TOP TALKER: “Pro-Israel Lobby Prepares to Battle Obama Over Iran” by Eli Lake: “Since last month, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee has mobilized its members to press legislators to endorse five principles for a nuclear deal — principles that are almost certain not to be reflected in a final agreement. Parallel to this campaign, major donors to AIPAC and other pro-Israel causes are forming a new and independent 501(c)(4) advocacy organization, according to fundraisers and other lobbyists involved in the effort.” [BloombergView]
“$1.4 million ad buy targets Obama’s Iran deal” by Burgess Everett: “Today, the American Security Initiative, a bipartisan group chaired by former Senators Joe Lieberman, Evan Bayh, Norm Coleman and Saxby Chambliss, unleashes an ad blitz, urging eight senators from both parties to oppose any nuclear deal that doesn’t allow “unconditional inspections” of Iran’s nuclear facilities. The target list includes Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader in waiting, and John Thune of South Dakota, the GOP’s chief message man.” [Politico]
IRAN TALKS: “Iran’s Supreme Leader Seems to Pull Back on Nuclear Talks” by Thomas Erdbrink and David E. Sanger: “With exactly a week left before the deadline for a final agreement to limit Iran’s nuclear program, the country’s supreme leader appeared to undercut several of the central agreements his negotiators have already reached with the West. In a speech broadcast live on Iran state television, the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, demanded that most sanctions be lifted before Tehran has dismantled part of its nuclear infrastructure and before international inspectors verify that the country is beginning to meet its commitments. He also ruled out any freeze on Iran’s sensitive nuclear enrichment for as long as a decade, as a preliminary understanding announced in April stipulates, and he repeated his refusal to allow inspections of Iranian military sites.” [NYTimes; USAToday]
“Document Outlines Big-Power Nuke Help To Iran” by George Jahn: “The United States and other nations negotiating a nuclear deal with Iran are ready to offer high-tech reactors and other state-of-the-art equipment to Tehran if it agrees to crimp programs that can make atomic arms, according to a confidential document obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.” [AP]
Aaron David Miller: “Iran’s Regime Can Change. But a Nuclear Deal Isn’t Likely to Transform It.” [WSJ]
“Will Western Firms Really Race Into Iran After a Nuclear Deal?” by David Francis: “A Center for a New American Security report released Tuesday argues it could take months, if not years, for Western companies and institutional investors like Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank to invest in Iran’s economy. There’s a simple reason: It’s not worth the risk.” [ForeignPolicy]
“Plan B For Iran” by Michael Crowley: “The failure of diplomacy might lead the U.S. to turn to a weapon finally ready for real-world action after years of design and testing. The so-called “Massive Ordnance Penetrator,” or MOP, represents decades of military research, dramatically accelerated in recent years, focused on the problem of destroying targets buried deep underground.” [PoliticoMag]
2016 WATCH: “Throughout Hillary Clinton’s life and career, U.S. Jews have been close at hand” by Ron Kampeas: “From the man who married her grandmother to the man who married her daughter, from working a room full of bar mitzvah guests on behalf of her husband’s political career to headlining major pro-Israel events during her own, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s journey has never wandered far from Jews… The Jewish sensibility permeated the Clinton White House, where the first couple inaugurated the annual Hanukkah party in 1993, in part because of the abundance of Jewish staffers.”[JewishJournal]
Hillary cites Israeli program yesterday as inspiration: “You know when I was First Lady of Arkansas, I struggled with this issue. We had a lot of kids, poor kids in the Delta, South Arkansas. We were not going to be able to afford, at that point all those years ago, a universal pre-K program. We had to do more but we were never going to do enough. So I looked for programs that people could run themselves. I found a program in Israel. A program designed to help the children of immigrants into Israel, particularly from Ethiopia, who came with their parents seeking religious freedom, they were Ethiopian Jews, they had to escape, but many of them had never been to school. The secret to the program, called the Home Instruction Program for Preschool Youngsters, was to teach the mother to teach her child. We need to do more of that.” [Video]
SCENE LAST NIGHT: Around 200 donors gathered at the NYC law offices of Gibson Dunn to schmooze with 2016 candidate Marco Rubio. Supporters in attendance included Republican Jewish Coalition Board Members Wayne Berman, Phil Rosen, Eliot Lauer, Ohio State Treasurer Josh Mandel, Ben Heller, NY GOP Chairman Ed Cox, Amb. Tony Gioia, Andrew Herenstein, and Brian Morgenstern.
HAPPENING TODAY: Jeb Bush holds one of his first official campaign fundraisers this morning at a breakfast reception in New York City. Event Co-Chairs, who have raised at least $27,000, include Sander Gerber, George Klein, Jay Lefkowitz, Mel Immergut, Scott Kapnick, Marc Spilker, and Teri & Barry Volpert. The event, taking place at the Sheraton Hotel on 7th Ave, is expected to raise well over $1 million.
“FEC Tells ‘Jews for Cruz’ PAC to Change Its Name” by Jacob Koffler: “According to a letter sent to the committee from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) on Monday, the PAC cannot have Cruz’s name in its title because it is not an authorized committee of the 2016 presidential candidate.”[Time]
“Ka-Ching! Sheldon Adelson and Fellow Billionaires Boost Republican Senate” by Gregory Giroux: “Billionaire investment executive Paul Singer and Arkansas businessman Warren Stephens each gave the maximum $233,800 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the party’s campaign arm. Close behind: Billionaire casino executive Sheldon Adelson his wife, Miriam.The Adelsons kicked in $226,800 apiece, according to filings released this week by the Federal Election Commission.”[BloombergPolitics]
HEARD LAST NIGHT: Prominent Jewish philanthropist David Cordish introduced his friend Donald Trump at a Maryland GOP Dinner held near BWI Airport. Cordish related how, a few years ago, Ivanka Trump served as matchmaker for his son and daughter-in-law. “Our family owes that to the Trumps.” Cordish continued, “The U.S. is in constant, never-ending life and death negotiations with our adversaries and even our so called friends. Does anybody seriously think any foreign country is going to out-negotiate Mr. Trump? (applause) I don’t think so. I would pay very good money to see Donald Trump take on, for example, Mr. Putin or the Ayatollah of Iran (laughter).”
Trump began his remarks by cautioning, “I don’t think I should explain to all you how I met David Cordish. It’s just not a nice story (laughter). But I’ll do it anyway (laughter). I sued David. I was suing him for hundreds of millions. I didn’t know him but I just said ‘I was going to get this guy whoever the hell he is.’ We had this vicious, vicious lawsuit going for a long time. Then the Judge court ordered us to meet. I didn’t want to meet this guy but it was mandatory. I walked in and fell in love in two minutes. We worked out our problems, in what, twelve seconds?” [YouTube]
Trump on Jeb: “I am in second place in New Hampshire. Some are thrilled. I’m not thrilled. How could Bush be in first place?! This guy can’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag. If Bush gets in, China will absolutely eat our lunch.”
Trump on Kerry: “We have a Secretary of State who I think is a very nice man. I’ve met him a couple of times. But he’s our chief negotiator with Iran. He gives up on everything, we’re losing on every front. This negotiation, David, has gone on forever. We were almost children when it began. We’re not sending a rocket up to the moon. We want inspections, we want this, we want that, we don’t want weapons. They just keep saying no until they get what they want. Then we have this guy at 72, 73 who decides to go into a bicycle race. He breaks his leg. I promise I will never enter a bicycle race, ever!
On Iran: “If we had David Cordish, Trump.. we would have started the Iran negotiations by saying fellas… by the way, it’s only fellas cause the Iranians haven’t figured out yet that the women are smarter than the men. That will take another 150 years but that’s ok. It’s good for us. We would say to the Iranians right away let the four prisoners go. But the U.S. doesn’t even bring it up. We want to take the sanctions off during the negotiations. Have you ever heard of anything so stupid? If they wouldn’t let them go, I would walk. Double, triple up the sanctions.”
Other Trump Lines: “Marie Harf, very nice person, blond hair, big glasses, from the State Department”… “Think of this, cause we have a lot of businesspeople in this room. You’re the suckers that paid for this dinner, right? (laughter)”… “I have a good idea for Ford to get the cars and trucks here from Mexico. Let the illegals drive them in. They’re coming here anyway.”
LongRead: “Five Hostages: Families whose children were held captive in Syria felt that U.S. officials had abandoned them. So they secretly joined forces” by Lawrence Wright: “Five American families, each harboring a grave secret, took their seats around a vast dining table at the home of David Bradley, a Washington, D.C., entrepreneur who owns the media company that publishes The Atlantic. It was May 13, 2014… Until recently, they had not known of one another, or of the unexpected benefactor who had brought them together. They were the parents of five Americans who had been kidnapped in Syria.” [NewYorker]
BUSINESS BRIEFS:“Shekel Soars as Flug Puts Unconventional Steps on Hold” [Bloomberg] • “Aby Rosen to buy Peace Pentagon’s Noho property for $20M” [RealDeal] • Glencore and Dan Gertler Purchase Congo Copper License in Unannounced Deal [Bloomberg] • “David Edelstein sells Wynwood properties for $13M” [RealDeal] • “Henry Kravis Said to Score $1.3 Billion Profit on Capital Safety”[Bloomberg] • “Moscow court orders Adidas Russia to pay Lev Leviev’s AFI Development affiliate $7,300 over rent arrears” [RapsiNews]
STARTUP NATION: “Mapping tool MapMe finds $1M to expand globally” by Sindy Nanclares: “Tel Aviv, Israel-based mapping platform Mapme announced today that it raised $1 million in seed funding led by Israeli investors Gigi Levy-Weiss and Daniel Recanati. Mapme is a user-generated maps tool targeted at companies and organizations. The 21-year-old CEO, Ben Lang, said the platform already has maps covering multiple topics including food, religion, tech, and health. “We want these maps to be useful for all types of sectors,” Lang said. Although Lang is young, he says he has been working for tech startups since he was 14 years old.” [VentureBeat]
TALK OF OUR NATION: “For Egypt, TV Show’s Shocking Twist Is Its Sympathetic Jews” by David D. Kirkpatrick: “The scene is Cairo’s Jewish Quarter in 1948, and Laila Haroun has news for her parents. Her brother, Moussa, has left to settle in the new state of Israel in spite of the war with Egypt and its Arab allies. “Your son is a traitor,” Laila shouts across their elegant living room. “You gave birth to him as an Egyptian Jew, not an Israeli Jew, which he never will be!” Her revelation sets up the central conflict in this year’s most talked-about Egyptian television series, “The Jewish Quarter,” which has astonished Egyptians with its sympathetic treatment of Egypt’s Jews and its depiction of their fierce anti-Zionism.” [NYTimes] • “A Timeline of Jews in Egypt” [NYTimes]
“Why Non-Jews Are Choosing Jewish Circumcision Ceremonies: Some parents opt for traditional mohels, rather than doctors, to perform the procedure on their sons—even when they aren’t Jewish themselves” by Jessica Alpert: “When Allison Finch, a 36-year-old mother of five from Houston, had her first son, in 2007, she had him circumcised before taking him home. But the circumcision was cosmetically uneven, a result that left her regretting the choice to have the procedure done in the hospital. So when their second son, Henry, was born in 2011, she and her husband Robert went a different route. Although they identify as practicing Christians, the Finches decided to have their baby circumcised by a mohel, a Jewish person trained to perform a ritual circumcision, or brit milah. In keeping with Jewish tradition, the family asked the mohel to circumcise Henry on the eighth day of his life.” [TheAtlantic]
“Immortalized As ‘The Woman In Gold,’ How A Young Jew Became A Secular Icon” by Susan Stamberg: “In Woman in Gold, Helen Mirren plays Maria Altmann — an octogenarian Jewish refugee who fought to recover the Gustav Klimt paintings the Nazis seized from her family in Vienna at the outset of World War II. On Friday, Mirren received an award for her performance at New York’s Neue Galerie, which is now home to more Klimts than anywhere else in the country.” [NPR]
BOOK REVIEW: “Sit-Downs With Stand-Ups” by Dave Shiflett: “Born to a Jewish family (as were a large portion of his interviewees), Judd Apatow was raised without religion, except for being constantly reminded by his parents that “life isn’t fair.”… Among the stand-out interviews is the one with Mel Brooks. He says that “Blazing Saddles” (1974) probably couldn’t get made today, because of the rabid vigilantism of the language police.” [WSJ]
SPORTS BLINK: “Football Hall of Famers find trip to Israel rewarding” by Shalise Manza Young: “After touching down Tuesday at Logan Airport but before parting ways, the Gold Jackets, as they’re affectionately called, shared memories from their trip, one that touched many of them beyond sharing the game they love. “When [the invitation] came through, I had no concerns,” said former Broncos running back Floyd Little. “A lot of the guys didn’t come because they were afraid, because of what’s portrayed, [but] I’m not going on anybody else’s information, I need to go on my own. The wife and I responded immediately and I think if we weren’t the first one to respond, we were the second. “It was something we wanted to do it, it was on our bucket list to see what it’s really like, and actually walk in the Bible.” [BostonGlobe]
Birthdays: Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon turns 65… George Pataki turns 70… Steven Mitzner… Jerry Speyer turned 75 (yesterday)…
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