Sep
22

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Daily Kickoff: Bibi invites Obama to play golf in Caesarea | Profiles: Jason Pomeranc; Rebecca Kantar | Tom Brady — Middle East Peace Negotiator?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graham: “No, not yet.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gratuity not included. We love receiving news tips but we also gladly accept tax deductible tips. 100% of your donation will go directly towards improving Jewish Insider. Thanks! [PayPal]
Sep
21

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Daily Kickoff: Obama to discuss settlement activity with Bibi today in NYC | Inside look at how politicians beg for big checks | OurCrowd raises $72M

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TOP TALKER: “Sheldon Adelson Focuses on Congressional Races, Despite Donald Trump’s Pleas” by Nicholas Confessore and Maggie Haberman: “Everyone reached out to him. He promised $100 million,” said Ed Rollins, an adviser to Great America, one of several outside groups supporting Mr. Trump. “At this point in time, he’s like everyone else. Now he’s going to be a player, just not to the same extent.” Mr. Adelson could easily afford to spend more for Mr. Trump in the weeks ahead. But he is rapidly running out of time to have an effect on the race, and even his contributions to Republican congressional efforts are coming late in the game, when the price of advertising is climbing drastically and there are fewer undecided voters to persuade.”

“Democratic groups, meanwhile, are enjoying almost unmatched success in persuading rich donors and unions to pour money into super PACs. Through the start of September, according to Federal Election Commission filings, the lead pro-Clinton group, Priorities USA Action, has raised $13 million from S. Donald Sussman, a wealthy financier, and another $9.5 million from the retired hedge fund billionaireGeorge Soros. S. Daniel Abraham, the billionaire founder of SlimFast, has contributed $9 million to the group. The entertainment executive Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl, have contributed $10 million to the group, according to federal records.” [NYTimes; WashPost]

“GOP Super PAC to Take Aim at Battleground States” by Brody Mullins, Monica Langleyand Rebecca Ballhaus: “Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, an observant Jew, has been in frequent contact with the casino magnate, who has a keen interest in U.S.-Israeli relations… Mr. Adelson wanted to ensure his money was spent on a candidate with a shot at victory, the people familiar with his thinking said. For much of the summer, Mr. Trump trailed significantly behind Mrs. Clinton in polling… In recent weeks, Mrs. Clinton’s lead has shrunk in several polls.” [WSJAP]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “Obama urges Israel end occupation and Palestinians accept Israel” by Jeff Mason: “U.S. officials have held out the possibility Obama could lay out the rough outlines of a deal – “parameters” in diplomatic parlance – after the Nov. 8 presidential election and before he leaves office in January, but many analysts doubt this would have much effect. “Surely Israelis and Palestinians will be better off if Palestinians reject incitement and recognize the legitimacy of Israel …(and if) Israel recognizes that it cannot permanently occupy and settle Palestinian land,” Obama said.” [Reuters]

Obama on Iran: “When Iran agrees to accept constraints on its nuclear program that enhances global security and enhances Iran’s ability to work with other nations. On the other hand, when North Korea tests a bomb that endangers all of us. And any country that breaks this basic bargain must face consequences.”

DRIVING THE DAY: President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet at the Lotte New York Palace Hotel at 1:00PM.

“Obama, Netanyahu meeting a capstone to years of testy ties” by Josh Lederman: “We’ve been concerned about continued settlement activity, the potential viability of a Palestinian state in the face of that settlement activity. We’ve raised those directly with the Israeli government,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, said Tuesday. “I’m sure President Obama will do so tomorrow as well.”[AP]

David Horovitz on Netanyahu’s last meeting with Obama: “While Obama will soon be preparing for life as an ex-president, Netanyahu will walk away from their New York meeting still charged with the responsibility of protecting his country for the foreseeable future. Whoever comes next, will be just fine, I think Netanyahu may say to himself when he bids farewell to the president.” [TimesofIsrael]

Aaron David Miller tells us: “The question is: is this going to be a good meeting or a bad meeting, and that’s driven, usually, by two sets of circumstances. Politics on the Israeli side and how much there is to argue about. And I would argue that that unlike many of their meetings and the harmony between them over the last eight years, it is more likely than not to be a good meeting. And that’s driven by several factors. On the Israeli side, there’s no question that the prime minister has no stake in devaluing Obama or the meeting. In large part, because he also needs to justify and make the most of what he has accomplished with the administration.

And on the president’s end, between now and November, in my judgment, Barack Obama has one overriding imperative and that is doing everything he possibly can to facilitate the election of a Democratic successor. And with 50 days to go – in what promises to be a close election – why would the president want to have a bad meeting with the Israeli prime minister. The consequences of that are going to reflect negatively on his own relationship with Netanyahu; it’s going to pose a difficult choice for Hillary Clinton because she is either going to be forced to back him or speak out against it, neither of which, frankly, is a good option for her. And it’s going to give the Republicans a number of talking points to use against Hillary, who Trump believes is an extension of Obama, to begin with.”

“For Israel, Obama’s most important speech is the one he has yet to give” by Barak Ravid:“That is why the pro-Israel lobby AIPAC has worked hard over the past few weeks, apparently at the urging of Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, to recruit senators from both parties to sign a letter to Obama on this issue. Of the 100 senators, 88 ultimately signed the letter. To achieve this impressive number of signatories, it was necessary to make the letter’s wording sufficiently vague.” [Haaretz]

“88 Senators Signed AIPAC’s New Pro-Israel Letter. Here’s Why Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse Didn’t” by Yair Rosenberg: “Both Rubio and Cruz have close ties with GOP megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who has been funding a right-wing competitor to the bipartisan AIPAC, the Israeli American Council. Whether their absence from AIPAC’s latest initiative reflects a turn towards other more hawkish pro-Israel outlets will be worth watching.” [Tablet]

“GOP Senators Propose Legislation to Overturn Parts of New MOU” by Jacob Kornbluh: “Congress is not going to sit on the sidelines,” Graham said in a press conference on Capitol Hill. “How do you feel about the idea that a president would knock you out of the business of doing your job, going around the Congress, trying to get a president of a foreign government to collude so you don’t have the power of the purse? To the president, if you don’t like this bill, veto it,” the South Carolina Senator said defiantly. “To a senator, if you think this is too much, vote against it.” [JewishInsider;Reuters]

Jamie Lovegrove: “Graham asks Israel to tell him if they don’t need the aid because then he’ll withdraw $1.5B bill, but otherwise advises them to take it.” [Twitter]

“Barack and Bibi—Goodbye to All That?” By Dana Allin and Steven Simon: “Giuliani claimed at the Republican convention that Netanyahu and other government ministers favored Trump. Our sources say the Israeli security cabinet is divided but on the whole views Clinton as the safer course… In an increasingly violent Middle East, it behooves both countries to reconsecrate a relationship based on a shared moral and strategic vision. As a matter of moral temperament and strategic vision, Hillary Clinton would appear far more likely to make this happen.” [PoliticoMagazine]

“Trump blasts Clinton Initiative for Palestinian teacher w/ terror tie” by Geoff Earle: “Hanan al-Hroub’s husband, Omar al-Hroub, was convicted in aiding a terror attack in the West Bank city of Hebron that killed Israelis in 1980 as an accomplice who provided chemicals used in making the bomb, the Wall Street Journal reported. ‘[Yesterday’s] report that the Clinton Foundation is feting the wife of a Palestinian man convicted of helping bomb innocent Israeli citizens is deeply disturbing, especially in the wake of this weekend’s attacks,” said Trump campaign spokesman Jason Alexander in a statement.”[DailyMail; WSJ]

YESTERDAY IN NYC: Sisi meets Jewish leaders, praises Israeli cooperation in war on terror in Sinai[JPost• Ukranian President met with representatives of Jewish organizations in New York [UAGov]

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

“Scott Walker Leaks Reveal Internal Workings Of A Broken Campaign Finance System” by Paul Blumenthal: “He flew to New York City and met with Donald Trump, who gave him $15,000 (and later lied about how much he donated). He solicited money from Adelson, the Koch brothers, TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts, coal baron Joseph Craft, former Ambassador Mel Sembler, Morgan Stanley’s John Mack, Steve Forbes, hedge fund billionaire Louis Bacon, Stanley Herzog, Harlan Crow.”[HuffPost]

— “On another trip, Walker was reminded before meeting with Carl Icahn that the New York investor’s “net worth is $14 billion, making him the 21st richest American and 61st richest man in the world.””[WashPost]

“Lindsey Graham’s Mind-Expanding Pot Journey” by James Higdon: “Graham was introduced to the problem of Dr. Reefer by Miriam Adelson, a medical doctor and an addiction researcher who is also the wife of billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson… A lawmaker looking for clarity on this issue isn’t likely to get much help from the Adelsons, who have taken seemingly contradictory positions on medical marijuana. The Dr. Miriam and Sheldon G. Adelson Medical Research Foundation studies medical marijuana in its facility in Tel Aviv, but just two years ago, in 2014, Sheldon Adelson, one of the most prolific donors to conservative causes, gave the anti-medical marijuana campaign in Florida $5.5 million.”[PoliticoMagazine]

**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**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Israel’s OurCrowd Raises $72 Million to Boost Crowdfunding Deals [Bloomberg] • Less exciting than Beyonce’s album, but maybe more rewarding, Lemonade launches new insurance plans [TechCrunch] • Millennials point to Mark Zuckerberg as their business role model [Mashable] • Galbut wants to trade land with Miami Beach for taller development heights [RealDeal• Jared Kushner may testify in Bridgegate trial [RealDeal] • An exclusive social network backed by Wall St. billionaires is opening up to the public [Yahoo]

STARTUP NATION: “Israeli tech company opens U.S. headquarters in Hunt Valley, plans to expand” by Jonathan Munshaw: “The Tel Aviv-based company currently has more than 15 employees now at its U.S. headquarters, located in Hunt Valley’s Executive Plaza. As part of the move, Nayax plans to add additional employees, according to the Maryland Department of Commerce… Nayax works with vending companies and outfits their machines with the necessary hardware, software, SIM cards and monitoring solutions to allow the machines to accept credit card payments.” [BizJournals]

“Israel defense sector faces big hit after new U.S. aid agreement” by Steven Scheer: “Israel has about 700 defense-related firms, most of them with only 50 to 150 employees. They mainly act as subcontractors to Israel’s four largest defense companies — Elbit Systems, Israel Aerospace Industries, Israel Military Industries and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. None of the companies asked by Reuters to discuss the aid package were willing to speak on the record, mentioning concerns about future business. But several executives, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that as a result of the deal they were already considering contingency plans. One option would be for larger firms to open subsidiaries in the United States, like Elbit has done, to compensate for the loss of business. They might also acquire smaller U.S. firms. As one executive put it: “This should be translated into an opportunity for the Israeli industry, which should penetrate new markets and improve their competitive ability.” Adding the company where he works would “accelerate the process” of searching for a U.S. company to buy.” [Reuters]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Region Is Wary but Remains Resolute” by Sophia Hollander:“Elisheva Adler, 20, said she made sure she was in a train car with a conductor when she came in on the Long Island Rail Road to Touro College in Manhattan. “I didn’t want to be in an empty car by myself,” said Ms. Adler, who said she wasn’t listening to music so she could stay aware of what is happening around her. “I think it’s important to be more alert.” [WSJ]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Brexit prompts some Jewish Britons to reconcile with German roots” by Tina Bellon: “Neuberger is among a significant number of Jewish Britons whose dismay over Brexit has led them to invoke a German law allowing people stripped of German citizenship by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945, and their descendants, to have it restored. “It was Brexit that tipped me off, but now in my mid-60s I feel like I’ve made my peace with Germany and this step will only take me closer,” said Neuberger, whose mother left Germany for Britain in 1937 to escape Nazi persecution of the Jews.”[Reuters]

“Ex-roommate of Facebook founder becomes rabbi in Israel” by Daniella Cheslow: “Arie Hasit finally achieved his dream this month when, after years studying Jewish texts and passing a final exam, he was ordained at the Schechter Rabbinical Seminary in Jerusalem. For the last decade, the 33-year-old native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, has faced constant questions from peers and strangers about his life path and whether he missed an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of a company that has grown into a $360 billion behemoth. Hasit admitted to occasionally wondering what might have been had he joined the tiny startup that Zuckerberg and three other suitemates were working on.” [AP]

SPORTS BLINK: “Missing From Israel’s Baseball Team: Israelis” by Yaron Weitzman:This Thursday, 28 ballplayers will step onto Brooklyn’s MCU Park baseball diamond wearing blue-and-white uniforms with “Israel” written across the chest, as they compete against Great Britain in the first round of the qualifying tournament of the World Baseball Classic, the sport’s equivalent to the World Cup. But of those 28 Team Israel players only two are Israeli citizens and both are pitchers: 37-year-old Shlomo Lipetz, and Dean Kremer, a 20-year-old Israel-American, minor leaguer for the Dodgers who was first Israeli ever drafted.” [TabletMag]

DESSERT: “Classic Rosh Hashana Desserts Get a Professional Upgrade” by Joan Nathan: “After graduating from Yale, Mr. Levin went into finance but soon switched from peddling stocks to paddling pastry crust at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. Then, after joining Michael White’s Altamarea Group  — he is the executive pastry chef at Osteria Morini in Washington — he started reinventing the pastries of his childhood. In an article in 1958, Mr. Claiborne praised Mrs. Nadich, who died in 2008, for her honey cake and her teiglach, boiled knots of dough soaked in honey. “My grandmother’s honey cake was a staple at every Rosh Hashana meal,” Mr. Levin said.” [NYTimes]

BIRTHDAYS: Montreal native, singer, songwriter, poet and novelist, member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Leonard Cohen turns 82… One of the highest grssing Hollywood box office producers of all time, plus the producer of many commercially succesful TV shows, Jerry Bruckheimer turns 73… Legal scholar whose White House position followed his 27 years at University of Chicago Law School and preceded his current post as professor at Harvard Law School, Cass Sunstein turns 62… One-half the reknowned film-making team of the Coen Brothers, Ethan Jesse Coen turns 59… Attorney, author, conservative talk show host and president of the Landmark Legal Foundation, Mark R. Levin turns 59… Emmy Award-winning talk show host, actress and producer, Ricki Lake turns 48… Assistant Director at TAMID Group, Nathan GilsonScott Frankel of iCenter (h/t Dan Smith)… Mia Appelbaum… SVP at polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research, Anna Greenberg Ph.D….

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Daily Kickoff: Adelson to give GOP groups $45M | Rabbi Meir Soloveichik’s Kaddish for GOP | Interview with Tzipi Livni | ADL in Silicon Valley

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TOP TALKER: “Adelson to spend at least $45 million on 2016 races in boost for GOP” by Theodore Schleifer: “The billionaire on Tuesday will disclose having given $20 million to the Senate Leadership Fund, a super PAC linked to George W. Bush hand Karl Rove and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. A check of a similar size is expected to go to the Congressional Leadership Fund, a similar super PAC focused on the House of Representatives. And to back Trump, a donation of at least $5 million is likely headed to the political operation helmed by the Ricketts family, who are expected to finally spend their fortunes on Trump as well.” [CNN; WashPost]

“After opposing Trump in the primaries, Joe Ricketts will give at least $1 million to support him” by Matea Gold: “TD Ameritrade founder J. Joe Ricketts intends to give at least $1 million to a super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, a dramatic reversal from the GOP primaries, when he and his wife were top financial backers of an effort to prevent the real estate developer’s nomination.” [WashPost; WSJ]

HEARD LAST WEEK: “Mitt Romney’s former adviser roasted by party bigs” by Ian Mohr:“Dan Senor — former senior foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney — was roasted at the Plaza by a power group including Romney, House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senor’s anchor wife Campbell Brown and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, (who beamed in via video from Jerusalem as a surprise). John Podhoretz emceed the Commentary Magazine event in front of 600 including Dan Loeb, Paul Singer, Boaz Weinstein, Bill Kristol and Rich Lowry. Rabbi Meir Soloveichik told the audience he was searching for the appropriate Jewish prayer for the current state of the Republican party… then proceeded to recite the “Mourner’s Kaddish.”” [NYPost]

DRIVING THE CONVERSATION: “88 Senators Urge Obama to Veto UN Resolutions on Israeli-Palestinian Conflict” by Jacob Kornbluh: “The letter, initiated by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Mike Rounds (R-SD), and also signed by Democratic vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, cites Obama’s 2011 General Assembly address in which he said, “Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations… Even well-intentioned initiatives at the United Nations risk locking the parties into positions that will make it more difficult to return to the negotiating table and make the compromises necessary for peace.” [JewishInsider; Haaretz]

Sen. Marco Rubio emails: “The fact that U.S. Senators must plead with an American president to not abandon Israel at the United Nations is a disturbing sign of how much the Obama Administration has undermined our alliance with Israel.  I join my colleagues in hoping President Obama does not break from our country’s longstanding tradition of supporting Israel at the U.N., but I reject any notion that Israel is at fault in the current impasse with the Palestinians.”

“Some Israelis see $38 billion U.S. military aid offer as a failure” by William Booth and Ruth Eglash: “Leaders in the Israeli defense establishment said the deal should have ushered in a new era of cooperation, but did not… The Israeli media also has piled on, some focused on whether Netanyahu could have, should have, gotten more money if he hadn’t spent the past two years feuding with the White House over the Iran nuclear deal… Many ordinary Israelis say the United States owes Israel something for exposing it to what Netanyahu has repeatedly called the “existential threat” of a nuclear Iran. They stress that Israel is on the front line against Islamist terrorism and worth at least a couple of U.S. aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean Sea. So the United States, they say, should consider itself lucky.” [WashPost]

JI’s Jacob Kornbluh asked Tzipi Livni, who is in New York, if she thinks that Netanyahu’s public feud with the administration over the Iran deal weakened his hand in negotiations on the MOU. “I said it in real time,” Livni, a former justice minister in Netanyahu’s government, said. “His speech in Congress behind the back of the president was a mistake. I believe that we can have differences with the U.S., and even myself as a [former] foreign minister. I usually disagreed on certain issues. But it should be in closed rooms, not in public and not in the way Netanyahu behaved. I believe Israel could have been in a better situation without the speech.”

KAFE KNESSET — Bibi Departs To NYC — by Amir Tibon & Tal Shalev: Prime Minister Netanyahu took off this morning to NYC, where he will meet President Obama on Wednesday and speak before the UN General Assembly on Thursday. Before boarding his flight, Netanyahu told the traveling press he intends to “thank President Obama for the large and important aid package to Israel.” Netanyahu also said his UN speech will focus on the “global fight against terrorism” and the need for the international community to support Israel’s soldiers and police officers, who are at the front of this escalating fight.

Interesting to note: Netanyahu’s recently appointed media adviser, Ran Baratz, isn’t joining the Prime Minister on this visit. Baratz’s appointment created controversy last year when it was discovered that he had publicly accused President Obama of anti-Semitism, and also that he (jokingly) wrote on his Facebook page that Israel’s own President, Reuven Rivlin, should be sent into ISIS territory in Syria. Netanyahu insisted on appointing Baratz despite the criticism in Israel and abroad, but for this visit, he has taken along his spokesperson Boaz Stembler and English-media adviser, David Keyes, leaving Baratz behind in Israel.

Chemi Shalev on what to expect from the Obama-Netanyahu meeting: “Netanyahu preferred to conclude a deal with Obama so that it would bind the entire American political spectrum, including the more liberal wing of the Democratic Party. Although Netanyahu continues to justify and defend his confrontation with Obama over the Iran deal as well as his controversial speech to Congress in March 2015, he grudgingly admits that both damaged Israel’s standing with many Democrats, especially those who admire Obama more than Clinton. The New York meeting is a good opportunity to make amends.”[Haaretz; Newsweek] • Akiva Eldar: Netanyahu-Obama meeting a show for home audiences [Al-Monitor

Heard at “United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) 2016 Iran Risk Summit” at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York — Joe Lieberman on why most Democrats supported the Iran deal: “I was strongly opposed to the agreement… Having been in the Senate for the first term of Obama, outside since, but talking to colleagues, the president got more involved personally in the advocacy before Congress on behalf of the Iran nuclear agreement than he did on any other issue. He was personally and directly involved in appealing to Democrats to stick with him.”

Lieberman’s advice to the presidential candidates: “Aggressively oversee the deal. Don’t give anybody, particularly the regime in Tehran, the feeling that the U.S. is closing its eyes on any violations of the agreement. Also, to aggressively enforce the considerable non-nuclear sanctions that remain against Iran. And it sounds like both candidates for presidents may have that in mind. We will see. My reaction to questions about the campaign this year, I end up chuckling for some reason. I don’t know what that is.”

Tzipi Livni on the first anniversary of the Iran deal: “The deal postponed the doomsday. This is something we should acknowledge. But the situation is still the same. We are facing an Iran with the same ideology, with an aspiration for nuclear weapons, and we need to address it. I am not the one saying they could never change. I truly hope that Iran will change. But hope is not a working assumption. We cannot afford it. It’s a dangerous word in a tough neighborhood. We need to address reality and the reality is that while the nuclear program was postponed, it still remains a threat that we should acknowledge. And it’s wrong to have this state sponsor of terror be embraced by the international community just because they have agreed not to advance their nuclear program right now. Israel is not the only state that is being threatened by Iran… For so many years, I heard more about the Iranian threat in Arabic than I had heard about it in Hebrew. Stopping Iran from continuing to sponsor regional terrorism should not be done as a favor to Israel or even to the moderate Arab countries. It is the world’s own interest.”

SCENE YESTERDAY IN NYC: New York City Public Advocate Tish James, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Reps. Jerry Nadler and Eliot Engel, Consul General Dani Dayan, Assemblyman David Weprin, Councilman David Greenfield, and State Senator Simcha Felder expressed solidarity with the families of fallen soldiers Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul and the two Israeli citizens currently being held captive by Hamas in Gaza. Dr. Leah Goldin, the mother of Hadar Goldin who was killed by Hamas in the summer of 2014 during a UN- mediated ceasefire, recounted “Two years ago yesterday was supposed to be his wedding date. A wedding that never took place.” At the press conference outside the UN HQ, the lawmakers announced their sponsorship of a resolution condemning Hamas in local, state, and federal legislative bodies.

“Trump, Clinton blasted for meeting Egypt’s strongman leader” by Nahal Toosi: On Monday, a small group of scholars and activists with a focus on Egypt, including some who identify has conservatives, released a letter they had written to both presidential candidates urging them not to meet with Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The letter, dated Friday, states: “Your meeting with Sisi at the UNGA will be taken in Egypt, and around the world, as an endorsement…” The signatories were: Michele Dunne of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Robert Kagan of the Brookings Institution; Elliott Abrams of the Council on Foreign Relations; Reuel Gerecht of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies; Neil Hicks of Human Rights First; and Stephen McInerney of Project on Middle East Democracy.” [Politico]• Readout of Trump’s meeting with el-Sisi last night [Twitter]

“Why This Neocon Spy Chief Is Advising Team Trump” by Eli Lake: “There is also a fourth group this election cycle, those who will actually take the plunge for the candidate promising the kind of reset with Putin that neocons opposed when Hillary Clinton tried it in 2009 and 2010. These include Norman Podhoretz, John’s father, who recently said Trump would be better than Clinton and Dick Cheney… And now this group also includes James Woolsey, Bill Clinton’s first director of central intelligence. In an interview Monday, Woolsey told me that he did not technically endorse Trump. “I agreed to advise the candidate,” he told me… He added that Trump “has a kind of shtick and sometimes people say he shouldn’t have said this or that, but look back, he beat his 16 opponents.” [Bloomberg]

Did Sid Blumenthal really push birtherism?” by Blake Hounshell:“Blumenthal swiftly denied pushing any birther rumors. And [former McClatchy editor James] Asher, when pressed for more detail, was less definitive in an email to POLITICO. “Blumenthal visited the Washington Bureau of McClatchy, where he and I met in my office. During that conversation and in subsequent communications, we discussed a number of matters related to Obama. He encouraged McClatchy to do stories related to Obama and his connections to Kenya. On the birther issue, I recall my conversation with Blumenthal clearly,” Asher said, but acknowledged having “nothing in writing memorializing that conversation.” “This story is false,” Blumenthal reiterated in an email. “I never spoke to Mr. Asher about this. Period.”[Politico]

“Ivanka Trump now has Secret Service protection” by Eliza Collins: “Ivanka Trump has begun to receive Secret Service protection as of Monday morning. The Secret Service confirmed that Trump’s eldest daughter — who is also one of his most trusted advisers — will be receiving the protection.” [USAToday• Ivanka Trump meets with Paul Ryan in New York [Politico]

“Trump campaign in Israel enlists ‘thousands’ of right-wingers to get out the vote” by Judy Maltz: “In a statement issued on Monday, the Trump campaign team in Israel claimed that “thousands” of Israelis had in the past three days paid a fee of 33 shekels ($8.75) in order to register as “Friends of the Republican Party in Israel.” According to Tzvika Brot, director of the Trump campaign in Israel, “about 70 percent” of the non-American volunteers who have signed up in recent days identify with the right-wing parties in Israel. “There are many right-wing organizations that are now cooperating with us in the campaign,” he told Haaretz. He stressed, however, that they included “none of the crazy ones.””[Haaretz]

— “The 80-year-old, whose sunny villa in a Jewish settlement was lined with religious tomes, described himself to reporters as “a big Trump supporter” who watches “a lot of Fox News.” He pronounced Trump “good for America and good for Israel.” [WashPost]

“Trump’s Israel ground game” by Katie Glueck: “In some ways, the Trump organizing efforts are more extensive in the West Bank of Israel than in West Palm Beach, Fla.” [Politico]

“Meet Joel Sollender, the Jewish Prisoner of the Nazis Taking it to Trump in Hillary’s Latest Ad” by Yair Rosenberg: “Sollender, who will soon turn 92, lives in California and has been speaking out against Trump and his candidacy for over a year, which is how the Clinton campaign found him. “I was very pleased that they contacted me and that I had a chance to voice my opinion,” he told me. Sollender worked for two hours with the film crew to produce the spot… For reference, he pointed to Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel, It Can’t Happen Here, which chronicles the rise of a fascist demagogue to the presidency of the United States. “There are indications that it could happen here,” he said, “and I’ll do whatever I can to stop it.” [Tablet]

TRUMP THE MUSICAL: “Joe Scarborough Has Big Dreams (Including ‘Trump: The Musical’)” by Jason Zengerle: “And now, as we sat in his office at 30 Rock, I wondered what he had to reveal: A damning voice mail from the Donald? A clandestine recording about the nation’s 47 percent? Scarborough had me on tenterhooks. Finally, he gave me his scoop. “I’m working on a musical,” he said. “It’s Trump: The Musical.” … He pressed “play,” the music swelled, and soon a male voice, the titular character, was belting in my ears: ‘…Beloved by Hispanics and Jews, I’m huge…'” [GQ]

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

SPOTLIGHT: “George Soros to invest $500 million in help for refugees” by Nyshka Chandran: “Billionaire investor George Soros pledged on Tuesday to invest up to $500 million in programs and companies benefiting migrants and refugees fleeing life-threatening situations. The Open Society Foundations (OSF), a non-profit organization owned by Soros, will be in charge of the funds, the statement said.” [WashPost] • “Donald Trump Jr. inadvertently encourages America to scoop up refugees by the handful” [TheFix]

**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 is bringing its ‘WeLive’ communal living concept to Seattle [GeekWire• Disney Taps Bruce Rosenblum for Business Post at TV Unit [WSJ• Carl Icahn slashes Chesapeake Energy stake [CNBC]

STARTUP NATION: “Meet The Man Helping Transform Startup Nation Into Scale-Up Nation” by Eyal Bino: “Born in the U.S., Fuld moved to Israel when he was 15 years old, about 22 years ago. He started his career writing “boring documents” for Comverse, one of the first giant Israeli tech companies which developed and marketed telecommunications software. “One day when I got bored at my job, I decided to start blogging”, he states. Over time, he realized that creating good content and being friendly to startup founders is a unique skill in the competitive and somewhat transactional Israeli culture. In a place where tech founders are excellent at coding and building products but weak at marketing, Fuld became a sounding board for entrepreneurs looking for someone to bounce ideas off of or simply, to get free advice.” [Forbes]

“Anti-Defamation League Boosting Presence In Silicon Valley” by Rosie Gray: “The move comes after significant trolling, particularly on Twitter, of Jewish journalists and other public figures, amounting to a wave of anti-Semitic expression not seen in the American conversation for decades — and as tech companies struggle to reckon with their role in regulating abusive speech. “As a leading civil rights advocacy organization, ADL was early to recognize the burgeoning issue of cyberhate and how extremists were exploiting online platforms to spread antisemitism and target Jews as well as other minorities,” said Brittan Heller, who will become the group’s first Director of Technology and Society, in a statement.”[BuzzFeed]

“U.S. embassy accidentally sends settlement wine as Jewish new year gift ” by Luke Baker:“Ahead of the Jewish new year next month, the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv sent gift baskets to a number of Israeli organizations, as it does every year. Among the recipients was Peace Now, a group opposed to Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. There was only one problem – among the gifts in the basket was a bottle of wine made in an Israeli settlement.  An embassy official confirmed the baskets had been sent out, saying they were purchased from a vendor who put together the contents, which were not checked before distribution. “This should in no way be interpreted as a change of our policy on settlements, which is long-standing and clear,” the official said… The wine in the basket was from Mishor Adumim, a settlement east of Jerusalem. It was a kosher cabernet sauvignon from the Zion Winery, according to another recipient. [Reuters] • Flashback: “Israeli Embassy Trolls White House, Exclusively Gifts Settlement Goods” [HuffPost]

LongRead: “I Used to Be a Human Being: An endless bombardment of news and gossip and images has rendered us manic information addicts” by Andrew Sullivan: “That Judeo-Christian tradition recognized a critical distinction — and tension — between noise and silence, between getting through the day and getting a grip on one’s whole life. The Sabbath — the Jewish institution co-opted by Christianity — was a collective imposition of relative silence, a moment of calm to reflect on our lives under the light of eternity. It helped define much of Western public life once a week for centuries — only to dissipate, with scarcely a passing regret, into the commercial cacophony of the past couple of decades. It reflected a now-battered belief that a sustained spiritual life is simply unfeasible for most mortals without these refuges from noise and work to buffer us and remind us who we really are. But just as modern street lighting has slowly blotted the stars from the visible skies, so too have cars and planes and factories and flickering digital screens combined to rob us of a silence that was previously regarded as integral to the health of the human imagination.” [NYMag]

AIRING TONIGHT: “They risked their lives to rescue scores of people from the Nazis. Few knew their story until now” by Nick Anderson: ““Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War,” airingTuesday evening on PBS, portrays the courage and sacrifice of an ordinary couple caught in extraordinary times. The story takes place more than 75 years ago, but the questions it poses seem timely now.”[WashPost]

“Dolls snatched from Jewish sisters during Holocaust preserved by three generations of French family” by David Chazan: “A family in the village looked after their dolls for three generations and kept alive the story of how the two girls were lined up in the snow with their parents, grandparents and other members of the Jewish community. Frederique Gilles, a teacher from Gemeaux whose grandmother preserved the dolls, presented them to the Holocaust museum in Paris last week.”[NationalPost]

BIRTHDAYS: Billionaire, businessman, engineer, inventor, philanthropist, co-founder of Broadcom and owner of the Anaheim Ducks, Henry Samueli turns 62… Long-time SVP at Booz-Allen after a career than included two White House staff positions, former CEO of Special Olympics International, Bruce Pasternack turns 69… Civil rights attorney, author and legal analyst on The Today Show, NBC Nightly News and MSNBC, Lisa Bloom turns 55… After a 40 year career at the New York Times, he founded The Hill and then helped to launch Politico, journalist and author Martin Tolchin turns 88… Bloomberg LP’s legal reporter, Drew Singer… Founder of PFAP Consulting and representing ZOA on the Young Professionals Board at the Presidents Conference of Major Jewish Organizations, Melissa Jane Kronfeld, PhD… OneTable’s Zoe Plotsky

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