Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Day 50 of Gaza Conflict | A hate incident against Elon Gold | Bryan Goldberg’s Success | “Hillary & four Hasidic Jewish leaders”

DAY 50: “Israel and Hamas appear to have run out of ideas, but not bombs” by William Booth and Ruth Eglash: “After 49 days of war, the armies of Israel and Hamas appear to have run out of new ideas — but not bombs. They are now slugging it out in a lopsided war of attrition. As rumors fly that another cease-fire could be imminent, Hamas and Israel are groping for a diplomatic solution that could allow both to declare victory — or in the case of Hamas, at least avoid an obvious loss.”[WashPost] — “Poll finds huge fall in Netanyahu’s approval rating” [JPost]

DRIVING THE DAY: “Abbas Is Seen as Ready to Seek Pact on His Own” by Jodi Rudoren:“Mr. Abbas plans to present an initiative Tuesday to the Palestinian leadership that, several people close to him said, would bypass American-brokered negotiations with Israel that have failed for many years to produce a Palestinian state. Instead he will call for an international conference or United Nations resolution demanding a deadline to end Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory. As leverage, Mr. Abbas would finally join the International Criminal Court and other institutions where he has long threatened to pursue Israeli violations, these people said.” [NYTimes]

AP: “Gaza Attacks Triggers Israeli Exodus From Border” by Ian Deitch: “Hundreds of Israelis left their homes along the border with the Gaza Strip on Monday, reflecting growing frustration over the war with Hamas and the Palestinian mortar fire raining down on their communities. Tens of thousands of Israelis have fled the area in nearly two months of fighting, which has turned the communities into virtual ghost towns.” [AP]

HEY MARTHA! The News Ain’t All Bad: “Palestinians rescue settlers after West Bank attack” by Akiva Novick: “A Jewish family driving through a Palestinian village in the West Bank on Saturday night was pelted with rocks by the residents of the village. But after losing control of their car and flipping over, they were surprised to find that the passersby that came to offer them their help were also Palestinians… While the family was trapped in the car, Hadassah noticed Palestinian passersby walking towards them, and became afraid. But there was no reason to fear. The Palestinians, who noticed she was frightened, calmed her down: “Lady, don’t worry. We came to help you,” they told her. “I have a baby in the backseat, take her,” she told them… “I was afraid, but I know how to distinguish between terrorists and human beings, and these were human beings.” [YNet] — Sunday Review: “Peace Through Friendship” [NYTimes]

How the Qataris helped free a U.S. hostage in Syria: “An American media executive and a retired FBI agent turned to Qatar in a bid to free journalist Peter Theo Curtis. The country played a familiar role as a partner for indirect talks with Islamist groups.” [WashPost] — “Qatar’s Rise and America’s Tortured Middle East Policy” [TowerMag] — “Iran Airs TV Footage of Purported Israeli Drone” [AP]

HAPPENING TODAY: Polling the Iranian Street: A Look Inside the Prospects for Reform in Iran: “A Conversation with Ali Alfoneh, David Keyes, and Michael Ledeen. Moderated by Clifford D. May. 12PM at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies in DC.” [DD]

2016 WATCH: “Secrets of the Clinton Library” by Josh Gerstein: “The last-minute pardon of billionaire financier Marc Rich became one of the most infamous moments of Clinton’s presidency, sullying the president’s reputation as he walked out the door. Less well-known or remembered is the feeding frenzy of clemency applications that flowed into the White House in the weeks before Clinton left office. The list of individuals relaying pardon requests is a who’s who of prominent Democratic Party figures… Some of the soon-to-be-released papers appear to relate to cases tied to Hillary Clinton, like the commutations her husband granted to four Hasidic Jewish leaders from New Square, N.Y., a few months after they held a meeting with her as part of her Senate bid. A federal prosecutor investigated that clemency case and others but never filed charges.” [Politico]

—Haim Saban on Israel: “All I Can Do Is Share the Facts” by Tina Daunt: “Haim Saban, the unshakably pro-Israel media billionaire, says that Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, who have taken stridently anti-Israel positions, probably did so because they lack “facts.”… Does Saban think President Barack Obama, whose reelection he so strongly supported, is doing an adequate job in the Mideast? “It’s above my pay grade to suggest to leaders of the world how to deal with this, but they have to deal with it. The president was dealt a hand of cards that is impossible to play. I don’t know if anybody has the ability to strike with a magic wand and find a solution here, whether it’s ISIS or Hamas. And America doesn’t have the capacity to influence every crisis around the world. It isn’t realistic to expect that.”[HollywoodReporter]

Daily News: “Mayor de Blasio says New York must advocate for Israel because the nation doesn’t have ‘enough friends'” [NYDailyNews]

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STARTUP NATION: “JoyTunes, Now Free For Music Teachers And Students, On Its Big Strategy Shift” by David Zax: “Yuval Kaminka was faced with a difficult choice. The Israeli entrepreneur had built a successful music learning app called JoyTunes, and he found that it was particularly beloved by professional music teachers. In the span of months, “we saw a vibrant community of teachers revolving around the apps,” he says. All the metrics were growing: retention, engagement, number of student profiles per teacher, and so on. “All these figures really blew up. We saw it was really making a difference.”.. This might seem like the dream scenario: a core of users who love and pay for your service to support their professional aspirations. But as Kaminka began to talk to more teachers–not just his users, but the six teachers he employs on his own staff–he began to wonder about the wisdom of his pricing model.” [FastCompany] — WSJ On Uber’s Israel Launch [Digits] — “RyanAir wants to turn Israel into hub for low-cost flights” [Haaretz]

BUSINESS PROFILE: “The Bro Whisperer of Bustle: Bryan Goldberg’s site for women was doomed from the start. One year later, it’s hugely successful. What’s his secret?” by Amanda Hess: “Goldberg—who previously co-founded the sports site Bleacher Report, flooded it with content produced by unpaid community bloggers, then sold it for $200 million before his 30th birthday—had coyly teased the media venture in a series of articles on PandoDaily, writing that it was “going to make me rich(er)” and that “in two years, every young editor in New York will want to work for my company.” He launched Bustle in August 2013, bragging about the $6.5 million in funding he’d secured from investors and informing the women of the world what they’d been missing. “Isn’t it time for a women’s publication that puts world news and politics alongside beauty tips?”… The resounding response was “no.”

“One year out, Bustle is climbing the Quantcast ranks at an astonishing pace. In the past month, the site has attracted more than 15 million unique visitors, which puts its audience on par with Jezebel’s and lifts it above those of Hello Giggles, Oprah.com, and Refinery29, not to mention several general-interest legacy websites. Since his initial round of funding, Goldberg has raised $5 million more in capital and commands a staff of 30.” [Slate]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “The Mystery Woman Who Runs Our Economy” [PoliticoMag] — “Lloyd Blankfein is trying to beat Bloomberg’s geek squad” [NYPost]  

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Meet the investors behind NYC’s hottest real estate startups” [RealDeal] — “Suit against Jeffrey Soffer over helicopter accident dismissed” [MiamiHerald] — “Eliot Spitzer in talks for 2.8 acre Kedem Winery site in Williamsburg” [RealDeal] — “The Lightstone Group has spent more than $15 million on improvements to its tower at 1407 Broadway” [WSJ] — “Turning Brownstones Green: Invterview with Eitan Baron” [Forward]

HAMPTONS SCENE: “On Sunday, Michael Milken, Jonathan and Sheryl Sokoloff, Douglas Elliman Chairman Howard M. Lorber, Gym Source Chief Executive Richard Miller, MDC founder Miles Nadal, Bruce and Avis Richards, Aby Rosen, Kathleen Rice, Raymond Kelly, Lyor Cohen, Michael Fuchs, Leon and Leesa Wagner and around 600 others attended the Chabad of Southampton’s 13th annual dinner to celebrate what could be seen as the “Bar Mitzvah year” of the organization’s Jewish Center. The dinner took place at the Southampton home of Aela and Don Morgan to honor Irwin D. Simon, the founder of the natural-foods company Hain Celestial Group raising about $1 million for the Southampton Chabad. The center’s rabbi, Rafe Konikov, said that the event usually finds its way onto the late-summer calendar, before Labor Day, the start of school and the Jewish holidays. “It’s one of the last opportunities for people to see all of their friends together.”… Southampton “wasn’t a town known historically for its Jewish presence,” Mr. Bourkoff said, “but even people who don’t go to the synagogue want to support it.” [WSJ]

TOP-OPS: Bret Stephens: “The Neo-Neocons” [WSJ] — Rep. Steve Israel: “Showing support for Israel” [QueensCourier] — Jonathan S. Tobin: “Why AIPAC Matters and Its Critics Don’t” [Commentary] — Jeffrey Goldberg: “Europe’s Slow Surrender to Intolerance” [BV] — David Bernstein: “Leftists, Hamas, and Nazis” [WashPost] — Shmuley Boteach: “Russell Brand Doubles Down—Moves From Anti-Israel to Jewish Stereotypes” [Observer]

TOP TALKER: A hate incident against Elon Gold: “We were walking home in Los Angeles after a Friday night dinner at a friend’s house, dressed nicely for shabbat, easily identifiable as a Jewish family. We waited for a light to change on a corner of a major intersection when a black Mercedes SUV pulled up alongside us. Four middle eastern men in their 20’s were in the car. The one in the back rolled down his window and yelled, “Free Palestine!”… Then this Arab young man opened the car door, stepped onto the street and yelled at me, my wife and four young children: “I hope your children die! Just like you are killing children in Gaza!” We all stood silently in utter horror and fear. Then he got back in the Mercedes and they drove off. We were in a state of complete shock. My ten year old daughter immediately started crying and couldn’t stop. She kept yelling, “I’m scared.” My 5 year old daughter asked me why they want her to die? My other kids were too rattled to say anything.” [JewishJournal]

SPORTS BLINK: WSJ A1 – “How Steve Ballmer Became a Rookie Basketball Mogul” by Monica Langley” [WSJ] — “The NBA’s New Emperor” [JacobInMag]

That’s all folks, have a great Tuesday! 

**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email editor@jewishinsider.com**

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