Daily Kickoff

Daily Kickoff: Inside Obama’s Iran Thinking | “Will Ultra-Orthodox Jews Handle a Woman on the $10” | Secret Jewish History of The Grateful Dead

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INSIDE OBAMA’S IRAN THINKING — Jeffrey Goldberg interviewed Ben Rhodes yesterday at the Aspen Ideas Festival: Goldberg – “Does the President actually see Iran as an adversary? You have united every American ally in the Middle East on this question.” Rhodes – “We believe that an agreement has to be good enough even if Iran doesn’t change, 10 or 15 years from now. That said, we believe that a world in which there is a deal with Iran is much more likely to produce an evolution in Iranian behavior than a world in which there is no deal… That’s not to say we’re not going to have profound differences with President Rouhani.” [YouTube]

–Diplomacy Pitch: “We could set back Iran’s nuclear program for some period of time [using the military option]. Estimates range from 1, 2, 3 or 4 years. But then what happens? The Iranian regime would still be in place. They’d have every incentive to kick out all inspectors so you have no visibility into what’s happening… And then people will say well you have to go into Iran to make sure they’re not breaking out. Why is that a better world to live in than a world in which we can verify for 15 years that Iran is not even on the brink of obtaining a nuclear weapon? Then we can make a judgment in 15 years about what we’ll do going forward.” Goldberg: “So you’re leaving it to President Chelsea Clinton to grapple with? (laughter).” Watch the full interview [YouTube]

–Interesting to note: Rhodes appears to simultaneously downplay the future effectiveness of sanctions against Iran while, at another point in the discussion, also emphasizing how hard the sanctions over Ukraine are crippling the Russian economy.

David Rothkopf OpEd: “Obama Shows You Can Struggle at Foreign Policy and Still Succeed as President” [ForeignPolicy]

“Does John Kerry want an Iran deal too much?” by Michael Crowley: “As he meets with Iranian officials in search of a nuclear deal in the coming days, John Kerry may sense another presence in Vienna’s Palais Coburg hotel: his legacy. Over his 30-year political career, Kerry has long been knocked for delivering more talk than results. Achieving a nuclear deal he first began pursuing even before he became secretary of state could redefine his place in history. And that, Republican critics, foreign officials, and even some ex-administration officials say, is a big problem. Kerry’s eagerness for a deal, they argue, risks that the Iranians will seduce him into a bad one.” [Politico] • Marie Harf responds: “If we do not get our bottom lines met here… we will not get a deal.” [MorningJoe]

“U.S. Tells Iran That Preliminary Nuclear Deal Must Stand” by Michael R. Gordon, David E. Sanger: “The United States warned Iran on Monday, in both English and Persian, that a preliminary agreement reached two months ago in Switzerland must remain the basis for a final nuclear deal. The warning appeared to reflect concerns among American and European negotiators that Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has been attempting to backtrack on some crucial elements of the April agreement that was forged in Lausanne.” [NYTimes] • Gerald F. Seib: “Will a Deal Change Iran’s Revolutionary Mindset—Or Extend It?” [WSJ]

“For World, Limited Options If Iran Talks Fall Apart” by Dan Perry, George Jahn: “Should the talks actually collapse, the alternatives are not appealing. The war option that the United States has kept on the table has few fans, and the world community does not seem willing to impose truly crippling sanctions. A dangerous period of uncertainty looms. Which way it goes may depend on which side needs a deal the most.” [AP]

“A Former Israeli Ambassador Takes Aim at Obama—and American Jewry” by Jeffrey Goldberg: “I do recommend you read his book for any number of reasons, not least of which is that it illuminates a clear and growing divide between the American and Israeli Jewish communities, and illustrates the way in which even a person who comes from the Israeli political center understands (and misunderstands) his brethren in America, including and especially his brethren who practice journalism. Here is an edited version of our conversation, which, you will undoubtedly notice, reads occasionally like a transcript of two Jews yelling at each other on a park bench in Brooklyn:” [TheAtlantic]

“The President Against the Historian” by Bret Stephens: “Michael Oren’s candid account of Obama’s Mideast policy has won him the right enemies. But it’s typical of the Administration that no Israeli slight is too minor not to be met with overreaction—and not only because Mr. Obama and his entourage have thin skins. One of the revelations of “Ally” is how eager the administration was to fabricate crises with Israel, apparently on the theory that strained relations would mollify Palestinians and extract concessions from Mr. Netanyahu.” [WSJ]

2016 WATCH: “Donald Trump says he is no apprentice when it comes to Israel” by Jacob Kamaras: “Trump’s daughter Ivanka converted to Judaism in 2009… “I have great respect for [the Shabbat traditions], and I see Ivanka during Saturday, and from Friday evening on through Saturday night, she won’t take phone calls and they live a very interesting life,” Trump said. “And it’s actually a beautiful thing to watch, with Jared and Ivanka. In a very hectic life, it really becomes a very peaceful time. So there’s something very nice about it.”… “The only [candidate] that’s going to give real support to Israel is me,” said the 69-year-old Trump. “The rest of them are all talk, no action. They’re politicians. I’ve been loyal to Israel from the day I was born. My father, Fred Trump, was loyal to Israel before me.” [JNS]

HAPPENING TODAY: “Brash Personality Seen as Chris Christie’s Main Asset” by Maggie Haberman: “If Donald Trump makes the rest of the Republican presidential primary field look responsible, Chris Christie threatens to make the others look boring. Mr. Christie is no longer a front-runner. Donors are not lining up at his door. Yet because of a combination of factors — not the least of which is his personality — the New Jersey governor is destined to be a factor in the 2016 presidential race, which he will officially join on Tuesday.” [NYTimes] • Watch at 11am [CSPAN]

“Chris Christie’s Biggest Backer: ‘Would I Write A Check For $10 Million? No'” by Shane Goldmacher: “Ken Langone, a co-founder of Home Depot with a Forbes-estimated net worth of $2.7 billion, said he would not be dipping into his personal fortune to write the kind of massive, eight-figure check to Christie’s super PAC that would instantly change the complexion of the 2016 race. “Would I write a check for $10 million? No, no I wouldn’t. But I do something better than that,” Langone said. “I go out and get a lot people to write checks, and get them to get people to write checks, and hopefully result in a helluva lot more than $10 million.” [NationalJournal]

“Hillary Clinton Faces a More Liberal Democratic Fund-Raising Landscape” by Nicholas Confessore: “Hillary Rodham Clinton will seek out donors to her presidential campaign from a Democratic fund-raising landscape vastly altered since her first presidential bid and far more ideologically aligned with the party’s liberal activists… Mrs. Clinton’s most delicate dance may be with Wall Street. Investment banks like Goldman Sachs have for years been a source of personal, political and philanthropic wealth for the Clinton family.” [NYTimes]

HAPPENING TONIGHT — Former Maryland Gov. Ehrlich to talk Israel, Foreign Policy: “Robert Ehrlich, former Governor of Maryland, will be speaking tonight from 7-8:30PM at the Providence Marriott. Ehrlich, an exploratory candidate for President, will be hosting a discussion presented by the New England Jewish Republican Outreach Group on Israel and foreign policy.” [LocalProv]

Thank you to the all the outlets that linked to our scoop from yesterday regarding Phil Rosen’s Rubio endorsement. [WashPostPoliticoJPTampaTimesTwentySixteen]

**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**

BUSINESS BRIEFS: “Leonardo DiCaprio, Pritzker Group team up on Casper mattress investment” [ChicagoTribune] • “Israeli flag at Boston airport marks direct Tel Aviv flights” [JPost] • “Gecamines Discloses Congo Mine-Permit Sale to Glencore and Dan Gertler” [Bloomberg• “Gary Barnett has begun marketing condominiums at 70 Charlton” [NYTimes] • “Jordan Karlik’s Equitable building apartment conversion complete, ready for tenants” [BizJournal] • “Roman Abramovich set to announce £500m stadium expansion plans” [DailyMail] • “German Merck expanding presence in Israel with acquisitions”[Reuters]

STARTUP NATION: “Scio pocket ‘food-sniffing’ sensor now shipping to devs” by Katie Collins: “Scio, the Israeli pocket-friendly molecular sensor that was a 2014 Kickstarter sensation will soon be shipped to backers, Consumer Physics — the company that makes it — has announced.” [Wired]

TALK OF OUR NATION: “Will Ultra-Orthodox Jews Handle a Woman on the $10?” by Katie Zavadski: “One letter writer posed the question of what the fringe ultra-Orthodox will do when the $10 is female to the editor of the Country Vue, a Haredi newspaper in upstate New York. The response was predictably tongue-in-cheek: “There are two sides to every argument and that is why there are two sides to every dollar bill. I guess from here onward, when counting bills we’ll keep them all upside down.”… “Haredim, believe it or not, use pancake mix featuring Aunt Jemima on the box and Canadian currency decorated with Queen Elizabeth,” said Avi Shafran. Indeed, even Israeli currency has been feminized: Golda Meir, a former prime minister, appears on the 10,000 shekel banknote.” [DailyBeast]

TALK OF THE TOWN: “Pine Bush School District Settles Anti-Semitism Suit for $4.48 Million” by Benjamin Weiser: “Pine Bush Central School District, which is about 90 minutes north of New York City, has agreed to pay $4.48 million and enact broad reforms in curriculum and training to settle a lawsuit by five current and former Jewish students who claimed that they had been victims of pervasive anti-Semitism in the schools, a court filing on Monday showed.” [NYTimes] • “New ADL Poll Finds Dramatic Decline in Anti-Semitic Attitudes in France; Significant Drops in Germany and Belgium” [ADL]

“Ben Wattenberg, democrat” by WSJ Editorial Board: “Inside the career of Ben Wattenberg, who died Sunday at age 81, you could write a history of the modern Democratic Party. To a great extent Wattenberg wrote it himself. Wattenberg was a Bronx-born Jew whose early jobs in politics included writing speeches and providing advice to the quintessential Southern Democrat, President Lyndon Johnson… In the years that followed, Democratic pundits would say Wattenberg was a Democrat with “conservative leanings,” and it wasn’t meant as a compliment. Wattenberg was too pro-defense, too pro-market for the party’s evolving tastes.” [WSJNYTimes]

SPORTS BLINK: “Los Angeles’ Forgotten Jewish Soccer Dynasty” by Jonathan Zeller: “In the 1976–77 season, the semi-professional Maccabis tallied 35 wins without a loss on the way to city, state and national titles.By the mid-80s, they no longer existed. Today, decades after the team’s glories, players’ memories aren’t always in sync. One, Moshe Hoftman, laments that a pet parrot chewed up most of his notes from those days. European immigrants, some of whom had been in concentration camps, founded the team in the 1960s.” [ViceSports]

“The Secret Jewish History of The Grateful Dead” by Seth Rogovoy: “For a group with a significant Jewish following, there was never much on the surface that was Jewish about The Grateful Dead. Over the course of the band’s 30-year existence from 1965 to 1995, at least a dozen musicians held positions in the band, but only one member, drummer/percussionist Hart, was Jewish. Born Michael Steven Hartman on September 11, 1943, in Brooklyn, and raised in the heavily Jewish Five Towns area of Long Island, Hart is best known for bringing non-Western rhythms and time signatures to the band from Asia, Africa and Latin America, but these never included any Jewish nuances.” [Forward]

–Flashback: “Just how many degrees of separation exist between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia? The person who connects Benjamin Netanyahu directly to Jerry Garcia—and Shimon Peres to Jim Morrison, and, for that matter, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to Janis Joplin—is Sally Oren, the wife of Michael Oren. Forty-five years ago, however, she played Frisbee with the Grateful Dead…” [TheAtlantic]

BIRTHDAYS: Matisyahu turns 36… Dov Hikind turns 65…

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**