readers who had canceled their subscriptions over Stephens’s hiring… “We’ve also seen Bret Stephens write a column about repealing the Second Amendment, and he’s one of the bravest voices on the right against the degradation of presidential norms,” said Sulzberger.” [VanityFair]

TALK OF THE NATION — “Anti-Semitic Incidents Surged 57 Percent in 2017, Report Finds” by Maggie Astor: “The number of reported anti-Semitic incidents surged 57 percent in 2017, according to an annual report by the Anti-Defamation League… That increase was the largest in a single year since the A.D.L. began tracking in 1979… “It had been trending in the right direction for a long time,” Jonathan A. Greenblatt, chief executive of the A.D.L., said in an interview. “And then something changed.” That “something” is hard to identify definitively, but Mr. Greenblatt pointed to three likely factors: the increasingly divisive state of American politics, the emboldening of extremists, and the effects of social media.” [NYTimes]

“Envoy: Polish Holocaust law won’t be enforced without Israeli coordination” by Lahav Harkov: “The controversial law outlawing public discussion of Poles’ collaboration with the Nazis will not be enforced in the near future, Polish Ambassador to Israel Jacek Chodorowicz told the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Committee on Monday. “The Polish Justice Ministry committed to not enforcing the new law before there is an in-depth examination of all of its components, including a discussion with Israeli representatives,” Chodorowicz said.” [JPost]

SCENE IN JERUSALEM — The Am Echad delegation of American Jews met today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Knesset in Jerusalem [Pic]

TRANSITION — Julie Beren Platt, a long-time community leader and philanthropist in the Los Angeles area, has been elected for a three-year term as board chair of Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC). She currently serves as chair of the board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles. Platt’s son is Ben Platt, best known for playing the lead character in the Broadway musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”

REMEMBERING — “How Billy Graham Made Israel OK With Evangelicals” by Zev Chafets: “[Foreign Minister Golda Meir] was charmed by the handsome young evangelist, especially when he assured her that he had no intention of doing any Jewish missionizing. In fact, he said, he was grateful to Israel for producing Jesus, to whom he had committed his life. Meir, who had grown up in the U.S., liked the sound of that, and suggested he repeat it to the local media, which he did. It was the start of a beautiful friendship… Soon after, the Yom Kippur War broke out… Graham rallied evangelicals, personally and persistently lobbied the White House for emergency aid, and coordinated his efforts with the Israeli ambassador, Yitzhak Rabin… The approval of [Golda] Meir and Rabin, coupled with Graham’s anti-proselytization policy, made Graham persona grata among America’s secular, liberal Jews. Synagogues and community organizations bombarded him with invitations and honors.” [BloombergView]

BIRTHDAYS: Investor and philanthropist, Chair of Julliard, Vice Chair of Lincoln Center and on the Board of the Metropolitan Opera, Bruce Kovnerturns 73… Performance artist and film-maker, Eleanor Antin turns 83… Writer and illustrator of children’s books, Uri Shulevitz turns 83… William Drykos turns 79… Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Alan Harvey Guth turns 71… Senior Rabbi of the West London Synagogue, a member of the British House of Lords, Baroness Julia Neuberger turns 68… Film and television actor, now starring as FBI Agent Stan Beeman on the FX series “The Americans,” Noah Emmerich turns 53… VP of regional operations and advancement at the Anti-Defamation League, David S. Waren turns 55… Businesswoman and founder of Spanx, she is a part owner of the Atlanta Hawks, Sara Blakely turns 47…

Senior Washington editor for NBC News, Rebecca Sinderbrand turns 41… Singer-songwriter, composer and prayer leader, co-founder of NYC’s Kol Zimrah minyan, Sam Benjamin “Shir Yaakov” Feinstein-Feit turns 40… Member of the Knesset since 2015 for the Jewish Home party, Bezalel Smotrich turns 38… SVP of baseball operations for the Tampa Bay Rays,Chaim David Bloom turns 35… Massachusetts State Senator since 2015 and former Obama White House aide where he was one of the originators of the White House Seder, Eric Lesser turns 33… Grand”Pa” of Dov and Joe et al., Michael Gervis… Alana Berkowitz… Lenore Wax… Judith Meyer

Feb
26

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Daily Kickoff: After re-emergence of ‘Campaign Trump’ at CPAC, what if Trump asks to speak at AIPAC? | Yeshiva University advances to NCAA tournament

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DRIVING THE CONVO — What if Trump asks to speak at AIPAC? — by Jacob Kornbluh: After a year in which the White House recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and began the process of relocating the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, the AIPAC gathering will likely feature long and loud standing ovations for the Trump administration. The question on the minds of several observers is whether the President himself prefers to be the one delivering the applause lines. Vice President Mike Pence, UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and U.S. Ambassador David Friedman have already confirmed their participation.

“It’s not out of the question that Trump could decide in the last minute to show up at AIPAC and take personal credit for the Jerusalem decision,” Shalom Lipner, a nonresident senior fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings, suggested. Just this past Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), Trump described how he resisted pressure to delay his promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem. “You know, every President campaigned on, ‘We’re going to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.’ … and then they never pulled it off,” the President said during an off-the-cuff portion of his remarks. “And I now know why because when I put the word out that I may do it… I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me, ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it.’ I said, ‘We have to do it. ‘It’s the right thing to do… We have to do it.’ And I did it.”

Trump has told confidants he wants to spend lots of time campaigning this year. “He may or may not come. It just depends a lot on his schedule. It depends a lot on his mood. It depends a lot on what Mr. Mueller is doing that day with his investigation,” Dov Zakheim, former Under Secretary of Defense in President George W. Bush’s administration, told Jewish Insider. “I mean there are just too many variables. I think that the announcement that they’re going to move the Embassy in May, that alone is enough to get him a standing ovation.”

“In terms of how Democrats will react to that, it seems to me that that issue is almost closed,” Zakheim said. “Netanyahu, whatever he may say, has in practice aligned himself so closely with the Republicans that it’s no longer an issue, and the Democrats simply do not see Israel in terms that they support. Every time Netanyahu has made stakes more difficult to Democrats to support him, he closely aligns with Trump.”

In 2016, the morning after Trump addressed AIPAC for the first time, AIPAC leaders rebuked some of his partisan remarks against then President Obama. “Last evening, something occurred which has the potential to drive us apart, to divide us. We say, unequivocally, that we do not countenance ad hominem attacks, and we take great offense against those that are levied against the President of the United States of America from our stage,” AIPAC President Lillian Pinkus declared.

“Given the tendency of Trump administration officials to deliberately play partisan politics, AIPAC leadership will doubtless be petrified that Trump could ignite some storm that gets push-back from the audience,” Lipner asserted. “This President doesn’t take kindly to criticism, and how he might respond to a ‘mutiny’ among Israel’s supporters is an open and ominous question.”

“Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is supported by most Democrats because it’s the truth and a reflection of reality,” explained former Congressman Robert Wexler, now President of the S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace. “President Trump would gain bipartisan support if moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem was apart of a comprehensive US plan to implement a negotiated two state solution. Absent such an American commitment, Zionists seeking to preserve a Jewish majority and democratic Israel are suspicious of the President’s direction. That is the dynamic that AIPAC is faced with.” [JewishInsider]

Elliott Abrams tells us: “In principle it’s always good for AIPAC to have a president speak. People in both parties recognize that.”

BUZZ ON BALFOUR — “An Israeli Premier Hounded by Corruption Probes Spoke at AIPAC Before. It Didn’t Get Him Very Far” by Amir Tibon: “A former Netanyahu aide… believes “this is going to be a critical trip” for the Prime Minister… “He needs to remind Israelis why he claims to be the only person who can lead them at this time. And that’s what the AIPAC speech will be focused on.” … [Ehud] Olmert’s 2008 visit didn’t help him shift the conversation in Israel for more than 72 hours… It remains to be seen if Netanyahu will enjoy more success in utilizing his U.S. visit to change the focus of Israel’s main news broadcasts.” [Haaretz]

Netanyahu says Trump is ‘worthy of all praise’ for Jerusalem move: “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says “he’s convinced, it’s only a matter of time” before other countries follow Washington’s lead and move their embassies to Jerusalem. He says he will “personally thank” US President Donald Trump for the embassy relocation… during his trip to Washington next week. The US president is “worthy of all praise” for the move, Netanyahu says at the weekly Likud faction meeting.” [ToI]

“A Quiet Jerusalem Neighborhood Gets a U.S. Embassy, and a Spotlight” by Isabel Kershner: “Life in Arnona seemed to be continuing quietly Sunday morning… A fellow driving instructor, Ovadia Tamir… said that while Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is mired in corruption investigations, might get a political lift from the embassy move, no one else was benefiting. “This will only help Netanyahu, nobody else,” Mr. Tamir said…”[NYTimes

“Palestinians fear political instability in Israel” by Uri Savir: “The Palestinian leadership suspects that Netanyahu will opt for a major expansion of settlements in the West Bank… Ramallah also fears that Netanyahu will generate new cycles of violence against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, and that he will order a so-called preventive strike in Lebanon against Hezbollah. Netanyahu could also say out loud that he rejects a US peace initiative… A senior Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs official brushed off these Palestinian observations as a mixture of Palestinian paranoia and propaganda.” [Al-Monitor• Netanyahu warns ‘disproportionate’ settlement growth would anger Trump [ToI]

Bret Stephens writes… “Don’t Count Bibi Out — Yet: The Likud rank-and-file remain loyal to their leader. His coalition partners may detest him, but for now they see greater political advantage in a wounded prime minister than in a fresh one. Besides, Bibi has been, for Israelis, a pretty good prime minister… There’s a long Jewish history of this. For all of his flaws, few have done it as well as Bibi, which is why he has endured, and will probably continue to do so.” [NYTimes]

DRIVING THE DAY — “Russia sets stage for U.N. veto of western bid to call out Iran” by Michelle Nichols: “Russia has laid the groundwork for a likely veto on Monday of a British, U.S. and French bid for the United Nations Security Council to call out Iran over its weapons falling into the hands of Yemen’s Houthi group. The 15-member Security Council has to renew its targeted sanctions on Yemen on Monday. Russia has proposed a rival resolution that would simply extend the mandate of the regime for one year and not mention Iran.” [Reuters]

IRAN DEAL — “Rewrite Iran Deal? Europeans Offer a Different Solution: A New Chapter” by Mark Landler, David Sanger and Gardiner Harris: “The State Department is trying to win European support for strict new terms that would essentially be presented to Iran as a fait accompli, with the threat of renewed sanctions if it fails to comply… The trans-Atlantic talks, which are being led by a low-key State Department official, Brian H. Hook, are fraught with risks — not least that Mr. Trump may reject whatever the Europeans offer him… “The supplemental deal is a diplomatic device that is being used to allow the Europeans to declare victory,” said Mark Dubowitz, a leading critic of the Iran deal who is nevertheless open to the idea. “They can say they were able to keep the deal, remain steadfast to their commitment not to renegotiate it, but also to satisfy the U.S. and their own concerns that the length of the deal was too short,” said Mr. Dubowitz.” [NYTimes]

PALACE INTRIGUE — “Top Justice Dept. official alerted White House 2 weeks ago to ongoing issues in Kushner’s security clearance” by Carol D. Leonnig, Robert Costa and Josh Dawsey: “[Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein] alerted the White House two weeks ago that significant information requiring additional investigation would further delay the security clearance process of senior adviser Jared Kushner… [John] Kelly has told associates that he is uncomfortable with Kushner’s uncertain security clearance status and his unique role as both a family member and staffer… He has said he would not be upset if the president’s son-in-law and his wife, Ivanka Trump, left their positions as full-time employees. On Friday, Trump said he would defer the question of Kushner’s access to his chief of staff.” [WashPost]

— “Kelly does not plan to recommend to the president that he grant Kushner a waiver, but he is unlikely to resign if Trump ultimately decides to do so.”[Politico]

“Ivanka Trump: Arming teachers an option that ‘needs to be discussed’” by Phil McCausland: “Ivanka Trump said in an exclusive interview with NBC News on Sunday that her father’s suggestion of arming teachers is an option worth discussing… “I think that having a teacher who is armed who cares deeply about her students or his students and who is capable and qualified to bear arms is not a bad idea, but it is an idea that needs to be discussed,” Trump said.” [NBCNews]

INSIDE THE ADMIN — “Mnuchin Relishes His Star Turn in Cabinet and Trump’s Favor” by Saleha Mohsin: “[Steve] Mnuchin was instantly recognizable as he rode the Acela express early Thursday from Washington to Philadelphia. Getting on and off the train, carrying his own luggage and Tom Ford-label suit bag, passengers knew who had just walked by — not because of his time financing Hollywood movies behind the scenes, but in front of the cameras as Trump’s chief economic adviser and cabinet member… Mnuchin is making conspicuous use of commercial transportation these days, after early missteps tainted him with a reputation for taxpayer-funded luxury.” [Bloomberg

PROFILE — “The New York Congressman Who Could Lead an Impeachment Charge Against Trump” by Susan Glasser: “Jerry Nadler is still figuring it out. “My view of impeachment is to be very careful about impeachment,” he told me. Since succeeding [John] Conyers in the House Judiciary Committee post, he’s been raising his profile, appearing as a talking head on MSNBC and CNN, attacking Trump, and talking as though the President is a genuine menace to the nation. But that doesn’t mean Nadler is ready to call for impeachment, at least not yet… Nadler comes from a safely Democratic district and has never had a competitive race since he first won his seat, in a special election, in 1992. But political calculation dominated our conversations about whether and how the impeachment of Trump could proceed.” [NewYorker]

2018 WATCH: “California Democrats decline to endorse Feinstein” by David Siders and Carla Marinucci: “Riven by conflict between progressive and more moderate forces at the state party’s annual convention here, delegates favored [Sen. Dianne] Feinstein’s progressive rival, state Senate leader Kevin de León, over Feinstein by a vote of 54 percent to 37 percent… Neither candidate reached the 60 percent threshold required to receive the party endorsement for 2018.” [PoliticoWashPost]

“The Wild Illinois Governors’ Race Shows Why the Midterms Remain Unpredictable” by Ed Kilgore: “Initially this race looked like a war of big wallets between incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic billionaire (and brother of former Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker) J.B. Pritzker. If they make it to the general election, the contest could eclipse the famous Jerry Brown/Meg Whitman 2010 California gubernatorial race as the most expensive in history. But both are now encountering serious intra-party challenges…” [NYMag]

2020 WATCH — “As 2020 Democratic primary warms up, LA Mayor Eric Garcetti stakes early claim to South Carolina” by Jamie Lovegrove: “A full two years before the 2020 South Carolina Democratic presidential race, Garcetti’s journey more than 2,300 miles from home marked a surprisingly early exploration of a campaign in the early-primary state. But Democratic insiders commended Garcetti for getting a head start… On the stump, Garcetti is light on policy specifics and heavy on the type of hope-and-change rhetoric that launched a little-known Illinois senator with an unusual name to the presidency in 2008… As a Mexican-American Jew, he proudly touts his own immigrant ancestry…” [PostandCourier]

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

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Weinstein Co. is set to file for bankruptcy after sale talks collapse [LATimes] • WhatsApp Co-Founder Puts $50M Into Signal To Supercharge Encrypted Messaging [Wired• Kremlin following Nornickel ownership dispute, won’t intervene [Reuters]

SPOTLIGHT — “Tech Envisions the Ultimate Start-Up: An Entire City” by Emily Badger: “Of the techno-urbanists, Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs seems to be closest to actually creating something. The company, run out of New York City by the former deputy mayor Dan Doctoroff, concluded after a year of study that it needed a not-quite-blank slate to truly innovate… “The smart city movement as a whole has been disappointing in part because it is hard to get stuff done in a traditional urban environment,” Mr. Doctoroff said. “On the other hand, if you’re completely disrespectful of the urbanist tradition, I don’t think it’s particularly replicable. And it’s probably pretty naïve.”” [NYTimes]

“Sacred Jerusalem church shuttered in dispute with Israeli authorities” by Ruth Eglash: “The doors of Jerusalem’s sacred Church of the Holy Sepulchre were shuttered Sunday… after the Jerusalem municipality took steps to collect taxes on church properties in the city… The site’s closure is also a response to proposed legislation that could block the churches from making commercial deals with investors on land they leased long-term to the Israeli government nearly 70 years ago… They said that the step breached agreements and international obligations by Israel toward the church and that it “seems as an attempt to weaken the Christian presence in Jerusalem.”” [WashPost]

CONSTRUCTIVE FRAMING? A delegation of American Jewish leaders, closely aligned with Agudath Israel of America, is on a two-day mission to Israel making the Orthodox Jewish case on the Kotel deal and conversion bill to Israeli leaders. The group met today with Members of the Knesset and are expected to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Reuven Rivlin, and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to “dispel the myth that American Jewry is represented by the Reform and Conservative movements,” according to a press release of the group Am Echad.

REPORT — Miri Regev wants to take Israel’s 70th celebrations to the Big Apple: “According to Hadashot television news, Regev is considering an international celebration of Israel’s Independence Day to take place in New York under the auspices of the Israeli government. The events marking the day may include the screening of a short film about Israel on the jumbo television screens at Times Square scheduled to coincide with the Big Apple’s annual Celebrate Israel Parade. The Culture Ministry is also considering a glittering gala event at a luxury hotel in Manhattan that would host diplomats and delegations from around the world.” [ToI]

COMING SOON — “Here’s When Netflix Is Dropping ‘Fauda’ Season 2” by Itay Hod: “The second season, which premiered in Israel on New Year’s Eve, will be storming Netflix on Thursday, May 24, at midnight PT in all countries where the streaming service is available… “ [TheWrap]

TALK OF THE TOWN — Florida shooting survivors travel to Jewish summit in Brooklyn” by Gina Daidone and Emily Saul: “Three students who survived the Florida school massacre joined about 2,500 other Jewish teens for an annual Chabad youth summit in Brooklyn on Sunday — prompting everyone there to make mitzvah pledges in memory of those killed. “I’m going to light some candles for my friend Gina, and I’m going to make challah [bread] every week,” said 14-year-old Lauren Berg.” [NYPost]

SPORTS BLINK: “College president denies nixing hiring over Jewish heritage” by Michael Kunzelman: “[Joshua] Bonadona’s lawsuit says he applied for a job as defensive backs coach and was interviewed last May by [Louisiana College president Rick] Brewer and head football coach Justin Charles. The suit claims Charles later told Bonadona that Brewer refused to approve his hiring because of what Brewer called his “Jewish blood.” … Bonadona, a 28-year-old graduate of Louisiana College, was born into a Jewish family but converted to Christianity during his time as a student and kicker on the school’s football team.” [AP]

PIC OF THE DAY — The Yeshiva University men’s basketball team celebrated its first-ever Skyline Conference championship at the Purchase College Gymnasium yesterday. As a result, the Maccabees earned their first bid into the NCAA Division III men’s basketball tournament in program history. [Pic

SCENE LAST NIGHT IN BROOKLYN — Sholom Rubashkin expressed his appreciation to Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-Brooklyn) for taking a leadership role in advocating for his commutation, and pleaded for immediate action on the administration’s prison reform initiative at a community appreciation event in Crown Heights. [PicVideo]

REMEMBERING: Amy Spiro tweets… “The Netanyahu family dog Kaia has died after an illness. She was the star of several mini family scandals, after she bit an MK, and after Yair left her dog poop unscooped, angering neighbors.”[Twitter]

BIRTHDAYS: Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Tablet Magazine, Alana Newhouse… Professor Emeritus of sociology and Jewish studies at Rutgers University, Chaim Waxman turns 77… President of the World Jewish Congress since 2007, Ronald Lauder turns 74… Chantal Reuss turns 72… Singer and songwriter, Michael Bolton turns 65… Baltimore community activist, Julie Applebaum turns 61… Member of Knesset for the Likud party, he also serves as Regional Cooperation Minister, Yitzhak “Tzachi” Hanegbiturns 61… United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey (2009-2017), now a faculty member of Seton Hall Law School, Paul J. Fishman turns 61… Jonathan Sporn turns 60… Director of digital research at Lake Research Partners and SVP of digital strategies at turner4D, Alan Rosenblatt, Ph.D. turns 56 (h/ts Playbook)… Chief Planning Officer of the Paramus-based Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, Lisa Harris Glass turns 52… Motivational speaker, focused on anti-bullying, Jon Pritikin turns 45… Brett Kaufman turns 24…

Feb
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Daily Kickoff: Adelson offers to help pay for U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem; Mort Klein thinks it’s a bad idea | New York lawmakers evacuated in Ramallah

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REPORT — Adelson offers to help pay for Jerusalem embassy — by Josh Lederman: “The Trump administration is considering an offer from Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson to pay for at least part of a new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem… Lawyers at the State Department are looking into the legality of accepting private donations to cover some or all of the embassy costs… On Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson ended weeks of delay by signing off on a security plan for moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city… One official said Adelson… had offered to pay the difference between the total cost… and what the administration is able to raise…

“Mort Klein, president of the pro-Israel group Zionist Organization of America and a close associate of Adelson, said accepting donations would be ill-advised… “This is a government project. It’s a government-run embassy,” Klein said. “I don’t want people to be able to say it was Jewish money.” … Expanding the new embassy into a full-fledged complex that houses the bulk of America’s diplomatic staff in Israel would easily cost more than $500 million dollars, officials familiar with the process said… It’s unclear how much of the cost Adelson might be willing to cover.” [AP]

Barak Ravid tweets: U.S. embassy to move to Jerusalem on May 14th, Israeli and U.S. officials told me [Twitter]

UPDATE to our exclusive yesterday about Abbas undergoing a medical procedure at Johns Hopkins Hospital — “Palestinian President Abbas confirms medical checks, says results ‘positive'” by Ali Sawafta: “Our presence here was a suitable chance for us to make some medical checks,” Abbas told Palestine TV during a short interview. “We actually made those checks and we are out now and, thank God, all results are positive and are assuring.” Palestinian officials said he would be returning to the West Bank on Friday. They did not disclose when Abbas went into hospital nor the nature of the medical checks.” [Reuters] • Video of Abbas’ 10+ vehicle motorcade [Vimeo/BJLife]

‘ULTIMATE DEAL’ — “Nikki Haley says Trump Mideast peace plan is nearly finished” by Anne Gearan: “I think they’re finishing it up,” Haley said during a question-and-answer session at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics. Haley added that U.S. negotiators Jared Kushner and Jason D. Greenblatt are “still going back and forth,” and she gave no more specific timeline. “They’re coming up with a plan. It won’t be loved by either side, and it won’t be hated by either side.” … Institute Director David Axelrod… pressed Haley on whether the United States would propose an independent Palestinian state… “It’s for them to decide,” Haley said of Israel and the Palestinians. She added that “it is hard for me to see how they would want” a single state, and added that she thinks “they are pushing toward a two-state” outcome.”[WashPost]

Jimmy Carter warns against one-state for Israel-Palestine: “Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter is warning that the two-state solution… “is being overtaken by a one-state reality which will have dire consequences for Israel in the long-term.” Carter concluded that the establishment of an independent Palestinian state “is in Israel’s best interest.”” [AP]

SCENE IN JERUSALEM — A Senate delegation led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) met with Yesha Council chief foreign envoy Oded Revivi for a special briefing in Jerusalem last night. “While President Trump has proven himself to be the most pro-Israel President in recent history – building in Judea & Samaria even during the first year of the Trump administration has not kept pace from reaching the full needs of our growing population,” Revivi told the Senators.[Pic] • Revivi also met with Reps. Scott Tipton (R-CO) and David McKinley (R-WV), who will be in Efrat and Gush Etzion for Shabbat [Video]

YESTERDAY IN RAMALLAH — New York lawmakers evacuated after Palestinian protesters storm building in Ramallah — by Jacob Kornbluh: A New York State Assembly delegation, led by the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of New York, were meeting with Palestinian pollster and researcher Dr. Khalil Shikaki at the offices of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Research Survey (PCPRS) in Ramallah, when a group of protesters burst into the building, holding up signs, and chanting slogans including “Americans are not welcome in Palestine,” as they tried to make their way into the offices on the 4th floor. Palestinian Authority policemen cleared an exit path where the delegation boarded Palestinian security vans to get to an Israeli checkpoint. The vans were pummeled with raw eggs and rocks. [JewishInsiderVideo]

HAPPENING TODAY — Stuart Force, the father of Taylor Force, will speak at CPAC about ending taxpayer funded terrorism at around 11:15 am ET. Force will be introduced by Sander Gerber, known as ‘the hedge fund manager behind the Taylor Force Act.’ [CSPAN]

PIC OF THE DAY — A man shows his Trump yarmulke to photographers prior to the opening of CPAC yesterday. Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images[Pic]

JI INTERVIEW — Rep. Dan Donovan, the only New York City Republican in Congress and a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, shared his views on recent developments in the Middle East in a phone interview with Jewish Insider‘s Jacob Kornbluh. Donovan has been a member of Congress since May 2015 following the resignation of Michael Grimm, who is now challenging him in a GOP primary. The 11th congressional district contains the largest Jewish population that is represented by a Republican, according to a 2013 study.

On cutting U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority: “Does the Palestinian Authority need an incentive to stay at the table? I don’t know. I don’t know if that’s true or not. All I know is that if you aid somebody and allow them to use your dollars to pay the families of suicide bombers, and then you take that money away but give them something else that they’re already paying for themselves, then they could use the money that they’re using to pay for schools or roads and pay the suicide bomber families because we’re paying for their schools and roads. You have to be very careful when you’re giving aid to somebody and restrict them on their use that they abide by your restrictions, but then that frees up their own money to use it for those bad acts.”

On Democrats refusing to applaud Trump for his Jerusalem decision at the State of the Union: “I have not asked any of those members what their position is, and it could be there are people in Congress who don’t want this President to succeed at all, in anything. It very well could be that some people are also supportive of Israel selecting its own capital but don’t cheer anything that comes out of President Trump’s mouth. But to the general public, general observation as a human being, I would suspect that if you’re sitting there mute and not applauding, you’re probably not in favor of what was just said.” 

DRIVING THE CONVO — NRA chief singles out Soros, Bloomberg as ‘socialists’: “Every time in every nation in which this political disease rises to power,” [Wayne] LaPierre told the CPAC conference on Thursday, describing socialism, “its citizens are repressed, their freedoms are destroyed, and their firearms are banned and confiscated, and it’s all backed in this country by the social engineering and the billions of people like George Soros, Michael Bloomberg, Tom Steyer and more.” [JTA]

Bradley Burston: In NRA’s Response to School Massacre: Dog-whistle anti-Semitism, a Star-spangled Protocols of Zion [Haaretz

“Why school shootings are so rare in Israel, where guns are such a common sight” by Ruth Eglash: “Simon Perry, a criminologist at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, said there is little opportunity in Israel for someone to carry out a gun attack inside a school. While security guards keep an eye on all those entering schools, Perry said, they do not check students’ bags — mainly because the gun culture in Israel is different… To outsiders, Israel can seem like a heavily armed country. That is in large part because soldiers are a frequent sight on the streets and combat troops, as well as those who serve in what are termed combat areas, carry their weapons with them at all times. But once an Israeli finishes military service, it becomes difficult to obtain a gun.”[WashPost

“Gun control activists need to learn a little sympathy” by John Podhoretz: “What you have to understand is that while you believe you have all the moral force on your side, you cannot make a gun owner believe that he is the Parkland shooter… So if you genuinely want to alter the trajectory of America’s gun culture, stop thinking of yourself as a moral paragon and the people whose rights you are seeking to curtail as potential mass murderers and start thinking of them as fellow citizens you have to convince.” [NYPost]

TOP TALKER — Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri Indicted on Invasion of Privacy Charge” by Mitch Smith and John Eligon: “Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri was indicted on Thursday on a felony invasion of privacy charge, threatening his hold on the leadership of the state and creating chaos across Missouri’s political landscape in an election year… Mr. Greitens, who was booked into a St. Louis jail on Thursday afternoon and then released on his own recognizance, defended himself in a statement posted to social media accounts, saying he “made a personal mistake” but “did not commit a crime.””[NYTimes]

Katie Glueck tweets: “Just a few weeks ago, Greitens spoke at the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas. some folks were happy to see him, but one source in the room told me at the time “it was a mistake not to apologize for letting those of us who supported him down”…and now, indictment.” [Twitter

“The rise and fall of Eric Greitens, the GOP star whose career is crumbling amid scandal” by Eli Rosenberg: “Greitens’s outsize career plans were evident from his earliest days. He even had a lofty professional goal in mind as a kindergartener… “When I would read the little kindergarten books, ‘What I want to be when I grow up,’ and at the end, I would go around the circle and ask the children what they wanted to be, I remember this: He wanted to be president,” Anne Richardson, Greitens’s kindergarten teacher, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in 2016. “He was the only kid I ever remember saying that.” … One friend told St. Louis Magazine that Greitens, after being chosen as a presidential candidate in a mock election, debated his opponent to pieces…” [WashPost]

THE DAILY KUSHNER — “Sources: Mueller probe stymies Kushner security clearance” by Shimon Prokupecz, Jeremy Diamond and Dana Bash: “[Jared] Kushner… is unlikely to obtain the full clearance as long as the special counsel’s probe is ongoing… The White House has declined to confirm whether Kushner’s clearance would be revoked on Friday, with Kelly saying only that he has “full confidence in his ability to continue performing his duties in his foreign policy portfolio.” Kushner’s attorney, Abbe Lowell, also declined to elaborate when pressed by CNN, saying only via a statement that the new policy “will not affect Mr. Kushner’s ability to continue to do the very important work he has been assigned by the President.”” [CNN]

IVANKA IN SOUTH KOREA – “Ivanka Trump arrives in South Korea ahead of Olympics closing ceremony” by Joohee Cho: “The U.S. delegation is to dine with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a traditional Korean house, a venue used only at special occasions for heads of state visits. The evening banquet in honor of Ivanka will prepare a kosher menu, for Ivanka’s strict kosher lifestyle. Raw fish, crustaceans and meat will not be included in Ivanka’s menu.” [ABCNewsPic

Trump tweets this morning: “My daughter, Ivanka, just arrived in South Korea. We cannot have a better, or smarter, person representing our country.” [Twitter

“Ivanka, the Winter Olympics, and the Meaning of Life” by Emily Jane Fox: “Ivanka Trump… shares her father’s instinct to seize opportunities as they present themselves… As an exercise in sheer branding, taking her show on the road is as good as it gets. She will get photographed as a diplomat greeting the South Korean president, much like the vice president of the United States did weeks earlier, and treated like royalty in the stands at Olympic events, as Kim Jong Un’s sister experienced when she attended the opening ceremony.” [VanityFair]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) denies any contact with Louis Farrakhan on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer: “My political opponents keep pushing this out there in order to try to smear and distract from the key issues, but there’s no relationship… I have a clear record. I have always fought for equal rights for all people. I will continue to do so. I’ve always denounced and been a fierce opponent of anti-Semitism from whatever source.” [Video]

2018 WATCH: Bernie Sanders’s son considering running for Congress — by Alex Thompson: “Levi Sanders, Sen. Bernie Sanders only biological child, told VICE News that he is actively considering running for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st District… “Oh absolutely, I’m definitely considering it. I’m excited, motivated, and interested in the race,” Levi said. “I’m just dotting my i’s and crossing my t’s.” The 48-year-old Levi said that he would run on a similar platform of Medicare for all and free college tuition that animated his father’s presidential run in 2016.” [VICE]

BUZZ ON BALFOUR — “Unfazed by corruption allegations, PM declares: Truth will prevail, I will continue to lead” by Mati Tuchfeld: “Netanyahu posted a video on Thursday in which he reassured the nation that business is continuing as usual. The prime minister detailed his activities over the past week and ended with a riposte at those who have said he is unable to fulfill his duties under the current conditions. “I’ve noticed something that doesn’t function,” he said, flipping on a light switch.” [IsraelHayom] • Bibi on the brink: The pressure on Binyamin Netanyahu is growing [NewsweekOzy]

** 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: Iran May Follow Venezuela In Launching Its Own Cryptocurrency [NPR] • Dina Powell, Former Trump Adviser, Weighs Return to Goldman Sachs [WSJ] • Joe Sitt’s Thor Equities loses most of its stakes in three buildings to GGP over unpaid debt [TheRealDeal] • Max Elghanayan, son of TF Cornerstone co-founder Frederick Elghanayan, died of an accidental drug overdose in January: Medical Examiner [TheRealDeal

SPOTLIGHT — “Congo Bribery Probe Puts Israeli Billionaire’s Future on Hold” by Thomas Wilson: “A 20-year friendship that helped turn Dan Gertler into a billionaire has left the Israeli businessman with a lot fewer places to go… Sanctions have shut Gertler out of the American financial system, halting access to the dollars that are the main currency used in Congo and in global raw-material deals. U.S. companies are banned from doing business with him. Former partners are distancing themselves… And then there is Glencore Plc, the global commodity trader that was once Gertler’s most important partner in Congo. Though Glencore bought his share in their two joint-venture mines last February, it is still required to pay Gertler royalties he acquired from Gecamines in earlier deals… While the Swiss company pledged to honor the sanctions, it says it is still reviewing its contractual obligations and if it will continue to make the payments. “We’ve got to follow the correct procedures and we’ll come to the right conclusions,” said Ivan Glasenberg, the chief executive officer.” [Bloomberg]

MEDIA WATCH: “Jeter’s media venture drafts new editorial director” by Keith J. Kelly: “Derek Jeter’s media venture, The Players’ Tribune, has apparently landed former Details editor-in-chief Dan Peres as its new editorial director…. Peres’ TPT gig might come as something of a surprise to Gary Hoenig, a former editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine, who has been editorial director of TPT since Jeter launched it in 2014.” [NYPost]

Former Obama Speechwriter speaks on Rich Jewish Content: “While at the White House, Sarah Hurwitz connected with Judaism, exploring the wisdom of Jewish law, the power of Jewish spirituality, and the lessons of Jewish history. She is currently writing a book on Judaism and her Jewish journey. She spoke at Beyond the D’var Torah: How to Unleash the Potential of Rich Jewish Content, an event hosted by Jewish Funders Network…” Watch the speech here [eJewishPhilanthropy]

Ben Rhodes tweets: “Some news: I have a book coming out on June 12th: “The World As It Is: A Memoir of the Obama White House” – my story of going to work for Barack Obama’s campaign at 29 and walking out the door of the White House on the last day.” [Twitter]

“Lightstone Leads the Tech Tribe at SXSW” by Hugh Forrest: “Rabbi Mordechai Lightstone, the director of digital communications at Chabad and founder of the Brooklyn-based Tech Tribe, is returning to SXSW 2018 to host #openShabbat. This event is described as “a place to escape the chaos of SXSW and find a taste of home at the ultimate un-networking event.” He shared some thoughts about his aspirations for #openShabbat, [which] will take place at 7:30 pm on Friday, March 9, at the Hilton Austin… Which sessions at SXSW 2018 are you especially interested in attending? “I’m really interested in hearing Yair Rosenberg, Amanda Quraishi and Eman Aly in Uniting to Fight the -ists, -ites & the -phobes. I love how SXSW brings diverse people together — and look forward to seeing how they tackle the issues of vitriol on the web.”” [Medium

PROFILE: “An Israeli Reporter, Undercover Among Europe’s Muslim Immigrants” by Liel Leibovitz: “After decades spent reporting on the Palestinian Authority, [Zvi] Yehezkeli took his family’s heritage—his parents immigrated to Israel from Iraq—and his rich Arabic and traveled to Europe, to look into the lives of young Muslims there. The result has been a stream of documentaries that began airing on Israeli television in 2012, in which Yehezkeli, often disguised as an Arab, entices his interviewees to admit the kind of inconvenient truth one rarely hears elsewhere. In Sweden, Germany, Belgium, Holland, France, and England, he mostly meets disdainful men who, having left their faltering nations for the comfort of the European continent, look at their kind hosts with nothing but contempt while adhering to an increasingly radicalized version of Islam… Yehezkeli’s latest production, a five-part series called “False Identity,” premiered on Israel’s Channel 10 last month.” [Tablet

“Iran Finally Let Her See Her Husband. He Was Dead” by Thomas Erdbrink: “The Iranian authorities say that [Kavous] Seyed Emami was a spy working for the United States and Israel. He and the others arrested with him had “installed cameras in the country’s strategic locations to monitor Iran’s missile activities, sending information to foreigners,” the Tehran prosecutor, Abbas Jafari-Dolatabadi, said. Mr. Jafari-Dolatabadi appeared on state television on Feb. 11 to say Mr. Seyed Emami had killed himself in his prison cell two days before, after having confessed to his crimes. To Mr. Seyed Emami’s family, those assertions are ludicrous…” [NYTimes]

“Poland Expected To Vote On Banning Kosher Slaughter Amid Holocaust Uproar” by J. Lester Feder and Marcin Krasnowolski: “Poland’s parliament could soon vote to restrict kosher slaughter, potentially pushing its already strained relationship with Israel to the breaking point… This could do permanent damage to Poland’s international reputation, said Rafał Trzaskowski, an MP from the opposition Platforma Obywatelska party and a candidate for Warsaw mayor… Trzaskowski said, “This can really destroy our relation not only with Israel, but also the United States.””[BuzzFeed]

TRANSITION: Jon Greenfield, a former aide to former Assemblyman Phil Goldfeder, has been named Director of Government Relations at Yeshiva University in New York. Most recently, Greenfield served as managing director of communications for Brooklyn-based political consulting firm Red Horse Strategies.

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAYPartner in the Baltimore office of DLA Piper, he served as Chair of the Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Shale D. Stiller turns 83… Lois Copeland turns 74… Philosopher, novelist and public intellectual, earned a Ph.D. from Princeton, winner of a MacArthur Genius Fellowship in 1996, Rebecca Newberger Goldstein turns 68… Billionaire, born in the Soviet Union, now holder of both Kazakh and Israeli citizenship, he served as president of the Euro-Asian Jewish Congress (a regional branch of the WJC), Alexander Mashkevitch turns 64… CEO at NYC-based Puder PR since 3-2014 after 10 years as director of communications and PR for the Jewish Federations of North America, Joe Berkofsky turns 58… Political consultant and pollster, Frank Luntz turns 56… Founder and CEO of Dell Technologies, Michael Dell turns 53… Movie, stage and television actor, comedian and singer, Josh Gad turns 37… Consultant Johnathan Morpurgo turns 33… Head of communications at the Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Family Foundation, Rebecca Chalif turns 32 (h/t Playbook)… Bloomberg political reporter, Jennifer Epstein turns 32… AIPAC alum, now a front-end web engineer at Business Insider, Reuben A. Ingberturns 30… Reporter for the Texas Tribune in Austin covering state politics and the Texas Legislature, Patrick Svitek turns 26… Associate at Arlington, Virginia-based DRT Strategies, Gidon Feen turns 23… Program Associate in the Washington, DC office of the Charles and Lynn Schusterman Foundation, Mary Ann Weiss… Barak Daon… Mark Jacobs

SATURDAYAttorney General of Connecticut (1983-1989), US Senator (1989-2013), Democratic nominee for Vice President (on the Al Gore ticket) in the 2000 US presidential election, Senator Joe Lieberman turns 76… Founder of WhatsApp, Jan Koum turns 42… At age 42 he became the first-ever Jewish winner of an Olympic medal in sailing at the 1972 Munich Olympics, 30 years later at age 72 he won a US sailing championship, Don Cohan turns 88… Former chairman and CEO of Warner Bros (until 2001), then chairman and CEO of Yahoo (2001-2007), co-chair (emeritus) of the board of Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Terry Semel turns 75… Moscow-born professor of mathematics at Yale University since 1991, Grigory Margulis turns 72… Rabbi and author of a book about chocolate and Judaism, she has held a number of leadership positions in the national and regional Reform movement, Deborah R. Prinz turns 67… President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Clifford D. May turns 67… Public relations executive, television pundit, author and lecturer, Howard Bragman turns 62… Member of the Knesset since 2015 for the Likud party, Nurit Koren turns 58… Explorer, author, survival expert, anthropologist and TV host, Josh Bernstein turns 47… Member of the Knesset for the Likud party and Minister for Social Equality, Gila Gamliel turns 44… Professor of history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Yuval Noah Harari turns 42… Principal and Director of Investments at MizMaa Ventures Limited, Aaron Applbaum turns 27… Faye Waldman… Mitchell Brown

SUNDAYOwner of MLB’s Chicago White Sox (since 1981) and the NBA’s Chicago Bulls (since 1985), Jerry M. Reinsdorf turns 82… Former talk show host, Sally Jessy Raphael (born Sally Lowenthal) turns 83… President of the Associated: Jewish Federation of Baltimore (1979-1986), then EVP of the UJA-Federation of New York (1986-1999), then first-ever CEO of United Jewish Communities, Stephen Solender turns 80… Graduate of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, formerly CEO of the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (2005-2015), Steve Gutow turns 69… Jerusalem-based attorney who has practiced in the US as well, chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel and a VP of Republicans Overseas, L. Marc Zell turns 65… Chief of the General Staff of the Israel Defense Forces (2007-2011), Gabi Ashkenazi turns 64… Opinion columnist and podcast contributor for the New York Times since 2016, Andrew Rosenthal turns 62… VP of Communications at CNN, Barbara Levin turns 62… CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo since 2015 after a 20-year career at Hillel, Rob Goldberg turns 59… Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who served as the Deputy National Editor of the Washington Post, currently serving as director of strategic communications for Facebook, Anne Elise Kornblut turns 45… Founder and president of Prospect Media Group, Lauren Kapp turns 45… Comedienne, actress and writer, Chelsea Joy Handler turns 43… Actress, comic book author, producer, singer and screenwriter, best known for her roles in NBC’s “Parks and Recreation” and Fox’s “Boston Public,” Rashida Jones turns 42… General manager of Covenant Wines in Berkeley, California, Sagie Kleinlerer turns 41… Lyla Rose Holdstein turns 36… Actor, writer and producer, best known for his portrayal of Malcolm’s second-oldest brother, Reese, in Fox’s “Malcolm in the Middle, Justin Berfield turns 32… Born in Tel Aviv, raised in Arizona, now at CNN where she is covering European business and media, Hadas Gold turns 30… American figure skating champion, Max Aaron turns 26… Julie Goldman… Michael Smith

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Joint Distribution Committee Centennial Celebration in DC

Monday, December 9, 2013

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, celebrating its 100th anniversary, held its opening dinner tonight at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC.  …

Netanyahu at Saban 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Watch Netanyahu’s Speech Here I am pleased to be joining you today, even if I’m doing it by remote satellite. I remember the Willard Hotel when I came…

Video: John Kerry at Saban 2013

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks at the Saban Forum in Washington, DC on December 7, 2013. SECRETARY KERRY: (Applause.) Thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Tamara, for…

Innovate Israel 2013 – Video & Pics

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Innovate Israel is Europe’s largest Israel focused digital & tech conference and it took place on December 4, 2013 in London. Here are some highlights… Conversation – Israel…

Top Tweets from White House Hanukkah Party

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Update: Scroll down for video of President Obama chatting with Israeli NBA player Omri Casspi   Father daughter dinner @whitehouse with Larry David pic.twitter.com/3JfgmDDxkP — Jerry Silverman (@JerrySJFNA)…

Scene at the UJA-Federation of New York Wall Street Dinner

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Last night was the annual Wall Street Dinner to benefit the United Jewish Appeal-Federation of New York. A large (over 1,700) and generous crowd of bankers and hedge-fund…