Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer: “At the White House today, I expressed my appreciation to President Obama for his strong support of Israel’s right to defend itself.” [Twitter]
TV ROUNDS — “Imagine you hear a siren go off in Washington and NY” – Dermer on CNN’s OutFront: “We had rockets fired at Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, that’s our Washington and New York. Imagine the situation where you would hear a siren go off in NY and in DC and everyone would have to run into bomb shelters. That’s what happened today in Israel... Hamas militants deliberately target our civilians. They fire at our civilians, they also hide behind civilians…using them as human shields…and we go to great lengths to keep them out of harm’s way. We send text messages to them. We make clear where we’re going to hit, and hopefully these people are not in any area next to a missile. I have seen myself how many times Israel decides not to do an operation because civilians are going to come into harm’s way.” [CNN] — “All options are on the table” – Bennett on Fox News: ““We are going to do everything to defend our cities, our schools, from the hundreds of missiles that Hamas, a radical Islamic organization, is shooting at our people. We’re at the forefront of the free world, fighting radical Islamist groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda, [and] Iran, and we’re going to do everything to protect our people… We know that we’re defending the free world, and we’re very clear about bringing back security to our people.” [YouTube]
— Related: Dermer calls out the NYT for misleading, shoddy and questionable reporting re Gaza and deaths of teens [BuzzFeed]
HAPPENING TODAY: The July 9th Symposium: 10 Years and Counting… Assessing 10 Years Since the Unjust Advisory Opinion by the International Court of Justice on the Construction of Israel’s Terrorism Prevention Security Fence: Keynote Remarks by Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer. Special Presentation from Irwin Cotler, former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada. Panel Discussions include… Israel at the United Nations; Legal Implications of the Attempts to Label Israel as an Apartheid, Racist, Criminal State; Countering The Boycott of Israel; and Victims: Rights and Remedies. 10AM at the U.S. Capital Visitor Center.
—Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will convene the Palestinian leadership at 3:30 P.M. on Wednesday at his bureau, during which he expected to sign the necessary documents for joining international organizations. [Haaretz]
TOP-OPS: Arsen Ostrovsky – “Where is the outrage over the bombardment of civilians in Israel?” [Telegraph] — Elliot Abrams: “BDS in West, integration in Middle East? [IsraelHayom] — James Kirchick: “Why We Need to Spy on the Germans”: “We’re right to spy on a country with close ties to Russia and Iran.” [DailyBeast] — WSJ Editorial: How Iran Fuels Terror In The Middle East [WSJ]
Iran’s Supreme Leader Calls For More Nuclear Enrichment Capacity: “Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Iran would need to significantly increase its uranium enrichment capacity, highlighting a gap in positions between Tehran and world powers as they hold talks aimed at clinching a nuclear accord.” [Reuters] — Hezbollah Profits From Hash as Syria Goes to Pot [DailyBeast]
Israeli Chief Rabbis Yosef, Lau to meet Putin in Moscow: “Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef and former Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday. The Rabbis will attend a special ceremony marking the anniversary of the release of Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, the Grand Rabbi of the Chabad hasidic sect, from Soviet prison.”[JPost]
2016 WATCH: Sen. Rand Paul Sidesteps Israel in Foreign Aid Discussion — “Hamas potentially receives US taxpayer dollars”: Paul stated in an interview on Tuesday’s broadcast of the “Michael Medved Show” that the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas has potentially received U.S. taxpayer dollars. Paul argued that foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority should be withheld until Hamas “renounces violence, recognizes Israel, recognizes the previous peace treaties.” Paul further pointed to reports that the Authority’s unity government is designed “to try to evade our rules on foreign aid.” [DefenseNews]
**Good Wednesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share 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 [email protected]**
Congrats to Unroll.Me on passing 1 million users & a Business Insider article – “This Startup Has Saved Its Users Billions Of Minutes By Cleaning Up Their Email Inboxes”: “The idea for Unroll.Me actually arose when cofounders Jojo Hedaya and Josh Rosenwald were emailing back and forth, trying to come up with different projects they could work on together. The two met while studying in Yeshiva in Israel… “We were the only two people with international BlackBerries,” Hedaya told Business Insider. Hedaya and Rosenwald worked together on another startup that created online sports content, but after it failed, they were emailing back and forth trying to come up with their next big project. “We were emailing back and forth ideas, and [Rosenwald] would never answer my emails,” Hedaya said. “His excuse was that they were getting caught in the millions of newsletters he had.” A lightbulb went off, and the two immediately got working on creating a solution for inbox overload.”[BusinessInsider]
Unintended Consequences Risk $4.4 Billion Israeli Flight: “Israel risks losing 15 billion shekels ($4.4 billion) from the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange because of efforts to limit control of the economy by the country’s wealthiest families… About 20 families control half of Israel’s publicly traded companies, among the highest concentrations in the developed world.” [Bloomberg]
Billionaire Holocaust Survivor David Azrieli Passes Away: “David Azrieli, the billionaire owner of the Azrieli Group which manages dozens of malls throughout Israel, passed away on Wednesday in Canada at the age of 92. The businessman, architect and philanthropist was born in 1922 in Poland, and managed to escape the genocidal Nazi war machine at the age of 17. In 1942, Azrieli arrived in Israel and began to study architecture at the Technion, before leaving his studies in the War of Independence to take up arms and defend the fledgling Jewish state. He only finished his degree in the 1990s, after having constructed numerous buildings and malls in Israel and abroad.
—“Azrieli Group has numerous investments in Israel, building the country’s first shopping malls and Tel Aviv’s landmark Azrieli Centre, a complex of office towers and shopping areas. The Azrieli Group’s Malkha Mall in Jerusalem is considered to be the largest in the Middle East. He is survived by his wife Stephanie and four children; his daughter Dana is expected to take her father’s position in the Azrieli Group, which manages 13 malls in various locations in Israel.” [INS] — Gil Troy: “David Azrieli, Israel’s Master-Builder” [ToI]
REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: Kushner’s Most Aggressive Moves Yet On The Lower East Side [RealDeal] — Malkin Family Asks Judge To Dismiss Lawsuit Over Reit Spurred By Bids From Developers Rubin Schron, Joe Sitt, Reuven Kahane, & Andrew Penson [RealtyToday] — Chetrit Sells Midtown Building For $41.4M [Crain’s] — Condo Developer Ben Shaoul Snaps Up Two Rental Towers For $270M [NYPost] — Ben Ashkenazy to purchase Washington Heights building for $40M [RealDeal]
SPORTS BLINK: Arab football fans turn to Israel TV for World Cup: “With the World Cup in faraway Brazil coming at a time of unprecedented sectarian violence and soaring tension in the Middle East, some Arab football fans have been reduced to watching matches in secret or even — and this is where it gets complicated — on a TV channel owned by Israel. Israel welcomed viewers in neighboring countries, saying it was part of the Jewish state’s diplomatic outreach to the Arab World. Ofir Gendelman, a spokesman for the Arabic Media in the Israeli Prime Minister’s office, posted on his official Facebook page a dictionary of Hebrew soccer terms translated into Arabic. “Reactions were mixed, but a lot of people appreciated the gesture,” Gendelman said. “I do find it fascinating that millions of Arab viewers are now watching the World Cup on Israeli TV while learning soccer terminology in Hebrew.”” [AP] Photo caption: Israeli praying for the never-arrived Brazil comeback [Flickr]
LONGREAD: “The True Story of Maine’s Potato King — My Great-Grandfather’s Rise and Fall” by The Forward’s Josh Nathan-Kazis [Forward]
DESSERT: BAGEL CITY — BuzzFeed Food editors gathered bagels from 14 top-rated bagel shops all over Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens. The judges included, among others, former Congressman Anthony Weiner and Ben Smith, editor in chief of BuzzFeed. “Generally speaking, the state of the bagel union is strong,” Weiner said… The bagel that won — by a landslide — was Brooklyn Bagel and Coffee Company’s. “Zaftig,” wrote Smith about the bagel that would end up winning. (That means “juicily plump” in Yiddish.) “Great look,” wrote Weiner on his scorecard. [Josh Robin-BuzzFeed].
Kosher Cupcake Chain Crumbs To Close All 65 Locations: “Crumbs Bake Shop, a popular New York-based cupcake chain which opened in 2003, is shuttering its 65 stores across 12 states, the Associated Press reports. The company had been struggling financially in recent years, reporting a loss of $3.8 million in the early months of 2014.” [TabletMag]
Supper Club Goes Kosher: “In a candlelit penthouse in Brooklyn, 30 guests mill about with basil cocktails in hand. Handcrafted canapés are brought around on china trays, and the crowd samples tartare of mackerel and mushrooms stuffed with a white wine and herb mixture. The occasion: a dinner to launch the new kosher division of kitchensurfing.com. The company, founded in 2012 by techie/foodie Chris Muscarella, allows individuals to a book a personal chef for any number of engagements. “We’re bringing quality food to the people,” said Muscarella. “No more waiting, no more lines, no more middleman. You just have to show him the kitchen.” Kosher food is the company’s next frontier. The website’s homepage now features a small orange tab that reads, “Looking for Kosher?” In order to market the idea to New York Jews, Muscarella teamed with up with kosher chef Yuda Schlass.” [JewishWeek]
HAPPY BIRTHDAY to the Daily Beast’s Eli Lake who turns 42 today
That’s all folks, have a great Wednesday!
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