Daily Kickoff: Day 7 in search for kidnapped boys | ‘Heeb’ & ‘Redskin’ | Iran digs in | Study: Listing Religion On Resume Hurts – Unless You’re Jewish

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

SCENE LAST NIGHT: The Endowment for Middle East Truth held its 8th annual dinner last night at the Grand Hyatt in downtown D.C. The evening’s featured speakers were Dr. Charles Krauthammer, Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Krauthammer noted that while there are multiple narratives in the Middle East today, there is only one history and one set of facts…. Krauthammer compared middle east news analysis to watching the weather. “The evening news shows present the weather with a map of the entire United States and then five minutes later – when they move on to cover the middle east – Israel takes up the same screen space as the entire U.S… In reality, the Jordan River is like Rock Creek Park after a rainstorm… Mt Olives is a speed bump… And the Sea of Galilee is a pond that could easily disappear in Cape Cod. Your job is to tell Americans the reality and the truth.” (more…)

Daily Kickoff: Day 5 in search for kidnapped boys | Israel concerned about U.S. Iran cooperation | BuzzTorah: BuzzFeed for Jews | Lew to visit Israel

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

DAY 5: Netanyahu: It’s Going To Take Time: “We are here in the midst of a complex operation. We need to be prepared for the possibility that it may take time. This is a serious event and there will be serious consequences. We are working together in a considered, responsible and very determined manner.” Netanyahu urged the international community to decry the kidnapping: “I expect all responsible elements in the international community – some of whom rush to condemn us for any construction in this place or for enclosing a balcony in Gilo – to strongly condemn this reprehensible and deplorable act of abducting three youths.” After 5 days and without mentioning Hamas, the EU finally released a statement: “We condemn in the strongest terms the abduction of 3 Israeli students in the West Bank and call for their immediate release.” [Statement] (more…)

Daily Kickoff: Does Hillary have Christie’s ‘Occupation’ problem?; Bipartisan Senate Letter on PA GOV; Inside Story of (pending) Sterling Ballmer Deal

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

DRIVING THE DAYUPSET IN ISRAEL’S PRESIDENT ELECTION: Dovish Knesset member Meir Sheetrit surprised everyone this morning by surging to 2nd place in the first round of voting. Out of 117 qualified votes, frontrunner Reuven Rivlin came in first place with 44 votes, Sheetrit in second place with 31 votes and former Knesset speaker Dalia Itzik with 28 votes. The momentum has now shifted towards Sheetrit as the top two face each other in the second round. WATCH LIVE BROADCAST [Knesset Channel] (more…)

Daily Kickoff: The Jewish Angle of Ken Vogel’s ‘Big Money’ Book; Clinton writes about Alan Gross in memoir; BuzzFeed on U.S.-Hamas back channel talks

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

FIRST LOOK: Ken Vogel’s New Book – ‘Big Money; 2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp—on the trail of Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics’: “The main quote in Politico reporter Ken Vogel‘s new book is from Mark Hanna, an early political fundraiser who was famously quoted as saying: “There are two things that are important in politics. The first is money, and I can’t remember what the second one is.” Vogel’s theme throughout the book is “Forget the 1 Percent. Only a tiny elite really matter in big money politics.” It just so happens that the “tiny elite” includes a significant amount of Jewish donors on both sides of the aisle. Jeffrey Katzenberg, George Soros, and Haim Saban on the left. Sheldon Adelson, Paul Singer, and Steve Wynn on the right. (more…)

Daily Kickoff: Comparing Bergdahl to Shalit; Jewish U.S. Amb. LeVine’s Trend: Will.i.am in Israel; New Yorker – “What will be with Beny Steinmetz?”

By Jacob Kornbluh & JI Staff

TOP TALKER: Obama administration to work with new PA-Hamas unity government: In what some are calling a new low in the U.S. – Israeli relationship, the Obama administration said on Monday that it will maintain relations and financial aid to the Palestinian Authority, earning a rebuke from Israel. “Based on what we know now, we intend to work with this government, but will be watching closely to make sure it upholds the principles (honoring past agreements with Israel, renouncing violence and recognizing Israel) that President Abbas reiterated today,” DoS spokeswoman Jen Psaki said. (more…)