Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Hillary talks to Malcolm | O’Malley learns Heschel | Obama’s favorite Iowa hotel | Next Jewish MLB Star: Rob Kaminsky | Gefilte Gevalt

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2016 WATCH: Hillary talks to Malcolm: “Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in a telephone discussion with Malcolm Hoenlein… that she thinks “we need to all work together to return the special US-Israel relationship to constructive footing, to get back to basic shared concerns and interests.”… Hoenlein, who initiated the conversation, said that, “Secretary Clinton’s views are of special importance and timeliness given recent issues in the US-Israel relationship. We note her call for direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, which, we believe, is the only possible route to a true peace.”

—Ruby Cramer reports: “Hoenlein said in an email that he initiated the call — and requested to make the details public. “She did know I would release the statement,”… Hoenlein did not respond to a question about whether Clinton or members of her staff had reviewed the language in the press release ahead of time. Asked about the conversation with Hoenlein on Sunday night, a Clinton spokesperson, Nick Merrill, said only, “He called, she took it, they talked.” [BuzzFeed] • @NYCGreenfield: “Pretty clever, actually. She gets to put her message out thru trusted Jewish leader without going on the record.” [Twitter]

—Flashback: “Mrs. Clinton recounted that she had been at a wedding in Brooklyn, where she was introduced to Mr. Limbaugh by the bride’s father, Jewish activist Malcolm Hoenlein.” [Observer]

TOP TALKER: “White House to Netanyahu: Your Move” by Edward-Isaac Dovere: “A dozen Jewish House Democrats laid it out for deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes during a meeting in the Longworth House Office Building last week: Enough. They’re just as upset about what Benjamin Netanyahu said ruling out a two-state solution, but President Barack Obama didn’t need to keep reminding them and everyone else… “You want us to go out and say the administration’s got Israel’s back. How are you going to get us to say that when our constituents believe that the administration is stabbing Israel in the back?” one Democratic Jewish member of Congress said later.”

“Both Obama and Netanyahu seem to think they’re winning. The administration is convinced that Netanyahu has been shown for the insincere agitator that they believe he is, while the prime minister’s aides are convinced that Obama’s bias against Israel has finally been demonstrated for all to see… Ironically, the flare-up with Netanyahu has Obama re-emphasizing a peace process he’d been ambivalent about for years.” [Politico]

Aaron David Miller: “A transformative reset is unlikely in the near future given the magnitude of the issues dividing Washington and Jerusalem: namely, the peace process and Iran… The odds of Israel shifting position on Iran are slim to none. Why the Obama administration would want to intensify a fight with Israel while it is trying to sell an Iran deal to Congress is anyone’s guess. As for the peace process, the likelihood of Israel accepting a two-state solution that the Palestinians could live with is pretty bleak.” [WSJ]

IRAN TALKS: “Iran Backs Away From Key Detail in Nuclear Talks” by David E. Sanger and Michael R. Gordon: “With a negotiating deadline just two days away, Iranian officials on Sunday backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country.” [NYTimes] • “Does Iran Have Secret Nukes in North Korea?” [DailyBeast]

“What to look for in an Iran nuclear deal” by Michael Crowley: “If there’s no deal by Tuesday, there’s no practical reason the United States and its partners couldn’t keep negotiating. In practice, the real deadline of concern for the Obama White House is April 13, when the Senate is scheduled to return from its Easter recess — and will likely take up legislation cracking down on Iran if a framework is not in hand… These are six of the core issues that any agreement in the coming days will need to address, and which both supporters and critics will be scrutinizing to see who got the better end of the deal.” [Politico]

“What to Worry About in a Iran Nuclear Deal” by Jeffrey Goldberg: “I’ve been making lists of questions I have about the parameters of a framework deal, and a list of experts whose judgment I would trust to evaluate the technical aspects of a deal. Here are a few questions that have, helped by various news stories about the talks, repeatedly crossed my mind in recent days. I would prefer to see a nuclear deal struck, of course, but unsatisfactory answers to these issues would be cause for real worry.” [TheAtlantic] One such ‘expert’: Olli Heinonen on Iran’s Nuclear Breakout Time [WashInst]

Behind the Scenes: “No. 2 Negotiators in Iran Talks Argue Physics Behind Politics” by David E. Sanger: “At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the mid-1970s, Ernest J. Moniz was an up-and-coming nuclear scientist in search of tenure, and Ali Akbar Salehi, a brilliant Iranian graduate student, was finishing a dissertation on fast-neutron reactors. The two did not know each other, but they followed similar paths once they left the campus.” [NYTimes] • “Iran Talks Stuck as Ministers Step in Before Deadline” [Bloomberg]

Steve Coll: “A greater dilemma is that, by easing economic sanctions, a deal might empower Iran at a time when collapsing oil prices could reduce its ability to fund violent militias around the Middle East. There are few innocents under arms, but Iran’s aggression is catalytic… Attacking the Sunnis with Shiite fighters is like trying to put out a fire with gasoline. If Iran’s proxies in Iraq gain more access to guns and money because of a nuclear deal with the West, that may only make things worse.” [NewYorker]

“Why the chaos in Yemen could force Obama to take a harder line with Iran” by Greg Jaffe and Missy Ryan: “President Obama has for years stuck to a strategy aimed at keeping the United States from getting pulled into a big regional war between Iran and America’s traditional Arab allies.The net result was a tailored, country-by-country approach to the region’s turmoil that put a priority on nuclear negotiations with Iran and the fight against terrorism. Containing Iranian proxies took a back seat.” [WashPost] • “Arab leaders announce joint force to intervene in region’s wars” [WashPost]

Video: Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu met with Senator McConnell and his delegation to discuss a potential Iran deal and action Congress plans to take depending on the outcome of the talks. [YouTube] • Pic: McConnell with Herzog and Livni in Tel Aviv [Twitter]

2016: “For G.O.P., Support for Israel Becomes New Litmus Test” by Peter Baker: “It is remarkable,” said William Kristol. “Bibi would probably win the Republican nomination if it were legal,” he said. Mr. Kristol, emailing from Israel where he was meeting with Mr. Netanyahu, described the shift as a result of broader underlying trends in American politics as the political left grows more “European” and the political right grows more “Reaganite.” He added that “the conservative belief in American exceptionalism is akin to Zionism.” [NYTimes]

What David Lichtenstein is reading — “From the Waldorf to the Hampton Inn: Inside the elaborate, surprisingly unglamorous world of presidential hotel stays” by Olivier Knox: “Current and former staffers underlined Obama’s fondness for the Hampton Inn near the airport in Des Moines, Iowa. “He stayed there in ’07, ’08… sees it as a little bit good luck,” one former aide said. Obama stayed there for so many nights during that campaign that hotel staff “had it down to a science,” putting the future president in a room near an exit so that his comings and goings wouldn’t bother other guests, a current adviser said.”

–The paragraph prior: “Obama is unlikely to book himself into a property owned by GOP super-donor Sheldon Adelson. Mitt Romney stayed in Marriott hotels whenever possible during his presidential runs; he was on the chain’s board and is named after hotelier Willard Marriott.” [YahooPolitics]

–As of a month ago, the new owner of the Hampton Inn at Des Moines Airport is David Lichtenstein [NewsWire]

Sheldon Adelson on his ‘friend’ Harry Reid: “In this era of partisan politics where people can be criticized for even being friends with someone of a different political persuasion, I’m happy to call Senator Harry Reid exactly that — a friend. As his constituent, one of state’s largest employers and even occasionally his political tormentor, Sen. Reid and I have often disagreed on a variety of issues, but we have never, not once, been disagreeable with each other… You can agree or disagree with his politics, but his devotion to his family and his dedication to his country is unquestioned… Miriam and I wish Harry, Landra and their entire family good health and continued happiness.” [Twitter]

Scott Walker’s Jewish Florida Support: “In a state where Bush overwhelmingly controls the GOP money machine, Walker has several top Republican fundraisers, and millionaire and billionaire donors actively helping him… Among them: former dairy company executive and Republican Jewish Coalition leader Marc Goldman of Boca Raton; Dr. Jeffrey Feingold of Boca Raton, another RJC leader; veteran Republican fundraiser Gay Gaines of Palm Beach; billionaire couple Frayda and George Lindemann of Palm Beach.” [TampaBayTimes]

SCENE LAST NIGHT: Howard Jonas and Shmuel Jonas hosted potential 2016 candidate Sen. Lindsey Graham in Englewood, NJ.

Heschel 2016: “How Martin O’Malley Begins His Day: Prayer, Solitude And Some Very Non-Political Reading” by Scott Conroy: “O’Malley also said he went on “a big kick” in which he was reading everything he could find by Jewish theologian and philosopher Abraham Heschel.” [HuffPost]

—O’Malley: Nuclear Iran ‘greatest man-made threat’: ““The greatest threat that we face right now in terms of man-made threats is a nuclear Iran and related extremist violence,” O’Malley told host George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s “This Week.” “I don’t think you can separate the two,” he added… O’Malley cited Maryland’s state sanctions on Iran’s economy under his tenure as one example of how he had already slowed Iran’s hunt for nukes.” [TheHill] • O’Malley: “Presidency not ‘some crown’ to be passed between two families” [WashPost]

#MDSen: “Israel divides liberal Van Hollen and Edwards” by Ben Jacobs: “Both have very liberal records and are well liked by progressive groups. However, there is one distinct policy difference between the two of them: their views on US policy in the Middle East. And this difference could doom Edwards on election day… one pro-Israel Democratic operative: “I’m going to say she’s not pro-Israel.”.. The operative did place Edwards among the least supportive 10% of the Democratic caucus and noted that she has shown a “tone deafness” on the issue of Israel at times.” [TheGuardianJewishTimes]

–Jewish Times Poll: “Who do you feel would make a better senator? Van Hollen – 93%; Edwards – 7% [JewishTimes]

–Edwards attended the JCPA’s National Hunger Seder on Friday at the Capitol Visitor Center [Facebook]

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STARTUP NATION: “A virtual Iron Dome: Israeli cybertech wins fans at home and abroad” [Haaretz]• Israel’s DeepLink.Me Moves Into Google Territory With AppWords, A Deep Link Mobile Search And Ad Platform” [TechCrunch] • “Mobile Marketing Trends To Follow From The Israeli Elections” [TechCrunch] • “A sneak peek at Facebook’s new office in Tel Aviv” [GeekTime]

POST ISRAELEX: “Israeli Center-Left Leader Seeks Path Forward” by Jodi Rudoren: “I’m pleased with the result, and I’m not pleased with the outcome,” Mr. Herzog said in an interview. “We’re already moving on,” he added. “People stop us in the street all the time, stop me and say thank you for giving us hope and make sure Netanyahu doesn’t screw us up.” [NYTimes]

Ben Smith: “Why Is This Fight Different From All Other Fights?: When Jews don’t want to argue about something over dinner, you know — to borrow a phrase from Middle East peace negotiations — the gaps are wide. And Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election campaign has left a deep cultural mark among the Americans who are still trying to have what amount to family arguments about the Middle East — Jews, Democrats, and Jewish Democrats most of all.” [BuzzFeed]

“Billionaire Ronald Lauder Talks Hugo Chavez, Bomb Shelters in Israel and Anti-Semitism” by Chloe Sorvino: “I would like the U.S. to start being tougher with what we see. First, any school that teaches hatred toward Jews should be stopped or closed down. Any place of worship that preaches hatred of another religion or another people should be closed down. There’s freedom of speech, but freedom of speech does not give people the right to teach people hatred… I also think that if the United Nations keeps on passing anti-Israel resolutions, I believe the U.S. should say, ‘Unless you don’t keep this up, we’ll stop paying.’ We pay a lot of the money to the U.N. through Congress.” [Forbes]

DEEP DIVE: “Leaked Private Emails Reveal Ex-Clinton Aide Sidney Blumenthal’s Secret Spy Network” by Jeff Gerth and Sam Biddle: “Blumenthal’s emails to Clinton, which were directed to her private email account, include at least a dozen detailed reports on events on the deteriorating political and security climate in Libya as well as events in other nations. They came to light after a hacker broke into Blumenthal’s account and have taken on new significance in light of the disclosure that she conducted State Department and personal business exclusively over an email server that she controlled.” [Gawker] • Flashback: “Clinton Advisor Sid Blumenthal’s New Cause: His Son’s Anti-Israel Book” [BuzzFeed]

BOOK REVIEW: “Robert Moses, French Comic Book Hero” by Andy Newman: “The book introduces Moses the eager striver, a Jewish outsider driven perhaps by “a powerful desire for revenge in a white Protestant world.” Later comes Moses the bully, standing outside Gracie Mansion at dawn with a sheaf of papers for the mayor to sign under threat of resignation, and silencing an associate who dares to throw up while being taken on an aerial tour.” [NYTimes]

“Love Letters For Willie Rapfogel” by Wayne Barrett: “70 Rapfogel backers, including 19 rabbis, several politicians, and some of the city and country’s most prominent leaders of Jewish organizations, petitioned Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to go easy on Rapfogel, who the New York Times said was frequently called the “prince of the Jews.” The letters—sent shortly before his April guilty plea—were obtained by City & State under the Freedom of Information Act.” [City&State]

“Amid Inquiry, Menendez Finds Well of Support Among Jewish Leaders” by Alexander Burns: “The support has been rhetorical, as well as financial: Major Jewish leaders in both parties have spoken up as character witnesses for Mr. Menendez, even suggesting that the potential charges against him might be politically motivated… Mr. Menendez has found an appreciative constituency in the array of advocacy groups focused on Israel’s security, many of which have been alarmed by the talks with Iran, and the eruption of tensions between the Obama administration and Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.” [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Jewish rescue group acquires military truck to help out in emergencies” by Gary Buiso: “An Orthodox Jewish-founded search-and-rescue group is acquiring heavy-duty military equipment in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to help out in emergencies when standard vehicles just won’t cut it. One of its most impressive recent acquisitions is a US Army cargo truck that’s turning heads in Flatbush, Brooklyn… Group member Simon Rimpler paid about $10,000 for the mitzvah mobile, which he purchased from a pal last year.” [NYPost]

LongRead: “After Surviving a Suicide Bomb, Israeli Artists OMTA Turned Shrapnel Into Art” by Batya Ungar-Sargon: “Three weeks later, Omer woke up in an Israeli hospital with shrapnel embedded throughout his body, chronic tinnitus, and a left hand that he could no longer feel. Becoming a musician was now out of the question. Omer had to find another means of artistic self-expression. Today, 15 years later, he is one of the most interesting artists experimenting with new media.” [Vice]

SPORTS BLINK: “NJ’s own rising [Jewish] MLB star out to be next Matt Harvey” by Kevin Kernan: “Kaminsky, a 6-foot, 195-pound left-hander, signed with St. Louis for nearly $1.8 million and is steadily moving up the Cardinals’ pitching ladder, citing the on-point coaching he has received from the organization… Kaminsky, who is Jewish, grew up a fan of Sandy Koufax, hearing stories from his family about the Hall of Fame Dodgers left-hander. Rob has yet to meet Koufax, but is hoping that day comes soon.” [NYPost]

BIRTHDAYS: HuffPost’s Jessica Schulberg… Zelda Greenberg… Tevi Troy (Saturday)… Ari Emanuel turned 54 (Sunday)… JoAnne Papir (Sunday)…

DESSERT: “Not enough gefilte fish for Passover” by Katia Hetter: “Why is this Passover different than other Passovers? Because you may not have any gefilte fish at your table on Passover, which starts at sundown on April 3. February’s record cold temperatures are to blame for the shortage of fish ingredients… “The traditional Passover appetizer is made from ground whitefish, carp and yellow pike,” Marcus wrote. “All three are freshwater fish from the Upper Midwest, and all three are in short supply this spring because the Great Lakes are still covered with ice.” [CNN] • Flashback — April 14, 2014: “Gefilte Fish Is Scarce This Passover. Taste Buds Are Ambivalent.” [NYTimes]

Sunday Review: “All Grown Up and In Charge of the Seder” by Jennifer Weiner: “The Seder foods all mean something in Jewish history. When I was growing up, everything on the table was also tied to a specific person, with tradition adding layers to the feast… This year, I will look around the table and see familiar foods and think about absent guests, people I thought would be there, missing; people I didn’t expect, present.” [NYTimes] • Kosher for Passover Restaurants – h/t Dani Klein [YTK] • “This Passover, Finish Strong With Five-Star Desserts” [WSJ]

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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