Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Hillary – we have to work more closely with Israel, allies | Jessica Tisch profile | Waldorf canceled $1M Jewish wedding after gunfire

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TOP TALKER: “Israel Helped Obama Skirt ‘Red Line’ on Syria” by Eli Lake: “Israel discreetly helped President Obama avoid bombing Syria in 2013 after Damascus had violated his “red line” against using chemical weapons, according to a new memoir by Israel’s former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, to be published this month.”

The revelation in Oren’s memoir is particularly significant since Washington’s pro-Israel lobby, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee had agreed to help lobby for a war resolution against Syria at the request of the White House. Oren writes that Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, personally asked AIPAC to lobby for the resolution and that AIPAC complied.” [BloombergView]

“No Way To Treat An Ally” by Gary Rosenblatt on Oren’s book: “In January 2011, President Obama called Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to make a deal. In the course of a 50-minute conversation, Obama offered to support a U.N. investigation regarding settlements, renew a U.S. demand for a full-scale freeze on Israeli construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and was prepared to declare a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders, with mutually agreed swaps. All without prior consultation with Israel, according to Michael Oren. “By endorsing the Palestinian position on the 1967 lines,” writes Oren, “the White House had overnight altered more than 40 years of American policy.” [JewishWeek]

On Page 87, Oren repeats the well-known story from early in the Obama administration: “More jarring was Obama’s exchange with Malcolm Hoenlein, the perennial executive of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Organizations. Hoenlein insisted that Israelis took risks only when they were convinced that the United States stood with them. Obama, though, disagreed, recalling the eight years when Bush backed Israel unequivocally but never produced peace. The president’s response disappointed many of those present. Bush’s support for Israel had, in fact, emboldened Olmert to propose establishing a Palestinian state– an offer ignored by Mahmoud Abbas. Nevertheless, the president concluded, ‘When there is no daylight, Israel just sits on the sidelines and that erodes our credibility with the Arabs.'” [Amazon]

PROPAGANDA FAIL: “Iran’s Spies Tried to Recruit Me” by Shane Harris: “An Iranian activist group, backed by the country’s intelligence service, is trying to enlist American journalists and academics in a propaganda campaign meant to criticize the United States and Israel. I speak from experience, because the group recently tried to recruit me… Maybe the propagandists in Tehran aren’t so clumsy after all. Somewhere on the spectrum of racist rallies and diplomatic Twitter accounts, they might just find a message that works. But to the interlocutor who thought it was worth the time to try to recruit me, I have to ask: Seriously?!” [DailyBeast]

CYBER WAR: ‘Iran spying on Israel, Saudi Arabia with major cyberattacks’: “The Israeli ClearSky cybersecurity company said it has discovered an ongoing wave of cyber attacks originating from Iran on targets in Israel and the Middle East. The goal is “espionage or other nation-state interests,” the firm said.” [ToI] • “Smartphone usage by Iran authorities to be banned” [AP]

Hospital Exit Interview: “John Kerry back at home, but not for very long” by Matt Viser: “Secretary of State John F. Kerry, on his first full day home after surgery on his broken femur, said he is eager to return to one of the biggest diplomatic challenges facing the Obama administration: negotiating a nuclear arms deal with Iran. He was already at it earlier Saturday, meeting with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, who is assisting in the Iran talks… Kerry said that Iran was “looking to put an angle on some of those things that was not, in our judgment, understood or part of the deal,” but he declined to elaborate.”

“The United States has set a deadline of June 30 for the talks with Iran to be completed. Kerry said if progress is made, he would be willing to go over the deadline by days but not weeks. “If you don’t get this done on the schedule, then mischief-makers step in everywhere,” Kerry said. “You have plenty of folks in Iran who would love to not see the deal, hard-liners. . . . You have people here in the United States who don’t want the deal.” [BostonGlobe]

“Obama Legacy on Nuclear Arms Under Threat” by Jay Solomon: “Senior U.S. officials cite the impending deal with Iran as a major step toward Mr. Obama’s nonproliferation objective. But many nonproliferation concerns have grown. Chinese scientists warned the U.S. in recent months that North Korea has expanded its arsenal to about 20 atomic bombs. And developing countries negotiating the future of the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty at the United Nations last month, meanwhile, sharply criticized the U.S. and Russia for not doing enough to shrink their nuclear-weapons arsenals.” [WSJ]

George W. Bush to Israel Hayom on Iran: “This is a very delicate subject which I am not going to comment on. Every comment I make on this would be interpreted as undermining the president’s decision. Therefore I am going to let this issue rest.” [IsraelHayom]

From the Weekend: “At first major rally, Clinton touts foreign policy chops: Clinton told thousands at her first major campaign rally that as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state she had stood up to Russian President Vladimir Putin and was in the White House Situation Room the night Osama bin Laden was killed. “I’ve… reinforced allies like Israel,” she added.” [AP/ToI]

“I just attended Hillary’s long-awaited campaign launch — here’s what it was like” by Colin Campbell: “Not everyone there for the Clinton event was a supporter, however. One man named Bob Kunst held a number of anti-Clinton protest signs, including one demanding the former secretary of state “stop being a jerk.” Kunst told Business Insider that he used to back Clinton but he felt she betrayed Israel with her policies in the State Department. He also handed out fliers that pilloried Clinton on a range of issues, including her decision to hold her kickoff rally on the Jewish Sabbath.” [BusinessInsider]

Hillary in Iowa yesterday: “I know that we have to work more closely with our allies and partners around the world to build the kind of safe and secure, prosperous world I’m looking for. That means our NATO partners in Europe, it means our treaty allies in Asia, it means our friends right here in Latin America, it means Israel in the Middle East. We have to work more closely to make sure that they and we are on the same page. The United States can’t do this alone, we shouldn’t do it alone. We have to lead the world because the alternative to us leading the world is a vacuum that will be filled by some pretty dangerous characters so we do have to lead the world but we need to lead it by pulling everyone together and moving in the same direction.” [YouTube] Starts at 26:38

O’Malley in Portsmouth: “O’Malley was peppered with foreign affairs questions, specifically how to deal with ISIS and how to continue talks between Palestine and Israel. “The best we can do is continue to contain ISIS and support the Iraqis in getting their own country back,” he said, adding a solution to the Palestine-Israeli conflict involves a two-state solution. “We need to keep our position at the table and bring people forward.” [Fosters]

“The Democrats’ Old Leaders On Foreign Policy Are Gone Or Going. Meet The New Guard” by Erin McPike: “Into the Democrats’ foreign policy void have stepped three younger senators: Chris Coons of Delaware, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Chris Murphy of Connecticut. Coons, Kaine and Murphy are something of an unlikely trio to lead the Democrats on foreign policy, in part because they are so new to the Senate. Coons, 51 and first elected to the upper chamber in 2010, is the most senior of the three. But although their backgrounds are in state and local offices and legal jobs, they have gone to great lengths to educate themselves on foreign matters and have logged considerable time abroad, which makes them well suited to tackle global issues.” [HuffPost]

HAPPENING TODAY: At 3pm, former Gov. Jeb Bush announces his intention to seek the 2016 Republican presidential nomination at a rally at Miami Dade College in South Florida. [CSPAN]

Preview: “Jeb Bush to Declare Presidential Run, Playing Down His Surname” by Michael Barbaro and Jonathan Martin: “In his speech, he will both embrace elements of his heritage and try to transcend them, portraying himself as an entrepreneurial figure who, in the Bush family way, struck out on his own, built up a real estate business and became a governor who delivered on a promise of sweeping change.” [NYTimes]

Profile: “Mike Murphy plots a win for Jeb Bush in the land of Hollywood liberals” by Mary Jordan: “For months, Murphy has been advising Bush, who so far has been unable to set himself apart from the crowded Republican field. Now Murphy, 53, will effectively be running a parallel political operation alongside Bush’s official campaign, overseeing TV and digital ads, short videos and other messaging to try to sell America on a third Bush.” [WashPost] • “Jeb Adviser Mike Murphy Ends Up Next to Rand Paul on a Plane—and Live Tweets the Whole Thing” [NationalJournal]

Charlie Spies’ role in “Jeb Bush’s 18-month shadow campaign” by Marc Caputo: “At some point, the Bush team added another member: election-law guru Charlie Spies, a specialist in super PACs who ran Romney’s in 2012. Spies helped mastermind the plan for Bush to open a leadership PAC and a super PAC – both named Right to Rise — but not a traditional presidential campaign exploratory account. The structure would allow Bush for months to more easily fundraise for the super PAC without running afoul of federal rules that limit contact between the organizations and a federal officer or candidate.” [Politico]

AP Scoop: “A senior adviser to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, considered along with Bush among the few top-tier 2016 contenders, expects he will raise roughly $25 million through the end of June. The adviser spoke on the condition of anonymity to share internal fundraising details.” [AP]

Romney Adelson 2016 — by Alex Isenstadt: “Mitt Romney is working with an unlikely collaborator — Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino mogul who bankrolled Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign — in the hopes of ensuring that the GOP primary produces a mainstream conservative without any of the mayhem that marked his own race. The two, who speak monthly, aim to convince the wealthy contributors bankrolling various candidates to work together to avoid the kind of primary election chaos that Romney believes laid the seeds for his defeat in 2012.” [Politico]

NPR Ombudsman on Diane Rehm: “She told me this episode “has been the most difficult two days of my professional life.”… I see little value in offering interview subjects the opportunity to address Web rumors, “hate speech” or other. In general such questions just distract from what should be the more relevant conversation that listeners tell me they are craving in what is going to be a long campaign season: substantive information about the candidates’ political platforms and plans. Sideline questions like these should largely be avoided, and Rehm, as a seasoned journalist, should know better.” [NPR]

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BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Shaq teams up with Barry Schneider to make IPOs a slam dunk for the average investor” [Fortune] • “Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff: I don’t see a startup bubble” [CNN “Kevin Rose Moves On From Silicon Valley to Watches” [Bits “New generation of media barons spells end to elephant-hunting era” [AFR] • “Billionaire Izzy Englander Doubling Down On This Medical Device Maker” [InsiderMonkey] • “Sam Nazarian Wants $17.5 Million for Sin City Mansion” [Variety] • Steve Witkoff in talks to buy Mort Zuckerman’s Daily News [NYPost]

SPOTLIGHT: “Nick Denton and Gawker’s Moment of Truth” by Jonathan Mahler: “Denton started Gawker Media 12 years ago in his living room. It was initially just two blogs, the snarky — though the term was not yet in popular usage — media gossip site Gawker, and a technology blog, Gizmodo. Today, Gawker Media encompasses seven sites with 260 full-time employees. By most measures, the company is doing fine. Gawker Media says it generated about $45 million in advertising revenue last year, and was profitable, earning about $7 million. At the same time, Gawker is going through something of an existential crisis. In a sense, Mr. Denton has been overtaken by the populist digital revolution he helped spur.”

Jewish angle: “Mr. Denton grew up in the upscale London neighborhood of Hampstead. His mother, a Hungarian Jew who survived the Nazis and escaped the Soviet occupation at 18, was a psychotherapist, his father a professor of economics.” [NYTimesCapitalNY]

PROFILE: “Tisch Scion Forsakes Family Business for New York’s War on Crime” by Henry Goldman: “Jessica Tisch’s self-defined mission to “democratize” police data may not sound as glamorous as her family’s co-ownership of the New York Giants football team or her father’s leadership of Loews Corp., the worldwide conglomerate of insurance, energy and hotel companies. Yet as New York Police Commissioner Bill Bratton’s deputy for information technology, the 34-year-old, Harvard-educated scion of one of the city’s wealthiest families has been at the forefront of the department’s goal to become the world’s most sophisticated counterterrorism and crime-fighting force.” [Bloomberg]

STARTUP NATION: “Nazareth start-ups seek a place in Tel Aviv tech scene” by Simone Somekh: “A dozen Nazareth-based start-ups presented their technology to Tel Aviv tech investors last month in an event hosted by Thomas Genton, the public affairs counselor at the US Embassy, at his Herzliya home in order to introduce the relatively new Nazareth start-up ecosystem to its better established Tel Aviv big brother.” [ToI] • “Israel Bringing Its Years Of Desalination Experience To California” [NPRKCRA]

Philanthropy: “Qualcomm co-founder giving Technion record $50 million donation: The gift from Andrew Viterbi, the creator of a mathematical formula used in many of today’s mobile devices, to the Haifa-based university was announced on Saturday during the Technion Board of Governors meeting in Israel.” [JTA]

Happening This Week: “Michael Douglas in Israel for award” by Jessica Steinberg: “Actor Michael Douglas is in Israel to receive the Genesis Prize… Douglas, 70, his actress wife Catherine Zeta-Jones and their two children, Dylan and Carys, arrived Sunday at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel, where they will be staying until Friday.” [ToI]

Yossi Klein Halevi on “Israeli Rock Music’s Spiritual New Sound: Israel’s founders were European-born socialists who hoped to create a “new Jew”—one who relied not on God but on his own efforts for salvation. The Hebrew music created by this Zionist revolution celebrated patriotism and love of the land of Israel, largely shunning religious themes… Israeli music—and Israeli society—began changing… As Palestinian suicide bombers exploded on buses and in cafes, Israelis’ trust in their society’s solidity was shaken. “There’s no one to rely on,” read one popular bumper sticker, “except our Father in Heaven.”

“Alongside the resultant hawkish turn in Israeli politics has come the growing popularity of spiritual practices such as yoga and meditation. And, increasingly, of Judaism: According to a 2010 poll by the Israel Democracy Institute, 70% of Israeli Jews now fast on Yom Kippur… Musicians are defining this new Israeli spiritualism… Relations between secular and religious Israelis are often contentious, but introspection like Mr. Banai’s has allowed Israelis across the religious divide to claim the new Israeli music as their own.” [WSJ]

First Person: “Me, My Dad and American Pharoah” by Gary Ginsberg: “When American Pharoah crossed the finish line in the Belmont Stakes on June 6, becoming the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years, I cried. After talking with friends who also watched the race, most of us men in our 50s and 60s, I discovered I was not alone. Many of us were overcome by emotion and, as it turns out, mostly for the same reason: We were thinking about our dads.” [NYTimes]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Testimony Ends In Fight Over Control Of Oldest US Synagogue” by Michelle R. Smith: “Two congregations fighting for control over the nation’s oldest synagogue and ceremonial bells worth millions say they are confident in their cases as testimony wrapped up this week in the bitter fight. The congregation that worships at the 250-year-old Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island, and the nation’s first Jewish congregation in New York are suing each other in U.S. District Court in Providence over the synagogue and bells, called rimonim.” [AP]

“Bride rages as Waldorf cancels reception after shooting” by Jamie Schram, Sophia Rosenbaum and Emily Saul: “She got married at the Waldorf-Astoria not knowing that two of her guests had just been wounded by gunfire, but the real shocker came later — when the hotel abruptly canceled her million-dollar reception. Anna Goldshmidt learned of the gunplay only when the hotel cited it as the reason it was canceling her reception, leaving her “hysterical,’’ a law-enforcement source said.” [NYPost]

That’s all folks; have a great day!

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