Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Israel to receive bunker busters | Schwarzman’s regret: Not seeding Mike Bloomberg | What Zack Targoff spent his bar mitzvah money on

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TOP TALKER: “Israel Fears Obama Will Stop Hiding Its Nuclear ‘Secret'” by Eli Lake: “The Spanish delegation this year proposes letting the U.N. secretary general convene a conference on a nuclear-free Middle East, even without consensus support. In essence it would mean that Israel’s most important ally, the United States, would not be able to block the convention. A senior Israeli government official Wednesday evening told me, “Israel is increasingly concerned that the United States is not going to prevent the NPT review conference currently meeting in New York from adopting a resolution on the Middle East that would jeopardize Israel’s national security.” [BloombergView]

“US approves munitions sale to Israel worth $1.87B: The U.S. State Department this week approved the sale of $1.87 billion in munitions and precision guidance kits to Israel to improve the capability of existing systems and make it easier for U.S. and Israeli military forces to work together. The deal includes 14,500 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM), an arms system attached to bombs that enables precision targeting with GPS, intended for Air Force fighter jets. The Air Force will also receive 50 bunker busting bombs, effective up to six meters, as well as over 4,000 small bombs, weighing 110-kilogram each.” [ReutersHaaretz] • Flashback: “President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year [2008] for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex” [NYTimes]

“Security source: Massive arms deal with U.S. not linked to Iran deal” by Yaakov Lappin: “He stressed that the deal has “no link with the [P5+1] deal with Iran [over its nuclear program],” and that it had no connection to the large-scale weapons deals that occurred recently between the US and Gulf states. “This deal is another testimony to the deep and close ties between the [defense establishments] of the United States and Israel.” [JPost]

Aaron David Miller: “I understand the administration’s need to market the Iran deal and why senior administration officials might get carried away with their handiwork. They believe that they know what’s best for the nation. What’s harder to explain is the way that this administration processes time, and the durability of any agreement, particularly in relation to a turbulent region where time is measured along a more extended arc. In the Middle East, there is no “forever,” certainly not when it comes to the designs of external powers that seek to meddle in or impose their will on the affairs of small tribes.” [WSJ]

Matthew Levitt: “Iran’s decades-long cold war with Saudi Arabia may finally be reaching a breaking point” [BusinessInsider]

TRANSITIONS: Prime Minister Netanyahu appointed US-born Eli Groner to the position of Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office [INN] • Flashback: “How a new Israeli attache renounced his U.S. citizenship” by Eli Groner [JTA]

SCENE YESTERDAY: A diverse crowd of 250 gathered for lunch yesterday in the Kennedy Caucus Room on Capitol Hill to celebrate Jewish Heritage Month. The event which featured many elected officials, Rabbis and other community leaders was coordinated by the Friedlander Group. Speakers included Sen. Bill Cassidy who recalled a Shabbat dinner in NYC with Kalman Sporn where gefilte fish, or “gaffe-light” as Cassidy pronounced it, was served. Cassidy joked “our seafood in Louisiana is a lot better than yours.”… Rep. Ted Deutch noted that “while some of you have relatives in Boca, many of you will one day move there and be in my district. So I look forward to being neighbors.”

Spotted: Bukharian Chief Rabbi Itzhak Yehoshua, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, Sen. Richard Blumenthal, Sen. Tim Kaine, Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. John Lewis, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Joe Kennedy, Rep. Eliot Engel, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Rabbi Levi Shemtov, Norm Coleman, Steve Rabinowitz, Nick Muzin, Sarah Arkin, Louis and Manette Mayberg, Bob and Michelle Diener, Abba Cohen, Aaron Keyak, Nathan Diament, Dave Weinberg, Mark Meyer Appel, Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, Kalman Sporn, Greg Rosenbaum, Ezra Friedlander, Stanley Treitel, Lori Palatnik, Marc Goldman, Sandra Schiff, Jeff Cohn, Zev Brenner, and Edwin Black.

2016 WATCH: “Christie sits down with Elie Wiesel; talks prez politics, Israel” by Max Pizarro: “Examining a run for President of the United States, Gov. Chris Christie earlier today sought counsel from Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, the face of six million Jews lost in WWII, the survivor of the greatest crime in human history, who engaged Christie in his Manhattan office for an hour and a half. At the end of the interview, Christie told Wiesel, “You gave me one of the great privileges of my life,” and promised the Jewish scholar that he would be the biggest friend in the White House Israel ever had because Israel shares America’s core values.” [PolitickerNJ] • “Who the Jewish Billionaires Are Backing in 2016” by Nathan Guttman [Forward]

“On Scott Walker’s ‘listening tour’ of Israel, Palestinians aren’t heard” by Peter Beinart: “During his five-day trip, it does not appear that Walker met with any Palestinians. It’s a bit like a foreigner visiting the United States on a “listening tour” aimed largely at better understanding race relations, listening only to white people, and then pontificating about what he has learned. It’s absurd.”[Haaretz]

Walker’s spokesperson to Rosie Gray: “Governor Walker went to the West Bank, to Rawabi, and was deeply impressed by the work there and the efforts of other entrepreneurs to improve life for the Palestinians. This was his first trip to Israel and he looks forward to deeper engagement in the future with Palestinian leaders. One of the greatest disappointments for the governor and Mrs. Walker was that they weren’t able to go to Bethlehem and hope to do that soon in the future.” [Twitter]

Beinart updates post: “Upon further research, it does appear that Scott Walker met at least one Palestinian, the entrepreneur Bashar Masri, during his Israel trip. While this still hardly constitutes a balanced itinerary given that Walker was in Israel for five days and met no Palestinian politicians or activists, I regret the oversight.” [Haaretz]

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“Blackstone’s Schwarzman regrets passing on Bloomberg investment” by Teresa Novellino:“Mike came to see me when he was looking for outside capital. He asked if I would want to do that,” Schwarzman recalled. “I don’t remember the exact amount, it was $200 million or something.” The money didn’t bother him, but the terms certainly did. “He said, look there’s one thing, I’m never going to go public, I’ll never sell my business, so you come in as my partner,’” Schwarzman said. “I said ‘I’m dealing with 10-year liquidity,’ and he said ‘That’s your problem, not mine.’” Schwarzman said. They walked away without a deal. “Investing $200 million, I could have made $8 billion,” he said. “You do make mistakes in your life’s work.” [NYBizJournal]

Carl Icahn on his childhood: “Rather than address his deals of the moment, like his investment in Lyft Inc., he told the audience about his childhood in Far Rockaway, attending a “very tough” high school. His parents didn’t earn much — but they “never spent any money” either, Icahn said, so he hoped he could “get out of the house” by going away to college. “My father said, ‘Son, if you get into Yale, Harvard or Princeton, we’ll pay for it.’ Ha ha ha, because nobody even applied from this high school.” He got into Princeton. Then, following his mother’s orders, Icahn went to medical school, which didn’t take. He wound up on Wall Street.” [Bloomberg]

“Longtime Perry Ellis CEO George Feldenkreis to step down” by Nicholas Nehamas:“Feldenkreis, 79, announced Wednesday that he will step down as the company’s chief executive officer in January 2016. His son, Oscar, will take over day-to-day operations… Feldenkreis is a trustee of the University of Miami and sits on the board of directors at the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the American Friends of Rambam Medical Center.” [MiamiHerald]

REAL ESTATE ROUNDUP: “Jared Kushner on why real estate resists change” [RealDeal] • “Ira Zlotowitz’s Eastern Union Adds Equity Division, Hires Nine” [Observer] • “Jason Kalisman, grandson of Alfred Taubman, loses Morgan Hotel battle” [NYPost] • “Capital One Finances Cammeby’s 1501 Lexington Avenue Purchase” [Observer] • “Former Giant distribution center in Jessup sells to joint venture involving Manekin” [BizJournal] • “Chaim Miller’s $138M deal to buy Beekman Tower is back on” [RealDeal]

SPORTS BLINK: “Owner of American Pharoah Is Fighting Lawsuit Amid Triple Crown Bid” by Joe Drape: “While American Pharoah has been winning six of his seven races and making his way to a historic bid next month for thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, his owner, Ahmed Zayat, has been contesting a federal lawsuit brought by a felon that alleges Mr. Zayat has failed to pay a $2 million debt he ran up betting via a website in Costa Rica… There are transcripts of several text messages between Mr. Zayat and Mr. Rubinsky that indicate they had a warm relationship. Mr. Rubinsky addressed Mr. Zayat as Ephraim, his Jewish name. Mr. Zayat called Mr. Rubinsky “Howie” and asked that he pray for him.” [NYTimes]

“Everything’s negotiable, I’m Jewish” in “How Bloggers Make Money On Instagram” by Kayleen Schaefer: “Danielle Bernstein, 22, has 992,000 followers on her Instagram @weworewhat. When she gets to a million, which she predicts will happen in the next 10 to 15 days, she can charge “a good amount more” for sponsored content. Right now, Bernstein’s rate card, through Next Models, sets her range for the cost of a single piece of sponsored content (i.e. one Instagram shot) from $5,000 to $15,000. This rate can go up or down, depending the terms of the deal, such as if a brand wants a long-term commitment or multiple Instagram pictures. “Everything’s negotiable,” Bernstein says, laughing. “I’m Jewish.” [HarpersBazaar]

“Bridging the Generation Gap With Chess: Zachary Targoff started an intergenerational chess program with his bar mitzvah money” by Ralph Gardner Jr: “Zachary Targoff is a better man than I am. I doubt I’d have used all my bar mitzvah money to do what Zach did with his nest egg. He started a chess program a year ago in April at Dorot, a Jewish social services organization on the Upper West Side that works to make older adults less socially isolated. To that end, and with the support of Zach and his parents, Dorot brings together teenagers and seniors to play chess.” [WSJ]

DESSERT: “There’s Now a Kosher, Vegetarian Caribbean Restaurant in Brooklyn: It’s likely the first of its kind in the world: a kosher, vegetarian Caribbean restaurant. And it’s in one of the great Caribbean outposts outside of the region. It’s called Fiya, and it’s now open in the DUMBO neighbourhood of Brooklyn, New York.” [CaribJournal]

BIRTHDAYS: Seth Klarman turns 58… Sen. Al Franken turns 64… Lisa Edelstein turns 49… Ron Solomon… Joshua Canter (yesterday)…

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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