Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Forbes 400 Released | Bibi’s UN Speech Today | Ron Prosor Profile | 2016 Watch: Rand, Cruz, O’Malley, Jeb | Hotel Kosher Food Upgraded

TOP TWEET : “We’re mid-way between Rosh HaShana and Yom Kippur…. Sho-far, sho-good.”
— @HowardMortman

FIRST LOOK: Forbes 400 List Announced: Three out of five of the consecutive covers feature Jewish individuals including Steve Ballmer, Dan Gilbert, and Leslie Wexner. • The combined wealth of Forbes’ 2014 ranking of the richest people in America is $2.29 trillion, up from $2.02 trillion in 2013 and the highest ever, partly due to the strength of the U.S. stock market. • 276 members of the list are self-made billionaires; 58 inherited their wealth, and 66 inherited at least a portion but are still increasing it. • The youngest (Jewish) billionaires are Dustin Moskovitz (#54), age 30 (a few days younger than Zuckerberg), with a net worth of $8.1 billion, and Mark Zuckerberg (#11), age 30, with a net worth of $34 billion. Facebook is the origin of wealth for both. [Forbes] — Feature on Dan Gilbert: “Gilbertville: A Billionaire’s Drive To Rebuild The Motor City” [Forbes]

DRIVING THE DAY– BIBI’S U.N. ADDRESS: Today at noon, Prime Minister Netanyahu will address the U.N. General Assembly. Secretary Kerry and Netanyahu met Sunday evening for dinner, and discussed Netanyahu’s issues with Abbas’s U.N. address. Senior officials speculate that the PM’s address today will include a “razor-sharp” response to the Palestinian President’s remarks. Former Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) said “that the speech had made Abbas irrelevant in terms of the attempt to reach an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.” [Haaretz] Will Bibi’s speech provide contrast and a focus on “moderation and acceptance”? [TOI] Or rather, will it prove that Bibi remains a “status-quo” president, who can wax eloquently on Iran and Abbas yet fail to address where Israel is headed? [Haaretz]

Also Happening Today: At 9:00 AM, The Washington Institute will kick off their Samuel W. Lewis Memorial Symposium, America and the Challenges of a Turbulent Middle East: Looking Backward, Looking Forward. The program includes Justice Elyakim Rubinstein (Israeli Supreme Court), William A. Brown (Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel), Dennis Ross, Jessica Mathews, Paul Wolfowitz, and a keynote address from Deputy Secretary of State William Burns [WI]

US + IRAN ? : Despite little progress in Iranian nuclear talks [Reuters], “Special Assistant to the President and White House Coordinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf Region Philip Gordon noted that there had been significant progress in US-Iranian relations in the ensuing year,” and made overtures towards increased regional cooperation between the two countries. Not so fast, says Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX): “U.S. leaders should not fall into the trap of blindly assuming that just because our enemy Iran hates our enemy ISIL, it means that Iran is now our friend. We would do much more to defend the national security interests of the United States by seeking common cause with our real allies in the region than by pursuing some misguided and dangerous attempt at détente with the Islamic Republic of Iran.” [TOIPolitico]

War will “be replaced by terror” in the Middle East, says Shimon Peres on Fareed Zakaria of the constantly-changing region. [CNN]

U.N. WEEKEND REVIEW:  Indian PM Narendra Modi met with AJC leaders in NYC on Sunday. [AJC,h/t] The Indian PM also met with Netanyahu. [Youtube] • “The world’s largest bloc of Islamic countries has been lobbying the Palestinians to join the International Criminal Court so it can prosecute Israeli politicians and military leaders for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, the bloc’s leader said Saturday.” [AP]

**Good Monday 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**

Give ’em Hell(fire): The U.S. has resumed shipments of hellfire missles and other military supplies to Israel which were halted during Operation Protective Edge. [TOI]

SILENCING DISSENT? : Haviv Rettig-Gur of The Times of Israel takes issue with the a New York Times editorial which contends that Israel does so. [FB] • Over 5,000 academics have elected to boycott the University of Illinois following the dismissal of professor Steven Salaita after the new hire posted a slew of anti-Israel vitriol on his twitter account. [NYT]

2016 WATCH — Ryan Lizza profiles Rand Paul. Israel Excerpt: “Paul has said that he would cut foreign aid to five billion dollars per year, with most of that reserved for the Jewish state. ‘He made a trip to Israel about a year or so ago, and he came back a little bit different,’ [Sen. John] McCain said. During the most intense phase of the recent war in Gaza, when even staunchly pro-Israel American commentators were decrying Israel’s tactics, I asked Paul if he had any reservations about the offensive. ‘Every sovereign nation has a right to defend themselves, Israel included,’ he said. ‘It’s not the job of American politicians to always have an opinion and to insert themselves into everybody’s business.’ He added, ‘It’s not the job of an American politician to say anything other than we support Israel as an ally, we support the right to self-defense.'” [New Yorker]  • Paul also “recently delivered a lengthy speech on the Senate floor decrying a plan to support to moderate Syrian rebels in the broader battle against the Islamic State militant group, something that Congress ultimately authorized.” [Politico]

2016 WATCH — TED CRUZ BANKS ON FP: While Rand Paul stands out for his distaste for foreign entanglements, Sen. Cruz is banking on precisely that to work towards his advantage: “Cruz has narrowed his agenda to focus on international affairs, both as an avenue to raise his profile among GOP donors and to pivot away from his reputation as a conservative kamikaze bent on wreaking havoc inside the halls of Congress.” “With the ‘entire world on fire,’ as Cruz says, and the Republican Party largely unified on matters of social and fiscal policy, the junior senator has made the calculation that global tumult affords him the best opportunity to stand apart from other probable contenders, in particular Rand Paul.” [NJ]

2016 WATCH — NOW OR NEVER FOR JEB BUSH: “The former Florida governor flirted with presidential runs in 2008 and 2012 but ultimately demurred, always with the flickering possibility of mounting a campaign down the road. But at 61 years old, the second son of former President George Herbert Walker Bush is now likely facing his last shot at the White House.””‘He told me two things,’ a person who spoke with Bush recently in Washington said: ‘that he knows he has to decide very soon, and that his wife is not at all happy with the possibility.'” [Politico]

—Martin O’Malley Is Campaigning For… [NYMag]

Israeli official pressured rabbi to protect Michael Grimm: “A top official in Israel tried to intimidate the rabbi who claims Staten Island Rep. Michael Grimm shook him down for donations, sources familiar with the investigation told The Post. The FBI is investigating allegations by Orthodox mystic Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto, who testified against Grimm in 2010. In 2011, then-Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman, a follower of the rabbi, visited Pinto at his home in the city of Ashdod in southern Israel and told him that if he continued to cooperate with the FBI, ‘you’re going to have a disaster in Israel,’ a source told The Post. ‘In Israel they’re going to ruin you.'” [NYP]

START-UP NATION: Forget Alibaba – three Israeli companies, MobilEye (big data), ReWalk (advanced medical technology), and CyberArk (cyber security) were the top performers in new stock issues on the NASDAQ over the past two months. All doubled or tripled in value from their IPO price. [TOI] • Can peace be achieved through digital diplomacy? YALA, an online platform spearheaded by former chief negotiator for the Arafat/Rabin peace talks Uri Savir, is trying its best through training its fanbase in citizen journalism. Says Savir of the project, “Oslo began the track that will make a two-state solution inevitable. But we need to develop leaders in a younger generation and I’m totally optimistic.” [TechCrunch] • Yossi Vardi (the insider’s insider), Saul Singer (Startup Nation), and Gigi Levy (serial investor) top the list of the 10 “Startup Nation Movers and Shakers You Need To Know.” [Forbes]

PROFILE — Ron Prosor: David Frum profiles the “genial but adamantly tough” “career diplomat whose grandparents got out of Germany just in the nick of time.” [Atlantic]

ISIS: Obama may have claimed on 60 Minutes this Sunday that ISIS caught the country off-guard, but many senior intelligence officials are saying, “Either the president doesn’t read the intelligence he’s getting or he’s bullsh**ting.” [DB] • “Controversial firebrand blogger Pamela Geller has pulled an anti-Islam ad featuring American journalist James Foley on his knees just prior to his beheading. The ads were to run on MTA buses and in subway stations, but Foley’s parents joined elected officials in denouncing the campaign and asked Geller not to go through with it.” [NYD] • “One of the Islamist ‘activists’ who attacked IDF soldiers aboard the Mavi Marmara flotilla in 2010 has reportedly been killed in a US airstrike in Syria, as he was fighting alongside Islamist terrorists.” [INN]

IRAN, CONTINUED: “Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) on Friday urged the Obama administration not to consider reducing its demands in negotiations to end Iran’s nuclear program. An Associated Press report cited diplomats who suggested the U.S. might allow Iran to keep nearly half of its centrifuges and reduce its stock of uranium gas. Meadows said that the U.S. shouldn’t settle for anything less than Iran discontinuing use of all of its centrifuges used for nuclear production. ‘I am appalled that the Obama administration would even consider this incredibly flawed strategy to deal with Iran,'” the congressman exclaimed. [The Hill]

TALK OF OUR NATION: Can you put a price on a less-constrained Shabbat? The value of two identical homes, one within an eruv and one outside of one, may be about 10% different. [Boston Globe] • Hotels across the country are starting to make “blah” kosher food a thing of the past, and people are taking notice. The two women who started Kosher Casas are hoping to provide the same, albeit less extravagant, accommodations for travelers by connecting them to area families [USA TodayNYT] • Ruth Marcus responds to (her friend) Dr. Zeke Emanuel’s controversial piece on why he hopes to die at 75. [WP]

BATTLE OF THE BOOK REVIEW : Bret Stephens wrote a rather scathing review of Richard Cohen’s latest book Israel: Is it Good for the Jews?, which Cohen claims he wrote as part of an old spat between the two. Stephens calls nonsense, and invites Cohen to review his upcoming book America in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming Global Disorder. [Politico]

LONG-READ: A once-off literary reference to poisonous plant used on Jewish inmates at Vapniarca led a Pennsylvania bookkeeper to stumble upon the answer to the decades-old question of what killed Chris McCandless, protagonist of the famous book (and later film) Into the Wild. [New Yorker]  • “How Madewell Bought And Sold My Family’s History” by Dan Nosowitz in BuzzFeed: A Jewish man from Russia started a humble clothing company in New England called Madewell nearly 80 years ago. Now, a retail giant has turned the brand into something unrecognizable. [BF]

DESSERT: What does Mayim Bialik carry in her purse on occasion? Hint: it’s classic Artscroll. [US]

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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