Sep
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Daily Kickoff: Clinton, Trump meet Bibi ahead of debate | Bibi responds to Lindsey Graham’s criticism | Israel advances to World Baseball Classic

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TOP TALKER: “Trump and Netanyahu have closed-door meeting at Trump Tower” by Jose DelReal: “Israeli officials said the meeting lasted more than an hour… Among the topics discussed, according to the campaign, were the U.S.-Iran nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration — which Trump regularly condemns on the campaign trail — and strategic military coordination between the two countries… Netanyahu “thanked Mr. Trump for his friendship and support for Israel,” according to the prime minister’s office.” [CNN; WashPost“The Prime Minister’s Office said that Israel’s Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner attended the meeting.” [Haaretz

Trump campaign readout: “Mr. Trump agreed that the military assistance provided to Israel and missile defense cooperation with Israel are an excellent investment for America… Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Netanyahu discussed at length Israel’s successful experience with a security fence that helped secure its borders… He agreed with Prime Minister Netanyahu that the Israeli people want a just and lasting peace with their neighbors, but that peace will only come when the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State. Finally, Mr. Trump acknowledged that Jerusalem has been the eternal capital of the Jewish People for over 3000 years, and that the United States, under a Trump administration, will finally accept the long-standing Congressional mandate to recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.” [JewishInsider; AP]

“Trump hitches a ride on Bibi’s coattails” by Michael Crowley:”Some observers were surprised that neither Trump’s statement nor a briefer one from Netanyahu’s office mentioned the growing worry in Israel that President Barack Obama, before leaving office, might seek a United Nations resolution outlining the parameters for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. “It’s striking that there was no mention of that,” said Dennis Ross.” [Politico] • Donald Trump backs away from two-state solution after meeting Benjamin Netanyahu on eve of presidential debate [Telegraph]

Clinton Reaffirms Opposition to UNSC Resolution in Meeting with Netanyahu: “The Secretary reaffirmed her commitment to work toward a two-state solution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity,” the campaign said. “Secretary Clinton reaffirmed her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the UN Security Council” and  “stressed her commitment to countering attempts to delegitimize Israel, including through the BDS movement.” [JewishInsider; NBCNews]

Aaron David Miller tells us: “Trump Tower is clearly where he feels at home. And it’s hardly a shocker that Bibi would want to portray a good meeting. Remember the Seinfeld episode, ‘a show about nothing’? That’s what these meetings with Trump and Clinton are. Regardless of what’s said or not in these meetings, within six months of the election, one of the two candidates and Netanyahu will be annoying the hell out of one another.”

DRIVING THE DAY: “Clinton, Trump buff foreign policy bona fides on debate eve” by Lisa Lerer and Jill Colvin: “The meeting was designed to put Israel on good footing with the next U.S. president. But it also served to showcase the candidates’ expertise in foreign policy in the shadow of their first debate Monday, six weeks before Election Day. Clinton, a former senator and secretary of state, often says that Trump does not know enough about the world and lacks the temperament to be president. Trump has argued that he has extensive experience with foreign policy through his career as a business executive and blames Clinton for many of the nation’s stumbles in foreign policy.” [AP]

Chemi Shalev: “The timing of the meetings is also a bit weird, on the eve of the first and potentially decisive debate that will take place Monday night at Hofstra University in Long Island. The rendezvous with Netanyahu, less than 48 hours before the debate, cuts off Clinton’s studious preparations, though this might not bother Trump, who is said by advisers to be relying on the feelings of his guts and the quickness of his mouth in the upcoming showdown.” [Haaretz]

“Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Answers the Twitterverse with #AskRivlin Hashtag” by Naomi Zeveloff: “Journalist Jacob Kornbluh asked Rivlin if he would be more likely to accept a medal of honor from a future American president Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. Rivlin answered rather diplomatically, saying “any American president” would continue the tradition of the strong U.S.-Israeli relationship.” [Forward; Twitter]

“Israel PM hopes Obama won’t make final push for Palestinians” by Josef Federman:“Benjamin Netanyahu told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that the issue didn’t come up in this week’s meeting with Obama in New York. But he noted the president has previously vetoed anti-Israel measures at the United Nations and said peace would not be achieved through speeches. Netanyahu said he “can only hope that this consistent approach of the Americans continues until the end of his presidency.”” [AP

Netanyahu responds to Graham’s criticism in an interview with Tal Shalev: “I accept it with love. Lindsey is one of Israel’s biggest supporters and he wanted to give more. It’s interesting because he couldn’t have added the billions that Israeli critics are talking about, for a simple reason: it isn’t there. In the United States, there are budgetary limitations. So the increase that he could have brought with tremendous efforts is just about a hundred million dollars in the next two years. That is not exactly the billions that were talked about. We’ve almost reached the ceiling.” [WallaNews]

KAFE KNESSET — Bibi departs back to Israel — by Tal Shalev & Amir Tibon: Late last night, Netanyahu departed NYC after an eventful day meeting with both presidential candidates. Scarred by the 2012 Mitt Romney debacle, the Prime M inister’s Office did all it c ould to maintain “balance . ” T eam Trump approached the PMO requesting a meeting, and Netanyahu’s bureau immediately contacted Clinton’s campaign to coordinate a similar get together. Unlike other world leaders, who came to Netanyahu’s ” London Hotel ” to meet him, the P rime M inister offered to meet the candidates in their own hotels and headquarters – Trump Tower and the W Hotel in Union Square, respectively – aware of the fact the looming debate night created a rather tight schedule.

The PMO issued nearly identical statements after the meetings, stating only that the PM met with the respective candidates, for an hour and 20 minutes (Trump) and an hour (Clinton), and “presented Israel’s positions on regional issues related to Israel’s security, and its efforts to achieve peace and stability in the area, and thanked [them] for their friendship and support for Israel .” Israeli Ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, sat in both meetings, alongside Jared Kushner in the Trump gathering and Jake Sullivan with Clinton. Netanyahu told Kafe Knesset: “I am confident that whoever the next president is, Israel will have a friend in the White House”.

It wasn’t only business this weekend: the Netanyahu’s had some time for weekend relaxation, touring Central Park, dining at Cipriani’s, and the highlight – on Broadway, watching “Hamilton , ” President Obama’s favorite musical.

Israeli Consul General Dani Dayan summed up Netanyahu’s trip to NYC: “It was a very successful visit despite the fact – or maybe because – it was completely without drama. The commentators that predicted a tense meeting with President Obama (some of them even hoped for it) were totally disappointed by a very cordial meeting. The PM succeeded in accepting the invitations to meet both presidential candidates without being seen at all as meddling in domestic politics. Finally , the UNGA speech and the excellent event with the African leaders were outstanding. In short, a very successful trip . ”

REPORT: “Benjamin Netanyahu booed by audience at ‘Hamilton’” — by Page Six Team:“There was a revolutionary spirit both on the stage and in the audience at “Hamilton” on Saturday night. “The show started late because of his arrival — the heightened security slowed down seating,” said a theatergoer. “But he still entered and sat down before the lights went down, so everyone was focused on him. There was a lot of applause when he walked in, but definitely a few loud boos.”” [PageSix]

JI’s Jacob Kornbluh filing from #IACinDC: The 3rd annual Israeli American Council National Conference took place this weekend at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. In plenary and breakout sessions – both in Hebrew and English – thousands of activists, policymakers, diplomats, journalists, Jewish communal leaders, and business innovators from the U.S. and Israel discussed the pressing issues of the day.

Spotted at Birthright-hosted reception to honor Sheldon and Miriam Adelson: Gidi Mark, Shawn Evenhaim, Phil Rosen, Daniel Kraus, Allen Fagin, Chaya Glasner, Rabbi Dave Felsenthal, Tami Goldberg, Chaim Yosef Greenberg, Adam Yormack, David Ben Hooren, Aliza Kline, and Jonathan Boiskin.

Sheldon on why IAC was established: “I was wondering about the lack of Israeli-American integration into the American Jewish community because nobody really knows how many there are, but there are estimates of 600,000 to a million. That is a very big number that has not been patched together to work for their true interest… We want to work together with other organizations. We want to work with AIPAC; we are not competing with them. If there was an IAC before the second world war, the Holocaust would not have happened because we would’ve been a powerful force to lobby the U.S. to take the steps to save the Jewish people of Europe.”

Ambassador Dani Dayan on the Jewish identity of Israel: “The Jewish state, I would define it as a state of the Jews, for the Jews and by the Jews. A Jewish state, in my view, is a state that when a Jewish community in Ethiopia is in danger, the prime minister of that state calls the CEO of its flight carrier, El Al, orders him to strip the seats of its aircraft, to paralyze its whole commercial fleet of the country, add to that a few herculeses, and send it in 36 hours to rescue that Jewish community and bring them to Zion. That is the definition of a Jewish state because we will do that only for Jews, and we do not expect from any other country to it for a Jewish community but us – ourselves.”

Minister Yoav Galant on the connection between Israel and American Jewry: “There are only two places in the world Jews can call their home and feel equal, safe and comfortable, and live their lives as they please — Israel and North America. It’s important that Israelis living abroad preserve their identity, not assimilate and maintain their connection with Israel.”

Former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani on Iran deal: “I hope we elect someone president of the United States who reverses that agreement. I can’t speak for anyone else. I oppose the agreement because I would never ever put nuclear material in the hands of a proven, homicidal, theologically-motivated maniac. And I consider putting nuclear weapons in the hands of a country that is dedicated to the extermination of the state of Israel, not being a friend of Israel. If someone is threatening to kill me and my family and you give them weapons, I don’t think you’re my friend.”

“After prepping Trump for debate, Giuliani says US should abandon two-state solution” by Michael Wilner: “You can make peace between the two of them, but you can’t treat them the same,” said Giuliani, condemning moral equivalence between the two parties. The US, he said, should “reject the whole notion of a two-state solution in Israel… It’s not in the interest of Israel to have a terrorist state on its border.  It would not be the interests of my country to create a new haven for terrorists.”[JPost] • Trump adviser: Israel can annex West Bank and remain Jewish [TimesofIsrael]

Schumer Warns Against Using UN as Forum to Pressure Israel: “The U.S. must always come to the aid of our friend Israel at the UN,” Schumer said. “The U.S. should never use the United Nations as a forum to put pressure on Israel any kind of an agreement… Since the days of ‘Zionism equals racism,’ the UN has been an anti-Israel forum. Friends of Israel should not trust it.” [JewishInsider]

HEARD AT — The National Iranian American Council Conference: “Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes JewSplaining to NIACouncil – get out and be visible on your issues, like Jews are about Israel” [Twitter]

OVER THE WEEKEND — “Trump campaign quarrels over money woes” by Alex Isenstadt: “Last Thursday, Trump’s top brass, including Mnuchin, chief operating officer Eli Miller, Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner gathered in Trump Tower with Republican National Committee Chief of Staff Katie Walsh… Kushner, who is regularly in touch with Walsh and party chairman Reince Priebus, argued that the committee had proven itself to be responsive.” [Politico]

“Sheldon Adelson to give $25m boost to Trump Super Pac” by Peter Stone: “Adelson plans to donate as much as $25m to a Super Pac supporting Donald Trump – five times what he had been expected to contribute. Adelson will give the money to Future45 for ads attacking Hillary Clinton and backing Donald Trump, the Guardian has learned.” [Guardian

“Bush national security adviser endorses Clinton” by Rebecca Morin: “Donald P. Gregg, national security adviser to George H.W. Bush during his tenure as vice president, said he believes Clinton would be an “extremely good president.”” [Politico]

“Video: Zaydes and Bubbes Urge Grandkids to Stop Trump” by Jacob Kornbluh:“Aimed at millennials – a key voting bloc unenthused about both presidential candidates, Bend the Arc Jewish Action released a video featuring a handful of bubbes and zaydes threatening their grandchildren to haunt their Tinder profile and leak ‘Game of Thrones’ spoilers if they choose to stay home on Election Day. “This is probably one of the most important elections because there’s so much at stake,” one grandmother emphasizes in the video. “We have seen this before. We saw it in Germany and we don’t want to see it here,” another one says.” [JewishInsider]

Holocaust historian Saul Friedlander ‘will quit US’ if Trump is elected President: “The 83-year-old Israeli-American writer, who escaped the Nazis by being hidden in a Catholic boarding school in France, described Trump as a “dangerous crazy.” He said the controversial Republican candidate could win November’s election because of Hillary Clinton’s “tendency to lie and to hide things.”” [AFP]

“Brown signs anti-BDS measure into law” by Eitan Arom: “Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a much-debated bill targeting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel on Sept. 24… While the bill’s advocates had forecasted a signature from the governor, Brown made no public statements about it. So when news of the signing broke on a Shabbat afternoon, it came as something of a surprise.” [JewishJournal]

**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**

STARTUP NATION: “Intel’s office of the future is a micromanaging monster” by Vlad Savov: “Intel is building an ambitious new office building in Israel’s Petah Tikva, which will house 2,500 employees and serve as a showcase for the chipmaker’s latest IoT technologies. Judging by the promo video from Intel, the building will also be a horrible nag that micromanages employees’ sleep, work commute, exercise, and even what they have for lunch. It’s a bureaucrat’s dream and a regular human’s nightmare.” [TheVerge]

ACROSS THE POND: “Sadiq Khan to stamp out Labour’s anti-semitism as Jeremy Corbyn’s views on Jewish attitudes spark fury” by Nigel Nelson: “Mr Khan has vowed to spearhead a drive to stop the party being anti-semitic, just as Mr Corbyn’s views on ‘dishonest’ Jewish attitudes have caused further uproar. Writing for the Holocaust Educational Trust today, the capital’s mayor says: “Whenever anti-semitism rears its ugly head, I’ll be the first to call it out, condemn it and then work to stamp it out.. and that includes within the Labour Party.” [Mirror] • Head of Jewish Labour group: party is in crisis over antisemitism [Guardian]

Larry Sanders, Bernie’s Brother, Is Running for David Cameron’s Seat in Parliament” by Sewell Chan: “Mr. Sanders, 82, was chosen on Thursday night by the Green Party as its nominee in anOct. 20 special election in the constituency of Witney, about 67 miles west of London… “The underlying issues will be the one that Bernard raises, which is the fact that we’ve had growing inequality for the last 30 or 40 years, which means the bulk of the wealth and income has gone to the very richest people,” Larry Sanders told Buzzfeed UK.” [NYTimes

“Millions in chains, belated reckoning: Why the new National Museum of African American History and Culture matters” by Howard Wolfson: “It’s hard to escape the Holocaust in Berlin. The ghosts are everywhere, and they demand your attention: The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. The Topography of Terror. The Book Burning Memorial. Are they sufficient? Of course not. Six million such memorials would not be sufficient. But they do represent an attempt to acknowledge complicity — and if they are only proof of a guilty conscience, better a guilty conscience than none at all. This is especially clear when you contrast the way the Holocaust is remembered in Germany with the disgraceful way slavery, and its immediate legacy of lynching and Jim Crow oppression, is ignored in the United States.” [DailyNews]

HOLLYWOOD: “Rachel Weisz and Deborah Lipstad” by Tad Friend: “The actress sits down with the professor, who was sued for libel for calling David Irving a Holocaust denier, and whom Weisz plays in “Denial.”” [NewYorker]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Jewish and Chinese: Explaining a Shared Identity” by Chris Buckley: “The ancient Jewish community of Kaifeng, in central China, was experiencing a cultural and religious revival until a recent government clampdown, which has brought a ban on collective worship and forced out foreign Jewish groups.” [NYTimes]

LongRead — How Iran Is Building Its Censorship-Friendly Domestic Internet: “In promoting the strengthened infrastructure, officials have publicly invited Google and Telegram to host servers inside Iran. Thus far, these offers have not been accepted. As those companies understand, and officials openly acknowledge, doing so comes with a catch — it requires compliance with Iranian law. Lacking Google’s cooperation, Iranian authorities have supported the creation of local variant, named Aparat, that has met with particular success.” [BackChannel]

SPORTS BLINK: “Israel drops Great Britain for 1st Classic berth” by Barry Bloom: “The Israelis have made it to the elite 16 of the World Baseball Classic, vanquishing an extra-inning elimination loss that has haunted them since 2012. With Sunday night’s 9-1 victory over Great Britain ending the Brooklyn qualifier at MCU Park, Israel will move on to play in Pool B at Seoul, beginning March 7 against host South Korea, Chinese Taipei and The Netherlands, completing the field of 16 nations for next year’s fourth Classic.” [MLB]

“Home Teams Are Israeli, but Turf Is in West Bank” by Peter Baker: “A conflict over where Israel officially begins and ends has hit a raw nerve on both sides of the murky line, intensified by athletic fervor and community pride. After all, if nothing else, one thing Israelis and Palestinians share is a passion for soccer.” [NYTimes; AP]

BIRTHDAYS: Vice Chairman and a Director of Capital International, Inc. and long-time Board Chair of the Hudson Institute, Walter Phillips Stern turns 88… CEO of Israel Longhorn Project, dedicated to bringing Texas Longhorn Cattle home to Israel, Robin Rosenblatt turns 68… Senior political adviser to President Bill Clinton during his second term and co-author of a NY Times best-seller on the future of politics in the United States, Doug Sosnik turns 60… Historian, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Robert Kagan turns 58… Former Communications Director for NY Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Jane Harman, now heading a NYC based PR firm, Risa Beth Heller tuns 37… Barry Mandel… Chief of Staff to Ohio Senator Rob Portman, following a long career as a DC lobbyist, Mark Isakowitz

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Sep
23

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Daily Kickoff: Hudson Institute Dinner Scene | Bibi compares Israel’s US & Russia relationships | Israel defeats Great Britain in Baseball Classic

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TOP TALKER: “Obama Kept Military Out of the Loop on Cash Payments to Iran” by Eli Lake: “Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry did not consult Secretary of Defense Ash Carter or the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford. This news came out of a hearing Thursdaybefore the Senate Armed Services Committee. In response to a question from Republican Senator Ted Cruz about the cash payment to Iran, Carter made it clear that he had been out of the loop. “We weren’t involved in this,” Carter said.” [Bloomberg] • Top US general: ‘Troubling’ that Iran military will get US cash [TheHill]

“House votes to ban cash payments to Iran” by Pete Kasperowicz: “The bill, from House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce, R-Calif., is explicitly aimed at “prohibiting future ransom payments to Iran,” a move Royce said is needed to rein in the Obama administration and future governments.”It is not in the interest of the United States to have the regime have cold, hard cash,” Royce said during the floor debate on his bill.” [WashExaminer] • Paul Ryan accuses the Obama administration of coddling Iran [FoxNews]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu received the Hudson Institute’s 2016 Herman Kahn Award at the Plaza Hotel in Manhattan. Roger Hertog, president of the Hertog Foundation and chairman of The Tikvah Fund, interviewed the Prime Minister for the packed crowd.

Netanyahu on Israel’s relationship with Russia and Putin: “I think Russia has variegated interests. The first interest is to make sure militant Islam does not penetrate and destabilize Russia. There are many many millions of Muslims in Russia, including in greater Moscow, I think it’s up to two million. And the concern that Russia has, which many countries have is that these populations would be radicalized. That explains what Putin is doing in Syria… The first thing is, block militant Islam at its source, especially the Daesh phenomenon. For that they make strange alliances. I have said to President Putin, the last thing we want to see … is Iranian weapons being transferred through Syrian territory to Hezbollah in Lebanon…”

“I said to Putin, about a year ago when he put his military forces in Syria. I said, ‘Look, this is our cost, these are my red lines. We have a choice. We can coordinate…’ I said, ‘We can actually have our forces shoot down each other’s planes… or we can avoid it.’ So, periodically, we have to sort of tighten the bolts, because not everything that is said at the top necessarily reaches the bottom levels, field levels. They do on the Israeli side, but they don’t necessarily always do so on the other side. So the second thing is we want to avoid a clash. What is Mr. Putin’s interest? He definitely doesn’t want that to happen. The third interest, I think, is he wants technology. He’s interested in technology… I think it is very important that we have this relationship.”

On the U.S.-Israel relationship: “I don’t think there’s an alternative to Israel’s tremendous alliance with the United States. We have flourishing relations with many countries around the world and those relationships are based on shared interests. With the United States, we certainly have shared interest. But it’s the one alliance we have, except for maybe one or two others, that is based on shared values. You can see the support of the American public for Israel. It’s up to 71 percent right now. I think the Palestinians get about 18 percent – it’s flat like an EKG of a dead person. We are going up, up and up. And I can tell you – and this may come as a shock – it’s gone up with my experience during the last year… This is the source of this tremendous alliance – it’s the identification of the American people that Israel is like the U.S. and the U.S is like Israel. This is a powerful alliance.”

From Hudson CEO Ken Weinstein’s remarks: “Usually, if it’s this time of night, on a late September evening, and I’m around a large number of Jews who’ve forked over good money for their seats, and Israel’s being discussed, there is usually a guy on the bimah, sporting a tallis and a kittel… And it ain’t me (laughter). Well, I’m pleased to note that there will be no Yom Kippur ashamnus this evening –  the Jewish equivalent of what Hudson VP Bill Luti calls the mea maxima culpa.”

SPOTTED — (better list would be who wasn’t there): Walter & Betsy Stern, Henry & Nancy Kisisnger, Amb Ron & Rhoda Dermer, Amb. Dan Shapiro, former Sen. Joe & Hadassah Lieberman, Gary Ginsberg, Elaine Chao, Steven & Tina Price, Steve & Leora Levy, Phil & Malki Rosen, Rabbi Meir Soloveichik, Amb. Danny Danon, Consul Gen. Dani Dayan, Lee Smith, Sarah Stern, Ira & Ingeborg Rennert, Jeffrey Berenson, Scooter Libby, Allan & Frances Tessler, George Klein, Eugene Kandel, Daniel Bonner, Chaya Glasner, Noah Pollak, Darin McKeever, William Daroff, Charlie & Lisa Spies, Scott & Jordan Arogeti, David Suissa, Yarden Golan, Michael & Shelly Kassen, Amb. Husain Haqqani, Ravenel Curry, Raanan Agus, Ken Abramowitz, Matthew Waxman, Eli Groner, Michael Miller, Malcolm Hoenlein, Morris & Nancy Offit, Sander Gerber, Jerry Levin, Cheryl Halpern, Michael Doran, Walter Russell Mead, Nick Muzin, Josh Block, Lewis Eisenberg, Joshua & Kari Levine, Michael Makovsky, Eric Kohlmann Kupper, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Rabbi Menachem Genack, Keith Sonderling, Ron Prosor, Brian Cohen, and Todd Ricketts (celebrating his bday today).

“Netanyahu calls UN ‘moral farce,’ says Israel will not accept any dictates” by Barak Ravid: “Netanyahu was harshly critical of the UN, for what he said was its “obsessive bias against Israel.” He described the General Assembly as a “disgrace,” the UN Human Rights Council as a “joke” and UNESCO, the UN’s cultural organization as a “circus.” “The UN begun as a moral force has become a moral farce,” the prime minister said. Despite his criticism, Netanyahu said that things were changing at the UN and predicted that “a decade from now an Israeli prime minister will be applauding the UN. Israel has a bright future at the UN.” More and more nations around the world see Israel as a partner, the prime minister said. “Everything will change and a lot sooner than you think,” he said. “Lay down your arms,” Netanyahu told his audience. “The war against Israel at the UN is over.” [Haaretz]


HOW IT PLAYED: Separated by One UN Speech, Netanyahu and Abbas Remain Far Apart[Bloomberg] • World Crises Push Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Off U.N. Center Stage [NYTimes] • At UN Netanyahu invites Abbas to address Knesset [AP] • Chemi Shalev: Netanyahu Does His Usual Schtick Before UN Audience With No Expectations [Haaretz] • Herb Keinon: In stark contrast to Abbas, Netanyahu radiates optimism at UN [JPost

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Yesterday, on the streets of Manhattan, a news crew for Israeli Channel 1, in town as part of Netanyahu’s travelling press, accidentally ran into Jonathan and Esther Pollard strolling on 2nd avenue. Pollard tried to avoid the cameras but eventually answered some questions. “I can say shana tova to all of my Haverim in Israel. We love them very much and we hope to be home soon, Im yirtzeh Hashem”, Pollard said, adding that “its going to take a miracle for me to come home.”

YESTERDAY IN NYC: Turkish President Erdoğan held a meeting with Jewish leaders at Peninsula Hotel in Manhattan. Leaders attending the meeting included Malcolm Hoenlein, AIPAC’s Robert Cohen, ADL’s Jonathan Greenblatt, and JINSA’s Michael Makovsky, among others. [TCCB]

“Israeli minister slams ‘naive and messianic’ Obama” by Raoul Wootliff: “Hanegbi, a close confidante of the prime minister, told Army Radio that the US president was “naive and messianic” in his dealings with Israel. “At the moment Obama is not acting like the most powerful man in the world,” he said, “instead he is behaving like someone working in Hillary Clinton’s campaign office.” Hanegbi was not alone to show cracks in the relationship Thursday, US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro saying that Obama was “disappointed” in the lack of progress towards a two-state solution under the Israeli leader.”[TimesofIsrael

AJC: “Hanegbi’s inappropriate comments don’t reflect the reality of yesterday’s meeting. He should apologize to POTUS.” [Twitter

“Obama-Netanyahu meeting directed at Jewish voters” by Orly Azoulay: “These days, with such a tight race and with Trump gaining strength at Clinton’s expense, every vote counts. While the Jews traditionally vote for the Democrats, Obama is aware of the fact that an increasing number of Jews and Israelis in the Miami suburbs are attracted by Trump… Obama’s main mission is to build the bridge that will get Clinton into the White House. A bit of renewed flattery towards the Jewish vote has never done any harm: Obama provided them with an idyll.” [Ynet]

— Aaron David Miller: “A fight with Israel could prove very embarrassing to Mrs. Clinton, and might force her to distance herself from the President or appear less pro-Israel than her opponent. Either course, two months before what could be a close election, might prove costly.” [CNN]

“Trump plans post-debate fundraising blitz” by Alex Isenstadt: “Trump suffered a blow this week when Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson revealed that he would be directing $40 million to Republican groups devoted to protecting the party’s congressional majorities and just $5 million toward electing the GOP presidential nominee. Tuesday’s event will be hosted by vice presidential nominee Mike Pence and two of Trump’s children, Eric and Ivanka. It is being co-chaired by Republican fundraisers Anthony Scaramucci, a prominent Wall Street investor, and Roy Bailey, a Dallas insurance executive.”[Politico

“The billionaires strike back” by Teddy Schleifer: “Moskovitz, who sent ripples through the donor world when he pledged $20 million to a variety of liberal and Democratic Party groups, but didn’t give to Clinton TV ad powerhouse Priorities USA. While he is “primarily focused on the top” of the ticket, he described Priorities as “distinguished by focusing on TV more than anything else.” Bloomberg does not plan to give to Priorities USA either, according to Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg political adviser.”

— “The decision by Adelson to partner with the Ricketts operation is a blow to the Trump super PACs that have been trying to land him as a landmark donor… The Adelson’s gift to the pro-Trump effort — likely to be around $5 million — is substantially smaller than some had hoped, and the decision to relinquish control over their dollars to a separate donor family direct the effort is surprising.” [CNN]

“Why Aren’t Democrats Freaking Out Over Clinton’s Poll Numbers?” by David Freedlander:“Actually, I am not losing any sleep over any of this,” says Anne Hess, a Manhattan philanthropist who’s raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for Hillary Clinton. “I have great faith in the American electorate.” “I think there is a belief by many people that there is no way the country will elect someone so unfit to the presidency as Donald Trump,” says Steve Israel, a Long Island congressman who for years was tasked with electing Democrats to the House.” “I just don’t believe in the accuracy of the polls,” says Alan Patricof, a venture capitalist and longtime friend of the Clintons. “I don’t know what it is. Maybe Hillary supporters aren’t answering their phones or something.” [RollingStone]

Tevi Troy on how the Jewish vote can influence the election: “I did an analysis that showed that, going back to the 1960 campaign, when the Republicans get more than 30 percent of the Jewish vote, they tend to win those elections… The question is not, ‘Do the Jews vote for the Democrats?’ The Jews do vote for the Democrats overall. But is it going to be 80 percent, which would mean a blowout election for the Democrats, or is it more like in the 60s, which means good news for the Republicans.”[MomentMagazine]

Alan Dershowitz discusses 2016 in interview with the Jewish Chronicle’s Michael Goldfarb:“Donald Trump, whom he has met, is not an anti-Semite but is as insensitive to anti-Semitism as Jeremy Corbyn. “He’s a politician and he’s willing to accept the support of considerable numbers of anti-Semites.” Mr Dershowitz adds: “He’s a destabilizing force in a world where Israel benefits from stability.” But the one thing Mr Trump is consistent about is overturning the Iran nuclear deal. Does he not think that would a good thing? “He can’t do that. It’s not gonna happen. The deal involves other countries and they are not going to undo it.” [TheJC]

“Mark Cuban takes front-row seat for presidential debate” by Cristiano Lima: “The bombastic billionaire who’s been an outspoken critic of the Republican nominee will be sitting front-row when the two opponents square off for their first televised debate at Hofstra University Monday, Cuban revealed in a tweet Thursday night. Billing it as the “Humbling at Hofstra,” Cuban says he plans to watch closely as Clinton tries to “overwhelm” Trump.” [Politico]

“Spiritual Healing with Marla Maples, Trump’s Ex-Wife” by Olivia Nuzzi: “She goes to church on Sundays but keeps Shabbat, eats kosher, and studies Kabbalah.” [DailyBeast

“David Duke, leading ‘deplorable’ and Senate candidate, sees Trump as kindred spirit” by Todd Gillman: “Duke insisted on playing a YouTube video to frame the interview: ‘CNN, Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix.’ For 15 minutes, Duke warns of the pervasive influence of Jewish bankers, campaign donors, judges and journalists. “Are you Jewish or gentile?” he asks when the video ends, 28 seconds into what would be a two-hour conversation. “I know some Jews — there are a lot of Jews who are fair.””[DallasNews

**A message from the Israeli-American Council: The 3rd annual Israeli-American Council National Conference is this weekend! Join thousands of activists, policymakers, diplomats, journalists, Jewish communal leaders, and business innovators from the U.S. and Israel to dive deep into the most pressing issues facing the Jewish people today. All will convene in Washington, DC from 9/24-9/26.[IsraeliAmerican] **

SPOTLIGHT: “China’s Wanda Group accused of funneling foreign money into Beverly Hills ballot measure” by David Pierson: “A labor union representing hotel workers filed a complaintThursday calling on state and federal election officials to investigate the potential illegal use of foreign money in a heated Beverly Hills ballot measure that has pitted the owner of the Beverly Hilton against a builder controlled by the richest man in China. The ballot measure would allow real estate investor Beny Alagem, owner of the landmark and union-friendly Beverly Hilton, to bypass the usual public review to build a 26-story high-rise that would be the tallest building in a city averse to big developments.”[LATimes]

**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**

HOLLYWOOD: “Better-than-ever ‘Transparent’ transitions into a study of American Jewish-ness” by Hank Stuever: “In ways that are both blunt and subtle, attentive viewers of the show now understand “Transparent” as a broader, epic story about the American Jewish experience — particularly as it is lived by a family with an on-again, off-again dependence on faith.” [WashPost]

“Mel Brooks Pranks President Obama, Pretends to Pull His Pants Down” by Joi-Marie Mckenzie: “Brooks, 90, was awarded the 2015 National Medal of Arts today “for a lifetime of making the world laugh,” the White House said in a statement. After Obama placed the medal around the legendary comedian’s neck, Brooks pretended to pull down the president’s pants. Some reports speculate that the filmmaker was simply pretending to fall down under the weight of the medal. Still, the moment caused many in the audience to laugh and applaud. At the end of the ceremony, Obama quipped that “Mel Brooks kind of set the tone for this thing,” adding that normally it’s “been a much more staid affair.””[ABCNews

“Hogan meets with Israeli leaders and business executives during trade mission” by Ovetta Wiggins: “Hogan (R) left for the seven-day trade mission on Monday. A group of business executives, university officials, Jewish leaders and members of the governor’s Cabinet, including Chief of Staff Craig Williams, joined him on the trip, which has included several meetings with Israeli business executives who have subsidiary operations in Maryland, an address to a group of high-tech entrepreneurs, and the signing of an academic agreement between the University of Maryland and Tel Aviv University.  Hogan met with executives from Enzymotec and its subsidiary VAYA Pharma, which recently moved its U.S. headquarters to the University of Maryland BioPark. VAYA develops lipid-based medical foods. “ [WashPost] • Israeli defense firm plans expansion of Howard County office [BaltimoreSun]

Yitz Applbaum on the Wine of the Week: Last night I had the privilege of doing a wine tasting for a great group of representatives from numerous Hong Kong based family offices. They were so intent on investing in Israeli hi-tech it actually took me quite some time and effort to divert their attention for long enough to help them fall in love with Israeli wines.

The wine I served was the Benhaim 2010 Cabernet Franc. This wine is a blend of 85 percent Cabernet Franc, 10 percent Cabernet Sauvignon and 5 percent Petite Syrah — a bold and adventurous wine. The flavor profile of the wine changes significantly as you swirl it in your mouth and give it exposure to various parts of your tongue. There are very strong hints of mocha and coffee in the mid-palate. The finish beats you up a bit, but it has a very long and lingering cherry tone that stays with you. This wine can be enjoyed now or in 5 years. It is best with smoked meats and curried chicken. [Benhaim]

SPORTS BLINK: “Israel rallies past Great Britain with 4-run 7th” by Joe Trezza: “Its heartbreaking extra-innings elimination loss in the World Baseball Classic qualifier four years ago still fresh in its minds, Israel’s mission is to qualify for the 2017 WBC and help further advance the growth of baseball in the country. Israel took its first step toward that goal Thursday, defeating Great Britain, 5-2, on the opening night of a qualifier at MCU Park in Brooklyn.” [MLB]

BIRTHDAYS: Israeli ambassador to Mexico, Jonathan Peled… Business Manager for Los Angeles Cardiovascular Medical Group, Angela Maddahi… Co-owner of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs,Todd Ricketts… Harvard student who represented the US in saber fencing at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Eli Dershwitz turns 21… US Ambassador to the EU following a Supreme Court clerkship and a White House career, now general counsel at the Institute of International Finance. Kristen Silverbergturns 46… Washington bureau reporter for The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt turns 33… Director of Communications for LA Mayor Eric Garcetti, Naomi Seligman

Economics Editor of the UK’s ITV News, academic, economist, best-selling author and a great-granddaughter of former British Chief Rabbi Joseph Hertz, Noreena Hertz turns 49… Presidential campaign reporter for NBC News, formerly of CNN and The Hill, Alexandra Jaffe turns 27… Michael Weiss… Yale Law graduate and Chief of Staff at Robin Hood, a non-profit sponsor of antipoverty programs, Jessica Schumer turns 32… Member of the UK’s House of Lords, expert on prison reform, Baroness Vivien Helen Stern turns 75… Israeli television anchor/host and one of the most popular Israeli singers of all time, Yardena Arazi turns 65… Pioneering woman television anchor/host of Today, The View, 20/20 and the ABC Evening News. Barbara Walters (family name Abrahams) turns 87… Yanky Rodman

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]
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Daily Kickoff: Bibi invites Obama to play golf in Caesarea | Profiles: Jason Pomeranc; Rebecca Kantar | Tom Brady — Middle East Peace Negotiator?

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TOP TALKER: “After Much Rancor, Obama and Netanyahu Meet, Likely for Last Time” by Mark Landler: “Their smiles said more than their words. For all the bitterness that has characterized their relationship, over issues from the Iran nuclear deal to the peace process, Mr. Obama and Mr. Netanyahu were able to end things on a harmonious note, at least publicly… Neither man seemed keen to revisit old grievances. Mr. Netanyahu did not mention the Iran deal, which he tried to kill with thunderous speeches to the General Assembly and the United States Congress. Mr. Obama touched only gently on the growth of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which he once demanded that Mr. Netanyahu halt completely as a way to restart negotiations with the Palestinians.”

— “They’ll both be relieved that they don’t have to meet each other again,” said Martin S. Indyk, the executive vice president of the Brookings Institution. “Both have come to believe that the other is out to screw them.” Even now, Mr. Indyk said, the Israeli leader fears that Mr. Obama will vote for a United Nations Security Council resolution setting out the framework for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal as his last act of Middle East diplomacy. Mr. Obama, he said, suspects that Mr. Netanyahu will continue expanding West Bank settlements “just to spite him.” [NYTimes]

POSTGAME: A senior administration official in a press briefing: “In terms of settlements, the president raised profound U.S. concerns about the corrosive effect that that is having on the prospects of two states, which Mr. Netanyahu pushed back on.” Another senior administration official added: “They’ve never papered over their differences.”

— “[A] senior official on Netanyahu’s delegation said that the collaboration between the two is “very deep” and a “two-way street.” The official also described the relationship between Obama and Netanyahu as one of “an old couple who are learning to know each other.” According to the source, there was also no mention of a potential US veto of a resolution on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict at the UN Security Council.” [JPost]

“Netanyahu pokes at Obama’s ‘terrific golf game'” by Nolan Mccaskill: “So I want you to know, Barack, that you’ll always be a welcome guest in Israel,” the prime minister continued. “And, by the way, I don’t play golf, but right next to my home in Caesarea in Israel is a terrific golf course.” Obama responded in jest, remarking that the two will “set up a tee time” as both world leaders shook hands.” [Politico;Transcript]

HOW IT PLAYED: Obama, Netanyahu look past years of tensions in last meeting [AP] • Obama, Netanyahu Reaffirm Bonds, Even as Old Rifts Linger [WSJ] • A stormy alliance between Obama and Netanyahu reaches its end in New York [WashPost] • Obama at Netanyahu meeting: ‘He is always very candid with us’ [CNN] • Obama to Netanyahu: See You Never? [TheAtlantic] • Six takeaways from another smiling display of mutual Obama-Netanyahu frustration [TimesofIsrael]

“Obama’s tense relationship with Netanyahu colors his legacy on Israel” by Christi Parsons and Joshua Mitnick: “He is conscious that people say he is anti-Israel,” Jon Alterman, a Middle East expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said of Obama. “He thinks that’s unfair, and this lets him leave a marker. Not only can he say he supported Israel, but he oversaw the largest military assistance package ever.” [LATimes]

KAFE KNESSET — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Following his meeting with POTUS,  a senior official in Netanyahu’s entourage threw the bait, stating that none of the candidates have approached them with an offer to meet, “and if they do – we will not say no.” Clinton and Trump both met with Egyptian president Sisi earlier this week, and perhaps that made Netanyahu a bit envious.

In an interesting turn of events, Netanyahu could also meet with his pal Sheldon Adelson, despite the fact that a meeting between the two wasn’t originally planned. Adelson was supposed to be out of town, as he is attending a private event in Las Vegas this week and is scheduled to appear at the IAC conference in DC, but sources close the Prime Minister told us Adelson will likely arrive in NYC on Saturday or Sunday and would meet with Netanyahu before he flies back to Israel.

“Senior Official: Netanyahu Would Meet Clinton, Trump if Asked” by Barak Ravid: “Netanyahu has not been asked by U.S. presidential candidates, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, to meet during his stay in New York, a senior official in his entourage said. But if such an invitation is extended, the official said, the prime minister would accept it.” [Haaretz]

“Benjamin Netanyahu needs 20 special agents to go to the bathroom” by Emily Smith: “On Tuesday, Bibi, in New York for the UN General Assembly, caused a stir at upscale restaurant Harry Cipriani at the Sherry-Netherland hotel by arriving with an over 40-strong team of buff agents from the elite Israel Security Agency, known as Shin Bet. Fellow diners, including Charlie Rose, billionaire Ronald Perelman, Barbara Winston, ­DuJour’s Jason Binn and fashion icon Iris Apfel, watched as the agents swarmed the venue.” [NYPost]

DRIVING THE DAY: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will address the UN General Assembly at noon [Livestream] • Peter Baker’s preview: “He may find few sympathetic ears in the hall, but they are not his only audience.” [NYTimes]

Lee Smith: “Much of the Obama administration’s political success last year is owing to the fact that it relied on various echo chambers in the media to market its policies to the American public, sometimes explaining them and often obscuring them, as it did with the Iran deal. Netanyahu seems to have at last concluded that he can’t defend himself or his country in that forum. As he did when he made a speech in Congress criticizing the Iran deal, he is taking his case straight to the American people.”[WeeklyStandard]

SCENE YESTERDAY IN DC —  A bipartisan group of senators and DHS deputy secretary Alejandro Mayorkas addressed the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America Advocacy Center’s annual leadership mission to Washington, DC. Pollster Mark Mellman and commentator Matt Lewis also discussed the 2016 presidential election at a panel moderated by Nathan Diament.

Highlights — Sen. Ben Cardin: “We are a small minority in this country, from the point of view of our religion, and yet we’ve been able to have tremendous impact on the policy of America… Yes, you have friends in Congress, on both sides of the aisle. But don’t take it for granted that we will be there as you move forward. We gotta continue to work on those relationships. And yes, Jewish politics can be brutal.” • Related: “Cardin: ‘Risk factor’ to extending Iran sanctions in lame duck” [TheHill]

Lindsey Graham: “Bibi told me that Hezbollah has received 300 missiles from Iran that can jump over the Iron Dome. Congress has always had Israel’s back in a bipartisan fashion We are going to need your help now more than ever, maybe even on a Friday night.”

Cotton: Next President Should ‘Rescind’ New MOU: “This is an agreement between two current heads of states,” Cotton said. “And I believe that as soon as we have a new president, we should rescind that agreement and give one that is better for Israel and better for the United States.” [JewishInsider]

DHS Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urged the Jewish community to “be active” in the world of security: “I come from a tradition of a lack of security. It instilled in me as a very young person was a sense of concern by virtue of my identity as a Jew. My mother, she tried to teach us not to speak of our Judaism outside of our Jewish community that was born of her tragic experience. My father was actually of a different school. He was a member of a very small Sephardic community in Cuba, and he used to talk about it all the time because no one in Cuba believed he was actually Jewish because there were only about eight of them.” [JewishInsider]

Graham tells JI he stands by criticism of Netanyahu: “I admire Bibi greatly. I think this was a mistake on his part. You inform us about what the needs are. I think they are real. I think Iran’s rise is a real threat to Israel. You have ISIl in the Sinai. He is a dear friend, I ‘ve known him for twenty years. I think Congress has been a true friend in a bipartisan fashion, and this idea that Congress is bound by this MOU is unconstitutional, flawed, and I don’t think it’s very good for Israel. So, I like Bibi, but I don’t like how this MOU has been concluded.”

Q: Have you spoke to the prime minister since the agreement was concluded?

Graham: “No, not yet.”

“The GOP’s Jewish Donors Are Abandoning Trump” by Eitan Hersh and Brian Schaffner:“In 2012, 71 percent of the $240 million that Jewish donors gave to the two major-party nominees went to President Obama’s re-election campaign; 29 percent went to Mitt Romney’s campaign… But in 2016, of the $372 million given to presidential nominees, 96 percent of all contributions went to Hillary Clinton and just 4 percent has gone to Donald Trump. In raw dollars, Jewish donors have already given Clinton nearly double the amount they gave to Obama through the whole 2012 cycle. But donations to Trump amount to a third of what was given to Romney.” [FiveThirtyEight]

“75 retired senior diplomats sign letter opposing Trump for president” by Karen DeYoung:“Dan Kurtzer, former ambassador to Egypt and to Israel, said he objected to Republican support for a measure allowing U.S. citizens to sue foreign governments, which President Obama has said he would veto. He said he signed “not for the politics part, but literally for the protection that it [the measure] would strip away” from U.S. diplomats working overseas.” [WashPost]

Thomas Friedman: “So, young people, listen up: Hillary doesn’t light your fire? O.K., I agree, she is a flawed candidate. But she can responsibly manage the affairs of state. Trump is beyond repair and won’t just light your fire — he’ll burn the house down. Ask the old spies.” [NYTimes]

Former NYC Council President Andrew Stein: “Party Loyalty Can’t Make Me Vote for Clinton: Hillary Clinton is the personification of the establishment and status quo. She voted for the war in Iraq and supported the Iran nuclear deal, two of the worst, and most dangerous, mistakes in American foreign policy during my lifetime.” [WSJ]

“Trump supporters in Israel look for every last vote” by Matthew Bell: “[William] Booth says many dual U.S.-Israeli citizens he’s talked with, especially those who resettled in Israel back in the 1960s and ’70s, are on the left side of the political spectrum and would find the idea of a Donald Trump presidency “mystifying or abhorrent.” On the other hand, Trump’s blunt talk about radical Islam and what he considers the scourge of political correctness goes over well with parts of the Israeli public. And Booth says that includes many newer arrivals from the U.S., “looking for sort of a tough anti-terrorist, maybe even anti-Arab, position.”” [USAToday]

“Anti-Defamation League Steps Up Efforts To Combat Anti-Semitism Online” by NPR staff:“Greenblatt tells NPR’s Ari Shapiro the amount of “vitriol and hatred” during this presidential election has been “staggering.” “We’ve been on the record and engaged with the Trump campaign because we were concerned about the use of these tropes and sharing these symbols. They’re deeply problematic.” [NPR]

“Don King waves Israeli flag after dropping ‘N-word’ at pro-Trump event” by Josefin Dolsten:“At the end of the speech, King picked up and waved several flags, including Israeli and American ones and a banner with Trump’s face. It is not entirely clear why King decided to bring along the Israeli flag, but research reveals the boxing promoter is both a fan of the Jewish state — and flags in general.” [JTA]

**A message from the Israeli-American Council: The 3rd annual Israeli-American Council National Conference is this week! Join thousands of activists, policymakers, diplomats, journalists, Jewish communal leaders, and business innovators from the U.S. and Israel to dive deep into the most pressing issues facing the Jewish people today. All will convene in Washington, DC from 9/24-9/26.[IsraeliAmerican] **

“US grants Airbus, Boeing a chance to sell airplanes to Iran” by Jon Gambrell: “The approval clears the way for the two plane manufacturers to access one of the last untapped aviation markets in the world. Both companies have announced separate $25-billion deals to sell aircraft to airlines in the country, although analysts are skeptical that there is demand for so many jets or available financing. The deal would be the biggest for an American company since the 1979 Islamic Revolution and U.S. Embassy takeover.” [AP]

“Arab states shelve push against Israel at U.N. nuclear watchdog” by Shadia Nasralla:“Repeated Arab-sponsored attempts to organize a conference on a Middle East nuclear weapons ban have also been fruitless, with the United States always standing with Israel against the move. This led Arab states to decide to stop striving for resolutions that merely call on, but do not order, Israel to implement nuclear control regimes such as the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or an IAEA Comprehensive Safeguards Agreement (CSA), Arab League Ambassador Wael Al Assad said.” [Reuters]

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

SPOTLIGHT: Sandoval announces he will call special session to consider Las Vegas stadium project” by Sandra Chereb and Sean Whaley: “He said the session would be some time between Oct. 7 and Oct. 13.  The funding proposal calls for an increase in the Clark County hotel room tax to finance $750 million in stadium construction costs over 33 years. The deal requires the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon Adelson, Majestic Realty and the Raiders to pay the remainder of the construction costs for the 65,000-seat dome, as well as any cost overruns. Adelson has pledged at least $650 million, while the Raiders would pay $500 million.” [ReviewJournal]

Jon Ralston tweets: “Gov will allow special to start earlier than the 10th if needed because Yom Kippur begins the 11th. Sounds like a sop to Adelson! There’s something Biblical about a date for a special session to help a powerful Jewish billionaire’s stadium dream held up by Yom Kippur.” [Twitter]

PROFILE: “Meet the boutique hotel operator looking beyond midtown for business travelers” by Cara Eisenpress: “Jason Pomeranc and his brothers opened the downtown boutique hotel 60 Thompson the night before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Their business survived the economic downturn. Now, they’re capitalizing on demand for stays at smaller, independently owned hotels. In 2000, boutiques accounted for fewer than 1% of hotel rooms in the city. Today they have more than 10% of the city’s 112,000-plus inventory, according to hotel research firm STR.” [Crains]

RISING STAR: “This 24-year-old Harvard dropout wants to rid the world of multiple-choice tests like the SAT” by Biz Carson: “Rebecca Kantar was two years into Harvard when she dropped out. As with most students, Kantar had spent most of her academic life learning information and then being quizzed on it through multiple-choice tests or essays. With the SAT celebrating its 90th birthday this year, Kantar believes it’s time for a radical update of standardized testing — one that doesn’t just reward rote memorization but one that can assess how your brain works and how you put that knowledge to use. To do so, she started Imbellus in 2015. Today, she’s announcing that the company has now raised $4 million from investors including Upfront Ventures and Thrive Capital to try to upend one of the foundations of the education system.” [BusinessInsider]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “How Jewish moms make sure their kids grow up to be mensches” by Marjorie Ingall: “These jokes rely on the Jewish mother’s reputation as a giant pain. According to popular lore, Jewish moms are smothering, guilt-mongering, boastful, monstrously narcissistic and massively neurotic. But it wasn’t until I became a mother myself that I started to closely examine these stereotypes—and to consider how they truly get Jewish moms all wrong.” [Quartz]

LongRead — Barack Obama and Doris Kearns Goodwin: The Ultimate Exit Interview: “Early in my presidency, I went to Cairo to make a speech to the Muslim world. And in the afternoon, after the speech, we took helicopters out to the pyramids. And I still remember it thinking to myself, there were a lot of people during the period when these pyramids were built who thought they were really important. And now it’s all just covered in dust and sand. Sometimes I carry with me that perspective, which tells me that my particular worries on any given day—how I’m doing in the polls or what somebody is saying about me—isn’t particularly relevant. What is relevant is: What am I building that lasts? And here in the United States, hopefully, what we’re building are not just pyramids, are not icons to one pharaoh. What we’re building is a culture and a way of living together…” [VanityFair]

SPORTS BLINK: “Tom Brady felt the Michigan love, maybe for the first time” by Kevin Van Valkenburg: “They knew getting Tom Brady to Ann Arbor might be a difficult sell. They knew, despite four Super Bowl rings and two MVPs, there were some sins he could forgive, but never forget. Brady even posed for a selfie with Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, a prominent Michigan alum and donor. Ross said he was texting the picture to Patriots owner Robert Kraft. “Everyone who meets him gets that look that 16-year-old girls had the first time they saw the Beatles,” Flannelly said. “But he’s so disarming. He gets people to relax. He could talk to anybody. He could fix the Middle East. You put him in the room with the Arabs and the Jews and he would get them talking until they figure it out.”” [ESPN]

“Good Bat? Cannon Arm? Jewish? Sign Him Up!” by Michael Powell: “To stay competitive, my friend Kurz and his baseball codependents pursue Jewish ballplayers with the determination of Ahab after that whale. Kurz has bona fide baseball scouts and bona fide experts of the Jewish diaspora, baseball division. The informal team includes Scott Barancik in Florida with the Jewish Baseball News and Ephraim Moxson and Shel Wallman of the Jewish Sports Review. They are the detectives of the Jewish and the athletic.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Commissioner of the National Basketball Association from 1984 through 2014, who oversaw the growth years of the league, David Stern turns 74… Nobel Prize laureate, astrophysicist and professor of physics at UC-Berkeley, Saul Perlmutter turns 57… Member of Knesset since 2003, has held multiple Israeli cabinet portfolios, and is currenty the opposition leader, Isaac “Bougie” Herzog turns 56… Former Senior Writer at the Jewish Journal and Jewish Insider, now communications director at Prager U, Jared Sichel… Daniel Eisenstadt

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]
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