Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Kerry Blames Palestinian Incitement | Secrets of the 92Y | de Blasio spotted at Reserve Cut with Jewish leaders | Rabbi Sacks at Vatican

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OVERNIGHT SIREN: “Four people were killed early Tuesday morning when Palestinian assailants entered a synagogue in Jerusalem’s Har Nof neighborhood. The two terrorists, from East Jerusalem, were killed. Condemnation over the attack has poured in from Israeli and international leaders, including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.” [ToIWashPostNYTimes] • Eyewitness Account [ToI]

—Outrage at CNN: CNN refers to deadly attack on synagogue as “attack on Mosque”[HonestReporting] • Another CNN headline: “4 Israelis, 2 Palestinians killed in synagogue attack, Israeli police say” – Michael Oren blasted his former employer on Facebook asking incredulously, “CNN – Are You Serious?!?! How would Americans react to the headline, “3,000 Americans and 19 Arabs killed on 9/11″?” • Jerusalem Councilman Hanan Rubin called for Jews worldwide to make it very clear to CNN that “their pathetic coverage, comparing terrorists to the innocent Jews they murdered while praying is unacceptable.” • “Bennett Censured After Showing Picture of Victim in BBC Interview” [INS]

Kerry blames Palestinian incitement: “After a telephone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State John Kerry condemned the attack and called on Palestinian leadership at all levels to condemn the attack in the most powerful terms. “This violence has no place anywhere. To have this kind of act, which is a pure result of incitement, of calls for days of rage, just an irresponsibility is unacceptable. So the Palestinian leadership must condemn this and they must begin to take serious steps to restrain any kind of incitement that comes from their language.” [USA Today; Video]

IRAN TALKS: “U.S. says Iran deal ‘difficult, but possible’; Israel believes talks will be extended: In briefing to journalists, U.S. official rejects reports about possible extension of talks, makes clear that everything connected to a breakthrough, ball is in the Iranian court” [Haaretz] • “Israel: ‘Generous’ deal for Iran more likely than not” [JPost] • “Iran Nuclear Deal Remains in Doubt” [WSJ] • “In Iran, thousands mourn pop singer Morteza Pahaei” in what some are calling a practice run of possible public celebrations by Iranian youth of a Nuclear deal. [LATimesNYTimes]

IRAN ➞ CHINA ➞ Al QUDS: Iran uses China bank to transfer funds to Quds-linked companies: “A Western intelligence report reviewed by Reuters says Shenzhen Lanhao is one of several companies in China that receives money from Iran through a Chinese bank. Such transfers help to finance international operations of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force, the report said. The Quds provides arms, aid and training for pro-Iranian militant groups in the Middle East, such as Hezbollah, Hamas and Shi’ite Muslim militias in Iraq. They have also armed and trained government forces in Syria’s civil war in violation of a U.N. arms embargo, U.S. and European officials say.” [Reuters] • Meanwhile… China’s top domestic security chief visits Iran to push for anti-terror cooperation [Reuters]

DEEP DIVE: “Dreamland: A look at the Canadian developers behind the Meadowlands megamall project” by Seth Berkman for Inside Jersey Magazine: “The calamity formerly known as Xanadu sits unfinished in New Jersey’s Meadowlands. Now, a Canadian company with a history as colorful as the exterior of the outsized mall in East Rutherford wants to turn what Gov. Chris Christie has called “the ugliest damn building in the state” into American Dream Meadowlands. The Triple Five company, owned by Eskander, Nader, Raphael and Bahman Ghermezian, four Iranian Jews who founded the conglomerate with their father, Jacob, has Bergen County’s ill-fated megamall venture moving forward. Triple Five is the same company that built the 5.3 million-square-foot West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, and the 4.87 million-square-foot Mall of America, outside of Minneapolis. Building megamalls is their business.”

“Everyone who has met the Ghermezians has a differing story of their origins. But published accounts agree that the family emigrated from Tehran to Canada, and made its fortune importing and selling Persian rugs and large parcels of land originally purchased to capitalize on Alberta’s then-booming oil industry. Triple Five would later expand its holdings into banking, mining and oil, among other industries. Through the decades, as the success of its megamalls grew, the family all but vanished from public view. Its relentless quest for privacy — combined with its spectacular success — gave rise to rumors, such as the company’s funding having originated from a group of wealthy Iranians. In Edmonton, locals believed the family’s secluded compound, overlooking the North Saskatchewan River, had a network of underground tunnels and its own synagogue, with rabbis flown in from around the world for Shabbat.” [NJ]

SPOTTED: New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio dining last night at Reserve Cut at the Setai Wall Street in the Financial District with leaders of the New York Jewish community including George Klein, Sol Werdiger, Michael Landau, Elly Kleinman, and Pinny Ringel.

HAPPENING TODAY: At 2:00PM, the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonprofliferation, and Trade holds a hearing on the Iranian Nuclear Talks and whether the US is “negotiating a bad deal.” Witnesses include Ray Takeyh, Matthew McInnis, and David Albright[House.Gov] • At 2:00PM, Brookings hosts a discussion with Alan Wolfe, Yehuda Kurtzer, and William Galston titled, “Is the Diaspora Good for the Jews?” [Brookings] • At 6PM, the ADL’s 19th Annual Concert Against Hate will take place at the Kennedy Center in DC. “This year’s Patron Chairs are Ron and Joy Paul.” [ADL] • Young Jewish Professionals hosts a General Counsel Forum in NYC [YJP]

TOP TALKER: “Haaretz obtains full document of EU-proposed sanctions against Israel” by Barak Ravid: “An internal European Union document on proposed sanctions against Israel reveals new details on the suggestions being made in the internal discussions among EU member states that have been taking place in Brussels. Among the options under consideration are measures against European companies that work in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.” [Haaretz] • “European Union Denies Plan For Israel Sanctions” [HuffPost]

TOP-OP: Sara K. Greenberg – “Reckless Sponsorship of Anti-Israelism: I never imagined that a day would come when some of the world’s leading corporations would fund calls for Israel’s destruction, let alone at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. But that is exactly what happened last week at Harvard.” [TheCrimson

**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**

FIRST LOOK: “Secrets Of The Y: Sol Adler devoted his life to the 92nd Street Y, courting its billionaires and burnishing its cultural power. But when he brought scandal to its doorstep, the institution kicked him to the curb. And that, his family says, is what killed him” by Steve Fishman in New York Magazine: “The Y’s board of directors is as powerful as that of any cultural institution in the city—and probably wealthier. Judith Rubin, whose husband, Bob Rubin, was formerly Treasury secretary, served as an honorary director of the board, as did Pat Cayne, wife ofJimmy Cayne, who had run Bear Stearns. The Y, which was affiliated with the Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Assoiciation and embodied cosmopolitan New York Jewish culture, usually had a Bronfman and a Tisch on its board as well… Adler’s work, said his wife Debbie, “was 24/7.” Adler dropped everything if a board member called. He attended every simcha, whether birthday, bar mitzvah, or wedding. He wrote hundreds of thank-you emails and holiday wishes. “Sweet Pesach,” he wrote before one Passover to Fred Poses, one of the board’s vice-presidents. “If you asked for a favor, he would figure out some way to help, said Fern Portnoy. Adler operated in a world where a well-timed favor could result in a multimillion-dollar donation.”

“Even six months after his death, Debbie didn’t know all the details of his secret life. Her husband was also connected to a convicted felon and a corruption scandal inside the institution he loved. Not that the details mattered to her. Whatever mistakes he had made, they shouldn’t have cost him everything. Debbie has filed a nearly $3 million suit against the Y for breach of contract and disability discrimination.”… On July 1, 2013, investigators concluded that Taddeo had extorted hundreds of thousands of dollars from contractors and that Adler had, at a minimum, looked the other way. They were going to turn the evidence over to the D.A.’s office. Many on the committee had known Adler for years and were heartbroken to hear the report. Matthew Bronfman had a particularly close relationship to him. “Sol made him feel like he was very important, not just a donor but a person with principles and commitment,” said a person who knew them both. Still, even Bronfman agreed that Adler had to go. Even after everything that happened, he would still look at the New York Times, and if he saw something about a board member, he’d send a note—Mazel Tov, your children look beautiful. He’d never get a response.” [NYMag]

2016 WATCH — A DE BLASIO RUN? DON’T COUNT ON IT: “A de Blasio run is unlikely, if not outright ridiculous. The hard-left agenda that de Blasio contends is the key to national Democratic success just isn’t realistic for the rest of the country, says longtime Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf told National Journal.” [NJ] • “During an unrelated press conference in Brooklyn Monday morning, Mayor de Blasio denied a report that he was seeking to enter the race for president in 2016, especially after he suggested the Democrats lost the midterm election due to lack of progressiveness.” [JP]

2016 WATCH — SANTORUM? WE’LL KNOW IN JUNE: “Former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who nipped at Mitt Romney’s heels in the 2012 Republican presidential primary, says he’s eyeing mid-2015 for a decision about a second White House bid. “Four years ago, we ended up announcing in June of 2011. If past is a portent of the future, that’s probably a ballpark,” he said in a phone interview. Story Continued Below Santorum said he’s actively engaged with party donors and activists to assess whether he has a path to the nomination.” [Politico] • “Ron Paul speaks out against Sheldon Adelson” [UPI]

Ben Ray Lujan, of New Mexico, to chair DCCC: “Lujan, who is 42 years old and completing his third term in the House, will succeed New York Rep. Steve Israel, who is departing the committee after two cycles. Influential liberals, including union leaders and wealthy donors, reacted with a mix of surprise and mild approval to the Lujan pick, which came after many of them had quietly mounted a campaign to pressure Pelosi to select Maryland Rep. Donna Edwards, a favorite of the party’s progressive wing.” [Politico] • “J Street congratulates JStreetPAC endorsee Lujan on leadership post” [JStreet]

DISTANCE?: “Lee Zeldin is distancing himself from Jewish Democrats” by Marisa Schultz in the New York Post: “Less than a week in Washington and Congressman-elect Lee Zeldin — the only Jewish Republican in the body — is already taking swings at President Obama and insisting he’ll be different than New York’s contingent of Jewish Democrats. “He (Obama) seems to create more daylight every week he’s in office,” Zeldin told The Post. “I don’t think they’ve had the most intelligent, disciplined approach with regards to our relationship with Israel.”

“The House and Senate now have 31 Jewish members, 30 Democrats and one independent Sen. Bernie Sanders who caucuses with the Dems. New York has five Jewish members – Reps. Eliot Engel, Nita Lowey, Steve Israel, Jerrold Nadler and Sen. Chuck Schumer. Zeldin, a 34-year-old Iraq war vet and state senator, believes he’ll be more forceful in attacking Obama on Israel than his fellow Jewish Democrats, who have limits in criticizing their party’s leader. “I’m sure that I’d be able to find a lot to disagree on with Eliot Engel,” he said of the strong Israel supporter. However one of Zeldin’s top Jewish organization backers says Democrat Engel has been a “terrific leader” on pro-Israel issues, especially on Iran. “Eliot has been very outspoken and very strong and has been one of the great leaders on the issue,” said Matt Brooks, executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition.” [NYPost]

STARTUP NATION: “New Israeli Social Network Is a Lot Like LinkedIn, Only Actually Useful” [WiredGigaom] • ‘Head zapper’ helping brain tumor patients live longer, thanks to Israeli company [Haaretz] • AirHop app lets you make calls without a cellphone plan [ToI] • Israelis win PayPal Battle Hack grand prize [Globes]

BUSINESS BRIEFS: Madoff Recoveries Hit $10 Billion [DailyBeast] • Phillip Frost-backed company to merge with e-cigarette firm with plummeting sales [BizJournal] •  Daniel Loeb’s Third Point Revives ‘Golden Leash’ Pay Plan in Dow Chemical Fight [WSJ] • Glossier Raises $8.4M Led By Josh Kushner’s Thrive To Take On Beauty And Cosmetics With Verticalized Approach [TechCrunch] • Gary Barnett’s Extell Nears $80M Sale of East 47th Street Site [CommercialObserver] • Compstak raises $4.4M round led by “Expansion VC – the venture capital arm of the Melohn family” [RealDeal] • “Josh Kopelman on ‘the democratization of entrepreneurship” [Technical.ly] • “Pritzker Group leads $6 million deal for Discovery spinoff” [Crains] • “Dan Gilbert’s Bedrock agrees to buy Detroit’s Compuware Building” [MLive]

PREVIEW: “What will ADL’s priorities be in a post-Foxman era? [JNS]

HEARD: “British Rabbi Sacks Tells Vatican Conference We Must Defend the Family of “Man, Woman, and Child: Rabbi Lord Sacks’ address received a standing ovation from the colloquium’s 350 participants. Here we publish the text in full” [Aleteia]

OY! – “Latest Brooklyn Bridge climber could face jail” by Josh Sail and Beckie Strum in the New York Post: “He​ insists he​’s no daredevil — just a visiting shutterbug who wanted ​to bag ​a shot to write home about. But ​French tourist Yonathan Souid, 23, the latest​ visitor to climb the Brooklyn Bridge, faces jail time as ​city officials look to crack down on continuing security breaches at the bridge. ​On Monday, Souid was ​hit with a slew of criminal charges ​that could land him in jail for up to an year, including trespassing and second-degree reckless endangerment. Israel Shemtov, 74, an acquaintance ​of Souid’s ​who was also at the courthouse Monday, said ​his pal was traveling as part of Chabad, an international Jewish organization, and that the love of a great photo sent him climbing​ the cables​.”[NYPost]

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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