Daily Kickoff: White House blasts Israel on settlements | Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny | Israel’s tycoons are ailing | Biden to eulogize Shimon Peres

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LongRead: “Sam Altman’s Manifest Destiny: Is the head of Y Combinator fixing the world, or trying to take over Silicon Valley?” by Tad Friend: “If the pandemic does come, Altman’s backup plan is to fly with his friend Peter Thiel, the billionaire venture capitalist, to Thiel’s house in New Zealand. Thiel told me, “Sam is not particularly religious, but he is culturally very Jewish—an optimist yet a survivalist, with a sense that things can always go deeply wrong, and that there’s no single place in the world where you’re deeply at home.”… One evening at Altman’s house, his younger brothers, Max and Jack, were teasing him that he should run for President in 2020, when he’d be thirty-five: just old enough. Max, twenty-eight, said, “Who better than you, Sam?” As Altman tried not very vehemently to change the subject, Jack, twenty-seven, said, “It’s not purely little-brother trolling. I do think tech needs a good candidate.” “Let’s send the Jewish gay guy!” Altman said. “That’ll work!”” [NewYorker]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “White House working to weaken Syria sanctions bill for Russia and Iran” by Josh Rogin: “The bill, guided by House Foreign Affairs Committee ranking Democrat Eliot Engel (N.Y.), would also sanction entities that aid the Syrian government in these atrocities; that includes Russia and Iran… The White House has told members and staffers that the bill’s sanctions on Iran could violate the nuclear agreement the Obama administration struck with Tehran last year and the Russia sanctions could hurt any future efforts to work with Moscow diplomatically on Syria.”[WashPost]

TOP TALKER: “Obama administration blasts Israel for new settlement project” by Louis Nelson: “The Obama administration is in yet another public spat with Israel — and is all but calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government a bunch of liars. “Well we did receive public assurances from the Israeli government that contradict this announcement,” Earnest said at his daily press briefing on Wednesday. “I guess when we’re talking about how good friends treat one another, that’s a source of serious concern as well… It’s inconsistent with the public assurances that have been issued by the Israeli government, and all that’s the source of disappointment and deep concern here at the White House,” he added.” [Politico

State Department spokesman Mark Toner: “It is deeply troubling, in the wake of Israel and the U.S. concluding an unprecedented agreement on military assistance designed to further strengthen Israel’s security, that Israel would take a decision so contrary to its long-term security interest in a peaceful resolution of its conflict with the Palestinians. Furthermore, it is disheartening that while Israel and the world mourned the passing of President Shimon Peres, and leaders from the U.S. and other nations prepared to honor one of the great champions of peace, plans were advanced that would seriously undermine the prospects for the two-state solution that he so passionately supported.” [PBS

“Israel Rejects U.S. Criticism: Planned West Bank Construction Not a New Settlement” by Barak Ravid: “The settlements are not the obstacle to peace,” said the Foreign Ministry statement. “This housing will be built on state land in the existing settlement of Shilo and will not change its municipal boundary or geographic footprint.” [Haaretz

— “The harsh words also rekindled speculation that Mr. Obama might lay down guidelines for a proposed peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians before he leaves office, either in a speech or, less likely, by backing a resolution at the United Nations Security Council.” [NYTimes

HAPPENING TODAY: Vice President Joe Biden will speak at a memorial service honoring former Israeli President Shimon Peres at the Adas Israel Congregation in DC at 4:00pm. Chemi Peres (via video), former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Deputy Israeli Ambassador Reuven Azar will also deliver remarks during the hour-long service. [CSPAN]

Amir Oren: “Shimon Peres’ True Legacy Could Be Redeemed When Hillary Clinton Is Elected President”[Haaretz]  Mort Zuckerman: “Donald Trump’s hot-headed debate performance shows he doesn’t compare to Shimon Peres.” [NYDailyNews]

“How 10 mega-donors already helped pour a record $1.1 billion into super PACs” by Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy: “Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson and his wife, Miriam — who jumped in late this year, giving $21.5 million in August to GOP super PACs defending Senate candidates — are now directing millions into a group that has launched a new anti-Clinton effort… The Adelsons and TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts have indicated that they plan a late burst of spending on Trump’s behalf… In second place on the top donor list through August was another hedge fund founder, Donald Sussman, who has plowed more than $23 million into groups allied with Hillary Clinton and other Democratic candidates. [Michael] Bloomberg, the billionaire media mogul, was in fifth place, with $20.1 million, most of which went to his super PAC, Independence USA.” [WashPost]

“Pro-Trump Group to Release Ads as Part of Major Swing State Effort” by Maggie Haberman: “The spots, featuring an image of a fatigued-looking Mrs. Clinton, describe her as a “tired” politician mired in scandal, while depicting Mr. Trump as a creator of jobs.” [NYTimes]

“Trump gives Sheldon Adelson a shoutout at rally” by Harper Neidig: “Did you read that this morning in your good paper?” Trump asked the audience. “Good paper, owned by a great guy — Sheldon, Sheldon, Sheldon Adelson.” Trump added that Adelson is a “great supporter of Israel.” [TheHill;LVSun

“Trump supporters turn on man who espouses neo-Nazi views at rally” by Ashley Killough:“A couple dozen Trump supporters started circling him and yelling out pro-Trump chants to try and drown him out. Others flat-out confronted him and the reporters who were interviewing him.” [CNN

“GOP asks which Trump-Pence foreign policy is for real” by Michael Crowley: “I think Mike Pence cheered a lot of Republican conservatives who have been pretty gloomy until last night by forcefully articulating a case for conservative internationalism and strong U.S. leadership in Europe and the Middle East as well as rebuilding the military,” Eric Edelman, a former undersecretary of defense for policy in the George W. Bush administration, said Wednesday. “Too bad that those very principles have been consistently undermined by the person with whom he is running at the top of the ticket.” [Politico

Peter Beinart: “Pence debated the way Marco Rubio would have had he won the GOP nomination… On Syria, Pence demanded that the U.S. confront Moscow and reassert America’s regional dominance, which is pretty much what Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Carly Fiorina demanded during the primaries. And Trump slammed them for it.” [TheAtlantic

“Donald Trump’s Slip in Polls Has G.O.P. Worried About Congress” by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns: “Jay Bergman, a petroleum executive and Republican donor from Illinois, said his fellow contributors were no longer optimistic that Mr. Trump will win, and they have lowered their sights. “They want the guy to make a credible showing,” he said. “They’re afraid that if Trump really screws up and looks bad, then down-ticket, there are going to be a lot more votes for Democrats.” [NYTimes

“Trump, once a data skeptic, spending millions on data” by Julie Bykowicz: “Ushering Trump toward a more analytical approach are Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, and Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital director and a veteran Trump Organization consultant. Both men — friends — are new to politics and have built a team largely without Washington operatives, whom they dismiss as overpaid and overrated.” [AP]

“Israel’s Ministry of Tourism Hires Democratic PR Firm for U.S. Outreach” by Jacob Kornbluh: “MWWPR will develop and execute a strategic communications program designed to proactively promote Israel as a top tourist destination for North American travelers… MWW is headed by Michael Kempner, a top fundraiser for Hillary Clinton, President Obama and the Democratic Party. Kempner is listed as a “Hillblazer,” having raised more than $100,000 for Clinton’s presidential campaign last year, and served as deputy finance director for President Obama’s campaign.” [JewishInsider;HolmesReport

“British PM blasts Labour as ‘party of anti-Semitism’” by Sue Surkes: “Prime Minister Theresa May on Wednesday accused the UK’s opposition Labour Party of “tolerating anti-Semitism and supporting voices of hate,” after a string of its members were suspended for making anti-Jewish and anti-Israel comments. “You know what some people call them — the nasty party,” May told the final session of the Conservative Party’s conference in Birmingham.” [TimesofIsrael

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: U.S. activist Elliott urges overhaul at Samsung Electronics [Reuters Soros slams Putin for ‘heinous crimes against humanity’ in Syria [CNBC] • Facebook’s CEO got what he wanted on his first trip to Africa. Nigeria got even more [BackChannel]

STARTUP NATION: “Moovit tries to streamline the commute experience with an updated transit app” by Matthew Lynley: “The app has essentially been distilled down into three different parts of the experience that ended up on a new navigation bar at the bottom: planning a trip, looking up stations and tracking commute lines. Each of these more or less represent a specific mode in a user’s movement throughout the day using public transportation, Meydad said. The company has also added new features to correct existing information if it’s changed, as well as crowdsource new data, he said. The app, which started in Israel, has 45 million users and most recently raised $50 million in financing.”[TechCrunch]

“A record number of U.S. billionaires are immigrants” by Thomas Heath:”Six of the 42 richest immigrants on the Forbes list are from Israel… Moscow native and Google co-founder Sergey Brin, whose parents brought him to the United States when he was six, leads the immigrant list with an estimated net worth of $37.5 billion. Brin’s “mathematician parents faced anti-Semitism in their homeland,” Forbes staffer Jennifer Wang writes. “They were reportedly forced to sit in separate rooms during university entrance exams, and were limited in their choice of careers.”” [WashPost]

SPOTLIGHT: “Israel’s tycoons are ailing, who will buy their assets?” by Ari Rabinovitch and Tova Cohen: “The law gives them until the end of 2019 and it was estimated that 40 firms worth 80-100 billion shekels would come up for sale. But there has been only one major deal so far: China’s Bright Food bought control of foodmaker Tnuva for $1.1 billion. Two major insurance companies are on the market. Billionaire Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group chose to keep its energy assets over Phoenix Holdings. Argentinian businessman Eduardo Elsztain, who now controls IDB, the former vehicle of convicted tycoon Dankner, is looking to sell Clal Insurance. Neither have been able to finalize a deal, both saying stepped up regulation scared away investors. Two weeks ago, businessman Zadik Bino sold a small fraction of his 23 percent stake in refiner Paz Oil for 8.2 million shekels to an unnamed financial body.”[Reuters]

TRANSITION: “Wilmer Snags Another Government Hire, This Time From Homeland Security” by Sara Randazzo: “Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP said Wednesday it’s bringing on Alejandro Mayorkas, a former U.S. attorney in Los Angeles who’s spent the past three years as the No. 2 at the Department of Homeland Security. Lawyers at Wilmer have known Mr. Mayorkas for years, said Howard Shapiro, the firm’s litigation department chairman. “Ali was someone we’ve had our eye on for awhile,” Mr. Shapiro said. Mr. Mayorkas will start at the firm sometime in November.” [WSJ]

OU’s Nathan Diament tells us: “Of the senior officials at the Homeland Security Department, he was very engaged with the Jewish community and he was very sensitive to the concerns of the Jewish community. We very much appreciate his partnership in these past several years.”

CAMPUS BEAT: “Why a Controversial Palestinian History Class at Berkeley Was Canceled, Then Reinstated” by Alexander Nazaryan: “For a Palestinian insurgent supposedly determined to see Israel destroyed, Paul Hadweh looks remarkably like his fellow students at the University of California, Berkeley. I met the 22-year-old senior on the rooftop of a campus building, overlooking the expanse of San Francisco Bay, which glimmered in the pure light of late afternoon. He could have been just another kid, except a nervous energy radiated from him like steam. This was understandable, for in the last month, Hadweh has been depicted as an enemy of Israel, one dangerous enough to allegedly warrant intervention from the country’s government.” [Newsweek]

“Israel sends female naval cadets to stop women’s boat headed to Gaza” by William Booth and Ruth Eglash: “An Israeli naval ship, operated by female combat troops and cadets, intercepted a vessel carrying female activists bound for the Gaza Strip on Wednesday afternoon. The protest boat, which set sail from Barcelona last month with about a dozen international activists, was carrying no aid. Israel called the interception “uneventful.”” [WashPost]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Would LSD Make Bar Mitzvahs Great Again?” by Daniel Miller:“How can modern Jews inject meaning and spirituality into this important coming-of-age ritual? In 2004, a prominent former professor of psychology at Harvard, reflecting on his own bar mitzvah, broached one possible solution—even as he took pains to emphasize he was not advocating it: “If we have only the most superficial of ossified religious rituals, it is because these rites of passage no longer provide direct contact with the numinous. This is where psychedelics can help.” Not everyone I spoke to shares this sentiment, of course. The handful of rabbis I canvassed were in uniform agreement that there’s no place for psychedelic substances in the bar or bat mitzvah. That said, our conversations did leave me strangely hopeful.”[ViceNews]

SPORTS BLINK: “David Blatt Accepts Cleveland Cavaliers’ Championship Ring Offer” by Joe Pantorno: “Cavaliers general manager David Griffin stated that the move was made due to “a lack of fit with our personnel and our vision,” via ESPN.com. While his replacement, Tyronn Lue, posted a poorer record than Blatt during the regular season at 27-14, the Cavaliers went 16-5 in the postseason and overcame a 3-1 deficit to the Golden State Warriors to take the title.” [BleacherReport

BIRTHDAYS: Chairman and CEO of CBS, a great-nephew of David Ben-Gurion, Leslie Moonves turns 67… Awarded a Ph.D. at UCSD in space science, consultant to NASA and author of many science fiction novels, David Brin turns 66… Former senior editor at Newsweek for 28 years, correspondent on the networks of NBC and author of two best-sellers on President Obama, Jonathan Alter turns 59… Director of Development at the Israel Democracy Institute, Deena Pulitzer… Elliot KarpHadara Goldsmith Ishak… Managing Director of the UJA-Federation of NY’s Commission on the Jewish People,Hindy Poupko Galena… Michael Hershfield… Evan Bernstein… Joel Weingarten… Rosanne Selfon

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Daily Kickoff: Pence and Kaine debate Israeli view on Iran deal | Juno takes on Uber | How do you say ’email’ in Yiddish? | Rosh Hashana weird fruit

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DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Obama administration considering strikes on Assad, again” by Josh Rogin: “Inside the national security agencies, meetings have been going on for weeks to consider new options to recommend to the president to address the ongoing crisis in Aleppo, where Syrian and Russian aircraft continue to perpetrate the deadliest bombing campaign the city has seen since the five-year-old civil war began. A meeting of the Principals Committee, which includes Cabinet-level officials, is scheduled for Wednesday.” [WashPost]

Sec. John Kerry writes about the Iran deal in New York Mag: “We didn’t really want to do an interim agreement, to be honest. We were cornered into that by the imminent potential of Congress passing additional sanctions, which would have blown the whole thing apart. The people who were opposed to it were passing a lot of disinformation around. Israeli prime minister Bibi [Netanyahu] was saying that every day they’re giving away one more thing, et cetera, which wasn’t true. He was tweeting. And so we needed to go public with the outlines of the deal. But Zarif and I knew at the time that this was going to complicate our lives. Because he was going to have to go back to Iran and explain to the hard-liners, who’d say, “What?! You’re going to undo your centrifuge? You’re going to give up your calandria? This is terrible.” Same thing on my side. But we plowed ahead.” [NYMag]

VP DEBATE RECAP: “Kaine attacks, Pence fights back in vigorous VP debate” by Julie Pace and Thomas Beaumont: “Pence outlined a detailed conservative agenda on tax policy, entitlements and immigration. He was markedly more prepared and more detailed in his answers than Trump was in last week’s first presidential debate. He was also more consistent in painting the Democratic ticket as career politicians unwilling to shake up Washington.There was a striking difference in the two men’s manner. Kaine, Clinton’s usually easygoing No. 2, went on the attack from the start, repeatedly interrupting and challenging Pence. Pence, an equally genial politician, was unflappable.” [AP

Highlights –Pence on Clinton-Kaine supporting the Iran deal: “The deal that Clinton initiated — it guaranteed that someday, Iran would become a power… [The] other goal was always that we would only lift the sanctions if Iran terminally renounced their nuclear ambitions. They have not done so. And when the deal’s period runs out, there is no limitation on weapons. $1.7 billion was used in a ransom payment… The truth of the matter is, what you have in the rise of aggressive Russia, which has increased its influence in Iran, it is not because of this deal, is on a pathway in the feature to obtain a nuclear — the leading state sponsor of terror in the world in Iran now has a closer working relationship with Russia because of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s foreign policy and $150 billion and sanctions being lifted.”

Kaine said the deal ‘stopped’ the Iranian nuclear program: “The terrorist threat has decreased in some ways because an Iranian nuclear weapons program has been stopped… He does not want to acknowledge that we stopped the Iranian nuclear weapons program… It was Hillary Clinton who worked with Russia to get them engaged in a community of nations to stop the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot… She worked a tough negotiation with nations around the world to eliminate the Iranian nuclear weapons program without firing a shot…”

FACT CHECK: “Kaine says Clinton helped eliminate the Iranian nuclear program – Grade: False” [ABCNews John Podhoretz: “Kaine asserted that Israel’s senior military leadership supports the Iran deal, which is not true. Israel’s Defense Ministry explicitly compared the deal to the Munich pact that led Adolf Hitler to wage World War II.” [NYPostJeffrey Goldberg tweets: “Israeli generals do not think that the Iranian nuclear program has been stopped. They do think that it has been temporarily suspended. FWIW, from my own reporting, the Israeli general staff is extremely ambivalent about the Iranian nuclear deal.” [Twitter; Twitter] • AP: “Kaine is right – at least for now.” [AP]

ISRAEL MOMENT — Pence: “He keeps saying that Hillary Clinton started the deal with the Iranians prevented Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

Kaine: “That’s what the Israeli joint chiefs of staff is saying right now.”

Pence: “Well, that’s not what Israel thinks.”

Kaine: “Gadi Eizenkot, you can go check it.”

Pence: “You wouldn’t necessarily know that.

Kaine: “Go to the tape.”

Pence: “I know you boycotted Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech when he came before the Congress.”

Kaine: “No, I visited him in his office. I visited him in his office.”

Pence: “You boycotted the speech. The point is, what this so-called Iran deal did was essentially guarantee — I mean, when I was in Congress, I fought hard on a bipartisan basis with Republican and Democrat members to move forward the toughest sanctions, it — literally in the history of the United States, against Iran.”

HOW IT PLAYED: Tim Kaine and Mike Pence Clash on the Merits of Their Tickets [NYTimes• Mike Pence wiped the floor with Tim Kaine — but does it matter? [NYPost] • Pence, Kaine Trade Barbs Over Israel’s Stance on Iran Nuclear Deal in VP Debate [Haaretz] • Kaine’s assessment of the Iran deal is rosier than Clinton’s [TimesofIsrael] • Winners and losers from the vice-presidential debate[WashPost] • Mike Pence Won The Debate For His Imaginary Running Mate, Mitt Romney[BuzzFeed]

SPIN ROOM – Charlie Spies emails us: “Pence won the debate with his calm temperament and reminded independents and mainstream Republicans who are uncomfortable with Trump that there are conservative solutions to the issues in the election that at least 1/2 of the Republican ticket believes in. Kaine declaring victory with the Iran deal coupled with Pence’s reminder that Kaine actually boycotted Netanyahu’s speech to Congress, were a reminder that Trump’s incoherent foreign policy may not be as bad as the dangerous and failed Obama-Clinton policies.”

Andrew Weinstein: “I thought Tim Kaine was excellent. He was smart, steady, and showed that he’s ready to lead – all qualities that you’d want in a vice president. He presented a strong case for a Clinton presidency and a blistering indictment of the Trump campaign. This was in sharp contrast with Pence who was clearly more interested in boasting his profile for the 2020 GOP nomination than defending Donald Trump. Pence offered the same tired GOP talking points that have been debunked and rejected time and again. This was most evident in Pence’s discussion of the Iran deal. Secretary Clinton’s efforts in bringing Russia and China on board forced Iran to the table and ultimately resulted in the dismantling of their nuclear weapons program. Instead of recognizing this achievement, all Pence could offer was empty criticism for Kaine skipping Bibi’s speech and falsities about the reach of the deal. It was more of the same fear over facts approach that consistently defines the Trump campaign.”

“J Street spots push back on GOP Iran deal advertising” by Nahal Toosi: “The J Street effort — details of which were shared exclusively with POLITICO — is rare, possibly unprecedented, in this election cycle. The group has raised $750,000 so far for its effort ($500,000 of which is going for the two TV ads) but Republican groups across the country are already putting millions of dollars into their own ads attacking Democrats on Iran, an issue the GOP believes can move votes in key Senate and House races.”[Politico

“Trump’s organization did business with Iranian bank later linked to terrorism” by Sasha Chavkin, Michael Hudson and Dave Levinthal: “Trump inherited Bank Melli, one of Iran’s largest state-controlled banks, as a tenant when he purchased the General Motors Building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, according to public records reviewed by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and the Center for Public Integrity. The Trump Organization kept the bank on as a tenant for four more years after the U.S. Treasury Department designated Bank Melli in 1999 as being controlled by the Iranian government. U.S. officials later alleged that Bank Melli had been used to obtain sensitive materials for Iran’s nuclear program.” [ICIJ• Jake Sullivan in statement: Report “shows yet again that Trump puts his own business interests ahead of the national interest. This report exposes Trump’s hypocrisy on Iran. As with Cuba, he talks a big game but when it comes to making a buck, he’ll deal with anyone.”

“Clinton’s Former Prosecutor Endorses Her for President” by Eli Lake: “[Michael] Chertoff says he made the decision to go public for Clinton after watching the debate last week. “Trump’s sense of loyalties are misplaced,” he said. “Some of our NATO allies sent troops overseas, at the same time he is defending Russia and trying to dismiss what is widely acknowledged to be Russian intrusions into the databases of our political parties and political figures.” Chertoff said this amounted to “making enemies of your friends and cozying up to your adversaries.” Chertoff said he expects Clinton will be different from President Barack Obama when it comes to Middle East policy. [BloombergView]

Bret Stephens: “To all the liberals and Never Trumpers who don’t get why Hillary isn’t ahead by 50 points—I just explained it. To all of you, get ready for Nov. 8. It’s going to be a beautiful thing. Believe me.”[WSJ]

OVER THE WEEKEND — “Trump finally hits the big-money jackpot” by Theodore Schleifer: “Despite only publicly committing $5 million to what is likely to be the de facto Trump super PAC, Sheldon and Miriam Adelson are pledging at least $25 million to pro-Trump presidential efforts, according to multiple people briefed on their donations. That sum includes giving to nonprofit group that will never be required to disclose his donations. “I’m doing more than a lot of people think I’m doing,” Adelson recently told one top Trump ally.” [CNN]

“Triumph of the Oligarchs – Bernie Sanders on the failures, and successes, of Obama’s Wall Street legacy” by Franklin Foer: “I think that when you’re a president — even when you’re a senator — there are enormous pressures on you. Sheldon Adelson just chipped in $25 million the other day to the Republican party. He will get paid back in terms of policy. So for any president, there’s gonna be enormous pressure from Wall Street, from Silicon Valley, from all these people.” [NYMag]

“Jerusalem Post 50 Most Influential Jews: Number 1 – Haim Saban” by Yaakov Katz:“However the upcoming presidential elections play out, Saban is someone to keep an eye on. If Clinton wins, he will play an important role as a go-between for the president and the Israeli prime minister and someone who could be called on to prevent another four years of tense ties between Jerusalem and Washington.” [JPost]

“White House corrects Jerusalem transcript error” by Nolan McCaskill: “The original transcript, which was blasted out before 8 a.m., named the location of the president’s remarks of Mount Herzl in Jerusalem, Israel. The corrected version, which was emailed after 4:30 p.m., struck through the reference to Israel, as the U.S. doesn’t recognize Jerusalem as a part of Israel.” [Politico]

“Ronald Lauder Questioned by Israeli Police in Connection to Netanyahu Fraud Probe” by Yaniv Kubovich: “The police’s anti-fraud unit summoned Lauder while he was in Israel for Shimon Peres’ funeral and questioned him about various aspects of the fraud case. Lauder’s name came up in the probe in connection to gifts he had allegedly given to Netanyahu during their meetings in Israel and abroad as well as funding for the prime minister’s trips.” [Haaretz]

“David Cameron and Boris Johnson make up after bitter Brexit fall out… over late night drinks in Israel” by Tom Newton Dunn: “The Sun can reveal the two Tory titans “put the world to rights” over whiskey on the balcony of a hotel room in Jerusalem last Thursday night. One pal dubbed the bonding session “the Middle East peace process.” [TheSun]

LongRead: “In a Time of Trump, Millennial Jews Awaken to Anti-Semitism” by Ben Wofford: “It’s 19-year-old Zach Reizes who is most firm in his views. “What Trump has brought to the surface is, in many ways, the first blatant anti-Semitic experience for the vast majority of American millennials,” says Zach, an angular and handsome sophomore at Ohio University. On campus, he’s active both with AIPAC, the right-of-center bulwark of Jewish politics, and J-Street, it’s younger and left-leaning rival. “My little sister,” he adds, thinks that Trump “is the Haman of the Purim story.”” [PoliticoMag] • Warren Henry responds [TheFederalist]

**Good Wednesday 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**

FIRST LOOK: “Juno Takes On Uber” by Sheelah Kolhatkar: “Juno came about when its four co-founders realized that they had a lot of money and not a lot to do. It was October, 2014, and they had just sold their previous company, Viber, which was a competitor to Skype that allowed people to make calls and send texts by mobile phone for free, to a Japanese Internet company for nine hundred million dollars. The only question was what to embark on next. They were obviously “too young to retire,” in the words ofTalmon Marco, Juno’s C.E.O. A slender, soft-spoken Israeli with deep-set eyes and thick eyebrows, Marco serves as the public face of Juno, while his three partners run most of the company’s operations from Tel Aviv.” [NewYorker]

SPOTLIGHT: “This Billionaire Started Out as a Man With a Van” by Blake Schmidt: “Moishe Mana arrived in New York from Israel in the 1980s and turned his “man with a van” delivery gig into one of the city’s great moving and storage companies. Trucks bearing the Moishe’s Moving name rumbled everywhere on Manhattan streets. Today, the 59-year-old Mana has little to do with the business that helped make him a billionaire.” [Bloomberg]

STARTUP NATION: “A Facebook exec issued a stark warning to entrepreneurs in ‘Startup Nation'” by Sam Shead: “Adi Soffer Teeni, the manager of Facebook Israel, issued a stark warning to entrepreneurs in so-called “Startup Nation” last week as the country’s tech scene continues to gain attention around the world. “We need to be humble, and we need to understand that in order for us to continue to deliver the innovation that we bring, we need not to be sassy. Not to think everything that happens here will continue to be magic.”” [BusinessInsider]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “How Do You Say ‘Email’ in Yiddish?” by Joseph Berger: “The 826-page Comprehensive English-Yiddish Dictionary, with almost 50,000 entries and 33,000 subentries, is the work of Gitl Schaechter-Viswanath, a Yiddish editor and poet, and Paul Glasser, a former dean at YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, the major repository of Yiddish language, literature and folklore. Whether the new words, many of which were coined by the editors, will be widely embraced remains an open question. Many Yiddish speakers may already be too comfortable with the word “laptop” to jump ship for its Yiddish equivalent, “shoys-komputer” (a “computer for the lap”). “Any word that you’ve got to scratch your head to come up with they’ll use the English word,” said Yosef Rapaport, a Hasidic journalist and translator.” [NYTimes]

PROFILE: “How Hildy Kuryk Segued a Political Career into ‘Vogue”s Top Communications Role” by Maura Brannigan: “I started in the Office of Legislative Affairs in the White House during the Clinton Administration. I was an intern in that office and then they hired me — they had hired a lot of former interns — so we were this group of kids who worked for the President’s liaison with the Capitol Hill. That was the end of the administration, and maybe it wasn’t the fastest-paced time, but I didn’t care. I was 21 and thought it was the coolest thing ever, to watch C-SPAN and follow legislation and write reports on what happened in the Senate that day.” [Fashionista]

DESSERT: “What’s Juicing the Market for Weird Fruit? Rosh Hashana, Obviously” by Sophia Hollander: “Kiwis? Please—what a joke. Pomegranates? Old news. Dragon fruit? So five years ago. “Everyone and his brother gets a dragon fruit,” said Chaia Frishman, 43 years old, who scours New York this time of year to discover new exotic fruit. “I don’t think it’s a competition. I think it’s more like a challenge.”” [WSJ]

BIRTHDAYS: United States Senator from Maryland since 2007, Ben Cardin turns 73… Comedian who was a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show, appearing as a fictional Bolivian character named José Jiménez, Bill Dana (born William Szathmary) turns 92… South African-born lyricist whose works include the English-language musical adaptation of Les Misérables, Herbert Kretzmer turns 91… Owner of the Baltimore Orioles from 1989 to 1993, Eli Jacobs turns 79… Michael Jacobs… Morton Meltzer…

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Daily Kickoff: Obama on Peres — “I could see myself in his story” | Peres to Putin: “You behave like a tsar” | Bibi goes incognito at ‘Sleep No More”

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Ed note: Wishing all of you a healthy and happy New Year! We’ll be back next Wednesday following Rosh Hashanah.

ISRAEL’S LAST FOUNDING FATHER: “Shimon Peres Funeral Brings Together Allies and Rivals in Mourning” by Peter Baker: “From across the ocean and across the Green Line, they cameon Friday to the mountaintop sanctuary of Mount Herzl to bid farewell to Shimon Peres, marking what one called the “end of the era of giants.” But the question of the moment was whether it was a funeral for a man or for his dream.” [NYTimes]“At Shimon Peres Funeral, a Lineup of U.S. and Israeli Leaders Who Tangled” by Mark Landler: “When Bill Clinton took his place on Friday at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem for the state funeral of Shimon Peres, he was part of a tangled tableau: leaders from Israel and the United States who came together to mourn a giant of peace but who nurture their own political feuds and rivalries, stretching back two decades. Standing close to the former president was Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Mr. Clinton energetically tried to defeat when he challenged Mr. Peres for the prime minister post in 1996. Nearby was President Obama, whom Mr. Netanyahu not so subtly tried to oust in 2012 by signaling his support for Mitt Romney, Mr. Obama’s Republican opponent.” [NYTimes] • Tensions crackle at Peres funeral over elusive Mideast peace deal [Politico]

Watch Sara Netanyahu greet PA President Mahmoud Abbas: “I’m so happy. I look forward to having you in our house. We are waiting for you. Thank you for coming.” [Video]

Netanyahu to world leaders: “That so many leaders came from around the world to bid farewell to Shimon, is a testament to his optimism his quest for peace his love for Israel. The people of Israel deeply appreciate the honor you have shown Shimon.” [Haaretz]

Bill Clinton: “He started off life as Israel’s brightest student, who became its best teacher, and ended up its biggest dreamer. He lived 93 years in a state of constant wonder over the unbelievable potential of all the rest of us to rise above our wounds, our resentments, our fears, to make the most of today, and claim the promise of tomorrow.” [CBSNews; WashPost]

“Obama on Peres: ‘I could somehow see myself in his story'” by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “President Barack Obama buried another of his heroes Friday — a role model from his early life and now a role model for the future he’s slowly starting to map out. Shimon Peres, Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela: these men whom he’s now led the world’s goodbyes to were all friends — most don’t realize it, but of the three, he actually spent the most time with Peres — part of Obama’s pantheon, up there with Lincoln, Gandhi, King. They are what Obama wants to become.” [Politico]

“Obama: Peres Understood the Jewish People ‘Were Not Born to Rule Another'” by Allison Kaplan Sommer: “Obama said that the younger generation remembers only Peres’ unsuccessful quest for peace, and was shaped by the critics who said he “refused to recognize the wickedness of the world and called him naive.” Obama went on to paint Peres as a man whose vision for Israel at times seemed trapped between critics on the far left and far right. “Whatever he shared with his family or his closest friends, to the world he brushed off the critics, and I know from my conversations with him that his pursuit of peace was never naive,” Obama said.” Obama continued to draw parallels with himself and Peres throughout the speech by recounting their meetings together, saying, “I could somehow see myself in his story and maybe he could see himself in mine.” “ [Haaretz; ABCNews]

Obama concluded in Hebrew: “U’Bacharta B’Chayim (choose life)… Shimon, todah rabah, chaver yakar (thank you very much, my dear friend).”

Avi Mayer: “Obama quotes my bar mitzvah portion, which also happens to be this week’s reading: “Choose life, so that you and your children may live.” [Twitter]

Jewish House Reps. on U.S. delegation included Jan Schakowsky, Sander Levin, Eliot Engel, Jerrold Nadler, Susan Davis, Steve Israel, Adam Schiff, Steve Cohen, Ted Deutch, David Cicilline, Suzanne Bonamici Alan Lowenthal and Lee Zeldin. Administration officials include Susan Rice, Rob Malley, Ben Rhodes, Frank Lowenstein and Yael Lempert. Former ME envoy Martin Indyk and Chicago attorney Alan Solow also joined the president on the trip. [WhiteHouse

List of U.S. Jewish leaders: Malcolm Hoenlein (Conference of Presidents), Robert Cohen (AIPAC), Barbara Goldstein (Hadassah), Jonathan Greenblatt (ADL), Rabbi Rick Jacobs (URJ), Jerry Silverman (JFNA), Rabbi Chaim Wasserman (Young Israel), Rabbi Steven Wernick (USCJ) and Ronald Lauder (WJC). Also in Israel: Sheldon Adelson [Pic] Haim Saban [Pic

Prior to departing Ben Gurion airport, President Obama took a picture with the Israeli police units that escorted him [Pic]

REPLAY: C-SPAN will air the funeral service at 11:00am EST [Link

SCENE LAST NIGHT – Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and Rhoda Dermer hosted a Rosh Hashana reception at their Maryland residence. “Tomorrow will be only the sixth time that an American flag will be flown at half-staff following the death of a foreign leader,” Dermer said, speaking hours before the funeral of Shimon Peres. “President Peres is, in fact, the only person of that group who was neither a prisoner nor a saint. Not a prisoner, not a saint, but definitely a leader.” Dermer also recalled his last meeting with Peres six weeks ago. “He had invited me to meet with him in his apartment in Tel Aviv. He was as alert and dynamic as I had seen him in years. He asked me if I wanted to join him in a glass of wine. I looked at my watch. It was 11am. But I figured, when in Rome…. (laughter) Frankly, had he offered me a triple-scotch, I would have gladly said yes.” [Transcript]

SPOTTED: Wolf Blitzer, former Congressman Henry Waxman & Janet Kessler, former Sen. Norm Coleman, Sam and Danielle Feist, Irene Beren Jefferson & Jake Sherman, Josh Rogin, Eli Lake, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, William & Heidi Krizer Daroff, Nathan Diament, Clara Scheinmann, AIPAC’s Ester Kurz, Yarden Golan, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Aaron Keyak, Steve Rabinowitz, Noah Pollak, Matt Nosanchuk, Jonathan Fluger, David Milstein, Dan Arbell, Michael D. Epstein, Louis & Manette Mayberg, Steve Rakitt, David Makovsky, Michael Makovsky, Rob Satloff, Cliff May, Yossi Raskas, Doron Gorshein, Ron Kampeas, Nathan Guttman, Dan Mariaschin, Sarah Abonyi, Molly Rosen.

SCENE YESTERDAY IN JERUSALEM – Bill Clinton met with PM Netanyahu for dinner at his Jerusalem residence. The two leaders held “a warm and cordial meeting,” according to a statement by the PMO. Before signing the guestbook at the Prime Minister’s residence, Clinton told Netanyahu, “Of all the things that have been tweeted out (about Peres), yours is my favorite.” [Twitter; Politico]  

“Cuomo Cancels Israel Trip, Issues Citation Honoring Life of ‘Great Fan’ of NY” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Cuomo cancelled his trip moments before takeoff at JFK to deal with a horrific NJ Transit train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey… Gov. Cuomo issued a citation honoring the life of Peres and his legacy. “Home to more than 1.7 million Jews – the largest Jewish community outside of Israel in the world – New York has always had a special relationship with Israel, and President Peres served as a tremendous ally in promoting and strengthening this bond,” the citation reads. [JewishInsider]

Peres recalled a recent conversation with Putin in an interview to Tablet Magazine, his final print interview: “I am very good friends with Putin. And I shall give you, in brief, the content of one of our recent discussions. I told him, “You’re 63 years old, I’m 93 years old. Tell me, what do you want to achieve in the coming 30 years? What are you fighting for? Are you hoping to piss off America?”

He says, “No.”

“America wants a piece of Russia? No. You have trouble discussing things with Obama?”

He says, “Why do you ask?”

I said, “Look, I am not a spy, whatever, tell me.”

He says, “What do you think?”

And I said, “America will win no matter what you do.”

“Why?” he asked.

“Because they are lucky, and you are not.”

The second thing I told him was: “America has the best proportion between the size of the land and the size of the people. You here have the worst. 20 million square kilometers. My god. But what you don’t have are people. Your people are dying. Don’t be impressed by the applause and what people are saying. They won’t forgive you. Why do Russians live for only 62 years, while Americans will live 82 years? And then I told him: “You behave like a Tsar.”” [Tablet]

Jeffrey Goldberg on the day after Peres: “Peres could not deliver Israel to the Promised Land. Netanyahu still can… The seat is Netanyahu’s, if he wants it. But for him to want it, he must try to look at the world as Peres saw it, as a place not universally and immutably hostile to Jewish national existence. And he must shed himself of at least some of his paralyzing pessimism. Despite it all, Peres chose to live as an optimist. It is not too late for Netanyahu to do the same.” [TheAtlantic

“Focusing on Unity, Hillary Clinton Wishes U.S. Jews ‘Shanah Tovah’” by Jacob Kornbluh:“I will always – as I always have – stand up for Israel’s security, continue to work toward peace, and to try to do everything possible to protect Israel from the unwarranted and unfair efforts to delegitimize it,” Clinton said in a pre-High Holidays conference call with Jewish community leaders. “We must continue to work together because we are strong together to keep the unbreakable bonds between the American and Israeli people,” Clinton said, echoing her campaign slogan ‘Stronger Together’.  The Democratic nominee promised to “model that” approach to unity and “work to achieve that as president.” Adding, “I try my best to live up to the responsibility described by the prophet Micah to ‘Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with [y]our God?’ (Micah 6:8).” Clinton concluded by wishing the Jewish community “the very happiest and healthiest of new years” and pronounced correctly “Shanah Tovah.” [JewishInsider

“Clinton and Netanyahu’s share a common cause: love of the musical ‘Hamilton’” by Juliet Eilperin: “We reminisced. We talked about his visit to see ‘Hamilton,’ something that I have just relished. Three times I have now seen it.” [WashPost

— Mike Huckabee writes on Facebook: “I have to assume this was before the show began, when they had yet to receive what must be their first-ever history lesson about a young nation dealing with a threat from those who would deny its very right to exist.” [Facebook]

QUITE THE REPORT: “Benjamin Netanyahu goes incognito at ‘Sleep No More’” by Ian Mohr: “Spies said Bibi attended the interactive show, where guests wear masks, the night after he saw “Hamilton.” “Netanyahu was seen running around ‘Sleep No More’ with a frantic energy,” said an exuberant theater spy, who added that the Israeli leader was “diverting his security detail as he got caught up in the show . . . and becoming an anonymous audience member behind the [show’s] signature mask.” He was later “found by his guards at the rooftop bar Gallow Green late in the evening,” the source said. Also in the masked crowd anonymously was Adele, who “remained largely incognito,” said a witness.”[PageSix]

HEARD YESTERDAY – Hillary Clinton at  a rally in Des Moines, Iowa at the debate the other night, one of my well-known supporters, Mark Cuban, was there in the front row. And he really, I think, unsettled my opponent. But I’ll tell you, Mark Cuban’s a real billionaire who actually uses profit-sharing, and not only while the business is ongoing, but one thing I really appreciate: first business he sold, he shared the profits with all of his employees.” • Related: Mark Cuban discusses the debate [PageSix]

U.S. Signed Secret Document to Lift U.N. Sanctions on Iranian Banks” by Jay Solomon and Carol Lee: “The Obama administration agreed to back the lifting of United Nations sanctions on two Iranian state banks blacklisted for financing Iran’s ballistic-missile program on the same day in January that Tehran released four American citizens from prison. The U.N. sanctions on the two banks weren’t initially to be lifted until 2023, under a landmark nuclear agreement. Administration critics and some congressional officials said they believed the move broke the commitments the administration made to Congress about the deal.” [WSJ]

“Kerry says U.S. more engaged in world affairs than ever in history” by Louis Nelson: “Kerry defended perhaps the Obama administration’s highest-profile diplomatic effort, the multi-lateral nuclear deal reached with Iran. He said that agreement is holding and that Iran “is living up to their requirements.” The deal has proven “measurable and accountable, transparent,” Kerry said. He added that Iran has complained that the U.S. has not met its end of the agreement when it comes to improving access to the world’s financial markets, even though Kerry said the U.S. has met its obligations.” [Politico]

**Good Friday Morning and Shanah Tovah! 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: “Shari Redstone Makes Her Next Big Move” by Emily Jane Fox: “Just weeks after Shari Redstone ascended to the peak of influence within her family’s media kingdom, she is angling for a big strategic shift that will mark her newly seized territory. National Amusement, the Redstones’ $40 billion holding company, published a letter that it sent to the boards of the two companies it controls—CBS Corp. and Viacom—asking them to consider a potential combination of the companies.” [VanityFair]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Meet the 90-Year-Old Holocaust Survivor Who Fought Off a Purse Snatcher” by Danielle Tcholakian: “A registered Democrat, Zuckerman said that while “90 is a very good age,” she is looking forward to turning 91 next month — “if I live another three weeks” — and voting in the election for “Ms. Clinton,” she said. She’s “very excited” to vote possibly for the first female president, she said, but is also really not a fan of Donald Trump. “I don’t like the things he says,” she said. “I don’t like rude men. Enough rude men.” [DNAInfo]“Joseph Harmatz, Who Led Jewish Plot to Kill Germans After World War II, Dies at 91” by Sam Roberts: “Mr. Harmatz, who died at 91 on Sept. 22 at his home in Tel Aviv, never publicly expressed remorse for his role in either conspiracy. But later on, his son Ronel said on Tuesday, he did acknowledge privately that he was grateful that the mass water-poisoning plot was abandoned after one of his collaborators was arrested. “He did admit that it is good that this plan did not happen,” the younger Mr. Harmatz said in a telephone interview. “He knew at the back of his heart that it would have damaged” the prospects for a state of Israel, then being advocated, “and that they would have compared the Jews to the German people.” [NYTimes]

“Israel’s national martial art was originally developed to beat up Nazis in street brawls” by Blake Stilwell: “When the streets of his neighborhood became increasingly violent, Lichtenfeld decided to teach a group of his Jewish neighbors some self-defense moves. It came in the form of a technique that would help them protect themselves while attacking their opponent – a method that showed no mercy for those trying to kill the Chosen People. Young Imi taught his friends what would later be called “Krav Maga.” After Israel won its independence, Lichtenfeld gave his now-perfected martial art of Krav Maga to the IDF and became the Israeli Army’s chief hand-to-hand combat instructor.” [BI]

COMING SOON: “Larry King, Brett Ratner to Get American Jewish Historical Society Honors” by Chris Gardner: “The American Jewish Historical Society — known as the oldest ethnic, cultural archive in the United States — has singled out a high-profile pair of Hollywood names to honor at its AJHS Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award Dinner on Dec. 1 at New York’s Roosevelt Hotel. TV legend Larry King will take home the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award, and filmmaker Brett Ratner will receive the org’s inaugural Visionary Leadership Award.” [HollywoodReporter]

LongRead: “Why Linguists are Fascinated by the American Jewish Accent” by Dan Nosowitz: “These Jews, as well as those that followed—Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Rodney Dangerfield, George Burns, Don Rickles—had a major role in defining for the country and the world how American Jews spoke. These are, it’s important to note, almost all American-born men, whose first language was English. But the pull of Yiddish, which their parents and communities spoke, and New York City, where they grew up, colored their speech patterns in very distinctive ways. Jews are, predictably, much more likely to use Yiddish or Hebrew words in their everyday speech than non-Jews, though there are plenty of those words which have simply made their way out of the community and into standard English.”[AtlasObscura]

“Judaism was trending this year — among non-Jews” by Josefin Dolsten: “During a visit to Brooklyn’s Borough Park in April, the Ohio governor made sure to give a group of Orthodox Jews his interpretation of the Bible. In a conversation that came off as somewhat condescending, Kasich asked a group of yeshiva students, who likely spend their days studying Jewish texts, whether they had ever read about Joseph. He also said that Abraham trumps Moses, whom many Jews consider to be the most important biblical figure. Kasich seemed confident in his argument, but we’re not so sure he convinced the Jews.” [JTA

“The Other Side Of The BDS Debate” by Gary Rosenblatt: ““Are you concerned that BDS has galvanized Zionists here and in Israel and throughout world Jewry against you?” a leader of a national Jewish organization asked. “We are going to kick your ass,” “Avi” responded slowly and firmly. “You’ll lose by demonizing me and many other young Jews. My friends know I’m not a self-hating Jew or anti-Israel, I’m expressing Jewish values [about human rights and against oppression].” Critics of BDS “look afraid and dumb” in trying to marginalize sincere Jewish young people, he added. One after another, the establishment Jewish voices in the room struggled to make their case against BDS, only to be met by Avi’s pointed counter-arguments.” [JewishWeek]

TRANSITION — Rob Eshman emails… “I am really happy to let you all know that Associate Editor Ryan Smith will be stepping up to the role of Managing Editor of the Jewish Journal, starting October 1. Ryan has been with the Journal six years, and has demonstrated the keen editorial eye, outstanding organizational skills and a passion for our work that will make him a superb editorial leader.”

BIRTHDAYS: Former Prime Minister of Israel (2006 to 2009) serving many terms in the Knesset including in various cabinet portfolios, former Mayor of Jerusalem (1993-2003), Ehud Olmert turns 71… Sanford Kadish… Yossi Raskas… Andrew Weinstein… Alex Fullman… Chief Program Officer of the Union for Reform Judaism, Mark J. Pelavin… Israeli billionaire, entrepreneur and philanthropist, with interests in shipping, drilling and mining, Idan Ofer turns 61… Lisa Robbins… Diana Epstein… Allison Kaplan Sommer… Fran Drescher… NPR’s Ari Shapiro (h/t Playbook)…

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