Daily Kickoff: Day 12 in search for kidnapped boys | Primaries Today | Huckabee in Israel – Proposes Scarlett Johansson for U.S. Secretary of State
“Israel expressed concerns to U.S. over security failures in Iraq” by Michael Wilner & Herb Keinon for the JPost: “Privately, the Israeli government has deliberated over the implications of ISIS’ advancement as relevant to the security of Israel in the short-term and – in the long-term – to America’s ability to deliver on its security guarantees… Israel’s national security leadership watched as Iraqi security forces, trained over the course of five years by the US military, “literally left their shirts on the ground and fled” when faced with a fight, one such senior Israeli official told The Jerusalem Post… Bearing witness to the crisis from the sidelines, Israel “observed the effects of US-trained Arab forces in Iraq and, from that, has learned lessons on proposals for the Jordan Valley,” the official said.” [JPost] — ISIS threatens nuke attack on Israel: “He [Franklin Lamb] indicated that the information already has been handed over to members of Congress, some of whom are sharing it with the Israeli Embassy in Washington… “The current sense on Capitol Hill is reported to be that the Obama administration is not in the mood to share anything with Israel these days and certainly not with the Netanyahu regime which it loathes,” he said.”[WND]
Divestment vote by Presbyterian Church strains long ties with Jewish community: “Members of the Presbyterian and Jewish faiths have long been considered allies across the U.S. religious patchwork, forging bonds in local communities over shared viewpoints on many social issues… Now, some are warning that their alliance is on shaky ground after the Presbyterian Church narrowly voted in Detroit on Friday to divest in three businesses that supply products and technology used in the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories…. The move elicited wide-ranging responses from across the religious spectrum, with leaders from several national Jewish groups immediately denouncing the vote, while some interfaith leaders raised concerns about the long-term consequences of the decision.” [WashPost] — Shmuley Boteach No Holds Barred: “By condemning Israel, Presbyterians are condemning themselves” [Observer] — CNN Anchors Rip Presbyterian Official Over BDS Vote [YouTube]
Huckabee praised Sodastream’s representative actress Scarlett Johansson, who refused to submit to the pressure of the BDS movement to remove her support, for showing “more courage than all the State Department.” Quipped, “If I ever become president, maybe you’ll see Secretary of State Scarlett Johansson, I’m pretty sure she’ll be more attractive than the two we just had.” [Arutz 7]—Besides visiting the Knesset, Huckabee also briefly met the two chief rabbis, followed by a dinner reception at the Leonardo Plaza Hotel, which included, among others, Chagai Ben-Artzi (brother-in-law of Prime Minister Netanyahu), noted expert on US-Israeli relations Amb. (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, former MK Dr. Aryeh Eldad. Huckabee then visited the SodaStream factory.
PRIMARIES TODAY – Colorado, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Oklahoma, & Utah: What we’re watching: NY State Senator Lee Zeldin, 34, is being challenged by GOP establishment favorite George Demos, 37, for NY’s 1st congressional district. If Zeldin wins primary and beats Rep Tim Bishop in November, he’ll take over Eric Cantor‘s role as the Jewish Republican representative. In NY13, Rep Charlie Rangel is fighting for his political life against challenger Sen.Adriano Espaillat. 8% of the district is Jewish.
–“Death of the Jewish Left” – by Jay Michaelson: “For as long as contemporary American Jews can remember, our community has voted liberal, marched radical, and, to varying degrees, found ourselves on the left side of the political spectrum. But for those who favor this state of affairs, recent shifts in Jewish culture and identity offer reason to worry.” [Forward]
TOP-OP: Jeffrey Goldberg responds to Elliot Abrams: No, President Obama Did Not Break the Middle East: “The Middle East Obama inherited in early 2009 was literally at war—Israel and the Gaza-based Hamas were going at each other hard until nearly the day of Obama’s inauguration. Obama managed to extract himself from that one without breaking the Middle East.. In reference to a “contained” Iran, I would only note that Iran in 2009 was moving steadily toward nuclearization, and nothing that the Bush administration, in which Elliott served, had done seemed to be slowing Iran down. Flash forward to today—the Obama administration implemented a set of sanctions so punishing that it forced Iran into negotiations. Iran’s nuclear program is currently frozen. The Bush administration never managed to freeze Iran’s nuclear apparatus in place. I’m not optimistic about the prospects for success in these negotiations, but the president should get credit for leading a campaign that gave a negotiated solution to the nuclear question a fighting chance…”
–On Peace Process: “I’m sure Elliott remembers that in 2006, the Bush administration helped bring the terrorist group Hamas to power, by engineering elections that neither the Palestinian Authority nor Israel actually wanted. I’m sure he also remembers that President Bush failed utterly to bring about a peace treaty between Israel and the Palestinians. It seems a bit unfair to single-out Obama for failing at something presidents of both parties, for 40 years, have also failed to accomplish…” [The Atlantic]
CBS FP POLL: 58% disapprove of President Obama’s handling of foreign policy – the first time a majority has disapproved of his handling of this issue. Only 36% approve. 53% of Americans favor the U.S. working with Iran in a limited capacity to resolve the situation in Iraq. Republicans divide on this course of action (50-47), but 62% of Democrats favor. [CBS]
JEWISH MEDIA SUMMIT – ADL’s Abe Foxman: Global Anti-Semitism At Its Worst Level Since WWII: Anti-Defamation League head Abraham Foxman on Monday accused the UN of facilitating anti-Semitism. Speaking at the Jewish Media Summit in Jerusalem, Foxman said the overwhelming obsession with criticizing Israel inside the UN “gives legitimacy” to anti-Semitism. Criticism of Israel was legitimate, he said, but when critics single out Israel for obsessive criticism, rather than highlighting Israel among other targets, that skews into anti-Semitism… He was also suspicious of those who claimed not to hate Israel, but to hate Israel’s government. [TOI]
Law experts give Obama 10 reasons to free Pollard: “A group of leading American constitutional and criminal law scholars and practitioners wrote to US President Obama to urge that he commute American-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s sentence to time served… The letter, dated June 20, was signed by six professors from Harvard Law School, Obama’s alma mater: Alan M. Dershowitz, Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., Philip B. Heymann, Mary Ann Glendon, and Irwin Cotler (a Canadian law professor emeritus, former justice minister and attorney general of Canada, and a sometimes visiting professor at Harvard). [ToI]
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Adelson family donates $25 million to Ariel University: Ariel University announced on Monday that Dr. Miriam and Sheldon Adelson will donate $5 million to the institution to develop the School of Health Sciences. Adelson also pledged an additional $20 million to open a full medical science program, once it receives government approval. [Ynet]
That’s all folks, have a great Tuesday!