DAY 8: “A week of raids and arrests, but no hard lead to the kidnappers” by Avi Issacharoff:“The terrorist group that was able to kidnap the three Israeli teens from the Alon Shvut hitchhiking stop last Thursday will likely go down in the annals of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Israeli intelligence forces as one of the most dangerous and sophisticated cells to have been active in the West Bank in recent years.“To disappear for more than a week with the entire Israeli army and intelligence force in hot pursuit is no easy task. Clearly, much thought and many resources were dedicated to it. Which begs the question: could it be that all this was a local initiative by a local Hamas cell acting of its own accord? Or was it a case of a few terrorists who instigated an attack under explicit orders from the political leadership of Hamas or, alternatively, its senior military leadership?” [ToI]
SCENE LAST NIGHT: The Jewish Labor Committee held its annual Human Rights Award dinner at the Sheraton in NYC. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Reverend Al Sharpton addressed the dinner honoring AFSCME President Lee Saunders and Teamsters Vice President George Miranda. Former congressman Anthony Weiner was spotted in attendance. Rev. Sharpton quote: “Jews died for us and African Americans died for Jews. Now we have to live together, just like we died together.” Gov. O’Malley later addressed a closed meeting of the Anti Defamation League (ADL) at the Grand Hyatt.
—In DC, Foundation for Ethnic Understanding Congressional Reception commemorating the 50th anniversary of the murder of Goodman, Chaney and Goodman and the 25 anniversary of the FFEU-coordinated by The Friedlander Group. Reps Attended: Ted Deutch, Jerrold Nadler, Steve Israel, Chaka Fattah, Alan Grayson, Yvette Clarke, Henry Waxman, James Clyburn, Sheila Jackson Lee, Eleanor Norton, Grace Meng, Bill Foster, Emanuel Cleaver, Jan Shakowski.
2016 WATCH: Free Advice For Candidates – If You Want Money From Sheldon, Read This: “Let’s Deal With Reality and Pass Immigration Reform” by Sheldon G. Adelson in Politico Magazine: “As a Republican, it’s my view that efforts to complete immigration reform should be led by our party. Some on the outer fringes of the GOP may disagree, but the truth is we are humans first and partisans second. Frankly, the Democrats don’t have a monopoly on having hearts.” [PoliticoMag]
—AMERICANS NOT SURE HOW JEWISH PERRY IS: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) recently informed the world that he is “more Jewish than people think he is.” A new HuffPost/YouGov poll (1,000 U.S. adults sample) shows that 60 percent of Americans are “not sure” how Jewish Rick Perry is… 22 percent said that he is “not at all” Jewish, 7 percent said he is “not very” Jewish, 7 percent think he’s “somewhat” Jewish. Three percent of Americans said they truly believe he’s “very” Jewish. [HuffPost]
AP: French Jews Leave For Israel In Increasing Numbers: “Increasing numbers of French Jews are leaving for Israel, citing dim economic prospects and a sense of being caught between an increasingly influential far right and militant Islam. More than 5,000 are on track to leave this year, the most since after the Six-Day War in 1967. Israel, seeing the influx as a success, is doubling down on its efforts to attract Europeans, planning to dedicate $29 million over two years to bring in new immigrants.” [AP]
—A new anti-Semitism rising in France: “In a country where Jewish leaders are decrying the worst climate of anti-Semitism in decades, Dieudonné, a longtime comedian and erstwhile politician whose attacks on Jews have grown progressively worse, is a sign of the times. French authorities issued an effective ban on his latest show in January for inciting hate. So he reworked the material to get back on stage, cutting, for instance, one joke lamenting the lack of modern-day gas chambers…. Dieudonné, Jewish leaders say, is a symptom of a larger problem. Here and across the region, they are talking of the rise of a “new anti-Semitism” based on the convergence of four main factors. They cite classic scapegoating amid hard economic times, the growing strength of far-right nationalists, a deteriorating relationship between black Europeans and Jews, and, importantly, increasing tensions with Europe’s surging Muslim population.” [WashPost]
@JeffreyGoldberg Tweets: “One day, U.S. Jewish organizations might have to hold fundraisers to rescue French Jewry.”
GoldBlog Is Back – Jeffrey Goldberg Moves Back To The Atlantic Full-Time: “The New Map of the Middle East” [TheAtlanticMag]
Alan Gross, Jailed in Cuba, Unlikely to be Freed for Mother’s Funeral: “Bethesda resident Alan Gross, imprisoned in Cuba since 2009, is unlikely to be allowed to return to the United States for his mother’s funeral… Alan Gross called his mother regularly from prison, the AP reports, and he had previously asked to visit his ill mother before she died. Gross promised to return to prison in Cuba if he were allowed to visit his mother, but Cuban officials refused…. Since his detainment, Gross has lost more than 110 pounds, according to his lawyer. He is kept in a small cell with the lights on at all times with two other prisoners for 23 hours a day.” [Patch] — Conference of Presidents mourns the death of Gross’s mother [PressRelease]
Peres to meet Esther Pollard ahead of final official U.S. visit: “President Shimon Peres will meet with Esther Pollard, wife of jailed American-Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, on Sunday ahead of his final trip to the United States as president… The meeting with Esther Pollard, slated for Sunday at 10:45 a.m., will include MKs Nachman Shai (Labor) and Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), chairs of the Knesset Caucus to Free Jonathan Pollard.” [ToI]
SLIPDIP – Rangel Compares Tea Party To Hamas Terrorists: Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-NY) on Thursday compared the Tea party to the Hamas terrorist group, held responsible for the killing of Israelis and the abduction of the three Israeli teenagers last Thursday. In an interview with Zev Brenner, Rangel suggested that the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party is equivalent to the Hamas terror group as part of the newly created Palestinian unity government. Rangel discussed the recent abduction of the three teenagers and the role Hamas played in the kidnapping while sitting as a legitimate partner in the Palestinian government.
—Transcript: “We know that these victims these kids are being held by people that have no moral standards… the question is how do we handle these types of people who don’t mind dying. They hate so much that they don’t mind dying themselves. And you have to admit this complex to have someone to think that attacking human beings and innocent by missiles, and destroying the lives of children that they are going to get some reward after they die. That’s worse than the tea Party’s thinking… I am just saying that is a cult type of thinking-it’s a poor analogy when you talk about terrorism-but when you talk about not recognizing the United States as a nation, not recognizing the president, trying to repeal bills that are already law and sticking to the principles of the civil war, you know these are people that you cannot talk rationally to and the president can’t.. And at some point, if the Palestinians come to the table and say they can’t control the people in the backroom, the same way Republicans say they can’t control the Tea Party — the Republican Party would no longer exist because they can’t control the Tea Party — and the Palestinian Authority… if they believe in this partnership with terrorists.. then they cannot come to the table.. You cannot talk to a person who says their primary goal is to have you extinguished. There is no conversation there.” [JP updates] Listen to audio [YouTube]
—Rangel’s rival in the June 24 primary Adrian Espaillat‘s surrogate, NY State Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz commented: “Comparing a vicious terrorist organization responsible for the murder of innocent civilians, including children, to the Tea Party is offensive to the families of Hamas’ victims and to all Americans and Israelis.. I find the Tea Party beneath contempt and disagree with their extremist policies on every issue, but it is reckless to put them in the same category as Hamas. I am surprised that the Congressman would make such a senseless statement.. This comparison minimizes the magnitude of the evil acts of Hamas and should be retracted.”
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MAZAL TOV: Unroll.me founder Josh Rosenwald got engaged last night. BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Local billionaire Phillip Frost to step down as Teva chairman” [BizJournal] — Leviev Confident About Finance for $1.9 Billion Namibian Project [Bloomberg] — Manhattan’s 530 Fifth Ave. Building Sold for $595 Million to Joe Sitt [Bloomberg] — Inside the real estate world of Menachem Stark’s Brooklyn [RealDeal] — Haim Saban, Univision owners trying to sell their stakes, but so far, nada [LATimes] — Community Accuses Extell of ‘Economic Segregation’ in LES [Curbed]TALK OF THE TOWN: Hamptons Eruv Passes Key Legal Hurdle: “A federal judge has removed a major legal roadblock to the construction of a controversial Eruv religious boundary in Long Island’s tony East End. U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tomlinson ruled that religious boundary markers, or “lechis,” may be placed on telephone poles in Westhampton Beach to create an Eruv, a religious legal enclosure which allows Orthodox Jews to carry items on Shabbat. The ruling is part of an ongoing legal battle between three Hamptons municipalities, Westhampton Beach, Quogue, and Southampton, which have sought to prevent the Eruv from being built, and the East End Eruv Association, a local group of Orthodox Jews... Robert Sugarman, who serves as the pro Bono attorney for the East End Eruv Association, called the ruling “significant” but said his group’s legal battles against the Long Island towns is not yet over… Sugarman said the group has no plans to build an Eruv in Westhampton Beach until the judge has ruled on whether the Eruv’s erection would violate the establishment clause of the Constitution, which provides for the separation of church and state.” [Forward]
MAZAL TOV: After losing Ayelet, Galenas find joy with new baby, thanks to NIH breakthrough: “Even before their daughter, Ayelet Galena, was diagnosed with a rare bone marrow disease called dyskeratosis congenita around her first birthday, parents Hindy Poupko and Seth Galena knew they wanted to have more children…. Over the course of the next year or so, Galena and Poupko didn’t have much time to think about other kids. They were busy tending to Ayelet, whose struggle they decided to document on a blog, Eye on Ayelet. It quickly gained a following in the thousands. While her kidneys failed her, Ayelet became an Internet sensation. Galena dubbed the phenomenon Ayelet Nation… When Ayelet died on Jan. 31, 2012, less than two months after her second birthday, thousands of people from around the world who had never met the little Orthodox Jewish girl shared in her parents’ grief…. This month, good news finally arrived in the Galena-Poupko household: The couple had a new baby, a healthy boy born two weeks ago. On Sunday at his bris, they named him Akiva Max Galena.” [JTA]
HAPPENING TODAY: Tent Journalism – Encouters With Jewish Coulture: A week long seminar, June 20-27, for a new generation of reporters, critics, and editors at Tablet Magazine in New York City. At Tent: Journalism, led by Leil Leibovitz, participants will: Learn how online innovation can encourage old-school long-form writing; Discover the history of the Jewish press; Attend writing and reporting workshops with Tablet editor Wayne Hoffman and senior writer Liel Leibovitz; Have a drink with leading journalists and editors; Take a guided tour through archives of Yiddish newspapers at YIVO; and Taste the best from Monsey Cholent Trail. [TentSite]
Edwin Black: Nita Lowey’s Leadership Moment: “America grants the Palestinian Authority about $500 million annually… Newspapers have been filled with headlines recently about how Congress is preparing to defund the Palestinian Authority because various federal laws make continued cash infusions under present conditions illegal, and because further money would be antithetical to America’s pro-peace and anti-terrorism policy… While many of the names of House and Senate leaders have been bandied about, most Congressional sources arguably agree that the most important lawmaker is Rep. Nita Lowey, the ranking Democrat from Westchester County, New York. Lowey sits on both the full Appropriations Committee and the key subcommittee governing State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs. Foreign assistance begins and dies in this subcommittee…. The Obama administration, however, has signaled it is ready to continue funding the new Hamas-infused Palestinian Authority… Therefore, all eyes now fall on Lowey. For her, this is a leadership moment. Will she break with her party and the administration?” [TheHill]
Noah Pollack: “Hillary’s Evenhandedness Means Blaming Israel for Failed Peace Talks”:“Why hasn’t the Obama Administration been able to reach a peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians? Reading Hillary Clinton’s new memoir, Hard Choices, you’d think the blame should be apportioned about equally between the two parties, with a little falling on the administration as well. It’s nice to be evenhanded—to downplay differences, to be charitable and high-minded, to preserve future options. But it also can be wrong, especially when doing so implicitly casts opprobrium on someone undeserving of blame.” [TabletMag]
BOOK REVIEW: ‘A Time to Attack’ by Matthew Kroenig: “Logically and relentlessly, Mr. Kroenigmoves to the conclusion that if the U.S. is serious about stopping Iran from getting a bomb, it will have to strike. Only four sites—Fordow, a second enrichment facility at Natanz, a uranium-conversion facility at Isfahan, and a heavy-water reactor at Arak—need to be destroyed to set the program back decades, if not longer. Mr. Kroenig readily admits that there will be costs for preventive military action. Tehran will likely respond with terrorism, directly or through proxies. But Mr. Kroenig contends that those costs are much lower than allowing Iran to go nuclear. Whether or not he’s right, we will soon find out.” [WSJ] — “As Iran deal deadline looms, diplomats worried gaps remain” by Laura Rozen [AlMonitor] — Iran Convicts 2 Men Of Spying For Britain, Israel [AP] — U.S. denies any agreement allowing Sri Lanka to import Iran crude via third parties [Reuters]
SPORTS BLINK: Cleveland Cavaliers offer head-coaching job to Maccabi Tel Aviv’s David Blatt: “The Cleveland Cavaliers have offered their head-coaching job to longtime European coach David Blatt and the two sides are in contract talks, sources confirmed to ESPN on Thursday. Blatt met with Cavs officials and team owner Dan Gilbert over the past two days and was offered the job on Thursday night.” [ESPN]
That’s all folks, have a great Friday!
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