Jun
6

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Daily Kickoff: Sherman and Doran clash on Iran | How Scooter Braun pulled off the Manchester concert so quickly | How the ’67 War Transformed Religion

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HEARD YESTERDAY — Sherman and Doran Clash on Iran at AJC Debate — by Aaron Magid: Speaking before a packed audience at the Washington Hilton, the crowd repeatedly interrupted Wendy Sherman and Mike Doran with boos, mock laughter, and applause during the intense debate. “President Obama believed if you got the nuclear deal out of the way temporarily, he would come up with an accommodation with Iran over the region: Iraq, Syria, and elsewhere. And Iran would moderate. It’s failed right before our eyes and the consequences have been catastrophic,” charged Doran, a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute.

Sherman defended the agreement. “Iran does engage in malign activities in the region, but imagine how much worse it would be if Iran had a nuclear weapon?”

Modest critiques: Despite strongly supporting their respective political parties, both debaters offered critiques of Trump and Obama, albeit modest ones. “At the end of the Obama administration, I probably wouldn’t have done the UN Security Council resolution, but I was no longer in the administration,” Sherman noted. For his part, when addressing Trump’s attacks of European allies for not spending sufficient amount on military spending, Doran, a former Bush administration official, said, “Would I prefer if President Trump raise this issue in a slightly more diplomatic way? Absolutely.” Full debate recap here [JewishInsider]

“Israeli Ambassador to US: Trump will address problems of Iran deal in time” by Noa Amouyal: “Speaking at the American Jewish Committee’s Global Forum… [Ron] Dermer specifically singled out the administration’s acknowledgment of the “fatal” flaw of the [Iranian nuclear] deal’s sunset clause… “If those restrictions didn’t have an expiration date then we could have a debate,” he said. “The view of the new administration is that this deal is not in the interest of the US. I think you can expect a very real pushback [against Iran]. They have to be smart about it and get their ducks lined in a row. So I’m not surprised they didn’t rip up the deal. I think you’ll see this play out over the next couple of years.” [JPost]

PODCAST PLAYBACK — Sen. Tom Cotton tells David Axelrod on the Axe Files: “I think our European allies are on guard to hear whatever possible slight they can because a lot of them, I think, just don’t like Donald Trump. That’s understandable. Leaders often don’t like each other. I am sure you can tell us some stories about Barack Obama not getting along well with foreign leaders.”

Axelrod replied: “It is true that presidents don’t get along with leaders. It’s not always true that presidents don’t get along with whole continents. This (Trump-Europe) seems a little more pervasive.” [CNNPodcast]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: The Elijah Cummings Youth Program (ECYP) in Israel held a fundraising event in Fells Point, Baltimore. The evening honored former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton who addressed the crowd. ECYP was started as a partnership between the Baltimore Jewish community and Congressman Elijah Cummings in 1998. Since then, this two-year-long fellowship program has served over 200 high school students from the Congressman’s Baltimore City district. The highlight of the fellowship is a month-long trip to Israel in the summer. A trip that for many of the teens is their first time on a plane, let alone with a passport. While in Israel, the students spend much of the month together with Israeli teens at Yemin Orde near Haifa. making new Israeli friends who they then tour the country with. Past participants, upon completing the program, have had a 100% high school graduation rate and a 98% four year college graduation rate.

From Hillary’s remarks: “This program is what the world should be doing. We’re only a few hours from another terrorist attack in London and, not long before that, in Manchester. And I know you join with me in extending our sympathy to the victims and their families… It also reminds us of the importance of the leadership opportunities that this program provides. Because this is a time for us to reach out to the world. It’s a time for steady determined leadership like we’re seeing from local authorities in London, including the Mayor of London (applause). And it is a time to remember how important our alliances are. Getting to know one another, learning about the experiences, the lives, the cultures, the religions, the food. Putting yourself in another shoes, walking in them. It’s even more important that we work together with our allies and our friends. This is not a time to lash out or use tragedy and fear for political gain. Normally this would go without saying but we are not living in normal times.”

“It’s no coincidence that he [Congressman Cummings] shares a name with an Old Testament prophet. Elijah the first was also interested in helping people solve problems and unafraid to speak out and that’s what Congressman Elijah Cummings does everyday. This program is truly a labor of love. I spoke with Elijah the other day, he told me he interviews every young person who applies. He’s personally invested in their success. It’s easy to see why this program has had such an impact. It’s one thing to learn about the world, it’s another thing to experience it. By the time these students come back to Baltimore they have celebrated Shabbat, studied Hebrew, hiked up Masada, and made lifelong friends. The lessons of this journey, as Senator Mikulski called it, lasts long after the fellows return home. You develop a lifelong appreciation for our closest partner in a troubled region… Being here tonight is very encouraging to me. This is the kind of commitment that really represents America at its best.”

SPOTTED: Former Sen. Barbara Mikulski, ECYP’s Founding Chairman Howard Friedman, Judge Karen Chaya Friedman, Ann Lewis, Barbara Goldman-Goldberg, CNN anchor and ECYP alum Victor Blackwell, Nick Merrill, WYPR’s Sheilah Kast, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, Terry Lierman, Daniel Klein, Anna Lauren Krieger Klein, Mia Klein, Sam Neuberger, Howard Libit, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, Isaac Yitzy Schleifer, Sandy Rosenberg, and Kevin Loeb.

HOW IT PLAYED: Speaking in Baltimore, Hillary Clinton praises London mayor for leadership following attack [BaltimoreSun] • Clinton hits Trump for using ‘tragedy and terror for political gain’ [CNN] • Plus, Hillary’s Scooby van reappears [Pic; Pic]

SPOTLIGHT ON SCOOTER: “How Ariana Grande’s Manchester Benefit Came Together So Quickly” by Joe Coscarelli:“In the days after a terrorist bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, killed 22 people and injured more than 100 last month, Ms. Grande struggled with how to respond. “Everyone was traumatized,” Scooter Braun, her manager, said. “The tour was canceled.” But after just a few days with her family in Florida, the singer, 23, sent a flurry of text messages to Mr. Braun about “how she needed to do something,” he recalled in an interview on Monday. “‘Are you ready to perform?’” Mr. Braun said he asked her. “And she said, ‘I want to go back out on that stage.’”

“Everyone put their head down and said, ‘We’re doing it for these families,’” said Mr. Braun, who booked the entire bill — Katy Perry, Pharrell Williams, Robbie Williams and Liam Gallagher of Oasis also performed — in less than 24 hours. “There’s been so much negativity and such a lack of leadership when we’re looking to have hope,” he said. “I think last night the city of Manchester became that symbol of hope.” [NYTimes]

ON THE HILL — The Senate unanimously approved a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. Introduced by Senate Majority Leaders, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Charles Schumer (D-NY), the bipartisan resolution recognizes the 3 millennia Jewish presence in Jerusalem, reaffirms the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act and reatrates the longstanding U.S position that the permanent status of Jerusalem remains a matter to be decided between the parties through final status negotiations towards a two-state solution. [CSPAN]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Former UN Ambassador John Bolton in a speech at Ateret Cohanim’s Jerusalem Chai dinner in Queens, NY: “Even as we had a wonderful scene – the first sitting American President visiting the Western Wall – we also remember the controversy that took place before that happened when a lot of people had hoped that the President would be accompanied by Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu. But the ever-vigilant State Department rose and said, ‘That can’t happen because the final status of Jerusalem is yet to be determined.’ Really? Where have they been? The final status of Jerusalem has been determined. So the visit of the President together with the PM didn’t happen this year, but I think you have to look at it as merely being postponed. As I think has been postponed the moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. That’s coming too. You can count on it.” [JewishInsider]

PALACE INTRIGUE — “A problem for Jared Kushner: The conservative media could scapegoat him” by Callum Borchers: “[Radio host Rush] Limbaugh has stood up for Kushner since The Washington Post reported that he is a person of interest in a federal law enforcement probe. So has Sean Hannity. But it is reasonable to wonder how strong their loyalty is. They only support him because they support Trump. For Alex Jones, support for Trump is not enough. The Infowars founder views Kushner as a “globalist” — a dirty word in Jones’s world — and has been open about his belief that Kushner is a bad influence on Trump… Kushner is not a natural object of admiration for conservative media types, especially those who want Trump to push a nationalist agenda. They would probably be willing to throw him under the bus.” [WashPost]

“Was Kushner Seeking a Russian Bailout for Manhattan Building? Congress Will Ask” by Ken Dilanian, Leigh Ann Caldwell and Corky Siemaszko: “One of the questions Kushner is expected to be asked is whether he tried to set up a secret back channel way of communicating with the Russians so he could find somebody in Moscow to take the 41-story tower at 666 Fifth Ave. off his family’s hands… So far no date has been set for Kushner to appear before the Senate and House Intelligence committees.” [NBCNews]

“Trump Grows Discontented With Attorney General Jeff Sessions” by Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman: “More than four months into his presidency, Mr. Trump has grown sour on [Jeff] Sessions, now his attorney general… The discontent was on display on Monday in a series of stark early-morning postings on Twitter in which the president faulted his own Justice Department for its defense of his travel ban… Alan M. Dershowitz… who has frequently defended Mr. Trump on cable news, said the president was clearly voicing frustration with Mr. Sessions. But he said it was not clear to him that it was a personal issue as opposed to an institutional one with the office. “What he’s saying is, ‘I’m the president, I’m the tough guy, I wanted a very tough travel ban and the damn lawyers are weakening it’ — and clients complain about lawyers all the time,” Mr. Dershowitz said… The lawyer in this case happens to be Jeff Sessions.” [NYTimes]

NEW CHIEF, SAME GAME: “UN chief denounces ’50 years of Israeli occupation’ on Six Day War anniversary” by Danielle Ziri: “UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that the five-decades-long Israeli occupation has imposed a “heavy humanitarian and development burden on the Palestinian people” and “fueled recurring cycles of violence and retribution.” In response, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said, “The attacks on Israel by our neighbors did not begin in 1967 and any attempt at a moral equivalency between killing innocent people and the building of homes is absurd.  Instead of spreading Palestinian misinformation, it would be best if the UN stuck with the facts.”” [JPost]

HEARD YESTERDAY — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer at the AJC Global Forum: “At the UN, we can never let our guard down. Since the days of Zionism is racism, the UN has been an incubator for Israel bashing, a forum where Israel is almost always the villain and never the victim. We should all be wary of it. I hope one day it will happen: Israel will come to be treated fairly in the UN. We can’t be silent when the UN singles out Israel for condemnation. The U.S. should have vetoed resolution 2334 in December and it should never use the UN as a forum to put pressure on Israel of any kind.” • Separately, Schumer told over the story about how a Queens woman was watching him on C-SPAN and mistook his bald spot for a yarmulke [Video]

“Still Stuck Between May and June of 1967” by Yossi Klein Halevi: “On May 16, 1967, President Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt evicted United Nations peacekeeping forces along the Israeli border and remilitarized the Sinai Peninsula… By June 7, Mr. Rabin was celebrating victory at the Western Wall in the Old City of Jerusalem… Over the past 50 years a pattern has emerged. When Israelis feel under siege, the traumas of the weeks leading up to the Six-Day War are reawakened and the mood turns hard-line. Yet when they sense a more sympathetic international climate, they take more risks for peace… Now, as the Trump administration tries to renew the moribund peace process, Israelis are deeply ambivalent. A majority of Israelis — 58 percent, according to a recent poll — support renewing peace talks with the Palestinians. But only 17 percent believe that Israel has a peace partner. In other words, a majority want to be June Israelis, but feel forced by circumstance to be May Israelis.” [NYTimes]

TOP TALKER: “Hacks, Money and Qatari Crisis: How Gulf States Entangled D.C. Think Tanks in Their Fight for Influence” by Amir Tibon: “One thing that rival neighbor states Qatar and the UAE share is a desire to increase their influence in Washington and a willingness to spend lavishly to achieve that goal… Qatar… has donated millions of dollars to the Brookings Institution. The UAE has also donated to Brookings over the years. The think tank at the center of the latest news story, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, does not receive any funding from foreign governments.” [Haaretz]

“The $1bn hostage deal that enraged Qatar’s Gulf rivals” by Erika Solomon: “Qatar paid up to $1bn to release members of the Gulf state’s royal family who were kidnapped in Iraq while on a hunting trip, according to people involved in the hostage deal — one of the triggers behind Gulf states’ dramatic decision to cut ties with Doha. Commanders of militant groups and government officials in the region told the Financial Times that Doha spent the money in a transaction that secured the release of 26 members of a Qatari falconry party in southern Iraq and about 50 militants captured by jihadis in Syria.” [FT]

“Will Qatar’s Diplomatic Exile Spark the Next Great War?” by Simon Henderson: “Washington can play an important role in defusing this potentially explosive situation. U.S. officials may believe that Qatar was being less than evenhanded in its balancing act between the United States and Iran — but a drawn-out conflict between Riyadh and Doha, or a struggle that pushes Qatar into Tehran’s arms, would benefit no one. In this respect, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is arguably well-placed. ExxonMobil, where he was CEO before joining the U.S. government, is the biggest foreign player in Qatar’s energy sector, so he presumably knows the main decision-makers well.” [FP]

TRUMP WEIGHS IN — “During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!” [Twitter]

** 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: WeWork’s Adam Neumann is graduating from college — 15 years after he enrolled [TechCrunch] • “Not even Shavuot can stop Gary Barnett from making headlines” [TheRealDeal] • Kushner Companies Seeking $250 Million to Pay Off Chinese Backers [NYTimes] • Kushner Companies having trouble refinancing Jersey City apartment tower [TRD] • Trump’s travel ban gives the impression ‘people are not welcome,’ Loews Hotels CEO Jonathan Tisch says [CNBC] • How Blackstone’s CEO Steve Schwarzman Made It Through Wall Street’s Most Turbulent Decade [BloombergMarkets

STARTUP NATION: “An Israeli AI Company Is Giving Machines The Gift Of Sight: “What makes Cortica different is that unlike most machine learning algorithms that are essentially blackboxes, systems where even the programmers don’t know what the system is doing, Cortica’s program is transparent and verifiable… It also relies on a branch of AI research called unsupervised learning… Cortica was founded by Professor Josh Zeevi and two of his doctoral graduates, Igal Raichelgauz and Karina Odinaev from Technion.” [Futurism]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “How the Six-Day War Transformed Religion” by Sigal Samuel: “The war’s outcome impacted the way Islam is expressed in the West Bank and Gaza, and it created new openings for political Islamism in the Arab world. It strengthened a messianic strain in Israeli Judaism, and it changed the focal point of American Judaism. It forced an internal reckoning among evangelical Christians, and even among Mormons, in the United States… Dov Waxman, professor at Northeastern University… “For the American Jewish community itself, the mass adoption of pro-Israelism as a surrogate form of religion has been a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it has enabled many American Jews who might otherwise have assimilated into oblivion to maintain a Jewish identity and remain part of the Jewish community, and it has provided them with a common cause… On the other hand, it has led to the relative neglect of American Judaism, as support for Israel has consumed much of the Jewish community’s attention and resources.”” [TheAtlantic

“Unsettled: On the 50th anniversary of the start of the Six-Day War, pondering the myth-making stories that define Judaism” by Yehuda Kurtzer: “As a Zionist, I am enchanted by second-chance history, by the possibility of the fulfillment of a story that the Jewish people never got right the first time around. But as a Jew, I find the idea that our canonical stories are there to be fixed rather than to challenge us with their intactness to be alienating and strange… And even though I wouldn’t trade the Zionism that comes with winning the war for the nostalgia of the older and better Jewish story, I worry that this new story that has replaced the old mythology of journey is deeply lacking. Rabbinic tradition dictates that the Temple Mount should constitute the center of one’s religious consciousness and thus become a literal and metaphorical compass: We pray in its direction from wherever far off places we are, in the belief that this orientation centers us. We prayed toward there throughout a long history in which we couldn’t be there.” [Tablet

The Weekly Standard spotlights one anecdote from Sen. Al Franken’s new book: “The book contains at least one feint at humility. Senate “hearings quickly emerged as one of my favorite parts of the job,” [Sen. Al] Franken writes. “The only problem was that there was a fine line between showing up a jerk and being one myself.” Franken goes on to tell the story of badgering a witness, “a guy named Tevi Troy from the Hudson Institute, a right-wing think tank in Washington, who was there to complain about the Affordable Care Act.” It seems Troy’s crime was citing a statistic that had appeared in the Wall Street Journal opinion pages. Was there a problem with the statistic? Well, no. Franken just doesn’t like the opinions found at the Journal: “You know,” I sneered, “it’s funny. The Wall Street Journal op-ed page sometimes—I don’t know if you know this—uses statistics in misleading ways.” There was laughter in the room as the witness squirmed, but my health care staffer, Hannah Katch, quickly pushed a note in front of me: “You’re being an a—hole.” After the hearing, Franken praises his health care staffer and tells the rest of his staff that they shouldn’t be afraid to tell him he’s being a jerk.” [TWS]

INBOX — “Slingshot has released Slingshot ‘17 – a collection of some of the most forward-thinking organizations found in Jewish life today.” See the list[eJPhil]

DESSERT — Kosher kitchen in New Orleans — by Helen Freund: “Daniel Esses is in the process of opening a Kosher restaurant inside Tulane University’s Hillel House at 912 Broadway St. It will be called Rimon, which is the Hebrew word for pomegranate. An all-kosher menu will feature healthy fare, including a curried chickpea burger, a turkey club made with beef bacon and a faux “Caesar” salad. Esses says Rimon will be open to students and the general public sometime in August.” [BestOfNewOrleans]

BIRTHDAYS: Former Majority Leader in the House of Representatives and now Vice Chair of investment bank Moelis & Company, Eric Cantor turns 54… Billionaire, art collector and philanthropist, the only person to create two Fortune 500 companies in two industries, Eli Broad turns 84… US District Court Judge since 1994, on senior status since 2005, serving in the Eastern District of New York, Frederic Block turns 83… Rabbi at Congregation Machzikei Hadas in Ottawa since 1967 (now emeritus), writer, broadcaster, activist and former co-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress, Rabbi Reuven Bulka turns 73… Real estate entrepreneur, member of the Pritzker family and executive chairman of the Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Thomas Pritzker turns 67… Diplomat who has served as Israel’s ambassador to South Sudan (2012-2014) and Egypt (2014-2016), Haim Koren turns 64… Two-time Tony Award winner for acting, also a playwright and voice actor, Harvey Fierstein turns 63… Comedienne, political critic, musician and author, Sandra Bernhard turns 62… Radio news personality, currently is employed by iHeartRadio WOR-AM in NYC, Lisa Glasberg (better known as “Lisa G”) turns 61…

Israeli conductor and musician, Nir Brand turns 56… Managing Director and the Chief Interactive Strategist for The Glover Park Group, Jonathan Kopp turns 51… Best-selling author, journalist and television personality, she has focused on addiction and recovery as well as relationships, Anna Benjamin David turns 47… Founder and chairman of the Washington Free Beacon, Michael L. Goldfarb turns 37… ABC News reporter, Katherine B. Faulders turns 26… Senior Director at Black Rock Group, formerly press secretary for the Carly Fiorina campaign, Anna Epstein turns 26… Writer and digital editor in AIPAC’s DC headquarters, Allie Freedman (h/t Playbook)… Steve Patner

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Jun
5

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Daily Kickoff: Qatar expels Hamas leaders amid rift with 5 Arab States over Iran | LEAKED: UAE Amb’s emails | Remembering Sara Ehrman | Bob Kraft BDay

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “5 Arab States Break Ties With Qatar, Complicating U.S. Coalition-Building” by Gardiner Harris and Michael R. Gordon: “Hours after five Arab countries broke diplomatic relations with Qatar, a crucial United States ally, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson offered on Monday to broker the impasse in hopes of preserving the Trump administration’s efforts to create broad coalitions against Iran and terrorist groups in the Middle East… The remarks by Mr. Tillerson, who is in Australia with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, came on the heels of dramatic announcements by Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen that they were suspending diplomatic ties, as well as air and sea travel to and from Qatar, potentially choking off access to an important United States ally.” [NYTimesBloomberg

–Top Question: Does the diplomatic breakdown in the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council] affect the odds of Trump’s regional grand bargain on Israeli-Palestinian peace?

“Palestinians Confirm: Top Hamas Officials Have Left Qatar at Country’s Request” by Jack Khoury: “Palestinian sources have confirmed Monday that a number of top Hamas officials have left Qatar at the country’s request… Saleh al-Arouri, military commander overseeing West Bank terror cells, and Musa Dudin, who… established in Gaza a cell in charge of planning terror attacks in the West Bank, were among the officials who left Qatar. The confirmation comes as Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed their ties with Qatar on Monday, accusing it of supporting terrorism, opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.” [Haaretz]

WHAT CAUSED THE QATAR RIFT? — by Grant Clark: “It’s mostly, but not all, about Iran. The spark for this flare-up was a report by the state-run Qatar News Agency that carried comments by Qatar ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani criticizing mounting anti-Iran sentiment. Qatari officials quickly deleted the comments, blamed them on hackers and appealed for calm. Criticism by Saudi and U.A.E. media outlets escalated after Sheikh Tamim phoned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani over the weekend in apparent defiance of Saudi criticism.” [Bloomberg]

“Someone Is Using These Leaked Emails To Embarrass Washington’s Most Powerful Ambassador” by Akbar Shahid Ahmed: 
“In private correspondence, Otaiba ― an extremely powerful figure in Washington, D.C., who is reportedly in “in almost constant phone and email contact,” with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump’s adviser and son-in-law ― is seen pushing for the U.S. to close down its military base in Qatar and otherwise poking at issues that could drive a wedge between the U.S. and that Arab nation… The Foundation for Defense of Democracies features heavily in the Otaiba emails. While many of those messages show the ambassador helping its analysts plan trips to the UAE, they also contain two of the most striking revelations about Otaiba: He explicitly advocated for moving the U.S. base out of Qatar ― something he hasn’t done publicly ― and he discussed the idea of pressuring companies in U.S.-friendly countries to avoid business opportunities in Iran.” [HuffPost; TheIntercept]

“Leakers Share New Email Dump Targeting Top Arab Diplomat And U.S. Foreign Policy Elites” by Akbar Shahid Ahmed: “On Feb. 10, 2015, Otaiba emailed [Elliott] Abrams a link to an Atlantic Council post suggesting that Qatar was intervening in Egypt to support the Muslim Brotherhood movement and undermine the country’s government, run by a former general close to the UAE. “Hadn’t seen this. VERY interesting,” Abrams, the former White House director for democracy, human rights and international operations, wrote. “Too bad the Qatari armed forces can’t … well, I shouldn’t say such things. That would be undemocratic.” Contacted by HuffPost, Abrams declined to explain what action he was hoping for from Qatar’s military… In a Sunday email, Abrams said he and Otaiba have been friends for years; they email frequently.” [HuffPost]

“Lebanese lawmakers lobbied U.S. officials to soften Hezbollah sanctions” by Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian: “Amid renewed congressional efforts to tighten sanctions on Hezbollah, delegations of Lebanese politicians and bankers descended on Washington in May in an attempt to minimize the effects of any new sanctions on the Lebanese banking sector… “An understanding was reached” with the U.S. officials with whom they spoke, said Ali Hamdan, who is aligned with the Amal Movement and visited Washington in May, told Reuters.” [ChicagoTribune] • Iran Dictates New Middle East Reality, Striving for Land Corridor From Tehran to Beirut [Haaretz]

IRAN DEAL: “Iran honoring nuclear deal but nearing heavy-water limit again: IAEA” by Francois Murphy: “Iran’s stock of low-enriched uranium as of May 27 was 79.8 kg (175.5 pounds), well below a 202.8-kg (446-pound) limit, and the level of enrichment did not exceed a 3.67 percent cap, the International Atomic Energy said in a confidential report sent to IAEA member states and seen by Reuters… But Iran’s stock of heavy water, a chemical used as a moderator in a type of nuclear reactor that can produce plutonium, reached 128.2 tons, just below a 130-tonne limit, the IAEA report said… Tehran has already breached that limit twice since the deal took effect.” [Reuters

“American UN ambassador to visit Jerusalem’s Old City” by Raphael Ahren: “[Nikki] Haley… is scheduled to arrive Wednesday morning at Ben Gurion Airport for her first visit to the Jewish state since taking office in January. During her three-day stay, she is set to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin as well as with senior Palestinian dignitaries. She is also expected to go to Tel Aviv, visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial museum in Jerusalem, and take helicopter rides to Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip and the its northern border… Her expected visit to various sites in the Old City of Jerusalem is billed as private, which means that no Israeli officials will accompany her.” [ToI]

“U.S. poised to warn U.N. rights forum of possible withdrawal” by Stephanie Nebehay: “The United States is expected to signal on Tuesdaythat it might withdraw from the United Nations Human Rights Council unless reforms are ushered in including the removal of what it sees as an “anti-Israel bias,” diplomats and activists said. U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley… writing in the Washington Post at the weekend, called for the Council to “end its practice of wrongly singling out Israel for criticism.” [Reuters

HEARD YESTERDAY — Haley on CNN’s State of the Union regarding Trump’s decision not to move the embassy to Jerusalem: “I think that he knows that it could be very much a part of the peace process. And so I think that what he did want to do is make sure that he wasn’t interrupting the negotiations that are happening with the peace process… He hasn’t changed his position on moving the embassy. It’s all about time.”

“McMaster: Despite global terrorism, opportunity for success in shifting Middle East alliances” by  Laura Kelly: “National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster… delivered the key-note speech at the American Jewish Committee Global Forum, stressing that opportunities for peace and resolution can be found in times of conflict seen as bleak and dire. “Today we are witnessing a reassessment of regional relationships, most notably between Israel and a number of our Arab partners, all friends of America but too often adversaries of each other. Today these interests are converging. This is an opportunity,” General McMaster told the group of nearly 2,000 conference attendees.” [WashTimes] • H.R. McMaster: Confronting Today’s Challenges Requires ‘Humility [DailyBeast]

Senior Palestinian Official: ‘Obviously’ Western Wall Should Remain Under Israeli Control: “We understand that the wall he [U.S. President Donald Trump] visited is sacred to the Jews and ultimately it has to remain under Jewish sovereignty,” [Jibril] Rajoub said on Channel 2’s “Meet the Press.” “There is no argument over this. Obviously, it’s a holy place for Jews.” [Haaretz] • Fatah official under fire after saying Western Wall should be under ‘Jewish sovereignty’ [MaanNews]

ON THE HILL — Congressional letter calls for release of Palestinian prisoner — by Aaron Magid: Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), who is also serving as Deputy Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chair, is circulating a letter directed to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pushing for the release of Palestinian activist Issa Amro from an Israeli jail. The measure — which has also been introduced by Representatives Mark Pocan (D-WI), Betty McCollum (D-MN) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) — is expected to receive the modest backing of approximately 15-20 Members given its harsh criticism of Israeli policies towards Palestinian prisoners… The letter demonstrates that Ellison remains undeterred and will continue advocating for pro-Palestinian policies in his new role as Deputy DNC Chair. [JewishInsider]

“Some Palestinian ex-prisoners in Gaza say their salaries withheld” by Nidal al-Mughrabi: 
“A spokesman for Palestinian prisoners said that 277 freed prisoners in the Gaza Strip, most of whom are aligned with the Islamist Hamas group… were surprised to find their May stipends had not been paid. Zaid Al-Kilani, a former prisoner from Hamas… said: “Abu Mazen (Abbas) is punishing freed prisoners… We believe the Palestinian Authority has succumbed to American and Israeli pressure,” he said.” [Reuters]

The Senate will be voting today at 5:30 PM on a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1967 reunification of Jerusalem. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously passed the measure on May 25. Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) co-sponsored the measure. S. 176 “reaffirms the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 (Public Law 104–45) as United States law, and calls upon the President and all United States officials to abide by its provisions” while also noting the bipartisan US policy that Jerusalem remains an issue within final status negotiations as part of the two state solution framework. The measure is expected to pass today by a wide margin. C-SPAN2 will carry the vote live.

“America’s half century of failure in the Middle East” by Aaron David Miller: 
“President Trump does have certain advantages because he’s new to the presidency. He’s unpredictable and is capitalizing on a new alignment between Israel and the Arabs, particularly the Saudis. This may well be enough to begin a process. But it still leaves open the question: Toward what end? The gaps on the core issues… are Grand Canyon-like; the mistrust and suspicion are deep; and America’s reluctance to use both honey and vinegar to move the parties, particularly the Israelis, is still pretty strong. Never say never. But you’d need a miracle in a region that hasn’t seen many for quite some time.” [CNN]

“Israel’s 1967 Victory Is Something to Celebrate” by Michael Oren: “Far beyond 1967, the Israeli-Palestinian dispute is in fact about 1917, 1937 and 1947. Those anniversaries can teach us much about the origins of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute and why peace has proved so elusive.” [NYTimes]

“How the Six-Day War Changed Israel’s Mind” by Bernard Avishai: “Fifty years ago, what began as a defensive war came to be embraced as an occasion for redemption in more senses than one.” [NewYorker]

KAFE KNESSET — Back in Africa — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu embarked this week on his second-ever trip as PM to Africa. He was in Monrovia, Liberia, on Monday where he met with 10 African leaders at the ECOWAS summit. Netanyahu was the first non-African leader to speak at the summit…

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee is back in DC for its regular meetings with its many parallel committees in Congress – eight total between the House and Senate (Senate Foreign Relations, House Foreign Affairs, Senate and House Intelligence, Appropriations and Armed Services). Another stop on the visit will be the Committee’s first-ever trip to the Pentagon, and the MKs will meet CIA representatives. Also on the itinerary: A meeting with special envoy Jason Greenblatt and a visit to the Lockheed Martin factory where the F-35 fighter jet is manufactured.

Labor infighting turns dirty: The Labor leadership vote is almost a month away, but the mudslinging has already gotten very intense. In a candidates’ debate on Walla! News Sunday, foul-mouthed tech billionaire and MK Erel Margalit caught former Environmental Protection Minister Avi Gabbay in an apparent lie. Margalit asked Gabbay – who was in the Kulanu Party until about five minutes ago – if he had ever voted Likud, and Gabbay said no. Then Margalit whipped out his phone and played a video of an interview in which Gabbay said yes, he had voted for Likud. Later, Margalit said that maybe Gabbay had misunderstood something in English, and it was the ex-minister’s turn to pounce back. On Army Radio this morning Gabbay said Margalit was trying to turn him into David Levy – something any Israeli would understand to mean that Gabbay was calling Margalit a racist against Mizrachi / Sephardi Jews. Gabbay, it should be noted, speaks English quite well. Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider

HAPPENING TODAY: “Clinton to address Baltimore group that builds ties between black, Jewish communities” by John Fritze: “The [Elijah Cummings Youth] Program created nearly two decades ago by Cummings, the longtime Democratic congressman from Baltimore, will receive national attention Monday when former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a fundraiser for the group in Fells Point… Clinton will address a group founded to build ties between the African-American and Jewish communities at a time when both have had a complicated relationship with Trump… The students in the Cummings program, most of whom are African-American, learn about Israel during their junior year in high school. They take part in leadership training and community service events. In the summer before their senior year, they travel to Israel for a month, and visit Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and other cities.” [BaltimoreSun]

Flashback: A Congressman, Israeli Ambassador and Hall of Fame Running Back Celebrate Black History Month [JewishInsider

PALACE INTRIGUE: “Steve Bannon’s Security Council Rival Dies in Darkness” by Lachlan Markay, Asawin Suebsaeng and Kimberly Dozier: 
“Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner’s newly-formed White House Strategic Initiatives Group is no more, senior administration officials tell The Daily Beast, thanks in part to infighting between the co-founders… The group’s mission, has been folded into the White House’s Office of Innovation, two administration officials tell The Daily Beast… The collapse of the SIG leaves the key foreign policy-focused member of staff, Seb Gorka, now working directly for Bannon.” [DailyBeast]

“How Climate Change Saved Steve Bannon’s Job” by Ryan Lizza: “Two important things changed since the “Bannon is dead” narrative took hold, in April. The first is the Russia investigation. So far, Bannon has not been connected to the investigation… The second change since Bannon’s low point was that a decision on whether to withdraw from the Paris climate accord finally needed to be made. It was the most important fight pitting Bannon against Jared and Ivanka yet… “I think Jared and Ivanka are concerned with being accepted in the right places, they care about what the beautiful people think,” [a Trump advisor] said. “They care about being well received in the Upper West Side cocktail parties. They view Steve as a man with dirty fingernails, with some weird, crazy, extremist philosophy they don’t think is in the best interest of the President… They would like the President to be more like George Bush: one-dimensional, predictable, neocon, mainstream.” [NewYorker]

“Trump supporters revel in Paris exit” by Josh Dawsey: “While the president often crows about Gary Cohn’s success at Goldman Sachs, and may talk to his daughter, Ivanka Trump, more than anyone, Trump often gravitates toward the Bannon modus. Bannon supporters note enthusiastically that the so-called moderates in the West Wing don’t have much luck getting their way.” [Politico]

Concerns in White House over Trump’s lawyer Marc Kasowitz — by Jonathan Swan: A frequent informal adviser to the White House said: “There are some people who believe he’s the right choice, because he knows the President. And in something like this, it’s good to have somebody you know and trust and can tell you: ‘I’ve got your back.’ On the other hand, there are people in the building who say that Kasowitz brings out the worst in the President. Kasowitz is a bit of an enabler and spins him up.” [Axios]

“Some Hires by Betsy DeVos Are a Stark Departure From Her Reputation” by Erica Green: 
“Jason Botel, Ms. DeVos’s deputy assistant secretary for elementary and secondary education… was named to the department after serving a short stint as the chief education adviser to President Trump, a position he owed to his ties to the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner… Mr. Botel came into the Trump orbit through Maggie Katz, a close friend of Ms. Trump’s, and Reed S. Cordish, Ms. Katz’s husband and a prominent Baltimore developer who joined the Trump White House as a top adviser. Ms. Katz and Mr. Cordish financially backed Mr. Botel’s charter school in Baltimore.” [NYTimes

NYC 2017 WATCH — Massey Charges Opponent Is Weak on Terror, Israel As He Skips Celebrate Israel Parade — by Jacob Kornbluh: “Businessman Paul Massey, a Republican candidate for mayor of New York City, seized an opportunity on Sunday to portray the incumbent Mayor, Bill de Blasio, and his main primary opponent Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis as being weak on terror… Massey also charged that his Republican opponent has ties with the controversial Palestinian-American activist Linda Sarsour, whom he alleged is anti-Semitic and “advocates for violence in the Middle East.” The Republican mayoral hopeful didn’t march in the Celebrate Israel Parade on Fifth Avenue. A spokeswoman for Massey told Jewish Insider that Massey “is on a long-planned trip with his wife and regrets not being there today.” Malliotakis’ campaign spokesman Rob Ryan blasted Massey for skipping the Israel parade. “The fact that he… would skip the Celebrate Israel Parade and what it represents; a people and a nation united against terror, is sad and disturbing,” Ryan told Jewish Insider. [JewishInsider

** 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: Israeli Voiceitt lets people with speech impairments use voice-controlled technology [TC] • Israel working hard to realize the dreams of its gas industry [CNBC] Casino Magnate Sheldon Adelson Gets $1.7 Billion Richer In Four Days [Forbes] • Aharon Shaked’s heirs sell half 888 stake [Globes] • Thor battles choppy waters: As Manhattan luxury retail takes a dive, some wonder if the firm’s chief Joe Sitt can keep his head above the tide [TRD] • Question in Battle Over ‘Diller Island’: Which Billionaire Blinks First? [NYTimes] • Brian S. Cohen says identify fears in order to grow your business [MSNBC] • Jon Steinberg’s Cheddar, The “Post-Cable Network,” Is Coming To Cable TV [BuzzFeed] Sinclair Broadcasting Said to Be in Talks With Ex-Sony TV Chief Steve Mosko [NYTimes]  

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Cornell Tech starts up” by Cara Eisenpress: “Nanit, a New York City startup founded in 2014, has 25 employees, $6.6 million from investors and a high-tech product that local media and nervous parents adore. Its baby monitor can classify babies’ nighttime behaviors, analyze their sleep patterns and report everything back to anxious moms and dads by the morning. Nanit’s founder and CEO, Assaf Glazer, is an Israeli with a Ph.D. in computer vision, the science of teaching computers to recognize their surroundings. When he enrolled at Cornell Tech, he knew he could use computerized cameras to understand babies’ sleep. But the school’s Runway Startup Postdoc program, in which he participated from 2014 to 2015, taught him how to turn his idea into a company.” [Crains]

LongRead: “How a ‘shadow’ universe of charities joined with political warriors to fuel Trump’s rise” by Robert O’Harrow Jr. and Shawn Boburg: “As the presidential campaign heated up, [David] Horowitz’s group and the conservative network shifted into high gear… He also denounced the Republicans who branded themselves “Never Trump.” In May 2016, when it became clear Trump would be the Republican nominee, he called conservative columnist William Kristol a “Republican spoiler” and “renegade Jew” in Breitbart News because of his opposition to Trump… On Dec. 14, 2016, during a videotaped event, Horowitz expressed happiness about Trump’s victory and… pulled from his suit coat a piece of paper listing Freedom Center supporters already in the administration. “It’s quite an impressive list,” Horowitz said, rattling off the names: Sessions, Bannon, Vice President Pence, Reince Priebus, Kellyanne Conway… “My personal favorite is Steve Miller, because Steve, who was today appointed the senior policy adviser in the White House… is a kind of protege of mine,” he said. “So the center has a big stake in this administration.” [WashPost

Thom Yorke Breaks Silence on Israel Controversy: “It’s well over a month until Radiohead wrap up their 2017 A Moon Shaped Pool Tour at Park Hayarkon in Tel Aviv, Israel on July 19th, but it’s already shaping up to be the most controversial show of their career… On April 23rd, over 50 prominent figures, including Roger Waters… signed a petition urging Radiohead to cancel the show… The issue has flared up at recent Radiohead concerts, including their show at the Greek Theater Berkeley… When we spoke to Yorke for our new cover story about the making of OK Computer, we gave him the opportunity to respond. Here are his complete comments… “If you want me to be honest, yeah, it’s really upsetting that artists I respect think we are not capable of making a moral decision ourselves after all these years. They talk down to us and I just find it mind-boggling that they think they have the right to do that. It’s extraordinary.” [RollingStone

“‘Last Secret’ of 1967 War: Israel’s Doomsday Plan for Nuclear Display” by William J. Broad and David E. Sanger: “On the eve of the Arab-Israeli war, 50 years ago this week, Israeli officials raced to assemble an atomic device and developed a plan to detonate it atop a mountain in the Sinai Peninsula… The secret contingency plan, called a “doomsday operation” by Itzhak Yaakov, the retired brigadier general who described it in the interview, would have been invoked if Israel feared it was going to lose the 1967 conflict. The demonstration blast, Israeli officials believed, would intimidate Egypt and surrounding Arab states — Syria, Iraq and Jordan — into backing off… Mr. Yaakov, who oversaw weapons development for the Israeli military, detailed the plan to Dr. [Avner] Cohen in 1999 and 2000… In 2001, Mr. Yaakov was arrested, at age 75, on charges that he had imperiled the country’s security by talking about the nuclear program to an Israeli reporter, Ronen Bergman, whose work was censored… According to Mr. Yaakov, the Israeli plan was code-named Shimshon, or Samson, after the biblical hero of immense strength.” [NYTimes

“Sara Ehrman, Hill staffer, Mideast peace activist and Hillary Clinton mentor, dies at 98” by Bart Barnes: “Sara Ehrman, a Capitol Hill legislative staffer, lobbyist for Israeli causes, activist for Middle East peace, Democratic Party political operative, and, as a friend, mentor and D.C. hostess to Hillary Clinton more than 40 years ago, died June 3 at her home in Washington… Mrs. Ehrman, whom the publication Washington Jewish Week once called the “doyenne of Jewish Democrats,” held a variety of jobs at the nexus of politics and Jewish affairs. Among other things, she was political director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee… director of Jewish outreach for Bill Clinton’s presidential campaign in 1992… She traveled extensively in the Middle East and had access to top Israeli leaders and Yasser Arafat… who once gave her a box inlaid with mother of pearl.” [WashPost

— “Ehrman described herself as “first a Jew, second a Democrat and above all a feminist” who, like a village elder, dispensed tough love to young women trying to navigate their own careers in Washington. Hillary Clinton was her most notable protégée. “There are people who come into your life at just the right moment,” Mrs. Clinton said in an email. “For me, Sara was one of those people. From the day our paths first crossed during the McGovern campaign in Texas, I knew I had found a mentor and a kindred spirit.”” [NYTimes

INBOX — AIPAC Mourns the Passing of Lonny Kaplan: “As a former AIPAC president and Board of Directors member, Lonny’s effective leadership helped grow and expand the influence of our movement… Lonny was well known by senators and congressmen from both parties as a persuasive and effective pro-Israel activist. He would always go the extra mile, make the additional phone call and take yet another meeting to further the alliance between America and the Jewish state.”

TRANSITION: Ken Vogel Joins The New York Times’s Washington Bureau: “Ken has been the chief investigative reporter for Politico, which he joined prior to its 2007 launch… In his May 2010 wedding announcement in The New York Times, he and [his wife] Danielle, then a summer law clerk on the Hill, were described as bonding over lunch in a House office building cafeteria when they discovered a shared love of Ethiopian food, kosher pastrami and federal campaign finance rules.” [NYTimes]

SCENE LAST NIGHT IN NYC — by Jacob Kornbluh: Israeli Consul General in New York Dani Dayan hosted the Consulate’s annual Independence Day reception at Chelsea Piers’ Pier Sixty. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Minister Gilad Erdan, and Congresswoman Yvette Clarke delivered remarks.

SPOTTED: 
Ambassador Danny Danon, Deputy Consul General Amir Sagie, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, JCRC’s Michael Miller, Malcolm Hoenlein, Michael Salberg, Eric Goldstein, Thane Rosenbaum, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Rabbi Joe Potasnik, Hindy Poupko, Jason Koppel, Shimon Mercer Wood, Andrew Gross, Ken Abramowitz, Leon Goldenberg, Yeruchem Silber, Herbert Block, Rabbi Daniel Kraus, Alicia Post, Mendy Carlebach, Rabbi Bob Kaplan, Ilana Dayan, Pinny Ringel, Danielle Ziri, Eli Slavin, and Joel Eisdorfer.

SPORTS BLINK: “For David Griffin, a Cavaliers Architect, the Future Is Uncertain” by Joe Drape: “Griffin fired Coach David Blatt in midseason last year despite the fact that the Cavaliers had a conference-best 30-11 record at the time. It was Gilbert, not Griffin, who wanted to hire Blatt, a coaching savant with championship rings from a host of international datelines like Israel and Russia. But it was Griffin who persuaded Blatt to hire Lue as his top assistant. Lue had been Griffin’s initial choice to be the head coach, and when he fired Blatt, he gave Lue the top job.” [NYTimes]

Theo Epstein at Yale Class Day: ‘Choose to Keep Your Heads Up’ [Video]

DESSERT: “Israel’s First Whisky Distillery Set To Debut Its First Single Malt” by Nino Marchetti: “Milk & Honey Distillery, said to be that nation’s first whisky distillery, is set to shortly debut Israel’s first ever single malt expression, a very limited bottling that’s just over three years of age. The 391 bottles making of the Milk & Honey Israel Single Malt Whisky, according to those behind it, are from the first cask of the distillery’s so called Experimental Series. As it has been aged just three years, which is the minimum aging requirement to be called whisky n Scotland, this release is seen as harbinger of what is to come – a more fully mature expression which has spent time aging in the warm Israeli climate.” [TheWhiskeyWash

The Country’s First Kosher Certified Tavern Opens at Historic Railroad Stop: “Citron & Rose (C&R) Tavern & Market opens for lunch, dinner, and happy hour under new owner, Philadelphia philanthropist, David Magerman… The new C&R Tavern offers an extensive American bar menu with pub-style food and steaks, as well as craft cocktails, wines, local whiskeys, and six beers on tap. As the first kosher certified (Community Kashrus of Greater Philadelphia, Keystone-K) tavern in America, the bar and restaurant operates Saturday evening through Friday afternoon.” [RestaurentNews]  

BIRTHDAYS: Owner of the NFL’s New England Patriots, Robert Kraft turns 76… First Lady of Israel since 2014, Nechama Rivlin turns 72… Lithuanian-born Holocaust survivor, co-founder of the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond, Virginia, known for his ever-present cowboy hat, Jay M. Ipson turns 82… Dan Yurman turns 69… Author of ten personal finance books, financial advisor, motivational speaker and television host, Susan Lynn “Suze” Orman turns 66… Portrait photographer and visual anthropologist whose work is on display in many museums, Penny Diane Wolin turns 64… Commissioner on the US International Trade Commission (2007-2017), now a trade attorney at Hughes Hubbard, Dean A. Pinkert turns 61… Best-selling instrumental musician, the saxophonist “Kenny G,” Kenneth Bruce Gorelick turns 61… Optometrist, in 2014 she was elected as a member of the Ontario Provincial Parliament belonging to the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party, Gila Deborah Martow turns 56… Partner in the government law and policy practice of Greenberg Traurig, previously Deputy Secretary of Legislative Affairs for New York State and member of the New York City Council, Mark Weprin turns 56…

Member since 2010 of the Virginia House of Delegates from the Fairfax County suburbs of Washington DC, Eileen R. Filler-Corn turns 53… Member of the British Parliament since 2005 from the Conservative Party, he served as Minister of Culture (2010-2016) under PM David Cameron, Ed Vaizey turns 49… CEO of Bottlenose, a Los Angeles-based company, a leading pioneer in semantic web technology, Nova Spivack turns 48… Co-founder of BlueLabs and director of analytics for the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Barack Obama in 2012, his father and grandfather were both rabbis, Elan Alter Kriegel turns 36… Policy analyst at the Cato Institute’s Center for Educational Freedom, previously a member of the New Hampshire state legislature, Jason Bedrick turns 34… Austin-based young leadership development director at the Jewish National Fund, Arielle Levy turns 28… Clara Moskowitz… Sam KraemerSusan Stein… Barbara Pergament… Beth Freeman… Dov Waxman… Audrey Freedman-Habush

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: Putin compares claims of Russia hacking to anti-Semitism | Israeli Minister: Trump broke the wrong campaign promise | Javanka’s Shavuot

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WHILE WE WERE AWAY — President Donald Trump renewed a presidential waiver yesterday suspending the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem for another six months. [Doc]

But in a statement, the White House said — for the first time since January — that the President intends to keep his campaign promise and move the embassy. “No one should consider this step to be in any way a retreat from the President’s strong support for Israel and for the United States-Israel alliance,” the statement said. “President Trump made this decision to maximize the chances of successfully negotiating a deal between Israel and the Palestinians, fulfilling his solemn obligation to defend America’s national security interests. But, as he has repeatedly stated his intention to move the embassy, the question is not if that move happens, but only when.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu: “Though Israel is disappointed that the embassy will not move at this time, we appreciate today’s expression of President Trump’s friendship to Israel and his commitment to moving the embassy in the future.”

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz tells the Kafe Knesset team: “We thought Trump would be different and this time the promise would be fulfilled. I think it’s a shame. It’s abnormal that everybody knows Jerusalem is capital of Israel [but doesn’t officially recognize it]… It’s a kind of BDS… and it’s high time to end this and put the embassies in Jerusalem… If Trump were to keep one of two campaign promises, I think it’d be more reasonable and justified to keep the promise about moving the Embassy to Jerusalem and not leave the Paris Accords, rather than vice-versa.” [JewishInsider]

Experts explain Trump’s move — by Rosie Gray: “The Trump White House statement’s repetition of that promise is significant, said former State Department Middle East negotiator Aaron David Miller. “It is significant even though he waived that he made clear in a formal statement that as president he now has committed himself to move the embassy,” Miller said… “It becomes problematic because these negotiations are likely to drag on interminably, assuming they even get started,” Miller said… “By signing the waiver he avoids creating a problem,” [Hussein] Ibish said. “But by saying he still intends to move the embassy, he protects himself, protects Netanyahu, and is still holding out the threat to the Arabs and the Palestinians that look, there’s still something on the other side, so cooperate with me.”

“Trump is not the first friend of Israel in the White House to sign the waiver,” said Shalom Lipner, a Brookings scholar who served from 1990-2016 in the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office… “Israelis are disappointed, but largely unsurprised. But there is a constituency, comprised mostly of Trump supporters, who genuinely believed that he would make good on his promise to move the embassy in his first few months; for them, this is a rude awakening.”” [TheAtlantic]

VIEW FROM JERUSALEM — Israeli cabinet ministers react to Trump’s move — by Peter Baker: “We’ve waited 69 years, we will wait 70 years,” said Yoav Galant, the Israeli minister of housing. Tzachi Hanegbi, another minister, called it a “marginal” issue that had to do with “real estate,” and that Mr. Trump had made a “resonant statement” with his visit to the Western Wall. But Naftali Bennett, a leader of a pro-settlement party within Mr. Netanyahu’s coalition, said delaying the embassy move would actually damage the prospects for peace by fostering Palestinians’ false hope that they would gain control of East Jerusalem.” [NYTimes] • Minister Ze’ev Elkin: “[Trump] is still talking ‘Obamanese,’ on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” [ToI]

“This Israeli Minister Could Block Trump’s Regional Peace Push by David Wainer and Michael Arnold: “Naftali Bennett, a minister crucial to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition, is threatening to use his party’s seats to topple the government if Palestinians are granted land concessions in negotiations.” [Bloomberg

“Trump Left the Door Open for a Jerusalem Embassy” by Eli Lake: “White House officials tell me that Trump, for now, believes he can use the embassy issue as leverage. Normally this would mean holding out the prospect of moving the embassy as a carrot to the Israelis in exchange for concessions on settlements. In this case, however, it’s a little different: Trump is using the prospect of an embassy move as a stick with Israel’s Arab neighbors.” [BloombergView]

ON THE HILL — Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a statement, “As someone who believes that Jerusalem is the undivided capital of Israel, I am deeply disappointed in President Trump’s decision. Will those who criticized President Obama for not moving the Embassy make their voices just as loud and just as strong when it comes to President Trump’s failure to move the Embassy?”

— 
On Tuesday, Schumer signed on as a cosponsor of a resolution commemorating the 50th anniversary of the reunification of Jerusalem. The symbolic vote is expected to take place on Monday, which marks 50 years to the start of the Six Day War.

FIRST LOOK: “Trump Officials Studying Obama’s Security Plan in Case Israeli-Palestinian Peace Push Works” by Amir Tibon and Amos Harel: “In recent weeks, there are some signs that the current administration is indeed looking into the security plan prepared by the previous administration. Trump’s National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, decided to appoint Kris Bauman, a United States Air Force colonel who was deeply involved in the work over the 2014 security plan, as the National Security Council’s new expert on Israel-Palestine. In addition, the administration has been briefed about two security plans that were created over the last year by former Israeli and American security officials, which both drew on ideas and concepts from the [John] Allen plan. The first is a plan that was written by the Washington-based Center for New American Security, together with former IDF General Gadi Shamni… the second is a plan written by “Commanders for Israel’s Security,” an organization consisting of hundreds of former senior IDF officers.” [Haaretz

Last December, Gen. John Allen expanded on his security plan, calling it the proper formula for future peace: “I have seen what I believe can be a workable security solution to support the forward movement of peace. It will be hard, and it might even take decades to implement all of the pieces, but for the sake of Israel, there is no other viable option.” [JewishInsider

“Palestinian leader Abbas admits meeting with Trump in Bethlehem was ‘uncomfortable'” by Jack Moore: “In a meeting this week of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) executive committee, Abbas told members that the meeting a week before was “uncomfortable,” Palestinian sources told the Qatari-owned, London-based news outlet Al-Araby… A PLO source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Newsweek that… Trump showed video clips to Abbas of him “inciting against Israel,” footage that the Palestinian leader said were taken out of context. “You have the CIA, ask them to examine the videos and to find out how they were taken or fabricated for the purpose of incriminating Palestinians,” Abbas reportedly told Trump.” [Newsweek]

Aaron David Miller:“The Myths About 1967 That Just Won’t Die. Fifty years after the Arab-Israeli war, popular assumptions about its impact are begging to be reexamined.” [TheAtlantic]

ON THE HILL: “Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan Identified as Lawmaker Behind Anti-Israel Capitol Hill Forum” by Adam Kredo: “Rep. Mark Pocan (D., Wis.) has been identified as the anonymous member of Congress who reserved official Capitol Hill space for an anti-Israel forum that is being organized by several organizations that support boycotts of the Jewish state, according to congressional sources.” [FreeBeacon]

“C.I.A. Names New Iran Chief in a Sign of Trump’s Hard Line” by Matthew Rosenberg and Adam Goldman: “He is known as the Dark Prince or Ayatollah Mike, nicknames he earned as the Central Intelligence Agency officer who oversaw the hunt for Osama bin Laden and the American drone strike campaign that killed thousands of Islamist militants and hundreds of civilians. Now the official, Michael D’Andrea, has a new job. He is running the C.I.A.’s Iran operations… Mr. D’Andrea’s new role is one of a number of moves inside the spy agency that signal a more muscular approach to espionage and covert operations under the leadership of Mike Pompeo… Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the [national security] council’s senior director for intelligence — the main White House liaison to intelligence agencies — has told other administration officials that he wants to use American spies to help oust the Iranian government, according to multiple defense and intelligence officials.” [NYTimes

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION — “Bucking Trump, These Cities, States and Companies Commit to Paris Accord” by Hiroko Tabuchi and Henry Fountain: “We’re going to do everything America would have done if it had stayed committed,” Michael Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who is coordinating the effort, said in an interview… Bloomberg Philanthropies, Mr. Bloomberg’s charitable organization, is offering to donate $14 million over the next two years to help fund the budget should it be needed, a spokeswoman said. That figure represents the United States’ share, she said.” [NYTimes]

REACTIONS: “Disney CEO Bob Iger quits Trump advisory team as ‘matter of principle'” by Julia Horowitz: “Disney CEO Bob Iger said he will step down from Trump’s business advisory council, protesting the president’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate deal… He also posted his decision on Twitter, saying he’d resigned from Trump’s business council “as a matter of principle.” [CNNMoney]  

Mark Zuckerberg says Donald Trump’s decision on the Paris agreement ‘puts our children’s future at risk [Recode]

Marc Benioff‏: “Deeply disappointed by President’s decision to withdraw from ParisAgreement. We will double our efforts to fight climate change.” [Twitter]

PALACE INTRIGUE: “Inside Trump’s climate decision: After fiery debate, he ‘stayed where he’s always been’” by Ashley Parker, Philip Rucker and Michael Birnbaum: “Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter, reached out to chief executives and urged them to call her father to make their pro-business case for staying in the [Paris] accord. She even personally appealed to Andrew Liveris, the head of Dow Chemical, asking him to spearhead a letter with other CEOs — which ultimately ran as a full-page advertisement in the Wall Street Journal in May — directly appealing to Trump to stay in the agreement… But in the end, it was not enough… The fight pit Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon and White House Counsel Don McGahn — who all pushed for a total withdrawal — against Ivanka Trump, economic chief Gary Cohn and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson… The Paris pact was a particular passion for Bannon, who spent the past two weeks consumed by the climate deal, including working feverishly from the West Wing after returning early from Trump’s foreign trip.” [WashPost]

“After climate loss, Ivanka moves on” by Annie Karni: “Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, have taken the defeat in stride, according to two people familiar with their thinking on the issue. Their view of their roles in the White House is that they’re playing the long game, helping the president to be successful. And they don’t tally their own influence day-by-day or bill-by-bill. But they were notably absent from the row of top aides gathered in front of the podium for the announcement… Ivanka Trump was out of the office observing the Jewish holiday of Shavuot, a White House official said. Kushner walked to the White House after attending synagogue in the morning for a long-standing meeting that was on his schedule before Trump’s remarks were put together, and he also did not attend the Rose Garden event.” [Politico] • Kushner tries to pretend everything’s normal [Politico]

Where Jared and Ivanka spent Shavuot — by Chris Spargo:“A source close to Jared told the Daily Mail that the couple had gone back to shul on Thursday morning, for the second day in a row, as they observed Shavuot, bringing along their two oldest children Arabella and Joseph. The young children, perhaps worn out from having to walk the mile to and from the Friends of Lubavitch of Wednesday, decided to make the trek a bit easier the second time around by travelling on their scooters… Also joining the group was Jared’s brother Josh, dressed down in a pair of form-fitting skinny jeans and a cardigan… After shul, Ivanka and the children headed back home while Jared set off for the White House, walking the mile-and-a-half to work.” [DailyMail]

KAFE KNESSET — Interview with Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz — by Tal Shalev and JPost’s Lahav Harkov: KK: What do you think of Trump taking the US out of the Paris Climate Accord? Steinitz: “I think that it is a sad moment. In my opinion, even if there is no certainty but only 50% probability that we are destroying the climate and the future of this planet, we have to take counter-steps to be on the safe side and do everything in order to reduce pollution and take care of the next generation. In addition to this, I think the Paris Accords were a rare moment that almost all countries in the world, almost all humanity – with only a few exceptions, Syria and Nicaragua. All other 195 countries overcame all their differences and different perspectives to save our planet and the future of our planet. I think it’s important in of itself. That doesn’t happen every day… Therefore I’m very sorry, and I can assure you that as the Israeli Minister of Energy I am fully committed to the Paris Accords and my plan to reduce the use of coal and replace coal with natural gas and renewable energies in our power stations.” Read today’s entire Kafe Knesset here [JewishInsider]

HEARD AT CODE CONFERENCE — Hillary Clinton: “Somebody – probably more than one somebody – will really have the market for clean energy exports. China is moving full speed ahead to be that country. Some of the European countries, particularly when it comes to wind, are already there. Israel, I know, has some great research being done, particularly on solar. There’s a huge market that somebody is going to own and we are giving it up.” [Video]

“Scarborough: Steve Bannon is the real president” by Alayna Treene: “Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough repeatedly called Steve Bannon “President Bannon” on his show Friday… Scarborough also suggested that “President Bannon” was the source behind the negative leaks on Jared Kushner and his ties to Russia, noting that Bannon boasted about having damaging information on Trump’s son-in-law in the days leading up to the reports that Kushner was being looked at by the FBI.” [Axios]

RUSSIA PROBE — “Explanations for Kushner’s meeting with head of Kremlin-linked bank don’t match up” by David Filipov, Amy Brittain, Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger: “Before the United States imposed sanctions, VEB sought to extend its international reach to draw more investment to Russia. Among those named by the bank to an advisory board for a new global fund was Stephen Schwarzman, the CEO of the Blackstone Group and now an outside adviser to the Trump White House… [Sergey] Gorkov was named to head VEB in February 2016… Some Russia watchers described Gorkov, who was not seen as being especially close to the Kremlin before his appointment, as an unlikely diplomatic link between the Kremlin and the Trump administration. “I can think of many back channels that one might cultivate to have close, discreet, indirect communications with Putin. VEB’s Gorkov would not make my list,” said Michael McFaul, who was the U.S. ambassador to Russia under President Barack Obama.” [WashPost] • LongRead — Family First: The Trials of Jared Kushner [Time]

Putin tells Megyn Kelly: ‪U.S. officials blaming Russia “reminds me of anti-Semitism and blaming the Jews. This is disinformation.” [NBCNews]

“Former White House press officer Boris Epshteyn to be questioned in Russia probe” by Brian Ross, Matthew Mosk and Pete Madden: “[Boris] Epshteyn, a Trump campaign adviser who briefly served in the White House communications office, confirmed to ABC News that he has received a request for information and testimony from the House Intelligence Committee.” [ABCNews

TRUMP TEAM: “Kushner’s Rose Garden Hug Ends Lewandowski’s Year-Long Rift With Kushner” by Kevin Cirilli, Shannon Pettypiece and Jennifer Jacobs: “After Corey Lewandowski met with Donald Trump in the Oval Office on Monday… Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and trusted adviser — who had pressed for Lewandowski’s ouster as campaign manager almost a year ago — joined him for a stroll through the White House Rose Garden. Their conversation ended with a hug, according to people familiar with their exchange. It also resulted in a restored relationship and an understanding that Kushner is no longer a barrier between Lewandowski and the White House.” [Bloomberg]

“White House ‘Muslim Ban’ Man Pushes for Even More Power” by Spencer Ackerman: “[Stephen] Miller is trying to take on a second role—a power move known only to a handful people in the White House and across the administration. The nationalist firebrand has elbowed his way into national security and foreign affairs, trying to push the U.S. government to adopt hardline stances on refugees and other international issues… Formally, Miller has no position on the NSC. But the Domestic Policy Council is typically invited to participate in NSC meetings in which its agencies, such as the Department of Health and Human Services, have equity.” [DailyBeast]

“Donald Trump Poisons the World” by David Brooks:“By treating the world simply as an arena for competitive advantage, Trump, [H. R. ] McMaster and [Gary] Cohn sever relationships, destroy reciprocity, erode trust and eviscerate the sense of sympathy, friendship and loyalty that all nations need when times get tough. By looking at nothing but immediate material interest, Trump, McMaster and Cohn turn America into a nation that affronts everybody else’s moral emotions. They make our country seem disgusting in the eyes of the world.” [NYTimes]

MAMILLA HOTEL, WHERE SPICER HANGS WITH THE PRESS — by Matthew Nussbaum, Tara Palmeri and Josh Dawsey: “On the recent trip abroad, he repeatedly showed the strain of the job. At one point, he got drinks with a group of other staffers and reporters in Jerusalem, where he was adamant that the conversation steer clear of work. “The most we’ve seen of Sean [Spicer] was at a rooftop bar in Jerusalem,” said one U.S. journalist on the trip. “But he refused to take work-related questions and said if you asked him a work-related question, then you had to take a shot.” The comment was made in jest, according to people present, and no shots were taken.” [Politico

** 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: Why CBS and Viacom didn’t merge, according to Shari Redstone [Recode] • Billionaire Steinmetz recovers from setback in Simandou battle [MiningWeekly] • Houston-based Camber Energy Inc. has appointed a new chairman, Fred Zeidman [BizJournals] • Touting Ties to Trump Is the Only Thing That Unites the Feuding Kushners [Bloomberg] • Jared Kushner’s Observer Lays Off Staffers [WWD] • Porsche to invest ‘tens of millions’ in Israeli auto technology [JNS

“Trump’s Hebrew translator says she was happier working for Obama” by Rob Gloster: “Merav Rozenblum, a Hebrew teacher at Jewish Community High School of the Bay, is a contract translator for the State Department and has worked with three presidents… “Of course, when it comes to my principles, I would feel better translating for a president that did not offend about half of the American people. But when I work, this should not be reflected in anything that I do.” Rozenblum and a colleague in Washington, DC, were hired to translate Trump’s May 21 speech in Saudi Arabia at the Arab Islamic American Summit… “This president speaks in very short sentences, so it wasn’t a very difficult speech to translate,” Rozenblum said.” [ToI]

“How the World’s Most Interesting Man Befriended the World’s Most Powerful Man” by Jonathan Goldsmith: “[President Barack Obama] and I had met earlier that year at a fundraiser in Vermont when he was just preparing for his reelection campaign. He had impressed me with his encyclopedic recall of the outrageous escapades of my TV character (“The Most Interesting Man in the World”). Still, I was more than surprised when I later got a call from one of his deputies. Would I like to be part of a special surprise for the president’s 50th birthday celebration at Camp David? … The Secret Service picked me up at Reagan National Airport, and a few hours later I was at Camp David, the president’s private retreat…”

“As I waited for the festivities to begin, I was given a private tour of the grounds… I saw the very chairs on which Stalin and Roosevelt sat and the table where the Camp David Peace Accords were negotiated between Israel and Egypt. The sense of history was overwhelming… At one point, I asked if it would be OK to quiz him on some serious issues. “Everybody else does,” he responded gamely, “so go ahead.” I asked what he thought would happen in Syria, where war had just broken out… I asked him why relations seemed to be so strained with Israel. He was honest and direct with his answers, even brutally so. But while I might kiss and tell, what he confided in me I will never reveal.” [PoliticoMag]

PROFILE: “Long Island’s 98-Year-Old Former Congressman Eats Dumplings, Hates Trump, Makes Tweets” by Ross Barkan: “On the walls of [Lester] Wolff’s airy, feng shui–tuned home in Muttontown, a tony Long Island village, are photographs of the presidents and historical figures he has met in his half-century of public life… There, near the bottom of his office wall, is Hillary Clinton. Nowhere is Donald Trump. “He is a fascist. No question in my mind,” Wolff said. “There was Hitler, there was Mussolini. Many of the dictators — he’s following the same route, all over again.” … An observant Jew, he wakes at 6:30 every morning and prays for about an hour. Musing more on his longevity, he said he never drank much and smoked a pipe instead of cigarettes. A trip to Denmark years ago convinced him to eat lox for breakfast… Wolff said he has wondered why God has “allowed me to be here for so long and in good health with good mental ability. Why?” “I feel there’s something, that there’s a mission I’ve yet to perform before I go,” he said. “What is it? I don’t know.”” [VillageVoice]

MEDIA WATCH — Guardian’s Ben Jacobs gets new glasses after assault by Montana congressman: “Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs replaced his glasses on Tuesday, after they were broken when he was assaulted by Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte… Jacobs was fitted for a new pair of glasses by optician Russell Byron, settling on a pair of black frames from Banana Republic. The glasses will be ready for pickup next week. Jacobs has said he will pay for them himself with help from insurance. At the request of the Washington DC media museum the Newseum, Jacobs has agreed to donate his broken glasses to the museum for display in their collection.” [Guardian

HOLLYWOOD: “‘Wonder Woman’ Headed for Big Israel Opening as Country Rallies Behind Gal Gadot” by David Caspi: 
“Every single print, online and TV outlet has been positively covering the Wonder Woman press tour, with many portraying Gadot as an ambassador for the country… “There is no one Israeli that is non-supportive,” wrote Israel Hayom newspaper columnist Adi Rubinstein this week. “Gadot is the leading Israeli product on TV all over the world right now — no format, idea or Israeli persona can successfully do what Gadot has been doing this past month.” Israeli advertising tech startup Taykey, which tracks internet chatter, says that Gadot mentions online have been 95 percent positive… She also currently outranks Oscar winner and Jerusalem born Natalie Portman on top of IMDB’s ranking of most popular industry people born in Israel.” [THR]

“Why So Many People Care That Wonder Woman Is Israeli” by Ruth Graham: “Gadot’s origins landed in headlines this week when Lebanon banned the film from theaters just days before it was scheduled to premiere… Pressure from the Campaign to Boycott Supporters of Israel–Lebanon prompted the government to pull its approval at the last minute… Jewish and Israeli media outlets, meanwhile, have covered the movie with a sense of hometown swagger… The Forward asked if Gadot is on her way to becoming “the biggest Israeli superstar ever” and a “global feminist torch-holder for decades to come.” “It isn’t just a triumph for women that the new savior of the world is female,” a writer for the Jewish Journal wrote. “It is a triumph for the Jews.”” [Slate]

WEEKEND BIRTHDAYS — FRIDAY: Executive Director of the American Jewish Committee, David Harris turns 68… National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman turns 65… Founder of Newark-based IDT Corp and numerous affiliates and spinoffs including shale energy exploration company, Genie Energy, Howard S. Jonas turns 61… Writer-at-large for New York magazine since 2011, following a 31 year career at the New York Times (1980-2011), he is also an executive producer for HBO’s “Veep,” Frank Rich turns 68… Former member of the British Parliament from Manchester (1983-1997) and then a member of European Parliament from Northwest England (1999-2009), David Anthony Gerald Sumberg turns 76… Political activist, social entrepreneur and city planner; a co-founder of ReelAbilities, a film festival by, or about, people with disabilities, Anita Altman turns 72… Israeli entrepreneur and inventor, founder of Indigo Digital Press (1977) and The Landa Group (2003), known as the father of commercial digital printing, Benny Landa turns 71… Aerospace engineer and a former NASA astronaut, he flew on three shuttle missions, Atlantis, Discovery and Endeavour and took along a memento from the US Holocaust Museum into space, Mark L. Polansky turns 61… Brooklyn-based Hasidic Rebbe of Skulen, Rabbi Yisroel Avrohom Portugal turns 92… Dinorah Cecilia Baroody turns 59… Special counsel focused on land use and zoning at NYC-based law firm Goldstein Hall, Jessica Ashenberg Loeser turns 40… Chief Development Officer for the Obama Foundation, Jordan David Kaplan turns 39… Director of technology at Santa Monica-based Action Network, a tech platform for progressive causes, Jason S. Rosenbaum turns 33… Co-founder and CEO of The Wing, a chain of women’s work space and social clubs, communications strategist Audrey H. Gelman turns 30 (h/ts Playbook)… Business development officer at Neura, Inc. and board member of non-profit Tamid Group, Jared R. Fleitman turns 25… Benjamin Sheridan turns 25… Carla Sanchez

SATURDAY: Canadian economist who has held both high-level government and academic posts, Sylvia Knelman Ostry turns 90… Italian physician, writer and essayist on a wide range of Biblical and Jewish topics, he served as President of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities (1998-2006), Amos Luzzatto turns 89… Attorney, author, political candidate, law professor, businesswoman and international civil servant, she was awarded both a Ph.D. in political science and a J.D. from Yale, Jan Schneider turns 70… Algerian-born, French citizen, Tel Aviv-based attorney, elected in 2012 to serve as an overseas representative to the French parliament representing the southern Mediterranean region, Daphna Poznanski-Benhamou turns 67… President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Eric S. Rosengren turns 60… Chief cantor of Vienna, Austria’s Israelitische Kultusgemeinde since 1992, lyrical tenor, Shmuel Barzilai turns 60… Member of the British Parliament since 2001, Jonathan Djanogly turns 52… Executive Director of the Jewish Federation of the Greater San Gabriel and Pomona Valleys, Jason Moss turns 43… Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations at the San Francisco Day School, Lauren Becker turns 31… Israel on Campus Coalition’s Brandon Beigler… Alice Heyman… Rick Munitz

SUNDAY: Survivor of the Holocaust via the Kindertransport, sniper for the Haganah and renowned sex therapist, Ruth Westheimer (“Dr. Ruth”) turns 89… Billionaire philanthropist, co-founder of Boston Properties, and owner of the NY Daily News and of U.S. News & World Report, Mort Zuckerman turns 8-0… Emeritus Professor at New Jersey Institute of Technology, David Kristol turns 79… Attorney who served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives (1969-1973) and the Massachusetts Senate (1973-1983), Alan Sisitsky turns 75… Professor of Organic Chemistry at the Weizmann Institute of Science and winner of the 2012 Israel Prize, David Milstein turns 70… Beverly Hills attorney, Marlene Diane Greenly turns 69… Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court since 1999 and Chief Justice starting in 2017, Stephen J. Markman turns 68… Longest tenured member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives (42 years from 1974 to 2016), Mark B. Cohen turns 68… Offensive lineman for the NFL’s Miami Dolphins (1973-1984), which included 3 Super Bowl appearances and 4 Pro Bowls, Ed Newman turns 66… British journalist, author of 9 books and socially conservative columnist for The Times (London), The Jerusalem Post and The Jewish Chronicle, Melanie Phillips turns 66… First-ever Jewish governor of Hawaii (2002-2010) and then Chief Operating Officer of Illinois (2015-2016), Linda Lingle turns 64… French-Israeli entrepreneur, angel investor in hundreds of start-ups, Jeremie Berrebi turns 39… Lead anchor of the Washington Post’s “Inspired Life” blog, Colby Itkowitz turns 34… Israeli supermodel, Bar Refaeli turns 32… Legislative assistant and press secretary for Congressman Ted Deutch, Jason Hillel Attermann turns 29… Ken Moss… Judah Gross

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New book by former Bush 43 aide and Jewish liaison Tevi Troy

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Dallas News reports on a new book on 200 years of popular culture in the White House written by former George W. Bush aide Tevi Troy. To be blunt,…

Nachama Soloveichik to launch new super PAC

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Politico reports that Nachama Soloveichik, a former senior aide to Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey and a onetime spokesperson for the conservative Club for Growth, will be launching a…

Atlantic Magazine: Casino Jack’s New Game

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Mariah Blake of The Atlantic Magazine profiles Jack Abramoff. Jack Abramoff, the infamous lobbyist, was slumped over a table in a dimly lit Clear Channel studio on a recent Sunday…

An Israeli lollipop that helps you lose weight

Thursday, March 21, 2013

“Willy Wonka may have the secret recipe for the Everlasting Gobstopper, but it’s an Israeli candy company that is taking the confectionery and health food world by storm…

NYTIMES: Jailed Unjustly in the Death of a Rabbi, Man Nears Freedom

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

On today’s front page, the NYTimes reports that a Brooklyn prosecutor plans to seek freedom of man convicted in 1990 killing of Rabbi.

Orthodox Jewish groups endorse Christie in Lakewood

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

NorthJersey.com reports Governor Christie visited Lakewood Tuesday to accept the endorsement of the town’s elected leadership and the Orthodox Jewish community, after he held a town hall-style meeting at…