Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Arab Bank Found Guilty | Cantor Subpoenaed | Huckabee on Two States | J Street launches in New Hampshire – 2016 #FITN Ramifications?

TOP TWEET:  “Countries bombed: Obama 7, Bush 4” — @RyanLizza

#BREAKING: “Overnight, Amer Abu Aisha & Marwan Qawame – murderers of #EyalGiladNaftali – were killed in exchange of fire with IDF forces.” — @IDFSpokesperson

ARAB BANK FOUND GUILTY: “A federal jury on Monday found Arab Bank liable for knowingly supporting terrorism efforts connected to two dozen attacks in the Middle East, the first time a bank has ever been held liable in a civil suit under a broad antiterrorism statute. Arab Bank, a major Middle Eastern bank with $46 billion in assets, was accused of knowingly supporting specific terrorist acts in and around Israel during the second Palestinian uprising of the early 2000s.” [NYT]

CANTOR SUBPOENAED IN ISRAEL-CHINA TERROR FINANCE SUIT: ” According to Nitsana Darshan Leitner, the founder of Israel Law Center, “We allege that Netanyahu told Cantor that the Chinese are placing extreme pressure on Israel not to allow the agent to testify. Cantor pleaded with Netanyahu not to block the agent. Now that Netanyahu has decided the Mossad agent’s testimony would harm national security and blocked the agent from appearing, we are alleging that China obstructed justice and tortuously interfered with an agreement we had with the Israeli government and that Israel breached a formal promise to me that Israel would provide agents to testify against the Bank.” [NYO]

US INTERVENES OVER ISIS: Last night, the US and allies hit ISIS targets in Syria, as the debate over the proper military intervention and international action against ISIS continues. [NYT] • “It may be worth attacking ISIS because of the threat it poses to our allies in the Middle East. If unchecked, the group could destabilize not only Iraq and Syria, but potentially Jordan and Saudi Arabia too. But, for the most part, that’s not how this war is being sold. It’s being sold as a war to protect the United States homeland against a profound terrorist threat. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein recently said, “The threat ISIS poses cannot be overstated.” Her Republican colleague Jim Inhofe has claimed that ISIS is “rapidly developing a method of blowing up a major U.S. city” and that as a result, “We’re in the most dangerous position we’ve ever been in as a nation.” This time, the press needs to aggressively investigate whether that’s true. ” [Atlantic] • “New allegations are being traded in an increasingly nasty fight about who really handed over Steven Sotloff to ISIS—and whether the president’s plan for Syria makes any sense.” [Daily Beast]

HAPPENING TODAY : At 11:00 AM, Secretary Kerry will co-chair the Global Counterterrorism Task Force at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC. At 3:40 PM, he will meet with with Gulf State leaders to discuss international action against ISIS. The Secretary will meet with President Abbas at 6:00 PM. At 8:30 PM, Eric Schmidt, Jonathan Rosenberg, and Stephen Colbert will discuss discuss the new book ‘How Google Works—an insider’s look at Google’s unique culture, values and strategies’.

SCENE LAST NIGHT : Last night’s annual dinner for Commentary magazine was a boisterous affair and, according to attendees, “very very Jewish.” The evening featured a roast of Charles Krauthammer, who handled the affair with a comedic response “smoother and more humorous than all the others combined.” The event was attended by a slew of media favorites such as Elliott Abrams, Bill Crystal, Bret Stephens, and Bret Baier. • AJC LA leaders met with House Majority Leader Kevlin McCarthy to discuss Mideast & Israel’s security. [AJC] • “Several hundred protesters gathered outside the Met before the performance of Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro” for a noisy demonstration calling for the company to cancel its production of John Adams’s 1991 opera, “The Death of Klinghoffer,” which is to have its Met premiere next month. That opera depicts a 1985 cruise ship hijacking by members of the Palestine Liberation Front, and the killing of a disabled Jewish American passenger, Leon Klinghoffer.” [NYT]

TOP TALKER:   After noting names of children in Gaza who died during the recent conflict during a prayer service, Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum received backlash from many in her liberal New York synagogue who accused the rabbi of tacitly sympathizing with Hamas. Peter Beinart would probably say, as he has in an op-ed to America’s Rabbis: don’t become a B-rate Israel pundit: “The greatest threat to Jewish life in the United States is not the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It’s religious illiteracy.” The jury is still out on the matter, as a recent Pew ” survey, conducted the first week of September, showed 49% of those polled said they support churches and other houses of worship expressing views on political and social questions—up from 40% in 2012. That still leaves the nation divided: 48% said churches ‘should keep out’ of politics.” [NYTHaaretzWSJ]

Obama’s annual Rosh Hashanah conference call with American rabbis focused on “Iraq, Syria, and of course, the Islamic State. Participants described the tone as ‘warm, engaging and cordial’ as the president emphasized the strength of the relationships binding Israel and the United States. Obama did not, however, gesture to the US-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2014, a key bill which proponents hope will be sent for presidential approval during the post-elections “lame duck” session of Congress. ” [TOI]

**Good Tuesday Morning! Enjoying the Daily Kickoff? Please share us 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 editor@jewishinsider.com**

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: On September 17th, “Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) delivered a talk at the American Friends of the Hebrew University (AFHU) Torch of Learning Award dinner.” In his speech, Ryan referenced Maimonides and focused on “explaining how individual dignity, hope and opportunity are best fostered in the relationships between mentors and troubled youths, reformed gang members and students at risk, and the thousands of other settings in which Americans can help Americans avoid or emerge from a life of crime, poverty and isolation.” [WP]

MOSSAD RECRUITS ONLINE: “Israel, which has full diplomatic ties with only two Arab countries, Egypt and Jordan, lacks embassies elsewhere in the Middle East that would-be informants could turn to, leaving it in need of other local recruitment channels. “All are welcome, regardless of religion, nationality or occupation, to contact our organization — Mossad — to work for us or to be involved in activities which could bring great personal benefit,” reads the new “Contact us” section of the Mossad website, also available in Arabic, Farsi, French or Russian.” [Reuters]

NORM COLEMAN, SAUDI LOBBYIST: “Former U.S. Sen. Norm Coleman, who’s been a lobbyist and a Super PAC head since losing to Al Franken in 2008, is now on Saudi Arabia’s payroll as a lobbyist. What’s notable about the hiring of Coleman is that he appears to be the first leader of a significant Super PAC to simultaneously lobby for a foreign government.” [MP]

START-UP NATION: “Israel’s Finance Ministry has given the go-ahead to a $6 billion upgrade of Intel’s chip fabrication plant in the south of the country, for which Israel will grant the U.S. firm $300 million over five years and give it an extra-low corporate tax rate for the next decade. As Finance Minister Yair Lapid said, this is the biggest-ever investment by a foreign firm in Israel.” [Gigaom]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Michael Bloomberg on returning to work at his namesake company: “‘The alternative, in my case, is staying home and talking to Diana about feelings,’ the former mayor said with a guffaw. ‘If that doesn’t get you back to work, I don’t know what would.'” [NYP] • Financial Times profiles Thomas Pritzker, Hyatt chairman: a billionaire with many faces. [FT]

HUCKABEE ON TWO STATES: Possible Republican presidential candidate and Iowa frontrunner Mike Huckabee set his Middle East policy in sharp relief with that of the administration. “Huckabee put it bluntly: ‘The so-called two-state solution is a politician’s pipe dream.'” Contrasting with the peace negotiations emphasized by the Obama administration, as well as “being at loggerheads with the U.N. would actually be a badge of honor during the primaries; and thumbing his nose at Foggy Bottom and the Palestinians would earn him points with the GOP’s base.” [Daily Beast]

REBUILDING GAZA: “”In a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry obtained by The Daily Beast, 88 senators write, ‘we must support efforts to enable the Palestinian Authority to exercise real power in Gaza. Hamas has demonstrated conclusively both that it has no interest in peace with Israel and that it has no concern for the well-being of Gaza residents.'” [Daily Beast] • The United Nations’ top Mideast envoy, Robert Serry, wants to station hundreds of international monitors in the Gaza Strip. A senior Israeli official said that some 50 UN monitors are already in Ramallah and ready to go to Gaza to supervise the process of rehabilitating the Gaza Strip following Operation Protective Edge. The official said Serry wants to bring in additional monitors as the process progresses and expands. [Haaretz] •  “US Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday that the US would provide an additional $71 million for what State Department officials described as “life-saving humanitarian assistance to help meet emergency needs in Gaza.” The additional grant brings to $118 million the total funds provided by the United States to aid in humanitarian relief following this summer’s Operation Protective Edge” “The question of how best to provide reconstruction aid to Gazans without offering support to Hamas also came up Monday during a pre-Rosh Hashanah conference call between US President Barack Obama and hundreds of rabbis from the Reform, Conservative, Orthodox and Reconstructionist movements.” [TOI]

IRAN: There’s a new terror watchdog in town: “Mark Wallace, chief executive of United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI), said his new group, called the Counter Extremism Project, will employ teams of translators and researchers to identify terrorist organizations around the world along with their financial backers. It will then use publicity campaigns to name and shame the backers.” [Reuters] • “Diplomats are reporting a setback at talks on Iran’s nuclear program, saying Tehran has resumed rejecting U.S. demands it repurpose a uranium enrichment site. They told The Associated Press Monday that Tehran is invoking what it says was an Israeli drone shot down last month near another Iranian enrichment site in arguing that it wants to leave the underground facility as an enrichment plant.” [AP]

LIEBERMAN AT YESHIVA: Former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is teaching at Yeshiva University this year, and is eager to connect with students and plug into the YU community. [Observer]

NEW J STREET NEW HAMPSHIRE: J-Streeters in the granite state now have a chapter to call their own following the launch of J Street New Hampshire tonight. “The featured speaker for the kick-off event was Alan Elsner, J Street’s vice president of communications, who previously worked as a reporter at Reuters for three decades.” [SCO]

DAVID BROOKS’ SON IN THE IDF: “Chatter immediately heated up over this fact, which until now hasn’t cropped up in any Google searches. Many commenters praised Brooks’ for his son’s service. Others maintained that he and the New York Times have the duty to reveal the fact that his son is serving in the IDF as it personally colors his commentary on Israel and Middle East issues.” [JJ]

BOOK REVIEW: Martin Amis’s new and risky Nazi novel, “The Zone of Interest (Knopf), revisits the town of Auschwitz, more specifically the Zone of Interest, which contains one of the death camps and the headquarters and domiciles of its Nazi staffers and assistants, a ‘dumping ground for 2nd-rate blunderers,’ as its commandant wryly observes. Amis’s considerable historical research into the horrific absurdities of what he calls, in the novel’s afterword, ‘the exceptionalism of the Third Reich’ is everywhere in evidence.” [New Yorker] • David Bezmozgis’s “tale of two Soviet Jews—one an Israeli politician, the other a disgraced KGB informant—is a sly parable about Zionism.” [WSJ]

SPORTS BLITZ: “Qatar will not host the World Cup in 2022, according to Theo Zwanziger, the German member on the executive committee of world football’s governing body FIFA.” The official sited high summer temperatures, not geopolitical reasons, for the anticipated move. [BI]

VIRAL WATCH: With President Rivlin in office, Shimon Peres is out of a job. What’s left for the Israeli leader? This video gives you a humorous interpretation of Peres’s life after the Presidency. [Youtube]

That’s all folks; have a great day!
**Have a tip, suggestion, or even an op-ed? We’d love to hear from you. Email  editor@jewishinsider.com**

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